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Collection Number: 01252

Collection Title: T. Butler King Papers, 1773-1868, 2003, 2014  (bulk 1835-1868)

This collection has access restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

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 12 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 4,000 items)
Abstract Thomas Butler King of Retreat Plantation, Saint Simons Island, Ga., was a Georgia and United States legislator, collector of the port of San Francisco, and Georgia representative to various courts in Europe during the Civil War, with special interests in internal improvements and naval affairs. Papers of King and his wife Anna Matilda Page King, 1835-1840, deal primarily with King's business, managerial, and legislative activities on behalf of the Brunswick and Altamaha Canal Company, the Brunswick and Florida Railroad Company, and the Brunswick Land Company. Papers, 1841-1848, document King's political career as U.S. representative from Georgia's First Congressional District, which included Glynn County and the cities of Brunswick and Savannah. Among these are papers about his activities as member and chair of the U.S. House Naval Affairs Committee and about Whig political activities in Georgia, the South, and the nation. Materials, 1849-1852, deal with King's work in California, first as the personal adviser of President Zachary Taylor and then as the first collector of the port of San Francisco under Millard Fillmore. Between 1853 and 1859, papers deal with family matters and King's investments in and promotion of a transcontinental railroad through Texas. Papers, 1860-1864, relate to his promotion of railroads in south Georgia, his association with the secession crisis, and his activities on behalf of the state of Georgia and the Confederacy in various European capitals during the first years of the Civil War. There also are letters, diaries, and other materials relating to the King sons at various locations during the war and other family letters that reflect the effects of the war. Letters discussing plantation and family matters account for almost half of the collection. Most of these were written between 1850 and 1859 by Anna Matilda Page King, who chiefly discussed agricultural matters, including the treatment of slaves, but also expressed a certain amount of anti-semitism and wrote of her experimentation with the occult.
Creator King, T. Butler (Thomas Butler), 1800-1864.
Curatorial Unit University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
This collection contains additional materials that are not available for immediate or same day access. Please contact Research and Instructional Service staff at wilsonlibrary@unc.edu to discuss options for consulting these materials.
Restrictions to Use
No usage restrictions.
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 T. Butler King Papers #1252, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Microfilm copy (filmed 1988) available.
  • Reel 1: Correspondence, 1809-1839
  • Reel 2: Correspondence, 1840-1845
  • Reel 3: Correspondence, 1846-1847
  • Reel 4: Correspondence, 1848
  • Reel 5: Correspondence, 1849
  • Reel 6: Correspondence, 1850-1852
  • Reel 7: Correspondence, 1853-1855
  • Reel 8: Correspondence,. 1856-1857
  • Reel 9: Correspondence, 1858
  • Reel 10: Correspondence, 1859
  • Reel 11: Correspondence, 1860
  • Reel 12: Correspondence, 1861
  • Reel 13: Correspondence, 1862-1865
  • Reel 14: Correspondence, 1866-1869
  • Reel 15: Speeches and Writings
  • Reel 16: Internal Improvements
  • Reel 17: Other Papers and Printed Materials
  • Reel 18: Volumes 1-7, 9-12
  • Reel 19: Volume 8.
Alternate Form of Material
Typed transcription of part of Richard Cuyler King's diary is available in folder 551.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Mrs. Jefferson Randolph Anderson of Savannah, Ga. in 1947; from Alexander Heard of the University of Alabama in 1948 and 1950; and from other sources. Addition of May 1989 (Acc. 89034) received from Ranald T. Adams, Jr., of Alexandria, Va.; addition of September 2003 (Acc. 99657) and September 2015 (Acc. 102316) received from Edwin R. MacKethan III of Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich.; addition of August 2004 (Acc. 99873) received from Eileen King of Rockville, Md.
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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Processed by: Walter Campbell and Roslyn Holdzkom, November 1989

Encoded by: Roslyn Holdzkom, July 2002

Revisions: Finding aid updated in December 2003 by Linda Sellars.

Revisions: Finding aid updated in January 2006 and May 2017 by Nancy Kaiser.

Updated by: Laura Hart, July 2021

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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

