We specialize in Americana, especially manuscript materials. We offer manuscript letters and archives, diaries, journals, personal and business correspondence from the 17th century through the 20th.

  • 17th century Philadelphia Account Book
    narrow octavo, 63 manuscript pages plus blanks, bound in a contemporary vellum wallet style binding of presumably English manufacture, with original brass clasp, vellum is tooled with blind rules, vellum worn, and somewhat soiled, old tear to wallet flap with early sewn repair, some foxing to paper, entries in ink in a 17th century hand.
    Exceptionally rare 17th century manuscript account book very likely kept by an early Philadelphia Quaker merchant, likely Humphrey Morrey, the entries begin soon after Morrey’s arrival in the new city of Philadelphia in 1684. The entries begin three years after the colony of Pennsylvania was chartered in 1681, and two years after the arrival of William Penn in 1682. The entries document goods sold and imported, personal and business expenses, including detailed entries for the construction of a “compting house” and other structures. There are entries for repairs to “Chesnut warf” Humphrey Morrey owned the lot and wharf at Front and Chestnut streets. The account book contains one of the earliest Lenni Lenape vocabularies, a glossary of words used in trading. Quaker historian, Edwin B. Bronner states: “References to economic life in Pennsylvania in this period [1690s] are rare and generally refer to the development of some new type of business venture or to the commerce which flowed in and out of Philadelphia.”1 According to Blackwell’s Rent Roll of 1689 there were only eight “merchants” in Philadelphia at that time, Morrey was one of them.            Many of the entries deal with the sale of Canary wine, Madeira, claret and “syder royall”, by the barrel and bottle to various early Philadelphians and “First Purchasers”, including: Thomas Hooton, Nathaniel Allen,… more >