Skip to Main Content

James F. Esten’s Account Book and Journal, 1833-1837

Please e-mail with comments & questions.

Scope and Contents

[Taken in part from the bookseller’s description.]

This account book has 51 pages of text interspersed with blank pages, including 36 detailed pages of observations on travel to and through South Carolina, life in Columbia, and the building of the Saluda Mills, one of the earliest textile mills in South Carolina. Also included are brief financial accounts of working with a mill in New England, brief monthly or on occasion daily memoranda of his travels and work on mills in New England and Pennsylvania, a few other business-related notes, genealogical information, and an intriguing note on two books relating to family planning. Places mentioned are Sharon, Mass.;, Canton, Mass.; Bridesburg [i.e., in Philadelphia]; Blockley Mill [Penn.?]; and the Saluda Manufacturing Co. outside Columbia, S.C., the bulk 1833-1837, with detailed entries for building the Saluda textile mill covering 1835-1837.

Laid in are two leaves with further manuscript family notes (names, births, deaths). Also laid in is a manuscript bill from Pearson & King Jr. dated Louisville, January 15, 1862 listing expenses from August 1861 for a “Coffin for Son,” use of a hearse, etc., and an 1864 billhead for L.D. Pearson, Undertaker in Louisville, Ky., for “Coffin for daughter” and use of a hearse. These are for his son, Henry Baldwin Esten who died August 1, 1861, and his daughter Julia Frances Esten who died October 1, 1864.

Subsequent pages are generally taken up with family records (births, marriages, deaths) including his own, suggesting another family member was responsible in part for a few of these entries. This is possibly Esten’s youngest daughter, Emma Louisa Richmond Esten, who was the last remaining member of her family, and who was a member of many hereditary and lineage organizations.


  • Louisville, Ky. City Directory, 1861, 1865, 1879, 1881
  • U.S. Census: 1870, 1880 
  • Massachusetts, Compiled Marriages, 1633-1850
  • Illinois, Wills and Probate Records, 1772-1999