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J. Howard Nichols (1838-1905) Papers

J. Howard Nichols (1838-1905) Papers

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Open Finding Aid

J. HOWARD NICHOLS (1838-1905) PAPERS, 1859-1900





Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Nichols, J. Howard, 1838-1905
Title:J. Howard Nichols (1838-1905) Papers
Dates:1859/1900
Quantity:2.75 linear feet (3 boxes)
Abstract:The J. Howard Nichols papers contain correspondence and financial documents about the China trade in which Nichols was involved.
Collection Number:MH 169

Series List


SERIES I. Correspondence
SERIES II. Financial Papers
SERIES III. Other

Scope and Content Note

The J. Howard Nichols papers contain correspondence and financial documents about the China trade in which Nichols was involved. This collection has been divided into three series.


Series I. Correspondence contains business related correspondence. The majority of the correspondence is dated during Nichols' time in the China trade business.


Series II. Financial Papers contains adventure accounts from ships, account currents, memos, statements, and prices current.


Series III. Other contains miscellaneous items found in the collection, such as circulars about imports and exports from merchants, pages from what appears to be a day planner, and a newspaper with a mention of Nichols and his son.


Biographical Sketch

John Howard Nichols was born in 1838, in Kingston, New Hampshire, to Nicholas and Mary Jewett (Barstow) Nichols. He grew up in Exeter, New Hampshire, where he attended Phillips Academy. After graduation, he taught at a school in Stratham, New Hampshire for a year, before moving to Boston to work as a clerk for a tea importing house on Central Wharf. It was there that Nichols was noticed by John L. Gardner, who hired him as a supercargo on the bark Arthur, which was bound for China in 1858. Once he arrived in China, Gardner requested that Nichols remain in China to act as an agent. He accepted the position and remained in China for ten years, returning to America once during this time (Foster 337).


Upon returning to America in 1868, he imported Japanese and Chinese teas, until he took the position of treasurer for the Boston, Massachusetts textile firm Dwight Manufacturing Company, in 1876. Under Nichols' management, Dwight Manufacturing "became one of the most profitable textile [factories] in New England" (Foster 338). Nichols later established a branch cotton mill in Alabama City, Alabama, which added to the company's earnings. In 1905, Nichols became president of the company, a position he held until his death. He also served as treasurer of the Great Falls Manufacturing Company, and as president of Lyman Mills and Manchester Mills (Foster 338).


On March 15, 1870, Nichols married Charlotte Peabody Kimball, the daughter of Daniel B. and Charlotte C. Kimball, in Bradford, Massachusetts. The couple had four children: Howard Gardner, Eleanor Marcey, Grace, and Charlotte Greene. He died in Newton, Massachusetts, at the age of 67 on September 15, 1905.


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Commerce--China
Exports
Imports
Shipping--China
Ships' papers
China

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

J. Howard Nichols (1838-1905) Papers, MH 169, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

The bulk of this collection was purchased on March 14, 1961 (accession #15,402). The remainder of this collection was purchased on June 21, 1961 (accession #15,513).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Hilary Streifer, January 2017.


Related Material


Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Death Records, 1841-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.


Ancestry.com. Massachusetts, Marriage Records, 1840-1915 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013.


Foster, E. Everton ed. Lamb's Textile Industries of the United States: Embracing Biographical Sketches of Prominent Men and Historical Resume of the Progress of Textile Manufacture from the Earliest Records to the Present Time. Boston: James H. Lamb, 1916.


Related Collections


Account book of J. Howard Nichols, 1850-1863. MSS 1623.1.


Account book of J. Howard Nichols, 1868-1873. MSS 1623.3.


Cash book of J. Howard Nichols, 1867-1868. MSS 1623.2.


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