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Truman Wheeler Day Books

Identifier: MSN/COL 9300

Scope and Contents

The books include financial records of Wheeler's shop, and of other business interests, from 1764 to 1813. Most of the content in the two earlier books pertains specifically to the shop, and is entered in customary day-book form. Customers' debit and credit transactions are arranged by date, specifying the goods they took and the various ways they reconciled their accounts. These records date from June 1764 to December 1770 (volume 1), and from December 1770 to August 1774 (volume 2). There are also a few records of individual customer accounts, in ledger form (1764 to 1774). The third book covers Wheeler's business interests from 1774 to 1813. About half the records are day-book entries, mostly of merchandise transactions, dating from August 1774 to ca. 1800. Most of the rest are accounts with individuals, in ledger form; these typically date from after 1800. The books also contain occasional asides by Wheeler on his business and legal affairs. The three day books include several loose insertions, including a letter written to Wheeler by his brother Gideon in 1788.


  • Creation: 1764-1813


Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

Truman B. Wheeler was born on 26 November 1741 in Woodbury, Litchfield County, Connecticut, the oldest child of Obadiah and Agnes Tuttle Wheeler. After graduating from Yale in 1763 he moved to Great Barrington, Berkshire County, Massachusetts to establish himself in trade. In 1764 he opened a general mercantile store about one mile south of the center of the village, on property he would expand and develop as his circumstances permitted. (A homestead built by Wheeler in 1771, at the time of his marriage to Huldah Caldwell (1751-1799), was acquired by the Great Barrington Historical Society in 2007 for use as its headquarters and museum). Wheeler lived in Great Barrington until his death, farming and selling textiles, provisions, and other general merchandise to the region's populace. He was a captain in the militia, and during the Revolutionary War was appointed Berkshire County muster master (1776; reappointed 1780). He held several town offices, serving at various times as treasurer and justice of the peace. Wheeler died at Great Barrington on 9 April 1815.


.5 Cubic Feet (3 bound volumes and 1 folder. )

Language of Materials



Three volumes of business records, mostly in day book form, of the Great Barrington, Massachusetts general merchant Truman Wheeler. The records range in date from 1764 to 1813, with an emphasis on the years prior to the Revolution.

Related Materials

An account book kept by Wheeler from 1764 to 1772 (perhaps a companion ledger to vol. 1 of the present collection) is located in the Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst (Truman Wheeler Account Book, MS 618 bd).

Truman Wheeler Day Books
George Rugg
February 2013
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Notre Dame Rare Books & Special Collections Repository

102 Hesburgh Library
Notre Dame IN 46556