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S.F. Peaslee Papers, 1873-1947, 1967, 1974

Identifier: MSS 922

Scope and Contents

The S.F. Peaslee Papers contains business papers belonging to Silas Foster Peaslee (1849-1938), a surveyor and manager of timberlands who supervised Maine and New Hampshire lands owned by the estate of E.S. Coe and the heirs of David Pingree. The papers contain administrative records which detail the management of those lands.

Some materials in the collection post-dates Peaslee’s retirement. These materials likely appear in the collection because successor organizations, such as The Seven Islands Land Company, interfiled their own records with Peaslee’s records when they shared subjects. To preserve the original order of the materials, they have not been moved. The collection has been divided into three series.

Series I. Correspondence contains business correspondence sent or received by S.F. Peaslee. The correspondence covers a variety of topics including: the sale of stumpage on Coe-Pingree lands; the offering or renewal of leases to private and corporate renters; the administration of land maintenance projects, including road upkeep and pest management; and other related topics. The series has been divided into two subseries.

Subseries A. Received contains correspondence received by Peaslee. Subseries B. Letter Books is comprised of letter books, which contain copies of correspondence sent by Peaslee.

Series II. Operational Records contains operation records kept by Peaslee. It contains a variety of materials, including bills and receipts, memorandum and lease notebooks, exploration journals, and histories of logging in Maine and New Hampshire townships written by Peaslee. The series has been divided into four subseries.

Subseries A. Bills and Receipts contains bills and receipts received by Peaslee. They document expenses incurred in various land management projects, including costs for surveyors, log scalers, and other operational costs. Subseries B. Memorandum and Lease Books contains notebooks created by Peaslee. The memorandum books contains Peaslee’s general notes from 1892-1926. Earlier notebooks tend to contain land surveys and other exploration notes completed by Peaslee, while later notebooks deal with managerial concerns. Lease books record the terms of leases on various Pingree-Coe lands. Subseries C. Exploration Journals contains survey books created by various surveyors during explorations of Pingree-Coe lands. The journals detail land topography, water, and the availability and type of timber. The “T # R #” in the titles of many of the journals refers to the public land survey system of township and range. Some of these journals predate Peaslee’s management and were likely passed on to Peaslee from Coe’s records. Subseries D. Township Histories contain details on historic lumbering operations in various townships in Oxford and Franklin County, Maine and Coös County, New Hampshire. These were chiefly written by S.F. Peaslee either directly preceding his retirement or soon after it. A few of the histories date to the 1940s and 1960s. These were likely filed alongside Peaslee’s histories by successors. To retain the original order of the material, they have not been removed.

Series III. Other Records contain a notebook handwritten by Peaslee detailing the personal histories of the residents of his home town of Upton, Maine in 1899; a 1974 typed copy of that notebook and correspondence detailing an attempt to find a home for it in Maine historical societies; and a 1906 map of Upton, Maine.


  • Creation: 1873-1947, 1967, 1974


Language of Materials

These materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Biographical / Historical

Silas Foster Peaslee was born in Cambridge N.H. to Joseph Peaslee and Philena Jackson in either 1849 or 1850 (Box 51 Folder 1). He moved with his father to Upton Maine at the age of two, where he lived until his death (Box 51 Folder 1).

Peaslee worked as a land surveyor and a manager of timberlands throughout his career. Sometime before 1888, he began working for E.S. Coe as a land surveyor and log scaler (E.S. Coe Papers, MSS 924. Box 42 Folder 16). After Coe’s death, Peaslee became a general manager for some of the lands jointly owned by the Pingree and Coe families in western Maine and eastern New Hampshire. In this role as a manager, Peaslee issued permits and leases; managed scalers, watchmen and other workers; collaborated with the Maine Forest Service; and communicated with the Coe and Pingree families. In the late 1920’s or early 1930’s, he retired from his position as manager.

In 1902, Peaslee married Ellen Douglas, with whom he had one child, Waldo D. Peaslee (Maine, US., Marriage Records). Ellen died in 1904. In 1910, he married Bertha May Farrar (Maine, US., Marriage Records). They had no children, and Bertha predeceased him in 1929.

Silas F. Peaslee died in 1938 at the age of 88 (Find a Grave).


25.31 Linear Feet (55 boxes, 1 flat file)


The S.F. Peaslee Papers contains business papers belonging to Silas Foster Peaslee (1849-1938), a surveyor and manager of timberlands who supervised Maine and New Hampshire lands owned by the estate of E.S. Coe and the heirs of David Pingree. The papers contain administrative records which detail the management of those lands.

Series List

I. Correspondence

  1. Received
  2. Letter Books

II. Operational Records

  1. Bills and Receipts
  2. Memorandum and Lease Books
  3. Exploration Journals
  4. Township Histories

III. Other Records

Physical Location

Phillips Library Stacks


This material was donated by Pingree family heirs.

Bibliography and Related Collections Maine, U.S., Marriage Records, 1713-1922 [database on-line]. Lehi, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.

“Silas Foster Peaslee (1849-1938)” Find a Grave. Accessed October 5, 2021.

Processing Information

This material was placed in acid free folders.

S.F. Peaslee Papers, 1873-1947, 1967, 1974
Patrick Doyle
October 2021
Description rules
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
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