The documents in this collection primarily relate to the economic activities of Philadelphia merchants William Cramond and Manuel Eyre, Jr., as well as transactions by the Philadelphia merchant firm of Nottnagel, Montmollin, & Company.
William Cramond (ca. 1754-1843) was a partner in the Philadelphia firm Philips, Cramond & Company (fl. 1790-1800), which undertook general commission and insurance business in the United States and Europe. Several documents in this collection suggest that Cramond was also engaged in shipbuilding after 1800. In 1799, Cramond purchased land on the east banks of the Schuylkill River and hired architect Benjamin Latrobe to design his mansion, called Sedgeley. Bankruptcy forced Cramond to sell Sedgeley to fellow merchant Samuel Mifflin in 1806.
Manuel Eyre, Jr., (1777-1845) was the son of Manuel Eyre, Sr., a Philadelphia shipwright and colonel in the Continental Army. After training in the counting house of Henry Pratt and Abraham Kintzing, Eyre, Jr., formed a mercantile partnership with Charles Massey in 1803. The firm of Eyre & Massey owned over twenty vessels and engaged in trade around both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In 1816, Eyre, Jr., became a director of the Second Bank of the United States. He later founded Delaware City, Delaware, at one end of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. Eyre, Jr., was also a founding director of the Schuylkill Navigation Company. This collection shows that he was selling stock in the company by the late 1820s.
Less is known about the merchant firm of Nottnagel, Montmollin, & Company, who did business from 22 South Front Street in Philadelphia during the late 1790s and early 1800s. Several items from the 1810s relate to merchant Leopold Nottnagel, including a receipt for his papers, which were held by noted linguist and philosopher Peter Stephen Du Ponceau.
Fazio, Michael W., and Patrick A. Snadon. The Domestic Architecture of Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006.
Thompson, Westcott. The Historic Mansions and Buildings of Philadelphia. Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1877.
Finding aid for Manuel Eyre bills, 1794-1842 (Collection 657), Winterthur Library, Wilmington, DE 19807
Finding aid for Manuel Eyre business papers (Accession 1144), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807
Finding aid for William Cramond receipt book (Am.91059), Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19107
Information derived from the collection.
This collection of promissory notes, receipts, bills of exchange, and insurance documents illustrates the activities of several Philadelphia merchants between 1767 and 1845.
The material in this collection is divided into five folders.
Folder One contains materials related to Philadelphia merchant William Cramond and the firm of Philips, Cramond, & Company, dating between 1793 and 1827. It contains notes from several firms and individuals promising to pay Philips, Cramond, & Company for various goods and services as well as insurance documents detailing the ports of call, masters, and cargos of the firm’s fleet of vessels. There are several of the firm’s accounts, some of which mention protested notes or bills of exchange. After 1800, it appears that William Cramond was no longer part of the firm, and was instead conducting business on his own behalf. This folder contains many of his notes to other merchants and merchant firms promising to pay for goods and services. Many of these promissory notes have been clipped, indicating that they were satisfied and returned to Cramond. There are also several orders for payment drawn on Cramond relating to work done on the ships Hindustan and Kingston, dating from 1802 to 1805.
Accounts, correspondence, and other financial materials relating to merchant Manuel Eyre, Jr., are in Folder Two. Much of this material pertains to Eyre’s relationship with the American Fire Insurance Company, including his purchase of shares, receipt of a loan from the company, interest payments, and pledges of greater security. Eyre was also regularly selling shares in the Schuylkill Navigation Company, an institution he helped found. The remaining material in the folder relates to the sloops Perseverance, Polly, and Escape; the recovery of Eyre’s ship Charleston Packet; and accounts and correspondence pertaining to trade and outfitting ships. The material in this folder dates from 1797 to 1845, the year of Eyre’s death.
Most of the documents in Folder Three belong to the Philadelphia merchant firm of Nottnagel, Montmollin & Company and date from 1796 to 1813. They include receipts, promissory notes, and invoices related to several of the firm’s vessels, including the ship Eagle, the schooner Orion, and the brig Susana. One set of accounts attributes the deficit on the Susana to the “Want of necessary care and Attention of Messrs. Nottnagel Montmollin & Co. at the loading of said Brig.” This folder also contains documents from Leopold Nottnagel’s individual business transactions.
Folder Four contains materials related to several Philadelphia ships, brigs, and schooners between 1785 and 1806. Most of these documents pertain to work on board the vessels, insurance claims, wharfage, and the handling of cargo.
Folder Five contains miscellaneous financial documents related to overseas trade, including receipts, invoices, correspondence, and promissory notes from 1767 to 1838. It includes several letters between George and Elizabeth Huffstidler, as well as a receipt for a coffin for their child. George Huffstidler appears to have been an officer on the schooner Orion in 1811.