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George W. Bennett Records

Mss. 1010




Biographical/Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

Series Description

Index Terms

Container List



Size. 13.5 linear ft., 346 v.

Geographic locations. Rapides Parish, Louisiana.

Inclusive dates. 1838-1928.

Bulk dates. 1883-1917.

Languages. English.

Summary. Business correspondence, invoices, accounts, financial ledgers, freight records, legal documents related to Bennett's varied commercial interests.

Access. No restrictions.

Copyright. Physical rights are retained by the LSU Libraries. Copyright of the original materials is retained by descendants of the creators of the materials in accordance with U.S. copyright law.

Citation. George W. Bennett Records, Mss. 1010, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Stack location. W:71-87, W:89, O:6-13, OS:B

Biographical/Historical Note

George W. Bennett was a merchant of general merchandise, plantation owner, cotton dealer, and postmaster of Bennettville, Louisiana. He operated cotton and sugarcane plantations and ran a plantation store at his plantation, Theoda, in Rapides Parish. In addition, he operated a cotton gin, and at one time considered purchasing a sugar mill. During his life, Mr. Bennett was frequently consulted by family members on their business affairs. After his death ca. 1906, his widow, Theoda J. Bennett, operated a general store for a time and later moved to Bunkie in Avoyelles Parish, La. The Bennetts had two daughters, Myrtle and Jennie, who attended Judson Institute in Alabama, and a son, who attended LSU.

Scope and Content Note

Papers consist of manuscript volumes and business papers pertaining to Bennett's varied commercial interests. They include correspondence, invoices, receipts, statements, shipping records, leases, contracts, legal judgements, and labor contracts with freedmen. Manuscript volumes contain an unbroken series of ledgers (1868-1917) with accompanying daybooks and journals (1874-1907), letter books (1871-1911), record books (1875-1912) of cotton and sugar cane purchases and sales, and stock inventories for his general store.

Series Description

I. Correspondence, 1838, 1871-1923, n.d.

Correspondence reflects daily business activities associated with cotton and sugar trade and running a general merchandise store in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Letters primarily with business associates, suppliers, and customers, concern the sale and payment of merchandise, shipment of goods, and accounts with debtors and creditors. Other letters discuss the condition of cotton crops, freight, prices and other matters related to the marketing of cotton, corn, and sugar cane.

II. Financial records,1871-1929, n.d.

Financial records contain bills from suppliers for goods, bills to costumers, receipts for payment, promissory notes, statements of account, and invoices related to George Bennett's business affairs. The majority of invoices are those of commission merchants who handled the sale of cotton. Records of Theoda Plantation pertain to the production and sale of sugar cane and consist of daily records of sugar cane hauled during the fall of 1913; invoices and statements of the Evans Hall Refinery are also related to sugar production. This series also contains tax receipts (1871-1917) and bank records that include some bank statements (1886-1915), deposit slips, canceled checks and check stubs. Freight and shipping records include bills of lading, invoices, and other papers documenting the shipment of goods and merchandise. Orders include grocery lists, requests for credit, and the trading of goods for goods. Miscellaneous items include costumers' grocery lists, payroll sheets and pay slips (1901-1902, 1909-1910, n.d.), stock inventories, handwritten price lists from vendors, inventory notes, and a few balance sheets (1881, 1902, 1909). Records kept by George Bennett during his interim as post master of Cheneyville include registration books (Nov. 2, 1889-Aug. 6, 1897) of material dispatched through the U.S. Post Offices and post card receipts (1888-1907) [post card receipts maintained in original order].

III. Legal documents, 1873-1901, n.d.

Court judgements in favor of George Bennett for debts owed to him and insurance policies on his home, general store, and warehouse in Cheneyville, La. (1905-1909) comprise the majority of this series. Other items included are cane contracts with the Meeker Sugar Refining Company of Meeker, La., and the Jefferson Syrup Co. for the sale of sugar cane, and specifications and a contract for the construction of a one story, brick store in Cheneyville, La (n.d.).

