Guide to the Marshall-Pinkham-Farrier Family Papers, 1823-1990, bulk 1850–1890

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.


The Marshall family of Nantucket, Mass., included teacher Helen Marshall (1851–1939); her father, whaling captain Joseph Marshall (1811–1879); and his second wife and Helen’s mother, Malvina Pinkham Marshall (1820–1885). The Pinkham family of Nantucket, Mass., included whaling captain Seth Pinkham (1786–1844), his wife Mary Brown (1791–1874), and their seven children including Malvina Pinkham Marshall. Helen Locke, a granddaughter of Seth and Mary Brown Pinkham, married Robert Edward Farrier of New Rochelle, N.Y., in April 1892 and they had six children. The collection contains correspondence, calling cards, land records, wills, newspaper clippings, photographs, poetry, plays, and genealogical notes of the Marshall, Pinkham, Locke, and Farrier families. Also included are books and manuscript volumes owned by Helen Marshall and a graduate proposal about Helen Marshall.

Collection Details

Collection Number:
Marshall-Pinkham-Farrier Family Papers
1823-1990, bulk 1850–1890
Marshall family. Pinkham family. Farrier 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 Marshall-Pinkham-Farrier Family Papers, Nantucket Historical Association.

Acquisitions Information:

Gift of Helen Marshall Hall Brown (1994.21, RL2013.68, RL2014.42, RL2014.48, RL2014.97, RL2015.05, RL2017.15, RL2018.22, RL2019.49, RL2019.22, RL2020.21, RL2020.33).

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

  • MS486 Pinkham Family Papers, Nantucket Historical Association.

Subject Headings

  • Personal Name
    • Farrier family.
    • Farrier, Helen Locke, –1866.
    • Farrier, Robert Edward.
    • Marshall family.
    • Marshall, Helen, 1851-1939.
    • Marshall, Joseph, 1811-1879.
    • Marshall, Malvina Fitzalan Pinkham, 1820-1885.
    • Pinkham family.
    • Pinkham, Mary Brown, 1791-1874.
    • Pinkham, Seth, 1786-1844.
  • Topical Term
    • Calling cards.
    • Families--Massachusetts--Nantucket--Photographs.
    • Genealogy.
    • Land deeds--Massachusetts--Nantucket.
    • Newspapers.
    • Plays.
    • Poetry.
    • Whaling.
    • Wills--Massachusetts--Nantucket.

Biographical Information

The Marshall family of Nantucket, Mass., included teacher Helen Marshall (1851–1939); her father, whaling captain Joseph Marshall (1811–1879); and his second wife and Helen’s mother, Malvina Pinkham Marshall (1820–1885). The family traveled the world aboard the whaleships Aurora and Sea Queen. Helen Marshall was born in a small village in the Azores and spent the first eight years of her life sailing with her parents around the Pacific. Her travels eventually brought her to Nantucket, Mass., where she spent the remainder of her childhood. She left the island in 1872 to attend Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. After further study, she became a teacher on Nantucket, and later in Norwich, Conn.

Joseph Whippey Marshall (1841–1916) was born in Nantucket, Mass., on 6 August 1841 to Joseph Marshall and his first wife, Phebe P. Whippey (1815–16 November 1841), their only child. He lived with his paternal grandmother, Eunice Macy Marshall, while his father was at sea. In 1865, he moved to San Francisco, Calif., where he worked as a drayman and, later, as a clerk. Marshall married Anna B. Coffin (6 February 1848–4 October 1931) in 1865; together, they had four children.

The Pinkham family of Nantucket, Mass., included whaling captain Seth Pinkham (1786–1844), his wife Mary Brown (1791–1874), and their seven children. Seth Pinkham was born on 9 July 1786 in Nantucket, Mass., to Jethro Pinkham (1745–1820) and Susanna Coffin (1748–1827). Pinkham rose in the whaling industry from cabin boy to captain, and made his fortune commanding three whaling voyages between 1815 and 1823. Retiring from the sea at thirty-seven, he relished his time at home; he and his wife, Mary Brown, reared a lively family of six daughters and one son. After others mishandled his investments, he felt compelled to make a final voyage to regain financial stability for his family. Pinkham sailed to the Pacific in 1840, but died of illness in June 1844 at Pernambuco, Brazil, just a month from home.

Mary Brown (1791–1874) was born on 18 June 1791 to William Brown (1764–1840) and Elizabeth Coffin (1763–1843), the oldest of eight children. Her father was a sea captain, and her maternal grandfather, Hezekiah Coffin (1741–1779), commanded one of the ships at the Boston Tea Party in 1773. Brown understood the responsibilities of a sailor’s wife when she married Seth Pinkham in 1811. During his long voyages, she ran the household and cared for their children. The beneficiary of an early education that was denied her husband, Mary assisted him in his quest to speak and write eloquently and to rear his children to gentility.

