The Winterthur Library

 The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera

Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, Winterthur, DE  19735

302-888-4600 or 800-448-3883





Creator:          Stackhouse, Amos (1857-1825)                                  

Title:               Stackhouse family papers and ledger book

Dates:             1799-1867, bulk dates 1799-1802, 1831-1845

Call No.:         Fol. 385

Acc. No.:         07x40

Quantity:        14 items

Location:        6 B 2






Amos Stackhouse was a storekeeper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He was a Quaker, the son of James and Martha Hastings Stackhouse, born in 1757, probably in New Jersey.  Amos trained to be a cooper, and was listed as such in the 1793 Philadelphia directory.  He quit that line of work to become a schoolmaster for a few years before settling on being a storekeeper, specifically a dealer in china.  He married Mary Powell of Mount Holly, New Jersey.  They had twelve children, including Powell (born 1785).  Amos listed his place of business as 176 North Front Street.  He died in 1825; his widow died in 1841.


Powell Stackhouse, son of Amos and Mary Powell Stackhouse, was born in 1785 in New Jersey.  He married Edith Dilworth (daughter of Charles and Mary Dilworth) in 1809.  They had eleven children, including Charles, Joseph and Amos.  Powell trained as a furniture maker and for a number of years was a pattern maker.  However, he eventually entered the stove manufacturing business, as were his sons Charles and Joseph.  Just when he began making stoves is unclear.  Philadelphia city directories do not list him in that business until 1837, but other evidence shows he was doing so by 1831.  Powell died in 1863. 





Ledger book of Amos and Powell Stackhouse, plus some loose items laid into the book.  Amos used the book between 1799 and 1802 to record lists of debts.  He had a china shop in Philadelphia, although the sales of china are not reflected in this book.  Instead, he lists the sale primarily of “merchandise” and “sundries.”  Among the other goods he sold were snuffers, brushes, combs, andirons, hardware, sadirons, stirrups, spitting pans, a smoothing plane, watch chains, kegs of Spanish brown, etc.  A few accounts pertain to farms in West Chester, Nice Town, and Goshen. 


Afterwards, the volume was used for a variety of purposes by Amos’ son Powell Stackhouse, a pattern maker and stove manufacturer, also in Philadelphia.  First, he used the book for his “stock account,” a record of money he owed and money owed to him, plus inventory of his store.  He listed a number of different kinds of stoves, plus hollowware, shovels, brass knobs, etc.  Powell next recorded genealogical notes about his family.  Lastly, the volume concludes with an assortment of items, including an essay on Mephibosheth; extracts from various authors; copies of business letters, 1832-1834 and 1844-1845; and copies of orders for stoves and stove parts, 1831-1841.  Several loose items were found in the ledger: family letters, a business letter, some writings (editorials or essays), a receipt, a genealogical note, etc.





The accounts are mostly in chronological order.





The materials are in English.





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





Purchased from Ian Brabner.






            Stackhouse family.

            Hastings family.

Powell family.




            Business records – Pennsylvania - Philadelphia.

            Stove industry and trade – Pennsylvania - Philadelphia.


            Pennsylvania – Genealogy.

            Account books.



Additional author:

            Stackhouse, Powell, 1785-1863.





Location: 6 B 2



.1         Ledger book, used first by Amos Stackhouse and then by his son Powell Stackhouse.  It contains several sections.


Pages 1-161 were used by Amos Stackhouse for his accounts, 1799-1802.  The entries are under the names of the customers.  Although most of the goods sold are listed simply as merchandise or sundries, he does occasionally list specific items.  Among the items he names are scissors, combs, shovels, a snuff box, andirons, japanned snuffers, spectacles, various hardware items (nails, screws, hinges, etc.), sadirons, a fowling piece, women’s stirrups, a turner’s chisel, spitting pans, a smoothing plane, watch chains, kegs of Spanish brown, sweeping brushes, etc.  (According to city directories, Amos was a dealer in china, but obviously, he sold a number of other kinds of goods as well.)  Most accounts were settled with cash.  Also included in this section are accounts for farms in West Chester, Nice Town, and Goshen; a record of paying Florence Sullivan for “attendance in store”; and monies committed for adventures to Cape Francois and Orleans.  


The next section of the account book is Powell Stackhouse’s account of his stocks, 1820-1845 (bulk dates: 1831-1845); these pages are numbered 2-72, but the first two pages are not numbered.  This is a list of names and amounts of money, presumably money owed to Stackhouse, as well as a list of goods, such as shovels, nails, different kinds of stoves (Franklin, Windsor, Slaymaker, Colebrook, Hopewell, meeting house), hollow wares, sheet iron, brass knobs, etc.  Although Powell was not noted in city directories as a stove manufacturer until 1837, the earliest list of goods, dated 1831, already includes several kinds of stoves.  Some records of his pattern making business are also found in this section.


The third section contains 18 pages of genealogical information, chiefly about the Stackhouses, but including as well the following related families: Powell, Hastings, Hill, Stone, Bryan, Eldridge, Purdey, Scattergood, Woolston, Dilworth, Taylor, Makin, Buffington, Martin, Webb, and Waln.  Another genealogical note is found on the last page of the volume, recording the marriage of Amos (son of Powell) Stackhouse to Anna Williamson in 1849, and listing their children.


