About Isaac Howland, Sr
Captain Isaac Howland Sr., made his fortune on the West Indies trade, and by having the foresight to invest in whaling when that industry was still in its infancy. The Captain settled in New Bedford, a coastal town which was to earn its reputation as the world's whaling capital. Isaac Jr., as ambitious as his father, continued to develop the family whaling business. He subsequently founded the whaling firm of Isaac Howland Jr. & Company, which was to become the largest and most successful such company in the United States.
Captain Isaac Howland died in New Bedford Aug. 2, 1811, aged eighty-five years. His will, which he made in 1808, named his three sons, Isaac, Jr., Humphrey, and Peleg, as executors and residuary legatees, sharing equally. To his wife Anna he gave the life use of his homestead in New Bedford, with reversion to the sons; also a sufficiency of firewood annually, "one good cow' : and its summer keep, and a ton of good hay every year, together with an annuity of one hundred dollars, all of these to be supplied by the sons. To his daughter Anna Russell he bequeathed $1800, and to sons Humphrey and Peleg a tract of land on Clark's Neck. To the four children, "all my household goods, including my silver plate and printed books therewith, to be equally divided between them at the time their mother ceases being my widow. ' ; No appraisal of his holdings is to be found in the probate records. He had probably retired from the shipping business as early as 1807, for in that year he begins to describe himself in deeds as "yeoman," whereas he had previously used the designation of merchant.
Captain Howland married at Newport in 1750, Anna Wilbur, whose parents, Peleg and Anna (Anthony) Wilbur, came from Swansea, Mass. She was born June 24, 1728, and died Oct. 15, 1816, aged eighty-eight years. Her sister, Mary, widow of William Sherman, died in New Bedford July 7, 1811, aged ninety-one years.