Port of Dennis Enrollment Bonds Collection

1 volume (0.25 linear ft.)
Call no.: MS 290
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Bonds entered in application for a Certificate of Enrollment for commerce vessels at the port of Dennis in Barnstable, Massachusetts. Volume contains 200 bonds (80 of which are completed), that provide names of the managing owner(s), the name and weight of the vessel, the sum of the bond, and the master of the vessel, and document the commercial activities of some residents in the towns of Dennis, Yarmouth, and Harwich.

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Scope of collection

This volume contains the bonds entered in application for a Certificate of Enrollment for vessels of commerce at the port of Dennis in the District of Barnstable, Massachusetts. Enrollment certificates were used by the U.S. government to regulate domestic commerce. The information on the enrollment bond included the managing owner, the name and weight of the vessel, the sum of the bond, the master of the vessel, and information about ownership. Bond amounts typically ranged from $800 to $2,000.

The 80 completed bonds (of the some 200 bound in the volume) offer some insight into the commercial activities of the residents of the towns of Dennis, Yarmouth, and Harwich, in Barnstable County. They provide information on approximately 30 different schooners (many were used more than once) and a larger number of owners and masters. The various schooners were captained and owned by more than one individual, suggesting different partial owners for differing voyages. For example, enrollment certificates for the schooner Calvin F. Baker were issued in November 1889 to Luther Fisk (managing owner) and N.F. Baker (master); in January and April 1890 to David Fisk (managing owner) and W.W. Hatch (master); and again in July 1894 to Calvin Baker (managing owner) and Edson Chase (master). In some of the more detailed entries on ownership, the portions are divided into 64 shares.

Among the schooners for which enrollment certificates were issued frequently are: the Ira Laffrinier, the James H. Hoyt, the Florence Norvell, the Clarence Venner, the Menancatuck, the Wetherell, and the M.E. Eldredge. Among the owners and masters frequently listed are: Uriah and Luther Fisk; Abbot, Walter, Edson, and George Chase; Perry, Eleazar, and Peleg Crowell; Thomas and Joshua Nickerson; Roland Kelley; Joseph Adams; William Hatch; William Bourne; and James T. and Charles F. Baker. The collector for Barnstable County was F.B. Goss, but his deputy, H.H. Fisk, conducted most of the business in Dennis.

Administrative information


The collection is open for research.


Acquired from: Charles Apfelbaum, 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by Ken Fones-Wolf, 1990.




Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Port of Dennis Enrollment Bonds Collection (MS 290). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms


  • Barnstable County (Mass.)--Commerce--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Barnstable County (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.
  • Dennis (Mass. : Town)--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.
  • Dennis (Mass.)--Commerce--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Harwich (Mass.)--Commerce--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Harwich (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.
  • Ship registers--Massachusetts--Barnstable County--History--Sources.
  • Shipping--Massachusetts--Barnstable County--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Yarmouth (Mass.)--Commerce--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Yarmouth (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.

Genres and formats

  • Enrollments.

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