Guide to the Cartwright Family papers, 1844-1944 (Bulk circa 1930s)

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.


Archibald Cartwright was born in Nantucket, Mass., in 1885 and worked as a whaler, fisherman, and Chief of the Nantucket Fire Department. During his retirement, he joined the staff of the Whaling Museum and entertained visitors with his whaling stories until his death in 1962. This collection includes mid-nineteenth century documents regarding the estate of Benjamin Cartwright, as well as circa 1930s photographs and postcards collected by Archibald Cartwright.

Collection Details

Collection Number:
Cartwright Family papers
1844-1944 (Bulk circa 1930s)
Cartwright family.
Nantucket Historical Association
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 Cartwright Family papers, Nantucket Historical Association.

Acquisitions Information:

Gift of Debra Cartwright in 2021 (RL2021.45).

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

  • GPN2600, Nantucket Historical Association.
  • GPN3616, Nantucket Historical Association.
  • P180, Nantucket Historical Association.
  • P181, Nantucket Historical Association.
  • PH146-SC23, Nantucket Historical Association.
  • S10031, Nantucket Historical Association.
  • S10032, Nantucket Historical Association.
  • S10033, Nantucket Historical Association.
  • SC869-1, Nantucket Historical Association.
  • SC869-3, Nantucket Historical Association.

Subject Headings

  • Personal Name
    • Cartwright, Archibald, 1885-1962.
    • Cartwright, Benjamin, 1747-1812.
    • Cartwright family.
  • Topical Term
    • Fire fighters.
    • Photographs – Nantucket.
    • Postcards--20th century.
    • Vessels (Ships).

Biographical Information

Archibald “Archie” Cartwright was born in Nantucket, Mass., to Benjamin and Agnes Hamilton Cartwright in 1885. He worked on the whaling ship Sunbeam starting in 1902, then joined the fishing vessel Petrel three years later. In 1946, he became Chief of the Fire Department and served until his retirement in 1954. Following his retirement, Cartwright became a staff member of the Whaling Museum, where he shared his stories of whaling with visitors until his death in 1962.

Scope and Content

Contains mid-nineteenth century bills, promissory notes, receipts, powers of attorney, and a quitclaim deed from the estate of Benjamin Cartwright, including shares in the land where Hadwen House (96 Main Street) would be built; postcards of Nantucket scenes; and photographs of Nantucket houses, boats, and fires collected by Archibald Cartwright.


Folder 1 Benjamin Cartwright estate documents, 1844-1845, undated

Folder 2 Photographs, 1934-1944

Folder 3 Postcards,  undated


Processing Information

Processed by Ashley Miller, March 2022.

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