MSS 13:  Ricketson Family Papers, 1795-1958 - New Bedford Whaling Museum

Inventory of the Ricketson Family Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research LibraryProcessed by: Patricia J. Albright, with assistance from Edna Carlson; machine-readable finding aid created by: Robbin SmithFunds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.Inventory of the Ricketson Family Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Table of Contents

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

Information for Researchers

Related Materials

Separations List

Administrative Information


Subject Headings

Inventory of the Ricketson Family Papers

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Ricketson Family Papers
Date Span:
Ricketson family
Mss Number:
Mss 13
4 linear feet
Correspondence, business records, journals, and other papers of a New Bedford and Boston, Massachusetts, family, 1795-1958
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Phone: (508) 997-0046

Historical Note

Members of the Ricketson family of New Bedford and Boston, Massachusetts, trace part of their American ancestry to William Ricketson, a Quaker who settled in Dartmouth, Mass., around 1684. One of his descendants, Daniel Ricketson (1745-1824), was a merchant and ship chandler who operated a business at New Bedford with his son, Joseph (1771-1841), from about 1795-1819. Joseph Ricketson's son, Daniel (1813-1898), achieved a measure of fame as the author of two local histories, History of New Bedford (1858) and New Bedford of the Past (published posthumously, 1903), and two volumes of poetry. He is better known, however, as a friend and early admirer of Henry David Thoreau and as a correspondent of numerous contemporary American writers and abolitionists, including Amos Bronson Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William Lloyd Garrison, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and John Greenleaf Whittier.

In 1834, Daniel Ricketson married Maria Louisa Sampson (1813-1877), by whom he had four children: Arthur (1835-1912), Anna (1836-1927), Walton (1839-1923), and Emma Louisa (1841-1874). Walton Ricketson was a sculptor of some note who, with his sister Anna, edited two collections of Daniel Ricketson's writings in 1902 and 1910. Edith Guerrier (1870-1958), daughter of Emma Louisa Ricketson and George Pearse Guerrier (1837-1911), was an artist, author, and librarian who served as supervisor of all Boston Public Library branches from 1899-1940. She also founded the Saturday Evening Girls (S.E.G.), a Boston-based library club for working women, in the early 1900s; wrote a children's book, Wanderfolk in Wonderland, in 1903; helped establish Paul Revere Pottery, Inc., a firm associated with the S.E.G. which made and sold quality ceramic ware between 1906-1942; and served as a volunteer in the Hoover Food Administration during the 1914-1918 world war.

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Scope and Content Note

Materials in this collection chiefly relate to Daniel Ricketson and his granddaughter, Edith Guerrier. The former individual's papers, dating from ca. 1840-1918, include one or more letters from Emerson, Garrison, Holmes, and Whittier, as well as drafts of several of Ricketson's outgoing correspondence. Comprising another major segment of his papers is a group of his journals and writings, including an 1844 account of a trip through New England to Montreal and Quebec and his notes on religious subjects which also contain vital records transcribed from those of the Society of the Friends in Rhode Island, ca. 1863. Similarly, Edith Guerrier's papers principally consist of correspondence, ca. 1891-1957, and journals of her travels in England, France, and the Caribbean, 1922-1937. Probably the most valuable item among her papers is a lengthy autobiographical sketch in which Guerrier discusses her family, describes her childhood and education, and depicts many aspects of her long association with Boston's branch library system, the S.E.G., and Paul Revere Pottery, Inc.

Also included in this collection are a journal and ledger of Daniel Ricketson & Sons, 1795-1819, and correspondence of Daniel Ricketson's brother, Joseph (1815-1876), his wife, Maria Louisa Sampson Ricketson, and four children. These materials, which include letters to Anna Ricketson from Albert Bierstadt and R. Swain Gifford, are complemented by correspondence and other papers of several relatives by marriage, notably George Pearse Guerrier, whose papers contain letters from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and William Lloyd Garrison, 1874-1879, as well as other correspondence and documents relating to his life and activities. Finally, the Ricketson Collection also encompasses post cards and greeting cards exchanged by the family of Margreta A. Hughes between ca. 1898-1923.

