Guide to the Collection

Collection Summary


This collection consists of the papers of the Fayerweather and Brown families of Massachusetts, 1718-1976, including the papers of Boston merchant Thomas Fayerweather (1724-1804) and the Civil War papers of George Thomas Fayerweather of the 4th Mass. Heavy Artillery Regiment and James Peck of the 6th Mass. Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

Biographical Sketches

Thomas Fayerweather (b. 1661) was the son of Capt. John Fayerweather (1634-1712), who surveyed Boston Harbor, and Sarah (Turner) Fayerweather (d. 1673). He twice sailed from Boston to the Muscongus and St. George Rivers in Maine representing the Lincolnshire Company of Boston in land negotiations with the Wabanaki.

Thomas Fayerweather (1724-1804) was the son of John Fayerweather (1685-1760) and Jerusha (Grose) Fayerweather and the nephew of Thomas Fayerweather (b. 1661). In 1756, Thomas married Sarah Hubbard, and they had four children. A successful merchant, Fayerweather and his partner James Burd had interests in Boston, Maryland, Philadelphia, and New York. He owned a warehouse east of Faneuil Hall Market in Boston, and his ships were known to evade British revenue officers when possible.

George Thomas Fayerweather (1840-1893), grandson of Thomas Fayerweather (1725-1804), was born in Westborough, Mass. to Thomas Hubbard Fayerweather and Emily (Parker) Fayerweather. He married Ellen Brown on 12 Oct. 1865, and they had two sons.

A salesman by trade, George Fayerweather enlisted in the 51st Regiment, Co. "E", Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, in August 1862. He remained with the unit until July 1863. Reenlisting in the Sixth Unattached Company, Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, in April 1864, George Fayerweather was discharged from this unit in August 1864, until he received his commission as a captain in the 4th Regiment, Co. "F", Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery, where he remained in command until his discharge in June 1865. After the war, he was a military instructor at Lyman School in Westborough.

In 1857, he became a member of the Fire Department in Westborough, where he served as chief engineer, 1875-1877, and again, 1884-1886. In the interim, he served as first assistant. He was a member of the State Firemen's Association. Between 1880 and 1886, he was in charge of the fire department supplies of Boston Woven Hose and Rubber Company, for whom he was spokesperson at the Convention of Fire Engineers (1891).

Eleanor Appleton Fayerweather (b. 1904) was born in Westborough to Frank Raymond Fayerweather and Ethel Maud (Hinchcliffe) Fayerweather. She was the granddaughter of George Thomas Fayerweather. She graduated from the Massachusetts School of Art in 1927. A specialist in costume research, she worked as a curator in the Costume Center of the Rhode Island School of Design.

A merchant by trade, Samuel Harrison Brown (1813-1875) owned the Samuel Harrison Brown & Co. Shoe Manufacturers of Boston. His wife Elizabeth Anne (Ladd) Brown ran the "Westboro Hotel," also called the "Brown's Hotel," in Westborough. He was a member of the Boston Light Infantry, a military association of citizens organized "that it may be prepared at all times to resist sudden invasion or press internal commotion," between 1853 and 1873. He had two daughters: Harriet Augusta Brown (b. 1848) and Ellen Elizabeth Brown (1841-1908), who married George Thomas Fayerweather.

Collection Description

The Fayerweather family papers consist of five boxes and one oversize box, encompassing the years 1718-1976. The collection is divided into three series: Fayerweather family papers, Brown family papers, and biographical and genealogical materials.

Fayerweather family papers include the papers of Thomas Fayerweather (b. 1661), Thomas Fayerweather (1724-1804), George Thomas Fayerweather, Eleanor Appleton Fayerweather, and an unidentified diary. Of particular interest is a transcript of a diary kept by Thomas Fayerweather (b. 1661) of his trips to Maine for the Lincolnshire Company in the summer of 1720.

Thomas Fayerweather's (1724-1804) papers include correspondence, business papers, and a memory book. Fayerweather's business interests in Boston, Maryland, Philadelphia, and New York are the primary subjects of his papers. There are gaps in the correspondence and business papers, between 1769-1778 and 1769-1778, respectively, possibly due to Fayerweather's residence in Oxford during the American Revolution.

George Thomas Fayerweather's papers consist of a company roll, miscellaneous forms, correspondence, ordnance forms, muster rolls, quartermaster forms, discharge papers, and commissions from Fayerweather's tenure as an army officer during the Civil War. The membership, munitions, equipment, and activities of the 4th Regiment, Co. "F", Massachusetts Volunteer Heavy Artillery, are well documented.

