COLLECTION GUIDES

1713-1858

Guide to the Microfilm Edition


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection consists of the correspondence, account books, and diaries of Boston merchant Samuel Cabot and other family members related to the China trade, American spoliation claims, Boston social life, travel, and other subjects.

Biographical Sketch

Samuel Cabot was a prominent Boston merchant. He was married to Sally (Sarah) Barrett Cabot. Their son was Samuel Cabot, Jr., a merchant engaged in the China trade. His wife, Eliza Perkins Cabot, was the daughter of Thomas Handasyd Perkins, Boston's most prosperous China merchant.

Collection Description

The Samuel Cabot papers consist of 3 document boxes of loose manuscripts and 12 bound volumes of account books, letterbooks, and travel diaries. Included are papers of Samuel Cabot, Sally (Sarah) Barrett Cabot, Samuel Cabot, Jr., Eliza Perkins Cabot, Thomas Handasyd Perkins, James Elliot Cabot, Joseph C. Cabot, Stephen Cabot, Thomas Handasyd Cabot, and Eliza Lee Cabot Follen.

The collection contains papers related to Cabot and Perkins China trade in opium and other items, as well as papers describing Boston social life. Also included is material dealing with the commission on British spoliation claims, 1796-1800, on which Samuel Cabot served as executive secretary. Among the important correspondents are: John Singleton Copley, John P. Cushing, Charles Theodore Christian Follen, John Murray Forbes, Robert Bennet Forbes, Christopher Gore, James Madison, James Monroe, Timothy Pickering, and Josiah Quincy. Diaries of the family traders contain descriptions of England, France, Italy, and the West Indies.

Included in this guide is an alphabetical index containing the names of all correspondents and all authors or owners of volumes in this collection, as well as select individuals and subjects of historical importance.

Acquisition Information

Gift of George Edward Cabot, 1922.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Loose papers, 1713-1858

This series contains business and family correspondence and a small number of invoices and legal documents related to mercantile trade in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The letters of Samuel Cabot discuss his business ventures and his role as executive secretary of the commission on British spoliation claims, 1796-1800, formed by the American and British governments to handle American merchants' claims against the British for raids on their ships. The correspondence of Samuel Cabot, Jr., Thomas Handasyd Cabot, John P. Cushing, John Murray Forbes, Robert Bennet Forbes, and Thomas Handasyd Perkins primarily deals with the China trade, including the lucrative opium trade in which the Cabot and Perkins firms were heavily involved. The letters of Sally (Sarah) Barrett Cabot and Eliza Perkins Cabot discuss Cabot and Perkins family matters and Boston social life. Travel accounts of the family traders contain descriptions of England, France, Italy, China, and the West Indies. Included is an 1846 letter from British geologist Sir Charles Lyell mentioning sea serpents. Among the other notable correspondents represented in this series are: John Singleton Copley, Albert Gallatin, Christopher Gore, Horatio Greenough, Rufus King, James Madison, Jonathan Mason, James Monroe, Timothy Pickering, William Pinkney, Josiah Quincy, and Daniel Webster.

Reel 1Box 1
Miscellaneous documents, undated
Reel 1Box 1
Correspondence, 1713-1814
Reel 2Box 2
Correspondence, 1815-1858
Reel 3Box 3
Typescripts of correspondence, undated-1840

Included are typescripts of select letters in Boxes 1 and 2.

II. Bound volumes, 1796-1837

This series contains account books of Samuel Cabot; letterbooks of his business correspondence; a list of vessels related to the settlement of American claims before the commission on British spoliation claims; diaries of the European travels of Samuel Cabot, Jr., and Thomas Handasyd Cabot; and an anonymous diary describing a tour of Italy.

Reel 3Vol. 1
Account book, 1797-1800
Reel 3Vol. 2
Account book, 1799-1816
Reel 3Vol. 3
Account book, 1809-1811
Reel 3Vol. 4
Letterbook, 1796-1798
Reel 4Vol. 5
Letterbook, 1799-1817
Reel 4Vol. 6
List of vessels related to the settlement claims of American citizens in British spoliations, 1796-1799
Reel 4Vol. 7
European travel diary of Samuel Cabot, Jr., 1832-1833

This diary of Samuel Cabot, Jr., kept from 12 June 1832 to 21 July 1833, contains entries describing his daily activities, shopping trips, social engagements, and sightseeing visits to festivals, museums, cathedrals, castles, gardens, and other historic sites in England, France, and Italy. The diary also contains brief descriptions of the voyages to and from Boston, including weather conditions and latitude and longitude coordinates, as well as an account of Cabot's preparations for the trip and his methods for preventing seasickness.

