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Mss:733 1855-1892 M666

Minott, Charles V. Charles V. Minott Records, 1855-1917 (inclusive), 1860-1892 (bulk): A Finding Aid

Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University


Harvard Business School, Boston MA 02163.

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: Mss:733 1855-1892 M666
Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Title: Charles V. Minott records
Date(s): 1855-1917
Date(s): 1860-1892
Quantity: 56 linear feet (63 volumes, 6 boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Charles V. Minott was a Phippsburg, Maine, shipbuilder, shipowner, and trader. The collection includes financial records for Minott's Phippsburg general store and shipping records for his fleet of sailing vessels.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Provenance: Gift of Charles V. Minott, Jr., 1931, and gift of Ada Minott Haggett, 1999.
Accession No. M-00-1 (v. 25-69 only)

Processing Information:

Processed by: Timothy J. Mahoney, 2003.

Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open for research. Materials stored offsite; access requires advance notice. Contact specialcollectionsref@hbs.edu for more information.

Historical Note:

Charles Vincent Minott was a shipbuilder,shipowner, and trader in the coastal town of Phippsburg, Maine, during the mid- to late nineteenth century. From the 1850s to at least the 1890s, he was part owner and agent of numerous ships that were involved in both the American coastal trade and international deepwater shipping. His ships sailed to Boston,New York,Philadelphia,New Orleans, and San Francisco, and internationally to Liverpool and Hull in England,Le Havre in France,Dublin and Queenstown (Cork) in Ireland, and Antwerp, Belgium, among other ports.
Charles V. Minott was a prosperous businessman with varied interest and holdings. In August 1860, the local agent for the R.G. Dun & Company credit-reporting agency noted that Minott "has a ship now on the stocks, owns part of one or 2 vessels & has R.E. [real estate]; is prob[ably] good for 12 m $ [$12,000] & is a smart active man." By 1865, Dun reporters estimated Minott's worth at approximately $40,000, where it remained into the 1880s. In 1879, a Dun reporter noted that Minott "does more or less shipbuild'g—launched one of 2000 tons last season & is preparing to build another." The career of the ship St. Charles is illustrative of Charles V. Minott's shipping interests. The ship was built in Minott's shipyard in 1883 and launched the following year. The St. Charles hauled cargo between the major ports of the east and west coasts of United States and numerous European ports. The vessel carried a variety of cargoes, including coal, cement, wheat, flour, and salt. A coal dust explosion sank the St. Charles off the coast of Oregon in May 1892.
Minott entered the retail trade in 1861. In August 1861, a Dun reporter noted that Minott "has recently purchased the stk. [stock] of J. H. Young & Co. and is trading." The small general store that Minott established at Phippsburg supplied local residents (including many of his workers) with groceries, clothing, shoes, small hardware items, and many other products. The store remained in business until at least 1915.

Series Outline

The collection is arranged in the following series:

Scope and Content Note:

The records date from 1855 to 1917, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1860 to 1892. Included are correspondence between Charles V. Minott, Sr. and his agents in many ports concerning his ships and their cargoes, bills and receipts for provisions and supplies for ships and crews, insurance documents, and shipping contracts. The bulk of the collection is a comprehensive set of ledgers and daybooks that document the finances of the general store that Minott owned in Phippsburg, Maine.

Container List