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Special Collections: Guide to the Albert S. Eells Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves

Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department

May 2004

Introduction and Summary Information

Collection Title: Albert S. Eells Papers.
Dates of the Collection: 1830-1911 (inclusive); 1840-1880 (bulk).
Provenance: The Albert S. Eells Papers were a gift to the Special Collections Department from Daniel Guild in 1972.
Collection Number: MS 161.
Box Numbers: 1-3 (formerly Cage Boxes 46-47).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of two archival record cartons and one document box of material (2 cubic feet).
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Documents have been surface cleaned as needed and metal fasteners removed.
Preferred Citation: Albert S. Eells Papers, Special Collections, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine.
Restrictions on Access and Use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.


The collection contains primarily business papers of Albert S. Eells of Camden and Rockport, Maine. There is very little biographical information available about Mr. Eells, who was born in 1809 and died in 1881. From the papers it appears that he had a grocery and dry goods business in Camden from the 1830’s. He seems to have been in partnership with Walter Tolman at times and also did business as the firm Eells, Merriam and Crockett. He had a shipyard in Rockport beginning around 1835 and launched 25 to 30 vessels from this yard. He also owned or partially owned a number of vessels. In later years his son, John H. Eells was in business with him. The Eells family also had a lime quarry and kiln in Rockport. Albert Eells was a selectman in the town of Camden and also served as school agent in the 1860’s.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains records from Albert Eells’s grocery business and his shipyard. It also contains a few miscellaneous personal papers of Eells and his son, John Eells.

The collection opens with business correspondence to Eells, 1849-1870’s; most concerns the grocery business but some letters from the 1870’s discuss the sale of lime. A series of daybooks and other account books gives financial information about the grocery business, and the largest section, a group of bills and receipts, 1830’s-1870’s, is from firms which supplied items to Eells’s grocery business.

The records from the shipping business include invoices and correspondence about a number of vessels associated with Eells. The folders of material concerning the schooner Snow Squall contain correspondence from the captain to Eells, bills of lading, invoices and receipts, and correspondence to Eells & Merriam. The Snow Squall appears to have shipped goods to Cuba and the West Indies as well as hauling lumber and ice from Boston to Charleston, corn from Norfolk, Virginia to Boston, and coal from Philadelphia to Norfolk.

Additional materials on shipping concern the brig Belle, which appears to have been owned or partially owned by Eells, Merriam & Co., a partnership of Albert Eells, Abel Merriam and John Crockett. Materials include correspondence, insurance documents, and receipts and vouchers for sails, rope, provisions, caulking, etc. Also included are documents concerning damage to the Belle on a voyage from Palermo to New York in 1859.

The last section contains various personal materials including highway surveyor’s books for the town of Camden, 1859 and 1861, various town documents, and materials belonging to John Eells. The collection ends with a folder of documents from the 1830’s of Enoch and Silas Piper concerning land in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia.

Box List

Box 1


Records from grocery business

1                      Correspondence, 1849, 1850’s

2                      Correspondence, 1860’s

3                      Correspondence, 1870’s

4                      Correspondence, undated

5                      Insurance papers, notes, etc., 1840’s-1850’s

6                      Daybooks, 1854-1855

7                      Daybook, Sept., 1855-1856

8                      Daybooks, 1857-1858

9                      Daybook, July, 1867-Jan., 1872

10                    Daybook, June, 1873-Apr., 1874

11                    Daybook, 1874-1875

12                    Daybook, Dec., 1879-May, 1880

13                    Daybook, undated

14                    Account book, 1830-1846

15                    Account books, 1838, 1645, 1849, 1854, 1856

16                    Walter Tolman’s cashbook, 1852

17                    Joseph S. Eells’s memo book, 1843-1844

18                    Miscellaneous pocket diaries, undated

19                    Index to unidentified ledger

20                    Time books, 1835-1836, 1837?

21                    Time books, 1841, 1845

22                    Receipts, 1830’s

23                    Bills and receipts, 1840’s

24-26               Bills and receipts, 1850’s

27                    Bills and receipts, 1850’s-1860’s

Box 2

1-2                   Bills and receipts, 1850’s-1860’s

3                      Receipts for rail and steamer shipments, 1850’s-1860’s

4-5                   Bills and receipts, 1850’s-1870’s

6-10                 Bills and receipts, 1870’s

11                    Receipts from John Bird & Co., Rockland, Me., 1870’s

12                    Notes and orders, 1850’s

13                    Receipts and notes, 1840-1870

14                    Advertising cards, pamphlets

Box 2 continued


Shipping records

15                    Shipping papers, 1830-s-1860’s

16                    Shipping papers, 1840’s-1850’s

17                    Shipping papers, 1840’s-1860’s

18-19               Shipping papers, 1840’s-1870’s

20-21               Papers of schooner Snow Squall, 1850’s

22                    Brigantine Belle’s vouchers, 1850’s

Box 3

1                      Papers and account book of Brig Belle

2-3                   Letters, bills, records of Brig Belle, 1850’s-1860’s

Miscellaneous papers

4                      Highway surveyor’s books, Camden, Me., 1859, 1861

5                      Surveying documents, 1840’s-1860’s

6                      Camden town documents, 1860’s

7                      Camden souvenir badges

8                      Miscellaneous blank forms and notes

9                      Photograph: Old lime quarry, Rockport, undated

10                    Writing book of Deborah Eells, undated

11                    Material belonging to John Eells, 1886-1911

12                    Gettysburg Battlefield Memorial Association, 1886 [printed pamphlet]

13                    Letter to William Childs c/o the A.S. Eells, 1852

14                    Documents of Enoch and Silas Piper re land in Bridgetown, Nova Scotia, 1830’s

Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: | Revised: 03/17/2015
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