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New York City Merchant's Ledger

A description of the item at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Title: New York City Merchant's Ledger
Inclusive Dates: 1784-1802
Inclusive Dates: 1800-1802
Quantity: 1 volume.
Abstract: Record of sales of goods, ships and banking transactions, by an unnamed New York City merchant.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Nothing is known of the author of this volume other than the information evident in the collection. The firm sold goods to individuals and to shipowners but also seems to have sold the ships themselves.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The New York City Merchant's Ledger consists of a single volume of 488 pages, along with 20 loose pages. The loose pages date from 1784-1791, while the bound ledger spans the years 1800-1802. Although the name of the merchant is unknown, the volume details his day-to-day financial transactions: sales of goods to individuals and to shipowners, and also sales of the vessels themselves.

There is no index to either ships or individuals, but it is nevertheless possible to trace specific names through the volume as many were consistent customers. Some of the names which recur are Peter Schermerhorn, James and William Kenyon, and the brigs Friendship, Venus and Aurora. Other surnames of interest to students of early New York history include Wynkoop and Van Sinderen.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has numerous other ledgers, day books and other financial records of New York merchants. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

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Subject Headings


Merchant ships -- 19th century.
Merchants -- New York (N.Y.)
Shipbuilding industry -- 19th century.
Shipping -- 19th century.


New York (N.Y.) -- Commerce.

Genres and Forms

Ledgers (account books)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

New York City Merchant's Ledger,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Unspecified, 1969.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: -
Date: 1970
Revision history: 17 Oct 2018 - rehoused (MS)

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Financial records
Oversize 1 Ledger 1784-1802

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