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General Store and Merchant Daybook, 1837
1 volume
Collection number: MS 222

Unidentified merchant's daybook for his general store. Includes accounts of cash and credit transactions, both in the store and through banks.

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 daybook of this trader/merchant in Bridgewater, Massachusetts reveals the quickening pace of economic activity connected to the burgeoning Plymouth County iron industry. While many of the transactions at the store are small purchases of flour, fabric, sugar, tobacco, meats, molasses, etc., interspersed are substantial purchases of bar iron, nails, metal plates, and other manufactured metal items accounting for an increasingly large share of the business. For instance, on September 23, 1837, Horatio Leonard bought 49 bars of iron for $229, an amount that dwarfed most purchases on that day. Four days later, the firm of French and Coffin bought a hydrostatic press for $1400. This was obviously a transaction where the storeowner was the purchasing agent, probably reflecting his ability to control large amounts of cash or credit.

Evidence of the important role played by the local merchant in the expansion of manufacturing is scattered throughout the daybook. On September 29th, for instance, the merchant recorded notes payable to Bristol County Bank of $1349, to Thos. Coggeshall of $970, and to J. Lund of $114. That same day, he recorded notes receivable from A. Mason & Co. of $726, from the Taunton Bank of $884, from Cushing and Ames of $2000, and from the Bristol County Bank of $1,478.

Among the businesses which were included in this merchant's transactions were: the Marshfield Manufacturing Co.; the Fall River Iron Works; Stickney & Noyes; Stetson Cobb & Co.; Weymouth Iron Co.; Kingman & Small; Fobes, Cole & Thayer; Witherell Arms; Eddy & Hathaway; and Calvin Washburn & Co. The daybook thus reflects the geographic as well as the economic expansion of the merchant's trade due to his involvement in marketing manufactures.

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

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: General Store and Merchant Daybook (MS 222). 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.

  • Banks and banking--Massachusetts--History--Sources.
  • Bridgewater (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.
  • General stores--Massachusetts--Bridgewater--Finance--History--Sources.
  • Iron industry and trade--Massachusetts--History--Sources.
  • Plymouth County (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.

Genre terms
  • Account books.

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