SCUA

Shreve and Earl

Shreve and Earl Account Book, 1807-1809.

1 vol. (0.1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 625 bd

In the first decade of the nineteenth century, the firm of Shreve and Earl operated in Burlington County, New Jersey, trading in a range of sundries from molasses, sugar, and butter to fabrics and spices. They also sold large quantities of liquor, suggesting that they may have operated as wholesalers of whiskey and spirits.

Kept in standard double column format, the Shreve and Earl account book documents two years of a fairly extensive retail operation, probably located in Burlington County, N.J. The principals in the business are possibly Alexander Shreve (1769-1854), husband of Mary H. Earl, and his son Joshua, along with Alexander’s brothers-in-law Thomas and Caleb Earl. Several accounts are notable for the relatively large quantities of alcohol recorded: of 33 entries for Reuben Gauntt, for example, 29 are for either whiskey or spirits and one for molasses and coffee.

Historical Note

In the first decade of the nineteenth century, the firm of Shreve and Earl operated in Burlington County, New Jersey, trading in a range of sundries from molasses, sugar, and butter to fabrics and spices. They also sold large quantities of liquor, suggesting that they may have operated as wholesalers of whiskey and spirits.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

Kept in standard double column format over 200 pages, the Shreve and Earl account book documents two years of a fairly extensive retail operation, probably located in Burlington County, N.J. The principals in the business are possibly Alexander Shreve (1769-1854), husband of Mary H. Earl, and his son Joshua, along with Alexander’s brothers-in-law Thomas and Caleb Earl. Several accounts are notable for the relatively large quantities of alcohol recorded: of 33 entries for Reuben Gauntt, for example, 29 are for either whiskey or spirits and one for molasses and coffee.

Although the identities of the record keepers are somewhat uncertain, both Shreves and Earls (names that appear on the cover of the volume) appear as debtors in the ledger, and the families were several times intermarried. The identity is based in part on notations of cash paid out as creditors by Alexander and Joshua Shreve and Thomas and Caleb Earl, probably brothers of Mary H. Earl, and (see, with some erratic pagination, p. 25, 30, 41, 51, 84, 111, 129, 130). It is noteworthy that the ledger includes accounts with both a Joshua Shreve (Alexander’s father was named Joshua) and Tanton Earl (Mary Earl Shreve’s father).


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

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Shreve and Earl Account Book (MS 625 bd). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

History of the Collection

Acquired from Dan Casavant, 1999.

Processing Information

Processed by Dex Haven, August 2009.


Additional Information

Language
English

Subjects

  • General stores--New Jersey
  • Liquor industry--New Jersey
  • New Hanover (N.J.)--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

  • Shreve and Earl
  • Shreve, Alexander, 1769-1854

Types of material

  • Account books
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