Inventory of the Rotch Family Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research LibraryProcessed by: Mark Procknik; machine-readable finding aid created by: Mark ProcknikInventory of the Rotch Family Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Table of Contents

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

Information for Researchers

Related Materials

Administrative Information

Description

Added Entries

Inventory of the Rotch Family Papers

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library



Title:
Rotch Family Papers
Date Span:
1811-1850
Creator:
Rotch family
Mss Number:
Mss 130
Extent:
6 linear inches
Abstract:
Property records consisting of deeds, leases, and land auction documents relating to William Rotch Jr. and receipts pertaining to William J. Rotch’s enrolment in Harvard College. Collection spans the years 1811–1850.
Repository:
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Whaling Museum: (508) 997-0046

Historical Note

Between the years 1760 and 1900, members of the Rotch family of Nantucket and New Bedford, Massachusetts, played a vital role in the development of their communities as centers of the whaling industry. The family's close association with New Bedford began in 1787 with the emigration of William Rotch Jr. (1759-1850) from Nantucket, where he had been trained in the counting house of William Rotch Sr. & Sons. William Rotch Jr. eventually established his own business that launched the careers of three of his sons: William Rodman (1788-1860), Joseph (1790-1839), and Thomas (1791-1840), who all served as merchants involved in different aspects of the whaling industry.

William James Rotch (1819-1893), son of Joseph Rotch, graduated Harvard College with honors in 1838, and, together with his brother, Benjamin (1817-1882), founded the New Bedford Cordage Company. The brothers were also among the first to recognize the value and aided in the development of the McKay sewing machine that won worldwide acclaim. In 1852 at the age of 33, he was elected Mayor of New Bedford, being the second person to hold that office after the City’s incorporation. William J. Rotch married Emily Morgan, the daughter of Charles W. Morgan (1796-1861), in 1842 and had seven children. After her death in 1861, Rotch married Emily’s younger sister Clara in 1866, and by her had one child. Additional published works to consult for further information on William Rotch Jr. and William J. Rotch include The Rotches, by John M. Bullard (1947) and Joseph L. McDevit Jr.'s The House of Rotch (1978).

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Scope and Content Note

Materials in this collection primarily consist of records documenting the property transactions of William Rotch Jr. during the years 1811 – 1850, with the majority of records consisting of deeds and indentures/leases of land. These records include two deeds documenting land sold by William Rotch Jr. to Elijah Winslow in 1822 and Allen Kelley in 1843. This collection also contains nine deeds for land purchased by William Rotch Jr. during the years 1811 – 1845 from the following land owners:

Brownell, Shadrach (1811): Sub-group 1, Series A, Sub-series 1, Folder 1
Chase, Ichabod (1834): Sub-group 1, Series A, Sub-series 1, Folder 3
Clap, Ichabod (1845): Sub-group 1, Series A, Sub-series 1, Folder 3
Kelley, Allen (1843): Sub-group 1, Series A, Sub-series 1, Folder 3
Miller, Jerimiah (1818): Sub-group 1, Series A, Sub-series 1, Folder 1
Rodman, Samuel, Sr. (1820): Sub-group 1, Series A, Sub-series 1, Folder 2
Rotch, William, Sr. (1820): Sub-group 1, Series A, Sub-series 1, Folder 2
Scott, Ruth (1842): Sub-group 1, Series A, Sub-series 1, Folder 3
Tobey, Elizabeth (1822): Sub-group 1, Series A, Sub-series 1, Folder 2

This collection also includes indentures signed by William Rotch Jr. leasing designated amounts of land to several recipients. These documents span the years 1830 – 1850 and include a list of leases signed by William Rotch Jr. during the years 1830–1850 in addition to 26 indentures signed by the following organizations and individuals:

Almy, James (1835): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 2
Almy, James (1835): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 2
Barney, Albert C. (1831): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 1
Bryant, Frederick (1832): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 1
Durfee, James, Jr. (1836): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 2
Fryes, Ebenezer (1843): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 3
Fryes, Ebenezer (1843): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 3
Gifford, Anthony (1840): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 3
Hart, George (1836): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 2
Howland, Edward D.; White, Phineus, Jr. (1845): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 4
Howland, Frederick (1830): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 1
Howland, Rufus, Jr. (1830): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 1
Jenkins, Robert Oliver (1843): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 3
Macomber, Stephen (1843): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 3
Mechanics Insurance Company (1838) (canceled): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 2
Mutual Marine Insurance Company (1846): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 4
Nye, Tristram (1841): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 3
Pacific Insurance Company (1842): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 3
Pope, Thomas, Jr. (1848): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 4
Smith, John N. (1831): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 1
Swain, Oliver (1835): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 2
Taylor, John (1836): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 2
Thompson, Asa (1832): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 1
Tompkins, Andrew T. (1837): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 2
Ward, Ezekiel G. (1845): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 4
Washburn, John M. (1832): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 1
White, Phineus, Jr.; Howland, Edward D. (1845): Sub-group 1, Series B, Folder 4