Seth and Mary Coffin Pinkham had seven children, Seth Pinkham Jr. (1831–circa 1920), Mary B. Pinkham Plaskett (1814–1910), Elizabeth C. Pinkham Crosby (1816–1897), Rebecca C. Pinkham Mitchell (1818–1870), Malvina F. Pinkham Marshall (1820–1885), Harriet B. Pinkham Locke (1828–1874), and Helen Pinkham Belcher (1843–1913).

Helen Locke was born on 6 May 1866 to Harriet B. Pinkham (1828–1874) and John Goodwin Locke (d. 1869). Locke married Robert Edward Farrier of New Rochelle, N.Y., in April 1892. Together they had six children: Ednah Crosby Farrier (b. 1893), Robert Locke Farrier (b. 1894), Helen Elizabeth Farrier (b. 1897), Gordon LeBaron Locke Farrier (b. 1899), Florence Farrier (b. 1900), and Clarence Marshall Farrier (b. 1904).

Scope and Content

The Marshall-Pinkham Family Papers includes three series, with the first series containing correspondence between various members of the Marshall, Pinkham, Locke, and Farrier families. Subjects include detailed accounts of daily occurrences and events and Nantucket gossip. Some letters also contain detailed descriptions of home furnishings, including the furniture, carpets, fabrics used, and room arrangements.

The second series consists of personal papers of the Marshall, Pinkham, and Farrier families, including poems, plays, notes, and genealogical information.

The third series consists mainly of materials that belonged to Helen Marshall (1851–1939), including books that belonged to her while she was on board the ship Aurora as a child.


Series 1: Correspondence, 1823-1970.

Extent: Approximately 250 items.

Scope and content: Correspondence between various members of the Marshall, Pinkham, Locke, and Farrier families. Files are arranged by family member and then chronologically.

Box 1 Folder 1 Belcher, Helen Pinkham, 1858-1897, undated

Box 1 Folder 2 Belcher, Joseph H., undated

Box 1 Folders 3-4 Crosby, Elizabeth Pinkham, 1858-1861, 1896

Box 1 Folder 5 Crosby, William H., 1851, undated

Box 4 Folder 74 Farrier, Ednah Crosby, 21 April 1915

Box 4 Folder 75 Farrier, Gordon LeBaron Locke, 15 May 1928

Box 1 Folder 6 Farrier, Helen Locke, 1892, 1926

Box 1 Folder 7 Farrier, Robert Edward, 1889–1938

Box 4 Folder 77 Farrier, Robert Locke, 21 October 1970

Box 4 Folder 76 Farrier, Marshall, 1955-1956

Box 1 Folder 8 Locke, Harriet B. Pinkham, 1839, 1850

Box 1 Folder 9 Marshall, Helen, 1876–1932, undated

Box 1 Folder 10 Marshall, Joseph, 1851-1860

Box 1 Folder 11 Marshall, Joseph W., 1860, 1866

Box 1 Folder 12 Marshall, Malvina Pinkham, 1857-1871, undated

Box 1 Folder 13 Mitchell, Rebecca C. Pinkham, 1850-1859

Box 1 Folder 14 Pinkham, Philinda Fisher, undated

Box 1 Folders 15-20 Pinkham, Mary Brown, 1850-1860

Box 1 Folder 21 Pinkham, Seth, 1823–1843

Box 1 Folder 22 Pinkham, Jr., Seth, 1852-1860

Box 1 Folder 23 Plaskett, Mary Pinkham, undated

Box 1 Folder 24 Miscellaneous correspondence, 1853-1894, undated

Series 2: Personal Papers, 1861-1990.

Extent: Approximately 150 items.

Scope and content: Includes calling cards, land records, wills, newspaper clippings, photographs, poetry, plays, and genealogical notes documenting the Marshall, Pinkham, and Farrier families. Materials are arranged by family member, then topic.

Box 2 Folder 25 Belcher, Helen M. will, 1913

Box 2 Folder 26 Belcher, Mr. and Mrs. J. R. calling card, undated

Box 2 Folder 27 Chadwick, Eliza Ann deed (photocopy), undated

Box 2 Folder 28 Coffin, Mr. and Mrs. Zenas calling card, undated

Box 2 Folder 29 Crosby, Elizabeth C. will, 1896

Box 2 Folder 30 Crosby, Elizabeth Pinkham journals, 1853

Box 2 Folder 31 Crosby, Mrs. William H. calling card, undated

Box 2 Folder 32 Farrier, Gordon LeBaron captain’s license (photocopy), circa 1990

Box 4 Folder 79 Farrier family plans, 1926-1956

Includes plans of the Farrier family’s Squam Road property.

