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Margaret Izard Manigault papers
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Margaret Izard Manigault papers

Accession 0502

Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
302-658-2400
research@hagley.org

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2014-03-05T13:20-0500

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Margaret Izard Manigault papers (Accession 0502), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

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Descriptive Summary

Title: Margaret Izard Manigault papers
Dates: 1779-1857
Accession Number: 0502
Creator: Manigault, Margaret Izard, 1768-1824
Extent: 4.2 linear feet
Language of Material: English, French
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Manuscripts and Archives Department
Abstract: Manigault's papers consist of her own diaries and correspondence between her and Gabrielle Josephine du Pont (1770-1836), both which document the life of a female member of Charleston's merchant-planter elite during the Early National Period, and the web of connections linking Charleston, New York and Philadelphia society.
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Administrative Information


Existence and Location of Copies

An annotated version of the diaries is available in "The Diaries of Mrs. Gabriel Manigault, 1793-1809," ed. by Joseph P. Monigle, M.A. thesis, University of Delaware, 1959. Copies may be found in the Published Collections Department under the call number CT275.M3 .M6 and in the Manuscripts and Archives Department in Accession 2196.

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Biographical Note

Margart Izard Manigault was the daughter of Ralph Izard of Charleston, S.C., and Alice de Lancey of New York. Because of her family's wealth and status, she spent much of her youth in France, where she was educated. She married Gabriel Manigault, a Charleston planter, in 1785, and had twelve children, most of whom predeceased her. Like many South Carolinians, the Manigaults spent the summers in New York and Philadelphia. The Manigaults moved to New York permanently in 1805 but later settled in Philadelphia, where they lived both in town and at "Clifton," a country estate on the Delaware River near Bristol.

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Scope and Content

Manigault's papers provide excellent documentation of the life of a female member of Charleston's merchant-planter elite during the Early National Period, and of the web of connections linking Charleston, New York and Philadelphia society.

The correspondence consists of 249 original letters, written in both English and French by Mrs. Manigault to Gabrielle Josephine du Pont (1770-1836) over the period 1798 to 1824. The two women had met when Josephine's husband Victor du Pont had been stationed in Charleston as French consul. Mrs. Manigault wrote extensively about her family, servants, fashion, music, the social scene and mutual friends and acquaintances. The letters were returned to Mrs. Manigault's son in 1865 and later reacquired by a member of the du Pont family. The collection also contains photocopies of Mme. du Pont's letters to Mrs. Manigault, as well as typescripts and photocopies of all of the original letters.

The three diaries are believed to have been part of a much larger series, now lost. The first covers the period from November 1793 to August 1794, when the Manigaults had fled to New York to escape the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia. The second contains two portions separated by a gap: a period at Sullivan's Island and Charleston, S.C., in 1796, and later, New York, in 1805 and 1806. The third diary covers the period from 1806 to just before Gabriel Manigault's death in the fall of 1809. This last volume includes descriptions of trips to "Clifton" and of a journey overland from New York to Charleston and return in 1808.

The diaries are well-written and collectively give a vivid picture of the life of an upper class woman, describing social activities, acquaintances among the elites of New York, Philadelphia and Charleston, the many illnesses and deaths in Mrs. Manigault's extended family, travel, reading habits, entertainments, etc. Among the families with whom the Manigualts socialized were the Allens, Barclays, Bayards, Chews, Crugers, De Lanceys, Goolds, Hamiltons, Izards, Jays, Kembles, LeRoys, Livingstons, Morrises, Pinckneys, Wattses, and Wraggs. The first volume contains references to John Robinson and Gilbert Stuart, both of whom painted portraits of the family while in New York, and comments on John Jay and his wife. The third volume contains Mrs. Manigault's comparison of the New York and Charleston assemblies and her comments on the recent introduction of the waltz to New York.

Associated with the diaries are three loose items: a two-page account of a journey from London to Cambridge University, probably by a member of the Izard family (1779); a four-page letter from D. B. Heyward in Millbrook, England, to "Gabriel" (probably Mrs. Manigault's grandson) describing a visit to Ireland and the reaction to the Sepoy Mutiny; and a note in the hand of Mrs. Manigault's son Charles I. Manigault, listing cattle and mules.

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Series Descriptions and Inventory

I. Correspondence
Box
2 Margaret Manigault to Gabrielle Josephine du Pont, 1798-1806 [Photocopies in Vol. 1-2; Transcripts in Vol. 5-7] ; 97 letters
Box
3 Margaret Manigault to Gabrielle Josephine du Pont, 1805-1824, undated [Photocopies in Vol. 2-4; Transcripts in Vol. 7-10] ; 154 letters
Volume
11-14 Gabrielle Josephine du Pont to Margaret Manigault, 1796-1824; 303 letters
Volume
15-28 Gabrielle Josephine du Pont to Margaret Manigault, 1796-1825; 303 letters
II. Diaries
Box
1 Du Pont de Nemours correspondence, undated
Box
1 Elèuthere Irénée du Pont de Nemours - investments, undated
Box
1 "Souvenirs," undated
Box
1 Standard diary, 1911
Box
1 "Transplantation," undated
Box
1 Diary of Margaret Manigault, 1793-1794 [Photocopies in Vol. 29]
Box
1 Diary of Margaret Manigault, 1796-1806 [Photocopies in Vol. 29; includes 3 loose items]
Box
1 Diary of Margaret Manigault, 1806-1809 [Photocopies in Vol. 29]