POINSETT, Joel Roberts

POINSETT, Joel Roberts
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives


POINSETT, Joel Roberts, a Representative from South Carolina; born in Charleston, S.C., March 2, 1779; spent his early childhood in England; returned to America in 1788; attended private school at Greenfield Hill, Conn., and later in Wandsworth, near London, England; studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and attended the military school in Woolwich, England; returned to Charleston, S.C., in 1800; studied law for a few months; traveled extensively in Europe from 1801 to 1809, returning to the United States for short intervals; sent to South America by President Madison in 1809 to investigate the prospects of the revolutionists there in their struggle for independence from Spain; returned to Charleston, S.C., in 1816; member of the state house of representatives 1816-1819; served as president of the board of public works; declined the offer of commissioner to South America by President Monroe; elected as a Republican to the Seventeenth Congress reelected as a Jackson Republican to the Eighteenth Congress, and elected as a Jacksonian to the Nineteenth Congress and served from March 4, 1821, to March 7, 1825, when he resigned to enter the diplomatic service; Minister to Mexico 1825-1829; member of the state house of representatives, 1830-1831; Secretary of War in the Cabinet of President Van Buren 1837-1841; died near what is now Statesburg, Sumter County, S.C., December 12, 1851; interment in the Church of the Holy Cross (Episcopal) Cemetery.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

American Philosophical Society Library

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1 volume (in Spanish). Peruvian manuscripts and history.

Boston Public Library

Boston, MA
Papers: 4 letters.

Columbia University
Rare Book and Manuscript Library

New York, NY
Papers: 5 letters (1816-1817, 1824, 1828) in the Adelman collection. Finding aid in repository.

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
Papers: 1785-1851. ca. 4,250 items. Correspondence and papers relating to his education, travels, political interests, and diplomatic, congressional, and Cabinet service. Described in published guide.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: 1810-1850. 3 containers. Correspondence, journals, notes, and memoranda, chiefly 1810-1821, relating to his activities in South America and as chairman of the South Carolina Board of Public Works.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: 1810-1840. 37 items.

South Carolina Historical Society

Charleston, SC
Papers: 1806-1847. 84 items. Correspondence, documents, and other papers relating to his public career.

University of North Carolina
Southern Historical Collection

Chapel Hill, NC
Papers: In Charles Lyon Chandler papers, 1803-1961. ca. 3 feet including 41 volumes. Includes his unpublished biography of Poinsett, collected letters to and from Poinsett, and copies of Poinsett papers, 1803-1852.

University of Texas at Austin
Center for American History

Austin, TX
Papers: 1807-1851. 109 items. Correspondence and other papers relating to politics, Latin American diplomacy, his travels, and personal matters. Described in published guide.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Collier, William Miller. La primera mision de los Estados Unidos de America en Chile. Santiago de Chile: Imprenta Cervantes, 1926.

Cox, Henry Bartholomew. "Reasons for Joel R. Poinsett's Refusal of a Second Mission to South America." Hispanic American Historical Review 43 (August 1963): 405-8.

Fuentes Mares, Jose. Poinsett: historia de una gran intriga. 1951. Reprint, Mexico: Ediciones Oceano, 1982.

Gallardo, Guillermo. Joel Roberts Poinsett, agente norteamericano, 1810-1814. Buenos Aires: Emece Editores, 1984.

Gamboa, Ramon. Representacion del ciudadano sindico Lic. Ramon Gamboa al Avuntamiento de esta capital suplicando pida al gobierno supremo despida de la replica a Mr. Joel Poinsett, enviado de los Estados Unidos del Norte. Mexico: Impr. del C.A. Valdes, 1829.

Gaxiola, Francisco Javier. Poinsett en Mexico (1822-1828) notas de un libro inconcluso. Prologo de Jose Elguero. Mexico: Editorial "Cultura," 1936.

Hruneni, George A., Jr. "Palmetto Yankee: The Public Life and Times of Joel Roberts Poinsett, 1824-1851." Ph.D. diss., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1972.

Kummer, Frederic Arnold. Courage Over The Andes. Illustrated by Armstrong Sperry. Chicago: The John C. Winston Company, 1940.

------. Poinsett's Mission to Mexico. New York: N.p., 1913.

Manning, William Ray. Poinsett's Mission to Mexico. [New York: N.p., 1913].

Parton, Dorothy M. "The Diplomatic Career of Joel Roberts Poinsett (1779-1851)." Ph.D. diss., Catholic University of America, 1934.

Poinsett, Joel Roberts. Discourse, on the objects and importance of the National Institution for the promotion of science. Washington: P. Force, printer, 1841.

------. Notas sobre Mexico 1822. Mexico: Editorial Jus, 1950.

------. Notes on Mexico, made in the autumn of 1822. Philadelphia: H. C. Carey and I. Lea, 1824.

------. Notes on Mexico, made in the autumn of 1822. London: J. Miller, 1825. Reprint, New York: Praeger, [1969].

------. Oration, on the Life and Character of Andrew Jackson, delivered on the 4th of July, 1845. Greenville, S.C.: N.p., 1845.

------. Speech of Mr. Poinsett, of S. C., on the tariff bill. Washington: Printed by Gales & Seaton, 1824.

------. Statement of the comparative advantages of Charleston, over the cities south of New York, which are constructing rail roads and canals to facilitate their communication with the country west of the Alleghany Mountains. Charleston, S.C., J. S. Burges, 1833.

------. U.S. Embassy. Mexico. Esposicion de la conducta politica de los Estados-Unidos. Mexico: Impr. en la Ex-inquisicion, a cargo de M. Ximeno, 1827.

------. U.S. War Department. Report from the Secretary of War, in compliance with a resolution of the Senate of the 14th of October, 1837, in relation to the protection of the western frontier of the United States. Washington: Blair and Rives, printers, 1838.

------. Speech of Mr. Poinsett, of S.C., on the tariff bill. Washington: Printed by Gales and Seaton, 1824.

------. Statement of the comparative advantages of Charleston, over the cities south of New York, which are constructing rail roads and canals to facilitate their communication with the country west of the Alleghany Mountains. Charleston, S.C.: J. S. Burges, 1833.

Putnam, Herbert Everett. Joel R. Poinsett: A Political Biography. Washington: Mimeoform Press, 1935.

Rippy, James Fred. Joel R. Poinsett, Versatile American. 1935. Reprint, St. Clair Shores, Mich.: Scholarly Press, 1970.

Salado Alvarez, Victoriano. Poinsett y alqunos de sus discipulos. Mexico: Editorial Jus, 1968.

Stillé, Charles Janeway. The Life and Services of Joel R. Poinsett. Philadelphia: N.p., 1888.

Stoney, Samuel Gaillard, ed. "The Poinsett-[James B.] Campbell Correspondence." South Carolina Historical and Genealogical Magazine 47 (1941): 31-52, 122-36, 149-68; (1942): 27-34.

Weber, Ralph E. "Joel R. Poinsett's Secret Mexican Dispatch Twenty." South Carolina Historical Magazine 75 (April 1974): 67-76.

------. "Your Obedient Servant, Joel R. Poinsett." Prologue 2 (Winter 1970): 185-88.

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