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Bellamy Family Papers, 1724-1935

Identifier: MSS 469

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains correspondence, business and legal papers, poetry, receipts, account books, genealogy, photographs, a drawing, printed material, and news clippings relating to three generations of the Bellamy family of Kittery, Maine. A few papers belonging to the Pepperrell and Tobey families of Kittery are also present. The contents have been divided into four series.

Series I. John Bellamy (1769-1834) Papers contain wills, legal papers and receipts belonging to John Bellamy and his wife Tamesin Haley Bellamy (1769-1836). They include notes from Tamesin's father, Samuel Haley, and John and Tamesin's son, John Haley Bellamy.

Series II. Charles Bellamy (1811-1892) Papers contain business and legal papers of Charles Bellamy (B1 F4). These include correspondence, wills, deeds of sale and indenture, summons, and notices concerning the Democratic Party of Kittery. Several documents reflect Charles's role as Justice of the Peace. The personal papers (B1 F5) include, among others, letters from Charles to his wife Fanny and sister Susan, and a letter to his wife from her granddaughter Sibyll. Also present are receipts, an account book, printed materials, and news clippings. The printed materials include announcements of York County political meetings and Charles's appointments as Justice of the Peace. Among the ephemera is a long poem, Kittery Point, by Moses A. Safford, Charles's son-in-law.

Series III. John Haley Bellamy (1836-1914) Papers include business and legal papers, receipts and accounts, poetry, genealogy, photographs, printed material, and news clippings related to John Haley Bellamy. The business and legal papers (B1 F12) span the years 1866 to 1873. Many concern patent applications for woodcarving designs or other inventions such as a check-rein for horses. Others document John Bellamy's brief associations with David Titcomb, a Boston patent agent, Elbridge Walcott, and Jonas Young. Other papers (B1 F14 and B2 F1) contain over thirty handwritten samples of John Haley Bellamy's poetry. On the back of one poem is a drawing of the stern board of the USS Wabash. The Antiques Magazine (B2 F4) contains the first remembrance of John Haley Bellamy written by his nephew Victor Safford in 1935. The printed materials (B2 F6) include one published poem, Mount Agamenticus, by John Haley Bellamy.

Series IV. Pepperrell and Tobey Family Papers contain papers of two other families with connections to the Bellamys. The Pepperrell family papers were presumably found in the house when Charles Bellamy purchased the Pepperrell Mansion. They include two receipts of William Pepperrell, a letter, a broadside advertising the Pepperrell Mansion, and notations pertaining to the broadside. The Tobey family papers include receipts and correspondence of Lucy, Augustus, Sarah, and Samuel Tobey.


  • Creation: 1724-1935, undated


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical Sketches

The Bellamy family arrived in New Hampshire from England in the seventeenth century. John Bellamy was born on January 24, 1769, in Kittery, Maine, the son of John and Mary (Burnham) Bellamy. His wife Tamesin was born on June 6, 1769, the youngest daughter of Samuel and Mary (Orne) Haley of Isle of Shoals, New Hampshire. John and Tamesin had eight children: Mary, Susannah, Sarah Orne, Elizabeth, Ann, John Haley, Charles Gerrish, and Martha. John Bellamy died on November 12, 1834, and his wife Tamesin died on April 16, 1836.

Charles Gerrish Bellamy was born on January 3, 1811, the second son of John and Tamesin (Haley) Bellamy. He was a building contractor and boat builder who later became prominent in Democratic Party politics, serving in the Maine House of Representatives (1842-1843) and Senate (1846-1847). He married Frances (Fanny) Keen in 1836; they had nine children: John Haley, Charles, Elisha, Sophronia, Martha Ann, Josephine, Laura, George, and Francis. Fanny had previously been married to Charles' older brother John, who had died leaving her with two daughters, Elizabeth and Catherine. Charles died in 1892.

John Haley Bellamy was born on April 5, 1836, in Kittery, Maine, the first son of Charles Gerrish and Frances (Keen) Bellamy. As a young man he studied in Boston with ship carver Laban Beecher. By the 1860s he was commissioned to make a number of objects depicting Masonic symbols, Knights of Columbus emblems, and Grand Army of the Republic insignia. He is best known for the Bellamy eagle, of which he created a great number. The most famous eagle is the figurehead carved in 1880-1881 for the USS Lancaster. John Bellamy also had a lifelong interest in improving mechanical devices and tools. He died on April 6, 1914, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


2.75 linear feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection contains correspondence, business and legal papers, poetry, receipts, account books, genealogy, photographs, a drawing, printed material, and news clippings relating to three generations of the Bellamy family of Kittery, Maine.

Series List

SERIES I. John Bellamy (1769-1834) Papers

SERIES II. Charles Bellamy (1811-1892) Papers

SERIES III. John Haley Bellamy (1836-1914) Papers

SERIES IV. Pepperrell and Tobey Family Papers

Physical Location

Phillips Library Stacks


This material was collated from three accessions. Some of the material was purchased on March 30, 2000 (acc # 2013.019); some was purchased on April 6, 2011 (acc # 2011.012); and some was found in the collection (acc # 2004.009).


Smith, Yvonne Brault. John Haley Bellamy Carver of Eagles. Portsmouth Marine Society, 2002.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Lee Jacoby, October 2013.

Processed by: Lee Jacoby; 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