MSS 118:  Crapo, Clifford & Clifford Records, 1710-1927 - New Bedford Whaling Museum
Inventory of the Crapo, Clifford & Clifford Records In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research LibraryProcessed by: Jalien Hollister; machine-readable finding aid created by: Mark ProcknikInventory of the Crapo, Clifford & Clifford Records In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Table of Contents

Biographical Notes

Scope and Content Note

Information for Researchers

Related Materials

Administrative Information


Subject Headings

Inventory of the Crapo, Clifford & Clifford Records

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Crapo, Clifford & Clifford Records
Date Span:
1710-1927 (Bulk dates: 1850-1890)
Crapo, Cliffiord & Clifford, Counselors at Law
Mss Number:
Mss 118
4.5 linear feet
Collection of papers and documents from the law offices of Crapo, Clifford & Clifford, located in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The partners practiced admiralty law and were consequently involved in several notable cases concerning whaling vessels from New Bedford.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Phone: (508) 997-0046

Biographical Notes

William Wallace Crapo was born 1830 and died 1926. Mr. Crapo was the son of Henry Howland Crapo. He was the head of the law firm Crapo, Clifford & Clifford and later, Crapo Clifford Prescott and Bullard. He was engaged in the prosecution on behalf of the New Bedford whalemen in the “Alabama Claims” whereby the British Government paid $15,000,000 to the U.S. Government for losses suffered due to the collusion of the British with the Confederate privateers. Mr. Crapo was president of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society from 1903 to 1908.

Henry Howland Crapo was the eldest son of William Wallace Crapo. He was born in 1862 and in 1887 become a member of Crapo, Clifford & Clifford. Mr. Crapo was president of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society from 1938 to 1940.

Charles Warren Clifford, eldest son of Gov. John Henry Clifford was born in 1844. In 1869 he became a member of Marston & Crapo until its dissolution in 1878. He then became a partner in the firm of Crapo, Clifford & Clifford where he remained for 45 years. He was counsel for the owners of the Cape Horn Pigeon (Bark) and took part in the arbitration between the U.S. and Russia at the Hague. He died in 1923.

Walter Clifford was the second son of Gov. John Henry Clifford. He was born in 1849. He became the managing clerk for the law office of Marston & Crapo and from 1878 until his death 34 years later, was a partner in the firm of Crapo, Clifford & Clifford, later Crapo, Clifford & Prescott, then Crapo, Clifford Prescott & Bullard. He died in 1912.

Oliver Prescott (second) was the grandson of Judge Oliver Prescott. Oliver Prescott was a member of Crapo, Clifford, Prescott and Bullard. He died in 1938.

John H. Clifford, grandson of Gov. John Henry Clifford and son of Walter Clifford, was a member of the firm Crapo, Clifford, Prescott & Bullard.

George Marston was born in 1821. He became an associate of W. W. Crapo in 1869 and established Marston & Crapo. That firm continued for nine years and upon the dissolution of the partnership it then became Marston & Cobb. He died in 1883.

The law firm of Crapo, Clifford, Prescott and Bullard is a descendant of the firm of Coffin (Timothy G.) and Clifford (John H.), 1830-1834. In succession came the partnerships of Colby and Clifford, Clifford and Brigham, Brigham and Stone, Stone and Crapo, Marston and Crapo, and Crapo, Clifford and Clifford, the latter formed in 1878. Mr. Crapo’s partners and associates were Joshua C. Stone, George Marston, Wendell H. Cobb, Charles W. Clifford, Walter Clifford, Frederick S.C. Bartlett, Henry H. Crapo (second), Oliver Prescott (second), John H. Clifford (second), John M. Bullard, Oliver Prescott (third) and Bryant Prescott.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection of papers and records represents the law offices of Crapo, Clifford & Clifford and its antecedents. The partners practiced admiralty law and were consequently involved in several notable cases concerning whaling ships from New Bedford. Other types of documents held in this collection reflect the broader scope of the law practice and include financial papers, insurance papers, personal papers, patent papers, estate records, and records pertaining to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society's founding in 1903 in addition to non-maritime issues, including papers related to "Alabama Claims Court." Researchers should note that the documents held within this collection represent only a portion of the firm's work and history. Other papers are believed to be held privately at the present time.

