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Steuart family papers

Identifier: MS 0758


This collection contains the correspondence, diaries, account books, and business papers of several generations of the Steuart family. The Steuarts were wealthy plantation owners with estates in Baltimore and Anne Arundel County and were also strong supporters of slavery. The materials in the collection mainly pertain to a trust estate established in 1861 by Major General George H. Steuart (1790-1867), who served in the War of 1812 and joined the Confederate States of Amercia during the Civil War.


  • 1885-1955


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.


18.8 Linear Feet (45 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of the Estate of James Edmondson Steuart in July 1958.

Related Materials

PP 44, J. Steuart Photograph Collection, circa 1889-1903

Scope and Contents

The Steuart family papers largely pertain to a trust estate established in 1861 by Major General George H. Steuart (1790-1867), who served in the War of 1812 and joined the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. The trust estate consisted of ground rents, the income from which supported George H.'s ten children. It was maintained by his sons Brigadier General George Hume (1828-1903), Lieutenant William James (1832-1864), Thomas Edmondson (1834-1866), and Dr. James Henry (1835-1892), and James's son James Edmondson Steuart (1872-1954).

The trust estate papers (boxes 15-23) consist of legal documents and land deeds concerning the formation of the trust as well as financial documents--such as bills, receipts, and account books--concerning the collection of rents, the maintenance of the properties, and the support of the trust beneficiaries. Information on the trust is also found in the correspondence among the Steuart children and their descendants. This correspondence has been arranged by recipient and is found in boxes 6-10, 24, 28, 29, 32, and 33.

The bulk of the trust administration was handled by Brigadier General George Hume Steuart (1828-1903). Much of the correspondence after 1867 is between George Hume and the trust beneficiaries. A small amount of his papers relate to his career in the U.S. Army and in the Confederate States Army. There are also papers from the 1880s regarding the growing of tobacco. James Edmondson Steuart (1872-1954) succeeded his uncle George Hume and was the last trust administrator. His papers are largely financial records containing daybooks, cash books, ledgers, and account books. The trust was broken up after the death of his sister.

A few topics not related to the trust are also included in the collection. There is an 1860 letter written by George H. Steuart (1790-1867) deploring Negro suffrage and the condition of the country (box 3). George H. was an ardent Southern sympathizer and at the outbreak of the Civil War moved to Virginia for the duration. He corresponded with a friend, Sally J. Newman, during the war and her frequent letters are in boxes 3 and 4. Several slaves owned by George H.'s son Thomas Edmondson (1834-1866) fought in the Civil War and their military papers are in box 7. Two of George H.'s other sons, Isaac Edmondson (1830-1891) and Charles David (1841-1921), were in and out of mental institutions throughout their lives and there is much mention of their condition in the letters of their brother George Hume as well as in the trust estate papers.

Guide to the Steuart family papers
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Revision Statements

  • 2019-09-13: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Sandra Glascock

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States