1793. (MERCHANT'S 18TH CENTURY MANUSCRIPT RECEIPT BOOK) PARSONS, James. Manuscript New York Merchant's Receipt Book, 1783-1793. New York: December 23, 1783-December 23, 1793. Oblong 12mo. (4 x 6 1/2 inches) Contemporary full-sheep, rebacked, with original metal clasp. (188) pages. Rare manuscript receipt book. Contains a wealth of information concerning merchant activity in 18th century New York City. Entries cover exactly ten years to the day of paid receipts for supplies to James Parsons & Son, New York City Quaker merchant, each signed by the merchant or supplier; each page covered in full. There are a large number of receipts related to the building arts and trades which make up the largest category of receipts in the early part of the book: including purchases of timber, plank, shingles (including "shaving" shingles), and boards, as well as payments for work done such as accounts for brick and brick work, installing gutters, carpentry and plumbing. Details include building a staircase, purchase of window sash frames, completion of mason's work, payment for two days painting and furniture made and bought at auction. Most are from the first two to three years and indicate he was doing major construction, possibly his house, which he mentions several times. There are over four hundred written and signed receipts by a host of New York merchants covering a myriad of supplies and services such as staves, salt, ginseng, wine, storage, freight of goods to England, labor, pilotage, beaver pelts, house rent, poor tax, flour, shoe repair, spermaceti candles from Nantucket, tobacco, beef, a crate of medical phials, ballast, rum, ship's carpentry, wharfage, land in Nantucket, flaxseed, 6 windsor chairs, potash, pickling, etc. Some familiar names are Nicholas Low, Philip J. Livingstone, Schermerhorn, Adams, Roosevelt, etc., and William Rotch and Obed Coffin from Nantucket. A number of entries cover shipping commodities off sloops from London, Liverpool and Bristol. Long ago something wet was placed on the lower cover resulting in a 1 1/2 inch brown circular stain, which is present on the last 36 leaves, but only affects the legibility of that circular 1 1/2 inches on the last seven leaves. Several loosely laid-in manuscript receipts as well. (Inventory #: 39735)
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