Reel 4Vol. 8
Typescript of European travel diary of Samuel Cabot, Jr., 1832-1833

This volume is a typescript copy of Vol. 7.

Reel 4Vol. 9
Typescript of European travel diary of Samuel Cabot, Jr., 1832-1833

Note: Vol. 9 is a duplicate copy of Vol. 8 and thus has not been microfilmed.

Reel 4Vol. 10
European travel diary of Thomas Handasyd Cabot, 1832-1833

This diary was kept by Thomas Handasyd Cabot from 13 June 1832 to 13 Jan. 1833 on a voyage from Boston, Mass., to England on the ship Boston. Included are entries recording wind, course, longitude and latitude, weather, and distance traveled, as well as sights seen after his arrival in Europe in July 1832.

Reel 4Vol. 11
European travel diary of Thomas Handasyd Cabot, 1833

This diary is a continuation Vol. 10, kept from 14 Jan. 1833 to 20 May 1833.

Reel 4Vol. 12
Anonymous diary of a trip to Italy, ca. 1837

Included is a description of the studio and work of sculptor Horatio Greenough in Florence.

Index

This index contains the names of all correspondents and all authors or owners of volumes in this collection, as well as select individuals and subjects of historical importance. The numbers following each listing indicate the boxes and folders where items related to that individual or subject can be found. For example, papers related to John E. Abbot can be found in Box 1, Folder 10, and Box 2, Folder 1.

