Riggs Family Papers, 1817-1887
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Brief Description: The collection consists of business-related correspondence and invoices regarding  the elder Benjamin Riggs, invoices for the firm Sampson & Riggs, and Moses Riggs' business concerns following the apparent demise of Sampson & Riggs.  Charter parties for various vessels and cargoes, ranging from lumber and fish to salt and ice, complement other shipping documents and captains' reports.  The potential sale of some vessels is discussed in correspondence in Folders 1 and 3.Folder 1 includes correspondence to the Riggs family, primarily Benjamin Riggs, from March 1826 to November 1867.  Documents of note include letters from Riggs' apparent agent in Boston, Gideon Snow, regarding voyages of the brig Pilgrim, captains' letters following an 1826 voyage from Gibraltar to New York, and a damaged and incomplete letter, likely from Trinity [La Trinite], Martinique.  One letter from and response to the Bath Custom House provides extensive information on the amount and type of traffic through the Gut on the Sasanoa River in 1867.  Several letters come from sailors or fishermen asking for positions on one of the Riggs' fishing schooners, and a number of other sailing vessels are mentioned in various invoices.  Finally, a long letter from James Beath to his sister mentions a number of individuals, including one Maxwell Reed, with whom Beath was apparently having a legal dispute.  Beath may have been a master of the Riggs vessel Liberator later in his life, but nothing else has been found about his connection to the Riggs family.Folder 2 contains charter parties, freight lists, lumber surveys, and other shipping information between the years 1817 and 1887.  Charter parties specify such cargoes as salt from the West Indies, liver oil to New York, and coastal trade in molasses, lumber, ice, and coal.  A government "Enrollment" certificate which provides the schooner Fox with the right "to be employed in the Coasting Trade and Fisheries" is also included.Folder 3 consists of correspondence to the company Sampson & Riggs in the year 1867.  Information regarding the purchase of dories and oars is included among general business correspondence.Folder 4 contains bills (1855-1864) submitted to Sampson & Riggs for payment for goods to a variety of vessels, including the schooners Queen of the West and Julia Franklin.Folder 5 includes a number of invoices submitted to various members of the Riggs family, primarily Moses and his son Kervin.  All receipts are for vessel-related supplies, and cover the years 1829 to 1887.  Most receipts come from Bath chandlers and general merchants.  Some vessels are specifically identified.Folder 6 contains a small book used primarily by Capt. John Johnson, probably of Woolwich, ME, to record mackerel and other fish catches made in the Gulf of St. Lawrence from about 1832-1844 on four different schooners, Richmond, Mary & Louisa, Ann, and Louisa.  Shares for each crewman (most are named), including the cook, are listed.  Also includes a few general vessel accounts. A few pages have been cut out.Folder 7 has a few miscellaneous items which came with the collection.  They include three sheets of blank stationery showing the Bath-built US Battleship Georgia, and a newspaper advertisement illustrating the steamer Elsie.
Held at:
Maine Maritime Museum Manuscript Collection Online Catalog
243 Washington Street
Bath, ME 04530
Phone: 207-443-1316
extension 323
Email: garrison [at] maritimeme.org
Created by: Riggs Family
Volume: 1.0 Boxes
Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on the use of the Riggs Family Papers.
Subject Index
A. F. Kimball (Schooner)
Addie Hinckley (Schooner)
Albion (Schooner)
Allen Green (Schooner)
Anabelle (?)
Ann (Schooner)
Australia (Schooner)
Bath (ME)--Businesses
Beath, James
Butler (schooner)
C. L. Hubbard (Sloop)
Charter parties
Coal trade
Coastwise shipping
Colby, H.
Concern (Schooner)
Cora Greenwood (Schooner)
Denmark (Brig)
Dories (boats)
Elsie (Steamer)
Emily F. Swift (Schooner)
Experiment (Schooner)
Fishing--Catch effort
Fish trade
Fox (Schooner)
Freeman, Samuel
Georgetown (ME)
Georgia (Battleship BB15)
Goss & Sawyer
Ice Trade
Ino (Schooner)
Julia Franklin (Schooner)
Jumbo (Sloop)
Liberator (schooner)
Louisa (Schooner)
Low[e], Francis Jr., Captain
Lucy Ann (Schooner)
Lumber trade
M. B. Rogers (Schooner)
Mackerel fisheries
Marion (Sloop)
Mary & Louisa (Schooner)
Mary O. Del (Steamer)
Moore, Bradford H.
Nickerson, George
Pilgrim (Brig)
Pocassett (Schooner)
Queen of the West (Schooner)
Regulator (Schooner)
Richmond (Schooner)
Riggs, Benjamin (1759-1846)
Riggs, James (1785-1866)
Riggs, Kervin W. (1829-1906)
Riggs, Moses (1795-1886)
Saint Lawrence, Gulf of
Salt Trade
Sampson & Riggs
Sasanoa (Schooner)
Sasanoa River (ME)
Sewall, Day & Co.
Shipbulding--Georgetown (ME)
Ships--Equipment and supplies
Ships--Registration and transfer
Swanton, Jameson & Co.
Sylph (Schooner)
T. F. Secor (Steamer)
Volant (Brig)
West Indies trade
Woolwich (ME)
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: This collection is the physical property of the Maine Maritime Museum Library. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors of the various items in the collection, or to their legal representatives, or to Maine Maritime Museum. For further information, consult the library staff.
Acquisition Notes: The papers consist of two donations from Roland E. Peterson in 1965 and 1967, identified by accession numbers G65.692 and G67.1962 - G67.1973.
Related Materials: In addition to collection MS-6, the following sources were used in creating this finding aid and will provide further information on the family.Vital Records of Georgetown, Maine, to the Year 1892, Mary Pelham Hill, ed., Maine Historical Society, 1941.  Volume I documents births to 1892 and with Volume II covers marriages, while Volume III lists recorded deaths in the Georgetown area to 1892.  Various lists of Riggs family vital records are included in this source.References to the Riggs family, and especially the elder Benjamin Riggs, are available in William Avery Baker's A Maritime History of Bath, Maine (Bath: Marine Research Society, 1973 pgs 182, 330) and History of Bath and Environs by Parker McCobb Reed (Portland: Lakeside Press, 1894 p.317-318).  Prints and photographs of members of the Riggs family and their home are in the library's collection of photographs. .  The Riggs are also mentioned in the pamphlet Georgetown on the Arrowsic: The Ancient Dominions of Maine on the Kennebec by Stanwood C. and Margaret C. Gilman.  (Privately printed, [1966]).Information on the Riggs family is available in the library's Captains' file. Referen-ces are made of Riggs vessels in a 4th of July (1865) regatta, listed in the Bath Sentinel & Times, 6 July 1865.Vessel information for some ships mentioned in these documents can be found in the library's vessels card file some cards will lead to information in books such as The Shipping Days of Old Boothbay by George Wharton Rice (Boothbay Harbor, 1938).  References may also be made to Custom House records, some of which are held by the library.An unsigned, undated document found in the accessions file for this collection outlined some of the information making up this document.  Although not cited, Baker's Maritime History of Bath provided most of the background for that document.
PreferredCitation: Riggs Family Papers, MS-6, Research Library, Maine Martime Museum, Bath, Maine