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John C. Nelson (fl. 1850-1874) Papers

John C. Nelson (fl. 1850-1874) Papers

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JOHN C. NELSON (fl. 1850-1874) PAPERS, 1839-1904

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:Nelson, John C., fl. 1850-1874
Title:John C. Nelson (fl. 1850-1874) Papers
Quantity:0.5 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:The John C. Nelson Papers consist of shipping papers and some personal receipts for ship captain John C. Nelson.
Collection Number:MH 252

Series List

SERIES I. John C. Nelson PapersSERIES II. Maritime Records

Scope and Content Note

The John C. Nelson Papers consist of shipping papers and some personal receipts for ship captain John C. Nelson. The collection has been arranged into two series.

Series I. John C. Nelson Papers consist of financial accounts to vessel owners, receipt for successful delivery of goods, and bills and receipts for services and supplies (especially from Hicks & Bailey and Grant & Kimball). Some receipts appear to be for personal items. The papers provide insight into the career of one captain and the day-to-day running of the vessels. The papers in this collection are financial in nature. The papers relate to Nelson's activities as captain of four vessels from 1850 to 1874: the brigs Naratiske, Nuevitas, Crocus, and Nellie Mitchell, as well as those which do not name a specific vessel. The papers mention stops in several ports: Ponce, Mayaguez and Arecibo, Puerto Rico; Vera Cruz and Minatitlan, Republic of Mexico; Havana and Caibarien, Cuba; Aspinwall (now Colon), Panama; Bissau, Portuguese Guinea; Gambia and Rio Pongo, West Africa; and New York, New York, New Haven, Connecticut, Hallowell, Maine, Gardiner, Maine, Brunswick, Georgia, Pensacola, Florida, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Series II. Maritime Records consist of four folders. The first folder consists of six of William Fabens' financial receipts from 1841 to 1857. The second group consists of receipt forms for items unloaded in New York from the bark Roderick Dhu over a two day period in 1849. The third group is a collection of blank shipping forms. Finally, there are several miscellaneous receipts and letters dated 1839 to 1904.

Biographical Sketch

John C. Nelson (fl. 1850-1874) of New Haven, Connecticut, was the captain of a number of vessels. The brig Naratiske, on which he served from 1850 to 1854, was based in Hallowell, Maine. The brig Nuevitas of New Haven, on which he served from 1857 to 1860, was built in Ellsworth, Maine and owned by Towner and Co. The brig Crocus of Gardner, Maine, on which he served in 1862, was built in 1848 in that city and owned by William Walter Bradstreet. Finally, the brig Nellie Mitchell, on which he served from 1868 to 1871, was built in Farmingdale, Maine, in 1864 and owned by D.B. Dearborne and Peter G. Bradstreet.

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.

Nelson, John C.
Crocus (Brig)
Naratiske (Brig)
Nellie Mitchell (Brig)
Nuevitas (Brig)
Roderick Dhu (Bark)
Ship captains


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. Nelson (fl. 1850-1874) Papers, MH 252, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This material was purchased on October 2, 1990 (accession #25,437).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Rowena L. Griem, November 1991 and Leslie Ward, December 2010. Updated by Catherine Robertson, December 2014.

Related Material

American Shipmasters' Association. The Record of American and Foreign Shipping. New York: January 1, 1869.

The American Historical Society. Maine: A History, Volume 4. New York: 1919.

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