Mss 155: Howland Family Papers, 1786-1819 - New Bedford Whaling Museum
Inventory of the Howland Family Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research LibraryProcessed by: Lauren Scrima; machine-readable finding aid created by: Kristi MukkFunds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.Inventory of the Howland 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

Collection Inventory

Subject Headings

Inventory of the Howland Family Papers

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Howland Family Papers
Date Span:
Howland Family
Mss Number:
Mss 155
6 linear inches
Primarily correspondence and papers of various members of the Howland family of New Bedford, Massachusetts.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Phone: (508) 997-0046

Historical Note

The Howland family history is entrenched with that of New Bedford, Mass. The members of the Howland family represented in this collection are Captain Joseph Howland, William Howland, Pardon Howland, William Howland, Benjamin Howland, Gideon Howland, and Francis Howland. Their correspondence and business papers illustrate a golden age of shipping and whaling in New Bedford.

Joseph Howland’s (1762-1839) papers make up the majority of the collection. He was the son of Gideon Howland and Sarah Hicks. He married twice, first to Mehitable Wilbur and then to Peace Kirby. He fathered five children: Francis (b.1785), Gideon K. (b.1828), Sarah A. (b. 1830), Hetty Wilbur (b. 1832), and Martha A. (b. 1834). He was a merchant, managing owner, and captain.

The family was associated with several companies, including Howland & Allen, Ludlum & Howland, and Joseph Howland & Son, in which Captain Joseph Howland partnered with his son, Francis, from around 1804-1820. These were all shipping and whaling ventures operating out of New Bedford and traversing the seas to the West Indies, particularly such places as Hispaniola and Jamaica, according to their papers, transporting mainly flour, sugar, and rum. The following are some of the ships that were used in these ventures: John Adams (Sloop), Eliza Ann (Sloop), Two Friends (Schooner), Emigrant (Schooner), Orozimbo (Brig), Hope (Brig), and Deborah (Brig).

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Scope and Content Note

The papers in this collection are concerned with the activities of the Howland family and associates during the period of time between 1786 and 1819. Joseph Howland’s merchant ventures brought flour, sugar, and rum between New Bedford and the West Indies during this time period. There are business papers including receipts, ledgers, and shipping orders to reflect the business dealings of Joseph Howland’s multiple merchant and whaling companies: Howland & Allen, Joseph Howland & Son, and Ludlum & Howland.

Some shipping accounts, correspondence, bills, and receipts associated with the John Adams (Sloop), Eliza Ann (Sloop), Two Friends (Schooner), Emigrant (Schooner), Orozimbo (Brig), and Hope (Brig) are included in this collection.

This collection contains the business papers and correspondence of Francis Howland, Joseph Howland, Pardon Howland, Benjamin Howland, Gideon Howland, and William Howland. Also included in this collection is Allen family correspondence. This correspondence concerns several members of the Allen family, as the family worked closely with the Howland family. Thomas Allen was partners with Joseph Howland at the shipping company, Howland & Allen.

Additionally, there is a small collection of Lewis Ludlum papers, another business partner of Joseph Howland. There are several folders of associated collected materials, including correspondence, accounts, and receipts relating to acquaintances and business associates of the Howland family. Also included in this collection is a record book. The book has associated materials such as tax receipts, business receipts, newspaper clippings, and ships’ agent/owner accounts pasted to its pages and there is also a folder of loose pages that were collected from within the book. Particularly, there are documents within the book that pertain to the Deborah (Brig), which involved in a scandal regarding the ownership of its cargo. The ship had been previously owned by Joseph Howland, but had been sold to Thomas Allen, a business partner. There was some confusion because Howland claimed ownership of its cargo and the actual owner of the cargo, Mr. Shoemaker, was taking legal action against Howland to prove that the cargo belonged to him. It would appear, in fact, that Howland indeed had no claim to the cargo. The papers of this incident, including correspondence and official documents, are collected here in folders as well as within the record book. There are papers included with the record book that pertain to the estate of the late John Hathaway, who bequeathed the majority of his property to Gideon Howland, father of Joseph Howland. These papers have been removed to a separate folder.

Materials in this Howland collection are arranged into sub-groups representing the business papers and personal papers of family members. Box 1, Sub-group 1 is comprised of Joseph Howland’s papers, including papers of his finances, business ventures, correspondence, and the many ships he owned. Sub-group 2 contains Francis Howland’s business papers. Pardon Howland’s correspondence is contained in Sub-group 3. In Sub-group 4, one can find papers of Benjamin Howland’s ship, the Eliza Ann (Sloop). Sub-group 5 contains William Howland’s business papers. Sub-group 6 consists of Allen family correspondence and business papers, which are then divided into series based on each member of the family. Sub-group 7 consists of Lewis Ludlum’s correspondence. Sub-group 8 contains associated collected materials, such as business papers and correspondence that have no names or that have names which are illegible, papers relating to Howland business associates, and a record book. Researchers should also note that this collection contains several photographs that have been removed and cataloged in the Museum’s Photo Archive.

