Manuscript Resources on Plantation Society and Economy

This guide describes manuscript collections documenting plantation society and economy in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) at LSU. The plantation records and personal papers of planters, factors, merchants, and others whose livelihood came from plantations provide a wealth of documentation supporting research in plantation economy, slavery, and the social history of Southern landholding elites.

The collections described below touch upon all facets of plantation life. They include the papers of tutors, preachers, lawyers, and doctors who provided services to planters. They include the letters of Northerners who visited plantations in the antebellum period and wrote home about them, and those of Union soldiers who marched past plantations and sometimes plundered them. While the majority of collections are from the prewar years, there are substantial holdings on postbellum plantations as well. The sugar and cotton plantation records in LLMVC are among its most noteworthy and famed collections, and among the earliest collections that LSU acquired.

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A. Bell and Company. Papers, 1835, 1836. 2 items. Location: Misc.:B. Cotton broker of New York City. Letters from factors at Petersburg, Virginia, and Fayetteville, North Carolina, regarding the cotton market and amount of cotton expected from Tennessee and North Alabama. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2356.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Plantations

A. Ledoux and Company. Record book, 1856-1857. 1 vol. (110 pages). Location: W:53. Plantation record book kept by Samuel Leigh and Lewis F. Pulliam, overseers of the sugar plantation owned by A. Ledoux and Company, Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Available on microfilm 5322:University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 1, Reel 9. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 964.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Plantations, Sugar

Abraham Bell & Co. Letters and receipts, 1841-1844. 5 items. Location: Misc:A. Quaker-owned shipping merchant company of New York City, with business interests in New Orleans, Louisiana. Two receipts document cotton purchased in , for Abraham Bell & Co. One letter discusses American and English cotton and freight prices, and social matters. A bill of lading and a letter document the shipment of personal goods from New York. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4675.

Account book, 1796-1799. 1 ms. vol., 1 mf reel. Location: Vault, Mss. Mf.:A. New Orleans, Louisiana, merchant. Account book recording names and accounts of customers. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1054.

Acy, William, b. 1822. Papers, 1844-1909. 2 linear ft. (655 items; 18 ms. Vols., 39 printed vols.). Location: E:1-2, F:1. Justice of the Peace in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, and plantation owner in Carroll County, Mississippi. Personal, legal, and financial papers; personal letters concern mainly relatives and friends in Baltimore, Maryland. Papers also include photographs, newspapers, and other printed items. Collection includes letters on legal matters from Francis T. Nicholls, governor of Louisiana and chief justice of the state Supreme Court. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 717, 722.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Politics

Adams, Israel L., 1801-1860. Family Papers, 1813-1890 (bulk 1852-1866). 0.5 linear ft. (505 items, 1 ms. Vol.). Location: Y:83, Mss. Mf.:A, E:Imprints. Merchant and farmer of Natchez, Mississippi. Collection consists of correspondence, bills, receipts, and printed items. Letters of the Adams children and others describe the Civil War in Arkansas and Mississippi. Some letters describe experiences of an immigrant cotton farmer in Sao Paulo, Brazil; other papers relate to German immigrants. Some letters in German. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5735: University Publications of America Confederate Military Manuscripts Series B, Reel 1. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3637.

Affleck, Thomas, 1812-1868. Papers, 1807-1876 (bulk 1842-1868). 12 linear feet, 43 mss. volumes, 6 printed volumes. Location: W:110-121, J:25, OS:A. Native of Scotland who established one of the first commercial nurseries in the South and published widely on scientific and agricultural subjects. He also published the Southern Rural Almanac and Plantation Garden Calendar from 1845 to the 1860s. Early papers concern Affleck's family in Scotland. Papers from 1842 to 1859 pertain to the management of Affleck's wife's plantation near Natchez, Mississippi, his commercial nursery, and his service as agricultural editor of several newspapers. Civil War letters by Affleck's sons describe battles, camp life, and troop movements. Post-Civil War papers describe Affleck's agricultural and speculative enterprises. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3, 4, 1110, 1263, 1264.

Afton Villa journals and reports, 1976-2008. 7 v. Location: A:78. Genevieve Munson Trimble and her husband, Morrell Feltus Trimble, purchased the remains of Afton Villa, an antebellum mansion with gardens near St. Francisville, La., in 1972. The collection consists of color copies of three bound journals kept by Genevieve Trimble recording the restoration of the Afton Villa gardens, a history of Afton Villa by Genevieve Trimble, and three bound volumes of consultant's reports by Neil G. Odenwald. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 5009.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women

Alabama cotton sales and shipping statements collection, 1834-1927. 53 items. Location: A:55. Collection consisting of statements from cotton factors of Mobile, Alabama, which show freight and related charges for handling and commissions. Included are waybills for the steamers Magnolia, Lucy E. Gastrell, Hard Cash, and Nettie Quill. Also included is a manifest for the steamer Peri. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1717.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Plantations, Transportation

Alexander, James M. Letter, 1836 May 7. 1 letter. Location: Misc.:A. James M. Alexander, an overseer in Clinton, Ala., writes Edward B.D. Sloan in Sloansville, Mecklenburg County, N.C., about their friendship, farming, and land prices. Mss. 3964.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations

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