Edward Lupton Papers

Manuscripts Collection 110

Overview of the Collection

Repository: G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport
Creator: Lupton, Edward (d.1878)
Title: Edward Lupton Papers
Dates: 1862-1917
Extent: 115 items
Abstract: Correspondence, contracts, accounts, legal documents, specifications, and other papers, relating to Lupton’s claims against the U.S. Navy Dept. for cost overruns during the building of the gunboat LENAPEE during the Civil War. The claims were later continued by his estate.
Identification: Coll. 110

Biography of Edward Lupton

Edward Lupton was born in Williamsburg, New York, and died in 1878.

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Scope and Content

Edward Lupton contracted with the U.S. Navy to build a wooden paddle-wheel gunboat known as a double ender, subsequently named the LENAPEE, in September 1862 for a sum of $75,000.00. The contract provided that the hull should be launched within 126 days (January 13, 1863) from the date of the contract and that the vessel should be completed 50 days after delivery of the hull to the engine builders. The LENAPEE was launched June 7, 1863, a delay of 145 days, and she was completed December 5, 1864, a total delay of 640 days.

The Navy ordered numerous alterations in the plans of the vessel and did not always furnish revised drawings etc, on time. Factors like these, according to Lupton, accounted for the delays which forced the costs in labor and material higher and higher, until it eventually totaled out to $149, 624.61, a loss to him of $68,201.13.Lupton presented his claim to Congress in March, 1864, and in July 1865 to a board of Naval officers, known as the Selfridge Board who determined that Lupton may have lost approximately $18,500.00. They reported the fact to Congress but there was evidently no award ever granted, although claims were continued by Lupton and his estate up to 1917.

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The 115 pieces are arranged in 16 file folders. The first 11 folders contain documents marked Exhibit “A” through Exhibit “L”. (Exhibit “E” is missing) and contain copies of the original contract, statements, specifications and related correspondence. Folders 12 and 13 contain construction specific documents. The remaining three folders contain correspondence, arranged chronologically, pertaining to the LENAPEE.

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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.

Corporate Entities:

Lenapee (Gunboat)
United States. Navy


United States–History–Civil War, 1861-1865–Claims
United States–History–Civil War, 1861-1865–Naval operations
Williamsburg (New York, N.Y.)


Decedents’ estates–New York (State)–New York
Shipbuilding industry–New York (State)–New York

Document Types:

Accounts–New York (State)–New York
Contracts–New York (State)–New York
Legal documents–New York (State)–New York
Specifications–New York (State)–New York


Shipbuilders–New York (State)–New York

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Coll. 110, Manuscripts Collection, G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.

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Index to Personal, Corporate and Vessel Names

NOTE: The fraction(s) indicate the Box and Folder numbers where that particular reference can be found. For example, the researcher will find information about A.L. Allen in Box 1, Folder 14 of the collection.
Allen, A.L. 1/14
American Bonding Co. of Baltimore 1/16
Blair, John S. 1/16
Brock, Charles N. 1/15
Burrill, Charles 1/15
Crolius, ? 1/15
Crown, ? (Capt.) 1/15
Davidson & Underhill 1/16
Davidson, Alfred T. 1/16
Decker & Brown 1/15
Fletcher, Montgomery 1/14
Globe Works 1/4, 1/16, 2/1
Gregory, ? (Admiral) 1/14, 1/15
Grey, Shepeler & Co. 1/15
Hawkins, Elbert Allen 1/16
Helburg, ? 1/15
Hendrick, ? 1/15
Ives, Fred 1/16
Ives, Grace 1/16
James C. Jewett & Co. 1/15
Lenthal, John 1/14
MacKay, ? 1/16
Marchand, B. 1/14
Morse & Chapman 1/15
Niles, Samuel V. 1/14
Peak, S.M. 1/14
Pitcher, Tracey 1/15
Ponder, ? 1/15
Quintard, George W. 1/14
Rengold, ? (Commordore) 1/14
Rosenplanter, ? 1/15
Sanger, George P. 1/15
Schepeler & Co. 1/15
Secor & Co. 1/16
Seig, Rudolph 1/15
Selfridge, Thomas D. 1/14
Welles, Gideon 1/14
Westervelt, ? 1/15

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Detailed Description of the Collection

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

Exhibits; 1864-1908. Construction documents; 1862. Correspondence; 1862-1917. Top →

Box Folder
1 1 Exhibit “A” Bill of extras involved in building LANEPEE. Images
2 Exhibit “B” Statement of costs for construction. Images
3 Exhibit “C” Statement of costs and bills of extras. Images
4 Exhibit “D” Cost data and statements. Images
5 Exhibit “F” Report of the Secretary of the Navy. Images
6 Exhibit “G” Letter of the Secretary of the Navy. Images
7 Exhibit “H” Specification for building hull. Images
8 Exhibit “I” Statement. Images
9 Exhibit “J” Contract. Images
10 Exhibit “K” Addenda to building contract. Images
11 Exhibit “L” Petition. Images
12 Costs sheets. Images
13 Specifications. Images
14 Letters, etc. relative to Lupton Claims. Images
15 Correspondence. Images
16 Correspondence. Images