This letterbook spans fifty years and contains three sections, covering three separate endeavors.
The first section is the Payne & Swiney letterbook, and later the Harrison, Swiney and Co. letterbook, which documents a furniture, hardware, and dry goods retailers in Vicksburg, Mississippi. These 56 pages date from October 6, 1836 -May 24, 1840. The contents are primarily orders for goods and furniture inventories, with a few letters to customers and letters discussing business ventures.
The second section consists of the Henry S. Clubb letterbook from January 13 to August 4, 1865, while he was captain and assistant quartermaster for the 17th U.S. Army Corps. In the first letter, he explains that he has just come from Vicksburg, where he obtained this volume. He writes from Louisville, Kentucky; Charleston, South Carolina; Alexandria, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; and New Orleans, Louisiana. Many of the letters are addressed to Gen. M.C. Meigs, and contain lists of quartermaster stores, discussions of orders, and movements of his operations. These entries offer excellent insight into the challenges of being a Union quartermaster.
The third section is a geographical notebook containing calculations concerning "Henderson's formula" for the determination of latitudes. This portion is of indeterminate authorship, but apparently done in Allegan, Michigan, in the 1880s. These notes are comprised of over 80 pages of calculations interspersed with brief commentary such as:
"Thus I have deduced an original formula for finding the length of the seconds pendulum in any part of the world...I have added to our knowledge of the world upon which we dwell."
"What I claim as original in the treatment of this subject, is the discovery of the Ellipsoid of Gravity, and the relation of its constants to one another, and their application to the solution of all questions within the realm of territorial gravitation and the variations in the lengths of the seconds pendulum."