Blacksmith from Foxborough, Massachusetts. Documents the various kinds of work performed, such as mending chain links, shoeing horses, bolting and riveting wagons, repairing stoves, and the prices charged for such work. Includes customers arranged by surname and notations of the settlement of long-standing debts (without mention of the methods of payment).
Samuel B. Leonard, born in Foxboro, Massachusetts in 1807, was the tenth of fourteen children. His father, Jacob, was also a blacksmith. Leonard married another local resident, the former Fanny Winslow (born 1805) in 1829 and they had six children, one of whom (James F. Leonard) rose to some local prominence as a town clerk, and, later, representative to the General Court.
Samuel B. Leonard’s account book reflects the variety of work performed by a local blacksmith. The 250 page account book is arranged by customer, using only single entry accounting. Notations of the settlement of long-standing debts, unfortunately, do not provide information concerning the method of payment. While including a few entries for the 1840s, the transactions primarily occur in the period 1833 to 1839. For that period, the account book offers an interesting picture of the kinds of work Leonard performed, such as mending chain links, shoeing horses, bolting and riveting wagons, mending shovels, fixing pitchforks, repairing stoves, etc., and the prices charged for such work.
Leonard, in 1840, resided in a household of eight including himself, his wife, and four of his children. Also included was a teenage girl (probably to help with housework) and a teenage boy (probably an apprentice). In the 1850 census, the Leonard household had expanded to twelve, which, aside from Leonard, his wife, and six children, included three adult males and an adult female. Since no occupations are listed, it is impossible to tell whether they were boarders or whether they worked for Leonard. The latter seems possible since the value of Leonard’s real estate was $5,000.
The collection is open for research.
Cite as: Samuel B. Leonard Account Book (MS 206). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Acquired from Charles Apelbaum, 1987.
Processed by Ken Fones-Wolf, September 1988.
- Blacksmithing--Massachusetts--Foxborough--History--19th century
- Blacksmiths--Massachusetts--Foxborough--Economic conditions--19th century
- Foxborough (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Foxborough (Mass.)--History--19th century
- Leonard, Samuel B., 1807-
Types of material
- Account books