27 August 1800 Born in Palmer, Mass., the son of Daniel and Hannah Lord King.
1800-1820 Attended Westfield Academy in Westfield, Mass.; moved to live with relatives in the Wyoming Valley of Pennsylvania at age 15 following the death of his parents; studied law with Judge Garrick Mallery in Wilkes-Barre, and with his own brother Henry in Allentown, Pa.
1820 Stephen Clay King, another brother, married Mary Fort, the daughter of a wealthy cotton planter of Wayne County, Ga. Stephen eventually became a large-scale planter in Georgia.
1823 Migrated to southeastern Georgia.
1824 Married Anna Matilda Page of Retreat Plantation, Saint Simons Island, Ga., the daughter of William Page, a South Carolinian who had purchased Retreat in 1804.
1824-1826 Deaths of Anna Matilda King's parents and her inheritance of a large estate. She and King made their home at Retreat.
1830s King led the movement to improve and promote the port at Brunswick, Ga.
1832 Elected to the Georgia legislature as senator from Glynn County(Brunswick).
1832-1836 Served in Georgia legislature, championed the cause of states' rights, and pushed for bills related to his internal improvement ventures.
1836 Decided against a re-election bid for the Georgia legislature in order to seek New England capital for his Brunswick projects, then ran an unsuccessful campaign for a seat in the United States House of Representatives.
1837 Elected to the Georgia legislature where he promoted internal improvement measures, especially state credit to private companies.
1838 Elected to the United States House as states rights candidate.
1839-1843 Served in the United States House, aligned himself with the Whig party, proposed establishing a Home Squadron by the Navy (bill passed July 1841), and suffered serious financial setbacks to his plans for the port at Brunswick.
1842 Lost bid for re-election to the House.
1844 Served as chair of the Whig committee in Georgia; accompanied Henry Clay on the latter's tour through Georgia; spoke at Whig rallies in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania; and defeated the Democratic nominee, Charles Spaulding, for the congressional seat from Georgia's First District.
6 January 1845 Fought a duel with Charles Spaulding on Amelia Island, Florida Territory.
15 January 1845 Witnessed the marriage of his daughter Hannah to William Audley Couper, a member of one of the most prominent families of Georgia's Golden Isles.
1845-1846 Recommended numerous naval improvement bills from his position on the naval affairs committee.
1846 Defeated Democratic candidate Solomon Cohen for Georgia's First Congressional District seat.
1847 Made chair of the House Committee on Naval Affairs.
1848 Helped nominate Zachary Taylor as the Whig candidate for president and defeated the Democratic candidate, Joseph W. Jackson, in Georgia's First Congressional District race.
16 January 1849 Proposed a detailed report recommending the construction of a railroad across the Isthmus of Panama.
March 1849 Thwarted in his efforts to become secretary of the Navy under Taylor.
May 1849 Appointed as Taylor's special agent to California.
4 June 1849 Toured the mining districts of California.
1 January 1850 Per private instructions from Taylor, set up a law office in San Francisco and failed in his bid to become a senator from California.
February 1850 Arrived in New York from California.
October 1850 Appointed collector of the port of San Francisco by President Millard Fillmore.
1851-1852 Worked as collector of the port of San Francisco and failed in his quest to become a senator from California.
1852 Resigned the collectorship at San Francisco.
1853-1858 Promoted, financed, and lobbied for a transcontinental railroad through Texas.
1856 Attended the Democratic National Convention in Cincinnati
1859 Suffered the deaths of his wife and oldest son, lost his bid to become the Democratic nominee from Georgia's First Congressional District, but was elected as a senator to the Georgia legislature.
1860 Attended the Democratic National Convention in Charleston, S.C., as a lobbyist for the revived transcontinental railroad and the recently formed Macon and Brunswick Railroad.
1861-1862 Represented the state of Georgia at various courts in Europe.
1863 Defeated by Savannahian Julian Hartridge for Georgia's First Congressional District seat.
10 May 1864 Died in Waresboro, Ga.

King's wife, Anna Matilda (Page), was the only child and heir of William Page, a native of South Carolina who had purchased Retreat plantation on Saint Simons Island, Georgia, early in the 19th century. Anna Matilda and most of the ten King children remained at Retreat while King was active elsewhere. Although an overseer or one of the sons supervised the actual plantation work, Anna Matilda managed most of the family affairs and finances. She died in 1859.

The Kings had ten children, including William, who died at age six. The others were: Hannah Page (Tootee); Thomas Butler, Jr. (Butler or Buttie); Henry Lord Page (Lordy); Georgia (Josey); Mallery Page (Mall or Pompey); Florence (Flora or Poyer); Virginia (Appie or Tommie); John Floyd (Floyd or Fuddy); and Richard Cuyler (Cuyler, Tip, Hack, Herks).

Hannah married William Audley Couper, the son of wealthy Georgia landowner James Couper and the brother of James Hamilton Couper, a pioneer in scientific farming. She and her family lived at Hamilton, a plantation adjacent to Retreat, which her husband managed for the granddaughter of James Hamilton. The Kings's oldest son, Butler, attended Franklin College in Athens, Ga.; accompanied his father to California; and managed Retreat until his sudden death in 1859. Lord attended Yale, read law, worked in an office in New York in 1860, became captain and aide-de-camp to Brigadier General Lafayette McLaws in the Confederate army, and was killed at Fredericksburg in December 1862. The King daughters, Georgia, Florence, and Virginia, remained at Retreat until 1861, when the war drove them inland. Saint Simons was occupied by the United States Army and the Freedman's Bureau, and the Kings were unable to return home until the late 1860s. Early in the war, Georgia married William Duncan Smith, a Confederate major, later general, who died in 1862; after the war, she married Joseph Wilder. Florence married Henry Rootes Jackson, and Virginia married John Nisbet.

Mallery followed Butler as manager of the family plantation. He became a Confederate officer, served in Georgia and South Carolina, and married Eugenia (Jenny) Grant. Another son, Floyd, served as chief of artillery under Major General William W. Loring in western Virginia during the Civil War and then managed various plantations on the Mississippi River. In love with Lin Capterton of Elmwood, Va. (later West Virginia), Floyd wrote to her during and after the war, but they did not marry. He later became a lawyer in Louisiana and served that state in Congress, 1879-1887. The Kings's youngest son, Cuyler, attended Bloomfield Academy at Ivy Depot near Charlottesville, Va. A lieutenant in the 1st Battalion, Georgia Sharpshooters, he served in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, and Georgia during the war.

For more biographical information see: Series 2, folder 16; sketch of King in the Dictionary of American Biography; sketches of King, his brother Henry, and his son Floyd in the Biographical Directory of the American Congress and Edward Marvin Steel, Thomas Butler King of Georgia (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1964).

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There is some documentation in these papers for virtually all aspects of the life of Thomas Butler King, for the adult life of his wife "Anna Matilda King" of Retreat Plantation, Saint Simons Island, Ga., and for much of the childhood and early adult life of each of their several children.

The documents related to Thomas Butler King's career can be roughly divided into five major periods. During the first period, 1835-1840, they deal chiefly with King's business, managerial, and legislative activities on behalf of the Brunswick and Altamaha Canal Company, the Brunswick and Florida Railroad Company, and the Brunswick Land Company. The documents from the second period, 1841-1848, reflect some of King's activities as a member and chair of the United States House Naval Affairs Committee; the change in his political constituency from the people of Glynn County, Ga., (Brunswick) to the voters of the several counties of Georgia's First Congessional District (which included Glynn and Chatham County, Ga., [Savannah]); and Whigpolitical activities in Georgia, the South, and the nation.

