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Batchelder Family Collection

 Collection
Identifier: CHC045
Ranging from 1854-1891, this collection is primarily composed of some financial and estate records of Samuel Batchelder III and his wife, Marianne Washburn. The collection also contains documents dealing with the final distribution of the estate of Batchelder’s father, cotton manufacturer Samuel Batchelder II. Also represented in these papers is an employee of the Batchelder family, Jeremiah Downing. Downing worked as a laborer and gardener for Samuel Batchelder III, and after Batchelder’s death he brought a lawsuit against the family. The legal records of this case compose the remainder of the collection.

Dates

  • 1854-1891

Language of Materials

Material in English.

Access

Collection is available for research under the CHC rules of use.

Copyright Notice

Copyright for materials resides with the creators of the items in question, unless otherwise designated.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to understand and observe copyright law and to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyright. Questions concerning copyright and permission to publish should be directed to the Cambridge Historical Commission Archives.

Extent

1 linear foot (2 cartons)

Overview

This collection is primarily composed of some financial and estate records of Samuel Batchelder III and his wife, Marianne Washburn. The collection also contains documents dealing with the final distribution of the estate of Batchelder’s father, cotton manufacturer Samuel Batchelder II. Also represented in these papers is an employee of the Batchelder family, Jeremiah Downing. Downing worked as a laborer and gardener for Samuel Batchelder III, and after Batchelder’s death he brought a lawsuit against the family. The legal records of this case compose the remainder of the collection. The collection dates from 1854 to 1891.

Historical Note

The Batchelder family members were wealthy and prominent residents of Cambridge in the second half of the 19th century. Samuel Batchelder II was born in 1784 in Jaffrey, N.H., and in 1808 began business as a cotton manufacturer in New Ipswich. Having established and presided over cotton mills throughout New England, Samuel Batchelder II finally retired to Cambridge in 1842 and left business a few years later. He purchased the Henry Vassal House at 96 Brattle Street, where he lived until his death in 1879. His son, Samuel Batchelder III was born in 1830, and was a lawyer and resident of Cambridge. He married Marianne Giles Washburn, the daughter of a former governor, and had a daughter, Mary Emory, and a son, Samuel Francis. As this collection shows, he was active in the parish of Christ Church and served as its treasurer until his death. Samuel Batchelder III also affected the development of the neighborhood surrounding his Brattle Street home. He laid out Hawthorn and Acacia Streets, and copies of real estate sales and deeds in this collection attest to his impact on the physical development of Cambridge. Samuel Batchelder III died in Cambridge in April 1888.

Collection Arrangement

  1. Series I: Batchelder, Marianne 1877-1888
  2. Series II: Batchelder, Samuel II 1854-1888
  3. Series III: Batchelder, Samuel III - Records 1867-1888
  4. Series IV: Batchelder, Samuel III – Will and Estate 1888-1890
  5. Series V: Downing, Jeremiah 1879-1891
  6. Series VI: Felix's Shoe Repair (undated)
Additional Note: A journal of the attorney William Vaughan and a ledger of the First Parish Ministerial fund arrived with the collection, but do not appear to be directly related to the Batchelder family. These are preserved at the end of Series V.

Physical Location

Collection is stored on-site

Provenance

This collection was purchased in 2004 by Charles Sullivan, Director of the Cambridge Historical Commission. The collection was sold on Ebay by collectibles dealer Ron Goodrich of Shrewsbury, MA. While the seller of the collection could provide no account of the papers’ provenance, it is fairly clear that these papers originated in the office of Samuel Batchelder III’s lawyer, William W. Vaughan of Boston. The papers in this collection are all legal and financial in nature, and no personal letters, diaries or photographs are included. Further, a majority of items in the collection include a stamp with date of receipt and the phrase “At Office of W.W. Vaughan.” The collection also originally included a ledger used in Vaughan’s law practice that does not appear to relate to the Batchelder family in particular. From these facts it is possible to infer that these papers were originally collected by the Batchelder family’s lawyer.

Related Sources:

See also Historical Commission biographical file on Samuel Batchelder.

Processing Information

Processed by Alice Dodds, 2009.

Finding aid by Aimee Dus, 2010.

Encoded by: Brittany Fox, May 2020.
Title
Inventory of the Batchelder Family Collection, 1854-1891
Author
Processing by Alice Dodds, 2009. Finding aid updated by Aimee Dus, 2010.
Description rules
Finding aid was prepared using DACS
Language of description
Description is in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge Historical Commission Archives Repository

Contact:
831 Massachusetts Avenue
2nd Floor
Cambridge Massachusetts 02139 US
617-349-4683