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Guide to the James A. Loughead Family Correspondence

MSN/EA 0526

 

Collection Summary

Title: James A. Loughead family correspondence
Dates: 1827-1850
Collection No.: MSN/EA 0526
Creator: Loughead, James A., b. ca. 1805
Creator: Loughead, Elizabeth Jones, b. ca. 1815
Creator: Loughead, Robert L., ca. 1785-1855
Creator: Loughead, Martha
Extent: 23 items; 1 container
Language: Collection material in English
Repository: University of Notre Dame. Hesburgh Libraries, Department of Special Collections. 102 Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame, IN 46556
Abstract: A group of 22 family letters written by or to the merchant seaman James A. Loughead from 1827 to 1850, including seven written by his father, Robert L. Loughead, as United States Consul at Londonderry, Ireland.

Selected Search Terms

Loughead, James A., b. ca. 1805
Loughead, Robert L., ca. 1785-1855
Loughead, Elizabeth Jones, b. ca. 1815
Famines -- Ireland -- History -- 19th century
Ireland -- History -- 19th century
Ireland -- History -- Famine, 1845-1852
Ireland -- Economic conditions
Food supply -- History

Administrative Information

Restrictions: There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Preferred Citation: James A. Loughead Family Correspondence, Department of Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame.

Acquisition and Processing Note: The James A. Loughead Family Correspondence was purchased by the Hesburgh Libraries in 2006, from Carmen D. Valentino American Historical Manuscripts of Philadelphia (cat. 61, item 32). Arranged and described 2008, by George Rugg. Finding aid 2011, by George Rugg and Scott W. Young.

Biographical Note

James A. Loughead was born ca. 1805, the son of Robert L. and Martha Loughead of Philadelphia. By 1834 he was married to Elizabeth Jones of Ohio (b. ca. 1815). The couple had at least three children. From the 1820s into the 1850s Loughead earned his livlihood at sea, serving aboard a variety of commercial vessels as first officer and ultimately as captain. In the 1830s and early 40s he appears to have voyaged mostly along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, often with New Orleans as a terminus. Elizabeth remained in Philadelphia with the couple's children. By the time of the 1850 Federal census James and Elizabeth Loughead lived in Camden, New Jersey, on property valued at $2700. Loughead's father Robert (ca. 1785-1855) was a Philadelphia merchant who, during the Polk administration, was assigned the U. S. consular post at Londonderry, Ireland (December 1845). He resigned the post in February 1854, complaining of the scant revenue generated by fees collected at the post. He was subsequently offered the consulate at Dublin, which he held at his death in 1855.

Scope and Content Note

The Loughead correspondence includes 22 letters written by or to James A. Loughead, from 1827 to 1850. The letters may be divided into three chronological series. The earliest group (December 1827 to June 1828) consists of four letters directed to James at the port of Baltimore by his father, Robert Loughead: these are brief messages of acknowledgement, news, and parental advice. The second group (December 1834 to March 1842) consists of eleven letters written between James and Elizabeth Loughead during the couple's long, enforced separations. James is typically in New Orleans, Elizabeth in Philadelphia; his letters are loving but bear undertones of domestic and financial strain. The third, and most significant group (July 1846 to April 1850) includes seven letters written to James by Robert Loughead while the latter was consul at Londonderry. Writing during the Great Famine, Loughead instructs his son (in Camden) in arranging the purchase and shipping of specific foodstuffs that might be sold in Ireland at favorable prices, while increasing the fees collected at Derry.

Arrangement Note

The material in folders 1 through 23 is arranged chronologically, one item per folder

