A trio of nineteenth-century business ledgers from the Cumberland County Public Library are now online at DigitalNC. The ledgers date from the 1830s, the 1850s, and the 1870s, respectively, and can help teach us more about the daily lives of North Carolinians during the nineteenth century. Particularly interesting is the first ledger, which dates from 1832-1834 and documents the business dealings of the merchants Womack and Goodwin in Pittsboro. Operating as general merchants, the firm served the local community with wares ranging from lace, to nails, to sugar, and everything in between.
The second ledger dates from 1852 to 1854 and documents the transactions of an unidentified merchant who conducted business in Cumberland County, Randolph County, and elsewhere. It includes transactions with several prominent Randolph County personalities, including Isaac Holt Faust (1818-1864), a wealthy estate owner who enslaved people, and Pinckney Davenport II (1811-1867), a local moonshine distiller. A selection of papers from the family of Foust’s daughter can be found in the Harris and Foust Family Papers, part of the Southern Historical collection at UNC’s Wilson Library.
The third ledger includes more account information, attributable either to one JB Hockaday or one NA Stedman Jr. of Fayetteville, and dates from 1873-1875. The first 21 pages of this ledge are pasted over with unidentified drawings and newspaper clippings, mainly consisting of prose and poetry.