The Winterthur Library

 The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera

Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum

5105 Kennett Pike, Winterthur, DE  19735

302-888-4600 or 800-448-3883





Creator:         Whittemore family                             

Title:               Papers

Dates:             1812-1860

Call No.:         Col. 429

Acc. No.:        [various – see detailed description]

Quantity:        1 box and 1 volume

Location:        9 H 6






Amos Whittemore was an inventor and manufacturer who lived and worked in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Born in 1759, he was the son of Thomas and Anna Cutter Whittemore.  After attending public school, he became an apprentice to a gunsmith.  He married Helen Weston in 1781 and they had twelve children. Whittemore was noted for his patented inventions which included a machine for cutting nails, a loom for weaving duck, a form of a mechanical ship's log, and several machines which made cotton and wool cards.  He died in 1828.       


Amos’ son, Henry Whittemore (1797-1860), also resided in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  The 1850 census listed him as a card manufacturer, and he also owned a number of rental properties.  He married Eliza Ann Cutter in 1828, and had at least one son, Henry C. (born c.1829).  Henry C. Whittemore attended Exeter Academy, and in 1847 began to work for the firm of Felton and Parker in Charleston.  The son was listed as an engineer in the 1855 state census.





 This collection contains two account books compiled by Amos Whittemore in 1812‑1813 and 1815, as well as two inventories of his estate auction.  The earlier account book is for personal expenses, and the later one documents Whittemore’s wagon, carriage, and harness business.  Two auctions were held of his personal belongings, and the records of these include the name of purchaser, the item purchased, and the price.


Manuscripts compiled by Henry Whittemore are a copybook (dated 1812) and an account book.  The oversize copybook includes samples of writing, mathematical exercises, architectural drawings, and a drawing of a memorial to his deceased siblings.  His account book documents expenses associated with his real estate holdings as well as some personal expenditures.  Henry C. Whittemore’s personal expense book from 1847 is also found.  He seems to have been a surveyor working for Felton & Parker.  The collection also contains several receipts and scraps of paper containing poetry and prayers, all of which were found in a sewing box owned by Henry Whittemore.   (The sewing box is now part of the Winterthur Museum collection.)





The materials are in English.





Collection is open to the public.  Copyright restrictions may apply.





Purchased from various sources.






            Whittemore, Amos, 1759-1828.



            Architecture - Study and teaching.

            Business records - Massachusetts.

            Carriages and carts.


Casual labor.


Dry-goods - Prices.

Dwellings - Maintenance and repair.

Dwellings - Pictorial works.

Finance, Personal.


Geometry - Study and teaching.

Handicraft - Equipment and supplies.

Harness making and trade.

House furnishings.

            Inventories of decedents' estates - Massachusetts.

Lumber - Prices.

Mathematics - Problems, exercises, etc.

            Notions (Merchandise) - Prices.

Real property - Massachusetts.

            Rent charges.

            Sale of decedents' estates - Massachusetts.

            Sepulchral monuments - Pictorial works.


            Textile machinery.




Account books.


Estate records.


            Instructional materials.





Additional authors:

            Whittemore, Amos, 1759-1828.

            Whittemore, Henry, 1797-1860.

            Whittemore, Henry C.





Location: 9 D 6



95x73.1    Account book of Amos Whittemore, 1812-1813


Volume one of Amos Whittemore's account books records personal expenses from August 19, 1812 to March 1, 1813.  Entries list items and prices.  Of particular note are the numerous references to dry goods including silk, calico, cambric, muslin, flannel, and cotton, and of notions such as brushes, thimbles, buttons, thread, lace, bobbins, quills, ribbons, pins, and yarn.   Food items are also mentioned: coffee, tea, flour, bread, sugar, molasses, rum, etc.



