William High account book

Collection 4000

(0.1 Linear feet ; 1 volume)

Summary Information

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
High, William.
William High account book
Date [inclusive]
0.1 Linear feet ; 1 volume
Finding aid prepared by Weckea D. Lilly.
Mixed materials [Volume]

Preferred citation

[Indicate cited item or series here], William High account book (Collection 4000), Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

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Scope and content note

William High (1786-1851) lived a life entrenched in the military, law, and local politics. High was elected as commissioner of Berks County, Pennsylvania, from 1816 to 1819; to the Pennsylvania state legislature in 1832; as a Berks County delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Pennsylvania in 1838; and served as an associate judge from 1846 to 1851. He began his legal career in his early twenties, along with his rise in military station. He was named a captain in 1816 and was subsequently elected brigadier-general, serving a tenure 15-year tenure.

High was born family’s homestead and farm, which was situated on an expansive property of 235 acres in Poplar Neck, Berks County, Pennsylvania. After the back to back deaths of his father and grandparents in 1795 and 1796, he inherited the property when he was just ten years old. The family farm would go on to become a major producer of commerce in the area, which is demonstrated in this single account book, dated 1815 to 1826. The volume contains both records on the High family farm, as well as some entries that appear to records High's political work in the county.

Of the portion of the volume that records the dealings of the farm, a number of items were sold, and it appears that the availability of items depended on the season. The types of produce sold varied over the course of a year, and the farm also sold livestock, hickory, animal hides, and wool. Other sundry items included tobacco, lard, clothes, and shoes. The volume also notes work completed by farmhands that people paid for, such as construction work outside the farm, carpentry, and burning lime.

The majority of High's clients settled their accounts by paying cash; others received credit, were allowed to work a few days at the farm or have someone in their employ complete work on their behalf. High profile patrons included the commissioners of Berks County (October 1819), the Roman Catholic Church (April 1820), the Reading Troops – making for them a trumpeter uniform – (June 1822), and the director of the county’s Poor House, Peter Kutz (January 1826).

Near the end of the volume are a few recipes. One for “a cure for winna" required the boiling of pork, eggs, salt, "rousda", and "evermut".

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Historical Society of Pennsylvania , July 2016.

1300 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19107


This collection is available for research.


Purchase, 2003.

Accession number 2003.082.

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Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)

  • Berks County (Pa.)


  • Farm accounts--19th century.
  • Farming--Labor--19th century.

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