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Collection Number: 00470

Collection Title: Mackay and Stiles Family Papers, 1743-1975

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size 5.0 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 2300 items)
Abstract The Mackay and Stiles families were merchants of Savannah, Ga. Prominent family members include Robert Mackay (1772-1816); his wife, Eliza McQueen Mackay (1778-1862); their children, William Mein Mackay (1804-1865), John Mackay (1805-1849), Mary Anne Mackay (1803-1865), and Elizabeth Anne Mackay (1809-1867); Mary Anne Mackay's husband, Benjamin Edward Stiles (fl. 1819-1852); and Elizabeth Anne Mackay's husband, William Henry Stiles (1810-1867). The collection consists of correspondence, account books, plantation and slave records, memoranda books, financial papers, and legal papers. The papers document the family's business, political, and social life in England (1806-1811), Austria (where William Henry Stiles was U.S. charge d'affaires, 1845-1849), and Georgia. Topics include activities at the Savannah Poor House and Hospital, the care and treatment of a mental patient, work of the United States Army Corps of Engineers on the Savannah River, the Second Seminole War, plantation life, trips to the Virginia springs, the education of women, and the impact of the Civil War. Volumes are chiefly mercantile and plantation records. There is also microfilm containing a brief Civil War diary of Robert Mackay Stiles (1836-1865) and genealogical information on the related Couper and Maxwell families.
Creator Mackay family.

Stiles family.
Language English
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
Retained by the authors of items in these papers or their descendants as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Mackay and Stiles Family Papers #470, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of the Records of antebellum southern plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J, and as part of Southern women and their families in the 19th century, Series A.
Acquisitions Information
Gift of Phoebe Elliot through Mrs. F.B. Screven of Savannah, Georgia in 1937-1939. Additions received from Mrs. W.D. Screven in 1944, Mr. Robert Stiles (William Henry Stiles papers) in 1945, and Mr. John Stiles in 1947. Typed transcriptions of the John Mackay papers were made from originals lent by Mrs. Clinton Lockwood and Mrs. Clifford Carlton in 1939. Microfilm of the Robert Mackay papers was made from originals lent by the Georgia Society of Colonial Dames through Mrs. F.B. Screven in 1940. Microfilm of two volumes was made from originals lent by Mrs. W.S. Lovell in 1942. Photocopy made from a manuscript lent by Fort Pulaski National Monument of Savannah Beach, Georgia, in December 1962. Further addition received from the Department of Natural Resources, Office of Planning and Research, Historical Preservation Section of Atlanta, Georgia, in September 1975.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

The chief figures in these papers are Robert Mackay (1772-1816), a prominent merchant of Savannah and Liverpool, his wife, Eliza McQueen Mackay (1778-1862), and their children. The Mackay family lived for a few years in England, 1806-1811, but generally the papers are concerned with life in Savannah, and with Mrs. Mackay and the Mackay children after the death of Robert Mackay. Among the Mackay children were William Mein Mackay (1804-1859), merchant of Savannah; John Mackay (1805-1849), officer in the United States Engineer Corps; Mary Anne Mackay (1803-1862), who in 1825 married Benjamin Edward Stiles (fl. 1819-1852), merchant of Savannah; and Elizabeth Mackay (1809-1867), who in 1832 married William Henry Stiles (1810-1865), United States congressman, 1843-1845, charge d'affaires in Austria, 1845-1849, and planter in upper Georgia. Benjamin Edward Stiles and William Henry Stiles were brothers and many of the later papers relate to their families.

Eliza McQueen Mackay was the granddaughter of John Smith, a prominent South Carolina planter, and the daughter of John McQueen (1751-1807) of Georgia and east Florida. Her aunt, Mary Smith (fl. 1700s), married Basil Cowper who lived in Jamaica after the American Revolution. The Cowpers had two daughters, Mary Anne (1776-1856), and Margaret (born 1777) who married John McQueen Junior (1773-1822).

The Couper family is connected through Margaret Couper, the daughter of James Hamilton Couper (1794-1866), who married Robert Mackay Stiles (1836-1874), son of Elizabeth Mackay and William Henry Stiles.

For more information on the people involved in these papers see Walter C. Hartridge, The Letters of Don Juan McQueen to His Family, and The Letters of Robert Mackay to His Wife. The letters edited by Mr. Hartridge were chosen chiefly from papers owned by the Georgia Society of Colonial Dames and deposited with the Georgia Historical Society. Other Stiles letters are at the University of Georgia.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

This collection chiefly consists of correspondence, financial, and legal documents of Robert and Eliza McQueen Mackay, their children, and eventually their children's families. The papers document the family's business, political, and social life in England (1806-1811) and, more extensively, in Georgia, chiefly Savannah. The majority of the papers are found in the first series, Family Papers. Series B, C, and D contain documents on specific individuals, but information can be found on them in the other series as well. The majority of the volumes in Series E are account books for the Mackay family's business interests in Savannah, Georgia.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series Quick Links

expand/collapse Expand/collapse A. Family Papers

See finding aid at repository for more information.

