Series 1
Correspondence, 1826-1955
Boxes 1-2; OP 1; MF1

Scope and Content Note

Series 1, Correspondence, contains letters received by Godfrey Barnsley and members of his family. The letters received by Barnsley himself date from 1826, two years after he arrived in Savannah, and continue until his death in 1873. The remainder of the letters in the series were addressed to his daughter, Julia Barnsley Baltzelle von Schwartz, and grandaughter, Adelaide Baltzelle Saylor, who both continued to live at the Barnsley estate until their deaths.

The letters document many aspects of Godfrey Barnsley's business affairs and family life. During his first years in the United States, Barnsley corresponded regularly with family members still in England who were also business associates. These letters provide information about how cotton merchants conducted their affairs. Particularly valuable are letters concerning legal disputes with two British associates during the 1830s. Among these papers are holograph copies of letters written by Barnsley to merchants John MacLellan and James Oswald. Not until 1837 do letters from American businessmen and acquaintances appear. Barnsley's 1841 move away from Savannah to Cass County accounts, in part, for an increased correspondence with Georgia friends and associates.

Because Barnsley had business relations with his uncle and cousin in Liverpool, those letters contain both business negotiations and family news. More information about family affairs is contained in letters Barnsley received from his children as they matured. The letters from Barnsley's son George during the Civil War, when he served as a hospital steward with the Eighth Regiment of the Georgia Volunteer Infantry are particularly valuable. George Barnsley's letters to his father and sister after the Civil War offer information about those confederates who emigrated to Brazil. The series also contains items that both illuminate other aspects of the Reconstruction period and provide information about slavery in the antebellum period.

Included in the series are letters that document Barnsley's interest in spiritualism. An undated letter, written shortly after the death of Barnsley's wife in 1845,is alleged to be a spirit communication from Barnsley's father-in-law, William Scarborough, who had been deceased for several years. Other letters, particularly those of C.V. Berrien in the 1860s, contain additional information about this interest.

Letters received by members of Barnsley's family after his death appear in this series. These papers document the struggle the family faced in trying to retain possession of Barnsley's extensive land holdings and manor house at a time when they were financially stricken. The estate caused discord among the heirs as well as with various agents and adventurers who hoped to profit from the sale of Woodlands.

All letters on microfilm have been duplicated and paper copies have been interfiled in the correspondence by date. Information about how the family fared after the turn of the century when the correspondence decreases is located in the clippings contained in Series 6, Collected Material.

Arrangement Note

Arranged in chronological order.

Scope and Content Note Series 1, Correspondence, contains letters received by Godfrey Barnsley and members of his family. The letters received by Barnsley himself date from 1826, two years after he arrived in Savannah, and continue until his death in 1873. The remainder of the letters in the series were addressed to his daughter, Julia Barnsley Baltzelle von Schwartz, and grandaughter, Adelaide Baltzelle Saylor, who both continued to live at the Barnsley estate until their deaths. The letters document many aspects of Godfrey Barnsley's business affairs and family life. During his first years in the United States, Barnsley corresponded regularly with family members still in England who were also business associates. These letters provide information about how cotton merchants conducted their affairs. Particularly valuable are letters concerning legal disputes with two British associates during the 1830s. Among these papers are holograph copies of letters written by Barnsley to merchants John MacLellan and James Oswald. Not until 1837 do letters from American businessmen and acquaintances appear. Barnsley's 1841 move away from Savannah to Cass County accounts, in part, for an increased correspondence with Georgia friends and associates. Because Barnsley had business relations with his uncle and cousin in Liverpool, those letters contain both business negotiations and family news. More information about family affairs is contained in letters Barnsley received from his children as they matured. The letters from Barnsley's son George during the Civil War, when he served as a hospital steward with the Eighth Regiment of the Georgia Volunteer Infantry are particularly valuable. George Barnsley's letters to his father and sister after the Civil War offer information about those confederates who emigrated to Brazil. The series also contains items that both illuminate other aspects of the Reconstruction period and provide information about slavery in the antebellum period. Included in the series are letters that document Barnsley's interest in spiritualism. An undated letter, written shortly after the death of Barnsley's wife in 1845,is alleged to be a spirit communication from Barnsley's father-in-law, William Scarborough, who had been deceased for several years. Other letters, particularly those of C.V. Berrien in the 1860s, contain additional information about this interest. Letters received by members of Barnsley's family after his death appear in this series. These papers document the struggle the family faced in trying to retain possession of Barnsley's extensive land holdings and manor house at a time when they were financially stricken. The estate caused discord among the heirs as well as with various agents and adventurers who hoped to profit from the sale of Woodlands. All letters on microfilm have been duplicated and paper copies have been interfiled in the correspondence by date. Information about how the family fared after the turn of the century when the correspondence decreases is located in the clippings contained in Series 6, Collected Material.
Box Folder Content
1 1 1826-1835
1 2 1836-1837
OP1 1 Barnsley v. MacLellan, 1837
OP1 2 1839
1 3 1838-1843
1 4 1844
1 5 1845
1 6 1857-1860
1 7 1861 March-May
1 8 1861 June
1 9 1861 July
1 10 1861 August
1 11 1861 September-October
1 12 1861 November-December
1 13 1862 January-February
1 14 1862 March
1 15 1862 April-May
1 16 1862 June-July
1 17 1862 August-September
1 18 1862 October
1 19 1862 November
1 20 1862 December and 1862 undated
2 1 1863-1864
2 2 1865
2 3 1866
2 4 1867-1869
2 5 1877-1886
2 6 1887-1889
2 7 1890
2 8 1891
2 9 1892
2 10 1893-1895
2 11 1896-1899
2 12 1900-1901
2 13 1902-1908
2 14 1909-1921
2 15 1922-1955
2 16 Undated
MF1 Letters loaned for filming by Mrs. A. Waldo Jones (NOTE: Paper reproductions made and interfiled into Series 1)
v1.11.0-dev