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Stephen Reynolds (1782-1857) Journals

Stephen Reynolds (1782-1857) Journals

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STEPHEN REYNOLDS (1782-1857) JOURNALS, 1823-1855, 1899-1976

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:Reynolds, Stephen, 1782-1857
Title:Stephen Reynolds (1782-1857) Journals
Dates:1823/1855, 1899/1976
Quantity:6 linear feet (11 boxes, 1 oversized folder)
Abstract:The journals contained in this collection canvas the years that Stephen Reynolds spent in Honolulu, Hawaii, from 1823 to 1855.
Collection Number:MSS 283

Series List

SERIES I. Journals [Restricted]
SERIES II. Correspondence and Clippings
SERIES III. Secondary Material
SERIES IV. Typescripts
A. Use Copies
B. Originals [Restricted]

Scope and Content Note

The journals contained in this collection canvas the years that Stephen Reynolds spent in Honolulu, Hawaii, from 1823 to 1855. The collection includes transcripts of the journals and is divided into four series.

Series I. Journals is comprised of the nine original journals kept by Reynolds. The originals are restricted due to condition. Please see Series IV for typescripts of the original journals.

Series II. Correspondence and Clippings includes items that were removed from the original journals.

Series III. Secondary Material contains a couple of pages of The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, correspondence after Reynolds' death that discusses the journals, notes on the whereabouts of related materials such as correspondence written by Reynolds, selections from a thesis which show quotes and citations from the journals, and a draft of an article regarding the health of Reynolds.

Series IV. Typescripts is organized into two subseries. Subseries A. Use Copies are duplicate typescripts (boxes 4 through 9) and are available to researchers. Subseries B. Originals includes the original typescripts (boxes 10 and 11) and are restricted from use. Both subseries include some typescripts transcribed in the 1940s and complete typescripts transcribed in the 1970s in anticipation of publication. Some of the typescripts include hand-written edits and notes.

Biographical Sketch

Stephen Reynolds was born to Enos and Sarah Reynolds on November 17, 1782 in Andover, Massachusetts. In 1810 he sailed as a seaman on the brig New Hazard on a trading expedition to the Pacific Northwest, Hawaii and Canton, China. Although he was not the official log keeper for this voyage, his journal is the only remaining record and was published in 1938. In 1817, he sailed on the ship Ida, to the Northwest Coast. He was also a log keeper for a voyage from New York to Canton on the ship Adonis in 1821. In 1823 he moved to Honolulu and served as a clerk for merchant William French. He went into business for himself in 1829 as a trader of at first sandalwood and then general merchandise.

Reynolds had a domestic partnership with Winshipa Harbottle (died 1829), which produced two children: William Pitt (1827-1888) and Maria Harriet (1828-1828). He then married Susan Kukunaneki Jackson (died 1881), a daughter of the missionary Edward Jackson, in August of 1829. This union produced five children: Matilda Euela (1830-1916); Evaline (1831-1856); John Rice (1833-1855); Harriette (1835-1890); and Edward Jackson (1838-1868). All of his children were sent to Reynold's sisters in Boxford, Massachusetts for education at about the time they reached 3 years old.

Throughout the journal, Reynolds wrote about symptoms of illness. After a period of attempted respite in California he returned to Honolulu where he was found to be unable to manage his affairs by a jury of peers. His sister Rebecca traveled to Honolulu to retrieve him in 1856 and he died in Boxford, on July 17, 1857.

For a more robust biography, please refer to the biography on page ix in King's Journal of Stephen Reynolds.

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.

Alexander family
Alexander, Arthur C. (Arthur Chambers), 1863-1954
Alexander, W. D. (William De Witt), 1833-1913
Belknap, Henry Wyckoff, 1860-1946
Carter, George Robert, 1866-1933
Daws, Gavan
Dodge, Ernest Stanley
Reynolds family
Smith, Mary D. (Alexander)
Wilmarth family
Wilmarth, Matilda E. (Reynolds), 1830-1916
Hawaiian Mission Children's Society
Journals (Diaries)
Voyages and travels
Hawaii (Kingdom)
Hawaii--History--To 1893
Hawaii--Social life and customs
Honolulu (Hawaii)


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

The original journals are restricted for preservation purposes, but transcripts are available. Permission to view the original journals must be obtained from the Manuscript Librarian or Head Reference Librarian.

Administrative Information


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

Stephen Reynolds (1782-1857) Journals, MSS 283, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


Seven volumes of the journal were donated by Stephen W. Phillips on August 25, 1932 (acc. # 9018). Two volumes [volumes 2 and 5] were donated by Mr. William P. Alexander, Mr. DeWitt Alexander, and Mrs. Gordon Smith [Mary D. Alexander Smith] on November 20, 1964 (acc. # 16,791). The correspondence in box 4, folders 3 through 5, was donated by Mr. Gordon Smith on February 3, 1965 (acc. # 16,842).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Jennifer Hornsby, September 2016.

Related Material

Reynolds, Stephen W., and Pauline N. King. Journal of Stephen Reynolds. Honolulu: Ku Pa Ľa Incorporated, 1989.

Reynolds, Stephen W., and Frederick William Howay. The Voyage of the New Hazard. Salem: Peabody Museum, 1938.

Adonis (Ship) logbook, 1821-1823, Log 1235.

Matilda B. Lund diary, 1829-1865, DIA 112.

New Hazard (Brig) logbook, 1810-1813, Log 1805.

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