Manuscript Resources on Women's History

This guide describes manuscript collections documenting women's history in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections at LSU. It includes the papers of women, women's organizations, family papers with significant bodies of women's papers in them, and other collections that document women's history in one way or another.

LSU is fortunate because it collected women's papers very early, perhaps without systematically trying to do so. Women's voices, often buried in plantation collections and Civil War papers, have emerged from obscurity only in recent decades. Researchers coming to LSU can study the letters and diaries of plantation mistresses and teachers, the papers of women writers, and the papers of black women, among other sources. A number of our women's collections have been recently microfilmed by University Publications of America in its series on Southern Women and their Families, making these collections more widely accessible. 

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Art Reproductions, 1903-1915. 8 items. Location: OS:A. Early 20th century prints by various American artists depicting fashionable women, children and the Revolutionary War. Collection consists of HER INFINITE VARIETY by Harrison Fisher (circa 1914); THE FORTUNE HUNTER by Frank X. Leyendecker (circa 1915); ON THE ROAD TO MANDALAY, by Frank X. Leyendecker (circa 1908); THE LOST TOOTH by Charles A. Maclellan (circa 1914); REFLECTIONS by Z. P. Nikolaki (circa 1914); THE NATION MAKERS by Howard Pyle (circa 1903); BILLY BOY by Jessie Willcox Smith (circa 1914); and SNOW BIRD by Penrhyn Stanlaws (circa 1914). Mss. 2600-73.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Asbury Independent Methodist Church. Photographs, 1977. 5 items. Location: E. Church located in White Castle, Louisiana, with a predominantly African American congregation. Photographs depicting the church interior show the church's pastor and assistant pastors, the women's auxiliary organization, the church Board of Stewardesses, and a baptismal group. Hill stacks For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3177.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Women, African Americans

Aswell, James B. Letter, 1925 Aug. 8. 1 item. Location: MISC:A. Educator who served as congressman from Louisiana, as well as as Louisiana State Superintendent of Schools. Letter from Aswell to Sam Fried of Alexandria, Louisiana, congratulating him on his marrage to Nettie Gainsburg. Mss. 3295.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Women

Audubon, John James. Letters, 1831-1832. 3 letters (photocopies). Location: Misc:A American naturalist and artist. Letters to his wife describe Audubon's nature study trip along the east coast of Florida. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2787.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Audubon, Lucy. Letter, 1873 March 14, undated. 1 letter, 1 letter cover. Location: MISC:A. Widow of John James Audubon. Thank you note to a Mrs. Kelly refers to Mrs. Audubon's near blindness. The letter is attached to a cover of a letter probably written in the 1840s from John James Audubon to Dr. Richard Harlan of Philadelphia. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1504.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Audubon, Victor Gifford. Letter, December 24, 1838. 1 letter. Locations: VAULT:53, MISC:A. Eldest son of John James Audubon. Letter from Victor, Edinburgh, Scotland, to Mrs. [Euphemia] Gifford in Dinton (near Aylesbury), England. Gives news of the Audubon family and Victor's return to the United States to see to his father's business. Mss. 5191.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Business

Babcock, Mrs. George. Diaries, 1871. 1 item and 2 ms. vols. Location: J:5. Wife of a New Orleans merchant. Travel diaries record a trip to Europe and give descriptions of places and events in England, Scotland, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and France. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 791.

Referenced in Guides: Women, New Orleans 1866-

Bacon, Edmund, 1776-1826. Letters, 1802-1820. 14 items. Location: B:16. Virginia native, lawyer, and cotton planter educated in Augusta, Georgia, and Litchfield, Connecticut. He settled in Savannah, then moved to Edgefield, South Carolina. Letters to Bacon's sister Agnes and her husband Colonel Joseph Pannill of Loftus Heights, Mississippi, pertaining to legal, business, and agricultural matters; family and local news; difficulties with Creek Indians in the area; and travel. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2178.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women

Badley Family papers, 1834-1940, undated (bulk 1845-1865). 0.3 linear feet. Location: W:2, OS:B, F:2. Badley family, plantation owners in Port Hudson and East Baton Rouge Parish. Personal papers and printed items document their plantations, landholding, and political and professional activities. Works Progress Administration manuscripts collection notes and botanical specimen books are also present. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 3062.

Bain, Emily Johnston. Papers, 1757-2002, (bulk 1940-2000). 4.25 linear ft. Location: 106:5-6. Louisiana artist and educator who served as a Home Demonstration agent to the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service and as Louisiana State Supervisor of Art for the Department of Education in addition to her teaching career. Papers comprise materials related to her education and career as a teacher and artist in Louisiana and Texas. Records include Bain’s genealogical research, autobiographical and creative writing, photographs, slides, correspondence, printed materials, ephemera, and clippings. Mss. 5172.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Education, Baton Rouge, LSU

Baker, Neiu A. Letters, 1860. 2 letters. Location: Misc. Neiu A. Baker, a schoolteacher in Downsville, La., writes to his wife, S.J. Baker, in Longstreet, N.C., discussing her canceled trip to Louisiana; their daughter Emma in North Carolina; the land, people, and climate in and around Downsville and Union Parish; his wish to leave his teaching job for further education; and her family's reluctance to see her leave North Carolina. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4009.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Education

Baker, Sarah. Oral history interview, 1974. 2 sound cassettes. Location: L:4700.2. Sarah Baker was born and raised on the Magee Plantation in Woodville, Wilkinson County, Mississippi, and was 113 years old at the time of the interview, which discusses plantation life and the end of the Civil War. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.2.

