MSS 11:  Hawes Family Papers, 1789-1910 - New Bedford Whaling Museum

Inventory of the Hawes 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 Hawes 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


Subject Headings

Inventory of the Hawes Family Papers

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Hawes Family Papers
Date Span:
Hawes family
Mss Number:
Mss 11
10 inches
Personal papers and business records of a New Bedford and Fairhaven, Massachusetts, family, 1789-1910.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Phone: (508) 997-0046

Historical Note

John Hawes (1768-1824) of New Bedford and Fairhaven, Massachusetts, was involved in many occupations during his lifetime. He began his active business career in 1787 as a master and part owner of small coasting vessels and by 1793 was trading with European merchants. He later had charge of a shipping agency in Dunkirk, France in company with William Rotch Jr. of New Bedford, Thomas Macy of Nantucket, and Jeremiah Winslow of Portland. Due to the French Revolution operations ceased; John Hawes returned to New Bedford and commenced ship building in 1803. In 1808, he became a justice of the peace for Bristol County, Mass. He served in this capacity until 1814 when he was appointed Collector of the port for the United States Custom House in New Bedford. At this time he sold his interest in shipping to his son John Alexander Hawes (1795-1827). John Hawes Sr. served as Collector until his death in 1824.

John Hawes married his first wife Mercy Taber Hawes (1766-1803) in 1792 and his second wife Mary Tallman Willis Read Hawes (1769-1858) in 1804. He had a total of seven children. Hawes was a Methodist who donated the land and timber for the first Methodist church in Acushnet, Mass., in 1805.

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Scope and Content Note

Papers in this collection reflect the activities of the Hawes family of New Bedford and Fairhaven, Mass. between 1789-1910. The material concentrates on John Hawes and his various occupations. His personal correspondence, 1809-1818, consists of letters to his son, John Alexander Hawes, and various friends. Hawes’ business records, 1789-1824, concern the period when he was involved as a master and merchant in shipping and shipbuilding. These materials include correspondence, 1803-1824; financial records, 1797-1813; ship building records, 1803-1815; ship's papers, 1797-1815; and bills and receipts, 1789-1822. His papers also contain some personal legal documents, 1810-1825, including leases, jury of inquest report and a notice of his own estate. Hawes' duties as a justice of the peace are reflected by court-dockets and marriage records, 1808-1813; case files, 1811-1819; estate records, 1796-1817; power of attorney certificates and agreements, 1810-1822. His Custom House records, 1808-1824, include correspondence, 1808-1824; search permits and other legal documents, 1813-1822; records for establishment, provisions and repairs of Bird Island and Gay Head Lighthouses, 1816-1823; checks and bills and receipts,1813-1824.

Also included among his papers are genealogical notes tracing the family's English origins, compiled for William T. Wardwell and James Anderson Hawes in 1909 and 1910.

Hawes' papers and records in this collection are supplemented by business and personal correspondence and ship's papers of his son, John Alexander Hawes, dating from 1818-1827. Also represented by personal and similar papers in the collection are Mercy Taber Hawes, Mary Hawes Wardwell (b.1799), one of John Hawes' daughters, and Thomas Taber (fl. 1816), a nephew.

Materials in the Hawes Collection have been organized into sub-groups representing the various individuals. The sub-groups have been listed in the inventory chronologically by the person's date of birth. Correspondence is arranged within each year by the name of the writer. Other papers, organized into series by the type of document, are arranged in chronological order except for the ship's papers, which are grouped alphabetically by name of vessel. A published work which may serve as a guide to the persons represented in this collection is Old Dartmouth Historical Sketch #22 -- John Hawes, by Rebecca William Hawes, 1908.

Arrangement of Collection

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Access to the Collection

Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.

Preferred Citation

New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 11 [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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Removed to Photographs Collection

- Hathaway residence, Elm and Purchase St., New Bedford. Stereopticon view, n.d.
- Parker's wharf and Fish Island. Stereopticon, n.d.

Removed to Objects Collection

- Post card of Gay Head Lighthouse.

