Finding Aid to the Commodore Joshua Barney Manuscript Collection, 1711-1978, MS 3168

Finding Aid to the Commodore Joshua Barney Manuscript Collection, 1711-1978, MS 3168

H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society

 

Collection summary

Title

Commodore Joshua Barney Manuscript Collection

Creator

Barney family

Call number

MS 3168

Inclusive dates

1711-1978

Bulk dates

1799-1943

Extent

10 boxes

Abstract

Contains the papers of Joshua Barney and his descendants. This includes correspondence, financial documents, land records, business papers, military service records, and more.

Administrative summary

Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library

Maryland Historical Society

201 W. Monument St.

Baltimore, MD 21201

www.mdhs.org

specialcollections@mdhs.org

Access restrictions

Open to the public without restrictions.

Use restrictions

Permission to quote must be received in writing from the Special Collections Librarian.

Provenance

Gift of the grandchildren of Arthur C. Bonnycastle, Descendants of Joshua Barney, December 30, 2014

Accession number

2014-046-LIB

Processing note

Processed by Lara Westwood, May 2016

 

Biographical Note

Commodore Joshua Barney, widely regarded as a naval war hero, served in both the American Revolution and War of 1812. His command of the Chesapeake Flotilla during the War of 1812 helped propel the Americans to victory over the British. Barney was born near Baltimore, on Bear Creek off the Patapsco River, on July 6, 1759 to William and Francis Holland Watts Barney. His parents had inherited a significant amount of farmland on the river. He was one of fourteen children, but his family’s fortune allowed him to attend school. Barney left school at ten years old, having decided he had learned all he could, and in 1769, he was apprenticed to a merchant in Alexandria, Virginia.

By 1771, he had decided to pursue a career at sea instead and took a position aboard a pilot-boat schooner that traversed the Chesapeake. He later joined his brother-in-law Captain Drysdale’s crew on the “Sidney.” In 1775, Drysdale fell sick and died leaving the 15-year-old Barney to captain the ship. This led to a dramatic series of events when Barney finally got his ship to port, including his imprisonment and the temporary confiscation of his schooner. By the time he arrived back in Baltimore, the Revolutionary War had broken out at Lexington and Concord. In 1776, he decided the join the Continental Navy. He became renowned for his valor, engaging the British in serval battles. His biggest victory came during the Battle of Delaware Bay when his much smaller, outgunned “Hyder Ally” handily defeated the “HMS General Monk.” After the war, he spent a time with the French Navy, where he was put in charge of a squadron and earned the commodore rank.

During the War of 1812, he returned to the American Navy. He was first a privateer which successfully harassed and took captive several British ships. He then went on to defend the Chesapeake Bay as a captain for the Navy. His flotilla kept the British preoccupied and prevented the from wreaking more havoc along the shores of the Bay. Barney and his sailors also fought at Bladensburg in 1814 to defend the Capitol. The Americans lost and Washington, D.C. was burned, but Barney and his men held out as long as they could, even as the rest of the American force retreated. Barney was shot in the leg, a wound that would eventually prove fatal. After the battle, he returned to Elkridge, Maryland, but eventually decided to move to Kentucky. En route to his new home in 1818, his battle wound flared, as the musket ball was never removed. He died in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on December 1.

Barney’s life on the high seas often kept him away from his family for long stretches. In 1780, Barney married Anne Bedford (1755-1808), and they had five children. Until Barney could make enough money to support his family, his wife lived with her brother in Philadelphia. She died in 1808, possibly of complications related to a broken hip. Barney shortly remarried to Harriet Coale of Anne Arundel County, and they had three more children together. After Barney’s death in 1818, Harriet and her children lived in Kentucky.

Their daughter, Adele (1813-1849) married Isaac Everett, and started the Kentucky branch of Barney descendants. Everett (1803-1873) was from a family of pioneers. He worked as a dry goods merchant. He then partnered with Avis Throckmorton and ran the Galt House, a Louisville hotel, which hosted meetings of Union generals during the Civil War. They had two children, Joshua Barney and Harriet.

