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Jonathan Sayward (1713-1797)


This subseries includes correspondence, financial records (including Joseph Blackburn's bill for painting Jonathan's daughter, Sally), legal papers (appointments, deeds, oaths, a will, and a petition), literary papers (a note and an obituary), and undated maps. Jonathan Sayward was born in 1713 in York, Maine, the son of a respected but debt-ridden millwright. He began life as a mariner, worked at shipbuilding, and eventually became a successful trader. In 1736, he married Sarah Mitchell and moved into the house he purchased from his father on the York River with wharves in front of the house and a sawmill behind the house. In 1744, he was commissioned by Governor William Shirley of Massachsuetts to aid in an expedition to lay siege to the French fortress at Louisbourg, Nova Scotia. By the 1760s, Sayward was a successful entrepreneur and local leader. In 1762, he was elected York's representative to the General Court. In 1768, he was one of seventeen members of the General Court who voted to rescind a letter it had circulated to other colonies urging them to unite in protest against Parliament's colonial policies. His vote was very unpopular and he was not reelected the following year. Unlike many other loyalists, Sayward did not leave the colonies, but threats by mobs did mean he was confined to the limits of York. Although his business interests suffered, most of his investments stayed intact. Toward the end of the war, he slowly regained his position in York and was eventually reappointed to local church and town positions. He married Sarah Mitchell in 1736, with whom he had one daughter, Sarah ("Sally"). After his first wife's death in 1775, he married Elizabeth Plummer in 1779. Jonathan Sayward died in 1797.

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Collection Name
Sayward family papers
Collection Code
Physical Description
7 folders (46 items)
Collection Type
Description Level
Reference Code


The materials in this subseries are in the order arranged alphabetically by subject.

Record details

Sayward, Jonathan, 1713-1797 (Correspondent)
Material Type
account books
writings (document genre)