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Special Collections: Guide to the Nathaniel Oaks Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department
September 2004
Introduction and Summary Information
Collection Title: Nathaniel Oaks Papers.
Dates of the Collection: 1791-1935 (inclusive); 1821-1831 (bulk).
Provenance: Gift of Eva Martin Whidden, Birch Harbor, Maine.
Collection Number: MS 370.
Box Numbers: 1 (formerly Cage box 54).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of one document box of material (0.5 cubic feet).
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes.
Preferred Citation: Nathaniel Oaks 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.

This small collection contains papers of Nathaniel Oaks of Chelsea, Vermont, and Exeter, Maine. It also contains documents from other residents of Exeter.
The Oaks family, also spelled Oak or Oakes, originally settled in Massachusetts. Nathaniel Oak was born in 1751 in Westborough, Massachusetts and died in 1840 in Exeter, Maine. He seems to have moved to Chelsea, Vermont before settling in Exeter between 1805 and 1810. From documents in the collection he and his son Nathaniel
Oak, Jr., appear to have owned a farm of 300 acres in Exeter. Nathaniel Oak, Jr. seems to have died in 1907 at which time his property passed to Chalma A. Cooley and Edward W. Ide of Exeter.
Also found in the collection are papers of Benjamin Evans, who was the first physician in Exeter, settling there in 1817.
Scope and Content Note
The collection contains correspondence, legal documents, and other personal papers of several individuals who lived in Exeter, Maine in the 19th and 20th centuries. Included are 19th century materials of Nathaniel Oaks, Matthew Hedges, Benjamin Evans, Benjamin Evans, Jr., and Samuel Cortland and 20th century papers of Chalma and Eva Cooley and Eva Martin. The relationship among these individuals is unclear.
The collection also contains various materials which cannot be linked to any particular individual; these include accounts of wages paid for farm work, advertisements, printed pamphlets and postcards.

Box List
Box 1
1 Letters to Nathaniel Oak, Exeter, Maine, 1824, 1825, 1836
2 Nathaniel Oak: deeds in Chelsea, Vermont, 1791-1821
3 Oak legal documents, 1795, 1832
4 Nathaniel Oak: bill, 1820
5 Regimental orders to Nathaniel Oakes, Exeter, 1816, 1818
6 Letter to Matthew Hedges, Exeter, 1817
7 Benjamin Evans: correspondence, deeds, etc., 1830’s-1850’s
8 Benjamin Evans: essay and copybooks, 1809-1813
9 Benjamin Evans: Free Will Baptist documents, 1825-1861, undated
10 Benjamin Evans, Jr.: essays, etc.
11 Samuel Cortland: Bankbooks, 1821, 1848; Dartmouth College document, 1816(?)
12 Chalma and Eva Cooley: correspondence, legal documents, etc., 1908-1935
13 Eva Martin material, 1920’s, 1932
14 Accounts of wages paid, etc., 1807-1808, 1827
15 Advertisements
16 Highway surveyor’s book of J.P. Higgins, Exeter, 1876
17 Legal documents, Exeter, 1832, 1834
18 Blank legal forms
19 Miscellaneous printed materials, 1813, 1828-1831, undated
20 Miscellaneous postcards, booklets, etc.

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 or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: | Revised: 03/23/2015
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