Five College Archives and Manuscript
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Belcher Family Accounts, 1847-1858
2 volumes
Collection number: MS 208

Owners of a butcher shop in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Includes customer names, prices of meat, form of payment (principally cash), and Belcher family information.

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

The Belcher family owned a butcher shop in Foxboro, Massachusetts, supplying the needs of local residents. The two account books, totaling 820 pages, are arranged by customer name and are principally cash transactions for meat. As such, they are particularly revealing for charting the price of meats and the consumption patterns of the local customers over a significant period of time.

The first account book is the property of Lewis T. Belcher (born 1798) in Foxboro. He married Almira Kidder in 1824 and they had three children. At the close of the earlier account book in 1850, Belcher had two children living at home, one of whom was also a butcher, and his shop was worth approximately $2000.

In close proximity lived his recently married eldest son, Lewis W. (born 1826) who was soon to become the proprietor of the shop. Indeed, the second account book, beginning January 1851, was listed under the son's name, but most of the customers continued from the father's accounts. By 1860, Lewis W. Belcher employed one other butcher in his shop worth at that point about $2500, and resided with his wife and three daughters.

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

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Belcher Family Accounts (MS 208). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

History of the Collection

Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by Ken Fones-Wolf, September 1988.

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.

  • Belcher family.
  • Belcher, Lewis T., b. 1798.
  • Belcher, Lewis W., b. 1826.
  • Butchers--Massachusetts--Foxboro (Town)--History--19thcentury--Sources.
  • Consumers--Massachusetts--Foxboro (Town)--History--19thcentury--Sources.
  • Diet--Massachusetts--Foxboro (Town)--History--19thcentury--Sources.
  • Foxboro (Mass. : Town)--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.
  • Meat--Prices--Massachusetts--Foxboro (Town)--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Shopping--Massachusetts--Foxboro (Town)--History--19thcentury--Sources.

  • Belcher, Lewis T., b. 1798.
  • Belcher, Lewis W., b. 1826.

Genre terms
  • Account books.

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