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1.5 linear feet
The Abraham Bell papers contain correspondence and financial documents related to Abraham Bell & Co., an early 19th-century New York City shipping firm owned by Abraham Bell. The majority of material in the Correspondence series is addressed to either Abraham Bell or to his company, and relates to various business affairs, often concerning payment or delivery of goods. Many of the letters originated from European firms, including a letter from Collman, Lambert & Co. in Liverpool, written on stationery that includes a printed list of current prices for cotton and related goods (February 8, 1837).
The Receipts and financial papers series consists of non-correspondence items related to the operation of Abraham Bell & Co. throughout the early and mid-1800s. These include records of payment and lists of cargo carried aboard Bell's ships, as well as several documents relating to loads of street manure in 1839. Several early items within this series pertain to the ship Josephine.
Fifteen Account and receipt books provide information about Bell's financial endeavors throughout the period in explicit detail, covering the years 1840-1868. A letter book contains copies of letters written by Abraham Bell between October 16, 1833, and August 15, 1834.
Miscellaneous items in the collection include an indenture for land in New Jersey belonging to the Budd family (December 25, 1812), and a record of fiscal accounts between Abraham Bell & Co. and [Malionson] Bell & Co. (June 30, 1836).
This collection is made up of 2 letter books, which contain over 270 secretarial copies of Captain Anthony H. Hoskins's official outgoing correspondence. His letters pertain to service aboard the H.M.S. Hecate (May 22, 1860-January 1, 1861), H.M.S. Plumper (January 1-July 2, 1861), and the H.M.S. Eclipse (July 20, 1869-September 27, 1871, and September 25, 1871-October 20, 1872) in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Hoskins corresponded with superior officers and fellow captains about his ships' movements, personnel, upkeep, and orders. P.H.W. Mayow and Henry F. Nicholson, acting captains on the Eclipse, wrote the letters dated between July 20, 1869, and September 20, 1869.
Hoskins wrote his first letters from the Hecate while stationed at Woolwich and other English ports between May and July 1860. The ship then traveled to Madeira and, after rounding Cape Horn, to the Pacific Ocean, where it spent time at Valparaíso, Chile, and the Hawaiian Islands. In his letters to Commodore James R. Drummond and other officers, he reported on aspects of the ship's daily operation, including its arrival at different ports and travels around the Pacific. He frequently informed his superiors about disciplinary measures for the sailors onboard, and often mentioned financial reports, which are not copied into the volume. On January 1, 1861, Hoskins transferred to the Plumper, which traveled from near Esquimalt, British Columbia, back to Valparaíso, around Cape Horn to Rio de Janeiro, and finally to Portsmouth, England, where he arrived in June. In addition to reports on disciplinary measures, changes in rank, and ship movements, the commander's letters include content respecting the search for information about the missing gunboat Forward and the lost crew of the Charles Tupper. A 4-page report respecting the Forward documents interactions with the crew of the trading yacht Templar and with Nootka (Nuu-chah-nulth) natives in November and December 1860. A 2-page letter provides a summary of the Plumper's search for information about the Charles Tupper near the Straits of Magellan (April 22, 1861). Although they discovered the shipwreck, the fate of the crew remained ambiguous. The commander wrote that they probably did not take refuge with Indians and that they likely perished while attempting to reach a settlement.
The remainder of Volume 1 (roughly 3/4 of the volume) and the entirety of Volume 2 were composed while the Eclipse served in the Caribbean and along the eastern Canadian coast between September 1869 and October 1872. The first letters in Volume 2 are attributed to P. H. W. Mayow and Henry F. Nicholson, and relate to the recent sudden death of the ship's commander, Captain Harvey. Hoskins assumed command in late September 1869. The Eclipse spent much of its time at Barbados, the Bahamas, Bermuda, Halifax, St. John's, and other ports. In letters addressed to superior officers and colonial governors, Hoskins reported on the ship's sailors, courts martial and other disciplinary actions (for desertion, theft, drunkenness, etc.), ship movements, repairs, and daily operations. Hoskins served as a regional commander in the Caribbean, and some of his letters are sailing orders for subordinate captains. One such order is a response to a request from Belize, British Honduras, for assistance against an attack by natives (May 3, 1870). Others report interactions with French, Spanish, American, and other ships (including prizes). Though the volumes overlap slightly, only one letter is common between them.
A copy of a recommendation letter Hoskins wrote for David O'Sullivan is laid into the first volume (October 11, 1872).
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The Bartlett family papers contain correspondence, documents, photographs, and a scrapbook related to Lieutenant Washington A. Bartlett of the United States Navy and to his descendants, including author Lina Bartlett Ditson, his granddaughter.
