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Colonial Manuscript Account Book Newburyport Ma/handwritten/ledger Mid-1700s For Sale
FANTASTIC, ORIGINAL MID-18TH CENTURY COLONIAL AMERICAN ACCOUNT BOOK. Thisphenomenal manuscript ledger was kept by Ichabod Atkinson (1714-1803), who was born inNewbury and died in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Volume contains about 265 pages of handwritten entries spanningnearly 50years. Dates range from 1744 to 1788,with entries comprising a plethora of activities and transactions which Atkinsonoften describesphonetically[i.e., "by too pigs", "by oxen to houl bords", etc.]. Many entries were recorded while Newbury stillincluded Newburyport, which didn't break off to form a separatetown until 1764. Volume alsoextendsthroughout theyears of the American Revolution (1775-83). A trulyremarkable and well preserved historical artifact from Colonial America.
Ledger comprises a myrid of diverse transactions ranging from farming activities and household purchases to the reconciling of accounts with various parties. Examples include Carting Hay, Plowing, Bring Corn to Portsmouth [New Hampshire], Carting Wood, Hauling Timber, Hauling Cider to Town, Cutting Out Jackets, By my Mare to Amesbury, By a Hat, Hauling Boards from Town, "By Too Pigs", Carting Rocks, "Oxen to Houl Bords", "By Three Boys Hats", "By To Calf Skins", By my Mare to Boston, By Half a Peck of Peas, "Barel of Sider", "By Three Boys Hats the Sam Tim", By my Oxen to Newton", "My Chaer to South Hampton" [New Hampshire], My Chaer to Ipsych [i.e., Ipswich], "By Coloring Cloth", "Coloring Yaran for Storkens", etc.
Volume is also a storehouse of local genealogy with numerous names found throughout including John Akinson, Jacob Merreck, Ebenezer Wise, Enoch Sayers, Samuel Fowler, Joseph Coffin, Moses Merrill, Enoch Bretlet, Peter Coffin, Samuel Pilsbury, Benjamin Gooridg, John Power, Samuel Bartlett, James Bayley [i.e., Bailey], Stephan Wiatt [i.e., Stephen Wyatt], Joseph Clement, Ephrey Sayer, Richard Pilsbury, John Wodsman, Jonathan Sampson, Capten Croker [i.e., Captain Crocker], Henery Pilsbry [i.e., Henry Pilsbury], Daniel Sawyer, Stephen Paten, Samuel Jacmon, Jacob Godins, Lemuel Fowler, Joseph Smith, Nathanell [i.e., Nathaniel] Cheny, Sargent Smith, etc.
Newburyport is a small coastal city in Essex County, Massachusetts, 35 miles northeast of Boston, and home to about 21,200 residents. A historic seaport with a vibrant tourism industry, Newburyport includes part of Plum Island. The mooring, winter storage and maintenance of recreational boats, motor and sail, still contribute a large part of the city's income. A Coast Guard station oversees boating activity, especially in the swift tidal currents of the Merrimack River.
Newburyport was settled in 1635 as part of Newberry Plantation, now Newbury. In, 1764, the General Court of Massachusetts passed "An act for erecting part of the town of Newbury into a new town by the name of Newburyport." The act was approved by Governor Francis Bernard in 1764. The new town was the smallest in Massachusetts, covering an area of 647 acres, and had a population of 2800 living in 357 homes. There were three shipyards, no bridges, and several ferries, one of which at the foot of Fish Street, now State Street, carried the Portsmouth Flying Stage Coach, running between Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Boston.
The town prospered and became a city in 1851. Situated near the mouth of the Merrimack River, it was once a fishing, shipbuilding and shipping center, with an industry in silverware manufacture. Merrimack Arms and Brown Manufacturing Company made "Southerner" Derringer pistols in their Newburyport factory from 1867 to 1873. The captains of old Newburyport [as elsewhere in Massachusetts] had participated vigorously in the triangular trade, importing West Indian molasses and exporting rum made from it. The distilleries were located around Market Square near the waterfront. Caldwell's Old Newburyport rum was manufactured locally until well into the 19th century.
