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ADMINISTRATIVE INFORMATION    

Title
Parsons and Company Collection (Queens, New York), 1774-1884

Collection Number
SC 287

OCLC Number
86164527

Creators
Parsons, James.
Parsons, Robert Bowne.
Parsons, Samuel Bowne, 1819-1906.
Parsons family. 
Parsons and Company.

Provenance 
Gift of Cornell Jaray in 1981 and 1987.
Ledgers and bound manuscript volumes (M11-M21) may or may not be related to the collection.

Extent, Scope, and Content Note 
Records from Parsons and Company, 1774 - [ca.1884]; 1850-1880 (bulk)
16.5 linear ft.

The collection includes bills, inventories, journals, ledgers, letterbooks, financial records, payroll records, receipts, daybooks, invoices, and related records of the Parsons family's horticulture businesses in Queens, New York.

Many of the large ledger volumes in this collection were used for record keeping at different times by different family businesses.
For initial cataloging purposes,  main categories of records were established.

Arrangement and Processing Note
Organization: Arranged by content type.
The collection is arranged in nine series: Bills, Inventories, Journals, Ledgers, Letterbooks, Miscellaneous, Payroll, Receipts, and Invoices. To aid researchers, an Alphabetical Index and Chronological Index are located after the box listing.

Finding aid updated and revised by Kristen J. Nyitray in April 2020.

Language
English 

Restrictions on Access
The collection is open to researchers without restriction.

Rights and Permissions 
Stony Brook University Libraries' consent to access as the physical owner of the collection does not address copyright issues that may affect publication rights. It is the sole responsibility of the user of Special Collections and University Archives materials to investigate the copyright status of any given work and to seek and obtain permission where needed prior to publication.  

Citation 
[Item], Parsons and Company Collection (Queens, New York), 1774-1884, Special Collections and University Archives, Stony Brook University Libraries.

Historical Note
James Parsons (1736-1810) and his sons operated a dry goods business in Manhattan and a nursery business in Queens, New York. During the 19th century, the Parsons family intermarried the Bowne Family of Queens. Parsons & Co., originally James Parsons & Sons, dissolved in 1872. Two separate businesses were established, under the names of sons S.B. Parsons (Samuel Bowne) and R.B. Parsons (Robert Bowne).

Additional sources for research:
1 - New York City Department of Parks and Recreation: includes a history of Parsons and Company and Kissena Park.
2 - Archives at Queens Public Library: houses a collection of the Parsons family's personal and business papers.

Subjects
Parsons, James.
Parsons, Robert B.
Parsons, Samuel Bowne, -- 1819-1906.
Parsons family.
Parsons & Co. (Flushing, New York, N.Y.)
Dry-goods -- New York (State) -- New York.
Nurseries (Horticulture) -- New York (State)
Business enterprises -- New York (State) -- New York.
Long Island (N.Y.) -- Commerce.
Queens (New York, N.Y.) -- Commerce.
Business enterprises.
Commerce.
Dry-goods.
Nurseries (Horticulture)
New York (State)
New York (State) -- Long Island.
New York (State) -- New York.
New York (State) -- New York -- Queens.

INVENTORY

Series 1 - Bills (B)

B1: Bills-Receivables, 1847-1859; Bills-Payable, 1847-1859
B2: Bills-Receivables, 1864-1867

Series 2 - Inventories (In)

In1: James Parson & Sons, 1789-1798; Sales Book A, Posted to Daybook

Series 3 - Journals (J)

J1: Daybook C, 1774-1768
J2: James Parsons & Sons, Journal C, 1794-1799
J3: 1795-1801
Letter book, 1795-1800. Inside front cover James Parsons & Sons, Country Letter Book A. Last entry states: "For future letters of James B. Parsons and Sons see the letter book of James and Samuel Parsons, in which the letters of the different firms are entered."
J4: James Parsons & Sons, Day Book C, 1791-1794
J5: Day Book, 1839-1851
J6 Journal A, 1852-1856
J7: Daybook no. 1, 1852-1853
J8: Spine G. Hous? sales, 1855-1860
J9: Sales in nursery, 1855-1860
J10: Journal, 1857-1860
J11: Spine title: Sales Nursery side, 1857-1860
J12: Spine title: Invoice, G.H. Sales, 1860
J13: Sales, 1866
J14: Daybook, 1866-1870
J15: Journal, 1870-1871
J16: 1869-1872, Sales

Series 4 - Ledgers (L)

L1: Ledger Parsons & Co., 1779-1781; Plantings, 1864-1871
L2: Ledger, 1842-1849; Address Lists of Customers, 1858-1859; [Inventory] Appraisal of stock and waggons, implements etc. by Mr. Hendrickson and Mr. Mitchell, March 8, 1847. 2 p. Lists of Plants, ca. 1860s
L3: Ledger, 1849-1851
L4: Cash, 1852-1853
L5: Sundry Accounts, 1857-1860
L6: Ledger, 1866-1870
L7: Cash, 1871-1872
L8: 1872-1875, 1876?
L9: 1876-1879
L10: Expense Account, Cash Account, Labor Account, 1879-1884

Series 5 - Letter Books (Let)

Let1: 1842-1850
Let2: 1850-1868; 1874-1876

Series 6 - Miscellaneous (M)

M1: Spine title "Profit and Loss B. Expense, Labor, and Interest Monthly totals, 1876-1878"; "Sales/Growth?,1866."
M2: Auction Account, 1879-1880; Address List, 1875?; Inventory of Plant Stock, 1870, 1871; Inventory, R.B. Parsons and Co. p.109-, 1873
M3: R.B. Parsons & Co. Purchases of Foreign Merchandise, 1873
M4: Work Done; (also, some pages missing), 1854, 1858-1860, 1856
M5: Bowne Estate Day book, 1867? 1875
M6: Address lists; Wholesale Catalog, 1865
M7: Address List, n.d.
M8: Labor Book, 1859-1862
M9: Coal, 1866-1871; New Plants, n.d.; Payroll? 1866-1872
M10: Property, Deeds, Mortgages, 1860-1876

Note: Ledgers and bound manuscript volumes (M11-M21) were received as a gift from Cornell Jaray, along with the volumes of the Parsons Co., and may or may not be related to that collection.

