Inventory of the Rodman Family Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research LibraryProcessed by: Judith Downey; machine-readable finding aid created by: Kermit DeweyFunds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.Inventory of the Rodman Family Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Table of Contents

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

Information for Researchers

Separations List

Administrative Information

Description

Added Entries

Inventory of the Rodman Family Papers

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library



Title:
Rodman Family Papers
Date Span:
1781-1933
Creator:
Rodman family
Mss Number:
Mss 4
Extent:
5 linear feet
Abstract:
Business records and personal papers of a New Bedford, Massachusetts, family, 1781-1933.
Repository:
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Whaling Museum: (508) 997-0046
Maritime Curator/Librarian: (508) 717-6837

Historical Note

Members of the Rodman family of New Bedford, Mass., were chiefly involved with local whaling and textile industries between 1798-1900. Most notable among these individuals were Samuel Rodman Sr. (1753-1835), his sons, Samuel Jr. (1792-1876) and Benjamin (1798-1876), and young Samuel's son, Thomas Rotch Rodman (1825-1905). Samuel Rodman Sr. came to New Bedford from Nantucket in 1798 and established himself as a merchant, banker, and financial supporter of several early textile mills. Like their father, Samuel Rodman Jr. and Benjamin Rodman became merchants, bankers, and merchants involved with out-fitting and financing whaling voyages and funding activities of local cotton-making firms, particularly Wamsutta Mill. Thomas Rotch Rodman, after participating in the Civil War and traveling extensively in the Middle West from 1866-1872, returned to New Bedford and entered the employment of Wamsutta Mill.

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Scope and Content Note

Papers in this collection reflect the activities of members of the Rodman family of New Bedford, Mass., between 1781 and 1933. The material concentrates on Samuel Rodman Jr. and his son, Thomas Rotch Rodman. Samuel's papers consist of diaries, 1821-1859, concerning his business activities, family life, and economic conditions prevailing in New Bedford during that era; personal correspondence; a marriage certificate; and a receipt. Thomas Rotch Rodman's papers include diaries, 1902-1905, chiefly relating to his European travels and social activities; weather observations, 1881-1885; and personal letters to family members written while at Harvard, in the Civil War, and from a period spent traveling in the Middle West.

Also represented by materials in this collection are other Rodman family members and relatives by marriage. Benjamin Rodman's papers include financial records and a letter book, 1829-1832, relating to his activities as a merchant involved in the whaling industry. Papers for Eliza Rodman (1782-1846) and Sarah Rodman Morgan (1793-1888) principally comprise diaries reflecting their social activities and interests between 1805-1826. The collection also contains personal correspondence of Charles W. Morgan (1796-1861), 1819-1851, and letters to Morgan from his brother-in-law, Francis Rotch (1788-1874), 1819-1845, relating to business affairs, family matters, and activities of Rotch family members living in Europe.

Materials in the Rodman Collection have been organized into sub-groups representing letters and papers of Rodmans, Rotches, Morgans and other individuals related by marriage. The sub-groups have been listed in the inventory in alphabetical order by surname. Correspondence, whenever possible, is arranged within each year by the name of the writer. Other papers, organized into series by type of document, are arranged in chronological order except for ships' papers, which are grouped alphabetically by name of vessel. Published works which may serve as a guide to the persons represented in this collection include The Rotches, by John Morgan Bullard (1947), and The History of New Bedford and its' Vicinity, 1602-1892, by Leonard Bolles Ellis (1892).

Arrangement of Collection

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Information for Researchers

Access to the Collection

Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.

Preferred Citation

New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 4 [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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Separations List

Removed to Photographs Collection

- Two photographs of Samuel Rodman Jr. mansion - 1 interior and 1 exterior

Removed to Broadside Collection

- "Haddock's Mechanical Exhibition of Androids," ca. 1826.
- Hymns for New Bedford Dorcas Society.

Removed to Objects Collection

- Swatches of fabric and pencils from ladies' diaries.
- Business card of William H. Fabio of New Bedford.

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Administrative Information

Provenance

The major portion of this collection was donated to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by Dr. Thomas R. Goethals, grandson of Thomas Rotch Rodman, in 1938 and 1946. The financial records of Benjamin Rodman were donated by Miss Elsie West in 1936 and 1937. Other materials were donated to the Society between ca. 1937-1977.

