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Special Collections: Guide to the Westerfield Historical Collection

Collection title: Westerfield Historical Collection
Collection number: MS 622
Dates of collection:
Size of collection: 1 box


Peggy Westerfield, a resident of Camden, Maine, collected historical documents, manuscripts, and textiles for many years. She donated and sold much of her collection to Colby College, Bowdoin College, and the Brooklyn Museum.

Scope and Content Note

A non-systematic collection of personal and business papers, including ship logs, diaries, account books, and family letters from 1783-1890. Most of the documents are from 1850-60, and chiefly from Maine. It is unknown whether all the material is from the same greater family, or perhaps miscellaneous collected material. Certain family connections are apparent in the personal letters.

Personal letters include family correspondence of late 18th century-19th century. Maine family names include: Goss, Sewall, Waterhouse, Morgan, Barber, Dunham, Merrill, Merritt, Bickford, Bromer, Dennison, Maxim, Thomas, McDonald, Murch, Philbrook, Clark, Cookson, Bridgham. Sentimental letters between Ambrose and Maria Philbrook (1855-59), and letters sent to Mary Bickford from her brothers and an admirer (1862-65) contain Civil War sentiments and experiences. L. Humphrey's diary (F11) reflects twenty-five years of his life in the early 1800's. The ship's logs contain drawings, doodles, and aside comments. 18th century documents include an accounts book (F20), and a tax list (F25). There is one published document in the collection, John Truair's Call From the Ocean or Appeal to the Patriot and the Christian In Behalf of Seamen (1826). Almost sixty years of land sales and transfers (27 documents) detail the rise to prominence of the Rusell family of Pittsfield and Dover-Foxcroft, Maine (F21 & F22). There are photocopies of two non-personal letters from P.T.Barnum.

Arrangement is basically as it was found, by type of correspondence. The folders are numbered consecutively, but have been arranged into three series: I. Personal Papers II. Business Papers III. Miscellaneous.

Series Description

I. Personal Papers: Letters (9 folders) Journals, Diaries, Copybooks (4 folders)

II. Business Papers: Log Books (2 folders) Accounts, Records, Deeds (6 folders)

III. Miscellaneous: Map of Georgia; North Carolina Court List; Tax List; Lottery Letter; Truair, John. Call From the Ocea n, or An Appeal to the Patriot and the Christian in Behalf of Seamen. New York, The American Seaman's Friend Society, Printed by John Gray & Co., 1826. (4 folders)

Contents of Box

Series I. Personal Papers: Letters

F1- Personal letters - Family names include Sady E. North, Samuel Goss, H.B.Russell, Issac Merritt, N.L.Higbie, A.R.Waterman, Ida C.Fisher, H.Sewall to Jotham Sewall (June 14,1795)
F2 - Personal letters - 45 letters from members of the same greater family, mother Mary N. Morgan and her married children. Also, an unsigned poem, "Warning or Beware"; and a printed agreement of the West Danville Burying Ground Society with Lewis Goss of Auburn.
F3 - Personal letters - 23 letters, written chiefly to Mary Bickford, but including some between other cousins (perhaps enclosed and sent on?) 1855-1862. Also, an unsigned poem of 16 lines, and Mary A. Bickford's teaching certificate.
F4 - Personal letters - 11 letters from Thomas McDonald to Mary Bickford, including a note on an envelope, 1860-1863. (the last 5 from California)
F5 - Personal letters - 6 letters and a poem. Family names include Clara, C.S., C.M., Eleanor, and Ellen Maxim; Ellen Murch and Lois Thomas - all from Thorndike, Swanville and Alton, Maine.1872-1896. The hand-written poem, "All to Christ I Owe."
F6 - Personal letters - 12 Civil War letters from C.O. Stevens, G.W. Morgan, Luther Morgan, J. W. Morgan, and F. Barker to Mary Bickford (1862-1865)
F7 - Personal letters - Letters to and from Ambrose and Maria Philbrook, 1855-1859. 3 other family letters. An envelope with a family history; and 8 pages of notes and details of the Philbrook letters.
F8 - Personal letters - 2 copies of letters signed P.T.Barnum.

Journals, Diaries, and Copybooks

F9 - "Journal begun Monday June 9,1817" (through February 14,1818)
F10 - Diary - "Reuben St. Johns Book, bought April; 17,1830, price 25 cents"
F11 - "Memorandum and Diary" begun February 26,1814, by L.Humphrey (through 1840, but not complete.) Includes comments on the early 1800's, farm prices, teaching experiences, struggles with becoming a Baptist, and being elected a selectman in Jay, Maine.
F12 - 2 Copybooks: 1866 and late 19th c.

Series II. Business Papers

F13 - Log of the ship "St. Andrew" and the Brig "Puritan" kept by William Rivers, Begun on April 4,1840. ("of Boston bound to Liverpool")
F14 - 2 logs: (1)"Elvira Owen", 45 day passage from New York to Havre and back, 1853. (2) Brig "Phoebe" from Castine to Martinique, leaving December 22, 1829. (including details of the rigging and hull structure)
F15 - Handwritten contract for shipbuilding specifications, dated December 29, 1865. Also, the payroll for "S.S. Jonarranda" of New York, M.C. Brickley, Master. (undated)
F16 - Account Book
F17 - Account Book
F18 - Account Book
F19 - Account Book of George G. Lovejoy, Rockland, Maine. (Dec.15,1841-April 6,1858)
F20 - Accounts Book (in English money) dated June 8, 1785.
F21 - Estate Records of Samuel B. Russell, 1836-1888.
F22 - 27 Deeds of Record involving land sales and transfers between S.B. Russell, M.B. Russell, H.B. Russell, G.E. Russell and others. (1828- 1887)

Series III. Miscellaneous

F23 - Map of Georgia
F24 - Superior Court Sittings - North Carolina. (" for the month ending Sept.30, 1867.") Judge Robert B. Gilliam.
F25 - Tax List - 1783. ("Commonwealth tax No.3, 1783, Southwitt Bill") Listed in English currency units. Names include Elijah Howard, Ephraim Randell, Alisha Leacky.
F26 - Paperback tract. Call From the Ocean or Appeal to the Patriot and the Christian In Behalf of Seamen" by John Truair. 1826.
F27 - Lottery solicitation letter from Fletcher & Co.


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: 03/31/2015
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