The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Chandler, Peleg W. (Peleg Whitman), 1816-1889
Peleg Whitman Chandler (1816-1889)
2 Linear feet (5 boxes)
This collection consists of
legal papers and some personal papers of Peleg W. Chandler, a mid-nineteenth century
SERIES I. Cases Involving Debt SERIES II. Cases Involving Collisions Between
Vessels SERIES III. Cases Involving Interdiction Under The
Non-Importation Acts SERIES IV. Cases Involving Breach of Contracts SERIES V. Cases Involving Contested Cargo SERIES VI. Cases Involving Insurance SERIES VII. Cases Involving Probate SERIES VIII. Case Involving the Contested Ownership of a
Vessel SERIES IX. Case Involving a Contested Lease SERIES X. Case Involving the Transfer of Patent
Rights SERIES XI. Case Involving A Paternity Suit SERIES XII. Case Involving the Abuse of a Seaman SERIES XIII. Miscellaneous Papers
Scope and Content Note
This collection consists of legal papers and some personal papers of Peleg W.
Chandler, a mid-nineteenth century Boston attorney. The legal papers include cases
involving ships, leases, probate, and a paternity suit. The collection has been
divided into 13 series.
Series I. Cases Involving Debt (1843-1861) contains
material associated with cases related to efforts to collect unpaid fees for either
goods or services. This is the largest set of cases contained in the collection.
Series II. Cases Involving Collisions Between
Vessels (1855-1863) contains materials relating to suits and libels
resulting from the collision of vessels while underway. These cases were heard in
both the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts and Suffolk County Superior
Series III. Cases Involving Interdiction Under The
Non-Importation Acts (1835-1859) results from the seizure and forfeiture
of vessels violating the non-intercourse acts passed to prevent commercial
intercourse with territories controlled by Britain and France in the first decade of
the nineteenth century. The cases represented here involve vessels that proved their
departure from British ports between June 3 and September 15, 1812. Under an act of
Congress, January 2, 1813, the U.S. district courts could remit the seizure and
forfeiture if it could be proved that the vessels were unaware of the declaration of
war between the United States and Great Britain. In such cases the normal duties
were paid on the imported cargo. The object of these cases is efforts by heirs of
the port collectors and surveyors to recover a portion of those paid duties.
Series IV. Cases Involving Breach of Contracts
(1856-1864) focuses on disputes resulting from the failure of one or more parties to
comply with the terms of a contract. Included are disputes over terms of charters, a
diverted voyage, and the sale of a vessel.
Series V. Cases Involving Contested Cargo
(1852-1860) involves disputes over the failure to deliver consigned cargoes against
a bill of lading, contesting the weight of a cargo for duty purposes, etc.
Series VI. Cases Involving Insurance (1852-1860)
deals with the failure to pay insurance premiums, questions regarding the payment of
claims, disputes involving the assets of failed insurance companies and their
receivers, and a dispute regarding the valuation of a vessel in determining a
Series VII. Cases Involving Probate (1829-1857)
involves the estate of merchant William Potter of Brunswick, Maine. Peleg Chandler
was administrator of Potter's estate. These papers include administration documents
as well as those related to a suit by Chandler against Caleb Reed, trustee of the
estate, for mismanagement of estate funds.
Series VIII. Case Involving the Contested Ownership of a
Vessel (1851-1858) deals with the efforts of an alleged owner of the bark
Otis J. Chaffee, impounded by the deputy sheriff of
Suffolk County, to release the vessel.
Series IX. Case Involving a Contested Lease (1856)
deals with a disputed land lease between C. T and H. D. Gardiner and Donald
Series X. Case Involving the Transfer of Patent
Rights (1852-1858) involves the sale and disposition of the patent rights
of Jesse Reed, inventor of a ship's steering device.
Series XI. Case Involving A Paternity Suit (1863)
deals with the claim of a seaman that the child born to his wife could not possibly
be his because of his being at sea at the time of conception.
Series XII. Case Involving the Abuse of a Seaman
(1858) deals with a suit brought by a seaman aboard the bark Prescott against the mate for physical abuse during a voyage in
Series XIII. Miscellaneous Papers ranges from 1847
to 1908 and includes bills/receipts, a variety of legal papers, blank court forms,
personal papers, correspondence, accounts, a collection of maritime poems belonging
to a Horace Chandler (son of Peleg), and the printed public refutation of Samuel D.
Crane against the claim of Elisha T. Loring that Crane used the name of Loring &
Co. without Loring's knowledge.
For item-level inventory, see 1999 Collection Register in Box 1.