Processing Information

Processed by: Judith Downey, ca. 1982

Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 11 May 2011; box list amended by Mark Procknik, 04 August 2011

Funds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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Description

Sub-group 1: Eliza Rotch Farrar Papers, 1819, 1837 [2 items]
Sub-group 1 consists of the personal correspondence of Eliza Rotch Farrar.
Series A: Correspondence, 1819, 1837
Box 1
Folder 1
1819, 1837
Sub-group 2: Elizabeth Rodman Fisher Papers, 1840, 1853 [2 items]
Sub-group 2 consists of Elizabeth Rodman Fisher's family correspondence.
Series A: Correspondence, 1840, 1853
Folder 1
1840, 1853
Sub-group 3: William Logan Fisher Papers, 1836, 1846 [2 items]
Sub-group 3 contains William Logan Fisher's family correspondence.
Series A: Correspondence, 1836, 1846
Folder 1
1836, 1846
Sub-group 4: Maria Rotch Langston Papers, 1819 [1 item]
Sub-group 4 contains Maria Rotch Langston's letter to her sister-in-law, Anne Waln Morgan Rotch.
Series A: Correspondence, 1819
Folder 1
1819
Sub-group 5: Charles Waln Morgan Papers, 1819, 1837, 1850-1851 [5 items]
Sub-group 5 contains the personal correspondence and legal document of Charles Waln Morgan.
Series A: Correspondence, 1819, 1850-1851
Folder 1
1819, 1850-1851
Series B: Legal Documents, 1837
Folder 1
Writ of execution against Alden Davis of New Bedford, 1837
Sub-group 6: Sarah Rodman Morgan Papers, 1808, 1819, 1822 [8 items]
Sub-group 6 contains the personal correspondence of Sarah Rodman Morgan.
Series A: Correspondence, 1822
Folder 1
1822
Series B: Diaries, 1808, 1819, 1822
Volume 1
1808
Volume 2
1819
Volume 3
1822
Folder 1
Items removed from Volume 3
Sub-group 7: Edmund H. Prior Jr. Papers, 1863, 1880 [2 items]
Sub-group 7 consists of Edmund H. Prior Jr.'s family correspondence.
Series A: Correspondence, 1863, 1880
Folder 1
1863, 1880
Sub-group 8: Benjamin Rodman Papers, 1816-1863 [1.5 linear feet]
Sub-group 8 consists of business and family correspondence, financial records, and a deed relating to Benjamin Rodman.
Series A: Correspondence, 1827-1832, 1863
Box 2
Folder 1
1827, 1863
Volume 1
1829-1832
Series B: Financial Records, 1816-1859
Sub-series 1: Journals, 1827-1841
Volume 1
1827-1833
Volume 2
1831-1841
Sub-series 2: Ledgers, 1827-1844
Volume 1
1827-1831
Volume 2
1831-1844
Sub-series 3: Cash Books, 1816-1859
Volume 1
1816-1825
Volume 2
1833-1845
Box 3
Volume 3
1844-1859
Series C: Legal Documents, 1848
Folder 1
Deed to John Waldron of Fall River, Mass., 1848
Sub-group 9: Eliza Rodman Papers, 1805-1845 [6 inches]
Sub-group 9 contains Eliza Rodman's personal correspondence and diaries.
Series A: Correspondence, 1808-1845
Folder 1
1808, 1811, 1813
Folder 2
1814, 1815, 1819, 1833, 1845
Series B: Diaries, 1805-1826
Volume 1
1805
Volume 2
1806
Folder 1
Items removed from Volume 2
Box 4
Volume 3
1808
Folder 2
Items removed from Volume 3
Volume 4
1810
Folder 3
Items removed from Volume 4
Volume 5
1818
Volume 6
1818
Folder 4
Items removed from Volume 6
Volume 7
1821
Volume 8
1823
Folder 5
Items removed from Volume 8
Volume 9
1826
Sub-group 10: Elizabeth Rotch Rodman Papers, 1793-1856 [7 items]
Sub-group 10 consists of Elizabeth Rotch Rodman's personal correspondence as well as an inventory of estate.
Series A: Correspondence, 1793-1851
Box 5
Folder 1
1793, 1798, 1813, 1816, 1820, 1849, 1851
Series B: Legal Documents, 1856
Folder 1
Inventory of estate, 1856
Sub-group 11: Hannah Haydock Prior Rodman Papers, 1818-1871 [12 items]
Sub-group 11 consists of Hanna Haydock Prior Rodman's family correspondence.
Series A: Correspondence, 1818-1871
Folder 1
1818, 1825, 1831, 1845
Folder 2
1850, 1858, ca. 1860, 1869, 1871
Sub-group 12: Julia Wager Rodman Papers, 1861, 1933 [3 items]
Sub-group 12 consists of Julia Wager Rodman's personal correspondence.
Series A: Correspondence, 1861, 1933
Folder 1
1861, 1933
Sub-group 13: Samuel Rodman Sr. Papers, 1781-1822 [3 items]
Sub-group 13 consists of the personal correspondence of Samuel Rodman Sr.
Series A: Correspondence, 1781-1810
Folder 1
1781, 1788, 1789, 1810
Series B: Ships' Papers, 1811, 1822
Folder 1
Narration of loss of Amazon (Schooner), 1811
Bill for Massachusetts (Ship), 1822
Sub-group 14: Samuel Rodman Jr. Papers, 1819-1875 [1 linear foot]
Sub-group 14 consists of family correspondence, diaries, marriage certificate, and a receipt relating to Samuel Rodman Jr.
Series A: Correspondence, 1872, 1875
Box 6
Folder 1
1872, 1875
Series B: Diaries, 1821-1859
