Adam Cuninghame journal and letters, 1728-1736

Title

Adam Cuninghame journal and letters, 1728-1736

Description

Journal and correspondence of Adam Cuningham (b. ca. 1705). Cuningham was the son of Sir William Cuningham of Caprington, Ayr, Scotland and Janet Dick Cuningham. Being the fifth son, Adam Cuningham was not likely to inherit much and records indicate he served John Kirkwood as a surgeon apprentice in 1723. In 1728 he left Scotland for Virginia where he hoped to practice in Williamsburg. Cuningham was unable to succeed in Williamsburg and ventured north as far as Maryland before returning to Virginia to work at the Bristol Iron Works in King George County Virginia. Whether he was an employee of the Works or in private practice is not known. The Bristol Iron Works were established by John King and other merchants of Bristol, England and began operating in 1722. George Tayloe of Virginia oversaw the operation of the works. The works were closed by the middle years of the 1730s and Cuningham returned to England.

The collection contains three letters and a journal. The journal of Adam Cuningham records his harrowing six month voyage to Virginia from Scotland. In his two letters from Virginia he provides excuses for his failure to succeed and requests additional funds from his father. In his third letter, written from England, Cuningham requests a meeting with his father and asks for funds that he might be transported "to some Forreign Plantations where I may pass the remainder of my days in a Sincere repentance for my former folly."

Items in the Adam Cuninghame journal and letters, 1728-1736 Collection

Adam Cuningham letter to William Cuningham, 1736 March 23
Letter of Adam Cuningham, Newcastle upon Tyne, to his father William, in Edinburgh, March 23, 1736. In this letter, Cuningham requested a meeting with his father and asked his father to keep secret his presence in Scotland. Cuningham sought one last…

Adam Cuningham letter to William Cuningham, 1730 May 24
Letter of Adam Cuningham, Bristol mines, to his father William, in Edinburgh, May 24, 1730. Cuningham wrote to his father detailing his struggles in Virginia. He ascribed his difficulties to his charitable nature, the expense of medicines and the…

Adam Cuningham letter to William Cuningham, 1729 August 2
Letter of Adam Cuningham, King George County, Virginia, to his father William, in Scotland, August 2, 1729. Concerning his decision to leave Williamsburg Adam writes: "please to know that Williamsburgh is but a small Village containing not 60…

The journal of Adam Cuningham records his voyage to Virginia from Scotland, April 4-October 21, 1728. Cuningham recounts the many adventures of the ship and its crew who were fired upon by a French vessel, lost a man overboard who was killed by…