Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Job Cushing Accounts
Scope and Contents of the Collection
Cushing's farm was located near the center of the thriving shipbuilding and fishing town of Cohasset, between Hingham and Scituate. His accounts reflect his ability to earn extra income by plowing up and hauling field stones to the wharf for use as ballast by the schooners using Cohasset Harbor (see, for instance, his accounts with Eleazar James, the Cove Meadow Corporation, and Capt. William Kilburn). In the History of Cohasset (1898), one schooner captain reminisced that the ballast consisted "of field stones that the old glacier left in our drumlins, and which 'Uncle Job Cushing' or some other farmer hauls down to the wharf at one dollar per ton."
Most of Cushing's other accounts consist of the use of his team for plowing or carting wood for neighbors and for carting merchandise to the store of Morgan Stetson or transporting iron to the blacksmith shop of Amos Tilden. The principal products from Cushing's farm were potatoes, which he sold widely, and calves, which he sold primarily to the butcher Elliott Stoddard. While never especially prosperous (his property was valued at $3,900 in 1850), Cushing was able to hire an Irish-born farm laborer, Patrick Mulvey, as he advanced in years.
The inside front cover of the account book contains writing by Thomas Lothver of Hingham, dated 1756, which includes part of a prayer and a draft of a letter asking for the payment of a debt.