Volume 1
Dec. 1821-Jan. 1823
Volume 2
Jan. 1823-April 1825
Volume 3
April 1825-April 1827
Volume 4
April 1827-July 1828
Volume 5
July 1828-Dec. 1830
Volume 6
Jan. 1831-Jan. 1833
Volume 7
Jan. 1833-Sept. 1834
Volume 8
Sept. 1834-May 1836
Volume 9
May 1836-Jan. 1838
Volume 10
Jan. 1838-Jan. 1839
Volume 11
Jan. 1839-March 1840
Volume 12
March 1840-Oct. 1840
Volume 13
Oct. 1840-Aug. 1841
Box 7
Volume 14
Aug. 1841-April 1843
Volume 15
April 1843-July 1845
Volume 16
July 1845-June 1847
Volume 17
June 1847-April 1848
Volume 18
April 1848-March 1849
Volume 19
March 1849-Nov. 1850
Volume 20
Nov. 1850-March 1853
Volume 21
March 1853-Aug. 1858
Volume 22
Aug. 1858-April 1859
Series C: Abstracts of Diaries, 1821-1827
Box 8
Volume 1
Dec. 1821-Dec. 1824
Volume 2
Dec. 1824-May 1827
Volume 3
May 1827-June 1827
Series D: Marriage Certificate, 1819
Folder 1
Of Samuel Rodman Jr. and Hanna Haydock Prior, 1819
Series E: Receipts, 1856
Folder 1
1856
Sub-group 15: Susan Emlen Rodman Papers, 1840, ca.1860 [2 items]
Sub-group 15 contains Susan Emlen Rodman's personal correspondence.
Series A: Correspondence, 1840, ca. 1860
Folder 1
1840, ca. 1860
Sub-group 16: Thomas Rodman Papers, 1795, 1801-1809 [2 items]
Sub-group 16 contains the family correspondence and financial records of Thomas Rodman.
Series A: Correspondence, 1795
Folder 1
1795
Series B: Financial Records, 1801-1809
Folder 1
Cash Book, 1801-1809
Sub-group 17: Thomas Rotch Rodman Papers, 1802-1905 [8 inches]
Sub-group 17 consists of family correspondence, diaries, weather observations, and certificates of Thomas Rotch Rodman.
Series A: Correspondence, 1822-1877, 1891
Box 9
Folder 1
1822, 1844, 1846
Folder 2
1862
Folder 3
1863
Folder 4
1864
Folder 5
1865
Folder 6-7
1866
Folder 8
1867
Folder 9
1868
Folder 10
1869
Folder 11
1870
Folder 12
1871-1873
Folder 13
1875-1876
Folder 14
1877, 1891
Series B: Diaries, 1902-1905
Box 10
Volume 1
July 1902
Volume 2
July 1902-Sept. 1902
Volume 3
Sept. 1902-Oct. 1902
Volume 4
March 1903-May 1903
Volume 5
May 1903-Feb. 1904
Volume 6
Feb. 1904-Oct. 1904
Volume 7
Oct. 1904-July 1905
Volume 8
July 1905-Dec. 1905
Series C: Weather Observations, 1881-1912
Box 11
Folder 1
1881-1883
Folder 2
1884-1885
Folder 3
Charts, 1881-1885
Folder 4
Transcript of paper read to Common Council for meteorological equipment, 1893
Folder 5
Newspaper article, New Bedford Standard, 1912
Series D: Certificates, 1870, 1889
Folder 1
Testimonial from Commonwealth of Massachusetts, April 19, 1870
Folder 2
Commendation from Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, March 6, 1889
Sub-group 18: William Logan Rodman Papers, ca.1840, 1849-1850 [4 items]
Sub-group 18 consists of William Logan Rodman's family correspondence
Series A: Correspondence, ca. 1840, 1849-1850
Box 12
Folder 1
ca. 1840, 1849-1850
Sub-group 19: William Rotch Rodman Papers, 1813-1862 [21 items]
Sub-group 19 contains the personal correspondence, financial records, ships' papers, and a marriage certificate of William Rotch Rodman.
Series A: Correspondence, 1836
Folder 1
1836
Series B: Financial Records, 1838-1846
Volume 1
Sales Book, 1838-1846
Series C: Ships' Papers, 1850-1862
Sub-series 1: Audubon (Ship) Records, 1850-1862
Folder 1
Bill of sale, 1850
Folder 2
Protest of damage to vessel, 1859
Folder 3
Bills and receipts, 1860
Folder 4
Letter and report on death of captain and results of investigation, 1861-1862
Series D: Marriage Certificate, 1813
Folder 1
Of William Rotch Rodman and Rebecca Waln Morgan, 1813
Sub-group 20: Francis Rotch Papers, 1819-1845 [23 items]
Sub-group 20 contains Francis Rotch's family correspondence.
Series A: Correspondence, 1819-1845
Folder 1
1819, 1832
Folder 2
1834, 1836, 1842, 1843
Folder 3
1844-1845
Sub-group 21: Francis Morgan Rotch Papers, 1844 [2 items]
Sub-group 21 contains Francis Morgan Rotch's family correspondence.
Series A: Correspondence, 1844
Folder 1
1844
Sub-group 22: Micah Ruggles Papers, 1848 [1 item]
Sub-group 22 consists of a letter from Micah Ruggles to mother on birth of granddaughter, Alice Worcester.
Series A: Correspondence, 1848
Folder 1
1848
Sub-group 23: Jones Wister Papers, 1847 [1 item]
Sub-group 23 consists of a letter from Jones Wister to Mary Rodman, his cousin.
Series A: Correspondence, 1847
Folder 1
1847
Sub-group 24: Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1857, 1862, 1876 [6 items]
Sub-group 24 consists of Rodman family personal correspondence.
Series A: Correspondence, 1857, 1862, 1876
Folder 1
1857, 1862, 1896, undated