Materials in the Ricketson Collection have been organized into sub-groups representing letters and other papers of family members. These sub-groups are listed in the inventory in chronological order according to the date of birth of each person. All incoming correspondence is divided first by year, then alphabetically arranged by name of writer. Genealogical and biographical notes concerning the Ricketsons, compiled by Philip F. Purrington and Alton Bailey, are available for consultation in the Collection File for Mss 13.

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 13 [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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Handbook and Index to Daniel Ricketson's The History of New Bedford, compiled by Carol Fitzgerald

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Removed to Photographs Collection

- Ricketson-Guerrier family photographs -- Edith Guerrier, 1875, 1950. 6 items.
- George Pearse Guerrier, ca. 1891. 2 items.
- Anna Ricketson, ca. 1870, 1895. 3 items.
- Daniel Ricketson, n.d.
- Maria Louisa Sampson Ricketson, n.d.
- Walton Ricketson, ca. 1870, 1910. 3 items.
- Photographs and prints of Ricketson and Guerrier family homes, ca. 1841-1900. 11 items.
- Photograph of "the head of the river," New Bedford, ca. 1880. 2 copies.
- Stereopticon views by T. E. M. White: Fanny Eliot and Quittacas Club, n.d. 2 items.
- Photographs of Hughes family members, ca. 1909. 2 items.
- Photographs relating to S.E.G. and Paul Revere Pottery, ca. 1906-1925. 4 items.
- Photographs concerning Edith Guerrier's work in Hoover Food Administration, 1915-1918. 24 items.
- Photographs taken at 1950 birthday celebration of Edith Guerrier. 5 items.
- Photograph of Walton Ricketson's bust of Thoreau, n.d.

Removed to Printed Collection

- Guerrier, Edith. "S.E.G. Camp Song," n.d. 20 copies.
- Guerrier, Edith. "S.E.G. Pin," 1954
- Guerrier, Edith. "Tribute to Anna Ricketson," 1927. Guerrier, Edith. Wanderfolk in Wonderland, 1903.
- Mason, Lowell. Boston Handel and Haydn Society Collection of Church Music. 1834.
- Paul Revere Pottery, Inc., Brighton, Mass. Pamphlets relating to history and products of organization, ca. 1911-1942. 7 items.
- Saturday Evening Girls, Boston, Mass. S.E.G. News, 1914-1917, 954.
- U.S. Dept. of the Interior. General Land Office. Circular Instructions Relative to Survey of Public Lands, 1885.

Removed to Objects Collection

- Copper plate of Daniel Ricketson house at 109 Elm St., New Bedford, ca. 1903.
- Pen sketches of Walton Ricketson by F. Elwell, n.d. 2 items.
- Pencil sketch of church, artist unknown, n.d.
- S.E.G. pin, 1954, with descriptive pamphlet by Edith Guerrier.
- Post cards and greeting cards collected by members of the Hughes family, ca. 1898-1923. Uninscribed. 53 items.

Removed to Archives Collection

- Correspondence and legal documents concerning gifts of furniture, portraits, and other items to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society from the estates of various Ricketsons, 1928, 1958-1967. 37 items.

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Most of the papers in this collection were given to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society on 8 May 1968 by Eva Hughes, a relative of Edith Guerrier's long-time companion, Margreta A. Hughes. Related documents, presented to the Society between 1903-1923 by Walton Ricketson, also comprise a portion of the collection.

Processing Information

Processed by: Patricia J. Albright, with assistance from Edna Carlson, ca. 1982

Encoded by: Robbin Smith, 22 August 2011; box list appended by Mark Procknik, 8 February 2012

