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Burnham Family Papers

Burnham 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:Burnham family
Title:Burnham Family Papers
Quantity:2.5 Linear feet (5 boxes)
Abstract:This collection contains papers relating to eight different members of the Burnham family of Essex County, Massachusetts, as well as collections of correspondence and legal documents pertaining to the Howes family of Boston, Massachusetts and Andrews family of Essex County, Massachusetts.
Collection Number:MH 51

Series List

SERIES I. Burnham Family Papers
A. Albion Burnham Papers
B. Everett Burnham Papers
C. Ida Angier Burnham Papers
D. Robert Burnham Papers
E. Deacon Samuel Burnham Papers
F. Captain Samuel and Sally Andrews Burnham Papers
G. Miscellaneous Family Papers
SERIES II. Related Family Papers
A. Howes Family Papers
B. Andrews Family Papers
C. William A. Moody Papers
D. Genealogical Papers

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains papers relating to eight different members of the Burnham family of Essex County, Massachusetts, as well as collections of correspondence and legal documents pertaining to the Howes family of Boston, Massachusetts and Andrews family of Essex County, Massachusetts. The majority of the papers focus on three generations of the Burnham family and their relatives.

Series I. Burnham Family Papers includes six subseries, each comprised of materials from a different family member. Subseries A. Albion Burnham Papers document Albion's years as shipmate on the Southern Cross (Ship), which was captured by the Florida (Confederate States Steamship) in 1863; on the Carnation (United States Steamship) during the remainder of the Civil War; and on the Abbie Bursley (Schooner). Other materials include photographs of Albion in uniform, documentation on Civil War pensions, logbooks, cash account books, cargo receipts, medals, and hair samples from around the world. Personal papers include receipts for ordinary living expenses and correspondence between Albion, his brother Everett Burnham, and his nephew Robert Burnham. Subseries B. Everett Burnham Papers contain correspondence, school papers, yearly diaries and receipts. Subseries C. Ida Angier Burnham Papers contain school papers, a diary, correspondence from a niece in Europe, and receipts.

Subseries D. Robert Burnham Papers include personal records such as correspondence, school papers, and receipts, as well as performance programs, pamphlets, and articles related to his career as an impersonator, drama teacher, and entertainer. A scrapbook of career-related clippings and photographs is also included. Subseries E. Deacon Samuel Burnham Papers include a professional award as well as correspondence from Samuel while he was a student at Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts from 1839-1842. Subseries F. Captain Samuel Burnham and Sally Andrews Burnham Papers include professional and legal papers, correspondence, account books, and estate materials. Subseries G. Miscellaneous is comprised of song lyrics, poems, concert and theater programs, and pamphlets. Newspaper clippings, ranging in years from 1846 to 1925, provide information about the Burnhams, shipbuilding, and the maritime industry. This subseries also includes the wills, diaries and writings of other members of the Burnham family, including Willis Burnham, Clarence Burnham, Choate Burnham, and Eliza Mills.

Series II. Related Family Papers include collections of correspondence, legal documents, and genealogical records of families related by marriage to the Burnham family. Subseries A. Howes Family Papers include letters between Captain Peleg Howes, his wife, and his daughter Phebe Howes, the first wife of Everett Burnham. Subseries B. Andrews Family Papers contain correspondence, legal documents, land purchases, and genealogical information related to the family of Sally Andrews, third wife of Captain Samuel Burnham. Subseries C. William Moody Papers consist of a will and legal documents of William A. Moody, grandson of Samuel and Sally Burnham. Subseries D. Genealogical Records consist of handwritten materials such as family trees, marriage records, and birth records for the Burnham, Andrews, Moody and related families.

Biographical Sketch

Captain Samuel Burnham (1787-1873) was born in Essex County, Massachusetts. He was appointed Infantry Captain of the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division of the Militia of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1824, and later worked as a shipbuilder and carpenter. He married Lucy Andrews (1788-1813) in 1812; Amelia Choate (1788-1822) in 1815; and Sally Andrews (1804-1888)in 1824. Surviving children from his second marriage were Lucy Burnham and Choate Burnham. Surviving children from his third marriage to Sally Andrews were Samuel Burnham (born 1827), Sarah Amelia Burnham (born 1831), Everett Burnham (1835-1907), Albion Burnham (1839-1925), and Willis Burnham (born 1844).

Samuel Burnham attended Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts from 1839 to 1842; he married Mary Stone in 1852. Sarah Amelia Burnham married William F. Moody in 1853; they had one surviving child, William A. Moody. Everett Burnham married Phebe Howes (1839-1875) in 1864; they had two children: Clarence Everett Burnham (1868-1892); and Robert Howes Burnham (born 1875). Following Phebe's death in 1875, Everett married Ida Louise Angier. Neither Albion nor Willis had any children.

Albion Burnham served as shipmate on the Winged Arrow (Clipper ship) in 1860, on the Southern Cross (Ship) in 1862-63, the Carnation (United States Steamship) from 1863 to 1865, and the Abbie Bursley (Schooner) in late 1865.

Robert Howes Burnham became an orator, teacher and entertainer, performing selections from Shakespeare, Kipling, and other literary works. He taught at Emerson College in Boston from 1909 to 1943.

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.

Andrews family
Burnham family
Burnham, Albion, 1839-1925
Burnham, Everett, 1835-1907
Burnham, Ida Angier, b. 1849
Burnham, Robert Howes, b.1875
Burnham, Sally Andrews, 1804-1888
Burnham, Samuel, 1787-1873
Burnham, Samuel, b. 1827
Howe family
Howes, Peleg
Howes, Phebe Baker
Moody, William
Abbie Bursley (Schooner)
Carnation (US Steamship)
Southern Cross (Ship)
Account books
Letter writing
Essex County (Mass.)
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865


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

Burnham Family Papers, MH 51, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


The Captain Samuel Burnham Papers, Albion Burnham Papers, and Deacon Samuel Burnham Papers were donated by Helen F. Moreland (accession #17,379). For some material the provenance is unknown.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Elizabeth Mather, July 2012.

Related Material

Search term of Albion Burnham, Essex County, Massachusetts with 1839 date of birth. Web. Retrieved June 15, 2012.

Search term of Samuel Burnham, Essex County, Massachusetts with 1787 date of birth and spouse name of Sally Andrews. Web. Retrieved June 15, 2012.

Search terms of Southern Cross CSS Florida. Retrieved June 15, 2012.

Search term of USS Carnation. Retrieved June 15, 2012.

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