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D. Chauncey Brewer Account Book

1848-1869
1 vol. (0.1 linear foot)
Call no.: MS 1089 bd

Born into a wealthy and prominent family from Springfield, Mass., Daniel Chauncey Brewer became a prodigy in the antebellum nursery trade. While still in his teens, he was running a substantial traffic in fruits trees and ornamentals. After marrying in 1853, Brewer moved to Boston, where he died of an infection in 1862.

The accounts of Chauncey Brewer's Springfield-based nursery operation record substantial sales of cherry, peach, apple, and fruit trees, ornamentals such as arbor vita, spruce, and rose, and seeds, vegetables, and grapes. The sales appear to have extended throughout southern New England, as far as Providence, and include charges from grafts and labor.

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Background on Daniel Chauncey Brewer

The family of nurseryman Daniel Chauncey Brewer arrived in Massachusetts Bay in 1634 and settled in Springfield by 1694 when Daniel Brewer as ordained pastor the First Congregational Church. The given names Daniel and Chauncey followed them and multiplied.

The son of a merchant James Brewer and his wife Harriet (Adams), Chauncey was born in Springfield in 1829 and named for his uncle Daniel Chauncey Brewer (1772-1848) a prominent apothecary, and grandfather, Chauncey Brewer, an equally prominent physician. Coming from a wealthy and educated family, Brewer made a name for himself at an early age. Though still living with his father at 21, Brewer had already acquired the title of nurseryman in the federal census, and reported real estate valued at $5,000.

Having married in Brookline on Dec. 28, 1853, to Mary Ada (Turpin), and styling himself a horticulturist, Chauncey relocated to Boston. He died there after a three-year battle with a "psoas abscess" on May 4, 1862, and is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery (Cambridge, Mass.). Near him are his wife and two sons, Daniel Chauncey Brewer (a prominent attorney, writer, and anti-immigration zealot) and David Homer Brewer, who became a florist.

Scope of collection

The accounts of Chauncey Brewer's Springfield-based nursery operation record substantial sales of cherry, peach, apple, and fruit trees, ornamentals such as arbor vita, spruce, and rose, and seeds, vegetables, and grapes. The sales appear to have extended throughout southern New England, as far as Providence, and include charges from grafts and labor.

After the end of the accounts, the ledger includes a two-page anonymous narrative in the first person of "my log stockade" along the Red River in Texas and an encounter while buffalo hunting, in which the author killed two Indians.

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: D. Chauncey Brewer Account Book (MS 1089 bd). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Nurseries (Horticulture)--Massachusetts--Springfield
  • Springfield (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Genres and formats

  • Account books

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