The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Clark, Arthur H., 1841-1922
Arthur H. Clark (1841-1922)
7.5 linear feet (7 boxes, 1 flat file)
The Arthur H. Clark papers
contain a combination of personal papers, papers relating to Clark's time as a ship
master and captain, both on private yachts and steamships involved in the China
trade, materials from his maritime research, and some scrapbooks.
SERIES I. Personal Papers SERIES II. Ship Master, Underwriter, and Agent Business
A. Non-steamship Papers
B. American Steamship Company
C. Suwo Nada
D. Underwriter and Agent Papers
E. Industry Related Papers
SERIES III. Publications SERIES IV. Research
A. The History of Yachting
B. Clipper Ships
C. Maritime Related Research
D. Marine Research Society
SERIES V. Scrapbooks
Scope and Content Note
The Arthur H. Clark papers contain a combination of personal papers, papers relating
to Clark's time as a ship master and captain, both on private yachts and steamships
involved in the China trade, materials from his maritime research, and some
scrapbooks. This collection has been divided into five series.
Series I. Personal Papers contains photographs of
Clark, legal papers, and personal correspondence. The legal papers include an award
against Clark, in favor of James Gordon Bennett, and Clark's will along with two
codicils. There are bills and receipts for artwork, and invitations and passes given
to Clark over the years, including material related to the launching of the armored
cruiser U.S.S. New York in 1891. Included in this series is a note
about a portrait of Clark when he was on the Indiana;
it appears that the note was written by former Peabody Museum Curator Lawrence W.
Jenkins, but there is no information about why the note was written or when. Also
included are materials related to a photography exhibit by Clark at the St. Botolph
Club, a street directory, and Clark's obituaries. There is also an auction catalog
from Karl and Faber included in this series. It is dated 1931, nine years after
Clark's death, so it is unclear who added this to the collection or why, but it has
been placed in this series because some of the auction items fall under Clark's
Series II. Ship Master, Agent, and Underwriter Business
Papers contains four subseries. Subseries A.
Non-steamship Papers contains materials from Clark's work on various
yachts and other vessels that were not steamships. This includes the yacht Alice, a broadside from the 1859 Boston Regatta, and the
cutter Margery Dow. Subseries B.
American Steamship Company contains papers related to Clark's time with
the company. This includes items such as recognition of Clark's time with the
company and his resignation from the company. This subseries also includes a
collection of letters from passengers praising Clark as a captain. Subseries C. Suwo Nada
contains material relating to the steamship Suwo Nada,
which Clark commanded, until it struck a rock and subsequently sunk in 1869. The
subseries includes a certificate of survey, clearance papers, protests, testimonies,
and articles about the sinking.
Subseries D. Underwriter and Agent Papers contains
materials from Clark's time as an underwriter for a number of marine insurance
underwriters, including the Boston Board of Underwriters, as well as material from
Clark's work as an agent for Lloyd's of London, in New York. Subseries E. Industry Related Papers contains professional certificates
earned by Clark, and letters of recommendation. The subseries also includes industry
related materials such as an employee manual from the Shanghai Steam Navigation
Company, and news clippings about the financial problems of the Hong Kong Pier and
the Godown Company.
Series III. Publications contains publications by
Clark and reviews of those publications. This includes a series of
letters-to-the-editor of the New York Evening Post,
"Clipper Ships and their Records" by Clark, and publication announcements and
reviews of Clark's History of Yachting.
Series IV. Research contains research related notes,
articles, transcriptions of articles and excerpts from larger works, inquiries, and
correspondence related to Clark's various research topics. This series contain four
subseries. Subseries A. History of Yachting contains
research materials related to the history of yachting from the 16th to the 19th
centuries. This includes articles removed from journals, and transcriptions from
larger works. Subseries B. Clipper Ships contains
research materials related to the history of clipper ships. This includes
correspondence regarding research requests made by Clark, articles removed from
journals, newspapers, and magazines. Subseries C. Maritime
Related Research contains research from various related topics such as
lists of goods shipped, ship building, and prominent naval figures. Included in this
subseries are journal articles, transcripts of larger works, and news clippings.
