Prince Gardner, descendent of two notable Nantucket families, was captain and merchant in Nantucket, Massachusetts after the American Revolution. Although the Nantucket whale fishery suffered heavy losses during the 1770s and 1780s due to wartime conditions, a brief burst of prosperity returned to Nantucket during the 1790s which Gardner used to his advantage. Because whaling was the dominant form of livelihood on Nantucket, Gardner specialized in selling whalebone, whale oil and fish offshore to procure items needed on the island. The most valuable trading commodity for Nantucket during the years of the ledger was spermaceti oil. This type of oil was much in demand due to its use in candles and to fuel lighthouses. According to Gardner's ledger, he imported nails, rum, lime, sugar, Russia duck [used for sails] and foodstuffs.
Scope and Content:
This collection consists of one ledger recording debits and credits with merchants located primarily in Newport and Providence, Rhode Island. These include Charles Handy, Samuel Thurber, Rufus Waterman, Christopher Olney, Isaac Brown, Brown and Benson, Stephen Dexter, Isaac Church, George Champlin, Clark and Nightingale, Philip and Zachariah Allen, George Gibbs, Thomas L. Halsey, Daniel Spencer, Brown and Francis, Thomas Arnold, Welcome Arnold, Joseph Briggs and Timothy Green. Many of the above maintained a business interest in the various spermaceti candleworks located in Rhode Island.
Provenance : Purchase
Amount: 1 volume