Gilbert Billings collection

Manuscripts Collection 131

Overview of the Collection

Repository: G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport
Creator: Billings, Gilbert, 1768-1856.
Title: Gilbert Billings collection
Dates: 1775-1856
Extent: 165 pieces
Abstract: The collection is comprised of miscellaneous business papers relative to Gilbert Billing’s shipping and real estate activity in southeastern Connecticut and Chenango County, N.Y.; and miscellaneous family correspondence, photographs, and documents. Also included are shipping records (1795-1798) relating to the brig REBECCA, ship TWO FRIENDS, and schooner ALLIGATOR (all of which he was master); and letters (1817-1839) from Coddington Billings.

Biography of Gilbert Billings, 1768-1856

Gilbert Billings (1768-1856) was 15 years old when he began a seafaring career that was to last nearly 40 years. During this time he was master of the brig REBECCA, the ship TWO FRIENDS, and the schooner ALLIGATOR. In the early 1800’s he retired from the sea with “considerable property” and settled in North Stonington, Connecticut. He later became extensively involved in real estate throughout Southeastern Connecticut and in Chenango County, New York. Billings subsequently moved to Griswold, Connecticut.

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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.


Billings family
Billings, Coddington–Correspondence

Corporate Bodies (Including Vessels):

ALLIGATOR (Schooner)
Rebecca (Brig)
Two Friends (Ship)


Griswold (Conn. : Town)
North Stonington (Conn.)


Real property–Connecticut
Real property–New York (State)–Chenango County

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Coll. 131, 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; 1775-1856
Box Folder
1 1 Shipping records relating to Brig REBECCA, Ship TWO FRIENDS, and schooner ALLIGATOR; 1795-1798
Letter written from New Orleans to Gilbert Billings “of the Brig REBECCA” by Daniel Clark Juny; Oct 12 (unknown year)
2 Sailing instructions to Capt. G. Billings of ship TWO FRIENDS for a voyage “from New Orleans to the Havanna & New York” by Debuys & Remy, possibly agents for the owners, Wm. & Thomas Hersey of New York; undated
3 Letter from Debuys & Remy dated New Orleans, to Captain Gilbert Billings of Ship TWO FRIENDS in Havanna; 1769 Oct 12
4 Receipt dated from New York, shows Capt. Gilbert Billings paid $ 566.37 to Joseph Thebana for freight consigned from New Orleans aboard the ship TWO FRIENDS; 1769 Jun 6
5 Receipt dated from New York, showing Joseph Thebana paid owner of ship TWO FRIENDS $277.05 for freight from New Orleans; 1796 Jun 28
6 Letter dated from Havanna, to “Mr. Billings” in New York, written by J. Gimbal sending harbor permit and asking him to bring various articles to Havanna; 1797 Mar 21
7 Sales of 25 cases of sugar for Capt. G. Billings ($1499.94); undated
8 Articles of agreement between Wm. Dyckman and the undersigned crew of Ship TWO FRIENDS due to a cask of indigo being lost overboard; 1796 Apr
9 “Amount of Specia Shipped Aboard Ship TWO FRIENDS in New Orleans Bound for New York – Gilbert Billings, master”; undated
10 Debit – Credit memorandum of ship TWO FRIENDS; undated
11 Capt. G. Billings of ship TWO FRIENDS in account with William & John Harvey; 1795 Dec-1797 Mar
12 William & John Harvey in account with Gilbert Billings; 1795 Dec-1797 Mar
13 Gilbert Billings in account with Wm. & John Harvey; 1795 Dec-1798 Mar
14 Gilbert Billings, master of ship TWO FRIENDS, in account with Wm. & John Harvey, “Errors Excepted”; 1795 Dec-1797 May
15 Gilbert Billings in account with Wm. & John Harvey; 1797 Mar-1798 Mar
16 Capt. Gilbert Billings in account with Wm. & John Harvey; 1797 Mar-1798 Mar
17 Wm. & John Harvey in account with Gilbert Billings; 1795 Dec-1997 mar
18 Letter dating from New York, detailing instructions for disposal of cargo on board schooner ALLIGATOR, Gilbert Billings, master; 1798 Mar 24
19 Schooner ALLIGATOR and owners to Gilbert Billings – the sum of $203.00; 1798 May-Jun
20 Note in Spanish dealing with Gilbert Billings, New Orleans and Havanna; undated
21 Photograph, with “Billings” written in pencil on the back; undated
2 Gilbert/Nathan Billings; 1799-1819
Deposition of Simon Kouse to Nathan Billings” sickness anddeliriumm in the fall of 1799, used before the court at Middletown; 1802 Jan
Summons for Nathan Billings of Stonington to answer charges of failure to honor a $.90 debt; 1803 May 18
$77.12 estate debt owed to Samuel Hewit by Nathan Billings as executor of Joseph Billings” estate; 1804 Mar 7
Promissory note N. B. to Nathan F. Dixon: $4.49; 1804 Apr 14
Certificate by Stonington selectmen stating that Nathan Billings has no personal estate to satisfy the $77.34 debt owed to Samuel Hewitt; 1804 May 8
Connecticut General Assembly”s appointment placing Nathan Billings under care of Gilbert Billings and authorizing the sale of N. Billing”s land to satisfy the debt now amounting to $80.84; 1804 May 8
Sale of land of Nathan to Sanford Billings for 26 pounds; 1804 May 12
A petition by Coddington Billings demanding payment ($1204.97) owed him by Nathan Billings; 1805 Nov 15
Summons for Nathan Billings to appear and answer charges of failure to pay $ 11.96 – total debt: $14.00; 1807 Nov 4
Deed, Nathan Billings to Sanford Billings; 1806 Feb 22
Gilbert Billings acknowledging receipt of Nathan Billing’s note to Coddington Billings for $150.00, and Gilbert’s declaration of responsibility for the debt; 1814 Sep 15
Note from Nathan Billings requesting Gilbert Billings to charge $15.52 to his account for payment of debt; 1815 Jan 19
Nathan Billing’s discharge; 1815 Jul 18
Note from Nathan Billings to Gilbert Billings for $38.50; 1819 Nov 29
A Bill owed by Nathan Billings; undated
3 Land transactions, deeds, quit claims, and related correspondence; 1792-1842
Deed recording David to Theo. Baldwin; 1792 Oct-1801 Nov
Deed: Theo. Baldwin from David Baldwin, J.; 1792 Oct 13
Lease for land (4 years?) from Theo. Baldwin to Sanford and Gilbert Billings; 1800 Dec 16