In addition to the deeds and indentures, papers related to William Rotch Jr. include handwritten notes documenting various plots of land sold at auction during the years 1829–1831 as well as accounts kept by William Rotch Jr.’s estate, including estate records kept with Thomas Rotch for the years 1825 to 1836 and William Rotch Sr. for the years 1828 to 1836. Papers for William Rotch Jr. also include one handwritten copy of an indenture dated 1812 conveying a plot of land in the town of Halfmoon, New York, from Elizabeth Allen, John C. Young, and Ebenezer Allen to Jeremiah Miller of Fairhaven.

The remaining materials in this collection relate to William Rotch Jr.’s grandson, William J. Rotch, and consist of various receipts documenting his attendance at Harvard College during the years 1834 – 1838. These papers consist of tuition bills and receipts, in addition to receipts for boarding, boot cleaning, laundry, postage, tailoring services, medical services, transportation, rent, daily expenses, and a subscription to the Harvard publication Harvardiana. In addition to the Harvard related materials, William J. Rotch’s papers also include an 1846 receipt for the purchase of a land plot at the Oak Grove Cemetery.

The contents of the collection have been organized into two sub-groups, with Sub-group 1 containing materials relating to William Rotch Jr. and Sub-group 2 containing all materials pertaining to William J. Rotch. Materials in each sub-group are arranged by series according to a document’s subject material. Within each series volumes and folders are arranged chronologically from earliest to most recent.

Arrangement of Collection

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Information for Researchers

Access to Collections

Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.

Preferred Citation

New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 130, [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]

Copyright Notice

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted materials. The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 United States Code 552a) governs the use of materials that document private individuals, groups, and corporations.

Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a reproduction if the document does not infringe the privacy rights of an individual, group, or corporation. These specified conditions of authorized use include:

- non-commercial and non-profit study, scholarship, research, or teaching
- criticism or commentary
- as a NBWM archives preservation or security copy for research use
- as a research copy for deposit in another institution

If the researcher later uses a copy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," the researcher is personally liable for copyright, privacy, or publicity infringement and agrees to indemnify the New Bedford Whaling Museum from any legal action as a result of the error. Permission to obtain a photographic, xerographic, digital, or other copy of a document does not indicate permission to publish, exhibit, perform, reproduce, sell, distribute, or prepare derivative works from the document without permission from the copyright holder and from any private individual, group, or corporation shown or otherwise recorded.

Permission to publish, exhibit, perform, reproduce, prepare derivative works from, sell, or otherwise distribute the item must be obtained separately in writing from the holder of the original copyright (or if the creator is dead, from his/her heirs) as well as from any individual(s), groups, or corporations whose name, image, recorded words, or private information (e.g. employment information) may be reproduced in the source material. The holder of the original copyright is not necessarily the New Bedford Whaling Museum. The New Bedford Whaling Museum is not legally liable for copyright, privacy, or publicity infringement when materials are wrongfully used after being provided to researchers for "fair use."

This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if fulfillment of the order is judged in violation of copyright or federal or state privacy law. This institution also places restrictions on the use of cameras, photocopiers, and scanners in the research room.

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Related Materials

Related Manuscript Collections

Mss 2: Rotch Family Papers

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Administrative Information

Provenance

Materials in this collection were donated to the New Bedford Whaling Museum on August 13, 2012 by Mrs. William Rotch (Jane Whitehill Rotch), Accession #2012.11.

