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Wade and Hodgkins Papers

Wade and Hodgkins Papers

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WADE AND HODGKINS PAPERS, 1775-1855, 1879-1927

Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 166 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-948-6012
Creator:Colonel Nathaniel Wade and Colonel Joseph Hodgkins
Title:Wade and Hodgkins Papers
Dates:1775/1855, 1879/1927
Quantity:2.5 linear feet (3 boxes)
Abstract:The Wade and Hodgkins Papers include materials collected by the Wade and Hodgkins family related to the service of Colonels Nathaniel Wade and Joseph Hodgkins during the American Revolutionary War.
Collection Number:MSS 806

Series List

SERIES I. Nathaniel Wade Sr. Military PapersSERIES II. Wade Family Correspondence
SERIES III. Miscellaneous Wade Family Papers
SERIES IV. Hodgkins Family CorrespondenceSERIES V. Joseph Hodgkins Military and Family Papers

Scope and Content Note

The Wade and Hodgkins Papers include materials collected by the Wade and Hodgkins family related to the service of Colonels Nathaniel Wade and Joseph Hodgkins during the American Revolutionary War. The earliest papers are dated from 1775, and the most recent 1927, with the bulk of the papers dating between 1775, and 1855. While connected initially through shared military service, the families merged through marital union in 1803. This collection has been divided into five series.

Series I. Nathaniel Wade Sr. Military Papers is separated into two subseries. Subseries A. Muster Lists and Military Papers includes the enrollment lists of members of Col. Nathaniel Wade's Regiment and various military papers, such as a rations list for 1787. Subseries B. Orderly Books contains three orderly books documenting camp life, including court martial proceedings. Series II. Wade Family Correspondence includes incoming and outgoing letters by both Nathaniel Wade Sr. and Jr., as well as limited amounts of correspondence from disparate family members. This series includes two letters from George Washington to Colonel Wade dated September 25, and 26, 1780; also included in the same folder are photocopies made at a later date.

Series III. Miscellaneous Wade Family Papers contains materials reflecting an array of the family's activities over the late 18th and the 19th centuries including rental agreements and receipts, deeds of will, a hand-written account of the family's genealogy beginning in the early 19th century, newspaper clippings, material related to the family's involvement in the Ipswich Historical Society, and business papers of Nathaniel Treadwell 3rd.

Series IV. Hodgkins Family Correspondence contains two subseries. Subseries A. Joseph Hodgkins to Sarah Hodgkins includes a substantial number of letters from Hodgkins to his second wife Sarah throughout the course of the war, from 1775, to 1779, including a letter from the Battle of Harlem Heights and three from Valley Forge. Subseries B. Sarah Hodgkins' Correspondence contains letters written by Sarah to Joseph Hodgkins during the course of the war as well as letters sent by her sister Joanna Chapman to Sarah.

Series V. Joseph Hodgkins Military and Family Papers contains a roll of the Ipswich Minutemen, family legal records, including a contract relating to church pew use, nineteenth century historical society publications, an orderly book, and various military papers. The legal records speak to the debt of Hodgkins at the end of his life.

Biographical Sketches

Colonel Nathaniel Wade was born on February 27, 1750, in Ipswich, Massachusetts, to Timothy and Ruth (Woodbury) Wade. He worked in Boston as a carpenter and held six acres of land in Ipswich before serving in the American Revolutionary War (Wade and Lively, 7). After enlisting in the Ipswich Minutemen on January 24, 1775, he was elected Colonel by his peers. He married Mary Foster (1760-1785) of Gloucester (Wade and Lively, 122) in 1777, and together they had three children that survived to adulthood ( The Colonel served during the Boston, Long Island, Trenton, and Princeton campaigns. Wade's last act as a militiaman included efforts to shutdown Shay's Rebellion (Wade and Lively, 154). He married in 1788, to Hannah Treadwell (1762-1814), sister of Nathaniel Treadwell 3rd (1765-1804) ( Wade held various political offices in and for Ipswich following his service, chiefly as a member of the Massachusetts General Court, on which he served continually for twenty-one years (Wade and Lively, 156-157). In 1803, his eldest son, Nathaniel Wade Jr. (1778-1843) married Hannah Hodgkins (1780-1820), Joseph Hodgkins' (1743-1829) eldest daughter by Sarah (Perkins) Hodgkins. Colonel Nathaniel Wade died in 1826.

Colonel Joseph Hodgkins was born in 1743, to Thomas and Hannah Hodgkins. He worked as a shoemaker in Ipswich, Massachusetts. Hodgkins married Joanna Webber (1741-1772) of Methuen in 1764, and only one of their children survived to adulthood, Joanna Hodgkins born July 8, 1765. In January of 1772, Joanna (Webber) Hodgkins died and in December of that year he married Sarah Perkins (1780-1803), to whom his correspondence is addressed in this collection (Wade and Lively, 8-10). Hodgkins served as Lieutenant to Colonel Wade during the War, as he was elected to this position by his peers following enrollment in the Ipswich Minutemen in January 24, 1775. He served during the Boston, Long Island, Trenton, and Princeton campaigns, and ended his Revolutionary War service in June of 1779. Following the war he worked in public service positions, including on the Massachusetts General Court and also as a keeper of the Ipswich County House (Wade and Lively, 160). He ascended to the position of Colonel in the early 1790s (Wade and Lively, 159). Sarah Hodgkins died in 1803, and he married for a third and final time to Lydia Crocker Treadwell (1754-1833) in 1804. Hodgkins died in 1829 (

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, Benedict, 1741-1801
Chapman, Joanna
Hodgkins, Joseph, 1743-1829
Hodgkins, Sarah Perkins, 1780-1803
Lamb, John, 1735-1800
Treadwell, Nathaniel, 1778-1843
Wade, Nathaniel, 1750-1826
Wade, Thomas, Col., 1722-1787
Washington, George, 1732-1799
Desertion, Military
Letter writing
Marriage--United States--18th century
Military administration
Military history
Military readiness
Ipswich (Mass.)
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Administrative Information


Request 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

Wade and Hodgkins Papers, MSS 806, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This material was donated by Lauretta A. Wade on February 25, 1985 (accessions #83003, 83003a, and 83003b). Accession #83003 was formerly cataloged as Fam. Mss. 1056.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Francesca Scaraggi, April 2019.

Related Material Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

Wade, Herbert T. and Robert Lively, This Glorious Cause: The Adventures of Two Company Officers in Washington's Army, Princeton: Princeton, 1958.?

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