Mackay and Stiles family papers, 1743-1975.

Creator: Mackay and Stiles family.
Collection number: 470
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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 merchantile 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.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Family Papers in Series A contain slave bills of sale (1793); a letter concerning a possible home in New York for free African Americanand mulatto children (1829); records of sicknesses among slaves in Georgia (1837, 1862); business arrangements for the hiring of slaves (1860, 1862); comments on the attitudes of free blacks in Georgia (1865).

Folders 106-108 contain and slave records for Grange and Sedgebank Plantations of Georgia  from 1814-1861.

Memoranda books in folders 112-115 contain records relating to the sale of enslaved individuals from 1801-1805.

The William Herny Stiles Papers in Series C contain a letter in 1850¬† from a free African American man from Virginia who moved to Georgia to be closer to his family, who had been purchased by a planter in that state. There is also a letter in 1852 from a Boston Publisher, who thinks Stiles’s forthcoming book on Austria will be a useful defense for slavery.