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Phineas Baldwin and Reuben Webster journal


Identifier: 00-2010-110-0

Scope and Contents

The journal of Phineas Baldwin (abt. 1847-1817) and Reuben Webster (1757-1833) documents the activites of two men in Litchfield, Conn.  Baldwin traded in a variety of commodities and services with Litchfield residents, such as wood, veal, rice, tobacco, butter, and carting. His sections of the book run from 1784 to 1806. Another person, perhaps Reuben Webster, also used the book. In these sections, dating from 1817 through 1829, are several entries regarding Baldwin's estate, several regarding the writer's personal affairs, such as his tax list , medicinal recipies, and apple trees purchased, and a number of notations from 1823-1824, which record activities relating to official Litchfield town business, such as writing letters to selectmen of other towns, payments for arbitration and other services; bridge repair and inspection; inspection of property lines; warning people out of town; and the like. The journal also contains accounts of washing performed in 1822 for Jacob Baker and Henry Cruger, two Litchfield Law School students. Little is known about Baldwin, whose gravestone refers to him, like the journal, as "captain"; it is not known whether he was a soldier or associated with the sea. He was a son of David Baldwin and Hannah Canfield and married to Mary Cooke (abt. 1753-1817), a daughter of Aaron and Charity [?] Cooke. Phineas and Mary Cooke had no children, and his wife, some children of his siblings, and the children of Mary's cousin Nathan Cook were named in his will. Although Reuben Webster's name is not found in the journal, it is surmised that he is, in fact, the other writer in the journal. He was the executor of Phineas Baldwin's estate and, as mentioned above, the journal contains references to the estate. Webster was a selectman of Litchfield from 1822-1824, and the items notated in the journal are consistent with a selectman's duties and are from that time period. Also, Webster's known handwriting is similar to that found in the book. Reuben Webster was a storekeeper and active in local affairs. He served in the American Revolutionary War and was a jailer in the late 1790s; constable, 1805; selectman, 1822-1824; grand juror, 1824; and assessor, 1828. He married Ann Buell (1781-1841) and they had four children.


  • created: 1784-1829
  • Other: Date acquired: 09/04/2011


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection are in the public domain. There are no restrictions on use. Copyright status for other collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.


0.10 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Source of Acquisition

Museum purchase

Existence and Location of Originals

multi-part note content

Related Materials

multi-part note content

Other Descriptive Information

This collection was processed with support from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR).

Phineas Baldwin and Reuben Webster journal
Leith Johnson
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Litchfield Historical Society Repository

7 South Street
P.O. Box 385
Litchfield CT 06759
860-567-3565 (Fax)