Riverlake Sugarhouse

"Riverlake Sugarhouse"

Marie Adrien Persac,Riverlake Sugarhouse, ca. 1855-61 (Private Collection) 


Asland Plantation record, 1852, record kept b W. C. Wade. Overseer, in Ashland Sugar Plantation. Microfilm 1705, ser. I, pt. 1, reel 13.

Bacot, H. Parrott, et al. Marie Adrien Persac: Louisiana Artist . Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, 2000. 

Follett, Richard J. The Sugar Masters: Planter and Slaves in Louisiana 's Cane World, 1820-1860 . Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, 2005. 

Vlach, John Michael. Back of the Big House: The Architecture of Plantation Slavery . Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 1993. 

Higman, Barry. Jamaica Surveyed: Plantation Maps and Plans of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries . Jamaica : Institute of Jamaica Publications, 1988. 

Scarborough, William Kaufman. The Overseer: Plantation Management in the Old South. Louisiana State University Press, 1966.

Vlach, John Michael. The Planter's Prospect: Privilege and Slavery in Plantation Paintings . Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2002.


1. This painting represents slaves at work. How was time apportioned on the nineteenth-century plantation? Did the kind of plantation (tobacco, rice, cotton, sugar) make a difference? If so, why? 

2. What does this image reveal about agricultural processes of the antebellum sugar plantation? Besides the sugarhouse, what were the various buildings typically found on a sugar plantation and what might they have looked like? 

3. Agricultural processes on a daily basis were often under the supervision of an overseer. Use the journal kept by W. C. Wade, to discuss the life of an overseer on a sugar plantation. 

4. Considering this image in light of the representations of sugar plantations in Jamaica , what aspects of this plantation are distinctive? Discuss similarities and differences in sugar plantations in Louisiana and Jamaica.

Riverlake Sugarhouse