Newell family papers  1726-1900
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Fyffe family papers contain correspondence of various members of the Fyffe family from two periods, 1756-1786 and 1841-1847.

The majority of the eighteenth-century letters are written by William Fyffe and addressed to his sister Elizabeth Fyffe in Dundee, Scotland. In these letters, he described activities such as his medical practice and rice plantation, as well as family news. After the death of Alexander Fyffe in 1766, much of their correspondence concerned the settlement of his estate and business matters, particularly attempts to resolve Elizabeth's inheritance. William also wrote to Elizabeth concerning the education of his sons James and Charles, whom he had entrusted to her care. In two letters from William to his father James Fyffe, he discussed contemporary issues in South Carolina such as paper currency, the Regulator movement, and the dissolution of the South Carolina Assembly. Elizabeth also received a letter each from her brothers Alexander and Charles, one from William's wife Anne Fyffe, and two from her cousin David Fyffe. This part of the collection is completed by a receipt from John Fyffe and a memorial for Elizabeth and Magdalen Fyffe concerning the 450 acres in Georgia they inherited from Alexander.

The nineteenth-century correspondence consists of letters written by David Fyffe of the 46th Regiment, while he was stationed at Barbados and St. Vincent in the West Indies. He regularly wrote to his mother, Helen Fyffe, and his sister, whom he affectionately referred to as "Wifey." His letters, which are full of gossip and anecdotes, contain useful information about the islands and the British army in the West Indies. They document various aspects of military life in the West Indies, such as the movements of regiments, living arrangements, periodic outbreaks of yellow fever, and the English mail packets. David Fyffe also described theatrical productions, balls, races, and other social entertainments organized by the soldiers. In a letter dated March 7, 1842, he told his mother about a recent earthquake in the West Indies which had caused great destruction on the islands of Guadaloupe and Antigua. The same letter also described a large comet he had observed. In 1844, he discussed the issue of emancipation in the West Indies and mentioned a census riot which had occurred in Dominica (1844 March 20, June 6).

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