Fact or Fiction?

Fact or Fiction?

Young Woman's Expenses, 1832.

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This short but intriguing account book, covered in attractive, cascading leaf covered wallpaper wrappers contains records for the year 1832.  The owner, apparently a woman, seems to have traveled frequently between Ipswich, Boston, Providence and New York, recording travel expenses, lodging and dinners.  She was a well-educated woman, listing numerous book purchases such as Geography of Massachusetts, Lincoln’s Botany, The Girl’s Own Book, and Parley’s Tales of Europe.  She also paid for the use of books, as well as for tuition for one quarter.  She even enjoyed a few simple luxuries, such as fancy handkerchiefs, silk, and a quart of cherries on July 4th. Several pages in the same hand at the rear of the volume tell a different story, however. There are handwritten promissory notes and receipts for a variety of people in a variety of places, all with the same date—suggesting this volume was actually an exercise book for someone learning how to keep personal accounts.

Adopted by Susan Bombieri

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