COLLECTION GUIDES

1676-1829; bulk: 1788-1827

Guide to the Collection


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection, part of the Channing family collection, consists of the correspondence, accounts, notes, and other papers of Walter Channing, business partner of George Gibbs in the firm of Gibbs and Channing of Newport, R.I.

Biographical Sketch

Walter Channing was the business partner of George Gibbs in the firm of Gibbs and Channing of Newport, R.I. Channing carried on the business after Gibbs's death and moved to Boston in 1814.

Collection Description

This collection consists of the correspondence, accounts, notes, and other papers of Walter Channing (1757-1827). The bulk of the correspondence relates to the shipping business of Gibbs and Channing, real estate transactions in Newport and Boston, Channing's attempt to have import duties on saltpeter curtailed, and business affairs with Channing's relatives, including Henry Channing (1760-1840), William Ellery (1727-1820), William Ellery Channing (1780-1842), William C. Gibbs (1789-1871), William C. Woodbridge (1755-1836), and Sarah Gibbs (1784-1866). Other correspondence concerns the estates of George Gibbs (1735-1803) and Mary Channing Gibbs (1747-1824), the seizure of the company ship Hercules Courtenay, the loss of the ship Mary, and the collapse of the firm of Minturn and Champlin (New York, N.Y.). Included are ledgers and bank accounts of Walter Channing, 1810-1827, and of Gibbs and Channing, 1806-1810 (including 2 volumes in oversize).

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Loose papers, 1676-1829

Arranged chronologically.

Box 1
Undated materials

Arranged alphabetically by author.

A small number of undated letters and receipts, including fragments of correspondence, scrap paper, and wrappers from bundles of receipts and letters. (ca. 75 pieces)

Box 1
1676-1800

Primarily the business correspondence of the firm of Gibbs and Channing from its inception in 1792. A small amount of Walter Channing correspondence concerning family real estate and business matters. Several letters and documents relating to Channing family business matters date from the 17th and early 18th centuries. (ca. 150 items)

Box 2
1801-1802

The bulk of the material from this period concerns the disastrous voyage of the ship Hercules Courtenay, owned by the firm of Gibbs and Channing, which was seized by the Spanish and held at Algeciras. Other business correspondence includes letters from an agent of the firm describing political difficulties encountered at Leghorn. (ca. 300 items)

Box 3
1803-1806

Business correspondence of the firm of Gibbs and Channing. Primarily the correspondence of Walter Channing, the surviving partner, concerning insurance claims for the loss of the ship Mary and his attempts to have import duties on saltpeter revised or removed. (ca. 300 items)

Box 4
1807-1808

Business correspondence concerning the insurance claim for the ship Mary, settlement of the estate of George Gibbs, and the personal business affairs of Walter Channing. (ca. 250 items)

Box 5
1809

Business papers of Walter Channing, as well as occasional personal letters to and from him. (ca. 150 items)

Box 6
1810

Business papers and family business correspondence of Walter Channing. Subjects include real estate speculations, the settlement of the estate of George Gibbs, and the uncertain international political climate for mercantile activity. (ca. 150 items)

Box 7
Jan.-Aug. 1811

Primarily business correspondence with occasional personal letters of Walter Channing. Some correspondence relates to the estate of George Gibbs and the dissolved partnership of Gibbs and Channing. (ca. 300 items)

Box 8
Sep.-Dec. 1811

Primarily business correspondence of Walter Channing. A continuation of the material in Box 7. (ca. 150 items)

Box 9
Jan.-Aug. 1812

Business correspondence and other papers of Walter Channing, including correspondence with Channing and Gibbs family members for whom Channing served as financial advisor. Includes political intelligence on the approach of war with Great Britain, correspondence describing business disruptions caused by the war, and material concerning family business affairs in Newport, R.I. (ca. 250 items)

Box 10
Sep.-Dec. 1812

Business papers of Walter Channing, including accounts with Mary Channing Gibbs and correspondence concerning the collapse of the firm of Minturn and Champlin, as well as information on Federalist party candidates. A continuation of the papers in Box 9. (ca. 125 items)

Box 11
1813-1817

Business papers of Walter Channing, together with a small amount of personal correspondence. In 1814, Channing moved to Boston, and much of the correspondence after this date concerns real estate transactions in Boston and Newport. Some personal and business correspondence refers to the aftermath of the financial collapse of the firm of Minturn and Champlin. Other papers relate to the reconstruction of Channing's Wharf in Newport. The sparse business correspondence for this period reflects disruptions caused by the War of 1812. (ca. 200 items)

