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Coan Jordan Papers, 1853-1868, 1903-1914

Identifier: MH 132

Scope and Content Note

The Coan Jordan papers contain business and correspondence, ships' papers, and other miscellaneous papers. This collection has been divided into three series.

Series I. Business Papers contains business correspondence unrelated to specific vessels.

Series II. Ships' Papers contains papers and correspondence related to specific ships. Most of the papers relate to the ship Africa. The letters to Coan Jordan are filed chronologically. They are from Jordan's brother, Harvey, and from Captain Charles N. Bates. These letters concern the trade on board the ship Africa and reveal Captain Harvey Jordan's concern for his wife's health while she was on board the Africa; also discussed is Captain Harvey's sudden death in New Orleans in 1858. In a separate folder are accounts, articles, and insurance policies of the Africa. Other ships' papers and accounts include those of the bark Greenland, the brig Josephine, and the schooner A. N. Jordan.

Series III. Miscellaneous Papers consist of visiting cards that may have been collected by the Jordan brothers; some are personal while others have a naval connection. The miscellaneous steamship company papers appear to have no known connection to Captain Coan Jordan, but were found with his papers.


  • Creation: 1853-1868, 1903-1914


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical Sketches

Captain Coan Jordan was born in 1812 to Peter Jordan, a farmer and shipbuilder in Brunswick, Maine. The Jordans are descendants of the Reverend Robert Jordan of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and are distantly related to Captain Rishworth Jordan.

Coan was the owner and master of the ship Africa. He married Alethia C., the daughter of Freeman Gross of Brunswick, in 1839. They had no children. Alethia was on board the Africa when it was wrecked in 1860. Coan died in 1876.

Harvey Jordan was born in 1825 to Peter Jordan. Like his older brother, Harvey was also a sea captain; he died unexpectedly aboard the ship Africa in New Orleans in 1858. He was married to Harriet, the daughter of Captain Charles Thomas of Brunswick, in 1849; they had no children. Harriet appears to have accompanied her husband on his numerous voyages and was on board the Africa in New Orleans, when her husband died.


0.25 linear feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



The Coan Jordan papers contain business and correspondence, ships' papers, and other miscellaneous papers.

Series List

SERIES I. Business Papers

SERIES II. Ships' Papers

SERIES III. Miscellaneous Papers

Physical Location

Phillips Library Stacks


This material was found in the collection.

Bibliography and Related Collections

Jordan, Tristram, comp. The Jordan Memorial: Family Records of the Reverend Robert Jordan, and his descendants in America. Boston: Clapp and Son, 1882. A Complete Schedule of Vessels Built and Registered in the District of Bath, Maine, Commencing at 1783, Giving Rig, Name, Tonnage, Where Built, First Master, Registering Owner, and Hailing Port. Accessed June 22, 2015.

Rishworth Jordan Papers, 1817-1910. MH 133

Processing Information

Collection processed by Jalien Hollister, October 1996. Updated by Hilary Streifer, June 2015.

COAN JORDAN PAPERS, 1853-1868, 1903-1914
Processed by: Jalien Hollister; Updated by: Hilary Streifer; machine-readable finding aid created by: Rajkumar Natarajan.
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Phillips Library Repository

Peabody Essex Museum
306 Newburyport Turnpike
Rowley MA 01969 USA