William Gibbons letters
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William Gibbons letters

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Gibbons, William, -1852.
Title: William Gibbons letters
Dates: 1820, 1835
Extent: 0.05 cubic feet (1 folder)
Identification: MS 0305

Biographical/Historical Note

William Gibbons (d. 1852) inherited his vast fortune from his father, Thomas Gibbons (1757-1826). Thomas Gibbons was a former mayor of Savannah, Georgia (1791-1792, 1794-1795, 1799-1801), and an attorney and rice planter. His Savannah plantation was called "Whitehall." In addition to his plantation holdings, Thomas Gibbons held a half interest in the New York-New Jersey ferry rights. In 1802, Thomas and William left Georgia to buy up portions of the Elizabethtown, New Jersey waterfront, amassing a large interest in the ferry rights. In 1824, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Gibbons' favor in the Ogden vs. Gibbons case, a decision which ended steamboat monopoly in all states and one which continues to influence decisions regulating public transport. Following Thomas' death in 1826, William sold this interest and began breeding thoroughbred race horses in New Jersey. In 1832, he started buying land for his horses and by 1851 he owned 1,000 acres in New Jersey. Between 1833 and 1836, William Gibbons built the Greek Revival house he named "The Mansion" on the family estate, "The Forest" in Morris County, New Jersey.


Scope and Content Note

The William Gibbons letters include correspondence between William Gibbons and his father, Thomas regarding business in Savannah and two letters from John Lamar Jr. to William Gibbons regarding the breeding of horses. Of particular interest are references to the sale of Swamp Plantation, the widening of Bay Lane, the erection of new buildings in Savannah, and the loss of Matthew McAllister's buildings to fire in 1820.


Index Terms

Animal breeding.
Building sites.
Gibbons, Thomas, 1757-1826.
Gibbons, William, -1852.
Lamar, J. B., (John Basil), 1812-1862.
Letters (correspondence)
McAllister, Matthew Hall, 1800-1865.
Roads--Widening.
Savannah (Ga.)--History--19th century.
Swamp Plantation (Ga.)

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Unknown.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], William Gibbons letters, MS 305, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Symmachus Trading Company, Boston, Massachusetts, 1950.


Restrictions

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.


Sponsorship

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

Container List

 
Item 1: From William Gibbons to Thomas Gibbons in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. Savannah, Georgia, 1820 March 23 ( 3.0 p. )
Buildings being erected in Savannah.
 
Item 2: From William Gibbons to Thomas Gibbons in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. Savannah, Georgia, 1820 May 7 ( 3.0 p. )
Contains report of City Recorder concerning widening of Bay Lane; talks about plan of George Jones and Matthew McAllister to have Bay Lane widened and losses McAllister sustained in a fire.
 
Item 3: From John Lamar, Jr. to William Gibbons in New York. Macon, Georgia, 1835 June 3 ( 3.0 p. )
Breeding and raising horses; tells about making speech to literary society at Franklin College.
 
Item 4: From John Lamar, Jr. to William Gibbons in New York. Macon, Georgia, 1835 June 3 ( 3.0 p. )
Regarding the buying and selling of horses.
 
Item 5: From William Gibbons to Thomas Gibbons in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. Savannah, Georgia, 1820 June 25 ( 3.0 p. )
Freight receipts for title and sale of Swamp Plantation.