Collection Number: 00186-z

Collection Title: Couper Family Papers, 1827-1955.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the Duplication Policy section for more information.

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Size 200 items
Abstract The Couper family of Glynn County, Ga., included John Couper (1759-1850), his sons, William Audley Couper (1817-1898) and noted agricultural researcher James Hamilton Couper (1794-1866), and grandson, planter and Confederate officer, James Maxwell Couper (fl. 1865). Their plantations included Altama, Hopeton, and Elizafield. The collection consists of three distinct parts. These are a manuscript letter, 1828, from John Couper to James Hamilton, describing the loss of his plantation; Couper and Maxwell genealogical material; and prints of microfilmed Couper material, 1827-1923 (chiefly 1866-1886). The last part includes personal correspondence and financial material relating to the family plantations, their crops; and their workers and slaves. There are letters about life in Vicksburg, Miss., in the early 1860s; material about the Wylly family of Virginia; and 1861 photographs of Fort Moultrie, Sullivan's Island, and Fort Sumter, S.C.
Creator Couper (Family : Glynn County, Ga.)
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Couper Family Papers #186-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy available.
Additional microfilm: All or part of this collection is also available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of the Records of ante-bellum southern plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J.
Acquisitions Information
1828 letter received by the Southern Historical Collection prior to 1940. Genealogical material copied from material lent by Helen Marshall of Rome, Georgia, 1943. Additional genealogical material received from B. King Couper, Jr., of Tryon, North Carolina, in December 1975. Microfilmed material copied from material lent by James M. Couper, of Atlanta, Georgia, in April 1951.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

John Couper and James Hamilton, both originally from Scotland, settled in Glynn County, Georgia, in 1804.

James Hamilton Couper, son of John and Rebacca Maxwell Couper, was born in 1794. He studied at Yale and in Holland, where he investigated Dutch techniques in water control. Returning, he took control of his father's plantation, Hopeton. James Hamilton Couper was an agricultural innovator and introduced a number of new crops to the coastal Georgia area. He died in 1866, by which time Hopeton was almost destroyed by flooding.

James Maxwell Couper, son of James Hamilton Couper, returned after the Civil War and supervised rice production on the plantation.

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This collection consists of three distinct parts:

Series 1 consists of a letter, 1828, from John Couper to his brother in Scotland, describing his loss of Hopeton plantation.

Series 2 is genealogical material, collected in the 1940s and 1950s.

Series 3 consists of material lent to the Southern Historical Collection for microfilm copying. This is the bulk of the collection. This material relates to the operation of the Couper plantation chiefly after the Civil War, when James Maxwell Couper supervised the production of rice there.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. 1828 letter.

Letter, 24 May 1828, from John Couper, at St. Simons Island, Georgia, to his brother James Couper in Scotland, concerning the plantation and family. He explains the problems that led him to sign over the Hopeton plantation to James Hamilton, who sold a half interest in it to Couper's son James Hamilton Couper. He explains that the War of 1812, a hurricane, pests, and other problems contributed to his financial ruin.

The letter appears to be a draft copy.

Folder 1

1828 letter #00186-z, Series: "1. 1828 letter." Folder 1

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Genealogical material.

Typed transcription of a sketch of Rev. John Couper (1706-1787) of Lochwinoch, Scotland, father of John Couper (1759-1850).

Letter, 21 August 1955, typed transcription, eleven pages, from B. King Couper to relatives. The letter is chiefly an account of Couper's seach for Couper and Maxwell history in Scotland. Included are Couper material from Lochwinoch parish records and other Couper and Maxwell information. Couper also described the scenery of Scotland, London, and Iceland. Included are postcards of Scotish scenes and a rubbing of the tombstone of Joannis Couper.

Copy flow prints for 1827-1923.

Folder 2

Genealogical material #00186-z, Series: "2. Genealogical material." Folder 2

Folder 3

1827-1859 #00186-z, Series: "2. Genealogical material." Folder 3

Folder 4

1860-1869 #00186-z, Series: "2. Genealogical material." Folder 4

Folder 5

1870-1923 #00186-z, Series: "2. Genealogical material." Folder 5

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Microfilmed material.

See description available at Manscripts Department.

Reel M-186/1

#00186-z, Series: "3. Microfilmed material." Reel M-186/1

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Items Separated

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Processing Information

Processed by: Buck Beasley, June 1990

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

Updated by: Nancy Kaiser, October 2020

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