The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
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Henry, Samuel

Samuel Henry Accounts Books

2 boxes 0.75 linear feet
Call no.: MS 013

Born in Amherst, Mass., in 1788, Samuel Henry became a relatively well to do justice of the peace, merchant, landowner, and entrepreneur from the Quabbin towns of Prescott and Shutesbury, Massachusetts. Predeceased by his wife Cynthia, and three daughters, he died on April 24, 1862 and is buried in Shutesbury.

The nine surviving volumes of Henry’s 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.

Biographical Note

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.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

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.

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Samuel Henry Accounts (MS 13). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Acquired from Donald Howe, 1960.

Processing Information

Processed by Ken Fones-Wolf, November 1984.

Additional Information

Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Contents List
Deeds and Mortgages
Box 1:1
Record of Acknowledgements of Deeds and Other Instruments
Box 1:2
Ledger No. 1 for Palm Leaf Hat Manufacture
Box 1:3
Cash Book
Box 1:3
Cash Book
Box 1:4
Account of Cash Paid for Family Expenses
Box 1:5
Memorandum of Agreements and Small Accounts
Box 1:5
Account of Rents and Expenses on Tool Place
Box 1:5
Account of Rents on Johnston Place
Box 1:5
Record of Acknowledgements of Deeds and Other Instruments
Box 1:5
Account of Cash to Be Loaned
Box 1:5
Accounts with Individuals
Box 1:6
Accounts of Notes and Cash on Interest
Box 1:6
List of Notes that Belong to the Store
Box 1:6
Accounts with Individuals
Box 1:7
Accounts with Individuals
Box 2:8
Accounts with Individuals
Box 2:9


General stores--Massachusetts--ShutesburyPanama hat industry--MassachusettsPrescott (Mass.)--HistoryShutesbury (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th centuryShutesbury (Mass.)--History


Henry, Samuel, 19th cent

Types of material

Account books