Tredick and Brewster Family Papers, 1848-1921 – MS019

Tredick and Brewster Family Papers, 1848-1921 – MS019

Provenance: Gift of Charles Tredick Brewster in 1992. See collection file for additional details.

Citation: Tredick and Brewster Family Papers, MS019.

Size: 6 Hollinger boxes (3 linear feet)

Access: No restrictions

Processed by: Carolyn Eastman and Kevin Shupe in November 1991


Primarily the diaries of Abbie Rowell Tredick of Portsmouth and Philadelphia (dated 1860-1919), with the diaries of Charles Tredick (1860-1892), Lewis Brewster (1848-1864) and Helen Brewster (1868). Also included are correspondence of Abbie Tredick and the deeds and estate papers of the Brewster family.

Scope and Content

The Tredick-Brewster Collection contains the diaries and pocket diaries of Lewis W. Brewster, Charles Tredick, Abbie Rowell Tredick, and Helen A. Brewster. There are also letters to Abbie Tredick and deeds and estate papers for the Brewster family. The collection is divided into three subgroups based on how the papers came to the Portsmouth Athenaeum. The first subgroup is the original accession and is divided into three subgroups by person. Subgroup 1, Lewis W. Brewster, contains one diary of a trip to the White Mountains (1848) and five pocket diaries (1859-1864). Subgroup 2, Helen A. Brewster, contains one pocket diary (1868). Subgroup 3, Charles Tredick, contains three diaries (1860-1892), five pocket diaries (1860-1867), two copies of his letters (1879 and nd), newspaper clippings, and a eulogy of Charles Tredick by his wife, Abbie E. Rowell Tredick (1900).

The second subgroup is part of the materials previously on deposit at the Portsmouth Historical Society and is divided into two series. The first series contains deeds and estate records for the Brewster Family. This includes the wills of David Brewster, his wife Mary Brewster, and their son John G. Brewster. Most of the estate papers relate to the contested estate of John G. Brewster. The second series contains 34 diaries of Abbie R. Tredick dating from 1860 through 1919. Some of these diaries are mostly clippings books and some are mostly date books (birth, death and marriage dates), but most of the diaries contain regular notes on the events of her life.

There are 183 letters, mostly to Abbie Tredick, dating from 1857 to 1921 (there are a few letters to Samuel Rowell, Charles Tredick, and Lydia Neal interspersed). As stated in the above processing note, most of these letters were gathered into a scrapbook by Abbie Tredick. Although the scrapbook has been dismantled for preservation and access concerns, the letters remain in the same order which seems to have been based roughly on the correspondents and the subject of the letters. The first group of letters are on the courtship of Charles Tredick. The other primary correspondents are: her parents, brothers Samuel, Oliver and Eddie, other relatives, and her friends. The letters’ subjects mostly chronicle family events such as births, deaths and marriages.

Biographical Notes

Charles W. Brewster (Sept 13, 1802 to Aug 4, 1868) Publisher of the Portsmouth Journal, printer, columnist, and author of Rambles About Portsmouth. He started in the newspaper business as an apprentice at the Portsmouth Oracle which became the Portsmouth Journal of Literature and Politics. In 1825 he and Tobias Ham Miller purchased the Journal and continued as partners until 1833 when he became sole proprietor. He was married in 1828 to Mary Gilman and had nine children, four survived to maturity: Lewis Waterbury (June 30, 1830 to July 24, 1915), Charles Gilman (1832 to 1880), Mary Gilman (died June 11, 1880), and Helen Augustus Gilman (1844 to 1928).

Lewis Brewster became a partner in the Portsmouth Journal in 1853 and took it over on the death of his father. He married Annie B. Greene. His brother Charles G. Brewster was civil engineer and ran a store in Boston, he married Mary A. Hill and had three children. Their son Charles W. Brewster, the treasurer of Piscataqua Savings Bank, married Martha Elizabeth Tredick (see below). Helen A. Brewster lived in Portsmouth and never married.

Charles Tredick (April 3, 1848 to July 11, 1895) was born in Portsmouth, the son of Thomas Tredick, a dry goods dealer. He married (January 13, 1870) Abbie E. Rowell and they had two children, Abbie and Martha. He started an insurance brokerage in Philadelphia which he managed until his death. His wife was the daughter of Samuel and Lydia Neal Rowell. Samual (August 22, 1815 to January 20, 1890) was a portrait painter and a carriage maker who was born in Amesbury, Massachusetts and spent about seven years in Portsmouth (1863 to 1870) working at the Navy Yard, after which he moved back to Amesbury. Abbie Rowell Tredick returned to Portsmouth after her husband’s death and lived there until the early 1920’s when she removed to Tilton, Massachusetts.

