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Special Collections: Guide to the Thomas W. Smith Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department
October 2003
 
 
Introduction and Summary Information
 
Collection Title: Thomas W. Smith Papers.
Dates of the Collection: 1809-1853 (inclusive); 1811-1840 (bulk).
Provenance: The Thomas W. Smith papers came to the University of Maine Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections as a gift from Earle W. Shettleworth ca. 1989.
Collection Number: MS 469.
Box Numbers: 1-13 (formerly Boxes 1551-1563).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of 12 archival record cartons and one oversized box of material (16 cubic feet).
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Documents have been unfolded, flattened and surface cleaned as needed.
Preferred Citation: Thomas W. Smith 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.
 
Biography
 
Thomas Westwood Smith was born in Dover, New Hampshire on February 22, 1785. In 1805 he came to Augusta, Maine, and started a business. Although small at first, the business gradually enlarged and Smith became a principal partner in various firms selling dry-goods, groceries, and hardware. He was also involved in purchasing lumber and sold lumber, shingles, clapboards and other products. He purchased and enlarged the Gage Wharf in Augusta and engaged in shipping goods between Augusta and Boston as well as storing items for his customers. He was also a director in the Kennebec and Portland Railroad during its construction.
 
Smith was chosen a director of the Augusta Bank when it was organized in 1814 and held this position for 40 years. In 1840 he became president of the bank and continued as such until his death in 1855. The bank had a capital of $100,000 at its formation and its incorporators were James Bridge, William Robinson, Reuel Williams, John Eveleth, Bartholomew Nason, Samuel Howard and James Child. Although the time was somewhat inauspicious for the formation of a bank, subscription in excess of capital required was achieved within 30 days of the date of the charter. At the first meeting of the incorporators, James Bridge, Daniel Cony, John Davis, Benjamin Brown, Jr., John Eveleth, Samuel Wood and Thomas W. Smith were chosen as directors; James Bridge became president and George Crosby cashier. In 1834, after the death of James Bridge, Daniel Williams became president, followed by Thomas Smith in 1840. The bank was required to loan one tenth of its capital to those engaged in agriculture and manufacturing in an attempt to encourage growth in these areas. Discounts to local firms were made at a vote of the directors on a regular weekly discount day, helping to foster business and provide local merchants with a reliable line of credit.
 
Thomas Smith married Abigail Page in 1810, and they had three children: Henry Roby, born in 1811; Eliza Ann, born in 1815; and Elizabeth Westbrook, born in 1831. Thomas Smith died on March 11, 1855.
 
Scope and Content Note
 
The Thomas W. Smith papers are arranged in two series: Business Records and Augusta Bank Records. There are no sub-series. Although the collection was largely unarranged when it arrived at the Fogler Library, Mr. Smith often labeled his papers on their versos by their type or function: letters, orders, bills, etc. These groupings were followed in arranging the papers.
 
The Business Records series begins with letters to Mr. Smith, 1817-1852, concerning his lumber trade, shipping, delivery of goods for his grocery and dry-goods businesses, and his holding of notes and mortgages. This section is followed by a group of letter books, 1828-1851, containing copies of Smith’s outgoing correspondence.
 
A large section of orders, 1811-1844, follows. These were presented to Smith at his stores, entitling the bearers to use various sums of money to buy goods of all descriptions: sewing silk, brandy, molasses, sugar, coffee, tea, fish, nails, etc. The items labeled memos contain lists of lumber needed by various people. The group of papers labeled bills, 1811-1839, contains bills from suppliers for Smith’s grocery, dry-goods, and lumbering businesses. Bills for things such as shingles, rum, coffee, candles, goose feathers, muslin, gingham, pork, and shoes are included, as well as bills for surveying timber, repairing hinges, painting blinds, etc. Items labeled accounts list expenditures and credits for goods and services; receipts contain records of things bought by Smith.
 
The series also includes a group of items such as bills of lading, receipts for items shipped, wharfage books, and storage information which concern Smith’s shipping business. Blotters, journals, and ledgers provide financial information about Smith’s many activities.
 
A small section of legal and personal papers ends this series.
 
