The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Haskell Family Papers
0.5 linear feet (1 box)
This collection of Haskell
family papers consists of two components.
Scope and Content Note
This collection of Haskell family papers consists of two components. One is a set of
letters written by Albert Haskell, a young soldier, who served in the Union Army
from 1862 until his death in 1865. The second is a set of eighteenth and nineteenth
century documents belonging to several generations of the Haskell family of
Gloucester and Essex, Massachusetts.
Folder 1 contains a set of 26 letters written by Albert Haskell to his older
brother Francis (Frank) or to his father Francis. Twenty-five of these letters plus
three additional ones were later transcribed; the typewritten copies are in Folder
2. The letters span the time between the summer of 1862 when Albert enlisted in the
39th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry at Camp Stanton, Boxford, Massachusetts, to
the summer of 1864, shortly before he was taken prisoner at the battle of Weldon
Railroad in Virginia. The letters provide a well-rounded picture of Albert's life as
a young private in the Union Army. He describes his time on picket or guard duty and
also on marches. A final letter is addressed to Albert's father on March 12, 1865,
from T. Andrews Jr, a former tent-mate of Albert's, who remembers him as a devout
Christian and a good and considerate man.
Folder 3 contains 24 deeds and documents from 1750 to 1851. There are two wills:
one by Thomas Norton of Ipswich (1750); and a copy of Isaac Haskell's (1716-1804)
will. The executor of Isaac's will was his only son Adoniram (1761-1845), Albert's
grandfather. Other deeds concern the purchase and sale of properties in Gloucester,
the purchase of pews in the Trinitarian Congregational Society Meeting House in
Gloucester (1834), and the purchase and sale of shares in the Haskell sawmill
(1834-1836). Several of these documents refer to a Frederic Haskell, who was most
likely Adoniram's oldest son. Six documents from the Civil War era are included in
Folder 3. Of particular relevance to this collection is the draft notice addressed
to Albert's older brother, Francis (Frank) P. Haskell. Frank was drafted in July
1863 but was exempted from service because of an inguinal hernia. He survived the
War and later had a son named Albert.
Folder 4 consists of an account book belonging to Adoniram Haskell (1761-1845),
grandfather of Albert Haskell. The book is dated 1802 on the cover, but it contains
entries spanning the years 1791 to 1914. It includes a concise Haskell family
genealogy, starting with William Haskell (circa 1617-1693), who was born in England
and settled in Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 1643. It also includes a brief record
of the Perkins family descended from Francis Perkins (1732-1812) of Ipswich,
Massachusetts, who was the father of Adoniram Haskell's wife, Ruth Perkins Haskell
(1777-1837). Also present are undated accounts and a description of land and
dwelling in Essex, Massachusetts, allocated to widow, Susan B. Haskell.
Two souvenir newspapers are stored in Folder 5. One from 1875 celebrated the
centennial of the battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. The other is a facsimile copy of
the Massachusetts Centinel, issued as a souvenir of the Washington Centennial
celebration by the Boston Daily Globe in 1889.
Folder 6 contains the leather pouch in which the 24 deeds and documents in
Folder 3 were stored.
Albert Allen Haskell was born on February 12, 1843, in
Essex, Massachusetts, the son of Francis and Mary (Kimball Adams) Haskell. In July
of 1862 he enlisted in the 39th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. The regiment left
camp at Boxford, Massachusetts, in September 1862, for Washington D.C. and
Poolesville, Maryland. It joined the Army of the Potomac and was transferred to
Rappahannock Station the following July. After wintering at Mitchell's Station it
engaged in the battle of Wilderness Tavern in May 1864 and the battle of Petersburg
in June 1864. Albert was taken prisoner on August 18, 1864, at the battle of the
Weldon Railroad in Virginia; he died in Salisbury Prison, North Carolina, on January
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.
Haskell , Albert Allen, 1843-1865
Essex (Mass. : Town)
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
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