Tudor Family ["Rockwood"]
Records, 1799-1863

Mss: 1
1799-1863
T912

Historical Note:

Frederic Tudor, son of William and Delia (Jarvis) Tudor, was born September 4, 1783 in Boston, Massachusetts. Son of a prominent merchant and scholar, Frederic entered business at age thirteen. At age twenty-one, Frederic and his brother, William, devised a way to send ice to Martinique. Confident that he could prosper financially by selling ice to warmer climes, Frederic spent the next fifteen years perfecting a way to ship ice without loss with the help of his assistant, Nathaniel J. Wyeth. Tudor suffered indebtedness and failure for many years, but eventually The Tudor Ice Company became very successful. .

The Tudor family accumulated the land which made up the Rockwood estate, located in Lynn [now Nahant], Massachusetts, over a period of twenty-five years purchasing adjoining property when available. In August 1787, William Tudor bought six acres of farmland plus thirty-one acres of woodland. In May 1788, father John Tudor purchased three acres of land upon which stood a dwelling house, barn and outbuildings as well as six acres of salt marsh in May 1788. The house and about twelve acres of land stood on the east side of the road from Chelsea to Reading. The barn and remainder of land were on the westerly side of the road. William Tudor purchased two acres of salt marsh in 1790, sixteen acres of farmland in 1793, eight acres of pine grove in 1799 and three more acres in 1801. William transferred the entire parcel via a quitclaim deed to his second son, Frederic, in 1812.

Continuing the family's practice of improving their property, Frederic invested large sums of money in plants, trees and flowers and converted a barren hill into a showplace. In 1825, he built a rustic stone cottage where he resided in the summer. The property is now used as the Nahant Country Club.

Frederic married Euphemia Fenno on January 2, 1834; the couple had six children: (1) Euphemia, b. February 18, 1837; (2) Frederic, b. February 11, 1845; (3) Delia Jarvis, b. March 20, 1847; (4) William, b. September 27, 1848; (5) Eleonora Elizabeth, b. July 1, 1850; and (6) Henry, b. January 21, 1854. Frederic Tudor died in Boston on February 6, 1864.

Scope and Content:

The collections consists of one box of letters, 1799-1863, and one volume, 1807-1814, written by Frederic Tudor and others. The bulk of the material concerns the Rockwood Farm, Nahant, Massachusetts and family financial matters. Although the introduction to the volume invites all family members to add to the contents, entries are all in Frederic Tudor's distinctive handwriting. Description as follows:

B. 1 - Letters Received, 1799-1863. Majority written by Frederic Tudor pertaining to his mother's dower interest in Rockwood, condition of farm, bills and accounts for purchases, surveyor's plat, memoranda of planting, power of attorney, circular premium letters, letters received, receipts, certification of wood cut, illustration of smelt, list of species planted in grass garden, flower garden, fruit room, round garden and peach garden in 1863 compiled by John M. Sheehan.

V. 2 - "Rockwood agricultural records and memoranda of things worthy of attention there" begun October 20,1807. Journal entries in order are: Cider, 1806 (recalled)-1814; Curiosities, 1807, 1809; Wit, 1807, 1814; Hector, 1813 [death of Negro servant]; Queries, 1807, 1809, 1814; Stories, 1807-1809; Apple Trees, 1807, 1811; Ice, 1811; Experiments, 1807-1813; Grape Vines of the Wilderness, 1807; Produce of the Farm, 1807-1811, Opinions, 1807, 1813; Minutes of the Seasons, 1809; Swine, 1809; Bees, 1808; Poultry, 1808; List of Trees & Shrubs existing in the grounds at Rockwood with their names Linneau, French & English; Dyke [sic], 1814; History of the Rockwood Estate, 1787-1812; Memoranda of Work &c, 1809-1814; Beauties [apples], 1814-1815; Sporting callender [sic], 1811-1814; Improvements, 1813-1814; Miseries of Rockwood, 1814; Fence, 1814; and Maxims for farmers, 1814. One foot measure and alphabetical index located at front of volume.

Provenance: Gift of Frederick Tudor, 1934.

Amount: 1 box, 1 volume

Container List:

B. 1 Letters Received, 1799-1863
V. 2"Rockwood agricultural records and memoranda of things worthy of attention there", 1807-1815

See Also:  Tudor Ice Co. Records, HOLLIS #ACZ7613; Additional Tudor Family Papers, HOLLIS #ACZ6701; Tudor Family Papers, HOLLIS #ACZ6700; and Tudor Family, HOLLIS #ACZ6803. Also Photo Collection, Oversize Collection, log of ship Crown Point [1862] as well as articles and clippings located in finding aid folder. The Nahant Country Club maintains a collection of material related to the Tudor family and Rockwood on site.