The Augusta Bank Records series begins with a large section labeled Accounts, proxies, etc., 1814-1852. These folders contain papers concerning the daily operation of the bank; many are addressed to George Crosby or George W. Allen, both cashiers at the bank. Included are proxies appointing various individuals to receive dividends from the bank’s stock, some deposit and account information, receipts from the state of Maine for tax received on capital stock, and bills and receipts for bank expenses. Also included is correspondence from banks such as the Northern, Central and Suffolk Banks and correspondence to the bank cashiers. Bank charges and accounts also contain bills to the bank for expenses and salaries.
 
The final items in this series provide information about the bank’s activities and holdings. They include bank returns, 1816-1822, submitted to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and after 1820 to the state of Maine listing capital, value of real estate, bills in circulation, bank profits, etc. Also included are weekly bank statements, 1814-1827, giving liabilities, reserved funds, debts due, bills in circulation and delinquent notes. The series ends with forms listing notes proposed for discount each week at the bank.
The user should note that a part of the Smith collection containing primarily political correspondence of Smith’s son-in-law, James W. Bradbury, was given to the Special Collections Department at Bowdoin College at the same time the Smith papers came to the Fogler Library.
 
Box List
 
Series I: Business Records
 
Box 1
 
Folder
 
1 Letters, 1817, 1819-1824
2 Letters, 1824-1825
3 Letters, 1826
4 Letters, 1826-1827
5 Letters, 1828
6 Letters, 1828-1829
7 Letters, 1830
8 Letters, 1830
9 Letters, 1830
10 Letters, 1831
11 Letters, 1831
12 Letters, 1831
13 Letters, 1832
14 Letters, 1833
15 Letters, 1833
16 Letters, 1833
17 Letters, 1834
18 Letters, 1834
19 Letters, 1835
 
Box 2
 
1 Letters, 1835
2 Letters, 1836
3 Letters, 1836
4 Letters, 1837
5 Letters, 1837
6 Letters, 1838
7 Letters, 1838
8 Letters, 1838
9 Letters, 1839-1841
10 Letters, 1841
11 Letters, 1842
12 Letters, 1842
13 Letters, 1842
14 Letters, 1843-1844
15 Letters, 1845-1848
16 Letters, 1849-1852
17 Letters, undated
 
Box 3
 
1 Letter books, May-June 1828; July-Aug. 1828
2 Letter books, June-July 1829; Sept.-Nov. 1829
3 Letter books, Sept. 1830; July-Sept. 1831
4 Letter books, Nov. 1831-Apr. 1832; Apr.-Aug. 1832
5 Letter books, July-Oct. 1832; Nov. 1832-Aug. 1833
6 Letter book, Aug.-Nov. 1833
7 Letter books, 1833-1835[?]; July 1834-Aug. 1835
8 Letter books, Oct. 1834-June 1835; Apr. 1835-July 1836
9 Letter books, Apr. 1839-Mar. 1840[?]; Sept. 1841-June 1842
10 Letter books, July 1842-Jan. 1844; Mar. 1844-Aug. 1846
11 Letter books, Mar. 1846-Nov. 1847; Aug. 1848-1851
12 Indexes, undated [to letter books?]
13 Orders, 1811
14 Orders, 1812
15 Orders, 1813
16 Orders, 1813
17 Orders, 1817
18 Orders, 1819
19 Orders, 1820
20 Orders, 1821
21 Orders, 1821
22 Orders, 1821
 
Box 4
 
1 Orders, 1821
2 Orders filled, [1821]-1822
3 Orders filled, [1821]-1822
4 Orders filled, [1821]-1822
5 Orders filled, [1821]-1822
6 Orders, 1822
7 Orders, 1822
8 Orders, 1823
9 Orders, 1823
10 Orders, 1823
11 Orders, 1823
12 Orders, 1823
13 Orders, 1824
14 Orders, 1824
15 Orders, 1824
16 Orders, 1824
17 Orders, 1824
18 Orders, 1824
19 Orders, 1825
 
Box 5
 
1 Orders, 1825
2 Orders, 1825
3 Orders, 1825
4 Orders, 1826
5 Orders, 1826
6 Orders, 1826
7 Orders, 1827
8 Orders, 1827
9 Orders, 1827
10 Orders, 1827
11 Orders, 1827
12 Orders, 1828
13 Orders, 1828
14 Orders, 1828
15 Orders, 1828
16 Orders, 1828
17 Orders, 1828
18 Orders, 1829
19 Orders, 1829
20 Orders, 1829
 
