William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Finding aid created by
John L. Tillinghast Distillery Ledger, 1786-1789
Meg Hixon, March 2012
John L. Tillinghast Distillery ledger
Tillinghast, John L.
This ledger, kept by John L. Tillinghast between 1786 and 1789, contains financial records related to his New York distillery. Tillinghast primarily traded rum, and his customers included prominent New York residents such as Isaac Roosevelt and Henry Rutgers.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
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.
John L. Tillinghast Distillery Ledger, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
John L. Tillinghast operated a distillery in New York City between 1786 and 1789. Its products included rum, shrub, and wine, and his business took him to Alexandria and Yorktown, Virginia; Charleston, S.C.; and Providence, Rhode Island.
Collection Scope and Content Note
This ledger, kept by John L. Tillinghast between November 11, 1786, and June 11, 1789, contains 110 pages of financial records related to his New York distillery. Each entry documents transactions with a particular individual or company, with facing pages providing debits and credits. Tillinghast primarily sold rum, wine, and shrub, with rum usually priced by the barrel. His accounts also document payments for sugar, fruit juices, labor, and molasses. Though all of the accounts were written in New York, Tillinghast recorded dealings from business trips to Alexandria, Virginia (p. 2); Charleston, South Carolina (p. 4); Yorktown, Virginia (p. 20); and Providence, Rhode Island (p. 41). He also sent goods for "speculation," including a consignment of pimentos to Amsterdam (p. 46).
His accounts occasionally contain additional information, such as the names of consignment agents and ships' masters, the different prices of wine in New York and Charleston (p. 4), and transactions with a notary public in Yorktown (p. 20). Other accounts reflect the purchase of salt, cherry rum, and cordial (p. 17). Though he most frequently received payments in cash, he accepted sugar as exchange from Isaac Roosevelt (p. 9), allowed Henry Ort to pay for his liquor by working in the distillery (pp. 14 and 48), and accepted waived rent as payment from Henry Rutgers (p. 19).
- Marinus Willett (p. 3)
- Isaac Roosevelt (p. 9)
- Doctor Malachi Treat (p. 10)
- Henry Rutgers (p. 19)
- George Clinton, Esquire (p. 37)
The account book also holds "stock accounts" on pages 1, 11, 25, 35, 40, and 47, as well as "commission accounts" on pages 6, 34, and 49.
- Alcoholic beverages.
- Clinton, George, 1739-1812.
- New York (N.Y.)--Commerce.
- Roosevelt, Isaac, 1726-1794.
- Rutgers, Henry, 1745-1830.
- Willett, Marinus, 1740-1830.
- Business records.
- Financial records.
- Ledgers (account books)