Eleanor Appleton Fayerweather's papers include correspondence to her parents from trips to Europe in 1928 and 1930, lectures notes, a paper, and brochures relating to art and design, news clippings, a scrapbook of clippings relating to her civic and theatrical activities, and an anatomical sketchbook.

Brown family papers consist primarily of correspondence and diaries. The papers of Samuel Harrison Brown include a few family letters; Boston Light Infantry records, 1853-1855; and an autograph book. Ellen (Brown) Fayerweather (wife of George Thomas Fayerweather) papers include correspondence, a volume containing a small library catalog and diary entries, and a diary/memo book. Of particular interest are letters to Ellen (Brown) Fayerweather from her cousin James Peck, a soldier in New Orleans during the Civil War. The series also includes an autograph book by Harriet Augusta Brown.

Biographical and genealogical materials concerning the Brown, Fayerweather, Hinchcliffe, and Wheelock families include property deeds, news clippings, genealogies, notes, Bible records, correspondence, and marriage certificates.

Acquisition Information

The Fayerweather family papers were a gift of the estate of Eleanor Fayerweather, June 1993.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Fayerweather family papers, 1718-1976

This series is divided into five subseries containing the papers of Thomas Fayerweather (b. 1661), Thomas Fayerweather (1724-1804), George Thomas Fayerweather, and Eleanor Appleton Fayerweather, as well as a diary by an unidentified author.

A. Thomas Fayerweather (b. 1661) diary transcript, 1718-1731

A typescript of a diary recording two voyages (18 Apr.-24 May and 30 July-21 Aug. 1720) from Boston to the Muscongus and St. George Rivers in Maine. Thomas Fayerweather participated in negotiations with the Wabanaki concerning land deeded to the Lincolnshire Company by Chief Madockawando. Various notes in the typescript include dates of Fayerweather's marriage and the births and deaths of his children.

The original diary is in the collection of the Bangor Public Library.

Box 1Folder 1

B. Thomas Fayerweather (1724-1804) papers, 1743-1799

Arranged chronologically by type.

Thomas Fayerweather (1724-1804) papers include business correspondence, business papers, and a memory book. Business correspondence, 1744-1787, includes information from various merchants, suppliers, and agents on shipments, orders, payments, and collection notices. Correspondents include Edward Shippen, David van Horne, Samuel Thomas Smith, and Theophilus Boswell. A few typescripts of letters are filed with the originals. Business papers, 1743-1778, document Fayerweather's business in New York, Maryland, Philadelphia, and Boston and include bills of lading, accounts, receipts, notes, bills of exchange, invoices, and ship accounts. A memory book, 1786-1799, includes notes on land and buildings owned in Massachusetts and Maine. There are gaps in the correspondence and business papers, between 1769-1778 and 1769-1778, respectively, possibly due to Fayerweather residing in Oxford during the Revolution.

Box 1Folder 2-10
Correspondence, 1744-1787
Box 1Folder 11-23
Business papers, 1743-1788
Box 1Folder 24
Memory book, 1786-1799

C. George Thomas Fayerweather papers, 1862-1876

Arranged chronologically by type.

This series contains papers primarily relating to George Thomas Fayerweather's service as captain of the 4th Regiment, Mass Volunteer Heavy Artillery, during the Civil War. The series is organized into the following groups of papers: an undated company roll; miscellaneous forms, 1864-1865; correspondence, 1864-1868 and 1877; ordnance forms, 1864-1865; muster rolls, 1864-1865; quartermaster forms, 1864-1865; discharge papers, 1862-1876; and commissions, 1864 and 1875.

The undated company roll lists members of a company alphabetically by rank and is signed by A. W. Tobie, First Sergeant, 22nd H. A. Miscellaneous papers include inventories of effects, telegrams, passes, pay requests, and orders of the day. Correspondence includes official communications between Fayerweather and various army offices, including the Ordnance Office and the Quartermaster General's Office. Ordnance forms document the munitions issued to and used by the 4th Regiment, Mass Volunteer Heavy Artillery, under Fayerweather and include invoices, receipts, abstracts of materials expended, and quarterly ordnance reports.

