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Guide to the John Calvin Dodge Papers, 1781-1932, undated

Request for Use
John Calvin Dodge papers
Dodge, John Calvin
Date [inclusive]:
1781-1932, undated
Date [bulk]:
2 Linear Feet
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Legal papers and documents concerning the maritime cases handled by John Calvin Dodge and his sons, as well as biographical and family material.
Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Preferred Citation:

Cite as: John Calvin Dodge Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine

John Calvin Dodge, son of Isaac and Rachel (Ring) Dodge, was born on November 6, 1810, in Newcastle, Maine. The youngest of eight children, he was graduated from Bowdoin in 1834, taking high rank in his class. He was not permitted to participate in active exercise with his classmates, however, due to an illness falsely diagnosed as an "organic disease of the heart."

After graduation Dodge taught school in Eastport, Maine (1834-1836), after which he relocated to Andover, Massachusetts, to work as a civil engineer for the Boston and Maine Railroad. In 1837, he entered the office of the Honorable Peleg Sprague, judge of U.S. District Court, and studied law.

Dodge opened his first law office in Nobleboro, Maine (1839-1842), later returning to Massachusetts to practice in Boston (1842-1885). His specialty was representing shipmasters, and he came to rank among the foremost admiralty lawyers in the country. Dodge was also active in the municipal affairs of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and was prominent in the formation of the Freedom Soil Party. He returned to the Whig Party, however, when the Freedom Soil Party coalesced with the Democratic Party.

Dodge served in the Massachusetts Legislature in 1857 and in the State Senate in 1862, and he joined the Cambridge Reserve Guards during the Civil War. Dodge received an LL.D. from Bowdoin in 1875, and was a member of the Board of Overseers from 1872-1888.

He married Lucy Sherman of Edgecomb, Maine, on May 15, 1843. They had three sons: Frederic, William Walter, and Edward Sherman; all became members of the law firm of John C. Dodge & Sons of Boston. John Calvin Dodge died on July 17, 1890, at Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Legal papers and documents concerning the maritime cases handled by John Calvin Dodge and his sons, as well as biographical and family material. The legal materials include correspondence, dockets, case files, and ships papers. Biographical materials include John C. Dodge's journal (1850-1866) with entries (starting July 4, 1863) that mention the Civil War; his autobiography; and letters, family pictures, and ephemera.

Series Description:

Information concerning maritime cases handled by John Calvin Dodge and his sons, as well as legal correspondence, and ships papers. Bills of lading, certificates of survey, protests, and other documents are included.


Arranged by material type, then chronologically.

Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

1842 Jul - 1846 Mar

box 1 folder 1

1846 Apr - 1854 May

box 1 folder 2

1854 Jun - 1907 Mar, n.d.

box 1 folder 3

1854-1885, n.d., letters from Richard H. Dana, Jr. and son

box 1 folder 4

1896, letters from Louis D. Brandeis

box 1 folder 5


volume 1


volume 2


volume 3


volume 4

Ephemera - miscellaneous, 1787-1886, n.d.

box 1 folder 6

1858-1911, n.d., Chronological list of cases and alphabetical list of vessels

box 1 folder 7

1858 Mar, Guille et al. v. "Zone"

box 1 folder 8-10

1860, Guille et al. v. Ship Zone

volume 5

1860 May, Delano & Als v. Guille Bros

box 1 folder 11

1861 Nov 5, Blanchard v. Equitable Safety Marine and Fire Insurance Co. (Imeary "Sunbeam" v. "Borodino")

box 1 folder 12

1862 Aug 23, "La Manche"

box 1 folder 13

1862 Nov 19, U.S. v. "David E. Wolfe"

box 1 folder 14

1871 Apr 20, Bridge et al. ("Merrimac") v. "Aleppo"

box 1 folder 15

1879, Hamilton v. Shoe and Leather Insurance Co. ("Messenger")

box 1 folder 16

1879, "Hercules"

box 1 folder 17

1881, The "Ralph M. Hayward"