The materials related to the third stage of King's career, 1849-1852, deal with his duties and travels in California, first as the personal adviser of President Zachary Taylor and then as the first collector of the port of San Francisco under Taylor's successor, Millard Fillmore. Between 1853 and 1859, a fourth period, the papers deal with family matters and King's investments in and promotion of a transcontinental railroad through Texas. Documents from the fifth and final period of his career, 1860-1864, relate to his promotion of railroads in south Georgia, his association with the crisis of secession and the new Confederate States of America, and his activities on behalf of the state of Georgia in various European capitals during the first years of the Civil War.

Letters discussing plantation and family matters account for almost half of the collection. Most of these were written between 1850 and 1859 by Anna Matilda King, either to her constantly traveling husband or to their children. There are also letters from the children to their parents and to one another, including letters from the sons serving in the military during the Civil War.

Additions to the collection include family letters to Richard Cuyler King during his service with the 1st Battalion, Georgia Sharp Shooters during the Civil War; a typed transcription of his autumn 1864 diary; and family history materials.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Correspondence, 1809-1868.

About 3,300 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Correspondence of the King family, chiefly related to the political and economic activities of Thomas Butler King and to his family's life at Retreat Plantation on Saint Simons Island, Ga. A wide range of topics are addressed, including local, state, and national politics; internal improvements in Georgia, Florida, Texas, and California; requests for federal positions; and routine family and plantation affairs.

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Correspondence, 1809-1829

Early papers are those of William Page and his business associates in Liverpool, England, and Charleston, S.C., relating to land in Georgia and the effect of diplomatic events on the price of cotton. In addition, there are Page's letters from Newport, R.I., New York, and Charleston to his daughter Anna Matilda, giving her instructions about running the plantation and punishing a person who was enslaved and had attempted to self emancipate, and correspondence from Anna in Savannah to her mother, giving news of friends, social life in the city, and a meeting of Methodist ministers.

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Correspondence, 1830-1832

Chiefly correspondence between Thomas Butler King and various individuals dealing with his purchase of part of the Middleton estate in southeast Georgia. Notable correspondents include: James Hamilton (several letters, 1830-1832); L (several letters, 1830-1832).

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Correspondence, 1833-1840

Chiefly correspondence of King and his business associates dealing with their mutual investments in I in Brunswick and elsewhere in Georgia. There are also letters discussing politics in Georgia, King's Middleton purchase, and from Anna Matilda King to her husband.

Notable correspondents include: Laomi Baldwin (one letter, 1836); James Gillespie Birney, American Anti-Slavery Society (one letter, 1839); James S. Calhoun (two letters, 1839); Thomas G. Cary (several letters); S. T. Chapman (two letters, 1838, 1840); Duncan Lamont Clinch (one letter, 1840); H. K. Curtis (several letters); R. R. Cuyler (one letter, 1840); Edward H. Eldredge (several letters, 1836-1837); James Hamilton, Jr. (several letters); Reverdy Johnson (one letter, 1840); J. L. Locke (several letters, 1838-1839); Joseph Lyman (several letters, 1838); B. F. Perham (several letters, 1836-1838); Joseph M. White (one letter, 1837)

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Correspondence, 1841-1848

Chiefly correspondence related to King's activities during his congressional service. This includes requests and petitions from those seeking services and federal appointments in Georgia, Florida, and elsewhere, and letters dealing with his interest and involvement in naval affairs, politics, and the Zachary Taylor presidential campaign of 1848. There are also several letters from King's overseers at Retreat, John and George Dunham, and from Anna Matilda King on a number of topics: her husband's financial difficulties, the plantation, tutors, and the disadvantages of raising children around slavery. Particularly noteworthy is a handwritten copy of a 8 January 1845 letter from General Charles Floyd to Captain Thomas Bourke describing a duel on Amelia Island between Thomas Butler King and Charles Spaulding. Correspondence on internal improvements in Georgia ceases in the early 1840s.

Notable correspondents include: E. F. Aldrich (one letter 1848); Anthony Barclay (several letters, 1841, 1843); Francis Stebbins Bartow (several letters, 1846-1848); William Bellinger Bulloch (two letters, 1847); James S. Calhoun (several letters); Thomas G. Cary (two letters, 1846, 1848); S. T. Chapman (several letters); Duncan Lamont Clinch (several letters); Zebeden Cook (one letter, 1846); R. R. Cuyler (several letters throughout); Samuel Draper (several letters, 1848); John Dunham (several letters); Stephen Elliott (one letter, 1841); Charles Floyd (one letter, 1845); William Hodgson (several letters throughout); Samuel Jaudon (several letters, 1846-1848); John Jay (several letters throughout); Reverdy Johnson (several letters); David Law (several letters); J. L. Locke (several letters); Matthew Fontaine Maury (several letters, 1846, 1848); George Meacham (one letter, 1848); Henry Morgan (one letter, 1848); James D. Ogden (two letters, 1848); Francis Oxnard (one letter, 1846); Josiah Quincy (one letter, 1841); James Rees (one letter, 1848); John O. Sargent (several letters, 1847-1848); Henry H. Scranton (one letter, 1848); John G. Shoolbread (two letters, 1841); Alexander Hamilton Stephens (several letters, 1844-1845); Joseph Story (one letter, 1841); Timothy Timpkins (two letters, 1844); Robert Augustus Toombs (one letter, 1847); Daniel Webster (several letters, 1841-1843); Thurlow Weed (one letter, 1848); F. Winter (several letters, 1845-1846).

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Correspondence, 1849-1852

Chiefly family letters dealing with the everyday affairs of plantation life, with the education of the King children, and with King's activities in California. King, his wife, and their two oldest sons, Butler and Lordy, are the principal correspondents. These letters include King writing from California to his wife and children; Butler, in his early letters, from Franklin College to his parents, then later, from California to his mother; Lordy from Yale University to his parents; and Anna Matilda King to her husband, sons, and other children. In addition, there are family letters from the other King children to their father and several business and political letters from Californians and northern capitalists to King. (For additional information on King's activities in California see Series 2, folder 478.)

