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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Breaux, Manuel. Papers, 1785, 1831. 2 items. Location: MISC:B. Sale of property (copy) in St. James Parish, Louisiana by Marguerite Breaux to Manuel Breaux (1785) and a document listing several land claims as found in the decisions of the Board of Commissioners for the Eastern District of Orleans (1831). In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 42.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Breazeale, Elizabeth, 1919-, interviewee. Oral history interview, 1993. 1 sound cassettes (50 min.), transcript (35 p.), index (13 p.). Location: L:4700.0304. LSU alumnae and Kappa Gamma House board president. Breazeale describes her experiences as a student at LSU and a member of the Kappa Gamma Sorority. She describes LSU social life; women's clothing; layout and use of the Panhellenic Building; dormitory rules; ceremonies and traditions; the push for the construction of sorority houses; her thoughts on LSU today; and problems with the Legislature and university funding. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0304.

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

Brent, Joseph Lancaster. Papers, 1862-1940 (bulk 1862-1904, 1926-1940). 1.3 linear ft., 12 volumes. Location: U:243-245. Maryland native, lawyer, and Confederate general. Joseph Lancaster Brent practiced law in Louisiana, Baltimore, and Los Angeles. Married to Rosella Kenner, he assisted in the management of his father-in-law, Duncan Farrar Kenner's, plantations. Brent served as a Brigadier General in the Louisiana Cavalry Brigade during the Civil War. Collection consists primarily of correspondence between Brent and his wife, Rosella, and published and unpublished writings, including manuscript and printed copies of "Memoirs of the War Between the States" (1940), "The Lugo Case" and "Capture of the Ironclad Indianola" (1926). There is also a diary written by Brent in 1862 during his service in the Civil War. Also part of the collection are the papers of Brent's daughter, Nanine M. Brent, including a personal diary, recipe book, and household hints. Parts available on microfilm: University Publications of America, Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 1, Reel 15. Mss. 1477, 1822.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Civil War, Literature

Brent, Rosella Kenner. Papers, 1865, 1902-1916. 0.1 linear ft. Location: U:245. Daughter of Ascension Parish, Louisiana, planter and politician Duncan Farrar Kenner and wife of Confederate brigadier general Joseph F. Brent. Two narratives of Brent's recollections of Ashland Plantation, including a sketch of slave Henry Hammond. She also recounts an 1862 incident in which her father escaped to Bayou Lafourche upon learning that Union troops were coming to arrest him. Three letters pertain to Rosella Kenner Brent's husband, Brigadier General Joseph L. Brent, C.S.A. A 1910 letter describes General Brent's service in the Confederate army. Available on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 1, Reel 14. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1167, 1822.

Bright, Jane C. Scrapbook, 1917-1956 (bulk 1918-1919). 31 items, 1 vol. Location: 38-73. Red Cross nurse during WWI and a native of Yazoo, Mississippi. Bright was attached to the New Orleans Chapter Base Hospital, Unit No.24, and stationed at Limoges, France. Scrapbook contains mementos of her service as a Red Cross Nurse with the American Expeditionary Force (A.E.F.) in France. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1810.

Bringier, Louis Amadee and family. Papers, 1786-1901. 2 linear ft. and 13 volumes. Location: T:96-97, F:9, OS:B. Planter of Ascension Parish, Louisiana; Confederate officer and commander of the 4th Louisiana Cavalry and the 7th Louisiana Regiment. Papers include military records, correspondence and business papers relating to the administration of Hermitage Plantation in Ascension Parish and Houmas, Burnside, and Bagatelle plantations. One letter report that a woman killed a federal soldier in New Orleans (1862); another describes Grand Ilse as a resort frequented by Jews. Some items in French. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 6061: University Publications of America Records of Southern Plantations from Emancipation to the Great Migration, Series B, Part 1, Reels 1-2, and microfilm 5322: Records of Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series I, Part 1, Reel 13. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 43, 139, 544.

Bristow, Gwen, 1903-. Letter: Beverly Hills, Calif., to Annette Duchein, 1941 December 2. 1 item. Location: Misc:B. American novelist and journalist married to movie producer Bruce Manning. Friendly letter reporting on remodeling of a house and current writing. Bristow tells of difficulties encountered when trying to write without having done sufficient preliminary work and gives her thoughts on Marcel Proust. Also mentioned is the 'colonel' and his work as a movie producer. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4601.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Literature

Britt, Gladys Lawrence. Sketches of Miss Caroline Dorman: reminiscences, 1977. 1 item (19 pages). Location: Misc:B. Artist, author, and naturalist. She resided at 'Briarwood' in Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. Recollections of Dorman's life and work were compiled by Britt and contain information obtained in interviews of friends and associates of Dorman including Mr. Johnson, Mrs. Nicholls, and Mrs. Nora Patterson. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3180.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Literature

Brown, Elizabeth. Account, 1835-1836. 1 item. Location: Misc.:B. Statement of account from William Beans, blacksmith to Brown. Payment for account received by Beans on February 6, 1836. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2127.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Business

Brown, James (James Wilson) 1913 September 18 interviewee. Oral history interview, 1979. 1 sound cassette, transcript (28 pages). Location: L:4700.0003. Dean of Graduate Service in Research at San Jose State University, California. Richard Lewis was the Director of the Development of the Media Service and Support Program and Instructional Television also at San Jose State. Interview with Brown and Lewis concerns the production and use of audio-visuals and films by the U.S. Navy in World War II; the development of audio-visual products for use in schools; and their later career in the film industry. Topics include British and Canadian film making during the war; the prevention of venereal disease through films; medical films; demobilization films; and the Ladies Training and Development Center. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0003.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Education, Medicine

