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|Size||4.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 2575 items)|
|Abstract||Andrew McCollam was a sugar planter, deputy surveyor, and member of the Louisiana Secession Convention of 1861. He married Ellen Elleonori and lived first in Donaldsonville, La., and later on the family plantation, Ellendale, located outside Houma in Terrebonne Parish, La. McCollam also operated the Bayou Black, Red River Landing, Terrebonne, and Assumption plantations, whose locations are unclear, although Bayou Black was in Terrebonne Parish. The McCollams had six sons and a daughter. Sons Edmund and Alexander became prosperous Terrebonne Parish sugar growers, running the Ellendale and Argyle plantations, respectively. Edmund was also part owner of the South Louisiana Canal and Navigation Company. The collection includes business, family, and political correspondence, financial and legal Papers, and miscellaneous items, chiefly 1852-1891, belonging to Andrew McCollam, members of his family, members of the related Slattery family, or his descendants in Donaldsonville and Houma, Terrebonne Parish, La. Much material relates to McCollam family plantations, including Ellendale, Bayou Black, Red River Landing, Terrebonne, Assumption, and Argyle. Financial and legal papers include sugar, merchandise, slave, and sharecropper accounts; plantation journals; deeds; and land plats. Scattered items, including canal toll records, appear for the South Louisiana Canal and Navigation Company. Miscellaneous other papers include farm equipment advertisements, political and commercial broadsides, clippings, pamphlets and magazines, school materials, and a diary (1866-1867) kept by Andrew McCollam on a trip to Brazil. Topics of note in the correspondence are an 1839 survey of lands granted to General Lafayette; secession; Civil War battles and troop movements; slave resistance during the war; antebellum and Reconstruction politics; sugar planting, refining, and marketing; land transactions; foreign travel; and school and college life in Louisiana and Virginia.|
|Creator||McCollam, Andrew, fl. 1836-1872.|
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Andrew McCollam (fl. 1836-1872) was a deputy surveyor and sugar planter, based primarily in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. First settling in Donaldsonville (Ascension Parish), he lived and worked there until 1851, when he purchased a large sugar plantation near Houma. This plantation, which he named Ellendale after his wife, Ellen Elleonori, became home to the McCollams. The McCollams also owned several other plantations, referred to in the papers as Bayou Black, Red River Landing, Assumption, and Terrebonne. The exact locations of these plantations are unknown, although Bayou Black was in Terrebonne Parish. The others plantations were most likely situated in Terrebonne or nearby parishes.
In 1861 McCollam served as a delegate to the Louisiana Secession Convention. A Whig, he felt strong ambivalence about secession but supported the Confederacy wholeheartedly once war broke out. After the war he entertained the idea of relocating to Brazil, but decided against the move after a trip to that country. Deciding to stay in Louisiana, he successfully made the transition from antebellum planter to postwar sugar grower, and left a thriving business for his children.
The McCollams had six sons, Andrew (b. 1842), Edmund Slattery (b. 1845), John (b. 1846), Henry Alexander (b. 1849), Alexander (b. 1853), and Willie (b. 1855), and a daughter, Ellen. Edmund and Alexander both became prosperous Terrebonne Parish sugar planters, running the Ellendale and Argyle Plantations, respectively. Edmund was also part owner of the South Louisiana Canal and Navigation Company. Little is known of the lives of the other McCollam children beyond their education. Andrew, Jr., studied at Centenary College in Jackson, Louisiana, from 1858 until the outbreak of the Civil War. He served during the war in St. Mary's Cannoniers. After the fighting ended he returned to his studies and graduated from Louisiana University in 1868. Henry Alexander attended Louisiana State Seminary in Alexandria and later the University of Virginia, where he graduated in 1872. Ellen (called Nellie) studied at the Young Ladies' Academy of the Ursulines, located just outside New Orleans, in the late 1860s.
