Turks & Caicos





The Stubbs Family Papers consists of personal and business papers spanning approximately four generations of a family based in the Turks and Caicos Islands. They had widespread business connections in the Bahamas, Bermuda, Demerara, Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), the United States and Canada. The Stubbs Family Papers are made up of letters, notebooks, deeds, photographs, and other printed and hand-written manuscripts. The collection contains useful snippets of information including visits to Haiti in the mid-1850s with comments on religion, race relations, and customs. Data on the planting of sugar cane is included. In fact, the notebooks provide daily fragments of information relating to farming and weather. The Stubbs collection is useful because it covers a period of evolving economic and social changes and researchers would be interested in the response of the family to the changing climate. 


Name of Holding Entity: The National Library of Jamaica
Address: 12 East Street, Kingston, Jamaica


Description and inventory
The Stubbs Family Papers consists of eight boxes containing over one thousand items. The items are arranged by volumes, totalling approximately nine volumes. The papers consists of deeds and land grants; notebooks containing daily activities, as well as events of interest such as the Haitian Revolution; letters by close family members and business partners; newspaper clippings; and other miscellaneous items, including almanacs, letterbooks, and printed copies of imperial pronouncements.

Bibliographic details
The bibliographic details of the Stubbs Family Papers are located in the card catalogue of the Special Collections and Preservation Dept. of the National Library of Jamaica. The papers are filed under MS. 372.  There are plans to place the bibliographic data in a database.

Visual documentation if appropriate
Currently, there are no visual representations of the Stubbs Family Papers.

History of the document (Provenance)
The Stubbs Family Papers was presented to the Institute of Jamaica by Emilie Jane Stubbs Kursteiner in 1957. The founder of the Stubbs family, Wade Stubbs (d. Mar. 4, 1822), was a native of England who was a cotton planter in Georgia and emigrated to Nassau as a Loyalist. He then moved to the Caicos Islands where he had larger estates. His nephew Henshall Stubbs came to him from Cheshire, England, and fathered Dr. Alfred Stubbs (1815-1882), Horatio Stubbs (1810-1886), whose papers constitute a major part of the collection and Richard Stubbs (b.1813). Henshall sent his three sons to be schooled in the United States of America, with Horatio and Alfred attending Yale College. Horatio returned to the Turks and Caicos Islands to work with his father and Alfred went to a theological seminary and was ordained a priest. Henshall Stubbs married Jane Boyer of St. George’s Bermuda and Horatio married Eliza Catherine Bascome of a family from the Bahamas and Bermuda and her correspondence is also represented in the collection as also that of her sons Horatio Duncan Stubbs (b. 1841), Lewis St. George Stubbs (1843-1875), Algernon Middleton Stubbs (b.1841) and Alfred Stubbs (1847-1913) whose business papers and those of his daughter Emilie Jane Stubbs Kursteiner also constitute a major part of this collection.


The Stubbs Family Papers is quite unique for the span of time it covers, the variety of territorial connections featured, and the fact that the Stubbs as one of the elite families would have had a significant influence on the cultural and social development of their adopted island home. 

The Stubbs Family Papers span three centuries; centuries that featured momentous events including the Haitian Revolution, the abolition of the slave trade and slavery, and World Wars I and II. The notebooks in the Stubbs collection discuss some of these issues. The three notebooks by Horatio Stubbs mentioned some of these events, including a description of Haiti based upon his personal voyage to the country in the 1850s.

In addition to the advantages of the time span of the Stubbs Family Papers, the varying territories are featured such as the Turks and Caicos Islands, Bahamas, Bermuda, the United States and Canada. As such, the Stubbs Family Papers is quite useful for the variety of its territorial connections.

The Stubbs were an elite Turks and Caicos Islands family involved in business pursuits, agriculture and government; their letters provide evidence of their myriad pursuits. The letterbooks of the Stubbs include letters relating to the salt trade, shipping of guano, the creation of alternative industries to salt including the introduction of economic plants such as grass and sisal. The Stubbs Family Papers also include private letters written by spouses to each other, mothers to sons, fathers to daughters, and so on. These letters tell us much of relations in the private sphere. Hence, the Stubbs Family Papers are quite useful for a study of the public sphere (business and politics) and the private sphere; allowing us to see these relatively public figures in their private domain.

Subject and Theme
The subject matters of the Stubbs Family papers are varied, dealing with business, agriculture, family, society, culture and politics. The notebooks of Horatio Stubbs, for example, delve into his day to day activities as an agriculturalist and a businessman.

Form and Style
The language and style of the Stubbs papers evolves over time. Beginning in 1790, the collection ends in 1956; spanning four generations of the family members and with it the cultural and linguistic evolutions that occurred over that time span. Hence researchers examining these papers will be treated with changing expressions and writing styles. 


Owner of Documentary Heritage: National Library of Jamaica
Name: National Library of Jamaica
Address: 12 East Street, Kingston, Jamaica, W. I.

Contact details: Tel: (876) 967-1526, 967-2516
Fax: (876) 922-5567
Email: nlj@infochan.com

Accessibility: The Stubbs Family Papers are available to members of the public for consultation, in particular, researchers and academics.


The state of the Stubbs Family Papers vary as some material are in good condition, others are in a rather poor condition.  The portraits and photographs within the collection, however, in the main have been well preserved; having been placed in acid-free folders.


Material to be placed in de-acidified folders. 


Name: The National Library of Jamaica
Contact details: 12 East Street, 
Jamaica, W. I.
Tel: (876) 967-1526, 967-2516
Fax: (876) 922-5567
Email: nlj@infochan.com

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