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Anne-Louis de Tousard papers, 1659-1932 (majority within 1777-1820)

3.75 linear feet

The Tousard papers contain the correspondence of the army officer and military engineer Anne-Louis de Tousard, relating to his plantation in Saint-Domingue (Haiti), military service, and family life.

The Correspondence and Documents seriescontain 3.75 linear feet of material, arranged chronologically, and spanning 1659-1932 (bulk 1778-1820). The collection contains both incoming and outgoing letters, covering Tousard's service in the American Revolutionary War, his management of a coffee plantation in Haiti, family life, settlement in the United States beginning in 1793, and military activities in Haiti and America. The majority of the material is in French, with a few scattered items in English. Most of the letters have been translated into English; quotes in this finding aid draw from those translations.

After a 1659 inventory of property owned by "M. Touzard," an ancestor of Louis Tousard, the collection opens with several letters pertaining to Tousard's time in North America during the American Revolution. These include several lengthy letters items by Tousard himself with commentary on his French and American Army officers, the progress of the war, his attempts at learning English, and his impressions of several cities. In a long letter dated August 3, 1777, he noted the capture of Fort Ticonderoga by the British and the desire of Americans to put General Philip Schuyler on trial for its surrender. He also stated that everything in Philadelphia cost "a dreadful price" and that "the money here is discredited." In the same letter, he discussed the major generalship that had been promised to, and later taken from, Philippe Charles Tronson de Coudray and called the Americans "vain, disunited, envying and detesting the French." Tousard's relatives, including his mother, wrote the bulk of other letters during the period. These primarily share news of the Tousards' social circle in France and occasionally make brief reference to political turmoil there.

Beginning in 1786, the focus of the collection shifts to the courtship and eventual marriage partnership of Marie-Reine St. Martin, a young widow and native of Saint-Domingue, and Louis Tousard. Their affectionate sequence of letters begins December 23, 1786. In addition to revealing details of their personalities and relationship, the letters also shed light on their shared management of several coffee plantations and dozens of slaves. Louis' letters to Marie discuss politics in Haiti and France, show the difficulty of importing desired goods to Haiti, and express regret that he must frequently spend time away from her. The couple frequently articulated the idea that together they formed an effective partnership; in a letter of January 26, 1788, Louis wrote, "On my arrival I shall tell you my plans. You will tell me yours and from the two we shall make a single one." In another letter, he stated his dependence "entirely on [Marie's] good judgment" in managing their coffee workforce (May 3, 1789). The letters also provide details of plantation life, including the preciousness of wine and bacon and difficulties of obtaining them (June 20, 1787), Marie's hobbies and entertainments on the plantation (May 3, 1789), and the difficulties of feeding the slaves and workmen (April 3 and 6, 1789).

In their letters, the couple also wrote frankly about their slaves. Escape seems to have been a frequent occurrence; after a particular incident, Louis urged Marie not to become discouraged and assured her that "[t]he slaves will soon stop running away…. Try to make them be afraid of me" (December 28, 1787). In another letter, presumably after a similar event, Louis wrote to tell Marie that he had sent "two collars to help the Maroon negroes to walk in the woods or at least able to feel their stupidity in creating enduring shame for themselves" ([No month] 27, 1787; filed at the end of 1787). The Tousards also complained that their slaves stole from them ([1787]) and inspired each other to rebellion (January 17, 1788). In addition to doling out punishments to them, Louis and Marie also sometimes expressed affection for various slaves, and presented them with gifts of clothing and food. In one incident, Marie went further and defended a slave, referred to repeatedly as "The African": "The poor African was beaten by a driver. I have complained, but I could not obtain justice" (January 10, 1793). Louis also commonly worked alongside the slaves that he oversaw, and sometimes even noted, "I worked like a slave," as in a letter of May 3, 1789. The letters are especially valuable for the detailed information they provide on the complexities of the master-slave relationship.

Although Tousard's regiment attempted to put down the Haitian Revolution, the collection contains only a handful of references to fighting. The most direct, dated "September 1791," likely refers to an engagement at Port-Margot. On the subject, Tousard wrote, "I gave a lesson to the cavalry. I taught them to charge. Two cannon shots were fired at us and they had not time to fire again. In one minute we were upon them and cut them down." Thereafter, the collection documents Tousard's imprisonment in France and contains some material concerning his later military career and family life, including letters between Tousard, his daughters, and their husbands. Also among the later items are a small number relating to his consular appointments in Philadelphia and New Orleans. Two letters concern the quarantine imposed on ships arriving in Philadelphia during the yellow fever epidemic of 1798, the first of which (Timothy Pickering to Tousard; June 27, 1798) informs Tousard of the decision of Congress to prevent ships from Saint-Domingue landing at Philadelphia, ordering him to stand by in his capacity as Major of Artillery. The second is a copy of orders to Stephen Decatur to prevent the landing of a ship manned by "Frenchmen and Negroes," the latter of whom "have discovered a Disposition to outrage" (June 28, 1798). Tousard's letter of July 25, 1814, includes a detailed discussion of the attitudes of the French residents of New Orleans toward the Bourbons. Suffice it to say that Tousard, the Royalist, elicited the negative attention of the "Jacobins" of New Orleans. The collection closes with letters between Tousard's daughters, Caroline and Laurette, and several items concerning his death on March 4, 1817.

The Tousard papers also contain many undated items, which have been placed at the end. These include a significant number of letters by Marie, who frequently left date information off her letters, as well as a small printed portrait of Tousard. Also present is an uncut bookplate, showing Tousard's coat-of-arms, motto, liberty cap, artillery, and the right arm that he lost during the Battle of Rhode Island in 1778. Also of interest is a biographical sketch of Tousard, written by one of his nieces sometime after his death.

The Account Book series includes one account book with entries dated from 1813 to 1816. Louis and Laurette Tousard appear several times throughout the volume.

The Printed Items series contains two items, Histoire des Six Dernières Années de l'Ordre de Malte (1805) and Justification of Lewis Tousard Addressed to the National Convention of France. Written and Published from the Bloody Prisons of the Abbaye, by Himself. The 24th of January, 1793 (Philadelphia: Daniel Humphreys, 1793).


