Mark W. Hennessy Collection, 1784-1953
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Brief Description: The material in this collection is composed of disparate parts, presumably collected by Mark Hennessy over the course of his working life.  All the materials relate to Bath, its people and businesses, with a few exceptions (s. Series IV). The first series contains materials which document shipping.  Among them are some general papers from the government and other miscellaneous papers which do not relate specifically to a particular vessel.  The second part of the series contains papers about particular vessels. In general these are surveys or crew lists, although there are accounts and other papers as well.  A few are for unidentified vessels.  One of the most interesting is the Catalogue of Prize Goods taken by the ship America and printed in 1814.  A number of these documents are from the early part of the nineteenth century, and while there may not be much on any given vessel, together there is a considerable body of information. The second series  relates specifically to Bath.  In the first part are papers for the Bath Customs District, ca. 1794-1850 a Bath tax list, 1842-1843 records of the local marine Bible society  and other items of local interest.  The second part of this series contains the records of a number of local businesses such as the Merry Meeting Bay Bridge Co. C. & W. D. Crooker, a shipbuilding company the Bath Maine Mining Company which sent some of its number overland to California in 1849 Bath [Marine] Railway and others.  The third part of the series contains miscellaneous papers for various Bath people such as Captains William P. Lincoln and James K. Murphy, correspondence regarding Capt. Benjamin O. Weeks' shipping interests in the late 1840's, notes of Dr. William J. Rouse, a campaign poster of Sumner Sewall, etc. The third series relates to the Clapp family of Bath and its activities.  This includes in particular papers of Charles Clapp, Jr. (1807-1882) and the shipping/ shipbuilding firm of Magoun & Clapp which he founded in the early 1840's with David C. Magoun.  Material of some of their principal vessels such as Coral (brig), Isabella (bark), Jane Tudor (bark, wrecked on her maiden voyage), Naples (ship), and Rhine (ship), documents shipping activities in the cotton trade era before the Civil War. The fourth series includes miscellaneous material which does not relate as directly to Bath's shipping interests.  Among these items are an interview of David B. Dearborn, an important New York shipping agent originally from Maine and a great friend of many Bath shippers Carville Douglas' notes on ship models he built in the mid-20th century some business ephemera and an unidentified personal account book from 1843. All in all, while the collection may seem to be composed of many unrelated parts, together they represent a significant group of materials on Bath's shipping interests and history.
Held at:
Maine Maritime Museum Manuscript Collection Online Catalog
243 Washington Street
Bath, ME 04530
Phone: 207-443-1316
extension 323
Email: garrison [at]
Created by: Hennessy, Mark W. (1904-1965)
Volume: 0.0
Arrangement: Organized in four series: Series I, Vessel/ shipping material (4 1/2 boxes) Series II, Bath (3 1/2 boxes) Series III, Magoun & Clapp and Clapp family (6 boxes) Series IV, Other, (1 box).
