Huie, Reid and Company was a merchant firm trading in tobacco, sugar, salt, and other commodities, in Dumfries, Virginia, in the late eighteenth century. The company may have been among the numerous Virginia firms with mercantile connections to Glasgow, Scotland. Huie, Reid, and Company conducted business in Prince William County and nearby counties, including Fauquier County, Virginia.

Chartered in 1749, Dumfries is the oldest continuously chartered town in Virginia. Situated in Prince William County, Dumfries was established at the head of the harbor of Quantico Creek. The town grew into one of the most prominent ports in colonial America, reaching its peak in terms of size in 1763. Upland tobacco was shipped through Dumfries, and the port bustled with activity throughout the later part of the eighteenth century. The Revolutionary War and the shift from the tobacco to the wheat and sugar trade contributed to the decline of the port.

Huie, Reid and Company conducted business with members of many of Virginia's most notable families, which ordered a variety of products from the firm. This particular collection contains several order requests signed by members of the Brent family, a noteworthy family in Virginia's history. Five order requests signed by Eleanor Brent, the sister of Archbishop John Carroll of Baltimore, are contained in this collection. Three order requests signed by Richard Brent, member of the Virginia House of Delegates (1788, 1793-1794, 1800-1801) and the U.S. House of Representatives (1795-1799, 1801-1803), are also included. In addition, two order requests from Daniel Carroll Brent are preserved. Along with its ties to the Carroll family of Maryland, the Brent family had genealogical connections with the Mason family of Virginia. Aside from the Brents, the Huie, Reid and Company Collection includes receipts from the following families: Ashby, Bruce, Carter, Forbes, Payne, and others.

At the Georgetown University Special Collections Division, anotherkey source provides good insight into the history of the Brent family: the Henry Hunt-William B. Chilton Collection.

Another collection of Huie, Reid and Company archives is at the Library of Congress Manuscripts Division, which houses 300 items spanning the dates 1784 to 1795 and consisting of correspondence (1784-1795), letter books (1788-1791), and account books (1785-1789). The Library of Congress also possesses a ledger and daybook dating between 1784 and 1796 of Smith, Huie, Alexander and Company, another eighteenth century merchant firm from Dumfries, Virginia. In addition, the Fielding Lewis House in Fredericksburg, Virginia, owns a ledger book from Huie, Reid and Company. Georgetown's portion of the Huie, Reid and Company records well supplements these aforementioned historical collections.

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The Huie, Reid and Company Collection consists of two series as described below:

Series 1. Order Requests - Alphabetical (Folders 1-47)

Consisting of 47 folders, this series contains 53 order requests received by Huie, Reid and Company from various individuals, including some members of prominent Virginia families. The orders are arranged alphabetically by customer. The individuals requested a relatively wide variety of goods, such as tobacco, sugar, salt, shoes, and linen.

Series 2. Leaves from a Company Letter Book (Folder 48)

This series consists of one item: a portion of a letter book of Huie, Reid and Company. Six letters are preserved. The letters discuss shipping practices and trade goods. The letters refer to Daniel Carroll Brent, Polly Brent, and Captain Huie, among others.

Note on spelling: The inconsistency of eighteenth century spelling practices is evident in this collection. Where the spelling of an individual's name is unclear, a question mark in brackets has been added after the name. In a few cases, an individual's first name is unidentified, and a question mark signifies that the name is unknown.

BULK DATES: 1787 - 1787
SPAN DATES: 1787 - 1789

EXTENT: 1 box


SERIES: 1. Order requests

SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of fifty-three (53) order requests sent to Huie, Reid and Company by various individuals.

SERIES: 2. Company letter book

SERIES DESCRIPTION: This series consists of several leaves of a company letter book for Huie, Reid and Company. Six letters are preserved in this series, which is composed of only one folder. The letters refer to, among others, Daniel Carroll Brent, Polly Brent, and Captain Huie.