Skip to main content

SCOUT

Special Collections Online at UT

American Emigrant Aid and Homestead Company Letter and Notebooks

 Collection
Identifier: MS-3513

This collection houses a letter that surveyor Willard Day wrote to Francis W. Tappan and other directors of the American Emigrant Aid and Homestead Company on January 15, 1859 concerning a 6,000 acre plot of land that Day owned in Crossville, Tennessee and wanted to convey to the company for a fee. The collection also houses two pocket notebooks belonging to Day documenting land held by the American Emigrant Aid and Homestead Company in both Bledsoe and Cumberland Counties, Tennessee. Many of the plots are described with both scale drawings and handwritten notes.

Dates

  • 1859 January 15-August, undated

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

0.95 Linear Feet

Abstract

This collection houses a letter that surveyor Willard Day wrote to Francis W. Tappan and other directors of the American Emigrant Aid and Homestead Company on January 15, 1859 concerning a 6,000 acre plot of land that Day owned in Crossville, Tennessee and wanted to convey to the company for a fee. The collection also houses two pocket notebooks belonging to Day documenting land held by the American Emigrant Aid and Homestead Company in both Bledsoe and Cumberland Counties, Tennessee. Many of the plots are described with both scale drawings and handwritten notes.

Biographical/Historical Note

Eli Thayer and John C. Underwood founded the American Emigrant Aid and Homestead Company in New York City in May of 1857. The organization's goal was to buy uncultivated land at slave state prices and give away one fourth of it in small parcels in order to establish small emigrant communities, preferably populated by groups of people who had come to America together, throughout the southeastern states. It was anticipated that these communities would cause land values to rise, thus enabling the Company to sell the remainder of the land at a significant profit. These settlements were also intended to promote anti-slavery sentiment in the border states and to establish a base of Southern Republican voters. The Company managed to found one such town, named Ceredo, in Virginia, but the settlement failed in 1859 as residents left due to anti-Yankee sentiment after John Brown's raid and poor management. The company eventually folded in July of 1867.

Arrangement

This collection consists of a single box.

Acquisition Note

Special Collections purchased these materials in January of 2011.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480