95x73.2    Daybook of Amos Whittemore, 1815, January 1-October 14;


The daybook records Whittemore's business activities of repairing, painting, and making wagons, chaises, sleighs, and harnesses between January 1 and October 14, 1815.  He purchased a considerable amount of lumber, and the dimensions and prices of the stock are noted.  He apparently employed several people since their names, salaries, and start dates are listed on the last pages; these are dated 1814-1816.  Entries include cash payments to these individuals.  Pages near the end of this volume contain sample lettering, apparently intended for sign painting, dated 1818.  



94x91.9, 96x35.9     Results of auctions of estate of Amos Whittemore, 1828, 1829


These two volumes contain the results from the auctions of Amos Whittemore's estate, one in 1828 and the other in 1829.  Such items as lamps, kettles, tinware, milk pans, jugs, plates, tables, stands, and other household items are mentioned.  The lists include the name of purchaser, what purchased, and the price.



65x671     Copybook of Henry Whittemore [oversize item on shelf]


Henry Whittemore’s oversized copybook bears the cover inscription, printed in gilt, “This specimen of attention to the useful and ornamental sciences is the juvenile production of Henry Whittemore in the fifteenth year of his age, drawn and written by him at Mrs. Gill's Academy, West Cambridge, 1812.”  This manuscript features extracts of literature, geometric rules with accompanying figures, orders of architecture, and a mariner's compass.  The headings of each section are done in calligraphy.  Some of the drawings and page borders have been colored.  The last two pages contain full color illustrations of a house and a tombstone memorial listing Henry’s dead siblings.


Volume bound with marbled boards and red leather spine and corners.  Label on front cover is also red leather.  Paper is watermarked Budgen & Wilmott 1808.



94x91.1     Account book of Henry Whittemore


Henry’s account book, dated 1842-1860, consists of a detailed inventory and description of Whittemore's real estate holdings along with accounts for labor costs for repairs and alterations to his houses and properties, taxes and insurances paid, and other financial transactions.  Also included are entries that document the purchases of such household furnishings as a mahogany bedstead, six Harrison chairs, a hat tree, one hollow corner piano forte, 25 yards of painted carpet, and a pair of silver butter knives.  Personal expenses for such activities as attending the Bunker Hill celebration in 1845 and buying a Masonic apron were recorded.


Loose items removed from the account book are in a separate folder.  These include bills, a record of a cash account (1851-1855), receipts (including a receipt for son Henry C.’s boarding at Exeter Academy), a record of household items purchased at an auction in 1829, and other financial information.



65x672     Expense book of Henry C. Whittemore


A pocket-sized account book records travel, food, and lodging expenses Henry C. incurred while working for the firm of Felton & Parker of Charlestown, Massachusetts, in 1847.  Items mentioned include hotel, cigars, railway fares, hats, clothes, and laundry.  Henry C. Whittemore was apparently paid for making surveys.



65x673.1-.11     Items from sewing box of Henry Whittemore


[note: the sewing box is museum registration number 1968.0356]


.1-.2     quarterly bills for tuition of Harriet M. A. Whittemore [daughter of Amos], from Mary E. Hayes, Sept. 1820 and October 1821.  Although these are labeled “bills,” they record Harriet’s performance on her recitations rather than charges for tuition or board.  [Harriet Mary Ann Whittemore was born in 1806.  She later married a Mr. Foster.]


.3         scrap reading “Presented by the dearest of friends, 1811”


.4-.5     notes on weights of tea pot and cream pot


.6         receipt signed by Samuel Cutter, Dec. 1839 and April 1840.


.7         part of the hymn “Brightest and Best of the Suns of the Morning,” on reverse: scanty accounts


.8         poem or hymn beginning “Quickly will my glass of life be run”


.9         brief note from Julia(?)


.10       an unsigned promise to pay Clarissa Chadwick, dated West Cambridge, Augt. 5, 1839; on back: a note about interest due January 19, 1842


.11       newspaper notice regarding the estate of Nathaniel Chadwick, Boston, 1803; on back: part of a store ad, selling porter, ale, tea, coffee, and textiles