Biographical Note for Hennessy, Mark W. (1904-1965) : Mark William Hennessy was born in Bath, Maine, May 13, 1904, the son of William and Margaret (Conley) Hennessy.  His father worked for the Maine Central Railroad as an engineer.  The family lived at 32 Summer Street, Bath. In 1923 he graduated from Morse High School, Bath, and headed to Boston to attend art school. He later attended another art school in Boothbay, ME.  (Examples of his art work and photographic skills can be found in MS-53.)  In the summer of 1924 he worked as an office boy in the Sewall office at 411 Front Street, Bath, for Samuel S. Sewall and William D. Sewall II, remaining partners of the famous shipbuilding/ shipping firm of Arthur Sewall & Co.  Perhaps his lifelong interest in the Sewalls and in maritime history began during that time. He joined the Gannett newspapers (owners of Portland, Maine's three newspapers) in 1925 as the papers' first Bath correspondent and photographer.  Hennessy was the Bath correspondent for the Portland Press Herald in particular for almost forty years.  His feature articles and photographs about the history of shipbuilding in Bath and the people who went to sea also appeared regularly in the Maine Sunday Telegram.  In 1964 he resigned his position to fulfill a lifelong dream of writing a maritime history of Bath and the Kennebec Region for the Marine Research Society (now Maine Maritime Museum).  Unfortunately he was diagnosed with cancer just a few weeks after signing the contract, and instead of continuing his writing, he chose to organize his notes and files in the time that remained to him.  These have become collection MS-53 at MMM. The proposed maritime history of Bath was not his first book.  In 1937 he published Sewall Ships of Steel, a widely acclaimed work on America's only fleet of steel sailing ships.  Hennessy also intended to write at least three more books on the Sewalls--one on their large wooden schooners one on "The Big Four" (Shenandoah, Roanoke, Rappahannock (2), and Susquehanna) and one on Arthur Sewall, the "Maritime Prince" and vice presidential candidate with William Jennings Bryan in 1896.  To this end he worked closely with the family and even had constructed in his own basement the Sewall Ship Rooms, where he kept many of the Sewall papers and organized them for his research purposes.  Unfortunately he was not able to complete any of these works either. However, he did finish some shorter pieces over the years.  These include histories of Bath National Bank, the Knox and Lincoln Railroad, and Bath Iron Works.  He also wrote the text for a series of at least 76 advertisements prepared by Hyde Windlass Co. on historic vessels which had used their equipment.  The main body of his work, however, remains the countless articles he wrote as Bath correspondent for the Gannett newspapers.  Much of his work is documented in MS-53. Hennessy was active in community affairs.  He was a member of the Bath City Council, 1926-1930 in his capacity as Bath correspondent, he attended every City Council meeting from 1925 to 1964.  He was also a member of the Colonial Club and the Marine Research Society of Bath.  He served as trustee, secretary and treasurer of Bath City Hospital over a span of twenty years.  In 1933 he became a corporator of the Patten Free Library and later served on the Book Committee, as well as the Building Committee for the Barker-Wright Memorial Wing.  At St. Mary's Catholic Church he was a corporal worker of the Mercy Society from 1930 until his death.  Hennessy was deeply involved with the formation of the short-lived Kennebec Marine Museum in the 1930's and later on, the Marine Research Society of Bath. In 1930 he married Flora I. Fraser (ca. 1904-1977), a fellow graduate of Morse High School.  She was the daughter of Coleman and Josephine Fraser of Bath and was a stenographer at the time of her marriage.  According to the wedding announcement in the newspapers, they were married on the same day as another couple who then joined them on their honeymoon.  They had no children.  For many years the Hennessys lived at 134 Centre St., Bath. He had a fishing hut lower down on the Kennebec where he used to go to think and write--and fish.  His knowledge of local maritime history was recognized widely.  Photographs show him with a fedora, a pipe in his mouth and his faithful Speed Graphic camera in his hand.  He enjoyed people very much and maintained correspondence with many.  There are still those in Bath who remember Mark Hennessy with respect and warmth.  He died in Bath of cancer on September 16, 1965.
Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on the study use of these materials
Subject Index
Account books
Administration of Estates
Advertising s.a. Sailing cards
Alabama Claims
Albert Gallatin (ship)
Alicia B. Crosby (4m Schooner)
America (Ship)
Anna Camp (Ship)
Aramede Snow (Ship)
Armenia (ship)
Aryan (Ship)
Associations, Institutions, etc.
Auxiliary Marine Bible Society of Bath and Vicinity
Azores (POR)
Barge No. 8
Baring Bros. Co., Ltd.
Bath (ME)
Bath (ME)--Banks and banking
Bath (ME)--Bridges
Bath (ME)--Businesses
Bath (ME)--Churches
Bath (ME)--Politics
Bath (ME)--Soldiers
Bath (ME)--Taxation
Bath (ME)--Vital Records
Bath Bridge Co.
Bath Maine Mining Co.
Bath Mutual Marine Insurance Co.
