Joseph Clay and Company papers
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Joseph Clay and Company papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Joseph Clay and Company (Savannah, Ga.)
Title: Joseph Clay and Company papers
Dates: 1772-1776
Extent: 0.5 cubic feet (2 volumes, 1 microfilm roll)
Identification: MS 0153

Biographical/Historical Note

Joseph Clay and Company was based on a partnership between Joseph Clay and Joseph Habersham.

Joseph Clay (1741-1804) came to Savannah from England in 1760. He was a planter engaged in rice cultivation and a businessman associated with several firms throughout his career. He was a member of the Council of Safety, 1775; Deputy Paymaster General of the Southern Department, 1777-1782; delegate to the Continental Congress, 1778-1780; Treasurer of Georgia, 1782; and trustee for the establishment of the University of Georgia, 1785.

Joseph Habersham (1751-1815), son of James Habersham, graduated from Princeton University and became a merchant in Savannah, first with his brother James and later with his cousin Joseph Clay. At the outbreak of the Revolution, he was a member of the Council of Safety and took part in some of the actions of the "Liberty Boys." He was involved with the party that arrested Governor Sir James Wright in 1776. He was commissioned by the Council of Safety as a Major of a battalion with the 1st Georgia Regiment, Continental Line in 1776 and rose to the rank of Colonel. He resigned his commission in 1778. He was a delegate to the Continental Congress, 1785-1786, Mayor of Savannah, 1792, and Post Master General of the United States, appointed by President George Washington in 1795.

Scope and Content Note

These papers consist of two letter books containing orders for goods and business letters.

Microfilm of collection is available for use, roll #C-152-01. The letter books appear as the fourth item on the roll.

Index Terms

Clay, Joseph, 1741-1804.
Commercial correspondence.
Habersham, Joseph, 1751-1815.
Joseph Clay and Company (Savannah, Ga.)
Letter books.

Physical and Technical Access Restrictions

The letter books are very fragile and cannot be used. Microfilm copies are available, roll #C-152-01. This collection is the fourth item on the roll.

A microfilm reader is required to access this collection.

Administrative Information

Custodial History


Preferred Citation

[item identification], Joseph Clay and Company papers, MS 153, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information



Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List



1Letter book, 1772-1774


2Letter book, 1774-1776


1C-0152-01. Letter books, appear as 4th item on the roll