box 1 folder 18

1883 Mar 8, Johnson ("G. M. Porter") v. "Alfred Brabrook"

box 1 folder 19

1883 Sep 13, Winslow et. al. ("Arthur C. Wade") v. "City of Columbus"

box 1 folder 20

1884 Jan 14, Higgins et. al. ("Mary Matheson" v. "Kanawha"

box 1 folder 21

1885 Apr 2, The Boston Ice Co. of Aspinwall and Panama v. U.S.

box 1 folder 22

1886 Feb 3, Chase ("D. M. Anthony") v. "Leander V. Beebe"

box 1 folder 23

1886 Feb 4, Wiley ("Lucy Graham") v. "Mabel L. Phillips"

box 1 folder 24

1886 Apr 20, "Waddell v. U.S."

box 1 folder 25

1887 Jun 22, "Hattie Baker" and "Lancaster"

box 1 folder 26

1888 Feb 1, U.S. v. Perry et. al.

box 1 folder 27

1888 Apr 10, Emery et. al. ("Lygonia") v. Lombard

box 1 folder 28

1888 Apr 17, U.S. v. Mayo

box 1 folder 29

1888 Apr 22, Wonson et. al. ("Carltar") v. "Veteran"

box 1 folder 30

1888 Oct, Young et. al. v. "S. S. Stroma"

box 1 folder 31

1888 Oct 10, Stewart ("Rabboni") v. "Nellie E. Rumball"

box 1 folder 32

1888 Dec 20, Kelley ("Charles E. Moody") v. "Tonawanda"

box 1 folder 33

1909 Apr 9, Luckenbach ("West Point") v. "William Sprague," "Vesta," and "Everett"

box 1 folder 34

1910 Sep 30, Lehigh Valley Transportation Co. ("Bloomsbury") v. "Powow" and "Hazel Dell"

box 1 folder 35

1910 Dec 14, Consolidated Coal Co. ("Piedmont") v. "General E. S. Greeley"

box 1 folder 36

1911 Jul 16, "Nevis" and "S. S. Herman Winter"

box 1 folder 37

1911 Aug 7, Mendez et. al. ("Eleazer Boynton") v. "Camden"

box 1 folder 38

n.d., Ingersoll ("Lookout") v. "Eva L. Ferris"

box 1 folder 39

n.d., U.S. v. "Hancock"

box 1 folder 40

1841-1899, Bills and receipts

box 2 folder 1

1850-1880, Bills of sale, mortgages

box 2 folder 2

1850-1898, Charter parties

box 2 folder 3

1854-1898, Bills of lading

box 2 folder 4

1855-1860, Master and seamen agreements

box 2 folder 5

1865-1888, Libels, protests

box 2 folder 6

1869-1882, Certificates of survey, enrollments, fisheries license

box 2 folder 7

Series Description:

John Calvin Dodge's handwritten autobiography and its typed transcription, as well as his "Daily Records" from 1850-1866 noting personal activities and news of the day, particularly concerning the Civil War (from July 4, 1863). There is correspondence between Dodge and his brothers, letters from Dodge to his family from Europe, and daguerreotypes of the Dodge family. Other family material includes papers concerning the probate of Isaac Dodge's estate, and sermons dating from 1781.


Arranged alphabetically by material type.

Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

"Autobiography of John C. Dodge," handwritten, ca. 1880

volume 1

"Autobiography of John C. Dodge," typed transcription of ca. 1880 handwritten volume

box 2 folder 8

"Daily Records" of John C. Dodge (JCD), 1850 Jan 1 - 1866 Nov 8

volume 2

Frederic Dodge as a youth - 3 views (daguerreotypes), n.d.

box 2 folder 9

JCD's office in Boston (albumen print), ca. 1880

box 2 folder 10

JCD with Lucy Sherman Dodge and sons - 3 views (daguerreotypes), 1854, n.d.

box 2 folder 11

John Thomas Miller (daguerreotype), n.d.

box 2 folder 12

Unidentified adult [Lucy S. Dodge?] - 2 views (daguerreotypes), n.d.

box 2 folder 13

Unidentified children [JCD's sons?] - 4 views (daguerreotypes), n.d.

box 2 folder 14

Letters between JCD and his brothers, 1828-1857

box 2 folder 15

Letters from JCD to his family from Europe, 1870

box 2 folder 16

Obituaries and biographical information, 1832-1891, n.d.

box 2 folder 17

Probate of Isaac Dodge's estate, 1850s, 1874

box 2 folder 18

Sermons - handwritten booklet, author unidentified, 1781-1795, n.d.

box 2 folder 19