Nathan Trotter and Company records, 1787-1955 (inclusive)

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About this Item

Nathan Trotter and Company
Account books.Balance sheets.Invoices.Ledgers (account books).Letterpress copybooks.Letters.
221 linear feet (1,401 volumes, 159 boxes, 44 cases)|Copies: 1 microfilm reel.
Baker Library, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Trotter (Family : Philadelphia, Pa.)
Baker, Hannah
Laremore, Jane
Lewis, Mordecai
Owen, Jane
Sansom, William
Sansom, Joseph
Taylor, Jane
Trotter, Charles West
Trotter, Daniel
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Content Notes

The Nathan Trotter and Company records consist of daybooks, ledgers, cash books, invoice books, foreign exchange books, domestic and foreign letters sent, letters received, commission sales books, credit reports, and miscellaneous accounts of the firm and related business interests of the Trotter family, dated 1787-1955. Among these other investment interests included in the collection are the Buck Mountain Coal Company, Carbon County, Pa., 1830-1901; Iddings, Wells and Trotter, a Philadelphia dry goods firm, 1845-1850; Magnetic Iron Mining Company, Michigan; and Philadelphia Tin Plate Company. Included are estate records of Philadelphia cabinetmakers Josiah Elfreth (1759-1793) and Daniel Trotter (1747-1800), William Trotter's father; daybooks of William Trotter kept while he was a supercargo on China voyages; and the financial accounts and foreign and domestic letter books of the shipping and mercantile business first organized by William Trotter and Joseph Sansom.
  • are available on microfilm (1 reel, 35 mm.) for use in the Historical Collections Reading Room, Baker Library. Order no. 80-5248.
  • Elva Tooker, Nathan Trotter: Philadelphia Merchant, 1787-1853. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1955.

Biographical Notes

Nathan Trotter and Company was a Philadelphia marketing organization which both bought and sold at wholesale. The firm succeeded William Trotter and Company, founded in 1809. The present name was first used in 1817, but the family business dates back to 1789. In the early years they dealt in a wide variety of commodities, but by the early 1830's they began to specialize in metals, primarily iron, steel, copper, brass, and tin imported from England and Wales. Later they imported from Malacca Straits, Rotterdam, and Russia, after which the domestic producers became prominent.|William Trotter (1774-1815) was involved in the China trade with brothers William Sansom (1763-1840) and Joseph Sansom (1765 or 1766-1826) in the late 18th century. He served as supercargo on several vessels that voyaged to Canton and managed factory concerns and trade with hong merchants such as Mouqua. Trotter and Joseph Sansom later formed a partnership focused on British imports including steel, tin plate, lead, leathers and skins, and dry goods. When Sansom retired in 1803, Trotter became sole proprietor.