Zephaniah Buffington Account Book, 1803-1808
Call no.: MS 226
Quaker merchant and farmer from Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Includes two major notations about a large cheese purchase and the sale of hoes in Washington County, New York. Also contains inventories of goods, notations for notes payable and notes receivable, and accounts of his farm (including amounts of cheese made, accounts of farm tools, and the keeping of cows and sheep).
Zephaniah Buffington (born 1771) was a farmer and merchant
active in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. His business connections
appear to have been principally within the Society of Friends
communities of Bristol County, Massachusetts and Washington
County, New York, the latter being a community started by
emigrants from the Dartmouth area. As a merchant within this
Quaker network, Buffington had dealings with other prominent
Bristol County Quakers, including Joel Packard, Stephen
Gifford, Peleg Slocum, and Joseph Howland and Company.
Furthermore, his one marriage in the Dartmouth vital
statistics was to Lydia Tucker, the daughter of another
Dartmouth Quaker family; she died within two years of the
The account book contains miscellaneous notations
principally for the year 1803. Included are two major
ventures: one, a cheese voyage, in which Zephaniah Buffington
purchased cheese from many of the Quaker farms in Dartmouth
for sale in New York. He split the profits with his brother
Stephen. The second concerned the sale of hoes, again
principally, it seems, in Washington County. There are also,
in the 50 pages of the volume, inventories of goods on hand,
suggesting he ran some sort of store; notations for notes
payable and notes receivable, with amounts running into
hundreds and even thousands of dollars; and accounts
concerning his “up country” farm, including the keeping of
cows and sheep, the amount of cheese made, accounts of his
farm tools, and an accounting of his “cheese things” – vats,
tubs, groundstones, baskets, etc.
The collection is open for research.
Cite as: Zephaniah Buffington Accounts (MS 226). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987.
Processed by Ken Fones-Wolf, December 1988.
- Bristol County (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Dairying--Economic aspects--Massachusetts
- Dartmouth (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Quakers--Massachusetts--Bristol County
- Quakers--New York (State)--Washington County
- Washington County (N.Y.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Buffington, Zephaniah, 1771-
Types of material
- Account books