IV. Printed material, 1871-1923, n.d.

Among these items are scattered issues of New Orleans Price Current (1871-1872); a booklet advertising a cotton gin (1886); and an annual report (1904) and booklet (1904) issued by the Louisiana State Board of Agriculture pertaining to the insecticide, Paris green, and the laws regulating its use. Additionally, there are numerous handbills, cards and leaflets advertising foods, clothing, equipment, pianos, appliances and other merchandise; a broadside advertisement for Bennett's store; and several published price lists from various companies and vendors for goods available.

V. Manuscript volumes, 1859-1928, n.d.

Volumes include an unbroken series of ledgers spanning nearly fifty years(1868-1917), with accompanying day books and journals for the operation of the general merchandise store. These ledgers list names of customers, dates, nature of and charges for purchases; volumes also show credits allowed for cash, cotton, labor, other produce, and, occasionally, in items such as deer skins. Additionally, there are invoice books (1874-1907), letter books (1871-1911) with outgoing correspondence to business firms, and checkbooks (1903-1909) with stubs showing accounts payable to business firms. Record books (1875-1912) contain information on related matters, including the purchase and sale of cotton and corn, stock inventories of Bennett's general merchandise store, and records of such sundry matters as the minutes of the organizational meeting of the Bennettville Gun Club in 1881, and a record of game killed in 1883-1885.

Index Terms

(Materials relating to the topics listed on the left may be found in the series to the right, which is represented by its number)

Topic: Found in series:

Agricultural laborers --Louisiana II, V

Agricultural wages -- Louisiana II, V

Commission merchants I, II

Cotton trade -- Louisiana I, II, V

Cotton growing -- Louisiana I, II, V

Hunting V

Insecticides V

Jefferson Syrup Co. III

Meeker Sugar Refining Company III

Paris green V

Sugar trade -- Louisiana I, II, V

Theoda Plantation (La.) II, V

Container List

Stack location Box Folders Contents

Series I. Correspondence (1838, 1871-1923, n.d.).

W:71 1 1-70 1838, 1871-1883

W:72 2 1-43 1884-1888

W:73 3 1-61 1889-1898

W:74 4 1-67 1899-1916 Nov.

W:75 5 1-76 1916 Dec.-1923, n.d.

Series II. Financial records (1871-1929, n.d.).

W:76 6 1-59 Bills, statements, invoices (1871-1929).

W:77 7 1-2 Promissory notes (1878-1898, n.d.).

3 Taxes 1871-1917

4-21 Receipts (1873-1923).

22-47 Invoices - commission merchants (1871-1881).

W:78 8 1-28 Invoices - commission merchants (1882-1894).

W:79 9 1-39 Shipping and freight records (1871-1885).

W:80 10 1-61 Shipping and freight records (1886-1923).

W:81 11 1-6 Account books [partial] (1871-1895).

12 1-6 Account books [partial] (1896-1905).

13 1-9 Stock inventories (1878-1886), fragments (n.d.), empty envelopes (n.d.), letter book (1909), cover

W:82 14 Stub books for checks and promissory notes (1873-1917).

15 1- 9 Invoice books [partial] (1879-1880, 1896-1897, 1913).

W:83 16 1-9 Bank records (1886-1915).

10-22 Account balance sheets (1871-1915, n.d.).

23 Evan Hall Refinery (1893-1896)

24-27 Theoda Plantation (1873-1913).

28-33 Miscellaneous (1874-1917, n.d.).

34-41 Orders (1878-1905).

W:84 17 1-71 Notebooks - (1869-1907, n.d.).

Series III. Legal documents (1873-1916, n.d.).

W:85 18 1-5 Court judgements (1884-1901, n.d.), contracts (1878-1916, n.d.), insurance policies (1873-1909).

Series IV. Printed material (1871-1923, n.d.).

W:85 18 6-11 New Orleans Price Current (Oct. 3, 9; Nov. 28; Dec. 13 1871), price list, advertisements, Annual Paris Green Report (1903-1904), Act 174 of 1904 Regulating the Sale and Purity of Paris green (1904).

Series V. Manuscript volumes (1859-1928, n.d.).

W:85 19 129 Invoice book (1874).

20 135 Invoice book (1892-1896).

W:86 20 186 Letter books (1894-1906).

21 187 Letter books (1899-1903).

