Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center
John A. Wright
Scope and Content
This collection is part of the Erie County, Ohio, Business Records of the Charles E. Frohman Collections.
Relatively little is known about John A. Wright. An 1860 census for Sandusky, Ohio, indicates that he was born in New York in 1804. He married a woman named Nancy, and the couple had several children: Alida, Henry, Maria, Hobert, Fanny, and Mary. It appears that he worked as a master carpenter and shopkeeper in Sandusky, Ohio. He not only constructed buildings, but also worked extensively on ships. His naval construction included work on such vessels and schooners as the Leander, Edward Clark, Eagle, Castalia, Jefferson West, J. G. King, Kingman, and Ligure. In addition to his larger carpentry work, Wright also contracted services for various jobs such as building stair railings, window making, and assembly of shanties. While it is uncertain during which year Wright died, the Sandusky city registers of the 1870s make no mention of him.
Scope and Content
This collection contains handwritten account ledgers pertaining to personal and business transactions of Sandusky, Ohio, master carpenter and shopkeeper John A. Wright; the ledger entries span from 1841 to 1848. Along with bills for various individuals, including names and monetary amounts, there is also mention of Wright’s work on various ships. His labor expenses, service charges, and supply purchases are also present in this book. Beyond ship building, carpentry work such as window making, staircase building, gate mending, and rifle repair is noted in the ledger. In addition to his business records, Wright’s personal expenses are included as well.
Whereas the handwritten entries date from the 1840s, there are a number of newspaper clippings spanning from 1872 to 1876. Most likely, the ledger changed ownership following Wright’s death, and the individual who possessed it in the 1870s pasted over about half of the pages with newspaper articles. As such, a number of the ledger entries are obscured. The clippings cover issues such as taxes, tariffs, and other economic matters, political bills, poetry and verse, railroad statistics, scientific observations, and other such concerns.
Account ledger book, 1841-1848 (with newspaper clippings from 1872-1876)