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Howland-Kirby Family Papers

 Collection
Identifier: SFHL-RG5-067

Scope and Contents

The collection contains primarily transcripts and photocopies of the papers of George Kirby (1794-1882), farmer and local official, of Dartmouth, Mass.; his wife, Abigail H. (Smith) Kirby (1825-1895); their daughter, Rebecca (Kibry) Howland (1825-1895); her husband, Weston Howland (1815-ca. 1901), businessman and merchant, of Fairhaven and New Bedford, Mass.; and their children, Weston, Jr. (1852-1878), Rachel (1853-1934), and Abby S. (1861-1950) Howland, and Alice H. (Howland) Garrett (b. 1867). Chiefly includes personal diaries (1820-1891) of Howland family members and Abigail H. (Smith) Kirby, containing observations on the weather, trips taken, social activities, and daily and family affairs. Diaries of Weston Howland, Jr., include notes on the arrival of whaling ships in New Bedford and details of a controversy over the New Bedford-Fairhaven bridge; those of Abby S., and Rachel describe a trip taken by Abby to New York, N.Y., and Washington, D.C. (1888) and women preaching at Friends meetings; and diaries of Abigail H. (Smith) Kirby reflect her philosophical and religious life as well as involvement in the Dartmouth Friends meeting. Also contains correspondence, diaries, poems, property records, and other papers of Weston Howland, his wife, daughter, Alice H. (Howland) Garrett, and his mother, Abigail (Hathaway) Howland (1774-1867); papers of George Kirby including town records (1827-1849) of Dartmouth, Mass., particularly relating to his duties as town treasurer; and genealogical materials.

Dates

  • circa 1790-circa 1973

Creator

Limitations on Accessing the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Copyright and Rights Information

Copyright has not been assigned to Friends Historical Library All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in to the Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Friends Historical Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by reader.

Biographical / Historical

Weston Howland (1815-ca. 1901) was a birthright Quaker and a prominent businessman involved in the whale oil industry. The Howland Family lived in and around New Bedford, Dartmouth, and Fairhaven, MA. The collection includes his will, correspondence, as well as papers related to his business. Weston married Rebecca Kirby (1825-1895), the daughter of George and Abigail Kirby. George Kirby (1794-1882) was both treasurer and tax collector for the town of Dartmouth. His financial and personal papers are included in the collection. Weston Howland, Jr. (1852-1878), son of Weston and Rebecca Howland, joined the family whale oil business. His correspondence with his parents as well as his journals are included in the papers. The journals of his sister, Rachel (1853-1934), are also included in the collection. One of his other sisters, Alice (b. 1867) was the mother of the donor of the collection, Elizabeth Howland Jordan.

Extent

1.5 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language

English

Overview

Howland and Kirby families were Quakers of Dartmouth, Fairhaven, and New Bedford, Mass. The collection contains primarily transcripts and photocopies of their papers. Of particular interest are dairies of Weston Howland, Jr., with notes on the arrival of whaling ships in New Bedford and details of a controversy over the New Bedford-Fairhaven bridge; those of Abby S., and Rachel, which describe a trip taken by Abby to New York, N.Y., and Washington, D.C. (1888) and women preaching at Friends meetings; and papers of George Kirby including town records (1827-1849) of Dartmouth, Mass., particularly relating to his duties as town treasurer; and genealogical materials.

Arrangement

The collection is divided into six series:
  1. Biographical and genealogical
  2. Weston Howland
  3. Howland family
  4. Hathaway family
  5. Kirby family
  6. Miscellaneous

Physical Location

For current information on the location of materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donor: Elizabeth Howland Jordan, 1990, 1993

Donor is a descendent of Weston and Rebecca (Kirby) Howland.

Related Materials

See also:
  1. Substantial overlap of materials with Howland Family Papers, 1798-ca. 1973, held in Old Dartmouth Historical Society Whaling Museum Library, New Bedford, Mass.

Creator

Title
An Inventory of the Howland-Kirby Family Papers, circa 1790-circa 1973
Author
FHL staff
Date
1993
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English
Sponsor
Encoding made possible by a grant by the Gladys Kriebel Delmas Foundation to the Philadelphia Consortium of Special Collections Libraries

Find It at the Library

Most of the materials in this catalog are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. Please see our website for more information about visiting Friends Historical Library of Swarthmore College Library

Contact:
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Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA