H. G. Hotchkiss Essential Oil Company Records,1822-1982

Collection Number: 673

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library


H. G. Hotchkiss Essential Oil Company records, 1822-1982.
Collection Number:
H. G. Hotchkiss Essential Oil Company.
94.2 cubic ft.
Forms of Material:
Accounts, correspondence, banking records, broadsides, prices current, market guides.
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Includes accounts, correspondence, banking records, broadsides, prices current, market guides and other materials relating to the development of the essential oils industry.
Collection material in English


Hiram G. Hotchkiss was born in Oneida County, New York, on June 19, 1810. His father, Leman Hotchkiss, moved the family to Phelps, Ontario County, New York, in 1811 and became the pioneer merchant of that region. Upon his death, Hiram and his brother Leman managed the business. After expanding their milling operation, Hiram began to develop an essential oil industry. Hiram moved to Lyons, New York, in 1843, where he began cultivating peppermint, and gradually gained control over the farm supply of mint and over the oil market. Leman remained in Phelps, and carried on his own oil business. Both had general stores, dealt in wheat, flour and produce, and established banks in their respective towns. Hiram became a powerful businessman, controlling prices of western peppermint crops and successfully marketing his product in the United States and Europe. His essential oils garnered many awards, including first prize medals at world's fairs and exhibitions held in England, Germany, America, France and Austria. Hiram Hotchkiss died in 1898, and his sons Calvin and Hiram Jr., took over the business.


Includes accounts, correspondence, banking records, broadsides, prices current, market guides and other materials relating to the development of the essential oils industry in Lyons, Wayne County, New York, by Hiram G. Hotchkiss and his family. Records give technical details of the essential oil production in the 1860s and 1870s; information as to the prizes awarded them at various fairs and exhibitions held in London, Paris, Vienna, Philadelphia and other cities; and information concerning the organization and administration of these exhibitions, about the awarding of prizes and the effect of these awards on the firms concerned. Accounts and letters document the development of the business, while reports and letters from brokers in New York, Boston and London detail manipulations of the domestic and foreign markets. Included are letters to brokers Taft and Lee in New York City and Myer of Boston that detail financial and credit transactions and market strategies. Also, letters from London, Paris, Rome, Moscow and other European cities discuss trade practices, international prices, the gold flow, shipping information and other business matters.
In addition to oil industry records, the collection includes accounts and letters relating to flour sales (1841-1845) in Indiana and New York by the Hotchkiss agents, Dow & Cary; an agreement between Hotchkiss & Co. with Dow & Cary to build a flour mill at Seneca Falls, N.Y.; deeds, correspondence, and other material relating to lands in Niagara, Ontario and Wayne Counties, and in Michigan; correspondence (1845) relating to Hotchkiss's opposition to proposals made by the Auburn & Rochester Railroad; and correspondence (1850-1858) between Hiram G. and his cousin Calvin Hotchkiss, a banker in Lewiston, regarding the construction of a suspension bridge over the Niagara to Queensborough, the building of a plank road, the use of water power, and the consequent rise of land values; the attitude of Lockport and Buffalo toward building a ship canal around Niagara Falls, the plan for an international bridge, railroad developments, and resulting local, state and national political actions. Included also are letters (1911-1914) relating to the projected Corning, Keuka Lake and Ontario Railroad and to projected changes on the Barge Canal. Account books are primarily oil accounts (1843-1916), but also include daybooks, letter books, mill, flour and meal accounts. Also, three blue bottles used for Hotchkiss essential oils, and medals (14 bronze, 4 silver) awarded to the company at various exhibitions and meetings from 1851 to 1900.
Also, business records, 1952-1982, and files of invoices, 1925-1961, for the company's national and international accounts.

H. G. Hotchkiss Essential Oil Company.
Hotchkiss, Calvin.
Hotchkiss, Hiram G. (Hiram Gilbert), 1810-1897.
Hotchkiss, L. B. (Leman B.)
Hotchkiss, Leman.
Hotckkiss, Hiram G.
Auburn & Rochester Railroad.
Dow & Cary.
Taft and Lee.

Bridges--New York (State)
Canals--New York (State)
Essences and essential oils.
Export marketing.
Export sales contracts.
Inland water transportation.
Peppermint industry.
Railroads--New York (State)
Real property--Indiana.
Real property--Michigan.
Real property, Exchange of.
Trade routes.
Industries--New York (State)--Buffalo.
Industries--New York (State)--Lockport.
Industries--New York (State)--Lyons.

Niagara County, N.Y.
Oneida County, N.Y.
Ontario County, N.Y.
Phelps (N.Y.)
Seneca Falls (N.Y.)
Wayne County, N.Y.

Form and Genre Terms:
Account books.
Letter books.


Cite As:
H. G. Hotchkiss Essential Oil Company records, #673. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.