Folder 1-69

Folder 1

Folder 2

Folder 3

Folder 4

Folder 5

Folder 6

Folder 7

Folder 8

Folder 9

Folder 10

Folder 11

Folder 12

Folder 13

Folder 14

Folder 15

Folder 16

Folder 17

Folder 18

Folder 19

Folder 20

Folder 21

Folder 22

Folder 23

Folder 24

Folder 25

Folder 26

Folder 27

Folder 28

Folder 29

Folder 30

Folder 31

Folder 32

Folder 33

Folder 34

Folder 35

Folder 36

Folder 37

Folder 38

Folder 39

Folder 40

Folder 41

Folder 42

Folder 43

Folder 44

Folder 45

Folder 46

Folder 47

Folder 48

Folder 49

Folder 50

Folder 51

Folder 52

Folder 53

Folder 54

Folder 55

Folder 56

Folder 57

Folder 58

Folder 59

Folder 60

Folder 61

Folder 62

Folder 63

Folder 64

Folder 65

Folder 66

Folder 67

Folder 68

Folder 69

Family papers #00470, Series: "A. Family Papers" Folder 1-69

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse B. John Mackay Papers

See finding aid at repository for more information.

Folder 70

John Mackay paprs #00470, Series: "B. John Mackay Papers" Folder 70

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse C. William Henry Stiles Papers

See finding aid at repository for more information.

Folder 71-76

Folder 71

Folder 72

Folder 73

Folder 74

Folder 75

Folder 76

William Henry Stiles papers #00470, Series: "C. William Henry Stiles Papers" Folder 71-76

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse D. Robert Mackay Papers

See finding aid at repository for more information.

Reel M-470/1-5

M-470/1

M-470/2

M-470/3

M-470/4

M-470/5

Robert Mackay papers #00470, Series: "D. Robert Mackay Papers" Reel M-470/1-5

Correspondence and other materials available only on microfilm, but also includes copies of volumes 32-33 and 44.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse E. Volumes, 1790-1975.

48 items.

Arrangement: by type, then chronological.

Bound volumes used for various purposes, arranged as follows:

Subseries E.1. Account Books. Volumes 1-31

E.2. Plantation and Slave Records. Volumes 32-34

E.3. Lettercopy Books. Volumes 35-37

E.4. Memoranda Books. Volumes 38-41

E.5. Commonplace Book. Volume 42

E.6. Estate Records. Volumes 43-44

E.7. Other Volumes. Volumes 45-48

expand/collapse Expand/collapse E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865.

31 items.

Account books, day books, rice books, ledgers, inventories of stock, shipping accounts, and personal accounts of Robert Mackay, William Mackay, and Benjamin E. Stiles, merchants in Savannah, Georgia, and of Eliza McQueen Mackay. Also included are day books of Charles Roberts & Co. regarding sales of general merchandise. The relationship of Charles Roberts & Co. to the Mackays and Stiles families is not known.

Volumes 1-20, dated 1790-1795, are chiefly for Robert Mackay's businesses in Savannah. Included are ledger and day books on sales of general merchandise, rice books, inventories of stock, and general accounts. Also included during this period are the day books on sales of general merchandise for Charles Roberts and Co.

Volumes 21-24, from 1807-1818, also belong chiefly to Robert Mackay. They include personal, miscellaneous, and shipping accounts, as well as an invoice book. Volume 22 is an invoice book for Robert Mackay's business in Savannah. Volumes 23 and 24 include Robert Mackay's shipping accounts for his West Indies trade.

Volumes 25-31, dated 1828-1865, belonged chiefly to William Mackay. Included are personal cash account books. Also included are ledgers and balance sheets between William Mackay and his agents, P. Minis and A. A. Solomons, for his businesses in Savannah. Volume 26 is an account book, dated 1828-1865, which belonged to Eliza McQueen Mackay, of accounts of money handled for soldiers' families. Volume 27 is a ledger, dated 1838-1852, which belonged to Benjamin E. Stiles and was used for his business in Savannah.

