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In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
William Greenleaf Blackler was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1803. He began his career in 1823 as a captain in the merchant service on trading voyages from Boston to the West Indies and Cuba. By the 1830s, Blackler owned shares in several Fairhaven, Mass., whalers. He eventually moved to Fairhaven in the 1840s and then to New Bedford in 1852. Blackler was involved in business ventures with his brother-in-law, Atkins Adams (1782-1849), a shipmaster and whaling agent, and eventually took over Adams' business after his death in 1849. He served as a whaling agent for numerous whalers, including the ships Swallow and Japan, until 1865. New Bedford city directories indicate that Blackler then acted as a "ship agent and contractor" until his death in 1880.
Papers in this collection reflect the business activities of both William G. Blackler and Atkins Adams as merchant shipmasters and whaling agents. The bulk of the collection consists of ship's papers generated by voyages of numerous whalers between the years 1830 and 1865. These materials feature volumes containing crew accounts along with sales records of oil and bone, cash accounts, disbursement accounts, and outfitting and repairing expenses. Also included among these documents are correspondence, accounts current, sea letters, a Whalemen's Shipping Paper, bills, and receipts. In addition, papers for the brig Fredonia dated 1809-1810, concern Atkins Adams' service as master of the merchant vessel on a trading voyage to Great Britain for merchants at Marblehead, Mass: the Blacklers, Pedricks, and Hoopers.
This collection also contains a ledger, 1831-1849, and a day book, 1837-1842, which chiefly concern Adams' duties as agent of the ships Cadmus, Eliza Adams, Jasper, Java, La Grange, and Martha 2nd. These volumes also reflect his financial association with the Fairhaven Candleworks; the firm of Blackler & Hall; Samuel Russell Blacker (1805-1844); members of the Hooper family; and his brother, Barzillai S. Adams (1782-1842).
Arrangement of Collection
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New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 68, [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
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Materials in this collection were donated to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by the estate of Andrew Snow Jr. on 17 March 1919; Frank E. Brown on 28 March 1924; and Thomas B. Card on 7 May 1959.
Processed by: Judith Downey, ca. 1982
Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 10 July 2012
Funds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Please Consult Research Library for Detailed Description of Collection
Account books--Fairhaven, Mass.--1831-1863
Account books--New Bedford, Mass.--1856-1865
Adams, Atkins, 1782-1849
Adams, Barzillai S., 1795-1842
Blacker & Hall, Fairhaven, Mass.
Blacker, Samuel Russell, 1805-1844
Blacker, William Greenleaf, 1803-1880
Business records--Mass.--New Bedford
Commercial agents--Mass.--New Bedford
Fairhaven Candleworks, Fairhaven, Mass.
Merchant seamen--Mass.--Fairhaven--Salaries, pensions, etc.
Merchant seamen--Mass.--New Bedford--Salaries, pensions, etc.
Merchant ships--Mass.--New Bedford
New Bedford, Mass.--Commerce
Ships--Equipment and supplies
Atkins Adams (Ship)
Eliza Adams (Ship)
Joseph Grinnell (Bark)
La Grange (Bark)
Martha 2nd (Bark)
Martha 2nd (Ship)