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The major part of this collection was donated to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by Rebecca William Hawes on 27 Oct. 1919. Other materials in this collection were donated to the Society on 20 Sept. 1978 by Clarissa Wardwell Pell.

Processing Information

Processed by: Judith Downey, ca. 1982

Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 19 June 2011; box list appended by Mark Procknik, 03 January 2012

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

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Sub-group 1: John Hawes Papers, 1789-1910 [9 inches]
Sub-group 1 consists of personal and business correspondence; ship building records and ship's papers; bills and receipts; legal documents; court-docket and marriage records, case files, estate records, and other justice of the peace records; town elections dispute records; Custom House records, including correspondence, search permits and insurance accounts; lighthouse records; genealogical notes, certificates and miscellany all relating to John Hawes.
Series A: Personal Correspondence, 1809-1818
Box 1
Folder 1
1809, 1813
Folder 2
Folder 3
1815-1816, 1818
Series B: Business Records, 1789-1824
Sub-series 1: Correspondence, 1803-1824
Folder 1
Folder 2
Sub-series 2: Financial Records, 1797-1813
Volume 1
Ledger, 1809-1813
Folder 1
Accounts current, 1797-1812
Sub-series 3: Ship Building Records, 1803, 1811-1815
Folder 1
Agreements and receipts, 1803, 1811-1805
Sub-series 4: Ship's Papers, 1797-1815
Folder 1
Hope (Ship), 1797-1798
Folder 2
Lorenzo (Ship), 1813, 1815
Folder 3
Reuben & Eliza (Brig), 1806-1807, 1813
Folder 4-6
Sarah (Ship), 1798-1799
Folder 7
Thomas (Brig), 1799-1800
Sub-series 5: Bills and Receipts, 1789-1822
Folder 1
Folder 2
Folder 3
Folder 4
Folder 5
Folder 6
Tax receipts, 1811, 1814-1819, 1822
Series C: Legal Documents, 1810-1811, 1813, 1825
Folder 1
Jury of inquest report, 1810
Folder 2
Lease of mills, 1811, 1813
Folder 3
Notice of John Hawes' estate, 1825
Series D: Justice of the Peace Records, 1808-1822
Sub-series 1: Court-Docket and Marriage Records, 1808-1813
Volume 1
Sub-series 2: Case Files, 1811-1819
Folder 1
Braley vs. Braley, 1813
Folder 2
Coffin vs. Fearing & Tobey, 1819
Folder 3
Hart vs. Allen, 1813
Folder 4
Jenee vs. Huttleston, 1813
Folder 5
Nikon vs. Taber, 1813
Folder 6
Nye vs. Bumpus, 1811
Folder 7
Simmeons & Merriwell vs. Peine, 1813
Folder 8
Spooner vs. Woodcock, 1813
Folder 9
Vincent vs. Braley & Ashley, 1814
Folder 10
Weston vs. Earle & Williams, 1811
Sub-series 3: Estate Records, 1796-1817
Box 2
Folder 1
Booth, 1808-1812
Folder 2
Boothe, 1808
Folder 3
Church, 1811
Folder 4
Hathaway, 1796, 1805
Folder 5
Mason, 1808-1811
Folder 6
Shearman, 1813, 1817
Folder 7
Spooner, 1810
Folder 8
West, 1810, 1812
Sub-series 4: Power of Attorney, 1810, 1817
Folder 1
1810, 1817
Sub-series 5: Agreements, 1811, 1822
Folder 1
Deposition, 1811
Folder 2
Agreement, 1822
Sub-series 6: Town Election Dispute Records, 1812
Folder 1
Complaints and Petitions, Dartmouth, Massachusetts, 1812
Sub-series 7: Petitions, 1813
Folder 1
Formation of the town of Fairhaven, 1813
Series E: Custom House Records, 1808-1824
Sub-series 1: Correspondence, 1808-1824
Folder 1
Letters of recommendation, 1808, 1813
Folder 2
Folder 3
Sub-series 2: Search Permits and Legal Documents, 1813-1822
Folder 1
Sub-series 3: Insurance Accounts and Abstracts, 1818-1820, 1822
Folder 1
1818-1820, 1822
Sub-series 4: Seamen's Protection Papers, 1814
Folder 1
Sub-series 5: Lighthouse Records, 1816, 1819-1823
Folder 1
Receipts, 1816, 1819-1823
Sub-series 6: Promissory Notes, 1814
Folder 1
Sub-series 7: Checks, 1817-1819
Folder 1-2
Folder 3-4
Folder 5-6
Sub-series 8: Bills and Receipts, 1813-1824
Folder 1
Folder 2
Folder 3
Folder 4
Series F: Genealogical Notes, Certificates, and Miscellany, 1809-1910
Folder 1
Hawes family genealogical notes, 1809-1910
Folder 2
Certificates of tax payments, guardianship documents, and miscellany, 1809-1834
Sub-group 2: Mercy Taber Hawes Papers, 1798 [1 item]
Sub-group 2 contains a personal letter to John Hawes from Mercy Taber Hawes.
Series A: Correspondence, 1798
Folder 1
Sub-group 3: John Alexander Hawes Papers, 1818-1827 [8 items]
Sub-group 3 consists of the incoming and outgoing business and personal correspondence of John Alexander Hawes as well as ship’s papers.
Series A: Correspondence, 1818-1827
Folder 1
Incoming, 1818-1827
Folder 2
Outgoing, 1818
Series B: Ship's Papers, 1818
Folder 1
Ono (Schooner): Bill of lading, 1818
Agreement regarding Trident (Brig), 1818
Sub-group 4: Mary Hawes Wardwell Papers, 1823, 1827, 1839 [6 items]
Sub-group 4 contains Mary Hawes Wardwell's personal letters to John and John Alexander Hawes; poetry, and a receipt.
Series A: Correspondence, 1823-1827
Folder 1
Series B: Poetry, 1839
Folder 1
Acrostic, 1839
Series C: Receipt, 1823
Folder 1
Sub-group 5: Thomas Taber Papers, 1816 [1 item]
Sub-group 5 consists of a personal letter to John Hawes from Thomas Taber.
Series A: Correspondence, 1816
Folder 1