Box 12
1818-1821

Business papers, including some family business correspondence of Walter Channing. Financial claims arising from the seizure of the ship Hercules Courtenay (1801) and import duties on saltpeter (1802-1804) are documented in correspondence with various agents. Personal papers include accounts with Mary Channing Gibbs for funds from the estate of George Gibbs. (ca. 350 items)

Box 13
1822-1823

Primarily family business correspondence of Walter Channing. Channing acted as business advisor for many Gibbs and Channing relatives, including his niece Sarah Gibbs. Some correspondence relates to Channing's Spanish Florida claims and legislation affecting duties on saltpeter. (ca. 350 items)

Box 14
1824

Primarily family business papers of Walter Channing. From July 1824 until his death in 1827, Channing spent much of his time in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Family business correspondents include Henry Channing, Sarah and William C. Gibbs, and William C. Woodbridge. During 1824, Channing drafted his will and reorganized the finances of his personal estate. (ca. 300 items)

Box 15
Jan.-July 1825

Primarily financial correspondence dealing with the estate of Mary Channing Gibbs, for whom Walter Channing served as executor. Includes other family-related business correspondence and occasional personal letters to Channing. (ca. 200 items)

Box 16
Aug.-Dec. 1825

Family business correspondence of Walter Channing. A continuation of the material in Box 15 relating to the estate of Mary Channing Gibbs. Channing purchased and leased real estate in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., during this period. (ca. 125 items)

Box 17
1826-1829

Business papers concerning the estate of Mary Channing Gibbs (Walter Channing, executor) and, after the death of Channing in 1827, some material concerning his estate. (ca. 300 items)

II. Volumes, 1806-1827

A. Walter Channing volumes, 1814-1827

Box 18Vol. 1
Blank book of blotting paper, undated
Box 18Vol. 2
Memoranda book, May 1814-[1815]

Materials and work in rebuilding the head of the wharf.

Box 18Vol. 3
Ledger B, 17 Jan. 1816

State of Channing's accounts from 1811-1816.

Box 18Vol. 4
Bank accounts, 1818-1826

"Branch banks with Walter Channing."

Box 18Vol. 5
Bank account, Merchants' Bank (of N.Y.), 2 June 1820-20 Mar. [1827]
Box 18Vol. 6
Bank account, Bank of Rhode Island, 5 Oct. 1821-24 July 1827
Box 18Vol. 7
Daybook, 2 June 1825-9 Oct. 1826

Personal expenses and banking transactions.

Box 18Vol. 8
Petit ledger, Mary Channing Gibbs estate, June-Oct. 1826

Kept during Channing's absence from Boston.

Box 18Vol. 9
Account book, 1825-1826

Contains copy of Mary Gibbs' will; inventory of her estate; accounts of Channing with her heirs.

B. Gibbs and Channing volumes, 1806-1810

Box 18Vol. 10
Bank account, Bank of the United States, Office of Discount and Deposit, N.Y., 29 Nov. 1806-23 Jan. 1808
Box 18Vol. 11
Bank account, Bank of Rhode Island, 19 Oct. 1807-1 Oct. 1810

Includes list of notes and bills for collection.

Box 18Vol. 12
Bank account, Merchants' Bank (of N.Y.), 13 July 1808-11 Jan. [1810]

C. Oversize volumes, 1810-1815

Vol. OS 1
Walter Channing account book, Newport, R.I., 7 Mar. 1810-27 May 1813
Vol. OS 2
Walter Channing ledger, Newport, R.I., 7 Mar. 1810-31 Dec. 1815

Preferred Citation

Walter Channing (1757-1827) papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.

Persons:

Channing, Henry, 1760-1840.
Channing, William Ellery, 1780-1842.
Ellery, William, 1727-1820.
Gibbs, George, 1735-1803.
Gibbs, Mary Channing, 1747-1824.
Gibbs, Sarah, 1784-1866.
Gibbs, William C., 1789-1871.
Woodbridge, William, 1755-1836.

Organizations:

Gibbs and Channing (Newport, R.I.)
Hercules Courtenay (Ship).
Mary (Ship).
Minturn and Champlin (New York, N.Y.)

Subjects:

Account books--1806-1827.
Merchants--Massachusetts--Boston.
Merchants--Rhode Island--Newport.
Real property--Massachusetts--Boston.
Real property--Rhode Island--Newport.
Saltpeter.

Materials Removed from the Collection

The following item has been removed from the Walter Channing papers to be cataloged in the MHS printed collection:

Kirkland, John T. Harvard University, Cambridge, 25 March 1822 [circular letter, sent to Walter Channing].