Information on the Slattery family, for whom a number of items appear in the collection, is sparse, and their relation to the McCollams is only partly discernible from the papers. John Slattery (fl. 1795-1807) immigrated to Johnstown, New York, from Ireland near the turn of the century and set up shop as an import merchant. Jeremiah (fl. 1808-1815), possibly John's brother, and Edmund (fl. 1816-1860), who may have been his son, also worked as merchants in New York City and Johnstown. Edmund later became a sugar planter in Lafourche Parish. He was the great uncle of his namesake, Edmund Slattery McCollam, but it is unclear whether he was the uncle of Andrew or Ellen McCollam.Back to Top
This collection consists primarily of papers related to the business operations of several Louisiana sugar plantations belonging to Andrew McCollam and his sons, Edmund and Alexander. The collection gives only limited insight into Andrew McCollam's surveying activities or into Edmund McCollam's role in the South Louisiana Canal and Navigation Company.
The papers document the life of Ellen McCollam and her children less fully, though the correspondence in Subseries 1.2 does offer insight into family connections and relationships. Most of the information available on Andrew, Jr., Henry Alexander, and Ellen (Nellie) is related to their school experiences.
Correspondence (Series 1) consists of letters related to business, personal, and political topics. Business correspondence is fullest for 1852-1859 (Andrew McCollam) and 1874-1884 (Edmund and Alexander McCollam). Personal and political correspondence is fullest for 1859-1873. The latter is particularly useful for the study of school and college life in the antebellum and postwar periods, antebellum politics, Confederate Civil War experiences, and postwar conflicts.
Most of the information provided in the financial and legal papers (Series 2) concerns accounts, land acquisitions, and business arrangements, although some revealing references appear on slaves and daily plantation life. Information in Series 3 (Other Papers) chiefly concerns politics, school life, and farm supplies.
The pictures appearing in Series 4 are, for the most part, unidentified portraits, probably of family members and friends.Back to Top
Primarily business correspondence of Andrew McCollam and two of his sons, Edmund and Alexander McCollam. Personal correspondence also appears for these three figures as well as for other family members, including Andrew McCollam's wife Ellen, their sons Andrew and Henry, and their daughter Ellen (referred to as Nellie).
A letter book and scattered letters belong to members of the related Slattery family.
Mostly letters received by Andrew McCollam relating to the growing, refining, shipping, and marketing of his sugar crop. Numerous letters appear from sugar factors, especially William Hewes, supply merchants, and others concerning sugar and molasses prices, market fluctuations, the purchase of slaves, and orders for hardware, machine, livery, and other items. A significant number of letters also discuss the acquisition and sale of lands and law suits filed over land rights. A few letters pertain to McCollam's position as a deputy surveyor. Note, in particular, a letter of 6 April 1839 concerning McCollam's survey of lands granted to General Lafayette.
Personal letters received by McCollam chiefly discuss politics, travel, and family news. Correspondents of note include his cousin Abram F. Rightor, his friend G. F. Connely, his mother Sally McCollam, his sister Evelina McCollam Root, and his brothers George and John McCollam. Rightor's letters, written while in Washington, New York, and later Donaldsonville, Louisiana, frequently discuss his travels. Of interest is a letter of 25 July 1851 in which he documented a trip he took by steamer and train from Louisiana to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to attend commencement exercises at Harvard University. In a letter dated 20 June 1852, he described the metropolis of New York City, predicting that it would in another 50 years be the largest city in the world. Rightor's political views emerge in several letters, including one written 20 June 1852, in which he commented on Franklin Pierce's candidacy for President. He also mentioned the candidates for the Whig nomination, Webster, Filmore, and Scott. A 7 July 1852 letter gives vent to sarcasm on Franklin Pierce, comparing his record unfavorably with that of Winfield Scott in the Mexican fighting. Rightor also wrote concerning the death of Henry Clay in a 7 July 1852 letter, praising a Fourth of July address eulogizing the Great Pacificator.
Other topics Rightor addressed include land laws before the U.S. Senate, his own political ambitions, his attempts to acquire a patent for a device Andrew McCollam had invented, and the state of his family.
