Nathaniel Cushing account books, 1791-1859 (inclusive)

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Content Notes

Four account books, dated from 1791 to 1859, related to the iron works, forge and furnace, anchor and tack works in Hanover and Pembroke, Massachusetts, operated by Nathaniel Cushing and his son Elijah Cushing, who succeeded him in business in 1827. One volume contains records of the Pembroke Woolen and Cotton Manufactory, 1815-1818. There are also general store accounts. Volume 1, an account book dated 1792-1826, contains charges for anchors, as well as farm tools, and other iron manufactures by Nathaniel Cushing, and accounts related to shipbuilding and labor. Names in the volume include Nathan Sprague, Captain James Hatch, Captain Thomas Hobart, Joseph Josselyn, Isaac Wade, Levi Lincoln, Hawks Fearing, John Coffin Jones, Dr. Gad Hitchcock, and Cushing’s brother-in-law Ezekiel Goddard Dodge. In 1796, Cushing made a plow for General Benjamin Lincoln (1733-1810). There are additionally accounts with George Turner, his partner in a shipyard and Hanover Works, and Charles Josselyn, who purchased Turner’s stake in the works; Camden Navigation Co. for building the schooner Albeon; and payments to block makers, sail makers, riggers, and joiners, who helped build the ship Fortune. Later records show Cushing shipped his anchors or invested in voyages to Liverpool, England, Savannah, Georgia, Charleston, South Carolina, and New Orleans. His brother, Benjamin Cushing, was often a partner in his business interests and received proceeds from shipbuilding.|Volume 2 is a daybook, dated 1791-1796, recording labor, general store sales of tea, wine, sugar, dry goods, and other items, and charges related to the iron works and forge. Women and men who worked at Cushing’s businesses or in his household included Cloe Bonney, Gain Robinson, and Dick, who often was sent to Hingham and other towns with a team. Luther Bonney was credited by keeping a school. Polly Niles, Nabby Soul, and Eunice Buck traded spinning, teaching, and other services, for merchandise; and Eunice Buck bought steel on in December 1794. In April 1795, there is an account with his brother Captain Elijah Cushing and Captain James Hatch for iron taken of the forge in the last blast. Other names in the volume include Crumby Magoun, Joseph Nash, Charles Cushing, Barnabas Perry, Isaac Josselyn, Thomas Stetson, Captain Obadiah Hersey, Lucy Cushing, Abel Delano, Lot Phillips, Zaccheus Eastis, and Hawks Fearing.

Biographical Notes

Nathaniel Cushing (1762-1827) operated an iron works, forge and furnace, and anchor and tack works in Hanover and Pembroke, Massachusetts. He also owned a general store but closed the business in circa 1800 to focus on the iron works. He primarily sold anchors, but also invested in shipbuilding. He partnered at various times with other merchants in his enterprises, among them George Turner, Charles Josselyn, and Robert Salmond. Cushing married Mehitable Dodge in 1789, and they had seven children including Elijah, who succeeded his father in business.