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Coggeshall, D. H.

Digital (+)Finding aid

D. H. Coggeshall Papers, 1869-1912.

1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 600
Langstroth
Langstroth

D. H. Coggeshall (1847-1912) made his living as an apiculturist in Tompkins County, N.Y., on the southeast edge of the Finger Lakes. Beginning by 1870, he sold honey or extracted honey, and occasionally bees, to customers and commission merchants as far away as the Midwest.

This small assemblage of business letters and accounts document an active apiculturist during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Of particular note are some scarce printed advertising broadsides and circulars from some of the best known apiculturists of the time, including L.L. Langstroth and Charles Dadant, as well as an early flier advertising the sale of newly arrived Italian bees. The sparse correspondence includes letters from clients and colleagues of Coggeshall, along with communications with commission merchants charged with selling his honey.

Background on D.H. Coggeshall

David Hoyt Coggeshall, Jr., was born on Dec. 1, 1847, the son of D.H. and Lydia Coggeshall who had emigrated from their native Stamford, Conn., to the small Finger Lakes town of Groton.

From the little that can discerned about him, Coggeshall began raising bees seriously while still in his youth, and apparently became interested in Italian bees within a decade of their introduction to the United States in 1859. Mild-tempered and highly productive, the Italian bees rapidly supplanted the black bees that had been the main source of honey in the country, and Coggeshall established himself as an energetic producer of honey and extracted honey and he sold and sometimes rented bees as well.

Shortly after the turn of the twentieth century, Coggeshall and another beekeeper (identified only as Alexander) apparently became involved in an effort to convert nectar artificially into honey, although their efforts proved disastrous. In 1915, they were singled out in the journal Western Bee Keeper as having

“ruined the New York market for extracted honey with their green, thin product, and it took us four years to recover it. You would not eat, neither could you sell, for any domestic purposes, the thin, flavorless product of their apiaries — but for sweetening plugtobacco and show blacking it answers nicely.”

Coggeshall died on Dec, 15, 1912, leaving behind his wife Clarinda.

Contents of Collection

This small assemblage of business letters and accounts document an active apiculturist during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Of particular note are some scarce printed advertising broadsides and circulars from some of the best known apiculturists of the time, including L.L. Langstroth and Charles Dadant, as well as an early flier advertising the sale of newly arrived Italian bees. The sparse correspondence includes letters from clients and colleagues of Coggeshall, along with communications with commission merchants charged with selling his honey.

Collection inventory
1873
Folder 1
Buckner, W. E.
1912
Folder 4
1871
Folder 7
Kedzie, R. F.
1879
Folder 8
Kimball, B.
1895
Folder 9
Law, Adon S.
1911
Folder 10
Merriam & Falconer
1882
Folder 11
Nellis, J. H.
1879
Folder 12
Otis, R. C.
ca.1869
Folder 13
Palmer, J. F.
1884
Folder 15
Rea, George H.
1911
Folder 17
Snyder, Frank
1911
Folder 18
Thorn, L.
1872
Folder 19
Thurber, H. K. and F. B.
1879-1880
Folder 20
Ward, E. and C.
1879-1880
Folder 22
Ward, E. and O.
1873-1878
Folder 23
Watts, C. S.
1911
Folder 24
Welch, D. H.
1911
Folder 25
Administrative information
Provenance

Acquired from Steve Finer, Mar. 2009 (2009-050).

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, September 2015.

Digitized content

Portions of the collections have been digitized and are available online in Credo.

Bibliography

The quotation on Coggeshall’s artificial honey comes from an editorial insertion, Western Honey Bee, vol. 3, 1 (1915): 20.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: D. H. Coggeshall Papers (MS 600). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Subjects

  • Beehives
  • Bees
  • Dadant, Charles, 1817-1902
  • Honey trade--New York (State)
  • Langstroth, L. L. (Lorenzo Lorraine), 1810-1895

Types of material

  • Letters (Correspondence)

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