Folder 77

Volume 1. May 1790-Dec 1794 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 77

Folder 78

Volume 2. Oct 1792-Jan 1793 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 78

Folder 79

Volume 3. Oct 1792-April 1793 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 79

Folder 80

Volume 4. Oct 1792-Dec 1795 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 80

Folder 81

Volume 5. Oct 1792-1795 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 81

Folder 82

Volume 6. Oct 1792-1799 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 82

Folder 83

Volume 7. Nov 1792-March 1795 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 83

Folder 84

Volume 8. 1792-1795 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 84

Folder 85

Volume 9. Jan 1793-1803 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 85

Folder 86

Volume 10. May 1793-Sept 1793 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 86

Folder 87

Volume 11. Oct-Dec 1793 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 87

Folder 88

Volume 12. Dec 1793-June 1797 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 88

Folder 89

Volume 13. Jan 1794 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 89

Folder 90

Volume 14. Jan-April 1794 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 90

Folder 91

Volumes S-15 and S-16. Jan 1794-June 1798 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 91

Folder 92

Volume 17. April-Sept 1794 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 92

Folder 93

Volume 18. Oct 1794-Feb 1795 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 93

Folder 94

Volume 19. Dec 1794-May 1795 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 94

Folder 95

Volume 20. Feb-July 1795 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 95

Folder 96

Volume 21. 1807-1812 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 96

Folder 97-98

Folder 97

Folder 98

Volumes 22-23. 1815-1816 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 97-98

Folder 99

Volume 24. 1815-1818 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 99

Folder 100

Volumes S-25 and S-26. 1828-1865 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 100

Folder 101

Volume S-27. 1838-1852 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 101

Folder 102

Volume 28. 1839-1841 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 102

Folder 103

Volume 29. 1843-1847 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 103

Folder 104

Volume 30. 1844-1852 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 104

Folder 105

Volume 31. 1849-1850 #00470, Subseries: "E. 1 Account Books, 1790-1865." Folder 105

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse E. 2 Plantation and Slave Records, 1814-1861.

3 items.

Chiefly records of slaves at Grange Plantation and Sedgebank Plantation. It is not known to whom these plantations belonged, but it is believed that they were owned by the Mackay family. Volume S-32 is a record for Grange Plantation which contains lists of clothes and other supplies given to slaves, and lists of births and deaths of slaves. Also included in this volume is a plantation journal for 1814 and 1815, lists of crops and livestock produced by the plantation, and several pages written on sugar planting.

Volume 33 is a record for Sedgebank Plantation which contains lists of births and deaths of slaves, and lists of clothing and supplies given to them. Volume S-34 is a record for Sedgebank Plantation. It contains notations on rice taken to the mill, and records of the planting, flowering, and drying of an unknown crop.

Folder 106

Volume S-32. 1814-1847 #00470, Subseries: "E. 2 Plantation and Slave Records, 1814-1861." Folder 106

Folder 107

Volume 33. 1848-1860 #00470, Subseries: "E. 2 Plantation and Slave Records, 1814-1861." Folder 107

Folder 108

Volume S-34. 1859-1861 #00470, Subseries: "E. 2 Plantation and Slave Records, 1814-1861." Folder 108

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse E. 3 Lettercopy Books, 1797-1855.

3 items.

Lettercopy books of Robert Mackay, John Mackay, and William Mackay. Volume 35, dated 1797-1817, contains copies of letters written by Robert Mackay. A section in the beginning of the volume appears to be an account of money paid or owed to various individuals.

Volume 36 is a lettercopy book, dated 1835-1836, which belonged to Lieutenant J.(John) Mackay during the period he spent overseeing improvements to the Savannah River. The letters are directed to Lieutenant J.K.F. Mansfield of the U.S. Corps of Engineers who was apparently Mackay's supervisor. The letters concern activities such as receiving and discharging ballast, and operating a dredge boat.

Volume 37 is a lettercopy book, dated 1851-1855, of William Mackay containing letters to friends and family.

Folder 109

Volume 35. 1797-1817 #00470, Subseries: "E. 3 Lettercopy Books, 1797-1855." Folder 109

Folder 110

Volume 36. 1835-1836 #00470, Subseries: "E. 3 Lettercopy Books, 1797-1855." Folder 110

Folder 111

Volume 37. 1851-1855 #00470, Subseries: "E. 3 Lettercopy Books, 1797-1855." Folder 111

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse E. 4 Memoranda Books, 1802-1810.

4 items.

Volumes containing memoranda of voyages, purchases, travel, and daily activities. Volume 38 is a memoranda book, dated 1802-1804, containing several accounts of ship voyages. It also contains what appear to be notations of requests for slaves from various trading ships. Other notations for purchases of miscellaneous goods are included. Volume 39 also contains accounts of ship voyages and memoranda on purchases of goods.

Included in Volume 40 are entries, beginning August 1806, recording daily activities during a visit to London, Manchester, and Liverpool. The entries continue after the owner returned to the United States. Volume 41 is a daily calendar, dated 1810, which belonged to Robert Mackay.

