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Guide to the John McIntosh Kell papers, 1735-1944 and undated

Summary

The collection includes papers and volumes created by John McIntosh Kell (1823-1900) of the U.S. Navy and his family. Family correspondence includes letters from John McIntosh Kell's period of service in the U.S. Navy, family and buisness papers from the Kell, Nathan Campbell Munroe, and Tabitha Easter (Napier) Munroe families discussing Georgia policitcs and other local events. Volumes in the collection include logs of the U.S. frigate Savannah, the U.S.S. Falmouth, and Shark. There is also an unpublished manuscript by Kell's wife and scrapbooks she maintained. Includes family legal papers, genealogical materials, writings, and miscellaneous papers.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.10021
Title
John McIntosh Kell papers
Date
1735-1944 and undated
Creator
Kell, John McIntosh
Extent
9 Linear Feet
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Collection includes family correspondence consisting of letters from Kell to his mother, Marjory Spalding (Baillie) Kell; his wife, Julia Blanche (Munroe) Kell; and his sisters. Beginning in 1841, Kell's letters cover the period of his service in the U.S. Navy. Topics include accounts of cruises; social activities aboard ship and on land; Commodore Matthew C. Perry; the funeral of Commodore Alexander James Dallas; the countryside in the vicinity of Cape Town, South Africa; descriptions of Montevideo and Uraguay; and references to President Carlos Antonio Lopez of Paraguay. After 1860, Kell's letters concern his duties with the Confederate Navy, including running the blockade on the C.S.S. SUMTER and the subsequent abandonment of the ship.

The collection also includes family and business papers of Nathan Campbell Munroe of Macon, Ga., his wife Tabitha Easter (Napier) Munroe, their daughter Julia Blanche (Munroe) Kell, and other members of the Munroe, McIntosh, and Napier families. Topics include Georgia and national politics, Henry Clay and the Bank of the United States; railroad construction in Georgia; Christ Church Episcopal Parish in Macon; Montpelier Institute, Salem Female Academy, and other educational institutions; temperance; the duel between Thomas Butler King, U.S. Rep. from Georgia, and Charles Spalding; town-gown relations at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa; riverboat transportation in Alabama; and the fight between the MONITOR and VIRGINIA as described by a Confederate naval officer.

Volumes in the collection include general orders and general watch and quarter bills of the U.S. frigate SAVANNAH, 1843-1847; and logs kept by Kell as midshipman on the U.S.S. FALMOUTH, 1841-1843, and on the SAVANNAH and SHARK, 1843-1847. There is also an unpublished manuscript by Kell's wife, entitled "The Life and Letters of John McIntosh Kell," ca. 1908, and scrapbooks she maintained. Includes family legal papers, genealogical materials, writings, and miscellaneous papers.

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How to Cite

[Identification of item], John McIntosh Kell papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

1. Letters, 1810-1944 and undated

Collection includes family correspondence consisting of letters from Kell to his mother, Marjory Spalding (Baillie) Kell; his wife , Julia Blanche (Munroe) Kell; and his sisters. Beginning in 1841, Kell's letters cover the period of his service in the U.S. Navy. Topics include accounts of cruises; social activities aboard ship and on land; Commodore Matthew C. Perry; the funeral of Commodore Alexander James Dallas; the countryside in the vicinity of Cape Town, South Africa; descriptions of Montevideo and Uraguay; and references to President Carlos Antonio Lopez of Paraguay. After 1860, Kell's letters concern his duties with the Confederate Navy, including running the blockade on the C.S.S. SUMTER and the subsequent abandonment of the ship.

The collection also includes family papers of Nathan Campbell Munroe of Macon, Ga., his wife Tabitha Easter (Napier) Munroe, their daughter Julia Blanche (Munroe) Kell, and other members of the Munroe, McIntosh, and Napier families. Topics include Georgia and national politics, Henry Clay and the Bank of the United States; railroad construction in Ga.; Christ Church Episcopal Parish in Macon; Montpelier Institute, Salem Female Academy, and other educational institutions; temperance; the duel between Thomas Butler King, U.S. Rep. from Georgia, and Charles Spalding; town-gown relations at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa; riverboat transportation in Alabama; and the fight between the MONITOR and VIRGINIA as described by a Confederate naval officer.

