The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Silver, William, 1809-1873
William Silver (1809-1873)
0.5 Linear feet (1 box)
The William Silver Papers
consist of about 85 documents, the majority of which are correspondence between
William Silver, a ship captain, and his closest family members.
Scope and Content Note
The William Silver Papers consist of about 85 documents,
the majority of which are correspondence between William Silver and his closest
family members. The letters document William Silver's maturation from a young sailor
to a successful sea captain, one who sailed from Salem for many years.
In Folder 1 are 26 letters plus one poem addressed to
William Silver from his sisters, brother, cousin, brothers-in-law, and nephew. The
letters convey love and support for William, particularly during his first overseas
voyage on the ship Catharine in 1830-1831. They also
include family news and descriptions of major events in Salem, including the murder
of Captain Joseph White in 1830, the reception for President Jackson in 1833, and
the celebration of President Harrison's inauguration in 1841 followed by his death
only 32 days later. In Folder 2 are about 35 letters to
William and Frances Silver from their daughter Susan (known as Tudin). These letters
were written in 1867 while Susan and her husband Joseph Bertram toured England,
France, Italy, and Switzerland. Folder 3 includes five
The six letters in Folder 4 written by William to his
father James during William's maiden voyage on the ship Catharine best reveal his emotions as a young sailor. While laid over on
the South American coast, he writes of the "folly of going to sea", but by the time
the ship reaches Calcutta, William is enthusiastic: "the sailor's life is pleasanter
and more congenial...than I ever anticipated."In Folder 5
are two letters between William and his wife Frances. Folder 6
contains seven letters written between William Silver and Benjamin B. Neal
from 1828 to 1831. The letters indicate a close relationship between the two young
friends, one which terminated when Silver went to sea and Neal to the Cape Verde
Finally, in Folder 7 there is a mortgage deed in the
collection from 1842 between a William J. Silver, presumably William Silver's
nephew, and Andrew Roberts concerning land in Boston.
William Silver was born in 1809 in Salem, Massachusetts,
the son of James and Susanna (Howard) Silver. William went to sea at an early age,
like his father and uncle, and was master of vessels including the ships Unicorn and Propontis. In
1835 he married Frances Putnam, and they had one daughter, Susan Howard Silver.
William died in Salem in 1873.
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.
Bertram, Joseph, 1835-1877
Daland, John Tucker, 1795-1858
Kimball, James, 1808-1880
Neal, Benjamin B., b. 1807
Silver, James, 1771-1837
Silver, Peter, 1811-1883
Silver, Susan Howard
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