Abstract

During the late 1830s, James Shearer operated a general store near Palmer, Massachusetts, trading in the gamut of dry goods and commodities that made up the country trade in Massachusetts, from dried fish, butter, rum, and brandy, to soap, nails, chalk, cloth, sugar, molasses, spices, coffee, and tea. Although some customers paid their accounts in cash, most appear bartered goods (e.g, with butter) or services (carting).

The Shearer daybook contains detailed records the transactions of a general store located in or near Palmer, Mass., during the years surrounding the financial panic of 1837. The volume is attributed to Shearer based on a single signature on the last page of the volume, closing out a lengthy account with J. Sedgwick. Although Shearer cannot be identified with certainty, it appears likely that he was a member of the prolific Shearer family of Palmer in Hampden County.

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English
Special Collections & University Archives
UMass Amherst Libraries
154 Hicks Way
Amherst, Mass. 01003-9275
413-545-2780
James Shearer Daybook
1836-1838
1 volume (0.1 linear ft.)
Call no.: MS 418 bd

Background on James Shearer

During the late 1830s, James Shearer operated a general store near Palmer, Massachusetts, trading in the gamut of dry goods and commodities that made up the country trade in Massachusetts, from dried fish, butter, rum, and brandy, to soap, nails, chalk, cloth, sugar, molasses, spices, coffee, and tea. Although some customers paid their accounts in cash, most appear bartered goods (e.g, with butter) or services (carting).

Contents of Collection

The Shearer daybook contains detailed records the transactions of a general store located in or near Palmer, Mass., during the years surrounding the financial panic of 1837. The volume is attributed to Shearer based on a single signature on the last page of the volume, closing out a lengthy account with J. Sedgwick. Although Shearer cannot be identified with certainty, it appears likely that he was a member of the prolific Shearer family of Palmer in Hampden County. Customers in the volume who can be identified with greater certainty through the Vital Records and other sources were residents of Palmer (e.g, Lorenzo, Marcus M., and Porter Shearer, Harvey and Martin Sedgwick, Alonzo V. Blanchard), Wilbraham (Shadrach Taylor, Abraham Knowlton), Sturbridge (Emerson Lumbard), Brimfield (Bezaleel Sherman, Calvin Moulton), and Monson (Orrin Hovey).

Administrative information
Provenance

Acquired from Dan Casavant, 2001 (2001-015).

Processing Information

Processed by Dex Haven, August 2010.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: James Shearer Daybook (MS 418 bd). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms
Subjects
  • General stores--Massachusetts--Palmer.
  • Palmer (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century.
Names
  • Shearer, James.
Genre terms
  • Daybooks.