Guide to the Collection
This collection consists of the business papers of Boston merchant and textile manufacturer Patrick Tracy Jackson and his father Jonathan Jackson, as well as estate papers, including those of Francis Cabot Lowell.
Jonathan Jackson (4 Jun. 1743 - 5 Mar. 1810) was born in Boston to Edward Jackson (1708-1757), a merchant and manufacturer, and his wife Dorothy Quincy. After graduating from Harvard in 1761, Jackson apprenticed as a clerk with Newburyport merchant Patrick Tracy. Jackson went into business alone in Feb. 1765, but due to poor health entered into a partnership with John Bromfield (1743-1807) in 1766. After the death of his first wife, Jonathan Jackson married Hannah Tracy, the daughter of Patrick Tracy, in 1772, and in 1774, he dissolved his partnership with Bromfield to enter into a partnership with his brothers-in-law Nathaniel and John Tracy.
Jackson, Tracy & Tracy continued until 1777, when it folded due to losses resulting from the Revolution's disruption of trade. Jonathan Jackson served in the Continental Congress in 1782, after which he entered into a partnership with Stephen Higginson. Jackson & Higginson enjoyed little success, and Jonathan Jackson went on to several salaried positions, including supervisor of internal revenue for the Boston district, treasurer of Harvard College, and treasurer of Massachusetts. He had nine children, including Patrick Tracy Jackson and Hannah Jackson Lowell, wife of Francis Cabot Lowell.
Patrick Tracy Jackson
Patrick Tracy Jackson (14 Aug. 1780 - 12 Sep. 1847) was born in Newburyport, Mass., the youngest son of Jonathan Jackson and his second wife, Hannah Story Jackson. At the age of fifteen, P.T. Jackson was apprenticed to William Bartlett, a Newburyport merchant. After a career at sea on behalf of both Bartlett and his elder brother Henry Jackson from 1799 to 1808, P.T. Jackson established himself in Boston as a merchant specializing in the East and West Indies trade. Despite curtailed shipping interests during the War of 1812, Jackson collaborated with his brother-in-law Francis Cabot Lowell (1775-1817) to establish a textile factory in Waltham and with him founded the Boston Manufacturing Company in 1813. The Waltham factory was the first to gather all the steps of converting raw wool into cloth into one operation.
By 1820, the success of the factory and the limited water power of the Charles River led Jackson to establish the Merrimac Manufacturing Company, additional cotton factories along the Merrimac River, and the city of Lowell, named for Francis Cabot Lowell. In 1830, problems of transportation and communication by canal and turnpike convinced P.T. Jackson to oversee the construction of the Boston & Lowell Railroad, the first railroad to receive a charter from the General Court and established the standard American rail gauge. Despite a desire to retire after the railroad began operating in 1835, a restless nature and some poor business decisions kept Jackson active in business until his death in 1847.
Faulkner, Harold U. "Jackson, Patrick Tracy," Dictionary of American Biography. Vol. 9, pp.552-553. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1933.
Lowell, John Amory. Memoir of Patrick Tracy Jackson: Written for the Merchants' Magazine and Commercial Review. New York : Press of Hunt's Merchants' Magazine, 1848.
Porter, Kenneth Wiggins. The Jacksons and the Lees: Two Generations of Massachusetts Merchants, 1765-1844. 2 vols. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1937.
Wright, Conrad, and Viens, Katheryn P., eds. Entrepreneurs: the Boston Business Community, 1700-1850. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, distributed by Northeastern University Press, 1997.
The Patrick Tracy Jackson papers, 1766-1869, contain business papers of Patrick Tracy Jackson and his father Jonathan Jackson, as well as estate papers, including those of Francis Cabot Lowell.
Jonathan Jackson's business papers consist of account books of the partnerships he entered over the course of his career, including Jackson & Bromfield, Jackson, Tracy, & Tracy, and Jackson & Higginson. The account books kept by Jackson, Tracy, & Tracy contain ships' accounts, including the brigs Elizabeth, Hibernia, and Pallas, and the sloops Mermaid, Conway, and Lively.
The bulk of Patrick Tracy Jackson's business papers consist of account books documenting his personal investments and accounts, including his stock holdings in companies including the Boston Manufacturing Company and the Merrimack Manufacturing Company. Jackson's papers also include records of his seafaring career, the brig Vancouver, and the Union Canal Lottery. The collection does not include many papers related to Patrick Tracy Jackson's interest in early railroads, except for a memorandum book containing notes on railroads and textile mills
The collection also contains records of the estate of Francis Cabot Lowell, a trust for Louisa Higginson and her children, and the estate of Gardiner Greene. Francis Cabot Lowell's estate papers include an inventory, accounts, and guardian accounts.
Gift of Mrs. Helen E. Jackson, Newcastle, Maine, Dec. 1998.
Detailed Description of the Collection
I. Jackson & Bromfield records, 1766-1791
This series includes four volumes relating to the firm of Jackson & Bromfield, which existed from 1766-1774. The first volume contains both a "Waste Book belonging to Jackson & Bromfield" and a daybook. Two ledgers contain profit and loss statements, accounts with various merchants including Nathaniel Tracy, and accounts for a distill house. The "Shop Money Account Book" lists all exchanges of shop and warehouse money, and also includes Jonathan Jackson invoices.
