Guide to the Richard Smith Denton (1790-1864), Merchant and Postmaster Papers1807-1863(Bulk dates: 1820-1838)MG 314

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Content Note

Arrangement

Restrictions

Access Points

Related Material

Administrative Information

Series Descriptions and Container List

Series 1: Correspondence, 1822-1840.

Series 2: Legal Documents, 1815-1850.

Series 3: Post Office Documents.

Series 4: Financial Documents, 1807-1839.

Series 5: Estate of William D. Crampton, 1815-1828.

Series 6: Family History, n.d.

Guide to the Richard Smith Denton (1790-1864), Merchant and Postmaster Papers1807-1863(Bulk dates: 1820-1838)MG 314Processed by Luis Delfino, February 2001, as part of the "Farm to City" project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Guide to the Richard Smith Denton (1790-1864), Merchant and Postmaster Papers

1807-1863
(Bulk dates: 1820-1838)

MG 314



The New Jersey Historical Society
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
(973) 596-8500 x249
© 2006 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Processed by Luis Delfino, February 2001, as part of the "Farm to City" project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Finding aid encoded by Julia Telonidis. June 2006. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Denton, Richard Smith, 1790-1864.
Title: Richard Smith Denton (1790-1864), Merchant and Postmaster Papers
Dates: 1807-1863
Abstract: Letters and routine business records of Richard Smith Denton (1790-1864) and Hezekiah Denton, who managed successive general stores in Snufftown (now in Hardyston Township), Seward Farm, and Vernon Township in Sussex County for William Smith and Company of New York City - the owner of and purveyor for a series of some twenty general stores in New York and New Jersey. Richard S. Denton's business interests extended to an iron forge and a sawmill, and he served as postmaster and overseer of the roads of Vernon Township. There is an undated, typescript history of "The Dentons of Vernon Valley" by Vernon B. Hampton.
Quantity: .2 linear feet (1 volume)
Collection Number: MG 314

Biographical Note

Richard Smith Denton (1790-1864), the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Denton (III) (b. 1762) was descended from Rev. Richard Denton (1586-1662) who arrived in Massachusetts in 1630. Richard Smith Denton was a farmer in Goshen, New York and married Julia Gale (1792-1835) in 1812. The couple had eight children: Mary (1813-1895); John Gale (1816-1817); Richard Smith, Jr.; Sarah (1821-1825); Ira (1823-1825); Julia (b. 1826); Theodore (1830-1863); and Francis (1833-1833).

In 1821, the Dentons moved to Snufftown (now Hardyston Township, Sussex County), New Jersey where Richard replaced Hezekiah Denton in the management of a general store owned by Richard’s uncle, William Smith (d. 1825). The store was one of twenty owned by William Smith’s wholesale goods company, Smith & Company, based at 104 Pearl Street in New York City.

In 1823, Richard S. Denton persuaded William Smith to move the store first to nearby Seward Farms (Sussex County), New Jersey and then, in 1825, to Vernon Township (Sussex County). After the death of William Smith in 1825, Denton continued purchasing much of his inventory from Smith’s sons, Coe and Ira. Denton eventually owned his own store in Vernon Township, and in 1827, he moved his family into the Winans Inn homestead across the road from his store. That same year he became the postmaster of Vernon Township, and later, in 1831, was appointed overseer of the roads. At the time of his death in 1864, Richard Smith Denton passed ownership of the store to his son Richard S. Denton, Jr., who also assumed the office of postmaster. The Denton family were members of the Methodist Church of Vernon.

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Scope and Content Note

This collection contains the papers of Richard Smith Denton largely consisting of correspondence and financial documents, and dating from 1807-1863, with bulk dates of 1820-1838. The papers have been arranged into six series: Correspondence, Legal documents, Post office documents, Financial documents, The estate of William D. Crampton (fl. 1807-1828), and a Denton family history.

The Correspondence series dates from 1820-1840, consists of ten folders, and is arranged alphabetically by the last name of the author, and then if necessary by date. The first three folders contain correspondence to Hezekiah Denton, the first manager of William Smith’s store in Snufftown, New Jersey. The letters date from 1822-1823 and deals with the management and maintenance of stock. The remainder of the correspondence to Richard S. Denton is from William Smith, his sons Coe and Ira, and Priscilla Lee, a New York resident that wrote to him concerning rents Denton collected for her. The majority of these letters deal with store business.

The series of legal documents, dating from 1815-1859, occupies one folder and primarily consists of property agreements, land sale contracts, handwritten trial transcripts, and lease contracts. These documents are arranged chronologically.

The series of post office documents dates from 1827-1837, occupies two folders, and is arranged chronologically. These items consist of semi-annual accounting documents from the headquarters of the Post Office Department and lists of mail that remains in the Vernon post office.

The series of financial documents dates from 1807-1863 and occupies thirty folders. Document types include bills for schooling, promissory notes, an undated account book of Richard Smith Denton, and bills and accounts that are arranged chronologically. There are also six folders of receipts regarding rent and loan payments, land purchases, and the sale of livestock and lumber. Next in this series is a daybook of Denton’s from 1822-1824, and then ten folders of lists of wholesale goods sent to Denton or requests for credit, which are arranged alphabetically.

