(Mss. 2879)


Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections

Special Collections, Hill Memorial Library

Louisiana State University Libraries

Baton Rouge, Louisiana State University

Reformatted 2003

Revised 2011


SUMMARY .................................................................................................................................... 3
BIOGRAPHICAL/HISTORICAL NOTE ...................................................................................... 4
SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE ................................................................................................... 4
COLLECTION DESCRIPTION .................................................................................................... 5
INDEX TERMS ............................................................................................................................ 13
CONTAINER LIST ...................................................................................................................... 14

Use of manuscript materials. If you wish to examine items in the manuscript group, please fill out a call slip specifying the materials you wish to see. Consult the Container List for location information needed on the call slip.

Photocopying. Should you wish to request photocopies, please consult a staff member. The existing order and arrangement of unbound materials must be maintained.

Publication. Readers assume full responsibility for compliance with laws regarding copyright, literary property rights, and libel.

Permission to examine archival materials does not constitute permission to publish. Any publication of such materials beyond the limits of fair use requires specific prior written permission. Requests for permission to publish should be addressed in writing to the Head, Public Services, Special Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, LA, 70803-3300. When permission to publish is granted, two copies of the publication will be requested for the LLMVC.

Proper acknowledgement of LLMVC materials must be made in any resulting writing or publications. The correct form of citation for this manuscript group is given on the summary page. Copies of scholarly publications based on research in the Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections are welcomed.



192 items

Geographic locations.

New Orleans, Louisiana; Pensacola, Florida; Havana, Cuba.

Inclusive dates.

1767-1784, undated

Bulk dates.



English, French, and Spanish


Photocopies of letters and papers pertaining mostly to business of an Irish-born New Orleans merchant.


Arranged chronologically.

Location of originals.

Originals in the Library of Congress.

Restrictions on access.

If microfilm is available, photocopies must be made from microfilm.

Related collections.

Oliver Pollock Letter, Mss. 3762

Oliver Pollock Letter, Mss. 4400


Copyright of the original materials is retained by descendants of the creators in accordance with U.S. copyright law.


Oliver Pollock Papers, Mss. 2879, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Stack location.



Oliver Pollock (1737-1823) was born in Ireland, came to America as a boy and settled in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. In 1762 he went to Havana, Cuba, formed an acquaintance with Governor General O’Reilly and went to New Orleans with him when the latter was made Spanish Governor of Louisiana.

In 1777 he was appointed Commercial Agent of the United States at New Orleans and remained in charge of the national finances there until close of the war. He provided financial backing for the expedition of George Rogers Clark in 1778.

In 1783 he was appointed U. S. Agent at Havana and was imprisoned for the debts of the United States. He returned to his home in Cumberland County in 1791 a poor man. He died in Mississippi in 1823.


The papers, which are photocopies of the originals contained in the Library of Congress, are letters and accounts relating to his trade in merchandise and slaves. Letters from correspondents in Philadelphia, Louisiana, and Pensacola pertain mainly to commerce in Louisiana, Pollock's business affairs, and to his imprisonment in Cuba.

Some of the letters are written in French and Spanish.




Apr. 21, 1767

Philadelphia. Letter from Captain Daniel Major concerning sale of sloop Chaney.

June 6, 1767

Philadelphia. Letter from Pollock’s brother Charles concerning family misfortunes.

July 3, 1767

Philadelphia. Bill of lading from Benjamin Harbeson for flour.

July 4, 1767

Philadelphia. Letter reporting on assistance given a young man at Pollock’s request.

Aug. 19, 1767

St. Kitts. Order from John Hunter for produce and materials.

Oct. 24, 1767

Philadelphia. Invoice of sundries shipped by Wills & Jackson aboard the brig James.

Oct. 26, 1767

Philadelphia. Letter from William Mercer requesting a delivery of tea.

Oct. 26, 1767

Invoice and bill of lading for commodities shipped by James Longhead to the island of St. Eustasia.

Oct. 26, 1767

Philadelphia. Letter from James Longhead in which he states he is sending invoice for commodities shipped via the brig James bound for St. Eustasia.

Oct. 27, 1767

Philadelphia. Letter enclosing invoice for merchandise shipped to Dominica and St. Eustasia by Hodge McCullock and Bayard.

Oct. 27, 1767

Philadelphia. Letter asking Pollock to dispose of merchandise for Will Jackson.

December 1767

Invoice and letter from Andrew Fitzsimmons.

Dec. 21, 1767

St. Eustasia. Letter regarding delay in shipment due to ice on the river.

December 1767

St. Eustasia. Letter concerning insurance of a cargo.

Jan. 25, 1774

New Orleans. Letter from Stephen Watts authorizing Pollock to handle cash as well as merchandise for him.

Jan. 25, 1774

Pensacola. Letter from William Macpherson concerning the disposition of a sword.