Notable correspondents include: Alex H. Arthur (one letter, 1849); William Henry Aspinwall (several letters); John Barrell (one letter, 1850); Thomas Benning (one letter, 1849); Frederick Billings (one letter, 1850); Simon Fraser Blount (two letters, 1849); Burgoyne & Company (several letters); Henry Clay (one letter, 1851); John Demere (several letters); C. W. Denison (one letter, 1850); Edward M. Dodge (one letter, 1850); Frank Gage (one letter, 1850); Andrew Gray (one letter, 1850); Cyril V. Grey (one letter, 1850); Robert Habersham (several letters); Josiah Holbrook (one letter, 1850); C. H. Hopkins (one letter, 1849); John Eastman Johnson (one letter, 1850); James Longstreet (one letter, 1850); Joseph B. Lynde (two letters, 1850); B. F. Moon (one letter, 1849); W. W. Paine (several letters); John V. Plume (one letter, 1850); Cadwalader Ringgold (several letters); H. E. Robinson (one letter, 1850); Persifor Frazer Smith (one letter, 1849); H. Van Rensselaer (one letter, 1849); Franklin Williams from Shanghai (several letters); Wolcott, Bates & Company, Shanghai (several letters).

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Correspondence, 1853-1859

Family letters on domestic matters form the bulk of the correspondence during this period. After his economic and political failures in California, King began investing in and promoting railroads in Georgia and elsewhere in the South. He was particularly involved with a transcontinental railroad through Texas. There are a number of letters discussing these ventures (which King promoted and managed by constantly traveling between Washington, New York, New Orleans, Texas, and England), but for the most part they reveal little about the projects. Like most of his other business plans, these fell through, and, by 1859, it was clear that for the time being the transcontinental project was dead. (Additional information on King's railroad activities can be found in Series 3.)

Anna Matilda King and Butler, the King's oldest son, are the most frequent correspondents. Butler's letters deal with the management of Retreat Plantation, with his efforts to settle with the Treasury Department his father's accounts as collector at San Francisco, with his own plans to become a cotton factor in Savannah, and with his and his mother's attempts to purchase Hamilton, the neighboring plantation. Anti-semitism surfaces in several of Ann Matilda's letters regarding Hamilton. For the most part, however, her letters concern plantation and local affairs: enslaved people who were sick, entertaining a constant stream of visitors, news from Brunswick and Savannah, and other topics. Particularly noteworthy are several letters from the spring and summer of 1856 in which Anna Matilda discusses table-tipping and her contacts with the spiritual world. Butler died suddenly in January 1859, and Anna Matilda died in August of that year.

Notable correspondents include: Jeptha Fowlkes (several letters, 1857-1858); Samuel Jaudon (several letters); Thomas B. Lincoln (several letters, 1857-1859).

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Correspondence, 1860-1865

Chiefly family correspondence that reflects the effects of the Civil War on the King family. There are letters from the sons from their different war stations. Lord was near Williamsburg in 1861, and, until his death in December 1862, with General McLaws in eastern Virginia (see volume 11 for his diary between 4 June and 16 November 1862). Floyd wrote from various places in Virginia and eastern Tennessee throughout the war (mainly from western Virginia as a Major in the artillery under Henry Heth). Mallery wrote from James Island, S.C., in 1862, from Mississippi with Gist's Brigade in 1863 and 1864, and from Pocataligo, S.C., in 1864. Cuyler was near Chattanooga, Chickamauga, and Missionary Ridge, Tenn., and Marietta, Ga., in 1863 and near Atlanta and Dalton, Ga., in the spring of 1864.

The letters of King's daughters deal with the family's relocation from the coast to the interior of Georgia and with news of friends in the army and elsewhere. Georgia King, who married William Duncan Smith in the summer of 1861, wrote most of these: from Richmond in 1860 on meeting Mrs. Jefferson Davis, James Longstreet, and J. E. B. Stuart and riding Stuart's horse; from Fairfax Courthouse, Va., in the fall of 1861 with her brother Floyd and her husband William; from Manassas, Va., in 1861 with the news of Hamilton Couper's death; and from Savannah and elsewhere in Georgia during the rest of the war. Also included are papers dealing with the Charleston convention of 1860, the political situation, King's service in the Georgia legislature during November of that year, Georgia's seizure of Fort Pulaski in 1861, and King's mission to Europe for the state of Georgia.

Notable correspondents include: Lafayette McLaws (several letters); William Duncan Smith (several letters).

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Folder 460

Folder 461

Folder 462

Correspondence, 1866-1868

Chiefly letters from Floyd in Mississippi and Louisiana (in and near Natchez), where he was managing plantations with workers who were German and Black. Included also are letters from Georgia and Florence King and the Capertons.

Folder 547-548

Folder 547

Folder 548

Chiefly letters to Richard Cuyler King

Acquisitions information: Addition of May 1989 (Acc. 89034)

Richard Cuyler King was the son of Thomas Butler and Anna Matilda Page King. Included are letters from various family members to Richard Cuyler King during his service with the 1st Battalion, Georgia Sharp Shooters during the American Civil War. Among these letters are several from his brothers, who were serving with other Confederate forces. Letters largely discuss family matters. Includes typed transcriptions of the letters that were made in 1975 and 1978 by Jeannette Adams.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Speeches and Writings.

Folder 463-476

Folder 463

Folder 464

Folder 465

Folder 466

Folder 467

Folder 468

Folder 469

Folder 470

Folder 471

Folder 472

Folder 473

Folder 474

Folder 475

Folder 476

Speeches and Writings by Thomas Butler King, 1830s-1863

Speeches and writings by Thomas Butler King related to presidential campaigns and to his own political campaigns in Georgia. Also included are reports on his tenure as collector of the port of San Francisco and a pamphlet dealing with his correspondence and activities as agent to Europe from Georgia during the first years of the Civil War.

