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Haskell Family Papers

Haskell Family Papers

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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:Haskell family
Title:Haskell Family Papers
Quantity:0.5 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:This collection of Haskell family papers consists of two components.
Collection Number:MSS 358

Series List

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.

Biographical Sketch

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 31, 1865.

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.

Haskell , Albert Allen, 1843-1865
Essex (Mass. : Town)
Gloucester (Mass.)
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865
Land titles


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Administrative Information


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

Haskell Family Papers, MSS 358, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This collection was donated to the library on April 19, 2003 (acc. #2003.015) by Mary H. Fowle.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Lee Jacoby, June 2007. Revised July 2013.

Related Material

Crowell, Robert. History of the Town of Essex from 1634 to 1868. Essex: Published by the Town, 1868: 403-404.

Haskell, Ulysses. "A Short Account of the Descendants of William Haskell of Gloucester, Mass.," Essex Institute Historical Collections 32(1896): 133-195.

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