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Middleborough (Mass.) country store

Middleborough (Mass.) Country Store Daybook

1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 221

Country store in the village of Titicut in Middleborough, Massachusetts, owned by members of either the Clark or Pratt families of the village. Includes goods for sale (groceries, cloth, hardware, and liquor), the method and form of payment (cash, rags, straw, wood, brick, and produce), customers’ names, and ways that families and women earned credit (producing braid or carting goods for the owners).

Barter--Massachusetts--Middleborough--19th century
Freight and freightage--Massachusetts
General stores--Massachusetts--Middleborough
Middleborough (Mass.)--Commerce--19th century
Titicut (Middleborough Mass.)--Commerce--19th century
Types of material
Murdock, Charles N., 1835-1904

Charles N. Murdock Ledger

1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 251

A grocer from Stow, Massachusetts, Charles N. Murdock catered principally to farmers and the country trade.

The accounts of Murdock’s store include mention of products sold (groceries and other items) and payment received, usually in kind (lard, eggs, fruit, butter, potatoes, cigars, beans, cash, and labor).

Barter--Massachusetts--Stow--History--19th century
Derby, Reuben
Grocers--Massachusetts--Stow--Economic conditions--19th century
Grocery trade--Massachusetts--Stow--History--19th century
Stow (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Stow (Mass.)--Rural conditions--19th century
Temple, Rufus
Wages-in-kind--Massachusetts--Stow--History--19th century
Murdock, Charles N., 1836-
Types of material
Account books
Nichols, Reuben

Reuben Nichols, The adventures and ramblings of a sailor

1 vol. 0.1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 901 bd

The son of a Revolutionary War veteran from Fairfield County, Conn., Reuben Nichols went to sea as teenager and spent a quarter of a century sailing the Atlantic aboard merchant ships and privateers. After rising to become master of the New York and Savannah packets Exact and Angelique in the 1830s, he retired to a life on shore near Bridgeport.

This vigorous account of a life on the antebellum seas runs Nichols’ childhood hardships through a series of adventures at sea in war and peace. An observant and effective writer, Nichols describes voyages to western and northern Europe, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and South America during and after the War of 1812. During a colorful career, he took part in the operations of warships and privateers, witnessed attempted mutinies and desertions, rescued the abolitionist John Hopper from a mob in Georgia, and was drawn into the struggles for colonial liberation. His experiences aboard the privateer Kemp and descriptions of Haiti, Cape Verde, Spain, Gibraltar, Turkey, and Argentina are particularly evocative.

Acquired from William Reese, Mar. 2016
Argentina--Description and travel--19th century
Aruba--Description and travel--19th century
Gibraltar--Description and travel--19th century
Haiti--Description and travel--19th century
Hopper, John, 1815-1865
Merchant ships--Connecticut
Spain--Description and travel--19th century
Stratford (Conn.)--History
Turkey--Description and travel--19th century
United States--History--War of 1812--Naval operations
Types of material
Norton (Mass.) & Mansfield (Mass.)

Norton (Mass.) Merchant's Daybook

1 vol. 0.15 linear feet
Call no.: MS 203 bd

Norton, Mass., was a manufacturing center during the early days of the industrial revolution. During the 1830s and 1840s, its mills turned out sheet copper, cotton goods, boots and shoes, leather goods, iron castings, ploughs, and baskets.

The unidentified owner of this daybook was a general provisioner in the Bristol County, Massachusetts, towns of Norton and Mansfield. This daybook records a relatively brisk trade in relatively small quantities of food, cloth, fuel, wood, shoes, paper goods, glassware, and iron. While the Norton Manufacturing Company (a textile manufacturer) was among the steady customers, the storekeeper also dealt extensively with individuals.

General stores--Massachusetts--Mansfield
General stores--Massachusetts--Norton
Mansfield (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Norton (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Norton Manufacturing Company
Types of material
Norwich (Conn.) Ironmonger

Norwich (Conn.) Ironmonger's Account book

1 vol., 270p. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 540 bd

Straddling three rivers with easy access to Long Island Sound and the Atlantic, Norwich, Conn., was an important center during the mid-nineteenth century for the shipment of goods manufactured throughout eastern Connecticut.

Despite covering a limited period of time, primarily 1844 and 1845, the account book of an unidentified iron monger from Norwich (Conn.) provides insight into the activities of a highly active purveyor of domestic metal goods. The unidentified business carried a heavy trade in the sale or repair of iron goods, as well as items manufactured from tin, copper, and zinc, including stoves of several sorts (e.g., cooking, bricking, coal), ovens, pipes, kettles and coffee pots, ice cream freezers, lamps and lamp stands, reflectors, and more. The firm did business with individual clients as well as mercantile firms, corporations such as the Mill Furnace Co., organizations such as the Methodist Society, the city of Norwich and County of New London, and with local hotels.

Hardware industry--Connecticut
Iron industry and trade--Connecticut
Norwich (Conn.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Types of material
Account books
Parker, Alfred A.