Box 6
 
1 Orders, 1829
2 Orders, 1829
3 Orders, 1830
4 Orders, 1831-1835; 1837
5 Orders, 1844
6 Orders, undated
7 Orders, undated
8 Memos, 1819; 1826; 1829-1833
9 Memos, 1834-1838
10 Memos, undated
11 Bills, 1811-1813; 1815; 1817
12 Bills, 1818
13 Bills, 1819
14 Bills, 1820
15 Bills, 1821
16 Bills, 1822
17 Bills, 1823
18 Bills, 1824
19 Bills, 1825
20 Bills, 1826
21 Bills, 1827
22 Bills, 1828
23 Bills, 1829
24 Bills, 1830
25 Bills, 1830
26 Bills, 1831
27 Bills, 1832
28 Bills, 1833
29 Bills, 1834
30 Bills, 1835
 
Box 7
 
1 Bills, 1835
2 Bills, 1836
3 Bills, 1837
4 Bills, 1837
5 Bills, 1838
6 Bills, 1839
7 Bills, undated
8 Record of items bought, 1811
9 Accounts, 1809-1830
10 Accounts, 1831-1839
11 Receipts, 1824; 1828-1834
12 Receipts, 1835
13 Receipts, 1836-1838; 1840
14 Receipts, undated
15 Cargo book (Accounts of cargo on board), 1821-1823
16 Cargo and letter book, 1832
17 Bills of lading for items shipped, 1826-1848
18 Receipts for items shipped, 1844
19 Receipts for items shipped, 1844
20 Receipts for items shipped, 1845
21 Wharfage book, 1822
22 Wharf ledger, 1840-1841
Ledger Wharfage book, 1840-1844 [stored in Oversized Box 13]
Ledger Goods stored, 1842-1845 [stored in Oversized Box 13]
Ledger Storage for 1845-[1849] [stored in Oversized Box 13]
23 Notes held, 1809-1852
24 Writs of attachment, 1808-1822; 1842
25 Account book, 1825-1827
Ledger [Account book]: Amount of stock taken, lumber on hand, etc., 1833 [stored in Oversized Box 13]
26 Memorandum books, undated; 1827; 1848[?]
27 Memorandum/cashbook, 1829[?]-1841
28 Cashbooks, 1832; 1839
29 Bankbooks, 1814-1854 [with gaps]
 
Box 8
 
1 Blotter no. 2, Mar.-Aug., 1824
2 Blotter, 1825
3 Blotter, 1826
4 Blotter, 1832-1834
Ledger Journal, 1811-1812 [Dry goods and groceries]
[Stored in Oversized Box 13]
Ledger Journal, 1838-1839 [Groceries]
[Stored in Oversized Box 13]
5 Journals, 1821; 1824
6 Journal, 1812-1823 [Lumber]
7 Journal, 1826-1828 [Lumber]
8 Ledger, 1811-1815
9 Ledger, 1822-1838
10 Ledger, 1833
11 Ledger, 1842-1844
Ledger Ledger, 1844[?] [Schooners] [Stored in Oversized Box 13]
Ledger Ledger, 1844-1845 [Stored in Oversized Box 13]
12 Loose sheets from unidentified volumes
13 Miscellaneous legal records
14 Insurance policies, 1823; 1827; 1832
15 Miscellaneous personal papers
Map [Map of lottery townships, Washington County, ca. 1833] [Map stored in Special Collections Dept., Fogler Library]
16 Lithograph of Thomas W. Smith, J.H. Bufford’s Lith.,
490 Washington St., Boston
17 Will of Thomas Smith, 1853
18 Papers of H.R. Smith
 
Series II: Augusta Bank Records
 
Box 9
 
1 Accounts, proxies, etc., 1814-1816
2 Accounts, proxies, etc., 1817-1820
3 Accounts, proxies, etc., 1821-1827
4 Accounts, proxies, etc., 1827
5 Accounts, proxies, etc., 1827
6 Accounts, proxies, etc., 1828-1831
7 Accounts, proxies, etc., 1832-1833
8 Accounts, proxies, etc., 1833-1834
9 Accounts, proxies, etc., 1835
10 Accounts, proxies, etc., 1835-1836
11 Accounts, proxies, etc., 1836
12 Accounts, proxies, etc., 1836
13 Accounts, proxies, etc., 1837-1838; 1841-1842
14 Accounts, proxies, etc., 1843-1844
15 Accounts, proxies, etc., 1844-1845
16 Accounts, proxies, etc., 1845-1847
17 Accounts, proxies, etc., 1847-1849; 1852
 
