The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Waters, Robert H., 1826-1881
Robert H. Waters (1826-1881)
1.5 Linear feet (3 boxes)
The Robert H. Waters Papers
contain correspondence and shipping papers of both Robert H. Waters and John
SERIES I. Shipping Papers SERIES II. Robert H. Waters Business
Correspondence SERIES III. John Banchor Correspondence
Scope and Content Note
The Robert H. Waters Papers contain correspondence and
shipping papers of both Robert H. Waters and John Banchor. There are also a number
of real estate papers and other correspondence as well as ships' logs, ships'
account books, and ships' disbursement books. The collection consists of three
Series I. Shipping Papers includes correspondence,
accounts, receipts, and account books of the ships commanded and/or partly owned by
Waters. The account books also include invoices of merchandise shipped aboard
vessels commanded by Waters. Correspondence consists primarily of letters of
instruction to Waters from his employers, Theodore and George Chase, concerning
insurance rates and commission on cargos and charters.
Series II. Robert H. Waters Business Correspondence
documents Waters' various business affaris, including his accounts and real estate
investments. The acconts and account books also contain some of his personal and
household expenses. In addition, postscripts to the letters of instruction addressed
to John Banchor from Felton & Waters include some personal notes from Waters to
his father-in-law. Letters of instruction from Felton & Waters to John Banchor
(B2 F2) provide details of the operation of a distillery. The papers in Box 2 Folder
4 document Waters' investment in the company F. F. Holbrook and Small, a firm
dealing in agricultural implements. Waters' personal real estate investments (B2 F6)
indicate his interest in properties sold as a result of bankruptcies. His real
estate holdings included lands in Beverly, Massachusetts, and Boston.
Series III.The John Banchor Correspondence includes letters from
family members to Banchor, many relating to his financial difficulties and to his
intended move from New York to Boston. There are also some accounts and receipts of
a domestic nature.
Robert H. Waters was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on
February 27, 1826. He was the son of Robert Waters (1791-1868) of Salem,
Massachusetts, and Mary (nee Breach) of New Haven, Connecticut. Waters came to
Salem, Massachusetts in 1843 at the age of seventeen to join the Merchant Marine. He
learned the trade of navigation and was engaged by Brookhouse and West, a large
shipping house in Salem. His first command was the barque Imaum and then the Vaspasian. From 1856 to
1861 he sailed for Theodore and George Chase, Boston ship owners engaged in the
China trade, commanding the Buena Vista, the Industry, and the Eagle
In 1861 Waters joined in partnership with Luther H. Felton, a Boston distiller
and owner of the Crystal Spring Distillery. Waters then moved to Boston and called
the new firm Felton & Waters Distillers and Rectifiers. The company engaged in
the manufacture of New England rum and other liquors. This firm was dissolved in
1867 and by 1868 Waters became the owner of the Bay State Sugar Refinery.
Waters married Mary Peabody and they had a son, Robert Henry, who was born in
1851. Mary died soon after on June 6, 1852. Waters then married Elizabeth Banchor in
May of 1860. There is no available information on any children produced from this
marriage. Waters died in 1881 in Wenham, Massachusetts, and was survived by his
widow and son, Robert Henry.
John Banchor was a merchant involved in a variety of
business enterprises, one of which was a partnership, Banchor's and Boyden, wine
merchants located in Boston. During the 1860s Banchor acted as commission merchant
and business agent for Felton & Waters, conducting his business in New York
City. He later moved back to Boston. Banchor was married to Abigail P. Banchor. The
couple had at least three children. In addition to their daughter, Elizabeth, there
were two sons, George and John. Banchor died in 1871.
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.
Banchor, John, d. 1870
Banchor and Boyden
Buena Vista (Ship)
Eagle Wing (Clipper)
Edie Waters (Schooner)
F. F. Holbrook and Company
Felton and Waters, Distillers and Rectifiers
Commission merchants--New York
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
Robert H. Waters (1826-1881) Papers, MSS 318, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum,
This material was purchased in November 1986 (acc. #86050).
Collection processed by Frances Malamy, January 2002. Updated by Nicholas Long, April
Ancestry.com. [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc.,
2009. Date Accessed: April 2, 2015.
Boston Directory; A General Directory of the Citizens, and
a Special Directory of Trades, Professions, &c., (Boston Massachusetts), for
the years 1855-1882.
Crossman, Charles L., The China Trade, (Princeton,
NJ, 1972), p. 1 – 13.
Fairburn, William Armstrong, Merchant Sail, Ed.
Ethel M. Ritchie, (Lovell, Maine).