Hurd family business papers, 1782-1842 (inclusive)

To cite this material, use the information provided in the "Cite" tab in the top menu of the viewer with the digitized image. Please also add Colonial North America at Harvard Library to each citation.

Content Notes

The Hurd family business papers consist of financial records, legal documents, and correspondence, dated from 1782 to 1842. Legal papers include deeds for land in Massachusetts and New Hampshire owned by Joseph, Sr., documents and correspondence related to the capture of cargo owned by Joseph, Jr., and William in 1807, and estate documents of Joseph, Sr. The financial records include accounts current, bills and invoices, and accounts of sales, primarily related to William’s business exporting wool, satinette, and cassimere. The business correspondence is mainly addressed to Joseph, Jr., and William during their partnership and while they operated individually as merchants, from American and foreign counting houses and merchants; topics of the letters were prices of goods, imports, exports, shipping matters, and politics. There is also a small amount of personal correspondence of the Hurd family.

Biographical Notes

Joseph Hurd (1752-1842) and his sons, Joseph, Jr. (1778-1857; Harvard AB 1797), William (1780-1872), and Thomas (born 1787), were engaged in commerce and shipping in Boston, Massachusetts, from the late 18th century to the mid 19th century. Their goods, which included fabric, oil, and sugar, were exported to England and Europe, and they imported items like linen and muslin to sell in Boston. Joseph, Jr., patented a process for refining sugar, and his interest in and study of science occupied his time after he largely retired from trade following the War of 1812. William and younger brother Thomas also owned the Chelmsford Woollen Manufactory.