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Benjamin and William Oliver Vaughan papers, 1774-1830 (majority within 1774-1803, 1816)

144 items

The Benjamin and William Oliver Vaughan papers consist of miscellaneous documents relating to the business affairs of Benjamin Vaughan and a business account book from his son, William O. Vaughan. Benjamin and William were both merchants in Hallowell, Maine.

The collection is comprised of 143 letters and financial documents kept by Benjamin Vaughan and one account book kept by William Oliver Vaughan. The correspondence (19 items) dates from 1774 to 1830 and are related to business matters; many of the letters are fragments. The documents date from 1786 to 1803 and are largely miscellaneous receipts, accounts, and other financial records. The collection contains correspondence and documents respecting business deals, the purchase of goods, and debts; accounts; land agreements; a list of publications; a geometrical drawing; and recipes for industrial goods.

William Oliver Vaughan's account book for 1816 is a record of personal and business expenses. William wrote daily entries, many of which include his expenses. Most notes record only amounts paid or received, with the name of the other party. Some entries some provide information about products such as "Buffaloe skins," clothing, hay, beef, oil, flour, lumber, and various services. Vaughan also kept trip notes, such as for his frequent week-long visits to Boston; he included rates for the stage, food, lodging, and personal items. A few pages in November and October contain written receipts or IOU's signed by various persons to Vaughan.

The account book itself is partially a farmer's almanac for New England with 6 printed pages at the front with information about eclipses, military fines, college vacations, a simple interest table, medical lectures, and lists of local yearly and quarterly meetings of The Society of Friends. An illustrated printed page introduces each month, and displays a list of holidays, a quote about the month, and detailed astronomical calculations.