Summary Information

Repository
George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011
Title
Maritime papers
ID
M123
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1840-1880
Date [inclusive]
1787-1964, undated
Extent
0.5 linear feet
Language
Abstract
Materials on ships and shipbuilding, chiefly in northern New England. The bulk pertain to William G. Randall and the Bath, Maine, shipbuilding company of Bibber & Randall Co.

Preferred Citation

Maritime Papers, George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library.


Biographical/Historical Note

John D. Bibber and William G. Randall, master shipbuilders, established the Bibber & Randall shipbuilding company in Bath, Maine, in 1854. William G. Randall went to sea in the early 1840s, was employed at the Portsmouth Navy Yard during the Civil War, and was thought to have been employed in Bath, Maine, in 1848. In 1854, the Bath Custom House records indicate that Bibber & Randall Co. completed the 498-ton ship Sebastopol (see William Baker's A Maritime History of Bath and the Kennebeck River Region, Bath, Marine Research Society of Bath, 1973). John D. Bibber was married to Mehitable Cowen Hall. Their son, Randall Doyle Bibber, and grandson, Harold Thornton Bibber, were both graduated from the Medical School of Maine at Bowdoin College (Class of 1871 and Class of 1908)


Scope and Content

The collection contains information on ships and shipbuilding, chiefly in northern New England. The bulk pertains to William G. Randall and the Bath, Maine, shipbuilding company of Bibber & Randall Co. Included are correspondence and documents, a Bibber & Randall Co. ledger and letterbook, and William G. Randall's design notebooks with drawings and notes concerning several vessells (such as the Frank Haynie, the Natchez and the Kearsage). Other materials in the collection include several issues of Low's Almanac (1787-1806), some heavily annotated (by an unknown author) with observations about weather, ship arrivals, agricultural planting and local miscellany; various documents recording vessels in Portland, Maine (1789-1800); reports from the early 1900s concerning damage to Russian cruisers; and printed maritime ephemera and newspaper clippings.


Arrangement

Organized in four series: Correspondence, 1847-1880; Journals and Notebooks, 1787-1905, n.d.; Financial Material, 1854-1872, Clippings and Ephemera, 1856-1865, 1951-1964, n.d.


Administrative Information

Publication Information

 George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine 04011 2011

3000 College Station
Brunswick, Maine, 04011
(207) 725-3288
scaref@bowdoin.edu

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.


Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Bibber & Randall Co. -- Archives.
  • Frank Haynie (Ship)
  • Kearsarge (Sloop)
  • Natchez (Ship)

Personal Name(s)

  • Bibber , John B.
  • Randall, William G. -- Notebooks.

Subject(s)

  • Almanacs, American -- Massachusetts -- Periodicals.
  • Business, Industry, Economics
  • Maritime
  • Shipbuilding -- Maine -- Bath -- History -- 19th Century.
  • Shipping -- Maine.

Collection Inventory

 M123.1 Correspondence, 1847-1880 

Arrangement:

Arranged alphabetically.

Series Description:

Includes a Bibber and Randall Co. letterbook concerning the ship Sebastopol, correspondence relating to the steamer Huntress, and letters of recommendation for William G. Randall.

Access Restrictions:

No restrictions.

Volume
1

Bibber and Randall letterbook (concerning ship Sebastopol), 1855-1862 

    Box Folder
    1 1

    Correspondence concerning the steamer Huntress, 1847-1880 

      1 2

      Letters of recommendation for William G. Randall, 1863 


         M123.2 Documents, Journals and Notebooks, 1787-1905, n.d. 

        Arrangement:

        Arranged chronologically.

        Series Description:

        Contains documents, drawings, notebooks, and reports from the late 1700s to the early 1900s. William Randall's notebooks (1840-1860, n.d.) include drawings and notes relating to the Natchez of Brunswick, Maine, the Civil War era Kearsage, the Frank Haynie and other vessels. Annotated issues of "Low's Almanac"(from 1787, 1796, 1799, 1800, 1802, 1803, 1806) provide information on ships in Newburyport and Boston, Massachusetts, as well as weather, planting and other local observations. Other documents (1789-1800), owned by Nathaniel Fosdick, concern shipping in Portland, Maine. There are also reports (1904-1905) by John A. Lord, carpenter for the United States Navy, recording damage to Russian cruisers sustained in battle with the Japanese fleet off Port Arthur and in the Battle of Tsushima Straits.

        General Note:

        William G. Randall's notebook, ca. 1851-1860 is also available on microfilm.

        Access Restrictions:

        No restrictions.

        Box Folder
        1 3

        1787-1806, Manuscript notes in "Low's Almanac" 

          1 4

          1789-1800, Documents of Nathaniel Fosdick 

            1 5

            1840 Oct 20 - 1841 Nov 27, Journal of William G. Randall's voyage from London to New Orleans to Boston on the ship Natchez 

              Volume
              1 Folio

              ca. 1851-1860, Randall notebook, including a drawing for the Frank Haynie (notebook also available on microfilm) 

                Box Folder
                1 6

                1904-1905, Reports of John A. Lord on damage to four Russian cruisers 

                  1 7

                  Undated, Notebook of William G. Randall 

                    1 8

                    Undated, Notebook of William G. Randall re: the ship Kearsarge, and Smithsonian photo of the ship Kearsarge 


                       M123.3 Financial Material, 1854-1872 

                      Arrangement:

                      Arranged chronologically.

                      Series Description:

                      Account book, ledger and other finanacial information for Bibber and Randall Co.

                      Access Restrictions:

                      No restrictions.

                      Box Folder
                      1 9

                      1854-1861, Bibber and Randall account book 

                        Volume
                        1 Folio

                        1859-1863, Bibber and Randall ledger (with an alphabetical index laid in) 

                          Box Folder
                          1 10

                          1859-1872, Bibber and Randall various financial information 


                             M123.4 Clippings and Ephemera, 1856-1865, 1951-1964, n.d. 

                            Arrangement:

                            Arranged chronologically.

                            Series Description:

                            Newspaper clippings (1856-1860) concerning regattas and yachts, as well as clippings (1958-1964), primarily from a series in the "Ellsworth American" concerning ships of the past. Printed ephemera, mostly undated, includes a blank charter party contract, shipping news, and brochures regarding wages and equipment.

                            Access Restrictions:

                            No restrictions.

                            Box Folder
                            1 11

                            1856-1860, n.d., Miscellaneous newsclippings 

                              1 12

                              1858, 1865, n.d., Miscellaneous printed ephemera 

                                1 13-17

                                1951, 1962-1964, n.d., Newsclippings, the bulk from a series on ships of the past, arranged alphabetically by vessel name 

                                  1 18

                                  Undated, miscellaneous manuscript ephemera