Jan. 12, 1775

Letter from James Rumsey regarding the purchase of a slave.

Jan. 21, 1775

Manchac. Letter from Phillip Comyn regarding the cargo of slaves.

Jan. 23, 1775

Cambria. Letter reporting on poor state of business and placing order for materials.



Jan. 24, 1775

Cambria. Letter informing Pollock that it would be useless to try to collect certain debts because of poor indigo crop.

Jan. 27, 1775

New Orleans. Letter from J. Blommart reporting on the poor peltry trade.

Jan. 28, 1775

New Orleans. Letter from James Rumsey informing Pollock of safe arrival of slaves delivered by Mr. Donaldson.

Jan. 28, 1775

Pensacola. Letter from James Hamilton authorizing Pollock to collect debts due Hamilton and make payment to John Keller at Manchac.

Jan. 29, 1775

Mississippi. Letter from J. Blommart advising Pollock concerning debts.

Jan. 30, 1775

Richmond. Letter and receipt from Philip Francis. Also advising Pollock that William Gradinigo sent two bags of indigo as payment on note.

January 1775

Letter. Not legible.


Statement from Pollock to John Morison, debtor, concerning sale of land and a petition for letters of administration for John Finny’s estate.

Feb. 2, 1775

Natchitoches. Letter from M. Desmajellieres regarding purchase of wood.

Feb. 3, 1775

Pensacola. Letter from John Morison concerning Governor’s writ for administration of John Finny’s estate.

Feb. 3, 1775

Letter from J. Rumsey concerning the sale of slaves to Mr. Cabelle.

Feb. 10, 1775

Richmond. Order from Philip Francis for a barrel of pecans.

Feb. 10, 1775

Pointe Coupee. Commercial letter from Isaac Monsanto.

Feb. 10, 1775

Natchitoches. Letter from M. Dupain concerning merchandise.

Feb. 13, 1775

Tonnica. Letter from Blommart informing Pollock that due to bad passage, he was forced further inland and left his boat with Mr. Clark.

Feb. 13, 1775

Tonnica. Bill for gunpowder for Lt. John Thomas.

Feb. 14, 1775

Pensacola. Letter from David Hodge introducing Captain Elsworth, who will settle on the Mississippi and will need a boat to take him to Manchac.

Feb. 16, 1775

Natchez. Letter from Isaac Johnson requesting the purchase of slaves.



Feb. 17, 1775

Pensacola. Letter from John Morison asking Pollock to sell land on the Mississippi and Amite rivers.

Feb. 18, 1775

Letter from Jacob Blackwell authorizing Pollock to purchase a “horse or two.”

Feb. 18, 1775

Letter from M. Labarre regarding the sale of lumber to pay a debt.

Feb. 25, 1775

Timber Vale. Letter from George Urquhart defending his part in at transaction with Pollock in the purchase of a worthless slave.

Mar. 2, 1775

Allmand. Letter from Bellile concerning inability to procure indigo.

Mar. 22, 1775

Richmond. Letter from Philip Francis, dissatisfaction with merchandise and price.

Mar. 23, 1775

Pensacola. Letter from William Marshall discussing his business arrangement for sale of land with Mr. Hodge.

Mar. 25, 1775

Pensacola. Letter from David Hodge regarding the purchase of land on the Mississippi from Mr. Marshall for Pollock.

Mar. 27, 1775

Letter from Robert Bellile explaining his delay in the delivery of cargo.

Mar. 28, 1775

Natchez. Letter from Blommart stating he is enclosing receipt from Stephen Goodings for Mr. Develier’s note.

Apr. 2, 1775

Richmond. Letter from W. Dunbar concerning delivery of documents to Hodges.

Apr. 3, 1775

Timber Vale. Letter from George Urquhard agreeing to meet his debts.

Apr. 5, 1775

Tonica. Letter from Midd Heblthwaite informing Pollock of the death of one of the slaves shipped to Heblthwaite.

Apr. 5, 1775

Manchac. Letter from Samuel Flowers asking if his account is correct.

Apr. 5, 1775

Letter from Robert Bellile concerning indigo.

Apr. 5, 1775

New Orleans. Letter from Daniel Clark regarding merchandise for Mrs. Pollock.

Apr. 5, 1775

Pointe Coupee. Letter from M. Vellier about order for merchandise.

Apr. 8, 1775

Letter from M. Vellier concerning order mentioned in letter of Apr. 5.

Apr. 8, 1775

Letter from M. Desmajellieres regretting that he cannot make payment.

Apr. 11, 1775

Cambria. Letter from Jeremiah German concerning wages to be paid a man who



worked on Pollock’s plantation.

Apr. 11, 1775

Letter from M. Labarre concerning indigo.