18 Accounts, proxies, etc., undated
19 Notices of post office ac’ts, 1836
20 [Notices of post office ac’ts], Feb., May 1837
21 Bank charges, 1816
22 Bank charges, 1817
23 [Bank charges], 1818
24 [Bank charges], 1819
25 [Bank charges], 1833
26 Accounts, 1826
27 Accounts, 1837
28 Receipts, 1814; 1816
29 Certificates of deposit, 1829
30 Protest, Charles Williams note, $600 [1830]
31 [Deposits], 1820
32 Profit and loss, 1820
Oversized Returns: Statements from the president and directors made in conformity to a law of this Commonwealth, June 1816-June 1822; undated [Stored in Oversized Box 13]
 
Box 10
 
1 Weekly bank statements, Aug. 6, 1814-Feb. 25, 1815
2 Weekly bank statements, Mar. 4-Sept. 30, 1815
3 Weekly bank statements, Oct. 7, 1815-May 26, 1816
4 Weekly bank statements, June 1-Dec. 28, 1816
5 Weekly bank statements, Jan. 4-June 28, 1817
6 Weekly bank statements, July 5-Dec. 27, 1817
7 Weekly bank statements, Jan. 3-June 27, 1818
8 Weekly bank statements, July 4-Dec. 26, 1818
9 Weekly bank statements, Jan. 2-June 26, 1819
10 Weekly bank statements, July 3-Dec. 25, 1819
11 Weekly bank statements, Jan. 1-Aug. 26, 1820
12 Weekly bank statements, Sept. 2-Dec. 16, 1820
13 Weekly bank statements, Jan. 13-June 30, 1821
14 Weekly bank statements, July 7-Dec. 29, 1821
15 Weekly bank statements, Jan. 5-June 1, 1822
16 Weekly bank statements, Jan. 4-June 28, 1823
 
Box 11
 
 1 Weekly bank statements, July 5-Dec. 27, 1823
2 Weekly bank statements, Jan. 3-June 26, 1824
3 Weekly bank statements, July 3-Dec. 25, 1824
4 Weekly bank statement, Mar. 12, 1825
5 Weekly bank statements, Jan. 7-June 24, 1826
6 Weekly bank statements, July 1-Dec. 30, 1826
7 Weekly bank statements, Jan. 13-June 23, 1827
8 Weekly bank statements, July 7-Dec/ 29, 1827
9 Notes discounted, Dec. 7, 1835-Dec. 26, 1836
10 Notes discounted, Jan. 2-June 26, 1837
11 Notes discounted, July 3-Dec. 25, 1837
12 Notes discounted, Jan. 1-June 11, 1838
13 Notes discounted, July 2-Dec. 31, 1838
14 Notes discounted, Jan. 7-June 24, 1839
15 Notes discounted, July 1-Dec. 16, 1839
 
Box 12
 
1 Notes discounted, Jan. 13-June 29, 1840
2 Notes discounted, July 6-Dec. 28, 1840
3 Notes discounted, Jan. 11-Oct. 18, 1841
4 Notes discounted, Jan. 17-Nov. 21, 1842
5 Notes discounted, Jan. 9-Dec. 18, 1843
6 Notes discounted, Mar. 25-Dec. 30, 1844
7 Notes discounted, Jan. 6-Aug. 25, 1844
 
Box 13
 
Oversized material
 
Ledger Wharfage book, 1840-1844
Ledger Goods stored, 1842-1845
Ledger Storage for 1845-[1849]
Ledger [Account book]: Amount of stock taken, lumber on hand, etc., 1833
Ledger Journal, 1811-1812 [Dry goods and groceries]
Ledger Journal, 1838-1839 [Groceries]
Ledger Ledger, 1844[?] [Schooners]
Ledger Ledger, 1844-1845
Oversized        Returns: Statements from the president and directors ...

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 spc@umit.maine.edu or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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