Nantucket Historical Association Research Library
Mitchell Family Papers, 1844- 1896
Collection Overview: Letters, inventories, receipts, investment records, etc. relating primarily to Joseph Mitchell and other members of his family, primarily Andrew C. Edward, Charles, Francis M., Matthew, Richard H., Isaac and Dr. J. Sidney Mitchell. The letters contain some family news and reports of events in the Second Congregational Society (Unitarian Church). Of particular interest is the correspondence regarding payment of insurance after the loss of the ship Edward Cary. Other ships mentioned are the Florence, Smithfield, Rambler, Apphia Maria, and Christopher Mitchell. There is a large group of receipted bills from Nantucket merchants and professional men. A scrapbook includes information, with hand-drawn maps, about the location of the land and houses of many early settlers of Nantucket. A diary and letterbook of Peleg Mitchell discusses Friends meetings and religious affairs on Nantucket. Also included in the collection are reprints of articles and speeches on medicine by Dr. J. Sidney Mitchell.
Kezia Coffin Fanning Papers, 1775- 1820
Historical Note: Kezia (Coffin) Fanning was born to John and Kezia (Folger) Coffin in 1759. She married Phineas Fanning, a young attorney, at age eighteen and continued to live in Nantucket until she died in 1820.
Collection Overview: Diary records family events, news of Nantucket especially births, deaths and marriages. Of particular interest are reports on the robbery at the Nantucket Bank and on politics, particularly during the American Revolution. Information on fishing and whaling as well as commerce and trade are included. Kezia began keeping her diary when she was sixteen and continued until her death. The record originally numbered 50 booklets, but all but a few fugitive pages were lost. Fortunately, however, extracts from the entire record were made by family members.
Bunker Family Papers, 1796- 1919
Historical Note: Descended from George and Jane (Godfrey) Bunker who came to Nantucket in 1659 and were among the first white settlers on the Island, the Bunker family was active in the fields of education and local politics. Among the Nantucket family members represented in this collection are James Madison Bunker (1811-1873), lawyer and Town Clerk of Nantucket before he became Justice of the Bankruptcy Court in New Bedford, Bridgewater and at Vassar College and taught at Bradford Academy before returning to Nantucket to retire; and Asa Bunker (1802-1869), Register of Deeds. Those who left the Island are represented by Augusta Bunker (1855-1886), who married Walter M. Fee and moved to Washington Territory and Waha, Idaho to operate a ranch and teach school and Madison Bunker (1853-1916) who became a veterinarian in Newton, Massachusetts.
Collection Overview: The Asa Bunker Letter Books give excellent accounts of the financial status and credit rating of Nantucket businessmen. His letters also discuss education in Nantucket and the place of women in education. Detailed records and discussion of the raising, training and flights of carrier pigeons and the Chase family genealogy are also included.
Crosby Family Papers, 1812- 1893
Historical Note: Matthew Crosby (1791-1878), son of Silvanus and Hulda (Pease), married Lydia (Coffin) in 1813. She died in 1823 and he then married Elizabeth (Powell) in 1825. He had 15 children by his two wives. During his life, he was a bank director, merchant, pilot, ship captain, and owner of the ship “American.”
Collection Overview: An autobiographical letter, record books with farming data, and information on the lighthouse at Tuckernuck Shoal are in this collection.
Maria Mitchell Papers, 1859- 1883
Historical Note: Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) was the daughter of William and Lydia (Coleman). William was a Quaker and a teacher devoting himself primarily to astronomy in which he had a distinguished career. He was at one time chairman of the Harvard Observatory Committee and, for a long time, one of the Overseers of Harvard College. He was a member of the Massachusetts Senate and of Governor Briggs’ Council. It is not surprising that his children were accustomed to cultivated society and brilliant minds. At the age of twelve, Maria began her astronomical observations. She worked as librarian at the Nantucket Atheneum to earn money for her studies. She became Professor of Astronomy at Vassar College and, when nearly thirty, was awarded a gold medal by the King of Denmark for her discovery of a telescopic comet.
Collection Overview: Chiefly social letters; also an extract of journal of William Mitchell.
Henry C. Platt Papers, 1867- 1894
Historical Note: Henry C. Platt (1850-1895) was born in Georgia but moved to Nantucket where he worked as a photographer.
Collection Overview: Diaries and letters describe brief business trips to New York and the southeast states.
Joy Family Papers, 1806- 1880
Historical Note: The Joy family first came to Nantucket in 1708. They became members of the Society of Friends. Third generation Moses Joy (1781-1847) married Deborah Macy and they were the parents of David Joy (1801-1875) who was best known for his efforts to help his fellow man. He, with his wife, the former Charlotte Austin, worked actively against slavery, for complete temperance and for schools which offered equal education to Negroes. He was elected as Nantucket’s Representative to the General Court in 1834 and 1837 and became a member of the Governor’s Council in 1838. He and Mrs. Joy moved to the Isle of Wight in 1870 and it was here he died in 1875. David Joy’s brother, Moses Joy, Jr. (1807-1895), was equally enterprising and was closely identified with the Island’s business interests during the prosperous days of whaling. In early life, he made a voyage as cooper on the Ship “Sea Lion” and then joined his brother in the cooperage and whale oil refining business. He also shared his brother’s concern for temperance and the abolition of slavery.
Collection Overview: The papers include financial papers concerning the shipping of oil and candles. There are also scrap books which record the work of David and Charlotte (Austin) Joy.
Timothy White Papers, 1727- 1759
Historical Note: Timothy White (1700-1765) was one of fourteen children of John White Jr. of Haverhill, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard College in 1720 and came to Nantucket in 1728 to teach and preach to the Indians and early settlers of the Island. He married Susannah Gardner, daughter of John Gardner of Nantucket, in 1728. During the later years of his life, he returned to Haverhill to teach school and engage in business.
Collection Overview: Papers contain records of Indians’ attendance at sessions and the names and tuition paid by pupils in school, records of baptisms and family statistics. Letters indicate White’s discouragement and the difficulties under which he labored.
Dr. John B. King, 1832- 1872
Historical Note: Dr. John B. King was born on May 23, 1808. He was a doctor for Nantucket residents and foreign seamen until his death on July 27, 1889.
Collection Overview: Chiefly a Case Book, recording symptoms and treatments of diseases and injuries of local and transient patients.
Account Books Collection
Collection Overview: Financial books of individuals, businesses and some tradesmen, also financial records of ships. Over 500 account books give current prices through the years of Nantucket’s growth. Of particular interest are the accounts of the small businesses which served the whaling industry as well as the farmers and householders who stayed home.
Sir Isaac Coffin Letter / Achurch, Beale Collection, 1830
Historical Note: Sir Isaac Coffin (1759-1839) Fifth generation from Tristram Coffin.
Collection Overview: ALS from Thomas and William Earle and Company concerning a shipment of itemized china at the request of Sir Isaac Coffin. Liverpool, 11/28/1830
Marie M. Coffin Collection, 1806- 1965
Historical Note: Marie (Marden) Coffin (1900-1976) was involved in the history of Nantucket as a descendant of early Nantucket families and as a student of the Island. Her marriage to C. Clark Coffin, who was Town Clerk for 35 years, her work with Everett U. Crosby, an authority on Nantucket history, and her wisdom in collecting primary source material contributed to her knowledge. When the Historic American Buildings Survey studied Nantucket, she wrote full descriptions of the historic houses for the group. At the time of the Bicentennial, she did a similar study for the committee awarding medallions to pre-1812 houses on Nantucket. Mrs. Coffin also compiled information for “The History Of Nantucket Island – A Bibliography of Source Material with Index and Inventory,” 1970.
Collection Overview: The collection contains correspondence, clippings, land transfers, Coffin family papers, a scrapbook and historical information on HABS studies of Nantucket houses.
West Family Papers, 1829- 1899
Historical Note: Descended from Charles West (1742-1821) and his second wife, Hepsabeth Paddock Barnard (1744-1820), this branch of the West family was active in Nantucket education, local politics and business.
Collection Overview: Of particular interest are the papers of Paul West (1778-1862) concerning the Straight Wharf, Second Congregational Meeting House and Tower restoration in 1830-31, and the construction of lighthouses in Nantucket. Letters of Sarah (West) Bunker (1839-1915) give additional information about the Bunker family as well as the West family. Letters written to Phebe Ann West (1819-1899) by her brother, Benjamin West (1814- ) and other relatives reveal many of the family affairs of the West family. Phebe Ann West’s own letters to Thayer, Brigham and Company from 1872 until 1880 document her business affairs. Letters from her friends and nieces and nephews in the last years of her life relate West family events at the end of the nineteenth century.
Dr. John Shackford Grouard's Medical Record Book, 1915-1916
Historical Note: Dr. John Shackford Grouard (1867-1927) was a physician and surgeon who trained at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Grouard came to Nantucket in 1891 where he was Medical Examiner and practiced at the Nantucket Cottage Hospital.
Collection Overview: Book contains doctor's records of the course of births, influenza and other diseases of residents of Nantucket and Siasconet, Mass. from Nov. 11, 1915 until May 31, 1916. Names are included. Two or three cases are recorded by Dr. [Frank] Lewis (first name not given).
Ships' Papers Collection
Historical Note: Nantucket Island, until the early 20th century, had always relied on ships for her survival. During the whaling era, great sailing ships traversed the oceans in search of whales. When whaling became unprofitable, many ship owners refitted their ships to carry cargo and passengers on trans-ocean voyages or, during the gold rush, to California. “Coasters” sailed along the Eastern seaboard moving freight from one port to another including Nantucket. These “Coasters” provided food, fuel and other necessities for the Island. Beginning in the early 19th century, Nantucket was also serviced by steamboats. Steamers provided a daily connecting lifeline bringing passengers, mail and other goods from the mainland.
Collection Overview: Arranged alphabetically by ship, these papers include bills of sale, insurance policies, surveys of loss, crew lists, cargo inventories, wages, supplies and lay transfers.
Journal of Samuel Swain, 1813-1837, 1876- 1888
Historical Note: Samuel Swain (1808-1892) was the son of George and Hannah (Coffin) and the Register of Probate and Insolvency in Nantucket.
Collection Overview: The journal discusses the sale of candles and oil and gives a thorough record of weather conditions.
Early Documents / Swain Collection, 1665- 1876
Collection Overview: A collection of seventeenth and eighteenth century documents concerning the Indians and early settlers of Nantucket. Probably originally assembled by Benjamin Franklin Folger (1777-1859). The records include bills of sale, apprenticeship contracts, deeds, letters, marriage certificates and wills.
John H. Shaw Papers, 1825- 1859
Historical Note: John H. Shaw (1798-1872), born on Nantucket, established himself as part-owner of many ships including the “Alabama,” “Mount Vernon,” and “Barclay.” He also invested in Nantucket land. In 1857, Shaw made an agreement with Cartwright, Harrison and Co. of New York to sell spermaceti candles on Nantucket. Shaw died in Lynn, Massachusetts at 64 years of age.
Collection Overview: The papers contain primarily deeds, agreements and receipted bills.
Arthur H. Gardner papers, 1862- 1923
Historical Note: Arthur H. Gardner (1854-1924) was the editor for the “Nantucket Journal” and a member of the Massachusetts State Legislature from 1891-1892 and again from 1900-1904. He was also a member of the Legislature Committee on Education, a Representative in the General Court, Register of Deeds in Nantucket and Moderator at Nantucket’s Town Meetings.
Collection Overview: The collection contains a diary, a journal (written when he was 10 years old), a scrap book, correspondence and clippings. Subjects include local events, shipwrecks, Boston, and summer life in Siasconset.
Engine Company #4, 1871- 1899
Historical Note: In the early days of Nantucket, there was no central fire station. Volunteers operated hand-pumpers which were located in several sections of town, placed where the Firewards deemed most beneficial. Originally known as John B. Chase Engine Company #4, their headquarters were located at the corner of Main and Federal Streets; the building is still standing. Engine #4 was placed in Coffin’s Court located at the head of Broad Street (now the corner of Centre and Quince Streets) and was attended by Peter Chase, Aaron Mitchell and Frederick Hussey.
Collection Overview: The record book contains weather reports, ships’ arrivals and departures, wrecks and rescues, notes from Town Meetings, and records regarding the Nantucket Fire Department including a list of fires through the years (copied from the “Inquirer and Mirror”).
Carey Family Papers, 1809- 1894
Historical Note: Edward Carey (1771-1850) was born in Boston and worked there in the cordage business until he and his brother, Nathaniel, moved to Nantucket. Once on the Island, they established a rope-making business and proceeded to purchase large tracts of land. Nathaniel also built, for all the Careys, a large, elegant house located at 117 Main Street. Edward owned a large farm at Squam, inherited from his father, Edward and acquired through purchases of adjoining land. Betsey (Swain) Carey (1778-1862) inherited her father’s house in S’conset, known as “Shanunga.” From this house she ran a tavern during the 1840’s; consequently the house was dubbed Betsey Carey Cottage. Her son-in-law, Captain William Baxter, was S’conset’s self-appointed postmaster and made the tavern into his post office.
Collection Overview: The papers consist of a story about Betsey Carey, two deeds, and a divorce agreement for Robert Carey, 1814.
Wood Family Papers, 1797- 1868
Historical Note: David Wood (1785-1869) was the son of Obadiah and Martha (Tupper). Obadiah Wood (1756-1825) lived in New Jersey
Collection Overview: The collection contains letters concerning education, a journal noting weather, and a receipt.
Eliza W. Mitchell Reminiscences Collection, 1894-1896
Historical Note: Eliza W. (Clapp) Mitchell, the fourth wife of David Mitchell (1799-1875), was a lifetime resident of Nantucket.
Collection Overview: Journal of Nantucket social events in late 19th century Nantucket.
William B. Starbuck Papers, 1839- 1894
Historical Note: William B. Starbuck (1818-1907) lived with his wife, Lydia Macy (Harris) (1815-1899), and their three children in the “Tea House” located in Quaise. Starbuck had a varied career. He worked during Nantucket’s whaling days as a merchant seamen, whaler and sailmaker. Later, besides being a member of many Nantucket organizations, he was a tax collector, truss maker and farmer.
Collection Overview: The papers contain three journals which highlight ships and voyages, poetry, farming and reports from Nantucket organization. Also included are notes which deal primarily with land and taxes for 1893.
Ewer Family Papers, 1813- 1875
Historical Note: The Ewer family was very involved in shipping and whale oil. They owned ships and took part actively in the silk industry on Nantucket. Rev. Ferdinand C. Ewer (1826-1883) was known throughout America as a theologian, writer and scientist. He was a mapmaker, well educated in geology, and made an extensive study of the geology and topography of the Island. Peter F. Ewer (1800-1855), a successful businessman, acted as agent for his father purchasing and selling ships and cargoes. He operated first out of Providence, then moved with his family to New York City.
Collection Overview: The papers are primarily correspondence which reveals much of interest about whaling ships.
William Coffin Letter Book, 1811- 1833
Historical Note: A Nantucket businessman, William Coffin (1756- 1835) was concerned with the shipment of provisions between Nantucket and coastal cities.
Collection Overview: Copies of many letters concern business matters, particularly the sale and shipment along the east coast of the United States of salt, rice, pitch, molasses, elephant oil, onions, fish, shingles. Many ships are named and their cargo described.
Coastal Trading Licenses, 1846, 1854
Collection Overview: These licenses not only name the vessel and Master and give the date of licensing, but also name the people who have given bond, the place of enrollment, and the tonnage of the vessel.
Unidentified Diaries Collection, 1822- 1875
Collection Overview: Diaries describe people and travels to and from Nantucket and elsewhere and are by unidentified authors.
Eliza Ann McCleave Books, 18??
Historical Note: Eliza Ann (Chase) McCleave (1811-1895) was the daughter of Job and Ruth (Macy) Chase. She was also the wife of Captain Robert McCleave.
Collection Overview: A catalogue of items in her museum on Nantucket is included in the collection plus records of births, deaths, Nantucket history and some information concerning her husband’s ships.
Rebecca Watson Diary, April to July, c. 1840-1848
Historical Note: Rebecca Watson (1831- )
Collection Overview: Diary kept while a student at West Newton Normal School
Thomas Burns Marriott Diary, 1834- 1837
Collection Overview: Comments on: Marriott family affairs and local events Society of Friends in the vicinity of Aurora, NY, Auburn, Union Springs, Cayuga and Ithaca, NY Nov. 29, 1834 - March 21, 1837 (May 15 through June 30, 1835 blank)
Citizens News Room Record, 1875- 1878
Collection Overview: A group of 54 Nantucket men kept and furnished a meeting place to exchange news, June 1, 1875 - June 30, 1878 Keeper: unknown
Autograph Books, 1830- 1911
Collection Overview: Books of greetings to friends, 1830-1911. Books contain names from Nantucket and off-Island and some original poetry.
Telegram Collection, 1887- 1918
Historical Note: Telegrams were found under the floor of the Pacific Club Building, located at the foot of Main Street. This building was the original office of the United States Weather Bureau from 1886 to 1902 during which time the telegraph office was also housed there.
Collection Overview: The telegrams contain mostly personal messages regarding health, funerals, arrivals and reservations sent by travelers, visitors to Nantucket, permanent residents, merchants, political figures, newspaper reporters and insurance agents.
Henry Barnard Worth Collection, 1641- 1905
Historical Note: Henry Barnard Worth (1858-1938) a lawyer in New Bedford, his wife, and his sister, Helen Barnard Worth (1861-1907), devoted themselves for many years during the early 1900s to locating and copying materials pertaining to the Worth family and the history of Nantucket where members of the family were among the early settlers.
Collection Overview: Official records, such as minutes of Town Meetings, Quaker minutes, Registry of Deeds, have been copied. Worth family genealogy is traced and photographs of Nantucket houses as they appeared in 1905 have been included.
Micajah Coffin Papers / Charles Congdon Collection, 1671-1844
Historical Note: Micajah Coffin (1734-1827) was a Nantucket merchant and shipmaster.
Collection Overview: The collection contains letters, journals, account books, deeds, and copies of official records that have extensive information about the whaling business in Nantucket plus information about Micajah Coffin, his sons, Zenas and Gilbert, and other Coffin family members. Included are negotiations with the British during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 to permit Nantucket ships to sail to the mainland for food and supplies. Letters of financial papers deal with trading voyages to France, the West Indies, Nova Scotia and eastern U.S. ports. Diaries give detailed information about the fitting of ships, daily events and many Nantucket inhabitants.
The Great Nantucket Fire Collection, 1751-1907
Historical Note: On July 13th 1846 at about 11:00 pm, a fire started in the hat store of William H. Geary which stood on Main Street where the Masonic Lodge is presently located. There have been many speculations as to why the fire spread so rapidly; some blame the use of gun powder which was intended to stop the fire and perhaps increased it instead. The fire first consumed the entire waterfront area, then spread up Main Street to Centre Street and north to Broad Street. Besides the loss of over 33 acres of homes and businesses, the original Atheneum with its priceless library and paintings was lost. A conservative estimate of loss of property at the time was $1,000,000. Response to Nantucket’s disaster was immediate with mainland communities and organizations sending money, medical supplies, food, clothing and other necessities.
Collection Overview: Circulars, letters, an account book and contemporary newspaper stories tell of the fire which destroyed 250 buildings in Nantucket’s center, July 13 and 14, 1846. The 1846 report of the Fire Department attempts to explain its failure to control the blaze. An account book lists losses in money and goods and amounts awarded sufferers. Over 100 letters of condolence, most sending money, from divisions of the Sons of Temperance, describe the condition of their off- island organizations from Maine to Georgia. Minutes and journals of two Nantucket Engine Companies (1851-1889) and later newspaper articles list and describe other fires on the Island.
Phebe Ann Coffin Hanaford Papers, 1848- 1929
Historical Note: Phebe Ann Hanaford, the first woman ordained in New England was born a Quaker in Siasconset in 1829. She gravitated toward the more cheerful Unitarian doctrine, however, and became a member of this church. She was ordained a Universalist minister in 1868 and spent a long career pastoring, writing, and working for women's rights.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, diaries, lectures, mss. of writings, poems, scrapbooks, official documents, photos, and other materials, of and relating to Hanaford and her activities in anti-slavery, temperance, women's rights, and other social causes; reports, addresses, and poems pertaining to associations with which she was affiliated including National Society of New England Women, Woman's Press Club of New York City, and Sorosis Club (New York, N.Y.); research notes concerning Hanaford written by relative Helen C. McCleary; newspaper clippings and some correspondence documenting her successes and struggles as the first woman in New England to be ordained a Universalist minister; information concerning her love of Nantucket and Siasconset, Mass.; materials relating to her friendship with Ellen Miles; and other papers. Correspondents include Phebe L. Alcott and her daughter, Phebe Anne, Alice Stone Blackwell, Antoinette Brown Blackwell, Charles Darwin, Julia Ward Howe, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Booker T. Washington, and Frances E. Willard.
Helen Barnard Winslow Worth Diary, 1855- 1861
Historical Note: Helen Barnard (Winslow) Worth (1835-1911) was the daughter of George W. and Love Winslow; she was the second wife of Captain Calvin G. Worth.
Collection Overview: Her diary reports details about Mrs. Worth’s life with Captain Worth in Williamsburg, New York and visits to Nantucket. She also gives information about trips made by the ships “Cresent,” “Atlantic,” and “Hannah Crocker” from New York to New Orleans and to Nantucket, describing a trip when she sailed with her husband and her activities when she stayed behind. The books also contain poems copied by Nellie B. Worth and those written by Mary Starbuck Coffin.
Reverend M. Springer Record Book, 18??
Historical Note: Unidentified minister.
Collection Overview: Record book records an Indian legend about the creation of Nantucket and also gives family history about the Coffins and Folgers.
Piece Books, 1794-1915
Historical Note: Piece books contain poetry and bits of prose copied and, in some cases, written by owners. Items were frequently included in celebration of a birthday or in memory of a dead friend.
Collection Overview: Several of the books are combined autograph- piece books, in that the friends who contributed copied material or wrote rather lengthy poems or essays revealing their thoughts. Many Nantucket individuals are included. Many of the quoted materials reveal the thoughts of the books’ keepers.
"The Miscellany” Collection, 18??
Historical Note: “The Miscellany” was a weekly Democratic, Freesoil and Whig Journal published in East Dennis, Massachusetts.
Collection Overview: Letters to the Editor and editorials in the weekly newspaper are devoted to reforms, morals, education, temperance, and politics.
Poets and Poetry / Songs and Music Collection, 1745-[open]
Historical Note: Nantucket produced many amateur poets and lovers of poetry during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Some of their poems were printed in small privately published books or in the weekly newspaper but many survive as individual manuscripts.
Collection Overview: The poetry and songs included here are primarily by Nantucket poets. Many are written in praise of Nantucket but a good many also describe local events and people. Some have value for their style as well as their content.
Nantucket Cable Collection, 1882- 1901
Historical Note: With appropriations from the U.S. Government, a cable was laid between Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Woods Hole on the mainland, establishing communication in 1885 by telegraph between points previously served only by carrier pigeons, semaphore signals or mail by ship except for two brief periods when short-lived cables were laid between Great Point and Monomoy (Chatham) and between Great Neck, Nantucket and Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard. The cable was soon followed by land lines across the Island when additional appropriations were received.
Collection Overview: The collection is made up largely of correspondence between Joseph B.Macy and Daniel Round who lobbied in Washington for the appropriations for constructing the cable. Also included is correspondence between Rev. Round and General W. B. Hazen of the Signal Corps, Eastman Johnson (Representative from Massachusetts), R. T. Davis and others in Washington. Also included are communications regarding the laying of land lines in Nantucket in 1886 and the unequal use of the cable by Western Union.
Winter Club Records, 1933- 1983
Historical Note: The Winter Club was a group of Nantucket men, organized during World War II by Austin Strong, who met during winter months to discuss newly published books.
Collection Overview: Papers include the constitution and by-laws, membership lists, minutes, some treasurer's reports and financial statements, and some publicity items.
Ship "Newton" Collection, 1866- 1867
Historical Note: The German ship, loaded with 2,200 barrels of kerosene at New York and bound for Hamburg, struck the shoals near the shore just east of Maddequecham Pond, Nantucket, Massachusetts on December 25, 1865. The second mate made it to shore but died later. All others perished.
Collection Overview: Letters in the collection express the gratitude of relatives of the Captain and Second Mate for the kindness of Nantucket people in burying those lost when the Ship “Newton” wrecked on the Island’s shoal. Biographical information about Captain and Second Mate are included.
Robert J. Leach Papers, 1976- 1979
Historical Note: Robert J. Leach, a Quaker and historian, has read thoroughly the source materials on the New England Quakers which is kept at the Moses Brown School in Providence, Rhode Island, Brown University, and the Nantucket Historical Association. He has done parallel examination of the Nantucket Town and County records. His research has developed into a life-time project.
Collection Overview: The papers consist of manuscripts of three unpublished books on the Quakers of Nantucket, plus 13 tapes. The texts included represent Robert Leach’s analysis of the first half century of the Quaker movement of Nantucket and incidentally also much of the important history of Nantucket Island itself. “Why Nantucket Quakers” presents the historical facts of the Quaker movement in Nantucket as if seen through the eyes of twenty-one leading Nantucket Quakers. Chapers I through XIX have been read on to eleven of the tapes by the author. Footnotes have not been used but combined as bibliographical essays - also read on tape. “Nantucket Monthly Meeting” is a chronological account of the Nantucket Quakers from 1698-1738. Chapter I of Volume III of the same text is included and is also on tape, but Volume II is not included. “Nantucket Quakerism” records the beginning of the Quaker movement on Nantucket from 1661-1763. The text of an article on the “Hicksite Separation on Nantucket” is included on tape but no transcription of this is among the papers.
Nantucket Improvement Society Records, 1890-1911
Historical Note: The Society was organized in 1890 to promote temperance and morality and to secure public health in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, particularly Nantucket. The Chairman was Henry B. Worth, Justice of the Peace. Meetings continued regularly until 1897. After a lapse of 14 years, it met in 1911 to vote its merger with the Civic League of Nantucket.
Collection Overview: The minutes of the Nantucket Improvement Society report its interest in improving rubbish collection, filtering drinking water, eliminating profanity, planting trees and protecting wildflowers. The Chrysanthenum Show they held is fully reported as are their acquisition of Mill Hill property and attempts to acquire other property. The Society’s dissolution and merger with the Nantucket Civic League is recorded in the minutes of 1911.
Nantucket Defense Committee Records, 1940-1943
Historical Note: The Nantucket Public Safety Committee, set up in November 1940 by Henry B. Coleman, Chairman, became the Nantucket Defense Committee in 1941. Its primary responsibility was to organize protection for Nantucket against air raids or possible invasion during World War II.
Collection Overview: The papers include a list of committee members, firemen and police, and volunteers including American Legion members and give a good picture of the organization of protection, the rules enforced, tests made, reports of violation of blackout, results of scrap collections. A financial sheet gives costs for 1942 and 1943. An inspector’s report describes Nantucket’s preparedness in 1943.
Albert G. Brock Insurance Company Records, 1888-1952
Historical Note: The Albert G. Brock Insurance Company has been selling insurance in Nantucket since 1886 when it was established by Albert G. Brock as an agency for the New York Life Insurance Company. The business was continued by William Cartwright Brock and is presently owned by Albert G. Brock II.
Collection Overview: The records include declarations to medical examiners and the medical examiners’ reports on the applications for insurance made by Nantucket people. The notes give physical and biographical information about the applicants and their parents. The names are listed in the order in which they appear in the books. Books 3, 4 and 5 are indexed.
Nantucket Monthly Meeting of Friends' Papers, 1664-1889, 1928
Historical Note: The Society of Friends (commonly known as Quakers) was the first and, for a long time, the largest organized religious group on Nantucket. The earliest meeting for worship began in the house of Nathaniel and Mary Starbuck in old Sherburne where an organized Friends Meeting (Nantucket Monthly Meeting) was set up in 1708. For a hundred years, over half of the population belonged to the several Friends Meetings in Nantucket town, and the Island was a regular stopping place for traveling Quaker ministers from England including Elihu Coleman, Quaker abolitionist; William Rotch, famous whaler-merchant; and Lucretia (Coffin) Mott, abolitionist and champion of the rights of women. In the 19th century, schisms and disownments weakened the Society on the Island and these, with the emigration consequent upon the decline of whaling, caused a gradual decrease in the number of Friends on Nantucket until they had practically disappeared by 1900.
Collection Overview: Assorted minutes of meetings of Friends on Nantucket, Massachusetts and some documents give a picture of the growth and division among Quakers of the Island. The decision to dispose of their last meeting house is documented. Also included are marriage certificates of many Nantucket Quakers from 1721-1815 and notices of marriage intentions 1700-1850. A record of births, deaths, burials, receptions, disownments and restorations, including a list of members who were disowned by the Society for activities interpreted as participants in the Revolutionary War, is included.
Nantucket Monthly Meeting of Friends' Records, 1672-1944
Historical Note: The government of the Nantucket Friends (1708- ) was simple. Weekly meetings were held for worship and instruction; monthly meetings, for religious purposes and business transactions. The matters transacted at the monthly meetings were reported to Quarterly Meetings and reviewed at Yearly Meetings. A clerk and treasurer served the monthly meetings; a select committee of overseers supervised the behavior of the membership. The final penalty for unacceptable behavior was disownment. The religious leaders were those among the membership chosen as the most worthy. In 1831, ideological divisions first began to appear among the Nantucket Friends which eventually caused the dissolution of the Nantucket Friends Monthly meeting.
Collection Overview: A complete record of the Nantucket Friends Monthly Meetings from its founding to its dissolution is contained in these books of minutes and records of membership. The records of births, marriages, deaths, disownment, removal, reception, and restoration touch not only the Quakers of Nantucket but many others who did not join their ranks. The life style, customs, and beliefs of the members are clearly revealed as are their changing ideologies. The collection is not limited to Nantucket alone since the group here was part of, met, and corresponded with others in New England, New York, and England.
Edward C. Joy Journal, 1863- 1876
Historical Note: Edward C. Joy, born in Nantucket in 1806, was Captain of the Whaleship “Lydia” from 1833 until 1835 when she burned at sea, and of the Ship “Constitution” for her 1835-1839 voyage. He retired to farm on Nantucket in 1894. (?)
Collection Overview: The journal deals primarily with weather and farm activities but also mentions many local people. At the end of the book are brief “Historical Notes of the Island of Nantucket” concerning Indian events, fires, annual population records of 1650-1870, Revolutionary War and local events. Also included are copies of literary efforts, recipes for cures, and a copy of the June 24, 1876 article in the “Inquirer and Mirror” on the construction of the town clock by Robert W. Jenks assisted by Walter Folger, Jr.
Barney Family Papers, 1728- 1860
Historical Note: The Barneys of Nantucket descended from Jonathan and Sarah (Griffin) Barney of Newport, Rhode Island, and their sons, Jacob and Benjamin of Nantucket, Massachusetts and Jonathan of Newport, Rhode Island.
Collection Overview: The papers contain letters, deeds and notes concerning land purchases on Nantucket, the economics of shipping, anti- slavery efforts and some personal family news. Included is information about many early settlers of Nantucket and particularly information gathered from the notes of Benjamin Franklin Folger.
Brock / Goss Collection, 1816- 1883
Historical Note: Priam P. Brock (1789-1832) was Master of the Bark “Franklin” out of Rochester, Massachusetts. He and his boat crew were lost while fast to a whale in the south Atlantic, September 23, 1832. Peter C. Brock (1805-1878) was Master of the Whaleship “Lexington” out of Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Collection Overview: Papers concern primarily the Ships “Franklin” and “Lexington” and their respective Captains, Priam P. and Peter C. Brock, including a description of the death of the former. Also included are documents concerning other family members.
H. Manning Carpenter Clippings, 1923- 1928
Historical Note: Hallett Manning Carpenter was a summer resident of ‘Sconset and lived in the Castle Bandbox located on Shell Street during the 1920’s. His winter address was New York City.
Collection Overview: Collection of clippings from Nantucket newspapers concerning his trip to Europe in the 1920’s and other observations of Nantucket. Of particular interest are his descriptions of ‘Sconset.
Grace Brown Gardner Collection, 1900- 1962
Historical Note: Grace Brown Gardner (1880-1973), daughter of Arthur H. Gardner, was a Nantucket teacher, journalist and author. She compiled scrap books and collected botanical specimens. She served as Vice-President of the Nantucket Historical Association from 1946-1970.
Collection Overview: Clippings in 84 scrap books contain much information about Nantucket Island and its history: churches, farming, architecture, special events, whaling, wrecks, local organizations, people, Quakers, schools, anniversaries, wars, streets and houses. Also included is an outline of a high school course in Nantucket history given by Miss Gardner and botanical specimens collected by her on Nantucket plus letters to her from fellow botanists concerning her finds.
Tony Sarg Papers / Murphy Collection, 1712-1920
Historical Note: Antonio (Tony) Frederick Sarg (1880-1942) was an American puppeteer, illustrator, designer and painter. He also recorded his family genealogy.
Collection Overview: The papers contain much documentation of Tony Sarg’s English ancestors. Materials concerning his immediate family include a diary kept by his grandmother Sarg in 1845 describing a tour of England with her son, Frank, Tony’s father. Also included are letters written by his grandmother and uncle, one showing two sketches probably done by Tony Sarg. Tony Sarg’s own letters include one written while a child to Santa Claus and several written to his family while he lived and studied in Germany as a young boy. A Birthday Book contains greetings from his puppeteer friends celebrating Sarg’s birthday, 1940.
Margaret Fawcett Barnes Collection, 1895- 1979
Historical Note: Margaret (Fawcett) Barnes (1896-1980) was born in New York City to Mr. And Mrs. George Fawcett and was christened Margaret Gilbert Fawcett. She wrote under pen names Georgia Fawcett, Georgianna Fawcett and Margaret Georgia Fawcett. Margaret first came to Siasconset, Massachusetts as a small child and made friends with many famous actors who summered there. With her first husband, Robert Wilson, she started the Straight Wharf Theatre in Nantucket town in 1940. After her divorce from Mr. Wilson, she married Landon Barnes.
Collection Overview: This collection contains: plays, essays and poems written by Margaret; essays, poems and an autobiography by George Fawcett; journals and reminiscences of Margaret’s mother, Percy Haswell Fawcett; a play by George Fawcett’s brother, Alan; plays by Robert Wilson, newspaper clippings, theatre programs, and letters.
Benevolent Societies' Records, 1814- 1976
Historical Note: Union Benevolent Society (1866-1978) was founded in 1866 by a group of Nantucket ladies who met weekly with the purpose of providing the poor children of the Island with suitable and comfortable clothing to enable them to attend schools and particularly Sunday schools. It was disbanded in 1978, its financial holding transferred to the Relief Association. Washington Benevolent Society (1814- ) was largely a Federalist organization, the Society was made up of citizens without official backing or responsibility who met on July 4, 1814 to prepare a petition for free passage of supply ships to and from Nantucket to relieve the shortage of firewood caused by the War of 1812.
Collection Overview: The minutes of the Union Benevolent Society deal primarily with election of members and officers, lists of members, By- Laws, and plans for meetings. Gifts of clothing are recorded but names of recipients frequently are omitted, excised or obliterated. The records of the Washington Benevolent Society contain an exchange of messages with the British regarding liberty of passage for vessels bringing provisions to the Island from the mainland in 1814.
Maria L. Owen Papers, 1870- 1900
Historical Note: Maria L. (Tallant) Owen (1825-1913) was born on Nantucket and a teacher at the Academy on Fair Street. She became interested in Nantucket flora early in her life, collecting and identifying many specimens. In 1888, she published her “Catalog of Plants Growing without Cultivation in the County of Nantucket, Massachusetts. The author’s notations in her “Catalog of Plants” will lead botanists today to the exact locations where she found the plants in 1870 and 1888-1896. Without her notes, it would have been impossible to trace the history of the Nantucket heathers and the Coatue cactus, among others.
Collection Overview: Correspondence chiefly relating to species of marine algae found on Nantucket; and notes used for Owen's book Catalog of Plants Growing Without Cultivation in the County of Nantucket, Massachusetts (1888), giving particular emphasis to local heathers. Correspondents include Frank S. Collins.
Nantucket Brass Band Records, 1856- 1893
Historical Note: Nantucket Brass Band was formed on August 6, 1856 for the purpose of supplying commissioned musical entertainment on Nantucket Island and in nearby mainland communities, the group was disbanded on November 17, 1860 by unanimous decision and then reactivated circa 1893.
Collection Overview: Minutes containing names of members and events in Nantucket, Mass., and off-island, at which the band performed including concerts, parades, fairs, and special events such as the celebration of the laying of the Atlantic Cable.
Nantucket calendars collection, 1899- [open]
Collection Overview: Calendar (1899) published by Albert G. Brock Fire and Life Insurance, including illustration entitled "Music of the Pinewood"; calendar (1910) from the Inquirer and Mirror, including illustrations of historic sites; and calendar (1966) from the Inquirer and Mirror, including handwritten notes (keeper unknown) on various days listing historic events, such as President Grant's visit to Nantucket on 27 Aug. 1874.
Scrapbook Collection, 1793- [open]
Collection Overview: Scrapbooks (54 v.) kept by various residents of Nantucket, Mass., including genealogies, and information relating to local history, whaling, fires, and other subjects. Received from numerous donors.
Clarence King Manuscripts, 1968- 1973
Historical Note: Clarence King (1883-1974) was an author and researcher of Nantucket history.
Collection Overview: Research notes and mss. of writings, relating to people of Nantucket, written with historical and biographical accuracy but imaginary plots. Includes dramatic version of his The Half-Share Man (1972) published in novel form in 1972 by the Nantucket Historical Trust.
