Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Elisha Burton Ledger, 1811-1858

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, December 2011

Summary Information
Title: Elisha Burton ledger
Creator: Burton, Elisha, 1743-1819 and Burton, John Bennie Clark, 1789-1862
Inclusive dates: 1811-1858
Extent: 1 volume
The Elisha Burton ledger records financial transactions for liquor, wood, labor, and other goods and services in and around Norwich, Vermont, throughout the early 19th century.
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:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1990. M-2583.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


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:

Elisha Burton Ledger, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Elisha Burton was born on November 7, 1743, and was one of the earliest settlers of Norwich, Vermont, where he owned a grist mill. He married a woman named Susanna in 1767; their children included Levi, Elisha, and Stephen. Following Susanna's death, he married Sarah Cogswell, with whom he had 7 surviving children: Sarah, Jacob, Joseph, Polly, John Bennie Clark, Harvey, and Fanny. He married Mercy Bigelow Loveland after the death of his second wife. He died on May 3, 1819.

John Bennie Clark Burton was born in Norwich, Vermont, on April 10, 1789. He worked as a farmer until his death on May 9, 1862. He and his wife, Susan Loveland (1792-1864), had five children: Joseph, Edward, Eliza, Julia Ann, Susan Lovina, and John Perkins. Joseph was born on November 25, 1814. In September 1834, he moved to Upper Alton, Illinois, where he married Elizabeth Elwell (1818-1888). Joseph's brother Edward joined the couple in Illinois in 1838.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Elisha Burton ledger (444 pages) records financial transactions for liquor, wood, labor, and other goods and services in and around Norwich, Vermont, and Upper Alton, Illinois, throughout the early 19th century. The volume, entitled "Elisha Burton Ledger No. 2nd," begins on November 21, 1811, and contains entries for a number of Burton family members and for prominent residents in Norwich and in nearby Hanover. On the first page is a list of subscribers for a new meetinghouse on "Norwich plan," and this is followed by early accounts of figures carried over from the previous ledger. Commodities include whiskey, gin, cider, foodstuffs, bricks, and wood, though many of the later entries pertain to labor, renting carts and draft animals, and room and board. More specific mentions of labor often refer to chopping wood and other work with lumber; on one occasion, a grave was dug for Mary Burton, a widow (p. 134). After the first 337 pages of accounts, a few entries at the back of the volume relate to property held by the Burton family, including an inventory of Julia Ann Burton's possessions (p. 434), and deposits made by John B. C. Burton's siblings Edward and Eliza toward their respective shares of his estate. A late account records Joseph Burton's finances before he left for Illinois on September 24, 1834 (p. 440). Several additional items, primarily recording financial records, are laid into the volume, along with a set of directions for making shoe soles.

Subject Terms

    • Decendents' estates--Vermont.
    • Hanover (N.H.)
    • Norwich (Vt.)--Commerce.
    • Norwich (Vt.)--History--19th century.
    • Upper Alton (Ill.)
    • Vermont--History--19th century.
    Genre Terms:
    • Account books.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Elisha Burton ledger,  1811-1858 [series]
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Aldrich, Lewis Cass, and Frank R. Holmes. History of Windsor County, Vermont, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Syracuse, New York: D. Mason & Co., 1891.

    Loveland, John Bigelow, and George Loveland. Genealogy of the Loveland family in the United States of America from 1635 to 1892... Vol. 1. Fremont, Ohio: I. M. Keeler & Son, 1892.