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Patterson family papers

Identifier: M144

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Scope and Contents

The bulk of the collection concerns Benjamin Patterson, with two small series for Actor P. Patterson and Benjamin Patterson Sands. In addition to family and business correspondence, there are letters concerning the disappearance of Maria L. Patterson, family records, and images of family members. Bills, receipts, shipping documents, and journals kept by Benjamin Patterson while at sea are also included.


  • Creation: 1798-1928, undated (bulk 1820-1859)
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1820 - 1859


Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Biographical/Historical Note

This collection focuses on three members of the Patterson family: Benjamin Patterson; his older brother, Actor Patten Patterson; and Benjamin's grandson, Benjamin Patterson Sands. Benjamin Patterson, son of Benjamin Sr. and Elizabeth Patten Patterson, was born August 20, 1798, and was a shipmaster in Saco, Maine. He went to sea in 1815 at the age of seventeen and lead a seafaring life for almost fifty years, never losing a vessel nor having a serious accident. He commanded ships calling at ports in South America, the East Indies, and Europe, and for many years was engaged in the cotton trade. Benjamin Patterson married Lucinda Truesdell on August 11, 1825, and they had seven children. His youngest son, Alfred, also followed a maritime career. Maria L. Patterson, his youngest daughter, left New York via steamer in the spring of 1867 to return to Saco. The steamer and her trunk arrived safely in Boston, but Maria was missing and was never located. Benjamin Patterson died at his home in Saco, Maine, on August 31, 1877.

Actor Patten Patterson, older brother of Benjamin Patterson, was born February 12, 1791, married Lydia Hutchins on September 26, 1821, and had two daughters. A shipmaster at Kennebunkport, Maine, he died January 11, 1869.

Benjamin Patterson Sands was born in Saco, Maine, on December 13, 1859, to Benjamin Patterson's daughter, Emma Patterson, and her husband, Albion Sands. Benjamin Patterson Sands was a non-graduate of the Medical School of Maine at Bowdoin College, Class of 1881. He died on November 6, 1930, in Brookline, Massachusetts.


0.35 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Family and business correspondence, images, bills, receipts, shipping documents, and journals, primarily concening Benjamin Patterson, with two small series for Actor P. Patterson and Benjamin Patterson Sands.


Organized in three series: Actor P. Patterson, 1820-1859, n.d.; Benjamin Patterson, 1798-1877, n.d.; and Benjamin Patterson Sands, 1928, n.d.

Guide to the Patterson Family Papers
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

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

3000 College Station
Brunswick Maine 04011 USA
(207) 725-3288