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In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Members of the Dawes family of Duxbury, Massachusetts, were chiefly involved with shipping and mercantile activities between 1821-1844. Most notable among these individuals was Josephus Dawes (1820-ca. 1910), a son of Abraham Dawes (1787-ca. 1867), who acted as a captain of several vessels involved in foreign and domestic trade and owned an interest in several others. He served as captain aboard the Valetta (Bark) in the 1860s, engaging in trade along the coast of China. He also was master of the Annie W. Weston (Bark) from the time of her first voyage in 1866 until 1871, trading at Philadelphia, Pa.; San Francisco, Calif.; and Great Britain. Two of Josephus' brothers, Allen (1821-ca. 1871) and James H. (1826-1905) also served as captains aboard merchant ships out of Duxbury, Mass., between 1865-1885.
Papers in this collection concentrate on the business activities of Josephus Dawes from 1862-1879. His papers include masters' and crew members' accounts; account books; ship building, outfitting and repair records; legal documents; bills and receipts; and business correspondence) including a letter book from owners of the Valetta (Bark), 1862-1865. These are supplemented by personal papers consisting of tax receipts, 1841-1910, and an autobiographical sketch, ca. 1910.
Also represented by materials in this collection are other Dawes family members and relatives by marriage. Abraham Dawes' papers, 1840-1868, include personal account books which contain accounts relating to other family members and to the settlement of his estate; legal documents; and tax receipts. Papers of Sally Freeman Dawes (d. 1877); Eunice Dawes Tanner (b. 1848); James H. Dawes; and Edward W. Winsor (fl. 1869) consist of letters written to Josephus Dawes in 1869. Papers for another son of Josephus Dawes, Frank H. Dawes (ca. 1852-1937) encompass tax receipts for 1881 through 1937 and journals kept on board merchant ships, 1873-1883, which have been removed to the logbook collection. Frank H. Dawes' son, Robert A. Dawes (fl. 1911) and grandson, Robert A. Dawes Jr. (fl. 1943), are represented by correspondence and military order books reflecting their service in the U.S Navy from 1911-1937 and 1943-1944, respectively.
Materials in the Dawes collection have been organized into sub-groups representing the papers of the individual family members. These sub-groups have been chronologically listed in the inventory by each person's date of birth. The papers, organized into series by type of document, are arranged in chronological order except for correspondence, which is first divided by year, then alphabetically arranged by the name of the writer.
Arrangement of Collection
Access to the Collection
Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 20 [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
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Removed to Photographs Collection
- 60 photographs of World War I era, of ships and soldiers involved in various naval activities in the Pacific, and one of Josephus Dawes in his late years.
- 12 negatives of ships and men at Yokahama and the Philippines, ca. 1922, 1923.
Removed to Objects Collection
- 3 post cards; 2 of storm on the Atlantic with the naval fleet and 1 of boat landing and the USS Santee, ca. 1910-1920.
Removed to Log Book Collection
- Coringa (Bark), 1874-1878; ODHS # 1035C
- Edward H. May (Bark), 1880-1883; ODHS # 1033A
- Emma C. Beal (Bark), 1872-1874; ODHS # 1035A
- Paul Revere (Ship), March-July 1883; ODHS # 1033B
- Reynard (Ship), 1858-1859; ODHS # 1034
- Roving Sailor (Bark), April 25-29, 1873; ODHS # 1035B
- War Hawk (Ship), 1856-1857; ODHS # 1032B
- Witchcraft (Ship), 1855-1856; ODHS # 1032A
These materials were presented to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society in May 1980 as part of the International Marine Archives collection.
Processed by: Judith Downey, ca. 1982
Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 11 July 2011; box list appended by Mark Procknik, 14 February 2012
Funds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Account books--Duxbury, Mass.--1840-1879
Dawes, Abraham, 1787-ca. 1867
Dawes, Allen, 1812-ca. 1871
Dawes, Allyn, 1812-ca. 1871 SEE Dawes, Allen, 1812-ca.1871
Dawes, Frank H., d. 1937
Dawes, James H., 1826-1905
Dawes, Josephus, 1820-ca. 1910
Dawes, Robert A. Jr., fl. 1943
Dawes, Robert A., fl. 1911
Dawes, Sally Freeman, d. 1887
Duxbury, Mass. First Parish
Great Britain--Commerce--United States
Merchant seamen--Mass.--Duxbury--Salaries,pensions, etc.
San Francisco, Calif.--Commerce
Ships--Equipment and supplies
Tanner, Eunice Dawes, b. 1848
Taxation of personal property--Mass.--Duxbury
United States--Commerce--Great Britain
Winsor, Edward W., fl. 1869
Annie W. Weston (Bark)
Emma C. Beal (Bark)
USS Warrington (Ship)