Manuscripts Division William L. Clements Library University of Michigan
Finding aid for Dutilh & Wachsmuth Collection, 1769-1833
Finding aid created by Ellen Poteet, 2004, and Erin Platte and Meg Hixon, November 2012
Title: Dutilh & Wachsmuth collection Creator: William L. Clements Library Inclusive dates: 1769-1833 Bulk dates: 1781-1810 Extent: 0.75 linear feet Abstract:
The Dutilh & Wachsmuth collection is made up of business correspondence, financial records, and documents related to the Philadelphia merchant company in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Many items concern George Louis Stockar, a Swiss merchant living in La Rochelle, France.
Language: The material is in French and 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: www.clements.umich.edu
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
Dutilh & Wachsmuth Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
The collection is arranged into the following series:
Series I: Correspondence and Documents
Series II: Financial Papers
Series III: Printed Items
The correspondence and documents series is arranged chronologically, followed by bundled materials (kept together to preserve original order). The financial papers series is arranged chronologically, followed by account books, accounts, and bundled materials.
Etienne Dutilh was born in Clairac, France, in November 1756. In 1783, he sailed to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he established his first of multiple businesses. One of his partners was John Godfried Wachsmuth , with whom he founded Dutlih & Wachsmuth at the end of the 18th century. The company primarily traded coffee, sugar, cocoa, and logwood, with merchants in the West Indies and northern Europe. Dutilh and his wife Catherine had three children: Edmund J. Dutilh (b. 1798), Edward Dutilh (1799-1833), and a daughter who died young. Etienne Dutilh died on February 26, 1810.
George Louis Stockar , a Swiss citizen, moved to La Rochelle, France, in the late 18th century. He established a commercial house there in 1781 and later relocated to Philadelphia.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The Dutilh & Wachsmuth collection is made up of approximately 160 letters and documents, 250 financial records, and 12 printed items related to the Philadelphia merchant company in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Many items concern George Louis Stockar, a Swiss merchant living in La Rochelle, France.
The Correspondence and documents series contains approximately 160 items, including the incoming business correspondence of Dutilh & Wachsmuth. The firm frequently dealt with food and lumber, and traded with merchants in French port cities, such as Bordeaux and Marseille, and in Philadelphia. Correspondents occasionally reported on the wheat trade and sometimes commented on political events in France and Haiti. Within a group of 14 items related to Captain Jean Christopher Sicard is a chart concerning a shipment of cargo between Marseille and New York, transported by Captain Sicard and signed on May 28, 1793. A group of approximately 10 items dating from 1781 to 1785 relate to George Louis Stockar, and include papers about his establishment of a business in La Rochelle, France. One letter, dated May 27, 1790, is written in German by M. Lang to John Godfried Wachsmuth, detailing a trip from Philadelphia to Fort Pitt. Lang notes the death of a pet dog, being injured by a captive bear, conflict with German settlers, and being persuaded by a wealthy family travelling with slaves to serve as their guide and protector against Native American attacks as they descended to Kentucky.
The Financial papers consist of approximately 250 items, such as account books, loose accounts, receipts, and other types of financial records, mostly related to the Dutilh & Wachsmuth firm's financial affairs. Some of the accounts pertain to John Dutilh's personal finances.
Among the collection's 12 Printed Items are a declaration by King Louis XVI, issued on June 20, 1784, to the citizens of the Canton of Schaffhausen, and a public letter to the citizens of the Pays-Bas region (May 26, 1795).