LOUISIANA SLAVERY
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LOUISIANA SLAVERY: An Introduction

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BRIEF HISTORY

The Beginnings of LA Plantations
Plantation agriculture in Louisiana dates to the early 1700s when the territory was a French colony. After abortive attempts to populate the colony by emptying France's prisons and slums into Louisiana, large tracts were offered to men who would bring in tenants to work the land. But only those who were able to get enough slaves succeeded. By the end of the 1790s, the invention of the cotton gin and the discovery of a way to granulate sugar from Louisiana's sugar cane firmly established the system of cultivating a single crop on large estates as a means to riches and power.

Pre-Civil War Period
At the end of the 1830s, cotton was the big cash crop in northern Louisiana, with more than 2 million acres in production. In southern Louisiana's rich, black soil along the banks of bayous and the Mississippi River, cane ruled over 250,000 acres. By the Civil War, Louisiana had about 1,600 plantations large enough to have at least 50 slaves working on each. These plantations covered more than 40 percent of the land fit for farming. Plantations represented a sizable investment and an equally sizable return. In the 1850s, for example, sugar cane fields were worth as much as $100 an acre, while swamp land on the same estate was valued at $10 an acre. A sugar plantation might easily represent an investment of more than $200,000, including slaves and equipment. But the rate of return was a handsome 9 percent. The investment in a cotton plantation was cheaper because less skilled labor and fewer special tools were needed. A 1,500-acre cotton plantation would represent a total investment of about $100,000, and yield a 7 percent profit.

The Planters' Lifestyle
Except for the Reconstruction years, planters, along with other powerful allies, dominated political life from statehood in 1812 until the early 20th century. With princely power and wealth came the big houses with the stately columns that are a symbol of the Old South. Most of them were built in the 10 years before the Civil War. Early colonial plantations owed their style to the West Indies: simple columns supporting broad galleries ringed with huge windows to allow air to circulate during the semi-tropical summers. But as the 19th century wore on and Louisiana's lords of the land cast about for a suitable style, they settled on the monumental architecture of Greek Revival. It was the fashion of the day for federal buildings, state capitols and parish courthouses, the temples of the American democracy that allowed planters and other self-made men to get rich. "It fitted his conception of democracy that a successful man's house should resemble the Parthenon or, at least the state capitol," architect J. Frazer Smith wrote in "White Pillars," his book on plantation homes.

References
--New Orlean Visitor's Guide: http://www.nola.com/tourism/to_do/plantations.html

LINKS
-- LA Archives Index Of African American Genealogy: General Louisianna African-American genealogy and slave records
-- LA Genweb: General Louisanna genealogical information.

 



LOUISIANA SLAVE WORKPLACES
Listed by County and Workplace Title Followed by Owner(s). Workplaces with unknown titles are listed as the owner's name (itallicized, first name in parenthesis).

ASCENSION PA.

Aristide Landry Plantation
Ashland Plantation (aka Belle Helene): Kenner
Dugas Plantation
Houmas Plantation: Burnside
Le Blanc Plantation

L'Hermitage Plantation: Bringier
Maning Plantation
Tezcuco Plantation: Tureaud
Waterloo Plantation: Minor

ASSUMPTION PA.

Bellewood Plantation
Elm Hall Plantation
Foley Plantation
Monot Plantation
Pitre Plantation
Ross Plantation
Sweet Home Plantation
Westfield Plantation

AVOYELLES PA.

Catalpa Plantation: Keary

BATON ROUGE PA.

Magnolia Mound Plantation: Duplantier, Joyce

EAST BATON ROUGE PA.

Huston Plantation
Thurston Place
Winter's Plantation: Buhler

BOSSIER PA.

Bossier Pa. Links

CATAHOULA PA.

Bon Ridge Plantation: Sharp
Llanada Plantation: Liddell
Magnolia Plantation

EAST CARROLL PA.

Ashton Plantation: Wilkins

CLAIBORNE PA.

Gee Plantation: Gee

CONCORDIA PA.