Also included in this subseries is a folder of illustrations that have been removed
from various publications; some of these were removed from Clark's scrapbooks. The
material was separated with the comment "Newspaper cuts, etc., some to mount for
[Marine Room] cab". Subseries D. Marine Society Research
contains material related to Clark's proposed book From Galley
to Galleon: The Ships and Sailors of Early Days. The book was going to be
published posthumously by the Marine Research Society as publication number 23, but
it never was. There is correspondence requesting previously published images,
photographs and prints, an edited manuscript (separated into two folders because of
its size), and advertising materials. It should be noted that the advertising
materials are unrelated to Clark or his manuscript, but were filed in the same
folder as his editor's correspondence with publishers, so they have been left
together; it is unclear who added them to the collection or why—for example, there
is a memorandum from the Massachusetts office of the state quartermaster advertising
captured German war trophies available for sale to select organizations, dated
Series V. Scrapbooks contains three scrapbooks. The
first scrapbook contains transcriptions of logbook entries, articles, abstracts of
letters, news clippings, and correspondence to Clark. The second scrapbook is
labeled "Letters Mounted and Not," it is unclear if this was Clark's title, and
contains correspondence to Clark. The third scrapbook contains transcripts of
articles, news clippings and journal articles. All of the scrapbooks relate to
Clark's research on ships.
Arthur Hamilton Clark was born on December 27, 1841 to
Benjamin Cutler and Mary (Preston) Clark, in Boston, Massachusetts. Benjamin was a
prominent Boston merchant and ship owner. After studying at Boston Latin School for
two years, Arthur convinced his father to allow him to go to sea sailing as a "boy"
aboard Black Prince. After two years, he returned to
Boston as third mate and received his father's blessing to make the sea his career.
Shortly thereafter he attained master's status and commanded both sail and steam
powered vessels during his career at sea. When he returned home in 1865, he
commanded the yacht Alice, from Boston to Cowes,
England, in 19 days—making it, at that time, the smallest yacht to cross the
Atlantic, and the first American yacht to sail from the United States directly to
England. After returning to the States, Clark continued to command steamships
engaged in the China trade.
For several years, Clark mastered vessels on the China coast, returning to the
United States in 1874 serving as master of vessels for the American Steamship
Company for the next two years. In 1877, the then Captain Clark accepted a position
in London, representing a number of American marine insurance underwriters,
including the Boston Board of Underwriters, a position which he held for the next
thirteen years. During his stay in England he married Anna Eichenberger, the
daughter of Jean and Marie Eichenberger. Following his stay in England, he returned
to the United States in 1895 to become an agent for Lloyds of London in New York. He
retired from this position in 1920 and moved to Newburyport, Massachusetts, where he
died on July 5, 1922.
Captain Clark was well known in yachting circles, and was an accomplished
oarsman in his teen years; in fact, he was a member of the one the first crews that
defeated Harvard in rowing on the Charles River. He became a writer in his later
years. He published two major works: The Clipper Ship Era: An
Epitome of Famous American and British Clipper Ships, Their Owners, Builders,
Commanders, and Crews, 1843-1869, and The History
of Yachting, 1600-1815.
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.
Margery Dow (Cutter)
Shanghai Steam Navigation Company
Suwo Nada (Steamship)
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
Arthur H. Clark (1841-1922) Papers, MH 58, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum,
A portion of this collection was received in November 1922, however, no accession
information is available. Some materials were a gift from the Marine Research
Collection processed by Robert Craig, November 2002. Updated by Hilary Streifer,
Philpott, A. J. "Great Marine Authority Dies in Newburyport."
Boston Daily Globe 9 July 1922: 40.
Rogers, R. E. Arthur Hamilton Clark, 1841-1922.
Volume of clippings.
Captain Arthur H. Clark Scrapbook Collection, 1848-1897 SCR 3.
The Arthur H. Clark papers contain a combination of personal papers, papers relating to Clark's time as a ship master and captain, both on private yachts and steamships involved in the China trade, materials from his maritime research, and some scrapbooks.