Collection ID: 0002 | Metadata type: TEI | TEI XML | Data

Ms. Codex 1587 Farmer's ledger


Farmer's ledger

Call number

Ms. Codex 1587
(Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania, Rare Book & Manuscript Library)

Alternate identifiers


The University of Pennsylvania Libraries


Probably written in New England, between 1774 (f. 714v) and 1777 (f. 702v).


Ledger of miscellaneous accounts of an unidentified farmer, probably in New England, covering the years 1774-1777. Often includes the nature of a given debt, credit, or other transaction, as well as listing the name of the individual who holds the debt or credit. Some of the names that appear throughout the ledger are those of Thomas Henderson, Anthony Hill, Isaac and James Townsend, Nathaniel Tomkins, and Reverend Robinson. Most of the transaction consist of debts and credits for the sale or purchase of produce; shoe and clothes repair (perhaps done at the farm); payment of farm laborers; and for farm tools and materials, such as ashes. A few more detailed accounts for the farm production of specific items such as grains (wheat, buckwheat, corn, oats, rye, flaxseed, and flour) and meat (pork and beef) are scattered throughout the volume. Expenses related to household management, including expenses for food, accessories, clothing, and books, are also present and recorded under family expenses. Most entries of the ledger contain a large number of unspecified sundries, both in case of accounts with external counterparts and for household expenses. The present manuscript, whose foliation starts with f. 697, was formerly part of a larger volume.



Large, unidentified watermark containing a shield, a lily, and a crown.


40 leaves : 365 x 241 bound to 371 x 246 mm


Paper, 40; 697-736; contemporary foliation in ink, upper left verso. Some openings present matching foliation with the same arabic numeral on the left and right sides.




Contemporary suede, partly detached, over cardboard. Very faint, stamped floral ornament on both covers. Marbled pastedown inside upper cover.


  • Written in 8 columns with vertical bounding lines in lead; the first three small columns on the left with the date of a transaction, the large column in the center with the debtor or creditor and a brief description of the credit or debt, and the last four small ones on the right with the amount of the debt and credit. Horizontal bounding lines in ink are sometimes used to separate different series of accounts. Long lines are also used.
  • Script

  • Written in a cursive script by a single hand.
  • Subjects topical




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