A series of letters G. F. Connely sent McCollam from New Orleans in 1852, while Connely was running for the state legislature, concern his campaign. He discussed the railroad tax as an election issue and asked McCollam to campaign for him in Terrebonne Parish.
Letters from Andrew McCollam's mother and brother George, who lived in LaPorte, Indiana, his sister, who lived in Pike, New York, and his brother John, who lived with McCollam at Donaldsonville but traveled extensively, mostly contain information on family illnesses, deaths, and marriages, and personal business affairs. A few letters also appear from relatives of McCollam's wife, Ellen, and one letter appears (1858) from Andrew McCollam, Jr., to his parents while he was a student at Centenary College in Jackson, Louisiana.
A letter book, dated 1792-1851, and a handful of letters for 1850, 1857, and 1858, belong to members of the Slattery family. Most of the correspondence in the letter book is that of John Slattery, and consists of letters exchanged with export merchants in Dublin and other Irish cities between 1792 and 1807. The letters pertain to goods Slattery ordered for resale in Johnstown, New York. A few letters, dated 1850 and 1851, belong to Edmund Slattery, and were written while he was staying at Ellendale. They give detailed accounts of his personal finances.
Predominantly personal correspondence exchanged between McCollam family members, especially between Andrew and Ellen McCollam and their children, Edmund, Andrew, Jr., Henry, Nellie, Alexander, and Willie. Correspondence also appears from other relatives and friends. Letters concerning McCollam's business affairs appear scattered among the personal letters.
Letters for 1859 and 1860 consist mostly of Slattery family correspondence and letters Andrew McCollam, Jr., exchanged with his parents while at Centenary College. Letters to Edmund Slattery from friends and relatives in New York and Maine discuss genealogy and news of friends and family. Andrew's letters to his mother and father describe school debates, pranks, balls, and professors, as well as his political views. Of note is a 1 March 1860 letter in which he described in detail his visit to the state fair in Baton Rouge. Several letters to Andrew, Jr., from his schoolmate William Johnston discuss politics, religion, school, and a possible invasion of Mexico.
Much of the correspondence for 1861 through 1864 concerns secession and war. Of special interest is a brief series of letters Andrew McCollam wrote his wife Ellen in 1861 while a delegate to the Louisiana Secession Convention. He expressed deep ambivalence about the state's leaving the Union. Most enlightening on the war itself are letters Andrew, Jr., exchanged with his parents and his cousin Reuben A. Root. Topics include war preparations in Donaldsonville and other Louisiana locations, battles and troop movements in Louisiana and Virginia, the invasion of Kentucky, the defeat of the ironclad "Indianola," camp life, financing and supplying of troops, and slave resistance during the war. The experience and bitterness of civilians in the war show through clearly in Ellen McCollam's letters with family and friends and letters Andrew McCollam received from his cousin Abram F. Rightor. Of special note is a 26 March 1863 letter in which Ellen McCollam expressed outrage at her slaves abandoning her and the plantation. Andrew McCollam's niece, writing him from St. Louis in July 1865, stated that about half the people of the city supported the North and half the South, demonstrating, as do other letters in the collection, how families, relatives, friends, and neighbors, faced each other's bayonets. Her letter also comments on the assassination of Lincoln, the narrow escape of William Seward from the assassin's bullet, and the terrible scenes of the war.
Correspondence for the late 1860s consists largely of Mr. and Mrs. McCollam's letters with Henry and Nellie while Henry was at Louisiana State Seminary in Alexandria and Nellie was at the Young Ladies' Academy of the Ursulines just south of New Orleans. Nellie lived with her aunt Lucy Blair while attending school, and numerous letters appear from Mrs. Blair to Ellen McCollam about Nellie's schooling, health, and wardrobe. Henry's letters to his parents and siblings offer information on a broad range of activities in and around Louisiana State Seminary. They discuss school debates, pranks, professors, and the trial of a student for informing on other students, as well as shipwrecks on the river, the opening of a new ferry, and sermons he attended in town.
