This collection consists of business correspondence and other papers of Captain Richard F. C. Hartley, shipping firm owner of Saco, Maine. It also includes the papers of Samuel Hartley.
The papers of Samuel Hartley consist of eighteen memo books of the sloop "Packet of Saco" sailing out of Boston. They contain accounts, records of cargoes and business to be transacted, notes on correspondence and navigation, lists of passengers, and so forth.
The correspondence of Richard F. C. Hartley deals with orders for cargoes, the purchase of ships and hiring of crews, financial matters, insurance policies, and related matters. There are letters from several captains reporting on their voyages and on repairs to their ships, including a substantial number of letters from Captain Sedgley recording two voyages (1869-1871) of the "Devonshire" to Europe, China, South East Asia, and Japan. Other letters record voyages of the "Messenger" to Europe and Asia.
Hartley's diary for 1870 covers a business trip to the West Coast. It contains notes about both business and social activities, as well as some financial records. The rest of Hartley's papers deal with various of his ships. There is a memo book for the "Messenger" for the years 1863-1872 containing lists of crew members, supplies, and equipment, financial records, et cetera. The other ships' papers consist of legal and financial materials such as insurance policies, bills and receipts, checks, and related items. The largest groups of papers pertain to the "Messenger" and the "Devonshire," while smaller amounts of material relate to the "A. Hammond," the "J. Montgomery," and others. The papers are arranged by ship.
The memo books of Samuel Hartley were acquired by Yale University by purchase in 1967.
An addition to the collection includes documents of ships owned by Richard Hartley involved in the guano trade between Peru and other countries. Also included are documents related to trade throught San Francisco and New Orleans.