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Chandler Family Papers

Identifier: SpC MS 0094

Scope and Contents

The Chandler family papers consist of business and personal papers of several generations of the family as well as materials concerning the town of New Gloucester, Maine. They reflect the involvement of the family in farming, a general store and grocery, and the lumber industry. Materials documenting the family's activities in civic and religious organizations are also included.

The papers are arranged in two series: Family Papers and Material about New Gloucester. The Family Papers series has several sub-series. The collection was re-foldered sometime after arriving at the Fogler Library; many of the folder labels assigned then have been used in this finding aid.

The Family Papers series is arranged chronologically with each individual family member's papers as a sub-series. The records of Bearce and Chandler are also a sub-series in this series. Within each sub-series, if present, the materials include correspondence and other personal material, followed by legal, financial, and purchasing records. Legal records typically include deeds, notes, documents from various estates for which the Chandlers served as administrators, and tax documents. Financial records include statements of accounts, assets and liabilities, ledgers, journals, cashbooks, daybooks, and bills or accounts payable and receivable. Purchasing records include bills, receipts, and orders. This series ends with a sub-series of papers of various family members each too small to be considered a separate sub-series, as well as materials not belonging to any specific family member.

The New Gloucester series contains various documents from citizens of the town as well as a small group of materials about the militia, schools, churches, and various organizations in the town.

The series outline and description which follows lists the major types of papers found in each sub-series.


  • Creation: 1750-1956
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1795-1886


Restrictions on Access

Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.

Restrictions on Use

Information on literary rights available in repository.

Biographical Note

The collection contains the personal and business papers of several generations of the Chandler family of New Gloucester, Maine. It centers primarily on materials of Peleg, Philip, Solomon Hewett (both elder and younger), Charles Parsons, Charles Peleg, and Andrew Campbell Chandler, as well as business records of Bearce and Chandler, a grocery business of Dexter Bearce and Solomon Chandler.

Peleg Chandler was born in 1735 in Duxbury, Massachusetts and later moved with other family members to North Yarmouth, Maine, and then to New Gloucester where he became a blacksmith. Active in town affairs, he served for many years on the Committee of Safety, was one of the original members of the Orthodox Congregational Church in New Gloucester, and in 1784 was a representative to the Massachusetts General Court. He married Sarah Winslow in 1762 and had 11 children. Peleg Chandler died in 1819.

Philip Chandler, Peleg's son, was born in 1767. He seems to have been involved in business with his father and also served as a coroner. He married Deborah Hewett in 1790 and died in 1823. Solomon Hewett Chandler (1790-1858), whose papers make up a large part of the collection, was Philip Chandler's oldest son. In partnership with Dexter Bearce (1781-1838), his uncle by marriage, he started a grocery and general store in New Gloucester around 1815. He also seems to have been involved in the lumbering business and in a carding mill. He became known as New Gloucester's wealthiest citizen. He married Sarah Campbell in 1825 and had two sons, Solomon Hewett and Andrew Campbell Chandler.

Charles Parsons Chandler (1801-1857) was the son of Peleg Chandler, Jr. and his wife Sarah and the grandson of the older Peleg Chandler. Charles Parsons Chandler graduated from Bowdoin College in 1822 and received an A.M. in 1827. He read law in his father's office and later practiced law in Foxcroft, Maine. He also served as preceptor at the Foxcroft Academy and was in the Maine Senate from 1854 to 1857.

Charles Peleg Chandler (1835-1862), the son of Charles Parsons Chandler, graduated from Bowdoin in 1854 and from Harvard Law School in 1857. He then worked in the law office of Massachusetts governor John Andrew until 1861 when he enlisted as a major in the 1st Massachusetts Infantry. He was killed at Malvern Hill, Virginia, in 1862.

Solomon Hewett Chandler (1828-1903) was the son of Solomon Hewett and Sarah Chandler. He was involved in lumbering operations in the Letter E Plantation near Madrid, Maine, and also in farming. His brother, Andrew Campbell Chandler (1830-1894), was also involved in farming in New Gloucester. He served in the Maine House of Representatives in 1869.


