Five College Archives and Manuscript
UMass Amherst seal
Mercantile House Ledger, 1792-1804
1 volume (0.25 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 285

Firm based in Portland, Maine, that supplied "merchandize" to local merchants in Maine, as well as in several locations in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and northeastern Massachusetts. Firm undertook international "adventures" as well. Ledger includes general accounts for merchandise, bills receivable and payable, cash, profit and loss, storage, and truckage, as well as accounts generated with certain ships.

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

This ledger documents the network of trade in southern Maine (at that time, still a part of Massachusetts) in the new republic. The firm which kept this ledger supplied local merchants in Portland, Gorham, North Yarmouth, Orrington, Pembroke, Georgetown (in Kennebec), and Cooper, Maine, as well as several locations in New Hampshire and northeastern Massachusetts. But this firm was not exclusively local; it undertook "adventures" to London, Cadiz, Port-au-Prince, Surinam, Virginia, North Carolina, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. Unfortunately, the goods purchased and sold are not itemized. Instead, they are accounted for under the general term "merchandize."

Throughout the volume, there are more general accounts of the form for merchandise, bills receivable and payable, cash, profit and loss, storage, and truckage. There are also accounts generated with certain ships, including the General Wayne, the Five Brothers, and the Brig. Zephyr. Among the prominent accounts represented in this ledger are the Portland merchants Robert Boyd; Stevens and Hovey; Benjamin Titcomb, Jr.; Woodbury Storer; Ralph Cross; and William Waite. Other accounts were with Williams and Coffin (Portsmouth, New Hampshire), Asaph Gates (Orrington, Maine), Charles Josselyn (Pembroke), James Coffin (Pepperell), David Coffin (Newburyport), and James Robinson (Lynn).

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

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Mercantile House Ledger (MS 285). 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, 1989.

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.

  • Maine--Commerce--History--18th century--Sources.
  • Maine--Commerce--Massachusetts--History--18th century--Sources.
  • Maine--Commerce--New Hampshire--History--18th century--Sources.
  • Massachusetts--Commerce--Maine--History--18th century--Sources.
  • Mercantile House (Portland, Me.)
  • Merchants--Maine--Portland--Economic conditions--18th century--Sources.
  • New Hampshire--Commerce--Maine--History--18th century--Sources.
  • Portland (Me.)--Commerce--History--18th century--Sources.
  • Shipping--Accounting--History--18th century--Sources.
  • Storage and moving trade--Maine--History--18th century--Sources.
  • Trucking--Maine--History--18th century--Sources.

Genre terms
  • Account books.

Questions about this collection? Contact the archives
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