Charles H. Townsend papers, 1849-1870
Using These Materials
- The collection is open for research.
- Townsend family
- The Charles H. Townsend papers are made up of correspondence between Captain Charles Hervey Townsend and his family, who lived in New Haven, Connecticut, in the mid-19th century. The letters concern Townsend's career as a merchant ship captain, the Civil War, and family news. Also included are receipts, newspaper clippings, and a lock of hair.
- 0.5 linear feet
- Collection processed and finding aid created by Clements Staff and Meg Hixon, September 2012
- Scope and Content:
This collection is made up of correspondence between Captain Charles Hervey Townsend and members of his family, who lived in New Haven, Connecticut, in the mid-19th century. The letters concern Townsend's career as a merchant ship captain, the Civil War, and family news. Also included are receipts, newspaper clippings, and a lock of hair.
The Correspondence series contains letters between Charles Hervey Townsend and members of his family. He wrote approximately 80 letters to his mother from 1849-1859 and received letters from family members throughout the 1850s. Townsend reported on his health and on travels to and from the United States, the Caribbean, and Europe on various merchant vessels, and his family often shared news from Connecticut. Townsend also wrote and received some letters about his finances. From 1860-1865, his correspondence with his mother and brothers largely concerns the Civil War and its influence in Connecticut and London. Members of the Townsend family mentioned the expectation of war as early as November 1860 and commented on military developments throughout the conflict. Their war-era letters are often composed on patriotic stationery. Charles's sister Eliza, who lived in England, wrote about the impact of the war in Europe, and his brother-in-law William mentioned the war's negative effects on trade. In his letters to his family, Charles Townsend discussed the progress of the war, perceived pro-Confederate sentiments in Great Britain, and California's increasing importance to the United States. He continued to receive business correspondence during the war. After the war, the Townsend family corresponded about family news, travel, and Charles's career.
The Financial Records series is made up of 19 bills, receipts, accounts, and other financial records pertaining to Charles Townsend. Many of the transactions took place in Le Havre, France, and related to ship repairs and purchases such as clothing and wine.
The Newspaper Clippings series has undated articles about a Connecticut Civil War soldier wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville, the possible relocation of the Connecticut state capital, and a letter that General James C. Rice wrote to his mother prior to the Battle of the Wilderness.
The Realia series is comprised of a lock of Eliza Mulford Townsend's hair.
- Biographical / Historical:
Charles Hervey Townsend was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in November 1833, the son of William Kneeland Townsend (1796-1849) and Eliza Ann Mulford (1798-1881). He had eight siblings: William Isaac (b. 1822), James Mulford (1825-1901), George Henry (b. 1826), Frederick Atwater (b. 1829), Robert Raikes (1831-1857), Timothy Beers (b. 1835), Edward Howard (b. 1840), and Eliza Mulford (b. 1842). After first going to sea around age 15, Charles Townsend served as an officer on merchant ships throughout the 1850s. He traveled around the United States as well as to Europe and the Caribbean. Townsend became a captain around 1856 and commanded the Bavaria and Germania. On April 26, 1871, he married Mary Ann Hotchkiss (b. 1839), and they had two children: Henry Hotchkiss (b. 1874) and Raynham (b. 1878). Charles Hervey Townsend died in 1904.
Charles H. Townsend's name is spelled "Townshend" in various publications, though Charles himself wrote and signed with his family name, "Townsend."
- Acquisition Information:
- 1976. M-1749 .
- Processing information:
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
The collection is arranged in the following series:
- Series I: Correspondence
- Series II: Financial Records
- Series III: Newspaper Clippings
- Series IV: Realia
Each series is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.
- Rules or Conventions:
- Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS)
- Additional Descriptive Data:
Townshend, Charles Hervey. The British Invasion of New Haven, Connecticut: Together with Some Account of Their Landing...July, 1779... New Haven: 1879.
Townshend, Charles Hervey. Captain Charles Hervey Townshend : Self-portrait of an American Packet Ship Sailor. Mystic (Conn.): Marine Historical Association, Inc., 1940.
Townshend, Charles Hervey. Notes on an Early Chart of Long Island Sound and Its Approaches. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1891.
Carhart, Lucy Ann Morris, and Charles Alexander Nelson. Genealogy of the Morris Family, Descendants of Thomas Morris of Connecticut. New York: The A. S. Barnes Company, 1911.
Townshend, Charles Hervey. Townshend Family, of Lynn, in Old and New England: Genealogical And Biographical. 3d ed. rev. New Haven (Conn.): C.H. Townshend, 1882.
An inventory is available in the Manuscripts Division.
Click on terms below to find any related finding aids on this site.
- Merchant ships.
Bills of sale.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Receipts (financial records)
Beers, Charles J.
Campbell, James C.
Crafts, Samuel P.
Hunt, John S.
Hunter, A. F.
Marsh, B. F.
Miller, S. B.
Quesnel Freres & Co.
Rice, James Clay, 1829-1864.
Richards, John S.
Samuel Nash & Co.
Stamper, R. W.
Tinker, E. G.
Townsend, Edward Howard, 1840-.
Townsend, Eliza Ann Mulford, 1798-1881.
Townsend, Eliza Mulford, 1842-.
Townsend, Frederick Atwater, 1829-.
Townsend, George Henry, 1826-.
Townsend, James Mulford, 1825-1901.
Townsend, Samuel B.
Townsend, Timothy Beers, 1835-.
Townsend, William Isaac, 1822-.
Townshend, Charles Hervey, 1833-1904.
Warren, S. M.
Whitlock, D. B.
Whitlock, William, Jr.
Wood, D. H.
California--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Connecticut--Capital and capitol.
Connecticut--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
Le Havre (France)
New Haven (Conn.)
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Economic aspects.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Foreign public opinion, British.
Using These Materials
The collection is open for research.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
Copyright status is unknown
- PREFERRED CITATION:
Charles H. Townsend Papers, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan