Guide to the Nantucket Cable Collection, 1882–1901

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.

Collection Details

Collection Number:
Nantucket Cable Collection
Nantucket Historical Association
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 Nantucket Cable Collection, Nantucket Historical Association.

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.

Subject Headings

  • Topical Terms
    • Communications.
    • Telegraph--Massachusetts--Nantucket--History.

Biographical Information

With appropriations from the U.S. Government, a cable was laid between Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, and Woods Hole on the mainland, establishing telegraph communication in 1885. Previously, these points had been connected only by carrier pigeons, semaphore signals, or mail by ship, except for two brief periods when short-lived cables were laid between Great Point and Monomoy (Chatham) and between Great Neck, Nantucket, and Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard. The cable was soon followed by land lines across the island when additional appropriations were received.

Scope and Content

The collection is made up largely of correspondence between Joseph B. Macy and Rev. Daniel Round, who lobbied in Washington, D.C., for the appropriations for constructing the cable. Also includes correspondence between Rev. Round and General W. B. Hazen of the Signal Corps, Eastman Johnson (Representative from Massachusetts), R. T. Davis, and others in Washington. Also includes communications regarding the laying of land lines in Nantucket in 1886 and the unequal use of the cable by Western Union.


Box 1 Folder 1: Petition letter, Nov. 1884
Box 1 Folder 2–4: Correspondence, 1 August 1882–22 May 1888
Box 1 Folder 5: News clippings, 1858–1901

Processing Information

Processed by NHA Staff.
Finding aid by Teddy Leane, July 2021.

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