Ezra T. Doughty journal, 1832-1833, 1859

1 volume

Ezra T. Doughty's diary entries pertain to his experiences onboard the USS St. Louis and USS Grampus during the ships' voyages in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico in 1832 and 1833. Doughty, a midshipman who became sailing master of the Grampus in December 1832, recorded detailed descriptions of Haiti; Veracruz, Mexico; and Havana, Cuba, and reflected on several aspects of navy life.

Ezra T. Doughty's diary entries (63 pages) pertain to his experiences onboard the USS St. Louis and USS Grampus during the ships' voyages in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico in 1832 and 1833. Doughty, a midshipman who became sailing master of the Grampus in December 1832, recorded detailed descriptions of Haiti; Veracruz, Mexico; and Havana, Cuba. The first page of the volume contains an incomplete description of the Grampus, including measurements of the schooner's masts, decks, hold, and ballast.

Doughty began his diary on October 9, 1832, while in port at New York onboard the St. Louis. He anticipated the ship's upcoming journey to the West Indies and complained that the ship would be carrying a significant number of officers bound for other vessels. He wrote semi-regular entries about his experiences on the St. Louis until December 3, 1832, in which he commented on party politics and the Andrew Jackson administration, scenery and nautical animals, his personal history, women, Commodore John D. Henley, and a theological discussion with a shipmate. On October 11, 1832, he quoted lines from a poem by Thomas Moore, "As Slow Our Ship." Two entries have descriptions of deaths at sea: a sea burial (October 13, 1832) and a failed attempt to rescue a crewman who had fallen overboard (November 13, 1832). In these entries, Doughty also reflected upon death in general and upon his feelings after watching a man drown. While traveling off the coast of Hispaniola, he composed an extensive description of Haiti, including notes on its history, governance, people (particularly with regard to slavery and race), customs, and coastline (November 13, 1832; November 23, 1832). Along the southern coast of Cuba, Doughty noticed the contrast between Spanish planters' villas and their slaves' huts (December 1, 1832).

The St. Louis arrived at Pensacola in early December 1832, and Doughty accompanied a fowl-hunting party on at least one occasion while in port. On December 11, 1832, he accepted a transfer to the schooner Grampus, on which he served as sailing master. Doughty also noted recent animosity between the United States Navy and the Mexican government, prompted by the ship's previous capture of suspected pirates sailing under the Mexican flag (December 11, 1832). On one occasion, Doughty was a member of a party that unsuccessfully attempted to recover a man who had gone overboard (December 24, 1832). He composed lengthy descriptions of Veracruz, Mexico (December 27, 1832, and January 1, 1833), and Havana, Cuba (January 11, 1833, and January 20, 1833). In Mexico, he recorded the effects of recent military operations, his opinions about Mexicans, and the history of Spanish rule. In Havana, he mentioned the local inhabitants and markets, and the United States's possible interest in owning Cuba, Havana Harbor, and Morro Castle. Later, he commented on workers on "Thompson's Island" (now Key West, Florida), the efforts of "wreckers" to assist ships stranded on nearby reefs, and the work of naturalist John James Audubon (January 20, 1833). By January 14, the Grampus had embarked for Norfolk, Virginia, and Doughty's entries of mid- to late February 1833 and March 1833 pertain to his social activities in Norfolk and his thoughts on nautical careers. His final entry is dated March 14, 1833.

An unattributed journal entry (3 pages) is dated December 20, 1859, with an additional heading made for the following day. The entry pertains to the first day of a transatlantic voyage on the Fortunata, commenting on encounters with fellow passengers (often British) and expressing anticipation for exploring tombs in "Nubia." A piece of heavy linen is tied over the book's covers, and the front cover bears the ink title "Amphibiology."


George Anson letters, 1789-1795

26 items

This collection is made up of 26 letters (59 pages) from George Anson to William Lee, while the men served in the British Army between 1789 and 1795. Anson largely wrote while serving as an officer in the 16th Light Dragoons and 20th Jamaica Light Dragoons. He wrote primarily from Shugborough in Staffordshire, England, and Spanish Town, Jamaica (1792-1794). His letters pertain to recruiting for dragoon regiments, the dangerous climate of Jamaica, the jarring death of a friend from fever, horses in military service, promotions, jocular banter, and the movement of troops to Santo Domingo as part of British involvement in the Haitian Revolution. He wrote candidly and crudely about sexual activity, London prostitution and brothels, prostitution at Spanish Town, Black women in Jamaica, and the sexual and alcohol-related exploits of his recipient and friends also serving in dragoon regiments. Two letters reference Elizabeth Weldon and Viscount Dungarvan in early 1791.

This collection is made up of 26 letters (59 pages) from George Anson to William Lee, while the men served in the British Army between 1789 and 1795. Anson largely wrote while serving as an officer in the 16th Light Dragoons and 20th Jamaica Light Dragoons. He wrote primarily from Shugborough in Staffordshire, England, and Spanish Town, Jamaica (1792-1794). His letters pertain to recruiting for dragoon regiments, the dangerous climate of Jamaica, the jarring death of a friend from fever, horses in military service, promotions, jocular banter, and the movement of troops to Santo Domingo as part of British involvement in the Haitian Revolution. He wrote candidly and crudely about sexual activity, London prostitution and brothels, prostitution at Spanish Town, Black women in Jamaica, and the sexual and alcohol-related exploits of his recipient and friends also serving in dragoon regiments. Two letters reference Elizabeth Weldon and Viscount Dungarvan in early 1791.

Please see the box and folder listing for descriptions and details about each letter in the collection.


Haiti collection, 1761-1826, 1856, 1895, 1954

0.5 linear feet

The Haiti collection contains approximately 130 items related to the social, military, and economic history of Haiti from the mid-18th century through the 19th century. The collection includes correspondence, documents, and a scrapbook. The scrapbook, compiled by Victor Advielle, chronicles the history of the island from 1803, during the last stages of its revolution, through the 1890s.