The Correspondence series contains letters written to various members of the Bartlett family. The earliest items concern Washington A. Bartlett's naval career, including several letters between Bartlett and his wife Ruth. In a letter from May-June 1845, Washington Bartlett discussed political and military conflicts between the United States and Mexico. Much of his other correspondence is contained in a letter book, which covers the years 1835-1862.
Other items in the series are incoming personal and business letters to George L. Ditson, Bartlett's son-in-law. Some of these pertain to his appointment as United States Consul in Nuevitas, Cuba, a few of which are in Spanish. Later material includes a letter from Ronald Lodge to his mother, Oralie Ditson Lodge (Washington A. Bartlett's granddaughter) about his successful fitness examination for the United States Navy, enclosing a photograph of Lodge in uniform (April 17, 1917), and a letter on stationery from the White Star Line ocean liner Olympic (November 14, 1928).
The Documents and Financial Papers relate to several generations of the Bartlett family. Of note are a certificate about Washington A. Bartlett's qualification as a United States Navy midshipmen, signed by Martin Van Buren (November 20, 1839), and an authorized copy of Washington A. Bartlett and Ruth Budd Bloom's marriage certificate (June 17, 1861). The series also contains receipts and accounts.
The Writings series primarily contains typed copies of poems and stories composed by Lina Bartlett Ditson. Included are 8 poems, 1 group of poetry "Fragments," and 7 short stories. Two items, which may not be by Ditson, are in French, including an acrostic poem based on Ruth Budd Bartlett's name.
The collection's 8 Calling Cards and Invitations include manuscript and printed visiting cards for "Mr. and Mrs. Bartlett" and an invitation to the home of William H. and Frances Seward.
A single Illustration, dated August 1833, depicts the brig Mermaid at sea. A map of a portion of Albany, New York, shows the location of B. Lodge & Company.
The Photographs series has mounted and loose portraits, several cartes-de-visite and cabinet cards, a glass-plate positive of a young girl, and numerous snapshots. Early portraits depict Oralie Ditson Lodge and Lina Bartlett Ditson (occasionally in costume), and 130 20th-century snapshots were taken during a family vacation Eagle Lake in New York.
The Lena Bartlett Ditson Scrapbook contains newspaper articles, programs, and correspondence about Lina Bartlett Ditson, assembled by her sister Oralie after Lina's death. Most items pertain to Lina's artistic pursuits, such as vocal performances and published novels. Incoming correspondence to Lina and condolence letters to her family following her death are also present.
The Printed Items series is made up of postcards, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and other items. Newspaper Clippings pertain to numerous topics, such as William S. Lodge's political career, interstate commerce legislation, labor news, and members of the Bartlett family.
- Defence of Washington A. Bartlett, Ex-Lieutenant, United States Navy: Read and admitted to Record, by Naval Court of Inquiry... New York: Harper & Brothers, 1857.
- International Association for the Total Suppression of Vivisection. "The Woman" and the Age: A Letter Addressed to the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, M.P., First Lord of the Treasury. London: E. W. Allen, 1881.
- Olcott, Henry S. The Spirit of the Zoroastrian Religion. Bombay: 1882.
Other printed material includes poems by Barrington Lodge; engravings of Washington A. Bartlett; a colored print showing a woman in a dress that Ruth Budd Bartlett wore during a royal reception; and a campaign poster for William S. Lodge's mayoral campaign in Albany, New York.
The Genealogy series contains information about Washington A. Bartlett's descendants and allied families, particularly the Lodge family.
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202 pages (1 volume)
The Benjamin Gilbert letter book (219 pages) contains copies of 83 personal letters written by Sergeant Benjamin Gilbert during his service in the Revolutionary War (1780-1783). The bulk of Gilbert's letters are to his father and other family member, living in his home town of Brookfield, Massachusetts. The letters provide a picture of a junior officer's outlook on the war.
Gilbert wrote these letters during his service in upper New Jersey in late 1780; during his stay at West Point in early 1781; and while fighting with the Marquis de Lafayette's troops at Trenton, New Jersey; Wilmington and Christiana, Delaware; Elkton and Annapolis, Maryland; and Yorktown, Virginia. He wrote the letters dated 1782-1783 from West Point and Continental Village, New York, where the army awaited the withdrawal of Carleton's forces from New York. Gilbert discussed Arnold's treason; the revolt of the Pennsylvania Line; the burning of Manchester, Virginia; southern hospitality; the exhilaration of the impending triumph at Yorktown; widespread desertion of Hessians during the evacuation of New York; and severe shortages of pay, food, and clothing. Throughout the volume, Gilbert wrote reflective comments on the progress of the war.
