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Frank Reed Kimball (1853-1924) Papers

Frank Reed Kimball (1853-1924) Papers

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FRANK REED KIMBALL (1853-1924) PAPERS, 1819-1928

Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-948-6012
Creator:Kimball, Frank Reed, 1853-1924
Title:Frank Reed Kimball (1853-1924) Papers
Quantity:4 Linear feet (7 boxes)
Abstract:The papers of this Salem, Massachusetts, man reflect a wide variety of interests and include papers of a number of family members.
Collection Number:MSS 307

Series List

SERIES I. Frank Reed Kimball Papers
A. Personal Papers
B. Papers Related to Serope A. Güdajian
C. Papers Related to Anglo-Israelism and the Anglo-Saxon Identity Association
D. Genealogical/Family History Papers
SERIES II. Eleanor Brodhead Kimball Papers
SERIES III. Edward Adams Kimball Papers
SERIES IV. Brodhead Family Papers
SERIES V. Arnold Family Papers
SERIES VI. Edward Dearborn Kimball Papers
A. Business Papers
B. Personal Papers
SERIES VII. Susan Sawyer Kimball Papers
SERIES VIII. Elbridge Gerry Kimball Papers
SERIES IX. Nathaniel A. Kimball Papers
SERIES X. Dearborn Family Papers
SERIES XI. Sarah Knight Kimball Papers
SERIES XII. Ships' Papers
A. Schooner America Belle
B. Brig Ann Elizabeth
C. Bark Buckeye
D. Brig Gambia
E. Bark Manchester
F. Brig Pactolus
G. Brig Rolla
H. Bark S. W. Porter
I. Brig Tiberius
SERIES XIII. Seaman's Protection Certificates
SERIES XIV. Miscellaneous Materials
SERIES XV. Kimball -Related Images

Scope and Content Note

The papers of this Salem, Massachusetts, man reflect a wide variety of interests and include papers of a number of family members. His personal papers include diaries of voyages; deeds; patents issued to him; correspondence from Serope A. Güdajian, a Turkish man who hoped to found an American-style university in Turkey; papers related to Kimball's interest in and correspondence from Charles A. L. Totten about Anglo-Israelism, plus the formation of the Anglo-Saxon Identity Association to promote this theory; and genealogy of the Kimball and Knight families. Papers of family members include those of his first and second wives, Eleanor Brodhead and Catherine Arnold; his son, Edward Adams Kimball; and relatives Nathaniel A. Kimball, Susan Sawyer Kimball, and Sarah Knight Kimball, plus papers of the Brodhead, Arnold, and Dearborn families. It has been organized into 15 series.

Series I. Frank Reed Kimball Papers are subdivided into four subseries. Subseries A. Personal Papers contains: early diaries; a fishing list; an essay on a trip to Ireland; Bowdoin College related material; a deed for land on Marblehead Neck; legal documents related to a trust agreement and the disposition of his father's estate; letters patent and patent transfer papers; stock transactions; essays on marriage and work ethics; correspondence from his son, daughter-in-law, and grandson; church membership transfer request; several pencil sketches; and galley proofs. Subseries B. Papers Related to Serope A. Güdajian, contains materials related to a scheme to found an American-style university in Turkey. Also included is an insurance policy on Güdajian, with Kimball as the beneficiary. Subseries C. Papers Related to Anglo-Israelism and the Anglo-Saxon Identity Association contains materials associated with Kimball's belief in the theory of Anglo-Israelism and the formation of the Anglo-Saxon Identity Association to promote this theory. Additionally, there is correspondence between Kimball and Charles A. L. Totten, a prolific writer and proponent of Anglo-Israelism. Subseries D. Genealogical/Family History Papers includes: genealogy-related correspondence; material related to the Kimball and Knight families; a genealogical notebook; and two biographical sketches of family members.

Series II. Eleanor Brodhead Kimball Papers includes correspondence with her husband, Frank Reed Kimball, and a number of others; a furniture inventory of pieces transferred to her by her husband; and an undated address book.

Series III. Edward Adams Kimball Papers consists primarily of a small collection of correspondence between Edward A. Kimball and his grandmother, Susan Sawyer Kimball.

Series IV. Brodhead Family Papers contain correspondence between various members of the Brodhead family.