Folder 112

Volume 38. 1802-1804 #00470, Subseries: "E. 4 Memoranda Books, 1802-1810." Folder 112

Folder 113

Volume 39. 1804-1806 #00470, Subseries: "E. 4 Memoranda Books, 1802-1810." Folder 113

Folder 114

Volume 40. 1806-1808 #00470, Subseries: "E. 4 Memoranda Books, 1802-1810." Folder 114

Folder 115

Volume 41. 1810 #00470, Subseries: "E. 4 Memoranda Books, 1802-1810." Folder 115

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse E. 5 Commonplace Book, 1847-1868.

1 item.

Commonplace book which belonged to Kitty Stiles containing poems copied from newspapers and other sources in several different hands. Some of the poems appear to be original compositions.

Folder 116

Volume 42. 1847-1868 #00470, Subseries: "E. 5 Commonplace Book, 1847-1868." Folder 116

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse E. 6 Estate Records, 1816-1850.

2 items.

Estate records of Basil Cowper. Volume 43 and the first part of volume 44 list accounts of the estate of Basil Cowper of Jamaica. His wife, Mary Cowper, was executrix with her son-in-law, John McQueen. There are accounts of bills, debts, shipments of sugar, lumber, etc.

The second part of volume 44 contains the accounts of Mary Anne Cowper beginning in 1847. Included are entries such as money received and paid out, sums from slaves who hired their own time, and personal and household transactions. Also included are entries noting visitors, and letters received and sent.

Folder 117

Volume 43. 1816-1819 #00470, Subseries: "E. 6 Estate Records, 1816-1850." Folder 117

Folder 118

Volume 44. 1817-1850 #00470, Subseries: "E. 6 Estate Records, 1816-1850." Folder 118

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse E. 7 Other Volumes, 1775-1975.

4 items.

Volumes of family history and other volumes. Two volumes, volumes M-45 and M-46, on microfilm, compiled by Mrs. W.S. Lovell of Birmingham, Alabama, relate to her ancestry and family history. Mrs. Lovell was the daughter of Robert Mackay Stiles and Margaret Couper Stiles. Volume M-45 contains family history, genealogy, and biographical information on John McQueen, Robert Mackay I, Robert Mackay II and his wife Eliza McQueen, the Stiles family of Savannah, the John Smith family of South Carolina and Georgia, and the Malbone family of Rhode Island, from which Robert Mackay was descended. Also included are original and typed copies of letters from 1770 of Robert Mackay I, Robert Mackay II, his children, and the Malbones. These include copies of letters from Robert E. Lee to his West Point classmate, John Mackay, and to others. Other letters were written by John Mackay to his family from Army posts, and family letters written from Savannah and Cass County during and after the Civil War. Also included in this volume is a diary, dated December 1864 to 9 September 1865, of Robert Mackay Stiles, Captain, Company E, 2nd Regiment Engineers, Confederate States of America It contains brief entries dealing with the evacuation of Savannah, and Mackay's travels under orders until the end of the war. He was in Augusta, Charleston, Columbia, and Charlotte. After the war he was at Tebauville, Thomasville, Albany, Macon, Atlanta, and Savannah. His entries were so brief that at times his purpose in going to these places is not at all clear, and he wrote very little about his activities.

The second volume on microfilm, volume M-46, contains the family history and genealogy of the Couper, Wylly, and Maxwell families of Georgia. Included are letters written by members of the Couper family: James Hamilton Couper from school in New Haven, Connecticut, James Hamilton, John Couper of Cannon's Point on St. Simons, and John Hamilton Couper of Hopeton Plantation.

Volume 47 is a scrapbook which belonged to Phoebe Elliot. The book contains verses and other items cut from newspapers and magazines, the majority of which do not relate to family history. Most of the items are not dated, but some are from the period 1886-1890.

Also included in this series is a binder, volume 48, containing A History of the White House Tract, Richmond County, Georgia, 1756-1975 , by Martha F. Norwood. The "White House tract" was originally a 500 acre tract including modern Augusta, the old village of Harrisburg, and various historic structures, the majority of which are no longer standing. It includes a house which stands today at 1822 Broad Street, Augusta, Georgia, formerly known as the "Mackay House" and now known as the "Harris-Pearson-Walker-House".

Folder 119

Volumes M-45 and M-46. 1775-1926 (missing as of September 2002) #00470, Subseries: "E. 7 Other Volumes, 1775-1975." Folder 119

Folder 120

Volume 47. 1886-1890 #00470, Subseries: "E. 7 Other Volumes, 1775-1975." Folder 120

Folder 121

Volume 48. 1975 [1756-1975] #00470, Subseries: "E. 7 Other Volumes, 1775-1975." Folder 121

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

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Processing Information

Processed by: Carolyn Wallace, May 1964; Shonra Newman, June 1990

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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