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Asa Low Collection

An inventory of his collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: FED
Date: Nov 1970

Biographical History

Asa Low (1796-1875?) was an American businessman in Bradford, Vermont who played a prominent role in bringing a railroad line to the town in 1846. He owned a paper mill and grist mill among other enterprises.

Low, a native of Maine, came to the town of Bradford, Vermont in 1820. Over the years he became one of the town's most prominent citizens as a merchant and businessman whose enterprises included a paper mill, a grist mill, a hotel and a general store. Ira Low, Asa's nephew, John B. Peckett, his son-in-law, George A. Low, his son, and O. C. Hale were some of his business associates who are also represented in the account books.

From his position as a leading merchant, Asa Low gave support to his church and the schools of Bradford. Thanks to his encouragement, railroad lines were constructed through the town in 1846. Asa Low married Lucinda Brooks in 1824. They had ten children.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Asa Low Collection consists of fifteen volumes of Financial records, comprising ten journals and five ledgers. They record transactions of Asa Low and his associates in various businesses conducted in Bradford, Vermont between 1848 and 1872. In addition, the collection contains a single Photograph of Low's paper mill in Wells River, Vermont.

Financial records contains two subseries, journals and ledgers. There are ten journals, the first eight of these forming a somewhat fragmentary record of the decade of the 1850s. Three of these earliest journals are unidentified, while four belonged to Asa Low, and one was kept by O. C. Hale. They provide a day-by-day record of sales of household goods and staples, and of the payment of workers at the paper mill. Two other journals were kept by Asa Low in a later period, 1869 to 1872. These books, one of them a cash journal, indicate more varied transactions including records of loans and settlements of accounts.

There are also five ledgers, the earliest two of which are unidentified. The third ledger records the accounts of the partnership of John B. Peckett and Ira Low from 1852 to 1855. The Peckett & Low ledger, like the preceding unidentified volumes, lists numerous businesses and individuals. There are extensive accounts for the paper and grist mills, and all three of these ledgers carry entries for the account of Asa Low. One additional ledger, dating from 1852 to 1855, belonged to O. C. Hale. The final ledger was kept by Asa Low in the later period of 1869-1872. It contains, in addition to accounts, lists of special types of transactions under the following headings: cash, merchandise, manual labor, profit and loss, repairs, travel expenses, wood, taxes, bills payable, bills receivable, loans and sundry debtors.

Arrangement of the Collection

Journals and Ledgers are boxed according to size, but are listed chronologically in the inventory below.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Low, Asa, 1796-1875?.


Businessmen -- United States.
Flour mills -- Accounting.
Merchants -- Vermont.
Paper mills -- Accounting.

Genres and Forms

Account books.
Financial records.
Journals (accounts)
Ledgers (account books)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Asa Low Collection
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Financial records gift of Dun & Bradstreet, Inc., 1965.

Table of Contents

Financial records