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Financial records: bills and receipts


Series III, Papers of James Bowdoin Bradlee (1813-1872), 1811-1871, undated: James Bowdoin Bradlee's correspondence includes personal letters James wrote in 1835 home from Europe and Russia while he was traveling there on his father's business. A letter from his brother Henry in Calcutta, also traveling for Josiah Bradlee and Company, shows that the sons had to work hard in their father's employ. There are several letters dealing with requests for his daughter's hand in marriage from OGDEN CODMAN, SR. who writes in an amusing, if bombastic style. LOUIS DIEUDONNE GAILLARD's proposal was simple but formal. His close personal friend General Trochu wrote another letter to James commending Louis' character. James Bowdoin Bradlee's financial papers give one a good insight into the man and his business enterprises. His account book is a personal daily memorandum of money spent while he was single and in his first year of marriage. His accounts settled on ships contain valuable information concerning products imported and exported during the 1860's. They also include other noteworthy records on expenses of the merchant trade during this period. The ship "Agra" was damaged severely causing a large financial loss to its owners. Her account sheet includes cost for major repairs and figures of insurance claims. James Bowdoin Bradlee never owned any of these ships outright, but always held partnerships in several vessels thereby spreading his risk over a greater area. Bradlee's most revealing and extensive records lay in his paid bills. He spent large sums of money modernizing and decorating his home on 34 Beacon Street. These are particularly reflected in the household bills for 1848. Large quantities were spent on plantings for the house, gardening being a particular delight of James Bradlee. In one year he spent over $5,000 on central heating and extensive indoor plumbing, but bills of later years show the lead pipes had to be replaced constantly. He paid Francis Alexander a handsome $245 for a portrait of his wife in 1840. Some of Bradlee's personal bills contain invoices for his real estate property since they encompass both personal and business figures on the same sheet of paper. What would seem to be an unusual bill was a statement for a federal income tax. Between 1862 and 1872 personal income of over $600 was taxed by the federal government to support the war effort. By 1872, this tax had been abandoned. A list of his assets for 1869 can be found in his estate papers. His net worth for that year was $522,000, $318,000 of which was in- vested in real estate and $66,000 worth of mill stocks. A purchase order for a child's tea set in 1846 shows the great length to which James Bradlee went to make his daughters happy. He expressly requested that it be of several different colors and monogrammed M.M.B. for Mary May Bradlee. The total including serving tray and case amounted to $15.00. Among his passports is one in Russian acquired by James in 1835 while he was traveling abroad. The architectural drawings of Nathaniel J. Bradlee are of especial interest in their detail and execution, although the Boston house they purportedly represent has not been located. See also MARY BRADLEE GAILLARD papers. Collection count: 1 volume and 1,071 items. The series is arranged in five subseries.

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Codman family papers
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Financial records
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financial records