William T. Skiddy Collection

Manuscripts Collection 304

Overview of the Collection

Repository: G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport
Creator: Skiddy, William Taylor
Title: William T. Skiddy Collection
Dates: 1710 [1805]-1885
Extent: 131 pieces; 8 volumes
Abstract: Personal and business papers, journals, marine drawings, and sketchbooks of William Taylor Skiddy, primarily concerning naval activities; expeditions and political involvement in Peru; and shipbuilding activities.
Identification: Coll. 304

Biography of William Taylor Skiddy

William T. Skiddy was born as William Taylor, ca. 1795, to Justus William Taylor and Rosetta (Place) Taylor in Peekskill, New York. Captain Justus Taylor died of yellow fever in 1799. After Justus died Rosett married John R. Skiddy, a ship captain of Stamford, Connecticut and New York City, who adopted William, so his name became Skiddy.

William T. Skiddy was an artist, naval architect, Captain and an entrepreneur. In 1805 at the age of ten he signed on as a cabin boy aboard the packet ship the ROSE-IN-BLOOM. After a voyage to Charleston, S.C. he returned to New York City and become a cabin boy and then an assistant steward for his step-father.

With the exception of his three years of schooling in France he stayed in the merchant service until 1812. He spent eight months as a prisoner of war when the crew of the Brig STEPHEN was captured by the british frigate ANDROMACHE. The day after his release he joined the US Navy and received his Midshipman’s commission from President Madison. Captain James Lawrence ordered him to report to the HORNET as a master-mate where he served under the command of Captain James Biddle for the duration of the war. While on board he sketched a few of the significant battles that the HORNET had participated in.

In 1816 he returned to merchant service where he was given the command of the ship MARIA THERESA. He was in the South Pacific during the blockade of Callao by Lord Cochrane, at which time he ran the blockade and brought away the Spanish Viceroy of Peru.

During his many voyages along the Pacific coast he surveyed and charted many of the ports he visited.

In 1826 he was given command of the packet ship HENRI IV, a Havre packet, and continued in this service until 1847 when he retired from the sea.

In 1844 he entered into the naval construction business with his half-brother Francis. Soon after he was appointed by the US government to superintend the construction of the Collins steamers, which were used as mail steamers.

During his life at sea, Capt. Skiddy kept a journal, and at some point in his life he transcribed them into two volumes entitled “The Ups and Downs of a Sea Life from 1805”.

On November 26, 1841 he married Mary Ann Anderson (1810-1880) and together they had five children, Mary Skiddy Quintard (1844-1898), William Wheelwright Skiddy (1845-1928), Lilly Butler Skiddy Marden (1847-1880), Alice Skiddy (1847-1862), and Francis Skiddy (1851-1852). His final years were spent at home in Stamford where he died on July 26, 1870.

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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.


Barnum, Daniel
Skiddy, Francis

Corporate Bodies (Including Vessels):

General Brown (Ship)
Hornet (Ship)


United States–History–War of 1812


Packets–France–Le Havre
Packets–New York (State)–New York
Shipbuilding–New York (State)–New York

Document Types:




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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Coll. 304, Manuscripts Collection, G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport Museum, Inc.

