Transient worker for Seth Porter and Co., a cotton mill in Cummington, Massachusetts and for Wells, Blackinton, and White, manufacturer of fine textiles in North Adams, Massachusetts. Includes accounts of his employers, debits, credits (a running account with a general store for the purchase of clothing and foodstuffs), and notations of providing room and board for other workers.
William Weatherby kept this twelve-page volume of personal accounts from April 1835 to April 1837. The owner used ledger style, placing debits and credits, entitled “Contra,” on separate pages. The volume shows that Weatherby “labored” for Seth Porter and Co. of Cummington, Massachusetts and for Wells, Blackinton, and White of North Adams, Massachusetts. Probably a transient worker, the accounts show that he also provided room and board for other workers. Credit accounts indicate a running account with a general store for the purchase of clothing and foodstuffs, likely paid by the companies at year’s end.
Cotton mill operator Seth Porter Jr. held partnership with three other men, two of whom, Elisha Carpenter and Edmund Dawes, appear in this volume. Carpenter and Dawes settled their mill’s accounts with Weatherby in April of 1836. Debits here included: “labor and board to date” and “boarding S. Parker and Elisha Mason”. Credits included: sundries, 1 pt. oil, calico, shirting, yarn, flour, rice, corn, beef, a broom and “to note $500.00 signed by Elisha Carpenter and Edmund Dawes.”
Wells, (Otis) Blackinton and (Joseph L.) White began business in North Adams in March of 1822. According to histories, they “manufactured satinet for pantaloon ware”. Debits here included: “boarding L. Butler, Henry W. Cole, S. Parker, Solomon Alden and Charles Goodell”, as well as labor, 30 lbs. meal, and “1 bushel potatoes to Humphrey Anthony”. Credits included: Foodstuffs–butter, eggs, ham, and fresh pork, H.S. tea, saleratus (a leavening agent), molasses, wintergreen, candy, oysters, wine, salt, raisins, beans, crackers, codfish, peppermint, and cheese. Cloth–velveteen, cotton flannel, silk, brown linen, bleached cotton, “4 yrds. trimming” and cambrick (a fine white linen). Other goods mentioned included: “2 silk hankerchiefs”, elastic buttons, thread, cords of wood, house rent, postage on letter, 1 hoe, 3 papers of G. seeds, 1 bottle blackening, saltpetre, matches, tin, and a box of pills.
The collection is open for research.
Cite as: William Weatherby Personal Accounts (MS 179). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987.
Processed by Elizabeth C, Baumgartner, August 1987.
- Cummington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- General stores--Massachusetts
- North Adams (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Seth Porter and Co. (Firm)
- Textile industry--Massachusetts--19th century
- Textile workers--Massachusetts--Economic conditions--19th century
- Wells, Blackinton, and White
- Weatherby, William
Types of material
- Account books