Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Constantin Family Papers, 1800-1829

Finding aid created by
Ellen Poteet, 2005, and Erin Platte and Meg Hixon, April 2013

Summary Information
Title: Constantin family papers
Creator: Constantin, Anthony
Inclusive dates: 1800-1829
Bulk dates: 1806-1809
Extent: 1 linear foot
The Constantin family papers are made up of correspondence, financial records, and other items related to the family's involvement in transatlantic shipping in the early 19th century. Personal and professional acquaintances corresponded with Barthelemy Constantin and his son Anthony of Bordeaux, France, and New York City, and the Constantins also compiled accounts, inventories, and receipts.
Language: The material is in French
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:

1992. M-2891.33.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Constantin Family Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series I: Correspondence
  • Series II: Documents and Financial Records

    • Subseries I: Accounts and Account Books
    • Subseries II: Invoices and Receipts
    • Subseries III: Import Price Lists
    • Subseries IV: Inventories
    • Subseries V: Financial Documents and Inventories of the Brig Batavian
  • Series III: Anthony Constantin Waste Book
  • Series IV: Poem Book
  • Series V: Miscellaneous

Each series and subseries is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Barthelemy Constantin of Bordeaux, France, and his wife Marguerite had at least three sons, Simon, Anthony, and Auguste. Barthelemy Constantin ran a ship brokering business and was involved in trans-Atlantic trade between Bordeaux and New York. His son Anthony lived in New York City in the early 19th century.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Constantin family papers (1 linear foot) are made up of correspondence, financial records, and other items related to the family's involvement in trans-Atlantic shipping in the early 19th century.

The Correspondence series (around 330 items) contains personal and business letters, most of which were addressed to Barthelemy Constantin and Anthony Constantin from 1806-1809. Most items pertain to the Constantins' ship brokering business, finances, and shipments of goods between Europe and the United States. Personal letters to Anthony Constantin from his father, Barthelemy Constantin, and his brother, Simon Constantin, provide personal advice and news from Bordeaux. In a letter of August 9, 1806, Simon warned Anthony about potential military conflicts, and later letters from that year concern financial difficulties and disputes.

The Documents and Financial Records series (around 275 items) is divided into five subseries. The Accounts and Account Books subseries (8 items) pertains to cargo shipments, and 2 items also contain copies of business and personal letters. The Invoices and Receipts subseries concerns ships carrying building supplies, clothing, and other cargo between Bordeaux and New York. Fifteen printed Import Price Lists concern the wholesale prices of goods in Bordeaux and Nantes in 1806-1808. Twenty-five Inventories detail the goods aboard ships and other materials of the shipping business. The Financial Documents and Inventories of the Brig Batavian subseries includes cargo inventories and receipts of goods received in New York.

Anthony Constantin's Waste Book (8" x 12", 44 pages) has personal correspondence, poetry, accounts, and drawings. Visual subjects include architecture, a portrait, sketches of combs with pearls, and a drawing of a skeleton holding a sickle and a bottle. The Poem Book (4" x 6", 35 pages) belonged to Eloise Maria Le Comte. Miscellaneous items include an incomplete newspaper article about female heroism and a printed document, "Instruction contenant les principals dispositions des ordaonnances et reglemens applicables aux ecoles primaires de filles," as well as other items.

Subject Terms

    • Bordeaux (Aquitaine, France)--Commerce.
    • France--Commerce--United States.
    • French poetry--18th century.
    • French--United States.
    • New York (N.Y.)--Commerce.
    • Ship brokers.
    • Shipment of goods.
    • United States--Commerce--France.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Grim Reaper (Symbolic character)
    • Hair ornaments.
    • Constantin, Barthelemy.
    • Constantin, Simon.
    Genre Terms:
    • Account books.
    • Accounts.
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Commonplace books.
    • Drawings (visual works)
    • Inventories.
    • Letter books.
    • Letters (correspondence)
    • Poems.
    • Price lists.
    • Receipts (financial records)
    • Sketches.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Correspondence [series]
    Box   1 Folders   1-23
     April 9, 1802-May 7, 1832, and  undated
    Documents and Financial Records [series]
    Accounts and Account Books [subseries]
    Box   2 Folders   1-9
     September 22, 1806-April 1808, and  Undated
    Invoices and Receipts [subseries]
    Box   2 Folders   10-13
     [October] 1806-July 21, 1809, and  undated
    Import Prices List [subseries]
    Box   2 Folder   14
     April 10, 1806-December 23, 1808
    Inventories [subseries]
    Box   2 Folders   15-16
     April 1807-November 1807, and  undated
    Financial Documents and Inventories of the Brig Batavian [subseries]
    Box   2 Folders   17-19
     August 4, 1807-1809 and  undated
    Anthony Constantin Waste Book [series]
    Box   2 Folder   20
    Poem Book [series]
    Box   2 Folder   21
    Miscellaneous [series]
    Box   2 Folders   22-25