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Guide to the John Backhouse Papers, 1740-1956

Abstract

Merchant and British Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

Business and personal correspondence of the Backhouse family, principally of John Backhouse. Material for the 18th and early 19th centuries reflects the family's mercantile operations, including efforts to collect pre-Revolutionary debts in America. Other papers relate to Backhouse's career as Commissioner and Receiver General of the Excise Office and Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, his service as private secretary to George Canning, his service with the diplomatic corps, his art collection, and his mercantile associates in Amsterdam and Hamburg. Other subjects include the Board of Control under Canning, and the British consulates at Canton and Amoy. Family correspondence contains numerous references to the Foreign Office and to relations with Circassia, France, Greece, Russia, Turkey, and the United States. Letters and diaries of Backhouse's son, George, and his wife include references to the slave trade and describe their life in Havana while he was commissary judge there.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Backhouse, John, 1784-1845.
Title
John Backhouse papers 1740-1956
Language of Material
English
Extent
4,480 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

Business and personal correspondence of the Backhouse family, principally of John Backhouse. Material for the 18th and early 19th centuries reflects the family's mercantile operations, including efforts to collect pre-Revolutionary debts in America. Other papers relate to Backhouse's career as Commissioner and Receiver General of the Excise Office and Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, his service as private secretary to George Canning, his service with the diplomatic corps, his art collection, and his mercantile associates in Amsterdam and Hamburg. Other subjects include the Board of Control under Canning, and the British consulates at Canton and Amoy. Family correspondence contains numerous references to the Foreign Office and to relations with Circassia, France, Greece, Russia, Turkey, and the United States. Letters and diaries of Backhouse's son, George, and his wife include references to the slave trade and describe their life in Havana while he was commissary judge there.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

John Backhouse Papers, 1740-1956

(30 boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Papers, 1740-1813
Box 1
Papers, 1814-1820
Box 2
Papers, 1821-1822
Box 3
Papers, 1822 Aug.-1825
Box 4
Papers, 1826-1827 Aug.
Box 5
Papers, 1827 Sept.-1830
Box 6
Papers, 1831-1833 July
Box 7
Papers, 1833 Aug.-1835 June
Box 8
Papers, 1835 July-1837 March
Box 9
Papers, 1837 April-1838 May
Box 10
Papers, 1838 June-1839
Box 11
Papers, 1840-1841
Box 12
Papers, 1842-1843
Box 13
Papers, 1844
Box 14
Papers, 1845-1846
Box 15
Papers, 1847-1852 Aug.
Box 16
Papers, 1852 Sept.-1855 Sept.
Box 17
Papers, 1855 Oct.-1864
Box 18
Papers, 1865-1875
Box 19
Papers, 1876-1877 Oct.
Box 20
Papers, 1877 Nov.-1899
Box 21
Papers, 1900-1942
Box 22
Papers, Undated
Box 23
Journal of Ellen Backhouse
Box 24
Miscellany: Genealogy
Box 24
Miscellany: Valentines
Box 24
Wax Seals
Box 24
Miscellaneous Papers
Box 24
Newspapers, printed material
Box 25
Clippings & Pipe Office Roll
Box 26
Volumes
Box 27
Photographs
Box 28
Collection of Autographs, cards, invitations, etc.
Box 29
Papers, 1835-1837
Box 1 (Sm. Brit. Additions)
Papers, Oversize
Oversize Folder 1

Historical Note

Merchant and British Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], John Backhouse Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The John Backhouse Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1968.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein Library Staff

Encoded by Abraham Lee, January 2010

Accessions were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.