Don Juan McQueen papers
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Don Juan McQueen papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: McQueen, Juan, Don, 1751-1807.
Title: Don Juan McQueen papers
Dates: 1779-1803
Extent: 0.1 cubic feet (1 folder)
Identification: MS 1786

Biographical/Historical Note

John McQueen (1751-1807) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on 18 September 1751 and grew up in Charlestown, South Carolina. As a young man, McQueen was involved in land speculation and owned thousands of acres of land in both South Carolina and central Georgia. When war between the American colonies and Great Britain became apparent, McQueen sympathized with the colonists and was commissioned as Captain in the Navy of South Carolina in March 1778. As a captain in the Navy, McQueen was often entrusted by George Washington to carry dispatches to the Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834) in France.

Following the end of the American Revolutionary War, McQueen continued to speculate land and bought land south of the Savannah River in Georgia. He moved his family to a small plantation, named the Cottage, in Savannah, Georgia in 1784. In 1786, McQueen traveled to Paris, France and was invited to dinner several times by Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), who was serving as the American Minister to France, the Comte d'Estaing (1729-1794), and the Marquis de Lafayette. Upon his return to America, McQueen became involved in Georgia legislature until he amassed a great amount of debt. By 1789, McQueen was known to be a tax delinquent in Chatham County, Georgia, which caused him to take refuge in Florida to avoid tax collectors, his creditors, and the American courts. While in Florida, McQueen swore his allegiance to the King of Spain, converted to Catholicism and took the name, Don Juan McQueen. He resided and worked in Florida until his death on 11 October 1807 and was buried in St. Augustine, Florida.

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains correspondence and dinner invitations for John McQueen (later referred to as Don Juan McQueen) from 1779 to 1803. The dinner invitations in this collection are from Thomas Jefferson, the Comte d'Estaing, and the Marquis de Lafayette during McQueen's stay in France in 1786. Some of these invitations and a letter from the Comte d’Estaing are written in French. This collection also consists of typewritten transcriptions of letters, including a letter written by George Washington and a letter to the State of South Carolina with testimony about the character of John McQueen.

Index Terms

Estaing, Charles Henri, comte d', 1729-1794.
Lafayette, Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, marquis de, 1757-1834.
Letters (correspondence)
McQueen, Juan, Don, 1751-1807.
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.
Washington, George , 1732-1799.

Administrative Information

Processing Information

This collection is processed at the Basic Level (or collection level). There is no detailed inventory for this collection as it is not fully processed. To request that this collection be added to our priority list of collections to be fully processed as staffing and funding allow, please contact the Library and Archives staff.


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.


Encoding funded by a 2008 Archives-Basic Projects grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.