Guide to the Seth Woodruff (1742-1815), WeaverAccount Book 1761-1812 (Bulk dates: 1765-1787) MG 190
TABLE OF CONTENTS
The New Jersey Historical Society
Finding aid encoded by Julia Telonidis. February 2006. Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid writtenin English.
Isaac Halstead Williamson was born in 1767 in Elizabethtown, New Jersey. He later studied law with his brother Matthias and became a leading lawyer in New Jersey. He received his attorney’s license in 1791, followed by his counselor’s license five years later; and in 1804, he was called to be a sergeant-at-law. In 1808, he married Anne Crossdale Jouet (1777-1853) and together they had two sons, Benjamin in 1809 and Isaac Halstead in 1811. In 1815, without knowledge that his name was on the ticket, Isaac was elected as the Democratic representative for Essex County. Two years later he was elected Governor of New Jersey and was re-elected every year from 1818-1829. As part of his duties as governor, Williamson served as the judge of the Prerogative Court of New Jersey. Williamson was mayor of Elizabethtown from 1830-1833 and, in 1831 and 1832, he was elected to represent Essex County as a member of the New Jersey Council (now known as the Senate). Despite holding these political offices Williamson continued to practice law. In 1844, he was unanimously elected to be President of the convention that framed the new State constitution. However, he had to relinquish this position due to poor health and by the end of the year he died in Elizabethtown.
The records consist of an account book kept by Seth Woodruff detailing business transactions from 1761-1812, with a concentration on 1765-1787. Each entry lists the client, date, service or goods provided, price, and method of payment. Although Mr. Woodruff supplied his customers with food, woodwork, and labor, the vast majority of listed services consist of textile work such as weaving and clothing production. Interleaved between the pages of the account book are a small number of receipts, pieces of scratch paper with monetary calculations, as well as fragments of other writings. One such fragment is a short, philosophical piece titled “On Industry,” which discusses the relationship between genius and the industrious self.
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This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 190, Seth Woodruff (1742-1815), Weaver
Account Book, The New Jersey Historical Society.
The source of this collection is unknown.
Abstract of Wills Vol. 13: 1814-1817. New Jersey Archives: First Series Vol. 42.
Woodruff, Ceylon Newton. Woodruff Chronicles: A Geneology (Vol. I & II). The Arthur H. Clark Company : Glendale, California, 1967.