COLLECTION GUIDES

ca. 1837-ca. 1873

Guide to the Collection


Collection Summary

Abstract

This collection consists of five manuscript volumes on Winslow family history, written by Boston merchant Isaac Winslow and his daughter Margaret Catharine Winslow. Included are excerpts transcribed from family correspondence, journals, and other papers.

Biographical Sketches

Isaac Winslow (1774-1856)

Isaac Winslow was born in Boston on 2 Feb. 1774, the son of merchant and Loyalist Isaac Winslow (1743-1793) and Mary Davis Winslow. In 1795 and 1796, he went twice to sea as a supercargo, traveling to Europe and the Mediterranean. On his return to Boston, he began work as a merchant and was headquartered for many years on Long Wharf. On 24 Feb. 1801, he married Margaret Blanchard (1777-1830), and their children included: Isaac (b. 1802), Edward (b. 1803), William Henry (1805-1821), Thomas Savage (b. 1807), Benjamin Pollard (1810-1879), George (1812-1865), and Margaret Catharine (1816-1890). After his wife's death, Isaac married her sister Henrietta (1787-1858) on 16 June 1831. He died in Roxbury on 26 July 1856.

Margaret Catharine Winslow (1816-1890)

Margaret Catharine Winslow was the only daughter of Isaac Winslow (1774-1856).

Collection Description

The Winslow family memorial consists of five manuscript volumes written by Boston merchant Isaac Winslow from about 1837 and continued after his death by his daughter Margaret Catharine Winslow. Volume I, Volume II, and most of Volume III were written by Isaac Winslow; the end of Volume III through Volume V were written by Margaret Catharine Winslow. The memorial combines family history and genealogy, personal memoir, political commentary, and eyewitness accounts of historical events between ca. 1620-1839, including the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, and the War of 1812. The memorial contains excerpts transcribed from family correspondence, journals, and other papers; newspaper clippings; and revisions and annotations. Among the subjects are: early Massachusetts history, the causes of the American Revolution, the Siege of Boston, Loyalist refugees, the Sandemanian church, smallpox and other diseases, commerce and international trade, Federalism and Anti-Federalism, slavery, depression, and suicide. Included is an account of Isaac Winslow's travels to Europe and the Mediterranean as a supercargo in 1795-1796. Family members described in the memorial include Isaac's parents Isaac Winslow (1743-1793) and Mary Davis Winslow, his wife Margaret Blanchard Winslow, his son William Henry Winslow, and members of the related Sparhawk, Davis, Pollard, and Blanchard families.

For a complete transcription of the Winslow family memorial in PDF format, click here (622 pp, 2.41 MB). Use the links in the Detailed Description of the Collection below to access transcriptions of individual volumes.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Robert Newsom, Oct. 2010.

Restrictions on Use

Descriptions and editorial material are the copyright of Robert Walker Newsom.

Other Formats

The Winslow family memorial was transcribed in 2009-2010 by Dr. Robert Newsom of the University of California, Irvine. Use the links in the Detailed Description of the Collection below to access Newsom's transcriptions and detailed descriptions of each volume. To facilitate keyword searching of the entire collection, the individual transcriptions for all five volumes have been combined into one PDF document here (622 pp, 2.41 MB).

Detailed Description of the Collection

Volume I

Written by Isaac Winslow.

Click here for a detailed description of this volume by Robert Newsom (PDF). (6 pp, 95.4 KB)
Click here for Newsom's transcription of this volume (PDF). (146 pp, 647 KB)
Note: The pages of the transcription corresponding to each chapter are indicated in parentheses below.

Box 1Folder 1
Preface8 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume I (link above), pp. 9-12.]

The history of the Winslow family memorial, Isaac's reasons for writing it, and the importance of family and ancestry.

Box 1Folder 2-3
Chapter 128 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume I (link above), pp. 13-25.]

Isaac's father Isaac Winslow (1743-1793), his character, education, family, and incidents in his life; his marriage in 1770 to Margaret Sparhawk, her death in 1772, and his subsequent depression; his second marriage in 1772 to Mary Davis (1757-1800).

Box 1Folder 4
Chapter 26 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume I (link above), pp. 26-29.]

Winslow and Davis family members; Robert Sandeman's ministry in Boston and religious controversies.

Box 1Folder 5
Chapter 36 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume I (link above), pp. 30-32.]

Isaac's family life; the education and character of his mother Mary Davis Winslow; their home in Dock Square, Boston; the family's religious and political involvements; pre-Revolutionary partisanship and his father's Loyalist sentiments.

Box 1Folder 6
Chapter 412 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume I (link above), pp. 33-39.]

Early Winslow family members, their settlement in New England, and incidents in their lives; the connection between the Winslows and Anne Hutchinson.