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Added Entries

Account books--New Bedford, Mass.--1801-1858
American Civil War SEE United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Business records--Mass.--New Bedford
Businessmen--Mass.--New Bedford
Civil War--United States SEE United States—History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Decedents' estates--Mass.--New Bedford
Diaries--New Bedford, Mass.--1805-1905
Domestic relations--Mass.--New Bedford
Europe--Description and travel--1800-1918
Family--Mass.--New Bedford
Farrar, Eliza Rotch, 1791-1870
Fisher, Elizabeth Rodman, 1810-1875
Fisher, William Logan, 1781-1862
Great Plains--Description and travel
Langston, Maria Rotch, 1797-1874
Merchants--Mass. --New Bedford
Meteorological observations SEE Meteorology--Observations
Meteorology--Observations
Middle West--Description and travel
Midwest SEE Middle West
Midwestern states SEE Middle West
Morgan, Charles Waln, 1796-1861
Morgan, Sarah Rodman, 1793-1888
New Bedford, Mass.--Commerce
New Bedford, Mass.--Economic conditions
North Central states SEE Middle West
Observations, Meteorological SEE Meteorology--Observations
Plains, The Great SEE Great Plains
Poetry
Prior, Edmund Jr., fl. 1822-1882
Rodman, Benjamin, 1794-1876
Rodman, Eliza, 1782-1864
Rodman, Elizabeth Rotch, 1757-1856
Rodman, Hannah Haydock Prior, 1794-1876
Rodman, Julia Wager, 1855-1937
Rodman, Samuel Jr., 1792-1876
Rodman, Samuel Sr., 1753-1835
Rodman, Susan Emlen, 1829-1880
Rodman, Thomas Rotch, 1825-1905
Rodman, Thomas, 1784-1809
Rodman, William Logan, 1822-1863
Rodman, William Rotch, 1786-1855
Rotch, Anne Waln Morgan, 1800-1884
Rotch, Francis Morgan, 1822-1863
Rotch, Francis, 1788-1874
Ruggles, Micah, 1791-1857
Ships' papers
Southern states--History--Civil War, 1861-1865 SEE United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
The West--Description and travel--1860-1880
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Correspondents
War of Secession (United States) SEE United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Whaling--Mass.--New Bedford
Wister, Jones, 1839-1917
Women--Mass.--Social conditions

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Vessel Names

Amazon (Schooner)
Audubon (Ship)
Massachusetts (Ship)

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