|click on the document to enlarge|
1st line reads: Joseph Ennes ?__ (an abbreviation?)
2nd line: __ Solomon Westbrook ___ (Sr. or Dr.?)
3rd line: 1830
Subsequent lines by date:
June 2 + 3 __o 8 1/2 gills Brandy ?__-- $0.50
4 " 3 gills Brandy 1/ -- 0.37 1/2
5 " 1 gill " 1/ -- 0.12 1/2
8 " 2 gills Gin 1/ -- 0.25
and so forth down to
July 14 " 2 cocktales ? ? 0.12 1/2
for a total of $2.13, which is correct.
Now the questions are who is serving whom and what are the abbreviations:
Was Joseph Ennes the bar keeper or was Solomon Westbrook?
Is the word after Ennes Jr?
Is the word before Solomon To? And is that word repeated in the bill before 8 1/2 gills of Brandy on June 2 + 3?
And, finally, could the ledger keeper / barkeeper have meant cocktails for cocktales?
There was no Joseph Junior to the best of my knowledge and NJ Index of Wills Vol III lists a probate Inventory for Joseph Ennes in the year 1830. He is known to have worked as a ferryman and to have kept a public house for the raftmen on the Jersey side of the river.
Wiki - The gill (pronounced /ˈdʒɪl/) is a unit of measurement for volume equal to a quarter of a pint. It is no longer in common use, except in regard to the volume of alcoholic spirits measures, but it is kept alive by the occasional reference...
Definition of COCKTAIL
a : an iced drink of wine or distilled liquor mixed with flavoring ingredients
b : something resembling or suggesting such a drink as being a mixture of often diverse elements or ingredients
c : a mixture of agents usually in solution that is taken or used together especially for medical treatment or diagnosis
: an appetizer served as a first course at a meal
Origin of COCKTAIL
probably from 1cock + tail
First Known Use: 1806
Thank you dear readers for your helpful responses to the questions posed in Deciphering the 1830 Ennes - Westbrook Bill for $2.13. Quite useful was this supplied link to How to Read 18th Century British American Writing.
A summary of the responses, my thoughts & additional research:
- Solomon Westbrook is most certainly the bar / store keeper and the preceding word, carried down throughout the bill being To. A quick visit to the Society and examination of another family file with clipping from the same ledger confirms Solomon Westbrook's record keeping in the 1830s. Said records cover his General Store's worth of goods from barrels of dried apples & bushels of wheat to pins & fabric.
- On the abbreviation following Westbrook it was pointed out: When researching early accounting methods, which were handwritten, it was noticed that the terms “Debit” and “Credit” were sometimes written as “Dr.” and “Cr.” See also 18th Century Handwriting Contractions, Dr in superscript for debtor.
- The question of the word following Joseph Ennes, which might be Jun in superscript, remains open. As was noted by a reader, the letter J following Ennes is not formed as in June & July in the clipping, however the top half is a duplicate of that in June & July.... with less room for the J's tail flourish accounting for the difference perhaps? And (this is most interesting) per Index of Terms used in 17th Century Wills and Inventories, if it is a Jur not Jun, the word might indicate juramento (abbreviated form 'Jur') which is latin - by the oath of. This seems quite logical - Joseph Ennes, Jur swears on oath To Solomon Westbrook (note the space) to honor as Dr. debtor the following ... How this might relate to the probate of old Joseph in 1830 is still a question.