Caffery family papers, 1838-1925 (bulk 1838-1852, 1866-1906).

Creator: Caffery family.
Collection number: 2227
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Abstract: The Caffery and Richardson families of Iberia Parish, La. Prominent family members include Bethia Liddell Richardson (d. 1852); her husband, Francis DuBose Richardson (b. 1812), sugar planter at Bayside Plantation on Bayou Teche and state legislator; their daughter, Bethia (Richardson) Caffery (fl. 1866-1907); and her husband, Donelson Caffery (1835-1906), son of Donelson Caffery (fl. 1830s) and Lydia Murphy Caffery McKerall (fl. 1835-1881), lawyer of Franklin, La., sugar planter, Confederate soldier, state legislator, and U.S. senator, 1892-1901. Chiefly personal correspondence among Caffery and Richardson family members. Most of the Richardson family papers are dated 1838-1852 and cover topics such as sugar planting, purchases and settlement of land, and family activities. The bulk of the Caffery family papers fall between 1866 and 1906. Their letters are chiefly about family activities, but also include Donelson Caffery letters about politics in Louisiana and Washington, D.C. There are a number of letters written to Donelson while he was a U.S. senator that congratulate him for his stand on the gold standard, two letters from Grover Cleveland, and letters concerning Democratic Party matters. Letters from later years deal chiefly with Donelson’s efforts in the face of financial difficulties, including work on his sugar plantations and attempts at establishing oil wells.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: The collection includes information on plantation life and refers to white control over slaves and free blacks (1840, 1857, 1868). For example, an 23 August 1868 letter, to Bethia from her fiance, Donelson, in Franklin, Louisiana, mentions his activities in politics and his efforts to prevent freed slaves from gaining control of affairs. Microfilm available.