SCUA

George Cooley & Company

George Cooley & Co. Ledger, 1843-1851.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 111

Ledger, begun by George Cooley in 1843 to record the accounts of his soapmaking business in the Cabotville section of Chicopee, continued by Titus Chapin, an ardent abolitionist, and Mordecai Cough who managed the business following Cooley’s death (or departure) in 1848. The 1843 date coincides with the coming of many small businesses to Cabotville in connection with the growth of industries there at the time.

Cooley accepted goods, services and cash as payment. The most frequently accepted goods had relatively obvious value to a soap maker: grease and ashes, tallow, pork, scraps and skins, and candles. Some of the services bartered were repairing wagon, shoeing horse, fixing wippletree, making 30 boxes, and covering umbrella. The business sold gallons, bars, and cakes of soap. Mount Holyoke Seminary bought 28 “fancy soaps”. Also listed were shaving soap and hard or hand soap. In addition, sales sometimes included candles, butter, mop handles, molasses, apples and potatoes, squashes, satinet, cheese, cord wood, paint, and rosin. Some of the listings were annotated with regard to the customer’s character: Ashad Bartlett was seen as “bad and poor and fights with his wife”‘ Norris Starkwether was “an honest man”; and Miss L.B. Hunt “eloped with a man”.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

This ledger, begun by George Cooley in 1843 to record the accounts of his soap making business in the Cabotville section of Chicopee, was continued by Titus Chapin, an ardent abolitionist, and Mordecai Clough when they took over the business following Cooley’s death (or departure) in 1848.

The ledger reveals that the business took payment in goods and services as well as in cash. The most frequently accepted goods were grease and ashes; also taken in were tallow, pork, scraps and skins, and candles. Some of the services bartered were repairing wagon, shoeing horse, fixing whippletree, making 30 boxes, and covering umbrella.

The business sold gallons, bars, and cakes of soap. Mount Holyoke Seminary bought 28 “fancy soaps”. Also listed were shaving soap and hard or hand soap. In addition, sales sometimes included candles, butter, mop handles, molasses, apples and potatoes, squashes, satinet, cheese, cord wood, paint, and rosin.

Some of the listings were annotated with regard to the customer’s character: Ashad Bartlett was seen as “bad and poor and fights with his wife”, Norris Starkwether was “an honest man”, and Miss L.B. Hunt “eloped with a man”.

While certain accounts in the Chapin/Clough portion of the ledger are noted as being transferred to a new ledger, it is not known whether another preceded this one. The 1843 date coincides with the coming of many small businesses to Cabotville in connection with the growth of industries there at the time.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: George Cooley and Co. Ledger (MS 111). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Acquired from Robert Lucas, 1986

Processing Information

Processed by Linda Seidman, December 1986.


Additional Information

Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Language
English.

Subjects

  • Chicopee (Mass.)--History
  • Soap trade--Massachusetts

Contributors

  • George Cooley and Company
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