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Index to Personal 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 Donato Aeha in Box 1, Folder 3 of the collection.
Abbedia, Pedro v.1
Aeha, Donato 1/3
Aguirre, Francisco 1/3
Anderson, James 1/4
Anderson, William v.2
Antonio, Hevia 1/3
Arevalo, Antonio 1/3
Armstrong, I 1/9, v.1
Arsac, Felipe 1/3
Autran, Isidro 1/3
Autran, Josef 1/3
Barclay, Thomas 1/1
Barker, John 1/2
Barnum, Daniel 1/4
Beamans, Charles 1/8
Belcher, ? (Capt.) v.1
Bell, ? (Mr.) v.1
Biddle, James 1/1, 1/2, 1/7, v.1
Blanco, Joaquin 1/3
Bliss, Martha v.1
Bolivar, Simon (General) v.1
Bolton, C. v.1
Bonaparte, Joseph 1/7
Boyd, J.J. v.1
Brathwaite, F. Windsor 1/7
Buitrago, Josef 1/3
Burham, C.A. 1/9
Burke, ? (Capt.) v.1
Butler, Samuel 1/2
Cagigoa, Pedro Pablo 1/3
Canela, Manuel 1/3
Chacon, Maria Josef 1/3
Church, Anson 1/9
Church, N. 1/9
Clements, John 1/2
Cockran (Lord) v.1
Collins, ? (Mr.) v.2
Conner, David v.1
Constitucion, J.J.L. 1/3
Copeland, James (Capt.) v.1
Corquera, Pedro 1/3
Crowell, Isaac 1/2
Crowninshield, Benjamin 1/1, 1/2
Cuetos, Olegario 1/3
Cutting, F.B. 1/7
D’Maine, ? (Mrs.) v.2
Daily, Thomas 1/2
Dalmano, ? (Madame) v.2
Dalton, George 1/4
Davis, Samuel 1/2
de Lerena, Juan Jose 1/3
de Llano, Manuel 1/3
de Onis, Luis 1/3
Deans, ? (Mrs.) v.2
Decay, George v.1
Delgado, Rafael 1/3
Dickenson, ? (Capt.) v.1
Eckford, H. 1/7
Eckford, John v.1
Erpelius, Francisco 1/3
Evans, John 1/2
Falco, Antonio 1/3
Falco, Francisco 1/3
Fessenden, C.B. 1/6
Fidalgo, Josef 1/3
Figueroa, Augustin 1/3
Figueroa, Jose 1/3
Fischer, Margaret S. 1/10
Florez, Ignacio 1/3
Forbes, Paul S. 1/6
Fowler, ? (Mr.) v.2
Fox, Alfred v.1
Gaylor, W.C. 1/9
Gazagne, Jean 1/7, v.1
Gelston, David 1/1
Gerise, ? (Admiral) v.1
Godoy, Antonio 1/3
Gonegal, John 1/2
Goodwin, Albert 1/2
Guerata, Josef 1/3
Hall, J. (Capt.) v.2
Hall, Lymon 1/9
Harmony, Francis v.1
Harmony, Peter 1/7, v.1
Harris, ? (Capt.) v.1
Heath, Edward 1/2
Heffernan, John v.1
Hender, Samuel 1/2
Henry, Searing 1/9
Herrara, Victorian 1/3
Hogan, Michael (General) v.1
Holdrege, N.H. v.2
Holt, James (Capt.) v.1
Homans, Benjamin 1/1, 1/2
Hotz, ? (Mr.) v.1
Howland, ? (Mr.) v.1
Hughs, Eligh 1/2
Humphrey, H.M. 1/9
Isham, Joseph 1/9
Joiner, C. 1/9
Jones, ? 1/1
Kennedy, J.L. v.1
King, ? (Capt.) v.2
Lafayette (Marquis de) 1/7
Lambert, ? (Capt.) v.1
Larrosa, Antonio 1/3
Laso, Jorge 1/3
Lavandeira, Alexandro 1/3
Lavarreda, Ignacio 1/3
