Zephaniah Buffington Accounts

1 envelope
Call no.: MS 226
rotating decorative images from SCUA collections

Quaker merchant and farmer from Dartmouth, Massachusetts. Includes two major notations about a large cheese purchase and the sale of hoes in Washington County, New York. Also contains inventories of goods, notations for notes payable and notes receivable, and accounts of his farm (including amounts of cheese made, accounts of farm tools, and the keeping of cows and sheep).

See similar SCUA collections:

Background on Zephaniah Buffington

Zephaniah Buffington (born 1771) was a farmer and merchant active in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. His business connections appear to have been principally within the Society of Friends communities of Bristol County, Massachusetts and Washington County, New York, the latter being a community started by emigrants from the Dartmouth area. As a merchant within this Quaker network, Buffington had dealings with other prominent Bristol County Quakers, including Joel Packard, Stephen Gifford, Peleg Slocum, and Joseph Howland and Company. Furthermore, his one marriage in the Dartmouth vital statistics was to Lydia Tucker, the daughter of another Dartmouth Quaker family; she died within two years of the wedding.

Scope of collection

The account book contains miscellaneous notations principally for the year 1803. Included are two major ventures: one, a cheese voyage, in which Zephaniah Buffington purchased cheese from many of the Quaker farms in Dartmouth for sale in New York. He split the profits with his brother Stephen. The second concerned the sale of hoes, again principally, it seems, in Washington County. There are also, in the 50 pages of the volume, inventories of goods on hand, suggesting he ran some sort of store; notations for notes payable and notes receivable, with amounts running into hundreds and even thousands of dollars; and accounts concerning his "up country" farm, including the keeping of cows and sheep, the amount of cheese made, accounts of his farm tools, and an accounting of his "cheese things" - vats, tubs, groundstones, baskets, etc.

Administrative information


The collection is open for research.


Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by Ken Fones-Wolf, December 1988.




Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Zephaniah Buffington Accounts (MS 226). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms


  • Bristol County (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.
  • Buffington, Zephaniah, b. 1771.
  • Cheese.
  • Cheesemakers--Massachusetts--Dartmouth--History--Sources.
  • Dairying--Economic aspects--Massachusetts--History--Sources.
  • Dartmouth (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.
  • Farmers--Massachusettts--Dartmouth--History--Sources.
  • Hoes.
  • Merchants--Massachusetts--Dartmouth--History--Sources.
  • Quakers--Massachusetts--Bristol County--History--Sources.
  • Quakers--New York (State)--Washington County--History--Sources.
  • Washington County (N.Y.)--Economic conditions--19th century--Sources.


  • Buffington, Zephaniah [main entry]

Genres and formats

  • Account books.

Link to similar SCUA collections