The Haiti collection contains approximately 130 items related to the social, military, and economic history of Haiti from the mid-18th century through the 19th century. The collection includes correspondence, documents, visual material, and a scrapbook. The scrapbook, compiled by Victor Advielle, chronicles the history of the island from 1803, during the last stages of its revolution, through the 1890s.

Selected items include:
  • Lory, Plombard & Co. ALS to Mr. Guillaumier; November 6, 1783. Cap. News of his brother, finances, and matters relating to enslaved persons (including their health).
  • [Jean-Baptiste] Arnaudeau ALS to Madame Veuve Fleuriau, January 26, 1788; Bellevue, [Saint Domingue]. To his aunt, offering condolences on the death of her husband. Recommends buying the Fortin land as it is good for cultivating sugar cane. Purchase of enslaved persons for a good price (10 men and 2 women). Production of sugar and land on the Fleuriau plantation.
  • British officer L. Dichter letter, describing Haiti as the "Devil's own Country"; July 4, 1796.
  • An autographed letter by Toussaint L'Ouverture, written on his personal stationery; [1796].
  • Citoyen Dodge Gorham and Dodge Gorham et Compagnie partially printed certificates (2) and manuscript document (1) pertinent to the shipment of goods, including beef, on the ship Zéphir (Zephyr) September 12, 1797. Le Cap.
  • A deposition providing a firsthand account of revolutionary activity in 1793; October 25, 1799.
  • Lovise Munroe manuscript protest, 14 Fructidor [September 1, 1800]; Môle Saint-Nicolas, Saint Domingue. 6 pages. Official notary copy of the protest of Lovise Munroe, captain of the Schooner Two Brothers of Boston, which sailed out of Philadelphia bound with goods consigned to merchant John Lewis at Cap Français. Was forced into the port at Môle Saint-Nicolas, "having been Contraried by the Winds & Weather." General Hyacinthe Moïse ordered that Munroe would "be so good to land All the Articles Useful to the State, such as, Tar, Pitch, Gun-Powder, Muskets, Swords, Pistols, Lead, Bunting, Tin and Flints, these articles will be deposited in the Arsenal in the Manner Order'd and Citn. [Mansey] Colin charged with the sale of the Surplus of the Cargo, will take the Arrangements he shall think most suitable with General Moyse, for the reimbursement of these Articles and the best of his Interest." After the goods were sold, Lewis claimed that he did not receive any compensation for the long sojourn in Môle Saint-Nicolas, but instead needed money to pay for flour, cloth, and cordage for the vessel's use.
  • Robert McTaggart letter to Philadelphia merchants [John Reed, Standish Forde, and Samuel Israel]; January 18, 1804. Cap Français. Respecting trade issues, stagnant markets, spoiled produce, government restrictions on coffee purchases. Reference to ships at harbor and difficulties with French privateers.
  • Letter to Martin[-Pierre] Foache, April 6, 1804. Au Cap. Describes persecution of white residents preceding the massacre ordered by Jean-Jacques Dessalines.
  • A ca. 1815 legal summary of a case regarding the difficulties of collecting bills in post-revolutionary Saint Domingue. References the inability of the French merchant Reveliere to establish a trading house in Saint Domingue around 1802, which forced him to sell his cargo with a military contractor, but payment was later suspended by a governmental decree. Notes the impact on third-party bearers of the bills.
  • B[elfast] Burton [draft letters?] to [Richard Allen?], [1825]; Semana, Haiti. 2 pages. Two letters on opposite sides of a single sheet. Discussion of issues with Pierre Joseph Marie Granville (Jonathas Granville), governance, authority, "there is nothing equal to truth & honesty and industry..." Politics, meddling of Alexander, support but apprehensions regarding President Jean-Pierre Boyer, and the campaign to promote African American immigration to the Republic of Haiti.
  • Eugène-Léopold-François Pesnel DS petition to Faustin Soulouque, [1856?]; Cherbourg, [France]. 14 pages. Petition by Pesnel, requesting Empereur Soulouque to grant compensation to Marie Jeanne Pesnel, his mother, for property and proceeds lost as a result of the Haitian Revolution. Marie's father Thomas de Launay owned dwellings north of Cap Français and in Borgne. He had lived in Saint Domingue for 45 years before his death in 1781. The properties, including a cafeterie, had an annual profit of around 300,000 francs. The capital was 6,000,000 francs, which would have increased considerably in the hands of merchant de Launay and his descendants. Pesnel's request include a lengthy affirmation of his Republican sentiments, love of freedom, and dislike of slavery. The last page of the petition includes a transcription of a baptismal record of Marie Jeanne de Launay.

Other items are two photographs, a copy of L'Écho de la Timbrologie that traces the history of Haiti (January 31, 1954), a Carte de l'Isle de Saint Domingue ([1759], housed in the Map Division), a 1788 postmark from "Cap Haitien," and a newletter about French colonial postmarks.

Victor Advielle compiled the scrapbook, entitled Notes sur Haiti, in Paris in 1895. In addition to newspaper clippings, speeches, correspondence, and government documents, the volume has a piece of music entitled "Les paroles sont de Mr. de la Soriniere danjou, Et la Musique de Mr. Boran de St. Domingue." The scrapbook pertains to Haiti's 19th-century history. The section entitled "Ma Correspondence avec Légitime" contains personal correspondence between Victor Advielle and François Denys Légitime, who later became president of Haiti (1888-1889). The material within the scrapbook is in French.


James McHenry papers, 1777-1832

3 linear feet

The James McHenry papers contain correspondence and documents related to the political career of James McHenry. The majority of the materials pertain to his tenure as Secretary of War from 1796 to 1800.

The James McHenry papers contain over 800 items related the life and career of James McHenry. Included in the materials are approximately 670 letters and 106 documents, primarily related to McHenry's political career, as well as financial records and miscellaneous documents, including poetry and genealogical materials. The majority of the correspondence and documents are drafts or retained manuscript copies.