Several letters Andrew McCollam received from friends during Reconstruction reflect the bitter political conflicts of the period. Topics include readmission to the Union, elections, labor relations with freedmen and white sharecroppers, and the constitutional convention of 1870. One letter, dated 27 October 1865, quotes President Johnson as saying "the time has come for us to unite upon the party of Southern interests against Northern Fanaticism." Letters Henry McCollam wrote to family members from Louisiana State Seminary discuss the Ku Klux Klan in the area and a near riot in Alexandria upon the election of Ulysses Grant. Two correspondents of note are the Honorable F. S. Goode and W. A. James.
Almost all business correspondence of Edmund and Alexander McCollam. Most of the correspondence pertains to the Ellendale and Argyle Plantations, and includes letters from sugar factors and merchants concerning crops, shipping arrangements, market prices, insurance, investments, and the procurement of supplies. Frequent correspondents include Gidiere, Day & Co., engineer J. B. Dunn, and attorney John B. Winder. Several letters also appear with architects, engineers, and others relating to the operation of the South Louisiana Canal and Navigation Company and Edmund McCollam's work to establish a Board of State Engineers.
Scattered personal correspondence consists of letters to Alexander from friends, letters from Henry to Nellie in 1890 and 1891, and letters addressed to Katherine McCollam in New Orleans from her mother and her aunt in 1896. One letter from Ellen (Nellie) McCollam to her daughter Ellen appears in 1897. These letters contain mostly family news. Of note is a series of letters Alexander McCollam received from his friend Victor Streich in Freiburg, Germany (in German).
Of note for the period 1900 to 1935 is a letter of 12 April 1909 to Edmund From John Shaffer, owner of the Ardoyne Plantation, concerning a disagreement over the boundary line between Ellendale and Ardoyne.
Mostly personal letters exchanged by McCollam family members. Correspondents of note are Lucy Blair and Ellen, Edmund, Andrew, Jr., Nellie, Alexander, and Willie McCollam. The letters contain mostly family news and descriptions of trips or holidays. Of note is a letter from Edmund McCollam to his mother describing the March Exhibition at Centenary College. Only two business-related letters appear, one from John McNider to Edmund McCollam concerning a suit over land rights, and one to Messrs. McCollam and Connely concerning goods bought at a plantation sale.
Primarily plantation accounts and records of Andrew McCollam and his sons Edmund and Alexander. Scattered items appear for Andrew's brother, John McCollam, and for members of the related Slattery family. Included are account books, farm journals, deeds, receipts, bills, warrants, petitions, and slave lists. A few papers pertain to the South Louisiana Canal and Navigation Company. Items are arranged chronologically by the latest date recorded on them.
Mostly plantation accounts and journals of Andrew McCollam. Papers include accounts with sugar factors William G. Hewes and John Adams & Company and receipts and bills for shipping, hardware, livery services, dry goods, taxes, insurance, and other goods and services. Several journals provide information on the day-to-day operations of McCollam's plantations, as well as on accounts, slave and sharecropper labor, and crop conditions.
An 1842-1851 diary and plantation journal kept by Ellen McCollam for the McCollam's plantation (name unknown) located outside Donaldsonville provides some insight into household finances and daily activities. It documents the comings and goings of her husband and his brother John, Andrew McCollam's surveying activities, her children's health, local births, deaths, and marriages, community religious and theatrical events, and news of friends and family. The diary, a typed transcription of which appears in the two folders immediately following its appearance, contains birth notes dated 1840-1855. An 1849-1866 plantation journal kept by overseer J. E. Gill for Bayou Black contains daily entries on work activities. Of note in this volume are extensive slave lists, an account of a severe hurricane, and a draft of a public statement by G. F. Connely and Andrew McCollam concerning Lincoln's election and the slavery controversy.