A
Abbot, John E., 1.10, 2.1
Adams, Thomas B., 1.6
Admiralty Prize Court (Great Britain), 1.4
Akbar, ship, 2.10
Alley, Nathaniel J., 2.2
Amory, Francis, 1.3
Amory, John, 1.3
Amory, Jonathan, 1.3
Amory, Thomas C., 1.3
Anderson, Joseph, 2.1
Anstey, John, 1.5
Armidon, P. & Co., 1.11
Arnold, Joseph Neal, 1.6
Astrea, ship, 1.2
Avery, John, 1.4
B
Bailleul, Antoine, 1.3
Baillie, James, 1.4
Balestier, J., 2.4
Barrett, Samuel, 1.3
Bates, Joshua, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.11
Bennett, James, 1.8
Bonaparte, Napoleon, 1.5
Bradford, Alden, 1.10
Bradford, Charles T., 2.2
British Spoliations, Commission on (1796-1800), 1.3, 1.4
Brooks, Peter Chardon, 1.3
Brown, Samuel, 1.3
Bryant, Thomas, 1.11
Bull, William G., 2.1
Burling, Thomas, 1.4
C
Cabot, Charles G., 1.6
Cabot, Edward, 2.4, 2.9
Cabot, Eliza Lee - See Follen, Eliza Lee Cabot
Cabot, Eliza Perkins (Mrs. Samuel Cabot, Jr.), 1.9, 1.10, 2.1, 2.2, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 2.10, 2.11
Cabot, Elizabeth, 1.2
Cabot, George, 1.2, 1.3, 3.2
Cabot, James Elliot, 2.4, 2.9, 2.10, 2.11
Cabot, Joseph, 2.1
Cabot, Joseph, 2.10
Cabot, Joseph C., 2.8, 2.10, 2.11
Cabot, S. & J. & T. H. Perkins, 2.1
Cabot, Samuel, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 2.1, 2.3, 3.2
Cabot, Samuel, Jr., 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 2.10, 2.11, 3.4, 3.5
Cabot, Samuel, III, 2.6, 2.9
Cabot, Sarah (Sally) Barrett (Mrs. Samuel Cabot), 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4
Cabot, Stephen, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4
Cabot, Susan C., 2.6, 2.8
Cabot, Thomas Handasyd, 2.2, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7
Cabot, Zamie, 2.11
Caroline, ship, 1.5
Cary, Mary Ann Perkins (Mrs. Thomas G. Cary), 1.10, 2.1, 2.2
Cary, Thomas G., 2.6
Castlereagh, ship, 2.3
Chandler, G. L., 2.9
Channing, William Ellery, 2.9
Charlotte, ship, 1.3
China, 1.6, 1.11, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 3.5
Christie, Gabriel, 1.5, 3.4
Clark, B. C., 2.11
Clarke, Isaac W., 1.3, 3.2
Clarke, Richard, 1.2, 1.3, 3.1, 3.2
Clason, Isaac, 1.11
Codman, John, 1.3
Commercial Treaty, British-American (1798), 1.4
Coolidge, Joseph, 1.3
Copley, John Singleton, 1.3, 1.4, 3.2
Cotting, Uriah, 1.3
Craigie, Andrew, 1.3
Cunningham, J., 2.1
Curson, S., 2.5, 2.9, 3.5
Cushing, John P., 1.11, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 3.5
D
Davenport, Adam, 1.4
Davis, Aaron, 1.3
Davis, Charles, 1.3
Davis, Edward, 1.3
Davis, Thomas, 1.3
Deblois, William, 1.3
Derby, Charles, 1.4
Derby, Elias H., Jr., 1.3
Derby, ship, 1.8
Dickason, Thomas, Jr., 1.3
Dunlap, James, 1.4
Dunlap, Thomas, 2.1
E
Eliot, Simon, 1.4
Eliza, ship, 1.4
England, 1.9, 1.10, 2.4, 2.5
Erving, George W., 1.5, 3.3, 3.4
Everett, Alexander H., 1.9
F
Feche, Zamie, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.7
Follen, Charles F. C., 2.3, 2.6, 2.8, 2.9
Follen, Eliza Lee Cabot, 1.10, 2.1, 2.6
Forbes, John Murray, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7, 2.8, 2.10, 3.5
Forbes, Robert Bennet, 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 3.5
France, 1.6, 1.10, 1.11, 2.4
Frazier, N., 2.1
Frazier, Nathan, 1.3
Fuller, Asa, 1.3
G
Gallatin, Albert, 1.4
Gardiner, W. H., 2.11
Gardner, Richard, 1.11
George III, 1.4
Georgia Packet, snow, 1.3
Germany, 2.9
Gill, Moses, 1.4
Gilman, Daniel, 1.3
Glennie, [ ], 1.5, 3.3
Gordon, William, 1.4
Gore, Christopher, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4
Gray, John, 1.3
Green, David, 1.3
Greene, J. B., 1.11, 2.1
Greene, Lydia E. E., 2.8
Greenough, Horatio, 2.4, 2.6
H
Hannah, ship, 1.4
Harriet, ship, 1.4
Hazard, Samuel, 1.6
Hazard & Cabot, 1.6, 1.7
Healy, William, 1.3
Hersey, Stephen, 2.2
Higginson, Henry, 1.9
Higginson, Stephen, 1.3, 1.4, 3.2
Hjardemaal, C., 2.11
Hobart, Caleb, 1.6
Holt, Robert, 1.3
Hong Chop, 2.1
Hopkins, Caleb, 1.3
Houqua, 1.11, 2.1, 2.5
Hurd, Joseph, 1.3
I
India, 1.6
Ingraham, 1.2
Italy, 2.4
J
Jackson, Jonathan, 1.3
January, D. A., 2.10
Jarvis, William, 1.3
Jeffrey, Patrick, 1.3
Jenner, J. A., 1.4
John Adams, ship, 1.11
John Gilpin, ship, 2.6, 2.7
