Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Marmaduke Burrough Papers, 1808-1843

Finding aid created by
Philip Heslip, September 2009

Summary Information
Title: Marmaduke Burrough papers
Creator: Burrough, Marmaduke, 1797-1844
Inclusive dates: 1808-1843
Bulk dates: 1820-1843
Extent: 1.5 linear feet
The Marmaduke Burrough papers contain business and personal correspondence and documents, primarily related to Marmaduke Burrough’s time as United States Consul at Lima, Peru; Calcutta, India; and Vera Cruz, Mexico.
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:

1995-2003. M-3173, M-3182, M-3334, M-3363, M4318.3.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Preferred Citation:

Marmaduke Burrough Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


This collection arrived in several large groups with some items bundled together, perhaps by a previous owner. The order of these bundles has been maintained. The collection is organized into five series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Essays, Drawings, Personal Papers, and Notes
  • Series III: Financial Records
  • Series IV: Documents
  • Series V: Printed Materials

Each series is ordered into bundles or loose item categories and is in chronological order.


Marmaduke Burrough (1797-1844) was born in Camden, New Jersey, to Jehu Burrough and Ann[a] Hollinshead. He trained as a physician in Philadelphia but spent most of his life in consular service, including appointments as U.S. Consul to Lima, Peru; Calcutta, India; and Vera Cruz, Mexico. In 1830, Burrough brought the first two rhinoceroses to America from Calcutta and sold them to a traveling exhibitor.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Marmaduke Burrough papers is comprised of 495 letters, 51 essays and personal papers, 5 drawings, 418 financial records, 20 documents, and 4 items of printed material.

The Correspondence series holds Burrough's business, official, and personal items. The letters are mostly to Burrough though some are copies and drafts of letters by him. Many letters contain routine material on provisioning U.S. naval ships at Vera Cruz or requests from U.S. citizens for assistance, while others are from fellow consuls in Mexico. These describe tensions between U.S. and Mexico over the question of Texas annexation and express opinions on Washington politics. Other notable topics include the arrests of U.S. citizens by the Mexican Navy for being "Texas Pirates," the discussion of an assassination attempt on President Jackson, and the expected election of Martin Van Buren. A few letters are in Spanish and French.

The Essays, Drawings, Personal Papers, and Notes series holds many interesting items, such as a bundle of poems; medicine lists and prescriptions with notes; sketches of the island of Borneo and a beautiful detailed drawing of an Indian man riding a rhinoceros (undated); and a number of essays including travel notes and observations on leprosy.

The Financial Records series consists of bundles of ship provisions and medical inventories, travel notes, receipts, legal documents, accounting sheets, and a subseries of loose receipts and accounts.

The Documents series contains contracts, investment memoranda, an official appointment as consul, debt settlements, partnership agreements, insurance documents, and a deposition of witness for the seizure of an American ship by the Mexican government for importing counterfeit coins into Mexico.

The Printed Materials series holds a booklet called Friends' Miscellany (1831) and three formal invitations.

Subject Terms

    • Diplomatic and consular service, Mexican--United States.
    • Diplomatic and consular service, American--Mexico.
    • Goālpāra (India : District)
    • Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845.
    • Mexico--Foreign relations--United States.
    • Veracruz Llave (Mexico)--Commerce.
    • United States. Dept. of State--Officials and employees.
    • United States--Foreign relations--Mexico.
    • United States--Foreign relations administration--History.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Borneo.
    • Rhinoceros (Genus)
    Genre Terms:
    • Drawing (image-making)
    • Essays.
    • Financial records.
    • Invitations.
    • Legal documents.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Prescriptions.
    • Receipts (financial records)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Correspondence [series]
    Box   1 Folders   1-3
    Bundled,  1830-1840 and  undated
    Box   1 Folders   4-42
    Chronological,  1821-1838
    Box   2 Folders   1-30
    Chronological,  1839-1843
    Box   2 Folders   31-37
    Essays, Drawings, Personal Papers and Notes,  1822-1833 and  undated [series]
    Box   3 Folders   1-30
    Financial Records,  1819-1841 [series]
    Box   3 Folders   31-32
    Documents,  1820-1841 and  undated [series]
    Printed Materials [series]
    Box   3 Folder   33
    Booklet: Miscellaneous Friends,  1831
    Box   3 Folder   34
    Invitations,  1822-1835
    Additional Descriptive Data
    Related Materials

    At least three other institutions hold Marmaduke Burrough papers:

    • The American Philosophical Society holds Marmaduke Burrough papers for the years 1829-1845.
    • The Princeton University Library holds Marmaduke Burrough papers for the years 1821-1840.
    • The Historical Society of Pennsylvania holds Marmaduke Burrough papers for the years 1814-1843.