PAPERMAKING - [Henry BUCKINGHAM]
Manuscript accounts ledger relating to a Kingston papermill
Kingston County, PA: June 1815 to December 1815. Tall, skinny folio. 334pp. Initial eight leaves with mounted newspaper clippings.
Contemporary reverse calf, spine perished, marbled endpapers
Ledger recording the purchases made by the founder of a Pennsylvania paper mill.
Although the owner of the ledger is not identified, it was likely kept by Henry Buckingham. Buckingham operated a general store in Kingston, served as the town's first postmaster and was the founder of the first paper mill in Kingston County in 1812. The ledger records numerous purchases of a wide variety of goods, likely for his general store (tools, food, spices, medicine, fabric, chamber pots, etc.), as well as payments for services performed.
References in the ledger to the paper mill are frequent. For example, on July 19, John Buckingham & Co. is credited $7 for "2 reams Cap writing Paper No. 2"; on August 19, Seth Barstow is reimbursed for $35.68 paid to James Henderson of Springfield, NJ for one pair of paper moulds; under August 22, Jemima Darber is owned $11.33 for "5 weeks & 4 days work in the Paper Mill"; August 26, James Murphy is owed $.50 for making boxes for the paper mill; and many entries record payees with their "balance due on Paper Mill Books."
The 22 May 1812 issue of The Gleaner & Luzerne Advertiser of Pennsylvania announces the opening of Luzerne County's first paper mill: "The Gleaner is this week impressed on paper from the New Mill of Messrs. BUCKINGHAM, CHAHOON, TUTTLE and PARKER. The enterprize of these gentlemen is worthy of public patronage. They have erected the first Paper Mill in the County, at a considerable expence, and must depend upon the citizens for the supply of Rags, and for the sale of their paper, to remunerate them for the expence." A later correction indentifies Buckingham as the owner and the others as shareholders.
Bidwell, American Paper Mills 119 (referencing this ledger).