Edward Telfair papers
New Search | Return to Search Results | View/Save/Print PDF

Edward Telfair papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Telfair, Edward, approximately 1735-1807.
Title: Edward Telfair papers
Dates: 1774-1807
Extent: 0.2 cubic feet (3 folders, 1 oversize folder)
Identification: MS 0791

Biographical/Historical Note

Edward Telfair (1737-1807) was born near Kirkudbright, Scotland, where he was educated in the public school system. He moved from Scotland to Virginia but soon relocated to Georgia in 1766, where he became a merchant. He was a member of the Commons House of Assembly from St. Pauls Parish, Augusta, but soon made his home in Savannah. He was an active patriot in the Revolutionary War, a member of the Provincial Congresses, and a member of the Continental Congress. He held several civil offices in the state, becoming it s Governor for the periods of 1786-1787 and 1789-1793.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of correspondence, a deed, a memo, and a talk given by Edward Telfair. Correspondents include George Walton, James and Thomas Castellaw, Seth John Cuthbert, Joseph Clay, the State of Georgia regarding confiscated estates (1788), James Jackson, Joseph Gibbons, William Few, John Wereat, Nicholas Anciaux, John Y. Noel, and Thomas Usher Pulaski Carlton. Some of the correspondence concerns Telfair's firm Telfair and Co. One letter written by Edward Telfair addresses the purchase of slaves. A letter from George Walton sends condolences on the death of Telfair's son, Edward Telfair, Jr. Thomas Usher Pulaski Carlton writes to Telfair regarding a near riot in Savannah because of the postponement of the execution of two African Americans in 1806. Also included in the collection are a deed from William Candler to Telfair for 500 acres in St. Pauls Parish (Richmond County); a talk given to the Cherokee Nation leaders by Edward Telfair asking that both sides punish their own men for murders; a memo addressed to the Citizens of Georgia regarding the draft for the Georgia Militia per the orders of the President of the United States; rules for ships and vessels arriving in the Savannah River with the intention of unloading cargo; and a broadside of the proceedings and resolutions of citizens of Savannah regarding the attacks of a British squadron on the U.S. frigate Chesapeake in 1807.

Index Terms

Broadsides (notices)
Cherokee Indians--Government relations.
Chesapeake (Frigate)
Clay, Joseph, 1741-1804.
Executions and executioners--Georgia--Savannah.
Georgia. Militia.
Letters (correspondence)
Port of Savannah (Ga.)
Richmond County (Ga.)
Slave trade--Georgia.
Speeches (documents)
Telfair and Co. (Ga.)
Telfair, Edward, approximately 1735-1807.
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.
Wereat, John, approximately 1733-1799.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Items 5 and 11 purchased from Walter R. Benjamin Autographs.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], Edward Telfair papers, MS 791, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Telfair Hospital Board, date unknown (Item 3); Charles Henry Hart, 1969 (Item 16); Margaret McLaughlin, date unknown (12 items). Purchased, 1951 (Item 5); 1897 (Item 11).


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



1Edward Telfair papers, 1774-1787

George Walton to William and Edward Telfair & Co., 1774 September 10, 1.0 p.
Regarding payment on a draft.

James and Thomas Castellaw of Granville County, S.C. to Edward Telfair, bond to perform covenant for payment of $5,000, 1777 October 25, 2.0 p.

Deed, William Candler to Edward Telfair, lease for 500 acres in St. Pauls Parish, 1780 January 18, 2.0 p.

Seth John Cuthbert to Edward Telfair. Augusta, 1780 August 26, 1.0 p.
Regarding settling account with Telfair & Co.

Memorial of Edward Telfair to Gov. Memorial Elbert and the Executive Council. Augusta, 1785 July 22, 2.0 p.
Requesting that sale of one moiety of lots in Brunswick granted to Edward and William Telfair be suspended by the Commissioners of confiscated Estates.

Edward Telfair to unknown recipient, 1785 May 27, 3.0 p.
Regarding purchase of slaves and business matters. First part of letter missing.

Joseph Clay to Edward Telfair, 1788 January 29, 1.0 p.
Regarding African Americans and business matters.

The State of Georgia to Edward Telfair, Dr. In the hand of John Wereat. On the back on Wereat's hand is this statement: "Copy of Edward Telfair's settled claims against Confiscated Estates...4th June 1788"

George Walton to Edward Telfair. Meadow Garden, Augusta, 1787 April 13, 1.0 p.


2Edward Telfair papers, 1791-1799

James Jackson to Edward Telfair. Augusta, 1791 December 14
Regarding a note due by Telfair to the estate of William Young, his father-in-law.

Joseph Gibbons to Edward Telfair, 1792 September 25
Enclosing Carolina money in payment of balance due by the Sheriff.

Talk to the Head Men and Warriors of the Cherokee Nation, by Gov. Edward Telfair. State House, Augusta, 1792 November 14, 3.0 p.
Positive photocopy. Please that the Cherokees and the white people punish their own men for murders by both sides.

