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Account Book of Elijah Williams, Ledger C, Vol. 4
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Tradesmen, craftsmen, doctors, and lawyers in the 18th and 19th centuries kept account books to record their transactions with their customers. Between the 1740s and the time he died in 1771, Elijah Williams of Deerfield, Massachusetts, did business with most of the residents of that town. He sold cloth, foodstuffs, hardware, and spirits and accepted in exchange cash, labor, livestock, and agricultural products. Each purchase was recorded with the amount and the value attached under the customer's name. On the opposite page was written the method and amount of payment. Some accounts were reconciled monthly, some yearly, and some less often.
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