Bayside Plantation records, 1846-1866.

Creator: Bayside Plantation (Bayou Teche, La.).
Collection number: 53
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Abstract: Daily records of the extensive and varied agricultural activities and family and neighborhood happenings at Bayside, a large plantation on Bayou Teche (near New Iberia), La., and also, during part of the Civil War, at another plantation on Bayou Mallet, near Opelousas, La. The record was kept by a proprietor, Francis DuBose Richardson, by members of his family, and by various overseers, and discusses crop production and the management of slaves and, after the war, of free labor.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Volume 1 contains short daily entries from 1842-1852. Entries deal with a variety of topics regarding the enslaved population on this plantation, including illnesses, deaths,  and the division of labor between men and women. Slaves, overseers, and other laborers are mentioned in many entries throughout the volume, slaves by given names, others usually by family names.In the entry dated 28 July 1846 (p.21), it is noted that a slave named Horace ran away; the next entry notes that the overseer Hardy Sanders was discharged. An assessment of personal property (slaves, horse, cattle, and a carriage) is listed in the journal entry of 5 August 1846 (p.22).

Volume 2 was kept during the years of the Civil War, and makes interesting observations on slaves and free African Americans at that time: In May, the slaves ran away, taking much of the portable property of the St. Landry Parish plantation (p.123). On 1 June 1865, 260 black soldiers passed through to New Iberia (p.159). In September 1865 tobacco was being grown (p.173), and on 28 January 1866 the contracting of freedmen was noted (p.180)

This collection has been digitized and is available online. Click here to access to finding aid for this collection and link to the digital material.