Container List

  • Letter. R[obert] L. and Martha Loughead, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to James A. Loughead, Baltimore, Maryland, 1827 December 19. Folder 1 (MSN/EA 0526-01).
    ALS, 1 page on 1 folded sheet, with integral address leaf.
    A brief parental letter, directed to James Loughead aboard the brig Olango.
    Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
    Address Leaf: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
    • Letter. Rob[ert L.] and Martha Loughead, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to James A. Loughead, Baltimore, Maryland, 1828 January 10. Folder 2 (MSN/EA 0526-02).
      ALS, 1 page on 1 folded sheet, with integral address leaf.
      A brief parental letter, directed to James Loughead aboard the brig General Jackson.
      Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
      Address Leaf: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
      • Letter. Rob[er]t [L.] and Martha Loughead, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to James A. Loughead, Baltimore, Maryland, 1828 March 18. Folder 3 (MSN/EA 0526-03).
        ALS, 1 page on 1 folded sheet, with integral address leaf.
        A brief parental letter.
        Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
        Address Leaf: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
        • Letter. Robert [L.] and Martha Loughead, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to James A. Loughead, Baltimore, Maryland, 1828 June 12. Folder 4 (MSN/EA 0526-04).
          ALS, 1 page on 1 folded sheet, with integral address leaf.
          A brief parental letter.
          Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
          Address Leaf: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
          • Letter. James A. Loughead, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Elizabeth [Jones] Loughead, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1834 December 14. Folder 5 (MSN/EA 0526-05).
            ALS, 2 pages on 1 folded sheet, with integral address leaf.
            The first of the surviving letters from James Loughead to his wife Elizabeth. Personal and maritime news, and expressions of passion.
            Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
            Page 2: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
            Address Leaf: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
            • Letter. James A. Loughead, Boston, Massachusetts, to Elizabeth Jones Loughead, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1835 Janurary 19. Folder 6 (MSN/EA 0526-06).
              ALS, 1 page on 1 folded sheet, with integral address leaf.
              Written from quarantine in Boston, after a 25-day voyage from New Orleans plagued by smallpox.
              Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
              Address Leaf: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
              • Letter. Elizabeth J[ones] Loughead, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to James A. Loughead, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1836 February 18. Folder 7 (MSN/EA 0526-07).
                ALS, 1 page on 1 folded sheet, with integral address leaf.
                A letter directed to James Loughead as first officer of the ship Margaret Forbes of Boston. Personal and family news; also mentions the great New York City fire of 16-17 December 1835.
                Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                Address Leaf: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                • Letter. James A. Loughead, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Elizabeth Jones Loughead, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1836 December 22. Folder 8 (MSN/EA 0526-08).
                  ALS, 2 pages on 1 folded sheet, with integral address leaf.
                  Loughead mentions that he is now earning $75 per month aboard the steam packet Convoy, running between New Orleans and Mobile.
                  Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                  Page 2: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                  Address Leaf: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                  • Letter. James A. Loughead, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Elizabeth Loughead, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1838 March 20. Folder 9 (MSN/EA 0526-09).
                    ALS, 2 pages on 1 folded sheet, with integral address leaf.
                    Loughead writes of a possible voyage to New York.
                    Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                    Page 2: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                    Address Leaf: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                    • Letter. James A. Loughead, Galveston Bay, Texas, to Elizabeth Loughead, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1838 April 8. Folder 10 (MSN/EA 0526-10).
                      ALS, 1 page on 1 folded sheet, with integral address leaf.
                      Loughead mentions that he has been made first mate of the steamer Friendship, running between Galveston and Houston.
                      Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                      Address Leaf: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                      • Letter. James A. Loughead, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Elizabeth [Jones] Loughead, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1839 July 20. Folder 11 (MSN/EA 0526-11).
                        ALS, 2 pages on 1 folded sheet, with integral address leaf.
                        Personal and professional news. Loughead encourages Elizabeth to seek her father's assistance in financing the construction of a house.
                        Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                        Page 2: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                        Address Leaf: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                        • Letter. James A. Loughead, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Elizabeth Loughead, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1839 August 12. Folder 12 (MSN/EA 0526-12).
                          ALS, 1 page on 1 sheet, with address on verso.
                          Loughead again encourages his wife to borrow from her parents to begin building a home for them in Philadelphia.
                          Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                          Address Leaf: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                          • Letter. James A. Loughead, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Elizabeth Loughead, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1839 September 1. Folder 13 (MSN/EA 0526-13).
                            ALS, 1 pages on 1 folded sheet, with integral address leaf.
                            Loughead sends Elizabeth 131 dollars via the ship Ohio: ". . .i wish It was more but i must keep a little in case of Sickness [i.e., yellow fever]. . . ."
                            Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                            Address Leaf: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                            • Letter. Elizabeth J. Loughead, Camden, [New Jersey], to James A. Loughead, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1840 January 27. Folder 14 (MSN/EA 0526-14).
                              ALS, 2 pages on 1 folded sheet, with integral address leaf.
