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Stirling (Lewis and Family) Papers

(Mss. 1866)


Summary

Biographical/Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

Container List

 

Summary

Locations: Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Connecticut, New York.

Bulk Dates: 1830-1860

Languages: English, French, Spanish.

Summary note: Correspondence, diaries, cash books, journals, legal, personal and financial papers of Lewis Stirling (17861858) and family. Stirling was a sugar and cotton planter of West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, who owned plantations in West Feliciana, West Baton Rouge, and other parishes. The papers relate to his real and personal property holdings, military service, plantation management, and personal and family matters.

Citation: Lewis Stirling and Family Papers, Louisiana and Lower Mississippi Valley Collections, LSU Libraries.

Location: B:76-81 and Vault.

This collection is also available (with some omissions) on microfilm: University Publications of America Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations, Microfilm 5322, Series I, Part 2, Reels 21-25.

Biographical/Historical Note

Lewis (1786-1858) was the son of Alexander (d. 1808) and Ann (Alston) Stirling. On July 14, 1807, he wed Susan Turnbull (d. 189? ) and they lived at Wakefield Plantation in West Feliciana Parish. The Stirlings had six children- Catherine, Anne, James, Lewis, Jr., Daniel, and Ruffin.

Stirling owned three additional plantations in Louisiana- Arbroath, Solitude, and Attakapas. Cotton and sugar were cultivated on these plantations, although cotton was more prevalent prior to 1850. The Stirlings also owned beach-front property in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

As members of Grace Episcopal Church, the Stirlings donated money for construction of that building, and the family cemetery is located on the church grounds.

Scope and Content Note

Correspondence, diaries, cash books, journals, personal and business papers of four generations of the Stirling family. Lewis Stirling (1786-1858) was a sugar and cotton planter of West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, who owned four plantations (Wakefield, Arbroath, Solitude, and Attakapas) in West Feliciana, West Baton Rouge, and other parishes.

The papers largely relate to the real and personal property holdings, military service, plantation management, and personal and family matters of Lewis Stirling and his immediate family. Although the papers focus primarily on antebellum plantation life, both colonial and postbellum information is included as well. Key topics are plantation economy, education, health, and travel.

Correspondence includes letters from family members, factors, and friends to Lewis, Sarah, and Lewis Stirling, Jr. Legal papers include land grants and surveys, bills of sale for land, wills and succesions, a military commission, and a marriage certificate. Financial papers include receipts for goods and services (i.e., mercantile, medical, educational, and other plantation expenses), state and parish tax receipts, bills of sale for slaves, bills of sale for cotton and sugar produced, promissory notes, bank drafts, and lists of taxable property. Receipts, a travel account, and family correspondence reflecting information about the Stirling's journey to the northeastern portion of the United States and Canada are also present in these papers. Miscellaneous items include printed material, calling cards, lists of goods (e.g., shoes and blankets) allocated to slaves.

Alexander Stirling's papers (1805-1819) include letters to his son, Lewis, slave sales, and other items. After 1860 the papers diminish in number and consist primarily of family letters discussing labor problems with freedmen, migration to and life in Texas during the war, and plantation, household, and personal bills.

Manuscript volumes (bound and unbound) relate to plantation matters such as operating expenses, records of slaves, crop conditions, climate, relations with factors and overseers, and travel expenses.

Container List

Correspondence, 1823-1938 (Series 1)
 
  Box 1     
Cotton and Sugar Factor Letters, 1823-24, 1823-31,
1841-44, 1846-47, 1856-58, 1860 (Folders 1-4);
Correspondence, 1805-07, 1820, 1822-28, 1830-37
(Folders 5-9)
 
  Box 2
Correspondence, 1838-46, 1849-58, 1860-64 (Folders
10-19)
 
  Box 3
Correspondence, 1866-72, 1875-79, 1884-87, 1892-93, 
1895-98, 1900-03, 1905, 1910, 1913-18, 1921,
1923, 1928, 1932, 1938 (Folders 20-29)
 
 
Legal Records, 1791-1901 (Series 2)
 
