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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Dardenne, Eugenie. Land document, 1856 March 24. 1 item (4 leaves). Location: Misc:D. Land conveyance recording the sale of slaves and one-third of the ownership of Dardenne Plantation, a sugar plantation in Iberville Parish, Louisiana. The sale was made to John A. Dardenne. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 668.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Plantations, Women, African Americans

Dart, Elisabeth K. (Elizabeth Kilbourne). Collection, 1774-2005. 5.5 linear feet. Location: 121:8-10, OS:D, Vault:5. Resident and local historian in St. Francisville, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Wrote about West Feliciana subjects including the Railroad, biographies of notable figures, and tours for Grace Cemetery. Collection contains manuscript and research materials used for exhibits, lectures, tours, and writing on West Feliciana Parish. Manuscripts include deeds, correspondence, accounting records, legal papers, court cases, and receipts. Other records include published materials, copies of original materials, scrapbooks, photographs, notes, and exhibit text. Mss. 5023.

Daughters of the American Revolution. Baton Rouge Chapter. Records, 1931-1985. 10 vols. Location: 53:. Scrapbook volumes contain publicity and business records, including correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, programs, and other printed items. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4086.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Baton Rouge

Davion, Marguerite Cloutier. Document, 1824. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. Act of cession in the succession proceedings of Marguerite Cloutier Davion. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 849.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Davis, Jefferson. Family correspondence collection, 1868-1907. 12 items. Location: Misc.:D, vault:1. U. S. congressman (1845-1851, 1857-1861) from Mississippi, U. S. Secretary of War (1853-1857), and president of the Confederate States of America (1861-1865). Correspondence relates to genealogy, personal affairs, and letters of recommendation for an African American coachman. Correspondents include Jefferson Davis, his wife, Varina Davis and daughter, Margaret Davis Hayes. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 250, 893.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Women, African Americans

Davis, Varina Howell. Letter, 1881 March 12. 1 item. Location: Misc.: D, Vault: 1. Wife of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America. Letter from Varina Davis to a Mr. Bigelow comments on the status of Jefferson Davis's hand injury, the attractiveness of Mississippi, and her daughter's visit. Original housed in the vault is restricted. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3929.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Davis, Varina Howell. Photograph, 1849. 1 item. Location: Vault:39. Wife of Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America. 1 1/6 plate studio portrait cased daguerreotype of Varina Davis, possibly taken at Natchez, Miss., circa 1949. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1678.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War

Dawson, Sarah Morgan. Letter and Photograph, 1899, undated 2 items. Location: Misc.:D. Letter from Sarah Morgan Dawson to a friend, offering the use of her library. The photograph was taken on a holiday in North Carolina in August 1899. For further information, see online. Mss. 1703.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Dawson, Sarah Morgan. Manuscripts, 1908. 2 items. Location: Misc.:D. Two manuscript narratives from an unfinished volume of Reminiscences and Miscellanies recalled by her during the last years of her life at the request of her children. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1703.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Dayries, B. E. Family correspondence, 1829-1848. 8 items. Location: Misc. Residents of Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Correspondence of members of the Dayries family, principally Mrs. Dayries, from Mont-de-Marsan, capital of Landes, France. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1724.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

De Beguer, Emma. Letter, 1869. 1 item [photostat]. Location: Misc.:D. Resident of Baton Rouge. Personal letter by Miss de Beguer to a friend. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 778.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Baton Rouge, French

De Grummond, Jane Lucas. Papers, 1834-1990 (bulk 1893-1990). 35 linear ft. 3 printed vols. Location: UU:172; 98; 109:40-53; O:13. Professor of Latin American history, LSU. Research materials used for the editing of the Journal of John G. A. Williamson, first diplomatic representative of the United States to Venezuela. Venezuelan newspapers, clippings, and periodicals illustrating politics and public opinion in 1958. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2463.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Women, LSU

De la Roche Family Papers, 1834-1839. 4 items. Location: Misc. Papers include an account of Pierre de la Roche with T. F. Laville, a petition to the Probate Court in Orleans Parish, Louisiana, by the widow of Pierre regarding her husband's estate, and a letter from Madame Pierre de la Roche to her attorney. Letter in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 106.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Depoux letter, [1834]. 1 item [typescript copy]. Location: Misc. Letter describing the circumstances of the attempted assassination of Mme. de Pontalba by her father-in-law, who in turn killed himself. Typescript of an original at Tulane University. In French, translated. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 949.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

Derr, Lucile Elizabeth. M. A. thesis, 1927. 1 item [on microfilm]. Location: Mss. Mf.:D. Copy of Lucile Elizabeth Derr's master's thesis, "Administration of Estevan Miro, 1784-1791," (University of California Graduate School, Jan. 1927). Also included is an appendix of translations from the original Spanish documents (1781-1791). For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3381.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Education

Despau, Marie S. C. Document, 1799. 1 item. Location: Misc.:D. Request of Marie Carriere Despau for separation from her husband, Guillaume Despau of Opelousas, Louisiana. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 112.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French

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.

Dezerie account, 1839. 1 item. Location: Misc. Receipted statement by Elizabeth A. Preston for hauling one load of plank to Grand Coteau, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, for Dezerie. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 114.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Diary, 1835-1837. 1 vol. Location: M:19. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reel 33. Governess from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at Belfield Plantation near Natchez. Diary records reactions to plantation life, amusements, visits to neighbors, and expressions of discontent with the South. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 533.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Natchez, Mississippi

Diary, 1899-1900. 1 vol. Location: Misc:D. Woman from Butler County, Nebraska. Diary entries discuss travel and visits in Nebraska, Illinois, and Crowley, Louisiana. She describes vegetation of Southwestern Louisiana; rice mills; social activities; revivals; and lectures. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reel 8. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4010.

Referenced in Guides: Women

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