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Collection Number: 00368

Collection Title: Jackson, Riddle and Company Records, 1835-1839, 1855.

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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 270 items)
Abstract Jackosn, Riddle, and Company was a firm of commission merchants of Philadelphia and Liverpool. The firm, which later became Jackson, Todd, and Company, dealt in the sale of cotton, sugar, tobacco, sheet iron, nails, and coal. Washington Jackson was principal owner, and his son, Bolton Jackson, oversaw operations in Liverpool. The company, which received some of its financing from the Bank of the United States, carried on business with clients and associates in the northeastern and southern United States, England, and France. The collection includes business letters received by Jackson, Riddle, and Company (1836- 1838), and Jackson, Todd, and Company (1838-1839). About one-half are letters from other commission merchants. Other frequent correspondents are planters in Mississippi and Louisiana, including Stephen Duncan and John Ker of Natchez, Miss.; Edward Brook and Kennis Whitaker Company, iron makers of Birdsborough Forge and Reading, Pa., respectively; Isaac Brooks, retail merchant of Baltimore; and George Dickey, stock broker of New York. Letters discuss crop outlooks, agricultural prices, stock market trends, and domestic and international trade. Other topics of interest are France's refusal to pay claims of American shippers for vessels seized by Napoleon, and the great fire of 1835 in New York City's financial district.
Creator Jackson, Riddle, and Company (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
This collection contains additional materials that are not processed and are currently not available to researchers. For information about access to these materials, contact Research and Instructional Services staff. Please be advised that preparing unprocessed materials for access can be a lengthy process.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Jackson, Riddle and Company Records #368, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
All or part of this collection is available on microfilm from University Publications of America as part of the records of ante-bellum southern plantations from the Revolution through the Civil War, Series J.
Acquisitions Information
Acquired by the Southern Historical Collection before 1940. Provenance otherwise unknown.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Washington Jackson (fl. 1835-1855), commission merchant, ran, along with his partners, Riddle and Todd, a diverse business in agricultural and hardware products. His company, Jackson, Riddle, and Company, which became Jackson, Todd, and Company in late 1838, operated out of Philadelphia, with a branch in Liverpool, England. Jackson's son, Bolton Jackson, went to England to establish operations there in January 1838. Jackson and his partners sold sugar, tobacco, and cotton produced by southern (mostly Mississippi and Louisiana) planters, and purchased northern-produced sheet iron, nails, and other hardware items and coal for resale to planters and to southern and northern retail merchants, manufacturers, and railroad builders. The company carried on business with individuals and firms in New York, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Louisiana, Maryland, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Limited international trade consisted of the importation of French foodstuffs from J. H. Boyer and Company of Bordeaux and of English iron for use by Pennsylvania nailmakers.

Letters from 1838 indicate that Jackson, Riddle, and Company received some of its financing through loans from the Bank of the United States. Jackson also invested frequently in the stock market through his broker, George Dickey, of New York.

Jackson maintained close ties with a number of other commission merchants, including Byrne Hermann and Company of New Orleans; Daniel Buchanan and Son of Liverpool; Nevins Townsend and Company, Thomas Barrett and Company, and W. J. Brown and Company of New York; and William Ferriday and Company of Natchez, Mississippi. Planters for whom Jackson's firm carried out commission sales included Dr. Stephen Duncan and John Ker of Natchez, Mississippi. Edward Brook and Kennis Whitaker Co., iron makers of Birdsborough Forge and Reading, Pennsylvania, respectively, provided Jackson with most of the iron he purchased for resale. Isaac Brooks, who apears to have been his largest hardware customer, was a retail merchant in Baltimore.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The letters in this collection are particularly useful for the study of early nineteenth-century agricultural market conditions, the nascent iron industry in Pennsylvania, stock market trends, domestic trade networks, and trade relations with France.

Limited information appears on Washington Jackson's personal finances, and none appears on his family or social life. The activities of Jackson's partners, Riddle and Todd, find no mention in the letters. Likewise, only limited information emerges on the letters' authors, who rarely strayed from discussion of immediate business concerns.

Business letters received by Jackson, Riddle, and Company (1836-1838) and Jackson, Todd, and Company (1838-1839) from business associates, clients, and customers. About one-half of the items are letters from other commission merchants, including Byrne Hermann and Company of New Orleans; Daniel Buchanan and Son of Liverpool; Nevins Townsend and Company, Thomas Barrett and Company, and W. J. Brown and Company of New York; and William Ferriday and Company of Natchez, Mississippi. These letters discuss mostly market conditions and prices, the status of drafts and notes handled for each other and their clients, and the shipment of goods. Many of the letters are written on the back of "Prices Current" bulletins.

Other frequent correspondents include planters, iron and nail manufacturers, retail merchants, and manufacturers. Letters from planters, most notably, Stephen Duncan and John Ker of Natchez, Mississippi, discuss crop outlooks and orders for hardware. Of note among the firm's iron and hardware suppliers are Edward Brook and Kennis Whitaker Co. of Birdsborough Forge and Reading, Pennsylvania, respectively, whose letters discuss mostly orders for iron and production delays. Isaac Brooks, a retail merchant of Baltimore, wrote often to order hardware and discuss problems with its delivery. Scattered letters, appearing in 1835 and 1836 from J. H. Boyer and Company of Bordeaux, France, illuminate Jackson's attempts to branch out internationally.

Letters relating to Jackson's finances include frequent notes from stockbroker George Dickey, which list Jackson's brokerage accounts, and a number of letters from the Bank of the United States, which mention loans Jackson had from them in 1838. Miscellaneous letters also appear in 1838 from F. Beaumont, president of the Mississippi Shipping Co. of Natchez, which show that Jackson often sold stock for Beaumont.

Other topics of note in the letters include the crisis occurring in 1836 when France refused to pay spoliation claims made by American shippers for vessels seized by Napoleon. Letters from Thomas Baur and Company and Byrne Hermann and Company of New Orleans and from J. H. Boyer and Company of Bordeaux, France, between December 1835 and January 1836 express fears that France's refusal to honor these claims might lead to war and interrupt trade. There are also letters from Byrne Hermann and Company, dated 2 and 9 January 1836, discuss the destruction caused by the great fire in the financial district of New York City in December 1835.

One letter, dated 23 October 1855, appears from Phipps and Company in Liverpool to Messrs. J. L. Phipps of New Orleans, and concerns the sale of Ella A. Clark's cotton. The letter's relationship to the remainder of the collection is not clear.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Jackson, Riddle and Company Records, 1835-1839, 1855.

Folder 1-15

Folder 1

Folder 2

Folder 3

Folder 4

Folder 5

Folder 6

Folder 7

Folder 8

Folder 9

Folder 10

Folder 11

Folder 12

Folder 13

Folder 14

Folder 15

Letters #00368, Series: "Jackson, Riddle and Company Records, 1835-1839, 1855." Folder 1-15

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Processing Information

Processed by: Jill Snider, 1990

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

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