Series V. Arnold Family Papers includes correspondence regarding a note owed by Edmund Arnold and a piece of land owned by his estate; trust agreements between Frank R. Kimball and Catherine E. Arnold for the contents and personal property in two houses owned by Kimball and subject to probate of his mother's and first wife's estates; and a trust agreement between Kimball and Arnold for property on Cape Breton Island. (Catherine Arnold became Kimball's second wife in 1905.)

Series VI. Edward Dearborn Kimball Papers are subdivided into Business Papers and Personal Papers. Subseries A. Business Papers contains correspondence from his agents; receipts for funds paid to merchants and agents; accounts of candle sales; insurance claims; and the acquisition of the Staten Island Oil and Candle Company. (Edward D. Kimball acquired the assets of the Staten Island Oil & Candle Co. as a result of its inability to pay him for palm oil that Kimball supplied from Africa.) Subseries B. Personal Papers includes bills and receipts for travel, household items, clothing, etc.; a power of attorney; deeds for land in North Salem, North Andover, and Philadelphia; material related to building a "mansion house" in North Danvers; and a stock purchase agreement.

Series VII. Susan Sawyer Kimball Papers contains two small pocket diaries; an account book of living expenses; bank drafts; a deed for the transfer of property on Pleasant Street, Salem, to Frank Reed Kimball; and correspondence regarding property Susan owned in Independence, Missouri.

Series VIII. Elbridge Gerry Kimball Papers includes a memorandum book and cargo notebook; business correspondence; a wallet and the papers removed from it, which include demand notes, accounts, and gold memoranda from the Philadelphia mint; and an accounting of his estate.

Series IX. Nathaniel A. Kimball Papers include two personal letters and one business letter.

Series X. Dearborn Family Papers includes papers related to the estate of Phebe Dearborn; miscellaneous bills and receipts; and a wallet.

Series XI. Sarah Knight Kimball Papers contains an 1847 copy of her last will and testament.

Series XII. Ships' Papers contains insurance policies, bills of sale, bills of lading, owner's instructions, accounts, and shipping articles for the following vessels: Schooner American Belle, Brig Ann Elizabeth, Bark Buckeye, Brig Gambia, Bark Manchester, Brig Pactolus, Brig Rolla, Bark S. W. Porter, and Brig Tiberius.

Series XIII. Seaman's Protection Certificates consists of a collection of fifty documents, including 48 Seaman's Protection Certificates issued by the Customs Service and two affidavits certifying that two black men were free and citizens of the United States.

Series XIV. Miscellaneous Materials is quite diverse and contains: six small (21 x 17cm) handwritten notebooks copying "North Pole Adventure," the work of Joseph Latique LaJore (?) describing his fourteen years among the Native American tribes in the polar region; notes; letters; poems; an address list; a bill of fare for Boston's Parker House; a proposal for "The Woodruff Scientific Expedition Around the World"; a Civil War era projectile; etc.

Series XV. Kimball -Related Images contains photographs of Kimball family members, two pen and ink drawings on silk, and thirteen photographs of the interior of 94 Washington Square, Salem.

Biographical Sketch

Frank(lin) Reed Kimball was born into a family that traces its New England roots to 1634. He was born on July 10, 1853 in Salem, Massachusetts, the second son of Edward Dearborn Kimball (1810-1867) and Susan Sawyer (Kimball) Kimball (1818-1902). Edward Dearborn Kimball and Susan Sawyer Kimball were first cousins. Frank's brothers, Edward Gordon (1848-1852) and Edwin Davis (1859-1865), both died young.

Frank Reed Kimball was educated in private schools in Salem and Switzerland, and at the Franklin School in Maine. He graduated from Bowdoin College in 1876 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Upon graduation he attended Comer's Commercial College in Boston and subsequently began a business manufacturing lighting devices. When the business was incorporated in 1881, he gave up active interest and appears to have never been actively involved in business again.

Kimball married Eleanor Whitney Brodhead, daughter of Col. Josiah and Eliza A. Tufts Brodhead, on April 14, 1878. They had one child, Edward Ward Adams Kimball, born in Boston on March 29, 1879. Eleanor Brodhead Kimball died at Salem in 1904. Frank Reed Kimball then married Catherine Eveline Arnold on September 12, 1905, the daughter of Edmund and Margaret (Parnell) Arnold. They had two daughters, Margaret Arnold Kimball and Mary Frances Kimball. After Mr. Kimball's second marriage, an estrangement occurred between him and his son as well as with the Brodhead family. The nature and degree of these difficulties are not detailed in the correspondence in the collection.