The Correspondence and Documents series spans 1777-1832, with the bulk of materials concentrated around 1796 to 1803. The first box of the collection contains documents and correspondence related to McHenry's service in the Revolutionary War, including correspondence with Sir Henry Clinton, George Washington, and Alexander Hamilton. The materials include a draft of a letter to British general Henry Clinton regarding his military failures, written in McHenry's hand but signed "Z" (October 26, 1779), as well as a copy of a letter allegedly written by Clinton to Lord George Germain, which McHenry sent to Samuel Louden of the New York Packet to be published (March 24, 1780). The postwar materials in the collection pertain to McHenry's tenure as a Maryland statesman. Along with documents related to McHenry's political career during those years is a letter dated August 13, 1794, which relates news of the massacre of French colonists at Fort Dauphin in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), led by Jean-François, an important figure in the Haitian Revolution.

The bulk of the collection, representing 1796 to 1803, documents McHenry's tenure as secretary of war under presidents Washington and Adams. The correspondence and documents relate to military structures, provisions, international relations, treaties, politics, and relations with Native American tribes. The collection contains frequent correspondence with other cabinet members and politicians, including Secretary of State Timothy Pickering and Secretary of the Treasury Oliver Wolcott as well as President George Washington, John Adams, and the Marquis de Lafayette. McHenry served as secretary of war during the Quasi-War with France and, as a staunch Federalist, favored positive relations with Britain over France. A large portion of the correspondence during this period relates to the ongoing feud with that country. A letter from James Winchester to McHenry describes the suspicion with which the Federalists regarded Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans, who favored closer relations with France: "…tho' they will not openly shew at this time their predilection for France, they will discover it in the first calamitous event which may happen to our Country. Depend on it they are not to be trusted. I speak of the party here" (April 18, 1789). Several months later McHenry wrote in an unaddressed letter draft that he believed the President should recommend a declaration of war with France to Congress. He also expressed his concerns over "a faction within the country constantly on the watch and ready to seize upon every act of the Executive which may be converted into an engine to disaffect the people to the government" (November 25, 1798).

In addition to national and international politics, many of the items relate to U.S. relations with Native American tribes, including the Creek, Chickasaw, and Miami. The materials frequently concern attempts to maintain peace and create treaties with the tribes, as well as to prevent them from giving their loyalty to other countries, such as Britain, France, or Spain. Box 2 contains a copy of a "Talk of the Chickasaw Chiefs at the Bluffs represented by Wolf's Friend, Ugalayacabé" regarding the tribe's concerns about the Americans: "Tell me if I may return to my Nation to appease the tumult of their minds. Shall I tell them the talk of the Americans is falsehood? Shall I assure our warriors our children and our women that your flag will always wave over our land, or tell them to prepare to die?" [1797]. This box also contains a small series of letters from General Anthony Wayne, written from his headquarters in Detroit, where he was stationed before his death, after successfully leading U.S. troops in the Northwest Indian War (August 29 to October 3, 1796). After the war, Miami Chief Little Turtle, became a proponent of friendly relations with the Americans. McHenry wrote to him upon his resignation as secretary of war, thanking him for his friendship: "…I shall carry with me the remembrance of your fidelity, your good sense, your honest regard for your own people, your sensibility and eloquent discourse in their favour, and what is precious to me as an individual, a belief that I shall always retain your friendship" (May 30, 1800). Other documents include an extract of a letter from Major Thomas Cushing to Brigadier General James Wilkinson, writing that he had given gifts to the Native Americans in order to prevent them from siding with the Spanish at New Orleans, who were attempting to win their favor (February 15, 1800).

Boxes 6 through 8 contain correspondence and documents written after McHenry's resignation as secretary of war at the end of May 1800. Though he retired from politics, his letters document that he maintained a keen interest in domestic and international issues. Senator Uriah Tracy wrote regular letters to McHenry in February 1801, keeping him up-to-date on the daily events regarding the presidential election between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. After the election, McHenry wrote a letter to U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands William Vans Murray, in which he discussed the election and why public opinion had shifted from the Federalists to Jefferson: "I still am of opinion, that we should have gained nothing by the election of Mr. Burr, could it have been accomplished by federal means. The general sentiment is so strong and ardent for Mr. Jefferson, that experience alone can correct it" (February 23, 1801). This section of correspondence also contains a draft of a letter to the speaker of the House of Representatives containing McHenry's defense against charges brought against him regarding disbursements while secretary of war (December 22, 1802), as well as his opinions of current political happenings, including the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and the Embargo Act of 1807. Several of the letters written during this period also relate to McHenry's low opinion of John Adams, who forced him out of office. In a series of letters exchanged by McHenry and Oliver Wolcott in 1800, McHenry described his anger regarding Adams, and expressed regret that Adams remained in office after George Washington left. Over ten years later, McHenry wrote a letter to Timothy Pickering, responding to a series of memoirs Adams had printed in the Boston Patriot . He accused Adams of making significant errors and misrepresentations, and mused, "How many recollections have these puerile letters awakened. Still in his own opinion, the greatest man of the age. I see he will carry with him to the grave, his vanity, his weaknesses and follies, specimens of which we have so often witnessed and always endeavored to veil from the public" (February 23, 1811).

The Bound Items series consists of a diary, a published book of letters, a book of U.S. Army regulations, an account book, and a book of poetry. McHenry kept the diary from June 18 to July 24, 1778, beginning it at Valley Forge. It contains accounts of daily events, intelligence, orders, the Battle of Monmouth, and the march of Washington's army to White Plains, New York. The 1931 book, entitled Letters of James McHenry to Governor Thomas Sim Lee is the correspondence written by James McHenry to Maryland governor Thomas Sim Lee during the 1781 Yorktown Campaign. The book of army regulations spans ca. 1797-1798, while the account book covers 1816-1824. The book of poetry is handwritten but undated and unsigned.

In addition to this finding aid, the Clements Library has created a full list of letter-writers in the James McHenry papers: James McHenry Contributor List.


