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James A. Loughead Family Correspondence

Identifier: MSN/EA 0526

Scope and Contents

The Loughead correspondence includes 22 letters written by or to James A. Loughead, from 1827 to 1850. The letters may be divided into three chronological series. The earliest group (December 1827 to June 1828) consists of four letters directed to James at the port of Baltimore by his father, Robert Loughead: these are brief messages of acknowledgement, news, and parental advice. The second group (December 1834 to March 1842) consists of eleven letters written between James and Elizabeth Loughead during the couple's long, enforced separations. James is typically in New Orleans, Elizabeth in Philadelphia; his letters are loving but bear undertones of domestic and financial strain. The third, and most significant group (July 1846 to April 1850) includes seven letters written to James by Robert Loughead while the latter was consul at Londonderry. Writing during the Great Famine, Loughead instructs his son (in Camden) in arranging the purchase and shipping of specific foodstuffs that might be sold in Ireland at favorable prices, while increasing the fees collected at Derry.


  • Creation: 1827-1850


Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

James A. Loughead was born ca. 1805, the son of Robert L. and Martha Loughead of Philadelphia. By 1834 he was married to Elizabeth Jones of Ohio (b. ca. 1815). The couple had at least three children. From the 1820s into the 1850s Loughead earned his livlihood at sea, serving aboard a variety of commercial vessels as first officer and ultimately as captain. In the 1830s and early 40s he appears to have voyaged mostly along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts, often with New Orleans as a terminus. Elizabeth remained in Philadelphia with the couple's children. By the time of the 1850 Federal census James and Elizabeth Loughead lived in Camden, New Jersey, on property valued at $2700. Loughead's father Robert (ca. 1785-1855) was a Philadelphia merchant who, during the Polk administration, was assigned the U. S. consular post at Londonderry, Ireland (December 1845). He resigned the post in February 1854, complaining of the scant revenue generated by fees collected at the post. He was subsequently offered the consulate at Dublin, which he held at his death in 1855.


23 items : 1 container

Language of Materials



A group of 22 family letters written by or to the merchant seaman James A. Loughead from 1827 to 1850, including seven written by his father, Robert L. Loughead, as United States Consul at Londonderry, Ireland.


This collection is arranged chronologically, with one item per folder.

James A. Loughead Family Correspondence
George Rugg and Scott W. Young
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556