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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],
[Box 28],
[Box 29],
[Box 30],
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Box 34Add to your cart.
Folder 421: Howard, B.H.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Liberty Hill, Edgefield District, S.C., 14 May [1857?]Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks about prices in Charleston and design for Masonic seal for Caldwell Lodge. 1p.
Folder 422: Stall, John R.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Summerville, S.C., 4 May 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Requests payment on Cohen's note; will bring deed. 1p.
Folder 423: Weatherby, Joseph A.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Greensboro, Guildford Co., N.C., 4 May 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Has returned from South; asks for news and money. 1p.
Folder 424: Wright, William. Ms.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 13 May 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks for inquiries about runaway slaves in his hands.  In hand of W.W. George. 1p.
Folder 425: Belser, Lawrence H.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Manchester Post Office, 20 May 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Offers North Carolina Railroad stock as security. 1p.
Folder 426: Galbraith, E.D.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; New Orleans, La., 1 May 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Requests publication of notice cancelling note given J.J. Williams for a Negro who soon died. 2p.
Folder 427: Wright, William. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 1 May 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks about woman and children sent on consignment.  In hand of W.W. George. 1p.
Folder 428: Dickson Hill & Co.  Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Richmond, Va., 3 May 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks Oakes to sell woman Mary Jane. 1p.
Folder 429: Robertson, A.P.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Hamburg., 2 May 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Sends money borrowed by R.M. Owings. 1p.
Folder 430: McElveen, A.J.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Sumter Court House, S.C., 9 April 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks opinion on price for 6 Negroes. 1p.
Folder 431: Porter, Rees W.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Nashville, Tenn., 30 April 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks whether two boys have had measles. 1p.
Folder 432: Gibbes, E.A.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Rosemont, S.C., 2 May 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
On land titles. 1p.
Folder 433: Wiss, Emanuel G.  A.N.S. to McBride; Greenwood, S.C., 14 April 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Wishes to buy some field hands. 1p.
Folder 434: Spalding, A.T.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Madison, Ga., 29 January 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Sets acceptable price for house and lot. 2p.
Folder 435: McElveen, W.H.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Sandy Grove, N.C., 20 April 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks about reward for runaway Solomon. 1p.
Folder 436: Edwards, E.A.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Stateburgh, S.C., 14 April 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Sends key for Tom's trunk; appends message from Tom's wife Fatima for him. 1p.
Folder 437: McElveen, A.J.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Sumter Cout House, S.C., 22 April 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Twenty-three Negroes ready for sale day in May. 1p.
Folder 438: Long, Lemuel J.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Ashwood, Maury Co., Tenn., 20 April 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks numbers, quality, and prices of Negroes available. 1p.
Folder 439: Limehouse, Thomas. A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Goulding, S.C. [?], 10 April 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Requests loan. 2p.
Folder 440: Hardee, N.A. & Co.  Ms.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 9 April 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Sends blank bill of sale for McDonald's Negro. 1p.
Folder 441: Brimson, Isaac A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Monk's Corner Post Office, S.C., 14 April 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks about possible purchaser of land. 1p.
Folder 442: Belser, Lawrence H.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Manchester., 15 April 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks Oakes to sell or mortgage shares of N.E.[?] Railroad stock. 2p.
Folder 443: Edmundsun, H.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Richmond, Va., 16 April 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Sends check for account of Jerry Smith. 1p.
Folder 444: McElveen, A.J.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Sumter Court House, S.C., 4 April 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Discusses recent sale. 1p.
Folder 445: McElveen, A.J.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Sumter Court House, S.C., 18 April 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Has written two letters without answer, one about auction, the other about Negroes offered. 1p.
Folder 446: Thomas, James T.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Gainesville, Ga., 30 April 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Has received payments for family. 1p.
Folder 447: McElveen, A.J.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Sumter Court House, S.C., 28 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks to borrow money to pay the Chandlers. 1p.
Folder 448: Wright, William. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 28 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Introduces Abraham mcCullers; sets price for slaves sent on consignment.  In hand of Wm. C. Dawson. 1p.
Folder 449: Filor, James. A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Key West, Fla., 25 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Proposes settlement regarding clint, Smallwood Anderson & Co. 1p.
Folder 450: Vogue, Letter Berry. A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Pleasant Hill, Dallas, Co., Ala., 2 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Enquires about purchase of field hands. 1p.
