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Special Collections: Guide to the Moses Giddings Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department
October 2003
 
Introduction and Summary Information
 
Collection Title: Moses Giddings Papers.
Dates of the Collection: 1846-1938 (inclusive); 1848-1908 (bulk).
Provenance: The Moses Giddings papers came to Special Collections in 1983 as a gift of Henry D. Burrage, executor of the estate of Mildred Giddings Burrage.
Collection Number: MS 201.
Box Numbers: 1-4 (formerly Boxes 1634 and 1635).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of 3 archival document boxes and one oversized box of material (1 cubic foot).
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Photographs have been housed in polypropylene sleeves and remain with the relevant documents.
Preferred Citation: Moses Giddings Papers, Special Collections, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine.
Restrictions on Access and Use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.
 
Biography
 
Moses Giddings was born in Bangor, Maine, on September 29, 1816, and lived there until his death in 1911. He began his working life as a clerk for the Norcross Lumber Company, gaining practical knowledge of all branches of the lumber business. After a few years, he went into business for himself, gradually enlarging his operations until he became one of the leading lumber merchants and owners of timberlands in Maine. He was also involved in the shipping business, sending vessels to foreign ports and bringing them back loaded with various goods from those ports. He owned part interest in the ship “Golden Rocket,” burned at sea in 1861 as the first vessel captured by the Confederate ship “Sumter.”
 
Giddings served for many years as the president of the Bangor & Piscataquis Railroad Company; during his term the railroad was extended from Blanchard to Greenville, Maine. He was also a trustee of the Bangor Savings Bank. Active in civic and religious organizations, he was superintendent of the Sunday school at the First Baptist Church in Bangor for more than 40 years. He was also president of the Maine Baptist Conference from 1887 to 1889 and was for many years a member of the Board of Managers of the American Baptist Missionary Union.
 
Beginning in 1852, he served for 59 years as a trustee of Colby College in Waterville, Maine. He was also a member of the board of trustees of Ricker Classical Institute, Houlton, Maine, and of the State Industrial School for Girls in Hallowell, Maine. He also served as the first president of the Good Will-Hinckley Homes for Boys and Girls, founded in 1889 in Fairfield, Maine, as a home and school for children in need.
 
Moses Giddings was married three times: to Mary Shirley, who died in 1851; to Ernestine Chase, who died in 1869; and to Sarah E. Sabine. He had four children from his second marriage: Frederick Chase, Ernestine, Madeleine, and Mary Susan.
 
Moses Giddings died on October 22, 1911.

Scope and Content Note
 
This small collection contains both business and personal papers of Moses Giddings which reflect his interests in philanthropy, education, and religion, as well as his involvement in the lumber and shipping businesses.
 
The collection is arranged in two series: Personal Papers and Business Records. There are no sub-series. The Personal Papers series opens with two folders of correspondence. The first, 1848-1909, contains incoming letters to Giddings and drafts of his replies; it covers both personal and business matters. A major segment originates from Madeira and concerns the loss of a cargo of corn; other letters concern shipping and selling of cargo. This section also contains a letter to Giddings from Joshua L. Chamberlain about the work of the Bible Society of Maine. A second folder of correspondence, 1862-1899, concerns land held by Colby College. This series also contains ledgers of household expenses, 1867-1903; photographs of Giddings and his wife; and articles by and about him from various publications of the Good Will-Hinckley Homes, with which he was actively involved.
 
The Business Records series contains letter books, 1848-1884, of Giddings’s outgoing correspondence, mostly concerning his lumber and shipping ventures; a permits and stumpage ledger, 1897-1906; and financial records including a cashbook, journals, and a ledger. The series ends with information about accounts of the brig “Executive” and the ship “Golden Rocket,” two vessels in which Giddings held interests.
 
Box List
 
Series I: Personal Papers
 
Box 1
 
Folder
 
1 Correspondence and other documents, 1848-1909; undated
2 Correspondence re Colby College land, 1862-1899
3 House expenses, 1867-1903
4 “The Significance of the Good Will Assembly,” by Moses Giddings [in “The Good Will Pines,” Vol. 1, No. 1, 1896, p. 6]
5 Photograph of Moses Giddings, undated
6 Photograph of Moses Giddings, undated [by Notman, 99 Boylston St., Boston, Mass.]
7 Photographs of Moses Giddings [2] and Mrs. Moses Giddings [1], undated
8 “Moses Giddings,” by George W. Hinckley [in “Good Will Record,” Vol. 24, No. 12, Dec. 1911, p. 403]
9 “Unveiling of Two Portraits” [in “Good Will Record,” Vol. 51, No. 1, Jan. 1938]
 
Series II: Business Records
 
Box 2
 
1 Letter book, 1848-1851
2 Letter book, 1851-1857
3 Cover from letter book, 1851-1857
4 Letter book, 1857-1884
Oversized Permits & stumpage, 1897-1906 [Stored in Oversized Box 4]
5 Loose material from permits & stumpage volume, 1897-1906
6 Cashbook, 1874-1901
7 [Expenses], 1846-1852
8 Notes & bills payable, 1856-1882; notes & bills receivable, 1856-1908
9 Journal, 1853-1863
10 Journal, 1854-1864 [Invoices]
 
Box 3
 
1 Journal, 1865-1897
2 Ledger, 1847-1870
3 Loose materials from ledger, 1847-1870

Series II: Business Records cont.
 
Box 3 cont.
 
Folder
 
4 Index to ledger, 1847-1870
5 Brig Executive in account with M. Giddings, 1853-1870
6 Disbursements of ship Golden Rocket in New York, Nov.-Dec. 1860
7 Logs in a/c with M. Giddings, 1871-1872
 
Box 4
 
Oversized material
 
1 Permits & stumpage, 1897-1906
2 Frame for photograph
3 Frame for photograph

Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at spc@umit.maine.edu or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: spc@umit.maine.edu | Revised: 01/10/2014
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