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West Family Papers

West Family Papers

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Open Finding Aid

WEST FAMILY PAPERS, 1825-1864, 1910





Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:West family
Title:West Family Papers
Dates:1825/1864, 1910
Quantity:14 linear feet (16 boxes, 2 flat files)
Abstract:The West Family papers contain materials from the West family’s various maritime and merchant activities, particularly during the time of George Jr. (1810-1852), John (1812-1858), and Benjamin’s (1820-1877) involvement in the business.
Collection Number:MH 235

Series List


SERIES I. Shipping Papers
A. Ships’ Papers
B. Other
SERIES II. Correspondence
SERIES III. Financial Papers
A. Prices Current
B. Accounts, Bills, Invoices, and Receipts
1. Business
2. Personal
C. Account Books
SERIES IV. Other

Scope and Content Note


The West Family papers contain materials from the West family’s various maritime and merchant activities, particularly during the time of George Jr. (1810-1852), John (1812-1858), and Benjamin’s (1820-1877) involvement in the business. This collection has been divided into four series.


Series I. Shipping Papers contains materials from the West family’s shipping and merchant business. This series has been divided into two subseries. Subseries A. Ships’ Papers contains insurance policies, bills of lading, shipping articles of agreement, disbursements, bills, invoices, receipts, protests, and correspondence from or about various ships. This subseries has been arranged alphabetically by ship name. Subseries B. Other contains insurance policies, protection and indenture certificates, a chart of the weight of ivory, and other miscellaneous items.


Series II. Correspondence contains business-related correspondence to and from Benjamin, George Jr., and John West. There is a folder of correspondence to and from individuals other than the West brothers; it is possible these were agents or business partners of the Wests. Also included in this series are circulars.


Series III. Financial Papers contains prices current, bills, invoices, receipts, and account books from the Wests’ merchant and shipping ventures, as well as from their personal finances. This series has been divided into three subseries. Subseries A. Prices current contains prices current. Subseries B. Accounts, Bills, Invoices, and Receipts contains accounts receivable, notes payable, accounts current, accounts of sales, bills, invoices, and receipts. This subseries has been divided into two sub-subseries. Sub-Subseries 1. Business contains accounts receivable, notes payable, accounts current, accounts of sales, bills, invoices, and receipts from the West family’s merchant and shipping business. Sub-Subseries 2. Personal contains personal accounts, bills, invoices, and receipts from the West family. This includes financial papers from George (1776-1844) and Debora (1788-1856) West. Subseries C. Account Books contains account books. Some of the account books appear to have belonged to Charles C. Currier, who appears to have worked for or with the Wests.


Series IV. Other contains miscellaneous items such as a silver Spanish coin that had originally been found with papers from the brig Mary Helen, an objection to a street name being changed, and some other miscellaneous papers.


Biographical Sketch

George West was born circa 1776 in Salem, Massachusetts to George (1756-1789) and Margaret (Tink) West. He was a merchant in Salem. He married Debora Ayers (1788-1856) on April 1, 1810. They had seven children together: George (1810-1852); John A. (1812-1858); Samuel; Caroline (died 1878); Eliza Ann (1817-1821); Benjamin A. (182-1877); and Eliza Ann (1823-1848). George died on April 14, 1844, leaving behind an estate valued at $176,253.73.


George West Jr. was born May 29, 1810, in Salem, Massachusetts, to George (1776-1844) and Debora (Ayers) (1788-1856) West. He was a merchant in Salem. With his brothers, and often other business associates, he owned 28 vessels. He was also a member of the Salem Marine Society, and the administrator of his father’s estate. His first wife was Mary Endicott (1826-1844); they were married on December 8, 1842. After her death, George married Mary Elizabeth Webb (1814-1890) on October 22, 1845. They had two children that lived to adulthood, Mary (1847-1904) and George Webb (1850-1897). George died June 21, 1852.


John A. West was born in 1812, in Salem, Massachusetts to George (1776-1844) and Debora (Ayers) (1788-1856) West. He was a merchant in Salem. With his brother, and often other business associates, he owned merchant vessels. John never married, and died June 15, 1858.


Benjamin A. West was born March 29, 1820, in Salem, Massachusetts, to George (1776-1844) and Debora (Ayers) (1788-1856) West. He was a merchant in Salem. With his brothers, and often other business associates, he owned 22 vessels. He married Nancy B. Downing (1828-1883) on January 14, 1852. They had three children who lived to adulthood: Annie D., George (born 1855), and Arthur Webster (1861-1925). Benjamin died on August 3, 1877 (West 42A).