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 155, [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 from record book to separate folder

Sub-group 8, Series B, Folders 2-3

Removed to Photo Archive

Several photographs in this collection

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The manuscripts in this collection were loaned to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society in 1983 as part of LB 83-4 by Gifford Booth and then gifted by Gifford Booth in 1984 as part of accession 1984.47

Processing Information

Processed by: Lauren Scrima, 2017

Encoded by: Kristi Mukk, 27 September 2020

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Collection Inventory

Sub-group 1: Joseph Howland Papers, 1789-1819
Series A: Correspondence, 1800-1818
Box 1
Folder 1
Correspondence from Joseph Howland, 1800-1802
Folder 2
Correspondence to Joseph Howland, 1800-1818
Series B: Business Papers, 1789-1819
Folder 1
Accounts, 1789-1805
Folder 2
Accounts, 1806-1811
Folder 3
Bills and Receipts, 1789-1804
Folder 4
Bills and Receipts, 1805-1808
Folder 5
Bills and Receipts, 1808-1809
Folder 6
Bills and Receipts, 1810-1819
Folder 7
Bills and Receipts, undated
Series C: Ludlum and Howland Business Papers, 1814-1815
Folder 1
Ludlum and Howland Correspondence, 1814-1815
Series D: Howland and Allen Business Papers, 1806-1812
Folder 1
Correspondence, 1806-1809
Folder 2
Accounts, 1806-1807
Folder 3
Bills and Receipts, 1806-1812
Series E: Joseph Howland and Son Business Papers, 1809-1814
Folder 1
Correspondence, 1813
Folder 2
Accounts, 1811-1814
Folder 3
Bills and Receipts, 1809-1814
Series F: Ship's Papers, 1791-1815
Subseries 1: Deborah (Brig), undated
Folder 1
Correspondence, 1807
Folder 2
Agent/owner accounts, 1806-1807
Folder 3
Bills and Receipts, 1806-1807
Subseries 2: Emigrant (Schooner), undated
Folder 1
Agent/owner accounts, 1819
Folder 2
Receipts, 1819
Subseries 3: Hope (Brig), undated
Folder 1
Agent/owner accounts, 1791-1806
Subseries 4: John Adams (Sloop), undated
Folder 1
Correspondence, 1800
Folder 2
Bills and Receipts, 1815
Subseries 5: Two Friends (Schooner), undated
Folder 1
Agent/owner accounts and receipts, 1800-1801
Sub-group 2: Francis Howland Papers, 1806-1816
Series A: Bills and Receipts, 1806-1818
Folder 1
Bills and Receipts, 1806-1816
Sub-group 3: Pardon Howland Papers, 1801
Series A: Correspondence, 1801
Folder 1
Correspondence, 1801
Sub-group 4: Benjamin Howland Papers, 1811
Series A: Eliza Ann (Sloop), 1811
Folder 1
Eliza Ann (Sloop) Receipts, 1811
Sub-group 5: William Howland Papers, 1799-1806
Series A: Accounts, 1799-1806
Folder 1
Accounts, 1799-1806
Sub-group 6: Allen Family Papers, 1806-1809
Series A: Business Papers, 1806-1809
Folder 1
Allen Family Bills and Receipts, 1806-1808
Folder 2
Peleg Allen Accounts, 1807
Folder 3
Orozimbo (Brig) Receipts, 1809
Sub-group 7: Lewis Ludlum Papers, 1815
Series A: Correspondence, 1815
Folder 1
Correspondence relating to an insurance policy, 1815
Series B: Bills and receipts, 1814
Folder 1
Bills and receipts, 1814
Sub-group 8: Associated Collected Materials, 1786-1811
Series A: Howland Family Papers, 1798-1811
Folder 1
Howland Family Bills and Receipts, 1798-1811
Folder 2
Howland Family Accounts, undated
Series B: Record Book, 1786-1811
Folder 1
Record book, 1786-1811
Folder 2
Loose papers, removed from record book, 1786-1811
Folder 3
John Hathaway Estate papers, removed from record book, 1794
Series C: Related Materials, 1790-1811
Folders 1-3
Associated Collected Materials, 1790-1811

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Subject Headings

Account books
Akin, Benjamin
Akin, Ebenezer, 1817-
Allen family
Allen, David
Allen, James
Allen, Jonathan
Allen, Peleg
Allen, Samuel
Allen, Thomas
Boston Bank
Boston herald
Bristol County (Mass.)
Browne, Robert, M.
Browne, William
Capture at sea
Decedents estate
Delano, Abisha
Eliis, Dr. Franklin Augustus
Fish & Grinnell
Freight and freightage
Globe Newspaper Co.
Grinnell, Cornelius, 1758-1850
Hathaway, John
Hathaway, Richard
Hathaway, Stephen
Howland & Allen (New Bedford, Mass.)
Howland family
Howland, Cornelius, 1758-1835
Howland, Francis
Howland, Gideon, 1770-1847
Howland, Gilbert
Howland, Joseph, 1762-1839
Howland, Pardon
Howland, William, 1756-1840
Joseph Howland & Company (New Bedford, Mass.)
Joseph Howland & Son (New Bedford, Mass.)
Kempton, Paul
Lindsey, Benjamin, 1777-1831
Ludlum & Howland (New Bedford, Mass.)
Ludlum, Lewis
Malbone, Francis
Marshall, Justus
Mason, Amos
Merchant ships
Mercury Publishing Company (New Bedford, Mass.)
Nantucket County (Mass.)
New Bedford (Mass.)
Old Colony Railroad Company
Promissory notes
Rand, Edward
Receipts (Acknowledgements)
Right of property
Rotch, William, 1734-1828
Shipping--N.C.--Nags Head
Shoemaker, Jacob, 1758-1822
Smith, Abraham, 1747-1826
Taunton (Mass.)
Wilbur, Stephen
Wing, Adam
Winslow, John
Winslow, Lewis

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Vessel Names

Butler (Sloop)
Chauncey (Sloop)
Comet (Schooner)
Deborah (Brig)
Durner (Schooner)
Eliza Ann (Sloop)
Emigrant (Schooner)
Emily (Schooner)
George (Brig)
Industry (Schooner)
John Adams (Sloop)
Nassau (Schooner)
Nema (Yacht)
Orozimbo (Brig)
Richard (Sloop)
Rising Sun (Schooner)
Saratoga (Schooner)
Two Friends (Schooner)
Whiting (Schooner)

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