Table of Contents
Inventory of the Smith Family Papers
In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Peleg Smith (1700-1778) was a Dartmouth, Massachusetts, farmer who served as town selectman from 1753-1754 and also acted as clerk for the Dartmouth Monthly Meeting of Friends, about 1727-1759. He married Mary Howland (d. 1776) in 1721 and had eight children, including John (b. 1725), Anne Smith Russell (b. 1733), and Peleg Jr. (b. 1730). Peleg Smith's brother, Humphrey Smith (1705-1777), also was active in town politics and the Dartmouth Monthly Meeting, while his cousins, Thomas (b. 1740) and Benjamin (b. 1729) Smith, were Dartmouth merchants. Peleg Smith Jr. was a shipmaster involved in the coastwise trade who principally dealt with merchants in North Carolina. He also outfitted at least two of his vessels for whaling cruises off Nantucket, Mass. He had four children, Lowry (b. 1763), Elihu (b. 1768), John (b. 1770), and Christopher (b. 1772).
Scope and Content Note
Materials in this collection primarily reflect the business and religious activities of the members of the Smith family of Dartmouth, Mass., between 1677-1823. The bulk of the material concentrates on Peleg Smith and Peleg Smith Jr. Of primary importance in the elder Smith's papers are records which he collected, generated, or received while serving as clerk of the Dartmouth Monthly Meeting of Friends. This material, dating from 1677-1768, includes incoming and outgoing correspondence and related documents concerning the Friends' refusal to serve in the Massachusetts militia during the French and Indian War. Peleg Smith's other papers consist of incoming and outgoing personal and business correspondence, 1739-1778, reflecting his duties as selectman; legal documents, 1727-1778, including estate records and several warrants against Smith; financial records, 1723-1775; and memoranda and miscellany, 1741-ca. 1750.
The papers of Peleg Smith Jr. reflect his activities as a shipmaster and consist of incoming and outgoing business and personal correspondence, 1758-ca. 1807; legal documents, 1761-1790; financial records, 1760-1803, including ship's papers for such vessels as the Patience (Sloop) and Polly (Sloop); and memoranda, 1762-1773. Also represented by correspondence, legal documents, and financial records dating from 1750-1829, are Humphrey Smith, John Smith, Benjamin Smith, Anne Smith Russell, Thomas Smith, Lowry Smith, Elihu Smith, and Christopher Smith. A final sub-group of this collection contains correspondence, legal documents and fragmentary account records, ca. 1750-1823, believed to have belonged to Smith family members.
Arrangement of Collection
Information for Researchers
Access to the Collection
Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 27 [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
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Materials in this collection were given to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by Mrs. J.E. Bradford in October 1933.
Processed by: Barbara E. Austen, ca. 1982
Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 14 August 2011; box list appended by Mark Procknik, 8 March 2012
Funds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Dartmouth, Mass.--Officials and employees
Friends in Massachusetts
Friends, Society of--Mass.--Dartmouth--Discipline
Friends, Society of--Rhode Island
Merchant seamen--Mass.--Dartmouth--Salaries, pensions, etc.
Military service, Compulsory--Mass.--Dartmouth
Municipal officials and employees--Mass.--Dartmouth
Russell, Anne Smith, b. 1733
Smith Family Papers
Smith Lowry, b. 1763
Smith, Benjamin, b. 1729
Smith, Christopher, b. 1772
Smith, Elihu, b. 1768
Smith, Humphrey, 1705-1777
Smith, John, b. 1725
Smith, Peleg Jr., b. 1730
Smith, Peleg, 1700-1778
Smith, Thomas, b. 1740
United States--History--French and Indian War, 1755-1763--Conscientious objectors
United States--History--French and Indian war, 1755-1763-- Friends, Society of
Good Intent (Sloop)