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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Langevin, Carmen Browder, 1900-1967. Papers, 1940-1968. 14 items. Location: Misc. Dancer and weaver of Berkeley, California. Papers refer to Langevin's career as a student of Isadora Duncan, as a professional dancer and teacher of dancing, and as a weaver. Included is a biography of Duncan by Langevin; photographs of Langevin as a dancer; and correspondence and other papers. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2608.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Women

Larche, Adeline N. Letter, 1861. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of Providence (now Lake Providence), East Carroll Parish, Louisiana. Letter to Mrs. Larche from Levy & Dieter, commission merchants, New Orleans, concerning her account and the cost of insurance to cover the cotton crop. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 860.

Larose, Rosemond. Document, 1853. 1 item. Location: Misc. Resident of New Orleans. Sale of a slave of Rosemond Larose to Charles Lamarque, Jr., of New Orleans. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 537.

Lassalie, Aline. Memorial, 1960. 3 items. Location: Misc. Letter of acknowledgment for money given to Marillac College in memory of Sister Aline Lassalle by her parents. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2409.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Education

Latta, Samuel R. (Samuel Rankin). Correspondence, 1861-1862. 1 vol. (containing 35 items). Location: H:21. Captain of the Macon Grays, 13th Tennessee Infantry, during the Civil War. His family lived in Dyersburg, Tennessee. Letters exchanged by Latta and his wife during his service in Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky, and Mississippi. Latta describes his participation in the battles of Belmont and Shiloh. Included are three letters from a brother living in Boston, Massachusetts, and two letters from a school teacher. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1924.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War

Lauve, C. L. Account book, 1826-1833, 1874-1877. 1 ms. vol. Location: H:21. Probably a woman farmer of Iberville Parish, Louisiana. Receipts of Balthazar Dupuy for sums of money received in his official capacity as sheriff of Iberville Parish; and cash accounts of Lauve. Entries include cash received for sewing, butter, and wood; and cash paid out for clothing, groceries, and taxes. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1528.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Women

Lawrence family. Papers, 1889-1926.1 linear ft. Location: OS:L. Family of New Orleans. George Washington Lawrence, a medical doctor, was married to Clara E. Solomon, Jewish diarist in New Orleans during the Civil War. Papers include typescripts of letters, the last will of George W. Lawrence, manuscript sheet music, and photographs of Clara Solomon and the Lawrence daughters. Printed items include postcards, a plan of Edgewater Park, Miss., and newspaper clippings.Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reel 15. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4627.

Referenced in Guides: Performing arts, Women, New Orleans 1866-

Lawson, L. E. L. A. Letter, 1852. 1 item. Location: Misc:L. Daughter of General E. W. Ripley of Jackson, Louisiana. Letter from Mrs. Lawson, either a newcomer or visitor in Washington, D.C., mentions that through the kindness of Senator Solomon W. Downs of Louisiana she has been introduced to Washington residents and visits the Capitol every day. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1926.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Women

Laycock, John T. and family. Papers, 1840-1953. 0.5 linear ft. Location: UU:149, OS:L, K:37. Baton Rouge lawyer, banker, and writer. Papers contain law notes and a transcript of 'Fragments from a Collection of Letters and Notes of Nina Harper of New Orleans, Louisiana, 1861-1862,' that describes civilian life during the Civil War. A manuscript fragment of 'Legs joins the cavalry;' and some miscellaneous notes pertaining to Baton Rouge. Also included are broadsides advertising the Baton Rouge Female Institute, and announcing a Grand Fete for the Red Cross Society (1918), and a photograph of John McCarthney Taylor. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reels 15-16. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3194.

Layssard family. Papers, 1794-1960. 1 linear ft. Location: W:20-21, OS:L, VAULT:13. The Layssard family resided in northern Rapides Parish, Louisiana; Kate Kingston Boyd Grant, a writer from Grant Parish, was a relation of R. H. Grant and Harriet Grant, the heirs to Harriet Layssard. Collection contains business papers of the Layssard family, but is comprised mostly of the literary writings of Kate K. Grant: unpublished novels, short stories, and plays set in Louisiana; they include information about ante-bellum New Orleans and the Colfax riot of 1873. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2875.