                              Elizabeth reports to James that she has "indeed got Religion", and that it need not be a source of contention between them, despite his stated disregard for his immortal soul. "I hope you will forgive me if i hurt your feelings But i will Declare Before the whole world that i am a Methodist in heart if not in dress and i intend to live and die one. . . ." Directed to James Loughead as first officer aboard the steamer Columbia.
                              Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                              Page 2: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                              Address Leaf: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                              • Letter. James [A.] Loughead, New Orleans, Louisiana, to Elizabeth Loughead, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1842 March 25. Folder 15 (MSN/EA 0526-15).
                                ALS, 2 pages on 1 sheet, with address on verso.
                                Loughead mentions that "i would not have Staid here So long if it was not for the Debt We owe. . . ."
                                Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                Page 2: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                • Letter. Rob[ert] L. Loughead, Londonderry, Ireland, to "Dear James" [James A. Loughead], n.p., 1846 July 29. Folder 16 (MSN/EA 0526-16).
                                  ALS, 3 pages on 1 folded sheet.
                                  The author, the American consul in Londonderry and the recipient's father, comments on his new post. Of Derry he remarks ". . .this is a dull place & verry little business a dowing [doing]. . . ." He also mentions the potato blight: "Living here is verry high & the rot has commenced in the potatoes very bad. . . ."
                                  Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                  Pages 2 & 3: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                  • Letter. Rob[ert] L. Loughead, Londonderry, Ireland, to Capt. James A. Loughead, Camden, New Jersey, 1846 December 4. Folder 17 (MSN/EA 0526-17).
                                    ALS, 3 pages on 1 folded sheet, with envelope.
                                    Loughead notes the high prices for foodstuffs because of the famine, and encourages his son to have A. C. Craig ship him corn meal, beans, peas, or other commodities. Loughead also inquires about a bill in Congress that would provide U. S. consuls with salaries.
                                    Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                    Pages 2 & 3: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                    Envelope, front: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                    Envelope, back: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                    • Letter. Rob[ert] L. Loughead, Londonderry, Ireland, to Capt. James A. Loughead, Camden, New Jersey, 1847 January 18. Folder 18 (MSN/EA 0526-18).
                                      ALS, 2 pages on 1 folded sheet, with integral address leaf.
                                      Loughead becomes more insistent in his requests that his son arrange for foodstuffs to be sent to Londonderry from the U. S., and outlines courses of action. "[T]here is a chance now of Making Money. [P]urchase immediately on receipt of this Letter. . .for there is nothing here but starvation. Dozens dying a day with hunger; let it be sent by Glasgow, Sligo, Belfast, Liverpool but to Londonderry if possible. . . . " In a postscript, Loughead begs that the letter be kept a secret, except to those immediately involved.
                                      Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                      Page 2: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                      Envelope, front: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                      Envelope, back: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                      • Letter. Rob[ert] L. Loughead, Londonderry, Ireland, to James A. Loughead, Camden, New Jersey, 1847 March 16. Folder 19 (MSN/EA 0526-19).
                                        ALS, 2 pages on 1 folded sheet, with envelope.
                                        More enumerations of prices and requests for shipments of food: ". . .the poore are dying in dozens, and God only knows what the result will be. . ."
                                        Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                        Page 2: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                        Envelope, front: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                        Envelope, back: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                        • Letter. Rob[ert] L. Loughead, Londonderry, Ireland, to Captain James [A.] Loughead, Camden, New Jersey, 1847 March 15. Folder 20 (MSN/EA 0526-20).
                                          ALS, 2 pages on 1 folded sheet, with envelope.
                                          Loughead remarks that prices for most foodstuffs have fallen, and regrets missed opportunities for profit.
                                          Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                          Page 2: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                          Envelope, front: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                          Envelope, back: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                          • Letter. Rob[ert] L. Loughead, Londonderry, Ireland, to Capt. James A. Loughead, Camden, New Jersey, 1847 August 16. Folder 21 (MSN/EA 0526-21).
                                            ALS, 3 pages on 1 folded sheet, with envelope.
                                            Instructions regarding the purchase and shipping of cigars, apples, and other goods.
                                            Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                            Pages 2 & 3: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                            Envelope, front: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                            Envelope, back: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                            • Letter. Rob[ert] L. Loughead, Londonderry, Ireland, to Capt. James A. Loughead, Camden, New Jersey, 1850 April 4. Folder 22 (MSN/EA 0526-22).
                                              ALS, 2 pages on 1 folded sheet, with envelope.
                                              Family news, and requests for items for personal use.
                                              Page 1: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                              Page 2: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                              Envelope, front: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                              Envelope, back: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                              • Envelope. [Robert L. Loughead], Londonderry, Ireland, to Capt. James A. Loughead, Camden, New Jersey, 1850 March 6. Folder 23 (MSN/EA 0526-23).
                                                1 envelope.
                                                Letter is lacking. Date is that of the Derry postmark.
                                                Envelope, front: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image
                                                Envelope, back: 150 dpi image | 100 dpi image