Conservation and processing of this collection
were funded by a grant from Mrs. Edwin O. Norvell and Mrs. Richard
The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Samuel Fowler Family Papers
2 linear feet (4 boxes)
The Samuel Fowler Family papers
contain the business, civic, and personal papers of shipwright Samuel Fowler
(1748/9-1813), his son Samuel (1776-1859), and grandson Samuel Page Fowler
SERIES I. Samuel Fowler (1748/9-1813) Papers SERIES II. Samuel Fowler (1776-1859) Papers SERIES III. Samuel Page Fowler Papers SERIES IV. Family Papers SERIES V. Miscellaneous Papers
Scope and Content Note
The Samuel Fowler Family papers contain the business, civic, and personal papers of
shipwright Samuel Fowler (1748/9-1813), his son Samuel (1776-1859), and grandson
Samuel Page Fowler (1800-1888). Also included are papers of John Fowler (1778-1827)
and the papers of miscellaneous Fowler and Putnam relatives. The collection has been
divided into five series.
Series I. Samuel Fowler (1748/9-1813) Papers contains
deeds and legal papers documenting his many land transactions in the Danvers area.
Also found here are accounts and receipts, a bill of sale for the schooner Industry, estate papers, and an 1847 estate inventory for
his wife, Sarah (Putnam) Fowler. Of note is a document listing the rate of exchange
between paper and silver dollars from 1777 to 1781.
Series II. Samuel Fowler (1776-1859) Papers contains
shipping, business, legal, and civic papers. The shipping papers include insurance
policies, accounts, and receipts for vessels Fowler owned or on which he
commissioned cargo, and correspondence from merchant houses. Insurance policies,
correspondence, orders, and accounts for his mills and ships are located in the
business papers. Also found there are accounts and receipts for Fowler's share in
the Danvers-Beverly Iron Works and the New Hampshire Iron Factory. The
correspondence includes pleas for assistance from Danvers citizens as well as
business notes from H. Putnam. The bills and receipts include business, household,
and personal transactions.
The legal papers contain land and pew deeds, maps, partnership agreements with
Israel Hutchinson, Sr., Israel Hutchinson, Jr., and Ebenezer Putnam for ownership of
grist and bolting mills, and indentures to hire workers for build a chocolate mill.
The civic papers include Fowler's military papers, accounts with the Danvers school
committee, papers recording Fowler's involvement with the First Baptist Church of
Danvers, and petitions to build a road from Topsfield to Danvers.
Series III. Samuel Page Fowler Papers documents
Samuel's involvement in Danvers political and civic affairs. Included are Danvers
school committee and selectmen records, religious and moral societal papers, fire
club records, notes and minutes taken a secretary of civic groups, and his notes
from addresses and lectures he gave or attended.
Fowler's correspondence discusses his civic and business activities. Samuel's
other business papers include bankbooks which record his shares in local banks, a
rent book, and accounts with a local grocer. The Fowler-Dorman trustee papers
contain receipts for Fowler and Moses Dorman while they acted as corporation
trustees. A marriage proposal and letters from Samuel's father and wife, legal
documents, and notes on the witchcraft trials are included in personal papers.
Series IV. Family Papers contains business and legal
papers of John Fowler (1778-1827) and business papers of Henry, William P.,
Augustus, and Clarissa P. Fowler. There are four folders of school workbooks of
Clarissa, Rebecca, William, Henry, Eliza, and Augustus Fowler, most of penmanship,
but a few of arithmetic. Also included in Series IV are business, legal, and
personal papers of Fowler in-laws Archelaus, Mehitable, and Moses Putnam, and
miscellaneous Putnam relatives. Of note are the letters from Samuel (1748/9-1813)
Fowler to his children.
Series V. Miscellaneous Papers contains Danvers civic
and legal papers, originally with the collection that appear to somehow relate to
Fowler or Putnam affairs. Included are Danvers deeds, records of town and selectman
meetings, real estate valuations, property lists, pamphlets, and printed works. Of
note are letters, legal, estate, and financial papers of Peter Clark, minister of
the First Baptists Church of Danvers.
Samuel Fowler, a Danvers, Massachusetts, shipwright was
born in Ipswich in 1748/9, the son of Joseph (1715-1807) and Mary (Prince)
(1725-1771) Fowler. He left Ipswich in 1765 and became one of the settlers of the
Danvers New Mills, later called Danversport. As a shipwright, Samuel assisted in the
building of many vessels, including those he owned. Samuel was a minuteman in Capt.