Brown, Sarah Goodwin. Collection, 1840-1944. 31 items. Location: U:181. Materials documenting the history of Baton Rouge and Clinton, Louisiana. Included are two letters referring to the enlistment of a Northern school teacher in the Confederate army. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1573, 1986.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, Education, Baton Rouge

Buck, Pearl S., 1892-. Letters, 1968. 2 items. Location: Misc.:B. American writer and philanthropist. Letters to a correspondent in India commenting on the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy; the Black Power demonstration by U.S. athletes at the Mexican Olympic Games; and racial problems in the United States. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2473, 2475.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Women, African Americans, Literature

Buck, William C. Family correspondence, 1855-1894. 11 items. Location: Misc: B. Baptist minister of Columbus, Mississippi, and editor of the BAPTIST BANNER and WESTERN PIONEER in Louisville, Kentucky. Buck moved to Texas in 1866 and lived there until his death in 1872. Letters from Buck's son Gideon to his wife describe Staten Island and New York City; Northern attitudes toward his sister, who was living in the North; and Northern publishers' prejudices against his father's and other Southern literary works. Included is a letter from William to his son. Remaining correspondence by Sallie G. Willson and others discuss Waco Classical School, Salado College, development of Salado, Texas, and family matters. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1699.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Women, Education, Literature

Buck-Ellis Family Papers, 1812, 1826-2000. 14 linear ft and 27 volumes. Location: 16:1-14, OS:B, J:27, Vault 1. Family of educators, lawyers, and public officials. Of Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. Ellis family papers (1812, 1826-1987) are comprised almost entirely of personal correspondence relating to daily activities, politics, health, religion, employment, military service, education and travel of five generations. Other material includes financial papers, legal documents, speeches and lectures related to the study of law, printed items, account books, diaries, inventories, family scrapbook and minute books of United Daughters of the Confederacy, Blue Cross Chapter. The Carroll and Martina Ellis Buck papers (1922-2000) consist primarily of personal correspondence from family and friends, but include some professional correspondence, primarily from his legal and public career. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4820.

Buckley, Margaret, 1819-. Diary, 1852-1853. 1 ms. vol. Location: Mss. Mf.:B. Housewife and seamstress of Finley, Ohio. Diary records daily life during the time she supported her family while her husband traveled to California. Included are mentions of social life, education of children, illnesses, and a list of household expenses. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2643.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Education, Medicine

Buhler, John Christian and family. Papers, 1805-1952 (bulk 1824-1931). 437 items, 1 manuscript volume. Location: C:49, OS:B. Planter of Winters Plantation in Buhler's Plains near Baton Rouge. Collection includes family correspondence, chiefly of John Christian Buhler, John Robert Buhler, Mary Edith Buhler, Hester S. Simmons, and Jane (Jennie) Gillespie Buhler. Letters concern politics, notable persons, and social and economic conditions. Financial documents include a copy of an act of sale (1852) of a parcel of land by John Buhler and his wife to the town of Baton Rouge, now the site of Magnolia Cemetery. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1192, 1210, 1238, 1311, 1333.

Buhler, John Robert, 1829-1886. Papers, 1843-1914. 6 ms. vols. Location: H:17. John Robert Buhler was the son of John Christian Buhler, a planter of Buhler's Plains near Baton Rouge. After his marriage to Mary Reynolds, they lived at Independence Plantation, home of his grandparents, the Smiths, near Natchez, Mississippi. Papers include three volumes of a diary containing entries (1847-1849) reflecting family and social life on Independence Plantation and providing information on events in and around Natchez, Mississippi, and Baton Rouge. Includes another diary containing manuscript poems (1881-1914) by Mary Edith Buhler, an autograph book, and a notebook containing poems by Buhler. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1311.

Buhler, M. E. (Mary Edith). Papers, 1881-1931. 985 items, 7 ms. Vols., 8 printed vols. Location: C:50-51; H:17. Poet and journalist of Mount Independence Plantation near Natchez, Mississippi, and resident of New Orleans and New York City; author of The Grass in the Pavement (1918). Papers consist of her manuscript and printed writings published in the New York Times and the New Orleans Times-Picayune and of materials relating to her family history and genealogy. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reels 1-4. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1192, 1210, 1333.

Burden, Ione and family. Papers, 1823-1980 (bulk 1900-1975). 13 linear ft. Location: P:39-45, OS:B. Louisiana State University (LSU) administrator and Baton Rouge philanthropist. Along with her brothers, Pike and Steele Burden, Ione Burden donated family land to establish the Burden Research Plantation and the LSU Rural Life Museum. Papers include correspondence, legal documents, financial papers, photographs, and scrapbooks of Ione Burden and her brothers. Collection documents Baton Rouge community events, family history, and Burden family philanthropic activities. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3063.

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

Burnham, Anne. Letters, 1833-1838. 4 letters. Location: Misc. Anne Burnham was a missionary among the Choctaw Indians, first in Havana, Ala., then near Fort Towson, Indian Territory, after their removal in 1833. This collection consists of four letters received by Anne Burnham mostly from women in Columbus, Miss. Mss. 3947.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Women

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