Tailyour family papers, 1743-2003 (majority within 1780-1840)

12.75 linear feet

The collection focuses primarily on John Tailyour, a Scottish merchant who traveled to North America and Jamaica in the 1770s and 1780s to conduct business, before finally returning to his home in Scotland in 1792. His correspondence is heavily business related, centering especially on his trading of slaves, foodstuffs, and sundry goods. It also chronicles the current events in both Jamaica and the Empire. Many of Tailyour's correspondents debate the meaning and merit of the cessation of the slave trade in the late 18th century, as well as the military events of the American and Haitian revolutions, and of the Maroon rebellion of 1795. The papers also include letters between John and his family in Scotland regarding John's mixed-race Jamaican children. He sent three of his children to Britain to be educated, which caused much family concern. Tailyour's account books and financial papers relate both to his Jamaican estate and business, and to his Scottish estate, from which he received added income from rents. The accounts for this estate continue for several decades after Tailyour’s death in 1815. A number of disparate and miscellaneous letters, war records, photographs, and realia that belonged to various members of the extended Tailyour family date mainly from the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

The collection has three substantial parts. The most comprehensive and cohesive section is the one concerning John Tailyour, until his death in 1815. The second part contains business papers and accounts related to the Tailyour estate. The third part is the least integrated, and consists of a variety of family papers, photographs, military memorabilia, and other miscellanea.

The Tailyour papers date from 1743 to 2003, with the majority of the collection concentrating in the period from 1780 to 1840. Within these bulk dates, are the two largest portions of the collection: the correspondence and accounts of John Tailyour until his death in 1815, and the account records of the Tailyour estate after 1815.

Seven boxes contain John Tailyour's personal and business correspondence of 3757 letters. The letters focus on Tailyour's mercantile activities in the Atlantic market, especially on the slave trade, its profitability, and the threat posed by abolitionists. Tailyour's correspondence also chronicles personal and family matters, including the education and provision for his mixed-race children from Jamaica. In addition, the collection contains four of Tailyour's letter books of 1116 copies of retained letters that cover the period from 1780 to 1810, with the exception of the years 1786-7 and 1793-1803. In these letters, Tailyour's focus is business, particularly as it relates to the slave trade, but he also includes personal messages to his friends and family.

Tailyour's business papers contain 32 loose account records, as well as five account books documenting the years between 1789-90 and 1798-1816. These primarily concern his Kingston and Scottish estates, including the expense accounts and balance sheets for each, as well as the finances of his merchant activities during the period. Finally, 38 documents of probate records for John Tailyour mainly relate to his landed estate.

The latter portion of collection within these bulk years (1815-1840) also contains correspondence and accounts, although the 228 letters are almost entirely concerned with business accounts. These focus on Tailyour's estate after his death, with John's brother Robert as the main correspondent. Additional materials include 1761 business papers that chronicle the finances of the estate, 11 account books, and 6 hunting books. The business letters and account books detail the estate's expense accounts and receipts, as well as the balances for their annual crops, salmon fishing business, and profits derived from the rents collected on their land. The hunting books contain descriptive accounts of the family's hunts and inventories of their hunting dogs.

The third, and final, part of the collection consists of Tailyour family records (bulk post-1815), including 49 letters from various family members in the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries and five letterbooks, kept by Alexander Renny Tailyour and Thomas Renny Tailyour. 4 account books are also present kept by Alexander Renny Tailyour and others. Some of the records concern the First World War, including a group of prisoner-of-war records sent from Germany, and journals kept at home that detail news of the war, and daily domestic activities.

The family history documents include 64 genealogical records and 58 probate records. Many of the genealogical items are brief notes on family history, and sketches of the family tree, including a large family tree that spans several hundred years to the present day. The probate records contain one will from the late-nineteenth century, but are otherwise entirely concerned with John Tailyour's estate in the years immediately after his death.

Of the printed records, Memoirs of my Ancestors (1884), by Hardy McCall is a genealogy of the McCall family, and Tailyour's Marykirk and Kirktonhill's estates are described in two printed booklets, one of which is an advertisement for Kirktonhill's sale in the early-twentieth century. Other printed material includes 14 various newspaper clippings concerning the family over the years, and 12 miscellaneous items.

The illustrations, artwork, and poetry comprise 14 fashion engravings, 12 sailing illustrations, a picture of a hunting cabin, two silhouettes, and a royal sketch, all of which date from the early- to mid-nineteenth century. Kenneth R. H. Tailyour's sketches are represented in two sketch books created in his younger years (1917 and 1920). Loose records of poetry, as well as a book of poems from George Taylor, are in this section.

The 221 photographs are of the Tailyour family from the late-nineteenth to the twentieth century, with the majority falling in the early decades of the twentieth century. Most are portraits of the Tailyour family from the early twentieth century, particularly Kenneth R. H. Tailyour.

The 138 pieces of ephemera are, for the most part, postcards of foxhunts during the nineteenth century. These announce the almost-weekly family foxhunts during the middle years of the nineteenth century. The 19 items of realia, include Robert Taylor's quill pen from 1826.

The audio-visual portion of the collection contains three items: a compact disc with an audio interview of John Dann, Director of the Clements Library, on National Public Radio's "The Todd Mundt Show;" a compact disc with photos of the West Indies; and a collection of photographs of the Tailyour papers in their uncatalogued state, and of the festivities surrounding the acquisition of the collection.

Finally, miscellaneous material of 18 pieces includes Robert Taylor's commonplace book of short stories, letters, and poems; the catalogue of Robert Taylor's books; James Tailyour's 1771 style and form book; and a communion book.


Tobias Lear papers, 1791-1817

0.25 linear feet

The Tobias Lear papers consist of correspondence and a journal related to Lear's career as the consul general at Algiers, to his contribution during the War of 1812 as a war department secretary, and as a negotiator of prisoner exchanges with the British. Of particular importance is Lear's contemporary account of the illness and death of George Washington.

The Tobias Lear papers (140 items) are comprised of 118 letters, one diary, and two engravings. The letters are almost all written by Lear, and relate primarily to his career as the United States Consul General to Tunis and Algiers, and to his contribution to the War of 1812, both as a prisoner negotiator with the British and as a war department secretary. He wrote the bulk of the letters (35) to his wife Frances Dandridge Henley Lear; these contain lengthy discussions of his personal and professional life. Of particular importance is Lear's contemporary account of the illness and death of George Washington.