Sale of land for $500.00 purchased by Gilbert Billings from Theo. Baldwin; 1801 Nov 9
Promissory note: David Baldwin, Jr. to C. Billings – $81.55; 1802 Sep 24
Promissory note: Theo. Baldwin to G. Billings – $536.00; 1802 Sep 24
Sale of land for $536.00 purchased by G. Billings from Theo. Baldwin; 1802 Sep 24
Account between G. B. and T. Baldwin totaling $416.19; 1808 Sep 26
Receipt and statement by Theo. Baldwin to the effect that G. Billings has discharged his obligation on his note to T. B.; 1808 Oct 2
Account between G. B. and T. Baldwin totaling $1650.53; 1802 Nov 9
Ephraimam William’s deed to Gilbert Billings; 1803 Jul 30
Deed: T. Baldwin to G. Billings; 1803 Aug 16
D. Baldwin mortgage to T. Baldwin: $1121.98; 1803?-Oct
Note from T. Baldwin asking D. Baldwin to pay C. Billings $85.12, D. B. refused to pay it; 1804 Jan 7
G. B. deed from Amos Crandal; 1804 Jun 20
Sale of land (New York) $1,000.00 purchased by G. B. from Joshua Downes; 1804 Oct 2
Certificate of the presence of the Downes/Billings deed dated Oct 2 1804 from the Clerk”s Office Chenango County, N.Y.; 1808 Sep 24
Sale of land $45.00 purchased by G. B. from Augustus Mowry; 1809 Jan 30
Sale of land $1572.02 purchased by G. B. from the estate of Charles Phelps; 1814 Jul 29
Real estate tax receipts on G. B.”s New York land; 1813-1821
Real estate tax receipts on G. B.”s New York land; 1822-1825
22 Bond for purchase of land for $150.00 issued to “borrower” by Sanford Billings; 1817 Sep 20
23 Letter discussing land deals, refers to Oct 1804 deed; 1817?-Jul 13
24 Receipt from Treasurer”s Office, Albany, N. Y. for $13.98 to Gilbert Billings; 1825 Jun 30
25 Letter dated from Pharsalia, N.Y., to G. Billings from John H. Wells concerning mortgages payments to Billings; 1828 Aug 22
26 C. Billings deed to G. Billings; 1829 Apr 11
27 Letter dated from Pharsalia, N.Y., to G. Billings from John Brown concerning taxes and land sales; 1829 Dec 5
28 Letter dated from Pharsalia, N.Y., to G. B. from John H. Wells concerning mortgage payments to G. B.; 1830 Mar 2
29 Letter dated from Pharsalia, N.Y., to G. B. from John Brown regarding land transactions; 1831 Sep 25
30 Receipt: John Wells to G. Billings for payment of $3.27; 1831 Oct 6
31 Bond of G. B. to John Wells for sale of land; 1831 Oct 6
32 Map of John Brown”s land, Pharsalia, N.Y.; 1831 Sep 20
33 Letter dated from Pharsalia, N.Y., to G. B. from John Brown discussing land purchased by Brown & Wells from G. B.; 1837 Jun 17
34 Letter dated from Pharsalia, N.Y., to G. B. from John Wells demanding a sufficient deed for land purchased in 1835 from G. B.; 1837 Jul 31
35 Letter dated from Pharsalia, N.Y., to G. B. from John H. Wells demanding a proper legal deed; 1837 Sep 25
36 Memorandum between G. B. & John Wells concerning Well”s purchase of land from G. B.; undated
37 Letter dated from Pharsalia, N.Y., to G. B. from John H. Wells concerning land dispute with Peter Smith; 1838 Sep 3
38 Deed: Gerrit Smith to G. B. – New York land; 1839 Jan 31
39 Notification by G. B. of payment to Gerrit Smith of $25.00 for 10 acres of land – New York land; undated
40 Letter dated from Pharsalia, N.Y., to G. B. from John Brown concerning land transaction involving himself and Mr. Wells; 1839 Jun 2
41 Letter to G. B. from C. Billings dealing with mortgage transaction; 1842 Jun 25
42 Auction notes for lands belonging to the estate of the late Elisha Williams in Chenango County, New York; undated
43 Township range map; undated
4 Notes and Receipts; 1801-1855
Receipt: Baldwin to John Foster for 218 pounds of hay; 1801 Oct 13
Receipt: S. Baldwin to Gilbert Billings, balance due on hay, rum, etc.; 1801 Nov 9
Receipt: T. Baldwin to G. Billings; 1801 Dec 14
Promissory note for $27.56, Squire T. Coleston to G. Billings; 1806 Jan 22
“Promise to pay” note, Gilbert Billings, Stonington; 1806 Mar 11
Probate Court appointment of G. Billings and others as executors of the estate of Amos Swan of North Stonington, Connecticut; 1814 Mar 7
Request of G. Billings for a pair of gravestones, New London; 1814 Jun 21
Tax receipt of G. B., North Stonington; 1817 Mar 6
Receipt: Elias Brown to G. B.; 1819 Apr 9
Promissory note: Lucy Euston to G. B., North Stonington; 1819 Dec 11
Bill (balance due) E. Downing to G. B., Griswald, Connecticut; 1860 Apr 30
Promissory note: Elisha Brewster to G. B., Griswald; 1822 Apr 3
Promissory note: G. Billings to Robert Billings, Griswald; 1824 Dec 2
Bill: G. B. owes Nathan D. Palmer $5.42, Preston, Connecticut; 1829 Jan 26
G. B. account sheet for Robert (H?) $71.44; 1833-1835
