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Guide to the Godfrey Barnsley Papers, 1824-1873, bulk 1840-1861

Abstract

Godfrey Barnsley (1805-1873), of Savannah, Ga., was an agent for general import and export brokers of Liverpool, England.

Collection includes letters to Barnsley from his children, correspondence among his children, accounts with physicians, accounts for building expenses of Barnsley's estate, "Woodlands," near Kingston, Ga., and records of sales and imports of cotton. Letters from children concern school life while his sons attended a New England preparatory school and daughters were at the Montpelier Female Institute, near Macon, Ga. There are also letters from son Harold describing his voyage around Cape Horn and travels to the North, and in China, where he eventually settled. Civil War material includes letters from Godfrey's sons and information on the depredations suffered by the family. Beginning in 1867 there are letters from two Barnsley sons who emigrated to South America: George, a physician, and Lucien, who at different times operated a rice mill, apothecary's shop, brick manufactory, and Brazilian gold mine. Their letters describe the inhabitants, the countryside, and political, social, and economic conditions in Brazil. Throughout much of the collection there are references to spiritualism, seances, and mediums.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Godfrey Barnsley Papers
Creator
Barnsley, Godfrey, 1805-1873
Extent
3.0 linear feet, (6 boxes; 3,668 items)
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Collection contains letters to Godfrey Barnsley (1805-1872), Savannah agent for general import and export brokers of Liverpool, England, from his children; correspondence among the children; detailed lists comprised of accounts with physicians, invoices, prices of building materials for "Woodlands" (Barnsley's estate), records of sales and imports of cotton, bills, and receipts.

There are letters from three of the Barnsley sons who attended the preparatory school of Charles Green at Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts; and letters from Barnsley's three daughters at Montpelier Female Institute, near Macon, Georgia. Much of the material concerns Harold Barnsley, who traveled over New England and other northern sections of the United States, in China, and on the seas; references to the Civil War, in which several of the sons served, and to depredations suffered by the family.

Beginning in 1867 there are several letters from two of Barnsley's sons, George, a physician, and Lucien, both of whom went to South America with an emigrant group under the leadership of one McMullen. They shortly severed connections with this group, however. George followed his profession, while Lucien engaged in a number of enterprises, operating in turn a rice mill, apothecary's shop, brick manufactory, and gold mine. Most of this work was at Iguape, Sao Paulo Province, and near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The letters contain descriptions of the natives, the countryside, and political, social and economic conditions of the country.

The collection also contains a ledger, 1828-1844.

Throughout much of the papers there are references to spiritualism, seances, and mediums.

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

Papers, 1824-1846
Box 1
Papers, 1847-1852
Box 2
Papers, 1853-1856 August
Box 3
Papers, 1856 Sept.-1859 Dec.
Box 4
Papers, 1860 Jan.-1868 Dec.
Box 5
Papers, 1869-1873
Box 6
Letter copy book, 1866 Oct.-1867 Aug.
Box 6
Miscellaneous letters,
Box 6
Miscellaneous clippings,
Box 6
Journal, 1828-1844
Volume F:293

Historical Note

Godfrey Barnsley (1805-1873), of Savannah, Ga., was an agent for general import and export brokers of Liverpool, England.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

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

Provenance

The Godfrey Barnsley Papers were acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library in 1933-1934, 1941, 1951, and 1953.

Processing Information

Processed by: Rubenstein Library Staff, date unknown

Accessions described in this collection guide: 1933-1934; 1941; 1951; 1953