COLLECTION GUIDES

1783-1892

Guide to the Microfilm Edition


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection consists of the personal papers and business records of Thomas H. Perkins (1764-1854), including correspondence, diaries, invoices, account books, ledgers, and other papers.

Biographical Sketch

Thomas Handasyd Perkins (1764-1854) was one of Boston's most successful China merchants.

Collection Description

The Thomas Handasyd Perkins papers consist of the personal papers of Thomas Handasyd Perkins and the records of various Perkins trading firms, including correspondence, invoices, and other business papers related to late 18th-century and early 19th-century mercantile trade. Subjects include the Boston Tea Party, 18th-century slave revolts in Santo Domingo, and trade during the War of 1812. Among the significant correspondents are John Jacob Astor, Robert Bennet Forbes, and Georges Washington Motier de Lafayette. The bound volumes include diaries of Thomas H. Perkins; a letterbook of his grandson Thomas H. Perkins III (1823-1900); and account books, blotters, journals, ledgers, letterbooks, and waste books of the firms E. Bumstead & Co., J. & T. H. Perkins, J. & T. H. Perkins & Sons, and Perkins & Co.

The collection is divided into three series: I. Loose papers; II. Oversize papers; and III. Bound volumes. This guide also contains an Select Index of correspondents in Series I (Loose papers), names mentioned in Series II (Oversize papers), authors and owners of the volumes in Series III (Bound volumes), and select individuals and subjects of historical significance found in the collection.

Acquisition Information

Gift of George Edward Cabot, 1922.

Other Formats

Digital facsimiles of parts of the Thomas Handasyd Perkins papers are available on China, America and the Pacific, a digital publication of Adam Matthew Digital, Inc. This digital resource is available to researchers on MHS library computers. See a reference librarian for information on how to access this resource.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Loose papers, 1789-1853

Arranged chronologically.

This series contains correspondence, invoices, bills of lading, and other papers related to late 18th-century and early 19th-century mercantile trade. Significant subjects include the perils of trading during the French Revolution and the War of 1812, the 18th-century slave uprisings in Santo Domingo, and the sometimes violent encounters between traders and Indians on the northwest coast of America. Among the notable correspondents represented in this series are John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Fisher Ames, John Jacob Astor, Edward Everett, John Murray Forbes, Robert Bennet Forbes, Georges Washington Motier de Lafayette, and Jonathan Mason.

For a list of the correspondents in this series, see the Select Index.

Reel 1Box 1
1789-1805
Reel 2Box 2
1806-1853

II. Oversize papers, 1795-1851

This series consists mainly of newspaper clippings and legal documents pertaining to the sea trade.

For a list of the names mentioned in this series, see the Select Index.

Reel 2Box OS

III. Bound volumes, 1783-1892

For a list of the authors or owners of the volumes in this series, see the Select Index.

A. Personal journals, 1789-1892

This subseries contains the diaries and personal journals of Thomas H. Perkins, including one letterbook (Vol. 32) of his grandson Thomas H. Perkins III (1823-1900). Most of the journals describe the travels of the Perkins family in Europe and the United States.