Jeremiah Page's company when it marched to Lexington on April 19, 1775. In 1773
Samuel married Sarah Putnam (1755-1847), the daughter of Archelaus and Mehitable
(Putnam) Putnam. They had four children. He died in 1813.
Samuel Fowler, a Danvers tanner and mill owner, was
born in 1776, the son of Samuel (1748/9-1813) and Sarah (Putnam) Fowler. He began
his tannery and currier business in partnership with Israel Hutchinson and Ebenezer
Putnam. Besides his tanning operations, Fowler owned three coastwise vessels. See
Appendix I for a list of vessels. In 1799, Samuel married Clarissa Page (1779-1854),
the daughter of Samuel and Rebecca (Putnam) Page. They had nine children. He died in
Samuel Page Fowler, a Danvers politician, was born in
1800, the first son of Samuel (1776-1859) and Clarissa (Page) Fowler. Born in
Danvers, he learned the trades of tanning and currying from his father. His interest
in civic and political affairs developed early in life. Samuel served as the
overseer of the poor (1843-1880), a selectman and assessor (1835-1840), a member of
the Constitutional Convention (1853), and a member of the state legislature
(1857-1859). Fowler became the first deacon of the Maple Street Church and was
active in the formation of the Walnut Grove Cemetery. He was one of the first
trustees of the Danvers Savings Bank, a fire warden for the Danvers Fire Department,
and a trustee of the Peabody Institute Library of Danvers. One of the organizers of
the Essex Natural History Society, he also became the curator of Natural History and
later a vice-president of the Essex Institute. Samuel was also very interested in
Danvers local history. He wrote The Life and Character of the
Rev. Samuel Parris and edited Salem
Witchcraft by Robert Calef. He married Harriet Putnam (1806-1891), the
daughter of Moses and Betsey (Cross) Putnam, in 1833. They had three children,
including Harriet Putnam Fowler, 2nd (1842-1901). He died in 1888.
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.
Clark, Peter, 1693/4-1768
Dorman, Moses, 1803-1877
Fowler, Augustus, 1812-
Fowler, Clarissa Page, 1802-1873
Fowler, Eliza Page, 1818-
Fowler, Henry, 1809-
Fowler, John, 1778-
Fowler, Rebecca Putnam, 1804-
Fowler, Samuel Page, 1800-1888
Fowler, Samuel, 1748/9-1813
Fowler, Samuel, 1776-1859
Fowler, Sarah Putnam, 1755-1847
Fowler, William Putnam, 1807-1825
Hutchinson, Israel, 1727 or 8-1811
Hutchinson, Israel, Jr.
Putnam, Archelaus, 1744-1800
Putnam, Ebenezer, 1768-1826
Putnam, Mehitable Putnam
Putnam, Moses W.
Danvers and Beverly Iron Works Company
First Baptist Church (Danvers, Mass.)
New Hampshire Iron Factory Company
Danvers Fire Club (Danvers, Mass.)
Fire clubs (Cooperative societies)
Iron industry and trade
Pews and pew rights
Danvers (Mass.)--School committee
Danvers (Mass.)--Town records
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
Samuel Fowler Family Papers, MSS 178, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem,
The collection is a reorganization of documents originally mounted into scrapbooks as
part of the Harriet Putnam Fowler Collection. The documents were donated on May 2,
1900, by Miss Fowler. All original locations are located on the verso of each
manuscript and recorded in the Fowler Separation Sheet. Also integrated into the
collection are papers from the Fowler Family Papers, 1710-1894. The materials in Box
3, Folders 5 through 8 were removed from the Essex County Collection in November
Collection processed by Nancy C. Barthelemy, March 1985. Additions by Jane E. Ward,
November 1992; Updated by Tamara Gaydos, February 2016.
Stickney, Matthew Adams. The Fowler Family: A Genealogical
Memoir of the Descendants of Philip and Mary Fowler, of Ipswich, Mass.: Ten
Generations, 1590-1882. Salem, MA: Printed for the Author, Salem, 1883.
The collection is a reorganization of documents originally mounted into scrapbooks as part of the Harriet Putnam Fowler Collection. The documents were donated on May 2, 1900, by Miss Fowler. Also integrated into the collection are papers from the Fowler Family Papers, 1710-1894. The materials in Box 3, Folders 5 through 8 were removed from the Essex County Collection in November 1992.