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