Collection Number: 00053

Collection Title: Bayside Plantation Records, 1846-1866

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.

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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 4 items)
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.
Creator Bayside Plantation (Bayou Teche, La.)
Curatorial Unit University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Bayside Plantation Records #53, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Josephine Richardson of New Orleans, and John Caffery of Franklin, Louisiana, before 1940.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Francis DuBose Richardson was apparently born in Wilkinson County, Mississippi, in 1812, but came to Louisiana with his father, John Gaulden Richardson (1785-1856) and family in the 1820s. Francis DuBose Richardson became a planter and state legislator, married Bethia F. Liddell (d. 1852), and in January 1846, moved with his family, hired hands, and slaves to set up Bayside Plantation on Bayou Teche, Iberia Parish, Louisiana. The Richardsons were given assistance at Bayside by other Richardson and Liddell family members, most of whom are referred to in the plantation journals by initials only, including John Gaulden Richardson and Bethia's father, Judge Moses Liddell.

After Bethia F. (Lidell) Richardson died in 1852, Francis DuBose Richardson sent their youngest daughter, Margaret, to live with relatives. Their other children, Frank Liddell Richardson (fl.1850s-1869) and Bethia C. Richardson (fl.1840s-1870s), remained at Bayside, where they received a tutorial education, until the Civil War. In October 1861, Frank left to join the Confederate army, and Bethia C. left to attend the Franklin Seminary in Franklin, Louisiana. Though some sources indicate that Francis DuBose Richardson died in 1858, family sources show that he died in St. Louis County in 1906.

Bayside Plantation continued to operate until mid-December 1862, when everyone was moved to a plantation "in the woods on Bayou Mallet," in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, in response to the arrival in the area of the Union army. The Richardson children visited both the Bayou Mallet and Bayside plantations at various times during the war, as did friends and relatives. Both Confederate and Union forces operated in the area, and in 1863, most of the plantation slaves sought refuge for a time in New Iberia. When the war ended, attempts were made to contract freedmen and other labor to work on the plantations, with varying success.

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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.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Plantation Records: 1846-1866.

4 items.
Folder 1

Volume 1: 1846-1852 #00053, Series: "Plantation Records: 1846-1866." Folder 1

Short daily entries, 12 January 1846-9 June 1852, by Francis DuBose Richardson, and notes at the beginning and end of the volume, also presumably by Richardson. The notes at the beginning include calculations for sugar and bricks, and cures; those at the end include financial and other information about individual slaves, other planation workers, and proprietors doing business with the Richardson family. Daily entries mention weather and planting conditions, illnesses among the slaves, paid laborers, members of the family, and extraordinary events such as deaths, marriages, and births.

The workings of the plantation can be traced over time in some detail. Early entries describe the Richardson family's move to Bayside, the strenuous efforts involved in setting up and operating the plantation, and the division of labor between men and women. Slaves, overseers, and other laborers are mentioned in many entries througout the volume, slaves by given names, others usually by family names. The numerous varieties of domestic and wild animals mentioned include: cattle; horses; oxen; hogs; sheep; turkeys; partridges; field squirrels; "small birds;" mules; and hawks. Foodstuffs and agricultural products noted include: sugar cane; molasses; sugar; milk; potatoes; peas; rice; corn; pumpkins; oats; cabbage; beets; lettuce; turnips; hay; beans; squash; and melons. Storage facilities, work materials, means of transportation and other paraphernalia are also mentioned.

Members of the extended Richardson family are mentioned, often by initials only, usually in regard to cooperative labor and business efforts and social visits. They include John Gaulden Richardson (1785-1856), John W. Richardson, "E&DR," "EMR," "JNR," "DDR," Laura, Mary Frances, and Anna. Members of the Liddell family are also mentioned: Judge Moses Liddell and J.R. Liddell. Nearby landowners are similarly noted and include: Judge Baker; R. Jackson; O'Delahousey; Col. Olevice; Madame Camille Prousain; F.R. Singleton; F. Smith; T.H. Thompson; and "Mr. West." There are numerous mentions of doctors, usually noted by surname only, coming to visit Bayside. They include: "Dr. D;" Dungan; Gibson; Jackson; Alexander Jones; Kilgour; Stocking (dentist); Winans; and Wild.

