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Charles H. Allen, Jr. Papers

Charles H. Allen, Jr. Papers

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Open Finding Aid

CHARLES H. ALLEN, JR. PAPERS, 1861-1883, undated





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:Allen, Charles Henry, Jr., 1830-1910
Title:Charles H. Allen, Jr. Papers
Dates:1861/1883, undated
Quantity:0.5 linear feet (1 box, 1 volume)
Abstract:The Charles H. Allen Jr. Papers consist of material related primarily to four ships, Formosa, Mindoro, Panay, and Sooloo II, on which Captain Charles Allen served as master at one time or another.
Collection Number:MH 28

Series List

SERIES I. Ship Formosa Papers
A. Ship's Papers
B. Notebooks
SERIES II. Ship Mindoro Papers
SERIES III. Ship Panay Papers
A. Ship's Papers
B. Notebooks
Series IV. Ship Sooloo II Papers
A. Ship's Papers
B. Notebooks
Series V. Silsbee and Pickman Material

Scope and Content Note

The Charles H. Allen Jr. Papers consist of material related primarily to four ships, Formosa,Mindoro, Panay, and Sooloo II, on which Captain Charles Allen served as master at one time or another. There are no personal papers of Captain Allen in the collection. The materials identifiable with Allen are small account books he kept while master of a vessel and include crew and slop chest accounts, inventories, and want lists. It is assumed that these papers had been in the in the possession of Captain Allen at some point and thus were identified with him at the time of their donation to the Peabody Essex Museum. This collection is divided into five series.


Series I. Ship Formosa Papers consist of shipping articles, port activity papers, health certificate, insurance papers, payroll accounts, manifest, crew accounts, slop chest accounts, and wants accounts.


Series II. Ship Mindoro Papers consist of a collection of small notebooks containing crew accounts, slop chest accounts, wants and inventory accounts.


Series III. Ship Panay Papers consist of shipping articles, slop chest accounts, wants and inventory accounts.


Series IV. Ship Sooloo II Papers consist of shipping articles, port papers, cargo accounts, crew accounts, slop chest accounts, food accounts, wants and inventory accounts.


Series V. Silsbee and Pickman Material contains cargo contracts and pages removed from account books calculating cargo costs for a number of vessels.


Biographical Sketch

Charles Henry Allen was born in Salem, Massachusetts, on 26 March 1830, the son of William E. and Sarah H. (Wright) Allen. William Allen was a shipmaster, who died in Africa in 1838. Charles Allen first shipped out at the age of 15 on the Ship St. Paul, commanded by his uncle, also named Charles Henry Allen, on a voyage to Manila and back to Salem. Allen continued voyaging on a number of different ships, although in 1850-51, he stayed for a period of time in California, where he spent time in the gold mines. A companion of his during this period was the Salem adventurer, Frederick Townsend Ward.


In June 1861, Allen took command of the ship Sooloo. He commanded several other ships during the 1860s and 1870s, but returned to the Sooloo in 1876 and captained her until his retirement in 1884.


Allen married Margaret McKenzie of Salem on 10 October 1856. Allen died at his home in Salem on 5 December 1910. He was survived by his wife and four children: Charles F. Allen, Mrs. Frederick G. Pousland, Mary F. Allen, and Lillian H. Allen.


Historical Note on the Ships Involved


The ship Formosa was designed and built at East Boston by the firm of John Taylor and was launched on 20 November 1868, 1252 tons. She made at least eight voyages and was wrecked off Java in 1880.


The ship Mindoro was designed and built at East Boston by John Taylor, and was launched on 6 November 1864, 845 tons. She made 14 voyages between 1864 and 1883. Ultimately the Mindoro was towed to Salem and lay idle alongside Derby Wharf for several years until she was converted to a coal barge.


The ship Panay was designed and built at East Boston by Justin Taylor, the eldest son of John Taylor, who succeeded his father in the firm. The Panay was launched on 25 June 1877, 1190 tons. She made at least ten voyages and was lost on 14 July 1890, on Simara Island, the Philippines, after going aground on 12 July 1890.


The ship Sooloo II was designed and built at East Boston by John Taylor, and launched on 1 May 1861, 784 tons. She made 19 voyages between 1861 and 1887/8, when she was sold to the Boston Tow Boat Company and converted to a coal barge. Sooloo II foundered and was lost on 15 November 1892.


The ships above were owned by the Salem merchant firm of Stone, Silsbee & Pickman (later Silsbee, Pickman & Allen - the firm changed its name in 1863). The reader is referred to the extensive manuscript collection of Stone, Silsbee & Pickman (MSS #63), to which this material is ancillary.


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.

Formosa (Ship)
Mindoro (Ship)
Panay (Ship)
Silsbee and Pickman
Silsbee, Pickman, and Allen
Sooloo II (Ship)
Insurance, marine
Ship captains
Ships' papers

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

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

Charles H. Allen, Jr. Papers, MH 28, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

This material was donated on 27 September 1956 (acc #13,967). Some material pertaining to the Sooloo II was purchased in 2010 (acc #2010.015).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Robert F. Craig, June 1999.


Related Material

Matthews, Frederick. American Merchant Ships, Series Two (Salem, Mass.: Marine Research Society, 1931), pp. 239, 240, 242.


Paine, Ralph D. The Ships and Sailors of Old Salem: The Record of a Brilliant Era of American Achievement, Rev. ed. (Boston: Charles E. Lauriat, 1927), frontispiece, pp. 12, 441, 448.


Putnam, George Granville. Salem Vessels and Their Voyages, Series III (Salem, Mass.: Essex Institute, 1925), pp. 19-74, 97, 98, 117. This work contains descriptions of the four vessels in question, as well as biographies of their masters, including Captain Allen. Additionally, there is a brief biography of John Taylor, builder of the Sooloo, Mindoro, and Formosa. Putnam also describes each vessel and its voyages in varying detail.


Salem City Directory, 1911.


Salem Evening News, Dec. 6, 1910.


MH 0.431, Box 5, Folders 11 & 12. This collection contains a list of vessels built by, and a handwritten biographical sketch of, John Taylor; the details vary somewhat from Putnam.


MH 0.432, Box 5, Folder 12. Biographical Sketch of John Taylor: "In his later active business days, his eldest son Justin was associated with him... The two together built many vessels for the Philippine Island trade. These were for the Silsbees and Pickmans of Salem. Some of these vessels were named for islands in the Philippine group, notably The Sooloo - Mindoro - Panay - and Formosa."


Stone, Silsbee & Pickman Papers, MSS 63


Allen Family Papers, MSS 1


Also see numerous logbooks under the four ship’s names, including four of the Mindoro while captained by Allen, 1865-1868.


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