James B. Gibbs lecture notebooks
Collection Scope and Content Note
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The Philadelphia Merchant account book (168 pages) contains financial records for a Philadelphia merchant during the years leading up to the Revolutionary War (April 10, 1771-March 1, 1776). This merchant traded primarily in cloth and in finished clothing products, and held accounts with a number of women among his many customers. He primarily received goods from firms in London and the West Indies. Samuel Howell, also a merchant, was one customer, and the accounts also record the sale of several sets of gloves, among other items, to Lydia and Elizabeth Hyde, who had been active in the city's opposition to the Stamp Act. The account book reflects the deep ties North American merchants had to Great Britain, and often records accounts with firms operating out of London. Several of the book's entries also mention different cargo ships and their ports of call, including a number of locations in the West Indies. Though fabric dominates the accounts kept in this volume, at least one entry covered ordinary household expenses, including "Repairs pd. scraping the Rooms," "Expences pd. for 3 Pints black Sand," and "1 paper Ink powder" (June 29, 1771).