Theater Collection, 1842- [open]
Historical Note: The Fawcett Players, created during the 1920’s by Margaret Georgia (Fawcett) Barnes, established itself as a Nantucket based professional acting troupe. The Players began productions on the Commercial Wharf, then later in 1940 moved to Straight Wharf when Mrs. Barnes purchased a building and converted it into the Straight Wharf Theatre. In 1955, the Fawcett Players changed their name to the Theatre Workshop but continued productions at the Straight Wharf Theatre until it burned to the ground in 1975. By this time, Mrs. Barnes had retired and “Mac” Dixon assumed the position of theatrical director. The Theatre Workshop has continued productions in the renovated Bennett Hall which is next to and owned by the First Congregational Church on Centre Street. Productions are presented as community theatre. During the early 1900’s ‘Sconset was known as the “actors’ colony of America.” Legendary figures such as Henry Woodruff, Vincent Serrano, Margaret Fawcett, daughter of Percy Haswell and silent-screen star George Fawcett, and Agnes Everett, founder of the Chanticleer restaurant, returned each summer to build homes and “rest” after a long theater season.
Collection Overview: Advertisements, newspaper clippings, reviews, playbills, programs, and other materials, relating to plays and concerts presented at Straight Wharf Theatre, Nantucket, Mass., which was founded by Margaret Fawcett Barnes in 1940 as home for Fawcett Players (later named Theatre Workshop); programs, and playbills of Siasconset Casino (also known as 'Sconset Casino) and bylaws of the association; and materials documenting performances by other Nantucket theaters and groups including Actor's Theatre of Nantucket, Barn Stages Theater, Discovery Playhouse, Duncan Summer School of the Arts, Nantucket Stage Company, and Whalers' Little Theater.
Certificates of Registry Issued in Nantucket, Massachusetts, 1815-1870
Historical Note: Licenses were issued at the Nantucket Customs District during the years it was located on the Island, 1815-1870.
Collection Overview: Photoelectric copies of microfilms of certificates of registry on deposit at the National Archives. The registers from the Nantucket Customs District give ship’s Master at time registered, place and date ship was built and ship’s measurements, weight and rigging. Unfortunately, the original registers were badly water- damaged and the multiple-copying procedure has made these copies quite difficult to read.
Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Nantucket
Branch Minutes, 1947- 1977
Historical Note: The Nantucket Branch of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (1947-1977) was formed to protect childhood, build up family life, and improve community standards. The Nantucket Branch of the MSPCC had as its main function annual appeals for money to support the Executive Director’s work on Nantucket.
Collection Overview: The papers include the By-Laws, membership lists, financial statements, and minutes reporting work done by the Executive Director with Nantucket schools, churches and local town officials to locate and assist Nantucket families and children needing help, and the help given. Names of recipients of aid are omitted.
Fragment Society Papers, 1819-1836, 1902
Historical Note: The Fragment Society was formed in 1817 by a group of young Nantucket women for the purpose of opening a school for girls unable to pay for their education. When the public schools were established, the efforts of the Society turned to sewing and distributing clothing and quilts to sick and destitute individuals and to the Town Hospital. The Society also paid tuition for two students at the Deaf and Dumb School in Hartford, Connecticut and one student at the Blind Asylum in Boston, Massachusetts. In November 1836, the Society united with the Benevolent and Charitable Societies and became known as the Ladies Howard Society which did much to distribute clothing and money to the poor of Nantucket.
Collection Overview: Minutes and treasurer's reports, documenting the society's sewing and distribution efforts. Includes information relating to economic difficulties experienced by island residents following the War of 1812.
George William Coffin Papers, 1860- 1899
Historical Note: George William Coffin (1845-1899) was born in Nantucket, entered the Naval Academy in 1860 and was married to Mary Starbuck Cartwright in 1866. He was first assigned to the steam sloop “Ticonderoga” of the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron in which he served until the end of the Civil War, during which time he was severely wounded. He served in the “Shawmut” and the “Franklin” until 1870 when he was made Chief of Staff of the North Atlantic Fleet. In 1884, he commanded the “Alert,” one of the three ships to go to the Arctic in the rescue of Lt. Adolphus W. Greely and the surviving five of his crew. In 1886, Coffin was made Chief of the Lighthouse Division until he took to sea again in 1895 on the cruiser “Charleston” making official records of the waters of Manila Bay which were later used by Admiral Dewey in the battle of Manila. He died in Yokahama, Japan on June 15, 1899.
Collection Overview: The papers give a good picture of the events surrounding Coffin’s part in the Greely Relief expedition in 1844 and a complete record of the problems faced by Lt. Greely at Camp Clay in the Arctic.
Ladies' Howard Society Papers, 1836- 1918
Historical Note: Women's charitable organization formed 1836 when the Fragment Society united with two similiar groups to provide care for the island's poor. The Ladies Howard Society (1836-1918), named for an eighteenth century philanthropist, was formed in 1836 when the Fragment Society united with the Benevolent and Charitable Societies in Nantucket to carry on the work of caring for the Island’s poor. At the time of the Great Fire of 1846, the Society lost all its property but managed to continue its good work with the aid of many donations of money, duel, and clothing. With the help of William Barney, the Society was incorporated in 1856.
Collection Overview: Visitors' reports (1846-1894) including names of recipients of aid and type of aid given and membership lists.
Nantucket Relief Association Papers, 1873-1980
Restrictions Note: Collection can only be consulted with permission of Relief Association due to sensitive contents.
Historical Note: The Nantucket Relief Association was founded in 1873 to relieve the "indigent, aged people in our [the island's] midst" (as stated in the association's Preamble). The founders of the Nantucket Relief Association were: Rebecca Coffin, Clarissa Allen, Mrs. Josiah Macy, Mary B. Winslow, Leonora Mooers, Louisa Mitchell, Mary F. Baxter, Eunice Coleman. The organization was incorporated November 2, 1874. Money for the association was raised through social events, donations, and bequests. The group met quarterly, as well as on special occasions when the need arose. Annual meetings were also held. This collection includes account books, books of minutes, correspondence, balance sheets, wills, tax-exemption forms, and deeds.
Collection Overview: Chiefly financial records, including monies received from members and other donors and names of recipients. This collection also includes a folder of papers pertaining to the Union Benevolent Society which, in 1978, merged with the Nantucket Relief Association. The society's funds were transferred in this year to the Relief Association. (The Union Benevolent Society was formed in 1866 to assist in fitting children that they might attend the Sabbath School. See collection 60.)
Children's Aid Society of Nantucket Papers, 1860-1962
Historical Note: The Children’s Aid Society (1867-1954) was organized by Nantucket women on June 10, 1867. The Society’s purpose was to provide a home for girls, 6-12, who were exposed to such influences in their homes as to render it desirable to remove them from their present environment. Care was expanded to include boys as well as girls circa 1885. The Society was incorporated on July 21, 1894 and certified as legally organized, August 8, 1894. Money was raised to support the foster homes and to supply some clothing and bedding. Among the matrons of the homes were Mrs. Narcissa Coffin and Mrs. Anna Coggeshall. The Society disbanded in 1954 and turned its records and assets over to the Union Benevolent Society which was fulfilling the same children’s needs.
Collection Overview: Constitution, certificate of incorporation, correspondence, minutes, treasurer's reports, financial records, lists of members, and other documents, including records of Nantucket families who were unable to handle the needs of their children.
Ship "Globe" Papers / Stackpole Collection, 1824-1980
Historical Note: The Ship “Globe” of Nantucket sailed out of Edgartown, Massachusetts, on December 20, 1822, on a whaling voyage around Cape Horn--a voyage that would experience "the most horrible mutiny that is recounted in the annals of the whale-fishery from any port or nation" (according to Alexander Starbuck in his "History of the American Whale Fishery"). Sometime prior to the mutiny, Samuel Comstock, boatsteerer, had major quarrels with Captain Thomas Worth, who reportedly flogged several of the crew: William Beetle, first mate, John Lumber, second mate, and Nathaniel Fisher, third mate. On the night of January 25, 1824, Samuel Comstock, Silas Payne, Thomas Lilliston, and John Oliver brutally murdered the captain and first, second, and third mates. Samuel Comstock then took command. With Silas Payne and Jack Oliver, Samuel Comstock hanged the black steward, William Humphries, on the morning of January 26, 1824, because he was found loading pistols to use against the mutineers. The “Globe” arrived at the Mulgrave Islands on February 7, 1824, where, for the next ten days, Samuel Comstock proceeded to distribute goods to the natives without any distribution to the remaining crew. On February 17, 1824, Silas Payne and John Oliver shot and killed Samuel Comstock and buried him on the beach. That evening, six crewmen, not involved in the mutiny, cut the lines of the ship and sailed the “Globe” to Valparaiso, leaving the other crew members behind. These men, George Comstock, Peter Kidder, Stephen Kidder, Anthony Hanson, Gilbert Smith, and Joseph Thomas, gave their depositions of the mutiny to Michael Hogan, United States Consul at Valparaiso, Chile. Meanwhile, the natives of the Mulgrave Islands murdered all but two crewmen, William Lay and Cyrus M. Hussey. These two survivors, rescued by the Schooner “Dolphin,” co-authored the book “Mutiny on Board the Whaleship Globe” in 1828. William Lay disappeared and his fate in unknown; Cyrus M. Hussey died on board the Ship “Congress” in 1829 at the age of 24. The Ship “Globe” returned to Nantucket November 14, 1824. In June 1825, the ship was sold out and went to Buenos Aires where she was broken up in 1828. This collection, compiled of primary sources and research notes by Edouard A. Stackpole, historian and author, consists of a list of crew members, depositions of the crew who sailed the Ship “Globe” to Valpariaso, and the depositions and letters of the two survivors of the Mulgrave Islands, William Lay and Cyrus M. Hussey. Correspondence of others involved is also included.
Collection Overview: Collection, comprised of primary sources and research notes by author and historian Edouard A. Stackpole, relates to the mutiny of the Massachusetts-based whaling ship Globe on Jan. 25, 1824, when the captain and first, second, and third mates were murdered by crew members, led by Samuel Comstock, who subsequently took over the ship, sailing to the Mulgrave Islands (part of Marshall Islands) where they distributed goods to natives (without providing for the remaining crew) whereupon crewmen, not involved in the mutiny, cut the lines of the ship and sailed to Valparaíso, Chile, leaving other seamen behind who were later killed by the natives. Includes correspondence, lists of crew members, depositions of the crew who sailed to Valparaíso, and other materials. Correspondents include William Lay and Cyrus M. Hussey, the two survivors of the Mulgrave Islands.Donor Note: Gift of Edouard A. Stackpole.
Conservation Commission of Nantucket Papers, 1962-1970
Historical Note: Official agency of town of Nantucket, Mass.; established 1953 as outgrowth of Nantucket Conservation Committee. An outgrowth of the Nantucket Conservation Committee, the Nantucket Conservation Commission was established on April 5, 1963 as an official seven-member agency of the town of Nantucket, Massachusetts. Its purpose is to promote, protect, and develop the natural resources of the Island. It is further empowered to carry out a program to preserve the open spaces of Nantucket.
Collection Overview: Records detailing the early years of the commission and its efforts to protect the natural resources of the island, particularly the removal of cattails (typha) from ponds and creeks.
Volunteer Aid Association of Nantucket Papers, 1898
Historical Note: The Volunteer Aid Association of Nantucket (1898- ) was organized by a group of Nantucket women as the Nantucket Branch of the Volunteer Aid of Massachusetts to raise money and make or collect garments to be used to mitigate the suffering of the soldiers in the Spanish-American War. The group also assisted other Massachusetts branch organizations in fitting out the hospital ship “The Bay State.”
Collection Overview: Papers concerning the activities of the group, including sewing and the organizing of social events to raise money.
Ladies' Aid Society Papers, 1913- 1918
Historical Note: Formed in 1913 by some of the lady members of the Unitarian Church (also called Second Congregational Church); met at various houses for sewing, planning church fairs, and social activities.
Collection Overview: Lists of members and other papers.
Records of Temperance Societies of Nantucket, 1834-1900
Historical Note: The Young Men’s Total Abstinence Society of Nantucket (1834- ) and the Union Temperance Society of Nantucket (1876- ) were formed to stop the use, sale, or serving of intoxicating drinks. The Societies’ members pledged that they would never make, buy, sell, or use any spirituous or malt liquors and would discourage the manufacture of liquor.
Collection Overview: Records, containing names of members and other materials, of young people's temperance societies of Nantucket, Mass., including Young Mens Total Abstinence Society of Nantucket (formed 1834) and Union Temperance Society of Nantucket (organized 1876).
Debating Societies Collection, 1836- 1879
Historical Note: The Forensic Association (1836-1837) and the Franklin Debating Society (1837-1840) held public debates or lectures once a month. The society for Mutual Improvement (1840-1841) stated its purpose was to “cultivate those social qualities which elevate the understanding, impart dignity to the character and, by a wholesome course of mental discipline, prepare man for duties which he may be called upon to exercise.” The Nantucket Social and Literary Society was formed in 1841 for the reading of original compositions and debates. Sherburne Lyceum (1877-1879) was formed for the “mutual improvement and mental culture of the members.” The Sherburne Debating Club (1895-) was formed to hold weekly debates under the supervision of the Employment Society.
Collection Overview: Records of various debating societies of Nantucket, Mass., including names of members and subjects debated. Organizations represented include Forensic Association (1836-1837), Franklin Debating Society (1837-1840), Society for Mutual Improvement (1840-1841), Nantucket Social and Literary Society (1841), Sherburne Lyceum (1877-1879), and Sherburne Debating Club (1895- ).
Records of Educational Societies, 1821- 1879
Historical Note: Pleyel Society, 1821-1823 To introduce members to better kinds of music as a source of rational entertainment, the Society gave concerts to get money for books and instruments. The Philosophical Institute of Nantucket, 1826-1832 The Institute was made up of Nantucket men organized to promote general science and particularly useful agricultural, mechanical and nautical arts. No political or religious controversy could be introduced. Non-Nantucket residents who had attained sound literary distinction could also be members. In 1831, females and males under 21 were admitted to honorary membership. They paid no dues and had no vote. The Coterie, 1844-1845 Organized by young men and women to enlarge and improve their minds and to enjoy good food, each member was to contribute an original composition which might be read before the society. The Female Reading Society, 1848-1858 Despite its name, the Society included men at its meetings. Its members wrote poems and essays and read these at the Society’s regular meetings. The Botanical Society of Nantucket, 1878-1879 The Society was founded by Mrs. Catherine Starbuck for men and women interested in botany.
Collection Overview: Records, including names of members and subjects studied, of Pleyel Society (1821-1823), music organization; Philosophical Institute of Nantucket (1826-1832), men's group (later accepting some women) dedicated to promotion of general science, agriculture, and mechanical and nautical arts; The Coterie (1844-1845), young people's literary and social group; Female Reading Society (1848- 1858), literary association, also accepting men; and Botanical Society of Nantucket (1878-1879), founded for persons interested in botany.
Records of the Lt. Max Wagner Encampment, U.S.W.V., Nantucket Auxiliary,
Historical Note: The Lt. Max Wagner Encampment, Nantucket Auxiliary, was formed May 5, 1934 as a branch of the Massachusetts group to honor the veterans of the Spanish-American War by raising funds for hospitals caring for the veterans, obtaining trophies for the Battleship “Oregon” and conducting essay contests.
Collection Overview: Chiefly membership records and information concerning auxiliary activities.
Citizens' Association of Nantucket, 1894
Historical Note: The Citizens Association of Nantucket was formed in 1894 so that a general discussion could be held in a social manner concerning all town questions prior to annual Town Meetings whereby private preference could be set aside for the public welfare. The members were any tax payers of the town of Nantucket, real, personal or poll. Dues were 25 cents.
Collection Overview: Various materials relating to questions concerning Nantucket in 1894.
Letter-Journals of Mary (Hayden) Russell and Captain Forman Marshall
Historical Note: Mary (Hayden) Russell (1784-1855) was the daughter of Abishai and Merhab (Pinkham) Hayden of Nantucket. She married Captain Laban Russell (1780-1847 in 1802. Mrs. Russell was one of the first women to go on a whaling voyage with her husband. She and her twelve-year old son, William, accompanied Captain Russell on the Ship “Hydra” 1817-1820. She and her small son, Charles, sailed with her husband on another whaling voyage on the Ship “Emily” 1823-1824. Their son, William, was boatsteerer on the same voyage. Captain Laban Russell (1780- ) migrated from Nantucket to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and thence to Milford Haven, Wales. In 1805, he was Master of the whaleship “Charles” of Milford Haven and, in 1817, Master of the whaleship “Hydra” of Plymouth, England. At Tres Maria Islands, off Mexico, he helped a British captain quell a mutiny on the Ship “Shakespeare.” Shortly after, the Ship “Hydra” was held captive by the Spanish in Callao for six months. In 1823-1824, he was Master of the whaleship “Emily” of London, England which sailed for Australia and the Japan Grounds via the Cape of Good Hope. Captain Forman Marshall Mount ( -1827), a British captain, was the husband of Mary Ann (Russell) Mount (1803- ), daughter of Captain Laban and Mary (Hayden) Russell.
Collection Overview: Letter-journal of Russell, written to her daughter, Mary Ann Mount, describing a whaling voyage with her husband, Capt. Laban Russell, on the ship Emily, providing a detailed account of storms at sea, the perils of whaling, and customs and dress of natives of Pacific islands visited; together with letter-journal of Russell's son-in- law, British Capt. Forman Marshall Mount, written during the last ten days of a voyage ending at Liverpool, England. The Mount letter-journal reveals the loneliness of a man at sea, separated from his wife.
Churches on Nantucket, 1761- 1986
Historical Note: First Congregational Church Papers, 1761-1974 The start of the First Congregational Church on Nantucket is unknown. The Old North Vestry is said to have been built around 1711 in Sherburne, then taken down and re-erected on the site of the present Church building in 1765. By the early 1830’s, the Vestry was too small to accommodate the congregation so it was moved back to its present location and the present Church built. The First Congregational Church was dedicated on November 6, 1834. The church itself has gone through several architectural changes over a number of years. The Old North Vestry was renovated between 1947 and 1949 and is now attached to the Church located on Centre Street. Second Congregational Society-Unitarian Universalist Church Papers, 1810- 1986 The Second Congregational Church is also known as South Church, Old South Church, Second Congregational Church, Unitarian Church, Second Congregational Society, Second Congregational Meeting House Society, or the Unitarian-Universalist Church. Its official name is the Second Congregational Society - Unitarian Universalist Church; the building is owned by the Proprieters of the Second Congregational Meeting House. One theory to explain its beginning on Nantucket is that, in 1809, the liberals of the First Congregational Church felt that the conservative members held too strict a surveillance over matters concerning amusements and recreation. The liberal members (most were wealthy) withdrew their membership, organized and built the Second Congregational Meeting House on Orange Street in 1810. The congregation of this new church was called the Second Congregational Society, becoming a Unitarian church in 1837. The church, supported by the proprietors, started a lending library in 1815 and, in 1818, opened the island’s first Sunday School. The women supported their church by forming The Ladies Sewing Circle. Rev. John K. Karcher, the church’s seventh minister, served July 1, 1863, to February 1, 1865. Tradition states that he appeared to be an eccentric person. In 1959, the merger between the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America occurred. First Universalist Church Papers, 1827 In March 1824, an ad in the “Nantucket Inquirer” announced a meeting for the organization of a Universalist Society at Aaron Mitchel’s home. In May 1825, a report in the “Inquirer” told of the building of a Universalist Society Meeting House on Federal Street where the Atheneum now stands. The Meeting House replaced a private home and was dedicated on November 3, 1825; incorporation took place on January 20, 1827. Rev. William Morse of Philadelphia accepted the position of pastor in 1826 and was succeeded by Rev. George Bradburn. The Meeting House was sold August 6, 1834 for the use of the Atheneum. The Universalists continued to meet at least through 1837 at the Broad Street Hall. First Baptist Church Papers, 1839-1962 At the height of the Nantucket whaling era, the First Baptist Church was organized on the Island in 1839 by ten men and eighteen women. They purchased land on Summer Street from Joseph Chase and started construction. In 1840, there were 88 proprietors. These share holders were members of various Island churches who also believed in religious liberty and tolerance. On June 2, 1890, the Church was incorporated. In September 1960, Hurricane Donna badly damaged the steeple, so a “Save the Steeple Fund” was organized to raise the $10,000.00 needed to repair it. The new steeple was dedicated in July 1962. First Methodist Church Papers, 1799-1973 Methodism began on Nantucket during the years 1797 and 1798 when sermons were held on Mill Hill. In 1799, the Rev. William Beauchamp organized the first Methodist Society with 19 charter members. On January 1, 1800, a Methodist Episcopal Church located on Fair Street was dedicated. Increasing membership caused the purchase of land and building of a new church on Centre Street in 1823. It cost $14,000.00 and seated 1,000. The Fair Street Church building was periodically used until 1864. Extensive improvements to the church on Centre Street occurred in 1840 with a change to a gable roof to compliment the six Ionic columns for the new portico. The Upper Room was built in 1904. Trinity Church/St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Papers, 1839-1955 Rev. Moses Marcus preached the first Episcopal service on Nantucket in the Atheneum January 3, 1838. On March 31, 1838, Rev. Marcus was appointed pastor of the Broad Street Hall (Friends North Meeting House) for use as the Episcopal Church. On April 8, 1839, the Broad Street Hall was purchased, moved to the rear of the lot and remodeled as a Chapel and Sunday School. In its place a Gothic church was erected and called Trinity Church. It was destroyed by the Great Fire of 1846. With a financial debt and no church building the Parish was formally dissolved on September 21, 1846. On September 28, 1846, a new Parish was formed with a new name: St. Paul’s. Services for the Episcopalians conducted in various buildings from 1846 until 1850 when a new church building was constructed on Fair Street. The tiny Gothic structure experienced a severe decline in membership due to a decline in the whaling industry and unpopular pastors. However, around 1900, the Church entered a new era of growth and soon the church building became inadequate for the growing congregation. Through the generosity of Miss Caroline French, a summer resident, the old church building was sold, moved to Brant Point to be used as a residence, and a new St. Paul’s built. The present Church was consecrated on June 11, 1903. Union Chapel Papers, 1923-1931 The idea for a Union Chapel in Siasconset can be documented as far back at 1875 when meetings were held in a schoolhouse and money was collected for construction of a chapel. A lot owned by Horace G. Brooks was donated and the Chapel was erected by Charles H. Robinson in 1883 at a cost of $1,680.00. The first service was held July 15, 1883. The Chapel was dedicated July 26, 1883; its property is held by seven Trustees. Services are held on Sunday in July and August; a Roman Catholic service is held in the morning followed by a nondenominational service. At one time, a Sunday School was held in the afternoon.
Collection Overview: Records (1761-1974) of First Congregational Church (organized with construction of Old North Vestry in 1711; present building dedicated 1834), including minutes of proprietors' meetings, names of members, records of pew taxes, and treasurer's reports; records (1810-1986) of Second Congregational Church (also known as South Church, Unitarian Church, and Unitarian-Universalist Church, organized 1810) including correspondence relating to Rev. John K. Karcher and letters from other ministers asking to preach at the church, and records of purchases, receipts, and programs; sermon (1827) of First Universalist Church (organized 1827; disbanded ca. 1837); minutes (1839-1962) of First Baptist Church (formed 1839) pertaining to the engagement of ministers, election of officers, membership, and the construction of a new steeple (1960- 1962); records (1799-1973) of First Methodist Church (earlier Methodist Episcopal Church, organized 1799) containing information concerning the history and organization of the church, list of pew owners, deed for purchase of land, and programs of services; programs and announcements (1839-1955) of St. Paul's Episcopal Church (formed 1838 as Trinity Church; destroyed by fire in 1846 and reconstructed as St. Paul's the same year); and programs (1923-1931) of Union Chapel (Siasconset, Mass.), a nondenominational chapel (built 1883).
Nantucket and Tuckernuck Acquisition, 1641-1703
Historical Note: In 1635, at the request of Charles I of England, the Plymouth Company, created by James I, transferred Nantucket and its surrounding islands, along with much of the New England coast, to William, Earl of Sterling. In 1641, he sold Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and its adjacent islands to Thomas Mayhew and his son. In 1659, Mayhew sold shares of Nantucket to nine others forming a joint proprietorship of the Island. In the same year, he deeded Tuckernuck to members of the Coffin family. Both these transfers of ownership were confirmed by the British Governor of New York in 1671. With the exception of the brief Dutch occupation of New York from July 1673 to October 1674, the islands remained under the jurisdiction of the British Governors of New York, Francis Lovelace and Major Edmund Andros, until 1691 when, upon the succession of William and Mary to the British throne, Parliament granted a new charter to New England expressly declaring Nantucket under the Governor of Massachusetts Bay.
Collection Overview: Documents relating to the transfer of Nantucket and Tuckernuck from Thomas Mayhew and his son to members of the Coffin family and other original proprietors of Nantucket. Includes summons from Queen Anne, directions from the British regarding the government of the islands, and confirmation by the British governor of New York.
Mark Coffin Book, 1834
Historical Note: Mark Coffin (1786-1835) was the son of Shubael and Mary (Mitchell) Coffin.
Collection Overview: Material, collected by Coffin for Moses Brown (1738-1836) of Providence, R.I., relating to Nantucket's geology, ships, census, principal families, Indians, land transfers, and shore-whaling.
Gardner Family Papers, 1717- 1911
Historical Note: The Gardner family of Nantucket descended from Richard and John Gardner, sons of Thomas Gardner, planter, who came from England to Salem, Massachusetts in 1626. Richard’s wife, Sarah Shattuck, was the daughter of Thomas Gardner’s second wife, Demaris Shattuck, by her first husband. She was a devoted member of the Society of Friends for which she suffered during her residence in Salem before she and her husband moved to Nantucket in 1666/1667. John and his wife, Priscilla Grafton, soon followed. The two brothers were originally in the fishing business but also began accumulating property. Their descendents became captains of whaling ships, land owners and merchants. Anna Gardner (1816-1901), descended from John, had a distinguished career as a schoolmistress and reformer. She taught in Nantucket elementary schools and, after the Civil War, in the schools of the New England Freedman’s Bureau in the south.. She was also active in the causes of temperance and women’s suffrage. In 1841, she called the Anti-Slavery Convention in Nantucket. Anna Gardner also wrote two books of poems. William Edward Gardner (1872-1965), Episcopal minister, historian and author, is particularly remembered in Nantucket for his biographies of Walter Folger, Jr., John Gardner, the Starbuck family, and the Coffin family. He also wrote memorials of Dr. Roy H. Gilpatrick, George Fawcett, Charles H. Selden, Frederick C. Sanford, Peter Folger and Moses Joy as well as “Rambles in the Historic Nantucket District.”
Collection Overview: Correspondence, deeds and other land records, poems, financial and legal papers, wills, certificates, obituaries, research notes, genealogical materials, inventories, and other papers of family members, relating to many phases of Nantucket history. Includes papers of Anna (1816-1901), teacher and social reformer, pertaining to her membership in local women's and temperance organizations; Charles (1769- 1848), ship captain and merchant, concerning whaling and sales of whale oil and candles; William Edward (1872-1965), Episcopal clergyman, historian, and author, detailing research on his memorials honoring various Nantucketers; Paul (1730-1823) and Paul, Jr. (1755-1835) relating to land transactions; ship captains' wives, Charlotte Coffin (1820-1882), Elizabeth Chase (1766-1840), and Susan Gardner (1789-1879) documenting voyages on the Sarah Parker and other ships taken with their husbands, economic difficulties faced as widows, and other family matters; and Gideon (1759-1832) pertaining to problems encountered by islanders during the War of 1812. Other family members represented include Asa, Elisha Pope Fearing, George Gorham, Grafton, Jared, and Jemima Worth Gardner.
Nantucket Schools Collection, 1788- 1980
Historical Note: Education began in Nantucket as early as 1716 when the Town voted to hire a school master, Eleazer Folger. He held the job for less than one year. During this early period of education, “school” was held in various private homes. In the early 1800s, the idea of public schools received harsh criticism from those who didn’t want to support free schools through taxation and from Quakers who, although providing secular education for their own children, did not want their children exposed to worldly people. Private schools, usually run by women, were numerous on the Island but financially unaffordable to many parents. Just prior to 1818, more than 300 children between the ages of 3 and 14 could not afford tuition. Then in April 1818, a committee organized by the Town investigated and found a need for public schools. Little action was taken until 1827 when the first Coffin School was built on Fair Street, created by the determination of two men, Samuel Haynes Jenks, a Bostonian, who wanted to see all the children of Nantucket educated and Sir Isaac Coffin, who wanted to build a monument to his ancestors. Their collaboration established the first free school on Nantucket called the Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin Lancasterian School. (The present Coffin School was built on Winter Street in 1852 but closed as an academy in 1898 to reopen in 1903 as a manual training school.) As a result of the opening of the Coffin School, the Town took swift action, appropriated a large sum of money and established two free public schools in the same year. William Mitchell took charge of the North School located on the corner of Main and Milk Streets. Mr. Spoffard, formerly a teacher with William Mitchell, became principal of the South School on Orange Street. In the years that followed, many public schools were opened and closed to accommodate the fluctuating number of students. Schools, for the most part, were named according to their location, though the buildings were often moved from one place to another which involved a name change. In most cases, school buildings housed various grade levels.
Collection Overview: Exercise books and notebooks of students; records of various schools, the school committee, and organizations related to education; official records, including attendance statistics and teachers' notes relating to individual students, parents, behavior, and performance; and correspondence providing personal perspectives on education and the school system. Schools represented include the Coffin School, first free school in Nantucket, Mass.
Gertrude and Hanna Monaghan Collection, 1930-1953
Historical Note: In the 1920s after World War I, Gertrude Monoghan ( -) and Hanna Monaghan ( -1972), two spinster sisters, came to vacation on Nantucket from their home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and bought a barn on Howard Street with the intention of converting it into a summer residence. “Greater Light,” the name they gave their eclectic converted barn, was redesigned and furnished with precise craftsmanship based upon a scale model and plans created by the two sisters. They also converted the carriage house, known as “Lesser Light”, into a summer home for their parents. After the sisters died, “Greater Light” was bequeathed to the Nantucket Historical Association and is open to the public; “Lesser Light” is a private residence.
Collection Overview: Correspondence and sketches relating to Greater Light, the converted barn, which with its adjoining carriage house, known as Lesser Light, was used as a summer residence by the two sisters, who later bequeathed Greater Light to the Nantucket Historical Association.
Sons of the Revolution. Thomas Turner Chapter (Nantucket, Mass.), 1932-1988
Historical Note: Organized on December 3, 1932, the Nantucket Chapter of the Society of Sons of the Revolution received its charter on June 16, 1933 with sixteen members. The Nantucket Chapter was named after Thomas Turner who served under John Paul Jones and was killed in action between the “Bon Homme Richard” and H.M.S. “Serapis” on September 23, 1779. The Chapter placed a bronze tablet on the southeast corner of the Pacific National Bank designating the area in front of the building as Thomas Turner Square. It was believed that Thomas Turner was a Nantucketer but this was later disproved. The Chapter also dedicated a gravemarker for Reuben Chase, born in Nantucket in 1754, Midshipman on the “Bon Homme Richard.”
Collection Overview: Correspondence of officers with members and state headquarters office in Boston, Mass., bylaws, minutes, and treasurers' reports, documenting chapter history, its charitable activities, essay contest for Nantucket high school students, and social events, including annual meetings with the Abiah Folger Franklin Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution.
Banks on Nantucket, 1804- 1985
Historical Note: The Nantucket Bank Papers, 1795-1952 The Nantucket Bank was established on May 1, 1795 and opened its doors in June 1795. The Bank was located on the corner of Main and Union Streets. On the evening of Saturday, June 20, 1795, the Nantucket Banks was robbed of over $20,000.00. The Directors and stockholders of the Bank accused each other of the theft and blamed many prominent citizens of conspiracy based upon personal prejudices. A Court of Inquiry was held (the proceedings resembled the Salem witch trials) with wrongly accused men jailed and later released on bail. Meanwhile, William Coffin, Josiah Barker, Jr., and Albert Gardner searched the mainland for the three criminals who actually robbed the Bank, escaped Nantucket onboard the Sloop “Dolphin” and buried the money on Long Island. Only James Weatherly was tried, then sent to the New York State Prison where he died of gangrene. Seth Johnson escaped to Canada, and John Clark Jr. was lost on a voyage to the Bahamas. The Nantucket Bank money was never recovered. After the robbery, the Bank found itself unable to raise capital or to meet the requirements for a charter to incorporate. It closed in October 1819. Phoenix Bank Papers, 1811-1814 The Phoenix Bank, located on the corner of Main and Orange streets, was created by wealthy Quakers who were estranged from the Nantucket Bank. Manufacturers and Mechanics Bank Papers, 1825-1846 This bank held a respected position in Nantucket until Barker Burnell Jr., the cashier, was accused of embezzling $130,000.00 of capital stock between April 1843 and December 1845. The Nantucket Court of Common Pleas demanded $43,000.00 to cover the bank’s losses. Burnell made restitution but many questions remained unanswered. A few months before the Great Fire in 1846, an explosion destroyed the bank building located on the east corner of Main and Federal Streets. Citizens’ Bank Papers, 1834-1838 The Citizens’ Bank was located on the east corner of Main and Washington Streets. It was destroyed by the Great Fire. Pacific National Bank Papers, 1804-1839 The Pacific Bank was a State bank chartered in 1804, located where St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church now stands on Federal Street. The bank gained notoriety from defendants and sympathizers of the Nantucket Bank robbery. In 1812, the charter was renewed as the Nantucket Pacific Bank. The present building was erected in 1818. Incorporation occurred in 1864 when the State charter was surrendered and the bank became the Pacific National Bank of Nantucket. Of special interest, the Pacific National was the only bank in Massachusetts to continue specie (coined money) payments through the great panic of 1857. Nantucket Institution for Savings Papers, 1834-1932 The Nantucket Institution for Savings formed a corporation on April 2, 1834 headed by Daniel Jones, William Mitchell and Cromwell Barnard. The institution, still located on Orange Street, has remained financially stable. It is now known as the Nantucket Savings Bank. A branch office was opened on Lower Pleasant Street in 1979.
Collection Overview: The Nantucket Bank papers contain primarily correspondence, statements and depositions of the Bank robbery. Also included are Writs of Attachment against the Nantucket Bank, circa 1808. Phoenix Bank Papers, 1811-1814 contain shareholder certificates and cashier checks. Manufacturers and Mechanics Bank Papers, 1825-1846 are mainly business papers of cashier Barker Burnell Jr. Citizens’ Bank Papers, 1834-1838 contain cashier checks and a transaction book. Pacific National Bank Papers, 1804-1839 includes blank cashier checks and a list of officers and cashiers. Nantucket Institution for Savings Papers, 1834-1932 contain by-laws and correspondence.
Farms on Nantucket, 1822- 1952
Historical Note: Farming was well established on the Island before Nantucket men went to sea to earn a living. There is little documentation for the economics of farming but it is known that the farmers of Nantucket were successful in raising sheep, milk cattle and produce. During the 18th and 19th centuries, much of the Island’s land was used for farming; today only a small portion is given over to raising produce and poultry for local consumption.
Collection Overview: Memoirs and papers documenting farm life on Nantucket Island; together with maps indicating location of farms. Includes information concerning sheep, produce, and dairy cattle, all of which were successfully raised on the island.
Grand Army of the Republic Collection, 1866-1937
Historical Note: On February 3, 1866, the Sherburne Army and Navy Union of Nantucket established itself to aid deceased Civil War veterans and widows and orphans of deceased soldiers and sailors. This organization was abandoned shortly thereafter due to poor management. On April 6, 1866, the Grand Army of the Republic, a national political force, organized and established Memorial Day. The Nantucket Chaper of the G.A.R. was Post #2. Nantucket observed its first Memorial Day on May 30, 1868. At a later date, Post #2 was renamed the Thomas M. Gardner Post #207, honoring Thomas M. Gardner (1819/20-1887), a Nantucketer who achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy.
Collection Overview: Record books, applications for membership, official reports, correspondence and information pertaining to Memorial Day observances and the Civil War monument in Nantucket, Mass., and other materials, of Thomas M. Gardner Post #207, Grand Army of the Republic which was organized in 1866 as Post #2 and renamed 1892; and materials concerning Sherburne Army and Navy Union, established in 1866 to provide aid to widows and orphans of veterans, but dissolved shortly thereafter due to poor management.
Civil War Collection, 1862- 1914
Historical Note: After the Battle of Fort Sumter, Nantucket men organized and trained themselves for combat. This unit, known as the “Island Guards,” became the first volunteers from Nantucket. Later, over 300 Nantucket men served in the Union Army and Navy; most were volunteers. Nantucket was represented at every major battle during the Civil War.
Collection Overview: Records and documents pertaining to enlistments, appointments, pensions, and discharges, of Nantucket, Mass., residents serving with the U.S. Army and Navy during the Civil War. Includes information concerning U.S. Sanitary Commission, a national organization with a chapter on Nantucket which raised money (through fairs and musical programs) to improve the sanitary conditions of soldiers and military hospitals.
Thomas M. Gardner Papers, 1861- 1892
Historical Note: Thomas M. Gardner (1820- ), a Naval Officer during the Civil War, retired from the Navy in 1884. The Nantucket Chapter of the Grand Army of the Republic is named after him.
Collection Overview: The collection consists of appointments and detachments and letters to his wife, Sara C. Gardner, regarding his pension.
