The Melville family (or Melvill) of this collection were ancestors of the author Herman Melville. Thomas Melvill (1751-1832), Herman Melville's grandfather, was a merchant in Boston, participated in the Boston Tea Party, served as a Major in Crafts' Artillery Regiment during the Revolutionary War, was appointed Surveyor of the Port with the formation of the federal government, and after 1811 held the post of Naval Officer of the Port of Boston and Charlestown. Thomas Melvill, Junior (1776-1845), was a businessman in Europe from 1794 to 1811, chiefly in France, where he met and married his first wife. He served with the rank of Major in the War of 1812, settling in Pittsfield after the war to work the farm his father bought there in 1816. He moved to Galena, Illinois, in the 1830s.
From the description of Papers, 1787-1863. (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 81802930