Account Books and Day Books
Those big dusty leather-bound books in your historical society are probably account books or day books. Vermont farmers, merchants, and artisans all used a form of bookkeeping that worked for the 19th-century barter economy. In the barter economy local merchants, craftsmen, and farmers maintained records of transaction and trusted their neighbors enough to allow a line of credit. Customers would settle accounts with goods and labor and—less often—with cash. Two books were required to keep track: a "day book" in which transactions were entered in chronological order and a "ledger" in which transactions were entered under individual accounts as debits (Dr.) and credits (Cr).