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Mss:770 1782-1795 C564

Chute, Josiah. Josiah Chute Account Book, 1779-1795: 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:770 1782-1795 C564
Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Creator: Chute, Josiah.
Title: Josiah Chute account book
Date(s): 1779-1795
Quantity: .25 linear feet (1 volume)
Language of materials: English

Processing Information:

Processed: December 2017 By: Baker Library Special Colletions Staff

Conditions Governing Access:

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

Preferred Citation:

Josiah Chute Account Book. Baker Library, Harvard Business School.

Biographical / Historical

Josiah Chute (1759-1834) was a day laborer in Windham, Maine, providing services like plowing, planting, and hauling wood. He served as a sargeant in the 11th Massachusetts Regiment during the American Revolution, and in 1777 during the battle of Hubbardton, Vermont, he was wounded by a musket ball and taken prisoner by the British. He escaped and served for another two years, spending the winter of 1777-1778 with George Washington's troops at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and participating in the battle of Monmouth in 1778. He was honorably discharged in 1779. When Josiah Chute returned to Windham, he was appointed town constable and tax collector. He also served as town selectman for many years, and as town clerk in 1804. From 1805 to 1812, and again in 1816-1820, he represented Maine at the General Court of Massachusetts. Josiah Chute married Mary Noyes in 1781, and they had ten children.

Scope and Contents

Account book maintained by Josiah Chute (1759-1834), a day laborer and civil servant in Windham, Maine, from 1781 to 1795. Inscribed on the first page of the volume is a note that the book was given to him by Lieutenant Silas Chadbourn (1752-1823) at West Point, New York, on December 2, 1779. Both men served in the 11th Massachusetts Regiment during the American Revolutionary War. The entries record credits and debits for services he provided, often assisted by his oxen, including hauling boards, bricks, and groceries, slaughtering livestock, plowing, planting corn, and wintering calves. Josiah Chute was often paid in commodities like sugar, coffee, rum, and molasses, shoes, leather, and tools. His customers included other Windham residents who served during the Revolutionary War, including Captain Richard Mayberry (1735-1807) and Lieutenant David Barker (1731-1815). In 1785, he paid for rent and spinning provided by a Miss Colley with labor including hauling boards and flour. Entries also record wages he earned from the town of Windham as constable and tax collector. There are also a few notes on civic matters. Tipped in to the volume is a letter from James Chute in to Josiah Chute in 1787 regarding a voyage to Haiti, where his ship ran aground on a reef in Port-au-Prince; he also writes about his efforts to sell potatoes and bread in the port. The end of the book contains notes on arithmetic and determining the prices of goods, possibly taken by either Josiah Chute or Silas Chadbourn in 1779.

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