Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 108, Samuel Harrison (1684-1776), Farmer, fuller, and sawyer
Records, 1725-1772 (Bulk dates: 1730-1750), 0.16 linear feet / 1 volume
Call Number: MG 108
Account book kept by a farmer, fuller, and proprietor of a sawmill at "Mountain" (now West Orange), New Jersey. The accounts are mostly with inhabitants of Bloomfield, Montclair, and Orange.
Gift of Samuel W. Baldwin, 1923.
Samuel Harrison (1684-1776), the eldest son of Mary Ward (d. 1738) and Samuel Harrison (1686-1758), was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1684. In 1710, he married Jemima Williams (1645-1724) and the couple settled on land owned by Samuel’s father at the Mountain (now West Orange, New Jersey). Samuel built the family homestead there (now located at 81-83 Washington Street in West Orange), and upon his father’s death in 1724 inherited the property where he lived. The Harrison’s eight children were born at the homestead: Amos (1712-1785), Jemima (1714-1777), Mary (b. 1716), Samuel (1718-1816), Adonijah (1721-1755), Ruth (1723-1807), Matthew (1726-1767), and Eleanor (1729-1729).
Samuel Harrison farmed his extensive lands, but was also involved with other business endeavors, including ownership of the only sawmill in the area from 1727-1767. He also owned a fulling mill from around 1733 to 1743 (referred to as the Red Mill or Slater’s Mill), a blacksmith and carpenter shop around 1760, and a cider mill around 1774. Additionally, he was the captain and owner of a boat which he ferried between Newark and New York City.
In 1768, Harrison built another house at the southeast corner of Valley Road and Lakeside Avenue in West Orange. He died at this house in 1776, leaving his property to his surviving sons and grandchildren.
Childs, Jean Harrison Stokes. The Harrisons of New Jersey – A Partial Genealogy From the Lineage of Richard Harrison and Their Allied Families, 1600-1988, pgs. 12, 20-20d.
This volume was donated by Samuel W. Baldwin in 1923.
The records consist of an account book of Samuel Harrison dating from 1725 to 1772, with bulk dates of 1730-1750. The volume tracks Harrison’s various businesses including his farm and the fulling, cider, and saw mills, and contains entries which record customer, date, service purchased, and price. The accounts contain both debit and credit entries, and although the pages are numbered, the accounts are not indexed. Customers paid for such services as the sawing of boards; the fulling, pressing, and dying of fabric; and the pasturing of horses; and they purchased such items as bushels of rye and wheat, wooden planks, quarts of spirits, and barrels of cider. Harrison’s customers were men from Orange, West Orange, Montclair, and Bloomfield, and included Aaron Baldwin, David and Azariah Crane, Samuel Gardner, Daniel Lindsley, Swain Ogden, and Daniel Ward. On page 149, the volume also contains "an account of what money I have received on account of the parsonage house and how I have disposed of it."
The final pages of the account book also contain copies of a small number of receipts, promissory notes, bonds, and court summons.
Manuscript Group 123, Jemima Condict (1754-1779) Diary: Jemima Condict married Aaron Harrison (b. 1753), Samuel Harrison’s grandson.
Processed by Kim Charlton, June-July 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