Bath Savings Institution
Benjamin F. Packard (Ship)
Bertha L. Downs (Schooner)
Big Squaw Mountain
Bills of sale
Birch Point Mill (ME)
Boynton, Alpheus W.
Brown, Joseph T., Captain
Bryan, William Jennings
Burlington (Bark)
C. & W. D. Crooker
California--Gold Discoveries
Canton (Ship)
Carpenters' and Joiners' Union
Catalogue of Prize Goods
Charles Crooker (Ship)
Charles S. Baylis (3m Schooner)
Charter parties
Chever, James, Captain
Church of the New Jerusalem
Clapp & Boynton
Clapp, Charles
Clapp, Charles Jr.
Clapp, D. F.
Clapp, Galen
Clapp, Galen [Jr.]
Clarissa Ann (Brig)
Coal trade
Coastwise Navigation--Laws and Legislation
Collisions at Sea
Columbian (Ship)
Comet (Schooner)
Confucius (Brig)
Cora F. Cressy (5m Schooner)
Coral (Brig)
Crew lists
Crooker, Charles
Crooker, Hannah
Crooker, William D.
Customs administration
Damariscotta (ME)
Dashaway (Schooner)
Dearborn, David Bailey
Deborah Pennell (Bark)
Dirigo (4m Bark)
Drummond, J.
Drummond, William J.
Eastern Queen (Steamer)
Eastern Steamboat Co.
Edward B. Winslow (Schooner)
Edward G. Farrar (Schooner)
Edward J. Lawrence (Schooner)
Ella (Ship)
Ellen Southard (Ship)
Ellingwood, John, W., Rev.
Emma Jane (Ship)
Emmons, Seward P., Captain
Empire (Brig)
Farmington (ME)
Florence (Schooner)
Fog Signals
Food habits
Forester (Brig)
Frances M. (Schooner)
Frank B. Witherbee (3m Schooner)
Frank Palmer (Schooner)
Frank T. Stinson
Frederick Roesner (Schooner)
Freeman, Charles H., Captain
Freeman, William, Captain
Freight and freightage
George A. McFadden (Schooner)
George E. Walcott (4m schooner)
George W. Wells (6m schooner)
Gibson, James, mate
Glasgow (Ship)
Goss & Sawyer
Goss, Guy C.
Goss, Sawyer & Packard
Goss Marine Iron Works
Grain trade
H. V. Baxter (ship)
Hannah Crooker (Ship)
Harnden, William A., Captain
Hartleb and Cheltra
Haytian Republic (screw steamer)
Hayward, John T., Captain
Henry, John
Henry Endicott (barge)
Hill, Arthur L., ship's boy
Hill, George S., Captain
Huron (screw steamer)
Hyde, Thomas Worcester
Ice industry
Idaho (ship)
Ilsley (brig)
Insurance, Marine
Iroquois (ship)
Isabella (bark)
J. H. Allen & Co.
J. O. Baker (ship)
James Boyce, Jr. (schooner)
James Henry (schooner)
James W. Elwell (schooner)
Jane Carlton (brig)
Janet Court (ship)
Jane Tudor (bark)
Jellerson, De Oscar, Captain
Jenny (sloop)?
John Maxwell (schooner)
John P. Best & Co.
John W. Dana (schooner)
Josephine (ship)
Kelley, Francis, Captain
Kenilworth (4m bark)
Legal documents
Letter books
Levi C. Wade (ship)
Liberty (schooner)
Lincoln (bark)
Lincoln, William P., Captain
Lincoln Mutual Fire Insurance Office
Live Yankee (ship)
Lucien Marie (motor vessel, fishing)
Macloon, Eben C., Captain
Magoun & Clapp
Magoun, David C.
Maine Association of the New Jerusalem Church
Maine Central Railroad
Maine General Hospital
Mallett, Elisha P.
