Benjamin Helm & Company account and daybook  1823-1824
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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.

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