Alexander and Hillhouse family papers, 1758-1976.

Creator: Alexander and Hillhouse family.
Collection number: 11
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Abstract: Adam Alexander (1758-1812), a Scottish physician, emigrated to Liberty County, Ga., in 1776, where he acquired land and married Louisa Frederika Schmidt (1777-1846). The Alexanders’ son, Adam Leopold (1803-1882), graduated from Yale and became a successful planter in Washington (Wilkes County), Ga. David Hillhouse (1756-1804) of Connecticut married Sarah Porter of Massachusetts and settled in Georgia in 1787. His son, David P. Hillhouse (1790-1851), had property and business interests in New England, South Carolina, and Georgia. His daughter, Sarah Hillhouse (1782-1808) married Felix H. Gilbert in 1804. Gilbert was a member of the Georgia legislature, 1807-1808. In 1823 Adam Leopold Alexander married Sarah Hillhouse Gilbert. Together they had ten children, among them Louisa (Alexander) Gilmer (1824-1895); Edward Porter Alexander (1835-1910); Sarah (Alexander) Lawton (1826-1897); and Harriet (Alexander) Cumming (b. 1828). Adam’s sister, Louisa, married Anthony Porter of Savannah. Adam Leopold Alexander (1867-1911) married Nellie Holman Baldwin (1869-1954). Their son, Adam Leopold Alexander (1902-1960), married Elizabeth Baldwin (b. 1913) in 1939. The papers consist of extensive family and personal correspondence, business correspondence, plantation accounts, physician’s accounts, estate papers, travel journals, and genealogical materials. They document family, political, and religious life in Washington and Savannah, Ga., and in Connecticut and New York.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Series 1 contains correspondence from Adam Leopold Alexander that reflects the relationship he had with several of his former slaves and other free people of color. Included is a letter ,dated 30 April 1839, from a formerly enslaved woman requesting that Alexander buy her back (Folder 8). There is another letter from 4 August 1849, from William Bostwick, relating to a free African American man Alexander had asked Bostwick to give employment to (Folder 11)

There is also 1 April 1834 letter from discussing the role of emancipation in splits among Presbyterians in New Haven.

In the undated materials in Folders 13 and 14, there is a letter from letter from Sally offering financial support to an abolitionist, and a letter from the Alexander’s nurse Cynthia (possibly an enslaved woman) to Louisa Alexander.

Folders 19 – 23 contain a number of letters during the Civil War era, many of which discuss slavery, secession, and the war.

Folder 31 of Series 2 contains a memo book of Adam Alexander’s estate from 1824-1858. This ledger contains a number of agreements by his son Adam Leopold regarding the hiring of slaves and land use.

Folder 33 contains a plantation book from 1851-1864 which lists clothing and shoes given out to enslaved individuals on different plantations.

Two documents relate to a free black man named Alexander Brown. One is dated 2 October 1843, and appears to relate to appointing Adam Leopold Alexander as Brown’s guardian for legal purposes. A 24 August 1843 receipt appears for Brown’s corporation tax in Washington, Ga. (See Folder 30 of Series 2).

Series 2 also contains the business correspondence of Anthony Porter from the 1820s to the late 1860s, which has scattered bills of sales for enslaved individuals (See Folders 29-35).