The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Porter Family Papers
0.5 linear feet (1 box)
The Porter family papers
document business and personal relationships among Porter family members of Danvers,
Scope and Content Note
The Porter family papers document business and personal relationships among Porter
family members of Danvers, Massachusetts. The Porters were pioneers in the shoe
making industry. The collection includes correspondence, legal documents, and
several hundred accounts and receipts documenting the early daysof the shoe
manufacturing industry in Danvers, Massachusetts.
Folders 1-6 contain correspondence of Porter family members. They include
letters to Zerubbabel (1759-1845), Sarah (1763-1835), Col. Warren (1789-1861), and
Jonathan (1763-1851), and letters from Col. Warren. Most letters deal with business
or financial matters. Folder 8 contains 18 legal documents pertaining to several
Porters, including Benjamin (1725-1810), Joseph (1740-1805), Zerubbabel (1759-1845),
Lydia (1762-1838), Sarah (1763-1835). Benjamin (1766-1854), Daniel (1771-1852),
Jonathan (1763-1851), William (b. 1782), Col. Warren (1789-1861), Alfred
(1792-1826), and Moses (1794-1858). The documents include deeds, powers of attorney,
wills, and court summons.
Folders 9 and 14 contain approximately 500 accounts, invoices, receipts, and
agreements. Most pertain to Zerubbabel Porter and provide a detailed account of his
shoe manufacturing business. Later accounts (after about 1815) belong to Warren
Porter, Jonathan Porter, or Sarah Porter.
The Porter family was descended from John Porter (1596-1676), who settled in Salem,
now Danvers, Massachusetts, in 1644. Zerubbabel Porter
was a sixth generation descendant of John Porter. He was born in Danvers in 1759,
the son of Benjamin and Sarah (Rea) Porter. He wasthe first shoe manufacturer in
Danvers and the first to conceive the idea of making up a large lot of shoes and
sending them off to find a market. He and his wife Mary (Endicott) Porter had two
sons: Warren and Alfred. Zerrubbabel Porter died on November 11, 1845.
Colonel Warren Porter was born on September 30, 1789,
the son of Zerubbabel and Mary Porter. He was a Lieutenant in the war of 1812 and
after the war he was a Lieutenant Colonel. He was active in the shoe industry as a
tanner and Morocco dresser. He and his wife, Ann (Welch) Porter, had six children
– Mary, Alfred, Warren Jr., Matilda, John Welch, and Charles. Colonel Warren
Porter died on July 20, 1861.
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.
Porter, Benjamin, 1725-1810
Porter, Sarah, 1763-1835
Porter, Warren, 1789-1861
Porter, Zerubbabel, 1759-1845
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research use.
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