Manuscript Resources on The Sugar Industry

This guide describes manuscript collections documenting the sugar industry in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) at LSU.  The records and personal papers of sugar planters and others whose livelihood came from growing sugar provide a wealth of documentation supporting research in agriculture, sociology, economics, history, and politics.

Researchers should also consult:

Sugar at LSU: Cultivating a Sweeter Future (Online Exhibition)

Documenting Louisiana Sugar 1845-1917

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Devall-Hyams Family Papers and Photographs, 1824-1977 (bulk 1906-1913, 1918). 1.5 linear ft., 1 v. Location: T:31-32, J:20. Louisiana sugar planters. Collection consists of personal correspondence, legal documents, genealogies, and family photographs. Papers reflect family matters, personal activities, financial affairs, land transactions, and to a lesser extent the sugarcane crop at Orange Grove Plantation. Letters of Lillie Dickinson, Susie Devall comprise a large portion of the correspondence (1904-1913). Letters by Benjamin Devall concern military life in Georgia during World War II (1918). Photographs include an unidentified African American sugarhouse worker (undated). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4242.

Doussan Family Papers, 1827-1872. 94 items. Location: U:300. Correspondence, financial papers, and personal papers of members of the Doussan family (primarily Antoine Doussan, Louise Perrin Doussan, and Auguste Doussan) of East and West Baton Rouge Parishes, Louisiana, and France. Correspondence of Charles de Rabars of Bordeaux, France, is also included, as is a letter from General Baron Joachim Ambert. Most documents reflect the Doussans' planting operations in West Baton Rouge Parish; their financial and legal transactions in Louisiana and France; family activities, interests, and concerns; and the experience of French emigres in Louisiana as they encountered Anglo-American culture and society. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4800.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Women, Business, Baton Rouge, French

Drouillard, Jean Baptiste. Family Papers, 1794-1901, undated. 165 items. Location: S:121 and Mss. Mf: D. Planter of Santo Domingo and of New Orleans. Letters and documents concern labor and economic conditions on Santo Domingo after the rise to power of Toussaint l'Ouverture in 1793, and the lives of exiles from the island who resettled in the United States. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2590.

Dugas and LeBlanc. Account books, 1886-1933. 144 vols. Location: L:7-12. Merchants of Paincourtville, Assumption Parish, Louisiana, manufacturers of Westfield sugar and molasses. Records include account books, daybooks, and ledgers for the firm; and payroll books for Armelise, Magnolia, Westfield, and Whitmel plantations and for levee work in the Fourth Mississippi River District. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 611.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Business

Dugas, Honore and family. Papers, circa 1850-1910 (bulk 1880-1891). 1.75 linear ft. Location: T:24-25, OS:D. Sugar planter of Armelise Plantation, Paincourtville, Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Business and personal papers, and printed material contain contains correspondence, financial papers and printed material documenting the sugar industry in Louisiana, shipping on Bayou Lafourche, and the social and cultural life of New Orleans. There is also a carte-de-visite photograph of an unidentified elderly couple, circa 1850. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1645.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, New Orleans 1866-, Business

Duplantier, Armand Family Letters, 1777-1859. 95 items. Location: D:62. Armand Duplantier was a planter and owner of Magnolia Mound Plantation, La. Duplantier Family Letters contain items from four generations of the Duplantier family, including Armand Duplantier, his uncle Claude Trénonay, Armand’s son Armand Allard Duplantier, and granddaughter Amélie Augustine Duplantier Peniston. The letters relate to Louisiana under the French, Spanish, and Americans and the economic, political, and social conditions attendant on transitioning among the three powers; commerce with France; the succession of Trénonay; attitudes about the French Revolution; slavery and plantation matters; family news such as illness, births, deaths, and the education of Duplantier’s children; and travels in France by Amélie Duplantier. Mss. 5060.

Erwin, Isaac. Diary, 1848-1868. 1 volume. Location: W:16. Sugar and cotton planter of Shady Grove Plantation, Bayou Gross Tete, Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Diary (photocopies of a typescript) records plantation, personal, and family activities, and mentions local aspects of the Civil War, Reconstruction, epidemic diseases, floods, levee maintenance, and sugar and cotton production. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2933.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Civil War, Medicine

Farwell, F. Evans, 1906. Lecture and narration, 1980. 1 sound cassette (45 minutes), Index (1 page). Location: L:4700.14. President of Millican and Farwell Shipping Line. Farwell discusses the establishment of Millican and Farwell Shipping and family sugar cane plantations in Louisiana. He narrates a slide show, not contained in the collection, about changes in farming technology, especially pertaining to sugar cane. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.14.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations

Foreign trade price lists collection, 1824-1833. 3 items. Location: Misc:F. J. W. Bastian & Son was a firm in Bremen, Germany, importing coffee, sugar, tobacco, and other staples as well as linens, dyes, and spices. Mariatequi, Knight & Co. was a firm based in Havana, exporting sugar, coffee, molasses, and provisions to New Orleans, Louisiana, and other parts of the United States, and to Europe. The foreign trade price lists report the prices of commodities being exported and imported from Bremen, Germany (1824), St. Petersburg, Russia (1824), and Havana, Cuba (1833). Also listed are exchange rates, in London, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Paris. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3326.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Transportation

Foster, Murphy J. and family. Papers, 1880-1955 (bulk 1880-1930). 4.3 linear ft. Location: UU:286-287, 98:F. The collection extensively documents Foster's political career, his relationship with his wife Rose Ker Foster, and their children's formative years. Materials in the collection include correspondence, financial papers, legislative papers, and printed items. Topics addressed include family matters such as the development and education of the Foster children; Rose's management of Dixie Plantation in Murphy's absences; and Foster's political career and the issues that concerned him, such as the Anti-Lottery campaign, a national income tax, regulating railway rates, flood control, poll taxes, and protection of sugar growers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4710.

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