This guide describes manuscript collections documenting women's history in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections at LSU. It includes the papers of women, women's organizations, family papers with significant bodies of women's papers in them, and other collections that document women's history in one way or another.

LSU is fortunate because it collected women's papers very early, perhaps without systematically trying to do so. Women's voices, often buried in plantation collections and Civil War papers, have emerged from obscurity only in recent decades. Researchers coming to LSU can study the letters and diaries of plantation mistresses and teachers, the papers of women writers, and the papers of black women, among other sources. A number of our women's collections have been recently microfilmed by University Publications of America in its series on Southern Women and their Families, making these collections more widely accessible.

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Chelette, Atala. Family Papers, 1819-1919 (bulk 1841-1899). 160 items. Location: B:18. Family of free people of color of Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana. A woman named Angélique, her children Pierre Edmond and Louis Onsime, Mary Athalie Joson (also called Josin), L. Martin Joson, and Joseph and Marie Rosalie Perot were free people of color associated with the Chelette family. Includes a true copy of the act of manumission for Angélique, described as a mulatto woman, by Louis Fort and his will, personal papers of Joseph Perot, a free man of color, and personal and business papers of Emanuel and Atala Chelette. Also includes letters from family members that moved to Texas. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reel 6. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 979.

Referenced in Guides: Women, African Americans

Chemin, Camille. Letter, 1938. 2 items. Location: Misc. French author and resident of Paris, France. Letter and calling card from Camille Ce [pseudonym]. In French. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 965.

Referenced in Guides: Women, French, Literature

Chenel, Louis E. Family Papers, 1665-1989. 15 linear ft. Location: 95:, OS:C. Chenel farmed tung trees and raised cattle in Covington, Louisiana; invested in property in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana; and formed LEC Inc. to manage his business concerns. His daughter, Denise Chenel Vallon, was involved in running LEC Inc. Papers document the lives and business concerns of the Chenel family and the artistic career of Denise Chenel Vallon. Unproc. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4631.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Business

Chinn, Jane McCausland. Civil War reminiscence, 1863. 1 item [16 pages, typescript copy]. Location: Misc. Mistress of Fair Oaks Plantation, West Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, and widow of Cabell Breckinridge Chinn. Reminiscences taken from her diary record encounters with Union soldiers and the burning of grain stores. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 2647.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women, Civil War

Civil War New Orleans orphanages receipts, 1863. 2 items. Location:Misc:C. Handwritten receipts of payment from the U.S. Army, Department of the Gulf, to the Female Orphan Asylum and St. Vincent's Infant Asylum, two orphanages run by the Catholic Church in New Orleans. The items reflect the nature of interaction between Federal occupation forces and the local population. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3913.

Civil War Quartermaster document, 1863 September 3. 1 item. Location: Misc. Quartermaster receipt for purchase of materials for the Female Orphan Asylum in New Orleans. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3365.

Clapp, Thomas. Document, 1841.1 item. Location: Misc. Certification by the recorder of mortgages for New Orleans that there is no mortgage in Clapp's name recorded against a African American woman named Maria. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 72.

Clark, Charles, 1849-1936. Family Papers, 1829-1972. 1.1 linear ft. (427 items, 1 vol.). Location: UU:253-254. Judge of the Superior Court of Santa Clara County, California; married to Emma Fowler of New Orleans, Louisiana. Papers of the related Fowler, Nutt, Macbeth, and Clark families. They consist of personal correspondence and legal papers of Nathaniel W. Fowler and John Slidell, family correspondence, writings, photographs, ephemera, account ledger and the travel journal of Charles Clark. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3982.

Clark, Gladys, b. 1918. Papers, circa 1890-2004 (bulk 1940-1997). 0.75 linear ft. Location: 128:. An accomplished spinner and weaver in the Acadian tradition, Clark received numerous awards during her career. The collection includes correspondence, photographs, and printed materials that document her artistic works and awards received, including a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1997. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4953.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Acadiana, French

Clifton, Elizabeth. Negroes' account for cotton, 1840 March 16. 1 item. Location: Misc:C. Document drawn up by John Bell, acting Justice of the Peace, Dallas County, Alabama, on behalf of Elizabeth Clifton listing names and money paid to African Americans by the estate of William C. Clifton for cotton raised on their own 'patches'. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3666.

Referenced in Guides: Women, African Americans

Cohn, Margie de Bretton and Family. Papers, 1945-1982, undated (bulk 1945-1968). 1 linear foot. Location: E:122. Primarily papers of Maggie deBretton Cohn and daughter Margie, both of Baker, La. Includes writings, correspondence, and miscellaneous files related to Maggie deBretton Cohn's writing, and Margie deBretton Cohn's English translation of an 1828 German text describing travelling through the Mississippi River Valley. Letters to Margie while a student at LSU are included, as well as religious writings by other family members and items related to the family's 1964 donation of the Laurens Henry Cohn Sr. Memorial Plant Arboretum to the Baton Rouge Recreation and Park Commission. For further information see online catalog. Mss. 4472.

