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John Anderson (1816-1864) Papers

John Anderson (1816-1864) Papers

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JOHN ANDERSON (1816-1864) PAPERS, 1850-1864

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:Anderson, John, 1816-1864
Title:John Anderson (1816-1864) Papers
Quantity:4.5 linear feet (6 boxes)
Abstract:The John Anderson papers contains materials relating to Anderson's time as a commercial sea captain and supercargo, in addition to materials from his time as a foreign agent for the Boston and New York firm of Daniel G. and William B. Bacon and Company.
Collection Number:MH 29

Series List

SERIES I. Business Papers
A. Ships' Papers
B. Financial Papers
C. Correspondence
D. Other
SERIES II. Personal Papers
A. Financial Papers
B. Other

Scope and Content Note

The John Anderson papers contains materials relating to Anderson's time as a commercial sea captain and supercargo, in addition to materials from his time as a foreign agent for the Boston and New York firm of Daniel G. and William B. Bacon and Company. This collection has been divided into two series.

Series I. Business Papers contains materials from Anderson's time as a sea captain, supercargo, and foreign agent. It has been divided into four subseries. Subseries A. Ships' Papers contains the material related to specific ships, such as cargo invoices, letters of credit, bills of lading, freight bills, insurance documents, and associated correspondence. Subseries B. Financial Papers contains account books, bills, receipts, and an invoice book. The invoice book includes invoices for cargos sent to Boston, as well as disbursements for vessels owned by Daniel G. and William B. Bacon and Company. Subseries C. Correspondence contains letter books which contain correspondence to and from Anderson's employers and other foreign agents. The correspondence includes material largely related to Anderson's activities as an agent for Daniel G. and William B. Bacon and Company. Subseries D. Other contains miscellaneous shipping related papers.

Series II. Personal Papers contains material not necessarily related to Anderson's activities as a sea captain, supercargo, or foreign agent. This series has been divided into two subseries. Subseries A. Financial Papers contains day books, ledgers, and cash books. Some of the books do relate to the shipping and merchant industry; however, because of the dates and additional subjects in the books, they have not been added to the business papers. Subseries B. Other contains a bound volume of poems written by Anderson's wife, Lydia Adeline (Chase) Anderson. Some of the poems are addressed to Anderson.

Biographical Sketch

John Anderson was born on October 7, 1816 in Christiana (now Oslo), Norway. He arrived in the United States in 1835. He was a commercial sea captain and commission sales agent.

The first American ship that Anderson served on was the Harriet of Portland, under Captain Stout. Anderson later served on the Somerset of Boston. Between 1844 and 1853, he was master of Three Brothers, owned by G. T. Lyman of Boston, Massachusetts. From 1853 to late 1856, Anderson was master of Thomas William Sears. In October 1856, while on a voyage to India, Anderson turned over command of Thomas William Sears to Captain Joseph E. Jones and continued as the sole foreign sales agent for Daniel G. and William B. Bacon and Company, one of the largest shipping firms in Boston and New York, in the hopes of having more profitable employment. He was in charge of all of their ships, ships' masters, routings, and cargo bought and sold in South Africa, India, Ceylon, East Indies, Macao, China, Australia, and Manila. He worked for the firm as a foreign agent until 1862.

In February 1847, Anderson married Lydia Adeline Chase who was born on February 19, 1822, to Stephen and Sarah (Merrill) Chase in Plaistow, New Hampshire. The couple had no children. John Anderson died from complications from malaria in 1864. Lydia Anderson died in 1902 at their home, the Milton Chase Mansion, in Haverhill, Massachusetts. Both are buried in the Linwood Cemetery, in Haverhill; their grave is marked by a monument which is engraved with a large ship's anchor and chain.

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.

Anderson, Lydia Chase, 1822-1902
Bacon, Daniel G. (Daniel Gorham), b. 1819
Bacon, William B.
Arabella (Ship)
Ariadne (Ship)
Black Sea (Ship)
Cherubim (Ship)
Chilo (Ship)
Colorado (Battleship)
D.G. & W.B. Bacon & Co. (Boston, Mass.)
Empire State (Steamer)
Game Cock (Ship)
Hornet (Ship)
Maury (Ship)
Moneynick (Bark)
Negotiator (Ship)
Ocean Bride (Ship)
Quickstep (Bark)
Reaper (Ship)
Sabine (Ship)
Samuel Appleton (Ship)
Santiago (Ship)
Sweepstakes (Ship)
Thomas W. Sears (Ship)
Three Brothers (Bark)
Welkin (Bark)


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 Anderson (1816-1864) Papers, MH 29, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This material was bought on September 15, 1931 (accession #8,796). Nine account books were purchased in 1929, and one was purchased in 1931. Collections MSS 122 and Acc. 2009.020 were integrated into this collection. There is no available information on the provenance of MSS 122; it was originally processed in May 1984 by Prudence K. Backman. Collection Acc. 2009.020 consisting of a letter book dated 1850-1856 and a bound collection of poems written by Lydia A. Anderson was a gift from the family of Richard Sargent Keene in 2009.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Frank Chmara, August 2003. Updated by Hilary Streifer, February 2015.

Related Material

Chase, John Carroll and George Walter Chamberlain. Seven Generations of the Descendants of Aquila and Thomas Chase. Camden, ME: Picton Press, 1993.

Copies of manuscript materials relating to Captain John Anderson. MH 0.322

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