Macy Family Papers, 1729- 1959
Historical Note: Thomas Macy left his home in England and sailed to the Massachusetts Bay Colony between 1635 and 1639. He was a merchant, planter, one of the selectmen of the town, a juryman and a Baptist preacher. In early 1659, he became one of the original purchasers of Nantucket land and, in the fall of that year, he sailed with his wife, Sarah (Hopcott), and five children to become the first white family to settle on the Island. His descendants contributed greatly to the history of Nantucket, particularly the local government, whaling, manufacturing and the faithful recording of events of their time. Obed Macy (1762-1844), a Quaker, historian, whaleman, shoemaker, blacksmith, farmer, ship-owner, merchant, Clerk of the Town Meeting of the Proprietors of the Common and Undivided Land, chose to make several whaling voyages as soon as the War of 1812 was over. Upon his return, he went into partnership with his brother, Silvanus, to manufacture soap and, later, spermaceti candles. As partners, they also served as agents for whaleships, merchant vessels and fishing craft. He was a devoted journalist and, in 1835, published the first “History of Nantucket.” Although many members of the Macy family are represented in this collection, its principal value lies in the journals and notes of Obed Macy. It would be difficult to find anyone more fully aware of the significance of the times in which he lived. He makes much of his opportunity to observe many phases of Nantucket life and to record it fully and in relation to events elsewhere in the United States and in Europe. His detailed record of weather and many medicinal cures are also of value to specialists in such fields. The deeds, letters, brief diaries, and business transactions of his relatives and descendants fill in the picture which he so ably paints.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, letter books, journals, research materials, and other papers, of Obed Macy (1762-1844), Quaker, public official, businessman, whaling master, landowner, shipowner, and local historian, relating to many phases of Nantucket life; and correspondence, diaries, deeds and land records, estate papers, business and financial records, and other materials, of other family members, including Alexander (b. 1792), Caleb (1719-1798), Caleb (1764-1834), James (1796-1862), John, Jr. (1674-1751), Josiah (1785-1872), Judith Folger Gardner (1729-1819), Peter (1792-1846), Richard (1742-1814), Silvanus (1756-1833), Thomas (1787-1864), William Hussey (1826-1891), and Zephaniah Coffin (1781-1866) Macy. Subjects include manufacture of soap and candles, salt trade, fishing, whaling, real estate, Coffin School, banking, local history, ships, shipbuilding, shipwrecks, War of 1812 and its economic effects on the island, weather, Quaker meetings, Indians, and medicinal cures.
Coffin Reunions Collection, 1881- 1992
Historical Note: During the summer of 1881, 500 descendants of Tristram Coffin, one of the founding fathers of Nantucket and of the Coffin name in the United States, gathered on Nantucket to commemorate the 200th anniversary of his death. Organized by Allen and Charles Coffin, a three-day program of tours, speeches and dinners highlighted the reunion. Again, in the summer in 1959, approximately 500 members of the Coffin clan gathered on Nantucket to celebrate their heritage and the Island’s 300th Birthday. Chaired by Isabel Worth Duffy, a three-day program similar to the 1881 reunion gave many Coffins an opportunity to investigate their family history.
Collection Overview: Correspondence relating to planning and organization of Coffin family reunions, held in Nantucket, Mass., 1881 and 1959 by descendants of Tristram Coffin, one of the founding fathers of Nantucket; information concerning books published shortly after each reunion, History and Genealogy of the Coffin Family (1881) and The Coffin Family (1959); and commemorative items. Family members represented include Allen and Charles Coffin and Isabel Worth Duffy, organizers of the reunions.
Marcel Emile Alcan Gouin, U.S. Navy Papers, 1928-1938
Historical Note: Marcel Emile Alcan Gouin (1900-1960) was born in Siasconset, Massachusetts. Marcel graduated from Tabor Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy. He achieved the rank of Vice Admiral.
Collection Overview: Aviator's flight logbooks (6 v.) and admiralty flags (2).
Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin's Lancasterian School Papers, 1806-1837
Historical Note: Through the collaboration of Sir Isaac Coffin and Samuel H. Jenks, the first free school on Nantucket opened in 1827. It was called the Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin Lancasterian School and was intended to serve not only as a place of learning but as an enduring monument to the Coffin clan. The Coffin School (as it is called today) closed as an Academy for a brief period, 1898-1903, and reopened as a manual training school. Today, the Coffin School building, managed by a Board of Trustees, serves as a home for the Chamber Music Society and organizations needing lecture space.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, including information relating to the origins and correct title of the school; together with town marriage records kept by Coffin as justice of the peace.
- Nantucket's 300th Birthday, 1956- 1969
Historical Note: Nantucket celebrated 300 years of inhabitance by white men during the spring and summer of 1959. The 300th Birthday Steering Committee, chaired by George W. Jones, included most of the Island’s social, civic, governmental and educational organizations. Over seventy-five events were scheduled for the celebration including a birthday card contest, concerts by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Coffin, Bunker, Swain, Hussey and Folger reunions and a Main Street Fete.
Collection Overview: A large part of the collection is correspondence for planning the birthday. Other topics include contracts and agreements, mementoes, news releases and plans for a commemorative postal stamp.
- Rotch Family Collection, 1773- 1898
Historical Note: Joseph Rotch came to Nantucket from Salisbury, England via Salem, Massachusetts in 1725 when he was 21 years old. He was a cordwainer by trade but soon became a “trader” with his own vessels. By 1765, Joseph became involved with land deals and, during the next ten years, developed the town of New Bedford, Massachusetts. Joseph also established the Nantucket shipping firms of Joseph Rotch and Sons with his sons William (a devout Quaker), Francis and Joseph Jr. Over the next thirty-five years, the Rotch family aided Nantucket during the Revolutionary War (they owned the Ship “Dartmouth” of Boston Tea Party fame) and helped develop her whale oil industry but, by 1800, every member of the Rotch family had left Nantucket to continue their lives elsewhere.
Collection Overview: Chiefly correspondence of family members, relating to domestic matters, and other papers. Persons represented include sons of Joseph Rotch, William Rotch (1734-1828), a Quaker merchant, Joseph Rotch (1743-1773), and Francis Rotch (1750-1822), and William's wife, Elizabeth (Barney) Rotch (1735-1824).
- Albert B. Holmes Papers, 1847- 1928
Historical Note: Albert B. Holmes (1842-1919) served as a Major in the Civil War with the 20th Massachusetts Infantry and as an Inspector on the Brigade Staff of General William A. Olmsted. During the late 1870’s and through the early 1880’s, he served as Customs Collector for the District of Nantucket. Holmes later retired to Livermore Falls, Maine, his wife’s home. He died in March 1919.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, certificates of achievement, and other papers, reflecting Holmes's service with the 20th Massachusetts Infantry and his duties as an assistant to Gen. William A. Olmsted, during the Civil War, activities as customs collector in Nantucket (late 1870s- early 1880s), and pension for his widow after his death.
- Barrett Family Papers, 1827- 1931
Historical Note: Samuel and Nathaniel Barrett, brothers, came from Boston to Nantucket prior to the Revolutionary War. Nathaniel’s son, Samuel D., grandson, Josiah F., and great-grandson, Arthur Jenkins, lived out their lives on Nantucket. Josiah F. was the Sheriff of Nantucket for over three decades; Arthur Jenkins established the Nantucket Fish Company and owned the Steamer “Petrel.” Samuel’s grandson, John W., became a successful businessman on Nantucket owning houses, property, an oil and candle factory, and a boat and shoe factory.
Collection Overview: Correspondence and other papers of Arthur Jenkins Barrett, chiefly relating to his fishing boats and Nantucket Fish Company; papers of Josiah F. Barrett concerning his activities as sheriff of Nantucket County; and miscellaneous materials of other family members.
- Chase Family Papers, 1771- 1919
Historical Note: The Chase family was one of the founding families of Nantucket. They established themselves as seamen; Reuben Chase served under John Paul Jones and was made famous because he was the original of the character “Long Tom Coffin” in Cooper’s “Pilot.” His brother, Joseph, made regular voyages to France, while Captain Peter Chase ran sealing and cargo vessels to Australia and China. Oliver S. Chase, though not a seaman, involved himself as a bookkeeper for a shipping company first in Providence, Rhode Island and then in Callao, Peru.
Collection Overview: Correspondence of Capt. Nathan Chase (1801- 1870) relating to his activities as shipmaster of whaling ship Magnolia (sailing out of New Bedford, Mass.) and other vessels, time spent in San Francisco, Calif., and the deaths of his sons, Nathan, Jr. (1838-1856) and Oliver S. (1843-1868), deeds and land records, and other papers; correspondence of Oliver S., chiefy to his sister, Elizabeth H. (1836- 1903), and other family members, concerning his activities as a bookkeeper in Providence, R.I., life in Callao, Peru, where he also worked, and family matters; and correspondence, wills, deeds, financial papers, and other materials, of other family members, including Emeline Esther, George C., Reuben, and William Henry Chase.
- Grace Gardner Papers, 1897- 1925
Historical Note: Grace Gardner was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in the late 19th century to John and Mary Gardner. Her brothers were Donald, Avery, Lester and Harrison. In 1902, Grace co- starred with Louis Simon, nephew of Oscar Hammerstein, in “The New Coachman” and traveled with it in the United States and Europe. Meanwhile, her parents and brothers moved to 141 Main Street, Nantucket, Massachusetts. In 1922, Grace, then living in Boston, won a suit against her only surviving brother, Harrison, for ownership of the Nantucket house. She died in the late 1920s.
Collection Overview: Correspondence (1921-1925) chiefly written toGardner's friend, Mrs. Eleanor Brown, of Nantucket, relating to Gardner's family life and religious values; scrapbook, including reviews and playbills, pertaining to her U.S. performances and European tour in the New Coachman; papers of her brothers, Lester and Avery; and information concerning the deaths of her parents and brother, Lester, which may not have been due to natural causes.
- Thomas Nickerson Collection, 1819- 1876
Historical Note: Born in Harwich, Massachusetts, Thomas Nickerson (1805-1883) was brought to Nantucket in 1806 where he was raised by his grandfather, Captain Robert Gibson. In 1819, he sailed for the Pacific in the whaleship “Essex” under Captain George Pollard. On November 20, 1820, the “Essex” was sunk by a whale and Nickerson, with nineteen other men, took to three small open boats. After three months of harrowing experiences, he and two others in his boat were picked up by the Brig “Indian.” He continued a career at sea until the early 1870’s when he opened a rooming house on Nantucket. In 1876, he wrote an account of his experiences.
Collection Overview: Original account (supplemented with information taken from Owen Chase's Narrative of the Most Extraordinary and Distressing Shipwreck of the Whale-Ship "Essex" of Nantucket (1821)) of life aboard the Essex before it was struck by a whale in the Pacific (1820) and recollections of the months spent as a castaway in an open boat before rescue by the brig Indian (1821); correspondence (1876) with Leon Lewis providing additional biographical information; reminiscences concerning events in Concepción, Chile (1834), and Guayaquil, Ecuador (1835); and account of pirate attack on the ship Hero. Includes report of Capt. George Pollard relating to Pollard's experiences after his boat was separated from Nickerson's (Jan. 14, 1821) until his rescue with Charles Ramsdell by the ship Dauphin; and information concerning the rescue by the ship Surry of the three other Essex crew members (who survived in a third boat) stranded on a Pacific island.
- Coleman Family Papers, 1729- 1873
Historical Note: The Colemans of Nantucket descended from Thomas Coleman (1602-1685), who came from Boston to the Island in 1663. Like most of the early settlers of Nantucket, the Colemans were Quakers. Elihu Coleman (1699-1789) was one of the founders of the Sizzlers, an anti- slavery group. The descendants of Thomas Coleman contributed greatly to the development of Nantucket; they established themselves as businessmen (they bought and sold much land on Nantucket), school teachers, doctors, and seamen.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, chiefly of Phebe (Folger) Coleman; information concerning land transactions; minutes of meetings of the Sizzlers, a local anti-slavery group founded by Job Coleman (1788- 1875); and printed anti-slavery testimony by Elihu Coleman (1699-1789).
- Miacomet Raceway Association Records, 1969-1984
Historical Note: Using funds earned at its racing events and annual fairs, the Miacomet Raceway Association (1968-1984) awarded a scholarship each year to a student graduating from the Nantucket High School to be applied to college costs. Bi-weekly races were held on the Island, and Nantucket horses also participated in off-Island events. The fairs included a dog show, pet show, produce contest, turtle races, a greased pole climb as well as exhibition riding, and pony and harness racing the Association was disbanded in 1984 when the racetrack was sold to a real estate developer.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, minutes, and scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings, chiefly relating to bi-weekly harness and pony racing and events such as dog shows and produce contests. Includes names of students of Nantucket High School receiving the scholarship awarded annually by the association.
- First Congregational Church / Chadwick Collection, 1892-1976
Historical Note: The start of the First Congregational Church on Nantucket is unknown. The Old North Vestry is said to have been built around 1711 to the 1720’s in Sherburne, then taken down and erected on the site of the present Church building in 1765. By the early 1830’s, the Vestry was too small to accommodate the growing congregation so the building was moved back to its present location and the present Church built. The First Congregational Church was dedicated on November 6, 1834. The Church itself has gone through several architectural changes over a number of years. The Old North Vestry was renovated between 1947 and 1949 and is now attached to the Church located on Centre Street, Nantucket.
Collection Overview: Chiefly programs and research notes.
- Militia Rolls Collection, 1877- 1935
Historical Note: Under Massachusetts law, town and city assessors were obliged to list the names and ages of men eligible for militia duty.
Collection Overview: Alphabetical lists of Nantucket, Mass., men eligible for service, including age, occupation, and address, kept by town officials who were obliged to keep such lists under Massachusetts state law.
- Jones Family Papers, 1817- 1868
Historical Note: Jones Family members established themselves on Nantucket and in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Edward Coffin Jones worked for Isaac Howland and Company, a shipping firm in New Bedford. His father, Reuben, was also involved in the shipping business.
Collection Overview: Chiefly letters and other papers of the family of Reuben Jones, shipping merchant, of Nantucket, his son, Edward Coffin Jones (1805-1880) who moved to New Bedford and worked as an agent for Isaac Howland, Jr. & Company, Reuben's sister, Susan Hussey Jones, and grand-niece, Sarah F. Jones. Includes letters to Edward C. Jones concerning the death of Susan Jones and the suicide of Sally (Gardner) Jones.
- Bassett Jones Papers, 1911- 1959
Historical Note: Electrical engineer( MIT graduate), businessman, illumination consultant, civic leader, and author, of New York, N.Y., and Nantucket, Mass. Bassett was an expert in many fields. He worked as a consultant for vertical transportation in the Empire State Building in New York City. He supervised the illumination of New York’s Riverside Church, First National Bank of Boston, Massachusetts, and other important buildings, as well as designing illumination for the 1939 New York World's Fair. In addition, Jones founded the General Sea Foods Corporation later known as General Foods Company. He worked with Clarence Birdseye in establishing the first successful frozen foods company. Bassett Jones was the author of several books well-known in economic circles. His books are in the holdings of the Nantucket Atheneum. While residing on Nantucket, he took an intense interest in the geological and botanical aspects of the Island involving himself as the founder of the Polpis Club and as a member of the Nantucket Fisherman’s Association (see Bassett Jones blue file for information on gaff-rigged sloop "Nashayte"), Nantucket Historical Association, Nantucket Foundation, Inc., Maria Mitchell Association, Pacific Club, Nantucket Civic League, Yacht Club and Wharf Rat Club. He died in New York City after a brief illness.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, chiefly to Dr. William Gardner, of Nantucket; together with two dissertations, one on life and the other on mathematics. There is very little mentioned about Nantucket.
- Wade Family Letters, 1841- 1859
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Letters from relatives in England to Henry Wade, his wife, Martha, and their unmarried daughter, Ester G. Wade, relating to finances and daily life in London.
- Ships' Documents, 1853- 1872
Historical Note: Permanent Licenses were issued by the District and Port of Nantucket to vessels above 20 tons to carry on the coasting trade for one year. Enrollments guaranteed that ships were built in the United States and that their owners were U.S. citizens and certified the size of vessel. Bills of Sale were issued for shares of vessels which were traded to entitle owners to shares of the profits taken.
Collection Overview: Bills of sale, permanent licenses, enrollments, and other papers, of ships sailing out of Nantucket, Mass., including information concerning description, names of owners and masters, rigging, tonnage, shipbuilder, and ports. Vessels represented include ships James Loper and Zenas Coffin, steamboats Massachusetts and Telegraph; and schooners Abbie Barstow, Atlantic, Eunice H. Adams, George Washington, Nathaniel Chase, Oliver Cromwell, Queen of the Cape, Sarah Jane, and Titmouse.
- Cemeteries and Burial Grounds, 1797- 1961
Historical Note: Old and New North Cemeteries Located at New and Grove Lanes, the Old North Cemetery was originally the private burial ground of the Gardner family. Later, the land was used as a public cemetery though there are no known records to indicate if any of the land was transferred to the town. In 1923, the Nantucket Historical Association became custodian of the Old North Cemetery in order to improve its neglected condition. The New North Cemetery is an extension of the Old North, located across New Lane. Newtown Burial Ground The term “Newtown” was first used at a Town Meeting held on March 8, 1727/8, probably referring to the newly developed area south of the Town of Nantucket. The small burial ground is located on the south side of Sparks Avenue. Friends Burial Ground The first Friends Burial Ground occupied one acre near the south end of Maxcey’s Pond and was used for interments from 1710 until 1760. A second burial site, located at Quaker and Madaket Roads, was added in 1730. There are very few markers to account for the thousands of Quakers buried in the two cemeteries. Only the followers of the teachings of Elias Hicks and John Gurney marked their graves. In 1915, the Nantucket Meeting of Friends turned over more than $1,500 to the Town for the perpetual care of the Quaker Road burial ground. Prospect Hill Cemetery/Unitarian Universalist Section Located on Somerset Road, this section of the Prospect Hill Cemetery (1811- ) was owned and cared for by the Proprietors of the Second Congregational Society, Unitarian Universalist until maintenance was taken over by the town (DPW) in the twentieth century.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, financial records, bank passbooks, minutes of cemetery societies' meetings, card file listing names of persons buried, and other records, of cemeteries in Nantucket, Mass., including Old and New North cemeteries, Newtown Burial Ground (also called South Cemetery), Friends Burial Ground, and Unitarian section of Prospect Hill Cemetery.
- Swain Family Papers, 1750- 1962
Historical Note: Richard Swain (1601-1682) arrived on Nantucket in 1659. His descendants were major Nantucket landowners, particularly in the areas of Long Pond, Brant Point, Muskeget Island, South Wharf and Monomoy. The Swains established themselves as school teachers, mariners and, of special interest, politicians. William T. Swain II (1877-1937) served as Nantucket’s Fish and Game Warden in 1925 and, from 1931 to 1936, as a member of the Massachusetts Legislature for Nantucket. He took particular interest in environmental issues of the island and was a member of many Nantucket organizations.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, deeds and land records, insurance policies, leases, farm and school records, notebooks, and other materials, of family members. Includes correspondence and other papers of William T. Swain II (b. 1877) relating to his activities as member of Massachusetts House of Representatives, concerns with conservation and natural resources on Nantucket, involvement in Nantucket Fisherman's Association and other organizations, and other subjects; and notebooks and other papers of Alfred Swain (1804-1886), including records of Proprietors of the Common and Undivided Lands, pertaining to land use, public lands, and the agricultural, economic, ecological, and historical facets of the island. Other family members represented include Annie G. (Folger) (1807- 1900), Anna G. (b. 1844), Charles F. (b. 1839 or 40), Horace L. (b. 1843), Capt. Samuel B. (1800-1872), Tristram (1747-1825), Valentine J. (1812- 1865), and William T. (1835-1905) Swain, and members of the Hinckley and Wright families.
- Easton Family Papers, 1790- 1900
Historical Note: The Eastons spent a large percentage of their time buying and selling Nantucket land. In addition to operating a wholesale cranberry business on Nantucket, George Easton (1785-1875) spent many years purchasing shares of Common and Undivided Land with the intention of having these shares partitioned by the proprietors—his plan failed.
Collection Overview: Chiefly deeds and other financial papers relating to Nantucket land purchased and sold by family members; and correspondence pertaining to the settlement of George Easton's estate by his children in 1875.
- Folger Family Papers, 1676- 1952
Historical Note: Descendants of Peter Folger (1617?-1690, also found as Peter Foulger); landowners, businessmen, merchants, judges, journeymen, ship captains, lighthouse keepers, politicians, and teachers, of Nantucket, Mass. Peter Foulger came from Norwich, England to Watertown in the Massachusetts Bay Colony with his widower father, John, in 1636. While still on the boat, he met Mary Morrell who was a servant to Rev. Hugh Peters. In 1644, Peter bought Mary’s indenture from her master and they were married. They lived on Martha’s Vineyard, where Peter was schoolmaster and surveyor, until 1663 when they moved to Nantucket to join the first settlers on the Island. Their descendants were industrious, frugal and independent with amazing versatility. Most of them were inventive with a strong mechanical or scientific bent although there were also ship’s captains, shoemakers, lighthouse keepers, politicians, merchants and teachers among them. A daughter Abiah born in 1667 on Nantucket, married Josiah Franklin. Among their children was Benjamin Franklin. Among the family members represented in this collection, the most outstanding are: Walter Folger Jr. (1765-1849) was a mathematical and inventive genius. He never attended public school and was self-taught in algebra, French, astronomy, law and medicine. When only 25, he built an astronomical clock which keeps not only the time, date and month but the year as well, the position of the sun through 24 hours and the phases of the moon. In addition to his trade as watch repairman, he served as Selectman, Clerk of the Proprietors, Sealer of Weights and Measures, and Judge in both the Court of Common Pleas and the Court of General Sessions. He was a Representative in the Legislature of Massachusetts from 1809-1815 and a member of the U.S. Senate from 1817-1821. He was a lawyer, surveyor and doctor for his fellow islanders, handling individual cases as well as the large problem of dividing the Common and Undivided Land, and leading the move toward inoculation for small-pox. His inventions include a reflecting telescope with which he first saw the spots on Venus, a specially shaped oil cask which would hold more oil and take less space, a method for water-proofing boots and a power loom which was used in the Duck Factory run by him and C. Starbuck for a period. In his later years, he began a genealogical study of the Nantucket people which was carried on by his descendants, George Howland and William C. Folger. James Walter Folger, born in 1851, was orphaned young when his father, who was a captain in the merchant service, was lost in Puget Sound and his mother died soon after. He learned woodcarving in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he worked as a journeyman and taught himself ornamental carving. When all his tools were lost in a fire, he returned to Nantucket to carve and tint wooden pictures of well-researched historical interest. Although his art was successful, he was little interested in financial affairs and died in poverty. Admiral William Mayhew Folger, born in Masillon, Ohio in 1844, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1862 and became an Ensign two years later. After serving on the “Hartford” and the “Franklin” and on-and-off in ordinance duty, he was appointed Chief of the Bureau of Ordinance in 1890 with the rank of Commodore. In 1894, he took command of the “Yorktown” and, in 1898 with the declaration of war with Spain, he took command of the “New Orleans” and was in command of the Philippine Squadron. In 1899, he was ordered to command the battleship “Kearsarge” until the end of hostilities when he was reassigned to the Third Lighthouse District with the rank of Rear Admiral. He retired in 1905 to live in Cornish, New Hampshire until his death in 1928. He is remembered for his work to improve the buoy and beacon systems in New York’s harbor and waterways. Prior to his death, he set up a trust which established a fund in Nantucket to construct a building for the Nantucket Historical Association named for his ancestor Peter Foulger. Mayhew Folger (1775-1828) was Captain of the Ship “Topaz” and it was on his voyage in 1808 that he landed on Pitcairn Island and found Alexander Smith, survivor of the famous mutiny of the Ship “Bounty.”
Collection Overview: Correspondence, deeds and land records, legal documents, financial papers, reports, publications, and miscellaneous materials, of Walter Folger, Jr. (1765-1849), mathematician, inventor, judge, and legislator, relating to family affairs; his clock and other inventions; mathematical calculations, navigation, and astronomy; political career including activities as sealer of weights and measures of Nantucket County, state legislator, and U.S. senator (1816-1821); judge of courts of common pleas and general sessions; participation as proprietor of common and undivided lands; and many other topics. Also includes correspondence, diaries, land records, legal and financial documents, genealogical materials, and other papers of George Howland (1816-1891), James Walter (b. 1851), and Admiral William Mayhew (1844- 1928) Folger, and other family members, chiefly concentrating on family affairs, but also covering all aspects of island life and history. Includes information pertaining to education, architecture, common lands and right of pasturage, farming, ships, lighthouses, windmills, whaling, shipwrecks, economic conditions during American Revolution, War of 1812, and Civil War, oil and candle businesses, and other subjects; and correspondence from relatives in Milford Haven, Wales, Guilford County, N.C., and Hudson, N.Y., describing life in those areas. Other family members represented include Alexander M. (1773-1846), Anna Gardner (1782- 1852), Benjamin Franklin (1777-1859), Charles (1753-1818), Charles (1779- 1860), Daniel (1736-1819), George Washington (1810-1849), Mayhew (1774- 1828), Peter (1617?-1690), Simeon (1762-1847), Timothy (1732-1814), Uriah (1778-1836), Walter 3rd (1786-1888), William (1785-1865), and William C. (1806-1891) Folger.
- Macy Family Papers / Cloyes Collection, 1812-1869
Historical Note: Although apprenticed as a shoemaker, Obed Macy (1782-1844) chose to make several whaling voyages as soon as the War of 1812 was over. Upon his return, he went into partnership with his brother, Silvanus, to manufacture soap and, later, spermaceti candles. As partners, they served as agents for whaleships, merchant vessels and fishing craft. He also served for many years as Clerk of the Proprietors of the Common and Undivided Land. He was a devoted journalist and, in 1835, published the first history of Nantucket.
Collection Overview: Letters from Reuben Macy (1798-1870) to his parents, Obed (1762-1844) and Abigail (Pinkham) Macy, of Nantucket, Mass.; account of his travels (1812) to Hudson (N.Y.) and through Connecticut, including descriptions of towns visited and reports of fighting in the War of 1812 in that area; and detailed accounts by Obed Macy of illnesses and deaths of family members, chiefly in Nantucket.
- Papers of the Maria Mitchell Association, 1938-1977
Historical Note: The Maria Mitchell Association, incorporated in 1903, was established as a memorial to a distinguished Nantucket woman, to create a popular scientific center, and to develop an institution where scientific research worthy of America’s first woman astronomer might go forward. Maria’s birthplace on Vestal Street was acquired first; then, other properties were bought or built to house the various activities of the Association. Ida Whiteside came the first year to observe, teach and open the Maria Mitchell Observatory for four weeks. From 1903-1911, Dr. Florence Harpham was engaged to open the Observatory for six weeks. In 1912, Margaret Harwood, a young Radcliffe graduate who had been working at the Harvard Observatory, was appointed as Fellow for one year and thus began a period of forty-five years for the Maria Mitchell Association. Meanwhile, the library and the Natural Science Department were flourishing.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, minutes, committee reports, financial reports, reports of president, observatory director, librarian, and other officers, appeals for funds, and other records. Includes biographical materials relating to Mitchell and information concerning the 1960-1964 dissension over the conduct of the director of astronomy and the acquisition of various properties.
- Common and Undivided Lands, 1659- 1872
Historical Note: The Common and Undivided Lands of Nantucket (1659- ) began as an agreement inaugurated in Salisbury by the first settlers, whereby the Island was divided into 27 shares (one for each original proprietor) and large areas for common and undivided land. This common land, known as Squam, Southeast Quarter, Smooth Hummocks, etc., was used for pasturage of cows and sheep with each owner allotted approximately 1-1/2 acres. The proprietors soon organized themselves into “The Proprietors of the Common and Undivided Lands of Nantucket,” holding meetings and keeping records. At a later date, large tracts of land were surveyed to form “divisions,” each division consisting of 27 shares, but these divisions were constantly being bought, sold or inherited so that landowners no longer owned equal shares. For over one hundred years, this system of the proprietors dividing and owning land endured until Obed Mitchell and other proprietors desired sole tenancy of their shares. They formally petitioned the judicial courts and obtained their setoffs. Gradually, through a process of cancellation and absorption, the amount of common land was greatly reduced, ultimately becoming extinct due to repeated subdividing and inheritance.
Collection Overview: Minutes of Proprietors of the Common and Undivided Lands of Nantucket, lists of share owners, tax records, and plats. Documents the initial agreement of the first settlers whereby the island was divided into 27 shares (one for each proprietor) with large areas of common and undivided land to be used for pasturage of cows and sheep; later large tracts of land were surveyed to form divisions, each consisting of 27 shares, which were subsequently sold, redivided, or inherited for a period of over 100 years, until private setoffs were demanded by each landowner, thus greatly reducing the amount of common land originally involved.
- Nantucket Censuses Collection, 1796- 1900
Historical Note: The Town Clerk and Registrar for Voters is responsible for employing people to conduct a yearly census of the population of Nantucket.
Collection Overview: Censuses, taken annually by Nantucket, Mass., census takers employed by the Town Clerk and Registrar for Voters, copied and compiled by local residents, including some biographical information, lists of occupations, and statistics concerning minorities and the handicapped.
- Folger Papers / Nantucket Historical Trust, 1840-1912
Historical Note: Aaron Folger (1776-1850), son of Walter Folger Sr., was a cooper, mechanic, and keeper of the Harbor Light. Captain Barzillai T. Folger (1808-1850), grandson of Walter Folger Sr., sailed the “Ganges” to the Kodiak Grounds in 1835 and was the first whaler to operate off the Aleutian Islands. Charles Maurice Folger (1840-1904) was a great grandson of Walter Folger Sr.
Collection Overview: Wills and deeds relating to the transfer of land by Folger family members in Nantucket, Mass. Persons represented include Aaron Folger, Capt. Barzillai T. Folger, and Charles Maurice Folger.
- William H. Waitt Book, 1855, 1872- 1874
Historical Note: Born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, William Waitt (1819-1878), merchant, served as a Trial Justice, member of the School Committee and as Justice of the Peace.
Collection Overview: Diary containing entries referring to daily events, deaths and marriages, weather, ships' arrivals and departures, accidents, Bunker and Gardner family members, South Shoals Lightship (also known as Nantucket Lightship), and other topics; together with justice of the peace records, including reports on various types of cases heard and fines and penalties imposed.
- Lydia C. Holway Inventory, 1904
Historical Note: Daughter of Zenas and Lydia Trask of Nantucket, Lydia C. Trask (1836- ) married William J. Holway, mariner, in 1845. Her last abode was at 24 Broad Street, Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Collection Overview: Inventory of complete furnishings of Holway's nine-room house at 24 Broad Street, Nantucket, Mass., including china, silver, linen, and paintings.
- Indians on Nantucket Collection, 1660- 1798
Historical Note: The Indians of Nantucket were led by four main sachems, one of whom was Nickanoose (d. 1684?) who was the one to sell the English their first land on the island. Unfortunately, the sale of land led to a controversy over ownership of the grass and pasture rights on the land sold. With the mediation of John Gardner and Peter Folger, an accommodation was reached without violence. Thus, Indians and white men lived side-by-side in a relatively good relationship until 1763-1764 when a fever, probably Yellow Fever, killed two thirds of the Indians living on Nantucket. The last full-blooded Indian died in 1855.
Collection Overview: Letters of several citizens of Nantucket, Mass., responding to inquiries of Moses Brown, relating to the disease which nearly wiped out the Indian population on Nantucket in 1763-1764; lists of names of Indians who died from the disease; lists of marriages and other records; deed (1660) documenting Indian leader Nickanoose's gift of land to his daughter Askamapoo; and legal papers reflecting the Indians' problem with understanding white man's interpretation of land sales.
- Nantucket Town and County Paper Copies, 1668-1985
Historical Note: As early as 1671, Nantucket joined in the formation of a General Court, incorporated, organized and, by 1699, set about conducting municipal business through town meetings, the election of town, county and state officials, financial appropriations and municipal regulations and administration. In subsequent years, branches of the municipal government, such as Registry of Deeds, Probate Court and Court of Common Pleas, were established to manage growing judicial matters.
Collection Overview: Copies of documents of Nantucket County government agencies, including materials concerning election of representatives to Massachusetts General Court, voting records, records of Registry of Probate, Probate Court, Treasurer, Collector of Taxes, Dept. of Public Works, Nantucket County Home Rule Committee, and others; together with records of various divisions of town government, including Board of Selectmen, town meetings, Finance Committee, Overseers of the Poor, Town Clerk, and Committee on Town Accounts. Of particular interest are documents pertaining to the "Riotous Town Meetings" of 1812 and 1814 and those revealing economic problems and the struggle for survival during the War of 1812.
- Margaret Coffin Papers / Small Collection, 1761-1913
Historical Note: Margaret Pinkham Tupper Coffin Wyer (-1804) was the daughter of Barnabas and Mary (Jones) Pinkham. Margaret’s first marriage to Benjamin Tupper in 1769 ended in divorce and she married Bartlet Coffin (1748-1786) in 1773. He was lost at sea in 1786 and she remained single until 1791 when she married Joseph Wyer who outlived her but also died at sea. She had two sons, Benjamin Jr. and Timothy (1792- 1810), and three daughters, Peggy, Mary and Nancy. During the years 1786- 1791, she supported herself and family by teaching.
Collection Overview: Chiefly bills and receipts, with deeds, wills of Robert Wyer and William Worth, correspondence concerning the sale of Common and Undivided Land, and a few papers of Walter Folger, Jr.
- Worth Family Papers, 1743- 1912
Historical Note: William Worth (1640-1724), a Quaker, left England during the Revolution and settled in Nantucket in 1662. As an educated man and owner of a half-share of common land, he became active in local affairs and served as Selectman, Assistant Magistrate, Assessor and as Clerk of the Court. His marriage to Sarah Macy was the first performed on Nantucket. Some of William Worth’s descendants settled in Martha’s Vineyard, North Carolina or Hudson, New York while others joined the gold rush in California. Many, however, remained on the island and took part in whaling as well as local affairs. William Worth kept a record of Nantucket births, deaths and marriages. George F. Worth (1809-1900), born and educated on Nantucket, was a cabinetmaker who also served as Census Marshall and Postmaster. He and others purchased the Ship “Fanny” in 1846 and, with assorted cargo, sailed to California in 1850 to join his brother in the gold rush. He settled in Martinez, California where he studied law and became a Notary Public, Justice of the Peace, Associate Justice of the Court of Sessions, County Judge, and U.S. Deputy Marshall. During his life, he filled twenty notebooks with genealogical information and personal reminiscences.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, historical notes, genealogical statistics, reminiscences, and newspaper clippings, of George F. Worth (1809-ca. 1900), cabinetmaker, census marshall, and postmaster, of Nantucket (and later Martinez, Calif.), chiefly relating to Nantucket people and local events; and correspondence, deeds, wills, and miscellaneous papers of other Worth family members.
- Ray Family Papers, 1776- 1844
Historical Note: Samuel and Mary (Fullington) Ray of Boston, Massachusetts were the first Rays to settle on Nantucket. Their descendants still reside on the Island.
Collection Overview: Receipts, deeds, will of George Ray, and document concerning the marriage of Betsey (Ray) Hodge.
- Jared Coffin Account Book/Loring Collection, 1795-1814
Historical Note: Jared Coffin (1754-1831) was a son of Peleg and Elizabeth (Hussey) Jared, a sea captain and merchant, kept a letter book/account book recording his travels and trading between New York City and Jamaica, including stops in Kingston and Morant Bay. There are twenty-two pages of correspondence to sponsors and family, and numerous ledgers itemizing cargo, payments and debts. Coffin’s earliest recorded voyages coincide with the breakdown of French-American Diplomatic relations and the height of French maritime aggression in the West Indies. Coffin relates news of piracy on the south side of Cuba, trading booms and busts, and interesting personal information regarding the settlement of his estate and the care of his family.
Collection Overview: The copy letters date from 1796 to 1802 while the accounts date from 1795 to 1814.
- Christopher Mitchell & Company, 1835- 1843
Historical Note: The Christopher Mitchell Company was a prominent Nantucket company that owned ships and dealt in oil, candlemaking and selling ship parts.
Collection Overview: Copies of correspondence with outfitters and whaling masters, including letters of instruction to whaling masters; and records and other documents, relating to ships, ship masters, oil, candlemaking, islands, and shipbuilding and shipbuilding materials. Includes information concerning the ship Christopher Mitchell and others.
- Samuel Haynes Jenks Papers, 1834- 1849
Historical Note: Samuel Haynes Jenks (1789-1863) was born in Boston, Massachusetts but considered Nantucket his home-away-from-home. He was an energetic, outspoken man who confronted important issues such as the abolition of imprisonment for debts. In 1827, he helped establish Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin’s Lancasterian School, the first free school on Nantucket. By the late 1820s, Jenks had been Editor of the “Inquirer” for nearly six years and had established its reputation beyond the Island’s shores. During his years as Editor, he actively advocated his Whig party beliefs and never failed to take a stand and publish editorials on current issues. Jenks sold the newspaper when he was appointed Postmaster of Nantucket on March 26, 1841; he held that position until 1843. He died in Boston, Massachusetts in 1863.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, financial papers, speeches, and mss. drafts of Jenks's column The Fire Fly written for the Nantucket Inquirer (of which he was editor), and other papers. Concerns information relating to his various interests, including Nantucket's silk industry and Atlantic Silk Company, education, Jenks family genealogy, and camels.
- Fish Family Papers, 1798- 1916
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass.; descendants of Preserved Fish who came to Nantucket in the first decade of the 18th century.
Collection Overview: Chiefly personal correspondence. Includes letter (1846 Dec. 17) by Anna (Chase) Glazier Derrick relating to businesses and their owners on Nantucket during the 1840s.
