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Call No.: UAI 20.793
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Harvard University. Corporation
Title: Records relating to Harvard's ownership of the sloop Cyrus, 1793-1798
Quantity: .26 cubic feet (1 flat box)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, much of the fuel wood used in Boston was cut on farms in New Hampshire and Maine and transported to the city by coastal sloops (a type of smaller sailing vessels). Between 1793 and 1798, Harvard College maintained the sloop Cyrus to transport wood from the College's property in Maine, through the Boston harbor, and up the Charles River to Cambridge. The wood was both sold at market and used to supply the College. This collection contains ownership and accounting records created and collected by the Harvard Corporation related to its ownership of the sloop Cyrus between 1793 and 1798.
In the Harvard University Archives
- Harvard University. Corporation. Corporation records: minutes, 1643-1933 (UAI 5.30): http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.ARCH:hua51010
- Harvard University. Steward. Early records of the Steward, 1649-1812 (UAI 71): http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.ARCH:hua19010
- Harvard University. Corporation. Harvard College Papers, 1st series, 1636-1825, 1831 (UAI 5.100): http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.ARCH:hua62011
- Harvard University. Corporation. Corporation papers, 1st series, supplements to the Harvard College Papers, circa 1650-1828 (UAI 5.120): http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.ARCH:hua09012
- Harvard University. Corporation. Records of land and property owned by Harvard University (UAI 15.750): http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.ARCH:hua28010
- Harvard University. Treasurer. Records of the Treasurer of Harvard University (UAI 50.xx): http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.ARCH:hua05009
- Records relating to the sloop Harvard (UAI 20.801)
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, much of the fuel wood used in Boston was cut on farms in New Hampshire and Maine and transported to the city by coastal sloops (a type of smaller sailing vessel). Between 1793 and 1798, Harvard College maintained the sloop Cyrus to transport wood from the College's property in Maine, through Boston Harbor, and up the Charles River to Cambridge. The wood was both sold at market and used to supply the College.In September 1792, the Harvard Corporation ordered College Treasurer Ebenezer Storer (1730-1807; Harvard AB 1747) to purchase a wood sloop jointly with William Winthrop for £350. William Winthrop (1753-1826; Harvard AB 1770) was the youngest son of Harvard Professor John Winthrop (1714-1779) and a wealthy Cambridge resident. He imported goods from a wharf on his property on the Charles River, and presumably the shared purchase offered both Winthrop and the Corporation a more affordable investment. On February 2, 1793, Winthrop and Treasurer Storer purchased the sloop Cyrus, a sailboat built in Falmouth, Massachusetts in 1790. The vessel was captained by Captain Levi Drinkwater and managed by Treasurer Storer who maintained financial accounts related to the sloop's cargo and repairs, and Steward Caleb Gannett (1745-1818; Harvard AB 1763) who managed the College's supply of wood and and provided inventory figures for the Treasurer's accounts.The sloop began making regular voyages to collect wood, and between May and December 1793 the vessel made eleven trips. The sloop offered Harvard a means to more effectively control their wood supply and potentially make a profit selling wood in the Boston area. On March 4, 1795, the Harvard Corporation purchased Winthrop's half of the sloop for $600. In December 1795, the sloop had begun leaking, and repairs were arranged by Captain Samuel Russell of North Yarmouth and completed in 1796. By 1798, the Corporation had decided to sell the sloop Cyrus, and Russell managed the sale of the vessel on March 7, 1798 to Samuel Drinkwater and Abel Sawyer of North Yarmouth for 212 cords of wood.The College continued transporting wood into 19th century on the Cyrus's successor, the sloop Harvard. The sloop Harvard ran until 1827, when the College determined that purchasing wood locally was much less expensive than the costs associated with the sloop's voyages to Maine.
- Clark, Henry and F.O. Vaille, editors. The Harvard book : a series of historical, biographical, and descriptive sketches. Cambridge: Welch, Bigelow and Company, 1875.
- Morison, Samuel E. Three Centuries of Harvard, 1636-1936.Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1936.
- Quincy, Josiah. The History of Harvard University. Cambridge, Mass.: John Owen, 1840.
The records are arranged in chronological order.
This collection contains ownership and accounting records created and collected by the Harvard Corporation related to its ownership of the sloop Cyrus between 1793 and 1798. The documents include four bills of sale for the sloop; a handwritten copy of the vessel's federal enrollment certificate; financial account records compiled by Harvard College Treasurer Ebenezer Storer, Harvard Steward Caleb Gannett, and joint-owner of the sloop, William Winthrop, related to the transportation and dispersal of the sloop's wood freight; and two letters from Samuel P. Russell to Ebenezer Storer regarding the sale of the sloop by Harvard in 1798.Item titles are transcribed from document versos unless otherwise noted.
This document last updated 2015 January 30.