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W. S. Hoole Special Collections Library Manuscript Collections

Guide to the James Boykin papers MSS.0196


University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama

Box 870266
Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 35487-0266

December 2013


This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2013-12-12T16:18-0600

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Collection Title:

James Boykin papers

Unit ID:



University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama


0.8 Linear feet


Bulk, 1848-1870




Papers of an important Dallas County, Alabama, planter family, including correspondence, household and plantation records, materials regarding James Boykin's cavalry unit during the Civil War, and papers of Boykin's descendants down to the mid-twentieth century.


Boykin, James, 1823-1907

Scope and Contents note

The papers are divided into three series:James Boykin materials; Burwell Boykin materials; and other Boykin family members' materials. The James Boykin series makes up the bulk of the collection. This series contains correspondence, records for medical expenses for his household and plantation, domestic and business expenditures, and records of cotton sales. Other papers include sales receipts for slaves, foodstuffs, tools, and other hardware, as well as papers regarding James Boykin's cavalry unit during the Civil War. The Burwell Boykin series consists of Burwell's correspondence and other papers, mostly business related. The series containing other Boykin family members' materials include the miscellaneous business, legal, and military papers of James Boykin's brothers, Samuel T. and R. D. Boykin. There are also papers related to real estate and some correspondence from the early twentieth century.

Preferred Citation:

James Boykin papers, University Libraries Division of Special Collections, The University of Alabama.

Acquisition Information:

Gift of Frank Boykin, 1989, 1993, 1995

Biographical/Historical note

James Boykin (8 August 1823 - 13 July 1907), was one of six sons of Francis Boykin (1785-1839) and Mary Darrington James Boykin (1795-1854), who arrived in Alabama from Camden, South Carolina, about 1818. The Boykins were part of a large and prominent Southern family with branches in South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama. James was a cousin of Mary Boykin Chestnut.

James Boykin was a planter and soldier from Tilden, Dallas County, Alabama. On 16 March 1847, he married Elizabeth Ann Scott (1827-1894). They had eight children: Alfred Scott (1848-1849); Francis (Frank) (1850-), Mary Bibb (1852-1900), James Whitaker (1852-1885), Charlotte Taylor (1854-1943), James Burwell (1857-1921), Thomas Scott (1859-1910), and Ernest Cuculu (1861-1897). Boykin served in the Mexican War and in 1861, raised a company of cavalry and was stationed in Mobile. Known as the Alabama Mounted Volunteers, or the Alabama Mounted Rifles, the company was attached to Matthew's Guards and later served with the Third Alabama Cavalry.

His business losses as a result of the war forced him to declare bankruptcy in 1869. He continued farming until his eyesight failed completely near the end of his life.

Burwell Boykin, older brother of James, was born in South Carolina in 1813. He married Maria Shortridge around 1836 and Elizabeth McRae in 1843. He was the father of at least nine children. Burwell Boykin died in Tilden, Alabama, in 1857.


Processing Information:

Processed by

Unknown; updated by Andrew Harris and Donnelly Walton, 2013

Access Restrictions:



Boykin Family (local)

Boykin, James, 1823-1907 (local)

Alabama (localbroad)

Business and Labor (localbroad)

Business records (lcsh)

Civil War (localbroad)

Commerical products--Prices (lcsh)

Correspondence (aat)

Cotton (lcsh)

Daily Life and Family (localbroad)

Dallas County (Ala.) (lcsh)

Deeds (aat)

Farming and Agriculture (localbroad)

Legal documents (aat)

Medical fees--Alabama (lcsh)

Military records (aat)

Receipts (financial records) (aat)

Records and correspondence (lcsh)

Slave bills of sale--Alabama--Specimens (lcsh)

Slaveholders--Alabama (lcsh)

Tax records (aat)

United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865 (lcsh)

James Boykin

Components in Detail

Outgoing correspondence (most undated) 10 items Box 1518 Folder 1

Incoming correspondence 61 items Box 1518 Folder 2

Medical expenses, James Boykin family and slaves 25 items Box 1518 Folder 3

Financial expenditures, personal and domestic 111 items Box 1518 Folder 4

Financial expenditures, personal and domestic 86 items Box 1518 Folder 5

Business records and expenditures, 90 items Box 1518 Folder 6

Legal affairs and taxes 51 items Box 1518 Folder 7

Balance sheets, Boykin and McRae 8 items Box 2910 Folder 1

Military Records, Captain James Boykin, C. S. A. Commander, Alabama Mounted Volunteers 25 items Box 2910 Folder 2

Land deeds, papers, tax receipts, etc., for land owned by James and Elizabeth Boykin and others 27 items Box 2910 Folder 3

Miscellaneous business records, Boykin and McRae 13 items Box 2910 Folder 4

Burwell Boykin

Components in Detail

Incoming correspondence 19 items Box 2910 Folder 5

Miscellaneous papers 28 items Box 2910 Folder 6

Other Boykin family members

Components in Detail

Miscellaneous papers, R. D. (Robert Darrington) Boykin and Samuel Thomas Boykin (1830 -- 1891) 17 items Box 2910 Folder 7

Miscellaneous papers, Burwell Boykin 15 items Box 2910 Folder 8

Miscellaneous correspondence, Boykin Family 11 items Box 2910 Folder 9

Miscellaneous Boykin family materials 43 items Box 2910 Folder 10