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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:766 1833-1876

Comstock family business records


Records of a family of American merchants engaged in international trade, 1833-1890


  • Creation: 1833-1890 (inclusive)
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1833-1876


Conditions Governing Access

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


34 linear feet (120 volumes, 116 boxes)

Letter books, account books, and other papers of Samuel W. Comstock and his younger brothers, William O. Comstock and Cornelius Van Ranst Comstock, relating to trade with China, the East Indies, the Hawaiian Islands, the West Indies, South America, and Europe. Includes papers of Frederick T. Bush , 1855-1856, and records of firms with which the Comstocks were associated: Howland and Aspinwall, 1833-1876; Bush and Comstock, 1840-1851; and Cornelius Comstock and Company, 1850-1879. Samuel W. and William O. Comstock were agents for the New York firm of Howland and Aspinwall, and in 1848 the former became a partner. Bush and Comstock was a Boston firm which traded with California and the Far East. Cornelius Comstock and Company engaged in the California clipper ship trade and in commission merchandising.

Series Outline

The collection is arranged in the following series:

  1. Series A. Records of Howland and Aspinwall, 1833-1890
  2. Series B. Records of William O. Comstock (of Bush and Comstock), 1837-1878
  3. Series C. Records of Cornelius Comstock and Company, 1843-1882
  4. Series D. Records of Frederick T. Bush, 1855-1856

Physical Location


Related Materials

See also Turners Falls Lumber Company for information related to the Comstock's family role in the lumber business.

The Massachusetts Historical Society holds a small collection of William Ogilvie Comstock papers, 1833-1941; bulk: 1853-1864. Ms. N-49.5

Comstock Family. Comstock Family Business Records, 1833-1890 (inclusive), 1833-1876 (bulk): 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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