Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 190, Seth Woodruff (1742-1815), Weaver
Account Book, 1761-1812 (Bulk dates: 1765-1787), 0.2 linear feet / 1 volume
Call Number: MG 190
Financial records kept by Seth Woodruff (1742-1815), a weaver from Elizabethtown, New Jersey.
Seth Woodruff was born July 22, 1742 in Elizabethtown (now Elizabeth), New Jersey, to Timothy Woodruff (1715-1798) and Elizabeth Parsons (1712-1776). Timothy Woodruff was the great grandson of John Woodruff (1637-1691), founder of Elizabethtown and progenitor of the citys prominent Woodruff family. Seth Woodruff, a weaver and stonemason by trade, married Phebe Haines (1742-1823) and had the following children: Parsons (1764-1805), Sophia (1766-1844), Obediah (1768-1847), Stephen (1770-1850), Flavel (1772-1819), Phebe (fl. 1774-1792), Seth (1776-1852), Jerusha (1778-1779), Jemima (1780-1781), Jochibed "Ichabod" (1781-1782), Elizabeth (1783-1858), and Elias (1785-1862). Seth Woodruff died at the age of 72 (October 9, 1815) after falling from the roof of a house.
Abstract of Wills Vol. 13: 1814-1817. New Jersey Archives: First Series Vol. 42.
Woodruff, Ceylon Newton. Woodruff Chronicles: A Geneology (Vol. I & II). The Arthur H. Clark Company. Glendale, California, 1967.
The source of this collection is unknown.
The records consist of an account book kept by Seth Woodruff detailing business transactions from 1761-1812, with a concentration on 1765-1787. Each entry lists the client, date, service or goods provided, price, and method of payment. Although Mr. Woodruff supplied his customers with food, woodwork, and labor, the vast majority of listed services consist of textile work such as weaving and clothing production. Interleaved between the pages of the account book are a small number of receipts, pieces of scratch paper with monetary calculations, as well as fragments of other writings. One such fragment is a short, philosophical piece titled "On Industry," which discusses the relationship between genius and the industrious self.
Processed by Jeff McMillan, August 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