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Mugford Family Papers

Mugford Family 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:Mugford family
Title:Mugford Family Papers
Quantity:1.5 Linear feet (2 boxes)
Abstract:This collection contains papers of three members of the Mugford family of Salem, Massachusetts, namely, William Mugford, his brother-in-law Benjamin Dimond, and his son Charles D. Mugford.
Collection Number:MH 165

Series List

SERIES I. William Mugford
SERIES II. Benjamin Dimond
SERIES III. Charles D. Mugford

Scope and Content Note

This collection contains papers of three members of the Mugford family of Salem, Massachusetts, namely, William Mugford, his brother-in-law Benjamin Dimond, and his son Charles D. Mugford. It includes shipping papers from sixteen vessels. Also present is correspondence with the American Philosophical Society concerning a medal awarded to William Mugford. The collection has been organized into three series.

Series I. William Mugford contains shipping papers from ten vessels captained by William Mugford, including the brigs Columbia, Elvira, Eliza, Herald, and Minerva, ships Betsy, Eliza, Ulysses, and William, and schooner Active. The papers include instructions to Captain Mugford, cargo manifests, invoices, disbursements, receipts, bills of lading, bonds, letters of credit, legal documents, and other papers. The bulk of the papers pertain to the ship Ulysses, captained by William Mugford from 1799 to 1805. Also present is correspondence from the American Philosophical Society concerning the medal awarded to William Mugford for the design of his novel rudder.

Series II. Benjamin Dimond contains shipping papers from two vessels captained by Benjamin Dimond, the brig Nancy and schooner Lively. Included are invoices, disbursements, an insurance policy, letters of protest, and other legal papers. There is also a list of officers from the brig Cossack; the list includes Benjamin Dimond, Clerk, presumably Captain Benjamin Dimond's son.

Series III. Charles D. Mugford contains shipping papers from three ships, Black Warrior, Grotius and Areatus, captained by Charles Mugford. The bulk of the papers pertain to Black Warrior, and these include accounts of sales, invoices, receipts, instructions from the owners, cargo lists, disbursements, customs forms, and other papers. Series III contains smaller collections of papers from the ships Grotius and Areatus. Of interest among the Areatus papers are letters from Charles Mugford to the owners describing his experiences trading in the Phillipines and China.

Biographical Sketches

William Mugford was born in 1773 in Marblehead, Massachusetts, the son of James and Lydia (Nicholson) Mugford. He captained several vessels sailing out of Marblehead or Salem, Massachusetts, including the brigs Eliza, Herald, Juno, and Minerva, and the ships Betsy, William, and Ulysses. When Ulysses had her rudder damaged in a storm, Mugford rigged a temporary rudder that enabled the ship to be brought safely to Marseilles. He received a medal from the American Philosophical Society and his device was widely admired at the time. William Mugford married the widowed Ruth Dimond in 1804, and they had five children.

Benjamin Dimond was born on December 31, 1769, the son of Benjamin and Jane (Mugford) Diman (later spelled as Dimond), a family of mariners from Salem. He married Ruth Smith in 1792, and they had two children. Following Benjamin Dimond's death in 1803, Ruth Dimond married William Mugford.

Charles D. Mugford was born on September 16, 1809, in Salem, Massachusetts, the son of William and Ruth Dimond Mugford. He too went to sea and was master of several vessels including the ships Areatus, Black Warrior, George, and Grotius and the brigs Czarina, Plymouth Rock, and Susan. Later in life he was a merchant in Salem. He was a member of the East India Marine Society in Salem. He married Betsey Bott in 1839. Charles Mugford died on July 5, 1868, in Salem.

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.

Dimond, Benjamin, 1769-1803
Mugford, Charles D., 1809-1868
Mugford, William, bpt. 1773-
Active (Schooner)
American Philosophical Society
Areatus (Ship)
Betsy (Ship)
Black Warrior (Ship)
Columbia (Brig)
Cossack (Brig)
Eliza (Brig)
Eliza (Ship)
Elvia (Brig)
Grotius (Ship)
Herald (Brig)
Lively (Schooner)
Minerva (Brig)
Nancy (Brig)
Ulysses (Ship)
William (Ship)
Cargo handling--sugar
Freight and freightage--sugar
Ship captains
Ship's papers
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

Mugford Family Papers, MH 165, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This provenance of this material is unknown.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Lee Jacoby, December 2015.

Related Material

Cossack (Brig) Journal, 1815, Log 108

Dimond Family Papers, 1815-1866, MH 80

Grotius (Ship) Logbook, 1841-1842, Log 485

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