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Shepley family papers

Identifier: M162

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Scope and Content

Correspondence, manuscripts, journals, photographs, documents and printed ephemera. The collection contains correspondence between members of the Shepley, Perley, Barrows, and Sergeant families, particularly Reuel Barrows, his wife Nancy Perley Barrows, and their daughter Mary Fessenden Barrows Shepley. Also includes manuscript and typescript notes written by Elizabeth and Charles Sergeant on a variety of topics; Nancy Perley's journal of a trip from Fryeburg, Maine (1818) to New Hampshire; Annie Shepley's diary of an 1889 visit to Moosehead Lake; as well as family photographs, financial documents and genealogical materials.


  • Creation: 1802 - 1972


Access Restrictions

No Restrictions.

Use of Digital Collections

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Biographical/Historical Note

This collection centers on the inter-related Shepley, Perley, Barrows, and Sergeant families, particularly Reuel Barrows (1791-1857), a physician in Fryeburg, Maine; his wife Nancy Perley Barrows (1791-1832), whom he married in 1820; and their daughter, Mary Fessenden Barrows Shepley (1825-[1892]), who married James Cunningham Shepley (1827-1873), Bowdoin Class of 1846. James Cunningham Shepley was a lawyer in St. Cloud, Minnesota, who reportedly died under mysterious circumstances while in Fresno, California, in April, 1873, leaving his wife Mary with three children: Annie Shepley, who married Hyozo Omori on October 1, 1907; Elizabeth Shepley, who married Charles Sergeant; and George Barstow Shepley, who married Louise McElroy. Annie, Elizabeth, and George are also major correspondents in this collection; as is their niece, Katharine Sergeant Angell White (1892-1977), wife of author E. B. White. Reuel Barrows was married twice. After the death of his first wife, Nancy, Barrows married Anna Dana in 1834, and they had three children.Other family members with Bowdoin College connections are Ether Shepley (1789-1877), Chief Justice of the Maine Supreme Court (1848-1855), who served as Bowdoin Overseer (1821-1829) and Trustee (1829-1866); and two of his sons, John Rutledge Shepley (1817-1884), Class of 1837, who was a lawyer in St. Louis, Missouri; and Leonard Downes Shepley (1826-1878), Class of 1846, a merchant in Portland.The Perleys are related to General Israel Putnam; the family of President John Adams; and the Hathorne [Hawthorne], Porter, and Putnam families of Salem.


3 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Correspondence between members of the Shepley, Perley, Barrows, and Sergeant families of Maine; also includes manuscripts, journals, photographs, documents and printed ephemera.

Guide to the Shepley 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