6 cubic feet (7 boxes)

1 linear foot (ledgers)

Language of Materials



Consists of business and personal papers of several generations of the family as well as materials concerning the town of New Gloucester, Maine.

Organization of the Records

Series I: Family Papers

Sub-series 1: Papers of Peleg Chandler (1735-1819)

Papers include photocopies of personal correspondence, 1791-1794; deeds of properties owned by Peleg Chandler, 1762-1811; records concerning the meetinghouse in New Gloucester; and a copy of Peleg Chandler's will, 1815.

Sub-series 2: Papers of Philip Chandler (1767-1823)

Papers include correspondence, 1803, 1821-1822; legal documents, 1795-1819; deeds, 1796-1824; and materials about the estate of Peleg Chandler, 1819-1823. Also included are daybooks, account books and memorandum books, 1794-1816, some from the P. and P. Chandler Company.

Sub-series 3: Papers of Solomon Hewett Chandler (1790-1858)

One of the largest sub-series in the collection, materials include lesson books, 1806-1809; incoming correspondence, 1814-1857; and documents about the estate of Philip Chandler, 1823. This sub-series also contains account books, 1818-1859; bills, 1824-1853; and receipts, 1823-1857. Although the bills and receipts are addressed to S.H. Chandler personally, they are for groceries, dry-goods, equipment, hardware, etc., and are probably from his partnership in Bearce and Chandler. The bills are mostly from firms in Portland, Maine and in Boston. This sub-series ends with records documenting Chandler's involvement in the lumber business.

Sub-series 4: Papers of Dexter Bearce (1781-1838)

This small sub-series includes personal correspondence, 1810, 1815 and 1824, as well as an account book, 1811.

Sub-series 5: Records of Bearce and Chandler

This large sub-series begins with legal and financial records about the establishment of the partnership between Dexter Bearce and S.H. Chandler. It is followed by detailed accounts of goods on hand and amounts of money due to the store, 1817-1834, plus daybooks, cashbooks, journals and ledgers, 1814-1864. Bills to the store, 1807-1825, for goods and equipment sold are also included.

Sub-series 6: Papers of Charles Parsons Chandler (1801-1857)

Included are photocopies of incoming personal correspondence, a catalogue of Foxcroft Academy and a document, 1833, appointing Chandler a justice of the peace.

Sub-series 7: Papers of Charles Peleg Chandler (1835-1862)

This small sub-series includes materials about Chandler's attendance at Bowdoin, 1851-1854, and an undated lesson book.

Sub-series 8: Papers of Solomon Hewett Chandler (1828-1903)

Included is incoming correspondence, 1869-1885, as well as correspondence concerning lumbering in the Letter E Plantation, 1885; notes on agriculture and crops; financial information, 1862-1871; a daybook from Letter E Plantation, 1884-1886; and bills, 1884-1886.

Sub-series 9: Papers of Andrew Campbell Chandler (1830-1894)

This sub-series contains correspondence, 1853-1892, insurance and tax documents, agricultural information, ledgers, and bills and receipts. The correspondence reflects Andrew Chandler's work in agriculture and his interest in religion; it includes a letter, 1874, from Joshua Chamberlain, writing about the need to keep Bowdoin an evangelical Christian college. It also contains some material from S.H. and A.C. Chandler's business activities together.

Sub-series 10: Papers of other Chandler family members

This sub-series contains material from early Chandler family members as well as genealogical material, advertisements for agricultural and lumbering equipment and supplies, and various unidentified journals and memo books.

Series II: Material about New Gloucester

This series begins with account books, diaries and other documents of various individuals not related to the Chandler family; these are listed alphabetically by the names of their creators. A small group of records about the town of New Gloucester and its activities closes the series.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Acquired from Donald C. Chandler, New Gloucester, Maine, in 1966.

Guide to the Chandler Family Papers
Box And Folder List Available
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for uncoded script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States