To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives

Connecticut residents were heavily involved in the settlement and development of the area of Ohio called the Western Reserve. In fact, there is a Western Reserve Historical Society. They look at the area from the Ohio “side” while we look at it from the Connecticut “side”. One family heavily invested in the Western Reserve was the Hart family of Saybrook, Conn. Continue reading


Auction announcement, Samuel F. Jarvis papers, 1805-1880, Ms 68815. Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, CT

We have several collections in our archives pertaining to the prominent Hart family of Old Saybrook, Connecticut. This poster may be found in the papers of Rev. Samuel F. Jarvis, Jr (Ms 68815). Rev. Jarvis was the son of Sarah McCurdy Hart and Rev. Samuel F. Jarvis, Sr.; grandson of Capt. Elisha Hart; and nephew of Ann McCurdy Hart Hull, Mrs. Commodore Isaac Hull.

The collection contains correspondence, receipts, and estate settlement information.  The Hulls did not have any children, and upon Mrs. Hull’s death, Rev. Jarvis Jr. served as the executor of her estate. This is a small collection, approximately 0.1 linear foot, and about half of it pertains to that estate. It contains several lists of her financial holdings and personal effects.

As you can see from the poster, the Hulls’ personal effects were auctioned off. Though difficult to say what was listed for the auction and what was listed merely for estate settlement purposes, it appears there was plenty to choose from. General household items included finger glasses, dessert plates, decanters, a rug, chairs, and a hammock. More personal effects included a blue veil, slippers, two pairs of drawers, a blue silk sun umbrella, and a perfume bottle. The Hull household had several feather cushions, Brussels stair carpet, and Athenian clay lamps from the Acropolis. The family must have been in a very comfortable financial position.

Rev. Jarvis also seems to have settled the estate of another aunt, Jeannette M. M. Hart. Jeannette left money to several family members and organizations. Among these were the Widows at Madeira, the Madeira Asylum, and two schools in that city. What was her connection to Madeira? Nothing in the collection seems to answer that question, though there is an 1853 circular from the Asylum among the papers.

Circular from Funchal, Madeira, Samuel F. Jarvis papers, 1805-1880, Ms 68815. Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, CT

This collection is open for research. Come visit!

Anchors and figureheads

Although small in size, the collection of Noah Scovell shipping papers, 1768-1812, is filled with some fascinating information.  The collection consists primarily of correspondence and bills and receipts of a Saybrook, Connecticut, ship captain and shipowner and his son. Letters discuss such topics as trading in the West Indies and Portugal, purchasing anchors in New London and New York City, and the purchase of a figurehead in New York.  Bills and receipts reflect the same items–shipping and trade, anchors purchased from Lamberton Cooper and Peter Spencer, and ordering a woman’s figure as a figurehead.  The figurehead information is probably the most unique.  For those who like ship building, there are specifications and other documents concerning the construction of the Ship Northern Liberties.  To round out this collection, there is personal and business correspondence of Noah Scovell, Jr., with letters to his mother, father, and brother Lewis.  This is only one of several collections we own documenting the work and life of Scovell and his son.  He would make a great topic for an article in a historical publication.
Ms 60072