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Ziba B. Oakes Papers

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

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Ziba B. Oakes Papers, 1852-1857 | Boston Public Library Archival and Manuscript Finding Aid Database

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Collection Overview

Title: Ziba B. Oakes Papers, 1852-1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Collection Identifier: MS Am. 322

Primary Creator: Oakes, Ziba B., 1806-1871

Extent: 652.0 Items

Arrangement: Original order of the correspondence has been maintained.

Subjects: McElveen, A. J., d. 1874 -- Correspondence., Oakes, Ziba B., 1806-1871 -- Correspondence., Slave trade -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- History -- 19th Century., Slave traders -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Correspondence.

Languages: English

Abstract

The 652 letters in this collection document the business of Ziba B. Oakes, a slave broker, who lived in Charleston, South Carolina. The letters were written by business associates and cover all aspects of the slave trade business including pricing, selling instructions, and resolving problems with runaways. Oakes’s real estate business and other financial matters are also documented.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The 652 letters in this collection document the business dealings of Ziba B. Oakes, a slave broker, who lived in Charleston, South Carolina. The letters were written by several business associates and cover all aspects of the slave trade such as pricing, selling instructions, and resolving problems with runaways. Oakes’s real estate business and other financial matters are also documented. There is no correspondence from Oakes.

The majority of the letters in the collection are from brokers, agents, and clients from different parts of South Carolina and other southern states with whom Ziba Oakes did business. For example, there are fifty-eight letters written to Oakes by William Wright from Savannah, Georgia; thirteen letters by Burch Kirkland and Company, from Montgomery, Alabama; and twenty-three letters by Thomas Limehouse, from Goulding, South Carolina. In addition, there are letters from traders from Richmond, Virginia and New Orleans, Louisiana. These contain specific details about slaves bought and sold, and give market prices for each city.

Of the approximately 480 letters written by slave traders, 135 were written by A. J. McElveen, whose job it was to travel throughout South Carolina’s Sumpter District and purchase slaves for Oakes. The letters include details about the number of slaves that were purchased on each trip, their gender and physical descriptions, and where on the plantation they should work. Other matters include the problems he had with selling certain slaves and his dealings with other traders. McElveen’s letters also provide insight into the relationship he had with Oakes.

Additional letters document Oakes’s real estate and other business ventures such as the buying and selling of plantations and railroad stock.

Subject/Index Terms

McElveen, A. J., d. 1874 -- Correspondence.
Oakes, Ziba B., 1806-1871 -- Correspondence.
Slave trade -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- History -- 19th Century.
Slave traders -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Correspondence.

Administrative Information

Repository: Boston Public Library Archival and Manuscript Finding Aid Database

Access Restrictions: Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions:

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. The Boston Public Library does not hold copyright on the material in this collection. Researchers are responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations that hold copyright.

When reproducing material from this collection please include the credit line "Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/ Rare Books."

Acquisition Method: The Ziba Oakes papers were found in a slave pen in Charleston, South Carolina, on February 20, 1865 by James Redpath. In April 1865, Redpath presented them to William Lloyd Garrison. The collection was donated to the Boston Public Library on November 11, 1891 by Francis Jackson Garrison.

Related Materials: Slave Trade Letters, 1839. MS fAM 1034

Related Publications: Drago, Edmund L. ed. Broke by the War: Letters of a Slave Trader. University of South Carolina Press. 1991.

Preferred Citation: Ziba B. Oakes Papers. MS Am. 322. Rare Books and Manuscripts Department, Boston Public Library. Courtesy of the Trustees of the Boston Public Library/Rare Books.

Processing Information: Finding aid written by Rare Books and Manuscripts staff.

Finding Aid Revision History: Updated by Kimberly Reynolds, April 2011.