Muster rolls document the membership of the 4th Regiment, Mass Volunteer Heavy Artillery. Muster-in rolls, muster rolls, quarterly returns, quarterly returns of deceased soldiers, and muster-out rolls each contain portions of the following information for individual soldiers: name, birthplace, occupation, date and place of enlistment, person who enlisted them, period of service, eye and hair color, complexion, height, muster-in date, payroll, and date, place, and cause of death. Quartermaster forms include inventories of clothes, caps, and basic equipage issued to soldiers. Some forms record what equipment was issued to individual soldiers and other forms are quarterly summaries of equipment issued to the company. Discharge papers include five for George T. Fayerweather, dated 1862, 1863, 1864, and 1876, and one for Zebulon Ash dated 1865. Fayerweather's commissions are for the 4th Regiment, Mass. Volunteer Heavy Artillery, August 1864, and the 3rd Brigade, Mass. Volunteer Militia, August 1875.

Box 2Folder 1
Company roll, undated
Box 2Folder 2
Miscellaneous forms, 1864-1865
Box 2Folder 3-6
Correspondence, 1864-1877
Box 2Folder 7-11
Ordnance forms, 1864-1865
OS Box 1Folder 1-5
Muster rolls, 1864-1865
OS Box 1Folder 6-16
Quartermaster forms, 1864-1865
Box 2Folder 12
Discharge papers, 1862-1876
Box 2Folder 13
Commission, 1864
OS Box 1Folder 17
Commission, 1875

D. Eleanor Appleton Fayerweather papers, 1928-1976

Arranged chronologically by type.

This series includes correspondence, lecture notes, a paper entitled "Waste Not Want Not," brochures, news clippings, a disbound scrapbook, and a disbound sketchbook. The bulk of the correspondence is comprised of letters from Eleanor Appleton Fayerweather to her family during two trips to Europe: to England, Scotland, and Germany from June to August 1928; and to Germany, Italy and France, June to August 1930. Correspondence also includes letters from the Museum of Fine Arts, Vose Galleries, Fogg Art Museum, and John Alan Waldo regarding Fayerweather family portraits and genealogy.

Manuscript and typescript lecture notes are from art history surveys at Harvard University and New York University. An undated and unsigned paper entitled "Waste Not Want Not," probably written by Eleanor, traces the history of textiles and quilts in New England. Brochures from the Rhode Island School of Design, the New Haven Colony Historical Society, the Brown University Theatre, and various news clippings reflect Eleanor's interest in art and costume history. A disbound scrapbook includes clippings, 1919-1933, relating to Eleanor's involvement with Girl Scouts, Massachusetts Normal Art School, the Kappa Phi and Sigma Phi Sororities, thespian activities, and Girls Club. An undated disbound sketchbook contains anatomical sketches. Brochures, itineraries, and notes document a trip to central Asia, Oct. 1969.

Box 2Folder 14-22
Correspondence, 1928-1976
Box 2Folder 23-25
Lecture notes
Box 2Folder 26
Paper: "Waste Not Want Not"
Box 3Folder 1
Box 3Folder 2
News clippings
Box 3Folder 3-13
Scrapbook, 1919-1933Disbound.
Box 3Folder 14-23
Sketchbook, undatedDisbound.
Box 3Folder 24
Central Asia tour brochures, itineraries, notes, Oct. 1969

E. Diary, Nov. 1853

A diary by an unidentified author for the month of November 1853, recording daily activities, chores, and social engagements.

Box 3Folder 25

II. Brown family papers, 1831-1873

This series is divided into three subseries containing the papers of Samuel Harrison Brown, Ellen Elizabeth Brown, and Harriet Augusta Brown.

A. Samuel Harrison Brown papers, 1831-1873

Arranged chronologically by type.

This series includes three pieces of family correspondence dated 1831, 1858, and 1861. Of particular interest is a letter, dated 27 Oct. 1861, to Brown from a former lodger at the Westboro Hotel who left an unsettled bill prior to joining the Navy. The letter was written from the USS Cumberland while blockading the James River. Boston Light Infantry records include company orders, May 1853-Oct. 1855, a small volume containing the constitution and by-laws annotated with a list of members, 1853, and Brown's membership certificate for 1851. The series also includes an autograph book, 1863-1865.

Box 4Folder 1
Correspondence, 1831-1861
Box 4Folder 2-3
Boston Light Infantry, 1853-1873
OS Box 1Folder 18
Boston Light Infantry certificate, 1851
Box 4Folder 4
Autograph book, 1863-1865

B. Ellen Elizabeth (Brown) Fayerweather papers, 1857-1864

Arranged chronologically by type.

Correspondence, 1857-1864, includes letters from Brenton B. Cook, Susan Sprague, William Sprague, Grace and Sarah Hubbard, and cousin James Peck, 6th Mass. Volunteer Infantry Regiment, "Company K." The series also includes a small volume containing a catalog of library books with diary entries dated Nov. 1857-June 1858, as well as a diary/memory book for 1859.