Items and events noted in the journal include agricultural calculations (p.3), cures for dysentery and flux (p.4), and the appointment of Hardy Saunders as overseer (p.5). Noted in several entries is the division of labor among men and women, the original construction of buildings and preparation of the land for planting, hindrances of bad weather, and illnesses. Outbuildings and other constructions mentioned include a smokehouse; kitchen; milkhouse; stables; corn house; saw pits; cottage; fencing; blacksmith shop; mill; brickmaking facilities; ditches; bridges; a shed; cabins; wells; a sugar house with a chimney 60 feet high (p.29); an engine for sugar refining; and a coal kiln. Sundays and holidays, several journal entries show, were usually days of rest. Deaths of slaves and others are briefly noted, along with deaths of animals. The general difficulties in setting up Bayside Plantation are occasionally commented upon, as in the entry for 30 May 1846 (p.16), after 30,000 bricks were lost to bad weather: "Prospects for doing anything here this season very gloomy." 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).

Other events noted include: an outbreak of cholera in the neighborhood (1 April 1849, p.96); Francis DuBose Richardson's joining of the "Sons of Temperance" in Franklin, Louisiana (17 December 1849, p.114); Frank Liddell Richardson beginning schooling with a Mr. Robinson (6 January 1851, p.144); the death of Bethia F. (Liddell) Richardson on 14 April 1852 (p.191); the hiring of William Richards as teacher for the Richardson children at $15.00 per month, and James Healy, a laborer from Ireland, at 50 cents per day (26 April 1852, p.193); the completion of a new schoolhouse and its use by the Richardson children, and the completion of family portraits by a Mr. Godard (May 1852, pp.196-197).

A table of contents for the volume follows.

Pages 1-5 Notes, Preliminaries
Pages 5-37 Notes, 1846
Pages 39-65 Notes, 1847
Pages 65-89 Notes, 1848
Pages 90-115 Notes, 1849
Pages 116-143 Notes, 1850
Pages 144-179 Notes, 1851
Pages 180-199 Notes, 1852
Pages 200-225 Notes
Folder 2

Volume 2: 1860-1866 #00053, Series: "Plantation Records: 1846-1866." Folder 2

Daily entries, 1860-1866, comparable to those in the first volume, apparently kept by more than one person. Bayside Plantation is the main subject until mid-December 1862 when attention turns to a plantation bordering Bayou Mallet, in St. Landry Parish, La. An account of John Richardson and other financial and supply accounts appear at the end of the volume. Note that Volumes 3 and 4 of this collection comprise a typed transcription of this volume.

Events noted include Frank Liddell Richardson leaving Bayside to join the Confederate army and Bethia C. Richardson going to attend Franklin Seminary in Franklin, La., on 27 October 1861 (p.72). In mid-December 1862, journal entries trace the movement of people and property from Bayside Plantation to the plantation in St. Landry Parish (pp.110-112), and from then on, describe work there.

In April 1863, fighting and troop movements in the area were noted, including a mention of Confederate General Richard Taylor (p.121) and meeting with Union General Nathanael P. Banks (p.122). In May, the slaves ran away, taking much of the portable property of the St. Landry Parish plantation (p.123). In January and March 1864, Union troops passing through the neighborhood were noted (pp.133-135). On 1 June 1865, 260 black soldiers passed through to New Iberia (p.159). In September 1865 tobacco was being grown (p.173), on 1 January 1866 the proprietor served on a police jury (p.178), and on 28 January 1866 the contracting of freedmen was noted (p.180).

A table of contents for this volume follows. (Gaps in page numbering reflect missing pages.)

Pages 9-46 Bayside, 1860
Pages 47-78 Bayside, 1861
Pages 78-112 Bayside, 1862
Pages 113-118,121-133 Bayou Mallet, 1863
Pages 133-142, 150-154 Bayou Mallet, 1864
Pages 154-162, 164-177 Bayou Mallet, 1865
Pages 178-185 Bayou Mallet, 1866
Page 186 Financial account of John W. Richardson
Pages 201-214, 225-226, 229-236, 255-258 Personal financial and supply accounts
Folder 3

Volume 3: Typed transcription of Volume 2, 1860-25 October 1862 #00053, Series: "Plantation Records: 1846-1866." Folder 3

Folder 4

Volume 4: Typed transcription of Volume 2, 25 October 1862-1866 #00053, Series: "Plantation Records: 1846-1866." Folder 4

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Processed by: Erik D. France, October 1990

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Updated by: Kathryn Michaelis, February 2010

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