Rowland Mahaffey, Blacksmith's ledgers
Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
These three volumes are ledgers kept by blacksmith Rowland Mahaffey from 1808 to 1820. Mahaffey likely had his blacksmith shop in New Castle County, Delaware, or Cecil County, Maryland.
Each of the ledgers includes an alphabetical index of account holders listing the corresponding page numbers of their accounts. Mahaffey did a variety of work for customers, including shoeing horses, making and mending hardware, sharpening tools, and repairing farm and manufacturing equipment. While his customers sometimes paid their debts in cash, they more often offered credit payments in goods and services. Common goods used as payment included corn, potatoes, flour, oats, flax, and textiles. Customers also paid debts by carrying coal, chopping wood, harrowing fields, and tending Mahaffey's livestock. In several places in the ledgers, Mahaffey reckoned accounts, recording the balance due to him or his customer. These entries were signed by both Mahaffey and the account holder.
Volume 1 is bound with blue marbled paper covers. A label attached to the front cover includes the handwritten inscription "Rowland Mahaffey" in black ink. Printed text at the bottom of the label reads "Sold by Bennett & Walton [illegible number] Market street, Philadelphia." This volume contains 65 leaves of unlined laid paper with handwritten notations in black ink.
Volume 2 is bound in marbled paper with a label on the front cover bearing the handwritten inscription "John Mahaffey" in black ink. Printed text at the bottom of the label reads "Edward Parker, No. 178, Market Street." There are various handwritten inscriptions and calculations in black ink on front and back cover. The volume contains 44 leaves of unlined laid paper with handwritten notations in black ink.
Volume 3 is bound in brown paper with printed poetry and advertisements for Scudder's Museum on Chatham Street in New York City, New York, on the front and back covers. There are spaces on the front and back cover reading "THE PROPERTY OF" in printed text, below which Rowland Mahaffey signed his name. This volume contains 35 leaves of unlined wove paper with handwritten notations in black ink.
Item 0017: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0096
Processed by Marrette Pearsall, 2012. Further processing and encoding by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger, June 2018.
- University of Delaware Library Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
- Finding Aid Date
- 2018 June 14
- Access Restrictions
The collection is open for research.
- Use Restrictions
Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library, https://library.udel.edu/static/purl.php?askspec