Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Alexander Dunlop Memorandum Book, 1686-1688, 1699

Finding aid created by
Rob S. Cox, July 1996 and Catalina Oyler, February 2008

Summary Information
Title: Alexander Dunlop memorandum book
Creator: Dunlop, Alexander
Inclusive dates: 1686-1688, 1699
Extent: 93 folios
Alexander Dunlop was a Scottish immigrant to South Carolina in 1685. His memorandum book contains a short narrative of his voyage to Antigua, entries concerning his financial affairs, a letter to his wife, and land rental entries from his son John.
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:

1986. M-2318.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


No copyright restrictions.

Preferred Citation:

Alexander Dunlop Memorandum Book, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Alexander Dunlop was born in Scotland to James Dunlop and Eliza Cunningham in Dunlop, Ayrshire, Scotland and was laird of the Dunlop Clan from 1670 to 1683. Alexander married Antonia Brown (b. 1654) daughter of Sir John Brown in 1667 and by her had six children, the oldest being John Dunlop. In 1683 Alexander was arrested on suspicion of being involved with the Presbyterian rebels at the Battle of Bothwell Brig. Soon after, he was forced to emigrate and became an early colonist to South Carolina. In Carolina, Alexander formed connections with the politically powerful William Dunlop and Henry Erskine and was appointed sheriff to Port Royal County in 1685. Shortly after this appointment in early 1686, Alexander returned to Scotland and from there sailed to Antigua. It is unknown if he ever returned to South Carolina.

John Dunlop remained in Scotland and succeeded his father as laird of the Dunlop Clan in 1684. He died unmarried and childless in 1706.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The memorandum book of Alexander Dunlop is divided into three parts. The bulk of the book is written in Dunlop's hand between 1686 and 1688. Later additions were made by Dunlop's son John in 1699. Two additional entries are made in an unidentified hand.

The entries by Alexander Dunlop include a short narrative of the voyage of the vessel Richard and John of London from Kelburne (south of Largs, Ayrshire), in 1686 [folios 93-92, reversed at back of book]. Other entries related to this voyage include a note concerning £15 received from Lady Cardross, February 26, "to be delivered to My Lord Cardros when I shall come to portroyall in Carolina" and a note dated July 26 in Antigua that the money "was sent by me A D to Mylord Cardros with Tho: Steill some tyme my servitor according to his recept" [folio 2]. A copy of Steill's receipt, partly torn away, is on folio 4 the verso of folio 2 contains more accounts between Dunlop and Steill, particularly pay for the latter's service in the several weeks spent in Antigua. Folios 5 and 90b-89b contain accounts possibly related to this voyage.

The book also has a long letter from Alexander Dunlop to his wife Antonia [folios 7-13b]. Topics of the letter are money matters, sale of an estate to the Earl of Dundonald, the Earl's resignation in favor of the Dunlops' son John, their other children, and debts. This letter may have been Alexander's draft of intentions for care of his affairs after his death as he writes, "so you & freends may divyde among the childen as they deserve" [folio 9b:]. Other entries by Alexander also concern financial affairs and debts [folios 3, 5-6, and 89b-86b, folio 88 mentions "tutors" and "curators."]

The entries of John Dunlop all address the Dunlop's affairs in Scotland including financial notes and debts. Detailed descriptions, and tables titled "Rentall of the Lands of Dunlop," June 13, 1699 mentions a number of specific places, including the parks of Dunlop [folio 17], Auchentiber [folios 29b, 34], Stewarton [folio 34b], Mirrimouth [folio 20] and rents paid in money or in kind included meal, beer, hens, capons, coal, etc., some given with cash equivalents.

Additional notes in an unknown hand are made at the end of the rental accounts and with the letter of Alexander to his wife.

Subject Terms

    • Antigua--History--17th century.
    • Finance, Personal--South Carolina--17th century.
    • South Carolina--History--17th century.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Alexander Dunlop memorandum book,  1686-1688,  1699 [series]