Lea, Lemanda E. Papers, 1858-1872. 57 items. Location: E:39. Resident of Liberty, Mississippi, and wife of a Confederate soldier. Correspondence includes letters from her mother, Sarah Sandell of Pike County, Mississippi, and letters from camps in Mississippi and Louisiana written by her husband, I. G. Lea, and her brothers, C. J. and W. G. Martin. Printed items include a speech by the Hon. Thomas R. Stockdale of Mississippi, and minutes of the Union Baptist Association. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 21. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 704.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Politics, Women, Civil War

Leary, Richard K. Correspondence, 1942-1944 (bulk 1943). 1.3 linear ft. Location: UU:245-246. World War II U.S. Army soldier serving in the 327th Military Police Escort Guard at Camp Livingston, a prisoner of war camp in Louisiana. Letters to Richard Leary is from his wife, friends and relatives discuss news from home, local events, and the effect of the war upon the town of Laconia, Louisiana. Leary's letters discuss his military duties, recreational activities, and prisoners interned at Camp Livingston. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4687.

Referenced in Guides: Women, 20th Century Wars

LeBlond, Coralie. Music collection, ca. 1850-1870. 3 ms. vols. Location: 65. Concert pianist and composer of New Orleans. Sheet music, principally by Louisiana composers, arrangers, and publishers, collected by Coralie LeBlond, including one of her own compositions. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2204, 2205.

Lebret diary, 1858-1861, 1977 (bulk 1858-1861). 1 item, 1 volume and 1 microfilm reel. Location: VAULT:12 and MSS.MF:L. The Lebret family of Bayou Sara, West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, was headed by Peter (a.k.a. Pierre) Lebret, French-born owner and operator of Lebret and Hearsey, a general merchandising firm in Bayou Sara, and Fancy Point Plantation. Diary, probably written by Peter Lebret's sister-in-law. She mentions caring for children and slaves, teaching children, sewing, housekeeping, business dealings in trying to purchase more land, Waterloo Plantation in Pointe Coupee Parish, and local and family news. Previously known as anonymous diary. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3504.

Leche, Richard W. Papers, 1804, 1889-2008, undated. Approximately 100 linear ft., 155 volumes. Location: 80:-81:, 85:, 98:L, MAP CAGE, OS:L, VAULT:1, VAULT:21, VAULT MRDF 15. Orleans Parish native and 44th governor of Louisiana from 1936-1939. Collection is comprised of Leche's gubernatorial papers, which include chiefly office files of correspondence and a variety of printed materials; pre-gubernatorial and gubernatorial campaign papers; post-gubernatorial papers; and a variety of other materials, in large part photographic items and scrapbooks, spanning the three aforementioned eras. Collection also includes papers of Elton Reynolds Leche and Richard W. Leche, Jr. Mss. 2060.

Lee, Robert E. (Robert Edward) 1807-1870. Letter, 1868, undated 2 items [enlargement prints]. Location: Misc. Confederate general in the Civil War. Letter from General Lee in reply to a request from ten-year old, Miss Sadie Napiers, San Antonio, Texas, collecting large ornamental buttons as a hobby; and a memorandum, apparently written by her granddaughter, explaining why she requested the button. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1674.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Lefevre, Paul. Letter file book, 1856-1859. 1 vol. (218 items). Location: F:8. Resident of Donaldsonville, Ascension Parish, Louisiana, and apparently a drygoods merchant dealing in women's apparel and accessories. Business correspondence of Paul Lefevre and his wife from New Orleans and New York merchants. Included are a few letters from customers. In French.For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 754.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Women, Business, French

Lenoir, William B. Papers, 1834-1844. 34 items [typed transcriptions]. Location: U:199. Postmaster of Roane County, Tennessee. Correspondence of William B. Lenoir from his brother, Walter R. Lenoir, a farmer in Boone County, Missouri; and his daughter and son-in-law, Eliza and John Martin, merchants of Memphis, Tennessee. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 242.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Letter from Augusta of Alexandria, La., 1851. 1 item. Location: Misc:A. Letter written from Augusta of Alexandria, Rapides Parish, Louisiana, to her sister, Mrs. Sarah W. Simpson, Newburyport, Massachusetts. The letter describes the excitement in Alexandria among whites and African-Americans over Jenny Lind's concert in New Orleans, Louisiana; steamboats and fishing on the Red River; and other local news. Alternate title: Anonymous letter. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1008.