Box and Folder Listing


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[Box 27],
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[Box 29],
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Box 33Add to your cart.
Folder 361: Duck River Slack Water Navigation Co. Ms.L.S. (Thomas J. Kelly)  to Ziba B. Oakes; Columbia, Tenn., 30 August 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Instructions regarding capture of Primus. 1p.
Folder 362: Briscoe, E.C.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Port Gibson, Miss., 27 August 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks Oakes to interview T.N. Gadsden regarding boy sold him who proved insane. 2p.
Folder 363: Delorme, A.A.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Darien, Ga., 22 August 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Wants to sell rice land. 1p.
Folder 364: McElveen, A.J.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Sumterville, S.C., 23 August 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Unable to buy Negros because of high prices; prospects of purchases. 1p.
Folder 365: Landis & Green. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Rowesville, Bedford Co., Tenn., 5 August 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks compensation for unsound woman bought from Oakes. 1p.
Folder 366: Ludecus, Edward. A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., August 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asking about buying Negroes at Charleston. 1p.
Folder 367: McElveen, A.J.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Kingstree, S.C., 14 August 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Prices higher in Kingstree than Charleston; doubts about Negroes offered. 1p.
Folder 368: Barber, F.C.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Augusta, Ga., 15 August 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
On note; asks about middle-aged woman for Augusta. 1p.
Folder 369: Wright, William. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 18 August 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Unable to sell woman Nelly.  In hand of Wm C. Dawson. 1p.
Folder 370: King, Jesse. A.L.S. to [Ziba B. Oakes?]; Milledgeville, Ga., 19 August 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
On possible purchase of Negroes at Charleston. 1p.
Folder 371: McRae, G.W.A.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Lynchburg, Va., 11 August 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
On physical condition of Joe. 1p.
Folder 372: McElveen, A.J.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Sumterville, S.C., 10 August 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
On possible purchases; asks about Charleston market. 2p.
Folder 373: Barnes, William.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Atlanta, Ga., 17 August 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Recalls receiving no paper execpt bond. 1p.
Folder 374: Wylly & Montmolin. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 10 August 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Wants to sell $10,000 worth of Savannah city bonds. 1p.
Folder 375: Ludecus, Edward. A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 4 August 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Wants to buy two elderly farm hands. 1p.
Folder 376: Tharin, Theodore C.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Grumesville, S.C., 28 July 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Because of Dangerfield, asks Oakes to get paper from Simington. 1p.
Folder 377: McElveen, A.J.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Sumterville, S.C., 25 July 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
On boy sold McRae (cf. no. 371); suggests lawsuit. 2p.
Folder 378: Whiteside, James H.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Washington, D.C., 21 July 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
High prices in District of Columbia. 1p.
Folder 379: Scruggs, Frederick. A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Mobile, Ala., 20 July 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Has opned Negro depot at Mobile; asks prices at Charleston. 1p.
Folder 380: Granger, Charles. A.L.S. to [Ziba B. Oakes?]; Washington, D.C., 14 July 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks titles for Stoney Landing Plantation promptly settled. 1p.
Folder 381: McElveen, A.J.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Sumterville, S.C., 17 July 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Blackwell has taken back Sam; possible purchases and sale of Henry; Dr. Fleming of Mobile wants 30 Negroes. 2p.
Folder 382: Wylly & Montmollin. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 11 July 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Proposed sale of Savannah city bonds. 1p.
Folder 383: Tharin, Theodore C.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Grumesville, S.C. [?], 12 July 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Offer to purchase land. 1p.
Folder 384: Wright, William. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 10 July 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks route to Georgetown, S.C.  In hand of Wm C. Dawson. 1p.
Folder 385: Scranton Johnston & Co.  Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 10 July 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Thanks for Lewis's wages. 1p.
Folder 386: Harrison, James S.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Liberty Hill, S.C., 3 June 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Send $5.00; asks dispensation to celebrate June 24.  Written as secretary pro tem. of "Caldwell Lodge, no. 82." 1p.
Folder 387: Limehouse, Thomas. A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Summerville, S.C., 11 June 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
On payment of debt due Oakes. 2p.
Folder 388: McElveen, A.J.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Sumterville, Ga., 7 Jan 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Business brisk; Caleb, bought of Bethune, a runaway; offer if family of 8 Negroes; asks value. 2p.
Folder 389: Buist, H.  A.N.S. to [Ziba B. Oakes]; Charleston, S.C.[?], 10 June 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
On Negroes of Shaw estate. 1p.
