Wells, Samuel

Samuel Wells Collection

1840-1843
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 225

In November 1840, the prominent New York mercantile firm, Josiah Macy and Son, contracted with Samuel Wells to act as an agent in leasing land in Hatfield, Mass., to mine barite. Wells, a resident of nearby Northampton, consulted with the renowned geologist Edward Hitchcock of Amherst College to locate the appropriate mining site, and then, over the next two years, he negotiated the leases and prepared for the start-up of mining. Ultimately, the presence of the lead ore galena rendered the barite unfit for use as a whitening agent.

The three dozen letters written to Samuel Wells, mostly by his employer Josiah Macy and Son, document the brief and ill-fated effort to start up a barite mine in Hatfield, Mass. Although some of the letters deal with the barite itself, most concern negotiations over locating the proper mine site and obtaining mineral rights and land leases.

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1989

Subjects

  • Barite mines and mining--Massachusetts--Hatfield
  • Hatfield (Mass.)--History
  • Lead mines and mining--Massachusetts--Hatfield

Contributors

  • Chase, G. C.
  • Hitchcock, Edward, 1793-1864
  • Josiah Macy and Son

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