1810, 1835, 1839
Box 1
1840-1843
Box 1
1844-1846
Box 1
1847-1848
Box 1
1849, 1840's undated
Box 1
1850
Box 1
1851
Box 1
1852-1853
Box 2
1854-1855
Box 2
1856
Box 2
1857
Box 2
1858
Box 2
1859
Box 2
1850's undated
Box 2
1860, January-May
Box 3
1860, June-December
Box 3
1861
Box 3
1862
Box 3
1863
Box 3
1864
Box 3
1865
Box 4
1861-1865

Incompletely dated Civil War letters

Box 4
1866, January-May
Box 4
1866, June-December
Box 4
1867, January-April
Box 4
1867, May-December
Box 4
1868-1869
Box 4
1860's, partially dated
(2 folders)
Box 5
1870-1871
Box 5
1872-1873
Box 5
1874-1875
Box 5
1876-1879
Box 5
1870's, partially dated
Box 5
1880-1889
Box 6
1890-1891
Box 6
1892-1894
Box 6
1895-1899
Box 6
1900-1902
Box 6
1903-1906
Box 6
1907-1944
Box 6
undated letters
(3 folders)
Box 7
undated correspondence
(4 folders)
Box 7

2. Bills and Receipts, 1785-1860s

Includes bills and receipts primarily of Nathan Campbell Munroe of Macon, Ga., and a few other members of the Munroe, McIntosh, and Napier families. There are also bills, receipts, and grade reports from Montpelier Institute, Salem Female Academy, and other educational institutions.

1785-1839
Box 8
1840's
(5 folders)
Box 8
1850's
(2 folders)
Box 8
1860's
(3 folders)
Box 8
Accounts for education and tours in Europe, 1845-1847

For Mary Denke, Harriet T. Munroe, Caroline Napier, Tabitha Napier

Box 9
Bibb County Academy vouchers, 1846, 1851-1858
Box 9
Georgia Institute for the Blind, vouchers 1852-1866, Treasurer's Acct, 1856-1857
(4 folders)
Box 9
Georgia Military Institute, 1861
Box 9
Home Institute (Macon), 1858
Box 9
Macon Female Academy receipts, 1851-1852
Box 9
Macon Free School voucher and tuition receipt, 1858-1859
Box 9
Montpelier Institute tuition and other receipts, 1844-1850
Box 9
Salem Academy, 1841-1844
Box 9
University High School (Athens), 1862
Box 9
Vineville Seminary tuition receipts, 1844-1846
Box 9

3. Legal papers, 1743-1877 and undated

There are varied legal papers represented, including deeds, powers of attorney, warrants, land indentures, insurance policies, wills, and leases. Topics include assault; debts; land transfers, including the transfer of slaves with land; trusteeships for children; claims for damages; and administrator accounts for estates.

1743-1848
Box 10
1851-1877 and undated
Box 10

4. Genealogical materials, 1735-1895 and undated

There is a will for Ann Winwood, a pedigree for the McIntosh family, and a Napier family genealogy. Includes an oversize genealogy of the Kell and Nisbet families.

1735-1895 and undated
Box 10
Genealogy of the Kell and Nisbet families
Tube 1

5. Miscellany, 1842-1917 and undated

There is an ink drawing, perhaps by John McIntosh Kell, of the C. S. Alabama. Includes poetry, other graphite drawings, programs, invitations, lists, calling cards and envelopes. There are a few clippings on various topics, including elections in the South, a message from Jefferson Davis, as well as politics in the North and in Europe. Printed material includes charts on the price of cotton, notes from educational institutions, proceedings of the Confederate Survivor's Association (1889), advertisements, and a treatis on scarlet fever.

C. S. Steamer Alabama ink drawing, undated

Confederate steamer Alabama outline drawing in ink. With captions.

Box 12
Clippings, 1862 and undated
Box 10
Miscellany, 1850-1917 and undated
(2 folders)
Box 10
Printed material, 1842-1901 and undated
Box 10

6. Writings and notes, 1826-1850 and undated

Primarily features 40 chapters of the "Life and Letters of J. M. Kell," (undated) written by his wife, along with tributes and extracts. There is also poetry, commentary on a Bible verse, a few stories, and the "Recollections of Miss Fredrica Bremer," written by Mrs. Kell,

1826-1850 and undated
Box 10
"Life and Letters of J. M. Kell," undated
(7 folders)
Box 11

7. Volumes, 1843-1927 and undated

Contains scrapbooks maintained by Julia Blanche Munroe Kell and naval logbooks and journals maintained by John McIntosh Kell.

