59 School Street, Box 1310, Edgartown MA 02539 - 508.627.4441
Martha's Vineyard Museum MV Museum

A Finding Aid to the Palfrey Collins Papers, 1812-1856, undated

Descriptive Summary

RepositoryMartha's Vineyard MuseumGale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539
Call NumberRU 486
Creator Collins, Palfrey, 1788-1857
TitlePalfrey Collins papers
Date1812-1856, undated
Extent9 folders (0.122 cubic feet)
LanguageThe materials are in English.
AbstractPalfrey Collins (1788-1857) was a ship rigger, mariner, and day laborer on Osborn Wharf in Edgartown, Massachusetts. Collins primarily worked on Edgartown-based vessels preparing for whaling voyages.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions to access.

Use and Reproduction Restrictions

Requests to reproduce material from this collection should be directed to museum staff. Reproduction fees may apply.

Preferred Citation

Martha's Vineyard Museum, RU 486, Palfrey Collins Papers.

Acquisition Information

Pew deed gift of the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust in 2000. (Accession no. 2000.042). The immediate source of acquisition and date of accession for the rest of the material is unknown.

Publication Information

Martha's Vineyard Museum

Gale Huntington Research Library
59 School Street
P.O. Box 1310
Edgartown, MA 02539

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Lara J. Ullman in August 2014. Finding aid machine-encoded by Nathaniel Janick, August 2014.

 Creation of this finding aid was sponsored by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Related Materials

Related Material

See also: RU 207, Whaling and the Vineyard, and RU 403, Grafton N. Collins Collection.

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Methodist Episcopal Church (Edgartown, Mass.)
  • Methodist Meeting House (Edgartown, Mass.)


  • Deeds
  • Notes
  • Poetry
  • Receipts
  • Time books

Geographic Name(s)

  • Martha's Vineyard (Mass.)
  • Edgartown (Mass. : Town)


  • Collins, Eliza Worth, 1827-1850


  • Day laborers
  • Watchmen
  • Whaling Ships

Biography/Historical Note

Palfrey Collins was born on September 13, 1788 in Boston, Massachusetts to Palfrey Collins and Sarah (Young) Collins. Palfrey, a native of Boston, married Dorcas Worth (1795-1850), a native of Edgartown, Massachusetts. The couple resided in Edgartown and had eight children: Grafton Norton (1820-1889), Sarah Young (1822-1873), Benjamin Worth (1825-1850), Dorcas Pease (1828-), Eliza Worth (1830-), Angeline Worth (1832-), Nancy Norton (1834-1877), and Louisa Worth (1836-). Palfrey worked as a ship rigger, mariner, and day laborer on Osborn Wharf in Edgartown, primarily on vessels preparing for whaling voyages. Palfrey Collins died on March 15, 1857 in Edgartown.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains receipts; a notice to appear at a meeting; a pew deed for the Methodist Episcopal Church in Edgartown; and notices to stockholders from the building committee, receipts, and notes related to the Methodist Meeting House in Edgartown. There are also three time books documenting Palfrey Collins hours spent as a day laborer on Osborn Wharf and on vessels in the Edgartown harbor that were preparing for whaling voyages. The books record his work rigging and heaving out, coppering, stowing, painting spars, hanging rudders, getting chains on board, discharging ballast, and other jobs. Collins was also employed as a night watchman for some of the vessels. Palfrey Collins was employed on the following Edgartown-based vessels: Vineyard (Ship);  Sarah (Bark);  Splendid (Ship);  Vesta (Brig);  Alfred Tyler (Bark);  Mary (Ship);  Champion (Ship);  Pavilion (Brig);  Almira (Ship);  Milton (Bark);  York (Ship);  Walter Scott (Ship);  Europa (Bark);  American (Ship);  Navigator (Ship);  Washington (Schooner);  Ellen (Bark);  Richard Mitchell (Ship);  Louisa Sears (Bark);  Delaware (Schooner). The collection also includes one folder of published poetry transcribed by Eliza Worth Collins.


The collection is arranged alphabetically by folder title and therein chronologically. The material is housed in a box with other small collections.

Collection Inventory


Methodist Meeting House Notes and Notices, 1843-1852, undated 


Notice to Appear, 1831 July 30 


Pew Deed for the Methodist Episcopal Church of Edgartown, 1843 November 14 


Published Poetry Transcribed by Eliza Worth Collins, undated 


Receipts, 1812-1840 


Receipts, 1841-1851, undated 


Time Book, circa 1835-1852 


Time Book, circa 1852 


Time Book, circa 1855-1856