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-- Manuscript Group 79, Caleb W. Bruen (1768-1846), Cabinetmaker and distiller Record Books, 1804-1829 (Bulk dates: 1812-1828)


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.


Biographical Note:

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. Bruen’s 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.


Provenance Note:

This collection was donated by Mrs. Alex M. Linnett through Dr. William S. Disbrow in January of 1921.  Caleb W. Bruen’s 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.


Scope and Content Note:

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. Bruen’s 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.


Related Collection:

Manuscript Group 1007, Wheeler Family (Newark, NJ) Papers


Item List:

Item Dates
Daybook - Cabinetmaking 1804-1807
Daybook - Spirits book 1812-1829
Daybook - Apple book 1812-1829
Daybook - Cider book 1812-1828
Account book 1811-1828


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.

Submit a request to copy part of this collection


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