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APPLETON, William

1786–1862

Biography

APPLETON, William, (cousin of Nathan Appleton), a Representative from Massachusetts; born in Brookfield, Mass., November 16, 1786; attended schools in New Ipswich, N.H., Francestown, N.H., and Tyngsboro, Mass.; worked in a country store at Temple, Hillsboro County, N.H., when fifteen years of age; moved to Boston in 1807; engaged in mercantile pursuits; president of the Boston Branch of the United States Bank 1832-1836; elected as a Whig to the Thirty-second and Thirty-third Congresses (March 4, 1851-March 3, 1855); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1854 to the Thirty-fourth Congress and for election in 1856 to the Thirty-fifth Congress; elected as a Constitutional Unionist to the Thirty-seventh Congress and served from March 4, 1861, to September 27, 1861, when he resigned because of failing health; died at Longwood (Brookline), Mass., February 15, 1862; interment in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Mass.

View Record in the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress

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External Research Collections

Dartmouth College Library
Rauner Special Collections Library

Hanover, NH
Papers: In the Appleton Family Papers, 1798-1884, 7.5 feet. Persons represented include William Appleton. An unpublished finding aid is available in the repository.

Harvard University
Baker Library, Graduate School of Business Administration

Boston, MA
Papers: In the William Appleton and Company Records, 1840-1889, approximately 31 linear feet. The records contain bound volumes including two journals, 1841-1861; one ledger, 1841-1859; six invoice books, 1841-1865; nine letter books, 1841-1876; and checkbooks. The unbound papers are principally letters and accounts current from agents in various parts of the world: Augustine Heard & Company and Russell & Company, Canton; Wolcott, Bates & Company, Shanghai; Russell, Sturgis & Company and Peele, Hubble & Company, Manila; Martin Murray & Company, Bombay; and Baring Brothers, Liverpool and London. Cary & Company were their agents in New York, J. C. Burnham & Company represented them throughout the South, and Henry Mellus was agent for the company in California. The California trade runs back to the period before the Mexican War. The Company was represented by less well-known houses in Matanzas, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, and Antwerp. The firm was owner or part owner of many of the ships which it employed, and the accounts and letters of the captains of these ships form an appreciable portion of the papers. Also included in the collection are records of companies in which the firm had financial interests: Benzinger Coal and Iron Company, St. Mary's, Pa., 1847-1881; Boston Oil Company, 1876-1877; Boston Sugar Refinery, 1837-1843; and Erie Basin Dock Company, South Brooklyn, N.Y., 1864-1880. Sixteen volumes of diaries and letter books, 1813-1861, of William Appleton and other members of the Appleton-Lawrence family have been added to the collection. An unpublished finding aid is available in the library.

Library of Congress
Manuscript Division

Washington, DC
Papers: In the Samuel Hopper Papers, 1829-1874, 0.2 linear foot. Correspondents include William Appleton.

Massachusetts Historical Society

Boston, MA
Papers: In the Appleton Family Papers, ca. 1539-1910, 20 boxes, 85 volumes in 16 boxes, 1 folder, and 3 oversize folders. Persons represented include William Appleton. An unpublished guide is available in the repository.
Papers: In the Thomas J. Coolidge Autograph Collection, 1852-1887, 1 box and 1 box of photocopies. Other authors include William Appleton. A finding aid is available in the repository and online.
Papers: In the Dwight-Warren Family Papers, 1832-1876, 1 volume. Correspondents include William Appleton.

New-York Historical Society

New York, NY
Papers: In the John Austin Stevens Papers, 1811-1885, 21.5 linear feet. Persons represented include William Appleton. A finding aid is available in the repository.

Peabody Essex Museum
Phillips Library

Salem, MA
Papers: In the William Appleton and Company Papers, n.d., 1 folder. A typescript compilation of information regarding 22 vessels owned by the Boston, Mass., merchant firm William Appleton and Company, comprised of William Appleton and Samuel Hooper. Notes annotated by F. Gordon Dexter. Information includes builder, launching, tonnage, dimensions, and, in some cases, details of voyages and cargoes, for the ships Admittance, Barnstable, Charlotte, Coromando, Courser, Cygnet, Delphi, Eben Preble, Edith Rose, Egeria, Hamlet, Horsburgh, Joshua Bates, Living Age, Loo Choo, Magenta, Mary Ellen, Milton, Nabob, Orion, and Oxnard, and the bark Tasso. An unpublished guide is available in the library.
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Bibliography / Further Reading

Appleton, William. Selections from the diaries of William Appleton, 1786-1862. Boston: Merrymount Press, 1922.

Appleton and Burlingame, which shall be your representative? [Boston: N.p., 1858?]

Loring, Susan Mason Lawrence. William and Mary Ann Appleton, 1815, and their descendents, 1915. Boston: [D.B. Updike], 1915.

Robbins, Chandler. Memoir of Hon. William Appleton. Prepared agreeably to a resolution of the Massachusetts historical society. Boston: Printed by J. Wilson and Son, 1863

Wells, E[leazer] M[ather] P[orter]. "They rest from their labors and their works do follow them." A discourse occasioned by the death of the Hon. William Appleton, delivered at St Stephen's chapel, Sunday, Feb. 23d. Boston: [Printed by A. Mudge and son], 1862.

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