Mercantile (50 collections) SCUA

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Thompson, William

William Thompson Account Book, 1861-1862.

1 folder (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 097

William Thompson’s 1861-1862 account of his business with George Dodge and Co., a general store in an unidentified town. Thompson bought everything from suspenders to fish, and indigo to K oil from Dodge.

Subjects

  • General stores--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • Thompson, William

Types of material

  • Account books

Tilton, Hannah

Hannah Tilton Account Book, 1845-ca 1885.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 250 bd

Hannah Tilton was born to Job and Patience Sisson of New Bedford in 1829. In the early 1850s, she married George O. Tilton, at that time a mariner, of Chilmark (on Martha’s Vineyard) and moved to the island. The first 340 pages of this account book detail the daily transactions of a New Bedford general store from 1845 to 1847. It is not clear as to what Hannah’s relationship to the store or its unidentified owner was, or how she came into possession of the account book.

Subjects

  • General stores--Massachusetts--New Bedford
  • New Bedford (Mass.)--History

Types of material

  • Account books

Toppan, C. S.

C.S. Toppan Account Book, 1845-1861.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 084

A wealthy merchant from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Includes details of his ventures in ship owning and his investments in manufacturing companies and real estate. Also contains total assets of his “property in possession” as of January 1845, and lists of debtors, including men, women, businesses, religious groups, and political groups.

Subjects

  • Debtor and creditor--New Hampshire--Portsmouth--History--19th century
  • Inventories of decedents' estates--New Hampshire--Portsmouth
  • Merchants--New Hampshire--Portsmouth--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Portsmouth (N.H.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Shipowners--New Hampshire--Portsmouth--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Toppan, C. S. (Christopher S.)--Estate

Contributors

  • Toppan, C. S. (Christopher S.)

Types of material

  • Account books

Van Dusen, J. M.

J.M. Van Dusen Ledgers, 1865-1910.

5 vols. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 188 bd

Tinsmith and plumber from Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Mentions items he repaired and cleaned (stoves, furnaces, pots, pans, tinware, glassware, and crockery), goods sold (lamps, wash basins, kitchen utensils, shovels, fuel, and furnaces), occasional mention of payment with goods, lists of suppliers, and lists of customers, many of whom were prominent people in the community.

Subjects

  • Business enterprises--Massachusetts--Stockbridge--History--19th century
  • Heating--Equipment and supplies--History
  • House furnishings--Massachusetts--Stockbridge--History
  • Plumbers--Massachusetts--Stockbridge--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Plumbing--Equipment and supplies--History
  • Stockbridge (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Tinsmiths--Massachusetts--Stockbridge--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

  • J.M. Van Dusen Plumbing and Heating Co.
  • Van Dusen, J. M.

Types of material

  • Account books

Ward, Dana F.

Dana F. Ward Diaries, 1897-1982 (Bulk: 1904-1951).

(2 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 577

Born in Chelsea, Mass., in 1874, and a long-time resident of Somerville, Dana F. Ward enjoyed a prominent career in the fisheries industry in Massachusetts. Entering the wholesale fish business in 1900 when he organized the firm of Whitman, Ward, and Lee, Ward became Director and Advertising Manager of the Boston Fish Market Corporation (builder and operator of the Fish Pier) and an investor. Before the U.S. entry into the First World War, Ward was employed by the state to lecture on the benefits of frozen fish as a food source. An active member in both the Congregational Church and local Masonic lodge, he married Katherine B. Symonds (d. 1948) in Leominster in October 1899.

Personal in nature, the Ward diaries provide a chronicle of the daily life of a relatively well to do fish wholesaler from 1897 through 1951, with some gaps. Generally small in size, the diaries are densely written and are laid in with letters, various sorts of documents, stamps, newsclippings, and other ephemera that help define the contours of Ward’s life. The collection is particularly rich for the years during the Second World War and it includes three diaries (1967, 1977, 1982) from later family members.

Subjects

  • Fisheries--Massachusetts
  • Somerville (Mass.)--History

Contributors

  • Ward, Dana F

Types of material

  • Diaries

Wheeler, Truman

Truman Wheeler Account Book, 1764-1772.

1 vol. (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 618 bd

One of twelve children of Obadiah and Agnes (Tuttle) Wheeler, Truman Wheeler was born in Southbury, Conn., on Nov. 26, 1741. After completing his education, reportedly at Yale, Wheeler moved north to Great Barrington, Mass., in the spring of 1764. Acquiring property about a mile south of the center of town, he soon established himself as a general merchant trading in silk, fabrics, and a variety of domestic goods.

