|THE DIGITAL IMAGING PROJECT
The First Books Room of the Chester Public Library (Chester, Illinois) is home to Morrison's handwritten account ledger for his Kaskaskia store. The library received a Digitization Grant from the Illinois State Library (*see footnote) to digitize the entire ledger. The project images were captured on a Nikon D100 digital camera and edited in Adobe Photoshop 7. The images were then archived in JPEG and TIFF formats on CD Rom.
The William Morrison Ledger is a handwritten ledger listing the transactions conducted at his Kaskaskia Store. The ledger includes the customer's name, items purchased, and amount owed. The 655-page ledger covers the years 1805 to 1831, offering glimpses of early merchandising methods. It lists over 1200 early settlers who pioneered or traveled through Kaskaskia (Randolph County, Illinois).
In a separate book, presumably one of Morrison’s clerks compiled a handwritten index of the ledger. The ledger was also digitized as part of the project. However, it is in very fragile condition and several pages have sections missing.
Morrison’s descendant, another
William Morrison, gave the ledger and many other Kaskaskia Store account
books to the Chester Public Library.
Morrison maintained his Kaskaskia store as his principle place of business for both wholesale and retail trade. From it merchants in St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, and Cape Girardeau received their goods. The Kaskaskia store also supplied Morrison's store in Cahokia, Illinois. Morrison furnished the Indians and Indian traders with great quantities of goods. In the War of 1812, he contracted with the military to furnish rations to the troops. At the time, his boats were the best and largest traveling up and down the Mississippi River.
William Morrison lived in
a beautiful stone house in Kaskaskia. He was known to be a large
slave owner. Over the years he accumulated a large fortune before
his death in April 1837.
Actual size printed pages may be available from the Chester Public Library for a fee. Contact the Chester Public Library at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.