Reel 3Vol. 1
13 July 1789
Reel 3Vol. 2
Voyage on ship Charlotte to Bordeaux, 14 Dec. 1794-2 Feb. 1795
Reel 3Vol. 3
At Paris, France, 12 Mar.-21 May 1795
Reel 3Vol. 4
France to Holland and back, 10 May-6 June 1795
Reel 3Vol. 5
Paris to Amsterdam, 6 June-24 July 1795
Reel 3Vol. 6
Europe and England, 1 July-29 Sep. 1795
Reel 3Vol. 7
At Saratoga Springs, N.Y., 3-12 Sep. 1800
Reel 3Vol. 8
On a voyage to Bristol, England, 27 Aug.-30 Sep. 1811
Reel 3Vol. 9
At Cherbourg, 14 May 1812, 1 June 1812
Reel 3Vol. 10
London to Boston, 11 June 1820, 10 July 1823
Reel 3Vol. 11
Liverpool, England, 11 May-5 July 1823
Reel 3Vol. 12
London to Holland, July 1823
Reel 3Vol. 13
Voyage on ship Milo, 14 Apr.-31 July 1826
Reel 3Vol. 14
Trip to England, 4 May 1826
Reel 4Vol. 15
Voyage on Margaret Forbes to London, 13 July-5 Aug. 1829, and Dover to Boston, 20 Sep.-22 Oct. 1829
Reel 4Vol. 16
In England, Aug.-Sep. 1829
Reel 4Vol. 17
Account books, 30 Nov. 1834-2 Jan. 1835, and at London, 22 Mar. 1835
Reel 4Vol. 18
London to Paris, 4-19 Apr. 1835
Reel 4Vol. 19
In Europe, 19 Apr.-5 May 1835
Reel 4Vol. 20
In Europe, 9 May-9 June 1835
Reel 4Vol. 21
In Europe, 12-29 June 1835
Reel 4Vol. 22
In Europe, 9-13 July 1835
Reel 4Vol. 23
St. Louis to Canada up Mississippi River, 8-29 July 1837
Reel 4Vol. 24
Voyage on Patrick Henry, Liverpool to N.Y., 27 Apr.-30 May 1841
Reel 4Vol. 25
Voyage on Massachusetts, N.Y. to Liverpool and return, 15 Sep.-13 Nov. 1845
Reel 4Vol. 26
Saratoga Springs, N.Y., 18 July 1846
Reel 4Vol. 27
At Saratoga Springs, 17 July-1 Aug. 1847
Reel 4Vol. 28
At Saratoga Springs, 3-22 July 1854
Reel 4Vol. 29
Inventory of Perkins property in Temple Place and Brookline houses, [1854?]
Reel 5Vol. 30
Journal of reminiscences of England and Wales, 1 July 1812
Reel 5Vol. 31
Memorandum book, 1824-1828
Reel 5Vol. 32
Thomas H. Perkins III letterbook, 1888-1892

B. Business papers, 1783-1857

This subseries contains account books, blotters, journals, ledgers, letterbooks, waste books, and other records of the various firms with which Thomas H. Perkins was associated, including E. Bumstead & Co.; J. & T. H. Perkins; J. & T. H. Perkins & Sons; and Perkins and Co. Subjects include trade practices in Santo Domingo, China, and Europe in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

E. Bumstead & Co. papers

Reel 5Vol. 33
Blotter, 25 Jan. 1803-20 Oct. 1805
Reel 5Vol. 34
Journal, 6 Feb. 1804-20 Oct. 1805

Cabot papers

Reel 5Vol. 35
Handasyd Cabot account book, 1834-1835
Reel 6Vol. 36
Extracts of J. & T. H. Perkins letterbooks, compiled by James Elliot Cabot, 1786-1838
Vol. 37
Typescript of extracts of J & T. H. Perkins letterbooks, compiled by James Elliot Cabot, 1786-1838

Note: This volume is a duplicate of Vol. 36, so it has not been microfilmed.

Vol. 38
Photocopy of extracts of J & T. H. Perkins letterbooks, compiled by James Elliot Cabot, 1786-1838

Note: This volume is a duplicate of Vol. 36, so it has not been microfilmed.

Reel 6Vol. 39
S. Cabot waste book, 1829-1857

J & T. H. Perkins papers

Reel 7Vol. 40
Account book, 20 July 1819-30 Nov. 1827
Reel 7Vol. 41
Blotter, 18 Jan. 1797-3 Aug. 1798
Reel 8Vol. 42
Blotter, 5 Dec. 1805-23 Sep. 1807
Reel 8Vol. 43
Blotter, 24 Sep. 1807-20 July 1810
Reel 9Vol. 44 (XT)
Blotter, 30 Apr. 1818-12 Oct. 1820
Reel 9Vol. 45
Blotter, 17 Oct. 1820-30 Nov. 1827
Reel 9Vol. 46
Invoice book, 10 Sep. 1803-26 Dec. 1811
Reel 10Vol. 47 (XT)
Invoice book, 5 Aug. 1819-3 May 1823
Reel 10Vol. 48 (XT)
Journal, 25 Feb. 1798-25 Feb. 1800
Reel 10Vol. 49 (XT)
Journal, 26 Feb. 1800-30 Dec. 1801
Reel 11Vol. 50 (XT)
Journal, 1 May 1804-15 May 1806
Reel 11Vol. 51 (XT)
Journal, 16 Jan. 1821-30 Nov. 1827
Reel 11Vol. 52
Ledger, 1818-1824
Reel 12Vol. 53
Letterbook, 3 Apr. 1807-5 Jan. 1815
Reel 12Vol. 54
Sales book, 29 Mar. 1817-10 Mar. 1823
Reel 13Vol. 55
Trial balance book, 20 Jan. 1820-24 Feb. 1825

