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Aaron W. Berry (1827-1865) Papers

Aaron W. Berry (1827-1865) Papers

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SERIES I. Business Correspondence and Receipts
BoxFolderContentsDates
11Letters from Matthew Bartlett and John F. Brooks to Aaron W. Berry. These letters are equally divided between Matthew Bartlett and John F. Brooks, Bartlett's clerk, and are general instructions to Berry. Both discuss business matters, and vessels he should be expecting to arrive in Africa. Brooks usually includes some local news and gossip from Salem.1859
2Letters from Matthew Bartlett and John F. Brooks to Aaron W. Berry. With the exception of one note, all the letters in this folder are from either Matthew Bartlett or his clerk, John F. Brooks, to Berry on the West Coast of Africa. Their contents deal with business matters and conditions, particularly the prices realized for outward cargoes and those paid for the returns. Return cargoes were largely palm oil with fillers of gum, ivory or gold dust. Brooks was allowed to ship small private cargoes for his benefit and he frequently begs Berry "to make some money." Bartlett consistently preaches his business philosophy to Berry, i.e., keep down expenses, make quick turnarounds, do not leave any unsettled accounts for a vessel before she sails and do not trust anyone, particularly those you do business with on the African Coast. Brooks occasionally includes some local news and happenings in his letters1860
3Letters from Matthew Bartlett and John F. Brooks to Aaron W. Berry. One letter from Berry to Bartlett is included (May 1861). In addition there are notes to Berry from others. problems between the North and South and the subsequent outbreak of the Civil War. These comments focus on politics, business conditions and the problem with Confederate vessels and privateers. Berry returned to Salem in late 1862 and began working for Charles Miller in early 18631861-1863
4Letters from Charles H. Miller to Aaron W. Berry. The content of the letters from Miller to Berry are similar to those of Bartlett and Brooks. He discusses business conditions and in one instance the inflated prices of insurance because of privateer activities related to the Civil War. Miller also occasionally includes some local news and gossip. In one letter (5 May 1863) he mentions the construction of the "Horse Railroad" between Salem and South Danvers (Peabody), which were horse drawn street cars. There are a few letters and notes from others to Berry in this time frame. One is from a W. H. Godfrey, December 1863, (probably a relative of his wife) who is in the Union Army. He mentions the conditions and situation on Folly Island, South Carolina1863-1865
5A collection of bills and receipts largely for goods and services on the West Coast of Africa. These include: hospital and medical care for Berry and seamen, food and lodging, gold, palm oil, provisions, water, services rendered, etc.1860-1863
SERIES II. Ships' Papers
BoxFolderContentsDates
16Brig Vintage:
A blank account book labeled A. W. Berry on the cover and marked Brig Vintage on the insideundated
A cargo account book with no attribution other than a stamp "A. W. Berry" on the first pageundated
A cargo book labeled "brig Vintage, October 7, 1850." It contains accounting of cargo loaded and discharged(?) between 7 October 1850 and 13 April 18511850-1851
17Bark Isabella:
A customs clearing certificate for the Isabella, A. W. Berry, master bound for the West Coast of Africa19 Nov 1855
A bill of lading for the Isabella, Aaron. W. Berry, master, describing the cargo and its division, shipped by Robert Brookhouse, et. al.30 Dec 1856
An invoice for the same cargo, value - $32,829.5830 Dec 1856
A health certificate for captain and crew for this voyage, same date30 Dec 1856
Two specification sheets for the oil shooks shipped aboard the Isabellaundated
18 Bark Catherine:
A letter of instruction to Captain A. W. Berry, master of the Catherine from Robert Brookhouse and William Hunt13 May 1857
Bill of lading for cargo aboard the Catherine, assigned to Capt. V. F. Debaker23 Feb. 1858
An unsigned inward foreign manifest for the "Barque Catherine, A. W. Berry, master, from the West Coast of Africa to Salem27 Sept. 1849