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

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Sub-group 1: Daniel Ricketson & Son Records, 1795-1819 [2 items]
Sub-group 1 consists of a journal and a ledger of the firm Daniel Ricketson & Son
Series A: Financial Records, 1795-1819
Box 1
Volume 1
Journal, 1795-1803
Volume 2
Ledger, 1795-1819
Sub-group 2: Daniel Ricketson Papers, ca. 1840-1918 [1.5 feet]
Sub-group 2 contains business and personal correspondence; poems, essays, journals, and notes; estate records; and a memorial all relating to Daniel Ricketson
Series A: Correspondence, 1854-1896
Sub-series 1: Incoming, 1854-1896
Folder 1
1854, 1856-1857
Folder 2
1862-1863, 1866, 1868-1869
Folder 3
1883-1884, 1888, 1891, 1894, 1896
Sub-series 2: Outgoing, 1862-1886
Folder 1
1862, 1868, 1871, 1874, 1882, 1886
Series B: Poems, Essays, Journals, and Notes, ca. 1840-1910
Folder 1
Notes, poems, rules of conduct, and sketch concerning Thoreau, ca. 1840-1895
Box 2
Volume 1
Bible, with notes and annotations, ca. 1840
Volume 2
Journal of trip to Quebec and Montreal, 1844
Box 3
Volume 3
Annotated copy of History of New Bedford, 1858
Volume 4
Notes on religion and transcriptions from vital records of Rhode Island Society of Friends, ca. 1863
Box 4
Folder 2
Genealogical notes concerning Ricketson, Russell, and Thornton families, ca. 1880-1898
Folder 3
Typescript draft of Daniel Ricketson: Autobiographic and Miscellaneous, 1858-1890
The draft was edited and published by Anna and Walton Ricketson in 1910
Folder 4
Extracts from above work, ca. 1910
Series C: Estate Records, 1878-1918
Folder 1
Appointment as administrator of Maria Louisa Ricketson's estate, 1878
Folder 2-3
Will, trustee deeds, and certificates, 1878-1891
Folder 4-6
Correspondence, deeds, bills of complaint, and memoranda concerning settlement and division of Ricketson's estate, 1898-1918
Series D: Memorial, 1898
Folder 1
Resolution honoring Ricketson, 1898
Sub-group 3: Maria Louisa Sampson Ricketson Papers, 1842, 1874 [2 items]
Sub-group 3 consists of Maria Louisa Sampson Ricketson's personal letters to Daniel Ricketson and her cousin
Series A: Correspondence, 1842, 1874
Folder 1
Letter to Daniel Ricketson, 1842
Letter to a cousin, Betsey Hammond, 1874
Sub-group 4: Joseph Ricketson Papers, 1863-1866 [11 items]
Sub-group 4 contains Joseph Ricketson's personal letters to George Pearse Guerrier
Series A: Correspondence, 1863-1866
Folder 1
Sub-group 5: Arthur Ricketson Papers, 1869-1869 [2 items]
Sub-group 5 consists of Arthur Ricketson's personal letters to George Pearse Guerrier
Series A: Correspondence, 1869
Folder 1
Sub-group 6: Anna Ricketson Papers, 1857-1930 [21 items]
Sub-group 6 contains the personal correspondence and estate records of Anna Ricketson
Series A: Correspondence, 1857-1919
Sub-series 1: Incoming, 1857-1919
Folder 1
1857, 1860, 1862, 1874, 1894
Folder 2
1901-1903, ca. 1906, 1910, 1919
Sub-series 2: Outgoing, 1885, 1895, 1917
Folder 1
1885, 1895, 1917
Series B: Estate Records, 1921-1930
Folder 1
Correspondence, wills, and financial accounts, 1921-1930
Sub-group 7: George Pearse Guerrier Papers, 1862-1939 [6 inches]
Sub-group 7 consists of George Pearse Guerrier's business and personal correspondence; legal documents; military and occupational papers; travel journals; genealogical notes; receipts; obituary and death certificate
Series A: Correspondence, 1862-1906
Sub-series 1: Incoming, 1862-1906
Box 5
Folder 1
1862, 1864, 1866
Folder 2
Folder 3
1874, 1876, 1879
Folder 4
1880-1881, 1888
Folder 5
1893, 1895-1896, 1898
Folder 6
Folder 7
1903, 1905-1906
Sub-series 2: Outgoing, 1879-1906
Folder 1
1879, 1885, 1889-1891
Folder 2
Folder 3
1894-1895, 1899, 1906
Series B: Legal Documents, 1867, 1905
Folder 1
Certificate of marriage to Emma Louisa Ricketson, 1867
Folder 2
Will, 1905
Series C: Military Papers, 1861-1864, 1892, 1908
Folder 1
Muster roll, military orders, appointments, discharge certificates, and pension records, 1861-1864, 1892, 1908
Series D: Occupational Papers, 1885, 1888
Folder 1
Charter, constitution, and by-laws of Kendall and Southern Kansas Bridge Co., 1885
Annotated by Guerrier as company president