  • Address on the constitution, slavery, and state rights, [1830s?] (8 handwritten pages)
  • Reply to "the interrogations of the Citizens of Franklin and Taliaferro County," Ga., on the United States Bank, 14 September 1838 (29 handwritten pages)
  • Address on the pending presidential election between Harrison and Van Buren, 1840 (43 handwritten pages)
  • Campaign address in support of Harrison, 1840 (incomplete, 19 handwritten pages numbered 1-2, 1-11, 17-1/2, 28, and 40-44)
  • Campaign address supporting Harrison, 1840 (5-6 handwritten pages, incomplete)
  • Draft of speech on the subject of treasury notes, 18 March 1840 (20 handwritten pages, odd numbering but probably complete) "Speech of Thomas Butler King of Georgia on the Bill additional to the Act on the subject of Treasury Notes," 18 March 1840 (about 45 handwritten pages)
  • Notes on the Home Squadron Bill, 1841 (5 handwritten pages, incomplete)
  • Report on the Home Squadron Bill; printed congressional report (27th Congress, 1st Session, Report No. 3, House of Representatives.), 7 July 1841 (16 printed pages)
  • Address, "To the people of the first Congressional District of Georgia," 1844 (4 handwritten pages)
  • Address, 1844 (incomplete, 4 handwritten pages: 1, 9, 17, 20
  • Report on the 1846 memorial of the Alabama, Florida, and Georgia Railroad Company, 1848 (12 handwritten pages)
  • Report on California, 20 February 1850 (8 handwritten pages, incomplete)
  • Original Manuscript Copy of Report on California by T. Butler King, 1850 (handwritten, incomplete, pages: 5-78)
  • Speech to the Young Men's Whig Club of San Francisco, June 1852 (4 handwritten pages)
  • Notes on activities at San Francisco, undated (about 4 handwritten pages, incomplete)
  • Report defending conduct while collector of the port of San Francisco, [1853?] (37 handwritten pages)
  • "Original Manuscript of the Address to the People of the First Congressional District [of Georgia]' May, 1859" (45 handwritten pages)
  • "Address of Hon. T. Butler King, to the people of the First Congressional District," Savannah, 1859 (printed booklet, 28 pages) (Note: The original of this booklet has been transferred to the Rare Book Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill.)
  • "A Card to the Public," 27 July 1859 (2 handwritten copies, one 6 pages, another 4 pages, and one printed copy, 1 page)
  • Notes on state aid to railroads, November 1859 (8 handwritten pages)
  • "Report on State Aid," 18 November 1859 (2 handwritten pages)
  • "Brief remarks on the Bill granting State Aid to Railroad Companies," 21 November 1859 (3 pages)
  • Speech to the residents of Rhode Island on the presidential campaign, 1860 (12 handwritten pages)
  • "The American Blockade," 1861 (28 handwritten pages)
  • "Original Preamble and Resolution for the Appointment of a Commissioner to the Continent of Europe [from Georgia]," 1861-1862 (2 handwritten pages)
  • "Papers Relative to the Mission of Hon. T. Butler King to Europe," Confederate Union Power Press, Milledgeville, Ga., 1863 (printed booklet, 16 pages [Note: The original of this booklet has been transferred to Rare Book Collection, UNC-Chapel Hill])
Folder 477-483

Folder 477

Folder 478

Folder 479

Folder 480

Folder 481

Folder 482

Folder 483

Speeches and Essays by Others

Speeches and writings on the King family and other topics by family members and others.

  • Mrs. Franklin Dunwoody Aiken (Frances Buford King): "Life at Retreat Plantation (After 1875)," 1942 (photocopy of 3 typewritten pages of a document)
  • Butler King Couper: "A Story of the Clock," undated (2 typewritten pages)
  • J. M. Culverwell and J. J. Hansen: "Resume of Information on Thomas Butler King," undated (50 typewritten pages compiled from a number of sources)
  • William A. Gordon: General John Floyd King, 1915 (4 typewritten pages)
  • William A. Gordon: Memorial & Address at Camp 171, U.C.V., Washington, D.C., October 5, 1915 (includes a piece on General J. F. King and other information) (7 typewritten pages)
  • Thomas Ap Catesby Jones: The Bay of San Francisco and its Harbors, undated (6 handwritten pages)
  • Thomas Ap Catesby Jones:"New York of the Pacific rivisited [sic]," undated. (7 handwritten pages)
  • Thomas Ap Catesby Jones:"The wants of California Immigrants considered," undated (12 handwritten pages)
  • Richard Cuyler King: "The Revolution of America," undated (2 handwritten pages)
  • Richard Cuyler King: "Application of Electricity and Steam," undated (4 handwritten pages)
  • Charles Spaulding: "The Floyds" (document on the Floyd family), undated (5 handwritten pages)
  • Carey W. Stiles, et. al.: "Address to the People of the First Congressional District of Georgia," 23 July 1853 (1 printed page)
  • Author and date unknown: "A monotonious rhyme on monotonious Senators" (1 page)
  • Author and date unknown: Poem: "I'd offer thee this hand of mine" (1 page)
  • Author and date unknown: Poem: "A very mournful ballad of Saint Simons" (4 pages)
  • Author and date unknown: Drama: "Enter Dr. Druggendraft with the Duchess" (1 page)
  • Author and date unknown: "A few general remarks on the treatment of cholera" (2 pages)
  • Author and date unknown: "The usual mode for procuring Coolies in China" (2 pages)
  • Author and date unknown: "The Memorial of the undersigned citizens of the State of Arkansas" (2 pages)
  • Author and date unknown: "The two plantations on Saint Simons's Island" (photocopy of 2 pages of typewritten document)
  • Author and date unknown: "Thomas Butler King" (photocopy of 4 pages of typewritten document)
  • Author and date unknown: "Fire Destroys Historic Clock" (1 page photocopy of clipping from unidentified newspaper)
  • Author and date unknown: "Attleboro Citizens Mourning Loss of Famous Clock in Fire" (photocopy of 1 page clipping from unidentified newspaper)
  • Author and date unknown: "Neptune Small" Small, an enslaved man accompanied Henry Lord Page King to war and returned the latter's body to Saint Simons) (1 paragraph photocopy of typewritten document)
  • Author and date unknown: Biographical summaries, 1 paragraph each, for Henry King, Thomas Butler King, and John Floyd King (photocopies of 2 typed pages)
  • Author and date unknown: "Major William Page" (photocopy of 2 pages)
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Internal Improvements.

