Curwen, George. Papers

Collection History

Rev. George Curwen was born in 1683 in Salem. He attended Harvard College, taking his first degree in 1701. While working toward his second degree, he was also a guest preacher at various churches, primarily in the Salem Village parsonage. Upon completion of his second degree he married Mehitable Parkman. Rev. Nicholas Noyes accepted Rev. Curwen as an assistant at the First Church in Salem and he was ordained in 1714. Rev. Curwen died in 1717, followed soon after by his wife and Rev. Noyes. The controversial Rev. Samuel Fisk was appointed their successor.

The collection includes Rev. Curwen's papers and accounts, which relate to personal matters such as his engagement and the death of his sister, as well as official correspondence such as ministerial requests, meeting notes, and items related to expenses and salary. Also included are two bound volumes of Rev. Curwen's early sermons, preached under the auspices of Cambridge ministers while he was still a student at Harvard.

The original manuscripts in this collection are owned by our project partners, the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum, and are part of the Curwen Family papers, a larger collection. Further information about the collection can be found in the Phillips Library's finding aid.

 

Digital Materials

Papers and accounts, 1699-1732

These include letters from George Curwen to his parents and fiancée, Mehitable Parkman, while at Harvard, letters from his relatives, Henry and Robert Gibbs, and letters from Curwen refusing the position of minister for the town of Reading in 1710.  It also includes a 1713/4 acceptance of the minister's position at the First Church in Salem, 1717 minister's rates, his estate papers, and poetic eulogies on the death of his sister Anna, his niece Sally Curwen, and several of his parishioners.

1699 from George Curwen to [unknown] update on travels
ca. 1700 from Henry Gibbs to George Curwen letter regarding money sent
1702 April 7 from Robert Gibbs to George Curwen general correspondence
1705 March 20 by George Curwen   poetic eulogy on the death of his sister Anna
1709 June 3 from George Curwen to Mehitable Parker remarks on upcoming visit and general correspondence
1710 January 25 from George Curwen to his father remarks regarding engagement to Mehitable Parker
1710 October 7 from George Curwen to the community and town of Reading refusal of call to ministry
1711 April 12 from "J.C." to George Curwen letter regarding marriage
1713/14 February 25 from John Edwards to George Curwen enumeration of expenses due by Mrs. Gibbs
1713/14 February 22 by the First Parish of Salem Town   town meeting votes including those regarding the installation and salary of Rev. Curwen
1713/14 March 15 from George Curwen to Rev. Nicholas Noyes letter accepting ministerial position at the First Church of Salem
1711/12 March 18 from Henry Gibbs to George Curwen general correspondence
1713/14 March 15 from George Curwen to the First Parish in Salem letter accepting ministerial position at the First Church of Salem
1714  from George Curwen to the First Church in Salem letter accepting ministerial position at the First Church of Salem
1714/15 from Mr. Ferguson to George Curwen commentary on sermon preached by Rev. Curwen
1715 December 20 from George Curwen to the First Church of Salem description of relationship to the church
1715 from John Edwards to George Curwen list of expenses
1716 April 9 from Robert Gibbs to George Curwen general correspondence
1717     "account of what was given to the Reverend George Curwen's funeral"
1717 August by Captain Nordon   expenses related to the ship the Speedwell from 1699-1717, received by Admiral George Curwen
1717 September 12     tax list for the attention of Mr. Noyce
undated by George Curwen   "elegy upon the death of several worthy pious persons"
1718 August 12 by Mehitable Curwen   funeral expenses for Jonathan Curwen, Esq.
1728 May by Elizabeth and Mary Lindell   petition for division of George Curwen's estate
1730 January 1 from John Appleford (on behalf of the probate court jury) to James Lindell letter regarding petition to divide George Curwen's estate
1732 January 15 from Judge Benjamin Lynde to the Lindells award of estate division
1732 January 15     list of expenses relating to the Lindell family's lawsuit
1737 July 29     an account of rings and valuables belonging to the late George Curwen
undated by John Mascarene   "an elegy to the memory of an amiable young lady lately deceased" (Sally Curwen)
undated by George Curwen   notes on the occasion of Rev. Curwen's ordination
undated     notes for essay or sermon
undated from the First Church in Salem to George Curwen proposals voted on by the church committee
undated     partial list of [rates]
undated from the East Parish in Salem   list of ministers' rates

Sermons 1700-1717, vol. 1

This collection comprises the sermons which Rev. Curwen preached while at Harvard and as a guest preacher at various churches, from 1700 and 1701.  These include sermons delivered at the behest of ministers William Brattle, Jabez Fitch, and Rev. Mather (either Increase Mather or Cotton Mather). The volume contains a front index.

Sermons 1700-1717, vol. 2

This volume includes Rev. Curwen's sermons preached from 1701-03, mainly as a guest preacher in Cambridge under the auspices of Rev. William Brattle.

 

Special Thanks

These digital resources have been made possible in part by the Council on Library and Information Resources, through a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this resource do not necessarily represent those of the Council on Library and Information Resources.

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