Law, Nathaniel 1/2
Lawrence, James (Capt.) 1/1, 1/2, v.1
Learned, Edward 1/6
Lewis, Samuel 1/2
Livingston, Ann v.2
Livingston, Barclay v.2
Livingston, Mortmer v.1
Llobreqat, Josef 1/3
Lopez, ? (Col.) v.1
Madison, James (President) 1/1
Mailliard, L. 1/7
Mallen, Cristoval 1/3
Manterola, Nicolas 1/3
Manuel, Luna v.1
Marden, Francis A. 1/7, 1/10
Marden, Lillie B. Skiddy 1/7, 1/10
Martinez, Juan Josef 1/3
Martorell, Juan 1/3
Mayo, G. (Capt.) 1/7
McAlpine, Charles L. 1/6
McKay, Donald v.2
McKenyio, T. 1/9
Mellon, John 1/2
Mendez, Jose 1/3
Mendoza, Juan Josef 1/3
Miller, John 1/2
Montano, Juan 1/3
Montenegro, Juan 1/3
Mooney, Barthlemew 1/2
Moore, M.O. 1/9
Morales, Josef 1/3
Morales, Juan 1/3
Morquecho, Francisco 1/3
Morse, John 1/2
Mott, J.L. v.2
Myers, ? (Mr.) v.1
Nichols, Samuel (Capt.) v.1
Nicolson, J.B. (Capt.) 1/2, 1/7
Noland, John 1/2
Oririo, Francisco 1/3
Orive, Carlos 1/3
Orzaiz, Antonio 1/3
Orzaiz, Ysido 1/3
Osorio, Josef 1/3
Paavin, Josef 1/3
Palma, Josef 1/3
Palmer, ? (Capt.) v.1
Percival, ? (Lieut.) v.1
Phillips, John v.1
Pina, Ramon 1/3
Pizuela, Joaquin 1/3
Pope, Edward 1/2
Prist, Charles Williams 1/9
Quintard, Mary Skiddy 1/10
Rankin, A. (Mrs.) v.2
Renspio, T.M. 1/9
Reynolds, ? (Mr.) v.1
Ridgley, ? (Capt.) v.1
Ritch, Thomas G. 1/10
Ritch, Wells R. 1/10
Roberson, John 1/2
Robinson, ? (Capt.) v.1
Rocha, Francisco 1/3
Rowan, Miguel 1/3
San Pedro, Francisco Borxa 1/3
Santacruz, Antonio 1/3
Santacruz, Manuel 1/3
Scarborough, W.W. v.2
Scofield, M.E. 1/8
Searing H. 1/9
Shaw, ? (Commander) V.1
Shaw, William 1/2
Short, Richard 1/2
Sierra, Honorio 1/3
Skiddy, Andrew v.2
Skiddy, Francis 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/10, v.2
Skiddy, Hannah v.1
Skiddy, John 1/7
Skiddy, Margaret v.1
Skiddy, Mary v.1
Skiddy, Mary Ann Anderson 1/6, 1/7, 1/8, 1/10, v.1, v.2
Skiddy, William T. 1/1, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/7, 1/8, 1/9, 1/10, v.1, v.2, v.3, v.4, v.5, v.6, v.7
Skiddy, William W. 1/10
Smythe, Edward A. 1/6
Snowball, ? (Capt.) 1/11
Southard, Samuel L. v.1
St. John, Samuel 1/9
St. John, William 1/9
St. Martin, ? (General) v.1
Tabbott, Marcus v.2
Taylor, Thomas v.1
Thompson, Smith 1/2, v.1
Trask, ? (Capt.) v.2
Tylor, William 1/2
Vigo, Antonio 1/3
Vigodet, Casimiro 1/3
Vilamil, ? v.2
Virere, Josef 1/3
Warring, ? (Capt.) v.1
Washington, ? (Dr.) v.1
Wheelwright, William v.1, v.2
Williams, Henry 1/2
Willson, William 1/2
Zuazo, Joaquin 1/3

