Manuscript Group 190, Seth Woodruff (1742-1815), Weaver Account Book, 1761-1812 (Bulk dates: 1765-1787)
Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs
Manuscript Group 190, Seth Woodruff (1742-1815), Weaver
Account Book, 1761-1812 (Bulk dates: 1765-1787),
0.2 linear feet / 1 volume
Call Number: MG 190
Financial records kept by Seth Woodruff
(1742-1815), a weaver from Elizabethtown, New Jersey.
Seth Woodruff was born July 22, 1742 in Elizabethtown (now Elizabeth), New Jersey, to
Timothy Woodruff (1715-1798) and Elizabeth Parsons (1712-1776). Timothy Woodruff was the
great grandson of John Woodruff (1637-1691), founder of Elizabethtown and progenitor of
the citys prominent Woodruff family. Seth Woodruff, a weaver and stonemason by
trade, married Phebe Haines (1742-1823) and had the following children: Parsons
(1764-1805), Sophia (1766-1844), Obediah (1768-1847), Stephen (1770-1850), Flavel
(1772-1819), Phebe (fl. 1774-1792), Seth (1776-1852), Jerusha (1778-1779), Jemima
(1780-1781), Jochibed “Ichabod” (1781-1782), Elizabeth (1783-1858),
(1785-1862). Seth Woodruff died at the age of 72 (October 9, 1815) after falling from the
roof of a house.
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.
The source of this collection is unknown.
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.
Processed by Jeff McMillan, August 2000 as part of the “Farm to
City” project funded by a grant from the National Historical Publications
and Records Commission.