Although the purchase of slaves in Massachusetts was illegal, ownership of slaves purchased elsewhere was not; consequently the fine homes on High Street were staffed by African and Native American slaves until the newly independent General Court of Massachusetts abolished slavery altogether in the Revolutionary War. Newburyport had never been comfortable with slavery. It had been a frequent topic of pulpit rhetoric. After the Revolutionary War, abolitionism took a firm hold. Several citizens are recognized by the National Park Service for their contributions to the Underground Railroad. The abolitionist movement reached a peak with the activities of William Lloyd Garrison, who was born in Newburyport and raised in its anti-slavery climate. His statue stands in Brown Square, which was the scene of abolitionist meetings.
Newburyport once had a fishing fleet that operated from Georges Bank to the mouth of the Merrimack River. It was a center for privateering during the Revolutionary War and War of 1812. Beginning about 1832, it added numerous ships to the whaling fleet. Later, clipper ships were built there. Today, the city gives little hint of its former maritime importance. Notably missing are the docks, which are shown on earlier maps extending into the channel of the Merrimack River, and the shipyards, where the waterfront parking lot is currently located.
The city's historical highlights include the first United States Coast Guard station, first of many subsequent Clipper ships built in America, first "Tea Party" rebellion to oppose British Tea Tax, first state mint and treasury building, and the oldest active and continuously running court house. Historic homes and museums include the Cushing House Museum & Garden (c.1808) and the Newburyport Custom House Museum (1835), designed by Robert Mills.
Newbury is alsolocated in Essex County, Massachusetts. The town's currentpopulationis about 6,600. Newbury includes the villages of Old Town [Newbury Center], Plum Island and Byfield, home of The Governor's Academy [formerly Governor Dummer Academy], a private preparatory school. Newbury Plantation was settled and incorporated in 1635 when the Rev. Thomas Parker and cousin Rev. James Noyes along with his brother Nicholas Noyes led a group of approximately 100 pioneers from Wiltshire, England. They sailed from the River Thames aboard the ship "Mary and John", first landing in Agawam [now Ipswich] in 1634. They arrived the next spring at the Quascacunquen River, now the Parker River.
A commemorative stone marks the spot where Nicholas Noyes was the first of the new settlers to leap ashore at Newbury. The site had once been a village of the Pawtucket Indians, who hunted, fished or farmed. Many settlers would do the same. In 1791, 3,000 head of cattle grazed town lands, or on the region's abundant salt marsh hay. Other trades included tanning and shipbuilding. Newbury originally included Newburyport, set off in 1764, and West Newbury, set off in 1819.
Quascancunquen means "waterfall," referring to the falls in Byfield where Central Street crosses the Parker River. In 1636, the first water powered mill was established at the falls. Gristmills and sawmills were built, and in 1794, the first textile mill in Massachusetts. At Byfield in 1763 was founded the nation's first preparatory school, Dum'r [Dummer] Charity School, known subsequently as Dummer Academy, Governor Dummer Academy, and now The Governor's Academy. It was also site of the first female seminary, founded in 1807. Byfield developed into a mill village, and once had six water powered mills, manufacturing various products from woolens to snuff.
The railroad entered the community in 1850, carrying freight but also tourists, helping Plum Island develop into a Victorian seaside resort. Back on the mainland, silver was discovered in a large field in 1878, and the Chipman Silver Mine would begin operations until it finally closed in 1925. By 1905, however, the economy had shifted to back to agriculture, and Newbury became a supplier of eggs, milk and poultry. Some would dig for clams or hay the salt marshes. The town is today primarily residential, with many examples of fine antique architecture.
Condition: Rare book remains in good overall condition [see images]. Oblong shaped folio bound in original full calf [leather]; cover worn and rubbed, spine ends chipped, lower front hinge split, some toning, scattered spotting, occasional ink smudging, couple of clipped leaves,etc., generally clean internally. Volume contains about 265 pages of handwritten entries; and measures approx 15" tall x 6" wide x 1" thick. Quite a find and a very worthy acquisition indeed.
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Colonial Manuscript Account Book Newburyport Ma/handwritten/ledger Mid-1700s: $1,182