- Sons and Daughters of Nantucket Reunions Collection, 1894-1960
Historical Note: The Sons and Daughters of Nantucket was established in 1894 to “foster the real Nantucket get-together spirit away from the Island, to bring together, at least once a year, Nantucketers, both young and mature, who take pride and delight in calling the Island ’home’ even though residing elsewhere.” The reunions consisted of a dinner and entertainment as well as time to socialize.
Collection Overview: Newsletters, identification lists, programs, and menus.
- Gibbs Family Papers, 1879- 1895
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Various papers documenting Nantucket land transactions. Persons represented include Isabel L. (James) Gibbs, her husband, William H. Gibbs, and James H. Gibbs.
- Defrieze Family Papers, 1832- 1910
Historical Note: Henry I. Defrieze (1791-1871) came to Nantucket from England prior to 1819. He was the only member of the Defrieze4 clan to come to the Island. He had ten children, but the only child to remain on Nantucket was Thaddeus C. Defrieze (1822-1913). Thaddeus served on several ships before becoming Master of the Ship “Richard Mitchell” in 1852. During the Civil War, he was Master of the Westport Ship “Sacramento.” In 1868, after retiring from the sea, he was appointed Register of Probate until 1873 when he was elevated to Judge of Probate. During his term as Probate Judge, he served as Treasurer of the Prospect Hill Cemetery Association and as Notary Public. He resigned from his position as Judge of Probate in 1908 due to poor health and died on Nantucket five years later having outlived all other whaling masters on Nantucket.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, appointment book, disbursement record of ship Richard Mitchell, and other papers of Thaddeus C. Defrieze (1822-1913), ship captain and later judge; and correspondence, receipts, and deeds of other family members.
- Hussey Family Papers, 1703- 1917
Historical Note: The Husseys of Nantucket are descendants of Stephen Hussey (1630-1718). He was a Petitioner during the organization of Nantucket Friends, was active in local politics, and owned vast areas of Nantucket land. Throughout Nantucket history, the Husseys were active in Island affairs, involved in shipping and bought and sold large quantities of land. Prominent members of the family were Stephen Hussey (1739-1805), who was Collector and Inspector of the Revenue for the ports of Nantucket and Sherburne, and Obed Hussey (1792-1860), an inventor who patented improvements in reaping machines and harvesters and improved methods for gathering grains and ginning cotton.
Collection Overview: Correspondence relating to personal affairs, the shipping of goods, property owned, and miscellaneous topics; deeds; receipts; and other materials, of Stephen (1735-1805), Obed (1792-1860), and other family members. Includes patents and information documenting Obed Hussey's inventions of reaping machine improvements and methods for gathering grains and ginning cotton.
- Signal Flag Books, 1820- 1869
[NOTE: Vol. III missing as of 22 OCT 02, per EO] Collection Overview: Hand-drawn and colored pictures of signal flags or "house flags", which identified the owners or agents of the ships flying the flag and was hoisted when the ship entered or left port so that word could be spread of its arrival and departure. Flags are identified by owner, hailing port, and in some cases, individual ship. Fourteen ports, including Nantucket, Mass., are represented in the collection.
- Barker Family Papers, 1720- 1853
Historical Note: Isaac Barker of Duxbury, Massachusetts came to Nantucket prior to1667. His most famous descendant was his great- grandson, Jacob (1779-1871). Jacob, descended from the same stock as Benjamin Franklin, became the second largest ship-builder in America and for a time the most successful financier of the day, practically financing the War of 1812. He operated primarily out of New York City but always considered Nantucket his home. The other less famous Barkers were devout Quakers and large land owners.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, deeds, and receipts, of family members. Of special interest is correspondence of Jacob Barker (1779- 1871), shipbuilder and financier, of Nantucket and New York, N.Y., relating to his business interests in financing the War of 1812.
- Paddack Family Papers, 1755- 1903
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass., involved with whaling, education, and real estate.
Collection Overview: Deeds, an indenture, and receipts.
- Austin Family Papers, 1807- 1862
Historical Note: The descendants of Jeremiah Austin of Rhode Island became prominent Nantucketers contributing to the Island’s economical growth. Joseph Austin (1786-1817) and his brothers, Daniel and Isaac, were successful merchants with a sundries store on Main Street. They also sold candies and oil to merchants in Boston, New York and Providence and bought numerous parcels of Nantucket land. In 1811Joseph settled out of court for $100 in a legal case against Horatio Leonard, Sheriff of Bristol County. Charles G. Stuffs Austin (1840- ), grandson of Joseph Austin, invented and patented a coal sifter designed to reduce dust and the need to go outside to sift ashes. His invention was promoted as an essential item for every kitchen.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, deeds, inventories, financial records, account books, and other papers of merchant brothers, Daniel (1789-1815), Isaac (1785-1864), and Joseph (1786-1817) Austin, owners of general store in Nantucket, including records of purchase and sales of goods such as candles, oil, cordage, spindles, and hardware; reports, descriptions, and other papers, of Charles G. Stubbs Austin (b. 1840) pertaining to his invention of a coal sifter; "Book of Meterological Observations and Notices of Events Occurring at Nantucket" (1828-1837), written by Charles G. Stubbs (1792-1839), with entries documenting weather, ship arrivals, and island news; correspondence (1811) pertaining to the court case of Joseph Austin against Horatio Leonard; and miscellaneous papers concerning business and family affairs. Other family members represented include Edward C. (1811-1879), Jeremiah (1758-1822), and Joseph's wife, Rachel (Hussey) Austin (1783-1857).
- Clapp Family Papers, 1804- 1896
Historical Note: Henry Clapp (1814-1875), a temperance lecturer well-known throughout New England, spent much of his life in New York City editing the “Broadway Journal” and became the founder of Greenwich Village. Timothy Clapp (1800-1842), a merchant tailor, opened the first book shop on Nantucket. His son, Joseph W. (1825-1909), a locally famous member of the Pacific Club, became a master mariner and an agent in Buenos Aires selling sundries and supplies to ships.
Collection Overview: Receipts, indenture, correspondence, and copy of "Lyons Improved Methods", a navigation correction table. Family members represented include Henry Clapp, Jr. (1814-1875), newspaper editor and temperance lecturer, of New York, N.Y., Timothy Clapp (1800-1842), tailor and bookseller, and his son, Joseph W. Clapp (1825-1909), master mariner and member of the Pacific Club, who spent time as an agent in Buenos Aires, Argentina, selling sundries and supplies to ships.
- Starbuck Family Papers, 1662- 1973
Collection Overview: Papers of Alexander Starbuck (1841-1925), author and historian, contain letter book and other correspondence relating to information gathered by him for his History of the American Whale Fishery (1878), Nantucket history, his work for the Rumford Institute (lyceum in Waltham, Mass.), U.S. Customs Service and record keeping in whaling towns, the feasibility of establishing a school of science in Nantucket, and other subjects; diaries; mss. of writings on whaling history, Freemasonry on Nantucket, and local history; and other papers. Correspondents include Alexander Agassiz, Spencer H. Baird, Joseph Barney, Josephus Daniels, George Folger, Phebe Hanaford, Henry P. Haven, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, William H. Macy, E.P. Raymond, James Redpath, and John Greenleaf Whittier. Also includes correspondence, deeds, wills, financial papers, and miscellaneous materials of other family members, whaling captains, politicians, landowners, farmers, Quakers, and craftsmen, including Benjamin C. (1808- 1852), Christopher (1731-1815), Frederick Gayer (1787-1866), Joseph Hatch (1819-1902), Kimbal (1771-1852), Lilla (Barnard) (b. 1845 or 6), Mary (Coffin) (1645-1717), Paul (1694-1759), and William B. (1818-1907) Starbuck.Includes information pertaining to properties owned, Nantucket Monthly Meeting of Friends, voyages taken, whaling ships, whale oil and candle trade, family affairs, farming, and other subjects.
- Wyer Family Papers, 1792- 1906
Collection Overview: Correspondence, financial and estate papers, deeds and land records, and miscellaneous materials of family members. Of particular interest is correspondence of Charlotte (Coffin) Wyer (1824- 1905) recording a sea journey from Nantucket to Valparaíso, Chile (1853); of Joseph (1764-1811), ship captain, relating to the beaching of his brig Betsey on Guernsey Island (1799); and of Henry Sherman Wyer (1847-1920), photographer and author, concerning topics researched for his guide book Sea-girt Nantucket (1902). Other family members represented include Owen (1774-1836), Samuel C. (1811-1872), and William C. (1799-1884) Wyer.
- Allen Family Papers, 1790- 1930
Historical Note: The Allens of Nantucket were very involved in the civic activities of the Island. Edward Allen (d. 1741) served on the Grand Jury, and his son, Sylvanus, served as a juror. David Allen (1762- 1837) served as Nantucket’s coroner in 1818 and Deputy Sheriff for over seven years, while Eben W. Allen (1815-1876) was Collector and Inspector of Customs in 1854 and 1858. In addition, many Allens were whaling men; Joseph Allen (1773-1856) took the ship “Maro” to Honolulu to become the first whaleship in that port.
Collection Overview: Official documents of David Allen, coroner and deputy sheriff, and Eben W. Allen, customs collector. Also family papers of other members of the Allen family.
- Myrick Family Papers, 1796- 1863
Historical Note: Brothers Isaac (1698-1759) and Andrew (1705-1777) Myrick moved from Newburyport, Massachusetts to Nantucket to continue in the business of ship building. Their descendants also made their livelihood from the sea through whaling, government service and privateering.
Collection Overview: Deeds, membership certificates, and receipts.
- Barnard Family Papers, 1718- 1888
Historical Note: Thomas Barnard (1612-1677) settled in Amesbury, Massachusetts but was one of the original nine purchasers of Nantucket. His brother, Robert (1614-1682) was one of the Associates chosen by the first Proprietors to purchase a share of their land holdings on the Island. Nathaniel (1643-1718), son of Thomas, was very prominent in Island affairs serving in all important offices. The rest of the Barnard families figure less prominently in Nantucket’s history.
Collection Overview: Papers of the family of Thomas Barnard (1612- 1677), one of the original landowners of Nantucket and his brother, Robert Barnard (1614-1682), early settler, including deeds, land records, wills, and miscellaneous materials. Persons represented include Nathaniel Barnard (1643-1718), son of Thomas.
- Businesses and Industries on Nantucket Collection, 1810-1919
Historical Note: From the building of the mill in 1666, Nantucket businesses changed as the Island’s needs changed. A sail cloth company, operating circa 1810 in Sherburne (an Island settlement predating the town of Nantucket), lasted only as long as whaling ships sailed from Nantucket. In the 1830’s, an innovative group of men incorporated as the Atlantic Silk Company with the purpose of growing mulberry trees and raising silk worms in order to weave silk. The major products of the silk mill, vesting and handkerchiefs, were deemed of the highest quality and, in 1836, won a silver medal at the Mechanics Institute Fair in New York City. But, by 1844, the mulberry trees succumbed and dissension among the owners forced the factory to close. With the filling in of the harbor, a Marine Camel Company was established to lift ships over the bar until dredging cleared the channel. Eight years after the close of the silk factory, the Friends Meeting House on Main Street was sold and converted to the Atlantic Straw Works under the supervision of Almon T. Mowey. Although this factory employed two to three hundred women, need for straw did not last. Certain businesses survived, however, bridging the transition from whaling to tourism. There has always been and will apparently always be a need for purveyors of food, hardware, insurance and real estate.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, financial records, inventories, advertisements, minutes, legal documents, and other records, of and relating to various businesses and industries in Nantucket, Mass. Of particular interest are records of Atlantic Silk Company (organized 1830s for the purpose of growing mulberry trees, silkworms, and producing silk, but factory closed in 1844 due to health of the trees and dissension among the owners), including information concerning a new machine for weaving silk. Other businesses represented include Marine Camel Company, Nantucket Electric Company, Surf Side Land Company, and Union Insurance Company.
- Coffin Family Papers, 1661- 1962
Historical Note: Tristram Coffyn (as he signed his name), founder of the Coffin family line in America, was born at Brixton, Devonshire County, England in 1605. He married Dionis Stevens, also of Brixton, in 1642 and emigrated to America with his wife, five small children , his widowed mother, and two unmarried sisters. He lived alternately in Salisbury, Haverhill and Newbury, in the colony of Massachusetts, until 1660 when he came to Nantucket, part of which he, along with eight other men, had purchased from Thomas Mayhew, Sr. then under the jurisdiction of New York, and made arrangements for the purchase of the Island by a group of men whom he organized at Salisbury. Later that year, he brought his family to the Island and remained there until his death in 1681. Tristram Coffyn was the leading spirit among the Islanders at the commencement of the settlement, and the interests which he and his sons and sons-in-law represented gave him power to control to a great degree the enterprises of the Island. Among the sons of Tristram was the Hon. James Coffin (1640-1720) who served as Judge of the Probate Court. Mary (Coffin) Starbuck (1645- 1717), daughter of Tristram, participated in town meetings and was consulted on all matters of public importance. In 1701, she became a member of the Society of Friends and held the first Quaker meeting on Nantucket in her home. Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin (1759-1839), Baronet, was the fifth generation from Tristram. Perhaps his most beneficial and philanthropic act was the founding of the Coffin School at Nantucket. Many of the Nantucket Coffins made whaling voyages; others became involved in local political events and land transactions. Several emigrated to North Carolina, New York and California, drawn by dreams of rich farm lands or gold.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, deeds and property records, bills and receipts, certificates of personal events, business records, and miscellaneous materials, relating to family affairs, daily life on Nantucket, properties owned (including ships), real estate in Nantucket and other locations, and business involvements. Includes correspondence from family members in North Carolina describing conditions there; information documenting Sir Isaac Coffin's connection with the early settlement of the Magdalen Islands; correspondence and other papers of Micajah (1790-1795) and William Coffin (1756-1835) concerning political, religious, and social events in Nantucket; papers of family members living away from the island; and genealogical materials compiled by Charles G. Coffin (1801-1882). Family members represented include Benjamin (1705- 1780), Benjamin F. (1813-1899), Edward B. (b. 1826), Elizabeth R. (1850- 1930), George Black (b. 1813), Gilbert (1759-1843), Gorham (1784-1849), Henry (1807-1900), Isaiah (1769-1855), James B. (b. 1811), Jared (1784- 1860), Laurence (b. 1862), Margaret (1769-1855), Samuel (1680-1764), Shubael (1739-1817), Shubael (1754-1821), and Zenas (1764-1828) Coffin, and Margaret (Coffin) Wyer (d. 1804).
- Nantucket Civic League Collection, 1904- 1997
Historical Note: The Nantucket Civic League was organized in January 1904. It owed its existence largely to the personal initiative of W.M.F. Round. A year later, it was incorporated under the laws of the Commonwealth. The work of the League includes village improvement along many different lines, without trespassing in any way upon the various town departments, emphasizing whatever will promote the welfare and comfort of the people of the Island and those summering here. Beyond the income from annual dues, the League is supported by gifts of money. Its work is limited only by the amount of money thus placed at its disposal.
Collection Overview: Correspondence; minutes documenting the league's history and its activities in beautification and sanitation improvement; notes of meetings of executive committee; business proceedings; treasurer's and committee reports; and other materials; together with records of member associations of the league, encompassing many parts of the island.
- Business Papers of Charles G. Coffin & Henry Coffin, 1829-1862
Historical Note: Charles G. Coffin (1801-1882) and Henry Coffin (1807-1900), Zenas Coffin’s only sons, inherited their father’s whale oil and candlemaking business located near Commercial Wharf in 1828 and set up the firm of Charles G. and Henry Coffin with the intention of enlarging and improving upon their father’s business. Of all the ships the Coffin brothers owned, the “Charles and Henry” is perhaps the best known because Herman Melville was a crewmember during her 1840-1845 voyage, described in his autobiographical novel “Omoo.” The brothers took pride in their business, seeking out good masters and crewmen for their ships and, though not all the ships’ voyages were successful, both brothers had keen minds for business and were able to profit heavily even after Nantucket’s golden era of whaling by selling or refitting their ships for trading.
Collection Overview: General correspondence series includes correspondence of the Coffins and copies of letters written by employee James Macy, relating to shipbuilding, candles, ship supplies, various iron companies, whaling, cordage, whale oil, Nantucket Camel Co., and other business interests; account books, bills, receipts, and other records, including accounts with New York (N.Y.) shipping merchants, Cartwright, Harrison & Co., and Josiah Macy & Son, Nantucket-based businesses, and other individuals and firms; and account books with several banks, including Manufacturers and Mechanics and Pacific Bank, both of Nantucket. Ship's papers series includes papers of many vessels, either owned or leased by the Coffins, including ships Catawba, Charles and Henry, Citizen, Columbia, Constitution, Edward Cary, James Loper, Peruvian, White Swallow, and Zenas Coffin; schooners Enterprise and Susan; sloop Senator; bark Oregon; and packet Manchester. Of special interest, are letters written by crew members, ship captains, and captains' wives, documenting whaling voyages and conditions at sea. Correspondents include Freeman E. Adams, Orison Adams, Hiram Bailey, Richard C. Bayley (also found as Bailey), Obed R. Bunker, William Cash, Charles W. Cartwright, George C. Chase, Joseph C. Chase, Oliver C. Coffin, John B. Coleman, William Coleman, George F. Joy, Obed Macy, Peleg Macy, Henry Pease II, Obed Ramsdell, Benjamin C. Sayer, Charles B. Swain, Obed Swain II, Joseph Winslow, and Perry Winslow.
- John James Audubon Letter, 1840
Historical Note: John James Audubon (1785-1851) was an American ornithologist and artist-publisher of “Birds in America” in 1838. While working on the second study of quadrupeds, he traveled in England and the United States collecting material.
Collection Overview: ALS to his son, John W. Audubon, describing Nantucket Island with particular reference to people's customs, birds, quadrupeds, fish, and fruit. Also includes some family news and reports of sales of his work. Nantucket, 7/26/1840. Also typed transcript of letter.
- Herman Melville References, 1842- 1852
Collection Overview: Photocopies of letters mentioning Herman Melville.
- Steamboat Collection, 1818- [open]
Historical Note: In 1818, Nantucket had its first steamboat connection to the mainland. The “Eagle” made trips between the Island and New Bedford for several years before it became a financial burden and was sold. The Nantucket Steamboat Company, formed in 1832, continued serving the mainland and Martha’s Vineyard with several steamers such as the “Telegraph” and the “Massachusetts.” In 1886, in order to nullify encroachment on each other’s territory, the “Nantucket (and added later Cape Cod) Steamboat Company” merged with the “New Bedford, Vineyard and Nantucket Steamboat Company” to become the “New Bedford, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamboat Company.” The Old Colony Steamboat Company ran in conjunction with the Old Colony Railroad to aid passengers making island connections from the mainland.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, minutes, and timetables of various Nantucket, Mass., steamers including Eagle (first steamboat to run between the island and New Bedford, Mass.), Massachusetts, and Telegraph. Steamship lines represented include Nantucket Steamboat Company (formed 1832), New Bedford, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket Steamboat Company (formed 1886 by merger of Nantucket Steamboat Company, Cape Cod Steamboat Company, and New Bedford, Vineyard, and Nantucket Steamboat Company), and Old Colony Steamboat Company which ran in conjunction with Old Colony Railroad to aid passengers making connections with the mainland.
- Gayer Family Papers, 1709- 1712
Historical Note: Although believed by many to have descended from English royalty, the brothers William and John Gayer were probably the sons and grandsons of stone masons in Plymouth, England. John made a great fortune in the East India Company, was knighted in 1671 and became Governor of Bombay and Lord Mayor of London. William came to America and married Dorcas Starbuck of Nantucket circa 1672. He probably was a ship’s carpenter and farmer. He served as Justice of the Peace and also was one of the first representatives of Nantucket in the General Court after its transfer from the colony of New York to the province of Massachusetts Bay. His son, William Junior, was born in Nantucket and served as a seaman until he joined his uncle, Sir John, in the East India Company. He returned to England where he married his cousin, Elizabeth Gayer, and lived until his early death in 1712.
Collection Overview: Wills of Sir John, affiliated with East India Company, and William Gayer, early settler of Nantucket; together with letter from Elizabeth Gayer, in England to her sister Dorcas (Gayer) Starbuck, in Nantucket, announcing the early death of her husband, William Gayer, Jr. (1677-1712).
- Railroads Collection, 1852- 1917
Historical Note: The Nantucket Railroad Company was formed through the efforts of Philip N. Folger, and, from 1881 to 1917, Nantucket had its own railroad company. The narrow-gauge railroad was approximately nine miles, from Steamboat Wharf to Siasconset via Surfside which had its own hotel by 1883 and was a very popular beach. Erosion along the south shore, however, was so destructive that the railroad tracks had to be moved inland twice and, in 1893, a severe storm washed the tracks and Nobadeer Road into the surf. After that, the line was rebuilt abandoning Surfside altogether. The Nantucket Railroad Company was never a money-maker and passed through many ownerships (including the 1895 change of title to The Nantucket Central Railroad Company). By 1917, after trying many varieties of locomotives, some better than others, the owners decided to sell the line. The tracks and rails were torn up and shipped to France along with the engine and cars. The Old Colony Railroad opened in 1845 and ran from Boston to Plymouth and from Fall River to Myricks, Massachusetts. It was conceded that the Old Colony was one of the finest railroad companies in Massachusetts because it offered connections to principal places of interest in the state. Nantucket was accessible via the Old Colony Steamers which departed from Woods Hole. The Fall River and Woods Hole Line, division of the Old Colony Railroad, ran steamers out of New York to Fall River to connect with express trains bound for Woods Hole to make the ferry connection to either Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket. This service was available during the summer months.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, reports, tickets, timetables, and brochures of railroads serving Nantucket, Mass. Includes records of Nantucket Railroad Company, subsequently renamed Nantucket Central Railroad Company, which provided service on the island from 1881 to 1917; and of Old Colony Railroad which served island-bound passengers on the mainland.
- Young Men's Clubs Papers, 1830- 1908
Historical Note: Boys Improvement and Industry Association was formed by women to improve boys’ morals. The Union Club was formed by fifteen-year-old boys for games and occasional debates. The Young Mens Society was organized by young men for mutual improvement.
Collection Overview: Constitutions, bylaws, and minutes, reflecting the attempts of young men and their mothers and female teachers to improve the morals and manners of boys and young men of Nantucket, Mass. Organizations represented include Boys Improvement and Industry Association, Union Club, and Young Mens Society.
- Hepsabeth (Russell) Bunker Diary, 1849- 1858
Historical Note: Owner of tailor shop in Nantucket, Mass.; wife of ship captain, David P. Bunker II who died at sea in 1855; later married William Clisby; b. Hepsabeth C. Russell, daughter of Alexander and Maria (Coffin) Russell.
Collection Overview: Diary reflecting Nantucket life with reports of arrival and and departure of ships, cargoes lost, social events, weather, deaths and marriages, special events such as the laying of the cable from Nantucket to Cape Cod, and her husband, son, William Russell Bunker, and other family members. There are no entries dated 1852-1854.
- Bunker, Winslow / Terry Collection, 1787-1924
Historical Note: Lauriston Hall Bunker (1849-1934), son of David C. and Sarah P. (Wood), served as Notary Public in Nantucket, and Town Clerk and Register of Deeds. David C. Bunker (1818-1890) was Master of the Ship “Henry” in 1853. Susan C. (Sprague) Winslow (1827-1868) accompanied her husband Joseph Winslow, Master of the Ship “Constitution,” during its 1857-1863 voyage.
Collection Overview: Papers of Bunker, Winslow, and related families, of Nantucket, Mass. Contains papers of David Bunker (1818-1890), ship captain, including records of ship Henry and information concerning a whaling voyage (1853-1858) and ports in Hawaii and Chile; correspondence, financial records, and legal documents, of Lauriston Bunker (1849-1934), notary public, including copies of court cases involving various ships sailing in Nantucket waters; correspondence, poems, and other papers, of Lydia B. Gardner (b. 1844) and other Gardner family members, relating to daily events and family affairs; correspondence, diaries, genealogical materials, poems, and other papers of Winslow family members, including Clara Ann (1857-1946), Emily (b. 1862), Perry (1815-1890), and Susan C. (Sprague) (1827-1868); Winslow and papers of other family members. Of particular interest is Susan C. Sprague Winslow's descriptions of a whaling voyage (1858-1860) taken with her husband, Captain Joseph Winslow, on the ship Constitution. Some correspondence in French and Spanish.
- Henry B. Caverly Papers, 1841- 1848
Historical Note: Henry B. Caverly ( - ), was a crew member on the Bark “Cora” in 1841 and boatsteerer on the Ship “Norman” in 1845.
Collection Overview: Photocopies of letters.
- Protection Documents for Seamen, 1819- 1860
Historical Note: Protection documents were issued to seamen by District Port Collectors or Consuls. These documents are similar to passports and certify American citizenship.
Collection Overview: Documents, owned by Nantucket, Mass., seamen and whalers, issued by U.S. customs officials or consuls, certifying American citizenship. Includes information as to the physical characteristics of the men.
- Smith Family Papers, 1798- 1915
Historical Note: Sarah Winthrop Smith wrote extensively and published a book in 1901 on the botany and physiography of Nantucket. Emily Smith (1841-1933) kept a diary which included life on Nantucket. Gilbert Smith and his brother, John, were Martha’s Vineyard whaling captains during the second half of the 19th century.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, deeds, and other papers, of brothers Gilbert and John Smith, ship captains and whaling masters, of Martha's Vineyard, Mass., relating to whaling voyages, properties owned, and family affairs; diary of Emily Smith (1841-1933), of Nantucket, recording the weather and family and local events; notebooks and other papers of Sarah Winthrop Smith, concerning physiography (geomorphology) and botany of Nantucket and the publication of her book Nantucket (1901); and miscellaneous papers of other family members. Correspondents of Gilbert Smith include Jonathan Bourne, Jr., of New Bedford, Mass., agent and part owner of the whaling ship Northern Light which was mastered by Smith.
- Pinkham Family Papers, 1734- 1852
Historical Note: Ship captains, lighthouse keepers, and businessmen, of Nantucket, Mass. Richard Pinkham ( -1718) came from the Isle of Wight to Nantucket about 1680 aboard the Sloop “Rochester.” It is said he was a man of good character. He was a member of the Society of Friends as were many of his descendants. Richard’s great-great-grandson, Lt. Alexander Bunker Pinkham, descended from a family of seafarers. He went whaling before he was fifteen. Alexander took command of Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin’s school ship “Clio” in 1829. Alexander’s younger brother, Reuben G., served in the Navy and also attained the rank of Lieutenant; he died in October 1839 while serving on board the Frigate “Constitution” known as “Old Ironsides.” Paul Pinkham (1736-1799) also had an interest in the sea but he returned to land as Keeper of the Nantucket (Great Point) Lighthouse. He was a famous pilot and made several charts and maps of the Nantucket shoals. Paul’s son, Paul Jr. (1763-1807), was a very successful trader purchasing Nantucket land and shares of ships. He moved off-Island in 1799. Other members of the Pinkham family were interested in education and real estate.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, wills, deeds, financial papers, and other materials, of Alexander Bunker (b. 1792), Daniel (1697- 1770), Paul (1736-1799), Paul, Jr. (1763-1807), Reuben Gardner (1787- 1856), and other Pinkham family members. Includes information relating to Alexander Bunker's activities as shipmaster of brig Clio; documentation concerning Paul's years spent as keeper of Great Point Light (also known as Nantucket Light); real estate records; and records of the purchase of various ships by Paul Pinkham, Jr.
- Plays Collection, 1902- 1982
Collection Overview: Several short plays, some by on-and-off residents of Nantucket Island; and screenplay of Melville's Moby Dick, adapted by Bradbury.
- Winslow Family Papers, 1809- 1947
Historical Note: Dr. Charles F. Winslow, born on Nantucket and educated in the medical profession, traveled extensively in the West and the South Seas. During his stay in Peru, he was appointed Consul to the United States in 1862. After returning to America, Dr. Winslow began working on molecular theory and today is considered the inventor of the atomic bomb theory. Before his death in 1877, Dr. Winslow requested in his will that his heart be removed from his body and buried at the Newtown Burial Ground on Nantucket. (see cemetery inscription database for image of marker) Dr. Winslow's first cousins, brothers Joseph and Perry Winslow, were whaling captains. Joseph was master on two voyages of the Ship “Constitution” and the 1866 voyage of the Ship “Amy.” Perry Winslow was Master of the Ships “Phoenix” in 1844 and 1848, “Elizabeth” of New Bedford in 1859, and the “Edward Cary” in 1854. During the 1854 voyage of the “Edward Cary,” Captain Perry took along his daughter, Sarah B., and his son, John M. Winslow.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, diary, maps, and other materials of Charles F. Winslow (1811-1877), physician, scientist, diplomat, and world traveller, relating to his early medical practice in Nantucket, astronomical and geological observations, his travels, theories of Charles Darwin, and other topics; correspondence and other papers of Perry Winslow (1815-1890), ship captain, concerning whaling voyages on the ships Phoenix, Elizabeth, and Edward Cary, women on whaling voyages, and family matters; and papers of other family members including Clara Ann (1857-1946), John M. (b. 1844), Mary Ann (Morrow) (1820-1900, wife of Perry), and Sarah Bunker (b. 1854) Winslow. Correspondents of Charles F. Winslow include Michael Faraday.
- Peter and Paul Barney Papers, 1802- 1871
Historical Note: Peter Barney (1757-1838), born in Nantucket, was the son of Benjamin and Jemima (Jenkins). He married Sarah (Coleman), Ann (Hussey) and Eliza (Macy) (Howland). As early as 1805, he became involved in business affairs in New Bedford where he died. Paul Barney (1781-1836), born in Nantucket, son of Peter and Sarah (Coleman), husband of Mary (Coffin), Rebecca (Howland) and Eliza (Coleman) (Barker). He died in New Bedford.
Collection Overview: Photocopies of letters to Peter and Paul Barney and crew lists.
- Thomas Mayhew Papers, 1659- 1695
Historical Note: Thomas Mayhew (1592-1682) was born in Southampton, England and moved to America in 1633 or 1634. He settled in Watertown, Massachusetts and operated mills and a farm. In 1641, Nantucket was deeded to Thomas Mayhew and his son, Thomas, by an agent of the Earl of Sterling. In 1642, Mayhew purchased Martha’s Vineyard and sent his son, Thomas, and several others to settle in what is now Edgartown. In July 1659, Mayhew sold all but one tenth of Nantucket to nine Proprietors. Later in that year, Mayhew sold Tuckernuck for 5 pounds to Tristram Coffyn, Sr., Peter Coffin, Tristram Coffin, Jr., and James Coffin. By this time., Thomas Mayhew, Sr. had moved to Martha’s Vineyard where he remained until his death in 1682.
Collection Overview: Grant and deed concerning Nantucket land.
- Recipes and Cookbooks, 1795- 1951
Collection Overview: Recipes gathered by Nantucket individuals and groups. Hints on etiquette and child management are also included.
- Medicine and Medicinal Recipes, 1814- 1845
Historical Note: Medical practitioners, whether doctors, nurses, or mid-wives, tended the medical needs of the Nantucketers. Many of these people were self-taught. In addition, there were Islanders who invented remedies, tools, and new methods for treating physical problems. For those men on board ships, a medicine chest was provided, stocked with remedies and a laymen’s medical encyclopedia listing ailments and their cures. The “doctor” on board ship was usually the Captain whose medical duties ranged from delivering babies to amputations.
Collection Overview: Prescriptions used by ship captains and others serving as ship's doctors sailing on vessels out of Nantucket, Mass., two books for medicine chests, two issues of The Graham Journal of Health and Longevity, Reuben Macy's book of medical recipes, and other papers.
- The Nantucket Agricultural Society Records, 1856-1949
Historical Note: The first agricultural exhibition was held October 28, 1856 in the Atheneum with public exercises in the Methodist Church. Cattle were exhibited on the vacant lot located at the corner of Federal and Chestnut Streets. By the early 1860’s, the Nantucket Agricultural Society was officially organized and acquired a piece of land, now occupied by the Electric Company. Here, the Society sponsored an annual cattle show and fair with a large variety of exhibits. The Society even had a song composed by Andrew M. Folger. By the early 20th century, the annual fair occurred in late August or early September, a time considered too early for a county fair by many Nantucketers since they had just concluded a hectic summer tourist season. This attitude, along with the decline of the horse on Nantucket, resulted in the Society’s final fair in 1934. Sometime in the 1950s, the Nantucket Agricultural Society sold the fairgrounds and reactivated in Foxboro, Massachusetts, continuing to sponsor harness racing. Though this action was protested (many believed that Nantucket should again have a county fair), a scholarship fund was benefited by the race winnings.
Collection Overview: Reports by judging committees, notebooks containing list of items exhibited at the society's annual cattle show and fair, meeting notices, programs, diplomas, and other materials.
- Russell Family Papers, 1786- 1892
Historical Note: Landowners and whaling masters, of Nantucket, Mass.; descendants of Daniel Russell (1680-1766). Daniel Russell (1680-1766) came from Rhode Island and established the Russell family on Nantucket. Many of his male descendants remained on Nantucket and became whaling masters. Daniel Russell (1784-1858) was perhaps the most famous of the whaling Russells because he was the Master of the Ship “Essex” on her 1811, 1815 and 1817 voyages. (The “Essex,” under the command of Captain George Pollard, Jr., was attacked and sunk by a sperm whale on November 20, 1820. This event was the inspiration for the climax of Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick.”) The Russell women were strong in character, keeping the family intact while their husbands were off on whaling voyages which usually lasted two to four years.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, deeds, and other papers, relating to family affairs, real estate owned, Nantucket fires, economic effects on the island during the Civil War, whaling, and other topics. Family members represented include Alexander (1790-1834), Ann M. (b. 1820), Charles F. (b. 1831), Eliza Morris (1808-1881), Eliza Winslow (1792- 1885), Jane F. (1816-1842, Mrs. Thomas Andrews), Jonathan (d. 1791), Maria Coffin (1796-1861), Reuben (b. 1799), and Silvanus (1736-1819) Russell.
- Centennial Celebrations of Nantucket Collection, 1895
Collection Overview: Record book of centennial committee, programs, newspapers, and other mementoes, concerning the 100th anniversary of the name change from Sherburne to Nantucket, Mass., and the 200th anniversary of the incorporation of Nantucket County, and related events held July 9- 11, 1895.
- Riddell Family Papers, 1812- 1925
Historical Note: Descendants of Samuel (1748-1823) and Judith (Coleman) Riddell (1751-1822); residents of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, deeds, financial papers, insurance policies, and other materials, of and relating to family members, including Samuel's sons Henry (1769-1840), ropemaker, and Lindsey Riddell (1776-1841), shipmaster and owner. Contains financial documents concerning the sloop Henry, owned by Lindsey Riddell.
- Mooers Family Papers, 1801- 1905
Historical Note: Descendants of Jonathan Mooers (d. 1740); whalers, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, receipts, power of attorney, and other papers, of Charles C. (1818-1891) and his brother, William C. (1823-1900) Mooers, and other family members, relating to daily affairs, Charles's service on board the barks Kathleen (sailing out of New Bedford, Mass.) and Sea Queen, and William's duties as cooper on the ship Columbia during her 1841-1845 voyage.
- David. G. Patterson Papers, 1861- 1887
Historical Note: Ship captain, businessman, and owner of wrecking and fishing business, of Nantucket and later Boston, Mass., area.
Collection Overview: Memoirs and accounts of lifesaving, rescue, and salvage operations of shipwrecks off Nantucket Island in which Patterson participated; autobiography; and information documenting his activities as member of Society of California Pioneers of New England. Vessels represented include Forest Prince, Halifax, Jacob Perkins, Laura, Liverpool, Pedee, Salem, Shenunga, and Venus.
- Mott Family Papers, 1765- 1960
Historical Note: Quakers, of New England and various communitiesin Long Island, N.Y. Lucretia Mott was one of the foremost reformers of the 19th century and a mentor of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, transcripts, poems, press releases, and printed materials, of and relating to James Mott (1788-1868) and his wife, Lucretia (Coffin) Mott (1793-1880), teachers, lecturers, abolitionists, and human rights workers, of Long Island, N.Y., and Philadelphia, Pa., relating to their travels on the lecture circuit on the East Coast and in Ohio, anti-slavery activities, Hicksite division of Society of Friends, women's rights, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting, Quaker doctrine, peace, great fire of Nantucket (1846), family news, and other subjects; and papers and other materials of Maria Mott (1798-1816) of Mamaroneck, N.Y., and other family members. Correspondents of James and Lucretia Mott include Nathaniel and Eliza (Starbuck) Barney, of Nantucket, Mass.
- Robert Shaw Barlow Diary, 1884
Historical Note: Resident of New York, N.Y.
Collection Overview: Diary recording Barlow's trip to Nantucket, Mass., with his father, Gen. Francis Channing Barlow, for bird shooting in Sept. 1884, describing the varieties and numbers of birds shot and their locations. Also includes accounts of a shooting expedition at Lenox, Mass., and a trip to Washington, D.C., to watch the election celebration of Grover Cleveland.
- James N. Bassett Papers, 1827- 1851
Historical Note: James N. Bassett (1801-1884) of Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Collection Overview: Letters to Bassett's brother, Oliver Bassett in East Sandwich, Mass.; deed selling the Nantucket property to his brother; and receipt.
- Beebe Family Papers, 1878- 1950
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Correspondence of John A. Beebe, ship captain, with his daughter, Alice, chiefly concerning the death of his son, John A. Beebe, Jr., and other papers.
- Dunham Family Papers, 1848- 1865
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket and Tuckernuck Island, Mass.
Collection Overview: Letter regarding residents of Pitcairn Island and other papers.
