Table of Contents
William Gifford was born in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, in 1798. He acted as agent for numerous whaling vessels that sailed from New Bedford, Mass., including the Charles Drew (Ship), Minerva (Ship), and William Gifford (Bark). He later took his son, Charles H. Gifford (1833-1908), as a partner and called the firm William Gifford & Son. Charles H. Gifford continued the business for several years after his father's death in 1866.
Materials in this collection chiefly reflect the business activities of William Gifford at New Bedford, Mass., between 1842-1866. Ships' papers, 1842-1879, primarily consist of crew and agent/owner accounts for such whaling vessels as the Charles Drew (Ship), Nimrod (Ship/Bark), and Rainbow (Ship/Bark), and include accounts kept by William Gifford's son, Henry Gifford, after the elder Gifford's death. Records for three of the vessels, the General Pike (Ship), Nimrod (Bark), and William Gifford (Bark), include settlements with crew members and owners for the Alabama Claims. Also included in the collection are deeds of William Gifford for property and buildings in New Bedford, 1832-1855, ca. 1866.
Arrangement of Collection
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New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 58, [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
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The deeds in this collection were given to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by Frank H. Gifford, 27 December 1933. Existing records reveal neither the source nor the accession date for the remainder of the collection.
Processed by: Barbara E. Austen, ca. 1982
Encoded by: Mark Procknik, 21 December 2011
Funds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Account books--New Bedford, Mass.--1842-1879
Business records--Mass.--New Bedford
Gifford, Charles Henry, 1833-1908
Gifford, William, 1798-1866
Merchant seamen--Mass.--New Bedford
Merchant seamen--Mass.--New Bedford--Salaries, pensions, etc.
New Bedford, Mass.--Commerce
William Gifford & Son
Charles Drew (Ship)
General Pike (Ship)
William Gifford (Bark)
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- Herman Melville
- Captain Paul Cuffe
- Joshua Slocum
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