John Backhouse papers, 1740-1956 12 Linear Feet — 30 boxes; 1 oversize folder — 4,480 Items
Business and personal correspondence of the Backhouse family, principally of John Backhouse. Material for the 18th and early 19th centuries reflects the family's mercantile operations, including efforts to collect pre-Revolutionary debts in America. Other papers relate to Backhouse's career as Commissioner and Receiver General of the Excise Office and Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, his service as private secretary to George Canning, his service with the diplomatic corps, his art collection, and his mercantile associates in Amsterdam and Hamburg. Other subjects include the Board of Control under Canning, and the British consulates at Canton and Amoy. Family correspondence contains numerous references to the Foreign Office and to relations with Circassia, France, Greece, Russia, Turkey, and the United States. Letters and diaries of Backhouse's son, George, and his wife include references to the slave trade and describe their life in Havana while he was commissary judge there.