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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:761 1863-1869 H943

Thomas Hunt & Company business records


Correspondence and business records of Hong Kong, China based ship chandlery and commission merchant Thomas Hunt & Company.


  • Creation: 1860-1869

Conditions Governing Access

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

Conditions Governing Access

A portion of this collection is available on microfilm for use in the Historical Collections Reading Room, Baker Library.


8.5 linear feet (26 volumes, 1 carton)

The Thomas Hunt & Co. business records contain correspondence, financial material, and account inventory related to the firm's ship chandler, dry dock and commission merchant businesses in Whampoa, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, China. The correspondence includes letters sent and received by the firm from various places including Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Foochow. The financial records include accounts current, bills, and day books kept 1863 to 1869 detailing the day to day operations of the firm. Also included are account stock and deliveries, 1866-1868, highlighting the amount of goods and material kept on hand and delivered to clients including Russell & Co. and Augustine Heard & Co.

Historical Note:

Thomas Hunt & Company was a ship chandler, dry dock and commission merchant firm based on the Pearl River near Whampoa, China with satellite offices in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The firm was founded by Salem, Massachusetts native Thomas Hunt in the mid 1840s and initially only carried dispatches between Canton and Whampoa. Hunt soon expanded his packet boat business to include a ship chandler. The company furnished American vessels with ship supplies and assisted in unloading goods and supplies for shipment to Canton to be sold at market. After having made a fortune, Hunt sold his business to fellow Salem natives James Bridges Endicott and James P. Cook in 1854 and returned home to Massachusetts. Thomas Hunt & Co. expanded business after Endicott and Cook took over, establishing a commission merchant business in Hong Kong with offices in Whampoa and Shanghai.

Series Outline

The collection is arranged in the following series:

  1. Series I. Bound volumes, 1860-1869
  2. Series II. Loose material, 1860-1866

Physical Location


Processing Information

Processed: November 2011

By: Benjamin Johnson


Thomas Hunt & Company. Thomas Hunt & Company Business Records, 1860-1869: A Finding Aid
Baker Library
Language of description

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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