The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Currier, Charles Chase, 1805-1860
Charles C. Currier (1805-1860)
9 Linear feet (10 boxes)
The collection consists of the
business and personal papers of Salem, Massachusetts commission merchant working in
Calcutta, India and Pinang.
SERIES I. Business Papers SERIES II. Personal Papers
Scope and Content Note
The collection consists of the business and personal papers of Salem, Massachusetts
commission merchant working in Calcutta, India and Pinang. It is divided into two
Series I. Business Papers consists of ships' papers
and general business correspondence. The ships' papers cover a period of over four
years (October 1829 to February 1834) and are arranged alphabetically by ship name.
About half of the ships' papers are from the nine voyages of the schooner Rebecca. The other half is comprised of voyages from
sixteen other ships. Document types include bills of lading; shipping articles;
invoices; receipts; account sales; accounts current; disbursements; insurance
policies; bills; notes; impost bonds; outward foreign manifests; expenditure and
cargo memo books; and correspondence. Several documents are written in French and
Spanish. Records not directly associated with a particular vessel are arranged at
the end of the series. General business correspondence is arranged chronologically.
Significant correspondents include Benjamin Chapman, John Lecoq, N.B. Mansfield, and
Pierce and Goodnow.
Series II. Personal Papers consists primarily of
Charles Currier's letters to his family in Hopkinton, New Hampshire, from 1826 to
1855. The letters give added information about foreign shipping agents representing
Salem merchants in the mid-nineteenth century. Throughout these letters Currier
writes about business opportunities in Asia. In addition, the collection contains 22
miscellaneous accounts and receipts dating from Currier's years in Salem
Charles Chase Currier was born on February 7, 1805 in
Hopkinton, New Hampshire. His parents were Amos and Mary (Sargent) Currier, and his
siblings were Sarah, Seth Franklin, John, and Hannah. Further information about his
early life in New Hampshire is not readily available. Currier came to Boston,
Massachusetts, as a young man. In 1826 he worked at Pierce and Goodnow, a West India
goods store, having previously worked at an apothecary and paint store in Boston. In
1829 he moved to Salem, Massachusetts, and operated a store selling goods from
Boston. In 1830, together with Captain Isaac Shepherd, he bought the schooner Rebecca, which sailed to the West Indies in late 1830. By
1832 he was selling and purchasing cargoes for his schooner from a new store at the
Salem Wharf. Business expanded to two vessels in 1833, but in 1834 the business
failed, and Currier explored opportunities in trade overseas. After one trial voyage
to the coast of Africa in 1834, he accepted a position with David Pingree of Salem,
Massachusetts, as a trade agent at Madras and Calcutta in India, and he sailed to
Calcutta on the ship Warsaw in December 1835.
From 1835 to 1840, Currier was a shipping agent representing Pingree in
Calcutta. In addition he visited Madras in 1836-1837. During this time he shipped
goods to America, some of which were destined for South American markets. He also
purchased and resold goods in India, which he saw as another profitable
In 1840 Currier joined the commercial house of Revely and Company in Penang. He
soon became the sole proprietor of this profitable concern, since his partner, Mr.
Revely, was lost at sea on his return home to America in 1840. Currier planned to
return to America in 1856 and settle in South Reading, Massachusetts. Information
about his life subsequent to this time is not readily available. He died on March
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.
Currier, Charles Chase, 1805-1860
Foster, John W.
Howard, Charles F.
Mansfield, Nathaniel B.
Pearson, John S.
Rogers, Peter J.
Shephard, Issac B.
Fancy Packet (Sloop)
General Jackson (Brig)
Pierce and Goodnow
Revely & Co.
Richmond Packet (Schooner)
Voigt and Souffront
India--Description and travel
Pinang--Description and travel
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
Charles C. Currier (1805-1860) Papers, MH 73, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum,
The Charles C. Currier papers were acquired in three accessions. The ship papers and
business correspondence were donated by Mrs. Rodman A. Nichols in 1948 (acc #
12,008). The personal accounts and receipts and account books were donated by Mrs.
Richard Seamans on October 16, 1961 (acc #15,605). The personal letters were
purchased in December 1979 (acc #79015).
Collection processed by Jason Hosford, April 2011. Updated by: Tamara Gaydos, May
Currier, Harvey Lear. Genealogy of Richard Currier of Salisbury
and Amesbury, Massachusetts, (1616-1686/7) and Many of his Descendants.
Issued under the Auspices of the Orleans County Historical Society: Newport,
Vermont, 1910, pp. 97-98.
"Ship Registers of the District of Salem and Beverly," Essex Institute Historical Collections, 41(1905): 313, 327.
The Charles C. Currier papers were acquired in three accessions. The ship papers and business correspondence were donated by Mrs. Rodman A. Nichols in 1948 (acc # 12,008). The personal accounts and receipts and account books were donated by Mrs. Richard Seamans on October 16, 1961 (acc #15,605). The personal letters were purchased in December 1979 (acc #79015).