J & T. H. Perkins & Sons papers

Reel 13Vol. 56
Account book, 5 Jan. 1821-July 1835
Reel 13Vol. 57
Invoice book, 20 Dec. 1820-7 Nov. 1832
Reel 14Vol. 58
Invoice book, 28 Oct. 1826-24 Sep. 1832
Reel 14Vol. 59 (XT)
Journal, 12 Feb. 1825-7 June 1827
Reel 14Vol. 60 (XT)
Journal, 7 June 1827-Nov. 1835
Reel 15Vol. 61 (XT)
Ledger, Aug. 1822-Nov. 1835
Reel 15Vol. 62
Sales book, 24 Apr. 1821-9 Dec. 1837
Reel 15Vol. 63
Trial balance book, 2 Jan. 1832-27 May 1836
Reel 16Vol. 64
Waste book, 23 Oct. 1824-3 July 1826
Reel 16Vol. 65
Waste book, 5 July 1826-31 Dec. 1827

Perkins & Co. papers

Reel 16Vol. 66
Invoice book, 10-15 Nov. 1805
Reel 17Vol. 67
Journal, 1 Oct. 1828-11 July 1829
Reel 17Vol. 68 (XT)
Ledger, 31 Jan. 1832-Dec. 1844
Reel 17Vol. 69
Waste book, 20 Feb. 1828-30 Nov. 1830

Prince and Cabot papers

Reel 17Vol. 70 (XT)
Account book, 10 Dec. 1783-19 June 1785

Select Index

Listed below are the correspondents in Series I (Loose papers), the names mentioned in Series II (Oversize papers), the authors or owners of the volumes in Series III (Bound volumes), and select individuals and subjects of historical significance found in the collection. The numbers following each item indicate the box(es) and folder(s) where information about that individual or subject is located. For example, information about Mrs. M. Abbot can be found in Box 2, Folder 6.

