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William Crowninshield Endicott (1860-1936) Papers

William Crowninshield Endicott (1860-1936) Papers

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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:Endicott, William Crowninshield, 1860-1936
Title:William Crowninshield Endicott (1860-1936) Papers
Quantity:1.5 linear feet (3 boxes, 1 flat file)
Abstract:The William Crowninshield Endicott papers contain research and related notes collected by William Crowninshield Endicott on his family.
Collection Number:MH 92

Series List

SERIES I. Research on Individuals
SERIES II. Other Research
SERIES III. Correspondence

Scope and Content Note

The William Crowninshield Endicott papers contain research and related notes collected by William Crowninshield Endicott on his family. This collection has been divided into three series.

Series I. Research on Individuals contains information collected by Endicott about his relatives and is organized by the individual person. Most of the information in this series is genealogical.

Series II. Other Research contains more general research on Endicott's family, including lists of vessels owned and operated by the Crowninshields, news clippings, and a scrapbook. The contents of the scrapbook have been removed from the original metal binder and have been placed in a folder. Also included in this series are photographs.

Series III. Correspondence contains correspondence to and from Endicott. Topics include genealogy and general family research, locating family letters, heirlooms, and general correspondence.

Biographical Sketch

William Crowninshield Endicott was born on September 28, 1860 to William Crowninshield and Ellen (Peabody) Endicott, in Salem, Massachusetts. The Endicotts were a prominent New England family, directly related to John Endecott, the Governor of London's Plantation in Massachusetts Bay. William Crowninshield Endicott Sr. had been an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, Secretary of War, lawyer, and overseer of Harvard College, among many other roles, while his wife, Ellen Peabody, came from one of Salem's most influential and wealthy families. After attending the Bowditch Grammar School and a year or two of high school, William Crowninshield Endicott Jr. entered Harvard College in 1879. After graduation in 1883, he then began studying at Harvard Law School. He did not finish his legal schooling, but still joined a law office in Salem and passed the bar in 1886. Before beginning a law practice in Salem, Endicott went to Washington D. C. for two years to act a private secretary for his father, then the Secretary of War.

On October 3, 1889 Endicott married Marie Louise Thoron, the daughter of Joseph and Anna (Baker Ward) Thoron. For four years he maintained an office in Boston, until he moved back to Washington D. C. to act as private secretary for Attorney General Richard Olney. In 1897, the couple moved back to Boston, and Endicott discovered that he preferred to manage the care of estates. Over the years Endicott took charge of the care of the family estates, collecting heirlooms, and studying family and Essex County history. He became a trustee and later treasurer of the Groton School, a member of the Essex Institute in 1894, and in 1910 was one of the incorporators and later president of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities. In 1905, he became a trustee, and later an officer and vice-president, of the Peabody Museum in Salem. As a personal friend of Isabella Stewart Gardner, Endicott actively participated in the collecting and placing of art in what became the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum. He was one of the original seven trustees, vice-president, and later president of the Museum until his death. Endicott was also president of the Massachusetts Historical Society for ten years until his death. He was involved in many other institutions as well. Endicott died November 28, 1936.

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.

Crowninshield family
Endicott, Louise
Endicott, William Crowninshield, 1860-1936
Peabody (Mass.)
Salem (Mass.)


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

William Crowninshield Endicott (1860-1936) Papers, MH 92, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


Two boxes of notes on the Crowninshield family were donated by Mrs. William Endicott. William Endicott family photographs dated from 1892 to 1901 were donated by Ruth Anne Murphy in 2012 (accession #2012.031).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Hilary Streifer, May 2015.

Related Material

Lawrence, William. William Crowninshield Endicott. Boston: Merrymount Press, 1937.

William C. Endicott, Jr. Scrapbook, 1844, 1923-1936. SCR 62.

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