Samuel A. Locke Account Book, 1821-1829
Call no.: MS 168
Businessman from West Cambridge, Massachusetts with additional dealings in Charlestown, Quincy, Waltham, and Tyngsboro.
The volume includes lists of personal and business purchases, services provided for his family, and business services such as whitewashing, carting coal, sawing wood, carrying letters, collecting debts, relaying a brick fireplace, and “work loading Sloop Rapid,” and barter and cash transactions. References made to Locke’s involvement with Universalism and members of the Tufts family of Cambridge and Middlesex County.
Samuel A. Locke of West Cambridge, Massachusetts, recorded business transactions, primarily in building supplies and construction, and some family expenses in a combination ledger and daybook from October 1821 to November 1829. The volume, 58 pages with 3 additional unattached, includes Locke’s “account of my expenses” and “inventory of my goods and efforts.”
Transactions are both barter and cash. Locke’s purchases are often difficult to discern from those of his customers due to his particular debit/credit style. Personal goods listed include clothing, clotting for silk handkerchiefs, rosewater, lobster, beer, veal, potatoes, ink powder, cut glass decanters, lottery tickets, medicine for family, and cash for wife. Business supplies include lumber, grog, bricks, (wall)paper, wheelbarrows, old iron, coal, paint, lime, Patent Hewing hammers, glue, plastering, mortar, file and “rough stone left on wharf.” Services provided for his family include clothing and boot repair, mending shoes, and “minding the oven.” Business services include whitewashing and coloring, carting coal, journeys and carrying letters to New York, sawing wood, collecting debts, paying tolls, mending and putting on door locks, patching, plastering, re-laying brick of fireplace, “work loading Sloop Rapid” and “renting of house to Rev. Joseph Tuckerman.”
The book shows Locke’s involvement with Universalism and the Universalist faith through his purchases of Ancient History of Universalism of Bacheler’s Trial and Trumpet and Universalist Magazine, “Devoted to Doctrine, Religion and Morality.” This denomination evolved into the present day Unitarian Universalist Association. Universalists established Tufts Institution of Learning in nearby Medford, Massachusetts, (1852), later, Tufts University. There is mention of the “Estate of Peter Tufts” of Cambridge, and a Charles Tufts of Middlesex County.
Samuel Locke’s records also show deposits with the Provident Institution for Savings and describe in his inventory, “1/6 part of stock in trade with Bryant Locke and Company”.
Other towns mentioned include Charlestown, Quincy, Waltham, and Tyngsboro.
Other names mentioned include: Isaac, Jonas, and Daniel Locke, Conrad C. Carlton, George Carlton, Harvey Otis, Alanson Rice, Fosters Bryant, Calib Pratt, Gen. Theodore Lyman, Gridley Stoddard, A.H. Fillibrown, Hunting and Moulton, and Bacon and Mann.
The collection is open for research.
Cite as: Samuel A. Locke Account Book (MS 168). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Acquired from: Charles Apfelbaum, 1987
Processed by Elizabeth Baumgartner, July 1987.
- Arlington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Building materials industry--Massachusetts--Arlington
- Building trades--Massachusetts--Arlington
- Charlestown (Boston, Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Quincy (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Tufts family
- Tyngsboro (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Universalist churches--United States--History--19th century
- Waltham (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Locke, Samuel A
Types of material
- Account books