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Guide to the James Rogers Papers, 1768-1794 and undated

Abstract

James Rogers was a merchant from Bristol, England, a ship owner, and a slave trader who engaged in various types of trade in Newfoundland, the American colonies, the West Indies, Ireland, Africa, Spain, Portugal, and elsewhere.

Collection consists of photocopies of documents originally belonging to James Rogers, Bristol, England, a merchant, ship owner, and slave trader. The material, dating from 1768-1794, largely consists of incoming correspondence, bills of sale, receipts, and other items related to ships' voyages and trading activities. Many of these voyages were for the purpose of acquiring and trading slaves from Africa. A paper guide to the collection created by the donor of the collection and available to researchers includes descriptions of most of the ships' voyages.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Rogers, James, d. 1799.
Title
James Rogers papers 1768-1794 and undated
Language of Material
English
Extent
10 Linear Feet, Approximately 28,000 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

Collection consists of copies of documents originally belonging to James Rogers, Bristol, England merchant and ship owner. The material, dating from 1768 to 1794, largely consists of incoming correspondence, bills of sale, receipts, and other items related to ships' voyages and trading activities. The papers are arranged into three series: Ships' Voyages; Bills; and Business Papers and Letters. Much of the material in the collection concerns the African slave trade, but there is also information on the cotton, sugar, and fishing markets and trade. Documentation includes accounts for materials supplied to ships in which Rogers had an interest; accounts of ships, cargoes, and insurance; receipts for advances of wages to ships' crews; bills of exchange; petitions from Rogers' creditors; statements of shares in cargoes and ships; letters from ships' captains in Africa relating to purchases; comments on the state of the market; price information; letters from agents overseas; and other materials. One set of documents about the Mermaid contains comments on a slave insurrection on board. The collection also includes the same documents on twenty reels of microfilm, but the arrangement of the paper copies by topic and by date renders them easier to use. The original documents became the property of the Public Record Office, London, as exhibits in litigation that followed Rogers' declaration of bankruptcy in 1793, and are currently held in the Court of Bankruptcy records, indexed as B 3/4177 and B 3/4185, in the National Archives in Kew, England.

The folders in the Ships' Voyages Series are organized alphabetically by ship name, then within chronologically, with correspondence regarding the voyage first, followed by bills and other related items. The items in the Bills Series are arranged chronologically. The Business Papers and Letters are organized into two main subgroupings: by country of trade, and by name of correspondent; there are also smaller groups of miscellaneous correspondence, including Rogers' bankruptcy papers, which contain information on how the slave trade was set up, and on speculations in the cotton market.

Place-names mentioned in these papers include: Green Island, N.Y.; Kennebec, Maine; many coastal towns in Newfoundland; Cove Island, Ontario; Belize; many locations in the Caribbean Islands; and coastal cities in England, Ireland, Portugal (including the Azores Islands), and Spain (including the Canary and Balearic Islands).

A ninety-page paper guide to the collection created by the donor of the collection and available to the researcher includes descriptions of most of the ships' voyages.

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

Arranged by destination, then within by subcategories of major voyages, minor voyages, and miscellaneous or multiple voyages. Documents arranged alphabetically by name of ship, then chronologically, with correspondence first, then bills and other papers following.

Arranged by major, minor, and multiple voyages, and within alhpabetically by ship's name. Documents pertaining to the voyages include bills, cargo accounts, receipts, and correspondence from ships' captains. A ninety-page document researched and created by the donor of the Rogers Papers, and available in the library, briefly describes the voyage (route, cargo, and other details) of almost all the ships.

