Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Tom A. Faber Ledger
Scope and Contents of the Collection
Tom Faber (born 1818), owned a livery stable in Great Barrington, Massachusetts at the middle of the nineteenth century. His household in 1850 included a wife, Minerva, four children, two Irish-born females (presumably servants), and three ostlers. Faber owned $2500 worth of real and personal property, probably most of which were horses, carriages and the stables. Sometime in 1853, Faber ceased to be a stabler in Great Barrington. In the 1853 business directory, two Great Barrington livery stables are listed, neither of them owned by Faber.
The ledger documents the activities of a stabler between 1848 and 1853. His customers numbered 44 and included some of Great Barrington's most prominent citizens -- Albert S. Crane, George Ives, and George Pynchon. Also included were several Great Barrington businesses. Among them were, F.T. Whiting (Apothecary), G.M. Whiting (Auctioneer), J.D. Noxon (Blacksmith), Frederick Langsdorf (Cabinetmaker), Girling and Doolittle (Clothiers), and Granger and Hill (Country Store). Faber also did a great deal of business for Sarah and Nancy Kellogg's boarding school for girls, including the renting of teams and wagons to the Kellogg's hired laborer, Thomas Burghardt (b. 1790), to transport students and supplies.
In most cases, the accounts reflect the renting of horses, wagons, carriages and cutters for trips to neighboring towns. Occasionally, one of Faber's workers, or perhaps Faber himself, transported either individuals or merchandise for the customer. Several entries also reflect the renting of teams for plowing or other agricultural work. Typically, payment for services was in cash, although he also accepted services (especially from Noxon the blacksmith), hay, clothes (from Girling and Doolittle), and even a buffalo robe (from the Kelloggs). Although he had three ostlers in his household, the only labor account is for Fred Berry, a nineteen year old Massachusetts-born Afro-American. Berry was one of the three ostlers living in Faber's household.