Processing Note

The first subgroup of materials was processed in September 1991 by Carolyn Eastman as MS019. It was decided to add the second subgroup to the already processed materials. Most of the letters of Abbie R. Tredick were removed from a scrapbook, they have been maintained in their original order. It was obvious that many letters had been previously removed from the scrapbook leaving traces of torn letters.

The diaries and letters came to the Portsmouth Historical Society in 1986 from Rev. Charles T. Brewster of Georgetown, Maine. His grandparents were Charles W. and Martha Tredick Brewster. The first subgroup of papers most likely came to the Historical Society from the same source, at the same time as the second (see letter in file dated 7/31/1986) and were later separated. Some of the deeds and estate papers very possibly came to the Historical Society from different sources although there is a lack of documentation. It is speculated that some of those records came from George T. McWhorter, Curator of Rare Books, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY at some date. All of the items were gifted to the Portsmouth Athenaeum in 1992, see collection file.

Folder List

I. Original Accession

A. Lewis W. Brewster

Box 1

Folder 1 Diary of a trip to the White Mountains, 1848

Folder 2-3 Pocket Diaries, 1859-1862, 1864


B. Helen A. Brewster

Folder 4 Pocket Diary, 1868


C. Charles Tredick

Folder 5-7 Diaries, 1860-1892

Folder 8-9 Pocket Diaries, 1860, 1862, 1865-1867

Folder 10 Copies of correspondence, 1879, nd

Folder 11 Newspaper Clippings

Folder 12 Eulogy of Charles Tredick by Abbie E. R. Tredick, 1900


II. Portsmouth Historical Society Collection

A. Brewster Family Deeds and Records

Box 1

Folder 13 Brewster Estate Records, 1817-1919

Folder 14 Gains and Brewster Property Deeds 1762-1764

Folder 15 Brewster Property Deeds, 1805-1917

Folder 16 Charles Brewster and Tobias Ham Miller Deeds, 1825-1868

Folder 17 Martha Brewster, Insurance Policy, 1912


B. Abbie R. Tredick

Box 2

Folder 1-9 Letters received, 1857-1874 (removed from scrapbook)

Folder 10 Samuel Rowell, letters to, 1845-1846 (removed from Abbie Tredick Diary, 1888-1894)

Folder 11 Letters received, 1882-1895 (removed from Abbie Tredick Diary 1895-1900)

Folder 12 Letters received, 1874-1921 (removed from Abbie Tredick Diary, 1901-1903)

Folder 13 Diary, 1860-1880

Folder 14 Clippings Book, 1865-1900


Box 3

Folder 1 Diary, 1861-1887

Folder 2 Diary, 1888-1894

Folder 3 Diary, 1895-1900

Folder 4 Diary, Jan. – May 1901

Folder 5 Diary, May – Oct 1901


Box 4

Folder 1 Diary, 1901-1903

Folder 2 Diary, Oct 1901 – March 1902

Folder 3 Diary, 1903

Folder 4 Diary and clippings book, 1904

Folder 5 Diary, 1905

Folder 6 Diary and clippings book, 1906

Folder 7 Diary and clippings book, 1907

Folder 8 Diary and clippings book, 1908


Box 5

Folder 1 Diary and clippings book, 1908

Folder 2 Diary, 1908

Folder 3 Date book with clippings, 1908

Folder 4 Diary, Dec. 1908-March 1909

Folder 5 Diary, 1909

Folder 6 Diary and clippings book, 1909

Folder 7 Date book with clippings, 1910

Folder 8 Diary, 1910

Folder 9 Diary and clippings book, 1910

Folder 10 Diary and clippings book, 1911


Box 6

Folder 1 Diary, 1912

Folder 2 Diary and clippings book, 1913

Folder 3 Diary and clippings book, 1914

Folder 4 Diary and clippings book, 1915

Folder 5 Diary and clippings book, 1915

Folder 6 Diary and clippings book, 1916

Folder 7 Diary and clippings book, 1917

Folder 8 Diary and clippings book, 1918

Folder 9 Diary and clippings book, 1919


III. Subgroup 3 was removed from MS019 and accessioned and cataloged separately as S1551 and S1552