Inventory of the Aiken & Swift Records In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research LibraryProcessed by: Judith Downey; machine-readable finding aid created by: Mark ProcknikFunds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.Inventory of the Aiken & Swift Records In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Table of Contents

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

Information for Researchers

Administrative Information

Description

Added Entries

Inventory of the Aiken & Swift Records

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library



Title:
Aiken & Swift Records
Date Span:
1859-1904
Creator:
Aiken & Swift
Mss Number:
Mss 71
Extent:
5 inches
Abstract:
Records of whaling agents active at New Bedford, Massachusetts, and San Francisco, California, 1859-1904
Repository:
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Whaling Museum: (508) 997-0046
Maritime Curator/Librarian: (508) 717-6837

Historical Note

Members of the Swift family were chiefly involved in mercantile activities and the whaling industry at New Bedford, Massachusetts, from 1859-1904. William Cole Nye Swift (1815-1892) began his career as a live oak contractor in the family business. IN 1849, he became a merchant and was associated with Eben Perry (1822-1897) which developed into the form of Swift & Perry. They served as agents for several whaling vessels out of New Bedford. In 1865, they hired William H. Aiken (1834-ca. 1888) as their bookkeeper and in 1875, Frederick Swift (1852-1915), son of W. C. N. Swift, joined the firm as a clerk. In 1879, the firm was named Aiken & Swift with William Aiken and Frederick Swift as partners acting as whaling agents. By 1881, they had expanded their operations to San Francisco, California, and in 1885, solely operated from there. Frederick Swift remained a whaling agent after Aiken's death until 1893 when he became involved in manufacturing companies.

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Scope and Content Note

Materials in this collection reflect the involvement in the whaling industry by Swift & Perry and Aiken & Swift at New Bedford, Massachusetts, and San Francisco, California, from 1859-1904. The majority of the records are ship's papers, 1859-1888, containing lists of whales sighted with locations, crew accounts, letter of instruction to a captain, and a list of correspondence sent and received by a captain. Most of these materials relate to George F. Winslow (1837-1914) as Captain of the barks Commodore Morris, 1873-1884, and Desdemona, 1894. There is also a volume of memoranda, 1880-1904, probably kept by Frederick Swift, which contains lists of vessels which sailed each year with their crew from the ports of New Bedford and San Francisco. Most are annotated especially for Aiken & Swift vessels.

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 71, [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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Administrative Information

Provenance

Materials in this collection were donated to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by Orville N. Swift on 20 April 1920, Mrs. Walter Wheeler on 28 February 1946, Andrew G. Pierce III on 27 April 1963, and Anna Jarvis on 28 April 1979.

Processing Information

Processed by: Judith Downey, ca. 1982

Encoded by: Mark Procknik, 27 February 2012

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

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Description

Series A: Ship's Papers, 1859-1888 [31 items]
Sub-series 1: Commodore Morris (Ship) Records,
Box 1
Folder 1
List of whales sighted with locations noted, 1865-1867
Volume 1
List of correspondence sent and received by Captain Winslow, 1873-1884
Disbursements of vessel, 1873-1880
Notes on whales sighted by various vessels with locations noted, 1860-1895
Folder 2
Memorandum to Captain Winslow on whaling grounds, 1881
Sub-series 2: Daniel Webster (Bark) Records, 1877
Folder 1
Customs records, 1877
Landing certificate
Folder 2
Bill of sale, 1877
Sub-series 3: Desdemona (Bark) Records, 1882
Folder 1
Letter of instruction to captain and lists of whaling grounds, 1882
Sub-series 4: Eagle (Bark) Records, 1863, 1869
Folder 1
Crew accounts, 1863
Correspondence about insurance, 1869
Sub-series 5: Jacob A. Howland (Bark) Records, 1887-1888
Volume 1
Crew accounts, 1887-1888
Folder 1
Items removed from Volume 1
Sub-series 6: Janus (Bark) Records, 1877
Folder 1
Crew accounts, 1877
Sub-series 7: Jireh Perry (Ship) Records, 1879
Folder 1
Sea letter, 1879
Sub-series 8: Josephine (Ship) Records, 1859-1860
Folder 1
List of whales sighted with locations noted, 1859-1860
Series B: Memoranda, 1800-1904 [1 volume]
Box 2
Volume 1
Lists of vessels which sailed each year, their crew with some annotations, from the ports of New Bedford and San Francisco with detailed notes on Aiken & Swift vessels, 1880-1904

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Added Entries

Account books--New Bedford, Mass.--1887-1888
Aiken & Swift, New Bedford, Mass.
Aiken, William H., 1834-ca. 1888
Business records--Mass.--New Bedford
Businessmen--Mass.--New Bedford
Merchant seamen--Mass.--New Bedford--Salaries, pensions, etc.
Merchants--Calif.--San Francisco
Merchants--Mass.--New Bedford
New Bedford, Mass.--Commerce
Perry, Eben, 1822-1897
San Francisco, Calif.--Commerce
Ship's papers
Swift & Perry, New Bedford, Mass.
Swift, Frederick, 1852-1915
Swift, William Cole Nye, 1815-1892
Whalers
Whaling--Calif.--San Francisco
Whaling--Calif.--San Francisco--Agents
Whaling--Mass.--New Bedford
Whaling--Mass.--New Bedford--Agents
Winslow, George F., 1837-1914

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Vessel Names

Commodore Morris (Ship)
Daniel Webster (Bark)
Desdemona (Bark)
Eagle (Bark)
Jacob A. Howland (Bark)
Janus (Bark)
Jireh Perry (Ship)
Josephine (Ship)

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