Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst
Neil McKie Daybook
Scope and Contents of the Collection
Neil McKie, the 28 year old proprietor of a dry goods and general merchandise shop in Easton, New York, kept "Daybook B" from April 1 to October 12, 1844. Although some pages are headed "Easton" and others "South Easton", the same customers appear on both lists, probably meaning that McKie had a single shop located in South Easton.
McKie actually lived in Cambridge, New York, just over the border near the South Easton crossroads, with George McKie, who in 1850 was listed in the census as a 58 year old farmer owning real estate valued at $36,800. The household of 10 included several younger McKie males and 3 young people from Ireland. Neil is identified as a merchant. On page 18 of the daybook E.N. Akin is given credit for boarding "McKie, Akin, and Fish" for 1 year. This may indicate a temporary situation for Neil, or for another member of George McKie's large household.
Represented in the 242 pages of Neil McKie's daybook are several hundred of Easton's 2825 citizens, as well as some from Cambridge. Among those most frequently appearing are Daniel Hunt, George McKie, Hiram Starbuck, Isaac Hoag, E.N. Akin, Henry Dingman, T.S. Beadle, D.C. Thomas, Mrs. Abbey Whiteside, and Rhodon Foster, some of whom were from among the region's Quaker community.
Because this is a daybook and the settling of accounts is seldom indicated here, it is difficult to tell whether many of the customers exchanged services for the goods they purchased. A wide variety of dry goods, especially, are listed, including the identification of some textiles by town of origin.