Scope and arrangement
This account book documents the shipping business and personal expenses of Henry Strybing, a German-born commission merchant based in New York City who traded goods to San Francisco, California, and Charleston, South Carolina.
Entries typically contain a merchandise list, ship's name, recipient's name, prices for goods, and other expenses such as insurance costs. Strybing and his employee George W. Conklin entered the accounts in chronological order. Shipments to Christian H. Strybing in San Francisco, which span the entire volume, were given transaction numbers. These numbers range from 212 to 457 and occasionally contain references to transactions documented in an earlier volume. Strybing's other major clients were the German-American firm Klinck, Wickenberg and Company of Charleston, South Carolina, and the wine trader Oscar Cranz of Richmond, Virginia. Strybing traded in food stuffs, such as barreled meat, sugar, flour, coffee, tea, cognac, and German and French wine; as well as candles and "Sett slate billiard slabs." All dealings with Southern merchants ended shortly after the start of the Civil War in April 1861.
The volume also contains entries for Strybing's personal expenses, including payments to vendors, real estate transactions in Manhattan and Brooklyn, bills for gas and piano lessons, and records of his children's savings accounts.
Entries were recorded chronologically.