Marcia (ship)
Marcia T. Wilder (brig)
Marcus L. Urann (5m schooner)
Margaret J. Roberts (3m schooner)
Marine engines
Marine protests
Marine pumps
Marine railways
Marshall (brig)
Mary E. Olys (3m schooner)
Mary E. Palmer (4m schooner)
Mary Manson Greuner (schooner)
Masters family
Masts and rigging
Maurry, Joseph, mate
Merchant marine--Government policy
Merchant marine--Officers
Merchant seamen--Legal status, laws, etc.
Merchant seamen--Medical Care
Mercury (bark)
Merry Meeting Bay Bridge Co.
Methebesec (schooner)
Mills and mill-work
Mines and mining
Minnesota (screw steamer, passenger)
Mooers, Abner, Captain
Morrison, Pierson, Captain
Morse, David
Moses, Galen C.
Mount Desert Island (ME)
Murphy, James F., Captain
Murphy, James K., Captain
Nancy J. Day (schooner)
Nantasket (sidewheel steamer)
Naples (ship)
Napoleon (schooner)
National Fishery Association
Naval architecture--Designs and specifications
Nellie May (bark)
New England Shipbuilding Co.
New Temperance Society of Bath
Oakland (ship)
Ocean Chronicle
Ocean Wave (brig)
Owen, Charles, Captain
Palafox (brig)
Palestine (ship)
Patten, William
Peters, Benjamin E. Captain
Platina (ship)
Politics, Practical
Port districts
Portland (ME)
Port Leon (brig)
Port Royal (JAM)
Ports of entry
Potomac Manufacturing Co.
Potter, Jeremiah S., Captain
Preble, Isaac, Captain
Prescott Palmer (5m schooner)
Price indexes
Randall, Benjamin
Reed & Small
Reed, Thomas McCobb
Reunion (ship)
Rhine (ship)
Rites and ceremonies--Launchings
Rogers, Hugh
Rogers, Samuel W.
Rouse, William James, Dr.
Sagadahoc Power & Light Co.
Sailing cards
Samuel Tarbox (bark)
Sappho (screw steamer, passenger)
Sarah C. Ropes (schooner)
Sarah E. Palmer (4m schooner)
Scott, Myron Lewis
Sea Queen (ship)
Searsport (ME)
Sea songs
Sebasticook (ship)
Sewall, Sumner
Sewall family
Sewall vessels
Ship captains
Ship models
Ship newspapers
Ships--Maintenance and repair
Ships--Registration and transfer
Shipyards--Bath (ME)
Signals and signaling
South Carolina (ship)
St. George (ME)
St. Thomas (VIU)
Star of the East (steamer)
Steamboat lines--Timetables
Steamboats--Law and legislation
Sullivan, J. H.
Susan (schooner)
Swanton (ship)
Swanton, Jameson & Co.
Tarbox, Andrew, Captain
Tarbox, Henry C., Captain
Taxation s.a. Bath (ME)--Taxation
Thomaston (ME)
Thompson, Nathaniel T., Captain
Ticonderoga (sidewheel steamer)
Torrey, Francis B.
Two Brothers (schooner)
Tyler, John S.
United States--History--War of 1812
United States. Customs
United States. Customs, Bath (ME)
Vatican City (ITA)
Veto (brig)
Victoria Reed (ship)
W. W. Crapo (ship)
Waldoboro (ME)
Webster, Daniel
Weeks, Benjamin O., Captain
West Bath (ME)
William P. Frye (4m bark)
William P. Wilson (schooner)
Wm. Cummings (ship)
Wm. J. & J. Drummond
Wm. P. Palmer (4m schooner)
Woodward, Seth T., Captain
World War, 1914-1918
Wyoming (6m schooner)
Xenia (bark)
Z. Hyde & Co.
Genres/Forms of Material
Articles of Incorporation
Land grants
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: The material described herein is the physical property of the Maine Maritime Museum Library. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors of the various items, or to their legal representatives, or to Maine Maritime Museum. For further information, consults the library staff.
