MSS 30:  Hitch Family Papers, 1861-1920 - New Bedford Whaling Museum

Inventory of the Hitch Family Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research LibraryProcessed by: Judith Downey; machine-readable finding aid created by: Kermit DeweyFunds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.Inventory of the Hitch 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


Subject Headings

Inventory of the Hitch Family Papers

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

Hitch Family Papers
Date Span:
Hitch family
Mss Number:
Mss 30
1 linear foot
Business records and personal papers of a New Bedford, Massachusetts, family, 1861-1920.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Phone: (508) 997-0046

Historical Note

James C. Hitch was born in New Bedford, Mass., in 1839. After acting as a clerk for various local merchants and participating in the Civil War in 1862-1863, he began his career as a public official in 1865. From that year until his death in 1894, Hitch served as a clerk and eventual Collector at the New Bedford Custom House; and also was a member of city government, 1876-1880; secretary of the New Bedford Silver Mining Company, 1882-1886; a Bristol County, Mass., justice of the peace, and a notary public.

James Hitch's son, Mayhew Robinson Hitch (1867-1956), was a lawyer active in New Bedford, Mass., from 1889 until the time of his death. He was appointed probate judge for Bristol County, Mass., in 1922 and acted in such capacity until his retirement in 1948. He also was president and vice president of E. Anthony and Sons, publishers of the Evening Standard (later Standard Times).

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Scope and Content Note

Papers in this collection principally reflect the activities of James C. Hitch and Mayhew Robinson Hitch between the years 1861-1920. The elder Hitch's papers, 1861-1892, include commissions as justice of the peace and notary public, 1864-1892; sea letters, 1861-1863, and a search permit relating to his Custom House duties, 1886; and military records, 1862-ca.1890, featuring an account of his experiences in the Civil War. Mayhew R. Hitch's papers contain personal correspondence, 1877-1889; a ledger reflecting his business as a lawyer, 1901-1904; and an estate record of William T. Soule, 1888-1889; as well as documents relating to Hitch's education and social activities, ca. 1875-1886.

Also represented by personal correspondence in this collection, 1906-1920, are Mayhew Robinson Hitch Jr. (1902-1978) and his sister, Sarah Hitch (1905-1980). In addition to Hitch family papers, this collection encompasses various records which probably relate to Mayhew Robinson Hitch's activities as a lawyer. These materials include financial records for 1882-1896 of the Big Lode Mining Company, a corporation centered in Boston, Mass., with a silver and lead mine in Blaine County, Idaho; and of the North Wharf Company of Edgartown, Mass., 1902. Of particular note, however, are the records of several New Bedford, Mass., benevolent societies. The records of Zouaves, Incorporated, a French-American organization, consist of by-laws and minutes of meetings, 1901-1903. Records of the Sociedad Michaelense Affonso Chaves, a Portuguese American association, include a membership book, 1894-1910, an account book, 1908-1909, and minutes of meetings, 1909-1910. The latter materials also reflect the activities of the Real Associacao Beneficente Automatica Michaelense Incorporada, a society predating the 1909 formation of Sociedad Michaelense Affonso Chaves.

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 30 [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 Printed Collection

- Bible. New Testament. "National Edition," n.d.
- Brooks Club, New Bedford, Mass. 16th Annual Supper Program, Dec. 10, 1910.
- Cort Theater, New York, New York. "Program," March 29, 1920.
- Fall River Line Journal, March 1920.
- Gray Line, Washington, D.C. "Beautiful Washington" tour book, ca. 1925
- New Bedford High School Order of Exercise. . . , June 27, 1884
- New Bedford Reminiscences in Pictures, n.d.
- Perry Davis & Son, Providence, R.I. Around the World in 40 Years, n.d.
- Sanford & Kelley, New Bedford, Mass. "New Bedford Statistics for the Year 1917," 1918.
- "Seaside Library" Catalog, n. d.

Removed to Objects Collection

- Hand-made paper dolls, n.d. 20 items.
- Metal plate engraved with name of Sarah Hitch, ca. 1925.
- Military medal, ca. 1890.
- Valentines received by Mayhew Robinson Hitch, ca. 1885. 3 items.

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Papers in this collection were donated to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society from the estate of Sarah Hitch on 1 August 1980.

