Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums
Christopher Seger Pendleton
Scope and Content
The Christopher Seger Pendleton ledger was acquired and preserved by Charles E. Frohman.
Christopher Seger Pendleton, a descendant of Brian Pendleton of England who had settled in Watertown, Massachusetts around 1634, was born in Westerly, Rhode Island in 1776. The Pendleton family had long been associated with the sea, most of the men having captained their own whaling vessels from ports in and around Stonington, Connecticut. Christopher, son of Captain Benjamin and Lois (Burdick) Pendleton, transported cargo via his sloop, the "Benjamin Bullwich," to Newport, Rhode Island, New York, and Philadelphia for at least forty years. Besides transporting various types of cargo to eastern U.S. cities, Pendleton made fishing voyages to the Grand Banks off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador as well whaling voyages to the Falkland Islands.
In 1801, Pendleton married Bridget Thompson at Westerly, and later the couple resided at Stonington, Connecticut, five miles northeast of Westerly. Besides sailing, Christopher found work as a blacksmith and sealer at the wharves of Stonington and Westerly as well as in the nearby Uncasville cotton and woolen mills. At least four known children were born to the couple, including Eliza (b. 1816) who married Enoch C. Chapman of New London, Connecticut in 1834. Eliza and Enoch, as a young couple, migrated to Sandusky, Ohio where they became life-long residents.
Scope and Content
The single, surviving account ledger of Christopher Pendleton documents the daily activities of the life of this early nineteenth-century New England sea captain for nearly forty years. Pendleton lists expenses for maintenance and repair of his sloop, the "Benjamin Bullwich," dates, destinations, and types of cargo, names and amounts of pay of ship hands, and dates of whaling voyages to the Falkland Islands and fishing trips to the Grand Banks. Pendleton includes accounts of his labor at the Stonington, Connecticut wharves as well as that at nearby cotton woolen mills. Personal household expenses, purchases, and names of area residents and family members extend throughout the ledger.
Some eighty newspaper clippings removed from the pages of the ledger date from 1860 to 1865. Nearly all of the clippings of poetry and romantic stories were from Sandusky, Ohio newspapers. Of the four clippings containing news articles, three mentioned Sandusky, Ohio resident Enoch C. Chapman, husband of Eliza Pendleton Chapman and son-in-law of Christopher Pendleton. Evidence suggests that Eliza Pendleton Chapman, daughter of Christopher, brought her father’s ledger with her from New London when she and her husband migrated to Sandusky, using it to preserve newspaper clippings during the year of 1860 to 1865.
One Ledger, 1801-1865.