Table of Contents
A Guide to the collection at the Connecticut Historical Society
The majority of the papers focus on Lebbeus C. Toocker. He was a fisherman, ship builder and sloop captain from Saybrook, CT. His brother, Orson Toocker, was the captain of the Josephine Otis. Lebbeus married Azubah Snow (d. March 24, 1856) in Saybrook on November 21, 1831. They had three children, William, Angeline (b. 1833) and James. Lebbeus stayed in the Northeast for the majority of the year, but went to Georgia during the winter months with a crew to fish for shad. Lebbeus was partners with several people. He was partners with Felix Gladding on the Sloop Mary Parks, and later with other members of the Gladding family including Daniel. Also, he employed many aboard the ships he was master of including: Rufus Fordham Jr. (b. 1813), William Wood, Alfred Hubbard and David Mack. William Fuller was also a friend and possible business associate in Lebbeus’ fishing enterprise.
The collection was possibly a purchase. The papers were not organized in any particular order when received. The papers were rearranged by correspondence relating to Lebbeus Toocker, then by his business of ship building/fishing, then by receipt date. All of the documents are organized by date. Lebbeus Toocker was a fisherman and ship builder from Saybrook, CT, who spent his winters in Darien and Savannah, GA. During his time in Georgia he corresponded with his wife Azubah. Both recounted the daily news, focusing mostly on deaths and marriages. Azubah lived in the same town as many of the families of the men who were working with Lebbeus, and she recounted what she had heard from them regarding the fishing expedition. Lebbeus’ brother, Orson, made similar observations of Saybrook’s events. Both Orson and Azubah made mention several times of the religious revival that was going on in Westbrook, CT and Hartford, CT from 1838 to 1841. Many people were converting from Methodist to Baptist, which was of concern to them. Orson and Azubah reported large numbers being converted. Lebbeus received a letter from William Fuller in 1850, regarding an invitation that Fuller had extended regarding moving to California to fish. Fuller had spoken with someone who had been familiar with fishing in California and the vast wealth associated with it. Fuller cited that one man made $7,000 in 18 months and that the opportunity was the greatest chance to make money. There are several orders for boats, giving the dimensions and specifications written to Lebbeus. Several requests were also written for fish and other goods to be delivered by boat. The papers also include documents from several sloops, including: Mary Parks (registered 1840-1843), LH Champlaine, Lilly (registered 1854-1863) and Frances Decker. There are documents listing the crew members. Several receipts and other assorted documents were for the following crew members: Alfred Hubbard, Rufus Fordham Jr., William Wood and David Mack. The majority of the papers are receipts for goods that Lebbeus Toocker had bought during the years 1825 to 1850. Some of the assorted documents are a receipt to cure love by William Bayard and three receipts for Dwight Kilbourn dated to 1866-1867.
There are no restrictions on access to the collection.
Use of the material requires compliance with the Connecticut Historical Society's Research Center regulations.
Toocker, Azubah Snow, d. 1856.
Toocker, Lebbeus Chapman, d. 1858.
Frances Decker (Sloop).
L.H. Champlaine (Sloop).
Mary Parks (Sloop).
Shipbuilding --Connecticut --Saybrook.
Item, Collection Title, Collection number (Box #, Folder #). Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Connecticut.
Collection was processed by Sasha Freese in 2009.
EAD Finding Aid created June 2011.