TABLE OF CONTENTS


Overview of the Collection

Historical Note

Scope and Content

Arrangement

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Container List

Series 1. Listed Papers 1740-1899, undated

Series 2. Business and Legal Accounts 1735-1886, undated

Series 3. Justice of the Peace Papers 1743-1842, undated

Series 4. Personal and Political Papers 1754-1868, undated


RG 069:053, Roswell Grant Papers

Inventory

Finding aid prepared by Connecticut State Library staff.

Copyright © 2008 by the Connecticut State Library


Overview of the Collection

Repository: Connecticut State Library
Creator: Grant, Roswell
Title: Roswell Grant papers
Dates: 1735-1899
Quantity: 6.5 cubic feet
Abstract: Roswell Grant was a Justice of the Peace and school district treasurer of Windsor, Conn. Also represented are his father, Ebenezer Grant (1706-1797), a merchant, and other family members.
Identification: RG069_053
Accession: T001589
Language: The records are in English.

Historical Note

Captain Ebenezer Grant was a direct descendant of Mathew Grant (1601-1681), the first person bearing the name Grant to settle in this country. After gaining his diploma from Yale on October 19, 1726, Ebenezer soon became a leading citizen in Old East Windsor, serving as clerk of the Congregational Church from 1733-1767, treasurer of the committee for the new church building, 1761, town surveyor, selectman, constable, grand juror and deputy sheriff. He served as Captain under the King during King George's War, in the French and Indian War, and against the King in the fight for Independence. Shortly after graduating from Yale, he started business in the West Indies trade, soon becoming the largest merchant in the area.

Ebenezer Grant at age 31 married Ann Elsworth (1712-1783), daughter of Lt. John Elsworth and Ester White Elsworth of Ellington, on November 10, 1737. "She was a noble spirited lady of good estate, and well known for her beneficient acts." Of their six children, only two survived childhood, Roswell (1746-1834) and Ann (1748-1838).

Ebenezer married again at age 78. This time to Mrs. Jemima Ellsworth (1721-1790), daughter of Joshua and Hannah Leavitt, the widow of David Ellsworth, on June 24, 1784.

Roswell attended the Nathaniel Williams School in Tolland and later matriculated at Yale, where he earned his B.A. in 1765. After graduating he became a partner in his father's merchant business. Enlisting as an Ensign in the Revolutionary War, he was chosen Captain in October, 1777, of the First Alarm Company of Militia in Nathaniel Terry's 19th Regiment. He served on many town committees and was clerk and treasurer of the Congregational Church, surveyor, Representative to the General Assembly for 8 years, U.S. Collector of Connecticut's 5th District, and treasurer of the town school committee. He was appointed Justice of the Peace for Hartford County by the General Assembly in May, 1791. As Justice, he heard legal cases, wrote wills, issued writs, judged misdemeanors, etc.

Roswell Grant was married at age 37 to Fluvia Wolcott (1754-1827), daughter of Gen. Erastus Wolcott and Jerusha Wolcott Wolcott. They had five children, Roswell Henry (1790-1836), Sidney Algernon (1792-1827), Paschal Winthrop (1793-1869), Frederick William (1797-1886), and Ann (1788-1851). All but the youngest son, Frederick William, moved to the midwest, but he stayed at the old homestead and assumed the monumental task of redeeming the property and paying off his father's accumulated debts.

Return to the Table of Contents


Scope and Content

This collection consists for the most part of papers accumulated by Roswell Grant (1745/6-1834) of East Windsor in his capacity of Justice of the Peace. It also includes materials relating to the town of East Windsor, to the school district, of which he was treasurer, and to the business carried on in East Windsor by his father, Ebenezer Grant (1708-1797), merchant, and other family members.

