Managing a Plantation: Expenses

Page from an account book kept by Duncan Cameron, a wealthy North Carolina planter, listing his business with a Petersburg merchant in 1841–42. Includes historical commentary.

Duncan Cameron Esq
In Account with Andrew Kevan & BrothersKevan & Brothers were merchants in Petersburg, Virginia. They not only sold products and supplies to Duncan Cameron, but they also distributed products produced on his plantation.
Interest to 31st July 1842

Month Day   Mo:This column is labeled Mo: for "month," and the next column is Ds for "day," so together they make a date. It isn't clear what the date refers to, since it isn't the same as the date in the left-hand column. Ds InterestThis column is interest owed to the merchant. Duncan Cameron, like most planters, bought items on credit. The last column would seem to be the amount of the purchase.  
1841
Sept. 29 Leather, Bagging, Sugar & C&C or &c stands for et cetera, "and other things" or "and so on." Today we usually abbreviate this as etc.. (The ampersand, &, was originally designed as a combination of the letters e and t from the Latin word et, meaning and.) per bill 6 2 $4.94 $162.79
October 6 Cash paid R.R. fotF.O.T. stands for free of tax. goods 9 25 .34 6.82
26 Butter & Mackerel per billMackerel is a type of fish. 5 5 .75 29.00
30 acceptance your draft 30 [word] favor Denvey, due 24. 30 Nov? 8 1 20.08 500
November 1 Bagging & rope per bill 5 1.42 57.35
2 Cash paid R.R. for Butter & Mackerel 8 29 04 1.20
10 diAbbreviation for "ditto," which means same as above. Typically one "ditto" is used for each word repeated. "Ditto" is also sometimes abbreviated do. -- di -- di Sundries 8 21 .35 8.23
11 recgAbbreviation for receiving. & fongFong is the past tense of fang, an old word that meant to collect or to gather. 3 packages from Philadelphia 8 20 .04 1.20
13 Bagging, ropes, Glass & Putty 4 18 1.98 86.00
15 Cash Paid Reed & Parsons For 1 Wardrobe, Boxing & c 8 16 3.20 75.00
16 di -- di--- R R fot 3 boxes ... 8 15 .14 4.08
24 di -- di -- di -- Sundries & for 5 pds Negro blankets 8 7 4.61 112.32
26 Apples, Hats, Caps, nails, coppers, tea, & oysters 4 5 2.38 114.18
27 Cash paid freight. 2 Boxes from Philadelphia 8 4 .04 1.00
29 Expensses on 1 box clothing from N. York Fot C Manly collected by you 8 2 .08 2.00
December 7 Bagging, rope, leather & C per bill 3 24 3.15 165.63
" Cash paid for 3 pds blankets 7 24 1.60 40.62
8 di -- di -- A A. for oysters, nails, Hats, & C 7 23 .19 5.28
10 di -- di -- freight 5 boxes plants & 1 bumble beesThis is probably a bee hive, or one swarm of bees, or perhaps a queen bee. It would have been unlikely for anyone to ship one single bee! from Philadelphia 7 21 .18 4.69
13 3 Doz Cards per bill 3 18 .30 14.34
15 Cash for plants, bees, Bagging Rope & C 7 16 .53 14.32
16 di -- di & fot. from Phila on 1 box 7 15 .04 1.20
  receiving and fong 7 packages a 1/6 7 15 .07 1.75
1842
January 5 E Crowder S inst.Abbreviation for "interest earned." on bonds, collected by you ...... $255.00        
" this amt ordered by you to be transfered to Cr J O Bonneham 1260.00 6 25 51.76 1515.00
7 Cash paid your draft favor Mrs. Sean W Lyme 6 24 1.70 50.00
13 di -- di -- R Rd fot 1 box from Mrs Lyme 6 18 .03 .70
18 di -- di -- Mrs Poland for 2 Bonnetts 6 13 .48 15.00
" Nails, Leather, Cutting knives, $ waggon boxes per bill 2 13 .80 66.44
20 Cash paid for 1 hard ware from RichdRichmond 50c 6 11 .03 1.00
24 Candles, Sugar & mould boardsA mould-board may refer to molds used to make candles, or to a metal plate attached to the front of a plow and used to turn over soil. per bill 2 7 .64 57.28
26 Cash paid R Rd fot nails, leather, hrd ware & 1 Box 6 5 .31 9.66
February 3 di -- di -- di -- mould board & C 5 28 .08 3.07
8 Plaster, Clover Seed & orchard grass seed 1 21 .57 65.21
15 Cash paid fot 1 Box from Balt.Baltimore 50c , recg & fong same 50 5 16 .03 1.00
  Carried forward ...     102. 91 3195.81