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Howland-Shearman Family Correspondence

 Collection
Identifier: SFHL-RG5-303

Scope and Contents

The collection is composed of correspondence related to the families of David Sands Shearman and his wife, Hepsa Hathaway Howland Shearman of New Bedford, Massachusetts, and Poughkeepsie, New York. The Shearman and Howlands were prominent New England Quaker merchant and whaling families, intertwined by business and marriage. Most of the correspondence is directed to Hepsa, largely from her children who pursued a range of careers. Some of the early correspondence is with her husband Captain David Sands Shearman while he was at sea. They contain business and family information as well as mention of Quaker meetings. Letters from his cousin Abraham Shearman mention whaling. Hepsa corresponded regularly with her family in New Bedford, MA. In 1874, their daughter Mary Eliza married Thomas Kimber, railroad executive and Quaker minister. Her letters and the correspondence of sister Alice D. Shearman convey family news and interests including Quaker concerns.

Dates

  • 1800 - 1916
  • Majority of material found within 1832 - 1899

Creator

Biographical / Historical

Hepsa Hathaway Howland was born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, on 6 mo 12, 1806, the daughter of Pardon Howland (1777-1821) and Hepsa Hathaway (1777-1856), Quakers of New Bedford Monthly Meeting. She had six surviving siblings: Pardon (1803-1856), Elizabeth L. (1808-1837), Benjamin Franklin (1810-1888), Henry Stoddard (1812-1877), Mary Taber (1814-1906) who married Captain John A. Delano, and Hannah (1818-1891) who married Henry W. McCoughtry. Hepsa's father was a sea captain and the son of Gideon and Sarah Hicks Howland. Hepsa H. Howland married David Sands Shearman (1802-1852), also a sea captain, on 6 mo 23, 1826. He was the son of Captain David Shearman and Ann Tucker Shearman, Quakers of Dartmouth, Massachusetts. His siblings were Eliza, Hannah Tucker (1801-1858) who married William C. Taber in 1819 in New Bedford, MA., and Joseph Tucker. David S. and Hepsa H. H. Shearman had twelve children: David Sands (1827-1847), Anna (1828-1830), Isabella (1830-1832), Anna Russell (1832-1836), Joseph Tucker (1834-1894), Abraham (1836-1862), Mary Eliza (1838-1921)), Alice Delano (1840-1931), Henry Franklin (1842-1922), John Delano (1843-1929)), Isaac Haviland (1845-1879), and David Sands (1848-1857). In 1834, the family removed to Nine Partners Monthly Meeting in Poughkeepsie. After David Shearman's death in 1852, his widow and children returned to New Bedford. Hepsa and daughter Mary Eliza transferred to Philadelphia Monthly Meeting of the Western District in 1867. Joseph T. Shearman first followed his father into seamanship, but later in life worked in Philadelphia, Stroudsburg, Pa., and Kentucky. Abraham also was a sailor and died in his twenties. Mary Eliza Shearman married Thomas Kimber in 1874 under the care of New York Monthly Meeting (Orthodox). Kimber (1825-1890) was a Philadelphia merchant and railroad executive. In later life he devoted himself to Christian evangelism and was acknowledged as minister by New York Monthly Meeting in 1878. Mary Eliza traveled with him in the ministry and also was an acknowledged minister. Another daughter, Alice Delano Shearman (1840-1931) did not marry. She lived with her mother and later with her neice Hepsa H. L. Donaldson in Queens, NY. Henry F. Shearman worked in England for many years and became a naturalized citizen in 1886, changing his name to H. F. Howland-Russell. John Delano Shearman married Emmy F. Addams in 1865 under the care of New York Monthly Meeting. Isaac Haviland Shearman married Sarah ("Susie") and settled in Philadelphia, Pa. Hepsa Hathaway Howland Shearman died on 1 mo 10, 1892, and is buried in Friends Burial Ground, New Bedford.

Extent

1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language

English

Overview

The collection is composed of correspondence of the family of David Sands Shearman and his wife, Hepsa Hathaway Howland Shearman of New Bedford, Massachusetts, and Poughkeepsie, New York. The Shearman and Howlands were prominent New England Quaker merchant and whaling families, intertwined by business and marriage. Much of the correspondence is directed to Hepsa, largely from her children who pursued a range of careers. Early correspondence is with her husband Captain David Sands Shearman, her siblings, and his relations and contains business and family information from New Bedford, MA, and Poughkeepsie, NY.

Arrangement

Arranged in three series. Series 1 contains family correspondence between David and Hepsa Shearman and letters from their siblings, as well as their letters to their children. Series 2 is largely composed of letters to Hepsa H. H. Shearman and her daughters from her children. Series 1 and 2 are organized by correspondent. Series 3 contains a small number of miscellaneous items.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Acc. 2014.043

Related Materials

Howland-Shearman family letters 1835-1865. William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
Status
Completed
Author
Susanna Morikawa
Date
2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Find It at the Library

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