Skip to main content

John Newmarch Cushing Papers, 1714-1920, undated

Identifier: MSS 186

Scope and Content Note

The John Newmarch Cushing papers document the activities of this Newburyport, Massachusetts, merchant, wharfinger, and ship chandler. The collection also includes John's business and personal papers, and business records of his father, John Newmarch (1779-1849), and brother, William Cushing (1823-1875). The papers are divided into two series.

Series I. Shipping Papers contains account books, and ships' and shipping papers. The account books record shipping expenses incurred by John's vessels, as well as wharfage, dockage, storage, and store rental services which John offered to other merchants. Although this collection contains few records documenting John's vessels, the ships' papers and shipping accounts are of special interest because they provide fascinating shipbuilding and ship chandlery information. Included are a large number of memorandums and accounts listing ship dimensions (including mast and spar dimensions), stores, battens, sails, chains, cordage, tools, paint, tinware, etc. (See Appendix I which notes special lists and memorandums contained in the papers of each vessel.) Also of note in the ships' papers are accounts of the ship Sonora, drawn up following the firing of the vessel by the steamer Alabama in 1863, and general average and partial loss records of the ship Mary L. Cushing, which was stranded on Block Island in 1887, and later run into by another vessel while anchored in Calcutta (1891). The shipping correspondence and legal papers contain merchant correspondence from London and Calcutta, miscellaneous charter party agreements, and memorandums and correspondence regarding shipbuilding designs and requirements.

Series II. Personal and Family Papers contains John's personal and business papers, business records of his father, John Newmarch (1779-1849), and brother, William Cushing (1823-1875), and miscellaneous papers. John's papers include real estate and hay accounts, treasurer's memorandums and tax accounts for the First Presbyterian Society of Newburyport, a fire department membership certificate, and records relating to the trusteeship of Nicholas Johnson's estate. John Newmarch Cushing's (1779-1849) papers feature documents regarding increased pilotage rates on the Merrimac River. Of interest in William's papers are his referee accounts settling the schooner Isabella's 1850 voyage to Labrador. Also included is a 1714 Salisbury land deed of Caleb Cushing, miscellaneous master's correspondence, papers regarding the estates of Thomas and William Pritchard, and an undated map of an army installation, Camp Curtis, in Sulphur Springs, Missouri.


  • Creation: 1714-1920, undated


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical Sketch

John Newmarch Cushing was born in 1820 in Newburyport, Massachusetts, to John Newmarch (1779-1849) and Elizabeth (Johnson) Cushing. He was a merchant, wharfinger, and ship chandler. He co-owned a fleet of ships and one of Newburyport's largest shipyards, Cushing's Wharf located at the foot of Fair Street. He married Mary Lawrence Brown (1819-1898) in 1843 and they had five children. He died in 1904.


2 linear feet (3 boxes; 2 volumes)

Language of Materials



The John Newmarch Cushing papers document the activities of this Newburyport, Massachusetts, merchant, wharfinger, and ship chandler.

Series List

SERIES I. Shipping Papers

  • A. Account Books
  • B. Ships' and Shipping Papers
SERIES II. Personal Papers

Physical Location

Phillips Library Stacks


The bulk of the collection was donated by Margaret W. Cushing in April 1943. Removed from the collection are correspondence and land deeds of John's half-brother, Caleb Cushing.


Cushing, James Stevenson. The Genealogy of the Cushing Family, an Account of the Ancestors and Descendants of Matthew Cushing, Who Came to America in 1638. Montreal: Perrault Print., 1905.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Sylvia B. Kennick, July 1985. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, February 2016.


Processed by: Sylvia B. Kennick; Updated by: Tamara Gaydos; machine-readable finding aid created by: Rajkumar Natarajan.
Language of description
Script of description
Processing and conservation of this collection were funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Repository Details

Part of the Phillips Library Repository

Peabody Essex Museum
306 Newburyport Turnpike
Rowley MA 01969 USA