Peace Dale Manufacturing Company records
Conditions Governing Access
115 linear feet (220 volumes, 124 boxes)
Some of the bound volumes contain records for companies or business entities owned and operated by Hazard ancestors and their business partners. These materials were produced prior to the founding of R.G. Hazard & Co., later Peace Dale Mfg. Co. Represented in the bound volumes are Rowland Hazard I's first cousin, John Robinson, Jr. and his business partner, Peter Ayrault, both of Charleston, South Carolina. Also included is material pertaining to a store owned by Isaac Peace, Mary Peace's father; a flour mill located in Trenton, NJ, owned by Mary's grandfather, Joseph Peace; and the Hopkinton Manufacturing Co., owned by cousin Jonathan Hazard in southwestern Rhode Island. The earliest material in the collection is located in the Hazard family papers series and includes deeds and mortgages to land in Rhode Island and South Carolina.
Upon gaining financial control of the firm, the brothers began expanding the business. Cotton and wool was bought from Rhode Island farms and imported from Southern plantations. Woolen goods and pre-made clothing were exported to plantation owners in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Plantation owners had previous gotten much of their slave clothing from textile manufactures in England, however a desire for customized materials gave the Hazard's an advantage. R.G. Hazard & Co. produced slave clothing using different combinations of materials according to their customers wishes and could even supply the clothing in different colors and patterns if desired. During the 1820s, Isaac Peace Hazard served as a traveling representative targeting new customers and obtaining orders from Southern plantation owners, while Rowland and Joseph continued to work at the mill in Peace Dale. Between 1833 and 1843, Rowland made yearly trips during the winter months to the South, including Savannah, Charleston, and New Orleans. During the 1840s, the size of the company grew at such a fast pace that the Hazard brothers had to employ selling agents in the major cities to handle their business. In the early days of R.G. Hazard & Co., southern plantation owner corresponded directly with the Hazards, however that changed in the years leading up to the Civil War. When a fire destroyed the original mill, the Hazard's replaced it with new, larger stone mill. At the same time, orders for slave clothing were slowing and production was refocused to the production of shawls and cashmeres. Rowland G. Hazard and Isaac Peace Hazard both served as president and treasurer interchangeably until 1864, when Isaac retired. Rowland G. Hazard retired in 1866, leaving the firm in the hands of his son, Rowland Hazard II (1829-1898), who had been superintendent of the mill from 1855-1860, and assistant treasurer since 1860. Rowland Hazard II assumed the treasurer role and worked closely with his brother and president of the firm John Newbold Hazard (1836-1900). Rowland G. Hazard II (1855-1918), son of Rowland Hazard II served as president of the company until his death in 1918, when the firm was acquired by M.T. Stevens & Sons Co.
In 1843, Rowland G. Hazard purchased a smaller mill in western Rhode Island and renamed it Carolina Mills, to honor his wife, Caroline Newbold Hazard. The Carolina Mills focused on cotton textile production until 1863, when the Hazard family leased the mill to T.R. Hyde & Co. and woolen manufacturing became the dominant textile produced. T.R. Hyde & Co. was a partnership between Thomas R. Hyde and Rowland Hazard II. This partnership lasted until 1868 when the mill was sold. The Hazard family also owned and operated the Narragansett Pier Railroad Company, a rail line connecting Kingston and Narragansett Pier; and the Solvay Process Company, a soda ash production company located in Solvay, New York. The Narragansett Pier Railroad Company connected the mill in Peace Dale to the New York, New Haven, & Hartford Railroad in Kingston and to the coast in Narragansett. The two modes of transportation afforded the Peace Dale Mfg. Co. options for shipping their goods.
- Series I. Peace Dale Manufacturing Company records, 1742-1922
- ___Subseries A. Daybooks, journals, and ledgers, 1742-1918
- ___Subseries B. Accounts, 1809-1905
- ___Subseries C. Sales and order records, 1800-1918
- ___Subseries D. Cash books and memos, 1785-1922
- ___Subseries E. Labor and employment records, 1820-1915
- ___Subseries F. Production records, 1803-1919
- ___Subseries G. Inventory and supplies, 1841-1918
- ___Subseries H. Correspondence, 1797-1890
- Series II. Hazard family papers, 1699-1912
- ___Subseries A. Financial, 1699-1877
- ___Subseries B. Business investments, 1810-1888
- ___Subseries C. Legal records, 1822-1885
- ___Subseries D. Correspondence, 1837-1886
- ___Subseries E. Miscellany, 1785-1912
- Series III. Narragansett Pier Railroad Company records, 1856-1963
- ___Subseries A. Administrative, 1868-1946
- ___Subseries B. Management and operations, 1875-1939
- ___Subseries C. Construction and equipment, 1876-1952
- ___Subseries D. Other transportation, 1875-1929
- ___Subseries E. Correspondence, 1856-1963
- ___Subseries F. Financial, 1868-1884
Gift of Merrimack Valley Textile Museum, 1962.
By: Benjamin Johnson
- Account books.
- Cotton manufacture--Rhode Island.
- Flour mills--New Jersey.
- General Stores--Rhode Island.
- Industries--Rhode Island.
- Manufacturers--Rhode Island--South Kingston (Town).
- Postal service--South Carolina.
- Railroads--Finance--United States.
- Railroads--Rhode Island.
- Slaves--Social conditions--United States.
- Textile industry.
- Transportation--Rhode Island.
- Wool industry--Rhode Island.
- Peace Dale Manufacturing Company. Peace Dale Manufacturing Company Records, 1699-1963: A Finding Aid
- Baker Library
- EAD ID
Part of the Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University Repository
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