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Subject Headings

Account books--New Bedford, Mass.--1809-1813
Bird Island Lighthouse, Mass.
Business records--Mass.--New Bedford
County courts--Mass.--Bristol County
Court calendars--Mass.--Bristol County
Court records--Mass.--Bristol County
Customs administration--Mass.--New Bedford
Decedents' estates--Mass.--New Bedford
Elections--Mass.--Dartmouth--Corrupt practices
Fairhaven, Mass.--Commerce
Gay Head Lighthouse, Mass.
Hawes, John Alexander, 1795-1827
Hawes, John, 1768-1824
Hawes, Mercy Taber, 1766-1803
Insurance, Marine--Mass.--New Bedford
Inventories of decedents' estates--Mass.--New Bedford
Justices of the peace--Mass.--Bristol County
Law--Mass.--Bristol County--Cases
Lawyers--Mass.--New Bedford
Lighthouses--Mass.--Bird Island
Lighthouses--Mass.--Gay Head
Local elections--Mass.--Dartmouth
Massachusetts. County Court. (Bristol County)
Merchant ships--Mass.--New Bedford
New Bedford, Mass.--Commerce
Public records--Mass.--New Bedford
Registers of births, etc.--Mass.--Bristol County
Ship's papers
Shipmasters--Mass.--New Bedford
Shipping--Mass.--New Bedford
Taber, Thomas, fl. 1816
United States. Custom House, New Bedford, Mass.
Wardwell, Mary Hawes, b. 1799
Wills--Mass.--New Bedford
Wills--Mass.--New Bedford

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Vessel Names

Hope (Ship)
Lorenzo (Ship)
Ono (Schooner)
Reuben & Eliza (Brig)
Sarah (Brig)
Thomas (Brig)
Trident (Brig)

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