Box 1Folder 7-8
Chapter 529 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume I (link above), pp. 40-52.]

Letters from Isaac's great-grandfather Edward Winslow (1669-1753), sheriff of Suffolk County, to his son Joshua; the Massachusetts charter of 1692; political and religious affairs in Boston in the early 18th century; Edward Winslow's religious beliefs; the development of the smallpox inoculation; the persecution of American Indians by white settlers; the character and religious beliefs of Isaac's grandfather Joshua Winslow (1694-1769); Joshua's wife Elizabeth Savage Winslow (1704-1778) and her escape with other Loyalists to Nantucket at the start of the American Revolution; the effects of depression.

Box 1Folder 9
Chapter 613 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume I (link above), pp. 53-58.]

Letters of Isaac's father Isaac Winslow (1743-1793) and other family members; fears of smallpox in New England; the "gathering storm" of the Revolution; the role of reason and public opinion in human affairs.

Box 1Folder 10-11
Chapter 726 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume I (link above), pp. 59-72.]

Abbé Raynal and the causes of the American Revolution, including commercial and religious considerations; the reasons for the Pilgrims' emigration to New England; the influence of the clergy on colonial government and the effect of the 1692 Massachusetts charter; the rising power of the House of Representatives; Pope Day (1765), the Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party, and other popular uprisings; taxation without representation; psychological motives for revolution.

Box 1Folder 12
Chapter 810 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume I (link above), pp. 73-78.]

The political leanings of family members during the American Revolution; the Loyalists' evacuation from Boston; the effects of the Port Bill and non-importation agreements on business; correspondence with Simon Pease, merchant of Newport; Gen. Thomas Gage's replacement of Thomas Hutchinson as governor of Massachusetts.

Box 1Folder 13-15
Chapter 939 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume I (link above), pp. 79-96.]

Gov. Thomas Gage's administration and the appointment of councillors and officers; the Provincial Congress; the preparation of the militia; the power of the Committee of Safety; the battles of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill; the death of Isaac's uncle Joshua; correspondence of Isaac's father during the Siege of Boston with his friend Colburn Barrell, a Loyalist who fled to London; Barrell's escape and worry about friends in Boston; the effect of the siege on business and religious practice; skirmishes and captured ships; smallpox inoculation; the departure of the Winslows and other Loyalists, including the Sandemanian Society, to Halifax; the dispersal of the family and fates of various family members; the family's return from Canada to New York in 1778.

Box 1Folder 16-18
Chapter 1052 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume I (link above), pp. 97-119.]

Correspondence with Loyalist family members exiled during the Revolution, including Isaac's great-uncle Isaac Winslow (1709-1777); letters from Gov. Thomas Hutchinson; financial difficulties for Loyalists and worries about friends; the effect of the war on religion; compulsory military service; letters from Sir William Pepperrell (1746-1816) in England; the possibility of reconciliation between England and America; Lord Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown; deaths in the Winslow family; European political matters.

Box 1Folder 19
Chapter 1122 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume I (link above), pp. 120-130.]

Correspondence between Americans under British and American rule and the fear of interception; family letters; news of military campaigns, including the Penobscot Expedition; the marriage of Lucy Flucker and Henry Knox; the difficult winter of 1779-1780 in Boston; divisions in the Winslow family due to politics; the despotism of the House of Representatives and the confiscation of estates; Quakers' opposition to the Revolution.

Box 1Folder 20-21
Chapter 1236 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume I (link above), pp. 131-146.]

The family's voyage from Halifax to New York and incidents of Isaac's childhood; his grandfather William Davis, who had been a prisoner of war in Boston; the family home on Long Island and Isaac's early education; damage from the Great Fire of New York in Sep. 1776; the difficult winter of 1779-1780; his mother's slave, a girl named Rose; the terms of the Treaty of Paris, fears of Loyalists in New York, and popular prejudice against them; various family members.

Volume II

Written by Isaac Winslow.

Click here for a detailed description of this volume by Robert Newsom (PDF). (6 pp, 92.9 KB)
Click here for Newsom's transcription of this volume (PDF). (125 pp, 593 KB)
Note: The pages of the transcription corresponding to each chapter are indicated in parentheses below.

Box 1Folder 22-24
Chapter 153 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume II (link above), pp. 3-20.]

The Winslow house and family connections in New York; incidents in Isaac's childhood; the end of the war and harsh policies toward Loyalists; the family's departure for Connecticut and adjustment to life in the country; Isaac's father's desire to return to Boston, his reception during a visit there, and a meeting with Gov. John Hancock; his correspondence with Mary Davis Winslow; the family's move to Boston in the summer of 1784 to live with Aunt Susanna Winslow (1731-1786).