Harriet Everett (1840-1906) married John C. Bonnycastle (1826-1884), the son of Charles and Anne Mason Tutt Bonnycastle, in 1857. Charles Bonnycastle, an Englishman, was invited by Thomas Jefferson to teach mathematics at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where John C. was born. After attending the United States Military Academy at West Point, Bonnycastle fought in the Mexican-American War and was later stationed in California and other Western territories. He attained the rank of captain before retiring from the military at the outbreak of the Civil War. With his military career finished, he worked in insurance in Louisville. He and Harriet had nine children.

Mary Shaw Bonnycastle (1860-1930), John C. and Harriet’s daughter, married Richard Tubb Yoe (1860-1943), the son of Rhodeham and Elizabeth Tubb in 1891. Yoe worked as a physician and served in World War I as a contract surgeon. He owned his own medical practice. Yoe also owned a significant amount of land in Oklahoma which he used to sell the oil, mineral, and timber rights. Mary and Richard had two children, Richard Rhodeham and Adele Everett.

 

Related Collections:

Barney-Bonnycastle Family Photograph Collection, PP310

Rossie Logbook, September 15-October 22, 1815, MS 2312

Enoch Pratt Free Library Collection, 1735-1926, MS 2062

 

Scope and Content

The collection contains the papers of Joshua Barney and his descendants. This includes correspondence, financial documents, land records, business papers, military service records, and more. The collection is divided into nine series by family and/or material type. The series are Barney Family, Bonnycastle Family, Everett Family, Yoe Family, Other Families, Land Documents, Miscellaneous, Bound Volumes, and Oversized. These series are then organized by person.

The Barney family material provides a wealth of information about the commodore’s personal life and military service. Letters from Barney to his wife Harriet written during the War of 1812 are a particular highlight of the collection. He wrote home about his day-to-day experiences and successes on the Chesapeake Bay against the British. Barney’s personal letterbook, also included in the collection, contains copies of reports sent to Secretary of the Navy William Jones from April to June, 1814. A large portion of the records are related to land purchases made by Barney in Maryland and elsewhere, including deeds and surveys. The papers of Harriet Barney date from after Barney’s death and include letters and documents regarding her efforts to secure a widow’s pension. Several letters between her and her stepson Louis which discuss family and political matters are also included.

The Bonnycastle papers primarily contain the records of John C. Bonnycastle and is mostly correspondence. These letters discuss business matters, including several regarding the digging of an oil well. An 1856 letter written to Bonnycastle written from Fort Vancouver gives an account of the Cascades Massacre, in which Wasco tribe members attacked white settlers and soldiers along the Columbia River. His military records are also included in the collection. These documents relate to his day-to-day duties, including copies of official orders and supply purchase receipts, as well as his promotion to captain.

The business interests of Isaac Everett are also well represented in the collection. A majority of the correspondence discusses his dry good company and the purchase of land and insurance. Papers related to Everett’s company with Avis Throckmorton are also included. These records represent his work as proprietor of the Galt House and land and slaves purchased on behalf of Throckmorton and Everett. The firm owned several slaves, and the collection contains rosters including value and family of each slave, as well as manumission records. The series also holds the correspondence of Adele Barney Everett, including poems written to her by an unidentified friend, Everett’s letter proposing marriage in 1835, and her brother’s congratulations on the engagement.

The Yoe family series is the largest in the collection. It contains the personal papers of Dr. Richard Tubb Yoe, Mary Shaw Bonnycastle Yoe, and their children Adele Everett Yoe and Richard Rhodeham Yoe. Dr. Yoe purchased a substantial amount of land in Oklahoma from the Department of the Interior during the 1910s to 1930s. Deeds, tax records, and plat maps of this property, mostly in Latimer County are included. Correspondence related to the purchases show that the Yoe family did not live on the land but drilled for oil and sold the mineral and timber rights. Dr. Yoe’s military service as a contract surgeon at Camp Zachary Taylor during World War I is also reflected in the collection. The records include purchase order, official orders, and his discharge papers. Dr. Yoe’s son Richard’s National Guard service records are also included, as well as his payment receipts for War Risk Insurance.

