The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
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Parker, Amos, b. 1792

Amos Parker Account Book

1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 211

The son of Stephen and Abigail (Bailey) Parker, Amos Parker was born in Bradford, Mass., on Jan. 2, 1792, but lived most of his adult like in neighboring Groveland. Although his father died when he was young, Parker came from a family that had been settled in the region for at least a century, and enjoyed some success as a trader and proprietor of a general store.

Parker’s accounts include goods for sale (such as lumber and hardware) and the methods and form of payment (principally cash but also in exchange for labor or commodities like butter or eggs). The volume also documents Parker’s role in the burgeoning shoe industry exchanging and receiving shipments of shoes, and supplying local shoemakers with tools..

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This account book documents the changing merchant activities of Amos Parker of Groveland in Essex County, Massachusetts. The first two-thirds of the account ledger covers the years 1827 to 1835, when the business appears to have been of a general store. Parker (born in 1792) sold a wide variety of goods, principally for cash but also in exchange for labor or some commodities like butter or eggs. In the early 1830s, Parker also began to specialize somewhat in the sale of lumber and hardware, primarily as a commission agent for Aaron P. Emerson Co. of Orland, Maine (first entry, p. 137).

The last third of the ledger demonstrates the growing importance of the burgeoning shoe industry in the local economy. Essex County was the center of the nation’s shoe production and merchants played a prominent role. Parker began to accept shoes in return for credit at his store in the early 1830s, but by mid-decade he was more heavily involved in exchanging and receiving shipments of shoes (see the entries from Stickney & Balch, p. 227, and Manly Hardy, p. 228). His responses to the needs of local shoemakers are reflected in the large shipments of awls he ordered from Charles Lincoln between 1842 and 1850 (p. 260), and his immersion in the shoe industry is reflected in his later dealings with the Aaron P. Emerson Co., when he exchanged large shipments of shoes for the lumber he sold (pp. 235-236). Although Parker never became a shoe industry merchant capitalist, the industry impacted heavily on his operation.

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The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Amos Parker Accounts (MS 211). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by Ken Fones-Wolf, September 1988.

Additional Information

Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987


Aaron P. Emerson Co. (Orland, Me.)Barter--Massachusetts--Essex County--History--19th centuryGeneral stores--Massachusetts--GrovelandHardware--Massachusetts--Essex County--History--19th centuryLumber trade--Massachusetts--Essex County--History--19th centuryMerchants--Massachusetts--Essex County--Economic conditions--19th centuryShoe industry--Massachusetts--Essex County--History--19th century


Parker, Amos, b. 1792

Types of material

Account books