Letter of a journey from Philadelphia to Fayetteville, 1834 Nov. 18. 1 letter. Location: Misc. A woman probably named Anna writes from Fayetteville, N.C., to her friend, Miss Rebecca Tillinghast, in Philadelphia, Pa., describing part of a trip with her uncle from Philadelphia to Savannah via Baltimore, Norfolk, and Fayetteville. She describes ship travel, the funeral of a cholera victim in Baltimore, and the poverty of rural Virginia. Mss. 4097.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Letter on the lives of two women in New Orleans, 1849 Jan. 8. 1 letter. Location: MISC:L. In a letter to Rose, Eva tells of meeting a former schoolmate who had declined into poverty. She gives an account of the events that led to the woman\'s misfortune and describes her distressed living conditions. Eva also writes of her own social activities, which include parties and balls. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3775.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Women

Letter to Hannah Leach, circa 1840s. 1 letter. Location: Misc. This letter received by Hannah Leach of Portland, Me., from her sister studying in New Orleans, La., discusses her sister's health, her moving to another boardinghouse, acquaintances in New Orleans and Portland, the welfare of their parents in Maine, and clothing she has purchased. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4039.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans to 1861, Women

Leverich, William. Letter, 1841 Oct. 7. 1 item. Location: Misc.:L. Cotton and sugar planter of West Feliciana and Lafourche parishes. Leverich discusses business loans and the repayment of these loans in cotton and sugar, and he mentions the debts owed by the estate of Judge Mathews. He also writes that it would be tiring for \"Fanny\" to travel from Pittsburg to New Orleans by way of railroad and river steamer. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3864.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Transportation, Women

Lewis, Anna E. Papers, 1896-1926. 27 items. Location: UU:109, OS:L. Correspondence, family photographs, and related items of Mrs. Anna Lewis, resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Papers include letters describing activities of soldiers stationed at Panama Park, Florida during the Spanish American War (1898) and the flu epidemic at Camp Meade, Maryland, during World War I (1918); a photograph of the K.O.P. Grand Lodge (Knights of Phythias) members and their families in front of the Standard Oil office building in Baton Rouge. Photograph also shows the Louisiana State University cadet band. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1080.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Baton Rouge, Medicine, LSU, 20th Century Wars

Lewis, Irma Polidore, 1945-, interviewee. Oral history interview, 1993. 1 sound cassette (45 minutes), Index (3 pages). Location: L:4700.0219. Daughter of a sugarcane worker and life-long resident of Four Corners, a community south of Franklin, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. Lewis recalls her childhood as the daughter of unwed parents; being trained in carpentry by her uncle; work as a child on a sugarcane farm; plumbing and other self-provisioning skills; and traditional foods and folk medicines. Lewis also discusses her inability to attend college; and her involvement in the Four Corners Community Center. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0219.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Women, Medicine

Lewis, Mrs. R. L. Recipe scrapbook, circa 1930-1939. 8 items, 1 volume. Location: MISC:L, N:2. Resident of Winnfield, Louisiana. Recipes, probably gathered during the 1930s by Mrs. Lewis. Scrapbook volume also hold clippings related to the forging of checks. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2600-73.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Lincoln, Lemuel L. Family Papers, 1808-1914 (bulk 1840-1914). 143. Location: U:195. Confederate veteran and commercial editor of the Times-Democrat of New Orleans. Papers of Lincoln and members of his family, consisting principally of genealogical records of the families of Judge Lemuel Rixford Lincoln of Little Rock, Arkansas; Louis Marchand of Georgia; and Pierre Firman Helluin of Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Includes correspondence of Mary Lincoln and personal and business papers of Rixford J. Lincoln of New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 688.

Lindig, Carmen. Papers, 1925-1995 (bulk 1971-1985). 0.3 linear ft. Locations: OS:L, T:110. Baton Rouge, Louisiana educator and women's and patients' rights activist. Collection consists of personal papers and newspaper clippings related to local and national political figures, organizations, topics, and events during the women's rights movement. Also includes personal research conducted for lectures, publications, presentations, and book reviews related to women's history. Mss. 4829.

