Enslaved Communities of Louisiana

This page is dedicated to the slaves of the Hilliard and Stirling Families of Louisiana.

The Hilliards and Stirlings had many slaves working their prosperous cotton and sugar plantations in Attakapas (St. Mary and St. Martin Parish),  West Feliciana Parish and West Baton Rouge Parish.  My third great-grandmother, Eliza Burton and her children and other relatives were among  them. It was at their Attakapas plantations where my great, great-grandmother, Tempy was separated from her mother, Eliza and the rest of her family.  Tempy would eventually end up in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, very near a waterfront home the Stirlings owned in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The Stirling Family papers, archived at the Louisiana State University and the Robert C. Hilliard papers, archived at the University of Texas at Austin include many of the names and some details about the people they enslaved.  Following is a list of some of those names and corresponding documents in hopes that their descendants can find and reclaim their people:


list of slaves from Robert C. Stirling papers archived at the University of Texas, Austin. On the last page, it says the slaves belonged to a Dr. W. E. Walker.  Perhaps this is Stirling's in-law - his wife's maiden name was Walker.

list of slaves from Robert C. Stirling papers archived at the University of Texas, Austin. On the last page, it says the slaves belonged to a Dr. W. E. Walker. Perhaps this is Stirling’s in-law – his wife’s maiden name was Walker.

9 thoughts on “Enslaved Communities of Louisiana

  1. Hi there….I ran across this site quite by accident. But perhaps it may serve to aid me in my search for my search for my great(x3)grandma. I have discovered that she was from the Louisana area somewhere. Now that I have logged on to your site I have a beginning that may help me. Her name was (E)Lizabeth Desseau or Devereau. aka as Delia . She subsequently ended up in Orangeburg SC . She was called grandmere by her grandchildren. Thanks a bunch for being there to assist my search.

  2. Hi,

    I bring you peace and blessings from Louisiana! My family and I are doing our research on the family tree of the Sterlings who were once slaves on the Wakefield Plantation and then migrated to St. Francisville. I added you on my facebook page and would like to add you to our family group page as well. Stumbling upon your page as I was doing some research has afforded me with a great wealth of knowledge! It is obvious we are from the same line somewhere. Thank you for doing this work!

  3. Hello, I too stumbled across your website by accident. My family were also once slaves on the Wakefield Plantation and they also migrated to St. Francisville. I had hit a brick wall in my research and decided to google “descendants of Lewis Stirling’s slaves”. That search brought me here. I see my 5th generation grandfather Barica in the list above. Barica was married to Sarah listed below his name. They had 3 children together Adam (my fourth generation grandfather), Josephine, and rose. His wife Sarah had three daughters before their union, Delily, Nelly(who named her one of her sons Barica) and Fanny. Adam went on to have a son named Peter (my third generation grandfather). Peter also had a son he named Peter (my second generation grandfather and the father of my grandmother Charlotte). Many of the slaves in the list above did not keep the Sterling name after they were freed.
    Thank you so much for this site. Blessings

  4. Hello,

    I am researching my genealogy and my 3x great grandmother was Nicie Sterling of Mississippi. I am interested in learning more about the Sterling family.

  5. Also a Montclair resident, I am researching the lives of my great grandmother Mary E Polly Rice Ranson who was white and her daughter, my great aunt Mary M who was biracial. Polly was three years widowed when she gave birth to Mary M. in 1864. Father unknown. Polly’s five Ranson children were taken or sent or went to Mecklenburg County, NC from Anderson County, SC sometime between 1865 and 1870. Polly and her daughter Mary M appear in the 1870 and 1880 census, living together and identified as mother and daughter.

    Would love to meet sometime.

  6. Hi Dionne:
    This evening I read your article “My Family Tree – Black and White” in “More” Magazine. I was quite interested. I have both slave owners as well as “Sub Saharan African” ancestors in my family tree. I’m as white as snow, so finding out about this through a DNA test proved quite fascinating. Have you done any DNA tests?
    I would love to read your book when it’s done. There is another book called “Cane River” that details the story of white slave owners and their relationships with their slaves. Thanks for your efforts!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>