Grenada Heritage: Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expense

GRENADA LEDGER OF ACCOUNTS OF PERSONAL AND ESTATE EXPENSES, 1852-1854

ABSTRACT

The Grenada Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses is very useful for researchers interested in the study of capital expenditure of sections of the Grenadian population in the mid-nineteenth century. The Ledger gives an idea of prices, cost of living, monies paid in and out and the balance remaining. Additionally, the Grenada Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses reveals the consumerism and purchasing power of a portion of the Grenadian populace. As such, the Ledger of Accounts and Personal Expenses will prove especially useful for persons studying Grenada’s economic and social history.

This document is listed on the Caribbean Memory Register: Grenada modeled on UNESCO’s MOW.

LOCATION OF DOCUMENT

Name of Holding Entity: The National Library of Jamaica

IDENTITY AND DESCRIPTION OF THE DOCUMENTARY HERITAGE
Description and inventory:
There is only one volume Grenada Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses and it contains 164 pages. It includes the accounts of Revolution Hall Estate, Dougaldston Estate and Gouyave Estate. Each entry in the Ledger gives the date, nature/who/why of payment and the total expenditure further down. The top of the page, which is the title section, gives the name of the owner, attorney or overseer. Essentially, the Ledger is organised like any other account book.
The Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses enumerates the things purchased by individuals for their comfort and routine estate items. Personal items include silk stockings, sherry wine, lace and shirts. Estate items include nails, bricks, powder and cane hoes.

Bibliographic details:
The bibliographic details of the Grenada Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses are housed within the card catalogue at the Special Collections and Conservation Dept. of the National Library. The Ledger is filed under MS 129.

Visual documentation if appropriate:
Currently, there are no visual representations of the Grenada Ledger of Accounts.

History of the document (Provenance):
The history of the Ledger of Accounts and Personal Estate Expenses is presently unknown. However, the document held in trust for the Grenada National Archives and its people.

JUSTIFICATION FOR SUBMISSION

Influence
The Grenada Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses is quite useful for person studying estate expenses. Agriculture was important to Grenada’s economy during the mid-nineteenth century. Estates were owned by the mainly white ruling class who exerted great influence over Grenada’s political and economic development. The main crops included sugar, coffee and spices such as pimento. The Ledger contains the personal expenses of these whites and the expenditure of their estates. A study of the Ledger would give insight into their lifestyle and plantation management.

Time
The Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses spans 1852-1854 and covers a section of the colonial era of Grenada’s history. Additionally, the date coincides with the maturity of the Sugar Duties Equalisation Act which came into being in 1846. By 1854, the effects of the Sugar Duties Equalisation Act were felt all over the Caribbean and Grenada was no exception. As such, the Ledger would allow for a useful study of the cost of living and the profit/loss of the estates in Grenada during this period.

Place
The Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses covers the island of Grenada.

People
The Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses deals mostly with the white and wealthy persons of Grenada in the mid-nineteenth century. These persons were the ones who controlled the wealth and society of Grenada and as such were very influential. The Ledger reveals their purchasing habits and power.

Subject and Theme
Persons interested in the social, economic and political histories of Grenada will find the Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses useful. Additionally, those interested the evolution of consumerism and popular culture/taste will likewise utilise the Ledger.

Form and Style
The layout of the Ledger is useful for paleographers interested in comparing account styles throughout history and the world.

 

LEGAL INFORMATION

Document held in trust for the Grenada National Archives and its people.
Owner of Documentary Heritage: National Library of Jamaica
Name: National Library of Jamaica
Address: 12 East Street, Kingston, Jamaica, W. I.
Contact details: Tel: (876) 967-1526, 967-2516
Fax: (876) 922-5567
Email: nlj@infochan.com

Accessibility
The Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses is available to members of the public for consultation, in particular, researchers and academics.
Sadly there seems little chance of ever seeing this document online as there are no plans to protect this asset by digitising its contents and making it available to all electronically.

Copyright Status
Public Domain

ASSESSMENT OF RISK
The Grenada Ledger of Accounts of Personal and Estate Expenses is in good condition.
The National Library of Jamaica are the current custodians of this document which is held in trust for the Grenada National Archives and its people.

CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT PLAN
The Special Collections and Conservation Dept. has undertaken the task of rebinding and de-acidifying the Ledger. Additionally, patrons are required to use gloves provided by the National Library when examining the Ledger.

DETAILS OF PERSON/ENTITY MAKING SUBMISSION

Name: The National Library of Jamaica
Contact details: 12 East Street,
Kingston,
Jamaica, W. I.
Tel: (876) 967-1526, 967-2516
Fax: (876) 922-5567
Email: nlj@infochan.com

 

 

FURTHER REFERENCES

In 1989 a dealer, Charles Apfelbaum, made an aquisition of Grenada Plantation Records dating from 1737-1845 for the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture on behalf of the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library.

These documents are in the repository of Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division. Location Sc MG 383.

Happily for the National Grenada Archives and the Grenadian People and Caribbeans world wide the entire collection of 517 images has now been digitized and is available online at Digitalcollections.nypl.org.

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