Table of Contents
William Tallman Russell (1788-1872) as a young man received his education in New York State and then served apprentice as clerk at the Counting House of Post and Russell of New York City. He traveled extensively in Europe and to the West Coast before settling in New Bedford and marrying Silvia Grinnell in 1819. He then engaged in the whale fishery and the manufacturing of candles in connection with the house of William R. Rotch & Co. Between 1849-1853, he served as Collector of the port for the U.S. Custom House in New Bedford. He also acted as Secretary of the Bedford Commercial Insurance Co. from 1859 until his death in 1872.
Materials in this collection reflect William Tallman Russell's involvement in the whale oil industries and candle manufacturing trade between 1811-1853. Financial records encompass daybooks, journals, and ledgers for 1811-1853. Purchasing and receiving records include invoices and bills of lading for 1821-1844. Labor records are the settlements of accounts with ship owners and crew for 1820-1847. Correspondence consists of volumes of copies of outgoing business letters for 1815-1849. Also in this collection are records of the New Bedford Custom House for the period in which William Tallman Russell served as Collector, 1849-1853.
Arrangement of Collection
Access to the Collection
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New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library Mss 6 [sub-group, series, sub-series, folder/volume as appropriate], [item]
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This entire collection was donated to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society by Russell Grinnell in 1947 and 1949.
Processed by: Judith Downey, ca. 1982
Encoded by: Kermit Dewey, 7 June 2011; box list appended by Mark Procknik, 28 December 2011
Funds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Account books--New Bedford, Mass.--1811-1853
Bird Island Lighthouse, Mass.
Business records--Mass.--New Bedford
Customs administration--Mass.--New Bedford
Grinnell, Minturn & Company, New York City, N.Y.
New Bedford, Mass.--Commerce
New Bedford, Mass.--Economic conditions
New Bedford, Mass.--Industries
Oil industries--Mass.--New Bedford
Seamen--Mass.--New Bedford--Pay, allowances, etc.
Southern elephant seal
United States. Custom House, New Bedford, Mass.
William R. Rotch & Co., New Bedford, Mass.
- The Grand Panorama
- Herman Melville
- Captain Paul Cuffe
- Joshua Slocum
- Lighting the Way: Historic Women of the SouthCoast