Guide to the Papers of H. Huntington May, 1839-1862

Digital Research Library, University Library System

Summary Information

Repository
Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center
Title
Papers of H. Huntington May
Creator
H. Huntington May
Collection Number
MFF#2
Date [inclusive]
1839-1862
Extent
.05 cubic feet (1 folder)
Language of Materials
The material in this collection is in English.
Abstract
Little is known of H. Huntington May beyond that he accepted shipments of raw materials in the oil rich country of northwestern Pennsylvania at Franklin (Venango Co.) and Tionesta (Forest Co.). These papers include receipts and bills of lading for merchandise shipped on the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh to destinations well north of the city in Tionesta (Forest Co.) and Franklin (Venango Co.), Pennsylvania.
Sponsor Note
This finding aid has been encoded as a part of the Historic Pittsburgh project a joint effort of the University of Pittsburgh and the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Funding for this portion of the project has been donated by the Hillman Foundation.

Preferred Citation

Papers of H. Huntington May, 1839-1862, MFF# 2, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania

River Transportation Records in the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania Archives.

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Biographical Sketch of H. Huntington May

Little is known of H. Huntington May beyond that he accepted shipments of raw materials in the oil rich country of northwestern Pennsylvania at Franklin (Venango Co.) and Tionesta (Forest Co.). Mr. May was an organizer of the Tionesta Cemetery Association, founded in 1868, and served as their first president. The Association maintained a cemetery at the Presbyterian Church, which was founded in 1843 by Reverend Hezekiah May, possibly H. Huntington May's father. The shipments H. Huntington May received at Tionesta and Franklin primarily included agricultural and hardware products sent from wholesalers from Pittsburgh. Primarily the wholesale firms John Black and Company, and Brown and Kirkpatrick, both of Pittsburgh, shipped these items. It is not certain whether Mr. May served as an agent for these goods or had them shipped for his own commercial enterprises. A significant amount of his commercial activity occurred before the discovery of oil in the region in 1859, when the population of Forest County was less than 1000. Given the peculiarities of the Allegheny River well north of Pittsburgh, many of his shipments arrived by keelboats as opposed to more traditional steamboats that traveled down the Ohio on commercial routes.

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Scope and Content Notes

These papers include receipts and bills of lading for merchandise shipped on the Allegheny River from Pittsburgh to destinations well north of the city in Tionesta (Forest Co.) and Franklin (Venango Co.), Pennsylvania. These receipts are primarily for agricultural and food products shipped from merchants located in the area now known as the Golden Triangle in Pittsburgh's downtown. All of these companies were located off of Liberty Street between 6th and 9th street. Also included are shipments for mechanical products such as iron, coil cable and hardware supplies not readily available in the less developed regions of Northwestern Pennsylvania. While these papers do not appear to be comprehensive, they provide a great deal of information on both the cost of shipping and the cost of food products in mid-19th century Western Pennsylvania. Additional information provided on these items is information on the boats used to ship the materials, which included the boat's name, the captain's name and other relevant information.

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Arrangement

The H. Huntington May papers are housed in one folder and are arranged chronologically.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Digital Research Library, University Library System  Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, Summer, 2001

Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
library@hswp.org

Revision Description

 Converted from EAD Version 1.0 to EAD Version 2002 July 1, 2006

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or publish, please contact the curator of the Archives.

Acquisition Information

No donor information is available for these papers.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Campbell Witherspoon and  Corey Seeman on May 1, 1993.

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Doug MacGregor on June 14, 2001.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Black, John & Co. (Wholesale Grocers: Pittsburgh., Pa.)
  • Brown & Kirkpatrick (Wholesale Grocers: Pittsburgh., Pa.)

Geographic Name(s)

  • Forest Co. (Pa.) -- Commerce
  • Venango Co. (Pa.) -- Commerce

Personal Name(s)

  • May, H. Huntington (1810-1882)

Subject(s)

  • Allegheny River (Pa. and N. Y.)
  • Hardware -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Keelboats -- Pennsylvania
  • Produce Trade -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • River Boats -- Pennsylvania
  • Rivers -- Pennsylvania
  • Steamboats -- Pennsylvania
  • Transportation -- Pennsylvania

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Collection Inventory

  folder
 1839-1862 1

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