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Mss:766 1744-1828 C

Reynell & Coates. Reynell & Coates Records, 1744-1846 (inclusive): A Finding Aid

Baker Library Special 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:766 1744-1828 C
Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Creator: Reynell & Coates
Title: Reynell & Coates Records,
Date(s): 1744-1846 (inclusive)
Quantity: 5 linear feet (5 boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: This collection consists of the records of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, importers and merchants Reynell & Coates, dated from 1744 to 1846. The bulk of the records were generated by Samuel Coates (1748-1830), who engaged in coastwise trade of commodities like molasses and rum between Philadelphia and Newburyport, Massachusetts, and imported textiles and other manufactured goods from Great Britain and Holland. Coates' papers also include financial records of his Philadelphia brewery, and records related to his involvement with the Pennsylvania Hospital and the Library Company of Philadelphia.

Provenance:

Gift of Charles H. Taylor, 1929.

Processing Information:

Processed: June 2017
By: Brooke McManus
Preservation and description were supported 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: Reynell & Coates Records. Baker Library, Harvard Business School.

Historical Note:

Reynell & Coates, a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, mercantile partnership of Quakers John Reynell (1708-1784) and his nephew, Samuel Coates (1748-1830), was established in 1771. Reynell and his wife, Mary Coates Reynell (1707-1773) adopted Samuel and his siblings after the death of their parents. Reynell & Coates engaged in coastwise and transatlantic trade of commodities including flour, sugar, rum, butter, linen, oil, and woolens.
After John Reynell retired in 1782, Samuel Coates continued the family business with his brother, Josiah Langdale Coates (1747-1809), until 1791. He later partnered with merchants in Newburyport, Massachusetts, including Moses Brown (1742-1827), when engaging in shipping ventures. Coates traded molasses, flour, iron, and rum, and he imported goods from England like buckles and textiles. Coates also operated a brewery in Philadelphia. Additionally, he was treasurer of the Library Company of Philadelphia (1784-1793); secretary and then president of the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Hospital (1786-1825); a member of the Overseers of the Public Schools of Philadelphia. (1812-1823); and a director of the Bank of the United States (1800-1812).

Scope and Content Note:

