Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Henry Colby Letters, 1869-1870

Finding aid created by
Lee Edwards, November 2001, and Meg Hixon, January 2012

Summary Information
Title: Henry Colby letters
Creator: McIntosh, George
Inclusive dates: 1869-1870
Extent: 4 items
Abstract:
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.

Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1998. M-3445.3.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

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.

Preferred Citation:

Henry Colby letters, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Arrangement

The collection is arranged chronologically.


Biography

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).

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Arctic Ocean.
    • East Gloucester (Mass.)
    • Fishers--Massachusetts--Gloucester.
    • Fishers--United States.
    • Fishing--Atlantic Coast (U.S.)
    • Fishing--Arctic regions.
    • Fishing--United States--History--19th century.
    • Hallowell (Me.)
    • Seafaring life.
    Contributors:
    • Colby, Henry, b. 1835.
    Genre Terms:
    • Letters (correspondence)
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Box   25, Small Collections  
    Henry Colby letters [series]:
    Folder   11  
      October 8, 1869-June 10, 1870