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Hamilton and Hood papers


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

John Hamilton and John M. Hood were grocers and wine merchants in Philadelphia in the early nineteenth century. Prior to the establishment of the firm Hamilton & Hood the men were involved in the firms Lentz & Hood, 1803 - 1806, and Hamilton & Drew, 1805 – 1810. As grocers and merchants they were engaged in economic transactions throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, especially New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

Finding Aid for Hamilton & Hood. Records, 1803-1863, Manuscript Collection Number 1427, Historical Society of Pennsylvania. Finding aid available online, retrieved November 30, 2005 at Aid for Hamilton & Hood Papers, Manuscript Collection Number 1302, Maryland Historical Society. Finding aid available online, retrieved on November 30, 2005,

The Hamilton and Hood papers, spanning the dates 1796-1831, consists of 31 items (.1 linear ft.) of business correspondence received by Mr. John Hamilton and Mr. John M. Hood, and a 1796 medical bill for the treatment of James Hood's wife (relation to John M. Hood not clear). Prior to 1816 the letters were addressed to John Hamilton, "Merchant, No. 4 Market Street, Philadelphia," but after this year they were addressed to the firm of Hamilton & Hood, "Merchants, Philadelphia."

As dry goods grocers and wine merchants, the Hamilton & Hood firm was affiliated with many different types of merchants located throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. They were also in close contact with individuals wishing to purchase goods. David Wylie (3 items) and John Rose & Company (6 items) appear frequently in the correspondence. David Wylie appears to have been an associate or an agent of Hamilton & Hood working out of New York City. Most of his correspondence refers to the prices of dry goods such as sugar, tea, and coffee, as well as shipment times and destinations. He frequently refers to changing prices, shipments via schooner to Baltimore, and bargaining with merchants in New York in order to secure the best prices for products.

John Rose & Company was involved in the lumber industry, and the letters from John Rose & Company make reference to desired and actual prices for wood, modes of shipping the wood, as well as orders for goods to be shipped to Laurel Hill, New Jersey, where John Rose & Co. was located. This series of letters also discusses the agreements made between merchants and the ship captains who transport goods, and the effect the weather had on the lumber business.

Many orders for goods placed by individuals are also represented in the collection. An 1832 letter from Mary T. Tubbs of Christiana, Delaware, represents this type of request. Forwarded through G.H. Wood of Newark, Delaware, Mary Tubbs placed an order for Maderia, cinnamon cordial, peach brandy, lamp oil, candles, brown sugar, raisins, and other goods, as well as instructions for securing the containers to hold the dry goods and the liquor.

This small collection provides insight into the nature of the market economy in the early republic period in America. Students of early nineteenth century American history will find useful evidence of economic transactions and commercial delivery throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.

Box 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS mss (1 in)

Gift of the Moyerman Family, circa 1970-1972

Processed by Emily Holloway, 2005. Encoded by Jaime Margalotti, November 2019.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2019 November
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Receipt, 1796 September 9.
Box 1 Folder F1
Scope and Contents

Autograph document signed. James Hood to Dr. Benjamin Champneys "for medicines and attention to wife," Sept. 9, 1796.

John Hamilton correspondence, 1809-1813.
Box 1 Folder F2
Physical Description

8 items

Hamilton and Hood correspondence and receipts, 1816-1831.
Box 1 Folder F3
Scope and Contents

Includes correspondence from William Larkin, Wilmington, Delaware; John Rose & Co., Laurel Hill, New Jersey (6 items); and Edward and Joseph Grubb, Wilmington.

Physical Description

22 items

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