The Wells Family papers include six account books; two ship logs, one seaman’s time book, and one leather book (diary size) with crewman wages and slop account. Below is a description of the contents.
Account books—vessel related
Account book, 1871-83. This account book lists port charges for the Lettie Wells (Schooner) during 1871, Princeton (Brig) from 1872 through 1877, and Altavela (Schooner) for 1880-83. Although the Captains are not mentioned, American and Foreign Ship Registers lists Captains Warren Wells, William R. Wells and Julius C. Wells as masters for the Lettie Wells (Schooner) between 1870 and 1877. Registers name a Capt. Wells for the brig Princeton from 1873 to 1877 and for the schooner Altavela from 1881-85. A small sheet of paper was found inside the account book that appears to list the names of people that came to call on [Sedgwick Brown] in Brooklin in 1855.
Account book, 1880-82, 1888-90. This account book has two date ranges. The first date range in 1880 to 1882 and lists accounts for crew wages, various bills, provision and store accounts by Capt. Rufus F. Wells. However, no vessel is identified during this time. The second date range in 1888 to 1890 for the schooner L. B. [Lydia B.] Cowperthwaithe. Capt. Rufus F. Wells lists port charges, stocks and various expenses. The American and Foreign Ship Registers list S. T. Caswell, Jr. as master for the schooner. It is unclear if Capt. Rufus F. Wells commanded the schooner during those years for Caswell.
Account book, 1888-90. This account book lists similar port charges for the schooner L. B. [Lydia B.] Cowperthwaite as in the previous account book with the exception of a few increases on certain charges. Note: On the pastedown sheet of the account book is written in pencil, “Oct. 18th 1890 Sch. Gov. Ames passed out by Cape Henry bound from Baltimore to San Francisco. Cal.” and on the fly leaf is written in pencil “# of U.S. Bond 1902.
Account book, 1890, 1892, 1901-04. This account book lists port charges for the L. B. [Lydia B.] Cowperthwaite for trips 1-9 in 1890 and estimated costs for wharf and fittings in 1892. The next entry starts April 1901 for schooner Samos and lists stock and port charges up until July 1904. Capt. Rufus F. Wells name does not appear in this account book, but presume it he is the master. Three loose papers were found in the account book. They appear to be tallies of expenses for wages, port charges, stores, vessel expenses and shipping fees. The name J. S. Stanley appears on one of the list.
Account Books—personal or town related
Account Book, 1837-1849, 1860-1872: This is the earliest account book with two date ranges. It lists various payments for services such as tanning calfskins, making a yoke, and mending shoes; purchases such as corn, oil, and barley, and labor costs for building a barn. Names of Brooklin residents appear in this book such as Herrick, Cousins, Capt. J. C. Tibbets, Blake and Freethy. It is important to note that Capt. John C. Tibbets and others helped incorporate the town of Brooklin on the 9th of June 1849, which makes the journal entry for 1845 for payment of services to Capt. J. C. Tibbets for mending shoes quite interesting. One paper receipt is adhered inside the account book showing payment to Mr. H. Wells of 3.89 and Mrs. H. Wells paying N. Herrick $1.41. Although the receipt is undated, it is adhered on top of the last two entries in the book dated March 21, 1868 and March 1872 for Nelson Herrick. Four leaves have been cut out of this book.
Account book 1853-62: Includes settled accounts for various services provided to the town of Brooklin as well as labor for various vessels. Although Humphrey Wells was town selectman from 1849 to 1863 and appears in the account book more than any one else, it is difficult to determine the creator. Four members of the Wells family appear in the account book (Humphrey Wells, Julius C. Wells, William R. Wells and Warren Wells), but by no means are they the only ones listed. Other names entered in the account book appear to be residents of Brooklin for various services provided to the town or purchases made.
Humphrey Wells provided labor for all the vessels mentioned in this account book listed below:
E. L. Thompson (Schooner) Tarquin (Schooner) Abby Watson (Brig) Marcellus (Schooner) James (Schooner) Mechanic (Schooner) Grecian (Schooner) Live Oak (Schooner) Centurion (Schooner)| Watson (Brig) H. W. Wellington (Brig) Susan Ross (Schooner) |Florence (Schooner) Alpine (Schooner) A. Lawrence (Schooner).
The entries do not indicate what type of work, only as labor other than a survey: “1855 Nov. Sch. E. L. Thompson & Owners to H. Wells for a cirvices [sic] an Survey on sd sch.”
On April 29, 1854, 27 weeks of work commenced for Joshua Watson and ended Nov. 11, 1854.The entries do not indicate for what purpose or who was paid. However, the Abby Watson (Brig) was built in 1854. Could this have been the Abby Watson and could the laborer been Humphrey Wells?
An unsigned and undated letter was found inside the account book. It references the L. B. [Lydia B.]Cowperthwaite (Schooner, blt. 1856)) as being 32 years old which may place the letter sometime in 1888.
Account book dated 1901-1931 belonged to Capt. Rufus F. Wells. On the cover is written “Sch. Samos, Boston, Mass,” but the content is varied. It appears the first page pertains to the Samos, as does the 4th and 5th page. Page one lists expenses between Sept. 18 and Oct. 15 with no year under the heading “J. L Stanley is not with Schr. Samos” listing expenses. Page 4 and 5 are barometer readings for 1901, 1902, and 1903. It is unclear if Rufus F. Wells commanded the Samos during those years as a Capt. Smith is listed in the registers. Other information seems to be either anecdotal, such as a list of suicide victims (pg. 2) and a list of names of men 75 years old and over with birth and death dates (pg.6). The rest of the notebook is blank until the last two pages, which appear to be a listing of payments with corresponding, check numbers. One piece of paper taken from an envelope and used as a receipt has written in pencil “Painted House 1922 Nov. 20th” was tucked inside the book. Crew Wages
Seaman’s time book is for the Altavela (Brig) commanded by E. W. Freethy (1877) and the Altavela (Schooner) commanded by Capt. Julius C. Wells (1880-81) and Capt. Rufus F. Wells (1881-84). Custom House stamps are from the District of Castine, Maine and Port of Jacksonville, St. Johns, Florida.
Crew wages and slop accounts, leather book (diary size), dated 1888-1904, is a record of seamen wages and slop accounts. The name, “Capt. Rufus F. Wells, Brooklin, ME” is written on the pastedown sheet at the front of the book. It’s interesting to note that the “J. L. Stanley” mentioned in Capt. R. F. Wells personal notebook (1901-1931) is mentioned a number of times in this wage and slop account book. List below are the entries for J. L. Stanley:
Wages paid April 24, 188 Wages paid March 18, 1889 (as mate and a Captain) Wages paid March 18, 1890 Wages paid Sept. 10, 1890 on acct. of the schooner L. B Cowperthwaite.
This is the only time a vessel is mention and appears to be for past services on the L. B. C. Slop account March 21st 1901 Wages and slop account March 28, 1902 Wages paid August 17, 1902 Wages paid and slop account April 9, 1903
Altavela (Schooner), Capt. Rufus F. Wells, Master, 1880-83. The logbook begins August 26, 1880 and ends September 18, 1883 making numerous coastal voyages to Bath, Calais, Washington, Boston, Georgetown, New York, Perth Amboy, Calais, Providence, Bristol, and Jacksonville. Cargo was stone, lumber, sugar and coal.
Altavela (Schooner) Sept. 19, 1883 through April 30, 1884 and Samos (Schooner) March 30, 1901 through August 17, 1903. This is a continuation from the previous logbook. Capt. Rufus F. Wells commanded both schooners.