Isaiah Larabee Collection

Manuscripts Collection 255

Overview of the Collection

Repository: G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport
Creator: Larabee, Isaiah, d. ca. 1886
Title: Isaiah Larabee Collection
Dates: 1845-1940‚ (bulk 1845-1889)
Extent: 477 items
Abstract: The Isaiah Larabee Papers contain approximately 475 pieces; primarily business papers, correspondence and documents relative to Larabee’s maritime career and the ships he commanded.
Identification: Coll. 255

Biography of Isaiah Larabee

Isaiah Larabee was a ship master from the Penobscot region of Maine. Between 1855 and 1878 he commanded the Bark AMANDA (captured by the Confederate raider C.S.S. ALABAMA), the Bark MONITOR, and the Brigs EUGENIA, CAROLINE EDDY, and HARRY STEWART. Most of the vessels found in this collection were built in Maine and registered at Bangor. Many were owned or managed by firms like Thomas J. Stewart, Albion P. Veazie & Co., or A. Littlefield & Co., and they are prominently represented in Larabee’s papers.

These vessels sailed from ports in Maine as well as Boston, New York and Philadelphia; and traded at cities like Buenos Ayres and Montevideo, Cardiff, London, Kingston, Jamaica, Mayaguez, Palermo, Messina, and Genoa, Italy.

Internal evidence suggests that Larabee may have built a house or “farm” at Winterport, Maine in 1869, too which he retired ten years later. His wife, Mary died in 1878, and Isaiah probably died in 1886, leaving children Mary E., Alice, and Isaiah L. Larabee. Papers for other Larabee family members make up the remainder of this collection, ca. 1886-1940.

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Scope and Content

This collection contains bills, receipts, cargo invoices, charter parties, articles of agreement, bills of lading, and crew lists, in addition to a lesser amount of correspondence received by Larabee from various agents, charterers, merchants, etc. There are also several papers and documents regarding an Alabama Claims case filed by Larabee and the owners of the bark AMANDA, in addition twenty-one seamen’s protection certificates issued between 1845 and 1861, seven of which were issued to black seamen.

The bulk of the material is concentrated between the years 1855 and 1889, and it is this portion which produces a comprehensive look at the life and activities of this ship master from Winterport, Maine. Records of the Barks AMANDA and MONITOR, and the Brigs EUGENIA, CAROLINE EDDY, and HARRY STEWART are well represented.

There are some family papers, including a property deed, fire insurance polices, tax receipts, grocery bills, estate papers, and numerous miscellaneous items relative to Larabee’s descendants into the 1900’s.

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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.


Larabee family
Larabee, Alice
Larabee, Isaiah L.
Larabee, Mary E.
Larabee, Mary, d. 1878

Corporate Bodies (Including Vessels):

A. Littlefield & Co.
Alabama (Ship)
Albion P. Veazie & Co.
Amanda (Bark)
Caroline Eddy (Ship)
Eugenia (Brig)
Harry Stewart (Brig)
Monitor (Bark)
Thomas J. Stewart (Firm)


Buenos Aires (Argentina)–Commerce
Cardiff (Wales)–Commerce
Genoa (Italy)–Commerce
Kingston (Jamaica)–Commerce
London (England)–Commerce
Messina (Italy)–Commerce
Montevideo (Uruguay)–Commerce
United States–History–Civil War, 1861-1865–Claims


Alabama claims
Black merchant mariners
International trade
Merchant mariners–Legal status, laws, etc.
Shipping–Maine–Penobscot County
Shipping–New York (State)–New York
Ships–Cargo Voyages and travels

Document Types:

Bills of lading
Crew lists
Insurance policies


Shipmasters’ spouses–Maine–Winterport

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Coll. 255, Manuscripts Collection, G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.

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Index to Personal and Corporate 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. Littlefield & Co. in Box 1, Folder 17 of the collection.
A. Littlefield & Co. 1/17
Albion P. Veazie & Co. 1/9, 1/10, 1/17
American Marine Mutual Assoc. 1/14, 1/17
Baring Brothers 1/2, 1/3, 1/17
Brackett, George. E. 1/17
Bridge, Lord & Co. 1/3
Charbelain Phelps & Co. 1/8
Charles H. Chase & Co. 1/8
Darrah & Elwell 1/9
Dix and Steiner 1/9
E.D. Bigelow & Co. 1/9
Fish, Hamilton (Secretary of State) 1/15
Gregg, A. L 1/12
Gumm, Charles 1/3, 1/4, 1/17
James, Craig (Captain) 1/6
John Emery & Co. 1/7
Knight & Sons 1/10, 1/16, 1/17
Larabee Family, 1/13
Larabee, Alice M. 1/16
Larabee, Bernice H. 1/14
Larabee, Isaiah 1/1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/7, 1/8, 1/9, 1/10, 1/11, 1/12, 1/13, 1/14, 1/15, 1/16, 1/17, 1/18
Larabee, Isaiah L. 1/16, 1/17
Larabee, J. E. 1/17
Larabee, James E. 1/14
Larabee, Mary E. 1/16
Larabee, Ralph Elmer 1/14
Littlefield, Alvah 1/8, 1/10
Littlefield, James 1/2, 1/3, 1/4
Low, Charles H. 1/9, 1/17
Lowes, James 1/2
M. Dowell & Barclay 1/4
Merchants Marine Insurance Co. 1/9
Miller & Houghton 1/6, 1/10
Page Richardson & Co. 1/5
S.C. Loud & Co. 1/6, 1/7, 1/8, 1/9
Samuel B. Hale & Co. 1/3
Samuel Nash & Co. 1/2
Stewart, James J. 1/9
Stewart, Thomas J 1/2, 1/10, 1/11, 1/12, 1/17
Thompson, John 1/4
Warren & Gregg 1/6

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Index to 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 ship ALABAMA in Box 1, Folder 2 of the collection.
ALABAMA (Ship) 1/2, 1/16
AMANDA (Bark) 1/2, 1/11, 1/15
CAROLINE EDDY (Brig) 1/9, 1/10, 1/16, 1/17
EUGENIA (Brig) 1/6, 1/7, 1/8, 1/9, 1/10, 1/17
FIDELIA (Brig) 1/11
HARRY STEWART (Brig) 1/11, 1/12, 1/17
JENNY LIND (Ship) 1/8
JOHN A. PARKS (Ship) 1/16
MONITOR (Bark) 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/17
RAINBOW (?) 1/11
ROCKINGHAM (Brig) 1/16
XENIA (Bark) 1/9

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Detailed Description of the Collection

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

Business and Shipping Papers; 1845-1942.

Box Folder
1 1 Seamen’s Protection Certificates (21 certificates/7 black seamen). Images
2 Shipping Papers. Images
3 Shipping Papers. Images
4 Shipping Papers. Images
5 Shipping Papers. Images
6 Shipping Papers. Images
7 Shipping Papers. Images
8 Shipping Papers. Images
9 Shipping Papers. Images
10 Shipping Papers. Images
11 Shipping Papers. Images
12 Shipping Papers. Images
13 Shipping Papers. Images
14 Larabee Family Papers. Images
15 Larabee / Alabama Claims. Images
16 Unidentified pieces. Images
17 Isaiah Larabee, envelopes stamped and addressed). Images
18 Misc. Newspapers & Clippings. Images