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In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
William Tallman (1730-1802) began his career as a trader who invested in several whaling vessels by 1765. He owned a large farm, a warehouse, counting-rooms, and later a town-house in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He served as selectman for Dartmouth from 1773-1777 and for New Bedford from 1787-1801. His son, William Tallman (1761-1853) was a merchant in New Bedford continuing his father's business. His son, William Tallman Jr. (1809-1888), began his career at sea in 1827 and served on whaling vessels, eventually becoming a master in 1841. By 1849 he retired from the sea to become a merchant and take over the family business. During the Civil War he served in the Navy in the Pacific Squadron and was involved in a confrontation with Japan aboard the USS Wyoming in 1863. He received compensation from the Japanese Indemnity Fund in 1883. After his service in the Navy, he served as city assessor until 1885.
Papers in this collection reflect the activities of members of the Tallman family of New Bedford, Mass., between 1768-1883. The material concentrates on William Tallman (1730-1802), his son William Tallman (1761-1853) and his grandson, William Tallman Jr. (1809-1888). Papers for William Tallman (1730-1802) span the years 1715, 1768-1801 and consist of correspondence, accounts current, promissory notes, deeds, and his will. Papers for his son William Tallman (1761-1853) include ledgers, 1794-1833, and wills of his father-in-law James Howland, 1825, and of Abraham Smith, 1828. The ledgers reflect business activities as a merchant with various members of the Tallman family, Gilbert Russell, and for rental of properties. The second volume also contains accounts for his brother Charles Tallman (1767-1795) prior to his death.
William Tallman Jr. (1809-1888) is represented by correspondence, legal documents including the will of his father-in-law, Asa Kent, records for his service in the U. S. Navy, along with bills, essays, poetry, and an autograph book, 1823-1883. His naval records span the years 1861-1883 and reflect his service in the Pacific Squadron and the S. Atlantic Blockade Squadron during the Civil War. Also included in these records are claims against the Japanese for damages relating to an attack while he served aboard the USS Wyoming for which he was finally awarded a settlement from the Japanese Indemnity Fund in 1883.
There are also papers for Elkanah Tallman (1763-1846), brother of William (1761-1853) for the year 1807, which consist of an agreement regarding the purchasing of a house and lot.
Arrangement of Collection
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New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 84, [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
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This entire collection was donated to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by Nathalie Tallman through a series of three accessions on 6 October 1983, 7 November 1984, and 3 January 1985.
Processed by: Judith M. Downey, ca. 1985
Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 16 April 2012; box list appended by Alfredo Parrilla, 19 March 2013
Account books--New Bedford, Mass.--1794-1833
Decedents estates--Mass.--New Bedford
Japanese Indemnity Fund
Russell, Gilbert, 1760-1829
Tallman, Charles, 1767-1795
Tallman, Elkanah, 1763-1846
Tallman, William Jr., 1809-1888
Tallman, William, 1730-1802
Tallman, William, 1761-1853
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Claims
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Naval operations
USS Wyoming (Screw Sloop-of-war)