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Special Collections: Guide to Daniel Bucknam Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves

Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department

March 2005

Introduction and Summary Information

Collection Title: Daniel Bucknam Papers.
Dates of the Collection: 1764-1839 (inclusive); 1790-1810 (bulk).
Provenance: Purchased in 2001.
Collection Number: MS 1007.
Box Numbers: 1 (formerly new accession 2001-0717e).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of two ledgers
Preferred Citation: Daniel Bucknam Papers, Special Collections, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine.
Restrictions on Access and Use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.


The collection contains two daybooks of Daniel Bucknam, Jr., a resident of Sutton, Massachusetts, and Minot, Maine, in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The daybooks primarily reflect Bucknam’s business life as a farmer and also record activities of his sons, Calvin and Shepherd Bucknam.

According to one of the daybooks, Daniel Bucknam was born in 1721. The family name seems to have been spelled either Bucknam or Bucknum, with Bucknam becoming more common in the 19th century. Daniel was married twice: his first wife, Phebe Gould, with whom he had sixteen children, died in February, 1768, and he married Rebekah Boyden in June, 1768. He and Rebekah had six children including twin sons, Shepherd (sometimes spelled Shepard) and Calvin, born in 1777. The activities of these sons also figure prominently in the daybooks.

Daniel Bucknam was a captain of artillery during the Revolutionary War and marched on the alarm of Sutton on April 19, 1775. Around 1778, he bought 300 acres of land mostly in the town of Minot, moving there shortly with his family. Some of his land may also have been in Shepardsfield Plantation, later the town of Hebron. After his arrival, Bucknam built farm buildings and raised corn and grain, as well as being known as a farrier and horse breaker. As noted in his daybooks, he produced a wide variety of goods and services, many for trade and barter. Entries include references to cutting and hauling wood, providing oxen to plow and harrow land, caring for horses, and providing various agricultural and other products. His sons Shepherd and Calvin appear to have been involved in the same kinds of activities.

Daniel Bucknam died on January 30, 1809.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains two daybooks maintained between 1764 and 1839 by Daniel Bucknam and his sons, Shepherd and Calvin Bucknam, of Minot, Maine. The books contain itemized accounts of goods and services sold by the Bucknams and reflect the use of trade and barter in their lives.

The first volume was used mostly by Daniel Bucknam, although the inclusion of later dates probably indicates that it was used by Daniel’s sons as well. The second volume has the name Calvin Bucknam written on the inside cover and contains some biographical information about Calvin and his family.

Both books record the names of customers, items or services purchased, and the amounts charged on one page with credits accorded to those individuals on the facing page. Customers came communities such as of Minot, Poland, Dixfield, Buckfield, Paris and Norway. As well as providing services themselves, the Bucknams also employed other people from time to time, and their time and attendance records and tasks performed are listed in detail. These include chopping and piling wood, mending fences, sawing, and splitting shingles.

Some family and biographical information about the Bucknams is also included in both books.

Volume List

Daybook, 1764-1839

Daybook, 1802-1819

Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: | Revised: 03/17/2015
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