Box 1
December 21, 1822-October 31, 1845
Box 2
November 1845-December 1847
Box 3
January 1848-September 1849
Box 4
October 1849-June 1850
Box 5
July 1850-April 1851
Box 6
May 1851-March 1852
Box 7
April 1852-January 1853
Box 8
February 1853-December 1853
Box 9
January 1854-December 1854
Box 10
January 1855-October 1855
Box 11
November 1855-June 1856
Box 12
July 1856-March 1857
Box 13
April 1857-December 1857
Box 14
January 1858-November 1858
Box 15
December 1858-October 1859
Box 16
November 1859-April 1860
Box 17
May 1860-October 1860
Box 18
November 1860-June 1861
Box 19
July 1861-November 1861
Box 20
December 1861-April 1862
Box 21
May 1862-December 1862
Box 22
January 1863-October 1863
Box 23
November 1863-May 1864
Box 24
June 1864-November 1864
Box 25
December 1864-November 1865
Box 26
December 1865-July 1867
Box 27
August 1867-October 1870
Box 28
November 1870-December 1873
Box 29
January 1874-November 1874
Box 30
December 1874-December 1875
Box 31
January 1876-November 1876
Box 32
December 1876-August 24, 1877; November 23, 1877
Box 33
January 1878-1889
Box 34
1890-November 1895
Box 35
December 1895-September 1896
Box 36
October 1896-February 1897
Box 37
March 1897-September 1897
Box 38
October 1897-April 1898
Box 39
May 1898-December 1898
Box 40
January 1899-October 1899
Box 41
November 1899-October 1900
Box 42
November 1900-December 1901
Box 43
January 1902-August 1903
Box 44
September 1903-May 1904
Box 45
June 1904-December 1905
Box 46
January 1906-July 1907
Box 47
August 1907-December 1908
Box 48
January 1909-September 1910
Box 49
October 1910-October 1911
Box 50
November 1911-December 1912
Box 51
January 1913-December 1913
Box 52
January 1914-December 1915
Box 53
January 1916-December 1921
Box 54
January 1922-April 1926
Box 55
Undated Correspondence
Box 56
Undated Correspondence
Box 57
Trade cards, advertisements, labels, manuscript volumes, post cards
Box 58
Manuscript Volumes
Box 59
Serials, newspapers, newspaper clippings, labels
Box 60
Printed Material
Box 61
A-S, 1931-1933
Box 62
T-Z, 1931-1933; A-N, 1934
Box 63
O-Z, 1934; A-I, 1935-1936
Box 64
J-Z, 1935-1936; A-Z, 1937
Box 65
A-Z, 1938-1940; A-F, 1941-1942
Box 66
G-Z, 1941-1942; A-D, 1943-1945
Box 67
E-Z, 1943-1945; A-Z, 1946
Box 68
A-Z, 1947
Box 69
A-Z, 1948; A-E, 1949
Box 70
F-Z, 1949; A-O, 1950
Box 71
P-Z, 1950; A-Z, 1951; A-Z, 1952
Box 72
A-Z, 1953; A-G, 1954
Box 73
H-Z, 1954; A-F, 1955
Box 74
G-Z, 1955; A-G, 1956
Box 75
H-Z, 1956
Box 76
Box 77
Notebooks and Account Books (14), 1853-1876
Box 78
Lables, Receipts, and Broadsides, 1851-1879
Box 79
H.G. Hotchkiss Wooden Shipping Box
Box 80
Invoices, 1915-1927
Box 81
Invoices, 1927-1929
Box 82
Invoices, 1930-1934
Box 83
Invoices, 1935-1942
Box 84
Invoices, 1940-1952
Box 85
Invoices, 1953-1959
Box 86
Invoices, 1960-1972
Box 87
Invoices, 1973-1977
Box 88
Invoices, 1978-1980; 1929-1939
Box 89
Invoices, 1929-1939
Box 90
Buisness Records, 1957
Box 91
Buisness Records, 1958
Box 92
Buisness Records, 1959
Box 93
Buisness Records, 1960
Box 94
Buisness Records, 1961
Box 95
Buisness Records, 1962
Box 96
Buisness Records, 1963
Box 97
Buisness Records, 1964
Box 98
Buisness Records, 1965
Box 99
Buisness Records, 1965-1966
Box 100
Buisness Records, 1967
Box 101
Buisness Records, 1968
Box 102
Buisness Records, 1969
Box 103
Buisness Records, 1970
Box 104
Buisness Records, A-Z, 1971; A-B, 1972
Box 105
Buisness Records, D-Z, 1972; A-B, 1973
Box 106
Buisness Records, D-Z, 1973; A-B, 1974
Box 107
Buisness Records, D-Z, 1974; A-D, 1975
Box 108
Buisness Records, E-Z, 1975; A-H, 1976
Box 109
Buisness Records, I-Z, 1976; A-M, 1977
Box 110
Buisness Records, N-Z, 1977; A-Z, 1978
Box 111
Buisness Records, A-Z, 1979; A-D, 1980
Box 112
Buisness Records, F-Z, 1980; A-I, 1981
Box 113
Buisness Records, L-Z, 1981; A-Z, 1982
Box 114
Miscellany, 1930's-1960's
Box 118-123 Volume 1-73
Seventy-three volumes on shelf: mostly acct. and ledger books. Few printed books on shelf. In accession folder.