Processing and conservation of this collection
were funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Hale Family Papers
11.5 linear feet (23 boxes, 4 volumes, 1
The Hale Family Papers are comprised of shipping,
business, and personal papers of this Newbury, Massachusetts, family.
SERIES I. Shipping Papers SERIES II. Thomas (1773-1836) and Mary (Little) Hale
(1786-1871) SERIES III. Ebenezer Hale (1774-1848) SERIES IV. Thomas Hale's (1773-1836) Children
A. Moses Little (1799-1874) and Mary Lane (Miltimore) Hale
B. Thomas Hale (1800-1854)
C. Sarah Hale (1802-1834)
D. Josiah Little Hale (1803-1875)
E. Edward Hale (1805-1886)
F. Mary Little Hale (1807-1859)
G. Ebenezer Hale (1809-1847)
SERIES V. Joshua (1812-1894) and Sophia (Tenney) Hale (d.
1901) SERIES VI. Benjamin Hale (1797-1863) and his
Family SERIES VII. Family Papers
A. Miscellaneous Hale Papers
C. Family Diaries
Scope and Content Note
The Hale Family Papers are comprised of shipping, business, and personal papers of this
Newbury, Massachusetts, family. The bulk of the collection consists of personal
correspondence among family members. The remaining papers contain only a partial
record of the Hale shipping business and scant information concerning the maritime
insurance activities of Moses (1799-1874), Thomas (1800-1854), Josiah (1803-1875),
Ebenezer (1809-1847), and Joshua (1812-1894) Hale. The papers have been divided into
Series I. Shipping Papers, 1810-1865, contains ships'
papers, business correspondence among the Hale family as merchants and ship masters,
and miscellaneous shipping correspondence. Only a portion of the ships' papers
produced by the family's 20 vessels are included in this collection (the bulk of the
papers may be found in MH 113). The records do,
however, provide a glimpse of the thriving maritime business which Hale brothers,
Thomas (1800-1854), Joshua (1812-1894), and Josiah (1803-1875), conducted in
partnership with their uncle Ebenezer (1774-1848). The papers of the brig Alice and the ship Geneva,
the best documented ships in this collection, typify the prosperous business which
Hale vessels conducted in iron, salt, and cotton from the southern United States and
the West Indies to Europe. Of interest in the papers of the ship Geneva is a list of Joshua's shipboard library while he
was master of the vessel. The collection also contains papers of the Hale family's
whaling vessels: the bark Alice, ship Huntsville, and the ship Splendid. Accounts of Ebenezer's (1774-1848) and Thomas' (1773-1836)
ship Belleville may be found in Thomas' ledger (box 6
folder 4). Miscellaneous ships' papers include records of chartered vessels and
documents mentioning more than one ship. Correspondence of Thomas (1800-1854),
Joshua (1812-1894), and Ebenezer (1774-1848) while they were masters or mates on
Hale vessels is included with the papers of each ship. Correspondence among the
Hales reflecting the general activities of the family's mercantile business is
located with the Hale shipping correspondence. Miscellaneous shipping correspondence
includes letters from merchants and information regarding the family's shipbuilding
The papers of family members are primarily organized by the birth dates of
individuals. Exceptions include wives, who immediately follow their husbands, and
Series VI. Benjamin Hale (1797-1863), who is filed
with his family. Correspondence among family members is filed under author rather
than recipient. Papers of an individual's parents, children, and siblings must
therefore be searched for letters written to that individual. Family correspondence
of Alice Little (Hale) and her husband Revered John March may be found in MSS 118.
Series II. Thomas (1773-1836) and Mary (Little) Hale
(1786-1871) consists primarily of personal correspondence and financial
papers from 1796 to 1860. Thomas' correspondence and ledger also reflect his
business as a hatter and store owner, and his shipping interests in the southern
United States and the West Indies. Correspondence from Thomas and Mary to Colonel
Josiah Little (1747-1830) and Josiah Little Jr. (1791-1860) may be found in the
Little Family Papers (MSS 67). Mary's correspondence
contains a number of letters from her brother, Edward Little.
