Evert Wendell’s Account Book
the Fur Trade with Indians in Albany, New York

Let's begin with this excerpt from the editor's description: [This translated Dutch account book of the fur trade with Indians yields essential data for understanding the workings of the intercultural fur trade in colonial North America. It contains accounts of hundreds of Indians, many listed with their own names, who purchased merchandise on credit from Evert Wendell (1681-1750) and his relatives in Albany, New York. Over 2,000 credit transactions and payments are recorded. The introduction describes the context in which the manuscript was created and analyzes aggregated data on a range of characteristics of these commercial exchanges.]

I first encountered this resource sometime after reading David Armour's seminal work on the early Albany merchants which first issued in 1965. Armour's basic premise that understanding Albany business community and the fur trade in general would require an examination of the actual records of the business and trade, and that the then conventional wisdom of relying on the observations of contemporary personages was at best inadequate and potentially quite wrong, led me to the extensive bibliography of business records Armour had compiled. A decade later, I began to confront those account books, ledgers, and general business papers in manuscript form.

relevant manuscript details to follow in some format but for now consider this page to be in-progress


Published as: To Do Justice to Him & Myself": Evert Wendell's Account Book of the Fur Trade with Indians in Albany, New York, 1695-1726, translated and edited by Kees-Jan Waterman with linguistics support by Gunther Michelson (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, 2008),pp. xv, 311. Online promo.

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first posted: 11/3/10