- Grant Family Papers, 1844- 1904
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, including letter listing whaling voyages undertaken, and other papers, chiefly of Charles Grant (1814-1906), whaling master, and his son, George A. Grant, also involved in whaling.
- Jenkins Family Papers, 1757- 1865
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Deeds, correspondence, and other papers, of family members, including John and Perez Jenkins, builders and carpenters. Includes contract (1805) drawn up for the construction of the Nantucket jail at a cost of $2090.40.
- Henry A. Kelley Lecture, 1839
Collection Overview: A handwritten fifty-page lecture on the "History of Nantucket" delivered on Feb. 21, 1839. The lecture covers discovery of, settlement of, and development of Nantucket as an island and as a town.
- Eliza Starbuck Barney Genealogical Record Books, c. 1600-1900
Historical Note: Resident of Nantucket, Mass.; b. Eliza Starbuck; married Nathaniel Barney.
Collection Overview: Record books copied by Barney from town records, listing male heads of Nantucket families, alphabetically by surname. Information includes birth, death, and some marriage dates, spouses, children, cause of death (in some cases), and frequently the date a family member moved off-Island. Available online.
- William C. Folger Genealogical Record Books, c. 1600-1900
Historical Note: Genealogist, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Record books, compiled by Folger, listing male heads of Nantucket families, alphabetically by surname. Information includes birth, death, and some marriage dates, spouses, children, and occasionally date a family member moved off-Island.
- Trott Family Papers, 1754- 1755
Historical Note: Benjamin Trott (1685-1754) son of John and Ann Elizabeth (Norton) Trott ( -1780), daughter of Jacob & Dinah Norton; wife of Benjamin
Collection Overview: Papers of family members, including the wills of Benjamin Trott and his wife, Elizabeth Trott.
- Upham Family Papers, 1824- 1909
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Boston, and Woburn, Mass.
Collection Overview: Deeds and other materials pertaining to the estate of Delia M. (Upham) Chapman and the Locke home in Woburn, Mass. Persons represented include Chapman's brother, Henry Macy Upham, of Nantucket and Boston.
- Young Family Papers, 1796- 1861
Collection Overview: Correspondence of Caroline Young, of Westport, Mass., relating to the death of her husband, Captain Horace Young (1817- 1859) in a drowning off the Chilean coast and her subsequent return from Chile, with her children, to Massachusetts; and legal documents pertaining to Francis M. Young (b. 1779) of Newport, R.I., and Nantucket, Mass.
- Fuller Family Papers, 1847- 1889
Historical Note: Whalers and teachers, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Receipts and a memorial honoring Mary Elizabeth Fuller.
- Luce Family Papers, 1775- 1876
Historical Note: Residents of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Papers relating to the transfer of land in Nantucket by family members. Persons represented include Elijah Luce.
- Brock Family Papers, 1808- 1904
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass., many family members actively involved in whaling.
Collection Overview: Chiefly correspondence, including one letter (1836) from the Falkland Islands regarding the ship Richard, and other papers. Persons represented include ship captains Priam and Peter C. Brock and Susan Emma Brock, museum curator.
- Nauticon Development Corporation Records, 1873-1904
Historical Note: Land development company.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, tax receipts, power of attorney documents, deeds, and other records. Persons represented include Charles G. and Henry Coffin, and George W. Macy, officers of the corporation.
- Samuel Waldron Papers, 1832- 1838
Historical Note: Carpenter, of Boston, Mass.; worked in Nantucket on various projects during the 1830s.
Collection Overview: Correspondence relating to various building projects in Nantucket, including a wharf and cisterns, summons for non- payment of building supplies purchased from a hardware store, and other papers.
- Whippey Family Papers, 1770- 1899
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass., involved with the whaling industry; descendants of James Whippey.
Collection Overview: Correspondence between William Whippey and George Barney (probably in New Bedford, Mass.) regarding the sale of whale oil and other papers.
- Williams Family Papers, 1775- 1923
Historical Note: Portuguese-Americans, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Family papers, including letter from Abraham Williams describing the life of African-Americans and Portuguese on Nantucket during the American Revolution.
- Nantucket Cottage Hospital Corporation Record Book, 1911
Historical Note: Association organized 1911 for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a hospital, visiting nurses, and other medical endeavors.
Collection Overview: Constitution, bylaws, agreement of association, certificates, and records of early meetings.
- Randall Family Papers, 1843- 1859
Historical Note: Seamen, of Nantucket, Mass., sharing a certain amount of "bad luck."
Collection Overview: Correspondence, indenture for money owed, and receipt. Persons represented include Francis Randall, George Randall (1792- 1849), who fell from aloft on a ship, and George Randall (1820-1865), who was killed in California.
- Tracy Family Papers, 1854- 1896
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Correspondence and other papers of Jared Wentworth Tracy and his two sons, George Hussey Tracy and Orestes Augustus Bronson Tracy, chiefly relating to the activities of George and Orestes as Union Army officers and soldiers during the Civil War and time spent in the territories during various Sioux Indian uprisings.
- Tupper Family Papers, 1772- 1793
Historical Note: Family of Dr. Benjamin and Elizabeth (Ellis) Tupper, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Chiefly deeds and other legal documents of sons of the Tuppers.
- Sea King Wheelmen Club Records, 1903
Historical Note: Men's charitable and social group.
Collection Overview: Treasurer's account book and receipts pertaining to a fund raising minstrel show held by the group.
- Hayden Family Papers, 1823- 1870
Historical Note: Family of Abishai Hayden, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Correspondence and other papers, chiefly relating to family matters. Persons represented include Abishai Hayden's daughter, Mary (Hayden) Russell and her husband, Capt. Laban Russell, and Abishai's grandson, William C. Hayden, captain of the New Bedford, Mass., ship Roscoe on its 1851-1855 voyage.
- Clisby Family Papers, 1803- 1904
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass.; many family members migrated to California during the Gold Rush.
Collection Overview: Correspondence with family news, will, and other papers. Persons represented include Paul W. Clisby who sailed to California on board the Nantucket ship Sarah Parker in July 1849.
- Swift Family Papers, 1821- 1846
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass.; many members left the island for such places as Boston and Cape Cod, Mass., Philadelphia, Pa., Texas, and Oswego, N.Y.
Collection Overview: Deeds (1821-1830) for the purchase of Nantucket land and papers relating to the public school system. Persons represented include Seth F. Swift.
- Morse Family Papers, 1835- 1874
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass., for a few years.
Collection Overview: Bail bond, questionnaire giving physical characters of William H. Morse, and other papers. Persons represented include school principal Augustus Morse.
- Meader Family Papers, 1808- 1830
Historical Note: Family of Joseph Meader, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Various papers, including letter concerning business in London, England. Family members represented include Robert Meader, ship captain.
- Pease Family Papers, 1712- 1868
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Papers of a whaling family with some members serving in the military during the Civil War. Includes marriage certificate (1712) of Stephen Peas[e].
- Perry Family Papers, 1804- 1910
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass., many members involved in the whaling industry, either serving as crew members or producers of items used on whaling ships
Collection Overview: Family papers, including receipts for labor on ships. Persons represented include William Howland Perry, captain of New Bedford, Mass., bark Cachalot.
- Parker Family Papers, 1829- 1926
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass., involved in business and whaling.
Collection Overview: Correspondence and other papers of Elijah Parker, captain of whaleships Ocean and Elizabeth Starbuck, and George Parker, businessman, involved with Nantucket Railroad Company and partner in a grocery store owned jointly with Timothy W. Calder. Of particular interest are materials relating to the building of the Nantucket Railroad.
- Clark Family Papers, 1794- 1905
Historical Note: Seafaring family, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Payments to William D. (Billy) Clark, town crier, lecturer, and local character, for lectures given at the Nantucket Atheneum; letters from Capt. John Clark to his son, Samuel, written while he was imprisoned for the "tea business"; and other family papers. Persons represented include Thomas Clark, who moved with his brother, John, from Scituate, Mass., to Nantucket in 1704.
- Coggeshall Family Papers, 1851- 1884
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass.; originally of Rhode Island.
Collection Overview: Family papers including letter regarding payment to a cooper and a certificate to teach grammar school. Persons represented include John Coggeshall, of North Carolina, known for his activities with Levi Coffin's underground railroad and Walter C. Coggeshall, founder of launch and tow boat operations in Eureka, Calif.
- Colesworthy Family Papers, 1846- 1875
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Wills and letter from Andrew B. Colesworthy to Abraham Lincoln requesting a discharge from the U.S. Navy. Subjects include his service on the U.S. gunboat Sebago during the Civil War and evacuation of Yorktown, Va.
- George E. Grimes Letters, 1906- 1908
Historical Note: Meteorologist in charge of weather bureau at Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Letters to Grimes from a friend in Rome, Italy recalling duck shooting and individuals on Nantucket.
- Ruth Haviland Sutton Papers, 1939
Historical Note: Artist, of Springfield and Nantucket, Mass.; studied in New York, N.Y.
Collection Overview: Papers describing two non-Nantucket houses used as subjects in Sutton's paintings.
- Sherburne Bluffs Collection, 1878- 1883
Collection Overview: Records of land sales in Sherburne Bluffs, a housing development in Nantucket, Mass., which never materialized. Includes hand-drawn plats and deeds for land purchased by artist Eastman Johnson and his wife, and others.
- Reminiscences of Nantucket, 1747- 1895
Collection Overview: Reminiscences written by Nantucket, Mass., residents and visitors to the island, chiefly relating to the overall history and physical characteristics of the island. Includes some incidents of a personal nature.
- Burgess Family Papers, 1811- 1937
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, poems, and documents relating to Burgess Cranberry Company and its purchase by Nantucket Cranberry Company. Family members represented include Charles E. Burgess (1864- 1941), local businessman.
- Ships' Logs Collection
Collection Overview: Logs, generally kept by captains or first mates of ships, chiefly sailing out of Nantucket, Mass., including information on longitude and latitude, weather, ships sighted, record of whales seen and/or taken, crew members, cargo, and ports visited, and sometimes containing poems and drawings; and journals, often written by captains' wives or other passengers, relating to such sights and events as crew punishments, illness, or contact with natives. Contains alphabetical list of approximately 250 vessels, including Alpha, Atlas, Aurora, Barclay, Boston Packet, Charles Colgate, Citizen, Columbus, Constitution, Edward Cary, George Washington, Henry, Hero, James Loper, Lady Adams, Lima, Ocean, Omega, Peruvian, Phoenix, Portland, Potomac, Trinity, Washington, and William and Henry.
- Island Service Company Records, 1917- 1936
Historical Note: Founded 1917 to sell fuel, building supplies, and provide other services; in 1963 company absorbed by Sherburne Associates and subsequently dissolved.
Collection Overview: Bylaws and other organizational documents; correspondence concerning the building, improving, and expansion of company facilities; and other records. Correspondents include Alfred Bornemann who was instrumental in much of the technical development of the firm.
- Blacks on Nantucket Collection, 1773- 1886
Collection Overview: Correspondence of Edward J. Pompey, leader of the Afro-American abolitionist society of Nantucket, Mass.; and anti- segregationist documents. Includes information relating to the history of African-Americans on Nantucket and the integration of the Nantucket school system in 1846.
- Phelon Family Papers, 1821- 1852
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket and Feeding Hills, Mass.
Collection Overview: Correspondence between family members and other papers. Persons represented include Capt. Henry Phelon, Jr., who came to Nantucket as a young boy, was employed by the Starbuck family, and eventually worked his way up to the position of captain, becoming master of the Three Brothers and other whaling vessels.
- Wood Family Papers / Smith Collection, 1864-1889
Collection Overview: Letters written to Nancy R. Wood, Nantucket, Mass., by members of her family giving local and family news and by her friend, Susan Ramsdell, describing a visit to Boston, Mass., and fashions and fabrics. Family correspondents include Nancy Wood's parents, Albert and Harriet Ann (Riddell) Wood and her brother, Charles Wood.
- Ramsdell Family Papers, 1799- 1862
Historical Note: Family of Jonathan Ramsdell, of Lynn, Mass., who moved to Nantucket in the early 1700s.
Collection Overview: Eulogy (1812) for George Ramsdell and other papers. Persons represented include Charles Ramsdell, crew member of the shipwrecked whaling ship Essex (when survivors executed a fellow crewmember for food), who lived quietly after his ordeal.
- Burnell Family Papers, 1817- 1843
Historical Note: Wealthy residents of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Chiefly correspondence of Barker Burnell, Sr., state legislator, U.S. representative, and an active member of the Massachusetts Whig Party, relating to government business. Persons represented include his son, Barker Burnell, Jr., local banker who was later charged with embezzlement.
- Hadwen Family Papers, 1826- 1862
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Marriage certificate, business papers, and estate papers, of William Hadwen, silversmith and businessman involved in candle and oil business, and his wife, Eunice (Starbuck) Hadwen.
- Cash Family Papers, 1852- 1866
Historical Note: Ship captain and whaling master, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Correspondence (1862-1866) relating to a whaling voyage on the ship Islander upon which Cash was master; diary (1852-1853) kept by Azubah Cash, including entries pertaining to her experiences at sea with her husband on the ship Columbia (1850-1854) during which time her son, William Murray Cash, was born (1851); and biography (1852-1853) of William Murray Cash written by his mother. Includes correspondence (1866) from P.T. Barnum requesting a 17 ft. jaw of a bull sperm whale (brought back on the Islander) for his museum.
- Ring Family Papers, 1858- 1906
Historical Note: Residents of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Papers of John C. Ring, mason, and other family members. Includes receipt for his masonry work.
- Henry A. Willard Papers, 1881- 1924
Historical Note: Capitalist and hotel owner, of Washington, D.C.; summered in Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Miscellaneous papers including a letter concerning the death of Pres. James A. Garfield.
- Henry C. Worth Papers, 1849- 1860
Historical Note: Storekeeper for miners in California gold fields; originally of Nantucket, Mass., later returning to New England.
Collection Overview: Letters written by Worth to his wife, Ann Marie (Folger) Worth, in Nantucket, relating to his voyage to California on steamers Oregon and Falcon, conditions found in Cuba and Panama, mining conditions, the fluctuating prices of commodities and gold, daily life in the mine fields, and social life and descriptions of San Francisco and Sacramento; and correspondence of his son, Frederick Worth, and other relatives, chiefly pertaining to family affairs.
- Everett U. Crosby Papers,1945- 1966
Historical Note: Author and historian; summer resident of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Correspondence and notes relating to Crosby's interest in all phases of Nantucket history and his collecting of rare books about the island. Includes information pertaining to his long affiliation with Nantucket Historical Association.
- Starbuck, Worth Papers / Whiteside collection, 1774-1873
Collection Overview: Correspondence, deeds, and legal documents of Lydia (Macy) Starbuck (1764-1828) and descendants of early Nantucket, Mass., settlers Obed Worth (1763-1813) and his wife, Jennett (Townsend) Worth (1766-1855).
- Winslow Family Papers / Gallagher Collection, 1876-1926
Historical Note: Physician, scientist, world traveller, and U.S. consul to Payta, Peru; involved with early experiments in molecular theory; originally of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Wills and a perpetual care agreement.
- John W. Clancy Papers, 1923- 1924
Historical Note: Resident of Louisville, Ky.; summer resident of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, receipts, and an architectural drawing of Clancy's summer home which was designed by architect Frederick P. Hill.
- Nantucket Lodging and Eating Establishments Ephemera Collection, 1809-[open]
Collection Overview: Guest registers, brochures, announcements, advertisements, menus, and other materials, representing 38 hotels or restaurants in Nantucket, Siasconset, and other areas on Nantucket Island.
- Sarah W. Folger Greenman Genealogical Records, 1620-1927
Historical Note: Resident of New Bedford, Mass.; b. Sarah W. Folger; married George Greenman.
Collection Overview: Genealogies (4 v.), partially indexed, containing information concerning Nantucket, Mass., families, originally recorded by Greenman's father, Walter Folger, 3rd, and continued by Greenman until her death; genealogical charts; and notebook-piece book providing death dates not documented originally.
- Ames Family Papers / Crocker Collection, 1832-1893
Collection Overview: Guardianship papers and deeds pertaining to the house at 40 Orange Street, Nantucket, Mass., owned by Allen Ames and his son, Thomas S. Ames; and deed for house on Fair Street originally owned by Thomas's wife, Elizabeth Ann (Wyer) Ames.
- David M. Ludlum Collection, 1722- 1986
Historical Note: Meteorologist and author, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, chiefly with off-island publishing houses, published articles, chronologically-arranged statistical lists, pamphlets, and newspaper clippings, relating to Ludlum's The Nantucket Weather Book (1986).
- Henry Barnard Worth Genealogy Record Books, 1600-1915
Historical Note: Lawyer, of New Bedford, Mass.; descendant of early settlers of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Genealogical information, presented in near- alphabetical order, relating to Nantucket families, located and copied by Worth and his sister, Helen Barnard Worth.
- Vital Records of Nantucket Collection, 1602-1913
Collection Overview: Notebooks recording births, deaths, marriages, and genealogies of Nantucket, Mass., families, acquired from newspapers, town records, and often from friends and relatives, compiled by Mary A. Albertson, Frank E. Lewis, and many others. Of special interest is information pertaining to the causes of death.
- Donald Craig Collection, 1910- 1945.
Historical Note: Architect and summer resident of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Notebook containing notes, photos, and drawings of and relating to old Nantucket houses, including detailed drawings of replica of John Swain's 1684 house; together with plans for a 13' catboat.
- Wilson L. Heflin Papers, 1948- 1951
Historical Note: Teacher of history and English at U.S. Naval Academy.
Collection Overview: Correspondence and transcript (typewritten) of lecture concerning ms. material about Herman Melville and the influence of Nantucket whaling in Melville's work. Correspondents include William E. Gardner and Thomas Hallowell.
- Fraternal Organizations Collection, 1822-[open]
Collection Overview: Correspondence, constitutions, bylaws, programs, and other materials, of several fraternal organizations in Nantucket, Mass. Includes records of Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Nantucket Lodge #66 (founded 1845); Pacific Club (founded 1854 by shipmasters with whaling interests in the Pacific); masonic organizations including Union Lodge, Accepted and Free Masons (founded 1771), Isle of the Sea Royal Arch Chapter of Masons (organized 1867), Sherburne Chapter #182, Order of the Eastern Star (formed 1922), and Urbanity Lodge (in existence, 1822-1830); and Wharf Rat Club (founded 1915 for persons having "nautical" interests).
- Dr. William Sturgis Bigelow Papers, 1908-1975
Historical Note: Surgeon and collector of Oriental art, of Massachusetts.
Collection Overview: Papers include a presentation letter from Kermit Roosevelt, Jr., and a typed letter from President Theodore Roosevelt.
- Nantucket Garden Club Records, 1913 -- [open]
Restrictions Note: Temporarily unavailable due to reprocessing
Collection Overview: Records of the Nantucket Garden Club. Closed due to reprocessing.
- Katherine Edna Graves Clemens Notebook, c. 1900
Historical Note: Singer; b. Katherine Edna Graves. Born in Hackensack, N.J., she married Will M. Clemens, nephew of Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), in 1901. For many years, she was a soloist with Sousa's and Gilmores bands and prima donna with the Carl Rosa Opera Company in London.
Collection Overview: Notes made during a visit to Nantucket, Mass.; Graves family genealogy; and copies of gravestone memorials of Nantucket residents.
- Peter Folger Ewer Business Papers, 1791- 1897
Historical Note: Businessman, of Nantucket, Mass., and other locations.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, account books, legal and land records, receipts, financial documents, stock certificates, and other papers, pertaining to Ewer's varied business interests; personal property records, including deeds and other records of properties and real estate owned in Nantucket, New York City, New Jersey, and Sandwich Islands (Hawaii); business papers of Job S. Comstock, including correspondence, invoices, and bills of lading concerning the shipment of cotton and woolens between Italy and the U.S.; and papers of other family members, including Ewer's wives, Eunice H. (Cartwright) and Mary (Cartwright) Ewer. Includes accounts of his candle and whale-oil business in Providence, R.I.; records of Nantucket Camel Company which was involved in the design and construction of camels, a type of floating drydock which made possible the towing of loaded vessels over sandbars and shoals; records of Red Hook Building Company (New York, N.Y.), dealing in real estate; correspondence and financial records of Michigan Logging Company, organized for the purpose of bringing pine spars for ships' masts from Michigan to New York City via water or railroad; and records of Hindsdale Company, land company and real estate business in Hinsdale, N.Y., and other locations.Donor Note: Gift of Paul Madden, 1986.
- Coffin Family Papers / Evans Collection, 1767-1768
Collection Overview: Deed and indenture for sale and division of Sherburne Land (Nantucket, Mass). Family members represented include Caleb and Obed Coffin, mariners of Sherburne.
- Morris Family Papers / Brown Collection, 1802-1908
Collection Overview: Journal (1802-1804) kept by William Wilkes Morris documenting a voyage taken on the ship Hero, sailing out of Nantucket, Mass.; official documents and other papers relating to the service of Benjamin Franklin Morris, also of Nantucket, in the U.S. Navy during the Civil War, originally on board U.S.S. New Ironsides and U.S.S. Massachusetts and later at Philadelphia Naval Shipyard; and official correspondence pertaining to efforts to obtain his military pension for his wife, Mary Smith (Crosby) Morris.
- Bark Hosea Rich / Menges Collection, 1879-1883
Historical Note: Cargo ship, sailing out of Bangor, Me.
Collection Overview: Correspondence and documents relating to a voyage (1882-1883) made from New York, N.Y., to Montevideo, Uruguay, and Pernambuco, Brazil, and return to New York with sugar; and information pertaining to the sale of the vessel (1883). Correspondents include Charles Norton, captain, of Edgartown, Mass.
- William B. Starbuck & Indians on Nantucket Research Papers / Brenizer
Collection, 1767- 1985
Collection Overview: Correspondence, clippings, notes, and other materials, relating to William B. Starbuck, merchant seaman, whaler, and civic leader; Indians on Nantucket and the publication of the book The Nantucket Indians: Legends and Accounts Before 1659; author Ruth (Starbuck) Wentworth and her book The First Nantucket Tea Party (1978); and Nantucket Community Chorus.
- Barn Stages Programs / Bowditch Collection, 1950-1953
Historical Note: Founded 1950 to house Barn Stages Company, a professional equity company presenting theater-in-the-round; in 1952 also performed in Straight Wharf Theatre, also in Nantucket.
Collection Overview: Programs for productions 1950-1953. Additional Barn Stages and Straight Wharf materials housed in MS66, the Theater collection.
- William C. Pease Letters / Reed Collection, 1849-1854
Historical Note: Carpenter, of California; originally of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Letters of Pease, chiefly written to his parents, John H. and Mary (Bunker) Pease, in Nantucket, describing his voyage (1849) as a passenger on the ship Aurora, the California gold rush, news of Nantucketers who also came west, a two-day trek (1854) across the Isthmus of Panama by railroad and mule with account of hotel and road conditions, economic conditions in California, and other topics.
- Peter Foulger Project for the N.H.A. (Nantucket Historical Association),
Collection Overview: Correspondence and photocopies of materials gathered from historians, genealogists, and Folger family members, for a research project, initiated by Folger descendants, organized to study the life and ancestry of Peter Folger (Foulger), one of earliest settlers of Nantucket, Mass., with particular emphasis on his pre-Nantucket background. Persons represented include Kim Downs-Watson, project coordinator.
- Benjamin Cartwright Papers, 1801- 1968
Historical Note: Seaman and shipmaster, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Chiefly descriptions of voyages taken by Cartwright on merchant and whaling ships, written at the request of his daughter, Edith (Cartwright) Hamilton; together with notes and transcripts (typewritten) of other family members; and other materials. Includes accounts of the 1869-1874 whaling voyage of the clipper-ship Sea Ranger, sailing out of New Bedford, Mass., upon which Cartwright was crewmember; shipwreck of clipper-ship Viking; and information relating to schooner Charming Betsey, of which he was master.
- Daniel Russell Papers, 1818- 1879
Historical Note: Ship captain, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Papers include receipts for tutoring Russell's children. There are no papers dated 1876.
- Ray-Luce Family Documents / Richmond collection, 1791-1909
Collection Overview: Primarily deeds for property at the corner of Eagle Lane and Fair Street in Nantucket, Mass., and in Madaket, particularly the Madaket Swamp area.
- Henry Mitchell Papers, 1864- 1900
Historical Note: Civil engineer, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Letters, some containing poems, from Mitchell to his wife, Mary Chilton (Hayward) Mitchell ("Molly") and daughter Mary Hayward (Mitchell) Havemeyer ("Polly"), describing injuries sustained in a train wreck during his trip taken as member of U.S. Mississippi River Commission to inspect levees on the Mississippi River; his property in Nantucket; shipwrecks off Nantucket; an epidemic on the island; and plants and trees on Nantucket; together with correspondence, notes, and other papers, of and relating to his sister, Maria Mitchell, the first woman astronomer in the U.S.
- Nantucket Newspapers Collection, 1832- [open]
Collection Overview: First and last editions, special supplements, and bound issues, of both Nantucket Island, Mass., and off-island newspapers.
- Frank C. Carpenter Diary, 1894
Historical Note: Resident of Foxborough, Mass.; from July 5-Sept. 14, 1894 employed as an office boy at the Sea Cliff Inn in Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Diary reporting weather and daily events at the hotel and on the island.
- Railroad / David Gray Collection, 1874- 1918
Historical Note: Narrow gauge railroad connecting Nantucket and Siasconset, Mass., as accomodation for tourists.
Collection Overview: A copy of the act to incorporate the company; stocks and bonds to finance it; a postcard showing "The Bug"; timetables and passes (1881-1917); alignment plan; and newspaper articles relating to the line's building, opening, and wrecks.
- James B. Coffin Letters / Thomas Congdon Collection, 1894-1895
Historical Note: Shipmaster and U.S. consul (1888-1894) to St. Helena Island, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Letters, including drafts and some typewritten transcripts, written by Coffin relating to his sudden dismissal from his diplomatic position in St. Helena; together with inventories of furniture and household belongings left behind in St. Helena. Correspondents include President Grover Cleveland and assistant secretary of state, Edwin F. Dehl. The letters are badly scorched, having been concealed inside a fireplace in Nantucket.
- Frye Family Papers / Parrish Collection, 1939-194?
Historical Note: During WWII, ration books were issued for items such as sugar, coffee, gasoline, flour, and other high demand goods. Paul Frye and his mother, Miriam F. Frye, lived at 5 Weymouth Street during the war and used their books extensively.
Collection Overview: The collection contains several ration books and a two-part aerial photographic map of Nantucket, Tuckernuck, and Muskeget taken in 1939.
- Lincoln Porte Letters, 1918
Historical Note: U.S. post office employee and soldier, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Two letters written home describing Porte's voyage to France and his first days there as a corporal in the U.S. Army with the 327th Infantry during World War I.
- Leeds Family Papers / Leeds Mitchell Collection, 1825-1888
Collection Overview: Papers of Joseph Leeds (b. 1796) of Dorchester, Mass., including a detailed account of a trip (1830) taken by Leeds and his wife, Arethusa, from Dorchester to New York City and up the Hudson River to Queensbury, N.Y., describing steamships taken, fellow passengers, and places visited; correspondence with his daughter, Helen (Leeds) Mitchell, and her husband, J. Sidney Mitchell, of Nantucket, Mass., relating to the sale of an engraving designed by Leeds honoring the American Revolution; poems; will (1880); and business papers involving finances and land transactions in Indiana. Also includes business papers of Mary C. Leeds, second daughter of Joseph and Arethusa, concerning land in Indiana, will, and correspondence written from China by her great-great- grandfather, Joseph Capers Leeds; and deeds for the purchase of pews in Second Congregational Church of Nantucket by Joseph Mitchell (1806-1886), father-in-law of Helen (Leeds) Mitchell.
- Regis Henri Post Papers, 1908- 1919
Historical Note: Governor-general of Puerto Rico; captain, American Red Cross, in Italy.
Collection Overview: Papers include a testimonial (1908) for Post as the first governor-general of Puerto Rico and a certificate (1919) for the Service Medal and Knight Officer, Order of the Crown of Italy, for his work with the American Red Cross.
- John Egle Papers, 1980- 1988
Historical Note: Latvian American primitive artist, of Nantucket,Mass.
Collection Overview: Papers chiefly relating to Egle's artwork, including biographical information.
- Sharp Family Papers, 1872- 1989
Historical Note: Benjamin Sharp, Jr., zoologist and explorer. Received his A.B., 1878 from Swarthmore College, M.D., 1879 and Ph.D., 1880 from the University of Pennsylvania, and Ph.D., 1883 from the University of Wurtzburg, Bavaria. Professor of Invertebrate Zoology at the Academy of Natural Science, 1883-1915 and at the University of Pennsylvania, 1884-1888. Expeditions to: Caribbee Islands, 1888-1889; Hawaiian Islands, 1893; Arctic, 1895; Alaska, Siberia, and Arctic, 1895. Representative for Nantucket to the House of Representative of Massachusetts, 1910-1911. Member of: Philadelphia Symphonic Society, American Philosophical Society, and Boston Society of Natural History. A birthright member of the Society of Friends (Quakers), Dr. Sharp was the son of Benjamin and Hannah B. (Leedom) Sharp of the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Pa. He was married to Virginia May Guild of Ridley, Ma. The family moved to Massachusetts in the early 20th century, and Dr. Sharp served as Representative for Nantucket to the Massachusetts Legislature.
Collection Overview: Chiefly papers of Dr. Benjamin Sharp (1858- 1915), zoologist and civic leader, including correspondence, notebooks relating to whale fisheries, logbooks of vessels sailing in Nantucket waters chiefly during the summer months, poems, and other materials; together with papers of Sharp's mother, Hannah Ballenger (Leedom) Sharp (1824-1912), wife, Virginia Mae (Guild) Sharp, sister Mabel Somers (Sharp) Hartman, and other family members. Subjects principally concern many aspects of Nantucket life and history, including businesses, churches, natural resources, gardens, wildflowers, local organizations, shipwrecks, storms, fishing and hunting, Coffin School, and women's suffrage but also relate to voyages and expeditions taken by Sharp around the Caribbean and Hawaiian Islands in search of zoological and archaeological specimens.
- Atheneum Collection, 1846- 1966
Historical Note: Nantucket Mechanics Social Library Association formed 1820; in 1823 a second group known as Columbian Library Society was organized; in 1827 the two groups merged to form United Library Association; in 1834 reorganized as Nantucket Atheneum; original building burned in fire of 1846 and rebuilt later the same year.
Collection Overview: Bylaws, excerpts of minutes of trustees' meetings, history and programs.
- Cornelius Albert Lee Letters/Donel O'Brien Collection, 1841-1845
Historical Note: Whaler, of Hudson, N.Y.
Collection Overview: Correspondence of and relating to Lee, providing descriptions of living conditions, leisure activities, and life on the bark America (sailing out of Hudson, 1839 and returning 1842) during a whaling voyage to the South Pacific. Correspondents include Daniel, George N., and Nelson Lennon (Lenon), of Greene County, N.Y., and Montréal, Québec.
- Nantucket Street Collection / William A. Hance Papers, 1981-1983
Historical Note: Organized 1982.
Collection Overview: Records of the committee organized to study the naming and numbering of the streets and roads of Nantucket and recommend changes to provide emergency services with exact location of homes, including information relating to name changes of streets. Persons represented include William A. Hance, chair of the committee.
- Methodist Episcopal Church Records, 1799-1974
Historical Note: Organized 1800 with building on Fair Street dedicated in 1800; new building built on Centre Street in 1823 with periodical use of original building until 1864; in ca. 1939 renamed First Methodist Church with reorganization of the parent body; also known as Fair Street Church.
Collection Overview: Church history, membership lists, Sunday school records, financial reports, and information pertaining to various committees, societies, and clubs. Related First Methodist and Methodist Episcopal church records located in the repository's Churches on Nantucket collection, 1761-1986 (MS 84).
- Ceely Family Papers / Woodbridge Collection, 1844-1876
Historical Note: Family of William P. Ceely (1809-1838), cooper and sailmaker, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Correspondence detailing information about the family of Henry Ceely, of England, cousin of William P. Ceely, and the family of David and Elizabeth (Ceely, sister of William P.) Cartwright. Includes information and title transfer concerning Ceely's cooperage in Nantucket.
- Land Descriptions and Other Documents from Milford Haven, Wales, 1678-1785
Collection Overview: Photocopies of originals held by Public Record Office, Cultural Service Dept., The Castle, Haverfordwest, Dyfed, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Public Record Office, Cultural Service Dept., The Castle, Haverfordwest, Dyfed, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Records, chiefly concerning properties in Nantucket, Mass., owned by Folger, Gardner, Starbuck, and other families, who migrated from Nantucket to Dartmouth, N.S., and from there to Pembrokeshire, Wales, 1791-1793, where they established a whaling port in what is now Milford Haven, Dyfed. Persons represented include Timothy Folger, Samuel Starbuck, and Starbuck's son, Samuel, Jr., all leaders of the expedition.
- Swain Papers / Woodbridge Collection, 1815-1896
Collection Overview: Notebooks containing genealogical data about Nantucket, Mass., families; together with journals and will of Charles Folger Swain (1806-1896), shipwright and boatsteerer on the whaling ship Phoebe Ann, of Nantucket and later Brooklyn, N.Y., relating to life and rescues at sea, temperance work among sailors, and other topics.
- Daughters of the American Revolution. Abiah Folger Franklin Chapter
(Nantucket, Mass.), 1897- [present]
Historical Note: Organized 1897.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, minutes, financial records, membership lists, and scrapbooks. Includes information relating to the chapter's "adoption" of a French war orphan and historical data concerning Nantucket during the American Revolution.
- Nantucket Historical Trust Collection of Records, 1957-1964
Historical Note: Nantucket Foundation founded in 1940s; ca. 1960 the control of the foundation was assumed by Nantucket Historical Trust; Nantucket Foundation dissolved in 1984 and in 1986 Nantucket Historical Trust merged with Osceola Foundation.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, deeds, surveys, and agreements, chiefly pertaining to properties purchased by the foundation and trust and their concern with the conservation and restoration of Nantucket's historic buildings and sites.
- Folger-Macy Papers / Paine Collection, 1765-1905
Collection Overview: Records of business transactions, wills, inventories of properties and household furnishings, property records, and other papers, of Walter Folger (1735-1826), his sons, Walter Folger, Jr. (1765-1849) and Gideon (1780-1863), and Gideon's son, Paul (1818-1845), merchants, of Nantucket, Mass.; materials relating to the Hussey, Folger, and Company Candle House, owned by Walter and Gideon Folger, and the family cooperage; and information concerning the purchase by Silvanus Macy (1756-1833), father-in-law of Gideon Folger, of the ship Thomas to be used in his whale oil business. Other family members represented include Richard and Thomas Macy.
- Marshall-Pinkham Family Papers / Brown Collection, 1850-1872
Collection Overview: Correspondence chiefly of the family of Seth Pinkham, a Nantucket, Mass., whaling captain and his wife, Mary (Brown) Pinkham, including Elizabeth (Pinkham) Crosby, wife of William H. Crosby, of Siasconset, Mass.; Malvina (Pinkham) Marshall, who sailed on the whaling ships Aurora and Sea Queen, with her husband, whaling master, Joseph Marshall, and their daughter, Helen; Rebecca C. (Pinkham) Mitchell and her husband, Robert Mitchell, of Holyoke, Mass.; Harriet (Pinkham) Locke and her husband, John G. Locke, of Boston; Helen (Pinkham) Belcher and husband, Joseph H. Belcher, Providence, R.I.; and Seth Pinkham, Jr., and his wife, Philinda (Fisher) Pinkham, also of Boston. Subjects include detailed accounts of the issues of the day, daily events, and Nantucket gossip. Of particular interest, are the letters in which the sisters describe in detail the furnishings in their homes, including the furniture, carpets, fabrics used, and room arrangements.
- Nantucket Conservation Foundation Records, 1965-1982
Historical Note: Established 1963 (incorporated 1965) to promote interests of the town of Nantucket, Mass., through conservation, preservation, and maintenance of beach, marshlands, meadows, and other natural areas, wildlife, and buildings and sites of historical significance; owner and manager of approximately 25% of all land on Nantucket.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, legal and financial documents, membership lists, press releases, memorandums, maps, and other records.
- Macy Family Papers / Jones Collection, 1771-1887
Collection Overview: Correspondence to Thomas M. Macy (1796-1838), of Nantucket, Mass., his wife, Mary B. (Coffin), and daughter, Phebe C., from relatives in England concerning family news; and other papers. Includes description of the Nantucket fire of 1838.
- Captain William Baxter Recollections, 1820-1893
Historical Note: Captain William Baxter (1805- ) son of Reuben and Love (Briggs) Baxter, husband of Betsey (Cary).
Collection Overview: Reminiscences, as told to an unidentified writer, relating to Baxter's activities as ship captain and seaman on voyages of various Nantucket whaling ships. Includes information concerning a mutiny on the ship Milo; sea life on the ship Ploughboy captained by Nathan Chase; and his duties as mate and later captain on the ship Martha (1835-1841).
- Charles C. Dyer / George Henry Weaver Collection, 1846, 1869
Historical Note: Charles Coleman Dyer (b. 1807) was a seventh generation descendant from both Thomas Coleman and William Worth. Settled in New York City, but visited relatives. He and his first wife Mary (Hendrick) had three children: Robert Bunker Dyer, Mary Lucy, and Elizabeth. He and his second wife, Sarah (Orvis) of New London, Connecticut, had no children.