Box 4Folder 5-7
Correspondence, 1857-1864
Box 4Folder 8
Catalog/diary, 1857-1858
Box 4Folder 9
Diary/memo book, 1859

C. Harriet Augusta Brown autograph book, 1864-1868

This series contains an autograph book, 1864-1868.

Box 4Folder 10

III. Biographical and genealogical materials, 1807-1948

This series contains five property deeds concerning the Fayerweather family, 1807-1887; news clippings, 1875-1948; and typed copies of genealogies plus notes, Bible records, correspondence, and marriage certificates for the Brown, Fayerweather, Hinchcliffe, and Wheelock families.

Box 5Folder 1
Deeds, 1807-1887
Box 5Folder 2
News clippings, 1875-1948
Box 5Folder 3
Brown family
Box 5Folder 4
Fayerweather family
Box 5Folder 5
Hinchcliffe family
Box 5Folder 6
Wheelock family

Preferred Citation

Fayerweather family 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.


Boswell, Theophilus.
Brown family--Genealogy.
Brown, Samuel Harrison, 1813-1875.
Fayerweather, Eleanor Appleton, 1904-1992.
Fayerweather, Ellen Elizabeth Brown, 1841-1908.
Fayerweather, George Thomas, 1840-1893.
Fayerweather, Thomas, 1661-
Fayerweather, Thomas, 1724-1805.
Hinchcliffe family--Genealogy.
Peck, James.
Richardson, Harriet Augusta Brown, 1848-1938.
Shippen, Edward.
Smith, Samuel Thomas.
Van Horne, David, 1746-1801.
Wheelock family--Genealogy.


Boston Light Infantry.
United States. Army. Massachusetts Heavy Artillery Regiment, 4th (1864-1865).


Autograph albums.
England--Description and travel--1901-1945.
Family history--1850-1899.
France--Description and travel.
Germany--Description and travel.
Indians of North America--Maine--Treaties.
Italy--Description and travel.
Library catalogs.
Maine--Description and travel.
Penobscot Indians.
Real property, Exchange of--Maine.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Equipment and supplies.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Muster rolls.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Personal narratives.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865--Regimental histories--Massachusetts Artillery (Heavy), 4th Volunteers.
Voyages and travels.
Voyages and travels--Diaries.
Women travelers.

Materials Removed from the Collection


Photographs from this collection have been removed to the Fayerweather family photographs, ca. 1858-1978. Photo. Coll. 47.

Printed Materials

The following printed items have been removed for placement and cataloging with the Massachusetts Historical Society printed materials:

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English, adapted by H. W. Fowler and F. G. Fowler from the Oxford Dictionary, Eighth Impression. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1921.

Coppee, Capt. Henry. The Field Manual for Battalion Drill. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co., 1864.

Duties of Guards and Sentinels. Published for the use of the Troops comprising the 3rd Brigade. By order of Gen. R. H. Chamberlain.

This Harbour of Boston...laid down as taken by Capt. John Fayerweather. By Philip Wells

The Holy Bible. New York: Elam Bliss, Broadway, 1828.

Instructions for Officers of the Adjutant General's Department and Others of Kindred Duties. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1864.

Kautz, August V. The Company Clerk: What to Do and How to Do It. 12 edition. Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott & Co. , 1865.

Manual of Loading and Firing the Peabody Breech-Loading Rifle. Boston: Wright & Potter, State Printers, 1873.

Militia Laws: 1874-75. Published by the Adjutant General. Boston: Wright & Potter, State Printers, 1875.

The Pastor's Gift to the Pupil's of the Bulfinch Street Sunday School. Boston: Benjamin H. Greene, 1846.

Patten, George. Artillery Drill: Containing the School of the Piece and Battery Manoeuvers. New York: J. W. Fortune, 1864.

Prince, Thomas, M.A. Mr. Prince's Sermon on the Death of Mrs. Fayerweather. Boston: Printed by Edes & Gill, in King Street for D. Henchman, in Cornhill, 1755.

Rules for the Management and Cleaning of the Rifle Musket, Model 1863. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1863.

Tablet of Memory: A Chart of the United States, Historical, Statistical and Political. Compiled by Richard S. Fisher, New York 1846. New York: Published by J. H. Colton, 1846.

The Unique: or Biography of Many Distinguished Characters; with fine portraits. Fourth Edition Improved. Hingham: C. & E. B. Gill, 1834.


A Civil War Chest with the words "Co. F. 4th, Regt. Mass. Heavy Artillery" was removed to the Museum Collection.