There are also land documents for other related families in the collection, including that of the Coale and Ridgely families. These properties were passed to family members or sold over the years.

 

Container List

Contents 

Dates 

Box 

Folder 

Series I: Barney Family

 

 

 

Subseries I: Joshua Barney

 

 

 

Correspondence

No date; 1803-1816

1

1

Correspondence

1817, January-February

1

2

Correspondence

1817, March-May

1

3

Correspondence

1817, June-December

1

4

Correspondence

1818, January-June

1

5

Correspondence

1818, July-September

1

6

Legal documents

No date; 1811-1817

1

7

Will

No date; 1818-1885

1

8

Accounts, bills, and receipts

1796-1818

1

9

Land records

No date

1

10

Land records

1726-1799

1

11

Land records

1803-1811

1

12

Land records

1817-1818

1

13

Miscellaneous

No date; 1978

1

14

Subseries II: Harriet Barney

 

 

 

Joshua Barney to Harriet Barney

1814-1818

2

15

Correspondence

No date; 1819

2

16

Correspondence

1820-1821

2

17

Correspondence

1822

2

18

Correspondence

1823-1832

2

19

Correspondence

1842-1847

2

20

Legal documents

No date; 1819

2

21

Land records

1821

2

22

Subseries III: Louis Barney

 

 

 

Land records

No date

2

23

Subseries IV: Other Barney Family

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

No date; 1817-1899

2

24

Series II: Bonnycastle Family

 

 

 

Subseries I: Charles Bonnycastle

 

 

 

Land records

No date; 1836-1842

2

25

Subseries II: Anne Mason Tutt Bonnycastle

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

1848-1850

2

26

Subseries III: John C. Bonnycastle

 

 

 

Correspondence

No date; 1856-1865

2

27

Correspondence

1866, February-April

2

28

Correspondence

1866, May-June

2

29

Correspondence

1866, July-September

2

30

Correspondence

1866, October-December

2

31

Correspondence

1867-1879

2

32

Military records

1843-1854

3

33

Military records

1861-1884

3

34

Accounts, bills, and receipts

No date; ca. 1840-1874

3

35

Accounts, bills, and receipts

1875-1886

3

36

Miscellaneous

1888

3

37

Subseries IV: Harriet Everett Bonnycastle

 

 

 

Correspondence

1891-1905

3

38

Will

1887-1905

3

39

Accounts, bills, and receipts

1889-1891

3

40

Land records

1876-1890

3

41

Land records

1891-1892

3

42

Obituary

1906

3

43

Subseries V: Other Bonnycastle Family

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

No date; 1821-1896

3

44

Miscellaneous

1899

3

45

Series III: Everett Family

 

 

 

Subseries I: Isaac Everett

 

 

 

Correspondence

No date; 1834-1846

3

46

Correspondence

1847

3

47

Correspondence

1848-1849

4

48

Correspondence

1850-1854

4

49

Correspondence

1855-1866

4

50

Legal documents

1857

4

51

Papers of Mrs. Adams and Miss Lucy B. Page

1865-1874

4

52

Papers of Mrs. Adams and Miss Lucy B. Page

1889-1892

4

53

Throckmorton and Everett business papers

1836-1842

4

54

Throckmorton and Everett business papers

1860

4

55

Throckmorton and Everett business papers

1861-1891

4

56

Slave records

No date; 1799-1865

4

57

Accounts, bills, and receipts

No date; 1830-1872

4

58

Insurance

1861

4

59

Stocks

1850-1871

4

60

Land records

1799-1846

4

61

Land records

1847-1874

4

62

Miscellaneous

No date

4

63

Subseries II: Adele Barney Everett

 

 

 

Correspondence

1828-1838

4

64

Subseries III: Other Everett Family

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

1842-1913

4

65

Series IV: Yoe Family

 

 

 

Subseries I: Dr. Richard Tubb Yoe

 

 

 

