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Goodwin, Ichabod



  • Existence: 1794 - 1882


Ichabod Goodwin was a 19th-century sea captain, merchant, financier, and politician who served as Governor of New Hampshire at the start of the Civil War. Born October 8, 1794 in Berwick, Massachusetts (now Maine), Goodwin moved to Portsmouth, New Hampshire at the age of fourteen. He began work in the counting house of Samuel Lord, a prominent ship owner and merchant. Starting at the age of 23, Goodwin commanded his own ship for many years. He retired from the sea in 1832 to explore mercantile pursuits on land, and formed a partnership with Samuel Coues. The pair owned several ships including the Marion, Kitty, Piscataqua, Sarah Parker, Pocahontas, and Isaac Newton. Goodwin’s ships traded extensively in Charleston, Savannah, and Liverpool, England as well as New York and Mobile. The bulk of the ships’ cargo consisted of rice and cotton. Goodwin recognized the importance of the railroad to Portsmouth’s economy and became president of the Eastern Railroad of New Hampshire and later the Portland, Saco, and Portsmouth Railroad. He also took an interest in manufacturing as the president of the Portsmouth Steam Factory which employed 380 people producing sheer cotton and linen fabric. Additionally, Goodwin served as president of The First National Bank of Portsmouth and the Piscataqua Savings Bank With an active interest in politics, Goodwin represented Portsmouth in the New Hampshire State Legislature as a member of the Whig Party. After an unsuccessful campaign for governor in 1856, Goodwin switched to the Republican Party and was elected governor in 1859, and reelected in 1860. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, the Legislature was not in session, so Governor Goodwin answered President Abraham Lincoln’s call for troops by personally funding the First New Hampshire Regiment. Goodwin married Sarah Parker Rice in 1827. Their daughter Susan married naval officer George Dewey (who later become Admiral of the Navy) in 1867. Goodwin died July 4, 1882. The Goodwin Mansion is preserved as part of the Strawberry Banke museum in Portsmouth.

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Ichabod Goodwin additional business papers

Collection Identifier: Mss:733 1815-1863 G663

The Ichabod Goodwin additional business papers, spanning the years 1815 to 1862, document the early career of a Portsmouth, New Hampshire ships captain, merchant, and financier.

Ichabod Goodwin business papers

Collection Identifier: Mss:733 1820-1902 G663

The business papers of New Hampshire merchant Ichabod Goodwin contain correspondence books, receipts, bank drafts and memorandum books regarding trade in Charleston, Liverpool, Mobile, New York and Savannah for cotton and rice. Goodwin was also the Governor of New Hampshire during the Civil War.