Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
R. P. Van Deusen Account Book, 1840

Finding aid created by
Rachel K. Onuf, May 1996

Summary Information
Title: R. P. Van Deusen account book
Creator: Van Deusen, R. P.
Inclusive dates: 1840
Extent: 125 pages
This account book, kept by R. P. Van Deusen, documents 18 trips of the barge Berkshire on the Hudson River and Erie Canal carrying passengers and cargo.
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:


Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

R. P. Van Deusen Account Book, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


During the 1840s, the canal barge Berkshire appears to have run a route up and down and the Erie Canal and Hudson River. She appears to have been a line boat carrying both freight and passengers, and was probably owned and operated by R. P. Van Deusen

Collection Scope and Content Note

The account book of the barge Berkshire contains records eighteen trips up and down the Hudson River and Erie Canal. Some passengers paid simply for passage, some for passage and board. The diverse cargo included hay, reams of paper, vinegar, cattle, potatoes, books and oats. There is much detail of barge expenses as well, including provisions and the cost of being towed up and down the river by various captains and steamboats. Deposits to the Mercantile and Exchange Bank are also noted. A later possessor of the account book filled thirty one pages at the opposite end of the book with notations on the life and death of many authors, and starts with the witty quote, "Woodsman spare that tree." There are a few pages of manuscript verse, and sadly, several pages of accounts are covered up with poems clipped out of newspapers. Some of these have been removed.

Subject Terms

    • Account books.
    • Barges.
    • Canal boats.
    • Commonplace-books.
    • Erie Canal (N.Y.)
    • Hudson River (N.Y. and N.J.)
    • New York (State)
    • Poetry.
    • Shipping.
    Genre Terms:
    • Account books.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    R. P. Van Deusen account book of the barge Berkshire ,  1840 [series]