Location: Bowdoin / Library / Special Collections & Archives / Manuscript Collections / Charles Vaughan papers, 1683-1908 (bulk 1773-1861)

Charles Vaughan papers, 1683-1908 (bulk 1773-1861)

2.25 linear feet.

Catalog Number: M180

A guide to the collection prepared by the donor, which includes synopses of correspondence, is available here.

Agency History / Biographical Note:
Charles Vaughan (1759-1839) was born in England, grew up on his father's Jamaica plantation, and moved to New England in 1785. An heir to his maternal grandfather, Benjamin Hallowell,Charles and his brother Benjamin founded and built much of the town of Hallowell, Maine, on land acquired by their grandfather as part of the Kennebec Purchase. Charles also tried, but failed, to establish a new Kennebec River seaport called Jones Eddy to rival the existing port at Wiscasset, Maine.

Vaughan moved to Boston in 1791 where he became a merchant trading with England and, with his brother-in-law Charles Bulfinch, promoter of Boston's first block of brick homes. Failure of the brick block, of Jones Eddy, and other ventures led to bankruptcy in 1798. He retired to Hallowell, where he was agent for non-resident proprietors of the Kennebec Purchase and worked to develop Maine agriculture and animal husbandry. He served as a Bowdoin Overseer from 1811 until his death in 1839.

Vaughan married Frances Western Apthorp in 1791; four of their six children survived into adulthood.

Scope and Content:
Correspondence (1781-1848); documents, including deeds and land records; essays; and other material (1683-1908) relating to Charles Vaughan and the Vaughan family, including Benjamin Vaughan, John A. Vaughan, and in-laws from the Abbott, Apthorp, Merrick and Hallowell families. The collection documents the relationships of the Vaughan family, and its businesses, especially the Jamaica plantation and the England and West Indies trade. Although most of the letters are between family members, the correspondents also include Joseph Priestley, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, and George Washington.

The donor's original arrangement is preserved, as described in a guide he prepared. The collection is supplemented by a genealogical volume and transcripts of some letters, also prepared by the donor. Other material relating to the Vaughan family can be found in the Abbott Memorial Collection.


Cite as: Charles Vaughan Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library.
Access Restrictions: None.

George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives · Staff · Hours
Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421 · scaref@bowdoin.edu · (207) 725-3288