Series 1, Listed Papers, 1740-1899, contains papers that at some point were organized by subject and described at the item level. A list of documents is at the beginning of the series. Subjects represented include justice files, 1753-1840; land, 1740-1806; society accounts, 1791-1798; town accounts, 1793-1837; school accounts, 1743-1798, 1899; highways and bridges, 1796-1828; town poor, 1826-1838; strays, 1765-1816; church papers, 1761-1839; miscellany, 1782-1795; U.S. Revenue Collector accounts, 1800; West Indian trade and other shipping, 1736-1775; miscellaneous private accounts, 1741-1833; newspapers and Colebrook taxes, 1820-1842; probate, 1752-1862; letters and photographs, 1786-1874. Of the four photographs, one is identified as Sarah Spurr. The others are unidentified.

Series 2, Business and Legal Accounts, 1735-1886, includes account books of Ebenezer and Roswell Grant, 1743-1842; invoices, 1749-1831; bills and receipts, 1735-1886; and lists of materials ordered or shipped and other papers pertaining to the business affairs of Ebenezer Grant and Roswell Grant, 1740-1837. The account books consist of four volumes of accounts and day books probably kept by Ebenezer Grant. These provide an excellent overview of the trade carried on by a country merchant in the mid-eighteenth century. Volumes 1-2 hold accounts of Ebenezer Grant covering the years 1743-1754 and 1765-1768. Many people from East Windsor and environs are representing, including numerous Grants and several representatives of the powerful Wolcott clan. The entries are divided into two columns, the left listing goods purchased from Grant and the right holding the forms of payment. Volume 3, daybook, covers the years 1766-69 and consists of daily accounts of goods purchased in his store. The information sometimes corresponds directly with that found in Account Book 2. The items purchased consist of food and drink and a wide variety of dry goods. The goods for just three days in July 1767 include chocolate, cloth, coffee, a felt hat, glass, gloves, indigo, knives and forks, molasses, needles and pins, nutmegs, paper, pork, pepper, ribbon, rum, salt, and sugar (Box 3, Volume 3, 138-39). The extensive trade carried on by Grant is indicated by the fact that on July 17, 1767 he served eighteen different customers. Volume 4 consists of accounts of trade to the West Indies, Boston, and New York for the years 1768-1774, the goods consisting primarily of horses, other livestock, barreled fish and meat, and tobacco shipped on the sloop Ranger, brigantine Hartford, sloop Sally, and sloop Nancy. The bulk refer to the Ranger and the Nancy. Also included are some Revolutionary War accounts, including some to supply American troops.

Series 3, Justice of the Peace Papers, 1743-1842, include writs, executions and other papers concerned with actions handled by the Grants as Justices of the Peace. The majority are debt cases.

Series 4, Personal and Political Papers, 1754-1868, contains letters received by Roswell Grant and by other family members, 1785-1832, 1858-1868; East Windsor town papers including orders to pay for town expenses, 1821-1828, correspondence concerning paupers, 1829-1830, miscellaneous notes and receipts, 1796-1828, and voting records, 1797-1823; school district orders to pay, 1775-1800; First Society papers including list of parish notes, 1800, minutes of meetings, 1754-1767, and orders to pay, 1790-1828; drafts of documents and letters, 1805-1818; business papers of Peter and William Verstille, 1754-1802, that include notes, invoices, correspondence. Roswell Grant was executor of the estate of Peter Verstille, a Wethersfield merchant who died about 1779; a glossary of legal terms, circa 1815; and fragments and unidentified documents.

Return to the Table of Contents


Arrangement

Arranged into four series as follows:

Series 1. Listed Papers, 1740-1899, undated, is arranged by subject.

Series 2. Business and Legal Accounts, 1735-1886, undated.

Series 3. Justice of the Peace Papers, 1743-1842, undated, is arranged chronologically.

Series 4. Personal and Political Papers, 1754-1868, undated.

Return to the Table of Contents


Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

See the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections policy.

Restrictions on Use

See the Reproduction and Publications of State Library Collections policy.

Return to the Table of Contents


Related Material

Matthew Grant diary, 1637-1654, [CSL call number StLib Archives 974.62 W76gra] and [CSL call number StLib Newspaper Room F104.W7 G73 1637 Mfilm]; Transcription by J. A. Parsons, [CSL call number StLib Stacks F104.W7 G73 1927 ].

RG 003, Justice of the Peace Courts, East Windsor, Roswell Grant, 1798-1801, Box 551.

