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Putnam and Sewall Family Papers

Putnam and Sewall Family Papers

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Processing of this collection was funded by a grant from the NHPRC (National Historical Publications and Records Commission).

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:Putnam Family
Title:Putnam and Sewall Family Papers
Quantity:3 linear feet (6 boxes)
Abstract:The Putnam and Sewall Family Papers consist primarily of the correspondence, essays, and journals of Dr. Jeremiah S. Putnam, and the correspondence of Ruth Putnam and her Sewall family relatives.
Identification:MH 152

Series List

Series I. Dr. Jeremiah S. Putnam Papers
A. Correspondence
B. Addresses, Essays, Speeches
C. Annotated Almanacs, Journals, and Memo Books
Series II. Putnam and Sewall Family Papers
A. Correspondence
B. Genealogy and Family Estates
Series III. York County Individuals

Scope and Content Note

The Putnam and Sewall Family Papers consist primarily of the correspondence, essays, and journals of Dr. Jeremiah S. Putnam, and the correspondence of Ruth Putnam and her Sewall family relatives. Also included in the collection are notes on the genealogy of the Sewall and Putnam families, receipts, and records from local York professionals. This collection has been arranged into three series.

Series I. Dr. Jeremiah S. Putnam Papers includes the correspondence, essays, speeches, memo books, annotated almanacs, and journals of Dr. Jeremiah S. Putnam. Letters to and from Dr. Putnam detail the social and professional relationships Dr. Putnam sustained with his siblings, the Sewall family, and the community of York, Maine. Dr. Putnam's essays and speeches address a wide variety of topics, ranging from his medical teachings, his involvement with the York School Committee, and his ideas on moral issues of the day.

Series II. Sewall and Putnam Family Papers consist primarily of letters written to Ruth Putnam, her sister Nancy Sewall, her children Mary H. Putnam and G. William S. Putnam, and her daughter-in-law Typhena Remick. Additional correspondence is arranged by family. This includes the Samuel Sewall family, the Captain Thomas Putnam family, the Enoch Remick family, and the Captain Paul Langdon family. This material has been arranged chronologically within each folder. These letters detail the lives of the extended Sewall family and friends in York, Maine for over 100 years. Genealogical material is also included for the Sewall and Putnam families.

Series III. York County Individuals consists primarily of the papers of individuals actively involved in local York county government during the late 1700s and early 1800s. This includes the papers of John Kingsbury and his son Benjamin Kingsbury, Samuel Derby, Collector of Customs, and Ruben Derby. Additionally, written notices and petitions, receipts, deeds, and bills of sale document local county life in York, Maine.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Jeremiah S. Putnam was born in Danvers, Massachusetts on August 20, 1797 to Captain Thomas Putnam (1763-1822) and Mary Fitz (1763-1824). He graduated from Bowdoin College and moved to York, Maine to begin teaching in the local school. While teaching, he began studying for a medical degree, completing his degree in 1823. He settled permanently in York at this time and married Ruth Sewall, a widow (1791-1860), daughter of Samuel Sewall (1748-1824) and Hannah Moulton (b.1756), on July 5, 1827. Ruth had previously been married to Captain James B. Thornton (1771-1825). Dr. Putnam and his wife had two children, Mary Hannah Putnam (1829-1843), and George William Sewall Putnam (1831-1902).

Dr. Putnam practiced medicine for fifty four years in York and became a prominent member of the medical profession in part because of his interest in homeopathy. In addition to his medical career, he served on the York School Committee from 1830 to 1850 and was elected Chairman of the Board in 1873. Dr. Putnam died on April 5, 1877.

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.

Derby, Ruben
Derby, Samuel
Kingsbury, Benjamin, 1757-1840
Kingsbury, John, 1724-1811
Moulton, Lucy, 1757-1800
Putnam, Jeremiah S., 1797-1877
Putnam, Mary H.
Putnam, Ruth Sewall, 1791-1860
Putnam, Thomas, 1763-1822
Remick, Typhena
Sewall, Eliza
Sewall, Elizabeth, 1788-1812
Sewall, Nancy, 1781-1860
Sewall, Storer, 1753-1823
Thornton, James B., 1771-1825
Dartmoor Prison
York (Me.)
Account books


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

Putnam And Sewall Family Papers, MH 152, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


This material was found in the collection. Material from Fam. Mss. 806 was added to this collection.

Processing Information

Collection processed and cataloged by Halley Grogan, December 2011.

Related Material

Cleave, Egbert., "Cleave's biographical cyclopaedia of homeopathic physicians and surgeons," pp. 372-373.

Little, George Thomas, Henry Sweetser Burrage, and Albert Roscoe Stubbs "Genealogical and family history of the state of Maine", Vol. 1 pp. 53

Kingsbury, Frederick John. "The genealogy of the descendants of Henry Kingsbury, of Ipswich and Haverhill, Mass." Hartford Press, 1905.

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." Salem, MA: Salem Press Publishing and Printing Co., 1891-1908.

"Sewall or Sewell of Coventry: Descent and descendants," Web. 14 Dec 2011.

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