Collection Overview: These records include a very informative diary kept by Charles Dyer during a visit to Nantucket from July 12-13. His detailed observations of the town and of the many identified people whom he visited are detailed and may be located easily in an annotated typed transcript of the diary which is included in the collection. A second briefly described trip to Nantucket in 1869 and a third undated visit, which may have taken place between 1848 and 1850, are also included. Also in the collection are genealogical facts and personal comments primarily about the Coleman and Worth families.Donor Note: Gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Weaver Roberts.
- Thomas Macy Papers / Tupancy-Harris Foundation Collection, 1857-1882
Collection Overview: Letter relating to the Macy house at 99 Main Street in Nantucket, Mass., and a will in which Thomas Macy bequeaths the property to his daughter Mary Swift (Macy) Hussey.
- Isaac Coffin Papers / Crafts Collection, 1659-1836
Historical Note: Isaac Coffin (1764-1842) Judge, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Records and papers kept by Coffin as judge of probate, including copybook containing genealogies of early Nantucket families, lists of ships and men lost at sea, judges of Nantucket County Probate Court, sheep marks, information concerning sickness among the Indians, and copies of articles relating to Nantucket people and events. Includes handwritten copy of article by Joseph Sanson, traveler, describing Nantucket, printed in Port Folio magazine (1811) and photocopy of original printed article.
- Secession Papers, 1975- 1978
Collection Overview: Legislative documents, minutes, finance reports, petitions, and ephemera, relating to the attempts of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, Mass., to secede from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts when it was evident that the two islands were going to lose their representation in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. Many plans were developed which included complete secession from the U.S., making the islands a special territory of Massachusetts, or joining the states of Vermont or New Hampshire.
- Harriet (Morey) Gardner Diary, 1881- 1882
Historical Note: Quaker, of Nantucket, Mass.; b. Harriet C. H. Morey; married Jared M. Gardner.
Collection Overview: Diary, chiefly reflecting Gardner's daily and social life. Subjects include the illness of her husband, Jared Gardner.
- Eugene George Notebook / Welch Collection, 1966-1967
Historical Note: Director of Historic American Buildings Survey in Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Notebook containing information about historic buildings studied and facts derived from conversations, photos, and books, pertaining to structures in Nantucket and people connected with them. Includes contacts, sources, bibliography, and some records of HABS work.
- Marion Rawson Diaries / Rawson Collection, 1939-1980
Historical Note: Summer resident of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Diaries kept from June thorugh September at "Ducksholm" by Rawson reporting daily life during her summer vacations in Nantucket, recording the weather, house guests, and social activities.Donor Note: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Rawson.
- Biographies / Elizabeth F. Yager Collection, 1978
Collection Overview: Biography by a scholar of the early woman astronomer, Maria Mitchell, relating to her brother, educator William Foster Mitchell (1825-1892), chiefly documenting his educational and charitable work with the poor and blacks in Philadelphia, Pa., Alabama, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Washington, D.C.; together with biographies of wives of Nantucket ship captains, taken from journals kept on board ship while accompanying their husbands on whaling voyages. Persons represented include Eliza (Spencer) Brock (1810-1899), wife of Capt. Peter C. Brock, on the 1853-1856 voyage of the Lexington; Elizabeth (Morse) Morey (1810-1893, Mrs. Israel Morey) on voyages on the Phoenix, 1853-1856; and Catawba, 1857-1859; and Harriet (Myrick) Swain (1815-1857), married to Obed Swain, describing the whaling voyage of the ship Catawba, 1852-1855.
- First Congregational Church Records, 1728-1997
Historical Note: Old North Vestry constructed 1711; new building dedicated 1834; date of founding unknown; also known as Old North Vestry or North Church.
Collection Overview: Minutes of meetings of proprietors, trustees, and church members and annual meetings; biographies of clergymen; reports of various committees; pew and membership records; bills and receipts; deeds; church history by Helen Winslow Chase; Sunday school records; records of Ladies' Union Circle (formed 1846, the oldest continuous church service group in the U.S.), Harmonious Hustlers (girls charitable organization organized 1911 and disbanded 1979), and other church organizations; and miscellaneous materials.
- Notes concerning Maria Mitchell, 1892- 1918
Collection Overview: Papers relating to Maria Mitchell, teacher, librarian, first woman astronomer in the U.S., and professor of astronomy at Vassar College, originally of Nantucket, Mass. Includes notes and drafts of speech about Mitchell made by an unknown person, based on recollections of Helen B. Emerson written in 1897; and information pertaining to Phebe Mitchell Kendall's book Maria Mitchell: Life, Letters, and Journals (1896) and conversations with friends and relatives of Mitchell.
- James Good Letters, 1850- 1851
Historical Note: Whaler.
Collection Overview: Photocopies of two letters (1850, 1851) written by Good to his father from the ship Abraham Barker, relating to a whale hunt in the North Pacific during which his boat was stove and the appearance of Honolulu, the Arctic, and Fayal in the Azores.
- Master-Crew Identification List, 1915
Collection Overview: Card file, compiled from Nantucket, Mass., ships' logs by Dr. Benjamin Sharp, arranged alphabetically in two sections by names of seamen and masters, containing names of ships, dates of voyages, and comments about the person or voyage.
- White Family Papers / Dover (N.H.) Library Collection, 1727-1804
Collection Overview: Correspondence, sermons, deeds and land records, financial papers, inventories, and other materials, of Timothy White (1700-1765), clergyman, originally of Haverhill and later Nantucket, Mass., relating to his student days at Harvard, Nantucket Indian schools, whaling investments, shares in sloop Susannah, and family affairs; correspondence and other papers of his son Timothy, Jr. (b. 1733), teacher, of Dover, N.H., concerning his military service with a Massachusetts unit during the American Revolution, teaching activities, properties owned in Nantucket, Dover, and Haverhill, and other topics; and papers of other family members including Timothy, Jr.'s wife Lydia and their son, Amos White.
- Personal Property Records, Town of Nantucket, 1839-1846
Collection Overview: Personal property records, indexed by personal name, kept by the Town Clerk, Nantucket, Mass., including deeds and inventories of business, personal, real, household, and marine property and cattle conveyed from one person or group of persons to another. Of particular interest is information relating to clothes and household furnishings, the sale of shares in vessels, and the location of certain stores existing before the fire of 1846.
- James Hussey Barker Letter / Cooper Collection, 1855
Historical Note: James Hussey Barker (1812-1885) husband of Mary Coleman Barney. Steamboat captain, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Letter (1855) that accompanied a watch given to Barker in recognition of his years of service to Nantucket as a steamboat captain.
- Pinkham Family Papers / Mason Collection, 1841-1932
Collection Overview: Correspondence and other papers of Seth (1786- 1844, ship captain) and his wife, Mary (Brown) Pinkham (1791-1874), their daughters, Elizabeth C. (Pinkham) Crosby (1816-1897), Helen M. (Pinkham) Belcher (b. 1834), and Malvina Fitzalan (Pinkham) Marshall (1820-1885), Malvina's husband, Joseph Marshall (1811-1879), and their daughter Helen (b. 1851), relating to family affairs; daily events on Nantucket; Bloomingdale Farm (owned by Elizabeth C. and her husband William H. Crosby); Joseph Marshall's activities as whaling master of the ship Aurora, the voyage (1856-1861) taken with his wife and daughter, Helen, and their subsequent stay in Peru; Helen's attendance at Vassar College and European trip taken after finishing college; and miscellaneous topics. Includes information relating to a trip to California during the gold rush (1849) on the bark Russell; correspondence of Eliza (Marshall) Bigelow Lunt (1820-1862) pertaining to family news, fashion, and daily life on Nantucket; and papers of other family members concerning various subjects.
- Macy Family Papers / Knopf Collection, 1834-1893
Collection Overview: Correspondence, business papers, deeds, insurance policies, and other papers of George Wendall Macy, owner of hardware store and shareholder in whaling ships, of Nantucket, Mass., and other family members. Contains diary of his daughter, Sarah Wendall (Macy) Kelley recording island news, personal affairs, and information pertaining to her brother, George Nelson Macy, his Civil War service, and later death.
- Charles Neal Barney Collection of Papers, 1777-1933
Collection Overview: Deeds and other papers, of Barney family members, chiefly relating to real estate in Nantucket, Mass.
- Copies of Colonial Papers, 1773- 1783
Collection Overview: Typewritten copies of declarations, petitions, and correspondence, written to the governor, members of the General Court, and other Massachusetts officials, by various residents of Nantucket, Mass., pertaining to the problems and conditions faced by islanders after the Revolutionary War. Includes information relating to problems encountered in obtaining supplies and the necessity of continuing their livelihood, particularly whaling, and their attempts to disprove accusations of smuggling and favors to the British.
- Sankaty Head Golf Club Collection, 1923- 1987
Collection Overview: Guest books, scrapbooks, clippings, and minutes of governor's and annual meetings of the Sankaty Head Golf Club and Sankaty Head Beach Club of Nantucket, Mass.
- Thomas Pym Cope Diary, 1820
Historical Note: Thomas Pym (1768-1854) founded a packet ship line in 1821 which sailed from Philadelphia to Liverpool. On July 12, 1820, he traveled from Philadelphia to Niagara Falls, Montreal and Quebec with his youngest son, Alfred. In the course of the trip, they visited Nantucket from September 9 to 15, 1820.
Collection Overview: Typescript of the part of the Thomas Pym Cope diary describing Nantucket in September 1820. Included is detailed information about the barren landscape of the island, Nantucket town and Siasconset, a furious storm, and the people whom he met.
- Allen Family Letters / Marjorie Tyrie Collection, 1869-1944 (bulk
Historical Note: Captain Charles E. Allen (1822-1883), son of Walter and Rebecca (Fisher) Allen, was Master out of New Bedford of the bark "Lafayette" (1852), the ship "Canton Packet" (1857 and 1863), the bark "Black Eagle" (1860 and 1862), the bark "Morning Star" (1864 and 1866) and sailed his last voyage on the bark "Sea Ranger" on October 19, 1869, returning May 17, 1874. His wife, Maria (Farnham) (1830-1900), daughter of William and Emmaline (Dunn) Farnham, accompanied him with their son Rollin, seven years old, on the "Sea Ranger" in 1869. While they were away, their daughters Emma (1857-1904) and Lillian (1864-1941) stayed with Mrs. George W. Dunham of Nantucket. Their sister, Clara (1871- 1944), was born on Norfolk Island during the voyage. Captain George W. Allen (1827-1894) brother of Capt. Charles E. Allen, was also a whaling master. He sailed on the bark "Mars" 1869-1873, leaving at home his second wife Lucy (Daley) of Pennsylvania (1834-1874), and again from 1874- 1878 after Lucy's death.
Collection Overview: Letters from Capt. Charles E. and Mrs. Hannah Maria Allen, of New Bedford, Mass., while on bark Sea Ranger, 1869-1874, to their daughters remaining behind in Nantucket. Topics include life on board and on islands visited, loneliness and concern for daughters, and discouragement in getting little oil and facing no profit. One letter with sketches (1871) describes natives of Norfolk Island, their houses, and dress. Also includes letters from Capt. George W. Allen, also a whaling master, to his brother Charles, giving understanding of plans and thinking of one whaler as described to another.
- Liscum Diven Letters, 1990- 1991
Historical Note: Resident of Scottsdale, Arizona; summered in Siasconset, Mass., 1920-1949.
Collection Overview: Four letters relating to Siasconset people and events from 1920-1949.
- Ray Family Letters / Goode Collection, 1851
Collection Overview: Letters of Alexander Ray, his wife, Sarah (Russell) Bunker Ray, and their daughter, Sarah Maria Ray, of Nantucket, Mass., concerning daily affairs and family matters.
- Thomas W. Williams Data Book, 1815- 1846
Historical Note: Whaling merchant, of New London, Conn.
Collection Overview: Data book compiled by Williams from the books in the Commercial Reading Room [of Nantucket] and reports in the Nantucket Inquirer, 1828-1829, including information relating to ships and cargoes involved in the whale fishery, primarily out of Nantucket and New Bedford, Mass., New London, Conn., and Sag Harbor, N.Y., including names of ships, tonnage, masters, cargoes of whale oil, sperm and bone, sales, prices received, and numbers and destinations of ships that sailed from New Bedford and New London. Also includes two histories of whaling and an extended abstract from the log of William Scoresby's voyage to Greenland in 1822.
- Nikita Carpenko Papers / Dolores M. Stojak Collection, 1938-1960
Collection Overview: Papers of Nikita Carpenko, artist. Includes correspondence (1953-1960), bills and contracts (1953-1956), short stories written with Margaret Carpenko, and a scrapbook of cross-country road trip, 1940-1941.
- Frederick Willett Folger Papers / Charles Bartlett Collection, 1877-1897
Historical Note: Frederick Willett Folger (b. 1820, d. 6 Mar 1847); Ann Folger Swain (b. 6 September 1807, d. 9 June 1900); Samuel B. Swain (b. 6 March 1800, d. 21 April 1872)
Collection Overview: Papers of Frederick Willett Folger and his business, Folger & Brock. Also papers of Mrs. Anne Swain, Samuel B. Swain (sister and brother-in-law)
- Irene E. Chase Papers / Campbell Collection, 1928-1955
Historical Note: Nurse on Nantucket.
Collection Overview: Chiefly papers regarding Chase's education and career as a nurse (1941-1956); also papers of Arthur Chase regarding the family home on Main Street.
- Ships' Papers / Frank Collection, 1866, 1885
Collection Overview: Two ships' papers: 1. Settlement statement for watchmen for wreck of Ship Newton of Hamburg. Nantucket, January 10, 1866. 2. Bill of Sale of enrolled vessel, Schooner Onward. Nantucket, July 15, 1885.
- Arthur William Morris Papers / Dr. Roberton Collection, 1846-1992
Collection Overview: Personal notes and articles concerning Arthur William Morris's experiences in the shipwreck of the Earl of Eglinton, March 14, 1846.
- Camel Collection, 1842- 1850
Collection Overview: Materials regarding the building of the camels in Nantucket harbor.
- Reuben Hallett Papers / Hallett- Tebbetts Collection, 1849-1969
Collection Overview: Letters to Reuben Hallett, much of which concern the ship Walter Scott. Also a genealogy of the families Hallett and Tebbetts.
- Estate Papers of Capt. Joseph Winslow & Mary B. (Sprague) Winslow
/ Mrs. Henry Terry Collection, 1864- 1894
Historical Note: Joseph Winslow (b. 1819, d. 28 April 1889) Mary B. Sprague Winslow (b. 10 April 1831, d. 3 December 1893). First husband Francis M. Folger (b. 1827, d. 19 September 1869)
Collection Overview: Documents pertaining to the settling of the estates of Captain Joseph Winslow and Mary B. Winslow.
- Rebecca Ann Johnson Letter / NHA Friends' Purchase
Historical Note: Rebecca Ann Johnson of Rochester, NY (b. 1830?) disguised herself as a male and shipped out on the Nantucket whaler Christopher Mitchell in 1848, using the name "George Johnson." About eight months after the ship sailed from Nantucket, her charade was discovered. For the next two weeks, she dressed as a female and slept in a separate cabin, and was given over to the American consul in Payta, Peru, who wrote that she would be returned to the U.S.
Collection Overview: Letter mentioning Rebecca Ann Johnson and copies of documents from the National Archives.
- Hussey Family Papers / Christopher Adams Collection, 1857-1935
Collection Overview: Papers of Christopher Coffin Hussey and daughter Deborah Coffin (Hussey) Adams (1848-1936). Significantly, a letter from Deborah Adams to granddaughter Deborah Adams, describing her own childhood and family life in Nantucket circa 1860.
- Harriet Barnard (Barrett) Fleming Reminiscences, 1903-1909
Historical Note: Harriet Barnard (Barrett) Fleming (1897- ), daughter of Charles H. Barrett and Emma J. (Lucas), granddaughter of Harriet (Barnard) (Barrett) Coffin (1820- ), daughter of Frederick H. and Lucy (Turner) Barnard, widow of Joseph F. Barrett, and third wife of Aaron Coffin (1805- )
Collection Overview: Photocopy of reminiscences written in her 96th year, of her first twelve years in the Quaker home of her grandmother Coffin at 12 Darling Street.
- Gorham Hussey Journal / Otis Collection, 1843-1850
Historical Note: Gorham Hussey (1797-1896), husband of Lydia (Chase) Hussey and father of Hepsabeth Hussey (1827- )
Collection Overview: Journal of Gorham Hussey found in cellar of farm house in Sherwood, N.Y. 1932 by James C. Otis. Daily record of weather, shipping, and some daily events on Nantucket Island, January 27, 1843 - March 29, 1850
- Cary-Swain-Baxter Papers / Caldwell Collection, 1773-1918
Collection Overview: Miscellaneous papers of members of the Cary, Swain, and Baxter families.
- Elizabeth Gardner Coggeshall Letter / Welch Collection, 1862
Historical Note: Elizabeth Gardner Coggeshall (1841-1891), daughter of George Folger Coggeshall (1804-1868) and Anna (Gardner) Coggeshall (1815-1887)
Collection Overview: Signed letter, written from Great Point Lighthouse, to her cousin Henry R. Gardner complaining of the boredom of life at the Light and mentioning her frustration at the war, her mother's brother Hiram, and her father's sisters Martha, Liz and Susan. Nantucket, June 15, 62.
- Coffin School Records / Coffin School Collection, 1836-1960
Historical Note: First free school in Nantucket, Mass., founded by Sir Isaac Coffin and Samuel Haynes Jenks in 1827; commonly known as Coffin School; closed 1898-1903 but reopened as manual training school and later used as learning resources center.
Collection Overview: Student lists, teacher class books, accounts, faculty lists.
- Nantucket Bank Robbery Papers / Owen- Pray Collection, 1774-1816
Historical Note: Great Nantucket Bank Robbery of 1795. The bare facts of the matter are briefly stated: on the very foggy night of June 20, 1795, three men, using keys fashioned from pewter spoons, broke into the newly-chartered Nantucket Bank, located where the Sports Locker is now. The bank had only been in business for approximately two weeks but had a substantial (for the time) amount of hard cash on hand, to the tune of $20,000 in various denominations of coins (when the robbery was first discovered the bank directors kept a lid on things until the 26th, when a general alarm was raised, in order to allow for a transfer of additional capital so that the bank would not fold if there were a run on its holdings). Business in Nantucket came to a standstill as people milled about in the street for days; wild conspiracies theories abounded, but curiously many locals refused to consider the possibility that the robbery had been committed by strangers. Most people felt that they had a pretty good idea who had done the deed: suspicion immediately fell upon one Randall Rice, a native Rhode Islander who had married a local girl, operated a slaughterhouse, and, most damning of all in the eyes of island Quakers, did some legal work on the side. One wonders also if Rice’s combination of ruthless business and legal tactics used to acquire his property (located at the base of Old North Wharf) at the expense of his impoverished neighbors, not to mention being a Federalist, did not add to his patina of guilt. Apparently Rice was initially fingered by one Walter Folger, Sr. (whose son was a bank director), an avowed Democrat, amateur phrenologist (they claimed that the shape of a mans head and the bumps on it could be used as a kind of lumpy psych test) and repeated targets of Rice’s lawsuits. On June 22nd, Folger averred, he had been walking from his house to the wharves along Liberty Street and had passed Rice in front of Uriah Swain’s house (another bank director, who owned 5 Liberty Street — the present home of Catherine Flanagan Stover, our Town Clerk); Rice, unsurprisingly, crossed the street to avoid him. Folger claimed that Rice “looked guilty of something,” which was apparently all his son and the other bank directors required as proof. On June 26th, the day news of the robbery became public, warrants were sworn out for Randall Rice and two other men named Nichols, who were family friends of Rice. The prisoners were incarcerated in a local store and were guarded, curiously enough, by the bank directors themselves. After a hearing before Josiah Coffin, Esq., Justice of the Peace, the men were released; Rice soon after filed a lawsuit against Folger for slandering him. In the absence of actual evidence, rumors abounded and grew wilder with each passing day. Libbeus Coffin, described by those who knew him as an illiterate laborer of vile temper and questionable competency, claimed that he had seen several men, including Randall Rice and William Coffin II, entering the bank that foggy June night and removing something that appeared to be quite heavy. Over the course of repeated re-tellings the story morphed into a dream that Libbeus had in which he saw the sacks of money in Randall Rice’s house. A nephew of the bank president related that he had overheard Rice planning the robbery with his co-conspirators. One woman of questionable repute named Rachel Gardner, who claimed to have been in a barn with a man (a euphemism if ever I ‘ve heard one) the night before the robbery, also claims to have overheard some plotting. And the beat went on. With each new “witness” others came forth, swearing that they had seen or heard this or that, generally basing their stories on the previous testimonies of their neighbors. The accusers, all bank directors, mostly Quakers and Democratic-Republicans, won over a large segment of the population to their side based on little more than gossip and innuendo. Before the affair was over, their methods would include bribery and perjury, but before events reached this crescendo the rising tide of hysteria overwhelmed one of the few non-Quaker bank directors: an outspoken Federalist and Freemason called William Coffin II, who soon found himself in the middle of the firestorm, much to his chagrin. On July 9th Coffin met the bank president, Joseph Chase, in the lower square in front of the Pacific Club; as they rambled in the direction of Rice’s slaughterhouse at the foot of Old North Wharf, Chase turned on Coffin and accused him of complicity in the robbery. Coffin, caught off- guard, stammered out a denial, but it was obvious that the die was cast: as far as Chase was concerned, Coffin was guilty. Apparently Chase decided that he needed more proof than the dubious claims of a prostitute and a village idiot before he took legal action; accordingly, he traveled to Providence, RI to consult an astrologer (as one does in such situations). Not surprisingly, the astrologer provided descriptions that matched those of the men already under suspicion. As July progressed insults were hurled from one side to the other. On August 22nd a U.S. marshal came to Nantucket and, along with several bank directors, searched the suspects’ homes and business, with no results. Nevertheless, Rice and his fellow “conspirators,” minus William Coffin II, who was merely “strongly suspected” were brought before a Court of Inquiry held by a lawyer from the Attorney General’s office. Testimony was taken from the various alleged witnesses but when the most credible, William Worth, admitted that he had lied previously, many of the others’ stories, based in part on his testimony, collapsed like a house of whale blubber. Sylvanus Macy, another board director and apparently a central figure in the rumormongering against William Coffin II, even offered one witness $3000 if he would just stick to his story. Amazingly, the presiding attorney found sufficient credibility in the remaining witnesses to hold the men over for trial; however, William Worth, Libbeus Coffin, and Rachel Gardner were also charged with perjury (tellingly, their bail was posted by Uriah Swain, Walter Folger, Sr., and others in the accusers’ camp). In September, Sylvanus Macy renewed his attacks against William Coffin II, but refused to press them in public. Coffin’s attempts to bring him to account before a meeting of the bank’s principal stockholders, but Macy demurred. Coffin even went to the extraordinary length of appealing to the Quaker Meeting for relief from the depredations of the Quaker Macy, but his pleas fell on deaf ears; perhaps he was receiving his comeuppance from his years of obdurate contrariness. Finally, in December, 1795, Coffin had had enough; he financed his own “fact-finding” mission to New York in search of the perpetrators. Apparently he met with almost instant success — by the end of the month Coffin was writing his wife and claiming that one of the perpetrators had been caught in Philadelphia. Two months later Coffin was back on Nantucket, followed soon after by Joseph Chase, who brought a man named Weatherly with him in chains. In April of 1796, Chase and Uriah Swain returned to New York and detained one John Clark, Jr., who confessed his role and named his accomplices, none of whom were from Nantucket. This should have cleared Coffin, Rice, and the others but, incredibly, this evidence was never presented in court; so eager were Macy, Swain, Chase and the other accusers to ruin their rivals that they suppressed the exculpatory evidence. As recounted by Clark, on June 17th, three days before the robbery, the sloop Delphin arrived from New York in Nantucket Harbor; on board were three men: John Clark, Jr., James Weatherly, and Seth Johnson. The vessel left port before daybreak on the 21st, the day after the robbery. News of the crime had spread rapidly to mainland towns and cities, and in early July Johnson and Weatherley had actually been found in possession of a large quantity of gold coins and were arrest for the bank robbery, but as no one from Nantucket bothered to follow up on this, they were eventually released. Weatherley and Clark, who apparently couldn’t keep their mouths shut, confessed again to their guard at the Nantucket Gaol (who was fired for reporting the confessions) and later to their cellmate Phineas Fanning, recently incarcerated for alleged indebtedness but actually locked up for siding with Coffin and the others. Fanning, Randall Rice’s attorney, was the husband of Kezia Coffin Fanning, the diarist, who was the daughter of Kezia Coffin, the infamous profiteer from the days of the Revolution. Kezia, recently released from debtors’ prison in Nova Scotia, was living with her daughter and son-in-law in rather impoverished circumstances. Phineas and Kezia were divided over the guilt of their fellow Nantucketers and once again Sylvanus Macy intervened, securing a new home for the Coffin-Fannings on Main Street and, it was hoped, Kezia’s support. He also visited Phineas in prison and promised his release if Fanning would testify that Rice had confessed to him that he had robbed the bank. To his credit Fanning declined, and Kezia came to be convinced of the innocence of her fellow Nantucketers, eventually testifying to the underhanded tactics employed by Macy and the other accusers. When he was finally released, Fanning slipped away to an isolated stretch of the Long Island coast, presumably after the money that he was told was buried there, but returned empty-handed. In the meantime, Weatherley and Clark “escaped” from the Gaol, allegedly with the assistance of some of the bank directors, and hid in ropewalks and swamps before eventually finding passage off of Nantucket. In spite of the exonerating confessions, Rice and the others accused in the robbery were tried in July of 1796, fully a year after the event occurred. Only Rice was found guilty, and he was imprisoned in Boston. He eventually was pardoned and released, but by then his business affairs were in ruins and he was jailed in Nantucket for his debts. Although he was eventually released and resumed some legal work he never achieved the heights of success that he had known previously. The other defendants, exonerated, were spoiling for revenge, and sued Walter Folger, Uriah Swain, and others for slander. And so it went. Five years later William Coffin II was defamed in the State Legislature by his own Representative when Coffin came to provide testimony; naturally he sued for slander. The island remained bitterly divided for decades, and only after all of the participants were dead were the wounds fully healed. There were a number of other controversies on Nantucket involving William Coffin, and the old divisions that underlay the animosities kindled by the Great Bank Robbery, but they must wait for another time. While they each concern a distinct event, they are united by their common origins in the bitter feud that rent Nantucket in two, a feud whose roots lay deep beneath the cracked and shifting foundations of this house divided. -- from "A House Divided: Nantucket After the Revolution Part 2," by James Everett Grieder, published in Yesterday's Island, 2005
Collection Overview: Papers collected by Maria Owen for a book on the Nantucket Bank Robbery.
- Henry Coffin Journal: Carlisle Collection,, 1828-1859
Collection Overview: Photocopy of Henry Coffin journal includes notes on 75 Main Street and other family notes.
- Potter Family Papers / Afro-American Museum Collection, 1929-1959
Collection Overview: The papers include correspondence, financial documents, military records, transcripts, diplomas, immunization records, newsclippings, and photographs. The photographs, which are in need of conservation, have been retained within a folder in the collection.
- Siasconset Civic Association Records / Crapsey Collection, 1931-1990
Collection Overview: Records of the Siasconset Civic Association, including meeting minutes, officers, etc.
- Artists' Association of Nantucket Records, 1945-1977
Collection Overview: Records of the Artists' Association of Nantucket.
- Thomas Edward Coffin Papers / LeGray Collection, 1802-1889
Historical Note: Survivor of the 1854 wreck of the ship Manchester off the coast of Argentina and subsequent capture by natives of Tierra del Fuego and Civil War veteran, of Nantucket, Mass., and later Albion, Mich.; also called Edward Coffin.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, genealogical materials, deeds and mortgages, photographs, and other papers, of Coffin and other family members. Includes genealogical materials on the Coffin, Crosby, Gardner, and Hall families; records relating to family held lands in Cambria, Tecumseh, Albion, and elsewhere in Michigan; records of G.A.R. Post No. 140, Tecumseh, Mich.; materials of Nantucket Lodge No. 66, I.O.O.F.; receipts of Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railway; and Catalog of Nantucket Whalers and Their Voyages from 1815-1870. Subjects include the shipwreck of the Manchester, death of Coffin's parents, Capt. Alexander Hall Coffin and Eliza Ann (Worth) Coffin, and book by Mrs. P.A. Hanaford entitled The Captive Boy of Terra Del Fuego, Being an Authentic Narrative of the Loss of the Ship Manchester and the Adventures of the Sole White Surviror (1867); slavery; French spoliation claims; family members visiting in Aberdeen, Wash.; and fishing and farming in Siasconset, Mass. Correspondents and persons represented include Coffin's wife, Laura (Aldrich) Coffin, aunt, Lydia (Coffin) Wyer, her husband, William C. Wyer, Lydia (Law) Coffin, Robert F. Gardner, Eliza G. (Coffin) Clark, Jedida (Hall) Coffin, Louisa W. (Coffin) Beebe, Lydia M. (Worth) Worth, Melvin A. Coffin, Matthew Crosby, and Ella (Coffin) Mills.
- Moses Coffin and John Jay Papers / Carpenter Collection, 1827-1869
Historical Note: Whaling captain, of Edgartown and Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Correspondence of Coffin and other family members, ship's papers and financial documents of the whaling ship, John Jay, mastered by Coffin; poetry; and miscellaneous papers. Correspondence of Silas Coffin includes letter of reference (1828) from A.C. Pickering, Boston, Mass., to Joseph Pickering, concerning Coffin's employment at the New Boston Paper Mill, Windham, Conn.; correspondence of Susan D. (Swain) Gardner relating to the health of her father, Gideon Swain, her husband Brown Gardner, chandler, at sea, and other subjects; correspondence of David Coffin and Phebe (Barnard) Coffin, concerning Nantucket weather, the price of whale oil, and the shipment of oil by Capt. Paddack on the sloop Convenience, out of Nantucket, in 1842; letter from Seth B. Coffin about the illness and death of his brother, Henry Starbuck Coffin, Brooklyn, N.Y.; and letter from Isaac S. Coffin, including correspondence of Capt. Luther Wilson recounting the death of Isaac's brother David Barnard Coffin, killed by Indians near the Platte River in Nebraska. Papers of the John Jay include directions for fever medication and wound ointment; note from Frederick Elmarez, master of the brigantine Pinac, advising Moses Coffin to proceed to the U.S. consulate in Paita, Peru; directives from U.S. consul Michael Hogan, Valparaâso, Chile, on a number of subjects, including orders to keep Capt. Alexander Drew in irons on the passage home to Nantucket, naming Moses Coffin master of the ship, and correspondence with shipowners Zenas and Gilbert Coffin concerning assistance for Moses Coffin; and ALS from C.W. Cartwright, of Boston, to Moses Coffin, Edgartown, concerning the shipping of casks of oil to Nantucket.
- Coffin Family Papers; Charles G. Coffin and Henry Coffin Business
Papers / Carlisle Collection, 1768- 1890?
Historical Note: Charles G. Coffin (1801-1882) and Henry Coffin (1807-1900), Zenas Coffin’s only sons, inherited their father’s whale oil and candlemaking business located near Commercial Wharf in 1828 and set up the firm of Charles G. and Henry Coffin with the intention of enlarging and improving upon their father’s business. Of all the ships the Coffin brothers owned, the “Charles and Henry” is perhaps the best known because Herman Melville was a crewmember during her 1840-1845 voyage, described in his autobiographical novel “Omoo.” The brothers took pride in their business, seeking out good masters and crewmen for their ships and, though not all the ships’ voyages were successful, both brothers had keen minds for business and were able to profit heavily even after Nantucket’s golden era of whaling by selling or refitting their ships for trading.
Collection Overview: Some personal papers of the Coffin family (folders 1-18), including Isaiah Coffin's school workbook of 1768. Remainder of materials chiefly created with regard to the business of Charles G. Coffin and Henry Coffin.
- Edouard A. Stackpole Collection, 1750- 1990
Collection Overview: Subject files created by the NHA's former director and research library director Edouard Stackpole.
- James F. Cooper Manuscript, 1983
Collection Overview: Typed manuscript, "Island of Scoundrels and Saints", 1983, a fictional account based upon the Nantucket Bank robbery of 1795
- Samuel Victor Constant Collection, 1897- 1913
Collection Overview: Collection of items on Nantucket history: a. Fifty Views of Siasconset (Actors' Colony) Nantucket, Photographs by Burr McIntosh, New York City, 1904, b. 65 Glimpses of Nantucket, John F. Murphy, c. Sheet Music - The Sconset Cabaret by Kenneth Webb and Ray Webb, 1913
- Nantucket Arts Council Records, 1974- 1995
Collection Overview: Records of the Nantucket Arts Council, including minutes, lists of donors, correspondence, etc.
- Clay Lancaster's "Holiday Island" Manuscript, c. 1990
Historical Note: Clay Lancaster has written three other books about Nantucket: *The Far-out Island Railroad,* illustrated with his own drawings; a picture album, *Nantucket in the Nineteenth Century*; and a survey entitled *The Architecture of Historic Nantucket.* He has made other regional surveys of architecture in the Middle Atlantic, Central, and Southern states. Mr. Lancaster has taught at Columbia University, New York University, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Cooper Union, and Vassar College. Much of his teaching has been in the field of Asian art and culture. His specialty is East-West cultural interchange, to which belongs the monumental study *The Japanese Influence in America.* He has also written and illustrated a number of books for children.
Collection Overview: Manuscript of Holiday Island, a history of Nantucket as a tourist mecca.
- School Building Committee Papers, 1985- 1993
Collection Overview: Minutes, list of committee members, reports, notes and commentary, accreditation report, survey forms, site plan, and other records.
- Nantucket Civil Defense District #4 Map / Porter Collection, c. 1943
Collection Overview: Printed map on wood illustrating Nantucket, Mass., north to the Cliff, the harbor to east, Milestone Rd., to the south, and Crooked Lane to the west; typed key listing wardens and telephone numbers; and handwritten list explaining who the wardens were and where they lived.
- Florence Farrier Hall Collection, 1839- 1875
Historical Note: Resident of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Diary (1839-1875) kept by Matthew Crosby (1791- 1878) entitled Memorandum Book of Bills Paid in 1839, detailing autobiographical information, with later entries relating to privateering and the capture of vessels, some from Nantucket, during the War of 1812, chiefly in Stonington, Conn., Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard, Mass., including entries about the weather, with mention of ice in the harbor in 1875; loose sheets of poetry, one addressed to Elizabeth C. Pinkham Crosby (Mrs. William Henry Crosby); and genealogical materials on the Marshall family.
- Nantucket Council on Aging Records, 1986-1990
Collection Overview: Constitution, bylaws, minutes, and other records.
- Business Certificates and Attachments, inactive, 1900-1987
Collection Overview: A collection of business certificates.
- Samuel S. Hussey Journal, 1830- 1883
Historical Note: Samuel S. Hussey (1819-1884) son of Joseph Hussey and Eliza (Coffin)
Collection Overview: Contains minutes of temperance society meetings, meteorological records, weather extremes, freeze-up, snow storms and daily events, 1830-1860; personal accounts, January through December 1879. Also account book January 1879 through September 1883, mentioning household items and food.
- Frances Elder Collection, 1863- 1956
Collection Overview: Bound book kept by Bessie C. Winslow entitled Nantucket History and Scraps, with index, including poem by Mary E. Starbuck, facts about 'Sconset', notes copied from whale fishermen, clipping from the Beard family history, and excerpts from the diaries of Maria Mott Davis and Eliza Mitchell; business miscellany including trade card for David Folger's horse and carriage trade, receipt for paint for Mrs. Edward C. Joy to William H. Coffin, and copies of the Inquirer and Mirror referring to the poor condition of the old north vestry of First Congregational Church; and materials of various organizations and businesses, including Union Temperance Society of Nantucket, Grand Army of the Republic, Nantucket Civic League, Pacific Club, Pacific National Bank, Sherburne Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star, and Union Lodge (Freemasons). Subjects of Winslow's book include migration to Hudson, N.Y., Lowestoft porcelain, historic Nantucket houses, whaling, sheep shearing, missionary Timothy White, Tristram Coffin, Arthur Cooper, a slave, the silk factory, and two early Quaker teachers, John Boadle and Hepsibeth Hussey.
- John Elder Collection, 1837- 1915
Collection Overview: Tour guides, genealogical charts, maps, and other materials, useful for the Nantucket, Mass., tourist trade. Includes newspaper (1856) The Critic published by Nantucket High School; guidebooks written by George Richardson and others; genealogical charts for Rebecca Ann Gardner and Edward C. Joy, the latter approved by Benjamin Franklin Folger in 1854; and several early maps.
- Nantucket Yacht Club Papers / Newhouse Collection, 1890-1992
Restrictions Note: No item from this collection may be published without permission from the General Manager of the Nantucket Yacht Club. Please see deed of gift for details.
Historical Note: Nantucket Athletic Club founded 1890; reorganized as Nantucket Yacht Club in 1920.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, treasurer's reports, by-laws, resolutions, club histories, membership records, membership booklets, financial records, calendars of events, invitations, programs and other materials relating to races and regattas, entry blanks, charts of race courses, clippings, press releases, photographs, blueprints, and other records, reflecting the history of the club. Includes invitations and information regarding the Chester River Yacht and Country Club and Harlem Yacht Club; typed history of the U.S.S. Jeffers; North American Yacht Racing Union rules; materials on the 13' catboat designed by E.A. Edwards and Benjamin Karl Sharp, naval architects; plans for NYC One Design class boats by Edwards & Sharp; and agreements and contracts with Nantucket Players, Island Theater, and other groups concerning the summer theater performances held at the club. Correspondents include Anna G. Archibald, Clarence Cennett, Donald Craig, D.R. Hinckley, William Miles, Benjamin Karl Sharp, Karl Staler, and W.S. Walsh.
