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Special Collections: Guide to the Talbot-Whittier Family Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
October 2010

Collection title: Talbot-Whittier Family Papers
Collection number: MS 488
Provenance: Gift of Micah T. Whittier and Barbara Talbot Whittier in 1971
Dates of collection: 1789-1937 (inclusive); 1849-1933 (bulk)
Size of collection: 2 record cartons
Restrictions on access and use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility; one week's notice required for retrieval.


The Talbot family were early residents of East Machias, Maine, engaging in lumbering and shipping there. Peter and Lucy Hammond Talbot came to East Machias from Massachusetts in 1771; their sons Peter (1783-1875) and Micah Jones Talbot (1787-1869) were born there. Frederic Talbot (1819-1907), the son of Peter and Eliza Chaloner Talbot, was in business with his father manufacturing and selling lumber and then joined the lumber firm of Simpson, Talbot Co. in Whitneyville, Maine. In 1849 he and Andrew J. Pope, also from East Machias, sailed to San Francisco where they established the firm of Pope & Talbot, operating barges in San Francisco harbor and selling lumber from Maine and other places. Frederic’s brother William C. Talbot (1816-1881) joined the business in 1850 after sailing the brig Oriental from Maine. Frederic Talbot left California shortly thereafter and opened a commission house in New York City, later moving to Providence, Rhode Island. The firm of Pope & Talbot, now under the direction of Andrew Pope and William Talbot joined by Josiah P. Keller and Charles Foster from East Machias, established the Puget Mill Company in Port Gamble, Washington, where it operated for many years.

Samuel Hammond Talbot, the son of Micah Jones Talbot and a resident of East Machias, was born in 1810. He was a lumberman, merchant, and builder and owner of ships as well as serving as a Maine state senator. He married Mary Frances Scott in 1832 and they had ten children. Samuel Talbot died in 1889. His son Colonel Stephen C. Talbot served in the 18th and 31st Maine Infantry Regiments and the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery Regiment during the Civil War.

Henry Smith Whittier was born in 1872 and spent thirty years in the United States Navy. After his retirement he became interested in the history of East Machias and in the genealogy of his family. He wrote a series of articles titled East Machias, 1765-1926 that was published by the Union-Republican in Machias. Micah Talbot Whittier, one of the donors of this collection, was the son of Henry Whittier. His wife Barbara Talbot Whittier, also a donor, was the granddaughter of Frederic Talbot and his third wife, Isabel Louise Engarde.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains papers of various members of the Talbot family as well as papers written or collected by Henry Smith Whittier. The papers are extensively annotated by Barbara Talbot Whittier, one of the donors of the collection.

The collection is arranged in four series: I. Talbot Family Papers; II. Whittier Family Papers;

III. Machias and East Machias Historical Material; and IV. Books Associated with the Talbot and Whittier Families.

Series I: Talbot Family Papers is arranged chronologically by Talbot family member starting with a volume of minutes, 1811-1842, of the East Machias Social Library with which Peter Talbot was associated, followed by Talbot family letters, and various documents associated with Frederic Talbot including a diary he kept from 1849-1851. The series also includes various documents associated with Stephen C. Talbot’s military service during the Civil War, a pocket diary, 1862, of Samuel Hammond Talbot as well as Talbot family photographs and genealogical information. The documents have explanatory text added by Barbara Talbot Whittier.

Series II: Whittier Family Papers contains information about or collected by Henry S. Whittier including typescripts of his book about the history of East Machias as well as notes about the genealogy of the Whittier, Scott and Foster families.

Series III: Machias and East Machias Historical Material includes business records for various vessels and businesses as well as invoices for supplies to a Civil War company from the acting quartermaster for the state of Maine.

Series IV: Books Associated with the Talbot and Whittier Families contains books belonging to various family members. Most have additional family information added by Barbara Talbot Whittier.

Box List

Box 1


1 Minutes of East Machias Social Library, 1811-1842 [Peter Talbot]

2 Talbot family letters, 1789-ca. 1918 with annotations by Barbara Talbot Whittier

3 Frederic Talbot’s diary of his trip to California, 1849-1851

4 Transcript of Frederic Talbot’s diary

5 Letter from Frederic Talbot to George A. Pope, April 22, 1902

6 Day book (financial), 1857-1860 and family history of F. Talbot

7 F. Talbot: petty cash book, 1882

8 Framed photograph of Martha Talbot, daughter of Frederic and Susan Gardner Talbot, wearing necklace made of gold dug by her father in California, 1849-1851

9 Necklace made of gold dug by Frederic Talbot in California, 1849-1851

10 Letters, 1889, from Frederic Talbot to Martha Talbot

11 Voyage of Brig Oriental from East Machias, Maine, September 15, 1849 to San Francisco, California, March 3, 1850. Extracts copied from a journal kept on the voyage by George O. Wilson of East Machias, one of the passengers. Copied in February 1937 by Henry S. Whittier

12 Stephen C. Talbot: The Civil War, 1861-1865 [oversized item]

13 Samuel Hammond Talbot: Diary, 1862

14 Joseph and Micah Whittier: Account book, 1865-1867, private expenditure bank; bills of sale of enrolled vessels, Talbot family, 1850s

