Economic Shifts in Deerfield
Started | Gunsmithing | Economic
Downturn | Bull's Trade | Bull's
The 1760s were
uncertain economically in Deerfield and in other New England towns.
Deerfield had prospered in the 1750s due to a demand for supplies
to support the English in the French and Indian War. With peace
came less of a demand for material goods which resulted in fewer
debt payments within the Deerfield community.
Bull was no
exception to this economic downturn. Although he had been able to
settle his debts with Elijah Williams in cash in 1762 and with John
Russell, another tradesman, in 1764 and 1768, his financial situation
forced him to take out a mortgage in 1768. Bull put up his "house,
gunsmith or blacksmith shop, and a small barn" as
collateral to obtain the mortgage.
referenced in the account books of Elijah Williams and John Russell,
collections of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association.
Most of Bull's
customers made some attempt to settle their account with Bull between
1768 and 1788. Bull was able to collect on 80% of his accounts,
with one hundred ninety customers out of two hundred thirty-nine
making payments against their debts. Only sixty-one customers settled
their accounts in full. Of these, forty-five customers (22%) paid
in cash. The rest paid in goods: produce, building materials, fuel,
scrap metal, diary, grain, fruits, meat, and candles.
referenced in the account book of John Partridge Bull, collections
of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association.