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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:761 1850-1860 G814

Greenleaf and Hubbard business records


Records of a cotton commission firm of New Orleans, mainly correspondence with treasurers of New England cotton mills.


  • Creation: 1850-1860

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Collection is open for research. Materials stored offsite; access requires advance notice. Contact for more information.

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5 linear feet (19 volumes, 4 boxes, 3 cartons)

The collection consists mainly of freight accounts, invoices, receipts, bills of lading, letterbooks, bills paid, check stubs, letters of introduction, account books, canceled checks and letters received for the partnership of Greenleaf and Hubbard. Majority of material concerns the sale of cotton to textile mills. These include: Salmon Falls Mfg. Co.; Stark Mills; Manchester Print Works; Nashua Mfg. Co.; Amoskeag Mfg. Co.; Wamsutta Mills; Massachusetts Cotton Mills; York Mfg. Co.; Hamilton Woolen Company; Appleton Mfg. Co.; Boott Mills; Chicopee Mfg. Co.; Kennebec Co.; New England Worsted Co.; Saxonville Mills; Lancaster Mills; Lyman Mills; Hill Mfg. Co.; Great Falls Mfg. Co.; Perkins Mills; and Lawrence Mfg. Co. Few personal references are included in this collection; however, the tone of letters sent to John Burnham (included in letterbooks) tend to be more conversational and less formal. Burnham frequently recommended Greenleaf and Hubbard to his clients in the north. Material in cartons 24-26 are bundled and wrapped with original paper labels.

Historical Note:

James Greenleaf, son of Simon and Hannah (Kingman) Greenleaf, was born June 15, 1814. He attended Dartmouth College. After graduating, Greenleaf moved to New Orleans and in 1851 formed a partnership with Daniel Hubbard who was a commission merchant, specializing in the cotton trade. Greenleaf and Hubbard began their association with John A. Burnham, a Boston-based agent, representing numerous northern textile mills. Greenleaf and Hubbard purchased cotton to meet the needs of mills, negotiated prices and other financial terms, arranged for transportation of cotton from New Orleans to northern ports, and communicated news about the New Orleans' cotton market with mills, manufacturing companies, and their agents.

Greenleaf’s northern family ties were strong. He married Mary Longfellow, daughter of Stephen and Zilpha (Wadsworth) Longfellow. While living in New Orleans, the Greenleafs traveled to Cambridge, Massachusetts, during the summer months to be near their relatives. Eventually, they built a house in Cambridge. Greenleaf was a staunch Union man, so the partnership of Greenleaf and Hubbard dissolved in May 1860 due to tensions preceding the Civil War. At the outbreak of war, Greenleaf’s property in New Orleans was seized, but was restored to him at the close of the hostilities. Greenleaf died suddenly on August 22, 1865.

Physical Location



Gift of A.W. Soule, 1957

Related Materials

  1. Abbott, Edward, 1841-1908. Mrs. James Greenleaf: A commemorative discourse by her pastor. Cambridge: The Powell Press, 1903. HOLLIS No. 002632734

Processing Information

Processed: 1997

Greenleaf and Hubbard. Greenleaf and Hubbard Business Records, 1850-1860 (inclusive): A Finding Aid
Baker Library
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Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections and Archives, Harvard Business School Repository

Baker Library Special Collections and Archives holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

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