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George Cooley & Co. Ledger, 1843-1851
1 box (0.25 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 111

Soap-making business in the Cabotville section of Chicopee, Massachusetts. Ledger includes accounts of received payment (goods and services as well as cash), lists of what was sold, and notes on the character of customers.

Terms of Access and Use:

The collection is open for research.

Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Scope and contents of the collection

This ledger, begun by George Cooley in 1843 to record the accounts of his soap making business in the Cabotville section of Chicopee, was continued by Titus Chapin, an ardent abolitionist, and Mordecai Clough when they took over the business following Cooley's death (or departure) in 1848.

The ledger reveals that the business took payment in goods and services as well as in cash. The most frequently accepted goods were grease and ashes; also taken in were tallow, pork, scraps and skins, and candles. Some of the services bartered were repairing wagon, shoeing horse, fixing whippletree, making 30 boxes, and covering umbrella.

The business sold gallons, bars, and cakes of soap. Mount Holyoke Seminary bought 28 "fancy soaps". Also listed were shaving soap and hard or hand soap. In addition, sales sometimes included candles, butter, mop handles, molasses, apples and potatoes, squashes, satinet, cheese, cord wood, paint, and rosin.

Some of the listings were annotated with regard to the customer's character: Ashad Bartlett was seen as "bad and poor and fights with his wife", Norris Starkwether was "an honest man", and Miss L.B. Hunt "eloped with a man".

While certain accounts in the Chapin/Clough portion of the ledger are noted as being transferred to a new ledger, it is not known whether another preceded this one. The 1843 date coincides with the coming of many small businesses to Cabotville in connection with the growth of industries there at the time.

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

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: George Cooley and Co. Ledger (MS 111). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

History of the Collection

Acquired from Robert Lucas, 1986

Processing Information

Processed by Linda Seidman, December 1986.

Additional Information
Contact Information
Special Collections and University Archives
W.E.B. Du Bois Library
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003-9275

Phone: (413) 545-2780
Fax: (413) 577-1399
Link to SCUA
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

  • Cabotville (Chicopee, Mass.)--Economic conditions
  • Chapin, Titus
  • Chicopee (Mass.)--Economic conditions
  • Clough, Mordecai
  • Cooley, George
  • George Cooley & Co.
  • Soap factories--Massachusetts--Chicopee--Accounting
  • Soap trade--Massachusetts--Chicopee

  • Chapin, Titus
  • Clough, Mordecai
  • Cooley, George

Genre terms
  • Account books

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