Correspondence

1891-1943

5

66

Medical practice records

No date; 1900-1939

5

67

Military records

1917-1924

5

68

Tax records

1919-1938

5

69

Insurance

1912-1928

5

70

Stocks

No date; 1908-1926

5

71

Accounts, bills, and receipts

No date; 1895-1943

5

72

Kentucky land records

1940-1943

5

73

New Jersey land records

1914

5

74

Oklahoma land records

No date; 1913-1914

5

75

Oklahoma land records

1915-1919

5

76

Oklahoma land records

1920-1924

5

77

Oklahoma land records

1925-1928

5

78

Oklahoma land records

1930-1938

5

79

Miscellaneous

No date

5

80

Subseries II: Mary Shaw Bonnycastle Yoe

 

 

 

Correspondence

No date; 1883-1895

6

81

Correspondence

1903-1925

6

82

Tax records

1919-1931

6

83

Stocks

1908-1915

6

84

Accounts, bills, and receipts

1913-1928

6

85

Legal documents

No date; 1893-1930

6

86

Subseries III: Adele Everett Yoe

 

 

 

Correspondence

1937-1938

6

87

Will

1932-1938

6

88

Louisville Title Company documents

1929-1932

6

89

Louisville Title Company documents

1932-1942

6

90

Accounts, bills, and receipts

1927-1940

6

91

Miscellaneous

1914

6

92

Subseries IV: Richard Rhodeham Yoe

 

 

 

Correspondence

No date; 1894-1943

6

93

Military records

Ca. 1913

6

94

Accounts, bills, and receipts

1925-1938

6

95

War Risk Insurance

1917-1929

6

96

War Risk Insurance receipts

1919-1930

6

97

Land records

1922-1924

6

98

Subseries V: Other Yoe Family

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

No date; 1862-1940

6

99

Series V: Other Families

 

 

 

Subseries I: Coale Family

 

 

 

Calling card and will

No date; 1796

7

100

Land records

No date; 1784-1808

7

101

Subseries II: Locock Family

 

 

 

Land records

No date; 1778

7

102

Subseries III: Owings Family

 

 

 

Land records

1784-1795

7

103

Subseries IV: Ridgely Family

 

 

 

Land records

1686-1790

7

104

Series VI: Land Records

 

 

 

Anne Arundel County, Maryland land records

1731-1809

7

105

Baltimore County, Maryland land records

1719-1753

7

106

Jefferson County, Kentucky land records

1784-1797

7

107

Ohio County, Virginia land records

1785

7

108

Other land records

1707-1821

7

109

Series VII: Miscellaneous

 

 

 

Miscellaneous

No date; 1722-1819

7

110

Miscellaneous

1831-1938

7

111

Miscellaneous (Military uniform pins, sewing tools, etc.)

No date

8

 

Series VIII: Bound Volumes

 

 

 

“The Ship-Master’s Assistant and Owner’s Manual…” owned by Joshua Barney

1799

9

Vol. 1

Joshua Barney letterbook

1814, April-August

9

Vol. 2

John C. Bonnycastle account book

1850-1853

9

Vol. 3

John C. Bonnycastle account book

1870-1876

9

Vol. 4

John C. Bonnycastle account book

No date

9

Vol. 5

Mary Shaw Bonnycatle Yoe (?) journal

No date

9

Vol. 6

Coale/Ridgely family bible

1770

9

Vol. 7

“The Marriage Ring: Or How to Make Home Happy” by John Angell James

1843

 

Vol. 8

Series IX: Oversized

 

 

 

Decree of delivery for ship Jeanie

Ca. 1810

10

112

Barney family land records

No date; 1793-1842

10

113

Bonnycastle family land records

No date

10

114

Yoe family land records

No date

10

115

Coale family land records

No date; 1784-1804

10

116

Ridgely family land records

Ca. 1711

10

117

Other land records

No date; 1794

10

118

“Extrait du Proces verbal de la Convention Nationale” (framed storage) (on display in War of 1812 gallery as of May, 2016) No date  
Joshua Barney commission to Captain by James Madison (framed storage) (on display in War of 1812 gallery as of May, 2016)April 25, 1814  

 

 

 

 

 

Games