Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Samuel H. Rundlett Daybooks
Scope and Contents of the Collection
Samuel H. Rundlett, born in Newburyport, Massachusetts in 1834, was a teamster in that Essex County port city. His three daybooks document his work for various local businesses between 1873 and 1879, and the prices paid for freight handling. Much of his work was done for the Bartlett Steam Mills and the Peabody Mills (textile companies for which he hauled bales of raw cotton and finished cloth) and for the large number of schooners docking at Newburyport's wharves. Rundlett also delivered coals for the Charles W. Hale Co., produce and fertilizer for local farmers, and goods for local merchants and grocers. Many of the businesses listed on the 1872 County Atlas appear in Rundlett's accounts.
Although most of the transactions were on a strictly cash basis, he did accept other types of payment, including credit at a store or produce from a local farmer. Among the more interesting items in the last two volumes are his accounts with the Newburyport branch of the Sovereigns of Industry, a workingmen's cooperative association. Rundlett delivered flour, beans, oil, sugar, and molasses for the Sovereigns' cooperative store in Newburyport.
The volume of work completed in the daybooks suggests that Rundlett had several teams and wagons and employed many workers. Occasionally, Rundlett would rent horses or entire teams for the day. The accounts suggest that he prospered in the bustle of Newburyport economic activity. On the first page of the volume beginning in 1876 is a list of his four insurance policies, totaling $3,000 on his house and personal estate, noting that these did not include his horses.