- Bomb Target Sites Collection, 1943- 1946
Collection Overview: Photocopies of brief letters, memorandums and leases for use of: a. Hummock Pond by Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, RI - 1943 b. Sheep Pond by Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, RI - 1944 c. Hummond Pond by Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, RI and land required for observation towers owned by Henry C. Everett - 1945 d. Tom Nevers Rocket Projectile Range; Sheep Pond and Hummock Pond - 1946 e. 3 maps of areas (2 faxed copies; one color photocopy) f. 2 pages of notes
- Nantucket Electric Company and Gas Production Report
Collection Overview: Photocopy of report: Technical History of Nantucket Electric Company Gas and Electrical Production from 1854 to 1915. Includes five maps
- U.S. Naval Facility Nantucket Collection, 1955-1995
Collection Overview: Excerpts from a naval installation survey report, issued by U.S. General Services Administration, including details on the building of a personnel shelter and a map of the Nantucket facility; command histories (1966-1975) of NAVFACNAN, a facility of the Naval Construction Battalion Center, Port Hueneme, Calif., issued by Office of Naval History, Washington, D.C.; correspondence between GSA and Hon. Gerry E. Studds relating to the disposition of NAVFACNAN; articles from the Inquirer and Mirror concerning a command change (1961) and installation closure (1975); and reprint from Clio Magazine entitled JFK's Bomb-Shelter by the Beach (1995).
- Barry House Papers, 1919-1922, 1992
Collection Overview: Letters and receipts regarding the building of a house in Siasconset (1919-1922)
- Phebe Coleman / Folk Collection, 1809
Collection Overview: Poem, written by Phebe Coleman, of Nantucket, Mass., entitled "The Farewell", including handwritten version with transcription and published copy from the Daily Advertiser, Cleveland, Ohio (1837 Apr. 7); together with a letter from the collection donor to singer Victoria Hawkins relating to Phebe Coleman.
- Winslow-Foye / Elder Collection, 1825- 1941
Collection Overview: Nantucket, Mass., historical materials, including handwritten copies of religious writings by William Penn, Anna S. Jenks on Massasoit (1894), Cyrus Pierce to his former students (1839 Aug. 5), diary (1825) of Henry Coffin, article by Edward Rowe Snow entitled The Nantucket Heart, relating to the death of scientist diplomat Charles F. Winslow and the burial of his heart in Nantucket, diaries of Eliza Mitchell and Obed Macy, Quakers, and A Provincetown Chronicle by Mary Heaton Vorse; indexes, including typed glossary of costume terms; and six notebooks containing historical writings and poetry. Subjects of the notebooks include Obed Macy's diary; materials of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society relating to Nantucket public schools, streets, whaling, whale oil and other industries, and the fire of 1846; diaries of George F. Worth; home of Miriam Coffin; Quakerism; Benjamin Franklin; Old North Vestry; families of Thomas Macy, Edward Starbuck, and other early residents; Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin; and Walter Folger, Jr.
- Technical Drawings Collection, c. 1850- c. 1930
Collection Overview: Engineering drawings, with notes, chiefly relating to pumps. Includes notes for using cement to fasten bolts in stone and note on strokes and diameter of cylinders.
- Sylvia Family Papers, 1875- 1882
Historical Note: Sailors, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Seamen's protection papers (1882 Aug. 5) of Ferdinand A. Sylvia; together with honorable discharge from U.S. Navy (1875 Aug. 5) of Frederick A. Sylvia.
- Fictional Stories Collection, 1827- 1966
Collection Overview: Short stories (some published), many written by residents of Nantucket, Mass., chiefly relating to whaling and Nantucket; together with press releases, invitations, and accompanying materials.
- Stationery Ephemera Collection, 1850s- [open]
Collection Overview: Examples of stationery, including part of a sheet of writing paper from California with charming illustrations of life during the Gold Rush and 17 double sheets of lined writing paper with color illustrations of New York, Charles Mangus, Publisher, circa 1870's and 1880's
- Earl Ray Collection, 1886-1944 (bulk 1917-1944)
Historical Note: U.S. Army soldier, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Diary of an unidentified author (1 folder, 1886 Jan. 1-1886 Dec. 31), reflecting Nantucket, Mass., weather, boat arrivals and departures, births, marriages, and deaths, shipwrecks, and local events; together with correspondence and other papers of Ray, relating to his service in England and France during World War I, including letters to his parents, William C. and Millie Ray, of Nantucket, written from Fort Slocum and Mineola, N.Y., and Camp Kelly (Fort Concho), Tex., postcards from Paris, France, and descriptions of sandstorms in Texas, the crossing of the Atlantic aboard the ship Adriatic, homesickness, and casualities of war suffered by the French; correspondence of other family members concerning various subjects; and miscellaneous materials, including a booklet published by the Red Cross written for soldiers returning home from the war entitled "When You Get Home" and a memorandum (1944) from a public works official regarding the inspection of battalion areas. There are no papers dated 1887-1916 or 1918- 1943.
- Charles W. Morgan Receipts / Fred Gardner Collection, 1910-1911
Collection Overview: Chiefly receipts from New Bedford, MA businesses for outfitting and rigging the ship, 1910-1911. Of interest is the individual slop chest receipts for the crew, May 9, 1911.
- Abby H. Gibbs Letters / Graser Collection, 1850
Collection Overview: 2 ALS to Mrs. Abby H. Gibbs care of Dr. Fearing from F. Horton re: his travels around the Cape, and his return to Nantucket and a love letter of sorts. Provincetown, August 20, 1850; W. Cambridge, November 4, 1850. Envelope included.
- Nantucket (Mass.). Long Range Solid Waste Disposal Committee Records,
Collection Overview: Correspondence, minutes, drafts, contracts, plans, reports, proposals, press releases, and other documents, relating to proposals and negotiations by the committee, with Resource Control Inc., E & A Environmental Consultants, and other companies, concerning the building of a landfill and disposal plant for sewage and hazardous waste, as well as facilities for composting and recycling. Includes minutes of committee and the county selectmen; reports of landfill fees and operations; information pertaining to containers for curbside pickup; and the warrant (1987-1989) of the Nantucket Town Meeting. Persons represented include Peter Boynton, committee chairman, and Gene Ratner.
- William B. Starbuck Journals, 1873- 1890
Historical Note: Merchant seaman, whaler, and sailmaker; later became farmer and tax collector, of Nantucket, Mass.; b. William Barnard Starbuck.
Collection Overview: Journals reflecting Starbuck's activities as farmer and tax collector, daily life, local events, marriages, births, and deaths of Nantucket residents, the weather, and family affairs. Subjects include his membership in the Odd Fellows and Nantucket Lodge #66; checkers and other games played; cats; the tanning of cat hides; birthdays of his wife, Lydia R. (Macy) Harris Starbuck and other family members; the planting of potatoes, corn, tobacco, and other commodities; the town building; the building of outhouses; vote legalizing the sale of alcohol in Massachusetts; fires on the island; funerals; holidays; shipwrecks and the grounding of ships; town meetings; trips to Boston, Brockton, New Bedford, Mass., and elsewhere; Nantucket businesses; lighthouses; fireworks; and the discipline of his grandson, Harry Starbuck. Includes ALS (slipped between the pages) from Lydia M. Woodlin to O.C. Hussey requesting the installation of a "flush toilet"; and copy of genealogical records of William C. Folger.
- North Shore Restaurant / Karttunen Collection, 1937-c. 1975 (bulk
Collection Overview: Paper place mat (ca. 1975) of North Shore Restaurant, Nantucket, Mass., by C. Robert Perrin; typed biography of restaurant owner, Esther U. Gibbs, by Frances Karttunen (abbreviated version later published by Radcliffe Culinary Times); menu (1958); and menu (1937) from Robert's House, a Nantucket inn.
- Congressional Reports Concerning Whaling, 1806-1845
Collection Overview: U.S. Congressional reports reflecting various aspects of whaling in Nantucket, Mass. Includes report (1806) of the House Committee of Commerce and Manufactures granting the petition of Tristram Hussey, of Nantucket, to exempt American whale oil from the payment of duties; report (1832) concerning the protest of Nantucket merchants against a petition calling for the repeal of duty on various foreign oils; report of the Committee on Naval Affairs pertaining to a request by John Percival for remuneration of expenses incurred by the mutiny on the whaling ship Globe in 1924; and report (1845) relating to a request by Thomas Ap Catesby Jones asking for remuneration of expenses incurred in holding negotiations with the chief of the Sandwich and other South Sea islands in 1826-1827 when Jones was sent to remove unruly Nantucket sailors from the islands.
- Foreign Acts Pertaining to the American Whaling Industry, 1764-1819
Collection Overview: Copies of non-U.S. acts pertaining to the American whaling industry.
- Mary Swift (Coffin) Carlisle Drawings Collection, 1869-c. 1886
Historical Note: (1851--?) was the daughter of Henry Coffin, who built 75 Main St. in 1833, and the mother of Henry Coffin Carlisle, born 1886.
Collection Overview: Diploma (1869) from Nantucket High School; 6 large pencil drawings; and 13 small pencil and color drawings.
- Daniel Webster Letter, 1837
Historical Note: Daniel Webster (1782-1852), a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, visited Nantucket in the summer of 1828 (see Historic Nantucket for two accounts) and was very taken with the island and its inhabitants.
Collection Overview: Letter from Daniel Webster to William P. Fessenden, Washington, September 21, 1837. The letter congratulates Fessenden, a statesman and U.S. Representative from Maine, on a political victory, and suggests a visit.
- Copies of the Nantucket Lighthouse Records in the National Archives,
Collection Overview: Records having to do with the appointment and keeping of lighthouse keepers, the building of lighthouses, and the furnishing of oil.
- Henry Brown Education Collection, c. 1841-c. 1916
Collection Overview: Educational materials, collected by Henry Brown, a resident of Nantucket, Mass., including geometry book (1841, with exercises perhaps from an earlier date), containing two photographs; spelling lesson; exercises on compound interest; critique of Comte's Positive Philosophy; essay (1851) entitled "The Proper Use of Sunday"; booklet: Pieces Played by the Perkins Trio; and watercolors of plants and birds. The back of the geometry book is dated 1916. Signature on front leaf reads "James Holland, Jersey City" (thought to be a later owner).
- Horace Easton Collection, 1883
Collection Overview: Music book owned by Horace Easton (1871-1907), 1883
- Obed G. Smith Collection, 1900
Collection Overview: Oversize document appointing Obed G. Smith (1837-1913) Collector of Customs for the District of Nantucket. Signed by William McKinley, President, March 27, 1900.
- John H. Welch Collection, 1869- 1989
Collection Overview: Collection of magazines with articles on Nantucket.
- George W. Jones Papers, c. 1870- 1990
Historical Note: U.S. naval officer, businessman, and civic leader, of Nantucket, Mass.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, certificates, miscellaneous school and college records, military papers, desk diary, scrapbook, poems, newsclippings, photograph albums, and ephemera, reflecting Jones's daily and family activities and his interest in the history of Nantucket. Subjects include his student days at the Coffin School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology; service with R.O.T.C. and during World War II with the U.S. Naval Reserve, especially the U.S. Navy Atlantic Fleet, Amphibious Training Command at Norfolk, Va. (1944-1945), with additional duty in Europe and other locations in the U.S.; and involvement with local fraternal organizations and the Nantucket Historical Association. Includes correspondence with his father, John Conant Jones, relating to investment in New Jersey real estate; fiftieth reunion materials for the MIT Class of 1924; desk diary (1958) from Congdon and Coleman (real estate and insurance) listing past Nantucketers, including their line of business, merchandise sold, houses built, and other historical data; and photographs of family members, including his great-grandfather, Lemuel Jones, grandfather, Asa Conant Jones, father, John Conant Jones, mother, Sarah Chadwick Jones, wife, Rozelle Breyton Coleman Jones, and other members of the Jones, Chadwick, Larrabee, Tracey, and Beebe families.
- Charles H. Jaggar's Drug and Chemical Store Prescription books, 1855-1872
Historical Note: Drugstore later became known as Congdon's Pharmacy. Originally in possession of the donor's uncle, Walter Fairbanks, who became pharmacist at Congdon's Pharmacy in 1937.
Collection Overview: Two prescription books (1855-1861, 1868-1872), kept by an unknown pharmacist.
- Greeting Card Collection, c. 1880s
Collection Overview: Valentines, Christmas cards, invitations, and other greeting cards (many with poems), sent to residents of Nantucket, Mass.
- Martha Fish Papers / Louise Hussey Collection, 1875-1981
Historical Note: Martha (Burgess) Fish (also Fisher, which is how Martha signs her last name) (1844- ) was the daughter of Charles A. and Mary Burgess. In 1863 she married Abner G. Fish (1830 -1901), of Boston. They had one daughter, Martha (Mattie)(1864- ), who married Oliver Clinton (Clint) Hussey (1859- ) in 1883, and an adopted (or natural) son, Fred S. Fisher (1870/1--1930; committed suicide), who later had a farm on what is now Old South Road (on both sides of the road, where Naushop is presently located).
Collection Overview: This collection includes ten diaries kept by Martha (Burgess) Fish (also Fisher, which is how Martha signs her last name) (1844- ). Martha Fish's diaries span the years from 1875 to 1913. These three diaries provide a detailed description of the everyday activities of the Fish family on Nantucket in the 1870s and 1880s; they also illuminate the nature of the island community in the late nineteenth century. Abner and Martha Fish owned Cherry Grove Farm, on Hummock Pond Road (original farmhouse now 32 Hummock Pond Road, at intersection with Vesper Lane). There are innumerable references in these three diaries to farming activities, mentions of planting, plowing, hoeing, harvesting, mowing, carting kelp and hay, slaughtering, shearing (the references to farm work are so prolific that it is impossible to note each individual mention). Abner also performed farm work and handy-man work for other members of the community. His work took him all over the island, to Quidnet, Polpis, Sconset, Wauwinet, and Madaket. Martha helped on the farm with chores and did the housework (cleaning, baking, churning, sewing, marketing). She also did work, for a fee, for neighbors, including sewing, washing, cooking, cleaning, painting; the books contain some of her accounts, listing the tasks completed and the fees charged. Clearly, the Fishes were a hard-working family. Although, the Fishes were constantly engaged in one task or another, they were part of an incredibly social and interdependent community (for example: Martha assisted at births, "watched" at deaths, and helped to nurse friends and relations who were ill: she records births and deaths in her diary entries). There are as many references to neighbors visiting, and visited, as there are to farming. It appears that the Fishes did not live on Cherry Grove Farm all year round: there are references to winter in-town rentals. Although the Fishes may have inhabited different residences, it is clear that they made frequent trips to the farm when not residing there. The Fishes, at various times, had boarders, some of whom were hired to help on the farm. In 1884 Abner became the keeper of the asylum (the poorhouse). Martha cooked and cared for the inmates. The Fish / Hussey collection also includes a book kept by an unidentified tax collector. This volume is moldy and is likewise not available to researchers. A scrapbook kept by Louise Rounsville Hussey (1901-1997) is also part of the collection. Louise Hussey, who was born in Fairhaven, Mass., was the NHA Librarian for more than a quarter of a century. For pictures of Cherry Grove Farm, Reginald Hussey, and related family photographs see the following images: P16897, P16898, P16899, P16900, P16901, P16902. (These photographs were donated by Martha Bouton.)
- Barbara Johnson / Friends of the NHA Collection, 1766-1891
Historical Note: Barbara Johnson created an important collection of books and manuscripts on whales, whaling and related subjects.
Collection Overview: Personal papers, including correspondence, agreements, bills, and receipts, maritime records and ships' papers, including shipping papers, legal documents, consular documents, insurance policies, protection papers, receipts, and lists, and photographs, relating to whaling in Nantucket, Mass. Includes ALS by Joseph Alston, Jr., to John Kaighn (Kaign), Philadelphia, Pa., merchant, while visiting the island in June 1766, containing a good description of the Nantucket whaling industry; passport (1856, text in French), issued to George B. Folger, whaling master, for a voyage in the Mediterranean; ALS (1850) by Josiah Macy, leading figure in Nantucket whaling, written to Charles P. Williams, New York, N.Y., inquiring about the character of a gentleman courting Macy's daughter; and account book, receipts, bills, will, and other papers, of Henry A. Phelon, Jr., master of the Omega, Three Brothers, and Ploughboy, sailing out of Nantucket and New Bedford, Mass., who moved to West Springfield, Mass., in 1841 where he retired to farming, including promissory notes written to persons in Hebron, Conn., many receipts for goods purchased by his wife, Mary Ann (Folger) Phelon, poems by Mary Ann Phelon, and account book kept by Phelon reflecting field work and crops sold at his farm. Also includes agreement (1811) signed by Laban Russell, of New Bedford, agreeing to go to Milford Haven, Wales and proceed on a whaling voyage in a ship to be procured by Benjamin Rotch; crew list (ca. 1843) for ship Richard Mitchell; materials relating to the maiden voyage (1809-1811) of the ship Thomas, captained by Davis Whippey (Whippy), including some receipts in Portuguese and notes relating to several Afro-American crew members; ships' papers (1837-1841) for the Three Brothers, captained by Henry Phelon on a Pacific voyage; legal documents (1837-1841) issued in Hawaii concerning the ship Young Hero regarding a suit brought by the French whaling vessel Napoleon III when it was involved in a collision with the Young Hero which caused considerable damage; and insurance policy (1794) for the brig Neptune sailing from Nantucket to France with a cargo of whale oil and bone.
- Manuscript Vertical Files
Collection Overview: Small collections or single items.
- Manuscript Vertical Collections, Oversized
Collection Overview: Diplomas, certificates, and other materials, relating to Nantucket, Mass. Includes whale chart (1851) by W.F. Maury, indicating the grounds for sperm and right whales; copy of deed (19th c.) given by Josiah Wampatuck (Chief Wampatuck, also known as Josiah Sagamore), of the Massachuset Indians of the lands of Old Braintree in 1664; letters patent (1842) of Aaron Folger, lightkeeper, for the "improvement in the mode of arranging the lamps and reflectors of lighthouses to prevent the effect of frost on the surface of the lantern"; portrait map (1956) by Everett Henry from Herman Melville's Moby Dick; four-language sea letter (passport, 1865) for the ship Andrews, captained by Timothy C. Packard, signed by Abraham Lincoln; Earth Day proclamation (1990) issued by the town of Nantucket; diplomas of Ida B. Lindlen (Wesleyan College, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1883) and Susie B. Hussey (Nantucket High School, 1864); certificate of membership (1876) to the Newport, R.I., Marine Society issued to Joseph W. Congdon; HABS certificate for a local building; and certificate from the American National Red Cross (1918) authorizing Nantucket to engage in Red Cross activities.
- Nantucket Calendars Collection, 1899- 1966
Collection Overview: Calendar (1899) published by Albert G. Brock Fire and Life Insurance, including illustration entitled "Music of the Pinewood"; calendar (1910) from the Inquirer and Mirror, including illustrations of historic sites; and calendar (1966) from the Inquirer and Mirror, including handwritten notes (keeper unknown) on various days listing historic events, such as President Grant's visit to Nantucket on 27 Aug. 1874.
- Whalemen's Shipping List, 1843- 1894
Collection Overview: The Whalemen's Shipping List and Merchants' Transcript (abbreviated here to the Whalemen's Shipping List) was published weekly in New Bedford from 1843 to 1914. The NHA possesses all 36 volumes of the list that span the years from 1843 to 1894. (This collection was a gift to the N HA from William H. Tripp (1880-1959) of New Bedford, curator of the New Bedford Whaling Museum for 25 years.) The Whalemen's Shipping List provided persons who were involved in the whaling industry--masters, owners, agents, merchants, and crew--with vital information about the movements of whaling vessels, the fate of whaling crews, the prices of oil and whalebone, and the state of the oil markets. Each issue begins with a list of whaling vessels from all the American whaling ports and includes the tonnage of each vessel, its master, owner and agent, the date the vessel sailed, its destination, when and where the vessel was last sighted and how many barrels of oil it contained. Starbuck's "History of the American Whale Fishery" contains similiar, although less detailed, information. The list also published monthly imports of sperm and whale oils, as well as whalebone; the prices of oil; news of the sale of vessels; crew lists; and countless advertisements for whaling provisions, equipment, clothing, charts, instruments, insurance companies, and even attorneys. From these volumes, a library volunteer has extracted information that pertains specifically to Nantucket. Most of the entries contain information about the activities of Nantucket whalemen and the fate of Nantucket whaleships. Each volume contains the stamp of W.H. Tripp and the date May 15, 1920.
- Fisherman's Journals and Shipping Articles, 1865-1866
Collection Overview: This collection includes Articles of Agreement for five fishing vessels of Nantucket for 1866, with certificates of examination; photocopies of 6 fishing journals for 1865-1866; and 3 volumes entitled "Sailing Directions and Nautical Remarks" by Commodore M.C. Perry (Washington: 1857). As these three volumes are severely mold damaged they have been separated from the collection and are awaiting preservation. They are stored in the vault. Articles of Agreement listed the privileges of fishermen and the regulations they were subject to. The document contained the signatures of the master and every member of the crew, and provided legal evidence not only as to the nature and length of the voyage, but as to the duties to be performed and the wages due. These documents include the quintals of fish dry cured and the gallons of cod oil produced during each voyage, and the total value in dollars of each. A quintal was either 100 or 112 pounds, depending on usage. It was a term commonly used in the dried fish trade. The Articles of Agreement contain printed circulars on their reverse. Circulars, i.e., printed letters or announcements, were issued by the Treasury Department and sent out to the collectors at ports throughout the nation. It was the primary method to keep each district abreast of the latest legislation and conditions affecting customs administration. Each Articles of Agreement is accompanied by a certificate, signed by the Customs Inspector, indicating that the vessel is seaworthy and fitted for the cod fisheries according to law. Fishing journals were kept for each voyage, which was from Nantucket to the Western Banks. Daily entries record a vessel's position, the wind and weather, vessels "spoken,"and other brief remarks of note.
- Inna Garsoian Collection, 1942- 1953
Historical Note: Inna Garsoian (1896-1984) was born in Russia. She studied art in Moscow and Paris, and came to the United States in 1933. She painted scenes of Nantucket in the 1930s and 1940s. The NHA decorative arts collections contains various paintings created by her. For a more detailed biography see Michael Jehle's book on Nantucket portraiture and artists. The exhibit brochures also contain biographical information.
Collection Overview: Brochures (1942-1947) for exhibits of Garsoian's paintings in Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia, and photocopies of reviews from Art News (1943, 1953) of Garsoian's exhibitions. Paintings exhibited included scenes of lighthouses and Nantucket, Mass., as well as New England landscapes.
- Jane H. Gay Collection, 1805- 1879
Historical Note: Charles Gardner (1769-1848) was a captain of merchant vessels. Charles Gardner's mother was a Worth: Anna Worth (1740- 1815). Obed Worth was a second cousin of Charles Gardner (both descended from Jonathan Worth, 1685-1719). Eliza Riddell (1773-1846) was the mother of Eunice G. Riddell and the grandmother of Charles Gardner. Eunice G. Riddell was the granddaughter of Anna Worth. Isaac S. Riddell (1815-1893) was the son of Eunice G. (Sisson) Riddell (1795-1880) and the great grandson of Anna Worth. Jane Riddell Gay's great-grandmother, Harriet Riddell, ran a boarding house on Gull Island in the late 1800s.
Collection Overview: The collection contains bills, receipts, invoices, deeds, wills, notes, and an insurance policy. The documents in this collection were created by Charles Gardner, Obed Worth, Eunice G. Riddell, and Isaac S. Riddell.
- Byron V. Dunham Papers, 1943- 1945
Historical Note: Byron Vincent Dunham (1920-1971), a fourth- generation Nantucketer, entered the U.S. Merchant Marine Cadet Corps in 1942 and was discharged as a Third Class Quartermaster in April 1946.
Collection Overview: Two notebooks discovered after Dunham his death. The first notebook was started as a journal on board the "Julia Ward Howe" (Dunham was forced to abandon ship in the Atlantic in January 1943). The second notebook, also a journal, dated from his naval service in the South Pacific, beginning in January 1943. Additional biographical information about Dunham and transcriptions of his two journals can be found in the book "The Wartime Journals of Byron V. Dunham: January 1943 to December 1945."
- Alberta Rule Journal, 1851-c. 1905
Historical Note: George C. Rule (1874-) married Alberta Edith Douglass in 1905.
Collection Overview: This journal was kept by a number of people over a span of more than fifty years. It is referred to as the Alberta Rule journal as the name Mrs. George C. Rule is inscribed in pencil on the paper covering the journal. Clearly the earlier entries were not kept by Mrs. Rule and it cannot be proven that the latest entries in the volume were made by her, only that the volume came to be in her possession. George C. Rule's middle name was Cobb, and it seems likely that the journal descended through George Cobb, Rule's grandfather, who appears to have been one of the keepers. The first page of the journal, which is loose, contains a few accounts dating from 1858 and 1861. The earliest entries date from 1851-1853 and record the business of Nantucket's Court of Common Pleas during these years. It is possible that the recorder of these entries was the clerk of the Court of Common Pleas, George Cobb (1791-1874). George Cobb served as Clerk of the Judicial Courts from 1836 to 1872. Of particular interest is the entry that mentions Absalom F. Boston v. Daniel Camblen Whitman (towards end of first section). These entries are followed by a journal that starts Jan. 1, 1858 and concludes Aug. 24, 1863. The keeper appears to be different from the previous section. A second handwriting (a woman's handwriting?) emerges at one point during these entries. These entries are extremely abbreviated, referring to weather, the arrival and departure of vessels--including the steamers "Telegraph," "Island Home," and "Eagle's Wing" and the whalers "Alpha," "Three Brothers," and "Citizen." Deaths are mentioned and other local news. Of particular interest is the mention, July 1858, that Edward C. Swain was found hung in the Thomas Macy barn at Cherry House. Clippings are pasted on to various pages. These list the results of local and national elections (see Nov. 6, 1860; Oct. 1859; Nov. 4, 1862). At the end of the volume in a feminine hand is a poem entitled "Laws of Siasconset" and various "statements" (original? transcribed?) numbered No. 1 - 12. Perhaps these were created by Mrs. Rule. Newsclippings from a Boston paper, dated 1893, are also included in the journal. These have been removed from the volume and placed in a white envelope.
- George Cobb Papers, 1834-c. 1951
Historical Note: George Cobb (1791-1874) was prominent in local government, serving as Clerk of the Judicial Courts (from 1836 to 1872), Town and County Treasurer, and Register of Probate. (See the Stackpole Collection for his obituary.) George Cobb married Susan Wyer (1794-1861) in 1814. They produced seven children. He married a second time in 1861, wedding Nancy Coffin (1804-1875). George Cobb's father, William Cobb (1764-1842), was a United States Senator. His mother was Charlotte Coffin (1763-1812).
Collection Overview: The collection spans the years from 1834 - ca. 1951, and includes correspondence, bills, deeds, and other legal documents. Two names that figure prominently in the papers are Edward H. Morton and Anna Folger. Morton (1810-1887) was a Nantucket whaling captain who sailed to San Francisco in 1852 and appears to have remained there. Cobb served as his legal and financial agent in Nantucket. Cobb was also the guardian of Anna Folger (1767-1861), whose name figures in many of the collection's receipts. Various members of the Rule family are also mentioned in the papers.
- Sally Folger Book, 1799- 1802
Collection Overview: This booklet appears to have been kept by Sally Folger, born Sarah Folger. The back cover of the book contains her signature (Sally Folger as well as the name Sarah) and there are several letters included in the book that are signed "Sally F." It is difficult to determine which Sarah (Sally) Folger was the keeper of this book. Perhaps it was Sarah Folger (-- 1808) who married Borden Chase in 1802. They had one child Sarah (Sally appears to have died in, or soon after, childbirth). Sarah's father was George Folger who married Rebecca Slocum (hence the Slocum connection). However, this is conjectural. The handwriting of these letters is very similiar to the handwriting of the other items (or most of the items) included within the book (it is important to remember that the quills used at that time would have resulted in a slight inconsistency of texture and width of handwriting-- also some handwriting was clearly more formal or practiced). The book itself is sewn and pinned together with some loose pages in the beginning. The book, which spans the years 1799 - 1802 (those items that are dated) comprises drafts of letters, simple drawings, copies of earlier letters, extracts from poets and authors, meditations and musings. Some of the materials appear to be in the hand of Sally Folger but are signed with a different name (see letters written by Prudence Manly)--perhaps she copied these letters into her book (or the letters are indeed by Prudence Manly and Sally included them in her book--it is difficult to be certain).
- Siasconset Union Chapel Collection, 1882-1996
Historical Note: The Siasconset Union Chapel was incorporated in 1882. The construction of the building was completed in 1883 by Charles W. Robinson. Since the building's construction a Union Service for all denominations has been held in the chapel. Roman Catholics began to have separate services in 1887. In 1922 colored people of 'Sconset were allowed to use the chapel for services on Sunday evening (services continued until 1932 when it is assumed that the two groups decided to worship together). In 1951 the chapel employed a regular minister (previously various Nantucket ministers had been employed). This brief history of the Siasconset Union Chapel has been excerpted from a 1983 PI:N study, which can also be found in the library. The study includes a chronology of significant dates (from an architectural standpoint) and a list of Union Chapel board members.The first board members were William Ballantyne, Sullivan M. Cutcheon, H. Kirke White, Horatio G. Brooks, Oliver C. Folger, George F. Coffin, and Robert P. Pitman.
Collection Overview: The collection includes minutes, which span the years from 1882-1954 and 1976-1996; financial and treasurer's reports, which span the years from 1886-1967 and from 1976-1996 (included with minutes); memorandums; correspondence; and several large sheets showing architectural details of the chapel.
- Aimee Newell Collection, 1997- 1999
Historical Note: Aimee Newell has performed in a number of local plays. She was formerly the registrar and curator of the Nantucket Historical Association.
Collection Overview: Programs for performances by Nantucket theater groups, and postcards, brochures, and invitations to events sponsored by local art galleries and non-profit organizations. The materials span the years from 1997 to 1999.
- Robert L. Young Papers, 1930- 1997
Historical Note: Robert L. Young was born in Derry, New Hampshire on June 20, 1917. His parents were Harvey Allen Young (1891-1980) and Adelaide B. Furlong (1882-1965). His siblings are Alice Frances Young Sargent (1919- ) and Roger Allen Young (1924-1998). He lived in Haverill, Massachusetts from 1918 to 1922 and in Ashland, Massachusetts from 1922 to 1929, when he and his family moved to Nantucket. Young is a 1936 graduate of the Mount Herman School. He attended the University of Vermont in 1937, and was in Europe from 1937 to 1940. He attended Camp William James in Turnbridge, Vermont from 1941 to 1942. The years from 1942 to 1946 were spent in military service, with training in the United States and service in Europe. On April 17, 1942 Young was inducted from Chelsea, Vermont to Fort Devons, Massachusetts, and was processed from there to Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, where he was assigned to the Signal Corp, U.S. Army and schooled in electrical radio repair. He received orders to be released from Signal Corp to report to Mitchell Field, Long Island, New York. Young then reported to Aviation Evaluation School in Nashville, Tennessee. From Nashville he went to Primary Flight School in Jackson, Tennessee for six week, and then to Basic Flight School in Greenwood, Missouri for six weeks. Single Engine Flight School followed at Craig Field at Selma, Alabama for six weeks. From Selma he was assigned to Flight Training School at Randolph Field in San Antonio, Texas, and then to the Mustang Training School at Bartow Field, Florida. In November of 1943 he was assigned overseas to England. Young was assigned to the 354 Fighter Group 356th Squadron, a unit of the 7th Army Air Corp, which became know as the Air Force as the war progressed. The men in the 9th were on loan to the 8th for escort duty until invasion, D-Day. After D-Day the 9th reverted to their primary function as Tactical Air Force supporting troops on ground, destroying enemy ground facilities. Young was "mustered out to civilian life" January 6, 1946. He remained in the Army Reserves. Young acquired the nickname "Pop" during flight training due to the age difference between himself and rest of the enlistees, who were 18 to 21 years old, and the fact that he was balding. Student pilots used to rub his head for "luck" before going flying. Upon leaving the service he attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon, from 1946 to 1947. In 1947 her purchased a farm in Vershire, Vermont where he raised Tossenburg goats for a goat dairy. The farm failed in 1954 after Young suffered a sawmill accident. He then repaired to Nantucket for convalescence, where he joined the Flight Service Station, Nantucket Airport, from 1956-1960. From 1960 to 1977 he was a Washington Air Route Traffic Controller. He married in 1947and divorced in 1975. Three children were born: Willow (1949), Heather (1950), and Tyl (1952). Young died in November of 2004.
Collection Overview: The collection, which comprises three linear feet, spans the years 1930 to 1997, with the bulk of the collection dating from the period of World War II. The collection includes correspondence; military records; photographs, (hese have been removed to the photographic collection, see PH35); medals, ribbons, and pins, which have removed to the curatorial collection; a reel of film, removed to the photographic collection; currency; and other documents.
- Nantucket Tourist Guides and Souvenir Books, 1868-[open]
Collection Overview: Guides to Nantucket for tourist use. Most contain short descriptions of various areas of the Island, maps, and advertisements for local businesses.
- Gideon Gardner II Papers, 1789- 1805
Historical Note: Gideon Gardner 2nd, also known as Gideon Gardner, Junior (1759 - 1832) was a successul shipmaster and, later, shipowner. He was a Representative from Massachusetts to the U.S. Congress from 1809 to 1811. During the War of 1812 he was the bearer of a petition to Congress for tax relief from the citizens of Nantucket. His first wife was Hannah Barnard, who died in 1785. They had one child. His second wife was Hepsabeth Joy (1764-1839), who produced five children.
Collection Overview: The ten letters in the collection span from 1789 to 1805; all but one are written to his wife. The dates of both of his marriages are unknown. The letters were written from various ports as he captained vessels to the West Indies, Europe, and India.
- Tony Sarg Collection, 1902- 1983
Historical Note: Tony Sarg (1880-1942 ) was born in Guatemala, where his father was a diplomat (his mother was English). When he was eight he moved to Germany, where he lived until he was 25. In 1905, leaving the Kaiser's army, he went to London, where he took art classes and sold pictures to "Punch" and the "Graphic." In 1909 he married Bertha Eleanor McGowan (known as "Bert"), whom he had met in Berlin. In London, he learned puppeteering from the great English puppet-master Holden. Their only child, Mary, was born in 1911. In 1914 the family emigrated to the United States. In New York, Sarg began his varied career. He created illustrations for magazines and books; designed wallpaper for children's rooms, murals, fabrics, games and toys; and wrote and illustrated over a dozen books of his own. He is perhaps best remembered as the designer of the giant balloons for the Macy's parades. Sarg first visited Nantucket in the fall of 1920. He continued to vacation on the island in the 1920s and 1930s. Sarg opened a Tony Sarg shop on Federal Street, which later moved to 38 Center Street and then to Easy Street. The Sargs lived at 47 North Liberty Street. Sarg produced many paintings and illustrations of Nantucket scenes. After his death, many of his pieces were donated by his daughter, Mary Sarg Murphy, to the Hospital Thrift Shop, and the entire collection was purchased by Philip Murray, who donated it to the NHA. An exhibition of Tony Sarg's work was hosted by the NHA in the summer of 1983. Mary Sarg Murphy, was a painter and illustrator, and continued to visit and work on the island. She died in Siesta Key, Florida in 1986.
Collection Overview: The Tony Sarg Collection comprises many smaller collections--some numbering only one item--of art, illustrations, and books by Tony Sarg. The collection includes scripts, plates, stationery, envelopes, programs, invitations, maps, newsclippings, photographs, and books. The books have been incorporated into the books collection. A photo album has been moved to the photographic collection. Within the collection, items have been grouped by donor, not by year (as many items are undated). There are a number of duplicate items. Other Tony Sarg items not part of this collection that are housed at the Gosnold Center include a puppet theater, marionettes, ceramics, boxes, textiles, wallpaper samples, watercolors, and paintings.
- Thomas Macy Collection, 1841- 1964
Historical Note: Clinton T. Macy (1917-1994) was the father of Thomas Macy. Born on Nantucket, Macy served in Germany during WWII and attended Trinity College in Hartford and the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge. He was ordained an Episcopal priest and served for 34 years as rector of St. Peter's in Salem until his retirement in 1984. He is buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery. Sarah Lucretia Macy (Sarah L. Macy) was Clinton T. Macy's great-aunt and daughter of Charles Wendell Macy (whose bottle of gold dust from California is in the artifacts collection) and Sarah Coffin Macy. Sarah Coffin Macy's mother was a Swain (which may explain the existence of the Swain marriage certificate).
Collection Overview: Marriage certificate, correspondence, programs, newsclippings, schedules, magazine articles, books, and photographs. Materials documenting the 1959 Macy family reunion and Nantucket's 300th birthday celebration are part of the collection. The collections contains a number of items once in the possession of Clinton T. Macy.
- Island Stage Collection, 1962- 1996
Collection Overview: Materials produced for the Island Stage Theater Company, chiefly programs and handbills
- Six Howard Street Collection, 1862- 1985
Historical Note: Six Howard Street was in the possession of the Cartwright family for many years.
Collection Overview: Deeds, mortgages, house history documentation, photocopied documents, and 17 black and white photographs, which have been removed to the Photographic Collection.
- Vivian A. and Alwyn T. Potter Papers, c. 1900-1993
Restrictions Note: Material cannot be reproduced without permission of the Museum of Afro American History.
