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Hall Family Papers and Sugar Plantation Records
MSS 0220  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Digital Content
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Historical Background
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Restrictions

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Hall Family Papers and Sugar Plantation Records
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 0220
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
    Languages: English
    Physical Description: 4.6 Linear feet (3 archive boxes, 1 shoe box and 163 oversize folders)
    Date (inclusive): 1709 - 1892
    Abstract: Family papers and sugar plantation records (1709-1835) of the Hall family of England and Jamaica, including William Hall (b.1696), Thomas Hall (1725-1772), Hugh Kirkpatrick Hall (b.1748?), and Thomas Kirkpatrick Hall (b.1776). The Hall family owned and operated the sugar plantations of Irwin Estate, Tryall Estate, Johnshall Estate, Hallhead Estate, and Kirkpatrick Hall Estate. They also owned Worcester, Williamsfield, Stapleton Pen, and Kirkpatrick Pen. The family papers contain correspondence between family members, wills, certificates of military commission and genealogical memoranda. The collection contains numerous documents related to the administration of Jamaican Governor Charles Knowles (1752-1756) and the formation of the "Association" by leading planters and colonists. A microfilm (4 reels) of the entire collection was prepared in July 1999.
    Creator: Barnett, Irwin
    Creator: Hall family

    Digital Content

    The microfilm of this collection has been digitized and can be viewed through links in the container list.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    Family papers and sugar plantation records (1709-1835) of the Hall family of England and Jamaica, including William Hall (b.1696), Thomas Hall (1725-1772), Hugh Kirkpatrick Hall (b.1748?), and Thomas Kirkpatrick Hall (b.1776). The collection provides an abundance of primary source material on eighteenth and early nineteenth century Jamaican plantation economy and culture. The Hall family owned and operated the sugar plantations of Irwin Estate, Tryall Estate, Johnshall Estate, Hallhead Estate, and Kirkpatrick Hall Estate. They also owned Worcester, Williamsfield, Stapleton Pen, and Kirkpatrick Pen. The collection contains numerous documents related to record-keeping on the plantations, the administration of Jamaican Governor Charles Knowles (1752-1756) and the formation of the "Association" by leading planters and colonists. The family papers contain correspondence between family members, wills, certificates of military commission and genealogical memoranda. Extensive scope and content notes for each series are included in the finding aid. The collection was processed in two separate accessions, and microfilmed (4 reels) in entirety in July 1999.
    Accession Processed in 1992
    Family papers and business records of five generations (1710-1830) of the Hall family members who owned sugar plantations on the island of Jamaica for over a century. The materials are particularly rich in data documenting characteristics of slave populations on Irwin, Tryall and Kirkpatrick Hall estates.
    Arranged into five series: 1) CORRESPONDENCE, 2) PLANTATION AND ESTATE DOCUMENTS, 3) LEGAL DOCUMENTS, 4) FAMILY DOCUMENTS, and 5) POLITICAL AND PUBLIC DOCUMENTS.
    Accession Processed in 1995
    A small selection of letters and miscellaneous documents written by English diplomat Lorenzo Hall between 1825 and 1842 to his uncle Thomas Kirkpatrick Hall and other family members, and letters sent to Thomas K. Hall by various representatives and agents in Italy between 1819 and 1822 concerning Mr. Hall's commissions of paintings and several trade cards.
    Arranged into two series: 6) CORRESPONDENCE and 7) MISCELLANEOUS DOCUMENTS.

