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Harriet B. Miles account book


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

Harriet Black Miles was born in Glasgow, Delaware, on October 30, 1808, to Samuel Henry Black and Dorcas Armitage (Middleton) Black. She married James L. Miles on June 18, 1827, and the couple had one son, Samuel Henry Miles (1828-1831). The Mileses became members of the Pencader Presbyterian Church in 1832. James Miles died in 1856. Following the death of her mother Dorcas Armitage Black in 1866, it appears that Harriet became the administrator of her estate, paying out legacies to her siblings, nieces, nephews, and other family members. In this account book, Harriet Black Miles frequently referred to her younger brother, David W. Black, who lived with her according to the 1870 and 1880 Federal Censuses. Harriet Black Miles died on May 28, 1891, and was buried in the Pencader Cemetery in Glasgow, Delaware.

1850 Federal Census (accessed via on June 14, 2018)1870 Federal Census (accessed via on June 14, 2018)1880 Federal Census (accessed via on June 14, 2018)U.S. Presbyterian Church Records, 1701-1970 (accessed via on June 14, 2018)Delaware Wills and Probate Records, 1676-1971 (accessed via on June 14, 2018)Delaware Marriage Records, 1744-1912 (accessed via on June 14, 2018)Information derived from the collection.

Harriet B. Miles of Newark, Delaware, used this account book to record her household expenses from 1866 to 1878. She also recorded interest payments on bonds she held and entries regarding the administration of her mother's estate.

Much of this volume is structured as a single-entry account of Miles's household expenses and income. Miles purchased a large quantity of foodstuffs, including meat, butter, and flour, as well as coal. She also paid individuals for a variety of services, such as digging her garden and wallpapering one of the rooms in her house. Miles also often borrowed and loaned money. In January 1871, she loaned her meat supplier five dollars to pay his insurance. Miles also frequently transacted with her brother, David W. Black, who lived wither her. An entry towards the ends of the volume reads "D.W. Black in account with H.B. Miles to board, washing and mending pr week $6.00."

Following several observations about the weather towards the back of the volume, Miles recorded information about bonds she held and the administration of her mother's estate. She noted that she held several large bonds from G.Z. Tybout, who made regular interest payments to her. After her mother's death in 1866, Miles administered her estate, paying for the funeral and expenses incurred during her final illness. Miles also paid out legacies from her mother's estate to her sister, sister-in-law, nieces, and nephews.

Several items have been laid into this account book, including a paper doll with the name "Lena Evans" inscribed on the back, envelopes addressed to Miles and Theo F. Armstrong of Newark, Delaware, a doctor's prescription for cod liver oil from 1869, and loose receipts.

The volume is bound with multi-colored paper over boards. The volume contains 136 pages of laid paper with vertical columns to keep accounts. There are handwritten notations in black ink and pencil on 37 pages in the volume.

Item 0018: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0096

Acquired, 1950.

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 15
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 isrequired from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Harriet B. Miles account book, 1866 May 1-1878 April 20.
Item 0018

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