William Few to the Governor Edward Telfair. Philadelphia, 1793 January 22, 1.0 p.
Regarding his efforts to enlist aid of the War. Dept. and the President in strengthening the frontier defenses of Georgia.

John Wereat to Edward Telfair. Philadelphia, 1793 February 14, 2.0 p.
Regarding the question before the Supreme Court as to whether a state could be sued by an individual. Chisholm vs. the State of Georgia, with some details of the Court's discussions.

John Wereat to Edward Telfair. Philadelphia, 1793 February 21, 2.0 p.
Regarding opinion of the Supreme Court on Chisholm vs. the State of Georgia.

Testimonial of Edward Telfair, 1793 May 20, 1.0 p.
In behalf of George Walton, William Stith, Jr., and Thomas Peter Carnes. "From the Papers of the Honble. Robt. Morris."

"Account sales & nt. Proceeds of Two Boxes indigo received from Mr. Robt. Bolton of Savannah to be sold for Account & Risk of His Excellency Edward Telfair, Esq." New York, 1793 August 2, 1.0 p.

To "the Citizens of Georgia", 1793?, 2.0 p.
In the hand of Edward Telfair, unsigned; re drafting of militia on orders of the President, and its consequences to citizens of the state.

Declaration of Edward Telfair with the Inspector of Revenue of entry of a carriage. Savannah, 1795 December 30
Printed form, not completely filled in.

Nicholas Anciaux to Edward Telfair. Savannah, 1795 August 26, 1.0 p.
Is sending rice to new York; account of sales of rice.

Edward Telfair to Jabez Bowen, 1798, 2.0 p.
Incomplete, retained copy of ALS. Re Bowen's unfitness as Judge of the Eastern District and his conduct on the Bench.

Edward Telfair to George Jones. Savannah, 1799 January 14, 1.0 p.
Requesting outline of business before the Georgia Senate; comments on long sessions.

Bond, John Walton of St. Pauls Parish to Edward Telfair, with join bond, John Walton, and Edward Telfair to John Simpson, 1777-1779, 2.0 p.
Certified copy. John Walton bond dated July 4, 1775. Join bond dated 1777-1779 and June 17, 1799.



323AWilliam Few to Edward Telfair. New York, 1802 April , 2.0 p.
Regarding business; mentions Telfair's sons and daughter Mary in New York.



324George Walton to Edward Telfair. Meadow Garden, 1802 July 5, 1.0 p.
Regrets he and Mrs. Walton cannot visit the Telfairs at this time.



325Edward Telfair to unknown recipient, 1803?, 4.0 p. , Incomplete, retained copy of ALS.
Regarding the Louisiana purchase and outstanding claims of militia for pay.



326Edward Telfair to John Y. Noel, 1805 April , 6.0 p. , Incomplete, retained copy of ALS.
Regarding claims of William Telfair.



327John Y. Noel to Edward Telfair. Savannah, 1805 April 23, 6.0 p.
Giving his opinion on the decree of the Court of Chancery of South Carolina on William Telfair's claims.



328Promissory note, John Wright to Edward Telfair, for 10 bushels of corn as rent on plantation. Louisville, Ga., 1805 November 17, 1.0 p.
Except for signature, it is in the hand of Edward Telfair.



329Thomas Usher Pulaski Charlton to Edward Telfair. Savannah, 1806 November 16, 4.0 p.
Regarding a near riot in Savannah because of postponement of the execution of African Americans convicted of insurrectional designs.



330Comments on victory of General Bennigsen Count Levin August von Bennigsen of the Russian Army, 1806
In the hand of Edward Telfair.



331"Petition of the Students of the New Jersey College to the Faculty with the conditions on which sons or wards are to be admitted." Nassau Hall, 1807 April 10
In hand of Edward Telfair.



332Edward Telfair to unknown recipient. Savannah, 1807 July 28, 1.0 p.
Instructions for the celebration of the French victory over Russia. Draft of remarks to the French Consul attached. This last is written on a mutilated letter in the hand of Edward Telfair re pay and apportionment of militia.



333Thomas Usher Pulaski Charlton to Edward Telfair. Savannah, 1807 August 3, 1.0 p.
Regarding drafting resolutions of Citizens of Savannah regarding the frigate Chesapeake.



335Rules for ships or vessels arriving in the River Savannah with the intention of unloading cargoes, undated
In hand of Edward Telfair.


1Edward Telfair, chairman of the Citizens of Savannah to the Committee of Correspondence, Providence, R.I. Savannah, 1807 August 8 ( 1.0 p. )
Sending proceedings and resolutions of the Citizens of Savannah re the attacks by a British Squadron on the U.S. Frigate Chesapeake. The proceedings and resolutions are a printed broadside. Telfair's letter is written on a blank column.