MSS 28:  Gibbs Family Papers, 1798-1925 - New Bedford Whaling Museum

Inventory of the Gibbs Family Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research LibraryProcessed by: Barbara E. Austen, with assistance from Helen Frasier; machine-readable finding aid created by: Kermit DeweyFunds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.Inventory of the Gibbs Family Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Table of Contents

Biographical Note

Scope and Content Note

Information for Researchers

Separations List

Administrative Information


Subject Headings

Inventory of the Gibbs Family Papers

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Gibbs Family Papers
Date Span:
Gibbs family
Mss Number:
Mss 28
5 inches
Business and personal papers of a Fairhaven, Massachusetts, family, 1798-1925.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Phone: (508) 997-0046

Biographical Note

Ansel Gibbs was born in 1773 in Wareham, Massachusetts, and prior to 1800 moved to Fairhaven, Mass., where he was actively involved in the whaling industry as a shipmaster, agent, and merchant. He also served as a Bristol County justice of the peace between 1817-1831 and was closely associated with a local bank. In 1800, Gibbs married Lucy Le Baron, daughter of William Le Baron (1751-1816) of Fairhaven. They had five children, including William Le Baron Gibbs (1801-1882) and Eliza Le Baron Gibbs (1804-1880). Ansel Gibbs died in 1835.

William Le Baron Gibbs was the senior member of the merchant firm of Gibbs & Jenney, originally of New York City, N.Y., and later active at Fairhaven, Mass. In 1832, Gibbs married Adeline Gibbs (1805-1841) and they had three children, including Lucy Frances Gibbs (1833-1853) and Adeline Rowland Gibbs (b. 1839). His sister, Eliza, married Gibbs' partner, William Proctor Jenney (1802-1881), in 1827. Children from this marriage included Adeliza Tisdale Jenney (b. 1842) and Ansel Gibbs Jenney (1835-1895), who married May Louise Church (b. 1835) of Ohio. Their daughter, Bessie Russell Jenney, who was born in 1869 and married William Bryce Mundie, eventually settled in Chicago, Ill.

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Scope and Content Note

Materials in this collection concentrate on the business and personal activities of Ansel Gibbs at Fairhaven, Mass., between 1798-1835. His papers consist of legal documents, 1798-1833, including commissions as a justice of the peace and deeds for land and church pews; financial records, 1816-1834; and ship's papers, 1834-1840, encompassing agent/owner accounts, bills and receipts, and memoranda for four vessels in which he owned partial interest, namely the ships Leonidas, Marcus, Origon, and Stanton.

Another significant portion of material represents the activities of the whaling agents and merchant firm of Gibbs & Jenney. These records, dating 1830-1860, primarily consist of ship's papers for five whaling vessels and encompass correspondence; crew papers, principally Whalemens' Shipping Papers; consular and customs records; bills of sale; insurance policies; and bills and receipts. Additional material consists of an order of payment, 1830, and a memorandum, ca. 1834.

The papers of William Le Baron Gibbs consist of personal correspondence, ca. 1835-1848; deeds, 1820-1863, and a summons, 1861; financial records, 1830-1882; and a clipping of his obituary, 1882. The papers of his wife, Adeline Gibbs Gibbs, contain correspondence, 1824; a travel diary, 1832-1833, describing her "honeymoon" journey through Massachusetts and Connecticut and a later journey through New York; and a bill, 1838. Their daughters, Lucy Frances and Adeline Rowland Gibbs, are represented by correspondence and other personal papers, 1843-ca. 1850.

Eliza Le Baron Gibbs Jenney's papers consist of legal documents, 1862-1880, including her will, several deeds, and mortgages. Her husband, William Proctor Jenney, is represented by legal documents, ca. 1830-1842, including a deed and his will, and insurance records, 1845-1858. The papers of their daughter, Adeliza Tisdale Jenney, consist of correspondence, 1915, and estate records, 1880-1915, including her will. In addition, this collection contains correspondence, legal documents, and financial records, 1812-1925, relating to May Louise Church Jenney, William Le Baron, and Bessie Russell Jenney Mundie.

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 28 [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

- Photograph of Adeliza Tisdale Jenney, ca. 1865.
- Photograph of Eliza LeBaron Gibbs Jenney, ca. 1860.
- Photographs of William LeBaron Jenney, ca. 1870. 2 items.
- Photograph of William Proctor Jenney, ca. 1860.

Removed to Printed Collection

- Playbill, 1828.
- Traveller's Pocket Directory and Stranger's Guide, 1832.

Removed to Broadside Collection

- Celebration of the Forty-ninth Anniversary of American Independence, Held at the Old South Church, July 4, 1825.
- Fifty-seventh Anniversary of American Independence: Celebration at Syracuse [N.Y.], 1833.
- Order of Exercises at the Ordination of Rev. Joseph Angier . . ., May 20, 1835.
- Niblo's Garden: Mrs. Watson's Benefit . . . , August 14, 1835.

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Materials in this collection were given to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by Mrs. Elizabeth Belshaw on 24 November 1975.

