Processing and conservation of this collection
was funded by a grant from the national Endowment for the Humanities.
The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Cox, Benjamin, 1779-1863
Benjamin Cox (1779-1863)
3.25 linear feet (6 boxes, 1 volume)
The Benjamin Cox papers
document the shipping activities of Benjamin Cox, a Salem, Massachusetts, shipping
merchant, as well as his store and property rentals.
SERIES I. Shipping Papers SERIES II. Account Books SERIES III. Business and Personal Papers SERIES IV. Family and Miscellaneous Papers
Scope and Content Note
The Benjamin Cox papers document the shipping activities of Benjamin Cox, a Salem,
Massachusetts, shipping merchant, as well as his store and property rentals.
Included are papers of other family members. The papers are divided into four
Series I. Shipping Papers contains ships' papers,
shipping correspondence, and accounts. The ships' papers, arranged alphabetically by
vessel, consist primarily of outfitting bills and voyage settlement accounts. Very
few invoices or manifests are included. The papers document voyages to South
America, the West Indies, India, Europe, the East Indies, Canton, and the Fiji
Islands. The ships included vessels Benjamin consigned cargo on as well as ones he
owned in partnership. Many of his business partners were notable Salem merchants
such as James and Samuel Chamberlain, George West, and Joseph Felt. The
correspondence (B2 F1) contains letters from merchants in New England, southeastern
United States ports, South America, and Europe. Many of these letters discuss the
importation of hides, a commodity for which Benjamin found a profitable market. The
correspondence also contains miscellaneous master's correspondence and letters from
Benjamin's friend, William Morrow, regarding the collection of debts. The shipping
bills and receipts (B2 F2) consist of outfitting and cargo accounts for
miscellaneous or multiple ships. They include many accounts for hides and shoes.
Series II. Account Books consists primarily of
daybooks and ledgers. These volumes contain accounts of Benjamin's store, as well as
periodic entries of shipping and rental accounts. The accounts books filed at the
end of the series are specialized, dealing with cloth, shoes, or rental
Series III. Business and Personal Papers contains
household bills and receipts as well as accounts resulting from the maintenance and
repair of Benjamin's rental properties. Receipts from 1865 to 1868 were assigned to
Series IV. Family and Miscellaneous Papers contains
personal and business correspondence of Benjamin's children, Mehitable (1815-1879)
and Edward (born 1823), including papers regarding the hemp mill Edward owned or
managed near Springfield, Illinois. The family papers also contain receipts of Dr.
Benjamin Cox Jr. (1806-1871), Benjamin's son and a notable Salem physician, and a
note on alterations made to Elizabeth Cox's house. The miscellaneous papers (B6 F5)
include anonymously authored newspaper articles and editorials, and miscellaneous
Benjamin Cox was born in Salem, Massachusetts on September
8, 1779, the son of Benjamin (1743-1788) and Elizabeth Very (1727-1820) Cox. He was
a shipping merchant who also rented property. In 1803, he married Sarah Smith
(1785-1873) and they had nine children. He died in Salem on December 2, 1863.
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.
Cox, Benjamin, 1806-1871
Cox, Edward, b. 1823
Felt, Joseph B. (Joseph Barlow), 1789-1869
Pickering, Mehitable Cox, 1815-1879
Canton Packet (Ship)
Eclipse (Ship : 1831)
General Brooks (Schooner)
General Warren (Brig)
Boots and shoes--Trade and manufacture
Buildings--Repair and reconstruction
Lease and rental services
Leather industry and trade
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