African Queen
Box 1
Bristol
Box 1
Commerce
Box 1
Commerce
Box 2
Crescent
Box 2
Daniel
Box 3
Diana
Box 3
Dragon
Box 4
Fame
Box 4
Fanny
Box 5
Flora
Box 5
Fly
Box 6
Friendship
Box 6
James
Box 7
Jupiter
Box 7
Lyon
Box 7
Martin
Box 7
Martin
Box 8
Minerva
Box 8
Monmouth
Box 9
Morning Star
Box 9
Pearle
Box 9
Pearle
Box 10
Rodney
Box 10
Rodney
Box 11
Ruby
Box 11
Sarah
Box 11
Sarah
Box 12
William and Mary
Box 12
Cape Coast
Box 12
Experiment
Box 12
Harmony
Box 12
Gibson
Box 12
Jamaica Planter
Box 13
Langrishe
Box 13
Mervin
Box 13
Nancy
Box 13
Princess
Box 13
Recovery
Box 13
Swit
Box 13
Thetis
Box 13
Trelawney
Box 13
Trelawney
Box 14
Triton
Box 14
Tuba
Box 14
Young Crescent
Box 14

Arranged alphabetically, and then chronologically if enough material is present.

Albion-Britannica
Box 14
Brothers-Caplin
Box 14
Chance-Hope
Box 15
Hornet-Lydia
Box 15
M-Mercury
Box 15
Mermaid folders: includes documents describing slave insurrection on board the Mermaid
Box 15
Milford-Pilot
Box 15
Plato-Roman Eagle
Box 15
Russia-York
Box 15

Groups of papers which concern more than one ship's voyage to Africa, and or the West Indies. Arranged alphabetically by name on top of photocopy page.

Multiple voyages
Box 16

Contains material documenting ships' trading activities in Newfoundland. Arranged in three groupings: major, minor, and other various voyages.

Major, minor, and miscellaneous voyages to Newfoundland

Major voyages: Betsey, Centurion, Industry, and Richard. Minor voyages: Chepstow, Denizen, Elizabeth, Sacra Famiglia, and the Swallow. Miscellaneous voyages arranged alphabetically, and then chronologically if enough material is present.

Box 17-18

Arranged in chronological order, followed by several groupings of bills related to specific firms, then bills related to Newfoundland trade.

1774-1789
(3 folders)
Box 18
1790-1793 and undated
(4 folders)
Box 19
Cox and Hallett; Willaim Cross; James Cross; George Alexander Clibborn
Box 19
Robinson and Heywood; C. Jones; James Rogers, Parry and Ludlam
Box 19
Newfoundland bills, 1774-1792
Box 19

Arranged in two major subgroupings: by country of origin and by individual correspondents. These are followed by sections for other various letters and papers, including four folders related to Rogers' bankruptcy in March 1793.

Trading firm letters, African trade, 1777-1794 and undated
(3 folders)
Box 20
Trading firm letters, Newfoundland trade, 1782-1792
Box 20
Stephen Hunt, 1784 July-1788 Dec. (on fish trade and prices)
Box 20
Thomas Lewis, 1783 Nov.-1790 June
Box 20
Joseph Rogers, 1777 Sept.-1778 Dec. (brother of James)
Box 20
Richard Fydell, 1778 Oct.-1792 May (from Bath and Chepstow)
Box 20
William Grumly, 1785 Dec.-1793 June (from Tortola on the sugar market)
Box 21
Joseph Rogers, 1781 May-1790 June (from St. Croix and Tortola, on islands and on sugar market)
Box 21
Joseph Daltera, 1781 July-1790 Sept. (on sugar, rum, and other markets in Liverpool)
Box 21
Other business letters, 1777 May-1792 Feb.
Box 21
Other business letters, 1777 May-1792 Feb.
Box 22
Clibborn's Underwriting Books, 1768-1775
(2 folders)
Box 22
Rogers' bankruptcy papers
(2 folders)
Box 22
Rogers' bankruptcy papers
(2 folders)
Box 23
Miscellaneous unarranged letters and papers
(3 folders)
Box 23
Miscellaneous unarranged letters and papers
(3 folders)
Box 24

Historical Note

James Rogers was a merchant from Bristol, England, a ship owner, and a slave trader who engaged in various types of trade in Newfoundland, the American colonies, the West Indies, Ireland, Africa, Spain, Portugal, and elsewhere.

Subject Headings

Related Material

  • Court of Bankruptcy Records, B 3/4177 and B 3/4185 (National Archives, Kew, England)

Preferred Citation

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

Provenance

The James Rogers Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1967.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein Library staff, 1967

Encoded by Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, Februrary 2010

Accession 1967-0187 is 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.