Guide to the Amasa P. Niles Company Papers, 1794-1890
Collection number: MC 269
(3 boxes )
About the Amasa P. Niles Company
The Amasa P. Niles Company, founded in Haverhill M.A. around 1820, shipped
clapboards, beams, and shingles by boat down the Connecticut and Merrimack Rivers.
The company both owned and leased vast tracts of land and sawmills in northern N.H.,
where local milling and shipping operations were managed by Ebenezer Carleton (Sr.)
from approx. 1820 to 1849 along with his son Ebenezer Carleton (Jr.) from about 1817
to the 1850s. The name “Ebenezer Carleton and Company” is mentioned several times in
between 1815-1820s; presumably the Carletons initially contracted with Niles under
After Niles’s sudden death in 1840, Deming leaned heavily on Carleton (Jr.) to help
keep the company intact. The name “Amasa P. Niles Company” is used as late as August
1841, several months after Deming and Carleton (Jr.) became equal business partners
in February of that year. After July 1841 the company name changed to “Carleton and
Deming Co.”. The role of Carleton (Sr.) is unclear after 1840.
Carleton and Deming Co. declined through the 1840s after the death of Niles. During
the late 1830s, hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of lumber were being shipped
almost weekly, but business had dwindled radically by the mid-1840s. Records of
unpaid taxes, land seizures and complaints from unpaid business transactions appear
from about 1845 on. The last business transaction recorded by the company dates to
1849, the same year as the death of Ebenezer Carleton (Sr.).
About the Amasa P. Niles Company Papers
The collection spans the years 1794-1890, with the bulk of the material covering the
1820s-1850s. It is arranged in chronological order within type of record (account
books, bills, etc.). Original order had been lost by the time the collection was
acquired, although it seems to have consisted of bundles of folded paper grouped by
subject, as several pieces bear markings such as “Records of taxes paid in Bath” and
“Papers relating to the first spring [lumber shipping] run of 1836”. A often
encountered shorthand consisting of three vertical lines crossed represents a bundle
of 100 shingles. A common practice was to place a brief summery of the type of
document on the reverse side from the main text. A small amount of material from the
White River Falls Company (Hanover) is included.
This collection is open.
Contents of this collection are governed by U.S. copyright law. For questions
about publication or reproduction rights, contact Special Collections staff.
[Identification of item], Amasa P. Niles Company Papers, 1794-1890, MC 269, Milne
Special Collections and Archives, University of New Hampshire Library, Durham,
“Amasa P. Niles and Co., invoice of stock on hand, 1838 June 12.” Connecticut
Historical Society, Hartford, CT.
Arrangement is choronological within series or folder. Original order was not
apparent upon acquisition.
Series 1: Amasa P. Niles Company Papers, 1805-1890
The Amasa P. Niles Company Papers predominantly consist of financial records
kept by Ebenezer Carleton ((Sr.)) and his son Ebenezer Carleton ((Jr.)) in
conjunction with the Amasa P. Niles Company of Haverhill M.A. The relatively
small amount of formal correspondence is outweighed by the company’s
financial records, including accounting books, bills, receipts, employee
travel expense invoices, and the unlabeled scribbled arithmetic representing
lumber quality inspection. Interactions between the Niles Co. and the N.H.
Iron Foundry Company (Franconia) and the White River Falls Company (Hanover)
are included in separate folders. Particularly interesting are the papers
relating to real estate transactions as the company acquired land for lumber
harvesting, including land deeds dated 1805-1855 and several maps bearing
exact latitude and longitude markings.
|Correspondence, Deeds, and Financial Papers,
Folders 1-14: Lumber contracts, land deeds, hand-drawn maps, account
books, receipts, and bills paid.
|Receipts, Legal Papers,
Folders 1-15: Incorporation papers for Carleton and Deming Co., employee
invoices, and papers related to transactions with N.H. Iron Foundry
Company between 1815-1835 and the White River Falls Company
|Lumber Inspection Papers,
Folders 1-2: Papers relating to the inspection and shipping of lumber
down the Connecticut River.
Series 2: Whitefield, General Store papers, 1795-1853
The Carletons were involved in the financial management of Whitefield N.H.’s
general store between 1795 and 1853. The customer purchase orders and store
inventory stocking orders provide a comprehensive picture of rural commence
in northern N.H. during the first half of the 19th century. While most
business interactions involved only men, several purchase orders are signed
by women heads-of-households as well
|General Store Papers, 1795-1853
Folders 3-13: Store stocking orders, IOUs from customers, and accounting
Series 3: Sheriff E. Carleton (Jr.) Papers, 1822-1843
Ebenezer Carleton (Jr.) served as sheriff of Bath N.H. and surrounding towns
from approx. 1822-1843. Surviving documentation consists of writs of seizure
of personal property in leu of unpaid taxes, and the subsequent broadsides
announcing the sale of said property. Both types of documents provide
detailed lists of the scope and value of townspeople’s personal property, as
well as the eventual sale price. The auction broadsides are original,
bearing the square nail holes from their public posting. Property owned and
sold consisted of household goods, real estate, and livestock; there is no
record of the sale of slaves in these transactions.
|Writs of Seizure and Auction Broadsides,
Folders 14-16: Writs of seizure and auction broadsides, dated 1822-1843.
Extensive inventories of household possesions and farming equiptment are
provided. The broadsides are original, having the square nail holes from
where they were affixed to door posts.
Series 4: Carleton Family Papers, 1813-1885
A small amount of miscellaneous papers relating to Carleton family life
between 1819 and 1895 are included as well. These include pew rentals for
the Bath Methodist Meeting House, hearse rentals, records of financial
requests and loans between relatives, and taxes paid to the towns of Bath
and Whitefield. It is largely the records of unpaid taxes which spell the
story of the family’s financial demise during the 1870s-1880s.
|Carleton Family Financials,
Folders 17-20: Carleton family papers dated 1813-1885. Along with a small
amount of correspondence, there are extensive records of (often unpaid)
taxes and loans.