Special Collections Department
Albertson Family Papers
Manuscript Collection Number: 255
Accessioned: Gift of Anna D. Moyerman, 1972.
Extent: 1.2 linear ft.
Content: Correspondence, prommissory notes, reciepts, account books, ledgers, checks,
composition books, reports, contracts, and notes.
Access: The collection is open for research.
Processed: 1992 by Anita A. Wellner.
Special Collections, University of Delaware Library
Newark, Delaware 19717-5267
Table of Contents
The majority of the correspondence and documents in this collection concerns Jacob Albertson's two sons, Josiah and Benjamin. In the 1830s and 1840s, Josiah and Benjamin were involved in the lime business, mining their land as was common in the Plymouth Meeting area of Pennsylvania.
The Albertson family participated in building the Plymouth Railroad which was organized in 1836 to deliver lime. Josiah, who signed documents with the title "engineer," became manager of the railroad in 1839. The trains, carrying both freight and passengers, were pulled by horses. At the Conshohocken terminus a basin was dug, and train cars carrying lime traveled over the basin to dump their loads into waiting canal boats. However this process did not prove profitable and resulted in sheriff sales, litigation, and a removal of the tracks in the 1860s.
Josiah Albertson was married to Alice Maulsby, daughter of Samuel Maulsby, who was a farmer and lime burner. Alice was involved in the butter business. This collection contains portions of her ledger for this enterprise. Josiah, in addition to his work with the lime business and Plymouth Railroad, also was a teacher in the "old meeting-house school."
The Albertsons were Quakers and were prominent members of the Friends Meeting House in Plymouth. The collection contains a number of items related to financial affairs and business of the group.
Listed below are names of family members mentioned in this collection. Where information is known, birth dates, death dates, and family relationship are stated.
Jacob and Mary Albertson Jacob Albertson b. 03/11/1755 father d. 10/10/1833 Mary Albertson b. 05/12/1753 mother d. 11/29/1825 Josiah Albertson b. 07/11/1788 son of Jacob and Mary d. 12/28/1846 Alice Albertson b. 1803 wife of Josiah and d. 1876 daughter of Samuel Maulsby Benjamin Albertson b. 12/07/1790 twin brother of Jacob, d. 10/18/1856 son of Jacob and Mary Jacob Albertson b. 12/07/1790 twin brother of d. 01/05/1859 Benjamin, son of Jacob and Mary Martha Albertson b. 1797 wife of Jacob and daughter of Samuel Livezey Hannah Albertson b. 09/14/1784 daughter of Jacob d. 05/12/1848 and Mary Rebecca Albertson b. 01/10/1787 daughter of Jacob d. 02/01/1791 and Mary Rebecca Albertson b. 02/25/1793 daughter of Jacob and d. 01/17/1818 Mary Josiah and Alice Albertson Hannah Albertson b. 11/12/1829 daughter of Josiah d. 03/30/1862 and Alice Samuel Albertson b. 04/30/1831 son of Josiah and d. 04/01/1874 Alice William Albertson b. 07/01/1833 son of Josiah and Alice Joseph Albertson b. 01/11/1835 son of Josiah and d. 01/01/1887 Alice Abigail W. Albertson b. 09/02/1841 daughter of Josiah d. 03/12/1881 and Alice Rachel Albertson ? ? Charles Albertson ? ? Susan Albertson ? ?
Sources:Historical Society of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Bulletin of the Historical Society of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Norristown, Pennsylvania: Published by the Society. No. 12 (Fall 1959-Spring 1961). pp. 84-86.
Roberts, Ellwood. Plymouth Meeting; its establishment and the settlement of the township. Norristown, Pennsylvania: Roberts Publishing Co., 1900. pp. 20-21, 71-74, 89-90, 112, 114, 125-126, and 179.
Scope and Content Note
The collection provides a detailed description of the lives of the Albertson family, especially emphasizing the family's finances. It also provides valuable historical information on the Friends Meeting House at Plymouth, local economy and businesses, and the Plymouth Railroad.
Material pertaining to Jacob Albertson consists of autograph documents detailing his financial affairs. Included are numerous bonds to a variety of individuals, receipts of payments, a document of purchase for land from Joseph Potts, a settlement of the Susan Albertson estate, an inventory of Jacob Albertson's goods, a tax notice, and a declaration of the dissolution of Albertson's partnership with his son, Josiah.
The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence and documents pertaining to Josiah Albertson, Jacob's son. Personal letters are primarily from family members, including his mother Mary, his sister Hannah, and his brothers Jacob and Benjamin. Business correspondence (concerning the limestone business and the Plymouth Railroad) is to and from a variety of individuals in the Plymouth Meeting area. Also included in the Josiah Albertson series are numerous financial documents such as receipts, bills of sale, militia fines, bonds, promissory notes, lists of accounts, checks, accounts and legal documents concerning the Plymouth Railroad, articles of agreement, subpoenas, tax notices, and contracts. The Josiah Albertson material also includes several account and receipt books, as well as a composition book for 1801-1802.
Material related to Alice Albertson consists of personal correspondence from friends and family, her butter account books for 1831 and 1839, and numerous bills and receipts related to her butter business.
The collection also includes correspondence and documents related to Josiah's brothers, Benjamin and Jacob; his children, Samuel, Hannah, William, and Joseph; as well as Rachel and Charles Albertson. A composition book dated 1805 and belonging to Jacob Albertson is included in this material.
A variety of documents related to the Friends Meeting House in Plymouth are also found in this collection. The items include an account book, a treasurer's report, notes on the 1782 annual meeting, a report of the Committee on the Subject of Spirituous Liquors, and a letter of complaint against Samuel Maulsby.
Finally, the collection contains a number of receipts, bills, documents, poems, and trigonometry problems related to unidentified persons. Other miscellaneous items include the account book of farmer Hugh L. Tyler and two items of particular interest. "The Testimony of the Death of Hannah Hill" (1774) is a record of the last illness and death of a young woman as witnessed by her friends and relations. An undated and incomplete morality play includes a fascinating dialogue between a blind man and Death.
Josiah Albertson family papers,
1805-1855 (.5 linear ft.)
Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA
Individuals of the first five series are Jacob Albertson (father of Josiah), Josiah Albertson, Alice Albertson, Benjamin Albertson, Jacob Albertson (brother of Josiah). Within each series the material is arranged basically by type (correspondence and documents) in chronological order. Exceptions to the chronological order are the composition books, ledgers, and account books which span a number of years and appear at the ends of the series.
Contents of the collection are housed in one record center carton, with one ledger removed to a separate manuscript box.
I. Jacob Albertson, 1781-1819 1. Documents, 1781-1819 II. Josiah Albertson, 1800-1849 1. 1800-1819 2. 1820-1829 3. 1830-1839 4. 1840-1849 III. Alice Albertson, 1828-1862 IV. Benjamin Albertson, 1825-1839 V. Jacob Albertson, 1839-1847 VI. Miscellaneous Albertson Material, 1811-1880 VII. Plymouth Meeting (Friends) Material, 1782-1838 VIII. Miscellaneous Material, 1774-1867 1. Documents, Receipts, Bills, Accounts, 1805-1853 2. Testimony of the Death of Hannah Hill, Jr., 1774 3. Account/Receipt Book, 1811-1812 4. Account Book of Hugh L. Tyler, 1846-1847 5. Untitled Morality Play, n.d.
1 Series I. Jacob Albertson, 1781-1819 This series consists of documents which detail some of the financial transactions of Jacob Albertson. It includes promissory notes and bonds placing him in debt to a number of persons. Frequently these documents have had the signature of Jacob Albertson cut from the document. Also included are receipts of payments to and from Albertson, a document for sale of land to Albertson from Joseph Potts, an undated inventory of Jacob Albertson's goods, a tax notice, and several other miscellaneous items. F1 Documents, 1781-1803 Includes bonds, land sale document, promissory notes, receipts, and articles of agreement. F2 Documents, 1804-1819 and n.d. Includes receipts; a dissolution of partnership with his son, Josiah; an inventory of goods and chattels; a tax notice; an invitation; and the settlement of Susan Albertson's estate. Series II. Josiah Albertson, 1800-1849 The correspondence and documents in this series describe aspects of the life and business affairs of Josiah Albertson (1788-1846). The series includes personal correspondence from his family and friends, as well as correspondence related to business affairs. Financial documents comprise a large portion of the series. These documents consist of receipts, account books, militia fines, lists of accounts, subpoenas, bills of sale, bonds, promissory notes, checks, contracts, estimates of work, and other material. Includes a number of documents related to the Plymouth Railroad, and the limestone business. Series II.1. 1800-1819 F3 Correspondence, 1800-1819 Autograph letters from family, friends, and business acquaintances. Includes letters from Hannah Albertson, Mary Albertson, Jacob Albertson, Thaddeus Marg, Francis Dauglor, Phillip Markley, and William Proctor. F4 Documents, 1800-1819 Consists of autograph financial documents which include receipts, militia fines, a list of accounts, and statements of sales. 1 Series II. Josiah Albertson (cont'd) Series II.1. 1800-1819 (cont'd) F5 Composition Book, 1801-1802 Includes poems and writings copied by Josiah Albertson at Plymouth boarding school between 1801-1802. Topics include the death of Joseph Waln (1784), a comparison between a winter orchard and the church, "Hymns to the evening," "On the suffering of Christ" by Deborah Barkrose, "The Converted Thief," "On the Certainty of There Being a God" by Ann Rees, "Luke Cock's Sermon," "Words by John Hunt at Hopewell monthly meeting in Virginia," "On the Death of Charles Williams" by Lydia Williams his daughter, "On Dress," "On the Death of W.E.L." and "To a Daughter Who Wished..." Series II.2. 1820-1829 F6 Correspondence, 1820-1829 Autograph letters from family, friends, and business acquaintances. Includes letters from Benjamin Albertson, John Clarke, H. Williams, Nathan Hunt, Jonathan Maulsby, Peter Breinig, Martha Shoemaker, Hugh Foulke, Jr., and David Mapps. F7 Documents, 1820-1829 Autograph financial and business documents which include bills of sale, accounts of debts, subpoena, promissory notes, bonds, militia fines, a list of subscribers for repairing the Plymouth Meeting school house, receipts, articles of agreement, plot plan for Albertson land, and other documents. F8 Checks and receipts, 1820-1829 Includes checks written from an account with the Bank of Montgomery County and receipts. Series II.3. 1830-1839 F9 Correspondence, 1836 Includes letters from family, friends, and business acquaintances, letters from Benjamin Albertson. F10 Correspondence, 1837 Jan-Aug Includes letters from his brother Benjamin and letters concerning business arrangements or financial debts. F11 Correspondence, 1837 Sep-Dec Includes letters from Benjamin Albertson and business associates and concerning the railroad and canal. F12 Correspondence, 1838 Jan-Mar Includes numerous letters from Benjamin Albertson concerning business matters. 1 Series II. Josiah Albertson (cont'd) Series II.3. 1830-1839 (cont'd) F13 Correspondence, 1838 Apr-May Includes letters from Benjamin Albertson concerning business transactions, a letter from Josiah to a business associate, and letters to Josiah from other persons concerning the lime or boat business. F14 Correspondence, 1838 Jun-Dec Includes letters from Benjamin Albertson concerning the lime business, a letter from Josiah to Wells and Coffin concerning bills due for the Plymouth Railroad, and letters concerning the finances of the railroad and lime business. F15 Correspondence, 1939 Includes letters from Benjamin Albertson concerning lime business, letters concerning the imprisonment of Robert Miller, a funeral notice, and letters from customers. F16 Documents, 1831-1836 Includes Plymouth Railroad accounts, cost estimates for railroad expenses, proposals for excavations and walling for the railroad, a lumber contract, a bond made by Josiah Albertson, one note of payment. F17 Documents, 1837-1839 Includes summons and court document concerning a suit by William Moore vs. Josiah Albertson and associates, estimates for work on the Plymouth Railroad, bills related to the railroad, lime and lime boat contracts, certificates of delivery for railroad building materials, receipts, articles of agreement between Josiah Albertson and individuals for various services. F18 Promissory Notes, 1830-1837 Includes promissory notes made by Josiah Albertson to the Bank of Montgomery, to Benjamin Albertson, and to other individuals. F19 Promissory Notes, 1838 Includes notes made by Josiah Albertson to the Bank of Montgomery and to others. F20 Promissory Notes, 1839 Includes notes made by Josiah Albertson to the Bank of Montgomery and to others. F21 Receipts and Check Stubs, 1830-1835 Receipts bear lists of supplies or details of services rendered to Josiah Albertson. 1 F22 Receipts and Check Stubs, 1836-1839 Receipts detail goods and services received from Josiah Albertson from a number of individuals. F23 Daybook and Ledger, 1828-1839 Details of finances and daily routines. See Box 2. F24 Account and Receipt Book, 1836-1837 Includes accounts and receipts for the lime business and the Plymouth Railroad. Most were originally individual items which have been pasted into this book. F25 "Josiah Albertson's Receipt Book for Plymouth Railroad," 1836-1839 Consists of autograph receipts made by Josiah Albertson for materials and services related to the construction of the Plymouth Railroad and the canal. Also contains several receipts laid in the front of the book. F26 Account and Receipt Book, 1837-1838 Booklet kept by Josiah Albertson. Includes accounts and receipts related to the Plymouth Railroad, the lime business, and boats built for transporting lime. F27 Account Book, 1830-1841 Includes accounts for lime business as conducted by Josiah and Benjamin Albertson, especially as related to a lime boat called "Plymouth Rover." Series II.4. 1840-1849 F28 Correspondence, 1840 Feb-Jul Includes letters from Benjamin Albertson and others concerning his lime business. Some of the letters from his brother Benjamin also detail their family lives. F29 Correspondence, 1840 Aug-Dec Includes letters from Benjamin Albertson and others. Most of the letters concern his lime business. One letter, from a James Morris details legislation in Pennsylvania concerning the "insane poor." F30 Correspondence, 1841 Includes letters from Benjamin Albertson and others concerning the lime business, sale of the lime boat, "Rover," Plymouth Railroad, and financial matters. F31 Correspondence, 1842-1843 Includes letters from Benjamin Albertson and others concerning the lime business and financial affairs. Also includes letters from Josiah to Benjamin and one letter to Josiah concerning the Friends Meeting. F32 Correspondence, 1844-1849 and n.d. Includes letters from Benjamin Albertson, Mary Albertson (Josiah's mother), and others. Most of the letters concern financial matters although some do detail family information. F33 Documents, 1840-1849 and n.d. Includes an account of transportation on Plymouth Railroad, bonds by Josiah Albertson, court documents related to Albertson vs. Wells, subpoenas, a notice of taxes, documents concerning the Plymouth Railroad (including the rules and regulations), and documents concerning the lime business of Josiah Albertson. F34 Promissory Notes, 1840-1846 Notes by Josiah Albertson to a number of individuals. F35 Receipts, 1840-1844 Numerous individual receipts detailing supplies and services received by Josiah Albertson. F36 Receipts, 1845-1850 and n.d. Includes individual receipts listing items and services received by Jacob Albertson. Series III. Alice Albertson, 1828-1862 Alice Albertson was the wife of Josiah Albertson and the daughter of Samuel Maulsby. The material in this collection relates to her butter business and includes account books, bills, receipts, and correspondence. Arranged chronologically. F37 Correspondence, 1828-1847 Includes letters from several friends and two of her nieces and concerns a variety of personal and family matters. F38 Butter Account Books, 1831 and 1839 The account books detail Alice Albertson's butter business. The two books list customers, amounts of butter sold, and prices. F39 Receipts and Bills, 1847-1850 Includes receipts and bills which bear detailed lists of merchandise and services. F40 Receipts and Bills, 1851-1862 and n.d. Includes documents which detail her purchases of supplies and services. 