Legal Records of the Smack L.A. Macomber

Manuscripts Collection 45


Overview of the Collection

Repository: G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport
Creator: L.A. Macomber (Smack)
Title: Legal Records of the Smack L.A. Macomber
Dates: 1863-1876
Extent: ca. 50 items
Abstract: Legal briefs (chiefly rough drafts), probate certificates, and powers of attorney, relating to the destruction of the L.A. MACOMBER. Includes copy of rules of the Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims, together with act organizing the court (1874); correspondence to lawyer Frederick A. Holmes, of Mystic River, Conn., representing the complainants (i.e. owner and crew of vessel) from John Davis, clerk of the court, relating to the cases; and letter giving final disposition of each case.
Identification: Coll.45

History of the Smack L.A. MACOMBER

The smack L.A. MACOMBER was built at Noank, Connecticut in 1853. Her length was 53′ 3″, breadth 17′ 6″, depth 6′, and she measured 47 23/95 tons. She was described as a sloop rigged fishing smack.

The vessel was lying at anchor off Nantucket shoals on June 17, 1863 when she was captured and destroyed by the Confederate Bark TACONY. At the time of her destruction the MACOMBER had been out fishing for over a week and had on board approximately 2/3 of a cargo of fish.

Frederick A. Holmes, an attorney from Mystic River, Connecticut, represented the complainants, i.e. the owners and crew of the vessel, before the Alabama Claims Court (circa 1874-1876). The cases were numbered 1036 through 1042 by the Alabama Claims Commissioners.

The complainants were Elihu Potter (for James Potter), interest; Francis A. and Henry W. Brooks, 1/4 interest; Eunice Brown (for Pardon T. Brown), 1/8 interest; Sara P. Morse (for Stephen Morse), 1/8 interest; Joseph Lamphere, Nelson H. Peekham, Sally Ann Lamb (for Charles Barber); Charles F. Potter (crewman).

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Scope and Content

The collection contains complainant’s briefs, supporting documentation, copies of the “Rules of the Court of Commissioners of the Alabama Claims” and the Act organizing the court, related correspondence and the final disposition of each case.

Briefs are files numerically and are followed by related paperwork.

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Restrictions on Access

Available for use in the Manuscripts Division.

Restrictions on Use

Various copying restriction apply. Guidelines are available from the Manuscripts Division.

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Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the catalog of the G. W. Blunt White Library. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons or places should search the catalog using these headings.


Davis, John–Correspondence
Holmes, Frederick A.–Correspondence

Corporate Entities:

Tucony (Bark)
United States. Court of Commissioners of Alabama Claims


Nantucket (Mass.)
Noank (Conn.)
United States–History–Civil War, 1861-1865–Claims
United States–History–Civil War, 1861-1865–Naval operations


Alabama claims

Document Types:

Powers of attorney


Lawyers–Connecticut–Mystic River

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Coll. 45, Manuscripts Collection, G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Papers; 1861-1875. Top →

Box Folder
1 1 Two drafts of legal brief #1036, filed before the ALABAMA Claims Court on behalf of the owners of the smack L.A. MACOMBER, evidently written and presented by Frederick A. Holmes of Mystic River, Connecticut, circa 1875. Also an enrollment for the vessel. Images
2 Complainant’s Brief # 1037: Elihu H. Potter, for loss of personal effects and 1/2 interest in the L. A. MACOMBER. Also a Probate Court Certificate and a Power of Attorney (E. H. Potter to Frederick A. Holmes). Images
3 Complainant’s Brief # 1038: Joseph Lamphere, for loss of wages and personal effects. Also a Certificate of Rule and two Powers of Attorney. Images
4 Complainant’s Brief # 1039: Nelson H. Peekham, and also two Powers of Attorney. Images
5 Complainant’s Brief # 1040: Sally Ann Lamb, Powers of Attorney to Federick A. Holmes. Images
6 Complainant’s Brief # 1041: Charles F. Potter, for wages and personal effects. Also a Power of Attorney. Images
7 Complainant’s Brief # 1042: Sara P. Morse, for personal effects and 1/8 interest in the L.A. MACOMBER. Also two Power of Attorneys. Images
8 Eunice M. Brown (#1036): Power of Attorney and Probate Certificate relative to 1/8 interest in the L.A. MACOMBER.. Images
9 Francis A. Brooks (#1036): Draft of petition and Power of Attorney, relative to 1/4 interest in the L.A. MACOMBER. Images
10 Correspondence from ALABAMA Claims Commission to Frederick Holmes relative to cases #1036-1042, including a letter containing final disposition of each case..