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In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
James C. Hitch was born in New Bedford, Mass., in 1839. After acting as a clerk for various local merchants and participating in the Civil War in 1862-1863, he began his career as a public official in 1865. From that year until his death in 1894, Hitch served as a clerk and eventual Collector at the New Bedford Custom House; and also was a member of city government, 1876-1880; secretary of the New Bedford Silver Mining Company, 1882-1886; a Bristol County, Mass., justice of the peace, and a notary public.
James Hitch's son, Mayhew Robinson Hitch (1867-1956), was a lawyer active in New Bedford, Mass., from 1889 until the time of his death. He was appointed probate judge for Bristol County, Mass., in 1922 and acted in such capacity until his retirement in 1948. He also was president and vice president of E. Anthony and Sons, publishers of the Evening Standard (later Standard Times).
Papers in this collection principally reflect the activities of James C. Hitch and Mayhew Robinson Hitch between the years 1861-1920. The elder Hitch's papers, 1861-1892, include commissions as justice of the peace and notary public, 1864-1892; sea letters, 1861-1863, and a search permit relating to his Custom House duties, 1886; and military records, 1862-ca.1890, featuring an account of his experiences in the Civil War. Mayhew R. Hitch's papers contain personal correspondence, 1877-1889; a ledger reflecting his business as a lawyer, 1901-1904; and an estate record of William T. Soule, 1888-1889; as well as documents relating to Hitch's education and social activities, ca. 1875-1886.
Also represented by personal correspondence in this collection, 1906-1920, are Mayhew Robinson Hitch Jr. (1902-1978) and his sister, Sarah Hitch (1905-1980). In addition to Hitch family papers, this collection encompasses various records which probably relate to Mayhew Robinson Hitch's activities as a lawyer. These materials include financial records for 1882-1896 of the Big Lode Mining Company, a corporation centered in Boston, Mass., with a silver and lead mine in Blaine County, Idaho; and of the North Wharf Company of Edgartown, Mass., 1902. Of particular note, however, are the records of several New Bedford, Mass., benevolent societies. The records of Zouaves, Incorporated, a French-American organization, consist of by-laws and minutes of meetings, 1901-1903. Records of the Sociedad Michaelense Affonso Chaves, a Portuguese American association, include a membership book, 1894-1910, an account book, 1908-1909, and minutes of meetings, 1909-1910. The latter materials also reflect the activities of the Real Associacao Beneficente Automatica Michaelense Incorporada, a society predating the 1909 formation of Sociedad Michaelense Affonso Chaves.
Arrangement of Collection
Access to the Collection
Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 30 [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
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Removed to Printed Collection
- Bible. New Testament. "National Edition," n.d.
- Brooks Club, New Bedford, Mass. 16th Annual Supper Program, Dec. 10, 1910.
- Cort Theater, New York, New York. "Program," March 29, 1920.
- Fall River Line Journal, March 1920.
- Gray Line, Washington, D.C. "Beautiful Washington" tour book, ca. 1925
- New Bedford High School Order of Exercise. . . , June 27, 1884
- New Bedford Reminiscences in Pictures, n.d.
- Perry Davis & Son, Providence, R.I. Around the World in 40 Years, n.d.
- Sanford & Kelley, New Bedford, Mass. "New Bedford Statistics for the Year 1917," 1918.
- "Seaside Library" Catalog, n. d.
Removed to Objects Collection
- Hand-made paper dolls, n.d. 20 items.
- Metal plate engraved with name of Sarah Hitch, ca. 1925.
- Military medal, ca. 1890.
- Valentines received by Mayhew Robinson Hitch, ca. 1885. 3 items.
Papers in this collection were donated to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society from the estate of Sarah Hitch on 1 August 1980.
Processed by: Judith Downey, ca. 1982
Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 20 August 2011; box list appended by Mark Procknik, 29 February 2012
Funds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Account books--New Bedford, Mass.--1901-1904
Alturas County, Idaho SEE Blaine County, Idaho
Big Lode Mine, Alturas County, Idaho SEE Big Lode Mine, Blaine County, Idaho
Big Lode Mine, Blaine County, Idaho
Blaine County, Idaho
Business records--Mass.--New Bedford
Customs administration--Mass.--New Bedford
Edgartown, Mass.--Docks, wharves, etc.
Hitch family papers
Hitch, James C., 1839-1894
Hitch, Mayhew Robinson Jr., 1902-1978
Hitch, Mayhew Robinson, 1867-1956
Hitch, Sarah, 1905-1980
Justices of the peace--Mass.--Bristol County
Lead mines and mining--Idaho--Blaine County
Mines and mineral resources--Idaho--Blaine County
Mining industry and finance--Mass.--Boston
New Bedford, Mass.--Benvolent and moral institutions and societies
New Bedford, Mass.--Charities
New Bedford, Mass.--Clubs
New Bedford, Mass.--Societies
North Wharf Company, Edgartown, Mass.
Portuguese Americans--Mass.--New Bedford
Real Associacao Beneficente Automatica Michaelense Incorporada, New Bedford, Mass.
Silver mines and mining--Idaho--Blaine County
Sociedad Michaelense Affonso Chaves
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives
United States. Custom House, New Bedford, Mass.
Adeline Gibbs (Bark)
St. George (Ship)