James Habersham papers
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James Habersham papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Habersham, James, 1715-1775.
Title: James Habersham papers
Dates: 1747-1775
Extent: 0.4 cubic feet (19 folders)
Identification: MS 0337

Biographical/Historical Note

James Habersham (1712-1775) was born in Yorkshire, England in January, 1712. He came to Savannah in 1738 and founded the Bethesda Orphan Home with George Whitefield; from 1741 to 1744, Habersham ran the orphanage. In 1744, he left this position to start the firm Harris & Habersham, one of the earliest such businesses in Savannah. He married Mary Bolton on December 26, 1740. Habersham took an active part in the political affairs of Georgia: he was elected president of the upper house of the General Assembly in 1767. In the absence of Governor Sir James Wright in 1771-1773, Habersham served as Acting Governor. He was a prosperous land owner and a strong advocate for allowing slavery in Georgia. When, in 1749, slavery became legal in the state, Habersham established many rice plantations. Forever loyal to England, he died in New Brunswick, New Jersey, August 28, 1775, shortly before the outbreak of the American Revolution.


Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of portions of his letter books, letters received, and other papers. Many of his papers are lost, including the originals of the letter books. Fortunately some of the original letter books were copied and used for the publication of his letters. The miscellaneous letters to Habersham are from George Whitefield, November 24(29?), 1752; 17 letters of William Knox, Georgia's Colonial Agent, 1767-1771, many of which are answers to Habersham's letters published in Collections; two letters from Wills Hill (Lord Hillsborough), 1771-1772, both of which are in the unpublished Colonial Records of the State of Georgia, ed. by A.D. Candler, XXXVIII, p. 552, 582. Other papers are a letter from Habersham to Mr. Berrien at Prince Town, November 29, 1763, re the education of his sons; receipt, George McIntosh to James Habersham, December 10, 1766; fragments from a page of an account book, 1765-1766; and unidentified comments on the proposed charter fro Bethesda College (George Whitefield to Habersham?), not dated.

Folders 11-17 contain photocopies of the carbon copy of letters published in volume 6 of the Collections of the Georgia Historical Society: The Letters of Hon. James Habersham, 1756-1775 (1904). The carbons from which these photocopies were made were typescripts of letters from the above transcripts and from letters in the possession of the Habersham family at the time of publication. The letters are not in chronological order, but in the order in which the pages were numbered.


Index Terms

Bethesda College (Savannah, Ga.)
Creek Indians.
Dartmouth, William Legge, Earl of, 1731-1801.
Habersham, James, 1715-1775.
Huntingdon, Selina Hastings, Countess of, 1707-1791.
Jackson, James, 1757-1806.
Letter books.
Letters (correspondence)
Plantations--Georgia.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Unknown.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], James Habersham papers, MS 337, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Robert Habersham, 1840; Mary Butler Habersham, Unknown; Edna B. Kitchens, 1938; Margaret McLaughlin, 1962.


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.


Publication Note

Portions of the collection published in Collections of the Georgia Historical Society: The Letters of Honorable James Habersham, 1756-1775, v.6 (1904).


Sponsorship

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

Container List

 

Fldr

1Item 1 (part 1 of 3): Letter book, 1764 March-1766 February
The book is labeled Book No. 1 and Book C. The letters are addressed to William Knox, Richard Stockton, Millet(?) Taylor, Benjamin Franklin, William Russell, William Symonds, Samuel Finley, George Whitefield, Daniel Roubadeau, Mrs. Wright, Henry Laurens, and Joseph Tuckwell.
 

Fldr

2Item 1 (part 2 of 3): Letter book, 1767 November-1768 May
The book is labeled May 1767-November 1768; however, the transcribed letters date from November 7, 1767-May 10, 1768. They are addressed to William Knox, Henry Laurens, John Clark, Charles Pryce, and Joseph Habersham (James' son).
 

Fldr

3Item 1 (part 3 of 3): Letters, 1770 October-1771 March
The letters are addressed to William Knox, Joseph Habersham, John Ellis, Robert Wells, Thomas Broughton, Robert Keen, the Countess of Huntingdon, the Earl of Dartmouth, Samuel Levy, and Messrs. Graham, Clark & Co.
 

Fldr

Item

42Item 2 (part 1 of 7): Letters, 1771 May-June
These are transcripts of letters to the Countess of Huntingdon, Henry Laurens, and the Earl of Dartmouth.
 

