Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
John Claudius L'Engle Account Book, 1858-1864

Finding aid created by
Catalina Oyler, February 2004

Summary Information
Title: John Claudius L'Engle account book
Creator: L'Engle, John Claudius, 1800-1864
Inclusive dates: 1858-1864
Extent: 86 pages
Account book of John Claudius L'Engle of Jacksonville, Florida from 1858 to 1864. It includes buying, selling, and trading goods as well as records of renting out slaves.
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:

2003. M-4315.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

John Claudius L'Engle Account Book, William L Clements Library, University of Michigan.


John Claudius L'Engle (1800-1864) was a lawyer, slaveholder, and well- known resident of Jacksonville, Florida. In 1830 L'Engle married Susan Philippa Fatio (1806-1895) from the prominent Fatio family. They had eleven children including Edward McCrady, a Confederate Captain, and Francis Philip, father of Claude L'Engle, a newspaper muckraker and U.S. House Representative.

With his eldest son Francis, also a lawyer, John L'Engle founded L'Engle and Son. L'Engle involved Francis in his business deals, and kept notes on Francis' many business transactions.

L'Engle kept sporadic accounts on food, and, less often, on household goods he purchased. He wrote more detailed notes on larger transactions and what he owed and was owed, often trading in bonds, notes, and sometimes railroad bonds. As well as being a lawyer and businessman, L'Engle planted crops and owned property which he refers to as "2 lots" and "100 acres." In addition he bought and sold many properties.

Collection Scope and Content Note

In this small 86-page account book, John Claudius L'Engle recorded many of his business transactions from 1858 until his death in late 1864. The first 27 pages of this book are filled with detailed accounts of transactions, many written in paragraph form. Mostly these pages concern lending and borrowing money, occasionally through his business, L'Engle and Son. Often these transactions involved his oldest son Frank. At least one claim against L'Engle is listed, and a few pages concern food he or Frank bought. One page lists house hold goods. L'Engle owned 15 or 16 slaves in 1860 and 1861, five of which he refers to by name as Simon, Harry, Adam, Mooser, and Clarissa. Six pages are records of renting out these slaves including information on who rented the slaves, how long they were rented, and what was paid. He only once mentions selling a slave, when in 1859 he records that he"sold Jim for $150 cash." After a gap of 20 blank pages, two pages record crops planted in 1859, including sweet potatoes, okra, corn, and "Irish potatoes."

L'Engle also wrote from the back of the book starting with seven pages of line accounts, then three pages which included a paid account, the wages paid to a hired worker, and more details about lending out his slaves.

Subject Terms

    • Slaveholders--Florida--19th century.
    • Lawyers--Florida--19th century.
    • Jacksonville (Fla.)
    Genre Terms:
    • Account books.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Voume   1  
    John Claudius L'Engle account book,  1858-1864 [series]