Folder 451: Owings, R.M. & Co.  Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Hamburg, 23 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Does not yet know if Alice is sold; will send Negroes to sell if market good. 1p.
Folder 452: Spalding, A.T.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Madison, Ga., 20 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks if house in Tradd St. sold; has other property for sale. 1p.
Folder 453: Limehouse, Thomas. A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Goulding, S.C. [?], 3 April 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Instructions regarding court case; asks Mrs. Oakes to visit. 1p.
Folder 454: McElveen, A.J.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; [n.p.], 29 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks about prices; is attending sale in April. 1p.
Folder 455: Butler & Frierson. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 31 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks about value of journeyman carpenter aged 45. 1p.
Folder 456: Kinard, H.H.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Newberry, S.C., 16 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Has arranged with R. Dulin for payment of draft. 1p.
Folder 457: Otey, Thomas. A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Richmond, Va., 29 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Is bringing group of Negroes to Charleston. 1p.
Folder 458: Walker, R.W.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Barnwell Court House, S.C., 4 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks about claim to runaway Isaac. 1p.
Folder 459: Wright, William. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 24 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Is sending woman and 2 children for sale.  In hand of W.W. George. 1p.
Folder 460: McElveen, A.J.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Sumter Court House, S.C., 22 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Reconciled to going to jail; transer of the Chandlers' Negroes. 1p.
Folder 461: Smallwood Anderson & Co.  Ms.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; New York, N.Y., 20 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Acknowledges check for James Filor of Key West. 1p.
Folder 462: McElveen, A.J.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Sumter Court House, S.C., 16 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Requests return of Negroes lest he be sued. 1p.
Folder 463: Kirk, John W.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Bluffton, S.C., 15 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Requests clothes belonging to Jerry, bought from Oakes. 1p.
Folder 464: McElveen, A.J.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Sumter Court House, S.C., 7 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Unless Negroes are sent, will be sued. 1p.
Folder 465: Wright, William. Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 16 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
On title to boy Toney.  In hand of Wm C. Dawson. 1p.
Folder 466: Bamberg, W.S.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Bamberg, S.C., 20 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
On unpaid note. 2p.
Folder 467: Limehouse, Thomas. A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Goulding, S.C. [?], 19 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Requests action regarding DeSaussure & Simons. 1p.
Folder 468: Briscoe, E.C.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Port Gibson, Miss., 8 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Commissions Oakes to recover runaway bought of Ryan Tennent, and sell jim or ship him to J.J. Persons at New Orleans. 1p.
Folder 469: Limehouse, Thomas. A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Goulding, S.C. [?], 16 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Requests settlement of accounts in Charleston and purchase of oak staves. 2p.
Folder 470: Richardson, J.J.  A.N.S. to [Ziba B. Oakes]; Georgetown, 19 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks value of girl.  With cover note by Christie transmitting query. 1p.
Folder 471: Epps, Edward. A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; [n.p.], 6 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Arrangement for hunting runaway Solomon with dogs; Negro believed to be Solomon had been shot at but escaped in canoe. 1p.
Folder 472: Owings, R.M. & Co.  Ms.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Hamburg, 10 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Sends check for Negroes sold for Oakes. 1p.
Folder 473: Collins, Jonah. A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Combahee, S.C., 7 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Refuses acceptance of Negroes declared medically unsound. 1p.
Folder 474: McElveen, A.J.  A.L.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Sumter Court House, S.C., 4 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Sends 7 Negroes for sale, partly owned by Chandlers. 2p.
Folder 475: Wright, William. Ms.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Savannah, Ga., 5 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
N.A. Hardee & Co. enquire about possible sale of negro.  In hand of Wm C. Dawson. 1p.
Folder 476: McElveen, A.J.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Sumter Court House, S.C., 2 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Sends 7 negroes for sale. 1p.
Folder 477: Cannon, W.H.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Mars Bluff, S.C., 1 March 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Offers 50 or 60 cotton hands for sale; asks prices in Charleston. 1p.
Folder 478: Singletary, Isaac S.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Georgetown, 19 February 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Sends Negro for sale. 1p.
Folder 479: Brock, Josiah. A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Palatka, Fla., 15 February 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Asks if his Negroes have been sold. 1p.
Folder 480: Stall, J.R.  A.N.S. to Ziba B. Oakes; Summerville, S.C., 16 February 1857Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
On transfer of note. 1p.

Browse by Box:

[Box 27],
[Box 28],
[Box 29],
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[All]


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