Jacob and William Wildes records, 1772-1877 (inclusive), 1772-1822 (bulk)

About this Collection

Wildes, Jacob.
Correspondence.Legal instruments.Invoices.Payrolls.Receipts (financial records)Ships' papers.
Collection Title
Jacob and William Wildes records, 1772-1877 (inclusive), 1772-1822 (bulk)
.84 linear feet (2 boxes)
Baker Library, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
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Wildes family
Wildes, Jacob
Wildes, William
Bowne, Robert
Coastwise shipping--United States
Decedents' estates
Export marketing
Fish trade
Lumber trade
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Content Notes

Ships’ papers, including cargo manifests, customs documents, charter parties, and crew wages, invoices and receipts, and correspondence, of Arundel (now Kennebunkport), Maine-based captains and supercargos Jacob Wildes (1726-1822) and William Wildes (1765-1823), dated from 1772 to 1822. A number of documents are in French or Dutch. They voyaged to the West Indies, Europe, and states like Virginia, Maryland, and Georgia with cargo including rum, sugar, fish, pork, rice, tar, and lumber. Volume one (1773-1790) contains records and and correspondence with merchants Israel Ellingwood and Thomas Cutts concerning coastwise and West Indies voyages of the sloop Susanna, as well as bills, invoices, and receipts for goods and labor, such as a receipt to Jacob Wildes from Peter, an African American, and two other men for payment for carting in 1773. There are also a few estate administration accounts and legal records, and accounts and agreements related to shipment of lumber, rice, and flour by New York Quaker merchant Robert Bowne to Demerara, where the cargo was consigned to E. & J. Brush & Co. and sold to individuals and plantations. The firm’s charges to Bowne’s company included hire of slave labor. Volume 2 (1789-1795) also contains records related to Robert Bowne & Co.’s Demerara voyages, ships’ papers, letters, and financial documents. Some correspondence references the mounting hostilities between the United States and Great Britain leading up to the War of 1812. Volume three (1796-1822) contains ships' papers, financial records, and letters, as well as two account books listing names and duties assessed in Kennebec County, Maine, in 1800 by tax collector Joseph Osgood. Also included in volume three are letters from William Wildes to wife, Mary, describing his voyages and relaying his thoughts on their children's education, in addition to estate documents of Jacob Wildes. Volume four (1823-1877, undated) mainly contains receipts and estate documents of William Wildes, correspondence and papers of his children and other descendants, and assorted printed documents and papers from the mid-nineteenth century.

Biographical Notes

Jacob Wildes (1726-1822) and his grandson William Wildes (1765-1823) were shipmasters and supercargos, active between the 1770s and 1820s, who voyaged to the West Indies, Europe, and southern states in American carrying cargo like lumber, rum, and fish.