Several letters concern personal matters. Four are love letters, two to an anonymous recipient (October 14, 1780, October 19, 1780) and two that relate to a paternity claim made by a Patience Converse, with whom he was romantically involved (September 30, 1782 and March 24, 1783). Family news and personal finances are mentioned frequently throughout the volume.
For an annotated transcription of the letterbook, with a comprehensive index, see: Winding Down: the Revolutionary War Letters of Lieutenant Benjamin Gilbert of Massachusetts, 1780-1783
202 pages (1 volume)
The letter book contains copies of letters Benjamin Stevens wrote while executing his duties as Commissary General at Hartford, Connecticut, from 1781 to 1784. Several of the letters are addressed to the governor of Connecticut, Jonathan Trumbull. The letters contain frequent requests for items such as salt, meat, flour, and rum. Stevens had to deal with the problems of short supplies, and damaged goods. Following the letters are two stanzas of a poem about a "young Irish Girl" (page 17), and nine pages of work accounts for Stevens and William Kingsbury for the "making of Bricks and Lime" from 1806 to 1808.
The Charles Garth letterbook (358 pages and 6 blank pages) contains 20 pages of copied letters from Sir James Wright, South Carolina's agent to parliament from 1758-1760, and 336 pages of copied letters from Charles Garth, South Carolina's agent to parliament from 1762 through 1766.
The volume begins with 12 letters from Sir James Wright, addressed to members of parliament, commissioner of the treasury, and the lord high admiral of Great Britain. These largely relate to trade policies between South Carolina, England, and Europe. Wright discussed the trade of rice, salt, and hemp; he was also concerned with debts incurred during the French and Indian War between Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, from1754 to 1758. Of note is a petition to the British treasury, in which Wright described South Carolina's interactions with the Cherokee, Creeks, and Chickasaws, all of whom expected expensive presents in order to maintain peaceful relations (pages 5 verso-6 verso).
Charles Garth is the letterbook's primary author, contributing letters spanning from May 19, 1762, (when he was appointed South Carolina agent) to March 10, 1766. As agent, Garth's primary focus was on commercial matters, particularly concerning trade between South Carolina, England, and Europe. He communicated frequently with the British parliament, the commissioners of the treasury, the Commons House of Assembly of South Carolina, as well as other colonial agents and independent merchants.
Garth discussed commercial matters in depth, including regulations for imports and exports, such as exporting rice and indigo to England, and importing salt from Spain and Portugal. He also discussed taxes and financial matters: he debated the share of taxes that South Carolina needed to pay for the war with France, and, particularly in 1764, he debated questions concerning paper money value manipulation and South Carolina’s right to control its monetary policies. Garth repeatedly attempted, without success, to secure public funds from the Grenville administration. Other important matters include ongoing border disputes with Georgia and North Carolina, and efforts to attract immigration from Ireland, England, Scotland, and Hamburg to the province.
Many of the entries from 1764 and 1765 concern the decision to enact the rights and privileges of the colonies. Garth argued against the burden of internal taxes, imposed by England on South Carolina, such as the Stamp Act. In one petition to Parliament, Garth listed the South Carolinian's many disadvantages: "Their situation is dangerous & at the same time weak, surrounded by numerous Tribes of Indians from without, & exposed & lyable to the Insurrection of their own Slaves from within, their climate hot & unhealthy, such inclement seasons to Struggle withal..." (pages 150 verso-151). He constantly advocated for colonial rights over parliament’s control over financial matters.
- A "Report on Petition relating to the Exportation of Rice from Carolina" with testimonies from James Crockatt, William Middleton (a planter), James Gordon, and Georgia agent William Knox, arguing that Carolina should be able to trade rice freely with Madeira. The report states that "the general Exports are Rice, Indigo, Deer Skins, Naval Stores, & some slaves: the Deer Skins are purchased from the Indians" (56-57 verso). This entry is followed with a copy of an act that encouraged Carolina's production of indigo, and indigo export accounts for 1756-1762 (pages 58-59).
- A lengthy plea to the Earl of Egremont to let South Carolina, not Georgia, annex land south of the Altamaha River, July 5, 1763 (pages 64 verso to 67 verso).
- Communications with Baron Jeffery Amherst, including a return of troops per colony that were furnished with pay and clothes, and the actual number of troops raised per colony in 1761 (page 69).
- Premiums for exporting wine, olive trees, raisins, sarsaparilla, barilla, hemp, silk, cinnamon trees, cochineal (red dye), and sturgeon to England (pages 89-90 verso).
- An itemized account of the monies "received and disbursed" by Garth in 1763 and 1764 (pages 138-141 verso).
- A report To the Committee of Correspondence: Against the sugar act, February 17, 1765 (pages 149 verso-150).