Series III. Ebenezer Hale (1774-1848), 1798-1856,
consists mostly of his financial records as an agent for Sarah Little and guardian
of her husband John (non compos mentis). In addition, Ebenezer's correspondence and
account books briefly illuminate his activities as financial agent for other
individuals, Dummer Academy, and a number of rental properties. Ebenezer's merchant
papers and records while master of the ship Dromo and
bark America are located in Series I.
Series IV. Thomas Hale's (1773-1836) Children, 1815-1875,
is comprised of correspondence and financial papers of Moses and his wife Mary Lane
(Miltimore), Thomas (1800-1854), Sarah, Josiah, Edward, Mary, and Ebenezer
(1809-1847) Hale. Apart from personal information, Moses' papers contain slight
information regarding his interest in maritime insurance. Thomas' (1800-1854) papers
are of a personal nature and contain no records of his insurance activities. His
merchant records and papers while master of the brig America, brig Alice, and ship Persia, are located in Series I. Of interest in the
papers of Sarah Hale is the record of her last hours of life. Josiah's papers
contain correspondence and a letterbook regarding his banking and insurance
activities. These include records of insurance on vessels and cargos, and
descriptions of and instructions regarding maritime protests. The papers of Edward
Hale consist of correspondence and a ledger reflecting his farming life. The ledger
also includes estate accounts of his father Thomas (1773-1836). The papers contain
no information concerning his store in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This series, while
it does not hold papers of Ebenezer's (1809-1847) medical practice, does contain
information relating to his insurance business and his interest in Hale genealogy.
Papers and two notebooks of genealogical material compiled by Ebenezer may be found
in Series VII.
Series V. Joshua (1812-1894) and Sophia (Tenney) Hale (d.
1901) consists of personal correspondence. Of note is a letter from an
acquaintance convicted of smuggling in Liverpool (1837), news of Indian scares in
Colorado Springs (1878), and descriptions of black labor strikes and riots in
Thibodeaux, Louisiana (1887). Joshua's correspondence and financial papers also
include banking and insurance papers, and estate accounts of the Little and Hale
families. For his part in the family shipping business and papers generated while he
was master of the brig Alice, and the ships Geneva, John Baring, Pacific, and Persia, see Series I. Sophia's correspondence includes letters from her
parents, Abner and Sophia Tenney, and her sisters H. Ann, Mary, and Martha Jane.
Series VI. Benjamin Hale (1797-1863) and his Children
consists primarily of the correspondence of Josiah (1841-1903), Thomas (b. 1834),
Cyrus (1838-1874), and Alice Little Hale (b. 1845), and Benjamin Hale Douglas (b.
1855). Benjamin's (1797-1863) correspondence includes letters written while a
student at Bowdoin College (1816-1818) and the Andover Theological Seminary (1820),
while a tutor at Bowdoin (1820), principal of the Gardiner Lyceum, a professor at
Dartmouth College, and president of Geneva (later Hobart) College in Geneva, New
York. His papers also include his will and the copyright for his book An Introduction to the Mechanical Principles of
Carpentry. This collection does not contain significant information
concerning Benjamin's activities as a minister. The papers of Benjamin's family
include Thomas' (b. 1834) correspondence regarding his financial investments,
letters from Josiah (1841-1903) on his farm outside of Boston, and letters from
Benjamin Hale Douglas while he was sheepherding in Colorado (1878-1879).
Series VII. Family Papers contain miscellaneous Hale
papers, genealogical material, 19 volumes of the family diaries, and photographs.
Miscellaneous papers include papers of Lucy (Balch) (b. 1836), Benjamin (1827-1901),
Lydia (1769-1852), Joshua (b. 1869), Daniel, and Cyrus (1867-1903) Hale. Anonymous
proposals for the construction of a school house in Newbury (1848-1849) are also
located here. Most of the genealogical notes and two of the genealogical notebooks
were compiled by Ebenezer Hale (1809-1847). Volume 5 was compiled by Benjamin
(1797-1863). In addition to information on the Hale family, the volumes contain
notes concerning the Little, Banister, Wigglesworth, White, Toppan, and Bailey
families. The family diaries, started by Thomas Hale (1773-1836) in 1834, run
without interruption until 1915. Over the years, many family members recorded
domestic and family news in these 19 record books. The photographs consist of four
photograph albums, portraits, and views of Newbury homes.