Banes, Alexander. Alexander and Nannie I. Banes Family Papers, 1888-1990. 1.3 linear ft. Location: U:252, OS:B. African American family of Waco, Texas. Collection includes photographs, correspondence, writings, and legal and financial papers. Some materials document Nannie Bane's work as a teacher in North Texas. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4392.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Education, African Americans

Baptismal records of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church of Natchitoches, Louisiana, 1724-1829. 2 volumes [photocopies]. Location: J:24. Volumes compiled by the Shreveport Committee of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Louisiana. Included are photographs of portraits of three bishops of Natchitoches: Augustus M. Martin, Francis Xavier Leray, and Anthony Durier. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1720.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Women, French

Barbari, Marjorie Washburn. Papers, 1926-2002 (bulk 1966-1996). 5.25 linear ft. Location: 38:76-81. Writer of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Papers consist mainly of personal correspondence, poems, and photographs. Other writings include manuscripts of aphorisms, reflections, short stories, novels, and a novelette. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3386.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Women, Baton Rouge, Literature

Barel, Leona Queyrouze, 1861?-1938. Papers, 1800-1950 (bulk 1860-1937). 2,614 items, 31 printed vols., 23 ms. vols. Location: X:96-101, OS:Q, 99:Q, Q:27. French-language writer, poet, essayist, and musician of New Orleans and New York City. Her father, Major Leon Queyrouze, was commander of the Orleans Guard Battalion during the Civil War. Papers include letters from writers and editors; literary writings and musical compositions; materials on the Anti-Lottery League; and Civil War and business papers of her father, a member of the factors' firm Queyrouze and Bois. In French and English. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reels 18-26. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1204, 1222, 1278, 1314, 1323, 1335.

Barrow, Cordelia Johnson, 1816-1845. Family papers, 1834-1894. 9 letters, 1 eulogy. Location: 19:10. Cordelia Johnson Barrow was the daughter of Philo S. Johnson and Anna Maria Johnson of Watertown, New York. She was educated at Mrs. Willard's Academy for Young Ladies in Troy, New York. Following her graduation, she took a teaching position in Camden, South Carolina. Later, she met her husband, Wylie Micajah Barrow, in St. Francisville, Louisiana, when she was hired as a tutor for the Barrow family. The Cordelia Johnson Barrow family papers contain correspondence from Cordelia Johnson Barrow and her descendants. The letters are generally written from either Louisiana or Watertown, New York. Included in the papers is a letter from Martha Johnson Robertson Barrow to her grandmother, Martha Johnson Pope, regarding the family's flight from Baton Rouge to Tickfaw, La., after their Baton Rouge home was taken by the Union Army. There is a eulogy for Cordelia Johnson Barrow written by an unknown author and two letters from Cordelia Johnson Barrow to her family regarding her experience traveling to South Carolina when she was a teacher. These letters describe her "dangerous" trip, including a description of New York City, the steamboat ride, yellow fever outbreaks, the railroad, and the swamp. There is also a letter from Martha Johnson Robertson Barrow to her daughter, Leila, that includes advice on home medical remedies, and a letter from an unknown brother to his sister telling of a bad storm in Baton Rouge. Mss. 5101.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, Education, Medicine

Bass-Farrar Family Papers, 1827-1918 (bulk: 1829-1843, 1858-1867) 0.5 linear ft. Location: OS:B, R:41, VAULT:4. Papers of the Bass, Farrar, and Richardson families from Tensas Parish, La. and vicinity. Includes material on family matters, personal and professional activities, maintenance and overseeing of cotton plantations before and after the Civil War, life along the Mississippi River, life in Civil War Louisiana, and slavery. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4907.

Batchelor, Albert A. (Albert Agrippa). Papers, 1852-1930 (bulk 1870-1900). 27 linear ft., 41 volumes. Location: S:143-170, J:13, 98:B, OS:B. Personal and business papers, correspondence, diaries, and account books pertain principally to local events, and the operation and management of several plantations in Pointe Coupee Parish, including Bella Vista Plantation, Lakeside Plantation, Phoenix Plantation, Highland Plantation, and Normandy Plantation. Early letters among Batchelor family members describe conditions at the Kentucky Military Institute and the Silliman Female Collegiate Institute, and mention events such as slave insurrections and military operations. Several letters describe Civil War battles, including the 1862 Battle of Kernstown and the 1863 battles of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville. Available on microfilm 5735 and 6061: Records of southern plantations from emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Selections from Louisiana State University, pt. 5, Louisiana sugar plantations, reels 1-15; Confederate Military Manuscripts, Series B, Holdings of Louisiana State University, reels 1-2. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 919.

Bateman, Mary. Diary, 1856. 1 vol. [typed transcripts]. Location: M:19. Young girl living with relatives at Argyle Plantation, near Greenville, Mississippi. Diary gives personal observations of local plantation social life. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 661.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women