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Dr. Elijah Paine's ledger, 1785-1797
TitleDr. Elijah Paine's ledger, 1785-1797
Full Size Image
SubjectWilliamsburg (Mass.); Paine, Elijah, 1724-1814; Account books-Massachusetts-Williamsburg; Barter-Massachusetts-Williamsburg; Physicians-Massachusetts-Williamsburg.
DescriptionLedger or account book kept by early Williamsburg, Mass. physician, tavern keeper and farmer Elijah Paine from 1785 through 1797. In an era when cash was very scarce, Paine accepted every kind of goods and labor in exchange for his medical treatments, medications and alcoholic beverages, which were sometimes indistinguishable one from another. He served a clientele covering Williamsburg and extending into several adjoining towns, and this extensive record of the services he performed and the goods he both accepted and purveyed gives a wonderful primary source for information about the values of products and labor, the conduct of barter, and the practice of medicine in Williamsburg's early days, as well as incidental information about all the people with whom Paine dealt. The ledger measures 6.5 inches wide, 16 inches high and 1 inch thick when closed. Local historian Ralmon Black has prepared an index to it, available for use at the Meekins Library.
CreatorElijah Paine
PublisherC/WMARS, Inc.
ContributorsPhotographed by Eric Weber
IdentifierMeekins Library--Local History--Historic Manuscripts--Williamsburg--Paine (Dr. Elijah) Ledger.
RelationPart of the Meekins Library, Williamsburg, Mass., Local History, Historic Manuscripts Collection.
RightsPermission to publish the image must be obtained from the Meekins Library by writing to or Meekins Library, Williamsburg, Mass., must be credited as the original source of the item for all use.
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