This collection consists of the records of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, importers and merchants Reynell & Coates, dated from 1744 to 1846. The bulk of the records were generated by Samuel Coates (1748-1830), who engaged in coastwise trade of commodities like molasses and rum between Philadelphia and Newburyport, Massachusetts, and imported textiles and other manufactured goods from Great Britain and Holland. Coates' papers also include financial records of his Philadelphia brewery, and records related to his involvement with the Pennsylvania Hospital and the Library Company of Philadelphia.
The records of John Reynell (1708-1784) and Samuel Coates include invoices, accounts, and correspondence related to the trade of flour, rum, sugar, and textiles, and expenses for shipping and hiring crews. Some letters with English merchants pertain to the impact of the non-importation agreements implemented by the colonies in response to the 1767 Townshend Acts. Correspondents included English importer Samuel Elam (1749 or 1750-1813) and the firm Mildred & Roberts, Newburyport, Massachusetts, merchant and politician Tristram Dalton (1738-1817), and Boston merchant Stephen Gorham (1747-1826).
After John Reynell retired in 1782, Samuel Coates operated his business in partnership with his brother, Josiah Langdale Coates (1747-1809) until 1791. He then was sole proprietor, although he partnered with other merchants such as Moses Brown (1742-1827) of Newburyport in shipping ventures. Coates frequently dealt in goods on consignment. Records include accounts, invoices, bills, and receipts related to trade of commodities like coffee, sugar, nails, planks, molasses, and fish. He also imported linens and textiles. In addition, there are ships' papers for vessels transporting his goods, including the brigantine Two Brothers, which was stranded by a broken anchor in Newcastle, England, in 1808-1809. Letters from the ship master Lemuel Pearson to Coates request a repaired anchor as well as instruction on how to proceed in the wake of the passage of the Embargo Act. Merchants referenced include William Wyer of Boston, John Pemberton (1727-1795) of Philadelphia, Isaac Hazelhurst & Co., and Benjamin Hornor & Son, as well as the firm of Coates & Randolph, consisting of Samuel's brother, Josiah, and Edward Randolph. Coates also had business with several women: he bought fabrics and foodstuffs with Catharine Roberts and Elizabeth Allen of Philadelphia.
Additional records include accounts and correspondence related to Coates' positions as president of the Board of Managers of the Pennsylvania Hospital and treasurer of the Library Company in Philadelphia. He was apparently also involved in Board of Managers of the Marine and City Hospitals. There are letters and physicians' bills addressed to Coates associated with the Marine Hospital (later called the Lazaretto), which quarantined ship passengers prior to their entry into the city, during the yellow fever epidemic of 1793. There additionally are personal accounts related to Coates' family and wards, including tuition bills for his children and bills for clothing and board.
There are a number of accounts of other merchants, presumably associates of Samuel Coates, who also engaged in coastwise shipping; and some later records of his son, physician Benjamin Coates (1797-1881).
The records comprise loose materials that were originally were tipped into ten different volumes in roughly chronological order by an unknown person.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Beef industry -- 18th century.
Beef industry -- 19th century.
Breweries -- Pennsylvania.
Clothing trade -- 18th century.
Clothing trade -- 19th century.
Coastwise shipping -- 18th century.
Coastwise shipping -- 19th century.
Commission merchants.
Communicable diseases -- Prevention -- 19th century.
Consignment sales -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia.
Customs inspection -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia.
Day labor.
Dry-goods.
Embargo, 1807-1809.
Export marketing -- Pennsylvania -- 18th century.
Export marketing -- Pennsylvania -- 19th century.
Fish trade -- 18th century.
Fish trade -- 19th century.
Flour industry -- 18th century.
Flour industry -- 19th century.
Foreign marketing -- 18th century.
Foreign marketing -- 19th century.
Imports -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia..
Liquor industry -- 18th century.
Liquor industry -- 19th century.
Merchant ships.
Merchants -- Massachusetts -- Newburyport.
Merchants -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia.
Molasses industry -- 18th century.
Molasses industry -- 19th century.
Non-importation agreements, 1768-1769.
Quaker businesspeople.
Quarantine -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- 19th century.
Sailors -- Wages.
Ship captains.
Shipping -- Pennsylvania -- 18th century.
Ships -- Equipment and supplies.
Women -- Employment -- 18th century.
Yellow fever -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia.
Accounts.
Bills of exchange.
Correspondence.
Invoices.
Legal instruments.
Promissory notes.
Receipts (financial records).
Ship's manifests.
Ship's papers.
Great Britain -- Commerce -- United States.
Great Britain -- Colonies -- America -- Economic policy.
Newburyport (Mass.) -- Commerce.
Philadelphia (Pa.). Board of Managers of the Marine and City Hospitals.
Philadelphia (Pa.) -- Commerce.
United States -- Commerce -- Great Britain.
United States -- History -- Revolution, 1775-1783 -- Causes.
Allen, Elizabeth.
Bowen, Jabez, 1739-1815.
Brown, Moses, 1742-1827.
Gorham, Stephen, 1747-1826.
Chandler, Samuel.
Coates, Benjamin Hornor, 1797-1881.
Coates, Jonathan.
Coates, Josiah Langdale, 1747-1809.
Coates, Samuel, 1748-1830.
Coffin, David.
Dalton, Tristram, 1738-1817.
Dougherty, Henry.
Duffield, Samuel, 1732-1814.
Eddy, Thomas.
Elam, Samuel, 1749 or 1750-1813
Flanders, Ralph.
Gale, Moses.
Hopper, Isaac T. (Isaac Tatem), 1771-1852.
Hutchinson, James, 1752-1793.
Lewis, Joseph S.
Low, David.
Lunt, Benjamin.
Mease, James, 1771-1846.
Pearson, Lemuel.
Pemberton, John, 1727-1795.
Reynell, John, 1708-1784.
Roberts, Catharine.
Vicary, Hannah.
Vicary, Mary.
Vicary, Rebecca.
Wiser, Susannah.
Wyer, William, Jr.
Aleona (Ship).
Benjamin Hornor & Son.
Coates & Randolph.
Hewes & Anthony.
Hope (Ship).
Library Company of Philadelphia.
Mildred & Roberts.
Pennsylvania Hospital (Philadelphia, Pa.).
Rebecca (Ship).
Reynell & Coates.
Sweetman & Rudolph.
Two Brothers (Brig).
William P. Johnson (Ship).

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