Processing and conservation for this
collection was funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the
The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Kimball, Edmund, 1762-1847
Edmund Kimball (1762-1847)
7 linear feet (13 boxes)
The Edmund Kimball papers
contain the personal and business papers of Newburyport, Massachusetts, shipping merchant Edmund
Kimball (1762-1847) and the correspondence and legal papers of his son, Edmund
Kimball (1793-1873), who was an attorney and state senator.
SERIES I. Edmund Kimball (1762-1847) Papers
A. Ships' Papers
C. Legal and Financial Papers
SERIES II. Edmund Kimball (1793-1873) Papers SERIES III. Miscellaneous Papers
Scope and Content Note
The Edmund Kimball papers contain the personal and business papers of Newburyport
shipping merchant Edmund Kimball (1762-1847) and the correspondence and legal papers
of his son, Edmund Kimball (1793-1873), who was an attorney and state senator. This
collection has been divided into three series.
Series I. Edmund Kimball's (1762-1847) Papers contain
personal and business papers, which reflect the development of his mercantile career
from shipmaster to merchant and shop owner, and his avid interest in educational and
religious societies. This series is divided into three subseries. Subseries A. Ships' Papers is arranged alphabetically by
ship and includes records for ships owned or mastered by Edmund between the years
1786 and 1826. These vessels traded with the West Indies, Europe, Calcutta, and
coastwise America. Included with the papers of the vessels Glide, Ocean, and Draper are letters from co-owner Francis Todd. Miscellaneous ships'
papers, arranged chronologically, include records for consigned cargo and chartered
vessels. Also located here are shipbuilding agreements and miscellaneous invoices
and accounts of sales. Underwriting and outfitting accounts and receipts are filed
with the financial records.
Subseries B. Correspondence includes letterbooks,
merchant house correpsondence, and miscellaneous correspondence. Additional
correspondence relating to the procurement, shipment, and sale of cargo can also be
found in this subseries. The letterbooks contain both ingoing and outgoing
correspondence with merchant houses and shipmasters from 1803 to 1825. The merchant
house correspondence from Boston, Cadiz, Hamburg, Jamaica, London, New Orleans, and
New York contains letters that do not discuss the activities of specific ships. Also
filed here are letters from the co-owners of Edmund's vessels. Miscellaneous
correspondence includes shipping, personal, and business letters. It discusses
Edmund's investments in banks, insurance, and real estate; procurement of goods for
his store and vessels; his financial support of religious and educational societies;
and the activities of his family.
Subseries C. Legal and Financial Records contain
legal agreements, account books, and accounts and bills for his personal and
business activities. Within the accounts and bills are receipts for the outfitting
of vessels, underwriting accounts, inventories of farm utensils and real estate, and
donations to societies.
Series II. Edmund Kimball (1793-1873) Papers largely
consist of correspondence received as an attorney, state senator, and Whig party
member. Of note in the correspondence is a letter from Edmund, while serving as a
state senator, to a newspaper discussing Henry Wilson's slavery resolve; and an 1819
letter from a friend aboard the U. S. frigate Macedonian, describing the battles between Spain and Chile. Edmund's
papers also include his attorney case notes, bills and legal notices; legal acts and
petitions as state senator; circulars and annual reports from civic societies, and
railroad companies; and an 1833 passport to Cuba.
Series III. Miscellaneous Papers contains one folder
of miscellaneous, undated papers.
Edmund Kimball was born on November 24, 1762 to Thomas and
Mary (Cross) Kimball in Wenham, Massachusetts. Thomas Kimball was a captain in the
Wenham Company at the time of the Lexington alarm in 1775. Edmund was a soldier
during the Revolutionary War. In 1779, he enlisted in Captain Benjamin Peabody's
company, which was part of Colonel Jacob Gerrish's regiment. In June 1780 he
enlisted in in Captain Speer's company, which was a part of Colonel Nixon's regiment
of the Massachusetts Line of the Continental Army and was stationed at various
points in New York and New Jersey. Edmund was discharged in December 1780. He then
worked as a ship master, eventually becoming a shipping merchant and shop owner in
Edmund married his first wife, Anna Porter, on April 27, 1791; they had three
children together. After Anna died in 1796, Edmund married his second wife, Mrs.
Lucy (Runnells) Balch. Edmund died on December 8, 1847.
Edmund Kimball was born on August 16, 1793 to Edmund
(1762-1847) and Anna Kimball in Newburyport, Massachusetts. He graduated from
Harvard College in 1814 and soon after began studying law in Boston, spending time
in the office of Daniel Webster. Edmund was an elected representative in the
legislature in Boston in 1820 and a state senator after that; he also represented
Wenham in the general Court. He practiced law for a number of years, retiring in
He married Mary W. Beckford in 1834, and they had eight children together. After
Edmund's retirement in 1840, he moved to his estate in Wenham, where he resided
until his death on November 7, 1873.
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.
Kimball, Edmund, 1762-1847
Kimball, Edmund, 1793-1873
Benjamin and Nancy (Brig)
St. Paul (Brig)
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research use.
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
This material is an integration and reorganization of 17 scrapbook volumes, seven
account books, and several miscellaneous folders. The 1803 to 1806 letter book was a
1964 purchase; the remainder of the collection is from an unknown source.
Collection processed by Prudence Backman and Sylvia B. Kennick, November 1982.
Updated by Hilary Streifer, November 2014.
Balch, Galusha B. Genealogy of the Balch Families in
America. Salem, MA: Eben Putnam, 1897.
Morrison, Leonard Allison. History of the Kimball Family
in America, From 1634 to 1897, and of its Ancestors the Kemballs or Kemboldes of
England, With an Account of the Kembles of Boston, Massachusetts.
Interlaken, NY: Heart of the Lakes Publishing, 1981.
Porter, Joseph W. A Genealogy of the Descendants of
Richard Porter. Bangor, ME: Burr and Robinson, Printers, 1878.
The Edmund Kimball papers contain the personal and business papers of Newburyport, Massachusetts, shipping merchant Edmund Kimball (1762-1847) and the correspondence and legal papers of his son, Edmund Kimball (1793-1873), who was an attorney and state senator.
This material is an integration and reorganization of 17 scrapbook volumes, seven account books, and several miscellaneous folders. The 1803 to 1806 letter book was a 1964 purchase; the remainder of the collection is from an unknown source.