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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:733 1815-1863 G663

Ichabod Goodwin additional business papers


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.


  • 1815-1863


Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite.

Please contact for more information on access procedures and reproduction services.


0.75 linear feet (2 boxes)

The Ichabod Goodwin additional business papers document the career of Ichabod Goodwin, a New Hampshire ship's captain, merchant, financier, and politician. The collection primarily documents Goodwin's early years as a ship's captain from 1815 to the mid-1820s, first for the Portsmouth, New Hampshire counting house of J.P. & S. Lord on the Ship Elizabeth Wilson and later as the owner of his own vessel, the Ship Hitty. Goodwin primarily shipped salt, cotton, rice, and iron from ports in the Southern United States, such as Savannah and Charleston, to Liverpool, England. This is documented in 45 letters exchanged between Goodwin and other sea captains, merchants, agents, and personal acquaintances and family.There are a few instances when letters to multiple recipients are written on the same sheet of paper. There are some letters of introduction that Captain Goodwin carried on his voyages. A small number of letters document Goodwin's later career including his partnership with Samuel E. Coues in Portsmouth in the 1830s and 1840s. The collection also includes 30 pieces of commercial paper including sight drafts, invoices and receipts, shopping lists of sea journeys, itemized accounts of expenses and income, records of wages paid, as well as a workbook for training a mariner in documenting transactions made by a sea captain and trader using examples from Goodwin's voyages.

Biographical / Historical

Ichabod Goodwin (1794 – 1882) was a white man who worked as a sea captain, merchant, financier, and politician. He is most well known for serving as the 27th Governor of New Hampshire from 1859 to 1861. 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 John P. & Samuel Lord, ship owners and merchants based in Portsmouth. In 1817, Goodwin began sailing on the Lords' merchant vessel Elizabeth Wilson and was promoted to captain of that ship in 1821. During this period he made vogayges from Savannah, Charleston, and other southern ports carrying cargos of cotton, rice, salt, and iron to Liverpool. He was able to purchase his own ship, the Hitty, and continued sailing for the Lords until their firm collapsed in 1822. Finding other financial backers, Goodwin continued sailing and trading for another decade. Goodwin retired from the sea in 1832 to explore mercantile pursuits on land, and formed a partnership with Samuel Coues in the mid-1830s in Portsmouth. Goodwin died July 4, 1882. The Goodwin Mansion is preserved as part of the Strawberry Banke museum in Portsmouth.

Some details in the biographical note are from the description provided by the dealer when purchasing the collection.


The Ichabod Goodwin additional business papers are arranged in chronological order.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased, 2021.

Related Materials

For additional Ichabod Goodwin business records at Baker Library, Harvard Business School see Ichabod Goodwin business papers, 1820-1902.

Additional related collections include the Ichabod Goodwin family collection, 1758 - 1891 and Ichabod Goodwin papers, 1825 - 1861 at Dartmouth College, Rauner Special Collections Library Repository and Records of Goodwin & Coues, 1839-1849 at G. W. Blunt White Library, Mystic Seaport.

Processing Information

Processed: July 2021 By: Liam Sullivan

Baker Library
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University Repository

Baker Library Special Collections holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

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