After many blank pages is found an essay entitled “The Character of Mephibosheth” (who was the son of the Biblical Jonathan, David’s friend), plus some quotations from various authors on various subjects.  Intermixed with the quotations are copies of some business letters written by Powell Stackhouse, 1844-1847.  (See below for more information about these business letters.)  At the end of the volume are copies of orders for stoves and related products, 1831-1841, again testifying to Powell’s entry into the stove manufacturing business before he was listed as such in city directories.


The business letters are as follows:


1844, to M. Gowan, Cathcart & Co., Juniata Furnace, Perry Co., Penn., regarding auction of castings;


1845, two letters to F.H. Henry & Co., Carlisle, Penn., concerning an order for patterns he was making for the company and providing instructions for getting stove parts to fit properly; second letter informs the company that he is still awaiting their instructions;


1845, to William Darling, regarding placing an advertisement to notify the public to present their claims against his sons’ firm C.D. & J.D. Stackhouse;


1845, to Mark Bend(?), Woodstock, Va., wondering if money sent for the case against the Farriers(?) Iron Masters of Page County, Va., had been received (see also .3, below);


1845, another letter to the same person in Woodstock, more about the case (see also .3, below);


1844, two notes, one to William Darling and the other to Jonathan Lukens, both concerning sale of property owned by C.D. & J.D. Stackhouse;


1844, two additional letters to William Darling, both concerning sale of property owned by C.D. & J.D. Stackhouse;


1834, to D. W. Hulings, concerning delays in an order because of problems with the gig staves;


1834, to Favereau, about patterns, which were made from mahogany and ash wood; if they are not acceptable, please return immediately; no one expects to make a complicated pattern right the first time, nor should it be expected that the pattern maker will travel to the furnace to make the needed alterations;


1833, copies of receipts from David Bacon, J. Kean, and Jos. Knight for draft on W. Richards


1833, to Mr. Synder, about Synder making some coal stoves to Stackhouse’s pattern





Loose items removed from ledger book:


.2a-b    draft of editorial by Powell Stackhouse, headed “To the Pennsylvania Farmer,” intended for publication in that periodical, about the amalgamation of races, on pages 1-4; two unnumbered pages contain anti-slavery rhetoric, but appear not to be related to editorial on the amalgamation of the races


.3         several drafts or copies of letters written by Powell Stackhouse to various people. 

First page: letter sent to Dr. Stackhouse: uses medical terms to talk about upswing in business; mentions possible annexation of Texas and its affect upon slavery; doesn’t use the lash on any of his laborers;

Second and third pages: to cousin Martha, 7th month 1845: sends family news and genealogy;

Last page: to revered(?) friend(?), Mark(?) Bend(?), Esq.(?), Woodstock, 7th month, 1, 1845: sent money back in April, but hasn’t heard anything since; names Jonathan Palmer or John Miller as commissioners


.4         “Some Arguments intended to remove the scruples of those persons who on Scriptural ground are opposed to repealing our Laws inflicting the punishment of death in Cases of

Murder.”  A writing by Powell Stackhouse.


.5         draft of letter, Powell Stackhouse to “Esteemed Kinsman,” [Dr. H. W. Stackhouse, Mississippi], Philadelphia, 5th month, 1843; family news; business is depressed; had gotten out of the stove business for awhile but is back in it now


.6         draft of letter, Powell Stackhouse to Cousin Martha, Philadelphia, 1846; family news, genealogy; mentions the division of the Quakers into Orthodox and Hicksite branches – some family members are one and some the other; doesn’t believe he will ever get a chance to visit the South


.7         draft of letter, Powell Stackhouse to “Esteemed Kinsman,” Philadelphia, 11th month, 1848, sends prices of carriages; some family news; business dull, perhaps due to concentration on election; asks how Southerners feel about state of things in Europe;

            Inside pages: lists of “debts owing” and “debts due me,” inventory of stoves and other goods;

            On back: drawing of staircase


.8         letter, father Powell Stackhouse, Philadelphia, 7th month, 24, 1849, to Joseph and Sarah [Stackhouse], is writing because is worried about the spread of cholera along the lines of the canal; Amos married Anna Williamson and has a store with Charles Dilworth; warns against spending more than one has;

            Reverse side: appears to be a draft of another letter: Powell [not the letter writer but his son] and William Canby are in the conveyancing business together; further warns against spending more than one has


.9         letter, P. Stackhouse, Philadelphia, 9th month, 24, 1849, to Joseph and Sarah [Stackhouse], am planning to come visit soon;

            Reverse side: draft stating Stackhouse’s views about building a new court house in Philadelphia


.10       bill, from C. B. Matthews to Powell Stackhouse, for unknown goods, paid with old iron, 1845-1848


.11       list of names of witnesses to the marriage of Thomas Makin and Sarah Lee Rich, Philadelphia, 10th month, 3d day, 1700, extracted from old records in 1848 for Powell Stackhouse


.12       letter to “Dear Sister,” no date but after autumn 1867, about the origin of the financial problems between the letter writer and their father


.13       religious lines written by Sarah, wife of William Sharpless, during a visit with Sarah Ellison, n.d.


.14       lists of debts, 1841, 1845, includes names of Charles D., Emlen, Joseph, and Amos Stackhouse (all sons of Powell)