Ebenezer and Gorham Parsons papers, 1779-1829 (inclusive)

To cite this material, use the information provided in the "Cite" tab in the top menu of the viewer with the digitized image. Please also add Colonial North America at Harvard Library to each citation.

Content Notes

The Ebenezer and Gorham Parsons papers consist of letters and shipping and financial records related to mercantile and privateering ventures, dated 1779 to 1829. The collection contains bills of lading, shipping articles, invoices, and accounts of voyages of the vessels Charlotte, Joseph, Peregrine, Reliance, and Sarah, to England, Europe, and West Indies, carrying the Parsons' cargo. A crew agreement for the bark Sarah includes names of several African American sailors, among them Cuff Cheesebrough. There are also some undated printed assignments of prize shares and orders to the captains of the privateer Sky Rocket during the Revolutionary War.

Biographical Notes

Ebenezer Parsons (1746-1819) and his son Gorham Parsons (1768-1844) were merchants in Boston who traded commodities like hemp and iron in the United States, Europe, Russia, South America, and the West Indies. Ebenezer Parsons lived in Gloucester, Massachusetts, before the start of the American Revolution and moved to Boston in either 1781 or 1782, where his son joined him in business. They were also involved in fitting out and financing privateers during the Revolutionary War.