Ansterlitz Plantation: Williams
Arcola Plantation: Whitaker
Arnuldia Plantation: Stanton
Ashland Plantation: Miller

Good Hope Plantation
Indian Village Plantation: Gillespie
Lake Plantation: Minor

EAST FELICIANA PA.
(Note: East and West Feliciana Parish were a single parish, "Feliciana," prior to 1824)

Arbora Plantation (at Fosters Creek): Houston
Arbora Plantation (on the Mississippi River): Mills
Arbora Plantation (at Port Hudson): Carter, Bryant, Chambers, Newport, Perry, Reddich, McCawley
Louisiana Plantation: Delaney
Wakefield Plantation: McKnely

WEST FELICIANA PA.
(Note: East and West Feliciana Parish were a single parish, "Feliciana," prior to 1824)

Cedars Plantation: Butler
Highland Plantation: Barrow
Myrtles Plantation: Bradford

IBERIA PA.

Belmont Plantation: Pellerin, Sterling, Peebles, Wyche

IBERVILLE PA.

Nottoway Plantation: Randolph

JEFFERSON PA.

Ackbar Plantation: Caroll
Hatch Plantation
Metarie Ridge

LAFOURCHE PA.

Bivouac Plantation: Bragg
Bragg Plantation
Johnson Plantation
Laurel Valley Plantation
Leighton Plantation
L.T. and Trals Plantation
(George) Tucker Plantation
(Robert) Tucker Plantation
Vick Plantation

MADISON PA.

Duckport Plantation: Boney

NATCHITOCHES PA.

Atahoe Plantation
Beau Fort Plantation
Cherokee Plantation
(Joseph) Ferrier Farm: Ferrier
(Valery) Houbre Farm: Houbre
Lambre Brothers Cotton Gin
Magnolia Plantation
Melrose Plantation
(Francois) Mulon Farm: Mulon
Oakland Plantation (Cane River Creole Plantation)
R.B. & J.H. Williams Cotton Gin
Rosedew Plantation: Derbanne, Hertzog
Starlight Plantation

ORLEANS PA.

(Johnson) Bell's Saloon: Bell

PLAQUEMINES PA.

Harlem Plantation: Weterstean
Hygiene Plantation: Fox
Woodland Plantation

POINTE COUPEE PA.

Caledonia Plantation: Ventress
Eldorado Plantation: Barrow
Lake Home Plantation: Ventress
Ledoux and Hall's Plantation: Ledoux
Longwood Plantation: Ventress
Parlange Plantation: de Ternant

RAPIDES PA.

Ashton Plantation
Compromise Plantation
Cotile Plantation: Bray
Crouch Plantation
Hard Times Plantation
Inglewood Plantation: Mulholland
Lakeland Plantation
McNutt Plantation
Moreland Plantation: Moore
Stonewall Plantation
Sullivan Plantation
Theoda Plantation
Waverly Plantation

RED RIVER PA.

Mt. Flat Plantation: Powell
Telegram Plantation: Bosley

RICHLAND PA.

Trio Plantation: Jordan

ST. CHARLES PA.

Destrehan Plantation: deLogny, d'Estrehan, Rost
Logan Plantation
Ormond Plantation: d'Trepagnier, Butler, McCutchon
Pierre Rost Plantation
Whitehead Plantation

ST. JAMES PA.

Ancient Domain Plantation: Peytavin
Bonne Esperance: Boucry
Chappin Plantation
Laura Plantation: Locoul
Oak Alley Plantation: Roman

ST. JOHN BAPTIST PA.

Sanfrancisco Plantation: Marmillion

ST. LANDRY PA.

(Thomas) Lewis's Plantation: Lewis

ST. MARY PA.

Bayside Plantation: Richardson
Old Johnson Plantation

TENSAS PA.

Marydale Plantation: Blanche

TERREBONNE PA.

(William) Besland Plantation: Besland
Hollywood Plantation: Minor
Ranche Plantation
St. Bridget/ Brigitte: Thibodeaux
Southdown Plantation: Minor
Woodlawn Plantation

WEST BATON ROUGE PA.

Fair Oaks Plantation: Chinn


WHERE TO FIND LOUISIANA SLAVERY RECORDS

  • Smith, Edith and Lehman, Vivian. No Land...Only Slaves! Several volumes; slave deeds of Bossier Pa., Claiborne Pa., Caddo Pa., DeSoto Pa., and Bienville Pa. For more information about this book series visit http://slaves.8m.com/