The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Choate Family Papers
1678, 1727/1918, 1947,
7 linear feet (17 boxes)
The Choate family papers
document the activities of this Ipswich and Essex, Massachusetts, family.
SERIES I. Personal Papers SERIES II. Bound Volumes SERIES III. Books
A. Music Books
B. Religious Books
C. Seed Catalogs
SERIES IV. Haskell Family Papers SERIES V. Miscellaneous Objects
Scope and Content Note
The Choate family papers document the activities of this Ipswich and Essex,
Massachusetts, family. Included are a smaller group of papers from the Haskell
family of Manchester, Massachusetts. The collection has been arranged into five
Series I. Personal Papers contains the letters,
deeds, photographs, receipts, inventories, scrapbooks, and diaries of 18 members of
the Choate family and a few unrelated individuals. It has been arranged into 19
subseries alphabetically by family member with the unrelated items at the end.
Series II. Bound Volumes consists of autograph
albums, photograph albums, greeting cards, calendars, and other bound items from the
Choate family. It has been arranged alphabetically.
Series III. Books contains printed items such as
songbooks, hymnals, piano music, religious books, Bibles, and seed catalogs. It has
been organized into three subseries, arranged alphabetically within each
Series IV. Haskell Family Papers contains papers of
Simeon Haskell and other Haskell family papers.
Series V. Miscellaneous Objects contains three silver
plates from portraits of Choate family members and one monocle.
John Choate (1624-1695) came to America at age 19 from the
county of Kent, England, an apprentice to Mr. Thomas Low. A few years later, he
bought a small farm in Ipswich, Massachusetts. In 1660 he married Ann Carramas
(1637-1727) and they had nine children. As early as 1667 he began buying shares of
common lands allocated to the proprietors of the town which were located on an
island. By 1690 he was almost the sole owner of Hog Island.
Francis Choate (1701-1777) was born in Chebacco
Parish, Ipswich, Massachusetts, and learned the trade of a blacksmith. "It is said
that he made all the iron-work for three schooners which he built in company with
his brother, Thomas Choate." He owned and chartered many vessels engaged in fishing
and in the coasting trade. In 1727 he married Hannah Perkins (1708-1778).
William Choate (1730-1785) was born in Chebacco
Parish, Ipswich, Massachusetts. He married Mary Giddings (1732-1810) in 1756 and
they had 10 children. He became a ship captain and sailed during the winter months
while farming in the summer. He taught school on Hog Island.
John Choate (1737-1791) might have been known as Jr.
to distinguish him from his uncle. He trained as a blacksmith like his father,
Francis (1701-1777) and was a trader and Justice of the Peace. He had two wives
(Mary Eveleth (1738-1788) and Sarah Johnson (died 1820)), and three children (Lucy
(1764-1787), Christian (born 1769), and Sarah (born 1784).
David Choate (1757-1808) was born in Chebacco Parish,
Ipswich, Massachusetts. He served in the Continental Army in 1780. He married Mary
Cogswell (1760-1784) in June 1784, but she died in August 1784. David then married
Miriam Foster (1771-1853) in 1791 and they had six children: Mary (Polly), Hannah,
David, Rufus, Washington, and Job.
John Choate (1765-1838) was born in Ipswich,
Massachusetts. He married Elizabeth Baker (1761-1829) in 1786. In 1832, he married
Mary Cogswell. They had six children. He engaged in fishing and in the West Indies
trade until the business was interrupted by the War of 1812. He was a Justice of the
Peace, Selectman, Overseer of the Poor and a Representative to the General Court. He
is from a different branch of the family tree than the other family members in the
collection. See Appendix I for a family tree.
Amos Choate (1775-1844) graduated from Harvard in
1795, taught school and was master of the Ipswich Latin School, studied law but did
not practice it, and was Registrar of Probate in Salem. He married Lucy Smith and
had a son August (1803-1828), who also attended Harvard in 1823. His second wife was
Mehitable Neal (1783-1856).
Rufus Choate (1799-1859) was a lawyer, statesman, and
orator. He was born in Ipswich, Massachusetts, graduated from Dartmouth College in
1819, spent a year in the Harvard University Law School, served in the Massachusetts
House of Representatives and in the state senate. He was elected to Congress in 1830
and later served as attorney general of Massachusetts (1853-1854). He died in
Halifax, Nova Scotia in July 1859.
Rufus Choate (1834-1913) was born in Essex,
Massachusetts. He graduated from Amherst College in 1855, studied law at Cambridge
Law and served in the military. He married Sarah E. Burnham and they had two
daughters, Agnes May and Celia Mason.
William Cowper Choate (1843-1923) was born in Essex,
Massachusetts, to David (1796-1872) and Elizabeth Wade Choate. In 1869 he married
Lydia Maria Gage (1843-1891). In 1893 he married Elizabeth M. Norton (born 1851).
William and Lydia had one son, David Foster Choate (1875-after 1930). William was in
charge of the First Universalist Church choir in Essex for many years.
Washington Choate (1846-1918) was born in Essex,
Massachusetts. He graduated from Amherst College in 1870 and from Union Theological
Seminary in 1875. He served in various pastorates in New England. He married Grace
Richards Whiton (born 1853) in 1875. They had three daughters.
Captain Simeon Haskell (1776-1846) sailed on ships
such as the schooner Elizabeth, the schooner Dew Drop and the brig Charles
Allen. He married Elizabeth Girdler in 1802.
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.
Choate, Hannah E., b.
Choate, Rufus, 1799-1859
David Foster, b. 1875
Miriam F., 1771-1853
William C., 1843-1923
Cleaveland, John, 1722-1799
Dana, Joseph, 1742-1827
Haskell, Simeon, 1776-1846
Sewall, Thomas, 1786 or
Story, Lillian E.
Whiton, Grace, b. 1853
Wigglesworth, Samuel, 1689-1768
Charles Allen (Brig)
Dew Drop (Schooner)
First Congregational Church (Essex,
Good Hope (Vessel)
Little Charlotte (Sloop)
Mobil and Alabama Grand Trunk Railroad
St. Isabella (Brig)
Two Brothers (Schooner)
Two Friends (Schooner)
Justices of the peace--Massachusetts--Essex County
Choate Island (Mass.)
Essex (Mass. : Town)
Taku Glacier (Alaska)
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