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Currier, Charles Chase, 1805-1860
Pingree, David, 1795-1863
Shepherd, Isaac B.
West, Benjamin A., 1820-1877
West, Caroline, d. 1878
West, Deborah Ayers, 1788-1856
West, George, 1810-1852
West, John A., 1812-1858
Abbi M. (Vessel)
Abigail (Schooner)
American (Schooner)
Angola (Bark)
Angretta (Schooner)
Ann Elizabeth (Vessel)
Ann Maria (Ship)
Anna Maria (Ship)
Arabia (Bark)
Argus (Brig)
Asia (Vessel)
Atlantic (Schooner)
Bion Bradbury (Brig)
Borneo (Bark)
Bridgewater (Schooner)
Cabot (Schooner)
Caroline (Schooner)
Caroline Augusta (Ship)
Cavalier (Bark)
Champion (Schooner)
Charles J. Dow (Brig)
Charles Weigman (Brig)
Charleston (Schooner)
Chatham (Brig)
Cherokee (Steamship)
Cipher (Brig)
Clara (Schooner)
Col. James Scott (Bark)
Comet (Schooner)
Constitution (Schooner)
Corinna M. (Schooner)
Curlew (Vessel)
Cynthia (Bark)
Dispatch (Schooner)
Dorchester (Bark)
Dragon (Bark)
Eastern Star (Schooner)
Eliza (Bark)
Eliza Ellen (Schooner)
Ellen Francis (Schooner)
Fairfield (Schooner)
Fawn (Brig)
Gambia (Brig)
General Brooks (Schooner)
General Jackson (Schooner)
General Taylor (Schooner)
George West (Ship)
Globe (Schooner)
Governor Endicott (Ship)
Granite (Brig)
Griffen (Vessel)
Hope (Brig)
Imaum (Bark)
Izette (Ship)
John Brooks (Schooner)
John Dunlop (Schooner)
Julieta (Schooner)
Leocadia (Schooner)
Leopard (Bark)
Leopold (Prussian Bark)
Lewis (Bark)
Lucia Maria (Bark)
Maid of Orleans (Bark)
Malaya (Brig)
Martha Maria (Schooner)
Mary A. Jones (Brig)
Mary Chilton (Vessel)
Mary Dacre (Brig)
Mary Helen (Brig)
Mercy Taylor (Schooner)
Minstrel (Ship)
Moro (Schooner)
Mount Vernon (Schooner)
Nancy Pratt (Brig)
North Star (Schooner)
Orb (Bark)
Oriental (Brig)
Orleans (Schooner)
Osmanli (Bark)
Ospray (Schooner)
Packet (Sloop)
Pactolus (Brig)
Pamelia (Hermaphrodite Brig)
Patriot (Brig)
Peytona (Schooner)
Phebe Ann (Schooner)
Pilot (Bark)
Potomac (Brig)
Prairie (Vessel)
Prudence (Schooner)
R. C. Winthrop (Vessel)
Reaper (Schooner)
Rebecca (Schooner)
Rolla (Brig)
Rowena (Schooner)
Savannah (Schooner)
Seth and William (Schooner)
Snowdrift (Schooner)
Sophronia (Bark)
Southerner (Schooner)
Spy (Sloop)
Star (Vessel)
Susan (Brig)
Tarquina (Brig)
Thakambay (Schooner)
Thomas Jefferson (Schooner)
Thomas Perkins (Ship)
Three Brothers (Bark)
Tim Pickering (Brig)
Vesta (Schooner)
Virginia (Brig)
Vulture (Vessel)
Water Witch (Schooner)
William and Henry (Ship)
William Davis (Brig)
William Schroder (Bark)
Zotoff (Bark)
Coins, Spanish
Letters
Marine insurance
Shipping
Ships' papers
Salem (Mass.)

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

West Family Papers, MH 235, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

This material was donated by the estate of Emily West on January 4, 1940, (accession #10,617), and by Joseph Tessendea on May 3, 1940 (accession #10,655). One item from the bark Eliza, dated August 1, 1848, was donated by the estate of Frank P. Fabens through Mrs. A. P. Putnam on August 17, 1970 (accession #19,381). A list of armaments for the bark Eliza was donated by Mrs. Stephen Phillips (accession #19,960). A number of account currents are from Mrs. Rodman A. Nichols on April 22, 1949 (accession #12,096).


Part of the West Family Papers, MH 236, was incorporated into this collection. That includes four account books, which were gifts of Mrs. Richard Seamans (accession #15,605) on October 16, 1961, and prices current. Some of the prices current are from Emily West on January 4, 1940 (accession #10, 617). One prices current from Havana, dated April 10, 1855, was purchased in 1936.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Hilary Streifer, May 2017.


Related Material


West, Harry Irwin Jr. Descendants of Henry West (1629-1703) of Salem, Massachusetts With Some Collateral Lines of Interest: the Genealogy and History of the West Family of Salem from the Early Days of the Puritan Commonwealth to the Present. The Anundsen Publishing Company: Decorah, Iowa, 1997.


Charles C. Currier Papers, 1826-1855. MH 73.


West Family Papers. MH 236.


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