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Daniel Smith Account Book

1773-1801
1 vol. (0.1 linear foot)
Call no.: MS 1088 bd

A chair-maker and Revolutionary War veteran, Daniel Smith lived on High Street in Ipswich, Mass. As early as 1774, Smith was bottoming and repairing chairs, and for several decades, he produced chairs of various sorts, including waist chairs, four-back chairs, "green chairs," great chairs, round chairs, and low chairs. Smith died in Jan. 1844.

This rough, but noteworthy volume records nearly two and half decades of production by a Massachusetts chair maker in the early National period. The volume begins as a cipher book, apparently kept by Smith in his late teens, but by the earliest accounts in 1774, Smith records "bottoming and mending" chairs and, by 1785, making "six four back chairs & a grat chair" for Thomas Smith.

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Background on Daniel Smith

A chair-maker from Ipswich, Mass., Daniel Smith was born on June 30, 1755, and served the Revolutionary cause with just over six-month's total duty, spent mostly in Robert Dodge's Company in 1777. According to Thomas Franklin Waters's Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Smith came from a family that included a great uncle, John Brown, who worked as a turner until his death in 1758. Brown left much of his estate to his son Daniel, who in turn left his estate to his nephew Daniel Smith in 1796.

Even prior to the Revolution, Smith worked as a skilled craftsman, bottoming, collaring, and repairing chairs. Over the next decades, his work grew to include turning legs and handles and making a wide variety of chairs, including waist chairs, four-back chairs, "green chairs," great chairs, round chairs, and low chairs.

Smith married Hannah Lord on March 7, 1782. When he died on Jan. 28, 1844, he divided his estate between four of his seven children, Elizabeth Treadwell, Daniel Brown Smith, Thomas Smith, and Benjamin Smith. The 1832 "Philander" map of Ipswich recorded Daniel Brown Smith, a cabinet marker, living next door to his father at 29 High Street.

Scope of collection

This rough, but noteworthy volume records nearly two and half decades of production by a Massachusetts chair maker in the early National period. The volume begins as a cipher book, apparently kept by Smith in his late teens, but by the earliest accounts in 1774, Smith records "bottoming and mending" chairs and, by 1785, making "six four back chairs & a grat chair" for Thomas Smith. The book also includes records of other economic activity, including general labor performed, renting out horse, and selling small quantities of commodities such as potatoes ("tatters"), beans, lime, soap, and flour. Smith's name appears at several points in the volume, including in two marginal notes (dated 1774 and 1773) reading "Daniel Smith His Book," and as a countersignature on settling debts.

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Provenance

Acquired from M&S Rare Books, May 2006 (2006-072).

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, June 2019.

Language:

English

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Daniel Smith Account Book (MS 1088 bd). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Chair-makers--Massachusetts--Ipswich
  • Ipswich (Mass.)--Economic conditions--18th century

Genres and formats

  • Account books

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