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Butler (Thomas W.) Papers

(Mss. 888)

Scope and Content Note
Index Terms



Size. 7 linear feet.

Geographic locations. Louisiana.

Inclusive dates. 1842-1913.

Bulk dates. 1896-1908.

Languages. English, French.

Summary. Correspondence and financial papers document the business of Cedars Plantation in West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana and the personal finance of Thomas W. Butler. Other business papers and plantation records pertain to the Le Carpe Plantation, Terrebone Parish (La.) of Thomas Butler's father Richard Ellis Butler.

Related Collection. Butler (Thomas and Family) Papers, Mss. 1029.

Citation. Butler (Thomas W.) Papers, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Scope and Content Note


Plantation records, business papers, and personal correspondence of Thomas W. Butler (1851-1913), owner of Cedars Plantation in West Feliciana Parish and the plantation records and accounts of his father Richard Ellis Butler, planter in Terrebone Parish, comprise the collection.

Richard E. Butler, nephew of R.G. Ellis and executor of the Ellis estate, married Miss Sarah Ker, daughter of Dr. John Ker of Natchez. Ledgers kept by Butler contain statements of income and expenditures of the Ellis estate (1844-1858) and records of the succession of Dr. John Ker (1852-1869).

Ledgers (1842-1871) contain detailed information concerning the operation of Le Carpe Plantation in Grand Caillo, Terrebone Parish and includes: a list of overseers (1842-1857); inventory of the estate of Bayou Grand Caillou (1847-1854); names of creditors from whom plantation supplies were purchased; magazine and newspaper subscriptions; loans made to individuals; state taxes paid; and cost of repairs and improvements. They also contain the names of slaves acquired with the purchase of the Le Carpe Plantation; dates of births and deaths with notations of cause and age of slave at time of death and later names of laborers employed; wages paid to each; and credit and supplies extended to each laborer.

The bulk of the material pertains to the operation of The Cedars near Bails Post office, West Feliciana Parish. Thomas Butler was born in Terrebone Parish in 1851 and married Miss Sallied Fort, daughter of W.A. Fort. The Butlers had three children, Sarah D., Richard E., and Mary F. Butler.

Daybooks, plantation diaries, and ledgers record plantation expenditures and revenue, personal and household expenditures, planting operations and livestock. A daybook (1903-1913) contains an account of the Pavilion Fund, a community project, listing the names of donors, amounts contributed and costs of materials and construction. Other financial papers consist of bills, receipts and invoices for merchandise, farm machinery, hardware and groceries, statements from commission merchants and receipts for professional services.

Correspondence pertains to farm property owned by T.W. Butler in Arkansas and to the education of his children. Letters of J. Cole Davis, attorney of Helena Arkansas (1877-1873) document sales, leases and taxation of properties in Woodruff, Lee and Monroe Counties. Letters (1900-1904) from J.R. Preston of Stanton College and W.C. Guthrie of Chamberlain-Hunt Academy concern the schooling of T.W. Butlers' children.

Index Terms


Butler, Thomas W., 1851-1913

Butler, Richard Ellis

Butler, Mary

Butler, Richard E.

Butler, Sallie Fort

Cedars Plantation

Le Carpe Plantation

Plantation owners--Louisiana

Plantation life--Louisiana

Grand Caillou (La.)

Terrebone Parish (La.)

West Feliciana Parish (La.)






Butler, Sarah