Benjamin Briggs Accounts

1 box, 1 volume
Call no.: MS 173
rotating decorative images from SCUA collections

Ship's captain and cobbler from Scituate, Massachusetts. Includes list of ship expenses (harbor master's fees, wages, wharf fees, provisions, carpenter and blacksmith bills, and bills for loading labor, rigging, and mending the sails), debt accounts with individuals, and accounts for making and mending shoes and boots.

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Scope of collection

In 1805-06, Captain Benjamin Briggs (1760-1834) of Scituate, Massachusetts listed the expenses of running his ship. He paid for harbor master's fees, wages, "wharfage at St. Mary's", provisions, carpenter and blacksmith bills, glasses and plates, "pylotage", loading labor, rigging, mending the sails, and more. Individuals whom he paid repeatedly were Absolom Ozbon, Daniel Wilcott, and Lewis Talon.

Between 1809 and 1820 there are various accounts with individuals who owed him for work, the use of his boy and horse, and wood or timber, for which services were sometimes exchanged. Some of the repeat customers were Ichabod Cook, Nathaniel Litchfield, and Jonathan Brown.

By 1820 the accounts are mainly for making and mending shoes and boots. The cobbler may have been one of Captain Briggs' three sons--Billings, Paul, or James.

Administrative information


The collection is open for research.


Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Linda Seidman, 2003.




Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Benjamin Briggs Accounts (MS 173). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms


  • Barter--Massachusetts--Scituate--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Briggs, Benjamin, 1760-1834.
  • Brown, Jonathan.
  • Cook, Ichabod.
  • Debtor and creditor--Massachusetts--Scituate--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Litchfield, Nathaniel.
  • Ozbon, Absolom.
  • Scituate (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.
  • Ship captains--Massachusetts--Scituate--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.
  • Shipping--Massachusetts--Scituate--Accounting--History--Sources.
  • Shipping--Massachusetts--Scituate--Cost of operation--History--19th century--Sources.
  • Shoemakers--Massachusetts--Scituate--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.
  • Talon, Lewis.
  • Wilcott, Daniel.


  • Briggs, Benjamin, 1760-1834 [main entry]

Genres and formats

  • Account books.

Link to similar SCUA collections