Guide to the Catalog of Fitts Collection, 1896

Collection number: UA 22/28
Size: 1 folder boxes (0.10 cu.ft.)

About James Hill Fitts

Rev. James Hill Fitts was born in Candia, NH on March 3, 1825. He graduated from Bangor Theological Seminary in 1858 and was ordained as an evangelist in Candia Nov. 2, 1859. He subsequently served as pastor in West Boylston, MA and then Topsfield, MA. In 1880, he moved to South Newmarket, NH, which later became Newfields. He was interested in American History and became a member of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in 1867. He wrote and published several family genealogies as well as the “History of Newfields, New Hampshire, 1638-1911”. He died suddenly in his home in Newfields, Nov. 22, 1900, leaving his wife (Mary C. Moore), but no children.

About the Catalog of the Fitts Collection

In November 1874, a group from the Essex Institute in Salem, examined an area of Marblehead, Massachusetts that was marked on old maps as being a Native American burial site. The group eventually exhumed four adult skeletons along with other artifacts including an earthen cup, a small bell, two seashells and many glass beads. According to the Salem Gazette, Dec. 4, 1874, once the Essex Institute had finished digging, Rev. Fitts did his own excavating and found another adult skeleton, which he “put in his carriage and brought home.” The sex of the skeleton was determined to be female. Research by the Institute speculated that the remains were those of Chief Nanepashemet and his family. Fitts believed that his skeleton might well be the wife of the chieftain and Sachem of the Naumkaeg tribe.

In 1896, Fitts donated the skeleton and some relics to the New Hampshire College along with this Catalog of the collection. It is believed that the remains and artifacts were returned to the tribe, through the United States Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

This collection is open.

Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the University of New Hampshire.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Catalog of Fitts Collection, 1896, UA 22/28, Milne Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham, NH, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Transferred from Earth Science Department, June 2008