Information more specifically related to McCollam's finances can be found in several account books and journals kept between 1860 and 1873. One account book, dated 1860-1863, contains miscellaneous farm and personal accounts for an unidentified location. (The same volume also served as a commonplace book and as a copy book for McCollam's son Henry, and contains some cures and recipes, as well as a number of clippings on Brazil.) An 1838-1865 laborer's account book contains records with black and white workers at Red River Landing and Assumption, and plantation accounts for miscellaneous goods such as lumber and firewood. An 1858-1871 journal, for an unspecified plantation, contains several entries and miscellaneous accounts with laborers and farm suppliers. Accounts for Red River Landing, Assumption, Terrebonne, and Bayou Black appear in an 1838-1873 account book. This volume also contains a copy of the first mortgage on plantation Terrebonne, signed by Andrew and John McCollam. Information on McCollam's later plantation activities includes an 1871-1872 account book containing sugar and merchant accounts.
A significant number of other papers document McCollam's financial and legal life. A large number of items, including deeds, court summons, warrants, petitions, and mortgage certifications, pertain to disputes Andrew and John McCollam had with others over land ownership. Additional papers of interest include a slave bill of sale (1858), tax records, an 1867 elector registration form, papers concerning an invention by Andrew McCollam (1871), a legal agreement with sharecroppers (1873), and a passport for Andrew McCollam (1867). Personal accounts for McCollam include receipts for doctor and dentist bills, music lessons for his daughter Ellen, and school tuition for his children.
Several items relate to members of the Slattery family. A list of land rentals kept by John Slattery in Ireland appears for 1795. A receipt book for John Slattery (New York, 1804-1807), Jeremiah Slattery (New York, Johnstown, 1808-1815), and Edmund Slattery (Johnstown, 1816-1826) gives information on their personal finances. One other item, belonging to Edmund Slattery, is an "Act of Partnership" he signed with Sarah Wood in 1846, in which he agreed to cooperate in the growing of sugar cane on a Lafourche Parish plantation.
Principally financial records of Edmund and Alexander McCollam for the Ellendale and Argyle Plantations. The bulk of the papers for this period comprise accounts with sugar factors (mostly William G. Hewes, Gidiere Day & Co., and E. V. Cahn), sugar weighers (primarily Bernard Hances), and various business establishments related to sugar growing, refining, and marketing. Accounts appear for saw mills, hardware suppliers, sugar refineries, machine equipment manufacturers, blacksmith shops, ironworks, ditching companies, cooperage firms, and railroads.
Four account books provide information on labor and sugar production on the McCollams' plantations. Three books, dated 1882, 1882-1883, and 1887-1896, contain accounts with wage laborers and sharecroppers. (The 1887-1896 volume also contains information on sugar shipments and miscellaneous accounts, probably for the Ellendale Plantation.) A 1903-1905 volume lists sugar accounts for Ellendale.
Several other papers give some insight into the McCollams' financial relations with sharecroppers and wage laborers. An 1878 account list gives the time worked and rations provided sharecroppers, and a 1900 payroll shows wages paid farm workers, both at an unspecified location. Sharecropping arrangements are also reflected in an 1873 agreement between sharecroppers and Connely & Co., an 1897 rental agreement for a plantation store, and accounts for sharecroppers (designated by race) for October and November 1902 (plantation unspecified).
Scattered papers for the South Louisiana Canal and Navigation Company include an 1880 agreement between Edmund McCollam and the tax collector concerning the company's assets and several receipts and bills from engineers, boilermakers, and others. Of special note are lists for 1880 and 1881 of vessels passing through a toll canal owned by the company and the tolls charged.
Other papers include poll and property tax receipts, deeds, an 1882 certificate of deposit, and receipts for personal goods and services from druggists, doctors, grocers, and others.
Mostly land plats showing the survey of lots in Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana, possibly related either to Andrew McCollam's land ownership or his surveying activities. One other item, an answer to inquiries concerning survey accuracy, also pertains to his surveying business.
