James Tucker Almy, No. 1408-3122

Designer of the City Seal for New Bedford, Massachusetts

In November I received a letter from Mr. Arthur Motta, Jr., Director of Marketing, The Sesquicentennial Commission of New Bedford, Massachusetts. He had been referred to me in the hope that I might provide information about James T. Almy who lived in New Bedford in the 1850's. Mr. Motta wrote "Next year New Bedford celebrates 150 years as a city. I am researching the origins of the City Seal for the event. Having discovered the original engraving by Almy more than ten years ago, I have always been interested to know more about him."

Shown above [in the printed version, only] is a reduced copy of the City Seal sent by Mr. Motta. The write-up accompanying the picture stated "This handsome rendering of the Seal of the City of New Bedford was found and photographed in the Free Public Library by our fellow member, Arthur Motta, Jr. The designer of the Seal was James T. Almy (1824-1895), a jeweller and engraver, who kept a shop on Union Street. According to the City Ordinances of 1853, his scene encompassed 'a view of the Northerly extremity of Palmer's Island, with its Light House, of a Whale Ship under sail in the harbor, of a Steamboat passing out by Palmer's Island and of the City of New Bedford in the distance.' Although other versions of the Seal have since appeared, none has approached the elegance of Almy's original drawing."

I sent Mr. Motta the information I had on James' ancestry back to William Almy. I also sent the information I had on James' marriage to Mary Ann Carles Reynard and their children. However, I wrote him that I had no information on the families of James' children.

Although James had a daughter that married a Coggeshall and a son Walter Thomas Almy who married Julia W. Akin, I have not come across information on any of their children in all my correspondence with other Almys.

Mr. Motta thanked me for the information I sent him, and wrote "the names and dates you provided will allow me to research other local sources." He also enclosed a 1 3/4 inch bronze Seal as a keepsake of the important contribution that James T. Almy made to New Bedford's rich history.

Goto next article

Return to Newsletter Index

Return to Merwin Almy's home page