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Mss:715 1764-1802 R281

Daniel Rea & Son. Daniel Rea & Son account books, 1764-1802 (inclusive): A Finding Aid

Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University

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Harvard Business School, Boston MA 02163.

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: Mss:715 1764-1802 R281
Repository: Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Creator: Daniel Rea & Son.
Title: Daniel Rea & Son account books
Date(s): 1764-1802
Quantity: 1.05 linear feet (7 volumes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: This collection consists of six daybooks and four ledgers containing accounts primarily of Boston, Massachusetts, painters Daniel Rea & Son, as well as Rea & Johnston, dated from 1764 to 1803. Daniel Rea, Jr., operated a sole proprietorship before partnering with John Johnston, and later with his son, Daniel Rea, III. There are charges for painting houses, mercantile stores, ships, and carriages, as well as for making coffin furniture.

Provenance:

Gift of Charles H. Taylor.

Processing Information:

Processed: August 2016
By: Brooke McManus
Preservation and description were supported in part by the Arcadia-funded Colonial North American Project at Harvard University.

Conditions Governing Access:

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

Preferred Citation:

Cite as: Daniel Rea & Son account books. Baker Library. Harvard Business School.

Historical Note:

Daniel Rea & Son was a father-son painting business active in Boston, Massachusetts, from the late 1780s to 1803. Daniel Rea, Jr. (1743-1803), son of Boston, Massachusetts, tailor Daniel Rea, was apprenticed to portraitist Thomas Johnston (circa 1708-1767), and upon his mentor's death, Rea bought Johnston's painting business from Johnston's wife, Bathsheba Johnston Savage. He was the sole proprietor from 1769 to 1772, after which he began a partnership with John Johnston (1752-1818), Thomas' son. Rea & Johnston operated until approximately 1787, when Johnston left the business to be a portraitist full time. Until his death in 1803, Daniel Rea, Jr., was in partnership with his son, Daniel Rea, III.
The services of Daniel Rea, Jr., Rea & Johnston, and Daniel Rea & Son included house painting, painting ships, carriages, and chaises, and sign painting. They also created and sold coffin furniture.

Scope and Content Note:

This collection consists of six daybooks and four ledgers containing accounts primarily of Boston, Massachusetts, painters Daniel Rea & Son, as well as Rea & Johnston, dated from 1764 to 1803. Daniel Rea, Jr., operated a sole proprietorship before partnering with John Johnston, and later with his son, Daniel Rea, III. There are charges for painting houses, mercantile stores, ships, and carriages, as well as for making coffin furniture.
The volumes record assorted jobs, including painting the interior and exterior of clients' city and summer houses; painting done at businesses and painting shop signs for merchants; painting furniture and floor cloths; and gilding and varnishing. Daniel Rea & Son also frequently were employed to do painting aboard merchant ships, and on public buildings. They also marketed coffin furniture, or coffin hardware. Charges for earlier accounts are recorded in pounds, but in approximately 1799, Rea began recording charges in dollars.
In the ledgers comprising volumes 5-8, accounts often record both names and professions of customers, among them blacksmiths, instrument makers, tin workers, clock makers, glaziers, coppersmiths, carpenters, wheelwrights, tailors, butchers, shoe makers, bakers, hatters, auctioneers, carriage makers, lawyers, and saddlers, in Cambridge and Boston. Clients included Massachusetts Governor John Hancock (1737-1793), silversmith Paul Revere (1735-1818), future United States Presidents John Adams (1735-1826; Harvard AB 1755) and John Quincy Adams (1767-1848; Harvard AB 1787), merchants like John & Richard Codman and Stephen Higginson (1743-1828), Continental Army apothecary and land developer Andrew Craigie (1743-1819), and Harvard Medical School founder John Warren (1753-1815; Harvard AB 1771). Daniel, Jr., and his son were both members of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, and they did paint work for the group, as well.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Barter accounting.
Carriage and wagon painting.
Coffin hardware.
Coffin industry -- Massachusetts -- 18th century.
Furniture painting.
Gilding.
House painting.
Interior painting.
Lettering.
Paint industry and trade -- Massachusetts -- 18th century.
Painters.
Painting, Decorative.
Public buildings -- Painting -- Massachusetts -- 18th century.
Ships -- Painting.
Sign painting.
Signs and signboards -- Lettering.
Varnish and varnishing.
Daybooks.
Ledgers (accounts).
Boston (Mass.).
Adams, John, 1735-1806.
Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848.
Amory, Jonathan, 1725 or 1726-1797.
Barrell, Joseph, 1739-1804.
Bulfinch, Thomas, 1728-1802.
Codman, John, 1755-1803.
Codman, Stephen, 1758-1844.
Craigie, Andrew, 1743-1819.
Danforth, Samuel, 1740-1827.
Dexter, Aaron, 1750-1829.
Erving, George, 1738-1806.
Erving, John, 1728-1816.
Fenno, John, 1751-1798.
Gardiner, Silvester, 1708-1786.
Gill, Moses, 1734-1800.
Gorham, Stephen.
Hancock, John, 1737-1793.
Higginson, Stephen, 1743-1828.
Jackson, James, 1777-1867.
Jones, John Coffin.
Otis, Harrison Gray, 1765-1848.
Parkman, Samuel, 1752-1824.
Rea, Daniel, 1743-1803.
Revere, Paul, 1735-1818.
Robbins, Edward H. (Edward Hutchinson), 1758-1837.
Scollay, William, 1756-1809.
Warren, John, 1753-1815.
Warren, Joseph, 1741-1775.
Wendell, Oliver, 1733-1818.
Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts.
Codman & Smith.
Daniel Rea & Son.
John & Richard Codman.
Rea & Johnston.

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