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Drawn from major repositories throughout the South, these primary documents are rich resources for scholars. They open new directions for research on plantations as economic and social systems, values and culture among the southern elite, slavery and emancipation, women's roles, life among the yeoman class, marketing of staple crops, national politics, southern politics, the Civil War, and myriad other aspects of the antebellum period. Because the plantation was a commercial enterprise, record keeping was essential. Many planters kept journals, crop books, overseers' journals, and account books in remarkable detail. Family members often kept personal diaries and corresponded extensively with friends and relatives near and far. Series G, Part 5: Other Plantation Collections includes more than 70 separate collections that provide a panorama of the plantation society of Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as documentation of emigration to Arkansas and Texas and immigration from South Carolina, Virginia, and other states. Many small collections in Part 5 provide insights into specific components of plantation life and culture. There are also new materials on many of the large planters featured in previously filmed collections, as well as the small planters and unheralded widows and orphans whose affairs are chronicled in this stellar material.
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