Apr. 13, 1775

New York. Letter from John Hunt enclosing letter to be delivered to James Rumsey.

Apr. 16, 1775

Baton Rouge. Letter from J. German requesting move to Pollock’s upper plantation.

Apr. 18, 1775

Island Tobago. Letter from James Campbell reminding Pollock of assistance offered him in acquiring lands in America which had been promised by His Majesty to all who served in the colonies. Campbell remarks on the effect of the political situation in America on shipping from America to the islands, saying, “I sincerely wish matters were amicably settled.”

Apr. 21, 1775

Letter from Desmojellieres concerning boards (?).

Apr. 21, 1775

New Orleans. Letter from Philip Comyn requesting that enclosed letter be delivered to Willing & Morris.

Apr. 22, 1775

Natchitoches. Letter from Dellissart regarding accounts.

Apr. 25, 1775

Richmond. Letter from Will Dunbar ordering claret, coffee, brown sugar, and soap.

Apr. 25, 1775

Letter from Will Dunbar ordering coarse linen.

Apr. 29, 1775

Charles Town. Letter from Jeremiah Brower about merchandise handled by Rumsey and Blackwell.

May 5, 1775

Letter from George Urquhart requesting agreeable settlement of account.

May 6, 1775

New Orleans. Letter from Demasellieres.

May 6, 1775

Richmond. Letter from Richard Carpenter requesting payment for merchandise supplied Mr. Berwick for Pollock’s plantation.

May 11, 1775

Manchac. Letter from John Miller concerning a Bill of Exchange.

May 12, 1775

Atanask Point. Letter from Charles Blanchard stating he is unable to settle his debts.

May 17, 1775

Timber Vale. Letter from George Urquhart regarding the measurement of lands he bought and which he asks to be adjusted.

May 18, 1775

Chauvin Point. Letter from Patrick Conway advising Pollock of the state of Pollock’s plantation and of the “villainy of Mr. German.”



May 31, 1775

Richmond. Letter from Richard Carpenter concerning accounts.

May 31, 1775

Richmond. Letter from Carpenter explaining transactions mentioned in earlier letter.

Aug. 22, 1775

London. Bill from William Annand for purchases made by Capt. Andrew Baxter.

Aug. 23, 1775

London. Bill for merchandise bought from Walter Dawson & Co. by Capt. Baxter.

Oct. 10, 1775

New Orleans. Account of James Trant, deceased, due Oliver Pollock.

Sept. 16, 1775

Bill to Frank Poussett.

Nov. 21, 1775

Letter from Demasellier.


Letter from Debow plantation. Contents not legible.


52 account sheets from Pollock’s files.

Dec. 1778

Letter from Labarre expressing interest in obtaining slaves and animals.

Dec. 6, 1778

New Orleans. Letter from Phillip Lyon with message from Simon Nathan to Pollock.

Dec. 10, 1778

Havana. Letter from August Levery concerning exchange of shipment of bags for equal amounts of coffee and sugar.

Dec. 10, 1778

Havana. Letter from August Levery asking for exchange of coffee and sugar for bags, bottles, and stoppers.

December 1778

Letter from Robert Dow ordering medical supplies through Pollock.


Letter from Robert Dow asking that these supplies be shipped at once.


Letter from Robert Dow.


Letter from Robert Dow with medical items requested.

Nov. 16, 1781

Philadelphia. Letter from George Meade & Co. requesting that Pollock settle accounts with Mr. Murphy’s estate.

Feb. 12, 1782

Philadelphia. Letter from Bolker introducing the agent of the Spanish Court and requesting assistance be given friends who are in New Orleans.


Letter from person who rendered service to United States under Pollock’s department in New Orleans asking that his accounts for expenses incurred for this service now be paid. Signature is cut from page.



Sept. 1, 1782

Philadelphia. Letter from Dan Murray with apologies for his behavior and neglect in repaying loan.

Oct. 13, 1782

Philadelphia. Letter from Simon Nathan asking that Pollock request Mr. Robert Morris, Finance General of the United States to see that Mr. Nathan is reimbursed for the funds due him for bonds against the State of Virginia.

Oct. 26, 1782

Philadelphia. Document certifying that $21,419.78 has been credited to Pollock as Agent of the United States at New Orleans, Joseph Nourse, Register of the United States.

Oct. 26, 1782

Philadelphia. Letter from Joseph Pennell informing Pollock that certificate of credit has been sent him.

Nov. 2, 1782

Philadelphia. Letter from the crew of the sloop West Florida notifying Pollock that they hold him responsible for money due them in the service of the United States.

Nov. 16, 1782

Philadelphia. Notation on address sheet from George Meade & Co. concerning the Murphy debt.

Nov. 19, 1782

Philadelphia. Letter from William Constable containing political rumors regarding British ships in Boston harbor.

