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Collection Scope and Content Notes


The Ephraim Douglass Ledgers present a record of business and military activities undertaken by Ephraim Douglass in Western Pennsylvania. The information contained within dates primarily from the 1770s and illuminates aspects of life in western Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary War era. The ledgers reveal the foods, household items, and services in demand by colonists on what was, at the time, the western frontier. Douglass and his associates have meticulously recorded details of the transactions.

The ledger in folder 01 contains customer names, goods and services sold, prices and dates of transactions. The items sold include horseshoes, nails, staples, and lime. The page opposite this information lists expenses incurred by Douglass that offset the amounts due. Examples of these expenses are onions, milk, butter, whiskey, bear meat, and a "fish bought of an Indian." The "Smith and Douglass ledger" documents the partnership between Douglass and Devereaux Smith, including the store they opened in Kittanning in 1776. The items listed are somewhat different from what is represented in the first ledger, with food and liquor appearing with much more frequency.

The "Book of Ephraim Douglass, Quartermaster" provides a record of the Eighth Pennsylvania Regiment at Kittanning. Information recorded includes an account of tools used and by whom, a list of types and quantities of animal skins, records of employment, deliveries received, and purchases made by the soldiers of the regiment. "Joseph Douglass's Ledger" is a stock book from 1777, which lists quantities of various items, their date of sale, and price. A note written in pencil on the cover states the ledger was kept by Joseph Douglass in Pittsburgh after his brother, Ephraim, left Kittanning with the Eighth Pennsylvania Regiment.


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