Nathan Sellers records, 1771-1844


Date: 1771-1844 | Size: 14 volume(s)


This collection contains records of Nathan Sellers' businesses and accounts of his surveys, travels, and daily life.

Background note

Nathan Sellers was a surveyor, scrivener, and manufacturer.

Collection Information


Presented by Charles Coleman Sellers, 1945.

Processing information

Renumbered as B P31, volumes 91-106.

Alternate formats available

The account book, 1774-1815, is also available on microfilm (Film 240, Reel 5).

Early American History Note

Nathan Sellers was a prominent engineer who specialized in the papermaking industry in Philadelphia. This collection of his papers consists of a variety of documents related to his life and career. It includes two volumes of commonplace books, a notebook he kept while serving in the Philadelphia Common Council, records of his early work as a surveyor, and an assortment of financial and business records.

The commonplace books contain primarily legal verbiage Sellers copied and was likely related to the demands of his business. One book does contain a few pencil sketches of an individual's profile.

His memorandum books (#37) record his daily activities for the years 1773, 1774, and 1776. One is also an almanac. Sellers used the calendar to note various financial transactions and daily activities.

In addition to the bound volumes, the collection has a large number of miscellaneous papers. These are organized by theme and include manuscript essays on a range of subjects such as religion, poetry, and the like. Although it arranged by topic, some of the material is in the form of personal correspondence that discusses the specified topic but also discusses more quotidian concerns. Although this material is listed as part of the Nathan Sellers collection, it includes material from many other members of the family, such as Rembrandt Peale, and other sorts of materials, such as calling cards, fragments of hair, business accounts, and legal documents.

Indexing Terms

Corporate Name(s)

  • Library Company of Philadelphia
  • N. & D. Sellers (Firm)
  • Pennsylvania. Committee of Safety
  • Philadelphia (Pa.). -- Councils. -- Common Council.
  • State House (Philadelphia, Pa.)
  • United States. Continental Congress


  • Business Records and Accounts
  • Commonplace Book
  • Literature
  • Manuscript Essays
  • Miscellaneous
  • Notebooks
  • Official Government Documents and Records
  • Sketches.
  • Surveys (land).

Geographic Name(s)

  • Baltimore (Md.) -- Description and travel.
  • Pennsylvania -- Surveys.
  • Philadelphia (Pa.)

Personal Name(s)

  • FitzSimons, Thomas, 1741-1811
  • Leiper, Thomas, 1745-1825
  • Penn, John, 1760-1834
  • Pyle, Ziba
  • Rittenhouse, David, 1732-1796
  • Sayre, Stephen, 1736-1818
  • Sellers, Nathan,1751-1830.
  • Wayne, Anthony, 1745-1796


  • American Revolution
  • Business and Skilled Trades
  • Carpentry.
  • Early National Politics
  • Land and Speculation
  • Literature, Arts, and Culture
  • Paper industry.
  • Papermaking -- Pennsylvania.
  • Philadelphia History
  • Printing and Publishing
  • Quakers -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia.
  • Technology.
  • Watermarks.
  • Wire industry.
  • Wire netting.
  • Wiredrawing.