Join & Give \\ Legacy Giving

Nathaniel Bowditch Society

Nathaniel Bowditch (1773-1838) was a founding member of the East India Marine Society (the progenitor of today’s Peabody Essex Museum) and among the most brilliant mathematicians and astronomers of early America. His book The New American Practical Navigator is considered a classic and is still in use today.


Through his will, Nathaniel Bowditch left many of his personal effects and the then-handsome sum of $1,000 to the East India Marine Society. His planned gift was one of the first such bequests to the Society. Given almost two hundred years ago, it continues to help sustain the museum today — figuratively and literally connecting the past to the future.

"The decision to support PEM in my estate plan is partly rooted in my childhood memories of wondrous visits to the Peabody Museum. The other part grows from the present toward the future. With PEM’s ever-widening embrace of diverse communities and cultures, I have a newfound feeling of belonging. I’m excited about the direction PEM is going and this is one way I can show my lasting support." - Nan Dumas

"Joining the Nathaniel Bowditch Society at a young age was important to me. I grew up going to the museum with my parents, and our family has a long standing relationship with the museum and its collections.  Knowing the care, dedication, curation, and management that the museum staff members throughout the organization devote on a daily basis is inspiring. Ensuring that these collections will continue to be there for the future generations of my family and others is one of the many reasons I chose to make a legacy gift and continue to support the Peabody Essex Museum.” -Alex Ingraham

Mr. Bowditch’s example is the inspiration for today’s Nathaniel Bowditch Society. The Peabody Essex Museum established the Nathaniel Bowditch Society to recognize and honor individuals and families who support the future of the museum by making a legacy gift such as a bequest or life income gift. Nathaniel Bowditch Society Members meet annually and are invited to all special museum events.

Members of the museum staff and its advisors are available to assist you in achieving your tax, estate planning, and charitable giving objectives. As in all situations involving financial and estate planning, you should consult with your own legal and financial advisors.

For more information please call the Development Office at 978-542-1628, or email us.

Legacy Giving

Nathaniel Bowditch Society Members Listing