About 60 items.
Folder 484-490

Folder 484

Folder 485

Folder 486

Folder 487

Folder 488

Folder 489

Folder 490

Internal Improvements in Georgia

Documents related to internal improvements in Georgia. Included are reports, bills, charts, and receipts, as well as a map of town lots in Brunswick, Ga., and maps of certain lands in Florida.

  • Alabama, Florida, and Georgia Railroad Company (chartered 1834-1835), 24 July 1846 (1 printed page)
  • King's notes on internal improvements in Georgia and Florida, undated (9 handwritten pages)
  • >Map: Stage coach routes, New Orleans to Washington, D.C., Lehman & Duval Lith, 15 x 3 3/4, undated
  • Map: Plan of the city of Saint Joseph, Fla., lithograph by Baker, 8 Wall St., New York, 23 1/4 x 14 1/4, undated (photographic negative included)
  • Map: "Map of the Lands of the Forbes Purchase in Middle Florida," (about 1,200,000 acres) printed on tissue with handwritten additions, 12 1/2 x 10 3/4, undated
  • "T. Butler King's Report on Internal Improvements made in the Senate of Georgia, 1836" (20 handwritten pages)
  • Draft of a bill for railroad construction in Georgia, undated (11 handwritten pages)
  • "A Table Showing the cereal products of the several counties [in Georgia] through which the Western and Atlantic RR passes and the Counties contiguous thereto for the years 1840 and 1850" (1 handwritten sheet)
  • "[Georgia] Counties on and contiguous to the proposed lines of new Road and the value of Lands, city and town property therein," undated (1 handwritten sheet)
  • Railroad matters, Georgia, 1860 (6 handwritten pages, page 1 missing)
  • Map: Plan of town lots in Brunswick, undated (MISSING)
  • Lists of town lots in Brunswick, undated
  • Brunswick Canal Company: Handwritten invoices and receipts from various individuals for services performed by them; bank deposit notices; a power of attorney, 1836
  • Brunswick Canal and Railroad Company: Notice of assessment on shares of stock, 1838
  • Brunswick and Florida Railroad Company: Conditions of subscriptions, 1835
  • Brunswick and Florida Railroad Company: List of articles belonging to and bank deposits of the company; payroll of engineers and assistants surveying for the company, 1837
  • Brunswick and Florida Railroad Company: Declaration on notes and accounts; poetition from Rice, Parker & Company for goods supplied by the firm to the company (including a declaration on notes and accounts), 1838-1841
  • Brunswick and Florida Railroad Company: Account of cash received and paid, undated
  • Brunswick and Florida Railroad Company: Statement of expenses for the building provided by Mr. Curtis for the company's office
Folder 491-503

Folder 491

Folder 492

Folder 493

Folder 494

Folder 495

Folder 496

Folder 497

Folder 498

Folder 499

Folder 500

Folder 501

Folder 502

Folder 503

Internal Improvements in Texas

Documents associated with King's railroad activities in Texas. These include maps, reports, bills, contracts, speeches, and newspaper editorials.