OPF-283/1 Farrier family plans, 1931-1962

Includes plans of the Farrier family’s Squam Road property.

Box 4 Folder 78 Farrier family stencil, undated

Box 2 Folder 33 Farrier, Marshall deeds, 1956

Box 2 Folder 34 Farrier, Robert E. and Helen L. land court decree, undated

Box 2 Folder 35 Farrier, Robert E. and Helen L. wedding invitation (photocopy), circa 1990

Box 2 Folder 36 Farrier, Robert L. deed (photocopy), 1969

Box 2 Folder 37 Gurey, John W. envelope, undated

Box 2 Folder 38 Marshall, Helen receipts, 1888–1889

Box 2 Folder 39 Marshall, Helen report card, 1869

Box 2 Folder 40 Marshall, Helen will and obituary, 1933, 1939

Box 2 Folder 41 Marshall, Joseph deeds, 1865, 1866

Box 2 Folder 42 Marshall, Joseph envelopes, 1859–1861

Box 2 Folder 43 Marshall, Joseph receipts, 1864, 1880

Box 2 Folder 44 Pinkham, Helen M. calling card, undated

Box 2 Folder 45 Pinkham, Helen M. envelope, undated

Box 2 Folder 46 Pinkham, Malvina F. invitation, undated

Box 2 Folder 47 Pinkham, Mr. and Mrs. calling card, undated

Box 2 Folder 48 Pinkham, Seth calling card, undated

Box 2 Folder 49 Pinkham, Seth financial records, 1828–1838

Box 2 Folder 50 Pinkham, Seth receipt, 1828

Box 2 Folder 51 Pinkham, Seth reminiscence, undated

Box 4 Folder 81 Pinkham, Seth waste book, 1840

Box 2 Folder 52 Pinkham, Seth will (photocopy), 1895

Box 2 Folder 53 Unidentified envelopes, undated

Box 2 Folder 54 Clippings, 1898, 1947, undated

Includes clippings about Elizabeth Pinkham Crosby, the ship Beaver, Through the Hawse-Hole, Gordon Farrier, Chadwick’s Folly, and the Coffin School.

Box 2 Folder 55 Ephemera, 1916, undated

Includes a 1916 ferry timetable, a brochure for Squam House, and a flyer for The Folly at Squam Head.

Box 2 Folder 56 Family photographs, circa 1916

Box 2 Folder 57 Genealogical notes, 1850-1886

Box 2 Folder 58 Literary notes, undated

Box 2 Folder 59 Plat of Fair Street land, undated

Box 2 Folder 60–62 Poetry and plays, 1868-1875, undated

Box 4 Folder 80 Squam Head article, 1990

Box 2 Folder 63 Squam House photographs, undated

Box 2 Folder 64 Soap recipe, undated

Series 3: Helen Marshall materials, 1856-1915.

Extent: 14 items.

Scope and content: Series includes books and manuscript volumes owned by Helen Marshall. Also included is a graduate proposal about Helen Marshall.

Box 3 Folder 66 Untitled children’s book of short stories,  undated

Helen Marshall’s first book aboard the ship Aurora

Box 3 Folder 67 Writings, undated

Contains brief writings by Helen Marshall on her life and “The Shawl”

Box 2 Folder 65 Mother Goose in Hieroglyphics, 1856

Signed [Helen] Nelly Marshall.

Box 3 Folder 68 Tales of Many Lands, 1860

Signed Helen Marshall, Valparaiso.

Box 3 Folder 69 Notebook, 28 February 1872-12 June 1874

Contains clippings of poetry.

Box 3 Folder 70 Journal, 1883

Entries begin on Nantucket and detail family life, the weather, and school work.

Box 3 Folder 71 Helen Marshall autobiographical manuscripts, circa 1915
Contains Memories, 24 handwritten pages; and My Childhood on a Whaler, 35 typescript pages.

Box 3 Folder 72 A Captain of the Vanished Fleet by Benjamin Sharp, 1915

Signed Helen Marshall.

Box 3 Folder 73 Thomas W. Hall graduate proposal on Helen Marshall, 1925

Includes Thomas W. Hall’s project proposal submitted to New York University in 1925.

Items Separated

  • OPF-283/1 Oversize paper folder

Processing Information

Processed by Sarah Helm, August 2014.

Finding aid written by Sarah Helm, August 2014, with additional description by Sarah Lerner and Amelia Holmes in November 2018. Additional description by Ashley Miller, January 2022.



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