William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Finding aid created by
Henry Colby Letters, 1869-1870
Lee Edwards, November 2001, and Meg Hixon, January 2012
Henry Colby letters
This collection contains four letters written by Henry Colby, a fisherman based in East Gloucester, Massachusetts, to a friend, George McIntosh of Hallowell, Maine. Colby frequently inquired of friends and family in Maine and described his life and travels as a fisherman along the Atlantic coast, which included several lengthy trips to the Arctic Ocean.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
Henry Colby Letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
The collection is arranged chronologically.
Henry Colby was born in Maine in December 1835, and left his family in Hallowell to move to East Gloucester, Massachusetts, where he worked as a fisherman and, later, as a house painter. He and his wife, Rosie May, had several children: Edith, Florence, Henry (b. 1874), Lillian, Rinalda (b. 1888), and Laurence (b. 1883). Rosie, born in 1858 and a native of French Canada, worked as a "shoe-stitcher" in 1900.
Collection Scope and Content Note
This collection contains four letters written by Henry Colby, a fisherman based in East Gloucester, Massachusetts, to a friend, George McIntosh of Hallowell, Maine. Colby frequently inquired of his family and friends in Maine, and described his life as a fisherman, traveling along the Atlantic Coast and into the Arctic Ocean (October 8, 1869). Though brief, his letters provided several detailed descriptions of his work, including the size of the boats he worked on, his wages as a chief mate, the amount of fish caught and their value, and how the weather affected his journeys. He often apologized for the delay in his letters, as his work frequently kept him at sea for several weeks at a time, and he occasionally provided updates on his personal life, which included a new daughter in the fall of 1869. In 1870, he reported selling his boat to work on the John Fannie R (June 10, 1870).
- Arctic Ocean.
- East Gloucester (Mass.)
- Fishers--United States.
- Fishing--Atlantic Coast (U.S.)
- Fishing--Arctic regions.
- Fishing--United States--History--19th century.
- Hallowell (Me.)
- Seafaring life.