  Box 4
Land Records, 1791, 1802, 1803, 1805, 1807, 1809-1810, 
1814-15, 1818-19, 1825, 1827, 1829, 1832, 1835, 1902 
(Folders 30-31); 
 
Taxable Property Lists, 1849, 1851-61, 1863
(Folder 32); 
 
Slave Bills of Sale, 1797, 1799, 1802-05, 1807,
1809, 1811, 1819, 1831 (Folder 33); 
 
Legal, 1808, 1819, 1825, 182?, 1832-37, 1839,
1843-44, 1847-52, 1855-56, 1858, 1864-65, 1872,
1875, 1878, 1881, 1890, 1900-01 (Folders 34-39)
 
 
Financial Records, 1814-1897 (Series 3)
 
  Box 5
Receipts for Goods & Services, 1815, 1817-19,
1822-24, 1826-39 (Folders 40-49)
 
  Box 6
Receipts for Goods & Services, 1840-44 (Folders
50-59)
 
  Box 7
Receipts for Goods & Services, 1845-52 (Folders
60-72)
 
  Box 8
Receipts for Goods & Services, 1853-57 (Folders
73-82)
 
  Box 9
Receipts for Goods & Services, 1858-65, 1867-68,
1877-79, 1881, 1884, 1886, 1889, 1891-96, 1906,
1912, 1921, n.d. (Folders 83-93)
 
  Box 10
Promissory Notes & Bank Drafts, 1804-05, 1807,
1810, 1820-22, 1830-32, 1835-40 (Folders 94-101);
Bank Books, 1819, 1821, 1833-47 (5 volumes)
 
  Box 11
Promissory Notes & Bank Drafts, 1841-48, 1851-64,
1884, n.d. (Folders 102-107); 
 
State & Parish Tax Receipts, 1812, 1814-15, 1817-20, 
1823-26, 1828-35, 1837, 1839, 1841-46, 1848-61, 1864-65, 
1868, 1874 (Folders 108-111); 
 
Cash Books, 1811, 1817-23, 1827-29, 1832, 1835-36,
1841-45, 1848, 1850-55, 1890-93, 1897, n.d. 
(8 volumes)
 
  Box 12
Cotton Sales Receipts, 1832-49 (Folders 112-123);
Cotton Record Books, 1833-38, 1851-59, 1866-67 
(2 volumes)
 
  Box 13
Sugar (& Cotton) Sales Receipts, 1850-60, 1868
(Folders 124-136)
 
  Box 14
Travel Receipts, 1836 (June-October) (Folders 137-141); 
 
Subscriptions, 1832, 1836-52, 1854-57, 1872
(Folders 142-143); 
 
Louisiana Militia Quartermaster Receipts, 1814-15
(Folder 144)
 
 
Diaries, 1824-1863 (Series 4)
 
  Box 15
Plantation Diaries, 1824-35, 1856-63 (Folders 145-150; 
manuscript volumes) and 6 bound volumes
 
 
Miscellaneous, (Series 5)
 
  Box 16       
Register of Slaves, (Folder 151)
 
Time Sheets, 1865, 1877-80, 1889 (Folders 152-153);
 
Miscellaneous, 1806, 1836, 183?, 1840, 1856-57,
1861, 1863, 1865, 1867, 1883, 1929, n.d. (Folders
154-155);
 
Printed Materials, 1833, 1845, 1854-60, 1862,
1865, 1870-71, 1875, 1877-78, 1886, 1895-96, 1901,
1928, n.d. (Folders 156-158);
 
Memorandum Book (bound), 1851-63;
 
Ration Book (bound), 1859, 1865-74;
 
Ration Book (bound), 1828, 1830-38;
 
Sharecropper Record Book (bound), 1904-08, 1914-18;
 
Printed Travel Guide, 1835;
 
Leather Memo pad, c.1836;
 
Fountain Pen Holder (artifact), n.d.
 
 
  Box 17
Time Book (bound)         
 
Time Book (bound)        
 
Journal (bound), 1881-1901