Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert and Henry Ketcham Account Book
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The account book kept by Robert and Henry Ketcham in Charlton, New York (Saratoga County) chronicles their farm business/general store from 1829 to 1875. In 1867, the business transferred to Henry Ketcham and in 1874, the notes, previously kept by Robert and Henry under their respective names to documenting their personal transactions, fall under the more general "Store Trade" heading.
Previous to 1874, items sold include wheat, corn, potatoes, oats, rye, pork, beans, eggs, butter, cheese, mackerel fish, "indien" meal, onion, smoked meat, and buckwheat. After 1874, the store seems to evolve into a general store-type business, selling tobacco, coffee and tea, cornstarch, sulphur, nails, crackers, sugar, silk thread, castor oil, cups and saucers, and fabric.
Most of the entries from the Robert Ketcham period list services he performed, such as plowing, harvesting, planting corn, haying, pulling stumps, and making and mending fences. Robert also kept accounts of his transactions with fellow townsmen in Charlton, including paying Hugh Joley for lime, Andrew Benedict for shingles, Henry Jones and Aben Barhite for mason work, and Mr. Corde for timber. The persons regularly employed by Robert were Eliot Bovee, Fred and Mark Volentine, and John Jurke. Henry Ketcham had a similar "What I Owe" page, with notation of house insurance payments, in addition to notations on other debt items.
Several entries also include Robert Ketcham charging family members for certain goods and services. One example included charging Henry Ketcham in 1861 "for boarding Misses Ketcham's at Schenectady while going to school at Union School one term and 2 weeks which is 16 weeks at $1.50 per week," and lending Mrs. Ketcham money.
Included in the ledger are several newspaper clippings of poetry, samples of dried pressed foliage, written document of Ketcham family births, deaths, and marriages, and the document of a house sale agreement (former residence of Samuel Croffoot) between Henry E. Gardinier, Samuel Muney, and Nathan B. Jemie.