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Thomas Wigglesworth Jr. (1814-1907) Papers

Thomas Wigglesworth Jr. (1814-1907) Papers

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THOMAS WIGGLESWORTH JR. (1814-1907) PAPERS, 1823-1868

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:Wigglesworth, Thomas, 1814-1907
Title:Thomas Wigglesworth Jr. (1814-1907) Papers
Quantity:2 linear feet (2 boxes)
Abstract:The Thomas Wigglesworth Jr. papers contain business documents related to shipping, import and export of goods, prices current, and financial accounts.
Collection Number:MH 6

Series List

SERIES I. Shipping Papers
SERIES II. Financial and Trade Papers
A. Correspondence
B. Imports and Exports
C. Market Reports and Prices Current
D. Account Books
E. Other

Scope and Content Note

The Thomas Wigglesworth Jr. papers contain business documents related to shipping, import and export of goods, prices current, and financial accounts. Since the earliest material covers the time that Thomas Wigglesworth Jr. would have still been a child and later in college, it is possible that he acquired some of the items from his father or had written them out himself as he researched the market over the time covered (1824-1833). This collection is made up of two series.

Series I. Shipping Papers contain bills of lading emanating from Calcutta, a charter agreement, and details about the voyages of the ship Archangel. Also included is correspondence between Wigglesworth and supercargoes, some with written instructions to the supercargoes, including a notebook with detailed instructions about the type, quality, weight, value and handling of Indian commodities purchased and exported. In one of the letters, a supercargo in Calcutta makes reference to the troubles in Egypt in 1840.

Series II. Financial and Trade Papers contain five subseries. Subseries A. Correspondence, contains correspondence to Wigglesworth regarding trade and prices. Subseries B. Imports and Exports contain reports of the imports and/or exports out of specific ports or about specific items. Ports included in this subseries include: Bombay, Calcutta, and Canton [Guangzhou]. There is also a Bengal-to-English weight chart and a report on the import and export of Indigo in 1824.

Subseries C. Market Reports and Prices Current comprises the bulk of the collection. These reports, both printed and handwritten, are from various ports around the world and cover several decades. The reports are arranged alphabetically and include: Amsterdam, Antwerp, Buenos Ayres, Calcutta, Canton, Copenhagen, Geneva, Hamburg, Havana, Leghorn, Liverpool, London, Manila, Rotterdam, San Francisco, Singapore, St. Petersburg, and Triste.

Subseries D. Account Books contain two invoice account books. Subseries E. Other contains miscellaneous items such as a sales account and a Boston Weekly Report from August 19, 1826.

Biographical Sketch

Thomas Wigglesworth Jr. was born on July 1, 1814 to Thomas (1775-1855) and Jane (Norton) Wigglesworth. A lifetime resident of Boston and member of a prominent Massachusetts family, Thomas Jr. was a descendant of Edward Wigglesworth, who had arrived in America in 1638. Thomas Jr.'s grandfather, Edward (1732-1794) Wigglesworth II, had succeeded his father, Edward Wigglesworth, as the second Hollis professor of divinity at Harvard College and was, for a time, that institution's acting president. Thomas (1775-1855), a wealthy merchant, was known for his business integrity and acuity in the Calcutta and East India trade.

After graduating from Harvard College in 1833, Thomas Jr. read law for two years at Northampton and in the law office of the Honorable Charles G. Loring of Boston. However, he chose instead to involve himself with his father's merchant business, which was located at 16 India Wharf, in Boston, where he actively participated in the merchant trade.

Thomas Jr. remained in the merchant business for many years, gradually giving it up to care for property (his own and other's), and the various trusts associated with the property. He was also an educated and liberal patron of the arts (from Memorials of the Class of 1833, Harvard College, 141). He died in Boston on March 21, 1907.

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.

Wigglesworth, Thomas, 1814-1907
Augustin Wills and Company
Baring Brothers and Company
Prices current--Calcutta
Prices current--London
Shipping--East Indies
United States--Commerce--History


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

Thomas Wigglesworth Jr. (1814-1907) Papers, MH 6, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This material was donated by John P. Chase in 1984. Two account books and miscellaneous papers were donated by Mrs. Edward Jackson Holmes in 1955 (accession #13,392).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Roberta L. Kovitz April 1987. Updated by Hilary Streifer December 2014.

Related Material

Lovett, Robert W. and Eleanor C. Bishop. Manuscripts in Baker Library: A Guide to Sources for Business, Economic, and Social History.

Hale Family Papers, 1760-1855. MSS 117.

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