Peleg Whitman Chandler was born April 12, 1816 in New
Gloucester, Maine, the son of Peleg Chandler and Esther Parsons. He received his
early education at Bangor Theological College and was graduated from Bowdoin College
in 1834. He commenced reading for the law in his father's law office in Bangor and
continued his studies at Harvard's Dane Law School. During his years in law school
he also served as a court reporter for the Boston Daily
Advertiser. Chandler was admitted to the Suffolk County bar in 1837 and
commenced the practice of law in Boston, with offices located at 4 Court Street. On
November 30th that same year, he married Martha Ann Bush Cleaveland (1812-1881) of
Brunswick, Maine. The couple had three children: Ellen Maria (1839-1908); Horace
Parker (b. 1842); and Parker Cleaveland (1848-1908).
In his early career, Chandler became involved in Boston and Massachusetts
politics. He served as a member of the Boston common council from 1843 to 1845, was
elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1844, the executive council
of the Commonwealth in 1854, and again to the House of Representatives in 1862. In
1846 he began a seven-year stint as city solicitor for the city of Boston, resigning
in November 1853.
Peleg Chandler's law practice was confined to civil and commercial law and he
was considered an expert in bankruptcy law, having served as a commissioner in
bankruptcy during the early 1840s. He was particularly known for his courtroom
ability, and was considered one of the finest lawyers in Massachusetts to present a
case before a jury. Unfortunately, during the height of his career, deafness made it
necessary for him to withdraw from trial work, and eventually from the practice of
law altogether. He died on May 28, 1889.
In addition to his law work, Chandler was a prolific writer. He founded a
monthly journal, the Law Reporter, and wrote two
volumes of American Criminal Trials (1841, 1844), Bankruptcy Laws of the United States,
and the System with Rules and Forms in Massachusetts (1842), Revised Ordinances, Boston (1850), Authority of the Gospels, By a Layman (1867), and Memoir of Governor Andrew, with Personal Reminiscences (1880).
George Otis Shattuck was born May 2, 1829 in
Andover, Massachusetts, the second of four sons of Joseph and Hannah (Bailey)
Shattuck. He graduated from Harvard College in 1851 and from Harvard Law School
three years later. Admitted to the bar in 1855, he entered into law practice as a
junior partner with Peleg W. Chandler in 1856. In 1857, Shattuck married Emily
Copeland, the daughter of Charles and Susan (Sprague) Copeland. During his lifetime
he held memberships in the Massachusetts Colonial Society, Massachusetts Historical
Society, and the New England Historical Genealogical Society, and was a member of
the Board of Overseers for Harvard College. He died on February 23, 1897, leaving
his wife and a daughter.
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.
Crane, Samuel D.
McKay, Donald, 1810-1880
Shattuck, George Otis, 1829-1897
Annie Maria (Schooner)
Boston & Southern Steamship Company
C. W. Dyer (Schooner)
Daniel Hill (Schooner)
Elizabeth Watts (Brig)
George Byron (Schooner)
Golden Eagle (Ship)
Good Friends (Ship)
Joseph Whitney (Steamship)
Kate L. Bruce (Schooner)
Massachusetts. Superior Court (Suffolk County)
Merchants and Miners Transportation Co.
Otis J. Chaffee (Bark)
R. H. Moulton (Schooner)
Ring Leader (Ship)
Sam Slick (Bark)
United States. District Court (Massachusetts)
William Jenkins (Steamship)
Breach of contract
Collisions at sea
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
This collection consists of legal papers and some personal papers of Peleg W. Chandler, a mid-nineteenth century Boston attorney.
Massachusetts. Superior Court (Suffolk County); United States. District Court (Massachusetts); Boston & Southern Steamship Company; Merchants and Miners Transportation Co.; Abagun (Bark); Adriatic (Schooner); Annie Maria (Schooner); Appleton (Bark); Baltic (Ship); Boston (Brig); C. W. Dyer (Schooner); Concordia (Vessel); Daniel Hill (Schooner); Dolphin (Brigantine); Elizabeth Watts (Brig); Enterprise (Ship); George Byron (Schooner); Golden Eagle (Ship); Good Friends (Ship); Homer (Brig); Homer (Brigantine); Iris (Brig); Joseph Whitney (Steamship); Kate L. Bruce (Schooner); Lochiel (Schooner); Madeira (Brig); Milford (Bark); Montezuma (Bark); Nautilus (Sailboat); Occident (Bark); Otis J. Chaffee (Bark); Pico (Brig); Poconocket (Brig); Prescott (Bark); R. H. Moulton (Schooner); Ring Leader (Ship); Sam Slick (Bark); Salem (Brig); Saxon (Steamship); Troy (Ship); William Jenkins (Steamship); Shattuck, George Otis, 1829-1897; McKay, Donald, 1810-1880; Potter, William; Crane, Samuel D.; Reed, Jesse; Soule, James; Breach of contract; Collisions at sea; Debt; District courts; Estates (Law); Insurance; Law--Cases; Lawyers--Massachusetts--Boston; Leases; Patents; Paternity; Sailors
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.