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Abner and David Wood Papers, 1788-1863

Identifier: MH 240

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains business, personal, and shipping papers for Abner Wood of Newburyport, Massachusetts and his son, David. It has been divided into two series.

Series I. Business and Personal Papers is divided into five subseries: Eleazer Johnson Papers, Ezekiel J. Moore Papers, Edward and Jane Rand Papers, Abner Wood Papers, and David Wood Papers. The collection is arranged alphabetically by subseries within the series, and then alphabetically and chronologically within subseries. Document types include accounts, bills, receipts, correspondence, and deeds. The "account book for ships" (B4 F3) lists disbursements for the Levant (Brig), Mercury (Brig), Atlas (Ship), Eliza & Abby (Ship), and Lydia (Brig).

Series II. Shipping Papers is divided into three subseries: Ships' Papers, Spoliation Claims, and Maps. This series is arranged alphabetically by ship name and then chronologically. Document types include correspondence, bills, receipts, invoices, freight lists, accounts, spoliation claims, an inventory, and a map.


  • Creation: 1788-1863


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical Sketch

In 1792, entrepreneur Abner Wood (1762-1836) arrived in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Best known for being the owner of many ships, Wood had his hand in many business ventures. During his life, Wood became an assignee to the personal estate of Eleazer Johnson, son of a locally famous shipbuilder and a local rope-maker by trade, and also started a business with his son, David Wood (1793-1881). Although it is unclear as to what type of business Abner and his son started and when, it became unsuccessful and went under circa 1822, also for reasons unknown. Abner served as a Selectman of Newburyport from 1801-1803. With four other men, he founded the Newburyport Bank in 1812.

After Abner and David's business failed, David Wood moved to Providence, Rhode Island where he became a world-traveling sea captain and a business man in the salt industry.


3.25 Linear feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials



This collection contains business, personal, and shipping papers for Abner Wood of Newburyport, Massachusetts and his son, David.

Series List

SERIES I. Business and Personal Papers

  • A. Eleazer Johnson Papers
  • B. Ezekiel J. Moore Papers
  • C. Edward and Jane Rand Papers
  • D. Abner Wood Papers
  • E. David Wood Papers
SERIES II. Shipping Papers

  • A. Ships' Papers
  • B. Spoliation Claims
  • C. Maps

Physical Location

Phillips Library Stacks


The provenance of this collection is unknown.

Bibliography and Related Collections

Cheney, Robert K. Maritime History of the Merrimac: Shipbuilding. Newburyport: Newburyport Press, 1964.

Currier, John J. History of Newburyport, Mass. 1764-1909.Vol. 2. Newburyport: John J. Currier, 1909.

Vital Records of Newburyport, MA. to the End of the Year 1849. Vol. 1. Salem: The Essex Institute, 1911.

Cash book of Abner Wood, 1800-1809, MSS 1509.1

Day book of Abner Wood, 1802-1807, MSS 1509.2

Massachusetts (Ship) Logbook, 1848-1849, Log 3170 (David Wood was master.)

Processing Information

Collection processed by Karen Clemons, June 2011.


Processed by: Karen Clemons; 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