Guide to the Collection

Collection Summary


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.

Biographical Sketches

Jonathan Jackson

Jonathan Jackson (4 June 1743-5 March 1810) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Edward Jackson (1708-1757), a merchant and manufacturer, and his wife Dorothy Quincy Jackson. After graduating from Harvard in 1761, Jonathan Jackson apprenticed as a clerk with Newburyport, Massachusetts, merchant Patrick Tracy. Jackson went into business alone in February 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 American 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, who later married Francis Cabot Lowell.

Patrick Tracy Jackson

Patrick Tracy Jackson (14 August 1780-12 September 1847) was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts, 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, Massachusetts, 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, Massachusetts, 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 Massachusetts 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.

Collection Description

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 such as 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.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. Helen E. Jackson, Newcastle, Maine, December 1998.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Jackson & Bromfield records, 1766-1791

Arranged chronologically.

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.

Vol. 1 (XT)
Jackson & Bromfield wastebook/daybook, 1766-1771

"Waste Book belonging to Jackson & Bromfield," 1 March 1766-1 March 1767

Jackson & Bromfield daybook, 1 March 1766-23 December 1771

Vol. 2 (XT)
Jackson & Bromfield ledger, 1 March 1766-1 March 1772
Vol. 3
Jackson & Bromfield account book, 1768-1782

Jackson & Bromfield "Shop Money" account book, 15 September 1768-1 March 1774

Jonathan Jackson invoices, 1779-1782

Vol. 4 (XT)
Jackson & Bromfield ledger, 1 March 1772-4 January 1791

II. Jackson, Tracy & Tracy records, 1774-1784

Arranged chronologically.

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 American Revolution. The single-page ledger summarizes profit and loss for the firm's many ships, including those mentioned in the bound ledger.

Box 1Folder 1
"Profit & Loss in J. T. & T's Ledger," undated
Vol. 5 (XT)
Jackson, Tracy & Tracy ledger, 11 April 1774-9 August 1787
OS Box 1Vol. 6
Jackson, Tracy & Tracy daybook, 5 January 1775-17 December 1776

III. Papers relating to Jonathan Jackson and the Tracys, 1781-1785

Arranged chronologically.

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.

Vol. 7
Daybook, Newburyport, 1 January 1781-3 January 1783
Box 1Folder 2Vol. 8
Privateering account book, June 1781-May 1783
Vol. 9
Nathaniel and John Tracy stock and invoice book,20 March 1784-8 October 1785

IV. Jackson & Higginson records, 1784-1786

Arranged chronologically.

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.

Box 1Folder 3Vol. 10
"No. I. - Trial Balance Book for Ledger belonging to Jackson & Higginson began 13th May 1784" Folios 1-62, 1784-1785
Box 1Folder 4Vol. 11
"Trial Balance Book No. 2 beginning with date of 31st Aug. 1785," Folios 63-164, 1785-1786

V. Patrick Tracy Jackson papers, 1803-1869

Arranged chronologically.

The papers of Patrick Tracy Jackson include 39 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 Company and the Merrimack Manufacturing Company.

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 Company, the Merrimack Manufacturing Company, the Hamilton Company, the Nashua Manufacturing Company, and the Dover Company. A small memorandum book, Vol. 48, contains notes on various railroads.

Vol. 12
"Trial Balance A," folios 1-294, undated
Vol. 13
"Trial Balance B," folios 295-793, undated
Box 1Folder 5Vol. 14
"Book 2d," tables of costs of labor, cotton, skeins, etc., undated
Vol. 15
Shipping invoices, 1803-1807
Box 1Folder 6Vol. 16
Account book, Cape of Good Hope, 20 February 1805-27 December 1806
Vol. 17
"Ledger A From 27 April 1807 to 31 August 1809"
Box 1Folder 7
Index to "Ledger A," 1807-1809 (Vol. 17)
Vol. 18
"Waste A From 27 April 1807 to 31 August 1809"
Vol. 19
"P.T. Jackson Note Book," bills payable/receivable, 27 April 1807-20 June 1815
Vol. 20
"Account Current A," 12 August 1809-17 February 1813
Vol. 21
"Ledger," 1 September 1809-14 January 1812
Box 1Folder 8
Index to Ledger, 1809-1812 (Vol. 21)
Vol. 22
"Journal A folio 1 to 278," 1 September 1809-14 January 1812
Vol. 23
Wastebook, 2 September 1809-24 May 1811
Vol. 24
"Cash Book A," 1 January 1810-31 December 1819
Vol. 25
Ledger, 10 January 1810-31 December 1834
Vol. 26
"Waste B," 25 May 1811-20 April 1815
Box 1Folder 9Vol. 27
"Accounts at Madras of Brig Vancouver's Cargo," 20 July 1811-20 November 1811
Vol. 28
Account book, 1812-1834

