Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Benjamin Helm & Company Account and Daybook, 1823-1824

Finding aid created by
Clements Staff and Meg Hixon, May 2012

Summary Information
Title: Benjamin Helm & Company account and daybook
Creator: Benjamin Helm & Company
Inclusive dates: 1823-1824
Extent: 1 volume
Abstract:
This account book (roughly 360 pages) contains financial records for the mercantile firm Benjamin Helm & Company, which operated in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, between 1823 and 1824. Included are 179 pages of accounts with individuals (1823-1824), 6 pages of double-entry bookkeeping accounts (June 1823-December 1824, pp. 180-185), approximately 150 pages of daybook records (July 13, 1824-[December] 8, 1824), and a 25-page list of the inventory of the company upon its dissolution on December 8, 1824. Though the firm dealt primarily in cloth, other textiles, and related goods, it also sold dry goods, alcohol, coffee, tea, and other miscellaneous items.

Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu


Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1985. M-2209.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

Copyright:

Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Benjamin Helm & Company account and daybook, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


History

Benjamin Helm & Company operated a store in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, in the mid-1820s. The firm sold primarily cloth, but also traded in dry goods, alcohol, and various other goods. The partnership was dissolved on December 8, 1824.


Collection Scope and Content Note

This account book (roughly 360 pages) contains financial records for the mercantile firm Benjamin Helm & Company, which operated in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, between 1823 and 1824. Included are 179 pages of accounts with individuals (1823-1824), 6 pages of double-entry bookkeeping accounts (June 1823-December 1824, pp. 180-185), approximately 150 pages of daybook records (July 13, 1824-[December] 8, 1824), and a 25-page list of the inventory of the company upon its dissolution on December 8, 1824. Though the firm dealt primarily in cloth, other textiles, and related goods, it also sold dry goods, alcohol, coffee, tea, and other miscellaneous items.

The 179 pages of accounts record transactions between Benjamin Helm & Company and individuals between June 1823 and December 1824. Along with silk, calico, and other fabrics, the firm sold sugar, alcohol, and manufactured goods, such as handkerchiefs, buttons, and paper. Though most customers were men, the company also did business with several women. Accounts for future Kentucky governor John LaRue Helm and his mother Rebecca are included, as well as accounts with other prominent local individuals and with family members, such as John B. Helm. Individuals are recorded in an index preceding the accounts. The following 6 pages are comprised of double-bookkeeping entries for similar transactions with several individuals and firms; each account was later settled.

Approximately 150 pages consist of a daybook covering the company's sales between July 13, 1824, and [December 8], 1824. The entries are arranged chronologically, and most do not overlap with the individual accounts recorded earlier, which primarily end around May 1824. The final 25 pages contain a detailed inventory of Benjamin Helm & Company's goods, taken upon the partnership's dissolution on December 8, 1824. Each line provides a type of item, per-unit price, number of units on hand, and the total value. The items are largely arranged according to type, and include blankets, fabrics, books, and consumable goods.

Subject Terms

    Subjects:
    • Alcoholic beverages--Prices.
    • Dry-goods.
    • Elizabethtown (Ky.)
    • Food--Prices.
    • General stores.
    • Kentucky--Commerce.
    • Textile fabrics--Prices.
    Genre Terms:
    • Account books.
    • Daybook.
    • Merchandise inventories.
    Contents List
       Container / Location    Title
    Volume   1  
    Benjamin Helm & Company account and daybook,  June 2, 1823-December 8, 1824 [series]: