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Silas Moody (1775-1844) Papers

Silas Moody (1775-1844) Papers

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SILAS MOODY (1775-1844) PAPERS, 1809-1834

Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Moody, Silas, 1775-1844
Title:Silas Moody (1775-1844) Papers
Quantity:0.5 Linear feet (1 box)
Abstract:The Silas Moody Papers consist of three volumes: one a personal account book and the other two reflecting his work as town treasurer and tax collector.
Collection Number:MSS 303

Series List

Scope and Content Note

The Silas Moody Papers consist of three volumes: one a personal account book and the other two reflecting his work as town treasurer and tax collector.

The account book, 1809-1830, lists accounts he kept as a businessman as well as accounts to the town of Newbury for his work in an official capacity, such as providing a meeting place for committees to meet and horse and toll charges if he traveled to another town on town business. The business accounts include numerous sales of rum, brandy, sugar, and molasses as well as other foodstuffs and general store items. Many accounts list the inspection and storage of kegs of butter; he also issued certificated to ships. It is probable that he held a town position as some kind of surveyor or inspector. There are also a few estates given over to him for administration.

The town treasurer's book, 1819-1830, includes expenses dispensed by him as town treasurer from May 1819 to March 1826 and by Charles H. Kimball as town treasurer from July 1826 to March 1830. Most of these consist of payments authorized by the selectmen or overseers. Revenues are also listed, consisting primarily of cash collected from taxes, highway surveyors, weighing of hay at the hay scales, etc.

The tax collector's book, 1831-1834, lists households in Newbury and gives the number of polls, the poll tax, real estate tax, personal estate tax, and highway tax of each household. In addition, there are entries for non-residents from numerous other Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine towns that list only real estate tax and highway tax as well as entries for the Second Parish of Newbury and Byfield Parish. The tax collector's book contains entries primarily from 1831 and 1832, but there are some from 1833 and 1834 as well.

Biographical Sketch

Silas Moody was born in Newbury, Massachusetts, in December of 1775, the son of Samuel and Jane Moody. Little is known about him but he held positions in the town of Newbury as town treasurer and tax collector. He apparently studied law and became an attorney as well. He served as one of the deputies to the Massachusetts General Court from Newbury in 1829, 1831, 1833, 1836 and 1841. On September 5, 1841 he married Mary Huse of Newburyport. They had no children. Silas Moody died in Newbury on January 20, 1844 at the age of 68.

Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

Kimball, Charles H.
Byfield Parish (Newbury, Mass.)
Second Church in Newbury (Newbury, Mass.)
Account books--1809-1834
Account books--Massachusetts--Newbury
Finance, Public--Massachusetts--Newbury
Poll tax
Real property tax
Taxation of personal property
Newbury (Mass.)--Appropriations and expenditures


Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.

Administrative Information


Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Preferred Citation

Silas Moody (1775-1844) Papers, MSS 303, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.


The three volumes in this collection were purchased on May 19, 1998.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Jane E. Ward, July 1998. Updated by Nicholas Long, May 2015.

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