The Wheeler account book represents the initial years of a thriving, late colonial mercantile business in far western Massachusetts. Beginning in June 1764, not long after Wheeler set up shop in Great Barrington, the account book includes meticulous records of sales of domestic goods ranging from cloth (linen, silks, and osnabrig) to buttons, ribbons, and pins, snuff boxes, a “small bible,” “jews harps,” and tobacco. Among the prominent names that appear as clients are members of the Burghardt and Sedgwick families.

Subjects

  • Great Barrington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--18th century
  • Merchants--Massachusetts--Great Barrington

Contributors

  • Wheeler, Truman, 1741-1815

Types of material

  • Account books

Wheeler, Truman, Jr.

Truman Wheeler, Jr., Account Book, 1813-1833.

1 vol. (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 036 bd

Truman Wheeler, Jr., of Great Barrington, Mass., is considerably more obscure than his father, a prominent merchant, but in the two decades after the War of 1812, he made his living raising and selling rye, oats, and corn, tending sheep, and operating a substantial cider mill.

Wheeler Jr.’s account book records an array of fairly typical transactions in a non-cash economy, in which goods (grain, cider, barrels, food) or services (rental of the cider mill, lodging, labor) of one sort were exchanged for another. The frequency and scale of his cidering operation, and his rental of his cider mill when not used, is a distinguishing feature of his account book, which includes accounts with members of the Burghardt, Ives, Tucker, Warner, Wheeler, Willcox, and other families, as well as with Jack Negro, to whom Wheeler sold grain, pork, and brandy in exchange for assistance in haying.

Subjects

  • Cider industry--Massachusetts--Great Barrington
  • Farmers--Massachusetts--Great Barrington
  • Great Barrington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

  • Negro, Jack

Types of material

  • Account books

White, Cyrus

Cyrus White Daybook, 1823-1829.

1 vol. (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 085a

Cyrus White, a cooper in South Hadley, Massachusetts, made tubs and barrels of all varieties: soap tubs, leach tubs, oil barrels and casks, cheese presses, butter churns, and buckets. In his daybook, White lists and his customers including Springfield Cotton Manufacturing Co., Whitney and Wells, Byant and Bird, and Medad Clapp Lumber, as well as his family genealogy.

Subjects

  • Coopers and cooperage--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • White, Cyrus

Types of material

  • Daybooks

Woodward, John

John Woodward Account book, 1838-1868.

1 vol. (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 063 bd

John Woodward was a farmer in Groton, Mass., during the middle decades of the nineteenth century. Although little is known of his life, it appears that Woodward was born in nearby Tyngsboro on March 7, 1813, and that he married twice: first to Rebecca Sawtelle of Groton in 1823 and second to Mary Jane Nutting — almost 30 years his junior — in Dec. 1866. With Mary Jane, at least, he was highly reproductive, fathering his first son, a seventh child, at the age of 66. Woodward died in Groton on Apr. 20, 1895, and was buried in his family’s ancestral home of Dunstable.

John Woodward’s accounts document the financial transactions of fairly typical farmer in Groton over the period of three decades. Raising an array of produce, from cranberries and chestnuts, to squash, barley, apples, and turnips, Woodward also raised poultry and a variety of livestock. The ledger documents the day to day exchanges of food and labor that comprised the core of the local economy. Noteworthy among his customers are locally prominent families such as Blood and Swett and at least two Nuttings.

Subjects

  • Farmers--Massachusetts--Groton
  • Groton (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Types of material

  • Account books

Worthington (Mass.) Tavern

Worthington (Mass.) Tavern Account Book, 1826-1854.

1 vol. (0.2 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 421 bd

By the turn of the nineteenth century, the Hampshire County town of Worthington, Massachusetts, was a significant crossroads on the Boston-Albany Turnpike, belying its small size. The population in Worthington peaked at barely over 1,000 in 1810, and declined slowly thereafter, although it remained an active stopover on the road for many years.

This standard double column account book provides a concentrated record of financial and other transactions in the antebellum period, probably associated with a tavern in Worthington, Mass. Although the ledger’s keeper is unidentified, it records an assortment of odd jobs filing saws, smoking meat, lending horses, carting, pasturing cattle, and tending sheep, along with the sale of significant quantities of beer and cider and a regular stream of hard brandy and rum. There are records as well of providing meals and, in one instance, caring for prisoners and their keepers overnight (p. 21). Most of the clients who can be positively identified were residents of Worthington (e.g., Persis Knapp, Chauncy B. Rising, Nathan Searl, Shubal Parish, Elisha H. Brewster, Addison D. Perry, Merritt Hall, and Otis Boies), however others are noted as wayfarers, passing through from towns such as Whately or Hadley. Clients settled their accounts with a motley mixture of cash, goods, and labor.

Subjects

  • Taverns (Inns)--Massachusetts--Worthington
  • Worthington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Types of material

  • Account books
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