Abbot, Mrs. M., 2.6
Adams, John, 1.2, 2.6, Box OS
Adams, John Quincy, 2.7, Box OS
Adams, Samuel, 1.2, Box OS
Aligator (ship), 1.3
Allen, Andrew, Jr., 2.2
Ames, Fisher, 1.7
Amory, Thomas C., 1.6
Anubis (ship), 1.6
Armstrong, Francis, 1.6
Astor, John Jacob, 2.1
Astrea (ship), 1.2
Atalante (brig), 1.6
Augusta (ship), 2.6
Bangs, Edward, Box OS
Bartlett, Moses, 2.1
Bates, Joshua, 2.8
Bayard, Sam, 1.9
Beau, Madam, 2.2
Bellerire, Barry de, 1.4, 1.7, 1.8, 1.10
Bienaime, Luigi, 2.10
Blagge, Sam, 1.2, Box OS
Bolton, W. C., 2.10
Boston Female Asylum, 2.1
Boston Tea Party (1773), 2.4
Boutarel, 1.9
Bradbury, Francis, 2.1
Bradford, Alden, Box OS
Bradford, Samuel, 1.1
Brooks, J., Box OS
Bryant & Sturgis, 2.4, Box OS
Buchanan, William, 1.2
Bulls, Fred, 1.2
Bumstead, Ephraim, 1.10, Vols. 33-34
Bumstead, E. & Co., Vols. 33-34
Bumstead, John, 2.1
Burling, Thomas, 1.6
Burling, Walter, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.7, 2.1
Cabot, Eliza, 2.5, 2.9, 2.10
Cabot, James Elliot, Vols. 36, 37, 38
Cabot, Richard C., 2.9
Cabot, S., Vol. 39
Cabot, S. & J. & T. H. Perkins, Jrs., 2.4
Cabot, Samuel, 2.4, 2.6, 2.9, 2.10, Box OS, Vols. 56-65, 67-69
Cabot, Thomas Handasyd, Vol. 35
Cape Francis slave uprisings, 1.2, 1.3
Carter, James, 1.3
Cary, T. G., 2.9
Chalmers, William, 1.2
Comerford, James, 2.7
Corbieres, Madam de, 1.5, 1.6
Corbieres, Henry, 1.6, 1.7
Coublan, Madey de, 1.8, 1.9
Crafts, Thomas, 1.5
Crafts, W. & E., 1.5
Crafts, William, 1.10
Cunningham, Capt. William, 1.9
Curson, Samuel, 2.6
Curtis, Zebina, 1.10
Curwen, Joseph, 2.2, 2.8
Cushing, John P., 2.4, 2.5, 2.7, Vols. 66-69
Cushing, Robert, 1.2
Davis, Eleanor, 2.1
Davis, J. P., 2.1
Dearborn, Henry A. S., Box OS
Deblois, Stephen, 1.6
Degen, Purviance & Co., 1.10
Degen & Schwartz, 1.5
Delight (brig), 1.3, Box OS
Derby, Charles, 1.6
Derby, Elias Hasket, 1.2
Dobell, Peter, 2.4
Dodge, Unite, 1.5, 1.6
Drew, Nehemiah, 1.6
Dufort, A., 1.3, 1.8, 1.9, 1.10
Dumerisq, P., 2.7
Dutilh, Morin & Co., 1.3
Duxbury (brig), 2.6
Eckley, J., 1.4
Edes, Robert, Box OS
Elliot, Simon, 1.3
Emigrant Society, 1.4
Enigheden (brig), 1.5
Erie, Fort, siege (1814), 2.2
Everett, Edward, 2.5, 2.7
Fame (ship), 1.6
Federal George (brig), 1.6
Fitz Patres, Madame, 1.2
Five Sisters (schooner), 1.8
Forbes, J. G., 1.3
Forbes, John M., 1.9, 2.6, 2.9
Forbes, J. & R. B., 1.8, 1.9
Forbes, R. Bennet, 1.4, 1.8, 2.3, 2.6, 2.7, 2.9, 2.10
Forbes, Thomas, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8
Frazier, Charles, 1.3
Frestel, 1.5
Frothingham, Eliza, 2.1
Gallet, A., 1.10
Garesche, T. P., 1.9
Ghent, Treaty of (1814), 2.3
Gibbs & Channing, 1.6, 1.8
Glyn, Thomas C., 2.7
Gray, John, 1.4
Gray, William, Jr., 1.6
Greene, John B., 2.3
Hancock, John, 1.2, Box OS
Hannah (ship), 1.6
Hanson, A. C., 2.1
Hawker, J. M., 2.3
Hays, M. M., 1.2
Heath, Ebenezer, 2.6
Higginson, H., 2.1
Higginson, [Jno.], 1.4, 1.5
Higginson, Stephen & Co., 1.5
Hill, Samuel, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5
[Hinned], Henry, 1.9
Hunt, Jonathan, 2.5
Jamina & Fanny (brig), 1.6
Jane (brig), 1.5
Jay (brig), 1.5
Jay's Treaty (1794), 1.4
Jefferson, Thomas, Box OS
Katy (brig), 1.3
Keith, James, 2.4
Kimball, Hazen, 1.7
Kirkland, J. T., 2.9
Lafayette, Georges Washington Motier de, 1.5
Lamb, James & Thomas, 2.1
Lane, John, 1.2
Larroque, P. M., 1.2
Leipzig, Battle of (1813), 2.2
Lewis, Amos, 1.1
