A Guide to the Hallett Swift Account Book, 1837-1847 Swift, Hallett Account Book Ms1988-106

Hallett Swift Account Book, 1837-1847

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number Ms1988-106


Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

© 2011 By Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. All rights reserved.

Processed by: John M. Jackson, Special Collections

Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
Hallett Swift Account Book, 1837-1847
Physical Characteristics
0.2 cu. ft. 1 box
Account book maintained by resident of Wareham (Plymouth County), Massachusetts, detailing sales of produce (chiefly corn and potatoes) and other goods, with credits to customers for cash, goods, labor and services. Also used as recipe book, featuring both handwritten and clipped recipes.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Hallett Swift Account Book must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Hallett Swift Account Book, Ms1988-106, Special Collections, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, Va.

Acquisition Information

The Hallett Swift Account Book was purchased by Special Collections in 1988.

Processing Information

The processing and description of the Hallett Swift Account Book commenced and was completed in May, 2011. The item had originally been accessioned and cataloged as "Massachusetts Day Book." It was also known as "New Bedford, Massachusetts Day Book."

Biographical Note

Hallett Swift, son of Ezra and Lucy Swift, was born in Wareham (Plymouth County), Massachusetts on September 14, 1802. Swift married Mary Elizabeth Peckham (born 1810) on February 6, 1832. The couple remained in the Wareham area and had seven children (Francis, Henry, Sarah, Lucy, Hallet, Harriet, and David). Various sources indicate that Swift was a ship captain. The 1850 census lists Hallet Swift as a 48-year-old sailor, living in Wareham with 40-year-old wife Mary and four Swift children, all born in Massachusetts. The 1860 census lists a 50-year-old Sarah A. B. Rothburn operating a boarding house in Wareham. Also within the household are Sarah Hattie, and Hallett Swift, presumably her children. No further record could be found.

Scope and Content Note

This collection consists of a single account book, apparently maintained by Hallett Swift, of Wareham, Massachusetts. The ledger details sales of produce (consisting largely of corn and potatoes) and other goods. Included are the names of buyers, dates of purchases, goods purchased and prices paid. The entries also detail credits in the form of cash, goods, labor, and services. The ledger also contains an account of expenses incurred in traveling to Ohio, apparently to settle affairs of the estate of Swift's brother-in-law, Robinson E. Peckham (1807-1839). The latter part of the volume has been used as a recipe book, in which are glued more than 200 recipes, mostly for desserts, clipped from newspapers. Also included are several handwritten recipes.

Index Terms


  • History of Food and Drink

Contents List

Box 1
Account book, 1837-1847