The first six items relate to Lear's connection with George Washington, including a letter to Washington concerning generals St. Clair and Knox in Philadelphia, and payments for living expenses received by Lear from the United States Treasury. Of note is a record of Lear's eyewitness account of Washington’s death, which provides details on Washington suffering from “the croup,” the doctor's bleeding treatment, and Washington’s last words (between 10 and 11 p.m. on December 14, 1799). Also of note is a letter from Thomas Dobson of Philadelphia concerning the publication of a biography of Washington.

The collection contains one item from Lear's appointment as consul to Saint Domingue, in which he described an uprising against Toussaint L'Ouverture to Secretary of State James Madison (October 27, 1801).

Thirty-nine items relate to Lear's activities as consul general to the Barbary States, including many lengthy letters to his wife describing the negotiations for ransom and Mediterranean trade rights. Lear's negotiations with the Bashaw of Tripoli resulted in the release of some 300 Americans imprisoned as a result of the capture of the frigate Philadelphia. The items dated 1807 give an account of Lear's successful negotiations with the Bey of Tunis.

Other items of note:
  • July 14, 1803: Copies of letters from James Madison to James Leander Cathcart and Richard O'Brien dealing with affairs between the United States and Barbary potentates: the Bey of Tunis, the Dey of Algiers, and the Pasha of Tripoli
  • July 16, 1803 and June 9, 1804: Contemporary copies of letters from Thomas Jefferson to the Dey of Algiers, appointing Lear as consul general
  • January 1-17, 1804: A 36-page journal describing the negotiation process in Algiers as well as Algerian food, culture, and customs
  • May 1, 1804: "Directions for the Captains of merchant vessels; or vessels bringing the Annuities from the United States to Algiers"
  • June 1804: President Thomas Jefferson to Mustapha Pacha, Dey of the City and Regency of Algiers
  • August 4, 1804: Orders from Edward Preble concerning Commodore Stephen Decatur and William Bainbridge
  • [1804]: Instructions for American ships of war to follow when approaching Algiers
  • June 4, 1805: Copy of the "Treaty of Peace and Amity" between the United States and the Pasha of Tripoli
  • December 31, 1805-June 28, 1806: Letters among Jefferson, Madison, and Sidi Suliman Melli Melli concerning relations with Tripoli
  • May 30 and September 7, 1807: Letter from James Madison to Tobias Lear concerning the settlement with Algiers, the Chesapeake Affair, and poor relations with Britain
  • August 8, 1812: Letter from Lear to Charles D. Coxe concerning the state of the Mediterranean and being expelled from Algiers

Twenty-seven items relate to the events surrounding Lear's mission to Plattsburg, New York, for a prisoner exchange with the British during the War of 1812. The exchange was largely negotiated between United States Brigadier General William Winder, George Prevost, and British Colonel Edward Baynes, with Lear present to ratify the agreement. United States Army officer Christopher Van Deventer (1788-1838) was among the hostages released. Present are letters from Commissary General of Prisoners General John Mason, Secretary of State James Monroe, and British Commissioner Thomas Barclay, concerning the prisoner negotiations. Included are lists of the American officers and militia men captured at Detroit, a list of the British soldiers held by the United States, and a memorandum of Lear's expenses incurred during the mission. Also of interest is the letter from Lear to his wife describing a trip by steamboat to Albany (July 4, 1814).

Correspondence written in 1815 and 1816 includes 19 letters dealing with settlement of War of 1812 officers' accounts, most to Robert Brent of the War Department, and letters to his wife relating information on his life in Washington and about news of family and friends. The sole letter written after Lear's death concerns his son Benjamin Lincoln Lear's portion of his father's estate (March 21, 1817).

In addition to the letters and journal are two engravings accompanying the letter from August 4, 1804. One shows both sides of the "Preble Medal" (1804), and the other is a portrait of United States Navy officer Edward Preble (1761-1807), engraved by T. Kelly (undated).


Turner-Harlan family papers, 1725-1924 (majority within 1799-1924)

3.5 linear feet

The Turner-Harlan family papers are made up of correspondence, legal and financial documents, photographs, scrapbooks, genealogical information, and other materials spanning multiple generations of the Turner and Harlan families of Newport, Rhode Island, and Maryland. The collection particularly regards US Navy Surgeon Dr. William Turner (1775-1837), Commodore Peter Turner (1803-1871), Hettie Foster Harlan née Turner (1850-1937), and their relations.

Collection Scope and Content Note:

The Turner-Harlan family papers are made up of correspondence, legal and financial documents, photographs, scrapbooks, genealogical information, and other materials spanning multiple generations of the Turner and Harlan families of Newport, Rhode Island, and Maryland. The collection particularly regards US Navy Surgeon Dr. William Turner (1775-1837), Commodore Peter Turner (1803-1871), Hettie Foster Harlan née Turner (1850-1937), and their relations. The papers are arranged into five series: Turner Family Papers, Harlan Family Papers, Photographs, Printed Materials, and Turner-Harlan genealogical papers

The Turner Family Papers seriesconsists of 112 letters to and from members of the Turner family and their associates, five log books, and assorted ephemera, with most items dating between 1790 and 1860.

The Turner family Correspondence and Documents subseries contains 112 incoming and outgoing letters and documents of members of the Turner family between 1749 and 1871 (bulk 1799-1840s).

