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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Benedict, Edwin Letters, 1862 Dec. 12-1863 Mar. 20. 13 items.Location: Misc:B. Corporal with Company G of the 23rd Connecticut Infantry. Mentions the building of Fort Massachusetts and the presence of female Confederate prisoners at Ship Island, and describes food, camp conditionsand illness, as well as duty guarding Louisa Plantation, his interaction with slaves, and belief war is divine lesson for slaveholders. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4318.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Civil War, African Americans

Bennett, Anna Maria and Sir Thomas Pye. Letters, circa 1784-1785. 8 items. Location: 31:. Anna Maria Bennett was an English novelist. Bennett met Admiral Sir Thomas Pye while working in a chandler's shop. She became his housekeeper and mistress. Letters primarily document the resolution of a dispute between Anna Maria Bennett and Sir Thomas Pye regarding financial support for her and her children. One letter includes Bennett's threats of blackmail against Pye. The remaining letters record the negotiations between Pye and Bennett over the details of settling the dispute including one letter which includes Pye's response written in between the lines of Bennett's original letter. Part of the George DeForest Collection. Mss. 1350.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Literature

Berbice Colony slave records, 1826-1827. 3 items, 1 microfilm reel. Location: OS:B, Mss.Mf:B. Deed of arrangement between owners of three sugar plantations in Berbice (Guyana), and lists of slaves attached to the plantations as of October 20, 1826, citing names, ages, employment, places of birth, and distinguishing marks. Also listed are children born to slave mothers on the plantations (1819-1826) with names, dates of birth, ages, and names of mothers noted. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2934.

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

Bichot, Jean Baptiste. Petition, 1781 March 29. 1 item. Location: Misc:B. Bichot was an official of the area under the jurisdiction of the post of Pointe Coupee, in Louisiana. Item is a petition to Charles de Grand-Pré,, commandant of the post of Pointe Coupee, requesting permission to inform Madame de Rocheblave to pay her debt to Sieur du Doigt. A list of her debts is included. An endorsement by Grand-Pré, approves the action, and an addendum by Bichot records Rocheblave was informed to pay the debt. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4894.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Acadiana, French

Biering, Lucie. Letters, 1904. 12 items (on 1 microfilm reel). Location: Mss.Mf:B. Resident of Montana and the granddaughter of Christian D. Koch, Hancock County, Mississippi. Letters written when Lucie was 12 describe a trip with her father from Montana to Russia via Mississippi, New York City, Germany, and Denmark. Included are descriptions of Russian culture, customs, and military preparations for the Russo-Japanese War. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1479.

Referenced in Guides: Transportation, Women

Billaud family. Papers, 1816-1868. 43 items. Location: U:20. Residents of New Orleans. Papers include correspondence documenting personal and business affairs, including the purchase and sale of skins; city and parish tax receipts; and a copy of Marie Isabelle Billaud's birth certificate. Letters in French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 499, 1361.

Bishop Polk Benevolent Society. Record book, 1862, 1865-1868. 3 items, 1 ms. vol. Location: Misc.:B., M:20. Treasurer's book for benevolent societies at Trinity Church, New Orleans. Entries record the receipts and expenditures of the Benevolent Society. Entries for 1862 give the officers of the 'Ladies Society for the Promotion of Christian Objects.' For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 772.

Bishop, Wm (William). Letter, 1835 May 1. 1 item (4 leaves). Location: Misc:B. Resident of Mobile, Alabama. Letter from Bishop to Agents William McCauly and Nesbit in New Orleans regarding his financial assets and liabilities. Topics include property in Mobile, money owed Bishop, instructions regarding his house and slaves, and Mary Harral's education. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 28.

Black, Isabella. Published writings, 1957-1969. 15 items, 3 printed vols. Location: UU:85. American writer and resident of Jamaica, New York. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2500.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Black, Julia. Certificate, 1885 April 7. 2 items. Location: Misc.:B. Resident of Champaign, Illinois. Membership certificate of Julia Black in the Home Library Association of Chicago and receipt for payment of this membership and purchase of a copy of Peale's Popular Educator and Cyclopedia of Reference. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2140.

Referenced in Guides: Women

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