Skip to main content
Use the right side menu to identify relevant boxes and place requests.

Colt and Donaldson records

 Collection 0023-MDHC

The collection contains the correspondence and financial records of the mercantile firm Colt and Donaldson who supplied Baltimore and Philadelphia with agricultural and other general merchandise. The materials span the period from 1825-1848.


  • 1825-1848
  • Majority of material found within 1831-1834

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


0.25 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection consists of the financial records of and correspondence to the merchants Colt and Donaldson from their merchants in Baltimore during the years 1825 to 1848, with bulk of the materials dating from 1831 to 1834. The correspondence primarily concerns financial information, such as the running price for the various goods or the status of accounts. Of particular interest are the discussions of the activity of interest rates, foreign investors, demand for goods, and fluctuations in their prices, as well as costs of transportation, processing, and inspection. The financial records consist of ledger sheets recording purchasing and sales.

Administrative History

The nineteenth-century mercantile firm of Colt and Donaldson supplied Philadelphia and Baltimore with agricultural products and other general merchandise through agents in Baltimore and Philadelphia. With the development of railroad lines connecting the backcountry with the major cities, Colt and Donaldson began to flourish. Based in Danville, Pennsylvania, the company involved in bringing the cities products that were immediately available in Danville's hinterland and Columbia County but were in strong demand in the cities. The firm was involved in supplying grain, meat, dairy, and other farm products and by-products. Included in their inventories were grains and seed, including wheat, oats, barley, corn, and clover. Also included were various staples and general merchandise items such as whiskey, gin, and brandy; hogs, hams, port, and lard; salt; and butter


The collection has been arranged into one series

Series 1
Correspondence and Financial Records

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The collection was purchased from Charles Apfelbaum Rare Books and Collections of Valley Stream, New York in 1987.

Processing Information

The records were placed in acid-neutral folders in an acid-neutral box.

Guide to the Colt and Donaldson records
Processed by Christopher Becker.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742