Historical Note: Vivian A. Moore Potter (12/26/1906 - 1988?) was born in the county of Cuyahoga, in the state of Ohio (according to a nurse's certificate). Alwyn Turner Potter (1904 - 1975) was born in [Massachusetts?]. The couple were married in 1939. They had a daughter, Laura (Williams), who was born in 1947. Vivian Potter became a registered public health nurse in the city of New York in 1929, having graduated that year from the Lincoln School for Nurses in the Bronx. In 1944 she resigned as a public health nurse in Brooklyn, New York. She registered as a nurse in Massachusetts in 1947. In 1932, Alwyn Potter was certified to practice dentistry in the state of Massachusetts. According to documentation in the collection, he was practising dentisty in Roxbury, Massachusetts around 1952. In 1940 he was certified to practice dentistry in the state of New York. Alwyn T. Potter was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserve and served in the dental corps in the Korean War. Papers in the collection show that he had an interest in the dental missionary movement. Alwyn and Vivian Potter moved to Nantucket in 1964. A letter dated 1976 identifies their address as Sparks Avenue. In 1988 Vivian Potter returned to Sapporo, Japan (see article in Coll. 404), where she had taught English in the 1950s while her husband ran a military dental clinic. In Japan she fell ill and slipped into a coma (most likely dying that year). Her adopted daughter, Judy Ramshure, is a nurse on Nantucket. Her daughter, Vivian, lives in California.
Collection Overview: The papers include correspondence, financial documents, military records, transcripts, diplomas, immunization records, newsclippings, and photographs. The photographs, which are in need of conservation, have been retained within a folder in the collection.
- Seth Marion Coffin Papers, 1891- 1999
Historical Note: Seth Marion Coffin (1864-1935) was a direct descendant of Tristram Coffin. His ancestors were part of the migration to New Garden, North Carolina in 1773. As a child his family moved from Thorntown, Indiana to Kansas (in 1870), where his father was killed in an accident. The family returned to Indiana. S.M. Coffin married Julia Ann Verbrike in 1887. They had four children. The family moved from Indiana to Minneapolis, Minnesota and from there to Mobile, Alabama. In Mobile, Alabama, Coffin was an engineer and mechanic for a street car company. Coffin died as a result of injuries sustained in a street car accident in 1935. (See biographical history for more details.)
Collection Overview: Correspondence, reminiscences and accounts, transcripts of early documents, photographs, and family histories. Photographs have been removed to the photographic collection. General family histories have been removed to the Coffin vertical file ("blue file").
- Nantucket Housing Authority Collection, 1949-1958
Historical Note: The Nantucket Housing Authority was elected in 1949 to organize housing for WWII veterans. With a loan obtained from the Post War Rehabilitation Fund money was used to purchase land and to build nine houses. Four houses were on Gold Star Drive, four on lower Orange Street, and one on Sparks Avenue. This loan was voted at a special town meeting held on May 9, 1949. Applicants paid a monthly rental. Each year after maintenance costs were deducted, all monies were returned to the Town Treasurer and reverted back to the Post War Rehabilitation Fund. In 1957, under the provision of Massachusetts General Court Chapter 372, eight of the nine tenants exercised their rights to purchase the houses at a selling price of $7, 350. (The ninth house was sold to a bidder for $8,000.) From 1952 to 1957, the committee returned a surplus to the Town Treasurer of $13, 771.37. The Nantucket Housing Authority was dissolved by vote at the Town Meeting held on February 25, 1958.
Collection Overview: Minutes, correspondence, memorandums, audits, reports, housing authority laws, insurance records, bills and receipts, publications, landscape design plan and newsclippings. A signet has been removed to the curatorial collections at the Gosnold Support Center. The records date from 1949 to 1958.
- Dr. Jacob Fine Papers, c. 1975
Historical Note: Dr. Jacob Fine (1900-1980) practiced year-round on the island from 1927 to 1930, the period that this reminiscence recounts. Dr. Fine practiced in the summer on Nantucket from 1930 to 1941. He remained a summer visitor until his death in 1980. Typescript indexed by volunteer Dr. David Hays summer 2001. In Dr. Hays's words, Dr. Fine represented a physician who ushered in to Nantucket a new type of medical practitioner. He bridged the old and the new, being the first to do surgery beyond the skills of the other physicians. The concept of treating the whole patient was introduced many times in these memoirs by Dr. Fine.
Collection Overview: The Dr. Jacob Fine Papers encompass a forty- seven-page typescript entitled "The Nantucket Story," written by the doctor around 1975, that recounts his life as a surgeon on Nantucket Island. Accompanying the reminiscence is a typescript entitled "Nantucket Personalities." Many individuals are described or portrayed: Si Kaufman, Mr. Turner (publisher of the I & M), Austin Strong, Emerson Tuttle, Louis Davidson, Joe Price, John Cross, Frank Sylvia, the Sanfords and Everetts, Charlotte Wood, Gladys Wood, Rose Connell, Mrs. Gordon, Grace Barnes, Sidney Fisher, Willis Bunker, Marshall sisters, Mary Strong, Marcus Dunham, Reverend Samuel Snellin, William Codd (chief engineer of the water company), Mr. Ellis, Mr. Gibbs (ringer of the bell at the Unitarian Church), Father Collins, Mrs. Hallowell, Hendrik Willem van Loon, Fred Howe, Mortimer Adler, Dean Martin, Bruce Bliven, Charles Seldon, Willie Wallace, and Edward Curry.Donor Note: Donated by David Fine.
- Budget Society Collection, c. 1829
Historical Note: The Budget Society was a literary group established by women that met on Nantucket circa 1829.
Collection Overview: The manuscript volume contains original verse (see "Charades"), songs, stories (see "Sambo's Wedding", "Eating Versus Thinking"), satires (see "President Jackson's Inaugural Address"), and pencil illustrations. A letter written ca. 1829 (p. 96)-- yet dated February 3, 2000--clearly states the activities of the group: a group of women met once a week to do "knitting work;" men arrived at 8:30 or 9:00 at which time "the Budget" was opened: "this was made of compositions moral, humorous and nondescript, in rhyme and in prose, which were contributed by the members male and female." After the contents of the "Budget" for the evening were read, the members "took something to eat from a table bountifully spread."
- Frances Elder Collection, 1789- 1913
Collection Overview: Genealogical notes, poetry, printed material pertaining to the First Congregational Church and Philomathean Society, and photographs, which have been removed to the photographic collection. Materials span from 1789 to 1913. The majority of the materials were owned by Frances Elder's grandfather, Albert G. Brock (1862-1936) and her grandmother, Annie Cartwright (1860-1943). Both were members of the First Congregational Church.
- Elizabeth Oldham Collection, c. 1980- 2000
Historical Note: Elizabeth Oldham has been a summer resident of Nantucket since 1951 and a year-round resident of Nantucket from 1979. She was executive director of the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce from 1982 to 1992. She has been the research associate at the Nantucket Historical Association's Research Library since 1996.
Collection Overview: Programs, a business card, decal, a notecard, and writing pad. Various pins and a medal, also part of the accession, are part of the curatorial collections and housed at the Gosnold Support Center.
- Mary G. Bachman Collection, 1941- 1994
Historical Note: Mary G.(known as "Gerry") Bachman was born in Everett, Massachusetts, on December 6, 1913. Her husband, Lester E. Bachman, was born March 19, 1912 (the two later divorced). They had seven children, several of whom presently reside on Nantucket. They moved to Nantucket in 1947, where Lester Bachman opened the first radio communication center at the airport. In 1953 they moved to the "Fish Farm" on Old South Road (where they built a second dwelling). After the couple's divorce, Mary Bachman sold the property on Old South Road in 1969 and purchased 38 West Chester Street, which she sold in 1983. In 1983 she moved to Florida, returning to the island in 1996. She resided at Landmark House from 1998 until her death in 2005
Collection Overview: The Mary G. Bachman Collection, spanning the years 1941 to 1994, includes correspondence, brochures and cards, insurance and mortgage records, deeds, plats, newsclippings, photographs, postcards, and books. The majority of the records pertains to property on Old South Road and West Chester Street. A small amount of material also pertains to the Anglers' Club. Books have been cataloged and incorporated into the book collection. Photographs and postcards are part of the photographic collection, PH2.
- Nantucket Archives and Library Association Collection, 2000
Collection Overview: The Nantucket Archives and Library Association Collection comprises a set of six second-day covers, or envelopes, created by the Nantucket Archives and Library Assocation Collection (NALA) in April of 2000. The second-day covers were created to celebrate Nantucket's libraries and the bicentennial of the Library of Congress on April 24, 2000. The project to create second-day covers was part of a program sponsored by the Library of Congress. The envelopes were sold at a special event on Saturday, April 27 (Daffodil Weekend). Each envelope depicts one of the six library members of NALA.
- Nantucket Beacon Collection, 1991- 1997
Historical Note: The "Nantucket Beacon" newspaper was established in 1989 and folded in 1997.
Collection Overview: Awards certificates, typed letters, memorandums, and newspaper clippings. Plaques, napkins, and nametags are part of the curatorial collection at the Gosnold Support Center. The material spans the years from 1989 to 1997 and pertains mostly to the New England Press Association Better Newspaper Competition.
- Microfilmed Court and Town Records, 1721-1915
Collection Overview: Nantucket County Superior Court Record Books (1721-1847), Nantucket County County Commissioners Record Books (1807- 1915), and the Nantucket County Selectmans Journals (1784-1853)
- Currency Collection, 1759- 1864
Collection Overview: Collection of currency, including bills issued from the state of Massachusetts and one counterfeit Nantucket Bank note.
- Arleen Paquette Collection, 1831- 1876
Collection Overview: Three unrelated Nantucket items: Letter to A. Mitchell and Samuel B. Tuck from Coffin and Clifford Attorneys, (1831), regarding funds owed to William Smith for his labors on board the "Mary Mitchell," Letter from Eunice N. Wendel to her niece Mrs. Truman Eldridge (March 22, 1861) commenting poor health, a recent severe storm, and her disappointment in not receiving letters due to the bad weather. Warranty Deed from C.F. Odiorne to Arthur Pickering, March 31, 1876.
- Charles Clark Coffin / Mary Ann O'Connor Collection, 1857-1976
Historical Note: Charles Clark Coffin was born on Nantucket in 1901. He graduated from Nantucket High School in 1919 and from Northeastern University in 1924, with a degree in mechanical engineering. Working off island for some years after graduation, he returned to Nantucket in 1935. For 36 years, from 1940 to 1976, he served as town clerk. He was also a justice of the peace and a notary. He belonged to various local organizations, including the masonic lodge (see newspaper clippings for more detailed biographical information). Charles Clark Coffin married Marie Marden (1901-1976) in 1926. They had one child, Charles Clark Coffin, Jr., who was called "Peter," (1932-1936). He married Ann Taroli in 1988 (as of 2000 Ann Coffin is living at the Nantucket Homestead). Charles Clark Coffin died in 1988. Mary Ann O'Connor is the grand-daughter of Ann Taroli Coffin (the daughter of Ann Coffin's daughter from her first marriage).
Collection Overview: Correspondence, ration books, bills, receipts, deeds, titles, wills, certificates, notes, newsclippings, photographs, post-cards, maps, and plats relaing to Charles Clark Coffin. The collections also includes materials pertaining to other members of the Coffin and Marden families. Charles Goodwin Clark (1826-1889) was the father of Gertude C. Coffin, wife of Orville Coffin (1859-). Gertrude and Orville Coffin were the parents of Charles Clark Coffin.
- Forrest Smith Papers, 1857- 1979
Historical Note: Captain Albert Wood (1813-1884) was a whaling captain who was well-known for surviving an attack by a sperm whale (see the account: "In a Sperm Whale's Jaws"). He later commanded the mail steamer "Shamrock,"which travelled between Hong Kong and Canton. He married Harriet Ann Riddell and together they had four children: Charles A. Wood (1841-), Frederick G. Wood (1844-1869), Nancy R. Wood (Nannie R. Wood, 1847-1936), and John R. Wood (1854-1893). Harriet Ann Riddell had various siblings including Samuel S. Riddell and John Riddell. Samuel Riddell (1828-) married Elizabeth Whitney (1832-) in 1858. They had four children: Whitney Charles Riddell (1860-), Emma Riddell (1864-), Annie Eliza Riddell (1868-), and Herbert Riddell (1871-). Whitney Charles Riddell appears to have been referred to as both Whitney and Charles, as evidenced in the way he signed letters to his father "C.W. Riddell."
Collection Overview: The Forrest Smith Papers comprise one envelope of manuscript material, including a journal and scrapbook. The collection also contains books, magazines, and musical scores. Manuscript materials span the years 1857 to 1979 and pertain primarily to the Wood and Riddell families. A number of letters in the collection are addressed to and written by Samuel Riddell. Some correspondents in the collection cannot be identified. There is no record in the library of a C.W. Wood (unless he is the same person as Charles A. Wood) or, more puzzlingly, of an Andrew Riddell, the "brother" of Samuel Riddell. A brief journal describes the activities of the Elkins family in Boston. The Elkins were related to the Woods (images of both families appear in a photo-album owned by Smith), but it is uncertain how.
- Sons and Daughters of Nantucket Collection, 1894-1980
Historical Note: The Sons and Daughters of Nantucket was founded in 1894 to encourage Nantucketers, or descendants of Nantucketers, living off-island to get together and reaffirm their Nantucket ties. Alexander Starbuck was instrumental in the formation of the society. As of 2000, the society hosts annual meetings in Boston and Florida.
Collection Overview: Three ledgers span the years 1894 to 1980 and include minutes, accounts, bills and receipts, and newsclippings.Donor Note: Donated by Anita Dammin.
- Martha Bouton Papers, c. 1807- 1916
Collection Overview: Deeds, receipts, and fire insurance policies, possibly to do with Brayton Farm.
- Letters from the Brotherhood Restaurant, 1847
Collection Overview: The following seventeen letters, and one sheet of letter fragments, were discovered in a wall of the Brotherhood Restaurant in September of 1999 when the restaurant, after a fire in April, was rebuilt. The letters were given to the NHA by Doug Wolff, the building's owner. Conservation of the letters was completed by the Northeast Document Conservation Center in spring of 2001. The letters, while cleaned, flattened, and mended, are still riddled with holes and faded, and at times are difficult to read. A number of individuals in the community contributed funds towards the conservation of the materials. The letters were all written to William C. Gardner (1829- ), about eighteen years of age in 1847, by friends and family on Nantucket and off island. They show how young Nantucket men, in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1846, found work off-island, yet still retained close ties to the island. William C. Gardner eventually returned to Nantucket, as other records in the manuscript collection attest.
- Poor Farm / Quaise Asylum Records, 1837- 1841
Collection Overview: Correspondence to and from Captain Alexander Coffin; receipts for items purchased and work performed, as well as lists of produce grown on the farm; a journal kept by Alexander Coffin describing weather and activities at the farm (of particular interest is the mention of Absalom Boston on August 16, 1841); and three account books listing produce sent to town and accounts with individuals for milk, vegetables, meat etc...
- Second Congregational Society, Unitarian Universalist Church Records,
1808-1908, 1940- 1999
Historical Note: This Nantucket church has been called by several names, including South Congregational Society in Nantucket, Old South Church, South Church, Second Congregational Society, Second Congregational Meeting House Society Unitarian Universalist, and South Tower. Known also as "the church with the golden dome."
Collection Overview: Records in Book One were kept between 1810 and 1908, with records progressively more unevenly kept. Includes lists of church members, baptisms of adults, baptisms of infants, marriages, and deaths. Also includes a deed (1808), charge to deacons Bassett & Riddle, church covenant, and minutes. Significant entries include the marriage of Absalom Boston to Phebe Spriggins, Jan. 9, 1814. Records in Book Two apparently started in 1940, with some hindsight recording of information; recording continues through 1999. Includes a register of ministers, officers, and trustees, and lists of members, marriages, deaths, and baptisms.
- Joseph Indio Papers, 1911- 1968
Restrictions Note: Collection restricted until 1 January 2012
Historical Note: Biographical Information, Joseph Indio: Joseph Indio was born on St. Michael, Azores, as a Portuguese citizen in 1911, and moved with his family to New Bedford, where he graduated from high school in 1930. Indio and Constance E. Heighton married on September 30, 1938, in Nantucket Indio became a naturalized American citizen on May 5, 1942. During the time he published the Nantucket Town Crier, Indio played a significant part in the Nantucket Island community, being instrumental in establishing the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce and belonging to and giving talks for the Rotary Club. After selling the newspaper in 1963, the couple traveled to Paris on the S.S. United States. He died of cancer in New Bedford in 1968. Professionally, from 1930 to 1942, Indio worked as a reporter for the New Bedford Standard-Times. During his time there, he was a pioneer of the use of airplanes to photograph sea rescues and yacht races. From 1942 to 1943, Indio was a staff writer in the Massachusetts State House and a New England political correspondent for the United Press, becoming the highest paid reporter in the Boston office. Upon joining the U.S. Army in 1944, Indio worked first with the Counter Intelligence Corps, and then the Military Intelligence as an undercover agent and a political analyst in charge of an intelligence group. Indio received an honorable discharge on April 3, 1946, and a citation for the Army Commendation Ribbon in April 1946. Between 1946 and 1947, Indio joined the editorial staff of the radio station WHDH as a news editor. From 1947 to 1963, Joseph and Constance Indio jointly establish the Nantucket Town Crier, a weekly newspaper, that was the leading editorial force in the community and nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1960. During this time, the Indios also founded a summer events magazine (Nantucket Holiday) and operated a successful printing plant. After selling the newspaper and his other businesses on Nantucket, Indio did freelance work and then in 1966 accepted a position as Director of Public Information and Publications at Southeastern Massachusetts Technical Institute in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He was also approached by Simon Michael Bessie of Atheneum Publishers to write a book on his experiences establishing the Nantucket Town Crier. Administrative History, Nantucket Town Crier: The first issue of the weekly Nantucket Town Crier was released on July 4, 1947, and was printed for the first year in Dedham, Massachusetts. However, the inconveniences of weather and delivery made this arrangement impossible to maintain and the newspaper established its own print shop at 6 Lily Street in 1948. The Nantucket Town Crier continued weekly publication until 1963 (Vol. 17, no. 12, Sept. 26, 1963), when the Indios sold the paper and print shop.
Collection Overview: Joseph Indio’s personal papers, draft of his book on the history of the Nantucket Town Crier, and correspondence (chiefly incoming) of the Nantucket Town Crier. Personal papers include certificates and legal documents; Nantucket Town Crier sale documents; and military service and employment materials; clippings and brochures on subjects of interest; and records accumulated during service in community organizations, including the Rotary Club and Steamship Authority. Also includes some personal correspondence, chiefly with family members. Indio’s book details his personal and professional experiences while publishing the weekly Nantucket Town Crier, as well as documenting the events, politics, and life of the small town. Correspondence of the Nantucket Town Crier is chiefly incoming materials and includes a mix of personal notes to Joseph and Constance Indio and professional letters. Included are letters to the editor, delivery and subscription comments, letters of congratulations and thanks, correspondence concerning printing jobs other than the Town Crier, and correspondence concerning advertising.
- Nantucket Community Chorus Records, c. 1980-1993
Historical Note: In 1980, the informal group called the Ecumenical Chorus or the Nantucket Choral Group formalized itself into the Nantucket Community Chorus. Its mission was to present music, both instrumental and vocal. The organization was disbanded in 1993.
Collection Overview: Collection includes bylaws, notices, programs and flyers, records of meetings, correspondence, and financial records.
- Swain, Cook, & Coggeshall Family Papers, 1825?-1955
Collection Overview: Correspondence (1860-1890), deeds (1812-1865), receipts (1851-1874), and miscellaneous items chiefly related to Charles B. Swain, the Cook family, and the Coggeshall family. Also includes a Spencerian handwriting book; material including correspondence and bills to Minnie Niemeier; and photocopies of family genealogical record from family bible (removed to Bible 220.5 B62).
- James Cook Hussey Journal, 1845- 1875
Historical Note: James Cook Hussey died in the Quaise Asylum in 1875.
Collection Overview: Poems, songs, transcriptions of apparently published news stories, obituaries, and legal documents handwritten into a bound journal. Many entries are signed: "Written by James C. Hussey," however, authorship is in question. Also includes a few newspaper clippings. The journal also features, written from back to front (dos-a- dos), a list of people who died in Quaise Asylum from 1820 to 1875. The last entry records his own death, obviously recorded by another hand.
- Sherman Family Papers, 1722- 1863
Collection Overview: Materials concerning the Sherman and Worth families, including land transfer materials from Nantucket and Sidney, Maine; Monmouth Mutual Fire Insurance materials concerning property in Sidney, Maine; a set of letters from Captain William Sherman aboard the ship Robert Kelly and subsequent material concerning his drowing;and Civil War letters concerning Charles F. Sherman's death.
- Nantucket High School Yearbooks, 1944- [open]
Collection Overview: Yearbooks created by students at Nantucket High School. Includes images of individual students, student clubs and activities, sponsoring ads of local businesses.
- Cyrus Peirce Middle School Yearbooks, [open]
Collection Overview: A collection of yearbooks from Cyrus Peirce Middle School
- Seager Mill Collection, c. 1980- 2003
Collection Overview: Collection of postcards, photographs, newsletters, brochures, and other material from mills in Cape Cod, the Nantucket Old Mill, and from the Society for the Preservation of Old Mills (SPOOM), northeast chapter.
- Atlantic House Guest Book, 1874- 1875
Collection Overview: Record of guests at the Atlantic House in Siasconset (29 Main Street) in July and August, 1874 and 1875. Also includes receipes, chiefly for desserts. Front page is decorated and signed: Jas. H. Cragg Arteste Louisville KY.
- Charles Murphey Record Book, 1848- 1855
Collection Overview: Two organizations' notes, the Working Men's Protection Union, Division no. 48 and the Nantucket Benevolent Total Abstinence Society Records, bound together.
- Nantucket Preservation Trust House Histories, 2003-[open]
Collection Overview: Histories of individual houses created during the process of applying for a NPT historic house plaque. Each history includes photocopies of documents, including town record books, deeds, photographs, genealogies, wills, maps, and secondary sources.
- Rozelle Coleman School Notebooks, 1913- 1924
Collection Overview: School notebooks for domestic science at the Coffin School (1917), English and French at the Nantucket High School (1917-1918), and a nursing course.
- Peter Chase Letters of Instruction, 1799-1800
Collection Overview: Two letters of instruction for Peter Chase, captain of the ship Criterion, from the owners Samuel Parkman and Joseph Williams. 1799 letter sends the Criterion to Batavia, Java, chiefly for coffee; it also instructs Chase that the ship is armed and he should defend himself if attacked and not gam with other ships. Letter of 25 May 1800 instructs Chase to go to Mr. Hodshon in Amsterdam, then take another cargo to Batavia, then to go to the British Channel if the political situation is favorable.
- Peter Coffin Papers, 1819- 1864
Collection Overview: Legal papers, insurance papers, personal copies of land deeds recording exchanges of Nantucket lands, and miscellaneous business papers.
- Bunker, Paddock, Brooks Family Papers, 1805-1920?
Historical Note: Most of the items in this collection relate to three generations of one Nantucket family: the Bunker, Paddock, Brooks family. George F. Bunker (1788-1877) and Mary Starbuck (1795-1876) had a daughter, Lydia S. Bunker, (b. 1820), who married Charles R. Paddock (1816-1899). Their son, George B. Paddock (b. 1845), and Mary M. Colesworthy (1847-1903), had a daughter, Mary B. Paddock, who married Andrew B. Brooks (b. 1851).
Collection Overview: Includes land deed and other copies of official papers, as well as some correspondence and personal papers; also includes papers of the George Paddock carriage manufacture company. Related collection is Photograph Collection 19, photographs of the Backus family.
- Fitch Family Papers, 1799- 1868
Collection Overview: Collection of documents created by members of the Fitch family, primarily concerning land purchases.
- Sidney Chase Papers, 1891-1932 (bulk 1897-1902)
Historical Note: Sidney Chase (born 3 Dec. 1847) was a Boston stockbroker, President of the Boston Stock Exchange, and a summer resident of Nantucket. He was married to Ella Merihew Chase and they had one daughter, Alice Myrick Chase (born 28 Sep. 1873).
Collection Overview: The papers of Sidney Chase include the personal correspondence, bills, mailings from organizations and charities, and unsolicited mailed materials, sent to Sidney Chase. The documents in this collection date from 1891 through 1932; the bulk of the materials dates from 1897-1902. There is relatively little material dating beyond 1902. The documents illustrate the daily life of a well-to-do Boston family. The collection also contains a small amount of correspondence to his wife Ella and his daughter Alice. The majority of his personal correspondence relates to the management of his family’s homes in Boston, Nantucket, and a farm in Newton, MA. The collection also includes some personal correspondence from family and associates. There is a significant amount of materials from the clubs Chase belonged to, announcing upcoming events and meetings. Charity mailings include orphanages and missions in New England. The unsolicited mailings cover a broad range of items for sale including life insurance, investment opportunities, clothing, and food items.
- Genealogy of the Nantucket Coffins 1600 to 1875, 187?
Collection Overview: Ledger book containing genealogical information of the Coffin family. Organized loosely chronologically by head of household, with birth and death dates.
- James Coon letters to William Hathaway, 1853-1860
Declared missing, 19 October 2005 Historical Note: According to the Whaling Masters, Coon captained the Matthew Luce from 1854 to 1858, and later captained the Contest from 1866 to 1868. The BGR notes that James Coon (1817-1870) was lost at sea in May 1870 along with his son, James H. Coon. Coon's wife, referred to in these letters, was Mary Handy Coon.
Collection Overview: Letters from James Coon to William Hathaway, agent or owner of the Matthew Luce.
- Nantucket Musical Programs and Ephemera Collection
Collection Overview: Chiefly programs for musical events, also some clippings
- Nantucket Holiday Guide Collection, 1951-1983
Collection Overview: Guides to Island activities, including theaters, restaurants, movies. Alphabetical index to advertisers is included and a map and a page of photographs in many issues.
- Robert Mooney Research Files
Collection Overview: Research files created during the production of Robert Mooney's book, Tales of Nantucket: Chronicles and Characters of America's Favorite Island. Includes chiefly drafts of chapters and some research materials.
- Walter Beinecke Jr. Business Papers, 1950-1986
Historical Note: Walter Beinecke, Jr. was a businessman and philanthropist of Nantucket. During the 1960s, Walter Beinecke Jr. began a revitalization program for Nantucket's waterfront area through successive purchases and mergers of Island companies. In 1963, Sherburne Associates was formed with the goal of improving the Island economically while still preserving its historic integrity. In 1987, First Winthrop Corporation of Boston bought Sherburne Associates with its 160 commercial properties. The Nantucket Foundation was established in 1940 under the guidance of Everett U. Crosby. In 1960, supervision of its activities and responsibilities were assumed by the Nantucket Historical Trust in accordance with an agreement which had been reached with the Nantucket Foundation in 1958. The trustees of the Nantucket Historical Trust automatically replaced the trustees of the Nantucket Foundation, thus vesting control of the Nantucket Foundation in the Nantucket Historical Trust. The Nantucket Foundation terminated in 1984. Among numerous projects of the Trust was the renovation of the Jared Coffin House (formerly the Ocean House). The Trust also requested a study (later known as the Economic Development Act) with the general objective of making an appraisal of the Island as one of America's important historical assets. The study was to devote particular attention to all aspects of the Island's important visitor business and to suggest guidelines for future development of the Island as well as ways in which the Trust might most usefully participate in this development.
Collection Overview: Correspondence, minutes, memoranda, land records, loan agreements, property appraisals, and other papers, relating to Beinecke's activities in the revitalization, conservation, and restoration of Nantucket's historic district, buildings, and sites. Includes information pertaining to Sherburne Associates (owner of commerical properties, part of the waterfront restoration), Nantucket Foundation, Nantucket Historical Trust, Island Oil Company, Jared Coffin House (local inn which was renovated by the trust), U.S. Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, and Osceola Operating Corporation.
- Preservation Institute Nantucket Archives, 1971-1993
Historical Note: The Preservation Institute: Nantucket (PI:N) was founded in 1972 as a cooperative effort between the University of Florida School of Architecture and the community of Nantucket. Each year fifteen students are selected for PI:N from many diverse geographic, educational and professional backgrounds including law, architecture, interior design, construction, planning, landscape architecture, history, American studies, fine arts, engineering and other preservation related fields of study. Course work is project oriented involving real problems in the Nantucket community. The academic curriculum includes: historic preservation theory and practice; graphic and photographic archival documentation of Nantucket buildings and sites under HABS/HAER conventions and guidelines; and research and analysis of historic cultural resources using National Park Service Historic Structure Report process and methodology. Lectures, studio projects, field documentation and research are augmented by an off-island field trip to historic Newport, RI and New Bedford. Students earn nine graduate level credit hours through the University of Florida School of Architecture.
Collection Overview: Material collected by Preservation Institute Nantucket to document their yearly program.
- Genealogical Ledgers, 18??
Collection Overview: Ledgers containing vital information on Nantucketers, c. 1780s - 1860s. Also some information on the ships Richard Mitchell (1851-1852) and the Lexington (1843). Poor condition. Appear to be copies from other sources.
- Chadwick Family Papers, 1914- 1991
Collection Overview: Miscellaneous papers of the Chadwick family, especially Florence Chadwick.
- Ames-West Collection, 1899- 1939
Collection Overview: Family papers of the Ames, West, and Coombs families.
- Andrews Nantucket Theater Collection, c. 1970-1999
Collection Overview: Includes theater programs, scripts, photos, videotapes, and posters from 1970s to the 1990s. Mostly from Theater Workshop of Nantucket. All productions that donor worked on here in Nantucket, chiefly with lighting, printing, stage managing, or set design.
- Steven Shepard Papers, 1964- 1997
Historical Note: Editor of Nantucket Magazine, which folded in 2005.
Collection Overview: Materials collected during tenure at Nantucket Magazine.Donor Note: Gift of Steve Shepard
- Sherburn Associates Advertisements, c. 1961-1970
Collection Overview: Includes ads for Sherburne Oil, Harbor House, White Elephant, Sherburne Associates, Island Service Company, Ocean House, Nantucket Historical Trust. Chiefly clipped from the Inquirer and Mirror.
- Charles Howard Colket Coffin Genealogy Manuscript, c. 1885-1924
Historical Note: Colket was a descendant of Tristam Coffin and board member of the Pennsylvania Genealogical Society. He later moved to Sheridan, Wyoming and traveled the world. His collections form an important part of the University of Wyoming's special collections.
Collection Overview: Genealogical information on the Coffin family in several volumes.Donor Note: Gift of Sharon Dwyer.
- Helen Winslow Chase Papers
Historical Note: Historian and author.
Collection Overview: Papers of Helen Winslow Chase, chiefly research materials for her many interests, including Nantucket history and archeology, whaling, and genealogy.
- Edouard Stackpole Scrapbooks, c. 1938- 1975
Historical Note: Historian and former director of the NHA.
Collection Overview: Scrapbooks compiled by Edouard Stackpole, c. 1938-1975. Chiefly clippings by or about Stackpole, including his writings, notes on his achievements, and reviews. Also some correspondence, chiefly thank yous and congratulations. Includes a few photographs.Donor Note: Gift of Renny and Mathew Stackpole.
- Manuscript: The Nantucket Historical Association, a history--1894-1980s
Historical Note: Stackpole was a historian and former director of the NHA
Collection Overview: Photocopy of typescript of unpublished book detailing the history of the Nantucket Historical Association (chapter 16 missing).
- Sherman Town & County Charter Papers, c. 1988-1997
Collection Overview: Includes Sherman's copies of minutes and agendas from Town and County Charter Commission, clippings, and his meeting notes.
- William J. Fitzgerald Papers, c. 1950- 1960
Historical Note: William J. Fitzgerald and Dorothy Fitzgerald were summer visitors to Nantucket for many years. Mr. Fitzgerald was a past president of the Sons and Daughters of Nantucket and an appraiser.
Collection Overview: Personal papers and Nantucket items of William J. Fitzgerald.Donor Note: Gift of G. Patricia Drummey.
- David Roberts WWII Papers, 1940s
Historical Note: Father of donor. Served as radio operator, communications operative 1942-1945. Died 1990s.
Collection Overview: Includes discharge papers, maps of 4th Armored Division activities, newspaper clippings of that Division's activities, service recognition certificate.Donor Note: Gift of Chris Roberts.
- Ruth Dow Penmanship Book, c. 1780
Collection Overview: Penmanship practice book written as an assignment for Nantucket School. Includes poems, a sample letter, and alphabet.
MS464 - Gallery Ephemera Collection,
Invitations, programs, etc. from Nantucket galleries.
MS465 - The Nantucket Review, 1974-
Poetry and short fiction. Originally published by Moonlight Press, Nantucket Island and edited by Louise Meredith, Richard Burns, and Richard Cumbie.
- Nantucket Photographic Studios Ephemera Collection
Collection Overview: Open collection of miscellaneous business ads and flyers from Nantucket photographic studios and photographers.
- Nantucket Businesses Ephemera Collection, 1919-[open]
Collection Overview: Flyers, menus, ads, etc. for Nantucket Businesses.
- This Week in Nantucket Collection
Historical Note: Originally published by Walter E. Parmenter & Son. Later published by the Inquirer and Mirror.
Collection Overview: A free guide to island activities.
MS469 - Butler Family Papers, c. 1915-
Born 1894; married Edward Romeo Butler; mother of Arthur "Sonny" Butler.
Papers chiefly of Erla Marden Butler and Arthur "Sonny" Butler.
Gift of Martha Butler.
MS470 - Richard C. Maloney Collection, c. 1925-
Richard Clogher Maloney (10/7/1904 - 11/14/1975) The son of David Joseph and Rebecca (Clogher) Maloney, he attended Dartmouth College, receiving the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1926 and came to Nantucket that fall to assume the position as Art Instructor at the Nantucket School system. With the exception of one year of teaching in Manchester, N.H. (1929), he remained in the Nantucket schools for nearly two decades. When Cyrus Peirce was built in 1931, Maloney was its first principal. Maloney was instrumental in establishing artistic activities at the school, including directing plays, rewriting scripts, and instituting the publication "The Sea Chest." Married to Marguerite E. McHugh in 1935, he became the father of three children. Maloney's teaching career was interrupted by the Second World War during which he served as lieutenant commander, U.S. Navy. Upon his return to civilian life in 1946, Mr. Maloney joined the faculty of Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science, Manhatten, Kansas as instructor of English; later he worked at Pennsylvania State University as assistant dean of the College of Liberal Arts and director of Foreign Student Affairs. He retired to Nantucket in 1970 and was the author of editorial cartoons for the Inquirer and Mirror under the name "Atropos." In 1971 he helped to organize the Nantucket Chapter of the A.A.R.P. and became its first president. He also served as secretary of the Nantucket Town Association and was a member of the Nantucket Council on Aging. In his retirement, he was able to continue his artwork, including linoleum block prints, watercolors, and oils. He designed the seal for the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce and the illustration for the bag of corn meal for the NHA.
Artwork, clippings, theater programs and flyers, and photographs accumulated by Richard C. Maloney during his time living on Nantucket.
Gift of Catherine Maloney.
MS471 - Ellis Family Papers
Chiefly genealogical records for Norman Stanley Ellis.
Gift of Larry Ellis.
MS472 - Susan H. Parker Journals, 1887-
Lived at 4 Flora Street, wife of David Parker.
Chiefly daily entries with summary of weather, brief description of activities, visitors, news of individual's illnesses, events. All individuals referred to by first name only.
Gift of Trudy Dujardin.
MS473 - David Parker Journals, 1914-
Lived at 4 Flora Street, husband of Susan H. Parker
Daily record of weather; full name of who visited and was visited; whether the boat ran; and some record of events, such as deaths and fires.
Gift of Trudy Dujardin.
MS475 - Boardman family papers, 1786-
Business and personal correspondence of John Boardman; personal correspondence of his wife, Clarinda Starbuck Boardman. Chiefly from and concerning Hudson, NY and Troy, NY.
Gift of Bruce Gimelson.
MS476 - Fete and Carnival
Artificial collection brochures and prgrams of the Main Street Fetes and Water Front Carnivals.
- Map & Chart Collection, 1626- [open]
Collection Overview: Chiefly maps, plats, and charts, relating to Nantucket, Mass., including Monomoy lots, roads, various dwellings, common lands, homesteads, Indian lands and boundaries, various businesses, etc.; chart (1682) of the coast of New England, including Nantucket, St. George's Bank, shoals off Nantucket, and illustrations of Indians and compass roses/cardinal points (title and place names in Dutch); chart (1730) of Cape Cod, Buzzards Bay, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, etc., including various shoals, depths, currents, and pictures of houses; map (1869) of Boston in 1729, including streets, burial grounds, churches, illustrations of ships in the harbor, and locations of fires, 1653-1711; chart (1894) of Boston Harbor, ca. 1775, including artillery battery on the North End; map (1978) of Old Plymouth Colony Indian and Pilgrim trails, including areas inhabited by Native Americans, including Wampanoags and Massachuset and histories of the towns of Old Plymouth Colony, including Indian names; map (ca. 1626) of South America, North America, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket, including depiction of inhabitants and cities and two pages of "The Description of America"; and map [18--] of Vinland, including areas explored and settled by Norsemen in New England in the 10th century. Also includes map [1600s], in Latin, Dutch, and English, of Virginia through Maine and north to the St. Lawrence River, including resident native tribes, towns and cities, examples of wildlife, depiction of New York City as New Amsterdam, sketches of mountains and forests, Massachusetts and Cape Cod, Nantucket, and compass roses. Persons represented include Jonathan Bunker, Richard Gardner, and George Hussey.
Collection Overview: Adult residents of the town of Nantucket.
and Business Directories
Collection Overview: Lists of Residents, Street Directory, Business Houses, Town Officers, Churches, Societies, Schools, etc