Friday, April 27, 2012

The General's 1825 Probate Inventory

The Store Furnishings
Previous posts on the Daybook have focused on the denizens of Haverhill and the Oliverian
Brook, their lives and times as documented by their purchases and trade patterns.  The 
opportunity to review the  General's very thorough probate inventory, adds an entirely new
and much richer dimension to what we can surmise about the experience of living and 
working in northern New Hampshire in the early years of the young republic.

As noted earlier, due to a number of factors, the actual store building still 
survives in its original location. Indeed, recent inspection indicates that some 
original or at least early 19th century shelving with grain painting survives.

Among the items listed as in the store in 1825, the most valuable item was the 8 day clock, 
valued at $20.00. For the clerks who slept in the store, the accommodations were  
spacious if not sparse.  It is interesting to note that there was "1  bedstead 
feather and straw beds, 1 bolster, 2 pillow cases, 2 sheets, cotton, 1 wool 
quilt" valued at $13.50.  There was a counting room desk and a writing desk, a 
trinket box, 9 marking irons (?), a barrel and an old hogshead. The stove was 
listed as "much cracked" and may be the one which is currently in the storeroom.

The substantial stock in the store at the time of the General's death was sold to the 
subsequent owner of the house, Colonel Jacob Bell. Bell, successful in business, was a 
former clerk in the General's store and so was no stranger there or in the main house. 
The transfer of the store inventory, the property as a whole and the demarcation of his 
widow's dower rights will be examined in a later post.

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