A list of sharecroppers appears for the Argyle Plantation and Mulberry Farms, as well as a list of white employees (location unspecified). Of special note are a slave list and "A list of [N]egroes that have left the plantations of A. & J. McCollam."
|Extra Oversize Paper Folder XOPF-449/2|
Arrangement: alphabetical by type.
Advertisements, broadsides, clippings, school materials, speeches, and miscellaneous materials.
Printed advertising circulars appear for plantation tools and supplies, including saws, plows, gates, machinery, pumps, oils, and fertilizers. Broadsides include an 1867 poster of railroad rates, an 1878 "Act to repeal Act No. 140 of the Extra Session of 1877; to create a Board of State Engineers," a copy of General Order No. 91 concerning confiscation of property by Federal troops (1862), an 1862 Confederate States of America notice to absent soldiers, Chicago Stock Exchange lists, a speech by E. J. Gay, Democratic candidate for Congress, delivered in Terrebonne Parish, and advertising broadsides for the Chicago Sales Co., B. J. West, and National Oil Works and Mill Supply Co., and for several commission merchants and stationers and a car manufacturer.
Eight clippings (1865-1866 and undated), one partial copy of the New York Weekly Tribune (11 July 1888), one copy of the Planter's Banner (17 November 186?), and one copy of The Ledger (7 August 1880) appear. Clippings concern economic opportunities in Brazil, election returns in Terrebonne Parish, and Edmund McCollam's role in the South Louisiana Canal and Navigation Company.
One diary, 144 small pages, dated 1866-1867, describes a trip Andrew McCollam, Sr., took to Brazil. (A 48-page typed transcription of the diary appears in Folder 44. There is also a microfilm copy of the original; request M-449/1.) McCollam discussed mostly the prospects of settling as a planter in Brazil and the state of black slavery there. He also commented extensively on the landscape, soil, population, social customs, and government of the localities he visited.
Miscellaneous items include an 1836 fortune-teller parlor game, a printed roll of the Louisiana Secession Convention of 1861, an 1868 railroad excursion announcement for the Opelousas Railroad, an unidentified diary entry for 186?, an 1877 certificate appointing Edmund McCollam to the Board of Control of the Louisiana State Agricultural and Mechanical College, personal calling cards, a sketch of a cannon, a whitewash recipe, a poem, a handwritten story, a hand-drawn map of the United States, a handwritten concert program, a printed copy of "An Act for the Relief of Cotton Planters," and a subscription list of the Louisiana Sugar Planters Association to fight abuses in the sugar market.
Pamphlets and magazines include the April 1861 issue of Children's Magazine, Circular No. 29 (1865) from the Headquarters of the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, an 1871 pamphlet entitled Christianity and the Law, an 1872 pamphlet entitled New and Reduced Freight and Passenger Tariff of Morgan's Louisiana and Texas Railroad, an 1883 booklet entitled Corpsliste der Montania in Freiberg 1/3 (in German), and an informational pamphlet on intermediate filtration (circa 1900).
School materials include prospecti, grade reports, lessons, and Andrew McCollam, Jr.'s diploma from Louisiana University (1868). Prospecti appear for Assumption Public School, the Columbia Female Institute (Tenn.), Centenary College (Jackson, La.), Greenwood Military High School (Albemarle Co., Va.), Louisiana State Seminary of Learning and Military Academy (Alexandria, La.), the Young Ladies' Academy of the Ursulines (New Orleans, La.), and Sewanee College (Winchester, Tenn.).
Speeches include a printed copy of an oration delivered at the annual anniversary celebration of Franklin Institute and Union Literary Society of Centenary College by William Johnston in 1860, a handwritten copy of the commencement address given by Henry A. McCollam at the University of Virginia in 1872, an 1887 volume entitled Select Speeches of the Honorable Randall Lee Gibson, 1875-1887, and an 1889 printed copy of a speech given by General J. B. Gordon to Confederate veterans.
Mostly unidentified portraits, probably of family members and friends.
Processed by: Jill Snider, September 1990
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