Ebenezer Grant mansion, by Frances. H. Judd. Typescript [CSL call number StLib Archives 929.2 G766j].

Return to the Table of Contents


Index Terms

Subjects:

East Windsor (Conn.) -- History -- Sources

Persons:

Grant, Ebenezer
Grant, Frederick W
Grant, P. Winthrop
Grant, Roswell

Places:

East Windsor (Conn.)

Occupations:

Justices of the peace -- Connecticut -- East Windsor
Merchants

Document Types:

Account books
Correspondence
Daybooks
Minutes
Orders to pay
Promissory notes
Receipts (financial records)
Writs

Return to the Table of Contents


Administrative Information

Provenance

The papers evidently came to the State Library some years ago through G.W.F. Blanchfield, bookseller of Hartford. With other papers (RG 069:051 and RG 069:052), they have been known as the "Blanchfield Collection." The account books, Vols. 1-4 (Series 2), were presented in 1927 by the children of John Allen Stoughton.

Return to the Table of Contents


Container List

Series 1. Listed Papers, 1740-1899, undated
Box Folder
Itemized list of "listed papers" 1 1
Justice files, 1753-1840, undated 2-5
Land, 1740-1806, undated 6
Society accounts, 1791-1798 7-8
Town accounts - miscellaneous, 1793-1837 9
School accounts, 1743-1798, 1899, undated 10-12
Highways and bridges, 1796-1828, undated 13
Town poor, 1826-1838, undated 14-15
Strays, 1765-1816 16
Church papers, 1761-1839 17
Unlisted fragment is at the end.
Miscellany, 1782-1795, undated 18
U.S. revenue collector accounts, 1800, undated 19
West Indian trade and other shipping, 1736-1775, undated 20-21
Document 281 is missing.
Miscellaneous private accounts - Grants and others, 1742-1833, undated 22-25
Documents 301 and 323 are missing.
Newspapers - Colebrook taxes, 1820-1842 26
Probate, 1752-1862, undated 27
Letters and photos, 1786-1874, undated 28
Series 2. Business and Legal Accounts, 1735-1886, undated
Box Folder
Account books of Ebenezer and Roswell Grant, 1743-1842 2
Volume 1, Store accounts, 1743-1754
Volume 2, Store accounts, 1765-1783
Volume 3, Daybook and memoranda, 1766-1783 3
Daybook spans 1766-1769 and memoranda goes to 1783.
Volume 4, Accounts of purchases and shipments, including army provisions, 1768-1783
Ebenezer and son, 1740-1837, undated 4 1-3
Receipts and bills, 1735-1886, undated 4-19
Invoices, miscellaneous, 1749-1831, undated 20-24
Series 3. Justice of the Peace Papers, 1743-1842, undated
Box Folder
Justice account book, 1807-1827 4 25
Papers
1743-1794 26-27
1795-1798 November 5 1-24
1798 December-1800 June 14 6 1-22
1800 June 16-1802 March 11 7 1-22
1802 March 15-1805 October 8 1-25
1805 November-1807 9 1-24
1808-1809 10 1-21
1810-1815 February 11 1-30
1815 March-1830 April 12 1-30
1830 May-1842 13 1-3
Series 4. Personal and Political Papers, 1754-1868, undated
Box Folder
Letters to Roswell and Frederick W. Grant & miscellaneous, 1785-1832, 1858-1868 13 4
Letters to P. Winthrop Grant, 1815-1829, undated 5-6
Town of East Windsor papers
Blank forms, undated 7
Military record, 1781 January 26 8
Orders to pay, 1821-1828, undated 9-10
Paupers, 1829-1830 11
Receipts, 1796-1826 12
Voting records, 1797-1823 13
School district orders to pay, 1775-1800 14
First Society
List of parish notes, 1800 15
Minutes of meetings, 1754-1767 16
Orders to pay, 1790-1828, undated 17
Drafts of documents and letters, 1805-1818, undated 18-19
Business papers of Peter and William Verstille, 1754-1802 20-21
Glossary of legal terms, circa 1815 22
Fragments and unidentified documents, undated 23-27