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Brooks vs. Andrew Papers

Brooks vs. Andrew Papers

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Open Finding Aid

BROOKS vs. ANDREW PAPERS, 1760-1851





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
Title:Brooks vs. Andrew Papers
Dates:1760/1851
Quantity:0.25 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:The Brooks vs. Andrew Papers is a collection of legal papers related to the suit brought by John Brooks against John Andrew in 1825 regarding Andrew's construction of a platform and building on tidal flats claimed by Brooks.
Collection Number:MH 49

Series List

SERIES I. John Brooks vs. John Andrew
SERIES II. Miscellaneous Papers

Scope and Content Note

The Brooks vs. Andrew Papers is a collection of legal papers related to the suit brought by John Brooks against John Andrew in 1825 regarding Andrew's construction of a platform and building on tidal flats claimed by Brooks. It also contains some material not related to the case. The collection is divided into two series.


Series I. John Brooks vs. John Andrew is a collection of legal papers related to the suit brought by John Brooks against John Andrew regarding his construction of a platform and building extending west from the causeway to Union (Long) Wharf on tidal flats claimed by Brooks by his deed from Joseph Chipman. Andrew's defense was that there had been an ancient channel north of Jeggles Island, upon which Long Wharf was built (1726), which defined the limits of the flats and, therefore, Brooks' land. Brooks, however, refuted this defense with affidavits from "eyewitnesses" who claimed that before Union Wharf was built, there was no northerly channel. The existence of and locus of this channel was also part of the controversy in the 1806 land dispute suit of George Crowninshield vs. Elias H. Derby, et. al. Supporting the Derbys, the judge ruled that structures can be built over flats that become covered and uncovered with the flood and ebb of the tide "so far as it may be done without injury to their neighbors and the public." This dispute was over the boundary between the waterfront properties of Derby and Crowninshield at Union Wharf. This material was probably gathered to bolster Andrew's defense.


In both of these instances, the difficulty is a lack of definitive boundary points that can be used to create an undisputed survey accurately defining property lines. A group of arbitrators selected by Brooks and Andrew found: "we are of the opinion and do award and determine that the said John Andrew had a right to erect the building and platform aforesaid and that he has a right to maintain and continue same."


Series II. Miscellaneous Papers contains material that is unrelated to the Brooks-Andrew controversy. Included are a gutter assessment receipt; a bill of sale for a 3/8th interest in a schooner; notice of a meeting of the Salem Sea Fensibles; the bond of Ebenezer Tozzer to Joseph Whitefoot; and the bill of Dr. W. Paine to the town for services at the "Pest House."


Biographical Sketch


There is no evidence, direct or indirect, in the materials, or elsewhere, that would positively identify the individuals involved in this dispute. From the 1820 Salem tax records, John Brooks owned a house, store, and wharf in Salem's Ward 1, the waterfront district, and operated a ship's chandlery business at the wharf site. Additionally, a John Brooks of the same period in Salem was owner or part owner of a number of vessels registered in Salem. This may or may not be the same individual. A well-known and prosperous Salem merchant, John Hancock Andrew (see MSS #1), was active at that time. It is possible that this is the same John Andrew represented in this collection.


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.

Andrew, John
Brooks, John
Crowninshield, George, 1734-1815
Derby, Elias Hasket, 1766-1826
Neponset (Schooner)
Union Wharf (Salem, Mass.)
Shipping
Smallpox
Derby Wharf (Salem, Mass.)
Salem (Mass.)

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

Brooks vs. Andrew Papers, MH 49, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

This material was donated by Marie Battis in 1949 (acc #12,118).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Robert F. Craig, June 1999.


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