Ann Arbor (Mich.) Merchant's account book 1833, 1849 (bulk 1849)
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This volume (8" x 12", 145 pages) contains the double-entry bookkeeping records of a merchant based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1849. The unidentified merchant sold a variety of goods to customers in and around Ann Arbor, Pittsfield, Whitmore Lake, Webster, and Hamburg, Michigan. Most pages contain running accounts for specific individuals, with debits and credits noted in two columns. Notes along the margins of many pages indicate the customer's specific location in eastern Washtenaw County or southern Livingston County.

Though the merchant most often recorded sales of "sundries," the accounts occasionally specify items such as hats, shoes, coffee, ribbon, a broom, and sugar. Occasionally, he paid for errors made in previous bills. Customers paid in cash or in kind, most frequently with foodstuffs or items of clothing and sometimes with more unusual items, including a horse and buggy (p. 14). One note concerns a boarder named Carpenter who moved into a home in late August 1849 (p. 97). Though the merchant most frequently dealt with men, the ledger documents accounts with a few women and several firms. A fragment from a letter to Charles W. Butler concerning unsold land, dated January 19, 1833, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is laid into the volume between pages 144 and 145.

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