Ebenezer Akin, Jr., Account Books

Overview: A merchant, town clerk, part-owner of many ships, and involved citizen, Ebenezer Akin lived nearly all of his 87 years in the town of Fairhaven, Mass.

This miscellaneous personal ledger includes documentation of Ebenezer Akin's work as town clerk and includes accounts for ships he may have owned, entries made as an estate executor, accounts of expenditures for clothing and incidentals, and accounts of lot purchases and loans. The volume also contains genealogical information about the Blossom family of Bridgewater and the family of Benjamin and Eunice Akin, Ebenezer's great-grandfather.

Background on Ebenezer Akin, Jr.

Born in Dartmouth, Mass., on April 17, 1817, and raised in Fairhaven, Ebenezer Akin, Jr., came from a long line of New England Akins, stretching through his parents Ebenezer and Susannah (Blossom) Akin to his great-father, the tanner Benjamin Akin, to Benjamin's grandfather David, who emigrated from Aberdeenshire to Rhode Island prior to 1670.

Akin relied on diverse pursuits to make his living. Following his father (the town's first tax collector) and grandfather (a selectman in New Bedford), Akin played a role in the public life of his community, acting for many years as Town Clerk, Treasurer, and Tax Collector, serving as Selectman and Postmaster, and as Trustee of the Riverside Cemetery for over fifty years.

Listed variously in the federal and state censuses as a clerk, merchant, and merchant-tailor, Akin also appears to have invested in shipping, becoming the part owner of several barks operating out of Fairhaven. He married Elizabeth Thompson of Fairhaven on Nov. 23, 1854, and had one son, Bartholomew, who became an artist. Ebenezer Akin died of age in Fairhaven, Mass., on Dec. 30, 1904.

Contents of Collection

This miscellaneous personal ledger includes documentation of Ebenezer Akin's work as town clerk and includes accounts for ships he may have owned, entries made as an estate executor, accounts of expenditures for clothing and incidentals, and accounts of lot purchases and loans. The volume also contains genealogical information about the Blossom family of Bridgewater and the family of Benjamin and Eunice Akin, Ebenezer's great-grandfather.

The accounts in the ledger vary widely in focus and include records as town clerk from 1850 to 1855 (pp. 5, 36, and 37) and shipping accounts for the Napoleon, the William Rotch, and two barks - the Hesper and Winthrop, covering the years 1848 to 1862. Of particular interest are the personal accounts, which shed light on the activities and lifestyle of a prominent citizen of Fairhaven during the mid-19th century. The accounts document his purchase of several investment properties, his payments for his pew rental in the Methodist Episcopal Church, his involvement as a trustee for Riverside Cemetery, his evaluations of Fairhaven's schools as a member of the committee to investigate schoolhouses, and accounts of money he loaned to other Fairhaven citizens, some amounting to substantial sums. There is also a detailed accounting of Akin's expenditures for clothing and incidentals, spanning more than a decade, and records of his work as executor of several estates, including inventories for the estates of Bartholomew Akin and Capt. James Allen, along with an accounting of Akin's expenses administering the estates.

At the rear of the book, Akin kept genealogical information on the Blossom family of Bridgewater (his mother's family) and the family of Benjamin and Eunice Akin.

Administrative information

Language:

English

Access

The collection is open for research.

Provenance

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by Ken Fones-Wolf, Sept. 1988 and I. Eliot Wenthworth, July 2017.

Acknowledgments

Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Ebenezer Akin, Jr., Account Books (MS 220). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Bridgewater (Mass.)--Genealogy
  • Clothing and dress--Prices--Massachusetts--Fairhaven--19th century
  • Fairhaven (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Fairhaven (Mass.)--Politics and government--19th century
  • Inventories of descendants' estates--Massachusetts--Fairhaven
  • Merchants--Massachusetts--Fairhaven--19th century
  • Shipowners--Massachusetts--Fairhaven--19th century
  • Shipping--Massachusetts--Fairhaven--19th century

Names

  • Akin, Benjamin
  • Akin, Ebenezer, b. 1816--Finance, Personal
  • Akin, Eunice
  • Blossom family--Genealogy
  • Hesper (Bark)
  • Napoleon (Ship)
  • William Rotch (Ship)
  • Winthrop (Bark)

Genre terms

  • Account books
  • Genealogies