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John Prince (1762-1848) Papers

John Prince (1762-1848) Papers

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JOHN PRINCE (1762-1848) PAPERS, 1759-1887


Processing and conservation for this collection were funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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:Prince, John, 1762-1848
Title:John Prince (1762-1848) Papers
Quantity:0.5 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:The John Prince Papers contain personal, shipping, civic, and business papers of John Prince (1762-1848), a Marblehead, Massachusetts, shipmaster, selectman, and justice of the peace.
Collection Number:MSS 73

Series List

SERIES I. Shipping, Business, and Civic Papers
SERIES II. Personal and Family Papers
SERIES III. Miscellaneous Papers

Scope and Content Note

The John Prince Papers contain personal, shipping, civic, and business papers of John Prince (1762-1848), a Marblehead, Massachusetts, shipmaster, selectman, and justice of the peace. The collection also includes miscellaneous papers of other Prince family members and members of the Hooper family. The papers are divided into three series.

Series I. Shipping, Business, and Civic Papers is comprised of correspondence, financial, and legal papers reflecting Prince's role as a Marblehead selectman (circa 1803-1825) and a Justice of the Peace. These papers include letters to him when he was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives (circa 1810-1817) and accounts of Samuel Horton's estate, of which Prince was administrator. The shipping papers include papers of the schooner Hope, schooner Philanthropist, and brigantine Philanthropist of which Prince was master, as well as miscellaneous merchant correspondence and bills of lading.

Series II. Personal and Family Papers is comprised of correspondence, financial, and legal papers, many of which relate to Prince's land in Marblehead. His personal accounts also include his estate accounts. This series also includes correspondence, accounts, and insurance papers of John Jr., Susan, Cato, and Elizabeth Prince.

Series III. Miscellaneous Papers include correspondence and accounts of Joseph Hooper and the Hooper family.

Biographical Sketch

John Prince was born in Marblehead, Massachusetts, on January 4, 1762 to John and Anna Prince. He was a ship master, selectman and Justice of the Peace. He sailed on the ship St. Helena, and the schooners Hope, Catherine, Betsey, and Philanthropist, and the brigantine Philanthropist. He was active during the Revolutionary War and sailed on board privateers and Letters of Marque. He was one of the prisoners on the British sloop of war Lively; in fact he led the men in November, 1782 to take control of the ship and sail her safely into the Havana where she was sold. He died on January 29, 1848.

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.

Hooper family
Horton, Samuel, 1745-1817
Prince, John, 1762-1848
Hope (Schooner)
Philanthropist (Brigantine)
Philanthropist (Schooner)
Justices of the peace
Merchants--Marblehead (Mass.)
Marblehead (Mass.)
Marblehead (Mass.)--Politics and government


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 Prince (1762-1848) Papers, MSS 73, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


The John Prince Papers are a reorganization and integration of one scrapbook volume and a record book. The bulk of the collection comes from an unknown source. The record book (1805-1835) was purchased in 1931. Removed from the collection are papers of Captain Ashley Bowen (see Separation Sheet). All items removed from the collection are marked with their original location.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Sylvia Kennick, August 1982. Updated by Catherine Robertson, April 2015.

Related Material

Lindsay, Benjamin J., comp. Old Marblehead Sea Captains and the Ships in which they Sailed. Marblehead Historical Society, 1915.

John Prince Papers, 1783-1785, Fam. Mss. 794.

John Prince Nautical Almanac, 1823, Fam. Mss. 795.

Hope (Schooner) Logbook, 1790-1791, Log 1640.

Philanthropist (Schooner) logbook, 1796, Log 902.

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