Scrapbook, 1863-1922

Scrapbook maintained by Julia Blanche Kell between 1863 and about 1922. Contains clippings of poetry, short stories, articles, artwork, and engraved portraits and drawings. Subjects include the C.S.S. Alabama and its crew (including John McIntosh Kell); battles of the Civil War and associated deaths; obituaries for authors, poets, and musicians; and explorers.

Volume F:2103
Scrapbook, 1904-1927

Scrapbook maintained for Blanche Munroe Kell Nisbet by her grand[mother?], repurposing an 1892 almanac as the base. Includes clippings of articles, poetry, and stories, mainly having to do with Confederate reunions, the C.S.S. Alabama and John McIntosh Kell, obituaries of Confederate veterans, Georgia events, authors, and English royalty. Includes a packet of unused clippings laid in.

Volume ff:2104
Jenny Lind album (scrapbook), 1853-1855

Album maintained by Julia Blanche Munroe Kell and presented to her granddaughter, Blanche Munroe Nisbet. Primarily contains graphite drawings and a few watercolors, but in addition there are clippings, pressed flowers and ferns, as well as poetry and narratives contributed by friends and relatives. Many items have been removed and there are a few clippings and a poem laid in.

Volume M-2102
Journal of a cruise in the U. S. Ship Falmouth, 1841-1843

Comprises a logbook maintained by John McIntosh Kell while a midshipman on the Falmouth, with a journey between New York and the Sacrificios Island, as well as Haiti. Includes descriptions of work carried out in the Norfolk and Pensacola Navy yards, especially supplies taken aboard. Daily entries record weather conditions along with activities on board. There are charts for conditions while at sea. He includes one description of a mass desertion of several of the crew, and routinely mentions other vessels encountered.

Box 13
Logbook of the U. S. S. Savannah and the U. S. S. Shark, 1843-1847

John McIntosh Kell served as a midshipman on the frigate Savannah, sailing from the New York Navy yard to Rio de Janeiro and then to Callao Bay, Peru. At that point, he joined the crew of the schooner Shark, which visited several local ports and sailed back to Callo Bay. He rejoined the Savannah, which then sailed to Hawaii; Mazatlan, Mexico; San Francisco and other California ports, before heading out to sea to reach the Gulf Stream. He records daily entries, with regular reports on weather and charts for conditions at sea. He also records activities on ship, including the receiving of supplies and passengers, along with interactions with other ships.

Box 14
General Orders (1843-1844) and General Watch and Quarter Bill (1843-1847) of the U. S. Frigate Savannah

Volume was maintained by John McIntosh Kell. Contains material written by the commander of the Savannah, Andrew Fitzhugh. These include general orders (11 pages) along with written duties for the first lieutenant, lieutenant of the watch (at port and at sea), the master, surgeon, purser, boatswain, gunner, sail maker, carpenter, midshipmen, and marines. Also contains instructions in case of fire. The rest of the volume contains the General Watch and Quarter Bill, outlining officers and midshipmen assigned to watches and various stations, along with receipts for financial transactions.

Box 15
Account Book (undated) used as Civil War Scrapbook (1860-1862) and for history notes (undated)

Contains mostly undated cash acccounts for imports, including with N. Swain in London. Most of the materials, including flour, pork, madeira, and wine, were shipped from England. There are some shipments intended for Boston and Baltimore, and charges for shipping insurance are included. The Civil War scrapbook comprises clippings from Georgia newspapers, with news regarding early events of the war and the Confederate government. There are also notes on ancient history, and the history of England, France, and the United States from the 18th century on.

Box 16
 

Historical Note

John McIntosh Kell (1823-1900) was a naval officer from Darien (McIntosh Co.), Ga.; he served as executive officer of the C.S.S. SUMTER and ALABAMA, and captain of the Confederate ironclad RICHMOND.


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Provenance

The John McIntosh Kell papers were acquired by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library in several accessions from 1960-1974.

Processing Information

Processed by: Rubenstein Library Staff