Matthew Howland
Letter Book, 1858-1879

Mss: 252

Historical Note:

Matthew, son of George and Susan Howland, was born August 27, 1814 in New Bedford and died there on September 29, 1884. He was active in whale fishery for most of his life with his father and his brother, George. Matthew Howland, a life-long member of the Society of Friends, was an elder and clerk of the New Bedford Monthly Meeting for about thirty years. In addition to his whaling interests, he was director of the National Bank of Commerce and its predecessor, the Bedford Commercial Bank. Howland married Rachel Collins Smith of Philadelphia in 1842. Mrs. Howland, a member of the Society of Friends, was a minister in that faith for fifty-five years. The couple had four children.

Scope and Content:

The collection consists of one letter book containing copies of letters sent to his brother, George, Captain Philip Howland, Captain Paul Greene, Captain G. P. Pomeroy, Captain Valentine Lewis, Captain Robert Jones, P. S. Wilcox, Captain Joseph Green, Grafton Hillman, Captain James Stewart, Captain Edward B. Phinney, Charles F. Winslow, Crisanto Medina, Esq. [Secretary of United States and Ecuador Joint Commission on Claims], Gideon and Company, Samuel Leonard and Son, Thomas G. Hunt, George F. Bartlett, Mrs. John Dexter, Captain Edmund Kelly, Captain S. F. Davis, Madam Julia de Grandchamps, Young Stanburgh, Mrs. D. A. Cushman, H. M. Knowlton, George G. Massey, Sutton and Company, Freeman Smith and Company and others. The bulk of the letters concern sperm whaling in the Arctic; vessels mentioned include George and Susan, Joseph S. Spinney, Clara Bell, Lottie Beard and P. R. Hazeltine. A small number of the letters document personal concerns such as the death of family members, the Society of Friends or purchases of clothing.

Provenance : Gift of Charles H. Taylor.

Amount: 1 volume