Guide to the Mitchell Family Papers, 1844–1896

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 Mitchell Family papers include letters, inventories, receipts, and investment records relating mainly to Joseph Mitchell (1806–1888) and other members of his family, primarily Andrew C. Mitchell (1814–1871), Francis M. Mitchell (1823–1891), his brothers Edward Mitchell (1795–1869), Matthew Mitchell (1800–1883), and Isaac Mitchell (1803–1879), his nephew Richard H. Mitchell (b. 1813), and his son Dr. J. Sidney Mitchell (1866–1888).

Collection Details

Collection Number:
Mitchell Family Papers
Mitchell 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 Mitchell Family Papers, Nantucket Historical Association.

Acquisitions Information:

Gift of James Todd Jr.; Folder 2 gift of Mrs. Frances (Lewis) Elder in 1980 (Acc. 1980.13); Folder 22 gift of the Nantucket Atheneum (Acc. 1965.4); Folder 27 deed, Brant Point Meadows, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jesse Eldridge; Folder 28 gift of Josephine Mitchell and sister (Acc. 1342); Folder 29 gift of Douglass Burnett of Sparko, Md.; Folder 30 extract from Constitution/Bylaws of the New England Protective Union gift of Gertrude M. King; letter to Israel Turner gift of Florence Abbott; SV-1/1 gift of Henry B. Worth in 1946.

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

  • MS10 Account Books Collection, Nantucket Historical Association
  • MS15 Ships' Papers Collection, Nantucket Historical Association

Subject Headings

  • Personal Name
    • Leeds, Helen.
    • Mitchell, Andrew C., 1814–1871
    • Mitchell, Edward, 1795–1869.
    • Mitchell family.
    • Mitchell, Francis M., 1823–1891.
    • Mitchell, Frederic F., circa 1842–1866.
    • Mitchell, Henry, 1830–1902.
    • Mitchell, J. Sidney, 1866–1888.
    • Mitchell, Joseph, 1806–1885.
    • Mitchell, Matthew, 1800–1888.
    • Mitchell, Peleg, 1802–1882.
    • Mitchell, Richard H., 1813–.
  • Corporate Name
    • Edward Cary (Ship)
    • Second Congregational Church (Nantucket, Mass.)
  • Topical Term
    • Businesses—Massachusetts—Nantucket—19th century.
    • Land titles—Massachusetts—Nantucket.
    • Medicine—Massachusetts—Nantucket—History—19th century.
    • Quakers—Massachusetts—Nantucket.

Biographical Information

Joseph Mitchell (1806–1885) was born on Nantucket, Mass., to Laban Mitchell (1770–1810) and Elisabeth Freeborn Mitchell (1762–1852). He married Sally Folger (1810–1856), with whom he had four children: Ellen Mitchell (d. 1891), Ann B. Mitchell, Frederic F. Mitchell (circa 1842–1866), and Dr. J. Sidney Mitchell (1866–1888). His second marriage to Judith Folger (1817–1906) produced no children.

Joseph’s son Dr. Sidney Mitchell was a medical practitioner on the island. He married Helen Leeds in February 1867, and they had three children: Frederic Mitchell (d. 1873), Helen Mitchell Jr. (b. 1868), and Joseph Mitchell (1869–1870), who died after eight months.

Peleg Mitchell (1802–1882) was born on Nantucket, Mass., to Peleg Mitchell (1759–1831) and Lydia Cartwright (1762–1833). He married Mary Ann Whippey (1802–1836), and the two had no children. After the death of his first wife, he married Mary Russell Jr. (1811–1902) circa 1837. They had three children: Mary Ann Mitchell Albertson (b. 1838), Elisa R. Mitchell (b. 1840), and Lydia S. Mitchell Hinchman (b. 1846).

Henry Mitchell (1830–1902) was born on Nantucket, Mass., to William Mitchell (1791–1869) and Lydia Coleman Mitchell (1792–1861). Though he was married three times – to Mary E. Dawes (d. 1870) in 1854, Margaret Hayward (d. 1875) in 1873, and her sister Mary Hayward (d. 1902) in 1876 – he never had children.

Scope and Content

The Mitchell Family papers include letters, inventories, receipts, and investment records relating mainly to Joseph Mitchell (1806–1888) and other members of his family, primarily Andrew C. Mitchell (1814–1871), Francis M. Mitchell (1823–1891), his brothers Edward Mitchell (1795–1869), Matthew Mitchell (1800–1883), and Isaac Mitchell (1803–1879), his nephew Richard H. Mitchell (b. 1813), and his son Dr. J. Sidney Mitchell (1866–1888).