Box 1Folder 25-27
Chapter 249 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume II (link above), pp. 21-41.]

Family members in Boston, including Susanna "Sukey" Winslow and Margaret Savage Alford; changes in Boston and the development of Beacon Hill; Isaac's education at Boston Latin School under Samuel Hunt; the family's move back to Dock Square; a mob's attack on Capt. Henry Stanhope of the Mercury in retaliation for alleged mistreatment of prisoners during the war; Stanhope's correspondence with Gov. James Bowdoin; members of the Sparhawk family; Margaret Savage Alford's slave Cato; problems related to the emancipation of slaves; Isaac's graduation and the reasons he didn't attend Harvard, but went into apprenticeship instead.

Box 1Folder 28-29
Chapter 328 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume II (link above), pp. 42-53.]

Various family members, including Sally Tyng Winslow (later Waldo), Ben Davis, and Joshua Loring Winslow (1766?-1820); the institution of marriage; George Washington's visit to Boston in Nov. 1789; an influenza epidemic; news of the French Revolution; the captain of a London trade ship accused of smuggling; the assumption of state debts by the federal government and its effects; Federalists and Anti-Federalists.

Box 1Folder 30-31
Chapter 436 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume II (link above), pp. 54-70.]

The state of business; an outbreak of smallpox; financial, personal, and religious pressures on Isaac's father Isaac Winslow (1743-1793) and their effect on him; religious faith, sin, and conscience; the beliefs of the Sandemanians.

Box 1Folder 32-33
Chapter 528 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume II (link above), pp. 71-85.]

The depression of Isaac's father Isaac Winslow (1743-1793) and the circumstances of his death; the religious implications of suicide and the effect of his death on members of the Sandemanian Society, including Mr. Howe and Mr. Humphries.

Box 1Folder 34-36
Chapter 638 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume II (link above), pp. 86-107.]

Correspondence about the death of Isaac's father and the grief of the family; the settlement of his estate; Isaac's social life, hobbies, and friends; the "vicious propensities" and "sinful indulgences" of some young people in town; billiards; Isaac's friendship with his cousin Eliza Winslow; various family members; the executions of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and their effect on public sympathy for the French Republicans; George Washington's Proclamation of Neutrality; Robespierre; Isaac's departure for Europe in 1794.

Box 1Folder 37-38
Chapter 742 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume II (link above), pp. 108-125.]

Isaac's feelings on going abroad and the danger of capture by Barbary pirates; the rough passage and Capt. Hans Heysell's tyrannical style; Isaac's arrival in Lisbon and passage to Alicante; his homesickness and inexperience in business; trips to Genoa, Leghorn, Florence, and Pisa; Italian art and architecture; an anatomical exhibit; social customs and accommodations; departure from Leghorn, via Spain, and the voyage home.

Volume III

Written by Isaac Winslow and Margaret Catharine Winslow.

Click here for a detailed description of this volume by Robert Newsom (PDF). (4 pp, 86.7 KB)
Click here for Newsom's transcription of this volume (PDF). (65 pp, 386 KB)
Note: The pages of the transcription corresponding to each chapter are indicated in parentheses below.

Box 2Folder 1-2
Chapter 135 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume III (link above), pp. 4-17.]

Federalists, Anti-Federalists, and the ratification of the Jay Treaty; the improvement in Isaac's social standing after his European trip; his departure for a second voyage and an encounter with a Tunisian corsair; passage to Naples; war between Algeria and Denmark; conflict between Isaac and Capt. Jacobson; business matters and America's treaty with the Barbary powers; expenses, accommodations, and customs in Naples; scenery and sights; fears of French invasion; the treaty between France and Rome; the voyage home.

Box 2Folder 3
Chapter 214 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume III (link above), pp. 18-24.]

Financial matters on Isaac's return from Europe, including the settlement of estates; France's ascendancy over other nations and the capture of American vessels by French privateers; the situations of various Winslows; yellow fever in Boston in 1798.

Box 2Folder 4
Chapter 321 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume III (link above), pp. 25-36.]

The poor state of foreign trade; Isaac's brother Thomas Winslow (b. 1775) and his aunt Martha "Patty" Winslow (d. 1816); his professional prospects, social position, and strong religious views; the deaths of his cousin Eliza Winslow and his mother Mary Davis Winslow; his engagement to Margaret Blanchard; the pitfalls of autobiography; the Sandemanian Society, its history, and its views on marriage and children.

Box 2Folder 5
Chapter 412 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume III (link above), pp. 37-44.]

Complications related to marrying outside the Sandemanian Society. [Note: At this point, the narrative is continued by Isaac's daughter Margaret.] Correspondence of Isaac Winslow (1774-1856) concerning the death of Mary Davis Winslow; the effect of his parents' deaths on him.