1 Series IV. Benjamin Albertson, 1825-1839 Benjamin Albertson was the son of Jacob Albertson and the brother of Josiah Albertson. He was involved with his brother in the lime business and the Plymouth Railroad. This collection of material includes correspondence, receipts, and other documents. See Series II for correspondence from Benjamin to Josiah. F41 Correspondence, Receipts, and Documents, 1825-1839 Includes a proxy signed by Benjamin, several brief notes to Benjamin, letters concerning the lime business from customers, and letters from family. Series V. Jacob Albertson, 1839-1847 Jacob Albertson (1790-1859) was the twin brother of Benjamin Albertson. This small collection of material includes correspondence, receipts, and a composition book. F42 Correspondence, Documents, and Receipts, 1839-1847 Includes letters from Benjamin Albertson, a court summons, and several receipts. F43 Composition Book, 1805 The book contains samples of Jacob Albertson's penmanship for September 16 through October 22, 1805. Series VI. Miscellaneous Material Related to the Albertsons, 1811-1880 Includes bills, correspondence, and receipts. F44 Correspondence and Documents, 1811-1880 Includes correspondence, receipts, or bills related to a number of Albertson family members, including Rachel, Samuel, Hannah, Charles, William, and Joseph. Series VII. Plymouth Meeting (Friends) Material, 1782-1838 Consists of various records concerning the Friends Meeting at Plymouth, including an account book and treasurer's report. The records note the participation and support of the Albertson family. Josiah appears to have kept the accounts of the treasury for the meeting between 1828-1838. F45 Documents of Plymouth Meeting, 1782-1838 Includes a list of books at Plymouth Meeting in 1824, notes from the 1782 annual meeting, treasurer's records for 1828-1838, a letter of complaint concerning Samuel Maulsby by the children and legatees of David Brooke in 1832, and a "Report of Committee on Subject of Spirituous Liquors." 1 Series VIII. Miscellaneous Material, 1774-1867 This series consists of a variety of material, including receipts, bills, accounts, testimonies to a death, the account book of Hugh L. Tyler, and an incomplete morality play. Series VIII.1. Bills, Receipts, Accounts, and Other Documents, 1805-1853 F46 Bills, Receipts, Accounts, and Documents, 1805-1853 Includes bills and receipts which detail supplies and services purchased, transcribed quotations of poetry, copies of trigonometry problems, lists of accounts, and other brief notes. Series VIII.2. Testimony of the Death of Hannah Hill, Jr., 1774 F47 Testimony of the Death of Hannah Hill, Jr., 1774 Consists of a booklet beginning on page 5 which bears the description of the death of Hannah Hill as recorded by an unidentified person. Testimonies are made by Griffith Owen, Thomas Chalkley, and an unidentified person. Series VIII.3. Account and Receipt Book, 1811-1812 This may have been an account book kept by Jacob Jones, who is mentioned in the book. F48 Account and Receipt Book, 1811-1812 This book details various accounts and receipts for hay and corn. Most of the receipts are to Jacob Jones. Series VIII.4. Account Book of Hugh L. Tyler, 1846-1867 F49 Account Book of Hugh L. Tyler, 1846-1867 Consists of detailed records of the purchases and other business transactions of Hugh L. Tyler. The records seem to indicate that Mr. Tyler owned a farm and that Mrs. Tyler sold butter. Series VIII.5. Untitled Morality Play, n.d. F50 Untitled Morality Play, n.d. This unidentified morality play is incomplete, beginning on page 9. The play consists of a dialogue between a blind man and Death. Consists of pages 9-28. 2 -- Josiah Albertson. Daybook and Ledger, 1828-1839. Ledger removed from Box 1, F23.
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