"Waste Book belonging to Jackson & Bromfield," 1 Mar. 1766 - 1 Mar. 1767
Jackson & Bromfield daybook, 1 Mar. 1766 - 23 Dec. 1771
Jackson & Bromfield "Shop Money" account book, 15 Sep. 1768 - 1 Mar. 1774
Jonathan Jackson invoices, 1779-1782
II. Jackson, Tracy & Tracy records, 1774-1784
The partnership between Jonathan Jackson, Nathaniel Tracy, and John Tracy lasted from 1774 to 1777. A ledger, daybook, and single page ledger of Jackson, Tracy & Tracy accounts comprise this series. The ledger, 1774-1787, includes accounts of the brig Elizabeth, and the sloops Mermaid, Conway and Lively, and accounts with many merchants and artisans in Massachusetts and New England. The bulk of the ledger's accounts date from 1774-1777, and most of the entries that date after the dissolution of the partnership are from accounts settled in 1783 and 1784 after the Revolution. The single page ledger summarizes profit and loss for the firm's many ships, including those mentioned in the bound ledger.
III. Papers relating to Jonathan Jackson and the Tracys, 1781-1785
This series contains a daybook, privateering account book, and stock and invoice book dating from the period after the dissolution of Jackson, Tracy & Tracy in 1777. The daybook and privateering account book are unidentified, but include both Jackson and the Tracys. The privateering account book contains accounts of the brigs Hibernia and Pallas. The Tracys kept the stock and invoice book, which includes accounts for sundry goods and merchandise. For Jonathan Jackson invoices from this period, see also Vol. 3.
IV. Jackson & Higginson records, 1784-1786
The records of the partnership of Jonathan Jackson and Stephen Higginson include two trial balance books that correspond to folios 1-164 of an unidentified account book that is not included in this collection.
V. Patrick Tracy Jackson papers, 1803-1869
The papers of Patrick Tracy Jackson include thirty-nine volumes in cases and folders and one folder of loose accounts. They include daybooks/journals, ledgers, waste books, bills payable/receivable, trial balances, invoices, bank account books, memoranda books, and general accounts from various phases of P.T. Jackson's career as a merchant.
The majority of the papers relate to P.T. Jackson's personal business investments and accounts. Those papers include records of transactions with many merchants, trade in a variety of goods, and stock in companies including the Boston Manufacturing Co. and the Merrimack Manufacturing Co.
The papers also include records of specific undertakings and investments. P.T. Jackson's seagoing career is documented in volumes 15 and 16, which contain invoices and accounts from many ships and voyages, 1803-1807. Volumes 32 and 33 are a journal and ledger for the Union Canal Lottery, 1815-1821, which raised funds for a canal running along the Merrimack River in New Hampshire. Volume 42 contains statements of account and memoranda regarding many textile manufacturing companies, including the Boston Manufacturing Company, the Appleton Co., the Merrimack Manufacturing Co., the Hamilton Co., the Nashua Manufacturing Co., and the Dover Co. A small memorandum book, Vol. 48, contains notes on various railroads.
"Disposal Book," ca. 1812-1815
"Memorandum of Articles charged to machinery," 1820
Cash at Boston Bank, 1 Feb. 1816 - 4 Jan. 1819
Account of P.T. Jackson as agent of Boston Manufacturing Co. in Suffolk Bank, 1 Aug. 1818 - 17 Dec. 1818
Includes household accounts and wages.
Includes accounts for land, sidewalks, drains, passages, etc.
Includes notes on railroads and various textile mills.
VI. Estate papers, 1819-1835
Estate papers include five volumes in cases and folders and one loose document relating to the estate of Francis Cabot Lowell, a trust for Louisa Higginson and her children, and the estate of Gardiner Greene.
Francis Cabot Lowell died 10 Aug. 1817 and split his estate equally among his four children: John Lowell, Jr., Susan Cabot Lowell, Francis Cabot Lowell, Jr., and Edward Jackson Lowell. Patrick Tracy Jackson, Charles Jackson, and Samuel P. Gardner served as executors of the estate, and P.T. Jackson and John Lowell acted as guardians for the minors Francis and Edward. Three account books include an inventory, estate accounts, and guardian accounts.
One volume includes both a daybook and ledger for George Cabot, James Jackson, and P.T. Jackson as trustees for Linda Higginson and her children. One volume includes the accounts of Gardiner Greene, who left P.T. Jackson one fourth of his estate.
"Memorandum of Debts and other property held by the Executors of the will of Francis C. Lowell?," 11 Dec. 1820-9 Oct. 1822
"Inventory of the Estate of Edward J. Lowell?," Jul. 1819 - 20 Dec. 1825
Includes "Accounts of F. C. Lowell Estate" and "Accounts as settled with the proprietors of the Boston & Merrimack Manufacturing Companies."
Patrick Tracy Jackson papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in ABIGAIL, the online catalog of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Researchers desiring materials about related persons, organizations, or subjects should search the catalog using these headings.