Wilder and Estabrook. Wilder and Estabrook Records, 1852-1879 (inclusive): A Finding
Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Harvard Business School, Boston MA 02163.
© President and Fellows of Harvard College
Call No.: Mss:761 1852-1879
Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Title: Wilder and Estabrook records
Quantity: 13 linear feet (15 volumes, 47 boxes, 2 cartons)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Records of Wilder and Estabrook of Boston, Mass., a firm that imported and sold tobacco
and cigars from Cuba and also manufactured cigars domestically, 1852-1879. Also includes
personal papers of Charles W. Wilder relating to other business ventures.
Collection is open for research. Materials stored offsite; access requires advance
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Cite as: Wilder and Estabrook records. Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard
These records comprise the history of Wilder and Estabrook of Boston, Mass., which dealt in both Cuban and domestic leaf tobacco and cigars.
After 1868 they also entered into the manufacture of domestic cigars. The collection
is especially strong in letters relating to purchases of tobacco by the firm and to
sales by agents throughout New England. Personal papers of Charles W. Wilder include records of the Brookline Omnibus Company and records relating to copper mining .
This collection of account books and papers gives, for certain periods of years, a
very full history of the business transactions of the Boston firm, Wilder and Estabrook,
which imported and sold cigars and leaf tobacco , and after 1868 manufactured domestic cigars. The copartnership between Charles
W. Wilder and Rufus Estabrook was formed April 1, 1853 and continued to 1859. According to the Boston Directory
of 1860, the members of the firm were Charles W. Wilder and Benjamin Estabrook . By 1875 the firm had become Estabrook and Eaton.
The unbound material includes letters regarding orders, 1858-1879 (Boxes 1-16A) and
letters regarding purchases, 1857-1878 (Boxes 17-28).
The miscellaneous materials in Boxes 29 and 30 document some of the company's non-tobacco,
such as letters relating to the purchase and sale of rum and whiskey during the years
1863 -1868, especially insolvency notices. Also, letters relating to the purchase
of "Diamond Parlor Matches" in 1866 and 1869 letters on the purchase of the endless
match which appears to be the ancestor of the modern cigarette lighter. In 1869, some
of the letters refer to purchases of the "joke" breath perfumes; in 1867 Wilder and
Estabrook became owners of a patent sash supporter and fastener and a few letters
relate to this business enterprise. In 1869 there are letters from the National Tobacco Association urging national cooperation "in saving our trade from annihilation."
Boxes 31-33 contain the company's correspondence with Havana, Cuba , 1858-1879. These letters, invoices and bills of lading give a fairly complete record
of Wilder and Estabrook's Cuban importations of manufactured and leaf tobacco during
the years 1858 to 1874. From this material one learns not only the quality, quantity,
and cost of leaf and manufactured tobacco imported, but also the meteorological, economic,
and political conditions affecting sales. There is some information about the effects
of the Ten Years' War (1868-1878) on the Cuban tobacco trade, and many of the letters
give the current premium or discount on Exchange in Havana.
Boxes 34-37 contain personal papers relating to Charles W. Wilder, 1854-1874. These
include personal correspondence (Box 34), records regarding the Brookline Omnibus
Company (Box 35), shipping papers (Box 36), and mining records (Box 37). See these
boxes in the inventory below for more detailed information.
The collection also includes outgoing (Box 38) and incoming letters (Boxes 39-45),
1870-1874. There are several bound financial volumes (Volumes 46-60) that include
a ledger, journals, daybooks, order book, sales books, a cash book and an invoice
book, 1852-1979. Box 61 contains miscellaneous unbound financial records. There are
also two cartons (Cartons 1 and 2) of bills, bills of lading, and freight bills, 1859-1874.
- Box 1Orders, January 1858 - June 1860
- Box 2-3, Box 2Orders, July 1860 - May 1861
- Box 2-3, Box 3Orders, June 1861 - December 1862
- Box 4-5, Box 4Orders, 1863 - April 1866
See also vol. 55.
- Box 4-5, Box 5Orders, May 1866 - August 1867
- Box 6-7, Box 6Orders, September 1867 - May 1868
See also vol. 56.
