Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Country Store Daybook
Scope and Contents of the Collection
This daybook from the village of Titicut (Middleborough, Massachusetts) includes accounts of a country store from September 1825 to March 1827. Although there is no clear indication of who kept the daybook, it may have been the property of either Amos and Robert Clark, or Jared and Isaac Pratt, both of whom ran stores in the village. Members of both the Clark and the Pratt families appear in the accounts.
The business was very general, selling groceries, cloth, hardware, and liquor. The owners accepted rags, straw, wood, brick, and produce in payment, in addition to cash, and many of the customers earned credit with the store by producing braid, particularly (but not exclusively) the women. Jane Capen, for example, exchanged 150 yards of braid on October 25, 1825, for $1.75 in credit. Three days later, Clarinda, Sybil, and Benjamin Richmond exchanged braid worth $5.10, the largest amount credited to Benjamin's account.
The other principal method of earning credit at the store was by carting goods for the owners. The Alden family, Seth Easton, and Azel Perkins all provided this service for the store, including shipments from as far away as Boston.