Letters contain family news and reports of events in the Second Congregational Society (Unitarian Church). Notable correspondence discusses payment of insurance after the loss of the ship Edward Cary. Other ships mentioned are the Florence, Smithfield, Rambler, Apphia Maria, and Christopher Mitchell.

Also includes receipted bills from Nantucket businesses. The scrapbook of Henry Mitchell (1830–1902), ca. 1800–1850, includes information, with hand-drawn maps, about the location of the land and houses of many early settlers of Nantucket. A diary and letter book, 1844–1877, by Peleg Mitchell (1802–1882) discusses Friends meetings and religious affairs on Nantucket.

Also included in the collection are reprints of articles and speeches on medicine by Dr. J. Sidney Mitchell (1866–1888).


  • Box 1 Folder 1 Joseph Mitchell biographical information, 1869
  • Contains biographical information about Joseph Mitchell (1806–1885), and a letter from Mitchell to Abby, 27 September 1869
  • Box 1 Folder 2 Joseph Mitchell appointments and community concerns, 1846–1858
  • Box 1 Folder 3 Joseph Mitchell Second Congregational Society papers, 1863–1874
  • Box 1 Folder 4 Joseph Mitchell Commercial Insurance Company papers, 1858–1874
  • Box 1 Folder 5 Joseph Mitchell incoming non-family correspondence, 1857–1870
  • Box 1 Folder 5.5 Joseph Mitchell correspondence, 1862–1870
  • Box 1 Folder 6 Joseph Mitchell receipts and bills, 1866–1876
  • Box 1 Folder 7 Joseph Mitchell receipts and bills, 1859–1876
  • Box 1 Folder 8 Joseph Mitchell receipts and bills, 1860–1875
  • Box 2 Folder 9 Joseph Mitchell receipts and bills, 1855–1879
  • Box 2 Folder 10 Joseph Mitchell business papers, 1866–1873
  • Box 2 Folder 11 Joseph Mitchell notebooks, 1856–1874
  • Box 2 Folder 12 Andrew Mitchell personal papers, 1855–1856
  • Box 2 Folder 13 C. A. Mitchell drawings, circa 1850–1900
  • Box 2 Folder 14 “Uncle Charles'” correspondence, 1863–1871
  • Box 2 Folder 15 Edward Mitchell papers, 1852–1870
  • Box 2 Folder 16 Francis M. Mitchell papers, 1846–1891
  • Box 3 Folder 17 Frederick F. Mitchell Civil War papers, 1860–1866
  • Box 3 Folder 18 George F. Mitchell correspondence, 1870
  • Box 3 Folder 19 Joseph Sidney Mitchell letters, 1866–1896
  • Box 3 Folder 20 Joseph Sidney Mitchell publications and speeches, 1866–1896
  • Box 3 Folder 21 Matthew Mitchell letters, 1870
  • Box 3 Folder 22 Peleg Mitchell diary, letter book, and deeds, 1844–1877
  • Box 3 Folder 23 Richard H. Mitchell papers, 1848–1870
  • Box 4 Folder 24 Henry Mitchell papers, 1857–1897
  • Box 4 Folder 25 Aaron Mitchell papers, 1814–1856
  • Box 4 Folder 26 Peleg Mitchell deeds, 1798–1816
  • Box 4 Folder 27 Richard Mitchell land papers, 1765–1816
  • Box 4 Folder 28 Thomas T. Mitchell memorial notice, 1877
  • Box 4 Folder 29 Walter Mitchell poem, undated
  • Box 4 Folder 30 Mitchell family papers, 1793–1912
  • Box 4 Folder 31 Mitchell family papers, undated
  • Box 4 Folder 32 News clippings, 1866
  • SV-1/1 Henry Mitchell scrapbook, circa 1800–1850
  • OP-1/1 Crosby/Gardner nail hole punching patent, 1860
  • OP-1/2 Richard Mitchell Ensign certificate, 1870

Items Separated

  • SV-1/1 Henry Mitchell scrapbook
  • OP-1/1 Crosby/Gardner nail hole punching patent
  • OP-1/2 Richard Mitchell Ensign certificate

Processing Information

Processed by NHA staff. Finding aid by Abbie Minard and Amelia Holmes, June 2018. Finding aid updated by Kelli Yakabu, July 2021.

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