Folder 2
Notice from Guerrier as Register of Deeds, Hamilton Co., Kansas, 1888
Series E: Travel Journal and Genealogical Notes, 1893-1894, 1905
Volume 1
Journal of travels in Great Britain, 1893-1894
Includes Cunard Line sailing schedule
Folder 1
Genealogical Notes, 1905
Series F: Receipts, 1872, 1874, 1888
Folder 1
1872, 1874, 1888
Series G: Obituary and Death Certificate, 1911, 1939
Folder 1
Obituary, 1911
Folder 2
Certificate describing cause of Guerrier's death, 1939
Sub-group 8: Walton Ricketson Papers, 1863-1923 [4 inches]
Sub-group 8 contains Walton Ricketson's business and personal correspondence; diaries; copyright papers; bills and receipts
Series A: Correspondence, 1863-1922
Sub-series 1: Incoming, 1898, 1913, 1917, 1922
Folder 1
1898, 1913, 1917, 1922
Sub-series 2: Outgoing, 1863, 1876, 1900, 1921
Folder 1
1863, 1876, 1900, 1921
Series B: Diaries, 1906-1923
Box 6
Volume 1-6
January 1906 - March 1907
Volume 7-11
March 1907 - December 1908
Volume 12-14
January 1909 - June 1910
Volume 15
January 1910 - September 1911
Volume 16-18
September 1911 - December 1912
Volume 19-20
December 1912 - May 1915
Volume 21-23
May 1915 - August 1917
Volume 24-26
August 1917 - August 1918
Volume 27-30
September 1918 - September 1920
Volume 31-33
February 1921 - January 1923
Series C: Copyright Papers, 1885-1913
Box 7
Folder 1-2
Correspondence and certificates concerning copyright on sculpture, 1885-1913
Series D: Bills and Receipts, 1902
Folder 1
Concerning publication of Daniel Ricketson's writings, 1902
Sub-group 9: Emma Louisa Ricketson Guerrier Papers, 1865-1872 [10 items]
Sub-group 9 consists of Emma Louisa Guerrier's personal letters to George Pearse Guerrier
Series A: Correspondence, 1865-1872
Folder 1
1865, 1867-1868, 1871
Folder 2
Sub-group 10: Mary Elizabeth Bliss Ricketson Papers, 1915-1920 [6 items]
Sub-group 10 contains the personal letters of Mary Elizabeth Bliss Ricketson to Edith Guerrier
Series A: Correspondence, 1915-1920
Folder 1
Sub-group 11: Louisa E. Ricketson Papers, 1915-1920, 1952-1954 [10 items]
Sub-group 11 consists of the personal letters of Louisa E. Ricketson to Edith Guerrier
Series A: Correspondence, 1915-1920, 1952-1954
Folder 1
1915-1920, 1952-1954
Sub-group 12: Edith Guerrier Papers, ca. 1891-1958 [1 foot]
Sub-group 12 contains business and personal correspondence; journals, notes, autobiographical sketch, and other writings; legal documents; programs, clippings, and tribute all concerning Edith Guerrier
Series A: Correspondence, ca. 1891-1957
Sub-series 1: Incoming, 1900-1957
Folder 1
1900, 1907
Folder 2
ca. 1923, 1927-1928
Folder 3
1932, 1940
Folder 4
1943-1944, 1946
Folder 5
Volume 1
Folder 6
1952-1953, 1957
Sub-series 2: Outgoing, ca. 1891-1954
Folder 1
ca. 1891, ca. 1918-1919, 1921
Folder 2
1931, 1940, 1953-1954
Series B: Journals, Notes, and Other Writings, 1922-ca. 1950
Volume 1
Journal concerning trip to France and England, 1922
Box 8
Volume 2
Notes on Daniel Ricketson and the Ricketson family, ca. 1923
Volume 3
Journal concerning trip to Caribbean Islands, 1937
Illustrated with photographs
Folder 1
Notes on history of Paul Revere Pottery, Inc., ca. 1942
Volume 4-6
Notes for autobiographical sketch, ca. 1945-1948
Box 9
Folder 2-4
Draft of autobiographical sketch, ca. 1945-1950
Folder 5-7
Typescript of autobiographical sketch, ca. 1950
Folder 8
"S.E.G. Camp Song," written by Edith Guerrier, undated
Series C: Legal Documents, 1870, 1903-1940
Folder 1
Copies of birth certificate, 1870, 1922, 1940
Folder 2
Agreement concerning publication of Wanderfolk in Wonderland, 1903
Series D: Programs, Clippings, and Tributes, 1891, ca. 1938-1958
Folder 1
Graduation program, Vermont Methodist Seminary, listing Edith Guerrier's name, 1891
Folder 2
Biographical clippings and a tribute, ca. 1938-1958
Sub-group 13: Hughes Family Papers, ca. 1898-1923 [4 inches]
Sub-group 13 consists of post cards and greeting cards exchanged by members of the Hughes Family, ca. 1898-1923
Series A: Correspondence, ca. 1898-1923
Box 10
Folder 1-5
Post cards and greeting cards exchanged by members of Margreta A. Hughes' family with holograph notes and salutations, ca. 1898-1923

