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Joshua Burnham (1736-1791) Papers

Joshua Burnham (1736-1791) Papers

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Open Finding Aid

JOSHUA BURNHAM (1736-1791) PAPERS, 1758-1817

Sponsor:

Processing and conservation of the 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:Burnham, Joshua, 1736-1791
Title:Joshua Burnham (1736-1791) Papers
Dates:1758/1817
Quantity:1 linear foot (2 boxes, 7 volumes)
Abstract:The Joshua Burnham Papers document the business of this Ipswich, Massachusetts, ship captain and include some papers of his immediate family.
Collection Number:MSS 172

Series List


SERIES I. Ships' Papers
SERIES II. Shipping Account Books
SERIES III. Business and Family Papers

Scope and Content Note

The Joshua Burnham Papers document the business of this Ipswich, Massachusetts, ship captain and include some papers of his immediate family. The collection is divided into three series.


Series I. Ships' Papers is arranged alphabetically by vessel, including both fishing and shipping papers. Of interest is a journal of work performed aboard the sloop Robinwood. See Appendix I for a list of ships which have papers in the collection.


The volumes in Series II. Shipping Account Books record Joshua's trading activities with the local merchants in Virginia and Maryland and often include unofficial cargo manifests. Volume 2 also contains a journal from the 1782 voyage of the sloop Phoenix and Volume 3 includes a page of a journal from the schooner Swan.


Series III. Business and Family Papers contains correspondence, legal, and financial papers relating to Joshua's shipping and business affairs. These papers include merchant correspondence, bonds and deeds, miscellaneous shipping accounts, receipts for rent paid on the School Farm, and estate accounts. The family papers (B2 F4) contain shipping correspondence of Mark Burnham (1738-1791), Joshua's brother, and personal correspondence and financial papers of Joshua's wife Eunice, and their children Caleb, Joshua, Susan (Sukey), and Betsey.


Biographical Sketch

Joshua Burnham was born on November 28, 1736 in Ipswich, Massachusetts. He was a ship master who specialized in trade with Virginia and the West Indies. From 1761 to 1790, Joshua mastered at least twelve vessels for such important merchants as Ezekiel Woodward Jr., Daniel Rogers, and John Choate. (See Appendix II for a list of ships on which Burnham served as master with the dates served.) Joshua also served as a trade agent, bartering for goods with small local merchants in Virginia and Maryland.


In 1762, he married Eunice (1738-1801) and they had five children: Lucy (b. 1763); Betsey (b. 1765); Joshua (1768-1816), Susan (b. 1770); and Caleb (1773-1794). Joshua and his brother, Mark, both died on June 9, 1791. In Ipswich Vital Statistics, under deaths, there is the following entry: "lately arrived sick from the W. Indies" under Joshua's name; no entry was found for Mark.


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.

Burnham, Betsey, b. 1776
Burnham, Caleb, b. 1771
Burnham, Eunice
Burnham, Joshua, b. 1763
Burnham, Mark, b. 1738
Burnham, Sukey, b. 1779
Choate, John
Rogers, Daniel
Woodward, Ezekiel
Abigail (Schooner)
Betsey (Schooner)
Charles (Schooner)
Dolphin (Schooner)
Endeavor (Schooner)
Gloucester (Sloop)
Good Fortune (Sloop)
Lively (Schooner)
Neptune (Schooner)
Phoenix (Sloop)
Polly (Schooner)
Robinwood (Sloop)
Ruby (Schooner)
Swan (Schooner)
Account books
Decedents' estates
Deeds
Fisheries
Merchants--Maryland
Merchants--Massachusetts--Ipswich
Merchants--Virginia
Ship captains
Shipping
Ships' papers
Ipswich (Mass.)

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

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

Joshua Burnham (1736-1791) Papers, MSS 172, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

This material was purchased by the Essex Institute in 1925.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Sylvia B. Kennick, January 1985. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, January 2016.


Related Material

Ancestry.com. U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2012.


Betsy (Schooner) Logbook, 1775, Log 890


Polly (Schooner) Logbook, 1774-1776, Log 889


Lively (Schooner) logbook, 1785-1786, Log 1165


Swan (Schooner) logbook, 1780, Log 1164


Ruby (Schooner) logbook, 1788-1791, Log 1063


Ruby (Schooner) logbook, 178, Log 1172


Polly (Schooner) logbook, 1772-1773, Log 888

Appendix I

Appendix II


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