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Moffatt and Whipple Family Papers, 1651-1883

Title: Moffatt and Whipple Family Papers, 1651-1883

Creator: Moffatt, John, 1692-1786
Whipple, William, 1730-1785
Whipple, Joseph, 1738-1816

Accession / Call Number: 1972.052

Object ID: M 1895-002

Date: 1651-1883

Bulk Dates: 1675-1800

Physical Description: 4 boxes

Level of Description: Collection

Scope and Content: The Moffatt and Whipple Family Papers fall into two parts. First, there are items related to the business activities of the Moffatt and Whipple men; except for a few deeds, these date from the 1730s to the 1790s. Second, there is a set of miscellaneous manuscripts gathered and placed in two scrapbooks by an unknown person that concern a wide variety of New Hampshire individuals, towns and organizations; these date between 1656 and 1800. It appears that some unidentified Moffatt papers were removed from the scrapbooks and placed in the first part of the collection when the scrapbooks were disassembled. Papers in the Moffatt-Whipple part of the collection are about the commercial activities of John Moffatt (1692-1786) and the brothers Joseph Whipple (1737-1816) and William Whipple (1730-1785). The men were merchants and ship owners in the Portsmouth, NH, region and also had extensive land holdings in the more northern and western parts of the state. There are business letters and accounts, a ships log, deeds, and various land transactions. They bought, sold, and owned slaves (Joseph Whipple freed his while serving in the New Hampshire militia during the Revolutionary War.) The men variously served in military organizations during the French and Indian Wars (1756-1763) as well as the Revolutionary War of 1775-1783. They were politically active and were selectmen, customs inspectors, members of the Continental Congress (Joseph Whipple signed the Declaration of Independence), judges, and members of the New Hampshire legislature. Despite this wide range of activities, military exploits and political engagements are lightly documented in the collection; there are no personal letters to family members, and the women are represented only insofar as they owned property managed by their spouses or fathers. There are also several hundred miscellaneous manuscripts that were part of the same donation to the New Hampshire Historical Society in 1895. They were in two scrapbooks, which were disassembled at an unknown date, and have been cataloged at the item level because of their wide variety and date range (1650-1800). There are legal documents about the founding of towns, distribution of lots therein and establishment of their borders; depositions in court cases both in instances of violence (a 1685 altercation between Robert Mason and Thomas Wiggins in box 4, folder 6; neighbors assault Reverend Annan in box 4, folders 35 and 36) and in settling debts; arguments among church members (disagreements about Reverend Odlin in Exeter lasted from 1743 to 1755: see box 4, folders 47-53); petitions and reports to royalty and royal Governors from both ordinary citizens and royal officials; pleas for payment for supplies and salaries for soldiers in both the French and Indian War and the Revolutionary Wars (see the relevant years); indications that relationships with the "Indians" were violent in the 1720s (see box 4, folders 10 and 11). Some of these items are tiny fragments, others are oversize proclamations. Some are brief and others are full stories. It is a wide-ranging gathering of material.

Arrangment: The Moffatt and Whipple Family Papers have been divided into 5 series: Series 1. John Moffatt Papers, 1731-1795; Series 2. Kittery Land Holdings, 1651-1751; Series 3. Whipple [Joseph and William's items are filed together], 1760-1820; Series 4. Financial Records, 1729-1758; Series 5. Miscellaneous Manuscripts, 1650-1800.

Subjects: Charters, Church controversies, Clergy, Court records, Deeds, Governors, Indians of North America, Land grants, Merchants, Shipbuilding, Shipping, Ships, Slavery, United States--History--French and Indian War, 1754-1763, United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783

Locations: Alexandria, NH
Exeter, NH
Gilmanton, NH
Greenland, NH
Isles of Shoals, ME and NH
Jefferson, NH
Kittery, ME
Meredith, NH
New Durham, NH
New York
Nottingham, NH
Portsmouth, NH
Salisbury, NH
White Mountains, NH and ME

People: Annan, David, Barefoot, Walter, 1655-1688, Coliord, Peter, Cutts, Samuel, Dudley, Joseph, 1647-1720, Elwyn, Alfred Langdon, 1804-1884, Gilman, John Taylor, 1753-1828, Mason, Robert, Moffatt, John, 1692-1786, Penhallow, Samuel, 1665-1726, Odlin, John, 1681-1754, Odlin, Woodbridge, 1718-1776, Rogers, Robert, 1731-1795, Waldron, Richard, 1615-1689, Wentworth, Benning, 1696-1770, Whipple, Joseph, 1738-1816, Whipple, William, 1730-1785

Credit Line: Gift of Alfred L. Elwyn.

Location Code: TL/1W

Restrictions: Available for research.

Preferred Citation: Moffatt and Whipple Family Papers, 1895.002. New Hampshire Historical Society, Concord, NH. [Date accessed].

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