Table of Contents
Members of several branches of the Taber family were active as merchants and businessmen at New Bedford, Mass., between 1839-1887. Henry Taber (1795-1892) went to sea in 1809 and later became a master and part owner of several vessels. In 1832, he went into business as a ship chandler and a grocer, first with David Sherman as a partner, then with his son, William Gordon Taber (1821-1896) and son-in-law, John Hunt (d. ca. 1866). Henry Taber & Company established a packet ship line between New Bedford and New York and owned vessels which took part in whaling and freighting ventures. In addition, the firm acted as whaling agents. When Henry Taber retired in 1866, William G. Taber and William Gordon Jr. (1825-1902) continued the business as commission merchants and whaling agents under the name of Taber, Gordon & Company.
Two of Henry Taber's cousins, Francis Taber (1803-1887) and George Russell Taber (1821-1913), and Francis' son, Robert Holloway Taber (1834-1914), were coal dealers, merchants, and also served as agents to several whaling vessels at New Bedford in the 1850s and 1860s.
Records in this collection reflect the business activities of Henry Taber & Company; Taber, Gordon & Company; and Francis Taber, George Russell Taber, and Robert Holloway Taber between 1839-1887. Henry Taber & Company records include financial records consisting of a journal, 1857-1860, which contains accounts for Henry Taber's new house, payments to New Bedford Port Society subscriptions, and for such vessels as Ocean Wave (Bark), William and Eliza (Ship), and Henry Taber (Bark) as well as those vessels represented in the ship's papers series. Ship's papers, 1839-1861, contain agent/owner accounts, crew accounts, and Sea Letters for such ships as Good Return, Hillman, James Arnold, and Milton. Taber, Gordon & Company records consist of ship's papers, 1868-1887, containing agent/owner accounts, crew accounts, and outfitting books for such vessels as Callao (Bark), Eliza Adams (Ship), Horatio (Ship), James Arnold (Ship), and Niger (Ship). There are also protests and accounts of a court case for damages due to the collision of the ships Eliza Adams and Glenochil.
Francis and George Russell Taber records include financial records and ship's papers. The financial records, 1852-1862, consist of a ledger and a journal which contain accounts for their coal business and for their whalers Afton (Bark), Betsy Williams (Ship), Laetitia (Bark), and Rambler (Ship). The ship's papers consist of a Sea Letter for the Laetitia (Bark). Records for George Russell and Robert Holloway Taber contain financial records, 1856-1862, consisting of a ledger, journals, and a cash book for their coal and mercantile affairs.
Arrangement of Collection
Access to the Collection
Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 15 [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
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.
Related Manuscript Collections
Mss 36: Taber Family Papers
Mss 127: Deborah Smith Taber Family Papers
A portion of this collection was donated to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by the estate of Andrew Snow Jr., in 1919 and by Shirley Stanley on 15 February 1965. Existing records reveal neither the source nor the accession date for the rest of the collection.
Processed by: Judith Downey, ca. 1982
Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 23 June 2011; box list appended by Mark Procknik, 7 February 2012
Funds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Account books--New Bedford, Mass.--1828-1887
Business records--Mass.--New Bedford
Coal trade--Mass.--New Bedford
Collisions at sea
Commercial agents--Mass.--New Bedford
Commission merchants--Mass.--New Bedford
F. & G. R. Taber (Francis and George Russell Taber), New Bedford, Mass.
G. & R. H. Taber (George Russell and Robert Holloway Taber), New Bedford, Mass.
Gordon, William Jr., 1825-1902
Grocery trade--Mass.--New Bedford
Henry Taber & Company, New Bedford, Mass.
Hunt, John, d. ca.1866
Merchant seamen--Mass.--New Bedford--Salaries, pensions, etc.
Merchant seamen--Missions and charities--Mass.--New Bedford
New Bedford Port Society, New Bedford, Mass.
New Bedford, Mass.--Commerce
New Bedford, Mass.--Dwellings
Ship chandlers--Mass.--New Bedford
Ships--Equipment and supplies
Taber, Francis, 1803-1887
Taber, George Russell, 1821-1913
Taber, Gordon & Company, New Bedford, Mass.
Taber, Henry, 1795-1892
Taber, Robert Holloway, 1834-1914
Taber, William Gordon, 1821-1896
Betsy Williams (Ship)
Eliza Adams (Ship)
Good Return (Ship)
Henry Taber (Bark)
James Arnold (Ship)
Ocean Wave (Bark)
William and Eliza (Ship)
- Lagoda Centennial
- Centennial Lecture Series
- Symposium: Famine, Friends & Fenians
- Music: Seán Tyrrell
- Lecture Series: The Second Half
- Whaling History Conference
- Melville’s Life & Legacy
- Scrimshaw 101
- Cities 2.0 – A TEDx Salon
- Manhattan Short Film Festival
- Film: Temple Grandin
- Annual Family Activities
- Community Programs
- Annual Events
- Past Programs
- Discovery Center