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

Lintner, Mary E. Campbell. Scrapbook. 1819-1832. 1 vol. Location: G:11. Resident of Johnston and Schoharie, New York, and probably the wife of Joseph Albert Lintner. Scrapbook of clippings from British and American newspapers containing a speech of President John Quincy Adams, articles and verse on national holidays, religion, women and marriage, and pictures of prominent persons. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1842.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Politics, Women

Literary Club Yearbooks, 1979-1985. 6 items. Location: A:78. A women’s club from Baton Rouge, La. The six yearbooks contain listings of officers, members, and past presidents, as well as the topics and guest speakers for the monthly meetings. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4995.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Baton Rouge

Littlejohn, E. A. Letter, 1854. 1 item. Location: Misc.:L. Resident of Assumption Parish, Louisiana. Letter from Mrs. E. A. Littlejohn, Star post office, to Mrs. R. N. Hall, Thibodaux, Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, mentioning the funeral of Dr. Beck of Thibodaux. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1371.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Locquet Institute. Class exercise books, 1865-1866, 1873-1877. 2 vols. Location: H:23. Madame Locquet-Leroy was principal of the Locquet Young Ladies Institute and the Locquet-Leroy Institute of New Orleans. Locquet-Leroy's class exercise books contain questions and answers on history, literature, and science, together with names of students participating in exercises. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1135, 1497.

Long, Carolyn Bason. Papers, 1940-2006 (bulk 1969-1986). 6.5 linear ft. Location: 29:, MSS.MF:L. Volunteer activist, wife of Senator Russell B. Long. Papers include personal correspondence, photographs, and materials documenting charitable activities, social engagements, and duties as a senator's wife. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4020.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Women, Long Family

Long, Catherine Small. Papers, 1985-1986. 15 linear ft. Location: 4:28-34, 34:73. Vault: 54. U.S. congresswoman from Louisiana. Congressional office files of Long representing the Eighth Congressional District. The collection includes correspondence, printed material, photographs, a videotape, and campaign memorabilia. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4051.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Women, Long Family

Long, Rose McConnell, 1892-1970. Silhouette, 1936 Apr. 15. 1 silhouette. Location: E:65. Rose McConnell Long served in the U.S. Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of her husband and served from January 31, 1936, to January 3, 1937. An ink-on-paper silhouette drawing of Rose McConnell Long while a U.S. Senator. Mss. 4158.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Women

Long, Russell B. Papers, 1774-2004 (bulk 1938-1986). 772 linear ft., 9 microfilm reels. Location: 21:-27:, MAP CAGE, MSS.MF:L, VAULT:47, AA:. Shreveport, Louisiana attorney and U.S. senator. Papers include correspondence; legislative, committee, federal agency, special project, and political campaign files; press releases; speeches; audio tapes; motion picture film; videotapes; and photographs, relating chiefly to Long's senatorial career. Topics include tax reform, petroleum issues, and employee stock options. Materials on the personal and political activities of other Long family members, among them Huey Long, are included. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3700.

Longcope, Janet Percy Dana. Papers, 1911-1917. 31 items. Location: W:52. Red Cross Nurse during WWI. Letters (1911-1917) were written by poet and author, William Alexander Percy to his cousin, Janet Percy Dana Longcope, of New York. Letters concern Percy's travels, his writings (particularly his poetry), Janet's nursing service in France during World War I, Percy's interest in military service, and American involvement in the war, and personal matters.For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3511.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Literature, 20th Century Wars

Lopez, Andrew. Letter, 1848 Dec. 24. 1 letter. Location: Misc. Andrew Lopez of Canton, Mass., writes to Elijah Dunbar of New Orleans, La., describing a grand torchlight procession in honor of Zachary Taylor held prior to his election, local ladies' balls and societies, and other community news from Canton. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4008.

Referenced in Guides: Politics, Women

Louden, Elvira. Correspondence, 1855-1888. 30 items (on microfilm). Location: Mss. Mf.:L. Teacher and resident of Virginia. Social and family letters pertain to social life and Confederate soldiers' experiences in the Civil War. For further information, see online catalog. Catalog. Mss. 2651.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War

Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Volume, 1770-1788. 1 vol. Location: Vault:31. Six pamphlets and one volume pertaining to the royal court of France during the reign of Louis XVI. Pamphlets relate to the wedding of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette (1770), the birth of their son Louis Joseph (1782), the peace at the end of the Anglo-French War (1783), and the meeting of the Parlement of Paris (1788). The manuscript is that of a French poem. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1861.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French, Literature