Alfred A. Parker Daybooks

4 vols. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 235

In the years following the Civil War, Alfred A. Parker operated a stove and tinware shop in Orange, Mass., trading with individuals and business in the nearby towns of New Salem and Erving. A native of New Hampshire and resident of Missouri in the years prior to the war, Parker had four children with his wife Frances (Whipple), two of whom survived him at his death in 1907.

Alfred Parker’s daybooks document his business transactions with local residents and firms, including the Gold Medal Sewing Machine Co., the Orange Manufacturing Co., and the Rodney Hunt Machine Co. The entries note charges for labor (especially soldering), the cost of stoves, pipe, kettles of various sorts, roofing material, and information about shipping costs.

Freight and freightage--Rates--Massachusetts--19th century
Gold Medal Sewing Machine Company
Kettles--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--19th century
New Salem (Mass.)--History
Orange (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Orange Manufacturing Company (Orange, Mass.)
Pipe--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--19th century
Rodney Hunt Machine Company
Roofing--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--19th century
Solder and soldering--Costs--19th century
Stove industry and trade--Massachusetts--Orange--19th century
Stoves--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--19th century
Tinsmithing--Massachusetts--Orange--19th century
Tinsmiths--Massachusetts--Orange--Economic conditions--19th century
Parker, Alfred A.
Types of material
Account books
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..

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987
Aaron P. Emerson Co. (Orland, Me.)
Barter--Massachusetts--Essex County--History--19th century
General stores--Massachusetts--Groveland
Hardware--Massachusetts--Essex County--History--19th century
Lumber trade--Massachusetts--Essex County--History--19th century
Merchants--Massachusetts--Essex County--Economic conditions--19th century
Shoe industry--Massachusetts--Essex County--History--19th century
Parker, Amos, b. 1792
Types of material
Account books
Port of Dennis (Mass.)

Port of Dennis Enrollment Bonds Collection

1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 290 bd

Bonds entered in application for a Certificate of Enrollment for commerce vessels at the port of Dennis in Barnstable, Massachusetts. Volume contains 200 bonds (80 of which are completed), that provide names of the managing owner(s), the name and weight of the vessel, the sum of the bond, and the master of the vessel, and document the commercial activities of some residents in the towns of Dennis, Yarmouth, and Harwich.

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987
Barnstable County (Mass.)--Commerce--History--19th century
Barnstable County (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Dennis (Mass. : Town)--Economic conditions--19th century
Dennis (Mass.)--Commerce--History--19th century
Harwich (Mass.)--Commerce--History--19th century
Harwich (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Ship registers--Massachusetts--Barnstable County--History
Shipping--Massachusetts--Barnstable County--History--19th century
Yarmouth (Mass.)--Commerce--History--19th century
Yarmouth (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Putnam, William

William Putnam Papers

1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 014

For several decades in the mid-nineteenth century, William Putnam (1792-1877) and his family operated a general store in Wendell Depot, Massachusetts, situated strategically between the canal and the highway leading to Warwick. Serving an area that remains rural to the present day, Putnam dealt in a range of essential merchandise, trading in lumber and shingles, palm leaf, molasses and sugar, tea, tobacco, quills, dishes, cloth and ribbon, dried fish, crackers, and candy. At various times, he was authorized by the town Selectmen to sell “intoxicating liquors” (brandy, whiskey, and rum) for “Medicinal, chemical and mechanical purposes only,” and for a period, he served as postmaster for Wendell Depot.

The daybooks and correspondence of William Putnam record the daily transactions of an antebellum storekeeper in rural Wendell, Massachusetts. Offering a dense record of transactions from 1840-1847, the daybooks provide a chronological accounting of all sales and credits in the store, including barter with local residents of the community and with contractors for the new Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad. The last in the series of daybooks lists a surprisingly high percentage of Wendell’s residents (by name, in alphabetical order) who owed him money as of October 1846. The correspondence associated with the collection continues into the 1880s and provides relatively slender documentation of Putnam’s litigiousness, his financial difficulties after the Civil War, and the efforts of his son John William to continue the business.

Gift of Donald W. Howe, 1957; Robert Lucas, 1987 (correspondence); and Dan Casavant, 2001
Consumer goods--Massachusetts--Wendell
General stores--Massachusetts--Wendell
Liquor stores--Massachusetts--Wendell
Panama hat industry--Massachusetts--Wendell
Vermont and Massachusetts Railroad
Wendell (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Wendell (Mass.)--History--19th century
Putnam, William
Types of material
Rankin, Joseph

Joseph Rankin Papers

1 box 0.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 147

A dry goods merchant and chair maker in Erving, Massachusetts, Joseph Rankin dealt in a variety of goods from Boston to Hartford, selling chairs as far away as New York City and Chicago. Rankin’s store supplied the essentials: produce, hardware, news, and gossip.

This collection contains an assortment of correspondence and receipts documenting the nature of business in small town Massachusetts, with small glimpses of the growth of the furniture trade in Franklin County.

Dry goods--Massachusetts--Erving
Erving (Mass.)--History