1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

    List of finding aids

    R.I.H.S. Library page

    R.I.H.S. home page

 Comstock Family Papers

 Sea captains, of Providence, New York and New Jersey

 Papers, 1837-1903

 Size: 1 linear foot

 Catalog number: MSS 169

 Processed by: Harold Kemble, 1985

Revised, Rick Stattler, March 1997

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            Joseph Jesse Comstock (1811-1868) was steamship captain. In 1838, after the early death of his first wife, he married Maria S. (Taber) Cook (1814-1911), the widow of Capt. Charles C. Cook (1798-1835). They had several children together; Maria also had a daughter by her first marriage. Two of their sons, Charles C. Comstock and Joseph J. Comstock Jr. were also steamship captains, and feature prominently in this collection.


Comstock, John Adams. A History and Genealogy of the Comstock Family in America (Los Angeles, 1949), p. 242.

Fiske, Jane Fletcher. Thomas Cooke of Rhode Island (Published by author, 1987), p. 440.

Randall, George L. Taber Genealogy: Descendants of Thomas, Son of Phillip Taber (New Bedford, Mass., 1924), p. 102, 239.

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Scope and content:

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            This collection was placed on deposit at the R.I.H.S.L. in 1974 by Henry C. Hart Jr., who was probably the grandson of Richard Borden Comstock. The collection was made a gift by Mr. Hart's heirs in 1989.

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Processing note:

            Related papers of William Comstock (Jesse's brother) and William Comstock Jr. can be found at the American Antiquarian Society. William Sr. was a steamship captain, and William Jr. was involved in the China trade.

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Adelaide H. Comstock (1848-1918), daughter of Joseph J.

Penmanship certificates, 1856 and 1857

Alice (Greene) Comstock (1857-1938), wife of Joseph's son Richard B. Comstock (1854-1923)

Diary for the entire year 1897, kept in Providence and in Little Compton summer cottage. Discusses nephew Percival Greene (b.1880), staying with Comstocks while attending Brown University.

Charles Cook Comstock (1840-1881), son of Joseph J.



            Logbook of several ships, 1864-1867, kept as first officer under father

            Logbook of steamship Washington, 1876

            Obituary clipping

Joseph Jesse Comstock (1811-1868).


            Two account books of the estate of father Jesse Comstock, 1855 to 1869

            Journal of U.S. mail steamer Baltic, 1850-1855, with report on Captain's health

            Letters, 1837-1864 (4 folders)

            Poetry and a speech on a patriotic theme, undated

            Newspaper clippings, including editorial letters and obituary notices

            Record of construction and outfitting of Japanese steamboat Fusiyama, 1864, New York


Joseph J. Comstock Jr. (d.1903)

            Letters, Freemason certificate and scrapbook, 1865-1869 (3 folders).

Maria S. (Taber) (Cook) Comstock (1814-1911), wife of Joseph S.


            Letters, 1837-1903

            Estate accounts of Charles C. Cook, 1836

            Estate accounts of Joseph J. Comstock, 1868-1880


Maria L. (Cook) Wing (1835-after 1900), daughter of Maria S. Taber Cook Comstock.

            Diaries, 1881-1884 and 1892, kept in France and Germany


            Miscellaneous death notices

            Family photographs

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Australasian (steamship)

Baltic (mail steamer)

* Comstock, Alice (Greene) (1857-1938)

Comstock, Charles Cook (1840-1881)

Comstock, Jesse - Estate

Comstock, Joseph Jesse (1811-1868).

* Comstock, Joseph J. Jr. (d.1903)

Comstock, Maria S. (Taber) (Cook) (1814-1911)

Cook, Charles C. (1798-1835)

Decedents' estates - Rhode Island

Defiance Sewing Machine Company

Diaries, 1881-1884

Diaries, 1892

Diaries, 1897

Europe - Travel and description

* Greene, Percival (b.1880)

* Little Compton, R.I. - Social life and customs

Log books - 1864-1876

Mail steamers - United States

* Providence, R.I. - Social life and customs

Savannah (steamship)

Sewing machine industry - United States

Ship captains - New York

Ship captains - Rhode Island

Ship captains' wives - Rhode Island

Soldiers - Rhode Island

Soldiers - United States

Steamboats - Rhode Island

Third Regiment, Rhode Island Heavy Artillery

Wing, Maria L. (Cook) (1835-after 1900)

(Entries placed on OCLC as of 1993, except for starred entries added 1997)

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