Arrangement of Collection

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Access to Collections

Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.

Preferred Citation

New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 118, [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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Related Manuscript Collections

Mss 120: George C. Perkins Collection

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Processing Information

Processed by: Jalien Hollister, 2011

Encoded by: Mark Procknik, 27 December 2013

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Please Consult Research Library for Detailed Description of Collection

Series I: Ship's Papers, 1836-1911 [25 inches]
Ship's papers consist of documents related to legal issues associated with specific vessels
Series II: Whaling and Sealing, 1847-1891, 1902 [1 inch]
Series II contains papers and documents related to issues involving whaling and sealing
Series III: Maritime Cases, 1830-1957 [1 inch]
Series III consists of papers and documents related to more general maritime issues
Series IV: Non-maritime Issues, 1797, 1830-1886, 1898, 1908 [5 inches]
Series IV contains legal papers and documents related to non-maritime issues, including the "Alabama Claims" court
Series V: Insurance Company Cases, 1830-1832, 1862-1878, 1891 [1 inch]
Insurance company cases consist of legal papers related to specific cases involving insurance companies
Series VI: Property Plans, Deeds, and Estates, 1710-1720, 1772-1892 [3 inches]
Series VI contains a variety of papers related to property plans, deeds, and estates
Series VII: Financial Papers, 1833-1921 [2 inches]
Financial papers consist of documents associated with the law office and other clients
Series VIII: Personal Papers, 1838, 1849, 1850, 1876, 1904, 1927 [1 inch]
Personal papers contains a few items that are connected to individual law partners
Series IX: Old Dartmouth Historical Society, 1903 [21 items]
Series IX consists documents related to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society and its founding
Series X: Patent Papers, 1890, 1892 [3 items]
Patent papers contains three patent letters
Series XI: Publications, 1886-1896 [1 inch]
Series XI consists various publications and printed materials
Series XII: Additional Miscellaneous Materials, 1870-1903 [1 inch]
Series XII contains unrelated interoffice memos, fragments of notes and memos, and empty envelopes