Fldr

5Item 2 (part 2 of 7): Letter book, 1771 April-July
This transcript is labeled Book No. 4 and Book H. These letters are addressed to Robert keen, the Countess of Huntingdon, Henry Laurens, the Earl of Dartmouth, Cornelius Winter, Messrs. Graham & Clark, John Clark, Jacob Duche, and James Wright.
 

Fldr

6Item 2 (part 3 of 7): Letter book, 1771 October-1772 January
This transcript is labeled Book No. 3. The letters are addressed to James Wright, Samuel Lloyd, William Knox, John Nutt, John Clark, and Henry Ellis.
 

Fldr

7Item 2 (part 4 of 7): Letter book, 1772 April-September
These transcribed letters are addressed to the Earl of Hillsborough, William Knox, James Jackson, George Galphin, and John Moultrie.
 

Fldr

8Item 2 (part 5 of 7): Letters, 1772 February-December
These letters are transcribed from Book No. 5. They are addressed to William Knox, Messrs. Graham & Clark, James Wright, Isabella (Bella) Wright, Jeremiah Theus, John Nutt, George Galphin, and the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations.
 

Fldr

9Item 2 (part 6 of 7): Letters, 1773 January-1774 February
These letters are transcribed from Books L and M. They are addressed to Charles Prince (Pryce), the Countess of Huntingdon, William Knox, and Mrs. Mary Bagwith (James' sister).
 

Fldr

10Item 2 (part 7 of 7): Letter book, 1775 April -May
These letters are transcribed from Book N. They are addressed to Messrs Clark & Milligan, John Edwards, Abraham Hayne, the Countess of Huntingdon, and Robert Keen.
 

Fldr

11Item 2 (part 1 of 7): Letters, 1763 April-1770 August
The letters are addressed to William Knox, Charles Ganth, and Benjamin Franklin.
 

Fldr

12Item 3 (part 2 of 7): Letters, 1765 April-1775 April
The letters are addressed to William Knox, James Wright, William Shipley, Samuel Lloyd, the Earl of Hillsborough, the countess of Huntingdon, Messrs. Clark & Milligan, Henry Laurens, Joseph Tuckwell, and George Whitefield.
 

Fldr

13Item 3 (part 3 of 7): Letters, 1764 March-1771 January
The letters are addressed to William Knox, Richard Stockton, Benjamin Franklin, Ralph Clay, William Russell, William Symonds, Samuel Finley, George Whitefield, Daniel Roubadeau, Messrs. Deberdt & Barkit, Mrs. Wright, Joseph Habersham, John Ellis, Robert Wells, Thomas Broughton, the Countess of Huntingdon, and Robert Keen.
 

Fldr

14Item 3 (part 4 of 7): Letters, 1767 November-1772 January
The letters are addressed to the Countess of Huntingdon, the Earl of Dartmouth, Samuel Lloyd, Messrs. Graham, Clark & Co., William Knox, Robert Keen, James Wright, John Nutt, John Clark, Henry Ellis, and Henry Laurens.
 

Fldr

15Item 3 (part 5 of 7): Letters, 1747 June-1772 June
The letters are addressed to Charles Pryce, Joseph Habersham, the Countess of Huntingdon, Henry Laurens, the Earl of Dartmouth, Robert Keen, Cornelius Winter, Messrs. Graham & Clark, Jacob Duche, James Wright, John Clark, the Earl of Hillsborough, and William Knox.
 

Fldr

16Item 3 (part 6 of 7): Letters, 1772 February-December
The letters are addressed to James Jackson, George Galphin, the Earl of Hillsborough, John Moultrie, the Lords Commissioners for Trade and Plantations, James Wright, William Knox, Jeremiah Theus, John Nutt, Isabella Wright, and Messsrs. Graham & Clark.
 

Fldr

17Item 3 (part 7 of 7): Letters, 1772 May-1775 May
The letters are addressed to James Wright, William Knox, Charles Price (Pryce), the Countess of Huntingdon, Mary Bagwith, Messrs. Clark & Milligan, John Edwards, and Abraham Hayne.
 

Fldr

Item

184-22Letters and miscellaneous papers, 1752-1770
Included are letters from William Knox regarding the management of his plantation, letters from John Clark and Graham Clark, a note on a letter of George Whitefield, a receipt from George Mackintosh for surveying land in St. Mary's Parish, and a fragment of a page from an account book.
 

Fldr

Item

1923-32Letters and written proposal, 1771-1772, undated
These letters are from the Earl of Hillsborough re the Assembly, silk culture in Ebenezer, and the Creek Indians; and letters from William Knox and Graham Clark. There is also an undated paper on the proposed College of Georgia at Bethesda, modeled after the charter of New York College, re wardens, doctrines, practices, and books.