Lewis, Mrs., 2.3
Lincoln, Levi, Box OS
Lincoln, P., 2.1
Little, George, 1.7
Lowell, John, 2.5
Lucretia (brig), 1.5
Magee, Bernard, 1.9
Magee, James, Jr., 1.9
Mahala Winsor (brig), 1.5
Manner, Henry, 1.8, 1.9
Manoel, P., 1.8, 1.9
Marryat, Samuel, 2.7
Mason, Jonathan, 1.8
Massachusetts (steamship), 2.10
Massachusetts Militia, Corps of Independent Cadets, 1.1, 1.7, Box OS
Meger, W., 1.8
Miller, Alexander, 1.10
Monroe, James, 1.4, Box OS
Montnoel, [Lejeune de], 1.1
Muhlenberg, Frederick Augustus, Box OS
Munro, James, 1.6
Napoleon I, 2.2, 2.3
Nautilus (ship), 2.6
Nichols, Ichabod, 1.2, 1.3
Nile (brig), 2.6, 2.7, Box OS
Newell, George, 2.7
Newton, E. A., 2.9
Ophelia (ship), Box OS
Otis, H. G., 1.6
Otis, Samuel A., 1.3
Perkins, Elizabeth, 1.1, 1.2, 2.1
Perkins, James (1733-1773), 1.1, 2.4
Perkins, James (1761-1822), 2.5, Vols. 33, 34, 36-38, 40-58, 62, 66
Perkins, James, Jr. (1791-1828), 2.6, Vols. 56-62, 64, 65, 66
Perkins, J. & T. H., 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 1.9, 1.10, 2.3, 2.4, 2.6, 2.7, Box OS, Vols. 40-55
Perkins, J. & T. H. & Sons, 2.6, Vols. 56-65
Perkins, James H., 2.9
Perkins, Samuel G., 1.3, 2.3, Box OS
Perkins, Stephen H., 2.7, Box OS
Perkins, Thomas H. (1764-1854), 1.2-10, 2.1-10, Box OS, Vols. 1-31, 33-34, 36-38, 40-69
Perkins, Thomas H., Jr. (1796-1850), 2.4, 2.6, Vols. 56-65
Perkins, Thomas H., III (1823-1900), Vol. 32
Perkins & Co., 2.9, Box OS, Vols. 66-69
Perkins, Burling & Co., 1.2, 1.3
Philips, William, Box OS
Pierce, John, 2.10
Pinkham, B., 1.5
Port-au-Prince, Hispaniola, 1.3
Prince & Cabot, Vol. 70
[Puk], W., 1.7
Purkitt, John, Box OS
Raimond, S., 1.5
Ramirez, Alexander, 1.6, 1.7
Ranger (brig), 1.2
Raybaud, 1.3
Rebecca (brig), 1.6
Revere, Paul, 1.6
Robinson, John, 2.6
Rush, Richard, Box OS
Russell, John, 1.5
Russell, N. P., 2.1
Russell & Co., 2.9
Sandos, Charles, 2.2, 2.3
Santo Domingo, 1.2, 1.3
Sargent, Ignatius, 1.7
Sargent, J. T., 1.10
Sedgwick, Robert, 2.5
Smith, J. Adams, Box OS
Smith, Joseph, 2.9
Smith, Timbrell & Co., 2.3
Southgate, Richard, 2.9
Sparks, Jared, 2.10
Stille, John, 1.2
Strong, Caleb, Box OS
Sturgis, George W., 2.4
Sturgis, Josiah, 1.8, 1.9
Sturgis, Russell, 1.4
Sullivan, William, 2.5
Swift, Benjamin, 2.1
Thomas (schooner), 1.6
Thomas Russell (brig), 1.6
Thompson, James, 1.8
Thorndike, Israel, 1.3
Thouin, Claude, 1.4, 1.6, 1.7, 1.10
Todd, Samuel, 1.5
Triton (schooner), 1.6
Tyndal, N. C., 2.7
United States Naval Benevolent Association, 2.9
Vemond, John F., 1.3
Vernon, William, 2.5
Vila, James, 1.5
Wagner, Jacob, 1.7
Wall, T., 1.2
Washington, George, 1.2, Box OS
Waters, Josiah, 1.5
Weller & Williams, 2.4
Whyte, Oliver, 2.6
Williams, C., 2.3
Williams, S., 2.3
Willing, Thomas, 1.6
Wills, Arnold, 1.2
Winship & Davis, 2.4
Winslow, George, 2.6
Winslow, Isaac, 1.10
Wolcott, Oliver, 1.7
Wyman, Simon, 1.5
Yznardi, Joseph M., 1.3

Preferred Citation

Thomas Handasyd Perkins 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:

Astor, John Jacob, 1763-1848.
Forbes, R. B. (Robert Bennet), 1804-1889.
Lafayette, Georges Washington Louis Gilbert Du Motier, marquis de, 1779-1849.
Perkins, Thomas H. (Thomas Handasyd), 1823-1900.

Organizations:

E. Bumstead & Company.
J. & T. H. Perkins.
J. & T. H. Perkins & Sons.
Perkins and Company.

Subjects:

Boston Tea Party, 1773.
China trade.
Hispaniola.
United States--History--War of 1812.