Acquisition Notes: This collection was given in batches between 1970 and 1973 by Mark Hennessy's widow, Flora I. Hennessy.  The accession numbers are G70.196, G71.75, G71.82, G71.83, G72.106, G72.243, G73.278, G72.354,  The Mark W. Hennessy Collection materials described in this inventory are the result of Hennessy's lifelong interest in the maritime history of the Kennebec region.  During a period of nearly forty years as a newspaper correspondent, he accumulated information, photographs, and primary source material about the history of shipbuilding and the people involved in the shipping trades. The papers, however, have a cloudy provenance in some respects.  While it seems clear that Hennessy's widow gave the materials to Maine Maritime Museum, how Hennessy acquired them is not.  Some items are clearly marked as having belonged to Dr. William J. Rouse, a Bath patent medicine dispenser who died in 1933 (Box 3/28, 4/11 and 6/17).  Did Rouse give these items to the young reporter Hennessy, or did Hennessy acquire them after Rouse's death?  We don't know. Similarly many, many items appear to belong in the Sewall Family Papers (MS-22) good examples are the accounts of the Alicia B. Crosby (1/31), the Frank T. Stinson, (2/27), the George E. Wolcott (2/30), and the Sarah C. Ropes (3/26), all of which are continuations of identical account series in MS-22.  Other examples are the Xenia (4/10), the division of Bath and West Bath (5/1), Merry Meeting Bay Bridge Co. (5/30-37), the political campaign posters of Sumner Sewall (6/18) and William Jennings Bryan (12/16), Capt. William P. Lincoln's letter copybook (6/11), and the material on ice tools (13/3).  Many of these have the handwriting of William Dunning Sewall (1797-1877), Edward Sewall (1833-1879), or even Arthur Sewall (1835-1900) on them.  Because Hennessy had unrestricted access to the Sewall papers stored in their office building at 411 Front Street, Bath, from the time he worked there as an office boy in the summer of 1924 until his untimely death in 1965, it is very likely that these items became separated from the main body of the Sewall papers when Hennessy used them for either his regular maritime news articles or his research for various longer works.  (See Historical Note which follows.)  In spite of the fact that Hennessy spent the last few months of his life organizing his notes (now at MMM and stored as MS-53), there may very well have been sections which he did not get to.  As these were found, either by his widow, by various members of the Sewall family, or by William A. Baker, who continued Hennessy's work on the maritime history of Bath, they were probably set aside and brought to Maine Maritime Museum.  Staff simply do not know for certain.  In any case, some of these Sewall items have been moved to MS-22 and others have just been cross-referenced to MS-22 in the Container List which follows. The moved items are still noted on the MS-18 Container List, updated in 2015 by Nathan R. Lipfert. Other sections of material, in particular the Magoun & Clapp papers, have no marks or evidence to indicate where they came from.  It is possible that Hennessy bought them or that friends in the area, knowing of his long-standing interest in maritime history, gave them to Hennessy as they found the materials.  It is also possible that the Sewalls acquired them, either for the Kennebec Marine Museum opened at City Hall in the 1930's (it did  not last) or for the small museum they ran in their own office building about the same time.  Later, when the Sewall papers came to MMM, the "non-Sewall" items may have been separated out.  Since both collections arrived at the Museum at about the same time, and there is no evidence in Hennessy's own notes (MS-53) about how or what he acquired when., we simply cannot say what happened.  However, because the materials were accessioned as belonging together, they have been processed together.  The researcher is warned that careful study of the Sewall Family Papers (MS-22) in conjunction with the Hennessy Collection (MS-18) is warranted. With the exception of a few items, this collection is in good condition.  Preservation has been limited to removing staples and paper clips, minor surface cleaning, and insertion of some torn or fragile items into polyester sleeves.  There is no way to judge the "completeness" of the papers in any section.
PreferredCitation: Mark W. Hennessy Collection, 1784-1953, MS-18, Research Library, Maine Martime Museum, Bath, Maine