Guide to the Benevolent Societies’ Records, 1814–1976

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Research Library at the Nantucket Historical Association. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the internet.

Summary

The Union Benevolent Society was founded in 1866 by a group of Nantucket women who met weekly with the purpose of providing the poor children of the island with suitable clothing to enable them to attend schools, particularly Sunday schools. The Washington Benevolent Society was a Federalist organization of private citizens. It first met on 4 July 1814 to prepare a petition for free passage of supply ships to and from Nantucket to relieve the shortage of firewood caused by the War of 1812. The minutes of the Union Benevolent Society deal primarily with election of members and officers, lists of members, by-laws, and plans for meetings. The records of the Washington Benevolent Society contain an exchange of messages with the British regarding liberty of passage for vessels bringing provisions to the island from the mainland in 1814.

Collection Details

Collection Number:
MS60
Title:
Benevolent Societies' Records
Date(s):
1814–1976
Creator:
Union Benevolent Society, Washington Benevolent Society.
Repository:
Nantucket Historical Association
Language:
Material is in English.

Information for Users

Restrictions to Access: No restrictions. Open for research.

Restrictions to Use: No usage restrictions.

Copyright Notice: Copyright is retained by the authors of items in this collection, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation: [identification of item], in the Benevolent Societies’ Records collection, Nantucket Historical Association.

Acquisitions Information:

Gift of the Union Benevolent Society (Acc. 1980.15).

Sensitive Materials Statement:

Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual’s private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the Nantucket Historical Association assumes no responsibility.

Related Collections

  • MS72 Nantucket Relief Association Papers, 1873–1980
  • MS73 Children’s Aid Society of Nantucket Papers, 1860–1962

Subject Headings

  • Corporate Name
    • Union Benevolent Society.
    • Washington Benevolent Society.
  • Topical Term
    • Fraternal organizations--Massachusetts--Nantucket.

Biographical Information

The Union Benevolent Society was founded in 1866 by a group of Nantucket women who met weekly with the purpose of providing the poor children of the island with suitable clothing to enable them to attend schools, particularly Sunday schools. It was disbanded in 1978, its financial holdings transferred to the Nantucket Relief Association.

The Washington Benevolent Society was a Federalist organization of private citizens. It first met on 4 July 1814 to prepare a petition for free passage of supply ships to and from Nantucket to relieve the shortage of firewood caused by the War of 1812.

Scope and Content

The minutes of the Union Benevolent Society deal primarily with election of members and officers, lists of members, by-laws, and plans for meetings. Gifts of clothing are recorded, but names of recipients frequently are omitted, excised, or obliterated. The records of the Washington Benevolent Society contain an exchange of messages with the British regarding liberty of passage for vessels bringing provisions to the island from the mainland in 1814.

Contents

Box 1 Folder 1: Union Benevolent Society minute book I, 1866–1886
Box 1 Folder 2: Union Benevolent Society minute book II, 1882–1887
Box 1 Folder 3: Union Benevolent Society minute book III, 1888–1899
Box 1 Folder 4: Union Benevolent Society minute book IV, 1899–1909
Box 1 Folder 5: Union Benevolent Society minute book V, 1909–1916
Box 1 Folder 6: Union Benevolent Society minute book VI, 1916–1921
Box 1 Folder 7: Union Benevolent Society minute book VII, 1921–1925
Box 2 Folder 8: Union Benevolent Society minute book VIII, 1925–1937
Box 2 Folder 9: Union Benevolent Society minute book IX, 1937–1976

OP-60/1: Benefit certificate for Virginia G. Sharp, wife of Benjamin Sharp, 1885
OP-60/2: Union Benevolent Society Corporation Act, 1884
OPF-60/1: Washington Benevolent Society correspondence, 1814-1815

Items Separated

  • OP-60/1–2
  • OPF-60/1

Processing Information

Processed by Teddy Leane, June 2021.

Finding Aid by Teddy Leane, June 2021.

The Nantucket Historical Association preserves and interprets the history of Nantucket through its programs, collections, and properties, in order to promote the island’s significance and foster an appreciation of it among all audiences.

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