Box 2Folder 6
Chapter 515 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume III (link above), pp. 45-53.]

Correspondence to Margaret's father Isaac in 1800; the Handfields of Dublin; the characters of Eliza Winslow, Catharine Winslow (Pease) Malbone (1735-1817), and Mary Winslow Hudgens.

Box 2Folder 7
Chapter 611 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume III (link above), pp. 54-59.]

Aunt Susannah (Sparhawk) Atkinson (1750-1796?) and other Sparhawk connections; Margaret's aunt Eliza Winslow (later Pickering) and uncles John (b. 1779), Joshua (b. 1785), and Benjamin; the difficulties facing an elder brother.

Box 2Folder 8
Chapter 710 pp. [For a transcription of these pages, see the PDF for Volume III (link above), pp. 60-65.]

Pollard and Blanchard family members.

Volume IV

Written by Margaret Catharine Winslow.

Click here for a detailed description of this volume by Robert Newsom (PDF). (8 pp, 98.9 KB)
Click here for Newsom's transcription of this volume (PDF). (151 pp, 770 KB)

Winslow genealogy and various family members; family correspondence; the marriage of Isaac Winslow (1774-1856) and Margaret Blanchard, the births of their children, and their life at home; financial matters; household servants; letters from Joshua Pollard Blanchard (1782-1868) at Tobago, 1801-1803; states admitted to the Union and America's rise on the international stage; the Napoleonic Wars; Republicans, Federalists, and the influence of French politics on American government; conflicts with England leading to the War of 1812; the Louisiana Purchase; religion; illnesses and deaths among family and friends; naval battles, the Treaty of Ghent, and the surrender and imprisonment of Napoleon; Napoleon's character; the Winslow home on Leverett Street; the Monroe Doctrine; an outbreak of typhus fever in Boston; the succession of George IV; the Missouri Compromise; a duel between Commodore Stephen Decatur and Captain James Barron; the death of Margaret's brother William Henry Winslow (1805-1821) and the grief of their mother; Boston landmarks; daily activities of the Winslow family as described in a journal by Isaac and Margaret Blanchard Winslow, 1823-1828; the characters and prospects of Margaret's brothers; the Marquis de Lafayette; the presidential election of 1824; damages from a fire in Boston in Apr. 1825.

Box 2
Written by Margaret Catharine Winslow.
195 pp.

Volume V

Written by Margaret Catharine Winslow.

Click here for a detailed description of this volume by Robert Newsom (PDF). (6 pp, 91.6 KB)
Click here for Newsom's transcription of this volume (PDF). (135 pp, 646 KB)

Winslow and Pollard genealogy; daily activities of the Winslow family as described in a journal by Margaret Blanchard Winslow, 1828-1830; her poor health and stay in Newton with her sister Henrietta (1787-1858); family correspondence; journeys to New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, and New York; parties and visits with friends; the election of Andrew Jackson; the death of George Washington Adams; Winslow property in Marshfield and Plymouth; Harvard commencement; the good deeds and character of Samuel Sparhawk; the death and funeral of Margaret Blanchard Winslow; a tribute to her and to William Henry Winslow by Isaac Winslow (1774-1856); Isaac's marriage to Henrietta Blanchard and other marriages; grandchildren; a meteor shower in 1833; the family business and the Panic of 1837; poetry.

Box 2
Written by Margaret Catharine Winslow.
191 pp.

Preferred Citation

Winslow family memorial, 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:

Blanchard family.
Davis family.
Newsom, Robert, 1944-
Pollard family.
Sparhawk family.
Winslow family.
Winslow family--Genealogy.
Winslow, Isaac, 1743-1793.
Winslow, Isaac, 1774-1856.
Winslow, Margaret Blanchard, 1777-1830.
Winslow, Margaret Catharine, 1816-1890.
Winslow, Mary Davis, 1757-1800.
Winslow, William Henry, 1805-1821.

Organizations:

Federal Party (U.S.).

Subjects:

American loyalists--Massachusetts.
Boston (Mass.)--History--Siege, 1775-1776.
Commerce.
Depression, Mental.
Family history--1700-1749.
Family history--1750-1799.
Family history--1800-1849.
France--History--Revolution, 1789-1799.
Massachusetts--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
Massachusetts--Politics and government.
Merchants--Massachusetts--Boston.
Napoleonic Wars, 1800-1815.
Ocean travel.
Sandemanianism.
Slavery--United States.
Smallpox.
Suicide.
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Causes.
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Personal narratives.
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Refugees.
United States--History--War of 1812.
United States--Politics and government.
Voyages and travels.