Table of Contents
Stephen West (1654-1748), the American progenitor of the West family of Massachusetts, was one of the early settlers of a part of old Dartmouth now known as Fairhaven. He was a farmer and landholder, after whom West Island, which he acquired from his father-in-law John Cooke, was named. Papers in this collection relate to members of several generations of West's descendants. Most notable among these individuals are his son, Stephen West Jr. (1695-1769), his grandson, Samuel West (1725-ca.1812), and his great-grandson, Stephen West (1756-1841). Stephen West Jr. was a landowner who also served as selectman of Dartmouth. Samuel West also was a landowner who appears to have had various mercantile interests and the responsibility of settling relatives' estates. Stephen West was a shoemaker.
Papers in this collection reflect the activities of members of the West family of Dartmouth and Fairhaven, Mass., between ca. 1643-1893. The material concentrates on Stephen West Jr., his son, Samuel West, and on Samuel's son, Stephen West. Stephen West Jr.'s papers consist of personal correspondence, 1750-1751; legal documents, 1723-1763; selectman's records, 1731-1754; land surveys, 1712-1732, probably relating to his duty as selectman as none are for his properties; account books, 1723-1756; and bills and receipts, 1741-1769. Samuel West's papers include personal correspondence, 1777-1792; a deed, 1787; an account book, 1760-1776; bills and receipts, 1759-1811; estate records for Obed Hathaway, 1766-1777 and for Stephen West Jr., 1763-1811; and a poem and list, ca. 1760-1778. Stephen West's papers contain personal correspondence, 1772-1842; legal documents, 1803-1814; account books for shoemaking business, 1785-1824; bills and receipts, 1774-1834; tax records and receipts, 1797-1838; estate records for Samuel West, 1808-1817, and his own estate, 1842; and a school book for practical arithmetic, ca. 1780.
Also represented by materials in this collection are other West family members and relatives by marriage. Elnathan West's (b. 1753), son of Samuel, papers include financial records, 1772-1807, bills and receipts, 1792-1809, and estate records for Peace Clifton, 1792-1800. Papers for George A. Hatch (ca. 1800-ca. 1852), husband of Asaba West, daughter of Stephen West(1756-1841), include bills and receipts, 1830-1849, for work as mariner on various vessels, and an insurance policy, 1844. Papers for William S. Hersey (1822-1904), son of Silvanus and Rhoda West Hersey, consist of account books, 1836-1868, for work as a calker on various vessels; legal documents, 1850-1867; tax records and receipts, 1845-1891; Old Colony Railroad records, 1881-1890, where Hersey was employed as a car inspector; and school records, membership, subscription, list, program and memoranda, 1848-1893.
Materials in the West collection have been organized into sub-groups representing individual members of the West family and other individuals related by marriage. The sub-groups have been listed in chronological order by the date of birth of the individual. The papers have been organized into series by type of document and are arranged in chronological order. A final sub-group of this collection contains correspondence, a religious discourse, a guardianship record, lists, a death record, a boundary dispute, petition, meeting notice, bills and receipts, a deed, and fragments of documents, 1703-1877, believed to have belonged to West family members.
Arrangement of Collection
Access to the Collection
Unrestricted. Consult librarian for an appointment.
New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 38 [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
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Removed to Printed Collection
- Contact - Flood and hurricane issue, (Boston, Mass., 1938).
- The Daily Mercury - Jan. 3, 1863, (New Bedford, Mass., 1863).
- Dartmouth Tercentenary, 1664-1964, Souvenir Booklet and Program, (l964).
- The Holburn Restaurant: Menu (London, England, 1898).
- Hurricane Pictures of Greater Fall River, Sept, 1938. (Fall River, Mass., 1938).
- Hurricane, Southeastern Massachusetts, Sept, 14, 1944. (New Bedford, Mass., 1944).
- Hurricane, 1954. (New Bedford, Mass., 1954).
- New Bedford and Vicinity. (Portland, Me., n.d.).
- New Bedford Reminiscence in Pictures, (New Bedford, Mass., n.d.).
- The New York Herald-- April 15, 1865, (New York, New York, 1865), [Lincoln's assasination].
- 1938 Hurricane Pictures from Falmouth to Fall River . . ., (New Bedford, Mass., 1938).
- "Piece from the 'Mayflower Bible,'" ca. 1620.
- Psalms, xxii - xlii (pp-.47-98, n.d.).
- Reproductions of Work designed by C. Hammond & Son - Architects, (New Bedford, Mass., n.d.).
- Thomson, James. The Seasons . . ., (Exeter, 1836).
Removed to Objects Collection
- Partial watercolor of By Chance (Brig), n.d.
Removed to Broadside Collection
- "Old Hunker Ticket," [New Bedford, Mass., ca. 1845]
- "The World's Prayer"
- "Republican Ticket" Grant and Wilson, ca. 1872
- "Law and Order Ticket," George R. Richmond for Mayor, n.d.
- "El Modena": advertisement of summer resort in California, n.d.
Materials in this collection were donated to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by A.S. Francis on 17 March 1980.
Processed by: Judith Downey, ca. 1982
Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 26 March 2012
Funds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Please Consult Research Library for Detailed Description of Collection
Account books--Dartmouth, Mass.--1723-1812
Account books--Fairhaven, Mass.--1812-1868
Boots and shoes--Trade and manufacture--Mass.--Dartmouth
Clifton, Peace, d. 1799
Distribution of decedents' estates--Mass.--Dartmouth
Hatch, George A., ca. 1800-ca. 1852
Hathaway, Obed, 1740-1773
Hersey, William S., 1822-1910
Inventories of decedents' estates--Mass.--Dartmouth
Jenney, Samuel, 1659-1718
Jenney, Samuel, ca. 1616-1692
Local taxation--Mass.--New Bedford
Poll tax--Mass.--New Bedford
Ships-- Maintenance and repair
Summerton, Daniel, b. 1713
Summerton, Thomas, 1711-1736
Taxation of personal property--Mass.--Fairhaven
Taxation of personal property--Mass.--New Bedford
Turner, Christopher, ca. 1710-ca. 1780
West Island, Mass.
West, Bartholomew, 1734-ca. 1818
West, Elnathan, b. 1753
West, John Peckham, b. 1791
West, John, 1697-ca. 1789
West, Nehemiah, b. 1788
West, Rhoda, b. 1756
West, Samuel, 1725-ca. 1812
West, Stephen, 1654-1748
West, Stephen, 1756-1841
West, Stephen, Jr., 1695-1769
West, William R., b. 1788
- Exhibit Enhancements
- Discovery Center
- Herman Melville