Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 79, Caleb W. Bruen (1768-1846), Cabinetmaker and distiller Record Books, 1804-1829 (Bulk dates: 1812-1828), 0.25 linear feet / 5 volumes
Call Number: MG 79 (os)
Four daybooks and an account book documenting Caleb W. Bruen's cabinetmaking, apple, cider, and spirits businesses in Newark, New Jersey.
Gift (in part) of Mrs. Alex M. Linnett, 1921.
Caleb Wheeler Bruen, the son of Anna Wheeler (1742-1794) and Caleb Bruen (1735-1818), was born in 1768, the second of four children. Caleb W. Bruens elder brother Matthias (1766-1846) became a merchant in Perth Amboy, New Jersey and New York City, and Caleb inherited the cabinetmaking and distilling family businesses in Newark, New Jersey. Caleb W. Bruen married Rachael ( ) and they had at least one daughter together: Anna Eliza. Caleb W. Bruen died in Newark on December 9, 1846.
Bruen Family File, The New Jersey Historical Society.
Caleb Bruen Biography File, The New Jersey Historical Society.
Genealogical Card Index, The New Jersey Historical Society.
This collection was donated by Mrs. Alex M. Linnett through Dr. William S. Disbrow in January of 1921. Caleb W. Bruens account book had been moved to Manuscript Group 146, Nichols Family Record Books, probably because it contains a receipt made out to Isaac Nichols. The handwriting and account entries, however, match those of Caleb W. Bruen, not Isaac Nichols, and the volume was returned to Manuscript Group 79 at the time of processing.
This collection contains five record books of Caleb W. Bruen, dating from 1804-1829, with bulk dates of 1812-1828. Four of the five volumes are daybooks, which track the different businesses that Bruen was involved in: cabinetmaking, spirits, apples, and cider. The entries in the cabinetmaking daybook run from 1804-1807, and specify person, job, and price. Bruen typically built or mended such pieces as mahogany tables, bureaus, bookcases, and cabinets. The spirits and apples daybooks run from 1812-1829, and the cider daybook from 1812-1828. Entries in all three volumes are by date, and then specify person and amount bought (measured in gallons, quarts, and pints for spirits; in bushels for apples; and in barrels for cider).
The last volume is Caleb W. Bruens account book from 1811-1828. Entries are by person and then specify date, job, and price. Typical jobs include selling rum, cider, and vinegar; building furniture such as dining tables and bed stands; and working in the mill. The account book is indexed.
Processed by Kim Charlton, January 2000 as part of the "Farm to City" project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
The New Jersey Historical Society