The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Hildreth, Jerome B., 1822-1904
Jerome B. Hildreth (1822-1904)
0.5 Linear feet (1 box)
The Jerome B. Hildreth Papers
consist of correspondence, accounts, shipping papers, draft proposals for an engine
propeller design, and deeds.
SERIES I. Personal Papers SERIES II. Propeller Vessel Project Papers SERIES III. Deeds
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.
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.
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.
Hildreth, Jerome B., 1822-1904
Hubbell, Henry W.
Leary, J. Edgar
Williams, Frances E.
Williams, Fred L.
City of Guatemala (Steamship)
Fung Shuey (Steamship)
Pacific Mail Steamship Company
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 material was a gift from Stephen Phillips (acc # 16,498).
Collection processed by Jennifer J. Quan, June 2012.
Search term of Jerome B. Hildreth, Concord, Massachusetts with 1822 date of birth and
spouse name of Harriet Hildreth. Ancestry.com. n.d. Web. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
Search term of Harriet Hildreth, with 1839 date of birth and spouse name of
Jerome B. Hildreth. Ancestry.com. n.d. Web. Retrieved June 25, 2012. http://search.ancestry.com/search/