General Account Book

Unidentified, probably Albany-area resident or merchant
Date: 1754
Author: Unidentified, probably Albany-area resident or merchant
Purpose: Account record for purchase of various goods by numerous Albany-area residents.
Credit: Albany Institute of History & Art Library Purchase
Accession Number: 2011.188

Dutch language and culture persisted in the Albany area throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries despite the nonmilitary takeover of the colony by the English in 1664. The Albany Institute recently purchased a small mid-eighteenth-century account book written in Dutch that records transactions for general supplies such as sawn lumber, wine, and bearskins. Most likely inscribed by an unidentified merchant, the account book reveals strong ties of commercial patronage within the Dutch community of the Upper Hudson Valley. Most names are of Dutch ancestry including Samuel Coeymans, Peter Winne, Peter Gansevoort, David Verplanck, and Albany silversmiths Barent and Jacob Ten Eyck. A few names of Anglo ancestry appear, specifically Adam Yates and James (John?) Stevenson.

The account book complements other eighteenth-century examples in the Institute’s collection and offers a look into the commercial transactions and consumer choices available to residents of the Albany area at a time of conflict and uncertainty at the very beginning of the French and Indian War.