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Subject Headings

Account books--New Bedford, Mass.--1795-1819
Artists--Mass.--New Bedford
Artists--Mass.--New Bedford--correspondence,reminiscences, etc.
Artists--United States--Correspondence,reminiscences,etc.
Authors, American--Mass.--Boston
Authors, American--Mass.--Concord
Authors, American--Mass.--New Bedford
Authors--United State--Correspondence, reminiscences, etc.
Book clubs--Mass.--Boston
Boston, Mass.--Clubs
Business records--Mass.--New Bedford
Caribbean area--Description and travel
Christmas cards
Daniel Ricketson & Son, New Bedford, Mass.
Decedents' estates--Mass.--New Bedford estates
Diaries--New Bedford, Mass.--1906-1923
Distribution of decedents' estates--Mass.--New Bedford
Draft Riot, 1863
England--Description and travel--1901-1945
European War, 1914-1918--Civilian relief--United States--Washington, D.C.
European War, 1914-1918--Food question--United States-- Washington, D.C.
European War, 1914-1918--United States--Washington, D.C.- Women's work
France--Description and travel--1919
Girls--Societies and clubs--Mass.--Boston
Great Britain--Description and travel--1801-1900
Greeting cards
Guerrier family
Guerrier, Edith, 1870-1958
Guerrier, Emma Louisa Ricketson, 1841-1874
Guerrier, George Pearse, 1837-1911
Heugh family
Hewes family
Hews family
Hues family
Hughes family
Hughes, Margreta A., d. 1967
Hughs family
Huse family
Huws family Librarians--Mass.--Boston
Library clubs--Mass.--Boston
Massachusetts--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Merchants--Mass.--New Bedford
Montreal, Quebec--Description
New Bedford, Mass.--Authors
New Bedford, Mass.--Commerce
New Bedford, Mass.--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Public opinion
New England--Description and travel--1775-1865
Paul Revere Pottery
Paul Revere Pottery, Inc., Brighton, Mass.
Poets, American--Mass.--Amesbury--Correspondence, reminiscences, etc.
Poets, American--Mass.--Cambridge--Correspondence, reminiscences, etc.
Poets, American--Mass.--New Bedford
Pottery, American--Mass.--Brighton
Quebec, Quebec--Description
Ricketson Collection
Ricketson family
Ricketson, Anna, 1836-1927
Ricketson, Arthur, 1835-1912
Ricketson, Daniel, 1745-1824
Ricketson, Daniel, 1813-1898
Ricketson, Joseph, 1771-1841
Ricketson, Joseph, 1815-1876
Ricketson, Louisa E., 1868-1958
Ricketson, Maria Louisa Sampson, 1813-1877
Ricketson, Mary Elizabeth Bliss, 1845-1926
Ricketson, Walton, 1839-1923
Saturday Evening Girls, Boston, Mass.
Scupltors--Mass.--New Bedford
Ship chandlers--Mass.--New Bedford
Sims, Thomas M., fl. 1851-1877
Single women--Mass.--Boston
Single women--Mass.--New Bedford
Snow, Benjamin, Jr., fl. 1874
Women--Mass.--Boston--Societies and clubs
Women--Mass.--New Bedford--History
Women--Mass.--New Bedford--Social conditions
Working women's clubs

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