Manuscript Resources on Acadian History

In 1755, a group of French-speaking people were exiled from their homeland by British military tactics in a part of Nova Scotia then known as "French Acadia". Those Acadian immigrants who relocated to Southern Louisiana adapted to the unique challenges the region provided, to become known as the "Cajuns," an ethnic and cultural group much celebrated, and sometimes misunderstood.

The collection of manuscripts pertaining to the Cajuns that may be found in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections (LLMVC) of the LSU Libraries is varied in nature, ranging from the large group of records compiled by the Acadian Handicraft Project to a single French Acadian Music Festival program. Oral history interviews, personal papers, cartoons, photographs, scripts, and other artifacts are present in the manuscripts groups. A range of dates from the late nineteenth to the late twentieth centuries are present (see chronological listing).

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Saint John the Baptist Parish scrapbook, 1873-1892. 1 volume. Location: P:20. Scrapbook kept by George W. Coombs and John Webre, tax collectors of Saint John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana, containing newspaper clippings, letters, notices, and blank forms pertaining to the business of the Tax Collector and Assessor Office. Mss. 1071.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Acadiana

Saint John the Baptist Parish volumes, 1852-1896. 6 volumes. Location: 36:4. Volumes contain the records of the tax collector for state, parish, and levee district taxes (1876-1896) and the records of the parish treasurer (1852-1871) for Saint John the Baptist Parish, Louisiana. Mss. 1057.

Referenced in Guides: Business, Acadiana

Savoy, Joseph and Paul. Papers, 1859-1885. 28 items. Location: A:10. Joseph Savoy was a sugar planter of Bayou Lafourche, Assumption Parish, Louisiana. His brother was Paul Savoy. Papers include bills of sale, account statements, correspondence, notes, and printed items related to Joseph and Paul Savoy's sugar operations and other business endeavors. Some items are in French, and some items bear the name of Mrs. Paul Savoy.  Mss. 5360.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, Business, Acadiana, French

Simms, Mary Cannon. Memoir, circa 1942. 15 pages. Location: MISC:S. Native of Plaquemines Parish. Memoir (copy of a typewritten manuscript) recounts events including "the big gale of 1860" (a hurricane); the death of family members because of a yellow fever outbreak in 1878; and the New Orleans Levee Board forcing Simms to sell family land. Mss. 5336.

Referenced in Guides: Women, New Orleans 1866-, Acadiana

Sims, William. Diary, 1859-1860. 1 volume. Location: M:18. Member of the Confederate States Army. Diary relates his journey by horse and foot from Chapel Hill, North Carolina to the Hermitage Plantation, Louisiana. His 145 page journal contains descriptions of the terrain, towns, and people he encountered from September to December 1859. The final five pages of the diary list Sims' expenses for 1860. Mss. 4690.

Referenced in Guides: Civil War, Acadiana

St. Martin Parish motion, 1820.1 item. Location: MISC:S. Motion to Seth Lewis, district judge for the Fifth Judicial District of St. Martin Parish, from petitioners Joseph Dusuau Delacroix, Francois Dusuau Delacroix, and other Delacroix and DeBlanc family members. Petitioners charge that Furcy Hollier and Valerie (also spelled Vallery in the document) Bara, who purchased a slave woman named Perrine (or Perine, aged 20) at a public sale of property belonging to the Widow Dusuau Delacroix, have not paid the agreed upon amount. Petitioners seek for Perrine to be seized from Hollier and Bara. Mss. 5383.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Acadiana, African Americans, French

Sundberry, Frederic Oscar. Papers, 1923-1966. 0.1 linear ft. Location: T:14, OS:S. Son of Oscar Charles Sundbery (1888-1939) and Caroline (Carrie) Awles. Oscar worked cypress lumber and sugar industries. Frederic married Florence Sidney Mize in 1940. They were residents of Houma, Louisiana. Papers document primarily Frederic Oscar Sundbery and Oscar Charles Sundbery's involvement with Freemasonry in Louisiana. Items of note in the papers include Frederic's ritual volume (Brashear Chapter No. 82 at Houma, Louisiana; 1941); a copy of "The Louisiana Monitor..." by G. C. Huckaby (1941); a resolution of respect for Frederic issued by Unity Lodge No. 267, Houma (1966); and images (one a printed item and one a photographic print) of class reunions outside of the Scottish Rite Temple in New Orleans (1944). Oversize items include Master of the Royal Secret degrees for both Frederic and Oscar, issued by the Grand Consistory of Louisiana in the Valley of New Orleans, Orient of Louisiana (1923, 1944); a certificate signed by Governor Robert Kennon appointing Frederic as Aide-de-Camp (1952); a Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children membership certificate issued to Frederic by the Jerusalem Temple of New Orleans (undated); and other certificates. Mss. 5392.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans 1866-, Acadiana, Medicine

Swaye, Frank J. Collection, circa 1839-1999, (bulk 1955-1969). 0.75 linear ft. Location: V:99, 104:-105. Materials related to Swaye's studies as a student in geography at Louisiana State University. Materials cover field research of the Mississippi River Delta and South Pass mudlumps (1966-1970). Field notes and photographs by Fred B. Kniffen cover trips to False River and Pierre Part, Louisiana (circa 1955). Collection materials comprise research-related photographs, slides, field notes, maps, printed materials, and news clippings. Mss. 5212.

Referenced in Guides: Sugar, New Orleans 1866-, Baton Rouge, Acadiana, LSU

Tate, General Foster Joseph. Photograph album, circa 1920-1929. 0.20 linear ft. Location: 65:2. Foster Joseph Tate was a field artillery officer who commanded a division in Italy during World War II and was awarded the Legion of Merit for his service. The photograph album (unbound) contains 103 black and white gelatin silver prints mounted on paper showing scenes from several locations in Louisiana during the 1920s. Mss. 4963.

Referenced in Guides: New Orleans 1866-, Baton Rouge, Acadiana

Taylor, Cecil G., 1909- interviewee, Oral history interview. 12 sound cassettes (14 hours), Transcript (590 p.). LSU French professor, assistant to the president, dean of arts and sciences, and chancellor. In a series of 8 interviews, Taylor describes his career as a French professor and administrator at LSU. He describes his family background, his education at the University of North Carolina, and his French language studies and Cajun French. He also describes Baton Rouge beginning in the 1930s, Huey Long and Louisiana politics, and the desegregation of education in Louisiana. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.0071.