Skip to main content

Isaac Newhall (1782-1858) Papers

Isaac Newhall (1782-1858) Papers

1 of 2
Open Finding Aid
small (250x250 max)
medium (500x500 max)
Extra Large
large ( > 500x500)
Full Resolution

ISAAC NEWHALL (1782-1858) PAPERS, 1806-1858

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:Newhall, Isaac, 1782-1858
Title:Isaac Newhall (1782-1858) Papers
Quantity:0.75 linear feet (2 boxes)
Abstract:This collection documents the transactions of J & I Newhall, dry goods merchants in Salem, Massachusetts, in the early nineteenth century.
Collection Number:MSS 398

Series List

Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the transactions of J & I Newhall, dry goods merchants in Salem, Massachusetts, in the early nineteenth century. Included are letters, receipts, legal papers, shipping papers, and also some personal correspondence to Isaac Newhall (1782-1858).

Folder 1 contains extensive business correspondence addressed to Isaac Newhall or J & I Newhall, dry goods merchants in Salem, Massachusetts, from 1814 to 1836. Also present is correspondence addressed to Isaac Newhall, merchant in Macon, Georgia, from 1834 to 1836. In Folder 2 is personal correspondence relating to the Newhall family members including Isaac Newhall, his mother Lucy, wife Sally, brother Horatio, son Gustavus, nieces Harriet and Lucy Ann, and son-in-law George Collins. There are also letters of introduction for Gustavus as he traveled west to join Horatio in Galena, Illinois. Six of the business or personal letters to Isaac Newhall were transcribed, and typewritten copies are in Folder 3.

Folder 4 contains extensive notes and drafts of correspondence to John Pickering (1777-1846), as well as one letter from John Pickering, concerning the authorship of the Letters of Junius. Junius was the pseudonym of a writer who published this collection of letters in 1772. They were widely circulated in Europe and remained popular for many years both because of their political significance and the mystery surrounding their authorship. Isaac Newhall argued that Earl Temple (1711-1779), an English politician, was the author of the Junius Letters, and he published his theory in a series of letters to John Pickering in 1831.

Folder 5 includes shipping papers itemizing shipment of dry goods between Salem, Massachusetts, and ports including New York, Baltimore, Charleston, Savannah, and New Orleans. Ships named include brigs Return, Dispatch, Eliza, Agenoria, and Harriot, sloops Sattleite(sp?), Packet, Delight, and Stranger, ships Andrew Jackson, and Olive Branch, and schooners Rapids, Greyhound, Fame, Neptune, Washington, and Hero.

Folder 6 contains five documents. The first transfers ownership of a wharf in Salem from Elijah Sanderson to Joel and Isaac Newhall (1814), the second is a rental lease in Lynn (1817), the third describes a disputed lease in Salem (1822), and the fourth outlines the obligations of Newhall and Thayer to their creditors (1825). Also included is a draft of a petition to the United States Congress requesting that small foreign coins be removed from circulation and be replaced by freshly minted American coins.

Folders 7 and 8 contain about 170 receipts detailing the financial transactions of the J & I Newhall business, in particular between 1814 and 1821.

Box 2 contains four account books dated from 1824 to 1842.

Biographical Sketch

Isaac Newhall was the second son of Joel and Lucy (Mansfield) Newhall. He was born on August 24, 1782, in Lynn, Massachusetts. For many years he and his brother Joel ran a dry goods firm in Salem, Massachusetts, which was usually abbreviated "Joel and Isaac" or "J & I Newhall", and from about 1834 to 1836 Isaac traded in Macon, Georgia.

Isaac Newhall was married twice. His first wife was Sarah Lewis, whom he married in 1809, and by whom he had seven children, Sarah, Gustavus, Margaret, Horatio, Isaac, Martha, and Louisa. He married his second wife in 1849, and by her had one daughter, Sarah. Isaac also had literary inclinations and in 1831 he published a series of letters addressed to John Pickering, in which he argued that Earl Temple was the author of the Junius Letters. Isaac died in Lynn on July 6, 1858.

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.

Junius, 18th cent. Letters
Newhall, Cheever, 1788-1878
Newhall, George, 1792-1869
Newhall, Gustavus, b. 1814
Newhall, Horatio, 1798-1870
Newhall, Isaac, 1782-1858
Newhall, Joel, 1779-1939
Pickering, John, 1777-1846
Sanderson, Elijah, 1751-1825
J & I Newhall


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

Isaac Newhall (1782-1858) Papers, MSS 398, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


Part of this material was donated on July 6, 1998 (acc # 1998.022), and parts were purchased on March 8, 1961, July 25, 2005 (acc # 2005.007), and May 15, 2008 (acc # 2008.019). The four volumes of account books were purchased on August 16, 1958.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Lee Jacoby, June 2009.

Related Material

Lewis, Alonzo and Newhall, James R., History of Lynn, (Boston: John L. Shorey, 1865), pp. 540-541.

Waters, Henry F., "The Newhall Family of Lynn," Essex Institute Historical Collections 48 (1912): 226-227.

Day book of J. and I. Newhall, 1820-1821, MSS 1266

you wish to report:

Select the collections to add or remove from your search