[Manuscript – household account book].

[Norwich(?): April 1st, 1845 – January 1st, 1855].

Small octavo (15.5.x 10.5 cm.), [74] pages with handwritten text (others blank). A neat household account book, labeled “Expenses Out for House”, covering a broad range of purchases over more than a decade. The first page, “For oysters” seems an outlier, not format in the manner of what follows. What follows is a detailed list of purchases, line after line listing “Cash Pd for…” and listing “fruit, candy, ham, flower, tea & cinnamon, veal, card & pencil, butter, soing (sic) silk, oranges & lemons, bitters, tin dipper, ginger, shave, freight on Brandy, nutmeg, lard, dried berries, half bushel chestnuts, turnups (sic), cider, tobacco, apples, cheese, fruit, mead, brooms, turkey, dried apples, molasses, mutton, for washing, coffy (sic), candles, news paper, sundries, for dog, onion sets, maple sugar, pepper, garden seeds, blacksmith, raisins, lamb, for beef & book (is this a bottle?), lemon essence, brushes, etc. In all, a fairly broad ranging shopping list, indicating a middle class existence at least. Some of the entries include names: “Henry Hastings, one ham”, “…to D. Hayes for oats”, or "to Harriet Blood for school bill”; others indicate place names: "Groceries to Norwich”, “sundries, Norwich”. Triangulation of the most prominent place names recorded locates the book in Norwich, NY, less than five miles from Guilford and Coventryville, all in Chenango County, N.Y. A page at toward the rear has a series of signatures, "Doctor Prindle, Doctor Prindle, Mr. Bostford Prindle, Coventry, Botsford". Was this a signature on a debt, or a clue to the owner of the account book? The Prindles were a distinguished family in the area; Zacariah Prindle's occupation remains unclear to this cataloguer, but one of his sons, Elizur H. Prindle, served in both the NY State Assembly and the US House of Representatives. Whoever the recorder, this little account book reveals a decade of the workings of a fairly sophisticated household. In later boards, covered in a patterned oil cloth and with new-ish endpapers. Not fragile at all. Soil and staining from the expected daily wear.

Price: $500.00