SCUA

Baschard, David

David Baschard Account Book, 1763-1774.
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 142

David Baschard (sometimes spelled Bichaud) was an innkeeper and merchant in Nantucket during the middle decades of the eighteenth century. Althouth little is known about the specifics of his life, when he died at the age of 50 on Feb. 9, 1770, he left a substantial estate valued at £1000. He left a legacy to his sister Mary and the remainder, including a “negro slave girl” and a pew in the Congregational Meeting House, to his wife Elizabeth (Hussey).

A standard two-column account book, David Baschard’s ledger records the day to day transactions of a Nantucket merchant of the 1760s. Trading actively in a range of sundries and domestic goods such as cloth, apparel, sugar, tea, and tobacco, Baschard also sold liquors of various sorts, including punch, grog, wine, and rum. In addition to his local Nantucket clientele (members of the Starbuck, Coffin, Rotch, and Folger families among them), he traded in towns along the Cape Cod and elsewhere in southeastern Massachusetts, including Harwich, Rochester, Dartmouth, Falmouth, and Martha’s Vineyard. Accounts were settled both in cash and in kind.

Background on David Baschard

David Baschard (sometimes spelled Bichaud) was an innkeeper and merchant in Nantucket during the middle decades of the eighteenth century. Althouth little is known about the specifics of his life, when he died at the age of 50 on Feb. 9, 1770, he left a substantial estate valued at £1000. He left a legacy to his sister Mary and the remainder, including a “negro slave girl” and a pew in the Congregational Meeting House, to his wife Elizabeth (Hussey).

Contents of Collection

A standard two-column account book, David Baschard’s ledger records the day to day transactions of a Nantucket merchant of the 1760s. Trading actively in a range of sundries and domestic goods such as cloth, apparel, sugar, tea, and tobacco, Baschard also sold liquors of various sorts, including punch, grog, wine, and rum. In addition to his local Nantucket clientele (members of the Starbuck, Coffin, Rotch, and Folger families among them), he traded in towns along the Cape Cod and elsewhere in southeastern Massachusetts, including Harwich, Rochester, Dartmouth, Falmouth, and Martha’s Vineyard. Accounts were settled both in cash and in kind.

Although the owner of the ledger is not specifically identified, an agreement associated with the account of George Hussey (p. 158) indicates the owner to be David Baschard. The ledger is bound in full leather and branded on the cover with the words “Ledger B 1763.” At some point, probably in the later nineteenth century, it was repurposed to serve as a scrapbook, with newspaper clippings pasted over the first 64 pages. These were later soaked off to reveal the original content. One account (Solomon Pinkham, p.160-161) was recorded shortly after Baschard’s death.

dingbat for decoration
Provenance

Provenance unknown.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, July 2013.

Bibliography

Worth, Henry Barnard, “Nantucket Lands and Land Owners,” Nantucket Historical Association Bulletin 2:1 (1901).

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: David Baschard Account Book (MS 142). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Subjects

  • Hotelkeepers--Massachusetts--Nantucket Island
  • Merchants--Massachusetts--Nantucket Island
  • Nantucket Island (Mass.)--Economic conditions
  • Nantucket Island (Mass.)--History

Types of material

  • Account books
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