Mercantile House Ledger

1 volume (0.25 linear ft.)
Call no.: MS 285
rotating decorative images from SCUA collections

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.

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Scope of 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).

Administrative information


The collection is open for research.


Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by Ken Fones-Wolf, 1989.




Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Mercantile House Ledger (MS 285). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms


  • 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.


  • Mercantile House [main entry]

Genres and formats

  • Account books.

Link to similar SCUA collections