  • "Sketch of part of the march & wagonroad of Lt. Colonel Cooke from Sante Fe to the Pacific Ocean, 1846-1847," undated
  • Indenture between Thomas Butler King and others concerning Texas lands, 4 August 1852 (7 handwritten pages)
  • "Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Railway: Draft Prospectus," 1853 (7 handwritten pages)
  • "Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Railway," 1853 (printed document, 3 pages)
  • "Texas Western RR Company--Certificate of Location," December 1853 (5 handwritten pages)
  • "Speech [on railroads] of the Hon. T. Butler King, delivered Dec. 24, 1853, at the Old Capitol, Austin" (27 handwritten pages)
  • "The Tri-Weekly State Times--Supplement--Speech of Hon. T. Butler King delivered Dec. 24, 1853, at the Old Capitol Austin" (printed version) (1 page)
  • "Whereas by the provisions of an Act of the Legislature of the state of Texas entitled An act to provide for the construction of the Mississippi and Pacific railroad," 31 August 1854 (19 handwritten pages)
  • "Articles of agreement between Robert Walker and Thomas Butler King, on the one hand, and, on the other, the Governor of Texas concerning the Mississippi and Pacific Railroad," 1 September 1854 (3 handwritten pages)
  • "Contract R. J. Walker and T. Butler King with Robert Sorton Parry of London-Mississippi and Pacific Railroad," 3 October 1854 (3 handwritten pages)
  • Promotional letter for a railroad to the Pacific by a Southern route, 1854-1855 (3 handwritten copies, approximately 30 pages each)
  • Editorial from the Lamar County, Tex. Enquirer: "The Texas Route for a Railroad to the Pacific," 7 May 1855 (3 handwritten pages)
  • Editorial for the Frontier Patriot, Paris, Lamar County, Tex., 8 May 1855 (6 handwritten pages)
  • Map: "Routes for a Pacific railroad, compiled to Accompany the Report of the Hon. Jefferson Davis, Sec. of War," 1855
  • "An Act to incorporate the Memphis, El Paso and Pacific Rail Road Company," 4 February 1856 (15 handwritten pages)
  • "An Act supplemental to an act to incorporate the Memphis, El Paso and Pacific Railroad Company," 22 August 1856 (3 handwritten pages)
  • "An Act to amend the 17th section of an act to incorporate the Memphis, El Paso and Pacific Rail Road Company," 25 August 1856 (2 handwritten pages)
  • Draft of Thomas Butler King's report to the board of directors of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, 1856 (approximately 90 handwritten pages)
  • "Report to the Board of Directors of the Southern Pacific Rail Road Company," 1856 (86 handwritten pages)
  • "Extension of the railroad to San Francisco, costs, etc.," 1856 (4 handwritten pages, page 1 missing)
  • Consolidation suggestions for the Southern Pacific Railroad and the Memphis & El Paso Railroad, 1856 (handwritten, 4 pages)
  • Consolidation suggestions for the Southern Pacific Railroad and the Memphis & El Paso Railroad, 1856 (about 8 handwritten pages)
  • Consolidation proposals for the Southern Pacific Railroad and the Memphis & El Paso Railroad, 1856 (4 handwritten pages rough draft and 4 handwritten pages final copy)
  • "Articles of Agreement made and entered into by and between the Southern Pacific Railroad Company & the Memphis, El Paso and Pacific Rail Road Company of the state of Texas," [1856?] (2 handwritten pages)
  • Agreement between Thomas Butler King on behalf of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company and others connected with the Memphis, El Paso & Pacific Railroad Company, 23 August 1856 (1 handwritten page)
  • "This memorandum of agreement between Samuel R. Brooks of the City of New York..." and other principals for buying land in Texas [1856?] (2 handwritten pages)
  • "A Bill to be Entitled: An Act Authorizing the Southern Pacific and the Memphis, El Paso & Pacific Railroad Companies to form a Junction and Build a common trunk road to El Paso," 1856 (3 handwritten pages)
  • A bill relating to construction deadlines, etc., of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company, [May 1857?] (6 handwritten pages)
  • Contract between the Southern Pacific Railroad and Jeptha Fowlkes of the Memphis & El Paso Railroad, 10 September 1857 (12 handwritten pages)
  • "Articles of Agreement Between the Southern Pacific Railroad Company and Doctor Jeptha Fowlkes, New York, 10 September 1857" (9 handwritten pages)
  • "Whereas certain important pledges were made to the people of New Orleans...," 1857 (2 handwritten pages)
  • "To the Members of the Legislature of the State of Texas," speech, 1858 (1 printed sheet)
  • "A Bill to be Entitled An Act to Amend the 4th Section of an Act to provide for the investment of the Special School Fund," 20 January 1858 (1 handwritten page)
  • Letter of 20 January 1858 (2 handwritten pages)
  • "Bill Supplemental to an Act incorporating the Texas Western Railroad Company," 3 February 1858 (3 handwritten pages)
  • "A Bill To be entitled an act supplemental to an act incorporating the Texas Western Rail Road Company," 4 February 1858 (6 handwritten pages)
  • "A bill To be entitled an Act to encourage the Construction," 4, 5, 8 February 1858 (2 handwritten pages)
  • "An Act To Amend an Act to Incorporate the Memphis, El Paso & Pacific RR Company," 10 February 1858 (2 different handwritten copies, 2 pages each)
  • Southern Pacific Railroad Convention, Louisville Journal Extra, 26 August 1858 (1 printed page)
  • Southern Pacific Railroad Company construction bond, [1858?] (2 handwritten copies, 2 pages each)
  • "A Bill to be Entitled: An Act to Encourage the Construction of a National Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean to Pass Through the State of Texas," [1856-1858] (4 handwritten pages)
  • "An Act Entitled an Act Authorizing Counties to Subscribe to Railroad and Issue Bonds in Payment of said Subscriptions," [1856-1858] (6 handwritten pages)
  • "Report of Hon. Jacob Waelder," 1856-1858 (4 handwritten pages)
  • List of articles from the American Railway Review between May 1857 and October 1859 (3 handwritten pages numbered 3 through 5)
  • "New Policy of the Southern Pacific Railroad Co.," 12 April 1859 (1 printed page)
  • "Office Southern Pacific Railroad Co., Marshall, Texas, May 1, 1859" (1 printed sheet)
  • Southern Pacific Railroad matters, 1850s (6 handwritten pages)
  • "An Act to Authorize the Sale of the Public Domain," 1850s (3 handwritten pages)
  • "New Orleans, 1st October, 1861" (1 page printed letter)
  • Notes on Sonora, Mex., undated (6 handwritten pages)
  • Discussion of railroad matters, distances, etc., undated (8 handwritten pages numbered 5 through 12)
  • Notes on railroad matters, undated. (3 handwritten pages)
  • Estimates of a route via Santa Fe, undated (1 handwritten page)
  • Eastern Texas Railroad Company: Agreement of association, printed sheet of bank share agreement, undated (1 page)
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Other Papers.

About 130 items.
Folder 504-508

Folder 504

Folder 505

Folder 506

Folder 507

Folder 508

Naval Affairs

Miscellaneous documents related to King's interests in naval affairs. These include a list of French Navy vessels; information on mail steamers and contracts; a memorandum on railways for the depot of war ships; an act relating to surveyors and pursers of the navy; notes on changes brought about in European navies as a result of the introduction of steam; notes and memos on a steam war Navy; information on Mr. Bancroft and "retrenchment"; a proposal to establish a Navy Yard at Brunswick; a piece entitled "Stand Still or Reform"; and a map "Drawn to Accompany Ambrose W. Thompson's Proposal to Establish Steam Communication between the United States and China."

Folder 509

Lists of people who were enslaved

Lists of people who were claimed as property and enslaved by the King family and probably others during the slavery era.