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Index to 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 American Timber Bending Co. in Box 1, Folder 9 of the collection.
American Timber Bending Co. 1/9, 1/10
Barclay & Livingston 1/4
Barnum’s Improvements 1/5
Butcher & Read 1/4
C. Bergh & Co. v.1
Evarts, Southmayd,& Choate 1/8
Grinnell, Minturn & Co. v.2
Knickerbocker Mining Co. of Owyhee 1/5, 1/9
New Canaan Railroad Company 1/9, 1/10
New York & Havre Steam Ship Co. 1/9, 1/10
New York & Havre, Steam Navigation Co. 1/9, 1/10
New York Warehouse & Security Co. 1/8, 1/10
Pacific Mail Steamship Co. 1/5, 1/6
Solomon & Hart 1/4
Stevenson & Porter 1/4
Terry & Taylor 1/4, 1/5
The Stamford Manufactoring Co 1/8
Tiffany & Co. 1/5, 1/6
Union Gold Mining Co. 1/5
Virginia Steam Ship Co. 1/4, 1/5, 1/10
Wheeler & Wilson 1/5
Woodland Cemetery Association 1/9

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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 the brig BOXER in Box 1, Folder 3 of the collection.
ANDROMACHE (Frigate) v.1
BALTIMORE (Schooner) v.4
BOXER (Brig) 1/3, v.1
BRITANNIA (Ship) 1/11
BURGUNDY (Ship) v.1
CALIFORNIA (Steam Ship) v.8
CHESAPEAKE (Frigate) v.1
CONSTELLATION (Ship) 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, v.1
ELIZA (Ship) v.1
EMERALD 1/5, 1/6, 1/10
ENDYMION (Frigate) v.1, v.4
ESSEX (Frigate) v.2
GARONNE (Ship) v.1, v.4
GARRICK (Packet-ship) v.2
GENERAL BROWN (Ship) 1/2, 1/3, v.1, v.2, v.4, v.6
HAMBURG (Brig) v.4
HANNIBAL (Ship) v.1
HB PALMER (Ship) 1/4
HENRI IV (Ship) v.1, v.2, v.7
HENRY IV (Ship) v.4
HORNET (Sloop) 1/1, 1/2, v.1, v.4
IOWA (Ship) v.1
JOHN ADAMS (Sloop) v.1
JOHN R. SKIDDY (Ship) v.2, v.8
LEA (Ship) v.2
LEANDER (Frigate) v.1
LIBERTY (Ship) v.1
MACEDONIAN (Frigate) V.1
MARIA THERESA (Ship) v.1, v.4
MC LARNFRIES (Frigate) v.1
MEROPA V.1, v.2, v.4
MIDWAY 14 v.1
NEW WORLD (Ship) 1/4, 1/6, 1/10, v.2, v.8
NEW YORK PILOT (Schooner) v.4
PANAMA (Steam Ship) v.8
PEACOCK (Sloop) v.1
PENGUIN (Sloop) 1/7, v.1
PRESIDENT (Frigate) v.1, v.4
PRINCESS ROYAL (Steam Packet) v.2
RHONE (Ship) v.1, v.2
SALLY TRACY (Brig) v.1
ST. MARK v.2
STEPHEN (Brig) v.1
TAMARACK (Brig) v.1
THE YOUNG WASP (Privateer) V.1
UNITED STATES (Frigate) v.1
ZENOBIE (Brig) v.1

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Detailed Description of the Collection

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


Andrew Skiddy Papers
Box Folder
oversized 1 Lease indentures between Andrew Skiddy and George Piersy for land in Cork, Ireland. Petition to the courts for the aforementioned land in Cork, Ireland; ca. 1710 (6 pieces)
Navy papers; 1810-1829
Box Folder
1 1 Midshipman appointment by President Madison, orders from (Capt.) James Lawrence, Prisoner or War release and War of 1812 papers; 1810-1816 (10 pieces)
2 Navy furloughs, letters and petitions requesting return of former rank of Midshipman and list of clothes on hand of 3rd division; 1817-1829 (9 pieces)
4 Sketchbook of vessels and of battle scenes during the War of 1812, and other miscellaneous drawings; ca. 1815 (1 v.)
Papers relating to South American expeditions; 1819-1841
Box Folder
1 3 Letters and documents pertaining to voyages to Peru written in Spanish. There are some translations included; 1819-1824 (11 pieces)
6 Journal of Ship GENERAL BROWN from New York to Lima along with drawings of different harbours; 1820-1821 (1 v.)
7 Drawings of various harbours in South America and sketches of vessels; 1829-1841 (1 v.)
Reminiscenses; 1805-1847
1 “The Ups and Downs of a Sea Life, vol. 1”; 1805-1839 (1 v.)
2 “The Ups and Downs of a Sea Life, vol. 2”; 1839-1847 (1 v.)
Box Folder
1 4 Transcription of “The Ups and Downs of a Sea Life, vol. 1”; 1805-1839 (64 p.)
5 Transcription of “The Ups and Downs of a Sea Life, vol. 2”; 1839-1847 (37 p.)
Business papers; 1854-1870
Box Folder
1 6 Accounts for William T. Skiddy and Francis Skiddy, papers for business between William Skiddy and Daniel Barnum; 1854-1861 (12 pieces)
7 Accounts for William T. Skiddy and Francis Skiddy; 1859-1862 (10 pieces)
8 Accounts for William T. Skiddy and Francis Skiddy, printed material concerning Union Gold Mining Co. of Idaho; 1863-1870 (13 pieces)
8 Architectual drawings of vessels built for William and Francis Skiddy; ca. 1846 (1 v.)
Personal and estate papers; 1815-1885
3 Sketchbook of vessels and landscapes; n.d. (1 v.)
5 Sketchbook of miscellaneous drawings, including vessels, cabin plans, houses and house floor plans, guns and other ship parts, and geographic elevations; n.d. (1 v.)
Box Folder
1 9 William Skiddy and Mary Anne Anderson marriage certificate; William Skiddy will and personal letters from General Lafayette, James Biddle and others; 1815-1855 (17 pieces)
10 Documents and letters concerning the settlement of William T. Skiddy estate; 1864-1880 (9 pieces)
11 Papers from the Woodland Cemetery Association; various railroad and other stock certificates; 1851-1867 (21 pieces)
12 Estate appraisal papers and listing of money received from investments; 1870-1885 (11 pieces)
Miscellaneous papers relating to China; 1800-1809
Box Folder
1 13 Regulations for the port of Canton; copy of translation of extracts from the Chinese criminal code of laws; 1800-1809 (2 pieces)

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