22 188-189 Letter books (1906-1911).

W:87 23 203-226 Daybooks (1876 Jan. 16-1878 Aug. 22).

239-240 Daybooks(1879 Dec. 16-1880 Jan. 26).

W:88 24 241-252 Daybooks (1881 Dec. 3-1899 Mar.1) .

255 Daybook (1900 ).

269-275 Journals (1898 April 26-1900 Jan. 29).

Series II. Financial records (1871-1929, n.d.)

W:89 25-28 U. S. Post Office receipts (1888-1907) [maintained in original order].

W:89 29 Postcard receipts from vendors (1883-1916). [maintained in original order].

W:90 30 U. S. Post Office registration book (Nov. 2, 1889- Nov. 24, 1890; Jan. 9, 1892-Nov. 6, 1893; Nov. 10,

1893-March 9, 1895; March 25, 1895-Aug. 6, 1917.

Series V. Manuscript volumes (1859-1928, n.d.).

O:6 1-3 Cashbooks (1883-1888).

4-5 Checkbooks (1903-1909).

6-29 Daybooks (1872-1877).

30-36 Journals (1876-1881).

O:7 37-68 Daybooks (1880-1886).

69-86 Journals (1882-1886).

O:8 87-104 Journals (1886-1898).

O:9 105-109 Journals (1898-1905).

110-115 Daybooks (1905-1912).

116 Journal (1907-1910).

117-125 Daybooks (1910-1912).

126-128 Index books (1881-1882, n.d.).

130-134 Invoice books (1874-1892).

O:10 136-138 Invoice book (1897-1907).

O:11 139-159 Ledgers [posted from daybooks and journals] (1859-1886).

O:12 160-175 Ledgers [posted from daybooks and journals] (1887-1928).

176-185 Letter books (1871-1894 June).

190 Letter books (1908 March-1912).

191 Cotton record book (1875-1889). Lists purchase dates, marks, seller, weight, price, amount received, profit or loss, consignee, shipment dates, and route shipped.

192 Crop record book (1879-1889). Shows corn and cotton conditions, yield per acre, area grown, and number of acres planted.


Series V. Manuscript volumes (1859-1928, n.d.).

O:12 193 Miscellaneous record book (1881-1887). Meeting of the Bennettville Gun Club, cotton shipments from

Bunkie (1886-1887), Bunkie freight bills (1886), inventory (1883 March).

194 Record book (1883-1885) Record of number and type of game killed; inventory of toys (1885) .

195 Record book (1884-1897) Records of checks issued and received.

196 Cotton record book (1890-1895). List of purchase dates, amounts, marks, seller, weight, price, amount received, profit or los consignee, shipment dates, and routes shipped.

197 Cotton Record book (1899-1902).

O:13 198 Record book (1908).

199 Record book (1911-1912) Stock inventories (Feb. 1,1911; May 2, 1912; May 30, 1912).

200 Record book (Jan. 1912) Record of cotton shipments, weights, car number, railroads used.

201 Record book (1912 Nov.) Daily record of cane hauled to Knolls.

202 Cotton record book (n.d.).

227-238 Daybooks (1878-1879).

O:13 253-254 Daybooks (1900, May 21-1900, Nov. 14).

256-268 Daybooks (1901-1909).

276 Daybook (Nov.18, 1878-Feb. 3, 1879).

277 Daybook (July 24, 1895-Sept. 6, 1895).

278 Daybook (Nov.12-Dec. 14, 1895).

279 Daybook (April 20-June 20, 1896).

280 Daybook (Oct. 24-Dec. 23, 1896).

281 Record book. Syrup, molasses, sugar shipments (Oct. 29-Dec. 16, 1899, n.d.).

282 Postal account book (1893-1895).

Oversize Material

OS:B 1 Series I. Correspondence

March 1893

Series II. Financial records

OS:B 1 Bills, statements, invoices (1883, 1893, 1913-1914).

OS:B 2 Shipping and freight (1875-1888)

OS:B 2 Accounts(1884-1903).

OS:B Series IV. Printed material (1909, n.d.).

1 Broadsides (n.d.).

2 Price list - Albert Mackie, Grocer Co. (1909).