  • "Return of Thomas Butler King's Taxable Property in the Counties of Glynn & Wayne for 1834"
  • "Register of Negroes belonging to Tho. Butler King," November 1839
  • "Stampede" (list of people who were enslaved), undated
  • Unidentified log book, undated (pages 161-162)
  • List of people enslaved by each member of the King family following Anna Matilda King's death in August 1859
Folder 510-515

Folder 510

Folder 511

Folder 512

Folder 513

Folder 514

Folder 515

Financial and Legal Papers

Deeds, bonds, indentures, maps and plats. Most relate to King's purchase of part of the Middleton estate in the mid-1830s.

  • Fragments of maps of various places with 18th- and 19th-century dates
  • Papers dealing with Thomas Butler King's purchase of part of the Middleton estate
  • Miscellaneous items
  • "Notice of Quartz Claim Agreement--Smith & Baldwin and Patrick Develin and Others," 24 September 1852 (3 handwritten pages)
  • Power of attorney to Thomas Butler King from the owners of the Old Dominion Mining Company, Calaveras County, Calif., 19 October 1852 (2 handwritten pages)
  • Copy of agreement between the Old Dominion Gold Mining Company and the South Carolina Gold Mining Company concerning Carson's Creek (or Hill), Calif., undated. (7 handwritten pages)
Folder 516-523

Folder 516

Folder 517

Folder 518

Folder 519

Folder 520

Folder 521

Folder 522

Folder 523

Invitations, Replies, Calling Cards, Receipts, and Miscellaneous Items

Chiefly calling cards and replies to an invitation to a public dinner given in King's honor in New York, 23 March 1847.

Folder 524-527

Folder 524

Folder 525

Folder 526

Folder 527

Printed Items, 1838-1847 and undated

Printed form letters sent to King covering a wide variety of topics and a lithograph of an execution in San Francisco.

Folder 528

Lithograph: "The First Trial & Execution in S. Francisco"

[1851-1852?], Quirot & Company, San Francisco, 8 x 11-1/2

Folder 529-533

Folder 529

Folder 530

Folder 531

Folder 532

Folder 533

Clippings, 1841-1864

Newspaper clippings dealing with King and his various interests.

Folder 549

"Some Bible and Cemetery Records of the Page-King Family," 2003

Acquisitions information: Addition of September 2003 (Acc. 99657)

Compiled by Edwin R. MacKethan III.

Folder 550

"Memorandum on the King Family of Palmer, Massachusetts," 2003

Acquisitions information: Addition of September 2003 (Acc. 99657)

Compiled by Edwin R. MacKethan III.

Folder 551

Typed transcription of diary of Captain R. Cuyler King, 1st Georgia Sharpshooters

Acquisitions information: Addition of August 2004 (Acc. 99873)

Diary documents the campaign of Hood from Jonesboro, Ga., into Tennessee in Autumn 1864. Also included are biographical materials related to King.

Folder 552

"The Ancestors and Descendants of Thomas Butler King, 1797-1864 and his wife Anna Matilda Page, 1798-1859," 2014

Acquisitions information: Addition of September 2015 (Acc. 102316)

A family tree compiled by Edwin R. MacKethan III.

Oversize Paper Folder OPF-1252/1

Oversize papers

Extra Oversize Paper Folder XOPF-1252/1

Extra oversize papers

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Volumes.

12 items.
Folder 534

Volume 1: Anna Matilda King, 1839-1840

Miscellaneous account records.

Folder 535

Volume 2: "Preliminary Remarks on the State of France previous to the Revolution of 1789", 1848

"Preliminary Remarks on the State of France previous to the Revolution of 1789 to serve as an introduction to the history of the French Revolution, 25 February 1848". 17 pages

Folder 536

Volume 3: William Page, Saint Simons Island, Ga., 1820

Miscellaneous accounts and travel record.

Folder 537

Volume 4: Miscellaneous accounts, 1841

Tobacco, shoes, candy.

Folder 538

Volume 5: Anna Matilda Page in account with William Page, 1822

Clothes and personal expense.

Folder 539

Volume 6: J. M. Snelling, H. A. Snelling, Augusta, Ga., undated

Miscellaneous accounts.

Folder 540

Volume 7: Addresses and miscellaneous memoranda, undated

Oversize Volume SV-1252/8

Volume 8: Plantation record kept by Anna Matilda King, 1842-1858, and others, 1864 (note: these are copyflow prints from microfilm)

Folder 542

Volume 9: Commonplace book, 1855, 1865 of Georgia Page King

Folder 543

Volume 10: Henry Lord Page King diary, 1860

Brief daily entries.

Folder 544-545

Folder 544

Folder 545

Volume 11: Henry Lord Page King diary, 1862

The diary (4-27 June, 6 August-16 November 1862) was sent in pieces to King's sister Flora as indicated by enclosed notes. During the Civil War, Henry Lord Page King was aide-de-camp to Confederate Brigadier General Lafayette McLaws. The diary discusses troop movements from Williamsburg into Maryland and refers to generals McLaws, Robert E. Lee, T. J. Jackson, D. H. Hill, J. B. Kershaw, and James Longstreet. Typed transcription included.

Folder 546

Volume 12: J. Floyd King, Christian Bible

Civil War sketches on flyleaves.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 6. Microfilm copy of collection materials.

19 reels.

Filmed in 1988. Additions to the collection after 1988 are not available on microfilm.

Reel M-1252/1-14















Microfilm copy of correspondence, 1809-1869

Reel M-1252/15

Microfilm copy of speeches and writings, circa 1830s-1860s

Reel M-1252/16

Microfilm copy of papers concerning internal improvements, circa 1830s-1860s

Reel M-1252/17

Microfilm copy of other papers and printed materials, circa 1830s-1860s

Reel M-1252/18-19



Microfilm copy of volumes, circa 1820s-1860s

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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