Processing Information

Processed by: Barbara E. Austen, with assistance from Helen Frasier, ca. 1982

Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 21 October 2011; box list appended by Mark Procknik, 12 March 2012

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

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Sub-group 1: Gibbs & Jenney Records, 1830-1860 [2 inches]
Sub-group 1 consists of crew papers, customs records, and consular records, along with similar records for five vessels and financial records.
Series A: Ship's Papers, 1831-1860
Sub-series 1: Adeline Gibbs (Ship) Records, 1853
Box 1
Folder 1
Whalemens' Shipping Papers, 1853
Folder 2
Customs records, 1853
Bill of health
Sub-series 2: Columbus (Ship) Records, 1831-1850
Folder 1
Whalemens' Shipping Papers, 1843, 1849
Folder 2
Sea Letter, 1841
Folder 3
Consular records, 1850
Folder 4
Customs records, 1833
Folder 5
Bills of sale, 1831
Folder 6
Bills and receipts, 1833, 1849, 1850
Sub-series 3: Eliza L. B. Jenney (Ship/Bark) Records, 1846, 1858, 1860
Folder 1
Letter concerning repairs to vessel after colliding with E. H. Green (Steamer), 1858
Folder 2-3
Crew papers, 1846, 1860
Include Whalemen's Shipping Paper
Sub-series 4: London Packet (Ship) Records, 1843, 1848
Folder 1
Insurance policies, 1843, 1848
Sub-series 5: Siren Queen (Ship) Records, 1854-1855
Folder 1
Crew discharges, 1854-1855
Series B: Financial Records, 1830, ca. 1834
Folder 1
Order of payment, 1830
Memorandum concerning account, ca. 1834
Sub-group 2: Adeline Gibbs Gibbs Papers, 1824, 1832-1833, 1838 [3 items]
Sub-group 2 contains the personal correspondence of Adeline Gibbs Gibbs in addition to a diary, and a bill.
Series A: Correspondence, 1824
Folder 1
Series B: Diaries, 1832-1833
Folder 1
Series C: Bills, 1838
Folder 1
Sub-group 3: Adeline Rowland Gibbs Papers, ca.1850 [2 items]
Sub-group 3 consists of a reward of merit certificates.
Sub-group 4: Ansel Gibbs Papers, 1798-1840 [105 items]
contains Legal documents; financial records; and agent/owner accounts and bills and receipts for four vessels.
Sub-group 5: Lucy Frances Gibbs Papers, 1843 [1 item]
consists Letter from a friend.
Sub-group 6: William Le Baron Gibbs Papers, 1829-1882 [15 items]
contains Personal correspondence; legal documents; financial records; and clipping.
Sub-group 7: Adeliza Tisdale Jenney Papers, 1880-1915 [3 items]
consists Invitation and estate records.
Sub-group 8: Eliza Le Baron Gibbs Jenney Papers, 1862-1880 [7 items]
contains Legal documents.
Sub-group 9: May Louise Church Jenney Papers, 1900-1914 [1 item]
consists Estate records.
Sub-group 10: William Proctor Jenney Papers, ca.1830, 1842, 1845, 1858 [5 items]
contains Legal documents and insurance records.
Sub-group 11: William Le Baron Papers, 1812, 1814, 1819 [5 items]
consists Deeds and receipts.
Sub-group 12: Bessie Russell Jenney Mundie Papers, 1906, 1925 [2 items]
contains Letter and will.

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Subject Headings

Business records--Mass.--Fairhaven
Cholera, Asiatic--N.Y.--New York City
Decedents' estates--Mass.--Fairhaven
Diaries--Fairhaven, Mass.--1832-1833
Domestic relations--Mass.--Fairhaven
Epidemics--N.Y.--New York City
Erie Canal
Fairhaven, Mass.--Commerce
Gibbs & Jenney, Fairhaven, Mass.
Gibbs Family Papers
Gibbs, Adeline Gibbs, 1805-1841
Gibbs, Adeline Rowland, b. 1839
Gibbs, Ansel, 1773-1835
Gibbs, Lucy Frances, 1833-1853
Gibbs, William Le Baron, 1801-1882
Hartford, Conn.--Hospitals
Hudson River, New York
Indians of North America--New York
Indians of North America--New York--Reservations
Jenney family
Jenney, Adeliza Tisdale, b. 1842
Jenney, Eliza Le Baron Gibbs, 1803-1880
Jenney, May Louise Church, b. 1835
Jenney, William Proctor, 1802-1881
Justices of the peace--Mass.--Bristol County
Le Baron, William, 1751-1816
Massachusetts--Description and travel
Merchant seamen--Mass.--Fairhaven
Mundie, Bessie Russell Jenney, b. 1869
New York (State)--Description and travel
Oneida Indians
Psychiatric hospitals--Conn.--Hartford
Ship's papers
Travelers, Women--Mass.--Fairhaven
Women--Mass.--Fairhaven--Social conditions

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Vessel Names

Adeline Gibbs (Ship)
Columbus (Ship)
Eliza L. B. Jenney (Bark)
Eliza L. B. Jenney (Ship)
Leonidas (Ship)
London Packet (Ship)
Marcus (Ship)
Origon (Ship)
Siren Queen (Ship)
Stanton (Ship)
Syren Queen (Ship) SEE Siren Queen (Ship)

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