The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Putnam, Andrew Merriam, 1807-1881
Andrew Merriam Putnam (1807-1881)
0.25 linear feet (1 box)
The Andrew Merriam Putnam
papers document the life of this Danvers, Massachusetts, ship captain.
Scope and Content Note
The Andrew Merriam Putnam papers document the life of this Danvers, Massachusetts,
ship captain. The collection contains ships' papers, correspondence, accounts and
receipts and a few papers of his first wife, Sarah Fowler Putnam. Papers for the
Caroline Augusta (Ship), Cynthia (Bark), Eclipse (Ship), and Eliza (Ship) are included. Folder 7 contains both
personal and business correspondence. Receipts and accounts are both business and
Andrew Merriam Putnam was born in Danvers, Massachusetts,
on February 13, 1807, the son of Jesse Putnam (1778-1861) and Elizabeth Merriam
(1784-1887). He was educated in the district school of Danvers, Bradford Academy,
and The Nautical Academy in Portland, Maine, where he studied navigation.
Putnam sailed as mate with Captain Wilkins on the ship Lotos and with Captain Charles Wilkins, his brother, on the ship Francis. The latter Wilkins was murdered on the ship
Eclipse in 1838. In 1831 he took part in the
recapture of the ship Friendship from the Malays. In
1840, Putnam sailed as master and supercargo of the ship Caroline Augusta, of which David Pingree of Salem was the owner. After
several voyages to Sumatra and the East Indies in this vessel for Pingree, he sailed
in the bark Cynthia, also for David Pingree, who sold
him 3/20 interest in her. He made his last voyage in her, returning from the sea in
In 1850, he and others bought the brig Mary Helen
and filled it with a cargo of goods to sell in California. They sent it around Cape
Horn while Putnam went by steamer route via the Isthmus of Darien [Panama], meeting
the Mary Helen on her arrival in San Francisco Bay.
There were so many goods going to that port that the cargo was sold at a loss.
Putnam later became interested in real estate and bought large farms in Danvers,
subdividing them into smaller lots, building houses and selling them with mortgages
to the Irish immigrants who were coming to Danvers in large numbers.
In 1836 Andrew Putnam married Sarah Putnam Fowler (1811-1843) of Danvers and
they had four children: Sarah Elizabeth (1837-1906), Eugene Andrew (1840-1909),
Harriet Adeline Pope (1841-1880), and Louisa Lancaster (1843-1861). His wife, Sarah,
died while he was at sea in 1843. In 1844, he married Elizabeth P. Pope (1816-1906)
of Danvers, by whom he had two sons: Jasper Merriam (1846-1846) and Charles Augustus
Putnam died on May 6, 1881. The family received a letter from a group of Irish
citizens, who thought so highly of Putnam, that they requested permission to march
behind the funeral procession to the grave. Twenty-eight of them did so.
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.
Clarke, Elizabeth Putnam
Gifford, James E.
Pingree, David, 1795-1863
Putnam, Sarah Fowler, 1811-1843
Caroline Augusta (Ship)
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
This material was donated by Mrs. Edward B. Clarke on July 1, 1957 (acc #14,190).
Collection processed by Tamara Gaydos, August 2016.
Clarke, Elizabeth Putnam. Andrew Merriam Putnam.
Hurd, D. Hamilton. History of Essex County, Massachusetts
with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers and Prominent Men.
Vol. I. Philadelphia: J.W. Lewis, 1888.
Putnam, Eben. A History of the Putnam Family in England
and America Recording the Ancestry and Descendants of John Putnam of Danvers,
Mass., Jan Poutman of Albany, N.Y., Thomas Putnam of Hartford, Conn. Vol.
II. Salem, MA: Salem Pub. and Print., 1908.