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Newburyport Bridge Corporation (1826-1867) Records

Newburyport Bridge Corporation (1826-1867) Records

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Open Finding Aid

NEWBURYPORT BRIDGE CORPORATION (1826-1867) RECORDS, 1821-1871





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:Newburyport Bridge Corporation
Title:Newburyport Bridge Corporation (1826-1867) Records
Dates:1821/1871
Quantity:2.25 linear feet (5 boxes)
Abstract:The Newburyport Bridge Corporation Records contain the administrative and business records of the corporation from 1826-1867.
Collection Number:MSS 158

Series List


SERIES I. Administrative Records
SERIES II. Business Records
SERIES III. Miscellaneous Papers

Scope and Content Note

The Newburyport Bridge Corporation Records contain the administrative and business records of the corporation from 1826-1867. The collection has been divided into three series.


Series I. Administrative Records includes directors' and stockholders' records, dividend and treasurer books, and legal papers and agreements concerning the corporation.


Series II. Business Records reflect the financial and operational aspects of the management of the corporation. They include business correspondence, accounts of tolls collected, bills and receipts, and labor rolls.


Series III. Miscellaneous Papers, 1821-1867, contain papers unrelated to the Newburyport Bridge Corporation. Personal and business correspondence, legal papers, and bills and receipts are the main items included in the folder.


Historical Sketch

The Newburyport Bridge Corporation received its charter on March 4, 1826. James Prince, John Wood, Stephen Frothingham, and others were named as the Proprietors of the Newburyport Bridge. John Porter was clerk and treasurer of the Corporation for 32 years, followed by A.D. Brown and R. Fowler. Thomas Haven served as the agent for the construction of the bridge.


The Corporation's charter stated that the Proprietors were authorized within three years to build a bridge across the Merrimack River at some convenient point between the westerly side of Kent Street and the easterly side of Market Street in Newburyport to some convenient point in Salisbury. The charter contained guidelines for the construction of the bridge and provided for the collection of tolls by the Proprietors. The tolls were to start on the first day the bridge and road were open to traffic and continue for forty years. Then the bridge was to revert to, and become the property of, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Construction on the bridge was started in 1826, shortly after the charter was granted, and completed in the fall of 1827. The bridge consisted of two roadways, suspended side by side, and provided for passage of foot passengers as well as carriages and other vehicles. A draw was provided for the passage of vessels up and down the river.


On April 8, 1840 an agreement was reached between the Newburyport Bridge Corporation and the Eastern Railroad Company by which the latter agreed to erect a new bridge utilizing the existing pieces of the Newburyport Bridge.


The new bridge was to consist of two road-beds, one above the other. The top road-bed was for railroad traffic, and the lower one for foot traffic, carriages, and other vehicles. Under this agreement the Newburyport Corporation still had the collection and use of the tolls. Because of heavy traffic, a separate railroad bridge was eventually built.


In 1867, the charter of the Corporation expired and the bridge reverted to the Commonwealth.


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.

Eastern Railroad Company
Newburyport Bridge Corporation
Account books
Bridges--Design and construction
Bridges--Massachusetts--Newburyport
Bridges--Massachusetts--Salisbury
Stock companies
Toll bridges
Merrimack River Valley (N.H. and Mass.)

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

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

Newburyport Bridge Corporation (1826-1867) Records, MSS 158, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

The collection is a reorganization of 17 volumes and 3 scrapbooks, all of which are from an unknown source.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Donald Gleason, September 1984. Updated by Catherine Robertson, March 2015.


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