The East Boston Timber Company, a joint stock company formed in 1835 at a cost of $300,000, sought to supply New York and New England with oak, pine and other suitable lumber for shipbuilding. Begun by men from New York and Massachusetts including the president, Stephen White, as well as Francis J. Oliver, William Williams and William Vandervoort, East Boston Timber Company owned the Whitehaven Mill on Grand Island located in the Niagara River as well as wooded property near Tonawanda Creek. The company clerk, James W. Paige, also acted as company treasurer. In addition, East Boston Timber Company hired Jedediah H. Lathrop in January 1837 to act as their agent and hired two other agents to oversee their business affairs in New York City and Boston.
Lathrop, based in Tonawanda, Erie County, New York, represented the absentee owners throughout upstate New York and traveled as far east as Albany arranging financing, appraising the owners about market conditions, and overseeing work at the mill.
Increasingly, the company sought financial help through the reduction of tolls on the Erie Canal (they shipped lumber to the East using the canal system) and re-negotiation of note payment schedules. Throughout 1838 and 1839, they defaulted entirely on their borrowed capital. No records exist in this collection after 1840.
Scope and Content:
The collection consists of various records, including correspondence written by and to J. H. Lathrop (1837-1840, with the bulk from 1839); correspondence from East Boston Timber Company President, Stephen White to J. H. Lathrop (1837-1838), Lewis F. Allen (1834-1836) and the Canal Commission of the State of New York (1837); notices protesting non-payment (1837-1840); and lumber estimates.
Provenance : Gift of Harvard College Library, 1938.
Amount: 1 boxContainer List:
|Box 1||Folder 1--Three letters sent by J. H. Lathrop, 1839.|
|Folder 2--Letters received by J. H. Lathrop from various correspondents, 1837-1838.|
|Folder 3--Letters received by J. H. Lathrop from various correspondents, 1839.|
|Folder 4--Letters received by J. H. Lathrop from various correspondents, 1840.|
|Folder 5--Letters received by J. H. Lathrop, Agent, East Boston Timber Co., from Stephen White, President, 1837.|
|Folder 6--Letters received by J. H. Lathrop, Agent, East Boston Timber Co., from Stephen White, President, 1838.|
|Folder 7--Copy of Mr. Stephen White's letter to Canal Commission of the State of New York, January 1, 1837.|
|Folder 8--Notices of protest of East Boston Timber Co. Notes, 1837-1840.|
|Folder 9--Estimates and letters received by Lewis F. Allen from Stephen White, 1834-1836.|