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Henry O'Neill Ledger

Identifier: MSS-706-SC

Scope and Content

The collection contains a ledger, covering 1854-1860, and a separate statement for Andres Tapia from Henry O'Neill's mercantile in Santa Fe, N.M. O'Neill sold a variety of goods such as tobacco, food, spices, liquor, furniture, tools, clothing, shoes, fabric and other assorted household items. His clients were military men, judges, doctors and other well-to-do citizens as well as other merchants and businesses of Santa Fe and other communities like Rio Arriba, Taos, Las Vegas and Mora. Some of his customers were General Garland, Colonel Ceran St. Vrain, Vicente St. Vrain, Judge Joab Houghton, Judge Stoughton, Dr. Kavanaugh, Dr. De Leon, James L. Collins also known as Squire Collins, the principle owner and editor of the Santa Fe Gazette, Sol Spiegelberg, Joseph Pley, Bishop Lamy, Hugh N. Smith, Jesus Abreu, Francisco Ortiz y Delgado, Antonio Jose Rivera, Beck & Johnston and Connelly and Co. Two women listed as customers are Rita Larrañaga and Pelegrina, "Tompkins woman." Besides selling merchandise O'Neill lent money to individuals or paid their outstanding accounts with others. Occasionally customer accounts were paid for them by other people. An example are payments made March 16, 1858 by Kit Carson and another April 17 by Hugh H. Smith on Alexander Hicklin's account

At the beginning of the ledger is an alphabetical listing of customer names with corresponding page numbers. The individual entries are listed by month, day and year. Given are items purchased, how many, the cost and what the customer paid. All entries dated 1860 are for payments only.


  • 1854-1860

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Biographical Information

Henry O'Neill was a merchant who conducted trade on the Santa Fe Trail. A native of Ireland, he immigrated with his parents to Kentucky. The family then moved to Missouri. O'Neill accompanied an uncle to California for a year and then returned to Missouri. In 1844 he came to Santa Fe to work with his uncle, John Scolly (spelled variously in the records; Scoly, Scolley, Scholly, Juan Escole and Juan Esc?lle), who was a merchant and owned the Grand Central Hotel. O'Neill inherited Scolly's estate worth about $75,000 in 1847. In the summer of 1859 O'Neill closed his store and sold his stock to J. Hersch at "cost plus 10 cents freight on time." In March of 1860 O'Neill was involved in a fight where he killed Dr. J. J. Beck (co-owner of Beck & Johnston) in self defense. O'Neill died in Santa Fe at the home of Samuel Ellison in September, 1883.


1 folder (2 items)


Ledger for Henry O'Neill's mercantile in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 1854-1860.

Related Archival Material

W.W. Griffin Papers New Mexico State Records Center and Archives, Santa Fe, New Mexico (Document giving Power of attorney, Robert A. Smith to Henry ONeill, to settle the estate of Hugh N. Smith, his deceased son. Sept. 13, 1860.)

Relevant Secondary Sources

  • "Henry O'Neill," Weekly New Mexican Review (Santa Fe, N.M. : 1883) September 6, 1883. (Obituary)
  • Kingsbury, John M. Trading in Santa Fe : John M. Kingsbury's correspondence with James Josiah Webb, 1853-1961. (Dallas, Tex.:Southern Methodist University Press), 1996.
  • Read, Benjamin M. Illustrated History of New Mexico. [Sante Fe? N.M.] :Printed by the New Mexican Print. Co.,1912.
Finding Aid of the Henry O'Neill Ledger, 1854-1860
Processed by T.S. Reinig
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 706 SC::Henry O'Neill Ledger)//EN" "nmu1mss706sc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131