Processing Information

Processed by: Judith Downey, ca. 1982

Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 20 August 2011; box list appended by Mark Procknik, 29 February 2012

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

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Sub-group 1: James C. Hitch Papers, 1861-1892 [2 inches]
Sub-group 1 consists of James C. Hitch's commissions, Custom House records, military records, bills, stock certificates, a clipping and a poem.
Series A: Commissions, 1864, 1871, 1890, 1892
Box 1
Folder 1
As justice of the peace, 1864, 1871, 1892
Folder 2
As notary public, 1890
Series B: Custom House Records, 1861-1863, 1886
Sub-series 1: Sea Letters, 1861-1863
Folder 1
Adeline Gibbs (Bark), 1861
Folder 2
Hercules (Bark), 1862
Folder 3
St. George (Ship), 1863
Sub-series 2: Search Permits, 1886
Folder 1
Series C: Military Records, 1862-1863, 1888, ca. 1890
Folder 1
1862-1863, 1888
Folder 2
Record of his experience in Civil War, ca. 1890
Series D: Bills, Stock Certificates, Clipping, and Poem, 1876-1886
Folder 1
Bill, 1892
Folder 2
Stock certificates, 1881-1886
Folder 3
Clipping, 1884
Folder 4
Alnaschar, poem, 1876
Sub-group 2: Mayhew Robinson Hitch Papers, 1875-1904 [2 inches]
Sub-group 2 contains the correspondence, ledgers, an estate record, a school notebook, an invitation, and the programs of Mayhew Robinson Hitch.
Series A: Correspondence, 1877, 1882, 1884, 1889
Folder 1
1877, 1882, 1884, 1889
Series B: Ledgers, 1901-1904
Volume 1
Volume 2
Series C: Estate Records, 1888-1889
Volume 1
William T. Soule Estate, 1888-1889
Series D: School Notebook, Invitation, and Programs, ca. 1875, 1885-1886
Volume 1
School notebook from the sixth grade, ca. 1875
Folder 1
Invitation, 1885
Folder 2
Programs, 1885-1886
Sub-group 3: Mayhew Robinson Hitch Jr. Papers, 1912 [1 item]
Sub-group 3 consists of a letter from Mayhew Robinson Hitch Jr.'s aunt.
Series A: Correspondence, 1912
Folder 1
Sub-group 4: Sarah Hitch Papers, 1906, 1920 [2 items]
Sub-group 4 contains a letter and Christmas card from friends addressed to Sarah Hitch.
Series A: Correspondence, 1906, 1920
Folder 1
1906, 1920
Sub-group 5: Big Lode Mining Company Records, 1882-1896 [4 inches]
Sub-group 5 consists of a journal, ledger, cash book, and stock transfer book of the Big Lode Mining Company.
Box 2
Volume 1
Journal, 1882-1896
Volume 2
Ledger, 1882-1896
Volume 3
Cash book, 1882-1894
Volume 4
Stock transfer book, 1883-1884
Sub-group 6: North Wharf Company Records, 1902 [1 inch]
Sub-group 6 contains a North Wharf Company record of incorporation.
Volume 1
Record of incorporation, 1902
Sub-group 7: Zouaves, Incorporated Records, 1901-1903 [1 inch]
Sub-group 7 consists the by-laws and minutes of meetings of Zouaves, Incorporated.
Box 3
Volume 1
By-laws and minutes of meetings, 1901-1903
Sub-group 8: Sociedad Michaelense Affonso Chaves Records, 1894-1910 [2 inches]
Sub-group 8 contains the Sociedad Michaelense Affonso Chaves membership records, an account book, minutes of meetings, deeds, and correspondence.
Volume 1
Membership book, 1894-1910
Volume 2
Account book for Real Associacao Beneficente Automatica Michaelense Incorporada, 1908-1909
Volume 3
Minutes of meetings, 1909-1910
Folder 1
Deeds, 1905, 1907
Folder 2
Correspondence, 1909

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Subject Headings

Account books--New Bedford, Mass.--1901-1904
Big Lode Mine, Blaine County, Idaho
Blaine County, Idaho
Business records--Mass.--Boston
Business records--Mass.--Edgartown
Business records--Mass.--New Bedford
Charities--Mass.--New Bedford
Customs administration--Mass.--New Bedford
Edgartown, Mass.--Docks, wharves, etc.
French-Americans--Mass.--New Bedford
Hitch family papers
Hitch, James C., 1839-1894
Hitch, Mayhew Robinson Jr., 1902-1978
Hitch, Mayhew Robinson, 1867-1956
Hitch, Sarah, 1905-1980
Justices of the peace--Mass.--Bristol County
Lawyers--Mass.--New Bedford
Lead mines and mining--Idaho--Blaine County
Mines and mineral resources--Idaho--Blaine County
Mining corporations--Mass.--Boston
Mining industry and finance--Mass.--Boston
New Bedford, Mass.--Benvolent and moral institutions and societies
New Bedford, Mass.--Charities
New Bedford, Mass.--Clubs
New Bedford, Mass.--Societies
North Wharf Company, Edgartown, Mass.
Portuguese Americans--Mass.--New Bedford
Real Associacao Beneficente Automatica Michaelense Incorporada, New Bedford, Mass.
Silver mines and mining--Idaho--Blaine County
Sociedad Michaelense Affonso Chaves
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives
United States. Custom House, New Bedford, Mass.
Zouaves, Incorporated

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Vessel Names

Adeline Gibbs (Bark)
Hercules (Bark)
St. George (Ship)

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