Fall River, Massachusetts: Troy Cotton & Woolen Manufactory, 1885-87 1893-97. Hardcover. 41 x 30 cm. Two beautifully bound ledger books of the Troy Cotton & Woolen Manufactory located in Fall River, Massachusetts, known as "Troy" between 1804 and 1834. Fall River's geography and location, with ready access to water power and port facilities, helped propel the city, by the mid-1800s, into one of the centers of American textile manufacturing that became the backbone of the American economy in the 19th century. The detailed handwritten accounts in these ledgers provide a unique window into the triangular structure of the textile industry -- i.e. the sourcing of raw cotton from the plantation South by textile mills in the North, the transformation of the imported material into textiles in the North, and the eventual sale of the resulting cloth to manufacturers of finished goods. Before the Civil War, cotton, sugar and tobacco, were the basis for a thriving American economy built tragically on the backs of slave labor. America was able to regain its position as the world's leading producer of cotton after the Civil War. By 1870, sharecroppers, small farmers, and plantation owners in the American South produced more cotton than slave laborers had in 1860, a trend that lasted through the early 1900's.
Ledger I, comprising 360 pages and commencing on June 29, 1885, features a daily tally of all goods bought and sold by the Troy Cotton & Woolen Manufactory. Supplies include: spinners, brooms, lumber, grain, cards, bagging, labor, and new machinery. Cotton is bought from scores of suppliers or "Factors" located in New Orleans, Mobile AL, Dawson GA, Corsican TX, Selma GA, Forsyth GA, Charlotte NC, Austin TX, Louisville KY, Hillsboro TX, etc.
Ledger II, comprising 552 pages and commencing on October 31, 1892, provides a full accounting of the Troy Cotton & Woolen Manufactory operation:
Balance sheets include: Stock balances, Construction costs, Real Estate holdings, Cash on hand, Cotton expenditure, Cloth, Cotton in process, Profit & Loss, Waste, Dividend, Fuel, Banding, Starch, Supplies, Rents, Repairs, Interest, Gas, Oil, Expenses, Brokerage, and Labor. Customers buying the finished product came from Boston, Chicago, Staten Island, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Providence, Brooklyn, Hartford, etc.
Laid in ephemera: 1891 postcard concerning Dividends, 30 Dividend Receipts 1874, (3) $500 Stock Shares - 1924,1925, 1935, 1924 Receipt for 27 Stock Shares, and 20 page pamphlet 1909 Mortgage Deed of Trust. Full leather, tooled and heavily decorated in gilt. Near fine. Item #2558