    Historical Background

    The Hall family engaged in sugar production on the island of Jamaica for over a century and participated in the rise of Jamaican planter society during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The early generations of Halls directly supervised their plantations, while the later descendants lived in England as absentee landlords, leaving the management of their estates to attorneys and overseers.
    Thomas Hall (b.1660?) immigrated to Jamaica from Worcester, England, and his name first appears in the collection on a letter from his brother, Henry, addressed to him at Port Royal in 1711. In 1720, Thomas and his wife Patience financed the plantation activities of their son, William (b.1696), a planter from the parish of Westmoreland, and his associate, James Campbel, with a loan of four thousand pounds. In 1721, William's brother, Thomas (b.1694), who was afflicted with a disabling disease, left Jamaica for curative powers of the spas of Bath, England. It is in a letter from Thomas (b.1694) to William (b.1696), dated July 24, 1721, that the first mention of sugar is made. Thomas writes, "I find shugars to be a better comodity then I expected, but money and credit as scarse here as in our Island, and nothing to had without yr. penny, therefore hope/earnestly beg/ y'll shipp me somemore shugars by yr. first safe hand, pray let them be Either fine or course, provided they be dry..."
    In 1723, William Hall married Mary Kirkpatrick, daughter of Hugh Kirkpatrick from the parish of St. James, Jamaica, and two years later, Thomas Hall (b.1725) was born. At the age of eighteen, Thomas was attending to the affairs of his family's sugar plantation in St. James parish, while his father conducted business and engaged in politics in the island's capitol, St. Jago de la Vega or Spanish Town.
    By 1741, Thomas Hall (b.1660?) had died and Patience Hall, during a severe illness, made her last will and testament, leaving the bulk of her estate to her grandson, Thomas Hall. In 1746, William Hall and David Dehany arranged Thomas's marriage to Mary Dehany and the two were united in 1747.
    Against a backdrop of conflict among England, France and Spain that was often played out in the West Indies, William and Thomas Hall produced sugars, molasses, and rum for export to England; bought slaves to labor in their cane fields; and imported the necessities they couldn't produce, such as foodstuffs from the North American colonies and manufactured goods from England. In 1748, the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle brought a period of security to the region, but created confusion among planters who were unsure of future prices or what commodities would be in demand.
    During this period of peace, which lasted until the beginning of the Seven Years War in 1756, William Hall experienced increasing financial distress, which he attributed to his difficulty in collecting his debts. By 1758 William Hall had died and his widow, Mary, had married Col. James Barclay.
    Thomas Hall witnessed the administration of Governor Charles Knowles (1752-1756) and the dispute over moving the capitol of Jamaica from Spanish Town (St. Jago de la Vega) to Kingston. Powerful planters and residents of the western parishes opposed the efforts of Kingston merchants allied with Knowles to relocate government offices, the Assembly, and the island's archives to the port of Kingston. The merchants also sought to remove the militia and its artillery to Kingston, a move which would have left Spanish Town defenseless in time of war.
    After Knowles dissolved the Assembly on November 8, 1754, influential planters, including Charles Price, Rose Fuller, and Edward Manning, responded by forming an "Association" for "carrying on good Government, and the welfare of this Island." Although Knowles managed to move the colony's archives, which served as the repository for land and property records, his influence at the King's court was less than the power of the petitions of his opponents and his actions were finally disallowed.
    In 1756, in anticipation of the lieutenant governor's call for a new Assembly, Charles Price and others who represented the "country interest," secretly petitioned Thomas Hall to declare his candidacy as a representative from St. James.
    By 1758, Thomas Hall had moved to London with his family and left Samuel Cleland, his attorney, in charge of his sugar estates, Tryall, Irwin, and Johnshall. Hall entered into a copartnership with John Rusea, who managed the overseers on the Johnshall and Irwin estates. James Hindlater oversaw the operation of Tryall estate.
    In late 1761, Thomas Hall returned to Jamaica to find his estates in great disorder and confusion, largely because of the severity of John Rusea. During his stay in Jamaica, his wife, Mary, died. Hall arranged his affairs and returned to London by September of 1764. By November 1772, Thomas Hall had died. Thomas Hall's second son, William, emigrated to Jamaica shortly before his father's death to pursue a career as a planter.
    The bulk of Thomas Hall's estate went to his oldest son, Hugh Kirkpatrick Hall (b.1748?). Hugh managed his estates from England through Cunningham and Cleland, attorneys in Jamaica, and John Kennion, his agent in London. In 1782, in addition to the Irwin and Tryall estates in St. James parish, H.K. Hall owned the Kirkpatrick Hall estate, located in the parish of Westmoreland. In 1793, records show an additional sugar plantation called Hallhead estate in the parish of St. Thomas in the East.
    In 1790, Mrs. Alice Kennion took over management of her late husband's business affairs and by 1807 was managing Hallhead estate. In 1811 Hallhead estate was owned by Mrs. Alice Kennion and Thomas Gordon and in the possession of John Stewart and Charles Harris. In 1821 Hallhead is the property of John Hall, son of H.K. Hall's brother Thomas Hall (b.1758?), and Thomas Gordon.
    The estates of Irwin, Tryall, and Kirkpatrick Hall and the pen at Stapleton were inherited by Thomas Kirkpatrick Hall, son of H.K. Hall and Mary Kenyon. Pens were "seasoning" facilities where new slaves and livestock were adapted to forced labor conditions. T.K. Hall, an absentee owner, lived in England and served as sheriff of Staffordshire, England, between 1817 and 1820.
    Slavery was finally abolished in Jamaica by decree on August 1st 1834. This Emancipation Act created an interim period of "apprenticeship" in which slaves were required to work for their masters for four years before they were free.

    Publication Rights

    Digital copies of this material are intended to support research, teaching, and private study. This work may be used without prior permission. The original manuscripts for this collection are held by Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego Library.

    Preferred Citation

    Hall Family Papers and Sugar Plantation Records, MSS 0220. Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired 1992, 1994.

    Restrictions

    Researchers must use the microfilm of the collection located in Box 4, or digital surrogates.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Brown, William -- Correspondence
    Cunningham and Cleland (Jamaica). -- Correspondence
    Hall family -- Archives
    Hall, Hugh Kirkpatrick, b. 1748?
    Hall, Lorenzo -- Correspondence
    Hall, Mary S. -- Correspondence
    Hall, Thomas Kirkpatrick, b. 1776
    Hall, Thomas, b. 1694
    Hall, Thomas, b. 1694 -- Correspondence
    Hall, Thomas, b. 1725
    Hall, Thomas, b. 1725 -- Correspondence
    Hall, William, b. 1696
    Hall, William, b. 1696 -- Correspondence
    Hall, William, b. 1749
    Hall, William, b. 1749 -- Correspondence
    Lawrence, George -- Correspondence
    Agriculture -- Jamaica
    Jamaica -- Politics and government
    Plantation owners -- Jamaica
    Plantation workers -- Jamaica
    Slaveholders -- Jamaica
    Slavery -- Jamaica -- History
    Slaves -- Jamaica -- Statistics
    Sugar growing -- Jamaica
    Sugar trade -- Jamaica
    Sugar workers -- Jamaica