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Pages from Elijah Williams (Old Soldier's) account book, Vol. 2

Page 10a
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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The system of slavery in New England was often markedly different from that of the Southern colonies. Not only did slaves frequently work alongside their owners and reside with them, but they might also be sent to serve in the militia, fight in wars, and were allowed to hold accounts in local stores. One enslaved man in Deerfield was even sent on occasion to run his master's store in Hinsdale, New Hampshire. The account book pages for the store run by Elijah Williams in Deerfield, Massachusetts, include accounts for slaves such as Ishmael, who was owned by Thomas Dickinson and Titus, who was owned by the Reverend Jonathan Ashley. Each account includes a page listing a person's purchases with values in pounds, shillings, and pence, and an opposing page listing the ways in which these people paid for their items. In Ishmael's case, payment included cash, two days of work, and "By Digging Jno Tutes Grave".

 

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