Creator: Samuel Chamberlain
Dates: 1848- early 1900s
Quantity: 0.5 linear feet (1 manuscript box)
Acquisition:  Accession #: 2002.14 ; Donated by: Annisquam Historical Association
Identification: A21 ; Archive Collection #21
Citation:  [Document Title]. The Samuel E. Chamberlain Papers, [Box #, Folder #, Item #], Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, MA.
Copyright: Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be addressed to the Librarian/Archivist.
Language:  English
Finding Aid:  Peter Brown, 2003.



Most of the details of Chamberlain’s early life are found in his autobiography, My Confession, published in 1956 following the discovery of his lost manuscript. According to Chamberlain, he was very active in the Mexican-American War, serving under the overall command of Zachary Taylor. The only surviving section of this manuscript is to be found in these papers.

During the Civil War, Chamberlain was given command of the 1st Mass. Cavalry Regiment with the rank of Colonel. He was subsequently breveted to Brigadier General at war’s end.

Chamberlain’s postwar occupation was as Superintendent of the State Prison at Charlestown, Mass, and later, of the state prison system in Connecticut.


The Chamberlain papers were given to the Cape Ann Historical Association by the Annisquam Historical Association. Although Chamberlain’s home was in Barre, Mass., his daughters built summer homes in Annisquam, where Chamberlain would also spend time. The papers include correspondence, documents, newspaper articles, photographs and original manuscripts by Samuel Chamberlain. The collection also contains family photos and letters re: children; documents related to vital records; manuscripts and military related papers; letters to Chamberlain; scrapbook containing non-related newspaper articles saved by the family. The period covered is from the Mexican-American War of 1848 through the Civil War and up to the early 1900’s.


Box 1

Folder 1: Photos and letters regarding his children.

Folder 2: Documents relating to vital records.

Folder 3: Original manuscripts.

Folder 4: Letters to Samuel Chamberlain.

Loose: Scrap book collected by family.