James W. Egleston Papers (Coll. 276)

An Inventory of the Collection at the G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport

Collection register prepared by the Manuscripts Division.

Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.
Mystic, Connecticut

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Egleston, James W., 1816-1875
Title: James W. Egleston Papers
Dates: 1832-1891
Abstract: The James W. Egleston Papers are composed exclusively of correspondence and are arranged chronologically. While the majority of the letters are written by James Egleston a.k.a. James Eggleston, Santiago Flores, and James Watson, to his family in Connecticut, the collection does include some letters written by his friends and children which are also addressed to the Connecticut Eglestons. Authors other than Egleston include; E. Squires (business acquaintance), Frederick Oscar Flores (son), Charlotte (Frederick's wife) and Henrietta (Frederick's daughter.) The majority of the letters are addressed either to James W. Egleston's parents Elizabeth and or James Eggleston of Barkhamsted, Connecticut or his sister Ellen Egleston Howd of Barkhamsted and later Pleasant Valley, Connecticut.
Quantity: 102 pieces
Identification: Coll. 276

Biography of James W. Egleston

James W. Egleston was born June 9, 1816 in Barkhamsted, Connecticut and lived for the majority of his life in Peru where he died November 19, 1875. Egleston's adventures began when he sailed from Boston in 1832 at the age of sixteen as crew on board the ship WASHINGTON on a voyage to Denmark and the Turks Islands. One year, a brief illness, and few navigation lessons later Egleston signed on board the whaling vessel THULE, Capt. Smith for a 75th lay. Captain Smith was subsequently brought up on charges of misconduct and forced to leave command of the vessel in Talcahuano, Chile. 1834 finds Egleston, himself, writing from Talcahuano where he was put on shore for illness. Despite a brief return to the maritime trades in 1836 when Egleston purchased 1/8th share of the schooner AMANDA and assumed command for $60/month, he passes the remainder of his life alternating between debilitating sickness and various land based occupations in Peru. Having established himself as a the owner of a sugar plantation he writes to his sister Ellen that he is "one of the leading men of Peru known there by the name of Don Santiago Flores." The signatures on the remainder of his correspondence alternate between variations of Flores, Egleston and an occasional James Watson. While he continually wrote of missing his family and life in the United States, Flores only returns to Connecticut for a year from 1851 -1852. In Peru he passes through a variety of occupations including plantation owner and chief engineer for the Peruvian government. At some unspecified point Egleston marries Peruvian native, Josephine Galindo and has three children. It appears that Josephine is Catholic and again, it remains unspecified what her relationship with the Connecticut Egleston's family was. It is probable that she knew very little about them until after Egleston's death when Josephine makes her first contact with the family writing that she did not even know his name was Egleston. She also mentions that he was a drunk, a poor husband and negligent father. James Egleston's death, mostly likely occurred in the Peruvian town of Chancey (?), cause unknown.

Index Terms

Egleston family
Corporate Bodies (Including Vessels):
Amanda (Schooner).
Thule (Ship).
Washington (Ship)
Barkhamsted (Conn.)
Merchant mariners
Plantation life--Peru
Document Types:

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Correspondence; 1832-1891
Box Folder
1 1 Correspondence; 1832
2 Correspondence; 1833-1837
3 Correspondence; 1845-1846
4 Correspondence; 1847-1849
5 Correspondence; 1850-1851
6 Correspondence; 1852
7 Correspondence; 1853-1877
8 Correspondence; 1878-1891