Skip to main content

Jerome B. Hildreth (1822-1904) Papers

Jerome B. Hildreth (1822-1904) Papers

1 of 2
Open Finding Aid
small (250x250 max)
medium (500x500 max)
Extra Large
large ( > 500x500)
Full Resolution

JEROME B. HILDRETH (1822-1904) PAPERS, 1851-1925

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:Hildreth, Jerome B., 1822-1904
Title:Jerome B. Hildreth (1822-1904) Papers
Quantity:0.5 Linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:The Jerome B. Hildreth Papers consist of correspondence, accounts, shipping papers, draft proposals for an engine propeller design, and deeds.
Collection Number:MH 123

Series List

SERIES I. Personal Papers
SERIES II. Propeller Vessel Project Papers

Scope and Content Note

The Jerome B. Hildreth Papers consist of correspondence, accounts, shipping papers, draft proposals for an engine propeller design, and deeds. They are organized into three series.

Series I. Personal Papers includes the letter and account books of Captain Hildreth. Some pages have either been torn or cut out of these books. The account book of steamship Fung Shuey, 1868, has a "United States Inspectors Certificate to Masters" dated July 8, 1874 affixed on the front page of the book, attesting to Captain Hildreth's skill as a "master of steam vessels." This account book also contains an index located on the last page. This series also contains a handwritten letter from the Pacific Mail Steamship Company outlining the company's rules and regulations, and a copy of Captain Hildreth's handwritten report regarding the shipwreck of the City of Guatemala (Steamship). An undated memorandum, written by Captain Hildreth on the backside of a log sheet, lists items of belongings left in the care of his guardian, Ira Wadsworth. Of particular note is the 1901 memoir handwritten by Captain Hildreth three years prior to his death. His memoir, which contains a brief genealogy of his family, mostly details his many years sailing around the world.

Series II. Propeller Vessel Project Papers contains draft proposals for an engine propeller design for Henry W. Hubbell and a draft contract between Mr. Hubbell and W. L. Whitlock, a shipbuilder from the city of Brooklyn, New York. A handwritten document entitled "Specification for Joiners Work and Material for a Propeller Vefsel" also contains a draft contract.

Series III. Deeds contains original mortgage deeds for the families of Orlinda Douglass, Frances E. Williams, and Frederick L. Leary. The "Discharge of Mortgage" in the settlement of the estate of Frederick L. Leary notes that the mortgage given by Frances E. Williams was discharged on April 30, 1914, but registered with the Hampden County Registry of Deeds on February 24, 1931. This series also includes a copy of a handwritten contract drawn by Fred L. Williams pertaining to the sale of chestnut and oak timber.

Biographical Sketch

Jerome B. Hildreth, a sea captain, was born on September 20, 1822 in Concord, Massachusetts to Joseph Hildreth and Mary Brooks. Captain Hildreth first went to sea aboard the schooner, September, shortly after his mother's death in 1838. After his first voyage abroad, Captain Hildreth returned to Massachusetts and made his home with his guardian, Ira Wadsworth and his wife, Abby, in Cambridgeport. In 1852 Captain Hildreth married his cousin, Abby Francis Wadsworth, who died a year later on April 23, 1853. Captain Hildreth remarried, circa 1862, to Harriet Pierce Stearns and together they had two sons: Russell W., born circa 1865 (who predeceased Captain Hildreth in December 1895) and Percy S., born circa 1866. During his time as a sea captain, Captain Hildreth sailed all over the world, particularly to the Far East, carrying cargo such as pearls, opium, guns, and silk. He was the commander and part owner of the steamship, Fung Shuey. Captain Hildreth's career at sea appears to have ended after the shipwreck of the City of Guatemala, a steamship owned by the Pacific Mail Steamship Company, in July 1874, of which he was the commander at the time. In addition to living in Massachusetts, Captain Hildreth also lived in New York City. Captain Hildreth died in Northampton, Massachusetts on December 1, 1904 and is buried in the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge.

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.

Douglass, Orlinda
Hildreth, Jerome B., 1822-1904
Hubbell, Henry W.
Leary, Frederick
Leary, J. Edgar
Williams, Frances E.
Williams, Fred L.
City of Guatemala (Steamship)
Fung Shuey (Steamship)
Pacific Mail Steamship Company
Ship captains


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

Jerome B. Hildreth (1822-1904) Papers, MH 123, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This material was a gift from Stephen Phillips (acc # 16,498).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Jennifer J. Quan, June 2012.

Related Material

Search term of Jerome B. Hildreth, Concord, Massachusetts with 1822 date of birth and spouse name of Harriet Hildreth. n.d. Web. Retrieved June 25, 2012.

Search term of Harriet Hildreth, with 1839 date of birth and spouse name of Jerome B. Hildreth. n.d. Web. Retrieved June 25, 2012.

Search term of Hildreth with parameters from 1853 to 1920. Mount Auburn Cemetery. n.d. Web. Retrieved June 25, 2012.

City of Guatemala (Steamship) Logbook, 1874, Log 3180

City of Panama (Steamship) Logbook, 1874, Log 3180

Granada (Steamship) Logbook, 1873, Log 3180

Rising Star (Steamship) Logbook, 1873, Log 3180

you wish to report:

Select the collections to add or remove from your search