Frank Reed Kimball had an intense interest in Millennialism and published a treatise, Signs of the Times, in 1882, in which he speculated on future events, based on his understanding of Biblical prophecy that would take place over the next 40 years. Along with his mother, he believed in the theory of Anglo-Israelism, which speculates that the Anglo-Saxon race is the ten lost tribes of Israel. In this regard he was principal in the formation of the Anglo-Saxon Identity Association in 1892. The association and its goals are extremely vague except to equate the Anglo-Saxon race with ancient Israel. It is listed in the Boston Directory for only two years, 1892 and 1893. The contact person, Dearborn Reed, is listed as living in Lynn. However, there is no Dearborn Reed listed in any Lynn directory during this period. It is not too difficult to speculate that Dearborn Reed was in fact Frank Reed Kimball using a fictitious name.

During his years at Bowdoin he befriended a Turkish national, Serope A. Güdajian, who along with Kimball and others, was involved in a failed scheme to found an American-style university outside Constantinople. It appears from correspondence in the collection that Kimball was the major financial supporter of Güdajian during the period 1874-1883, to the point that he held an insurance policy on Güdajian's life.

Kimball wrote a number of pieces, some published, some not, which are represented in the Phillips Library collections. His interest in the Kimball family history and genealogy is expressed in a published work, In Memoriam, Biography of Mrs. Susan Sawyer Kimball (Boston, 1903). Additionally, he compiled a biography of his father, Edward Dearborn Kimball, which appears never to have been published.

Frank Reed Kimball died on April 3, 1924 in Lexington, Massachusetts.

Edward Ward Adams Kimball was born in Boston on March 29, 1879, the only child of Frank Reed Kimball and Eleanor Whitney (Brodhead) Kimball. He was trained as both a physician and lawyer; however, there is no evidence he ever practiced medicine. In his later years he practiced law in Boston. He died in Salem on March 20, 1972 while living in a nursing home there. Edward Adams Kimball first married Rita (?) who bore him a son. Later he married Bertha Leach who preceded him in death. A son, Wilfred Montgomery Kimball, survived him.

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.

Arnold family
Brodhead family
Dearborn family
Güdajian, Serope A.
Kimball, Catherine Arnold
Kimball, Edward Adams, 1879-1972
Kimball, Edward Dearborn, 1810-1867
Kimball, Elbridge Gerry, 1816-1849
Kimball, Elbridge Gerry, 1816-1849
Kimball, Eleanor Brodhead, d. 1904
Kimball, Nathaniel A., 1822-1862
Kimball, Sarah Knight, 1780-1849
Kimball, Susan Sawyer, 1818-1902
Knight family
Totten, Charles Adiel Lewis, 1851-1908
American Belle (Schooner)
Anglo-Saxon Identity Association
Ann Elizabeth (Brig)
Buckeye (Bark)
Gambia (Brig)
Manchester (Bark)
Pactolus (Brig)
Rolla (Brig)
S.W. Porter (Bark)
Staten Island Oil and Candle Company
Tiberius (Brig)
Account books--Massachusetts--Salem
African American sailors
Shipping--Africa, West
Ship's papers
Voyages and travels
Salem (Mass.)


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

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

Frank Reed Kimball (1853-1924) Papers, MSS 307, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This material was donated by Linda-Jean Kimball Harsh, Richard K. Harsh, and Sherryon Harsh on September 11, 1996 (accession #27,325). Richard Harsh donated 268 items on April 9, 2018 (accession #2018.002).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Robert F. Craig, July 2001; updated by Hilary Striefer, April 2018.

Related Material

Ackerman, Arthur Wilmot, "Memoirs of Deceased Members of the New England Historic Genealogical Society," The New England Historical and Genealogical Resister, 81(1927): 189,190.

Morrison, Leonard Allison and Stephen Paschall Sharples. History of the Kimball Family in America, From 1634 to 1897. Boston, 1897, reprint 1981.

Salem Evening News, 7 April 1924; 21 March 1972.

Salem, Massachusetts, Vital Records, 6 vols. Salem, Mass.: Essex Institute, 1916-1925.

Tolles, Bryant F., Jr. Architecture in Salem. Salem, Mass.: Essex Institute, 1983, pp. 29, 30.

Trask, Richard B. Images of America, Danvers from 1850-1899. Dover, N.H.: Acadia, 1996, p. 123.

Kimball Family Papers, MSS 84

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