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Thomas Perkins Pingree Papers, 1831-1889, undated

Identifier: MSS 904

Scope and Content Note

The bulk of the Thomas Perkins Pingree Papers consist of his business correspondence, ships' papers, and papers related to the settlement of his estate.

Series I. Correspondence is separated into two subseries. Subseries A. Business Correspondence is comprised mainly of correspondence relating to land and timber holdings in New England. This subseries includes letters relating to the settlement of the estate of David Pingree (1795-1863) for which Thomas Perkins Pingree was an executor as well as a few personal letters. This series not only includes letters received and copies of letters sent by Thomas Perkins, but also letters received by his brother David Pingree (1841-1932) and their associate E. S. Coe (1814-1899). Because there are some bills, invoices, and receipts that were noted on or attached to correspondence, some financial statements can be found in this series as well. Subseries B. Shipping Trade Correspondence includes letters that were bundled by Pingree and labelled "Letters | African Business." They represent his correspondence with captains, commodity brokers, and ship brokers. The folders are arranged chronologically. Materials within each folder may not be strictly chronological.

Series II. Shipping Papers consists of three subseries. Subseries A. Ships' Papers include documents revolving around trade in Africa, the operational records of ships, and disbursement of cargo. The schooner Prince was formerly named R. C. Parsons, therefore there are receipts within the folders under both ship names. The barque Sterling sailed from on October 11, 1876 and was wrecked off the coast of Saltpond on June 19, 1877. This subseries is arranged alphabetically by ship name, and then chronologically. Subseries B. Financial Records are those documents related to Pingree's shipping trade that are not tied to a specific ship. This subseries is arranged chronologically by topic. Subseries C. Miscellaneous Shipping Papers include the few papers that were able to be distinguished as Thomas Perkins Pingree (1803-1864), weight certificates, and papers relating to the Alabama Claims, a settlement between the United States and Great Britain over merchant ships damaged by British built Confederate naval ships. This subseries is arranged chronologically by topic.

Series III. Financial Records are mainly comprised of accounts, bills, and receipts of businesses in Maine. There is one document relating to the Ontonagon Copper Company, organized in Massachusetts and operated in Ontonagon County, Michigan. The document is a list of stockholders as of March 28, 1848. Included is Thomas P. Pingree 2nd as the third largest stock holder. This series is organized chronologically.

Series IV. Estate Papers are those documents relating to the settlement of Pingree's estate. Largely handled by his brother David and George Wheatland, the papers deal with settlements of notes, voyages that were in progress at the time of his death, and financial records of the estate. There are also papers relating to the settlement of the Alabama Claims. This series is organized chronologically.


  • Creation: 1831-1889, undated


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical Sketches

Thomas Perkins Pingree was born to David Pingree (1795-1863) and Ann Maria Kimball (1804-1893) on October 4, 1830. He was largely involved in the trade of animal skins with Africa. He married Harriet E. Dodge (1840-1915) of Wenham, Massachusetts, in October of 1867. They had no children. He died May 19, 1876 of pneumonia in Wenham. He was named for his maternal great uncle and father's benefactor, Thomas Perkins (1758-1830).

Thomas Perkins Pingree (1803-1864), was born in Georgetown, Massachusetts, on July 24, 1803 to Asa Pingree (1770-1834) and Annar Perkins (1771-1853). He worked in the counting room of Michael Shepard until 1826 when he entered into business for himself on Union Wharf in Salem. He was on the forefront of the rubber trade with South America and was involved in the Briggs Iron Company in Lanesborough, Massachusetts. He married Abigail Garland (1802-1885) in 1828. They had five children: Thomas Perkins (1829-1895); William Garland (1831-1883); Abby Garland (1832-1912); John Treadwell (1835-1883); and David (1840-1935). He died December 29, 1864 in Wenham.

Thomas Perkins Pingree (1829-1895) was born in Salem on June 22, 1829. In 1854 he graduated with a LL.B from Cumberland University in Tennessee. He married Catherine Colt (1829-1909) of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in 1858. Together they had a daughter, Catherine (1862-). He practiced law in Pittsfield and assisted William Morrill Pingry with the collection of facts for his family history, Genealogical record of the descendants of Moses Pengry, of Ipswich, Mass.: so far as ascertained/collected and arranged by William M. Pingry. He died February 9, 1895 in Pittsfield. He is addressed as "Perkins" in letters written by his sister Abby.

As two of the three Thomas Perkins Pingrees were involved in the Salem shipping trade with an approximate 20-year overlap, it is difficult to distinguish the ownership of some of the papers, and a researcher must note that while the majority of papers in this collection are confirmed as those of Pingree (1830-1876), there may be some misattributed. The Pingree of this collection is frequently referred to as Thomas Perkins Pingree 3rd in the papers and worked closely with Edward D. Kimball and Charles H. Miller.


14.5 linear feet (21 boxes; 1 oversized folder)

Language of Materials



The bulk of the Thomas Perkins Pingree Papers consist of his business correspondence, ships' papers, and papers related to the settlement of his estate.

Series List

SERIES I. Correspondence

  • A. Business Correspondence
  • B. Shipping Trade Correspondence
SERIES II. Shipping Papers
  • A. Ships' Papers
  • B. Financial Records
  • C. Miscellaneous Shipping Papers
SERIES III. Financial Records

SERIES IV. Estate Papers

Physical Location

Phillips Library Stacks


The bulk of this material was donated by Pingree family heirs. Richard Wheatland donated three ships' account books on February 1, 1933 (acc #9100). John Robinson donated business papers related to shipping including, correspondence, ships' papers and the accounts of E. D. Kimball and John Levi & Co. on May 16, 1940 (acc #10,660). B. Bevereux Parker on behalf of the Charles H. Miller estate donated papers of the Greyhound, Lemuel and Sterling (Barques); Alabama Claims papers; and S. C. Holm's accounts on July 7, 1942 (acc #11,962). Mrs. Edward B. Clark donated papers relating to the Mary Helen (Brig) and the Caroline Augusta (Ship) on November 29, 1961 (acc #15,663). The Stephen Phillips Estate donated portions of the papers of the Greyhound, Lemuel and Sterling (Barques) on January 15, 1972 (acc #19,823).

Bibliography and Related Collections

Pingry, William M. Genealogical record of the descendants of Moses Pengry, of Ipswich, Mass.: so far as ascertained/collected and arranged by William M. Pingry. Ludlow, Vt.: Warner & Hyde, printers, 1881.

David Pingree (1795-1863) Papers, MSS 901

David Pingree (1841-1932) Papers, MSS 905

For additional Pingree family material, and logs for ships owned by Thomas Perkins Pingree, please visit Philcat, our online catalog.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Jennifer Hornsby, April 2015.


THOMAS PERKINS PINGREE (1830-1876) PAPERS, 1831-1889
Processed by: Jennifer Hornsby; machine-readable finding aid created by: Rajkumar Natarajan.
Language of description
Script of description
The processing of this collection was funded by a gift from the Pingree heirs.

Repository Details

Part of the Phillips Library Repository

Peabody Essex Museum
306 Newburyport Turnpike
Rowley MA 01969 USA