M11: Ingersoll, Rev. William H. The Christ Ideal in Sacred Art.1885. 1 vol. Holograph.
M12: Howell, Mills; E.F. Howell, successor to N.W. Howell; Ledger 1875-1900 (p. 193); Grain Ground, p. 434-1883
M13: [Howell??] 1868-1869 Day Book. Groceries sold
M14: Day Book, 1835-1836, 1839. John C. Vanderveer?; Formerly of Flat Lands, now of Flatbush
M15-M18: Arithmetic exercise books; holograph
M19: Henry Franklin Letter Book, 1814-1816
M20: Continental Insurance Company of the City of New York; Policies. Isaac Peck, Flushing, Agent. 1871-1876.
M21: Alphabetical index to accounts? Letter book? Sundry accounts? Parsons & Co.?

Series 7 - Payroll ( P)

P1: Payroll(?), 1861; Receipts of the Homestead Coal, 1859-1861; Journal, 1860

Series 8 - Receipts (R)

R1: Bills Receipted, 1872-1874
R2: Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Express Receipts, 1877-1884
R3: Bills Receipted, 1871-1874

Series 9 - Invoices (S)

S1: 1850-1861
S2: 1860-1861
S3: 1863-1865
S4: 1865-1866
S5: 1868-1869
S6: 1870-1872
S7: 1876-1879
S8: 1869

Parsons & Company: Chronological Index

No date
Address list - M7
New Plants - M9
Subdivision Drawings? - J2
1774-1768: Daybook C - J1
1779-1781: Ledger - L1
1788-1796: Sales Book A - In1
1789-1798: Inventories - In1
1791-1794: Daybook C - J4
1794-1799: Journal C - J2
1795-1800: Country Letter Book A - J3
1795-1801: Journal - J3
1839-1851: Day Book - J5
1842-1849: Ledger - L2
1842-1850: Letter Book - Let1
1843: Receipts of the Homestead Farm - P1
1847: Appraisal of stock... - L2
1847-1859: Bills Payable - B1
1847-1859: Bills Receivables - B1
1849-1851: Ledger - L3
1850-1861: Invoices - S1
1850-1868: Letters - Let2
1852-1853: Daybooks no.1 - J7
1852-1853: Cash - L4
1852-1856: Journal A - J6
1854: M4
1855-1856: Sales in Nursery - J9
1856 - M4
1855-1860: Sales - J8
1857-1860: Sundry Accounts - L5
1857-1860: Sales Nursery Side - J11
1858-1860: Journal - J10
1858-1859: Customer Address Lists - L2
1858-1860: M4
1859-1861: Coal - P1
1859-1862: Labor Book - M8
1860's ?: Lists of Plants - L2
1860: Sales - J12
1860: Journal - P1
1860-1861: Invoices - S2
1860-1876: Property, Deeds, Mortgages - M10
1861: Payroll (?) - P1
1863-1865: Invoices - S3
1864-1867: Bills Receivables - B2
1864-1871: Plantings - L1
1865: Address List; Wholesale Catalogue - M6
1865-1866: Invoices - S4
1866: Sales - J13
1866: Sales/Growth? - M1
1866-1870: Ledger 0 L6
1866-1870: Daybook - J14
1866-1871: Coal - M9
1866-1872: Payroll? - M9
1867?: Bowne Estate Day Book - M5
1868-1869: Invoices - S5
1869: S8
1869-1872: Sales - J16
1870-1871: Journal - J15
1870,1871: Inventory of Plant Stock - M2
1870-1872: Invoices - S6
1871-1872: Cash - L7
1871-1874: Bills Receipted - R3
1872-1874: Bills Receipted - R1
1872-1875: L8
1873: Purchase of Foreign Merchandise - M3
1873: Inventory - M2
1874-1876: Letters - L2
1875: Bowne Estate Day Book - M5
1875?: Address Lists - M2
1876?: L8
1876-1878: Expense, Labor, Interest Monthly Totals - M1
1876-1879: L9
1876-1879: Invoices - S7
1877-1884: Receipts - R2
1879-1880: Auction Account - M2
1879-1884: Expense, Cash, Labor Accounts - L10

Parsons & Company: General Alphabetical Index

Address Lists L2, M2, M6, M7
Auctions Account M2
Bills B1-2, R1
Bowne Estate Day Book M5
Coal M9, P1
Expense, Labor, Interest M1
Inventories IN1, L2, M2
Invoices S1-8
Journals J1-16, P1
Labor Book M1, M8
Ledgers L1-10
Letter Books Let1-2, J3
Payroll M9, P1
Plants L1, L2, M9
Property, Deeds, Mortgages M10
Purchases of Foreign Merchandise M3
Receipts P1, R2
Sales J13, M1
Subdivision Drawings (?) J2
Work Done M4