Justice of the peace, merchant, landowner, and entrepreneur from Prescott and Shutesbury, Massachusetts. Nine volumes contain descriptions of his duties as justice of the peace, a book of deeds and mortgages from local real estate transactions, account books of sales in his general store and from his palm leaf hat business, and notes of accounts with individuals.
The collection is open for research.
Background on Samuel Henry
Prescott was among the Western Massachusetts towns abolished in 1938 to allow the Swift River Valley to be flooded, thereby creating the Quabbin Reservoir to provide Boston with water.
Samuel Henry was a justice of the peace, merchant, landowner, and entrepreneur in early nineteenth century Prescott, Massachusetts. Henry eventually moved to Shutesbury, Massachusetts in 1857. The nine volumes of accounts in this collection reflect his varied interests and responsibilities. His record of acknowledgements covers his duties as justice of the peace and show local real estate transactions from 1829 to 1857. His personal activity in real estate is reflected in his book of deeds and mortgages, covering the period 1813 to 1876. Henry also ran a general store and began a palmleaf-hatmaking business. The hat business was an extensive homework industry, which involved the braiding of hats (usually by women at home) in exchange for credit at Henry's store. Much of Henry's activity in the local economy similarly took place without the exchange of cash. The use of the account books, which also include extensive notes of accounts with individuals (1830-1881) help reconstruct the rural economy of nineteenth-century Massachusetts.
Acquired from Donald Howe, 1960.
Processed by Ken Fones-Wolf, November 1984.
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Cite as: Samuel Henry Accounts (MS 13). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.