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Subject Headings

Acushnet River (Mass.)
Adams, Nathaniel
Akin, Francis
Akin, Mrs. W. H.
Alabama claims
Allen, Ansel
Allen, W. H.
Anthony, Senator H.B.
Arctic Ocean
Baker, Col. William S.
Baker, Emma
Baker, William H.
Barstow, E. W.
Beaman & Crapo (New Bedford, Mass.)
Bedford Commercial Bank (New Bedford, Mass.)
Bills of sale
Borden, Simeon
Bourne, Jonathan Jr., 1811-1889
Brigham & Stone
Bull, Jonathan
Cape Cod B. R. Road Co.
Charles W. Morgan (Ship)
Chase, Theophilus
Clark's Cove Guano Works
Clifford, Charles Warren
Clifford, Clifford & Brigham (New Bedford, Mass.)
Clifford, John H.
Clifford, Sarah
Clifford, Walter C.
Coastwise Transportation Co.
Coffin & Clifford (New Bedford, Mass.)
Coffin, F.R.
Colby & Clifford (New Bedford, Mass.)
Commercial Insurance Co. (New Bedford, Mass.)
Confederate Navy
Cook, James, 1728-1779
Cook, Jonathan
Coughlin, J.
Crapo, Clifford & Clifford (New Bedford, Mass.)
Crapo, Clifford, Prescott and Bullard (New Bedford, Mass.)
Crapo, Henry Howland, 1804-1869
Crapo, William Wallace, 1830-1926
Cromwell, B.C.
Crosby, Owen W.
Crowell, Peleg
Cummings, Benjamin
Dana, Edmond T.
Davis Coast Wrecking Corp. (New Bedford, Mass.)
DePonte v. Monroe et al.
Delano, Abraham
Delano, Albert O.
Delano, George
Delano, M.H.
Delano, W.
Dennison Bros. Coal Co. (New Bedford, Mass.)
Durfee, J.
E. Anthony & Sons
Edgartown (Mass.)
Edwards, Pardon C.
Ellis, R.L.
Faial Island (Azores)
Fall River Rail Road Co.
Faxon, Micah
Flanders, Richard
Forbes, J.M.
Foster, Daniel
Gammon, Edgar H.
Glidden, William T.
Gordon, William A.
Green, Dana
Green, David
Green, Edward H.R. (Edward Howland Robinson), 1869-1936
Green, Hetty Howland Robinson, 1835-1916
Greene, David Russell
Grinnell, Edward
Guaymas (Sonora, Mexico)
Haskell, Levi
Hathaway, Thomas B.
Hazard, James S.
Heustis, C.P.
Hickmott, S.
Homan, B.F.
Honolulu (Hawaii)
Howland, Edward W.
Howland, Frederick S.
Howland, George
Howland, Isaac
Howland, Sylvia
Howland, Weston
Hubbard, C.
Huxford, G.
Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845
Jenkins, B.S.
Kempton, Obed
Kempton, William
Kimilu, Annie
Kinsella, C.W.
Knowles, J.P.
Law firms--New Bedford, Mass.
Lee, Ferdinand
Lejoias, Joseph
Liverpool and London Fire and Life Insurance Company
Luce, Ichabod
Luce, Thomas
Luce, William T.
Macomber, Daniel
Manchester, Noah
Mandell, E.D.
Maneau, J.D.
Manning v. Bourne
Manning, Jerome F.
Marston & Crapo
Marston, George
Martha's Vineyard (Mass.)
Mashow, John
Massey & Murray
McCullough, Mary E.
McFarlane, J.D.
Merril's Wharf (New Bedford, Mass.)
Merrill, E.
Middelboro Railroad Corp. (Middleboro, Mass.)
Middleton, John
Morris, G.
Munroe & Morris
Muskegat Channel (Martha's Vineyard, Mass.)
Nall, S.T.
Nantucket (Mass.)
Nantucket Steamboat Company
National Bank of New Bedford (New Bedford, Mass.)
Naushon Island (Mass.)
Neil vs. La Grange (Bark)
New Bedford & New York Steamship Company
New Bedford (Mass.)
New Bedford Gas and Edison Light Company (New Bedford, Mass.)
New Bedford Steam Coasting Corp. (New Bedford, Mass.)
New Bedford and Boston Railroad
New Bedford and Ohio Candle Company
New Bedford, Martha's Vineyard, and Nantucket Steamboat Company
Northern New York Telephone Corp.
Norwich & New York Transportation Co.
Oil and Candle House (New Bedford, Mass.)
Okhotsk, Sea of
Osbourne, A.
Osbourne, Samuel Jr.
Otis, Joseph
Pacific Bank (Nantucket, Mass.)
Pacific Mutual Insurance Company
Palmer's Island (New Bedford, Mass.)
Patterson, D.G.
Pease, Henry
Person Name
Pope's Island (New Bedford, Mass.)
Potter, Thomas
Revere Copper and Brass Incorporated
Rexford & Ashley
Rezendes, Antone
Richards, Jesse
Richardson, E.M.
Richmond & Tiffany
Robinson, Thomas
Rodman, Benjamin, 1794-1876
Rodman, Edmound
Rogers, Henry Huttleston, 1840-1909
Rotch Wharf Company (New Bedford, Mass.)
Rotch, William T.
Ruggles v. Davenport
Russell's Mills (Dartmouth, Mass.)
Russell, J.L.C.
Russell, J.M.
Sag Harbor (N.Y.)
Samuel Osbourne Jr. v. William S. Munroe
Scullun, T.
Seabury, O. & E.W.
Smith, Jonathan
Smith, Lucy
Smith, R.
Smith, T.
Sperm oil
Spicer, Orrin
Spooner, N.S.
Spooner, Seth
Stone & Brigham
Stone & Crapo
Sun Mutual Insurance Company
Swan, F.C.
Swift, Jireh, 1809-1905
Swift, Paul
Taber, Edward T.
Taber, Jonathan
Talcahuano (Chile)
Tanner, Smith & Co.
Tappan, George
Tarkiln Hill (New Bedford, Mass.)
Thayer & Judd Paraffine Corp.
Union Wharf Company (Fairhaven, Mass.)
United States--Politics and government
United States. Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims
Vand, Jonathan
Weeks, Francis
West, William
Whale oil
Whaling Insurance Co. (New Bedford, Mass.)
Whelden, Clara C.
Whitney, Daniel
Wing, Charles F.
Winnegabec Trading & Mining Co.
Winslow, Benjamin
Wood, R.D.
Woods Hole (Mass.)
Wooley, Charles
Wright, William A.
Wrightington, Charles
Zerrano & Co.

