Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Massachusetts Bay (Colony) Treasury Accounts, 1699

Finding aid created by
Shannon Wait, March 2010

Summary Information
Title: Massachusetts Bay (Colony) Treasury accounts
Creator: Massachusetts Bay. Treasury Dept.
Inclusive dates: 1699
Extent: 1 volume
The Massachusetts Bay (Colony) Treasury accounts contain records of expenditures by the Colony between May 1698 and May 1699.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1928. M-19.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the "We the People" project.

Preferred Citation:

Massachusetts Bay (Colony) Treasury Accounts, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


In 1629, King Charles I of England granted the Massachusetts Bay Company a charter for the land between the Charles River and the Massachusetts Bay. In June 1630, a group of Puritans arrived in North America to establish the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Led by John Winthrop, Governor chosen to lead the colony, they had fled England primarily for religious reasons. The settlers first established towns and churches, followed by schools and colleges (notably, Harvard University in 1638), and a printing press (1639). The colony became increasingly prosperous through successful agriculture, lumbering, and fishing.

In 1684, the original charter, which had not specified a government location and had thus allowed self-governance, was revoked. England installed a royal government for the colony, but this was annulled in 1688, after the deposition of James II. In 1691, a charter by William III and Mary II merged the Plymouth Colony and Maine into the Massachusetts Bay Colony and reestablished British control, which would last until 1774.

Collection Scope and Content Note

James Taylor, Treasurer and Receiver General, recorded the Massachusetts Bay Colony Treasury accounts, which contain 36 pages of the colony's financial transactions between May 1698 and May 1699. The first few pages are composed of tax records for towns and counties in the colonies. This is followed by a list of payments to individuals for duties performed, which makes up the remainder of the volume. Many of the payments are to soldiers, judges, messengers, keepers of "French and Indian Prisoners of War" (p. 13), and providers of transportation. Also of interest is a payment of £50 to Increase Mather for his responsibilities as President of Harvard (p. 24). In addition, the accounts contain numerous references to Native Americans, who were regularly paid for their service in fighting other tribes. The accounts provide a thorough record of the Colony's many services and expenses for 1698-1699.

Subject Terms

    • Expenditures, Public.
    • Expense accounts.
    • Harvard University.
    • Impressment.
    • Indians of North America--Government relations.
    • Indians of North America--Wars--1600-1750.
    • Massachusetts--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775.
    • Mather, Increase, 1639-1723.
    • Prisoners of war.
    • Soldiers--Billeting.
    • Taxation.
    Genre Terms:
    • Financial records.
    • Tax records.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Massachusetts Bay (Colony) Treasury accounts,  1699 [series]