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Guide to the E.D. Scott Account Books, 1847-1868

Abstract

Merchant and wholesaler. Originally from Philadelphia, Pa.

Two account books, one containing an inventory of merchandise Scott sold at wholesale prices in Washington, D.C. to Union Army sutlers in 1863 as well as a separate index. It lists the sutlers and sometimes the regiments to whom he sold supplies. The other account book, chiefly 1866-1868, details the sales and the stock on hand in the dry goods store Scott operated in Minneapolis, Minn.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Scott, E.D.
Title
E.D. Scott Account Books 1847-1868
Language of Material
English
Extent
0.6 Linear Feet, 2 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

Two account books, one containing an inventory of merchandise Scott sold at wholesale prices in Washington, D.C. to Union Army sutlers in 1863 as well as a separate index. It lists the sutlers and sometimes the regiments to whom he sold supplies. The other account book, chiefly 1866-1868, details the sales and the stock on hand in the dry goods store Scott operated in Minneapolis, Minn.

Administrative Information

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Collection is open for research.

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The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Sale and account book, 1862-1863

Sale and account book of E.D. Scott for goods sold to various sutlers of the Union Army in Washington, D.C., during 1863. One volume (31x19cm), in limp and worn marble boards and party damaged backstrip.

This volume contains 110 pages of text in ink and pencil which list the very extensive inventory of merchandise sold at wholesale in Washington, D.C., by Scott between January and September 1863. The accounts commence on January 5, 1863, with a "Bill of Goods Consigned to Wm. H. Ward (of 534 7th St.) by E.D. Scott," almost five hundred dollars worth of items. Sales were much more common than consignments, however, and included a terrific variety of goods needed by soldiers in the field - suspenders, razors, soap, "3 Gross pens," pocketbooks, envelopes, scissors, socks, "4 doz. filled ink stands," currency holders, briarwood pipes, and "2 doz. diaries," among other things.

One of the valuable features of Scott's record book is the comprehensive list of goods he furnished for resale to army units, together with the quantity of goods moved, prices charged, and methods of payment or credit extended. No less interesting are the sutlers identified by name as Scott customers. Twenty-one individual sutlers are so named, and the regiments to which they sold goods are specifically identified. Another nine sutlers may be identified in the accounts by reference to Francis A. Lord's Civil War Sutlers and Their Wares (New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1969). Together, these thirty sutlers served twelve regiments from Philadelphia, six each from Massachusetts and New York, and one each from Ohio, Maryland, Maine, and Vermont, plus one U.S. Colored Troop regiment and two unidentified federal regiments - in all, a wide variety of infantry, cavalry, and artillery units. A highly useful six-page index of both sets of sutlers and their regiments, checked against the Lord entries and with reference to the dates of their accounts with Scott, accompanies the volume.

Additional references are made in the volume to incidental expenses, like a few "cash sales" in Washington or Georgetown and notes on express charges (for shipment of goods from Philadelphia). There are also 29 pages of entries in late 1862 for sales of dry goods and fabrics, perhaps in Philadelphia. These do not appear directly related to the 1863 sales to sutlers.

In summary, this is an unusual business record from the nation's capital during the Civil War, documenting the activities of one enterprising businessman from elsewhere who appears to have found abundant opportunities to make money in war-time Washington.

Box 1
Account book, 1847-1868

Account book of E.D. Scott, kept in Minneapolis, Minnesota, between 1866 and 1868 (with some accounts from 1847). This early record (kept within the first decade of Minnesota statehood) gives his "Stock on Hand" as of November 13, 1866, and details sales of dry goods with some earlier records of a B. Scott Senr. & Co."

Box 1

Historical Note

Ebenezer Daniel Scott was born about 1825-1827 in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England to Benjamin Scott (baptised March 29, 1786 in Ditcheat, Somersetshire, England; died 1873 in Camden, New Jersey) and Eliza Owen De Boudry (born about 1785 in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England; died 1858 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). E.D. Scott arrived in New York on September 6, 1831 with his mother and siblings from England. He became a merchant and wholesaler to Civil War sutlers in Washington, D.C., in 1863. Following the Civil War, he appears to have operated a clothing and notion store in Minneapolis, Minnesota, from 1866 to 1868, and was prominently associated with St. Anthony's Church in that city.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], E.D. Scott Account Books, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The E.D. Scott Account Books were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 1985 and 1986.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein Library Staff, 1991

Encoded by Meghan Lyon, May 2011

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.