Account book: G. B., record of C.C. Maney; 1838
G. B. account to Joseph Frink, Griswald, also 2 receipts to G. B. for the New London Gazette, Griswald,; 1839 Sep, 1840 Apr 18
Joseph Frink to G. B.; 1839-1841
Receipt from B. M. Gay to G. B. for “medical attention,” $29.75; 1855 Jan 22
Note from Sally Davis to G. B.; undated
Sally Davis order in favor of Robert Herrick; undated
Miscellaneous notes on notebook pages; undated
5 In account with S. A. Maine & Co.; 1833-1856
Bill: $1.41; undated
Bill: $4.41; unknown year, Nov 22
Bill: $2.05; unknown year, Aug-Oct 20
Bill: $3.28; 1852 Aug 7-1854 Mar 7
Bill: $1.34; 1852 Nov 21
Bill: $1.71; 1854 Jun
Bill: $2.57; 1854 Jul 13
Bill: $2.43; 1854 Aug 2
Bill: $3.01; 1854 Dec 6
Bill: $0.53; 1855 Jan
Bill: $0.83; 1855 Jan 5
Bill: $4.44; 1855 Jan 20
Bill: $1.02; 1855 Jan 23
Bill: $1.68; 1855 Feb 6
Bill: $8.56; 1855 Apr 30
Bill: $7.20; 1855 Jul 11
Bill: $1.78; 1855 Dec 1
Bill: $1.03; 1856 Feb 21
6 Business activities and accounts with Coddington Billings; 1801-1836
Receipt for $500.00 of Coddington Billings, by the hand of Gilbert Billings for acc of Amos Crandall; 1801 Mar
Gilbert Billings to Coddington Billings: account with attached receipt; 1802 May-1803 Oct
Account between Gilbert and Coddington Billings “of certain notes left by our Father”; 1806 Apr 25
G. B. in account current with C. B.; 1803 Apr-1808 Mar
G. B. in account current with C. B., with attached receipt dated Preston, CT, Aug 19, 1809; 1808 Mar-1810 Mar
Account sheet: Coddington Billings to G. B.; 1810 Oct-1818 Nov
Promissory note: G. B. to C. B., Griswald, Connecticut; 1818 Feb
G. B. in account with C. B.; 1819 Jan-1825 Feb
Account sheet: G. B. to Coddington Billings; 1820 Feb-Apr
Notice of stock transfer to G. B. by C. B. (Whaling Bank), New London, Connecticut; 1835 Sep
Dividend receipt to G. B. from C. B. for stock shares in Whaling Bank, New London CT; 1836 Feb 16
Dividend receipt to G. B. from C. B. on 100 shares in Whaling Bank; 1836 Jul
7 Letters from Coddington Billings; 1817-1839
Letter: Coddington Billings to Gilbert Billings, New London, CT; 1817 Apr 28
Letter: C. B. to G. B., New London; 1834 Jan 18
Letter: C. B. to G. B., New London; 1835 Sep 9
Letter: C. B. to G. B., New London; 1835 Nov 10
Letter: C. B. to G. B., New London; 1836 Feb 23
Letter: C. B. to G. B., New London; 1836 Mar 14
Letter: C. B. to G. B., New London; 1839 Jan 10
8 Letters received; 1790-1851
Letter: to Gilbert Billings (New York) from R. Palmer (Philadelphia); 1790 Feb 20
Letter: to G. B. from G. Debuys (New Orleans); 1797 Jul 7
Letter: to G. B. (Stonington, Ct) from an attorney (New York); 1799 Nov 2
Letter: to attorney Robert Bogardas Esq., attorney for the plaintiff (ie. Gilbert Billings & John Coates) from C. J. Bogart, defense attorney; 1799 Nov 25
Letter: to G. B. (Stonington) from Denison Randall (Norwich, CT); 1803 Jan 20
Letter: to G. B. (Griswald, CT) from Stephen Much; 1833 Mar 14
Letter: to G. B. (Griswald) from N. & W. W. Billings (New London); 1834 Apr 14
Letter: to G. B. from William C. Crump (New London); 1845 Feb 10
Letter: to G. B. (Griswald) from Ralph (?) (Norwich); 1845 Feb 17
Letter: to G. B. from William Main (San Francisco); 1851 Ju 11
Letter: G. B. from ?; undated
Letter: G. B. (Griswald) from Horation Billings; undated
9 Miscellaneous family correspondence; 1798-1854
Letter: Cath. Surget from Peter Surget (son), New York; 1798 Mar 28
Letter: to Lucy Billings (Griswald, Ct.) from Sarah Edmund; 1801 Feb 11
Letter: to Gideon Kinney (Griswald) from Robert Billings, Baltimore; 1830 Aug 22
Letter: to Benjamin Billings (Griswald) from Robert Billings, Maryland; 1831 May 8
Letter: Recipe for cookies, Lucy Billings; undated
Letter: to Ann Sarah Billings from Ann P. Billings (mother) Griswald; unknown year Sep 30
Letter: to Sadie from Lucy H. Billings, Preston, Conn.; undated
Letter: to “Daughter” from Ann P. Billings (mother) and “Father,” Griswald; 1854 Oct 27
10 Miscellaneous documents; 1775-1810
Bond of Daniel Billings to Sanford Billings for 100, Stonington, CT; 1775 May 29
Notice of small pox exposure and inoculation authorization, Stonington; 1781 Nov 6
Summons for Dudley Hewitt (?) to be delivered by the sheriff of New London County; 1796 Sep 13
Instruction for John Davis to summon Remington Sears to appear before Sanford Billings, Justice of the Peace, New London County; 1797 Jan 14
Will of Lucy Billings, mother of Gilbert Billings, North Stonington, CT.; 1810 Feb

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