Circa 1824 - 1830 Manuscript Georgetown Ledger, Travel-log, Draft Legal Agreements for Tavern Properties, Banking & Investment, Personal & Family Correspondence
(Americana - 19th Century - Manuscript - Georgetown)

Maryland: Not Published, 1824. F (36) pages with entries + 7 blank pages, kept by Robert and William McCleery of Georgetown,Washington and Frederick, MD. An interesting manuscript miscellany, geographically central to early Georgetown and Maryland. Partly a business ledger; a travel-log; a record of draft legal document & agreements, especially concerning the leasing of tavern properties in Georgetown and other properties; banking and investment; personal & family information, including: A cash accounting ledger, acting as a diary of business activities: travel expenses, wages, rental, mortgage, collection fees, money-lending, real estate and auction transactions of various kinds; purchases at auction, including books and other materials, which are identified and priced. Also listed are charitable contributions to several named institutions and individuals, including Samuel Wait at College Hill DC (eventual founder of Wake Institute, which later became Wake Forest Univ.) and monetary contribution to the "Greeks" and to the "Jews Society," and others. It also appears that Mr. McCleery leases out his owned labor, "Negro Bob" to others, for a fee. Auction purchases include several parcels of land, household goods, clothing, shoes and on several occasions, books. The auctions are dated, named and items listed, including the titles and prices of books purchased. McCleery leases out at least one tavern property in Georgetown for periods of one to three years; here are several draft agreements which detail the legal arrangements with the lessors. This business was situated on H St. in Georgetown; the lease verbiage make known the amenities found in the locations - bake oven, sheds, stairs, more. Another draft agreement refers to this tavern as being on the 'high street' of G'Town. McCleery also leases out rooms in a storehouse on the corner of Market Street. He describes a visit, in a draft letter to a relation, "…Georgetown appeared to look better than on previous visits. They were painting & repairing every thing formerly seemed going to ruin, renting did not seem to be quite so bad. The City improves considerably, but that seemed to fluctuate from one part to another places that used to be lively quite dull & houses tenantless other parts that had been dull busy & improving. James McCleery said the Commercial Company of Georgetown had closed their concern with a deficit of $10,000 but that he did not think the stock-holders would ever be called on to any part of it. The Bank of Columbia I was informed had arranged its concerns with the Bank of the United States & transferred Banking house notes debts & all its property to it & was after settlement considerably in their debt…"A section of (4) pages is titled an 1829 "Journal of Expenses to New York & Saratoga." Entries are chronologically given, in ledger form with running totals: "…Left Frederick (MD) at 3 o'clock in the morning arrived at Washington 4 o'clock same day shoeing horse 12 ½ hire of carriage 2 days at 75 cts vs $1.50 hire of boy 2 days at 37 1/2p 75 2 Hats for boys $1.75…glasses lemonade cream of tartar…recording two deeds (Wash.) $2.00…Hammetts Tavern bill $5.00 stage office $6.00 crackers wafers…Left at 5 o'clock three o'clock reached Baltimore harbor…Mr. Burts tavern bill in Baltimore 2 lodgings 2 suppers 2 breakfasts 2 dinners $2 half crackers 6 ¼ cash per Steam boat to New Castle $6 arrived 12 o'clock at night French town at 5 o'clock in the morning New Castle…steam boat to Philadelphia…oysters toll bridges Museum 50cts cakes and beer…Barber cakes & beer segars (sic) crackers Wm. Reeves tavern steam boat to N. York…Mr. Elisha Case Courtlandt Street…." Other taverns, steamboat passages, travel expenses listed, to Saratoga and for return to the Washington area.. A 1824 (4 1/2) page draft or note-copy legal indenture involves the estate of Robert Kenege, for a piece of property, "Puzzlesome Corrected" in the Frederick, MD area; this is acknowledged by Abraham Shriver. Other family names mentioned are Beall, Nixdorf, Knox, Miller, Quinn, Medtart, Hane, Kleinhart, Neighbours, Stoner, Battzell, Col. Ritchie, W. Hanna, H. Thompson, Payne, B. Rutherford and many more. At back, kept in ledger-form, is a record of banking at various institutions during 1823: Hagerstown Bank, Bank of Westminster, Bank of Columbia, Frederick Co. Bank. In the same section are drafts or copies of legal documents, for deposits made on the Baltimore branch of the Bank of the United States. In addition, an indenture regarding a legal case on an estate, trustees and disputants (c. 2) pages, dated 1829. Miscellaneous entries in this ledger includes a letter regarding the status of properties held with others, details of yearly performance of farming assets and crop yields & future planning; a couple of legal disputes regarding properties and frustrated attempts at resolution; a recipe copied from the "New England Farmer" for pest control; a list of stocks held (on banks) and with pen-trials, notes pinned-in and a couple of small scraps with sums scattered on the pages, along with a list of building repair materials and expenses for the Presbyterian Church. Approx. 8" x 12 ½" size; no covers; side sewn. Ledger lines hand-drawn, on good quality paper; top page (mostly blank) with a hole & closed tear, no textual loss. Spotting, staining, foxing, pages darkened somewhat; generally, very legible and in good condition. A business, social and historical record of the nascent American capital district and surrounding area. Good (Item ID: 26374)


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