Documenting Louisiana Sugar 1845-1917


For over seventy years, P.A. Champomier, Louis Bouchereau, and his son Alcee Bouchereau recorded plantation ownership, crop yields, and detailed information on the technology used on each sugar producing estate. These remarkable records provide an almost unbroken time series of economic and production data with which scholars can examine an entire industry; one, moreover, that underwent the enormous transition from slave to free labor in the mid nineteenth century. This project makes these sources available for rigorous analysis and provides users with the query functions capable of tracing people and plantations through time. The built in search functions within the databases enable users to limit or expand their enquiries by year, parish, crop output, technology, and even gender. These annual searchable criteria are combined with decennial census records (1850-1880) for five key sugar growing regions, adding further nuance to the portrait drawn from the annual crop data. The agricultural census materials are drawn from five distinct geographical parishes (counties elsewhere in the U.S.), namely Iberville, St. James. Rapides, Terrebonne, St. Mary Parishes. Further detail on the the lives of the nineteenth century data collectors, their aspirations and the nature of their sugar reports, along with a commentary on the social and business culture in which Champomier and the Bouchereaus lived is available by clicking on the specific source below.