170 pages (1 volume)
The Charles Goore letter book (170 pages) contains copies of 295 letters from Goore to other English merchants, members of Parliament, British naval officers, customers, and friends. These letters, dated March 1774 to January 1783, touch on various aspects of trade, including the detrimental effects of the American Revolution on the tobacco trade, his whaling ventures off Greenland, and trading interests in hemp, flag stones, and ironware. Goore discussed difficulties with war ships, effects of the Revolution on prices and trade, the practice of impressment of seamen, and news from the American colonies. He also described the effects of privateering on trade, the slave trade, and technical matters relating to navigation. Several letters concern helping friends who were hurt by the upheaval in America. For instance, he tried to place seamen, formerly in his employment, in the British navy. This letter book provides an interesting perspective of the British side of the Revolution and particularly English merchants' reactions to the conflict.
While the collection primarily consists of business, legal, and political papers, Goore occasionally related information about his family. Of particular interest are 6 letters related to Goore's niece, Jenny Tatlock, whom he placed as an apprentice to Mrs. Ann Carus (pages 15, 19, 28, 93, 144). Goore wrote two stern letters to his niece Ellen Tatlock, who often begged for money because her husband was in prison (pages 82, 97). Goore also wrote to his niece Jenny, advising her not to marry an apprentice painter because she would end up supporting him (page 162). Several letters document Goore's business relationships with women, and a few letters are condolences to widows of his employees.
- January 25, 1775: describing a crowd in a coffee house waiting to hear the "resolves of Parliament relative to American affairs..."
- June 13, 1775: revealing his opinions on the tense relationship between Great Britain and the American colonies: "The ax is laid to the root of the tree & it must be cut down or adieu to the colonies. God grant such measures may be taken that his Majesty may bring the Americans to become dutiful subjects."
- February 5, 1776: describing his early career in the tobacco trade and the effects of the Revolution on Atlantic trading.
- November 28, 1776: offering news of the war in America concerning generals Burgoyne and Howe.
- March 14, 1778: reprimanding a neighbor for physically abusing his wife.
170 pages (1 volume)
The Charles Hicks letter books (two volumes, 234 pages and 175 pages) contain the letters and accounts of an American merchant operating out of St. Augustine, Florida, in the 1730s and 1740s. The volumes are comprised of financial accounts, logs, letter drafts, and miscellaneous records, with 112 pages of letters in English (approximately 60 items), and 98 pages written in Spanish. The volumes were created concurrently, and entries are often undated and lack clear chronological organization. In addition to the mercantile records are notes concerning the estate of the Hicks family between 1800 and 1828, found at the beginning and end of each book.
Charles Hicks' business dealings were primarily with Spanish merchants in Florida and Cuba, and with British colonial merchants in New York and Charleston, South Carolina. Hicks discussed the trade conditions in Florida and Havana, and occasionally referenced the strained political relations between Spain and England. Entries contain references to trading enslaved Africans, whom Hicks sold on various Caribbean islands. He also described the activities of the slaves he owned, one of whom was named Caesar (volume 1: pages 39, 82, 196-109, and 133). Also of interest are a copied article and a recipe on how to cure "hydrophobia," to be used when bitten by a rabid dog (volume 1, page 29). Letter contributors and recipients include captains Samuel Bradstreet and Othniel Beale; Florida merchants Juan de Acosta, Joaquin Blanco, and Dr. Pedro A. Estrada; and New York merchants Samuel Franklin, Nicholas Gouverneur, Isaac Gouverneur, Jacob Walton, William Walton, Anthony White, and Nicholas Wycoff.
In addition to the Charles Hicks material are accounts, inventories, and notes regarding the Hicks family of Flushing, New York, recorded at the beginning and end of each volume (1800-1828). Family members mentioned include Hick's children Charles, Eliza, Ann, Scott, Caroline, Philip (a resident of the island of Antigua), and son-in-law Willet Bowne (volume 1: pages 19 and 29). Also present is an inventory for the personal estate of Charles Hicks of Flushing (grandson of the merchant Charles Hicks), who died in 1824 (volume 1: pages 76-79).
This letter book (162 pages) contains the outgoing business correspondence of Boston broker Charles McInteir, pertaining to real estate, railroad stocks, lumber, and other financial and legal interests. The letters are dated October 24, 1835-July 27, 1837. McInteir wrote to correspondents throughout Massachusetts and in states such as Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Many of his letters concern the buying and selling of land, work with agents, mortgages, and lawsuits. He commented on banks and banking, the lumber trade, railroads (particularly railroad stock), and other industries. In his later letters, McInteir occasionally mentioned the effects of the Panic of 1837, which included bank closures and other financial difficulties. Many of the letters appear out of chronological order.