- Box 6-7, Box 7Orders, June 1868 - December 1868
- Box 8-9, Box 8Orders, January 1869 - July 1869
- Box 8-9, Box 9Orders, August 1869 - December 1869
- Box 10-11, Box 10Orders, January 1870 - June 1870
- Box 10-11, Box 11Orders, July 1870 - December 1870
- Box 12Orders, January 1871 - June 1871
- Box 13-14, Box 13Orders, July 1871 - October 1871
- Box 13-14, Box 14Orders, November 1871 - April 1872
- Box 15, 16, Box 15Orders, May 1872 - September 1872
See also boxes 40-45 (1873-1874); vols. 59-60.
- Box 15, 16, Box 16Orders, 1873-1878
J. M. Curtis, Providence, 1876. T. S. Crocker, W. B. Pease, 1877.
- Box 16AOrders, 1876 - April 1879
A.S. Raskell, New England area. See also boxes 40-45.
- Box 17-18, Box 17Purchases, 1857 - October 1860
- Box 17-18, Box 18Purchases, November 1860 - December 1861
- Box 19-20, Box 19Purchases, 1863-1863
- Box 19-20, Box 20Purchases, 1864 - October 1866
- Box 21-22, Box 21Purchases, November 1866 - December 1867
- Box 21-22, Box 22Purchases, 1868
- Box 23-24, Box 23Purchases, January 1869 - July 1869
- Box 23-24, Box 24Purchases, August 1869 - March 1870
- Box 25-26, Box 25Purchases, April 1870 - October 1870
- Box 25-26, Box 26Purchases, November 1870 - July 1871
- Box 27-28, Box 27Purchases, August 1871 - December 1871
- Box 27-28, Box 28Purchases, January 1872 - October 1872, 1878
See also vol. 58. See also boxes 40-45 (1873-1874).
- Box 29-30, Box 29Miscellaneous letters. Letters re: notes, protests; re: whiskey; re: credit references;
re: matches, mainly 1859-1869; Whiskey: weights, bills, insurance, 1863-1865. Customs
notices, 1859-1865. Notes and memos. Protests, insolvent debtors. Trial balance, May
1, 1860. Patent agreement - Amos Cutter, 1867; patent sash supporter and fastener.
Property lease - Merchants SS Co., 1866-1867. Circular, W& E.; trade card
- Box 29-30, Box 30Letters, miscellany, mainly 1870-1872, 1876; included are customs permits; general
letters; claims; lists of creditors, personal letter, C. W. Wilder, Venice, June 26,
1871. All in one chronological order.
- Box 31-32, Box 31Havana letters, bills of lading, invoices, etc., 1858-1864
- Box 31-32, Box 32Havana letters, bills of lading, invoices, etc., 1865 - August 1870
- Box 33-34, Box 33Havana letters, bills of lading, invoices, etc., October 1870 - 1872, 1879
See also box 39 (1874)
- Box 33-34, Box 34Charles W. Wilder, personal. Letters, S. W. Wilder, 1854-1872; personal, 1859-1874;
resolution re: slavery; sale of furniture, Sam. Hatch, 1853; safe conduct, C. W. Wilder,
These letters contain material on Charles Wilder's real estate transactions, purchase
of horses and harness, and a number of very interesting letters from friends who were
serving with the First Massachusetts Regiment of Cavalry Volunteers in South Carolina
These letters were written to Charles W. Wilder by his brother S. Willoughby Wilder from Chattanooga during the years 1860 to 1861, and from Lawrence, Mass., from 1863
to 1868. Mr. S. W. Wilder's earlier letters relate to his work as the head of McCallic
Marsh & Co.'s mills and his efforts to collect debts due C. W. Wilder. Letters written
November 4, 1860 and after give very interesting comments on the political situation
in the South. The letters from Lawrence were written while Mr. S. W. Wilder was engaged
in running the Merrimac Paper Mills.