An unattributed and unsigned customs certificate for 20 barrels of sugarundated
Disbursements related to the Catherine while on the African Coastundated
Slop Chest(?) accounts with crew members of the Catherineundated
19Material related to three voyages of the Said Bin Sultan
VOYAGE ONE - December 1859 to August 1860
A letter of instruction from Matthew Bartlett to Captain Thomas Moore, master, as to the prosecution of the voyageundated
Bills of lading for cargoes shipped by Bartlett, John F. Brooks, consigned to Aaron W. Berryundated
Invoices of these goods as well as goods shipped by Nelson Bartlett (Matthew Bartlett's nine year old son)undated
Cargo sales slipsundated
Bills of lading for return cargo. R. F. Dodge was master on the return voyage1859-1860
VOYAGE TWO - November 1860 - May 1861
A letter of instruction from Matthew Bartlett to Captain John Prince, master, as to the prosecution of the voyageundated
Bills of lading for cargoes shipped by Bartlett and John F. Brooks consigned to A. W. Berryundated
Invoices of the above cargoesundated
A letter for Brooks to Berry instructing him regarding the goods in the invoice1860-1861
VOYAGE THREE - August 1861 - July [1862]
A letter of instruction from Matthew Bartlett to Captain John Prince, master, as to the prosecution of the voyageundated
A preliminary cargo list for the "3rd Voyage"undated
Bills of lading for cargoes shipped by Bartlett and John F. Brooks consigned to A. W. Berryundated
A letter of instruction from Brooks regarding his cargoundated
An insurance policy covering the potential commissions of A. W. Berry against "war risk only"undated
A bill and receipt for the premium paid by John F. Brooks in behalf of A. W. Berry1861-[1862]
110Cargo receipts and accounts for the Said Bin Sultan
A collection of receipts for discharged cargo25 Oct-2 Nov 1861
Two ledger pages accounting cargo discharged and cargo acquired for the return voyage26 Oct 1861-21 July 1862
111 Brig Robert Wing:
Letter of instruction to Captain Aaron W. Berry, master, from Matthew Bartlett, regarding the prosecution of the voyage12 July 1859
Bills of lading for the cargo shipped by Matthew Bartlett (13 July 1859) and John F. Brooks (12 July 1859)1859
Invoices of the above cargoes, which is consigned to Captain Berry1859
A letter for Brooks attached to the bill of lading and invoice of his private cargo consigned to Berry. He gives Berry instructions concerning disposal and payment, requesting palm oil, gold and ivory for the return and hoe the goods should be markedundated
Bills of lading for the return cargoes of Bartlett and Brooks aboard the Robert Wing, Thomas Moore, masterundated
An unsigned copy of a landing debenture certificate for sugar sent by Bartlett to Minnebah, West Coast of Africa aboard the Robert Wing. A blank copy of the certificate form and a copy of a form "Bill of Entry on Imported Goods"undated
A receipt for 30 guilders, in Dutch25 August 1859
A receipt for £3 anchorage fee, Cape Coast, Africa1 Sept. 1859
An agreement by nine West Africans to serve as "Canoemen" aboard the Robert Wing and, if needed, the Said Bin Sultan, at $6 per monthMarch 1860
Communication from John Brooks requesting a subscription to The West African Heraldundated
Two ledger sheets, marked "Cash Accounts" covering the period Sept. 1859 to May 1861 for the Robert Wing, Said Bin Sultan and the Anglo Saxon1859-1861
112Brig Anglo Saxon:
A letter of instructions from Matthew Bartlett to Captain Lewis D. D. Voorhees, master of the Anglo Saxon, regarding the prosecution of the voyage30 June 1860
Bills of lading for cargo shipped by Bartlett (2 copies) and John F. Brooks, consigned to Aaron W. Berry2 & 3 July 1860
Invoices for the above cargo, Bartlett - $14,489.51, Brooks - $620.49June 30 & 29, 1860
Invoice for oil shooks shipped aboard the Anglo Saxonundated
Bills of lading for the return cargoes shipped by A. W. Berry and consigned to Matthew Bartlett and John F. Brooks30 Oct. 1860
Account of the sales of the cargo shipped by Brooks1860
A receipt for a package of gold dust "for and on account and risk of Captain S. Hill, Salem, Mass US"29 Oct 1860
113An informal cargo list for the Manchester, stating "Sailed 18th Sept. 1860"undated [1860]
14Bark D. Godfrey:
A letter of instruction from Matthew Bartlett to Capt. W. E. Hall regarding the voyage. Hall is to connect with Captain Berry, Bartlett's agent in Africa who is also the manager of the Said Bin Sultan25 Nov. 1861
A letter with cargo invoice to Berry from Bartlett, dated 5 Dec. 1861. He is informed of the sailing of the Godfrey and is instructed to send the Sultan home as soon as Hall arrives5 Dec. 1861
Invoice of the cargo aboard the Godfrey as received on the Coast of Africa21 Nov. 1862
115Steam Ship Cleopatra: An invoice for 300oz of gold dust shipped by A. W. Berry, Cape Coast, to A. W. Berry, Liverpool14 August 1862
16Several receipts for goods and provisions discharged or loaded aboard the KedarApril-June, 1863
16A group of accounts for oil, molasses, rum, etc., labeled "Ship Kedar" on the back of one sheet1863
17Schooner Black Hawk:
Two letters from Charles Cummings regarding the purchase of a schooner owned by Berry. The first is to Mrs. Berry making an offer of $150. The second acknowledges a letter form Berry and informs him he will buy the boat1864
118 Bark Tidal Wave:
Two bills of lading (may be duplicates)for two packages of gold dust from Aaron W. Berry to Mrs. A. W. Berry shipped aboard the Tidal Wave, J. H. Goldsmith, master1864
A letter from Captain Goldsmith welcoming Captain Berry back to the African Coast. He informs Berry of business conditions and offers to carry anything he might want to ship home (see above)24 August 1864
119A small account book labeled "ship Darwin"undated
SERIES III. Personal Papers
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120Personal papers and miscellaneous bills and receipts for household goods and services. Included are: bills and receipts for, food, house repairs, furnishings, clothing, a dog license, tax bill, pew tax at the Tabernacle Society of Salem; communications from the Salem Marine Society, Essex Lodge of Masons, and Washington Chapter of Royal Arch Masons; a contract to construct a house on Skerry Street, Salem between Berry and builder Rufus B. Gifford for $2000, executed, 11 July 1859; communications with his stock broker; a recommendation for a domestic by Mrs. Berry; and insurance policy on the Berry's Salem house, transferred to their house in Melrose in June 1864 1860-1869
21Several issues of The West African Herald, between #67 and #7731 May 1860-14 January 1861
SERIES IV. Miscellaneous Materials
BoxFolderContentsDates
122Six Seaman's Protection Certificates issued by the U.S. Customs Service. Included is that for Aaron W. Berry, issued 28 April 1854. It states he was 26 years old and had been born in Salem. Additionally there is one for John B. Stout, a black man1844-1856
23A receipt for transporting "Sea Baggage from Boston to Salem1863
23A bill for one box of tobacco, Boston1864
23Reports for the inspection and gauging of rum for Sylvester Bowman by Nathaniel Cleaves & Son, Boston1859-1861
23Miscellaneous accounts, mostly unattributed, relating to the outfitting of a vessel for sailing. These include: an extensive inventory of stores and sundries such as provision, supplies, cordage and rigging supplies, paint, tools, etc.; a tabulation of loaded cargo (tobacco, rum, and gun powder), inventory of private cargoes1857-1858
24A summons to appear in court to Ambah Fletchwah in a suit for debt "in behalf of A. W. Berry." Issued in Annamoboe, Gold Coast, West Africa. The plaintiff prevailed18 April 1860
24Three memoranda for gold bullion deposited in the Philadelphia Mint, by Merritt & Co., Salem, Massachusetts - 1859-18621859-1862
24A printed detailed congressional constituent communication, dated Philadelphia, 30 May 1798, addressed to Major Thurston James, Hanover County, Virginia and signed John Clopton. It outlines the action of Congress aimed at stemming French hostility to American shipping and for preparation for a possible war with France. The actions include funds to complete and man the three frigates under construction and provide for additional smaller naval vessels30 May 1798
24A letter from Benjamin Fiortes of Buenos Aires to Secretary of State William L. Marcy requesting government aid against political pressures. The intrigues appear to be associated with a war in Europe21 August 1854
24A letter in Portuguese from J. Morgan, Ajuda (West Africa) to C. J. L. Nobre8 April 1858
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