Nov. 23, 1782

Philadelphia. Letter from John Morrell(?) imploring Pollock to speak in his behalf to Mrs. Morris for funds due him.

Dec. 2, 1782

Philadelphia. Letter from Mr. Murray advising Pollock that suit is being brought against the brig “George.”

Dec. 3, 1782

Philadelphia. Letter from Abner Nash concerning a draft of $500 which Pollock had accepted.

Dec. 10, 1782

Philadelphia. Letter from William Constable with news of the relief of Gibraltar and that the French troops have gone into winter quarters. He expects the war will continue for some time.

Dec. 10, 1782

Philadelphia. Letter from Murray congratulating Pollock on his success with his business with a wagon-man in Virginia.

Dec. 26, 1782

Philadelphia. Letter from William Blount reporting on financial loans and advising Pollock of his plans to go to Carolina.

Dec. 30, 1782

Philadelphia. Letter from Morrell requesting Pollock draw an amount out of Morrell’s account pay Philip Willson, attorney, so obligations can be met.



Jan. 6, 1783

Philadelphia. Letter from William Sheaff informing Pollock that his order for wine has been shipped.

Jan. 25, 1783

Philadelphia. Letter from Abner Nash requesting payment due him.

Feb. 17, 1783

Letter from Benjamin Hawkins regarding loan to Mr. Nash.

Feb. 19, 1783

Letter from William Constable asking Pollock to lend money to meet his obligations.

May 7, 1783

Silver Springs. Letter from Pollock’s sister Mary explaining the hopelessness of the situation on the farm and the lack of money which is needed in order to make a living.

May 16, 1783

Letter from G. Meade regarding settlement of account from Francis Murphy estate.


Mr. Hutchins informs Mr. Pollock that Mr. Marshall expects eight percent interest on notes payable to Pollock.


Letter from John Moylan in which he states he is sending the letter which Mr. Pollock promised to handle for him.

June 2, 1783

Letter from George Meade requesting Pollock settle debt in favor of a client.

June 2, 1783

Philadelphia. Letter from William Turnbull in response to a request for information regarding the purchase of masts.

June 2, 1783

Philadelphia. Letter from Edmond Milner(?) authorizing Pollock to sell pieces of jewelry which will be sent him from Mr. Thomas Paterson of New Orleans.


Letter from William Turnbull stating that he received some orders from Mr. Parker, contractor for the army.

June 29, 1783

Philadelphia. Letter from Peter Wikoff asking Pollock to deliver a letter to Mr. William Wikoff of Wikoff & Clark, Opelousas.

July 2, 1783

Philadelphia. Letter from White Matlock requesting Pollock’s assistance in securing passage from Havana for Matlock’s nephew, George Chandler.

July 2, 1783

Philadelphia. Letter from Thomas Cullen seeking assistance in the resale of a slave.

July 27, 1783

Philadelphia. Letter from Cullen asking Pollock to investigate the sale of a woman.

Aug. 29, 1783

Philadelphia. Letter from Simon Nathan begging assistance in arbitration between himself and the State of Virginia.



Nov. 7, 1783

Philadelphia. Note from the Governor informing Pollock that persons have been appointed to examine his accounts and vouchers against the State.

Nov. 24, 1783

Philadelphia. Letter from Joseph Pennell acting as agent for the late Capt. Pickles requesting payment of Pollock’s note so that the estate can be settled.

Feb. 23, 1784

Philadelphia. Letter from George Meade asking assistance in a business deal.

May 17, 1784

Philadelphia. Letter from Alexander Bell asking to be informed of any unpaid debts of the late John Waugh.

Oct. 8, 1784

Philadelphia. Letter from Michael Connor informing Pollock of the situation regarding Mrs. Pollock and the children. Mr. Turnbull will represent Mr. Pollock’s case to the Congress.

Oct. 29, 1784

Philadelphia. Letter from Eben Rees discussing Mrs. Pollock’s situation and appraising Mr. Pollock of his financial situation. He notes that Mr. Turnbull will represent Mr. Pollock’s case to the Congress.


Two sheets of figures delineating the proportions and measurements for masts sent to Pollock in Philadelphia from Mr. Turnbull.


Letter from William Constable concerning the amount Mr. Pollock owes him.


Mr. Boker wishes to know for insurance the amount of tobacco being shipped, to whom it is consigned, the name of the captain of the vessel, and how many guns and men will be on board.


Message from Mr. Rendon.


Note, unsigned, informing Pollock that a brig off the capes of Virginia had all hands on board sick. Mr. Seagrave has called in his creditors.


Debt, Imprisonment for--Cuba.

Letters (correspondence)


Louisiana--Politics and government--To 1803.


Merchants--Louisiana--New Orleans.

Pollock, Oliver, 1737-1823.


United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Economic aspects.










Correspondence (1767-1784, undated)