The next series consists of two folders of documents dating from 1815-1828 pertaining to the estate of William D. Crampton from 1815-1828, of which Richard S. Denton was the apparent executor. The documents are mostly receipts for payments made and received by the estate. The last series occupies one folder containing an unpublished typescript entitled The Dentons of Vernon Valley, with Webb and Boyce Genealogies, by Vernon Boyce Hampton. This family history is 112 pages, unbound, and undated.

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Arrangement

The papers are organized into six series:

Series 1: Correspondence, 1822-1840.

Series 2: Legal Documents, 1815-1850.

Series 3: Post Office Documents, 1827-1837.

Series 4: Financial Documents, 1807-1839.

Series 5: Estate of William D. Crampton, 1815-1828

Series 6: Family History, n.d.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.

Use Restrictions

Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.

The New Jersey Historical Society complies with the copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code), which governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions and protects unpublished materials as well as published materials.

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Access Points

The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, forms, and occupations documented in this collection.
Subject Names:
Denton, Hezekiah.
Denton, Richard Smith, 1790-1864.
Subject Organizations:
Franklin Furnace Company (Hardyston Township, N.J.)
Subject Topics:
General stores--New Jersey--Hardyston Township.
Merchants--New Jersey--Hardyston Township.
Postmasters--New Jersey--Hardyston Township.
Subject Places:
Hardyston (N.J. : Township)
Sussex County (N.J.)
Document Types:
Bills.
Financial Documents.
Genealogies.
Letters (Correspondence)
Receipts.

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Related Material

Manuscript Group 79, Caleb W. Bruen (1768-1846), Cabinetmaker and Distiller, Records

Manuscript Group 84, John Hewitt (1777-1857), Cabinetmaker, Records

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 314, Richard Smith Denton (1790-1864), Merchant and postmaster Papers, The New Jersey Historical Society.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. Edward P. Uptegrove, 1948.

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Series Descriptions and Container List

 

Series 1: Correspondence, 1822-1840.

Box Folder Title Date
1 1 Letters to Hezekiah Denton from Ira Smith 1822-1823
1 2 Letters to Hezekiah Denton from William Smith 1822-1823
1 3 Letters to Hezekiah Denton from William Smith n.d.
1 4 Letters to Richard Smith Denton from Priscilla Lee 1820-1840
1 5 Letters to Richard Smith Denton from Coe Smith 1820-1840
1 6 Letters to Richard Smith Denton from Ira Smith 1825-1836
Box Folder Title Date
2 1 Letters to Richard Smith Denton from William Smith 1822-1823
2 2 Letters to Richard Smith Denton from William Smith 1824
2 3 Letters to Richard Smith Denton from William Smith 1824-1835
2 4 Letters to Richard Smith Denton from B. Strong 1822-1837
2 5 Letters to Richard Smith Denton-- fragments n.d.

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Series 2: Legal Documents, 1815-1850.

Box Folder Title Date
2 6 Legal Documents 1815-1850
2 7 Legal Documents n.d.

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Series 3: Post Office Documents.

Box Folder Title Date
2 8 Memoranda of accounts with Post Office 1827-1830
Box Folder Title Date
3 1 Memoranda of accounts with Post Office 1831-1837

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Series 4: Financial Documents, 1807-1839.

Box Folder Title Date
3 2 School Bills and Receipts 1833-1839
3 3 Promissory Notes 1807-1831
3 4 Account Book ca. 1829
3 5 Bills and Accounts 1813-1822
3 6 Bills and Accounts 1823
3 7 Bills and Accounts 1824
3 8 Bills and Accounts 1825
Box Folder Title Date
4 1 Bills and Accounts 1826
4 2 Bills and Accounts 1827
4 3 Bills and Accounts 1828-1829
4 4 Bills and Accounts 1830-1833
4 5 Bills and Accounts 1834-1835, 1862, 1863
4 6 Bills and Accounts n.d.
4 7 Receipts 1819-1842
4 8 Receipts 1821-1852
4 9 Receipts 1821-1852
Box Folder Title Date
5 1 Receipts 1823-1832
5 2 Receipts n.d.
5 3 Receipts n.d.
5 4 Daybook, Miscellaneous 1822-1824
5 5 Orders for Supplies, requests for Credit 1815-1822
5 6 Orders for Supplies, requests for Credit 1822 Aug.-Oct.
5 7 Orders for Supplies, requests for Credit 1822 Nov. -1823 Feb.
5 8 Orders for Supplies, requests for Credit 1822 Nov. -1823 Feb.
5 9 Orders for Supplies, requests for Credit 1823 Mar.-Dec.
5 10 Orders for Supplies, requests for Credit 1824 Jan.-1825 Dec.
5 11 Orders for Supplies, requests for Credit 1826
5 12 Orders for Supplies, requests for Credit 1827-1839
Box Folder Title Date
6 1 Orders for Supplies, requests for Credit 1827-1839
6 2 Orders for Supplies, requests for Credit n.d.

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Series 5: Estate of William D. Crampton, 1815-1828.

Box Folder Title Date
6 3 Estate of William D. Crampton 1815-1828
6 4 Estate of William D. Crampton ca. 1815-1828

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Series 6: Family History, n.d.

Box Folder Title Date
6 5 Hampton, Vernon Boyce, The Dentons of Vernon Valley, with Webb and Boyce Genealogies, Unpublished typescript. n.d.

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