Accounts of Murphy & Spear, General Merchants. Murphy, Spear.
Vermont Dry Goods & General Merchant’s Manuscript Account Book

Accounts of Murphy & Spear, General Merchants.

Burlington, Vermont, April 22, 1848 - December 6, 1852. Item #699

12 mo.  150 x 95 mm., [6 x 7 ½  inches]. 44 pp.  Pocket ledger hand sewn at center, no cover.  Paper stock browned, slight water damage. Very legible hand.


The business of Murphy & Spear is listed in the 1849 New-England Mercantile Union Business Directory under "Dry Goods, Grocery, and Variety".   A Franklin Spear (1816-), merchant, is found in Burlington, Vermont, in 1850. It is possible that these are his accounts along with partner A.J. Murphy who was born about 1815 in New York. The accounts are headlined "Murphy & Spear" at the top of each page and are kept chronologically.


Goods sold include foodstuffs: fish (salmon, mackerel, cod), crackers, lemons, candy, pepper, Cocoa and liquors (rum, gin, brandy).  General merchandise is also entered including hoes, starch, box of essence, alum, combs, overalls, scythes, washboard, tin milk pail, jails, casks of oil, and so on.  A few customer names include Martha Barstow, Thomas Rock, James McDonald, Mark Brown, C. Porter, and Doctor Rand, and often notations are by first name: sundries for Mark, pants for Mark, vest for Edwin, valise for Mark Brown, and so on. On March 27, 1848: "Sold 1/2 gallon of oil and prepared our taxes".  The ending balance of the account in February 1850 was $ 340.15.


The partnership might have lasted until Spear moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1860, where he is found with his wife, Sarah, and son Giles.

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Price: $250.00

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