Olga and Jesse Smith collection  1898-1924 (bulk 1909-1914)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This volume contains 2 sections: a ledger kept by a Baltimore shipping merchant between 1798 and 1801 (about 105 pages) and math problems and copied compositions compiled by George Eighinger in 1850 (5 pages).

The financial records intermittently cover the period from October 1, 1798, to June 24, 1801, on pages numbered 47-144 and 188-211; some pages have been torn from the book. The accounts concern the affairs of a Baltimore shipping merchant who imported linens and other items from Europe while exporting coffee, tobacco, sugar, and other goods to Bremen, Hamburg, and other German ports. Each entry reflects a transaction with a merchant, and the ledger often records the names of the ships carrying the cargo, as well as inventories, prices, the names of shipmasters, and consignment agents' marks. The ledger occasionally includes costs of storage or insurance. On December 31, 1799, the bookkeeper recorded "postage of 1798 & 1799" (pp. 131-133). Cartoonish drawings illustrate a few pages throughout the accounts (e.g. pages 93 and 239).

The pages numbered 235-239 contain arithmetic problems, copied prose, and cartoons by George Eighinger, who received the book from Nash G. Camp on March 4, 1850. The pages, which are labeled "Compound Subtraction" and "Compound Addition," include a narrative told from the point of view of a slave (p. 235).

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