How to Use
Reading 3: Waterford's Mill Ledger
Nathan Walker purchased the Waterford mill in 1848 from Thomas Phillips. He continued to record his accounts in Phillips's mill ledger. A Quaker, he did not believe in honoring Roman gods through the common names of the months, so he referred to the months by numbers. For example, "1st month" meant January and "6th month" meant June.
Of special interest is the variety of products produced by the mill. The plaster mentioned is ground limestone, which was spread on fields to improve the soil. A "cord" is a unit of measurement of firewood: 4' x 4' x 8' or 128 cubic feet.
Questions for Reading 3
1. The wheat that was planted, mowed, and threshed in Reading 2 has been ground into its finished product, flour, in this reading. Why is this flour being shipped out of Waterford?
2. How many barrels of flour were hauled to Point of Rocks from the 1st of January to the 20th of August, 1849?
3. Point of Rocks was a town not much larger than Waterford. Why did the people of Waterford haul flour 10 miles and ferry it across the Potomac River to Point of Rocks? (If needed, refer to Map 1.)
4. If three tons of plaster costs $3 to haul, and a "load of planks" costs $4 to haul, calculate the probable weight of a "load of planks."
5. If the hauling rate was $1 per ton, and it costs $4 to haul 20 barrels of flour, calculate the weight of a barrel of flour.
Reading 3 was compiled from the mill ledger of Thomas Phillips, courtesy of descendant Anne Stabler Parsons. Copies are available at Waterford Foundation Archives and Thomas Balch Library, Leesburg, Virginia.