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Upton Family Papers

Upton Family Papers

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Processing and conservation for this collection was funded in part by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records commission. Processing was completed with the assistance of an intern from the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science and a Peabody Museum volunteer.

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:Upton family
Title:Upton Family Papers
Quantity:6.25 Linear feet (13 boxes)
Abstract:The Upton Family Papers are comprised of ships papers, correspondence, accounts, receipts and printed matter associated with a number of Upton Family members.
Collection Number:MH 18

Series List

SERIES I. Samuel Upton (1782-1851) Papers
SERIES II. Samuel Fabens Upton (1821-1869) Papers
A. Ships Papers
B. Miscellaneous Ships Papers
C. Shipping Papers
D. Business and Personal Papers
SERIES III. Upton Family Relatives
A. Paul Upton (b. 1826) Papers
B. Mary F. (Brown) Upton (ca. 1822-1895) Papers
C. Mary E. (Upton) Smith (b. 1846) Papers
D. Alice F. Upton Papers
SERIES IV. Brown Family Papers
A. Ephraim Brown (1785-1846)
B. Rachel Brown (d. circa 1847)
C. Ephraim Brown, Jr.
D. Daniel Brown
E. Joseph Brown (1835-ca. 1901)
F. William Henry Brown (1830-1848)
SERIES V. Miscellaneous Papers

Scope and Content Note

The Upton Family Papers are comprised of ships papers, correspondence, accounts, receipts and printed matter associated with a number of Upton Family members. The collection has been divided into five series.

Series I. Samuel Upton (1782-1851) Papers consist primarily of bills and receipts and a few papers that document legal affairs.

Series II. Samuel Fabens Upton Papers are the most significant portion of the collection. Subseries A. Ships Papers, including some addressed to Samuel Upton, document the activities of the brig Granite, briefly from 1841 to 1843 and more substantially thereafter until 1850 when the Granite was lost off the coast of the Falkland Islands. Granite's papers, which are arranged chronologically, include bills and receipts relating to cargo, repairs to the vessel, medical and funeral expenses for the crew, bills of lading, invoices, insurance policies, sales accounts, crew lists, charter agreements and correspondence from masters, merchants and agents representing Samuel F. Upton in South America. These ships papers also contain material concerning other Upton family members who were on board as supercargoes. See William Upton's description of Granite's wreckage December 28, 1850. Some undated items have been filed in a folder with dated materials for a particular voyage, as the former were originally found among those papers. Printed Matter includes oversize items relating to the sale of rubber shoes brought on board brig Granite.

Subseries B. Miscellaneous Ships Papers, arranged alphabetically by ship, are comprised of papers that illustrate Samuel F. Upton's business on other vessels that he chartered. Subseries C. Shipping Papers consists of documents relating to more than one ship including correspondence, insurance policies, accounts, and an 1846 cash book. Oversize catalogs advertising the sale of rubber shoes from abroad have been placed in Box 13, Folder 2. Subseries D. Business and Personal Papers cover Upton's non-shipping and personal affairs. The bulk of the business papers document Samuel F. Upton's involvement in various Massachusetts rubber shoe manufacturing enterprises such as Standley and Company, the Beverly Company and the Edgeworth Rubber Company. Papers include correspondence, patents and engineering designs, contracts, accounts, bills and receipts and the Edgeworth Rubber Company constitution of 1849. Samuel F. Upton's personal papers are few and while many of the bills and receipts include both business and household items there is little over material documenting his private life.

Series III. Upton Family Relatives Papers contain material generated by Mary F. (Brown) Upton, Paul Upton, Mary E. (Upton) Smith, Alice F. Upton, Russell F. Smith, and Marion B. Smith. Subseries A. Paul Upton documents some legal and business transactions with Samuel F. Upton. Subseries B. Mary F. (Brown) Upton consists primarily of household bills and receipts accumulated after Samuel F. Upton's death but also contain deeds to property that Mrs. Upton obtained during her adult life. Subseries C. Mary E. (Upton) Smith consists primarily of bills and receipts that closely resemble those of her sister Alice. Russell Smith's papers include a few bills and receipts. This subseries also contains papers of Marion B. Smith that describe her ward ship of a young handicapped boy, Richard Renshaw Lowery, from 1937-1945. Subseries D. Alice F. Upton is composed of personal correspondence, the purchase and sales agreement on her parents' home in Chelsea, Massachusetts and a substantial collection of bills and receipts from the time she lived in West Medford, Massachusetts with her sister.

