Coffin family papers
@ Historic New England
DescriptionAcquired from Margaret E.C. Merriam, 1929The Coffin family papers (MS010) focus on domestic, commercial, and civic life during the mid-seventeenth century through the early twentieth century, reflecting the life and work of the Coffin and Coleman families of Newbury, Massachusetts. Materials within the collection relate to the towns of Newbury, West Newbury, and Newburyport in Massachusetts; Buxton, Maine (formerly Narragansett); and Contoocook, New Hampshire. Comprised primarily of land deeds, estate papers, account books, and correspondence, the papers highlight the role of the town proprietors, the daily operation of the Coffin family tannery business, the running of the Coffin family household and estate, and the life of merchant sailors. Material relating to the "Siamese Twins," Chang and Eng Bunker (1811-1874), and their relationship with the Coffin family through Abel Coffin (1792-1837) and Susan (Hale) Coffin (1792-1837) is also included in the collection; there is also material relating to abolitionist John Brown (1800-1859). The collection is arranged in nineteen series. Background: In 1929, Historic New England acquired the Coffin House in Newbury, Massachusetts, from Margaret E.C. Merriam (a fourth great granddaughter of Tristram Coffin, Jr., 1632-1704). The papers within the house at the time of acquisition formed the bases of the collection: Coffin family manuscripts collection (now MS010). In 1986, intern Amey Case Callahan processed the papers and created the original finding aid. Callahan arranged the papers into series, chronologically by family member or by groups of relatives (i.e., siblings), then by record type; bound account books were placed into a separate...
Family Papers Manuscripts
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