15-16 Honeymoon trip to Europe: George and Susan Talbot Claflin, May-Nov. 1894

17 Talbot business papers, 1840s-1860s

18 Talbot family deeds, wills, etc.

19 Scrapbook: Hotel advertisements, etc. [Talbot family]

20-21 Talbot family photographs

22 Talbot family genealogy [compiled by Barbara Talbot Whittier]

Series II: Whittier Family Papers

23 U.S. Navy document appointing Henry S. Whittier an acting sailmaker’s mate, 1893

24 Letters to Henry S. Whittier from his mother Ellen Mulvaney Whittier, 1907, 1910

25 Letter to Henry S. Whittier from E.G. Ames, Nov. 19, 1930

26 Letter from Henry S. Whittier to Holman W. Chaloner, Dec. 5, 1933

27-28 “East Machias: A Historical Narrative” by Henry S. Whittier [photocopy of typescript]

29-30 “East Machias, 1765-1926” by Henry S. Whittier [photocopy]

31 Scrapbook: History of East Machias by Henry S. Whittier [oversized item]

32 Notes on East Machias history by Henry S. Whittier

33 Bishop and Whittier family history: notes by Henry S. Whittier

34 Chase genealogy of interest to Micah Talbot Whittier … [by Henry S. Whittier?]

35 Scott and Foster genealogy: information gathered by Henry S. Whittier; annotations by Barbara Talbot Whittier

36 Whittier genealogy: Ancestry of Henry Smith Whittier and his sons … copied Dec. 29, 1930

37 Whittier family genealogy, 1622 + notes, correspondence

38 Whittier genealogy notes

39 Genealogy of the East Machias, Maine Whittiers, 1935

40 Eells, Smith, Whittier chart: made by Henry Smith Whittier, Nov. 21, 1931 [oversized item]

Box 2

1 Whittier family photographs

2 Cartes-de-visite, Civil War soldiers and others (26 images) [belonged to Henry S. Whittier]

3 Jabez West Foster, Capt. George Kimball, William H. Foster: letters, 1850-1852

4 Obituaries: Lt. Joseph B. Smith, Hon. Albert Smith, James C. Madigan [from Henry S. Whittier ]

Series III: Machias and East Machias Historical Material

5 Two objects: Badge [Civil War?]; British frigate Margaretta, captured by the men of Machias, Me., June 12, 1775. Souvenir piece of her ballast

6 Bill of lading, 1841, for schooner Mary, Oliver M. Goold, master

7 Receipts for Simpson, Talbot & Co., 1848-1849

8 Invoices to barque Mary Spring & owners in a/c with Simpson, Mayhew & Co., 1853- 1854

9 Invoices, etc. for Pope vessels, 1860s

10 Invoices, etc. for supplies to Capt. Chase’s company, 1861: John L. Hodsdon, acting quartermaster general of the state of Maine

11 Chase family information

12 East Machias information

Series IV: Books Associated with the Talbot and Whittier Families:

Abbott, Jacob. Rollo In London. Boston, W. J. Reynolds & Co., 1856. Inscriptions and genealogical information about Talbot family owners inside cover.

Abbott, Jacob. Rollo in Paris. Boston, W. J. Reynolds & Co., 1854. Inscriptions and genealogical information about Talbot family owners inside cover.

Abbott, Jacob. Rollo in Scotland. Boston, W. J. Reynolds & Co., 1856. Inscriptions and genealogical information about Talbot family owners inside cover.

Abbott, Jacob. Rollo in Switzerland. Boston, W. J. Reynolds 6 Co., 1856. Inscriptions and genealogical information about Talbot family owners inside cover.

Abbott, Jacob. Rollo on the Atlantic. Boston, W. J. Reynolds & Co., 1853. Inscriptions and genealogical information about Talbot family owners inside cover.

Abbott, Jacob. Rollo on the Rhine. Boston, W. Reynolds & Co., 1855. Inscriptions and genealogical information about Talbot family owners inside cover.

Arthur, T.S. The wife: a story for my young countrywomen. Philadelphia, Henry Anners, 1845. Inscribed: Mrs. S. H. Talbot, E. Machias, Maine.

Dodd, William. Thoughts in prison. In five parts: the imprisonment, the trial, the retrospect, futurity, public punishment. By William Dodd, L.L.D. to which are added miscellaneous pieces. Odiorne' s edition. Exeter, New Hampshire, 1794. Inscribed: Micah Talbot Whittier.

The elephant and the gingerbread-nuts. A story for little folks. New York, Church Book Society, 1853. Inscribed: Ed. E. Talbot, Feb'y 12/58.

Vergnaud, A. D. Manuel de perspective, du dessinateur de peintre...Troisieme edition. Paris, Roret, Libraire, 1829. Inscribed: Barbara Talbot, Paris, January 7, 1928.

Wilde, Oscar. Salome: A tragedy in one act. Translated from the French of Oscar Wilde. Pictures by Aubrey Beardsley. San Francisco, J. A. Ephraim Bookstore, 1896.

Briggs, L. Vernon. History of shipbuilding on the North River, Plymouth County, Massachusetts. Boston, Coburn Brothers, 1889. Belonged to Henry S. Whittier and Micah J. Whittier.

Clemens, Samuel. Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain. Boston, James R. Osgood & Co., 1883. Signature and genealogical information about Talbot family owners inside cover.


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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