1676-1829; bulk: 1788-1827
Guide to the Collection
|Title:||Walter Channing (1757-1827)
document boxes (1 containing 12 volumes) and 2 oversize
|Call Number:||Ms. N-2123.2
|Repository:||Massachusetts Historical Society
1154 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02215
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.
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.
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).
The Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) holds the following collections
related to the Walter Channing papers, all part of the Channing family
William Ellery Channing papers. Ms. N-2123.1.
Walter Channing papers II. Ms. N-2123.3. Finding aid available at:
Walter Channing papers III. Ms. N-2123.4.
William F. Channing papers. Ms. N-2123.5.
Henry Morse Channing papers. Ms. N-2123.6.
Channing family papers. Ms. N-2123.7. Finding aid available at:
The collection is organized into the following series:
|I. Loose papers, 1676-1829
|II. Volumes, 1806-1827
|A. Walter Channing volumes, 1814-1827
|B. Gibbs and Channing volumes, 1806-1810
|C. Oversize volumes, 1810-1815
|I. Loose papers,
|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)
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)
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)
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
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)
Business papers of Walter Channing, as well as occasional personal letters
to and from him. (ca. 150 items)
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.
|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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
|A. Walter Channing volumes,
|Box 18||Vol. 1||Blank book of blotting paper, undated
|Box 18||Vol. 2||Memoranda book,
Materials and work in rebuilding the head of the wharf.
|Box 18||Vol. 3||Ledger B,
17 Jan. 1816
State of Channing's accounts from 1811-1816.
|Box 18||Vol. 4||Bank accounts,
"Branch banks with Walter Channing."
|Box 18||Vol. 5||Bank account, Merchants' Bank (of N.Y.),
2 June 1820-20 Mar. 
|Box 18||Vol. 6||Bank account, Bank of Rhode Island,
5 Oct. 1821-24 July 1827
|Box 18||Vol. 7||Daybook,
2 June 1825-9 Oct. 1826
Personal expenses and banking transactions.
|Box 18||Vol. 8||Petit ledger, Mary Channing Gibbs estate,
Kept during Channing's absence from Boston.
|Box 18||Vol. 9||Account book,
Contains copy of Mary Gibbs' will; inventory of her estate; accounts of
Channing with her heirs.
|B. Gibbs and Channing volumes,
|Box 18||Vol. 10||Bank account, Bank of the United States, Office of Discount and
29 Nov. 1806-23 Jan. 1808
|Box 18||Vol. 11||Bank account, Bank of Rhode Island,
19 Oct. 1807-1 Oct. 1810
Includes list of notes and bills for collection.
|Box 18||Vol. 12||Bank account, Merchants' Bank (of N.Y.),
13 July 1808-11 Jan. 
|C. Oversize volumes,
|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
Walter Channing (1757-1827) papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in
the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers
desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should
search the catalog using these headings.
|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.
|Gibbs and Channing (Newport, R.I.)
|Hercules Courtenay (Ship).
|Minturn and Champlin (New York, N.Y.)
|Real property--Rhode Island--Newport.
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].