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William Pynchon (1723-1789) Papers

William Pynchon (1723-1789) Papers

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WILLIAM PYNCHON (1723-1789) PAPERS, 1746-1789





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:Pynchon, William, 1723-1789
Title:William Pynchon (1723-1789) Papers
Dates:1746/1789
Quantity:1.5 linear feet (3 boxes)
Abstract:The William Pynchon papers document his career as a prominent counselor and businessman.
Collection Number:MSS 236

Series List


SERIES I. Legal Records
SERIES II. Account Books

Scope and Content Note

The William Pynchon papers document his career as a prominent counselor and businessman. They do not shed light on his loyalist views. The collection is arranged into two series.


Series I. Legal Records consists of fee and receipt books. Arranged alphabetically by client and then by court session, the court fee books recount the type of services rendered and the fee charged. Case settlement fees, with Pynchon acting as intermediary, are recorded in the receipt books. Legal activities not resulting in a lawsuit are recorded in the legal bee book (B1 F2) and payment receipt book (B3 F1) Additional legal charges may be gleaned from the account books.


Series II. Account Books consists of a ledger, journal, and two daybooks. Entries include household and personal expenses, son's college bills, legal fees, dry goods ship sales, shipping ventures, and miscellaneous business investments. Within each year, Pynchon groups some of his accounts into subject categories: building, "movables," fees, expenses, shop goods, etc.


Biographical Sketch

William Pynchon (1723-1789), a Salem, Massachusetts, lawyer and loyalist, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, the son of William and Catherine (Brewer) Pynchon. He graduated from Harvard College in 1743 and two years later moved to Salem. There he read law with Mitchel Sewall, clerk of courts and the register of deeds in Essex County. Pynchon became a prominent lawyer and was appointed justice of the peace in 1761.


Pynchon married Sewall's daughter, Catherine, in 1751. They had five children: Elizabeth married Timothy Orne; Catherine married William Wetmore; Sarah married Thomas Fitch Oliver; William married Martha Elkins; and John.


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.

Pynchon, Catherine Sewall
Pynchon, William, 1723-1789
Account books
Account books--Lawyers
Justices of the peace
Lawyers
Salem (Mass.)

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

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

William Pynchon (1723-1789) Papers, MSS 236, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

This material is from an unknown source. The A Brief Account of Salem was given by his son J. Pynchon to Mr. Cushing and by him to J. Pickering, Jr. March 21, 1806 (acc #89042).

Processing Information

Collection processed by Prudence K. Backman, March 1988. Updated by Tamara Gaydos, October 2015.


Related Material

Pynchon, William. The Diary of William Pynchon of Salem: a Picture of Salem Life, Social and Political, a Century Ago. Ed. Fitch Edward Oliver. Boston: Houghton, Mifflin, 1890.


Shipton, Clifford Kenyon. "William Pynchon." New England Life in the 18th Century: Representative Biographies from Sibley's Harvard Graduates. Vol. XI. , 1741-1745. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1960.


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