Elisha Burton ledger  1811-1858
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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.

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