The largest coherent groups within this subseries are 40 letters and documents of Dr. William Turner (1775-1837), revolving largely around his military and medical careers between 1799 and 1837; and 49 letters and documents of Peter Turner (1803-1871), most of them letters to his parents while in naval training and service, 1820-1844. Selected examples from William Turner's manuscripts include:

  • August 2 and 13, 1752, letter by William Turner (1712/13-1754) to his father, written with mirrored lettering. He discussed his fears of small pox in Newark; the tremor in his right hand, which forces him to write with his left; and a 30-pound debt.
  • Christopher R. Perry's appointment of William Turner (1775-1837) as chief surgeon of the frigate General Greene, August 31, 1799.
  • An October 10, 1799, letter by Dr. William Turner from Cap François, Saint-Domingue, in which he relates Captain Perry's description of Toussaint Louverture.
  • A September 20, 1800, letter by Dr. Turner defending his assessment and actions relating to a yellow fever outbreak originating from the General Greene on its arrival in Newport, Rhode Island.
  • Oliver Hazard Perry ALS to his mother, ca. 1807-1808, informing her of the death of Benjamin Turner, who was killed in a duel over an argument about Shakespeare's plays.
  • A letter from Henry Fry respecting the personal effects of Dr. Peter Turner, who died of wounds sustained at Plattsburgh (October 17, 1813).
  • Three letters to Hettie Foster Turner from siblings Lillie and George Turner relate information about the health of family members in E. Greenwich, Rhode Island. One of these letters is dated October 18, 1813, the others are undated.
  • William Turner's December 23, 1814, letter to General Thomas Cushing, explaining that one condition of his current appointment must be permission to continue his private practice while also tending to garrison duty.
  • Three manuscript Portsmouth Marine Barracks countersign-watchword documents from August 22 and 24, and October 31, 1849. The August 24, 1849, countersign "Revolution" matched watchword "Cuba."
  • Family letters of Henry E. Turner, William C. Turner, George Turner, and others

The 49 letters and documents of Peter Turner are largely comprised of correspondence with his parents. Turner wrote as a midshipman aboard vessels in the West Indian and Mediterranean squadrons during the 1820s. He sent his most robust letters from Rio de Janeiro on July 10, 1826, and aboard the US Ship Falmouth on a voyage to Vera Cruz in 1828. Turner met the Erie at Vera Cruz, expecting to find his brother William C. Turner aboard, but the sibling had been left at Pensacola for unspecified reasons. Peter Turner received the disconcerting news of the death of a family member and wrote about his distress at not being able to return home. He updated his parents as he traveled to Pensacola and then the Navy Yard at Charleston, South Carolina. Later in 1828, he joined the US Ship Hornet on a voyage to Brooklyn; yellow fever took the lives of three midshipmen on the trip (November 19, 1828).

From 1828 to 1829, Peter Turner wrote from Brooklyn, where he became an officer in March 1829. The remainder of Peter Turner's correspondence and documents are scattered, including for example:

  • A May 4, 1828, letter respecting the estate of Dr. William Turner of Newport, Rhode Island.
  • A May 11, 1844, letter by Peter Turner from Rio de Janeiro on stationery bearing an engraved view of the "Praca do Commercio" [Praça do Comércio] by Friedrich Pustkow.
  • A letter to Turner respecting a check for $25, which was bequeathed to Turner from commodore Uriah P. Levy, December 1862.
  • Three letters and documents respecting the transfer of ownership for pew 83 in Trinity Church, Newport, Rhode Island, in January 1862.
  • Two documents regarding $1,387 owed to the estate of William Mathews by the US Naval Asylum in June 1863.

The Turner family Logbooks subseries includes five log books from three different United States Navy vessels:

  • US Schooner Nonsuch, August 8, 1821-May 19, 1823. Daniel Turner commanded this vessel on its voyage from the New York Navy Yard to Port Mahon [Minorca] and subsequent service in the Mediterranean. The volume includes five watercolor coastal profiles or views (Corsica, Cape St. Vincent, Milo, and Corvo).
  • US Schooner Nonsuch, September 9, 1824-December 14, 1824. Daniel Turner, commanded this ship from Palermo Bay, south along the African coastline, past the Canary Islands, and to the Navy Yard at New York.
  • US Schooner Nonsuch, November 1, 1824-December 3, 1824; December 11, 1826-December 31, 1826. The remainder of the volume contains illustrated mathematical propositions related to conic sections and spherical geometry.
  • US Schooner Shark, August 5, 1827-October 24, 1827. Isaac McKeever served as commander of the Shark during this voyage from the coast of Nova Scotia to the United States Naval Seminary at the New York Navy Yard. The remainder of the book, beginning at the opposite cover, is comprised of question and answer format essays on aspects of seamanship. The author was an unidentified individual at the Naval Seminary. The essays are followed by a celestial map.
  • US Ship Southampton, December 15, 1850-October 31, 1851. Lieutenant Peter Turner commanded the Southampton during the ship's December 30, 1850-October 31, 1851, voyage. The ship set sail from the Brooklyn Navy Yard, traveled around Cape Horn, and arrived at San Francisco harbor.

The remainder of the Turner family series includes miscellaneous writings and cards. The three pieces of writing include a recipe for "Dr. King's Diarrhoea Mixture" (undated); a note from "Daughter" to her mother, secretly pleading with her to change the daughter's teacher (undated), and "Lines on the Death of Miss Martha Turner" (September 17, 1870). Five calling and visiting cards date from the 1850s to the late 19th century.

The Harlan Family Papers series includes approximately 250 items relating to the lives of the Harlan family. The series includes correspondence, legal and financial papers, and scrapbooks.

The Harlan family Correspondence subseries contains 45 letters to and from members of the Harlan family, 1846-1925, with the bulk of the materials falling between the 1880s and the 1910s. A majority concerns the everyday lives of the Henry and Hettie (Turner) Harlan family, including their siblings and children. The most prevalent writers and recipients include Hettie's brother James Turner Harlan of Philadelphia; William H. Harlan of the law firm of Harlan & Webster in Bel Air, Maryland; and Hettie's aunt Ada H. Turner.

One item of particular interest is a letter from "David" [Harlan?] to Henry Harlan, dated August 12-14, [1846], and written aboard the US Steamship Princeton (during the US-Mexico War). David summarized and speculated about current political matters, including tensions relating to the ousting of President Salinas, the assumption of the presidency by Paredes, and the anticipation of the return of Santa Anna. He also provided a lengthy anecdote about the laborious process of loading sheep and cattle from the shores of Sacrificios onto the Princeton.

The Harlan family Legal and Financial documents subseries contains 165 items, dating primarily between 1815 and 1924, and consisting of land deeds and contracts, estate-related materials, and assorted receipts, accounts, checks, and other financial materials. The bulk of the real property referred to in the documentation was in Harford County, Maryland.

One bundle of 21 telegrams, manuscript notes, and newspaper clippings trace the April 1902 Disappearance and Suicide of James V. P. Turner, a prominent Philadelphia lawyer and son of Commodore Peter Turner.

A group of 12 miscellaneous Writings, Cards, and Invitations date from the 1870s to the 20th century. These include 1877 New Year's resolutions by Hettie F. Turner; an 1886 "Journal of Jimmie & Pansie Harlan's Doings and sayings" [By Hettie Foster Turner Harlan?]; a handwritten program for Darlington Academy commencement entertainments, June 18, 1897; and a typed graduation speech titled "We Launch To-night! Where Shall We Anchor?" ([James T. Harlan?], Darlington Academy, class of 1899).

The Photographs series includes six cyanotypes, three cartes-de-visite, four snapshots and paper prints, and three negatives depicting members of the Turner and Harlan families. The CDVs are portraits of Commodore Peter Turner (unidentified photographer), a 16 year-old Henry Harlan (by Richard Walzl of Baltimore), and Hettie Foster Turner Harlan in secondary mourning attire (by Philadelphia photographers Broadbent & Phillips). The cyanotypes, prints, and negatives include 1890s-1910s images of the family's Strawberry Hill estate, Henry and Hettie Harlan, "Pansy" (Hettie F. Harlan), and other family members.

The Scrapbook subseries is comprised of six scrapbooks relating to different elements of the Harlan family.

  • "Old Harlan Papers" scrapbook, 1750-late 19th century, bulk 1810s-1840s. Includes 19th century copies of 18th century land documents. Land documents, property maps, and other legal documentation largely respecting Harford County, Maryland, lands. The real property includes "Durbin's Chance," "Betty's Lot," "Stump's Chance," and other properties. The original and copied manuscripts are pasted or laid into a picture cut-out scrapbook belonging to Peter Smith, ca. 1960s (Smith may or may not have been the compiler of the "Old Harlan Papers").
  • Harlan Family scrapbook, March 21, 1793-[20th century]. This volume includes land deeds, contracts, documents, letters, printed items, and genealogical materials related to multiple generations of the Harlan family, particularly in Maryland. Of note is a March 6, 1835, legal agreement respecting the sale of Emory, a 17-year old slave, by Anne Page to Dr. David Harlan, Kent County, Maryland.
  • Harlan Family scrapbook, "Furniture References," 1860s-1960s, bulk 1890s-1920s. This volume contains interior and exterior photographs of the Harlans' "Strawberry Hill" farm near Stafford, Maryland. Some of these photographs include notes about the furniture depicted in them. Other significant materials include approximately 15 letters by Hettie F. Harlan, James V. P. Harlan, and others, 1898-1902.; and an 1864 "Great Central Fair" committee ticket for Hettie F. Turner (a "Lady's Ticket"), accompanied by a tintype portrait of two women.
  • James T. Harlan, "Photographs" album, 1906-1913, 1948-1949. Harford and Baltimore County, Maryland. Interiors and Exteriors of Harlan and Stump family homes; travel photos to Perry Point (Perryville), Maryland, in 1910. 1909/1910 motorcycles, 1906, 1909, and 1910 snapshots from the Baltimore Automobile Show; a 1911 trip to Newport, Rhode Island; ca. 1905-1907 trip to Druid Hill Park; snapshots of James T. Harlan's Baltimore office, National Surety Company of New York.
  • Cleveland Commission for the celebration of the Centennial of Perry's Victory on Lake Erie (Perry Centennial Committee of Cleveland, Ohio) scrapbook, 1913. Newspaper clippings, correspondence, real photo and picture postcards, a printed program "The Progress of Woman" (September 16, 1913); printed invitation card for a reception held by the "Committee on Women's Organizations of the Cleveland Commission Perry's Victory Centennial" September 15, 1913); mounted paper portrait photograph of William G. Turner, 1902.
  • Handmade album titled "Harford" by an unidentified compiler. Through pasted-in postcards, snapshots, verses from newspaper clippings, and plant matter, the unidentified compiler documented their sentimental attachment for scenes and people in Harford County, Maryland (particularly Stafford and Darlington).

The Printed Materials series includes:

  • Approximately 20 newspaper clippings (19th-early 20th century) and a single copy of the newspaper Public Ledger (v. 1, no. 1; Philadelphia, Friday Morning, March 25, 1836).
  • In Memory of Elizabeth Dale, Widow of Admiral George C. Read, 2nd ed. (Philadelphia, 1863).
  • Henry E. Turner, M.D., Greenes of Warwick in Colonial History. Read Before the Rhode Island Historical Society, February 27, 1877 (Newport, RI, 1877).
  • [The Quaker Calendar], Westtown 1907 (Philadelphia: Printed by Leeds & Biddle Co. [incomplete]).
  • University of Maryland Annual Commencement. Academy of Music. Monday Afternoon, May Thirty-First at Four O'Clock (1909)
  • William Jarboe Grove, Carrollton Manor Frederick Country Maryland. By William Jarboe Grove, Lime Kiln, Maryland., March 29th, 1921 (198 pages [incomplete]).
  • Charles D. Holland, Some Landmarks of Colonial History in Harford County, Maryland (Baltimore, 1933).
  • "Commodores Belt of Blue Cloth and Gold Embroidery." Addressed to Commodore Peter Turner from the Navy Department. One page, showing design for a commodore's belt and sword sling, and including a manuscript notation "This is correct" (undated).
  • One page "prayer."

The Turner-Harlan Genealogy series consists of a wide array of materials relating to genealogical research of the Turner-Harlan families. Items include handwritten family trees, familial biographies, and professionally-produced genealogical items. Also included are 20th century Harlan family newsletters.