Thomas Hale (1773-1836): Newbury hatter, town treasurer
and justice of the peace; he also engaged in shipping activities. Hale married Alice
Little (1775-1819) and upon her death, married her sister Mary Little
Ebenezer Hale (1774-1848): Thomas Hale's brother. Newbury
merchant and ship master. Hale was elected president of the Ocean Bank and trustee
of Dummer Academy. He married Lucy (Balch) French.
Moses Little Hale (1799-1874): Thomas Hale's (1773-1836)
son. Hale was secretary of the Merchants' Insurance Company and the Massachusetts
Hospital Life Insurance Company, Boston. He married Mary Lane Miltimore in 1824.
Thomas Hale (1800-1854): Thomas Hale's (1773-1836) son.
Shipping merchant and ship master; he was also a store owner in Portsmouth, New
Hampshire, and vice president of the Merchants' Insurance Company, the Alliance
Insurance Company, and the Atlantic Insurance Company, New York.
Sarah (1802-1834), Mary (1807-1854), and Alice Little Hale (1811-1889): Thomas Hale's (1773-1836)
daughters. Alice married Reverend John C. March.
Josiah Hale (1803-1875): Thomas Hale's (1773-1836) son.
Shipping merchant; he was also secretary of the Washington Insurance Company and in
1829 established the Atlantic Insurance Company, New York.
Edward Hale (1805-1886): Thomas Hale's (1773-1836) son.
Ran a wholesale store in Saco, Maine and looked after Colonel Josiah Little's farm
and estate upon the Colonel's death. Hale settled on his Newbury, Vermont, farm in
Ebenezer Hale (1809-1847): Thomas Hale's (1773-1836) son.
Hale graduated from Dartmouth College Medical School and was an M.D. in Newbury,
Vermont. He was also secretary of a New York insurance company and a noted
Joshua Hale (1812-1894): Thomas Hale's (1773-1836) son.
Hale was a shipping merchant and periodically a ship master on Hale family vessels.
He was also secretary of the Atlantic Insurance Company and vice president of the
Union Marine Insurance Company, New York. He married Sophia Cutler Tenney (died
Benjamin Hale (1797-1863): Thomas Hale's (1773-1836) son.
Graduated from Bowdoin College (1818) and studied at the Andover Theological
Seminary. Hale was principal of the Gardiner Lyceum (1823), professor of chemistry
and mineralogy at Dartmouth College (1827-1835), and president of Geneva (later
Hobart) College in Geneva, New York (1836-1858). He and his wife Mary Caroline King
had seven children.
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.
Douglas, Benjamin Hale, 1855-
Hale, Alice Little, b. 1845
Hale, Benjamin, 1797-1863
Hale, Cyrus King, 1838-1874
Hale, Ebenezer, 1774-1848
Hale, Ebenezer, 1809-1847
Hale, Edward, 1805-1886
Hale, Joshua, 1812-1894
Hale, Josiah Little, 1841-1903
Hale, Mary Lane Miltimore, d. 1879
Hale, Mary Little, 1786-1871
Hale, Mary, 1807-1859
Hale, Moses Little, 1799-1874
Hale, Sarah, 1802-1834
Hale, Sophia Tenney, d. 1901
Hale, Thomas, 1773-1836
Hale, Thomas, 1800-1854
Little, Edward, 1773-1849
Tenney, M. J. (Martha Jane), 1832-
White, H. Ann Tenney
Andover Theological Seminary
Gardiner Lyceum (Gardiner, Me.)
John Baring (Ship)
Death and mourning
Estates, administration of
Indians of North America
Strikes and lockouts
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
Hale Family Papers, MSS 117, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.
The Hale Family Papers are a reorganization and integration of 16 boxes of manuscript
material, 19 volumes of family diaries, 7 account books, and 1 folder of
correspondence from the Little Family Papers (MSS 67). The collection is from an
unknown source. Removed from the collection are correspondence and legal papers of
Alice Little (Hale) March, Reverend John C. March, Captain John March, and Josiah
and Edward Little.
Collection processed by Sylvia B. Kennick, April 1984. Updated by Catherine
Robertson, January 2015.
Hale, Robert Safford. Genealogy of Descendants of Thomas
Hale. Ed. George R. Howell. Albany, New York: Weed, Parsons and Company,