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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:770 1774-1796 W849

Edward Kitchin Wolcott account book

Scope and Contents

Account book maintained by merchant Edward Kitchin Wolcott of Oxford and Brookline, Massachusetts, from 1774 to 1796. The first part of the volume contains daybook entries recording sale of and payment for commodities like linen, sugar, tea, and molasses, in Oxford, from 1774 to 1775. He also charged for transporting merchandise from Boston. Entries from 1777 to 1796 relate to transactions after Edward Wolcott relocated to Brookline. He recorded charges for services such as stabling horses and lending his oxen to individuals, and he charged the town selectmen for transporting several indigent citizens like Fanna Allen from Brookline to Braintree or Dorchester. Other entries reflect the sale of wine, rum, sugar, beef, milk, and nails. Customers included his brother-in-law Samuel Sewall (1745-1811; Harvard AB 1761), physicians William Aspinwall (1743-1823) and John Homans (1753-1800; Harvard AB 1772), and judge and future Massachusetts governor Increase Sumner (1746-1799; Harvard AB 1767). In 1791, Wolcott recorded cash payments to a number of people, among them Jethro Tobe, who was debited for money advanced to his wife, Cloe. There are also entries related to the estate of his father-in-law, Henry Sewall (1720-1771; Harvard AB 1738), administered by Samuel Sewall. The first pages of the volume contain a few copybook entries from 1799, in which the names Harry Wolcott and Nancy Wolcott, and phrases like "Control your temper," are written.


  • 1774-1796

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. Please contact for more information.


.25 linear feet (1 volume)

Biographical / Historical

Edward Kitchin Wolcott (1754-1815) was born in Oxford, Massachusetts, and he worked as a merchant there until approximately 1775. In 1776, he married Hannah Sewall, the niece of Judge Samuel Sewall (1652-1730), and afterwards lived and operated his business in Brookline. He sold commodities including linen, sugar, tea, wine, rum, and milk, to customers like Dr. William Aspinwall (1743-1823), who ran the smallpox hospital in Brookline, and judge and future Massachusetts Governor Increase Sumner (1746-1799; Harvard AB 1767).

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Deposited by Boston Public Library, 1933.

Digitization Funding

Collections and items have been digitized with the generous support of The Polonsky Foundation.

Processing Information

Processed: February 2019 By: Brooke McManus
Link to catalog
Wolcott, Edward Kitchin, 1754-1815. Edward Kitchin Wolcott Account Book, 1774-1796 (inclusive): A Finding Aid
Baker Library
Description rules

Repository Details

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

Baker Library Special Collections 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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