(This is a question derived from Citizen Archivist work, but is not completely a question concerning Citizen Archivist transcription.)
Dear NARA Staff:
I have recently completed work (some of it was done alone by me (so far at least); some revising other Citizen Archivist Transcriber's transcriptions) on 3 letters from the 1st Keeper of the Lighthouse ("Bird Island Light") on Bird Island, Massachusetts (located near today's Marion, Massachusetts) -- William S. Moore (Keeper from 1819 to 1834, it seems from Internet research) -- from Bird Island -- to the man he called (Moore's spelling) the "Superintendant" for all Massachusetts Federal lighthouses (Henry Alexander Scammell Dearborn).
(These were found by me (the File Unit was included in the recent "Road Trip Boston" activity) in the "Bird Island Light, 1819" File Unite (National Archives Identifier 81128606). )
These rather-densely-packed-with-information were a rewarding "challenge" to me.
[I'm not changing the subject, but I'm starting another part of the post.]
I started using Google to find more information about Mr. Moore -- I believe -- after I had read one of the 3 letters in this File Unit (and possibly after starting to work on the transcription of one, but I'm not sure now).
*Most* Internet information about Mr. Moore (apart from noting that he was the 1st Keeper of Bird Island's lighthouse and that he was a veteran of the War of 1812) seems to focus on "local legend"s (some of them seeming to contradict each other about Mr. Moore: supposedly, he may have been a "pirate" banished to the tiny Bird Island (presumably as a kind of punishment by means of isolation), he may have murdered his wife (and buried her on Bird Island with no marker), his wife may have been addicted to 1 or more substances (usually said to be "tobacco") -- and Mr. Moore denied her what she craved (and the wife eventually became a ghost haunting the island)....
From what I have read in the letters, though (although I can't take a stand on the accusation of murder or say much about Moore's wife (he mentions her -- and a child -- (each) once, and not with any description) , but (judging by the fact that other letters in the File Unit tell of how at least 3 or 4 other men were recommended for the same post (I found no letters recommending Mr. Moore [Shrug]) -- 1 by 2 different parties (including the local Representative in the House of Representatives, it seems) ) I think I can safely say that if Mr./"General" Dearborn had put a *criminal* in the Keeper position, dozens (or more) persons would have vociferously protested... -- and who puts a man in jail with his wife??
And as for the "pirate" idea, Mr. Moore's letters seem to yield evidence of (still today, I think) an above-"average" level of education, and Mr. Moore's *personality* in the letters seems so deferential (and discursive) that to me he more resembles the fussy, timid, diffident "Reg" Barclay of the old Star Trek: The Next Generation series than a blustery now-"classic" literary/movie "pirate" archetype . (Not that there could not have been educated, diffident pirates... -- but I have the impression that piracy was on its way out or over in the Western Hemisphere by 1819 (?) ... -- and Mr. Moore still doesn't seem to resemble the (later) archetype )
A *small* part of what I have found about Mr. Moore (apart from the "legend"s -- which may derive more from folktales-about-lighthouse-keepers than from Mr. Moore's actual life (albeit he seemed to be keeping a few aspects of his life hidden (or un-spoken-of -- like his family) or half-hidden (some not-totally-clear references to his finances and his health) from Mr. Dearborn) ) relates to *other letters* from Mr. Moore to Mr. Dearborn: 1 (I believe one from later in December of 1819 which is *not* in the "Bird Island Light, 1819" File Unit as the National Archives Catalog presented it to me) -- describing a very-powerful storm -- is mentioned in 1 website article on the Bird Island lighthouse's history, and 2 others (from 1821; only 1 of them transcribed for that article) are mentioned in a Winter, 1963 issue of Old Time New England in an article by author Lawrence B. Romaine (in which various "experiments" of Mr. Moore's -- including an attempt to install an "air box" (or such) device to keep a boat from capsizing (?) .
I would like to be able to see more of Mr. Moore's letters to Mr. Dearborn digitized, and would like to know 1) whether these other 3 (and other?) letters from Mr. Moore to Mr. Dearborn between 1819 and 1821 are still extant at the National Archives's "Boston" location (in Waltham, Massachusetts); 2) whether these (and possibly other letters -- and possibly reports from Mr. Moore from Bird Island (?) ) might be digitized in future; 3) whether it *might* be possible to find (and digitize and place in the Catalog site?) any letters *from* Mr. Henry A. S. Dearborn *to* Mr. Moore (to get the "other side" of the exchange of correspondence .
Could someone please look into whether additional material by/about Mr. Moore at Bird Island Light (especially the correspondence to/from Mr. Dearborn) may be digitized and added to the digitized National Archives collections? I would appreciate reading an answer (a more-than-cursory one only as soon as the necessary information can be obtained, and no earlier, of course).
Thank You for reading this.
Ethan W. Kent/"EthanFromBellmore" -- in New York City (who hasn't been even *near* the New England coasts in decades).