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Mss:766 1784-1892

Astor, John Jacob, 1763-1848. John Jacob Astor Business Records, 1784-1892 (inclusive), 1809-1848 (bulk): A Finding Aid

Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University


Harvard Business School, Boston MA 02163.

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: Mss:766 1784-1892
Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Title: John Jacob Astor business records
Date(s): 1784-1892 (inclusive)
Date(s): 1809-1848 (bulk)
Quantity: 7 linear feet (19 volumes, 29 boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Correspondence, account books and other records documenting the business activities of merchant, fur trader, and investor John Jacob Astor (1763-1848).

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. Please contact specialcollectionsref@hbs.edu for more information.

Existence and Location of Copies:

Vol. 1a and 1b, Praire du Chien journals (1810-1812) are available on microfilm (1 reel, 35mm.) for use in the Historical Collections Reading Room, Baker Library. Order no. 84-1316, Reel 8. Vol. 2B, Part of the Astoria journals (1811-1814) entitled "Blotter G", is available on microfilm (1 reel, 35mm.) for use in the Historical Collections Reading Room, Baker Library. Order no. 86-2551, Reel 1. Vols. 16 (Letter book, J. J. Astor, 1813-1815), 17 (Letter book, J. J. Astor, 1831-1838) and 18 (Letter book, J. J. Astor, 1845-1848) are available as digital surrogates.

Preferred Citation:

Cite as: John Jacob Astor Business Records. Baker Library, Harvard Business School.

Biographical Note:

Merchant, fur trader, capitalist. Born in Waldorf in Germany. Came to United States in 1784, settling in New York. Engaged in fur trading and China trade. Organized American Fur Company in 1808 and Pacific Fur Company in 1810. Established Astoria on the northwest coast in 1811. Gradually built up extensive holdings in New York real estate. From 1834 until his death in 1848 Astor was interested exclusively in investments and lending money on real estate security. See sketch in Dictionary of American Biography.

Scope and Content Note:

Material collected by Kenneth Wiggins Porter during the writing of his book John Jacob Astor: Business Man (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1931.) Correspondence and other papers, including account books of the Hunt-McKenzie overland party to Astoria, Oregon, and the Pacific Fur Company, 1806-1823; a small number of letters, invoices, and agreements relating to the Pacific Fur Company, the American Fur Company and the China trade; and letter books, 1813-1848, relating to the China trade, the fur trade, Wisconsin land speculation, insurance, banking, and railroads. Includes papers of Nathan Goodell, 1842-1861; Henry S. Baird, 1847-1875; and J. S. Baker, 1875-1891.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

China trade.
Fur trade -- Wisconsin.
Export marketing.
Fur trade -- Oregon.
Real estate investment -- Wisconsin.
Account books.
Capitalists and financiers -- New York (State)
Fur traders.
Astoria (Or.)
New York (N.Y.) -- Commerce.
Northwest, Pacific.
Astor, John Jacob, 1763-1848.
Baird, Henry S.
Baker, James S.
Butler, Charles.
Doty, James Duane, 1799-1865.
Goodell, Nathan.
Guignon, Robert.
Jennings, Chester.
Rumpff,Vincent, viscount.
Smith, Gerrit, 1797-1874.
Smith, Peter, 1768-1837.
Stocking, Samuel.
Webb, James.
Woodruff, Norris.
American Fur Company.
Pacific Fur Company.