John Herdman's Day Book, 1816 January 2-1818 June 30

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Delaware Library, Museums and Press
John David Herdman, Jr.'s, mostly single-line daybook shows the transactions for his hotel and tavern, located in New Ark (now Newark), Delaware. The daybook includes the purchase of alcoholic beverages with the price, product, and amount sold. The types of alcohol include: brandy, gin, wine, "cherry," beer, porter, cider, and whisky; whisky being the most frequently purchased. The serving sizes for the tavern include: half-gill, gill, mug, half-pint, and pint. Included among the purchases are charges for lodging in the tavern, apparently to men only, and money loaned. Herdman's establishment had a competing business in the opposite end of the city, but attracted travelers from a nearby turnpike. The book includes payments for turnpike bills. In 1811 Herdman raised funds to have roads paved in Newark by managing a lottery. Another transaction not related to the tavern and hotel is a $12 payment to a Sarah Massey for the services of a "black boy" who was being returned to her. The book itself, paper sheets and binding, were made locally. The paper came from the Milford Paper Mill, built by Thomas Meteer in the late eighteenth-century and operated by the family until 1841. The Curtis family purchased the mill soon after and operated it until 1997. The book has comb pasted paper covered boards for the exterior; decorative, scissor-cut paper label, titled in the manuscript, applied to the upper board; 77 leaves of laid paper with the watermark "Meteer" containing 154 pages of ink and, occasionally, red pencil manuscript or more modern ballpoint pen. Listed on the front endpaper of this account book are names of expensive brands of alcohol: "Madeira Wine, Champagne, Lisbon Wine & Malaga d[itt]o., Sherry & Tenneriffe [sic] Wine, Sicily Muscat Port & Burgundy." These items do not appear in the daybook, but may have been in the inventory for wealthier clientele. On the front, inside cover is an attached sheet with the genealogy of John David Herdman's family written on lined paper with ballpoint pen.
Account books, Daybooks
MSS 0096, Item 0147, John David Herdman, Jr., John Herdman's Day Book, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.