Table of Contents
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.
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
Access to the Collection
Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 28 [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
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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.
Materials in this collection were given to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by Mrs. Elizabeth Belshaw on 24 November 1975.
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.
Cholera, Asiatic--N.Y.--New York City
Epidemics--N.Y.--New York City
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
Hudson River, New York
Indians of North America--New York
Indians of North America--New York--Reservations
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
Mundie, Bessie Russell Jenney, b. 1869
New York (State)--Description and travel
Adeline Gibbs (Ship)
Eliza L. B. Jenney (Bark)
Eliza L. B. Jenney (Ship)
London Packet (Ship)
Siren Queen (Ship)
Syren Queen (Ship) SEE Siren Queen (Ship)
- Exhibit Enhancements
- Discovery Center
- Herman Melville
- Captain Paul Cuffe
- Joshua Slocum
- Lighting the Way: Historic Women of the SouthCoast