Hale family business records, 1787-1886 (inclusive), 1818-1856 (bulk)

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Content Notes

The Hale family business records, dated 1787-1886, primarily contain ledgers, journals and daybooks, cash books, and letter books of Dover, New Hampshire, merchant William Hale, Jr., and the partnership of his father and uncle, Samuel & William Hale. The bulk of the collection consists of the records of a store in Dover operated by George Piper (1797-1881) and William Hale, Jr., which dealt in general merchandise in the 1820s, and by 1835, specialized in hardware with Hale as the sole proprietor. There are also records from William Hale, Jr.'s other business ventures, including fifteen ledgers and daybooks of the Bellamy Grist Mill in Dover. The Samuel & William Hale daybooks document sales of molasses, rum, sugar, and other commodities from a general store in Barrington, New Hampshire. One ledger containing legal fees is attributed to William Hale, Sr., but includes accounts of the estate of his brother John Hale (1762-1796; Harvard AB 1779), who was an attorney in Portsmouth and may have been the creator.

Biographical Notes

The Hale family of Dover, New Hampshire, engaged in retail trade, shipbuilding, and farming in the 18th and 19th centuries. William Hale (1765-1848) and Samuel Hale (1758-1828) were born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, to Mary Wright and Samuel Hale (1719-1807; Harvard AB 1740). They established the business of Samuel & William Hale, operating a general store in Barrington, New Hampshire, in the late 1780s, which traded in dry goods, lumber, rum, molasses, tea, and tobacco. The brothers also owned a shipyard in Dover. William Hale served as a United States Representative (1809-1811; 1813-1817), invested in real estate in New Hampshire, and was a shareholder in the Cocheco Manufacturing Co. Hale married Lydia Rollins, and they had six children who lived to adulthood, including William Hale, Jr. (1804-1877), who also became a merchant in Dover, operating a general store and later specializing in hardware.