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John C. Osgood Papers

John C. Osgood Papers

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JOHN C. OSGOOD PAPERS, 1815-1880, 1908

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:Osgood, John C., b. 1826
Title:John C. Osgood Papers
Dates:1815/1880, 1908
Quantity:5.25 Linear feet (11 boxes)
Abstract:The collection consists of materials created by John C. Osgood, a Salem, Massachusetts ship owner.
Collection Number:MH 173

Series List

SERIES I. Ships' Papers
SERIES II. Correspondence
A. Business Correspondence
B. Personal Correspondence
SERIES III. Atlantic Salt Company
SERIES IV. Account Books

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of materials created by John C. Osgood, a Salem, Massachusetts ship owner. While most of the documents are from Salem Massachusetts, other places mentioned include Gloucester, Boston, New London, CT, and New Haven, CT. The collection has been organized into four series.

Series I. Ships' Papers consists predominantly of papers for the Falcon (Brig), Para (Schooner), Said Bin Sultan (Bark), and William H Shailer (Bark). Most of the papers are business correspondence, insurance documents, and deeds of sale but also include ship logs, crew lists, and Marine Notes of Protest. Documents from other vessels, such as the Salem (Ship), are included.

Series II. Correspondence contains business and personal correspondence. A letter dated 1908 (Box 8, Folder 9), written to Robert B. Osgood from George Allen, serves as a link to the Osgood Family Papers, 1661-1932 (MSS 189). This letter includes a detailed list of which ships John C. Osgood might have been interested in buying or representing in conjunction with his business.

Series III. Atlantic Salt Company contains papers pertaining to the Atlantic Salt Company, based out of Michigan, consisting mostly of insurance papers and correspondence. Osgood did wholesale consulting for them, as well as serving as a connection between the company and the ships, often buying the merchandise as a third party for the captains.

Series IV. Account Books contains two account books which did not fit in elsewhere. One is an account book for the brigs Mary Ann (1815-1818) and Coromandel (1821-1823) on which John C. Osgood was master. The other is a record of accounts, in which John C. Osgood is listed.

Biographical Sketch

John C. Osgood was born circa 1826, in Suffolk County, Massachusetts. He was a self-employed wholesaler, who worked primarily in Salem, Massachusetts during the mid- to late- nineteenth century. He was knowledgeable in the field of law, specifically shipping law, in addition to local shipping politics. He had an interest in shipping, and kept records of those ships he represented. He also, at various points in his career, bought ships, only to then sell them soon thereafter. He maintained a continuous correspondence with captains of the ships he worked closely with, as well as with other merchants, lawyers, wholesalers, and salespeople, and workers in the shipping industry.

Osgood married M. E. Whipple (born circa 1832) and they had four children: Emmeline D. Osgood, Harriet K. Osgood, Margaret M. Osgood, and Robert B. Osgood.

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.

Holmes, J. W.
Marshall, George A.
Osgood, John C., b. 1826
Richmond, Josiah
Atlantic Salt Company
Coromandel (Brig)
Falcon (Brig)
Mary Ann (Brig)
Para (Schooner)
Said Bin Sultan (Bark)
William H. Shailer (Bark)
Account books
Insurance, marine
Boston (Mass.)
Gloucester (Mass.)
New Haven (Conn.)
New London (Conn.)
Salem (Mass.)
United States--Commerce--Brazil
United States--Commerce--Mauritius


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

John C. Osgood Papers, MH 173, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


Gift of Mrs. Frederic Jennings in 1957 (acc #14,165).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Stefanie Maclin, April 2010. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, July 2014.

Related Material

Osgood Family Papers, 1661-1932, MSS 189

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