Jones, John C., 1.3
K
Kendall, Jacob, 1.3
King, Rufus, 1.4
L
Lafayette, Georges Washington Motier de, 1.3
Lafayette, Marie Adrienne Francoise de Noailles, 1.3
Langdon, Joseph, 2.3
Lee, G., 1.5, 3.4
Lee, Joseph, Jr., 1.3
Lee, W., 1.1
Lee, William, Jr., 1.3
Lisle, Charles P., 1.6
Lisle, Henry M., 1.6
Logan, ship, 2.5
Lord, Eliphalet, 1.4, 1.6
Lowell, John, 1.3
Lucy, ship, 1.4
Lyell, Charles, 2.10
Lyman, George, 1.8
M
MacKay, Mungo, 1.3
MacKenzie, Alexander, 1.9
Madison, James, 1.4, 1.5, 3.3
Malbone, F., 1.4
Margaret, brigantine, 1.3
Mary, brig, 1.3
Mason, Jonathan, 1.4
May, Joseph, 1.3, 1.4
Mentor, ship, 2.2
Minot, George R., 1.3
Monroe, James, 1.5, 3.4
Morse, Jonathan, 1.6
Muller, Mathias, 1.3
N
Napier, [ ], 2.6
Nautilus, ship, 1.6, 2.2, 2.3
New Resolution, snow, 1.3
Nicholl, Dr., 1.1
P
Palfrey, John, Jr., 1.3
Parker, John, 1.3
Parker, S. A., 1.3
Parkman, J., 2.4
Parkman, Samuel, 1.3
Parsons, Gorham, 1.3
Parsons, William, 1.3
Payne, William, 1.3
Perit, John W., 2.1
Perit & Cabot, 2.1, 2.2
Perkins, James, 1.3, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, 1.11, 2.1
Perkins, Sarah Elliot (Mrs. Thomas H. Perkins), 1.9, 1.10, 2.8
Perkins, Thomas H., 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, 1.9, 1.10, 1.11, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.8, 2.9, 2.11
Perkins, Thomas H., Jr., 2.4
Perkins & Co., 2.1, 2.2, 2.8
Perkins, J. & T. H., 1.11, 2.1
Perotti, Florio, 2.4
Phillips, Jonathan, 2.3
Pickering, John, 1.4
Pickering, Timothy, 1.3, 1.4, 3.2
Pierce, Benjamin, 1.4
Pike, William, 1.2
Pinkney, William, 1.4, 1.5, 3.3, 3.4
Pomeroy, Samuel W., 1.3
Pleasanton, Stephen, 2.1
Pratt, Bela, 2.2
Pratt, Jacob, 2.2
Q
Quincy, Abraham, 1.3
Quincy, Josiah, 1.6, 2.1, 3.4
R
Ralston, Robert, 1.6
Ralston, W., 1.6
Reynolds, Andrew, 1.3
Riche, Samuel, 2.2
Robbins, Edward H., 1.4, 1.6
Robbins, Elizabeth, 1.4, 1.6
Robinson, William, 1.3
Ross, William, 2.4
Rumsy, John, 2.1
Russell, Joseph, 1.3
S
St. Thomas, 2.2, 2.3
Sandos, Charles, 1.11, 2.1
Saxton, William, 1.3
Scott, Sir William, 1.1
Sears, D., 1.3
Sewall, Samuel, 1.3
Shattuck, William, 1.3
Sherman, John, 1.4
Siam, 1.6
Smith, Samuel, 1.5, 3.4
Stanton, Francis, 2.2
Starter, S., 1.3, 3.2
Startin, Sarah, 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.7, 3.1, 3.3, 3.4
Stoughton, Juan, 1.4
Strong, Caleb, 1.10, 1.11
Sturgis, William, 1.8
Success, schooner, 1.3
Sumner, Increase, 1.4
Swabey, Maurice, 1.5
T
Tariff of 1833, 2.4
Taylor, Emily, 2.6
Texas, 2.10
Thorndike, Israel, 1.11
Tidd, Dudley, 1.6
Tingley, H., 1.11
Tisdale, James, 1.3
Tower, Levi, 1.3
Trask, Israel, 1.4
Trumbull, Col., 2.3
Trumbull, John, 1.5, 3.4
Tucker, Thomas T., 2.1
Turkey, 2.2
Tyler, John, 2.10
U
Union Bank, 1.1
Upshaw, W., 1.5, 3.4
V
Virginia, 2.8
W
Wadsworth, John, 1.6
Wainwright, Elizabeth, 1.2, 1.3, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 3.1, 3.2, 3.4
Wainwright, Henry, 1.3
War of 1812, 1.10, 1.11
Waterman, Josiah, 2.2
Watson, John, 1.3
Webster, Daniel, 2.8
Welles, Arnold, 1.3
Welles, John, 1.3
Western, James, 1.5
Whim, schooner, 1.3
Williams, Samuel, 1.4, 1.9, 1.11
Williams, Timothy, 1.3
Winslow, John, 2.2
Woodward, Joseph, 1.3

Preferred Citation

Samuel Cabot 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:

Cabot, Elizabeth Perkins, 1792-1885.
Cabot, James Elliot, 1821-1903.
Cabot, Joseph C., 1822-1895.
Cabot, Samuel, 1784-1863.
Cabot, Sarah (Sally) Barrett, 1763-1809.
Cabot, Stephen, 1788-1831.
Cabot, Thomas Handasyd, 1814-1835.
Copley, John Singleton, 1738-1815.
Cushing, John Perkins, 1787-1862.
Follen, Charles Theodore Christian.
Forbes, John Murray, 1813-1898.
Forbes, R. B. (Robert Bennet), 1804-1889.
Gore, Christopher, 1758-1827.
Madison, James, 1751-1836.
Monroe, James, 1758-1831.
Perkins, Thomas Handasyd, 1764-1854.
Pickering, Timothy, 1745-1829.
Quincy, Josiah, 1772-1864.

Subjects:

Boston (Mass.)--Social life and customs.
British Spoliation Claims (1796-1800).
China trade.
England--Description and travel.
France--Description and travel.
Merchants--Massachusetts--Boston.
Opium trade.
West Indies--Description and travel.