Referenced in Guides: Religion, Women, Baton Rouge, LSU, Literature

Colbert, Elenor Robinson, 1940-, interviewee. Oral history interview, 1993. 1 sound cassette (45 minutes), Index (2 pages). Location: L:4700.222. Resident of Four Corners, an unincorporated community south of Franklin, St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. Colbert's great-grandmother was a slave. Colbert describes working in cane fields as a child; customs of family gatherings, the burial of umbilical cords of newborns, and cutting hair on Good Friday; the challenges of plantation life; christening and baptism traditions; and natural remedies. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 4700.222.

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

Coleman, Viola, Collection, 1945-2008 (bulk: 1945-1947). 44 items. Location: Misc:C. Midland, Texas physician and Louisiana civil rights pioneer. Contains photocopies of correspondence, news clippings, and video transcript detailing Coleman's lawsuit for admission into LSU's medical school in 1946. For more information see online catalog. Mss. 4997.

Colonial Dames of XVII Century: The Louisiana Society, Isaac Monet Chapter. Records, 1952-1992. 14 items, 15 ms. vols. Location: Misc., 7:25. Scrapbooks containing programs, publicity, photographs, and other items pertaining to the Isaac Monet Chapter, as well as some materials relating to the national organization. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 3748.

Referenced in Guides: Women

Common Cause Louisiana Records, 1972-1991 (bulk: 1980-1990). 24.0 linear ft. Location: IMCCL. Consists of administrative and subject files for local and regional branches of a national citizen advocacy organization. Includes correspondence, newsletters, reports, printed materials, ephemera, and other records documenting group structure and activities. Records address political issues such as campaign finance reform, civil rights, nuclear disarmament, fair elections, wasteful government spending, and official corruption. For additional information, see online catalog. Mss. 4469.

Compton, Mary E. Family papers, 1858-1955 (bulk 1858-1888). 26 items, 2 v. on one microfilm reel. Location: Mss.Mf:C, C:72. Wife of George W. Compton, a planter of Walnut Grove Plantation near Cheneyville, Louisiana. Letters of Capt. Henry E. Handerson, 9th Louisiana, relate to life at Camp Bienville and the Battle of Manassas. Compton's diary documents wartime operation of the plantation. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 1299.

Referenced in Guides: Plantations, Women

Conner, Lemuel Parker, 1827-1891. Family Papers, 1810-1953, undated. 12.5 linear feet and 22 ms. Vols. Location: A:, 98:C, OS:C, Vault, J:24. Planter from Natchez, Mississippi. Papers include correspondence, cotton statements, legal and business papers (including slave testimony in an alleged slave uprising, 1861), plantation records, and Civil War papers of Confederate soldiers and civilians, family letters from LSU and Smith College, and First Presbyterian Church (Natchez) records. Also included are papers of Levin R. Marshall, the Sessions family, and Henry R. Chotard; 256 pieces of published sheet music (1824-1883); a minstrel show program (1879); and miscellaneous programs of Natchez concerts and music recitals. Available (with some omissions) on microfilm 5322: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations Series I, Part 3, Reels 14-18. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 81, 1403, 1431, 1475, 1551, 1595, 1710, 1793, 1859, 1934, 1999.

Conner, Mary Macrery Britton. Scrapbook, 1825-1904. 1 volume. Location: O:21. Scrapbook created by Mary Macrery Britton Conner, daughter of Eliza Macrery and Audley Clark Britton and wife of Lemuel P. Conner, Jr. Scrapbook contains drawings and fabric swatches, including pieces of fabric from her own trousseau and from that of her mother-in-law, Elizabeth Frances Turner Conner. Mss. 5320.

Referenced in Guides: Women, Natchez, Mississippi

Corbin, Robert A., d. 1906. Papers, 1835-1917 (bulk 1870-1898). 1,202 items; 10 vols. Location: E:8-9. Land speculator and businessman of Louisville, Kentucky, New Orleans, and Hammond, Louisiana. Collection includes land sale and business papers. Civil War-era papers deal with Kentucky claims against the federal government. Post-1870 papers with business partnerships with Lucy I. Burgess, including purchase of the Melrose Dairy in New Orleans. Available on microfilm 5750: University Publications of America Southern Women and Their Families in the 19th Century: Papers and Diaries Series E, Reels 6-8. For further information, see online catalog. Mss. 705.

Cordier, Marie Noel. Slave Mortgage, 1858-1860. 5 items. Location: Misc.: C. Freewoman of color who resided in New Orleans, Louisiana. A mortgage and receipts (in French) concern the conveyance of slaves, and a document from the Office of Mortgages of the City of New Orleans in the Parish of Orleans (in English) states no other mortgages standing in the name of Marie Noel Cordier. Mss. 5254.

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