Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
James Stothert Papers, 1784-1807

Finding aid created by
Rob S. Cox, September 1997

Summary Information
Title: James Stothert papers
Creator: Stothert, James, d. 1800
Inclusive dates: 1784-1807
Extent: 55 items
The Stothert papers consist of reports from plantation overseers in Saint James Parish, Jamaica, to their absentee landlord, James Stothert.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1974. M-1650.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

James Stothert Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, James Stothert acquired sizeable estates during the 1760s, when he resided in St. James Parish, Jamaica. Returning home in the 1770s, he entrusted the day to day management of his plantations to a succession of resident managers, and for the remainder of his life, enjoyed a steady income as absentee landlord from rents and the production of sugar.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Stothert papers consist primarily of reports from plantation overseers in Saint James Parish, Jamaica, to their absentee landlord, James Stothert of Edinburgh. Routine, at some basic level, these reports include valuable information on the condition of slaves, the profitability of crops and rents, discussions of expenses incurred in the operation of the plantations, and the routine mechanics of sugar production, including some commentary on efforts at improving the process. There is one reference to an armed conflict with fugitive slaves in Trelawny Town, and a particularly poignant letter of 1799 requests that Stothert sell or free the writer's daughter to a man wishing to marry her.

Subject Terms

    • Fugitive slaves.
    • Jamaica--Description and travel.
    • Jamaica--History--Maroon War, 1795-1796.
    • Maroons--Jamaica.
    • Plantations--Jamaica.
    • Slavery--Jamaica.
    • Sugar--Manufacture and refining.
    Genre Terms:
    • Reports.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Box   1  
    James Stothert papers,  1784-1807 [series]