Fonds ID53 - James White

Title proper

James White

General material designation

  • Textual record

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  • 1761-1815 (Creation)
    White, James

Physical description

20 cm of textual records

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Name of creator

([ca. 1737 or 1738-1814])

Biographical history

James White (c. 1737-1738-1814) was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts. In 1861, he was employed by William Tailer and Samuel Blodgett, Boston to act as their agent in furnishing supplies to the garrisons at Fort George and Crown Point. He remained with these two merchants until 1764 when he entered into mercantile partnership with Samuel Blodgett, James Simonds, Richard Simonds, Robert Peaslie, and his cousin William Hazen.

The partnership was established to "… pursue… the cod fishery, seine fishery, the fur trade, burning of lime and every other trading business that shall be thought advantageous…". on the Saint John River. Under the terms of the contract White was to receive 1/3 of a 25% share of the profits. James White came to the Saint John River, New Brunswick, in 1764 to manage the company's affairs. In 1767, owing to the death of Richard Simonds, the withdrawal of Robert Peaslie and Samuel Blodgett, and the entry of Leonard Jarvis into the firm, a new partnership agreement, involving James Simonds, William Hazen, Leonard Jarvis and White was signed. James White refused to sign the new contract, protesting later that the one-sixth share allowed him was insufficient considering the extent of his commitment to the firm.

The American Revolution provided William Hazen and James White with an opportunity to expand their commercial activities. They entered into an arrangement with Michael Franklin, of Halifax, to supply masts to the Royal Navy, a move that soon brought them into the conflict with the other mast contractor in the region, William Davidson. They also traded merchandise for furs. This partnership ended with Franklin's death in 1782, although Hazen and White continued to supply masts to the Navy.

After the Revolution the partnership of Simonds, Hazen, and White began to disintegrate. Although they continued to trade there were continual efforts to settle the affairs of the firm. The division of the assets, however, was a long and acrimonious affair and was not finally settled until 1810.

James White also took on a number of official and political duties. In 1777, Michael Franklin appointed him Deputy Superintendent of Indian Affairs. He also served as a Justice of the Peace prior to the establishment of the Province of New Brunswick and was a Deputy Port Collector. Finally James White held a number of minor civic posts in the new Parish of Portland, including overseer of the poor and commissioner of highways.

Custodial history

Information about the custody of these records prior to acquisition is incomplete.

Scope and content

This fonds includes the correspondence of James White, 1768-1809, and of James White Jr., 1812-1815. There are ships' accounts, 1761-1788 including specific accounts for masts, orders, 1779-1796, bills of sale, 1761, 1782 and contracts, 1772-1784. White's records as assistant Superintendent of Indian Affairs, 1778-1781 and as deputy Collector, 1783-1785 are also included, along with records of his role as justice of the peace, 1779-1783, 1793 and in various parish offices, 1788-1814.

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Immediate source of acquisition

Source unknown


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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No restrictions

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Finding aids

Detailed inventory available

Associated materials

A few records of Hazen, White and Company are located in MC300 York-Sunbury Historical Society collection (MS38) at the Provincial Archives of New Brunswick.

See H.T. Hazen fonds at the New Brunswick Museum for material on the business activities, and subsequent litigation, of the Simonds, Hazen and White partnership

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