- Box 35-36, Box 35Brookline Omnibus Co., 1860-1862
A brief but fairly detailed history of the Brookline Omnibus Company , which ran a line of omnibuses between Brookline and Boston, may be obtained from
these papers. They comprise a record of the stockholders' meeting; a list of stockholders
with the amounts each invested; an insurance policy; certificates of shares of stock;
books kept by the drivers showing the number of passengers carried and sums received
hourly each day; an itemized list of expenses; and a financial report submitted by
C. W. Wilder, the secretary and treasurer of the Company, covering the period of the
company's existence, July 1 to November 17, 1862.
- Box 35-36, Box 36Shipping, 1862-1867
Records of the steam tug Boston, 1862-1867, bark Morning Light, 1862-1864, sloop Una,
1863-1866, and steamer Vicksburg, 1863.
- Box 37-38, Box 37Mining interests, 1863-1867
Includes letters concerning C. W. Wilder's investments in a copper mining enterprise in Sherbrooke, Canada , 1863-1866, and in the Colorado Mining and Exploring Company , 1865-1867. The copper mining enterprise, called the Clark Mining and Smelting Company
seems to have been unsuccessful. Many of the letters relating to the Colorado Mining
and Exploring Company were written by Mr. James L. Wilson of Nevada City, Colorado
Territory. Wilson describes the overland and stage journey, the Indian fight he "just
missed" and the mining region conditions, and provides favorable reports on mining
opportunities in Colorado.
- Box 37-38, Box 38Outgoing letters: Letter book, August 1870 - April 1873, index.
- Box 39-40, Box 39Incoming letters: Havana letters and miscellany, 1873-1874
See also vols. 31-33.
- Box 39-40, Box 40General incoming letters: July 1873 - September 1873
- Box 41-42, Box 41General incoming letters: October 1873 - December1873
- Box 41-42, Box 42General incoming letters: January 1874 - March 1874
- Box 43-44, Box 43General incoming letters: March 1874 - June 1874
- Box 43-44, Box 44General incoming letters: July 1874 - September 1874
- Box 45General incoming letters: October 1874 - December 1874
- Volume 46Ledger, 1852-1856 (with index)
- Volume 47Journal, August 1858 - September 1860
- Volume 48Journal, September 1860 - July 1863
- Volume 49Daybook, March 27, 1857 - December 28, 1860 (E. & Co.)
- Volume 50Daybook, February 9, 1863 - May 31, 1864
- Volume 51Daybook, June 1, 1864 - January 4, 1866"
- Volume 52Daybook, January 4, 1866 - January 23, 1867
- Volume 53Daybook, January 24, 1867 - December 16, 1867
- Volume 54Daybook, December 17, 1867 - September 16, 1868
- Volume 55Order book, June 1863 - December 1865
See also Boxes 1-16A
- Volume 56Order book, September 1867 - April 1869 (alphabetical)
- Volume 57Cash book, April 1860 - October 1867
- Volume 58Invoices, June 1876 - December 1879
"Purchases in" B.E. & Co. See also Boxes 17-28
- Volume 59Sales book, August 1853 - August 1864
- Volume 60Sales book, 1867-1876
James M. Curtis, sales
- Box 61Drafts and notes, 1860-1873 docket filed; also a folder, 1853-1873, mainly Havana
- Box 61Cash memos, 1868-1872
- Box 61Credit information slips, 1876
- Box 61Bank books, Howard National Bank, 1867-1869, 1874-1876
- Carton 1Bills, 1860 - February 1869 (docket filed), 1857-1859, 1861-1872
- Carton 2Bills, March 1859 - 1874; Bills of lading and freight bills, 1860-1874 (docket filed),
Cab and omnibus service -- Massachusetts.
Copper mines and mining -- Canada.
Wholesale trade -- Massachusetts.
Silver mines and mining -- Colorado.
Gold mines and mining -- Colorado.
Industries -- Québec (Province) -- Sherbrooke.
Boston (Mass.) -- Commerce.
Havana (Cuba) -- Commerce.
Wilder and Estabrook.
Crocker, T. S.
Curtis, James M.
Eaton, J. J.
Fearing, J. E.
Haskell, A. S.
Pease, H. B.
Wilder, Charles W.
Wilder, S. Willoughby.
Brookline Omnibus Company.
Clark Mining and Smelting Company.
Colorado Mining and Exploring Company.
Estabrook and Eaton.
Boston (Steam tug)
Morning Light (Bark)