Nathan Trotter and Company records and Trotter family papers

Content Notes

The materials in this collection span the years 1711-1954, although the bulk of the materials range between 1796 and 1905. The materials, including ledgers, correspondence, receipts, indentures, agreements, and a small amount of ephemera, not only document the daily business activities of Nathan Trotter and Company and its predecessor William Trotter and Company, but also the day-to-day lives of members of the Trotter family. The early records of the firm are clearly stamped as those of Quaker merchants, not only in the phrases of salutation, but the entire content makes them stand apart from the usual business correspondence of the day. The Trotter family papers are distinguished from the business records by their personal nature. The collection is organized into three series: I. William Trotter and Company records, II. Nathan Trotter and Company records, and III. Trotter family papers.

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.