"Disposal Book," ca. 1812-1815

"Memorandum of Articles charged to machinery," 1820

"Balances," 1834

Vol. 29
"Journal B," folios 279 to 563, 15 January 1812-31 December 1819
Box 1Folder 10Vol. 30
Miscellaneous accounts, 1815-1835
Vol. 31
"Waste C," 21 April 1815-31 December 1816
Vol. 32
Union Canal Lottery journal, 15 July 1815-22 April 1819
Vol. 33
Union Canal Lottery ledger, 15 July 1815-15 June 1821
Box 1Folder 11Vol. 34
"Patrick T. Jackson New Eng. Bank No. 2," 1 September 1815-21 April 1818
Box 1Folder 12Vol. 35
"Bank," New Eng. Bank, 1 November 1815-2 January 1819
Box 1Folder 13Vol. 36
Patrick Tracy Jackson account and memoranda book, 1816-1819

Cash at Boston Bank, 1 February 1816-4 January 1819

Account of P.T. Jackson as agent of Boston Manufacturing Company in Suffolk Bank, 1 August 1818-17 December 1818

Box 1Folder 14Vol. 37
"Patrick T. Jackson Suffolk Bank," 1818-1821
Box 1Folder 15Vol. 38
Suffolk Bank, 1 January 1819-3 December 1821
Vol. 39
"Journal," folio 563 to 809, 1 January 1820-31 December 1835
Vol. 40
Daybook, 2 November 1820-1 January 1837

Includes household accounts and wages.

Vol. 41
"Cash Book," 1 May 1822-31 December 1829
Box 1Folder 16Vol. 42
Memorandum book on textile manufacturing companies, August 1828-19 October 1829
Vol. 43
Cash book, 1 January 1830-29 December 1835
Vol. 44
"Farm Book Waltham Mass. 1834," 1834-1835
Vol. 45
Account book, 1835-1838

Includes accounts for land, sidewalks, drains, passages, etc.

Vol. 46
Daybook, 1835-1838
Vol. 47
Ledger, 1836-1869
Vol. 48
Memorandum book, 1842-1845

Includes notes on railroads and various textile mills.

Vol. 49
Personal cash book, "P.T.J. 1844-1845"
Box 1Folder 17
Miscellaneous loose P. T. Jackson accounts, 1817-1820
Box 1Folder 18Vol. 50
Index to an unidentified account book

VI. Estate papers, 1819-1835

Arranged chronologically.

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 August 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.

Box 1Folder 19
Francis Cabot Lowell estate executor's account, undated
Vol. 51
Francis Cabot Lowell estate record book, 1819-1825

"Memorandum of Debts and other property held by the Executors of the will of Francis C. Lowell?," 11 December 1820-9 October 1822

"Inventory of the Estate of Edward J. Lowell?," July 1819-20 December 1825

Vol. 52
Francis Cabot Lowell estate account book, ca. 1819

Includes "Accounts of F. C. Lowell Estate" and "Accounts as settled with the proprietors of the Boston & Merrimack Manufacturing Companies."

Box 1Folder 20Vol. 53
"Account of expenses paid by P.T. Jackson for Francis Cabot & Edward Jackson Lowell, minors, John Lowell Esqr & said P.T. Jackson Guardians 1819"
Box 1Folder 21Vol. 54
"Transactions by George Cabot and James Jackson, relative to their trust for the benefit of Mrs. Louisa Higginson & her Children," 10 April 1817-11 June 1834
Box 1Folder 22Vol. 55
Gardiner Greene estate accounts, 1835

Preferred Citation

Patrick Tracy Jackson papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

Access Terms

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.


Bromfield, John, 1743-1807.
Greene, Gardiner, 1753-1832--Estate.
Higginson, Louisa Storrow, 1786-1864.
Higginson, Stephen, 1743-1828.
Jackson, Jonathan, 1743-1810.
Lowell, Francis Cabot, 1775-1817--Estate.
Tracy, John.
Tracy, Nathaniel.


Boston Manufacturing Company.
Conway (Sloop).
Elizabeth (Brig).
Hibernia (Brig).
Jackson & Bromfield.
Jackson & Higginson.
Jackson, Tracy & Tracy.
Lively (Sloop).
Mermaid (Sloop).
Merrimack Manufacturing Company.
Pallas (Brig).
Union Canal (Mass.).
Vancouver (Brig).


Account books--1766-1869.
Boston (Mass.)--Commerce.
Estates (Law).
Executors and administrators--Massachusetts.
Liquor industry--Massachusetts.
Newburyport (Mass.)--Commerce.
Textile industry--Massachusetts.
Textile manufacturers.
Trusts and trustees.
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783--Economic aspects.