Brimblecom family papers  1817-1844
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Brimblecom family papers are made up of letters that Massachusetts preacher Samuel Brimblecom and his son, Samuel A. Brimblecom, wrote in the early and mid-19th century. The elder Brimblecom discussed his studies at Harvard in the late 1810s, and his son often wrote of his voyages with the merchant marine to India and China in the 1840s.

The earliest items primarily consist of letters from Samuel Brimblecom to his sister Mary, which he wrote during his time as a student at Harvard University and during the decade following his graduation. He often included his philosophical musings about a variety of topics, including metaphysics and religion, and described his life at school, as a private tutor in South Carolina, and a young preacher in Massachusetts and Maine. Brimblecom continued to write to Mary over the years with updates on his family, but after 1840 his son, Samuel A. Brimblecom, wrote the majority of the correspondence.

Though he often discussed his daily life and acquaintances in Lynn, Massachusetts, Samuel A. Brimblecom also wrote to his parents and siblings about his travels to Asia. In one letter, he copied a poem dedicated to his mother: "Mother, I'm for the Indies Bound" (January 4, 1841). In letters written throughout 1844, he related his experiences in East Asian cities such as Whampoa, Canton, Macao, Singapore, and Calcutta, and noted the practices of businessmen and local customs. On June 27, 1844, for example, he shared his impressions of the region surrounding Bombay, India.

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