Manuscript Resources on African American History

This guide describes manuscript collections documenting African American history in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections at LSU. It includes the papers of African Americans and their families; oral histories done with African Americans; and other collections that document African American history in one way or another. In the early period, these collections include documentation of slavery, the slave trade, abolitionism, and apologies for slavery. In the modern period, they include collections that document issues like civil rights, integration, and race relations.

Indeed, the experience of African Americans before and during the Civil War is often documented through the papers of others--among them, planters who bought and sold them as slaves and Union soldiers who commented upon them in letters and diaries. LSU has such resources in abundance. Papers of early African Americans themselves are more difficult to find. But Louisiana and the lower Mississippi Valley had a relatively large population of free persons of color, some of whom did leave papers. They worked as artisans in cities like New Orleans or Natchez, or were planters and even slaveholders themselves. LSU's collections of the papers of free persons of color include the papers of William Johnson of Natchez, now famed as a diarist and commentator on Southern mores.

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Abstract of wages paid to teachers employed in city colored schools, Memphis, Tennessee, 1864 December. 1 item. Location: Misc:A. Abstract signed by T. A. Walker, captain, 63rd United States Colored Infantry, listing wages to teachers in African American schools in Memphis, Tennessee, administered by the Freedman's Department during the Union occupation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3092.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, Civil War, Education

African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church Women's Home and Foreign Missionary Society. Certificate, 1934. 1 item. Location: OS:A. Woman's Home and Foreign Missionary Society was organized in 1896 at Montgomery, Ala. for the purpose of supporting work in overseas fields. Membership certificate for the Foreign Missionary Society. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4134.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, Religion, Women

Aldrich, Ella V. (Ella Virginia), 1902-1982. Papers, 1921-1973. 22 items. Location: Misc. Ella V. Aldrich Schwing was a librarian at LSU, a member of the faculty of the LSU Library School, and a member of the LSU Board of Supervisors. The papers include material on the Colfax riot of 1873, an inscribed reprint of "Huey, Lyndon, and Southern Radicalism" by T. Harry Williams, a clipping of "The Legacy of Knute Heldner" from the Dixie Roto Magazine, and 15 photographic prints of plaques bearing Schwing's name on buildings at LSU System campuses. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3374.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, LSU, New Orleans 1866-, Women

Alpha Kappa Alpha Scrapbook, ca. 1972. 1 item. Location. OS:A, Range 69. Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority was the first Greek-letter organization established by African American college women. Scrapbook contains a history of the Sorority, social events and activities, poetry, and brief biographical sketches on current members of the LSUchapter, Eta Kappa. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4560.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, LSU, Women

Alston, Solomon. Etate Document, 1809 April 27. 1 item. Location: C:61. Planter of West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Deed of manumission giving a female slave to Maria Ana Gray, niece of Solomon Alston. Conditions were outlined in Alston's will. In Spanish. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1209.

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

Anderson, Dupuy H. Papers, 1935-1996 (bulk 1958-1963). 0.3 linear ft. Location: W:97, OS:A. Baton Rouge dentist and civil rights activist. Collection consists of correspondence, photographs, political speeches, and printed items that relate to his personal and public life. Papers focus on his community service, candidacy for mayor-president of East Baton Rouge Parish, and his involvement in the integration of East Baton Rouge Parish public schools. Mss. 5114.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, Education, Politics

Anderson, Henry. Letter, 1863. 1 item. Location: Misc.:A. Union soldier during the Civil War, probably from Indiana, stationed at New Madrid, Missouri. Letter to a friend expresses lack of interest in the cause of slavery and a personal revulsion to African AmericansFor further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1427.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans, Civil War

Anderson, John Q., Papers, 1848-1993 (bulk 1953-1973). 7.5 linear ft., 5 v. Location: X:119-125, OS:A, P:17. John Q. Anderson was a professor of English and a writer of Southern history and folklore. This collections of files, correspondence, printed material, and photographs reflect Anderson's career, current events; and they provide research material for his publications, particularly "Brokenburn: The Journal of Kate Stone, 1861-1868" and "Louisiana Swamp Doctor: The Life of Henry Clay Lewis". For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2156, 2162.

Anderson, Phoebe. Emancipation petition, 1849 Feb. 23. 1 petition. Location: Misc.:A. A petition filed in the Sixth District Court of the Parish of East Baton Rouge by Phoebe Anderson requests permission to emancipate her slave, Alexander. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3809.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans

Anonymous slave list, 1700-1865. 1 item. Location: OS:S. Anonymous slave list giving cabins, names, color, and ages of slaves. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 9.

Referenced in Guides: African Americans

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