MSS 37:  White Family Papers, 1746-1916 - New Bedford Whaling Museum

Inventory of the White Family Papers In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research LibraryProcessed by: Barbara B. Austen; machine-readable finding aid created by: Robbin SmithFunds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.Inventory of the White 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 White Family Papers

In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library

White Family Papers
Date Span:
White family
Mss Number:
Mss 37
10 inches
Business and personal papers of the Acushnet and Freetown branches of a Massachusetts family, 1746-1916.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library
Phone: (508) 997-0046

Historical Note

The American progenitor of the White family of Freetown and Acushnet, Massachusetts, William White, was a passenger on the Mayflower and an early settler of Rochester, Mass. The Freetown branch of the family, headed by Thomas White (1722-1799), principally consisted of yeomen farmers, although one member, Marchant White (ca. 1795-1880), served as a Massachusetts state legislator in 1856. William White (1721-1817) was the head of the Acushnet branch of the family whose most notable members, William White (1757-1865) and his sons, Phineas White (1785-1877), William White Jr. (b. 1787), and Benjamin White (b. 1798), owned and operated a cotton mill from about 1800-1844 in a part of Fairhaven which later became the town of Acushnet. The mill was built near the site of a sawmill and between 1800-1814, several other buildings were added to the complex including a gristmill, dye house, and dwellings for operatives. Before the company was sold in 1844, it was known as William White Jr. & Company until 1841 and then as Phineas White & Company from 1841-1844.

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Scope and Content Note

Of primary importance among the materials in this collection are the business records of William White Jr. & Company and its successor, Phineas White & Company, cotton manufacturers at Fairhaven, Mass. The records of the former company encompass a ledger, 1815-1845, labor records, 1822-1831, and deeds, 1777-1841. The latter company is represented by financial records, 1841-1845, including a day book, and incoming correspondence, 1842-1844.

Other papers in this collection reflect the activities of members of the Acushnet and Freetown, Mass., branches of the White family from 1746-1916, and include correspondence; deeds, estate records, guardianship papers, and similar legal documents; general and tax receipts, bills, promissory notes, and similar financial records; and personal papers. Family members represented by the largest amount of material are William White, 1780-1829, his son Phineas White, 1828-1907, and his grandson, Augustus White, 1853-1916.

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 37, [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 house of William White (1721-1817), built in 1741 in Acushnet, ca. 1950. 1 item.

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Materials in this collection were given to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by Miss Emma L. White in 1957 and on 21 September 1966.

Processing Information

Processed by: Barbara B. Austen ca. 1982

Encoded by: Robbin Smith, 09 January 2012

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

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Please Consult Research Library for Detailed Description of Collection

Sub-group 1: White Family Business Records, 1777-1845 [5 inches]
William White Jr., & Company Records and Phineas White & Company Records.
Sub-group 2: Thomas White Papers, 1760-1799 [4 items]
Deeds and executor's letter
Sub-group 3: William White Papers, 1780-1829 [21 items]
Deeds; lot plans; bill of sale; marriage indenture; bequest; and transfer of bonds
Sub-group 4: Joseph White Papers, 1785-1829 [2 items]
Letter to brother William White and receipt
Sub-group 5: Marchant White Papers, 1797-1799 [3 items]
Deeds and bill
Sub-group 6: Hannah Brown White Papers, 1802-1804 [6 items]
Estate records and guardianship letter
Sub-group 7: Thomas White Papers, 1806, 1841 [2 items]
Deed and receipt
Sub-group 8: John White Papers, 1819-1831 [6 items]
Sub-group 9: Marchant White Papers, 1828-1856 [5 items]
Deeds and money orders for serving in state legislature.
Sub-group 10: Phineas White Papers, 1828-1907 [87 items]
Deeds; power of attorney certificate; bills and receipts; promissory notes; and insurance policies.
Sub-group 11: William White Jr. Papers, 1831 [2 items]
Deed and lot plan
Sub-group 12: Hannah B. White Papers, 1838-1854 [3 items]
Notebook and miscellany
Sub-group 13: Benjamin White Papers, 1843-1855 [3 items]
Deed and promissory note with memorandum
Sub-group 14: Ansel White Papers, 1844 [1 item]
Promissory note
Sub-group 15: Augustus White Papers, 1853-1916 [142 items]
Estate records; guardianship papers; gift acknowledgement; power of attorney certificate; deeds; agreements; and bills and receipts
Sub-group 16: Phineas White Jr. Papers, 1864-1875 [3 items]
Sub-group 17: Henry White Papers, 1867 [1 item]
Sub-group 18: Melora White Papers, 1880-1890 [5 items]
Will; assignment, sale and receipt of dower right; and guardianship account
Sub-group 19: Henry C. White Papers, 1901-1916 [10 items]
Tax receipts
Sub-group 20: Miscellaneous Family Papers, 1746, 1851 [2 items]
Correspondence and deed

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Subject Headings

Account books--Fairhaven, Mass.--1815-1845
Business records--Mass.--Fairhaven
Cotton manufacture
Cotton textiles
Cotton trade--Mass.--Fairhaven
Decedents' estates--Mass.--Acushnet
Distribution of decedents' estates--Mass.--Acushnet
Fairhaven, Mass.--Commerce
Local taxation--Mass.--Acushnet
Local taxation--Mass.--Fairhaven
Phineas White & Company, Fairhaven, Mass.
Taxation of personal property--Mass.--Acushnet
Taxation of personal property--Mass.--Fairhaven
Taxation, State
Textile industry--Mass.--Fairhaven
Textile workers--Mass.--Fairhaven
Wages--Textile workers--Mass.--Fairhaven
White, Ansel, 1796-1871
White, Augustus, fl. 1853-1916
White, Benjamin, b. 1798
White, Hannah B, b. 1804
White, Hannah Brown, b. ca. 1775
White, Henry C, b. 1877
White, Henry, fl. 1867
White, John, fl. 1819-1831
White, Joseph, b. 1755
White, Marchant, d. 1802
White, Marchant, d. 1880
White, Melora, fl. 1880-1890
White, Phineas Jr., fl. 1860-1877
White, Phineas, 1785-1877
White, Thomas Jr., fl. 1806-1841
White, Thomas, 1722-1799
White, William Jr., b. 1787
White, William, 1757-1835
William White Jr., & Company, Fairhaven, Mass.

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