Folder 390: Limehouse, Thomas. A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Summerville, S.C., 9 June 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Sends renewal note; stock sent Benton. 1p.
Folder 391: Avinger, Peter W.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Orangeburg District, S.C., 30 May 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks about plantation on Cooper River offered for sale. 1p.
Folder 392: Wylly & Montmollin. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., [May? 1854]Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Request for return of handcuffs, etc. 1p.
Folder 393: Wylly & Montmollin. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 7 July 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Sending boy Cain by boat for prompt sale at lease at $700 plus expenses. 1p.
Folder 394: Wylly & Montmollin. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 3 July 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Awaits receipt from Oakes of Oliver watch; market dull. 1p.
Folder 395: McElveen, A.J.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Sumterville, S.C., 6 July 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks about boy Sam; messages for Sarah. 2p.
Folder 396: Wylly & Montmollin. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 7 July 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Watch received; conditions at Savannah. 1p.
Folder 397: Tharin, Theodore C.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Grumesville, S.C., 20 July 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
On affair of Stephen Dangerfield. 2p.
Folder 398: Jenning, A.F.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; [n.p.], 3 June 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Thanks for settling note at bank. 1p.
Folder 399: Nugent (Richard) & Co. Ms.L.S.  to Ziba B. Oakes; New Orleans, La., 15 June 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Sends two checks, one for C.D. Hamilton. 1p.
Folder 400: Limehouse, Thomas. A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Goulding, S.C. [?], 6 June 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Benton's payment to Oakes; will send renewal note. 2p.
Folder 401: Wylly & Montmollin. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 17 June 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Expenses for Oakes's Negroes. 1p.
Folder 402: Scranton Johnston & Co. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 27 June 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks Oakes to collect Lewis's wages. 1p.
Folder 403: Limehouse, Thomas. A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Summerville, S.C., 25 June 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Sends renewal notes. 2p.
Folder 404: Summerville, J.A.  A.L.S. to [Ziba B. Oakes?]; Magnolia, Fla., 19 June 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks prompt sale of Negroes. 1p.
Folder 405: Wylly & Montmollin. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 24 June 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
On matter involving Oliver watch. 1p.
Folder 406: Taylor, John A.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Ocala, Fla., 20 June 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks about servant for sale named Minty; sends note from wife for her; asks price for her. 2p.
Folder 407: Wright, William. A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 24 June 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Will try to sell woman but must do so across river for titles. 1p.
Folder 408: Barnes, William. A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Atlanta, Ga., 27 May 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks Oakes to collect debt from Gadsden. 1p.
Folder 409: Scranton Johnston & Co. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; [n.p.], 23 May 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Clothing to be bought for Lewis. 1p.
Folder 410: Bissell, H.C.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Carlowville, Ala., 31 May 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Robert D. Boykin will buy boy at $1500. 1p.
Folder 411: Wylly & Montmollin. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 24 May 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Three Negros sent as by telegram. 1p.
Folder 412: Northrop & Allemong. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes & William L. Cleveland; Charleston, S.C., 25 April 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Judgement in litigation by Mathews & Co. against Emily Fairchild, Oakes and Cleveland. 1p.
Folder 413: Wylly & Montmollin. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 29 April 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Arrival of three Negroes. 1p.
Folder 414: Prentiss, W.O.  A.L.S.to Ziba B. Oakes; Buzzard Roost, Ala. [?], 20 April 1854Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Describes Brutus, valued at $150. 1p.
Folder 415: Norris, A.V.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Anderson Court House, S.C., 18 May 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Sends receipt for payment on Benjamin Mordecai's bond. 1p.
Folder 416: Owings, R.M. & Co.  Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Hamburg, 9 May 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Sends check for half interest in Mickey; commissions purchase of likely young Negroes. 1p.
Folder 417: Owings, R.M. & Co.  Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Hamburg., 29 May 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Instructions for delivery of boy John to Golatham Walker. 2p.
Folder 418: Wright, William. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 16 May 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Thanks for care of Dr. Parker's boy; asks value of W.A. Skrine's boy; Savannah buisiness quiet.  In hand of W.W. George. 1p.
Folder 419: Peake, Henry T.  A.L.S.to Ziba B. Oakes; Charleston, S.C., 16 May 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Would like to try out boy Morris, who has asked Peake to buy him. 1p.
Folder 420: Trumbo, C.C.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; [Charleston, S.C.?]., 20 May [1857]Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks him to collect debt from Browning. 1p.

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[Box 28],
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[All]


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