MS 251 ovsz
Joseph Furnald Ledgers, 1812-1838
Joseph Furnald (or Fernald) was an Exeter merchant and gundalow operator. Several of his gundalows sailed from a wharf once located on the current site of Swasey Parkway and hauled lumber, paper, furniture, and leather goods downriver to Portsmouth on the ebb tide. The gundalows would return later on the rising tide with molasses, lime, fish, candles, and rum.
Furnald was born in Newfields on October 30, 1779. He apprenticed with Thomas Drowne of Newfields where he learned the trades of tanner, shoemaker and currier. He enlisted as lieutenant in the company of Captain Peter Hersey of Newfields and was discharged September 27, 1814. In 1817, he moved to Exeter, selling his tanning and currying business in Newfields to Charles Lane and his Coleman-Badger house. He carried on trading in Exeter in company with Col. John Rogers and erected a tide-mill for grinding bark.
Joseph Furnald married Nancy Smart, who died at age 30 in 1805, then Dorothy Smart, who died at age 24 in 1811, and finally Mehitable Smart, all daughters of Josiah Smart. He had 15 children. He died on October 18, 1846.
In all his dealings, he was said to be above reproach for fidelity, integrity, and strict honesty. He was also said to be manly, enterprising, public spirited, and charitable. Furnald lived an upright life and died a Christian death.
The three ledgers document Furnald's business transactions. The earliest dates from 1812 and the others 1826-1828 and 1836-1838.