Adam Cuninghame journal and letters, 1728-1736

Dublin Core


Adam Cuninghame journal and letters, 1728-1736


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."