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Vessel Names

A.H. Whitmore (Schooner)
A.L. Butler (Schooner)
A.L. Tucker (Bark)
Abram Barker (Schooner)
Agenora (Brig)
Almira (Ship)
Arctic (Ship)
Arnolda (Ship)
Asa F. Stowell (Schooner)
Bartholomew Gosnold (Ship)
Bertha (Bark)
Bowhead (Bark)
Cambria (Ship)
Canada (Ship)
Cape Horn Pigeon (Bark)
Catalpa (Bark)
Cecile (Brig)
Cicero (Sloop)
Citizen (Ship)
Clara A. Phinney (Schooner)
Clara Bell (Bark)
Cleome (Bark)
Colombo (Ship)
Contest (Ship)
Coral (Ship)
Daniel Wood (Ship)
Delaware (Schooner)
Domingo (Bark)
Draco (Bark)
E. C. Cowdin (Bark)
Eaton & Ferris (Steamship)
Elizabeth (Bark)
Elizabeth Swift (Bark)
Ellen (Bark)
Emily Bourne (Schooner)
Era (Schooner)
Eugenia (Bark)
Euphrates (Ship)
Falcon (Schooner)
Florida (Ship)
Foster (Ship)
Francis Allyn (Schooner)
General Pike (Ship)
Golconda (Ship)
Graditude (Ship)
Harriet (Bark)
Helen Mar (Bark)
Hibernia (Ship)
Hillman (Ship)
Hope (Bark)
Hope (Bark)
Hydaspe (Bark)
Ionia (Bark)
Isaac Howland (Ship)
Jacob A. Howland (Bark)
James Allen (Ship)
Jireh Perry (Ship)
Jireh Swift (Bark)
John Bright (Ship)
Joseph Maxwell (Bark)
King Phillip (Ship)
Kittie (Yacht)
L. O. Foster (Schooner)
La Grange (Bark)
Lapwing (Ship)
Lookout (Ship)
Loring Meigs (Ship)
Louisa (Bark)
Magnolia (Ship)
Manson (Brig)
Manuel Ortiz (Bark)
Mary & Helen (Bark)
Mary (Ship)
Mary R. Somers (Schooner)
Massasoit (Bark)
Metacom (Ship)
Midas (Ship)
Milton (Ship)
Montana (Ship)
Mount Hope (Schooner)
Nassau (Ship)
Navy (Ship)
Neil vs. La Grange (Bark)
Nellie M. Slade (Bark)
Niger (Ship)
Nimrod (Bark)
Nimrod (Ship)
Northern Light (Bark)
Obed Mitchell (Ship)
Ocean Rover (Bark)
Ocmulgee (Ship)
Oliver Crocker (Ship)
Ontario (Ship)
Onward (Ship)
Paragon (Bark)
Perry (Bark)
Peru (Bark)
Phillipe de la Noye (Ship)
Phoenix (Ship)
Pindus (Bark)
Poineer (Bark)
Progress (Bark)
Rainbow (Bark)
Richmond (Bark)
Richmond (Schooner)
Samuel & Thomas (Bark)
Sappho (Bark)
Sarah (Bark)
South Boston (Ship)
St. Peter (Ship)
Stanton (Ship)
Statesman (Bark)
Superior (Bark)
Susan (Brig)
Susan (Ship)
Templar (Ship)
Thomas Pope (Bark)
Three Brothers (Bark)
Vesta (Brig)
W. A. Farnsworth (Bark)
Yankee (Schooner)
Zephyr (Ship)
Zone (Ship)

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