Processing Information

Processed by: Mark Procknik, 2014

Encoded by: Mark Procknik, 4 April 2014

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Description

Sub-group 1: William Rotch Jr. Papers, 1811-1850 [4 linear inches]
Sub-group 1 contains deeds, indentures/leases, records of land sold at auction, and personal accounts related to William Rotch Jr.
Series A: Deeds, 1811-1845
Sub-series 1: Deeds for Land Sold by William Rotch Jr., 1822, 1843
Box 1
Folder 1
Deed for land sold to Elijah Winslow, 1822
Folder 2
Deed for land sold to Allen Kelley, 1843
Sub-series 2: Deeds for Land Purchased by William Rotch Jr., 1811-1845
Folder 1
Deeds, 1811, 1818
Folder 2
Deeds, 1820-1822
Folder 3
Deeds, 1834, 1842-1845
Series B: Indentures / Leases, 1830-1850
Folder 1
Indentures / Leases, 1830-1832
Folder 2
Indentures / Leases, 1838-1838
Folder 3
Indentures / Leases, 1840-1843
Folder 4
Indentures / Leases, 1845-1846, 1848
Folder 5
List of leases signed by William Rotch Jr., 1830-1850
Series C: Records of Land Sold at Auction, 1829-1831
Folder 1
Documentation of land sold at auction, 1829-1831
Series D: Personal Accounts, 1829-1836
Folder 1
Account of lots sold in Fairhaven, 1830-1835
Folder 2
Produce sales by William Rotch Jr.'s estate, 1828-1832
Folder 3
Account of Benjamin Rotch with the estate of William Rotch Jr., 1829-1836
Folder 4
Records of estates in account with William Rotch Jr., 1825-1836
Series E: Indentures / Leases Unrelated to William Rotch Jr., 1812
Folder 1
Handwritten copy of indenture conveying and from Elizabeth Allen to Jeremiah Miller, 1812
Sub-group 2: William J. Rotch Papers, 1834-1838, 1846 [2 linear inches]
Sub-group 2 consists of bills and receipts documenting William J. Rotch's enrolment at Harvard College.
Series A: Bills and Receipts, 1834-1838, 1846
Folder 1
Harvard College tuition bills and receipts, 1834-1838
Folder 2
Boarding receipts, 1834-1838
Folder 3
Boot cleaning receipts, 1834-1836
Folder 4
Boot cleaning receipts, 1834-1838
Folder 5
Laundry receipts, 1834-1837
Folder 6
Postage receipts, 1834-1835
Folder 7
Tailor service receipts, 1835-1836
Folder 8
Medical receipts, 1836-1838
Folder 9
Transportation receipts, 1836-1838
Folder 10
Rent payment receipts, 1836-1837
Folder 11
Receipt for year's subscription of the Harvard periodical Harvardiana, 1837
Folder 12
Receipts for daily expenses, 1837-1838
Folder 13
Receipt for the purchase of an Oak Grove Cemetery land plot, 1846

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Added Entries

Accounts current--Estates--Massachusetts--Fairhaven
Accounts current--Estates--Massachusetts--New Bedford
Acquisition of property--Massachusetts--Fairhaven--19th century
Acquisition of property--Massachusetts--New Bedford--19th century
Allen, Ebenezer
Allen, Elizabeth
Almy, James
Barney, Albert C.
Brownell, Shadrach
Bryant, Frederick
Business records--Massachusetts--Fairhaven
Business records--Massachusetts--New Bedford
Chase, Ichabod
Clap, Ichabod
Deeds--Massachusetts--Fairhaven
Deeds--Massachusetts--New Bedford
Durfee, James, Jr.
Estates--Massachusetts--Fairhaven--19th century
Estates--Massachusetts--New Bedford--19th century
Fairhaven--Acquisition of property--19th century
Fryes, Ebenezer
Gifford, Anthony
Hart, George
Harvard University--19th century
Howland, Edward D.
Howland, Frederick
Howland, Rufus, Jr.
Jenkins, Robert Oliver
Kelley, Allen
Land titles--Massachusetts--Fairhaven
Land titles--Massachusetts--New Bedford
Leases--Massachusetts--Fairhaven
Leases--Massachusetts--New Bedford
Leases--New York--Halfmoon
Macomber, Stephen
Mechanics Insurance Company (New Bedford, Mass.)
Miller, Jerimiah
Mutual Marine Insurance Company (New Bedford, Mass.)
New Bedford--Acquisition of property--19th century
Nye, Tristram
Oak Grove Cemetery (New Bedford, Mass.)
Pacific Insurance Company (New Bedford, Mass.)
Pope, Thomas, Jr.
Quakers--New Bedford--19th century
Receipts (Acknowledgements)--Tuition--Harvard University--19th century
Rodman, Samuel, Sr., 1753-1835
Rotch family
Rotch, William James, 1819-1893
Rotch, William, Jr., 1759-1850
Rotch, William, Sr., 1734-1828
Scott, Ruth
Smith, John N.
Swain, Oliver
Taylor, John
Thompson, Asa
Tobey, Elizabeth
Tompkins, Andrew T.
Tuition--Harvard University--19th century
Ward, Ezekiel G.
Washburn, John M.
White, Phineus, Jr.
Young, John C.

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Last Modified: April 5, 2014