Series IV. Brown Family Papers document the estate of Ephraim Brown which was managed by his daughter Mary F. (Brown) Upton. The papers of Ephraim Brown consist of an 1846-1900 estate account book documenting property owned by the Brown family and other business and legal papers which relate to Ephraim's estate. The papers of Rachel Brown consist of medical and funeral bills. The papers of Ephraim Brown, Jr. are comprised of letters and bills dated after his father's death. Also contained in this series are the papers of Daniel Brown which include various legal and business documents but are primarily composed of bills and receipts. The papers of Joseph Brown (1825-ca. 1901) are similar to those of his brother Daniel but with greater emphasis on probate documentation. Finally the papers of William Henry Brown (1830-1848) describe his fatal voyage to Africa on board the brig Planet.

Series V. Miscellaneous Papers include materials associated with individuals whose relationship with the Upton family is unknown. They include Ephraim Snelling, John Stone, Harriet Stone, and Mary Maria Maither. Additional unidentified papers and four copies of nineteenth-century newspapers conclude the series.

Biographical Sketch

Samuel Upton (1792-1851) was a master-mariner married to Mary Fabens (b. 1801) and the father of five boys and two girls; Samuel Fabens Upton (1821-1869), Paul Upton (b. 1826), William Upton, Charles Upton II (b. 1833), Horace G. (b.1839), Harriet M., and Rebecca Peirce (1844-1846).

Samuel Fabens Upton (1821-1869), son of Samuel Upton and Mary (Fabens) Upton, was believed to have been a lumber dealer in Chelsea, Massachusetts. He married the daughter of Ephraim Brown (1785-1846) and Mary F. (Brown) Upton (ca. 1822-1895) in 1845. Together they had five children, three of whom died at less than a year old; Mary E. (Upton) Smith (b. 1846), Alice Fabens Upton, twins Joseph H. and William H. (b. and d. 1850), and Samuel B. (1855-1856). Samuel F. Upton also had two grandchildren; Russell F. Smith and Marion B. Smith.

Paul Upton (b. 1826) was a ship's captain and the second oldest son of Samuel Upton and Mary (Fabens) Upton. His brothers William and Charles Upton II were also ships captains.

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.

Brown, Daniel, d. 1869
Brown, Ephraim, Jr., 1785-1846
Brown, Joseph Augustus, 1825-circa 1901
Brown, Rachel, d. circa 1847
Brown, William Henry, 1830-1848
Lowery, Richard Renshaw
Maither, Mary Maria
Smith, Marion B. (Marion Bush), 1894-
Smith, Mary E. Upton, 1846-
Smith, Russell F.
Stone, Harriet
Stone, John
Upton family
Upton, Alice Fabens
Upton, Mary F. Brown, ca. 1822-1895
Upton, Paul, 1826-
Upton, Samuel F. (Samuel Fabens), 1821-1869
Upton, Samuel, 1782-1851
Alwena (Brig)
Beverly Company
Carolina (Ship)
Deborah (Brig)
Dromo (Bark)
Eagle (Brig)
Edgeworth Rubber Company
Elizabeth (Schooner)
Emeline (Schooner)
Emerald (Brig)
Evalina Bandel (Vessel)
Gazelle (Brig)
Granite (Brig)
Mary Clark (Schooner)
Mary Helen (Brig)
Mary W. (Vessel)
Planet (Brig)
Salem (Brig)
Susan (Brig)
Tim Pickering (Brig)
William and Henry (Schooner)
Estates, administration of
Letter writing
Rubber industry and trade-- Massachusetts
Ships' papers
Account books
Land titles


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Administrative Information


Request 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

Upton Family Papers, MH 18, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


The Upton Family Papers was purchased from Alice D. Coon in 1962 (acc. #15,904).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Roberta L. Kovitz, Zelda Kaplan, Robert P. Spindler, April 1988

Related Material 1850 United States Federal Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2009. Images reproduced by Family Search.

Upton, William Henry, M.A., LL.M. Upton Family Records: Being Genealogical collections for an Upton Family History. London: Mitchell and Hughes, 1893. Print.

Vinton, John Adams. The Upton Memorial: A Genealogical Record of the Descendants of John Upton of North Reading, Mass. Bath, ME: E. Upton & Son, 1874. Photocopy reprint, Salem, Mass.: Higginson Book Co., 1998.

Elijah Upton Papers, 1631-1896 Fam. Mss. 1048

Upton Family Papers, 1780-1857 Fam. Mss. 1049

Upton Family Papers, 1806-1906 Fam. Mss. 1050

Upton Family Papers, 1861-1919 Fam. Mss. 1052

Upton Family Papers, 1861-1919 Fam. Mss. 1053

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