Scope and arrangement
The Zebulon Cooper ledger (1805-1819) documents Cooper's business dealings as a tanner, shoemaker, and general store owner in Southampton, Long Island. In addition the accounts for Cooper's goods and services, the ledger also contains details on his cash on hand, bank records, investments, and prices for hides (horse, calf, marten, sheep, dog, and hog skins).
The volume is organized in three sections, each with their own page numbering systems: accounts spanning 1805-1808 (98 pages), accounts spanning 1810-1817 (164 pages), and an alphabetical name index for the 1810-1817 accounts (24 pages). Many entries refer to "the other book," referencing Cooper's previous ledgers or corresponding day books. Also present are loose notes and accounts fragments scattered throughout the volume and spanning 1796 to 1861.
Entries document Cooper's dealings with diverse local populations from Southampton and Westhampton, Long Island, including accounts with African American laborers and merchants, such as the sea captain Paul Cuffee; with Native Americans David Waucus and James Bunn, among others; and with many women. Other Cooper family members represented in the ledger are Abraham, Apollas, Broom, Caleb, Edgar, John, Nathan, Obadiah, and William Cooper. Cooper frequently traded shoes and other goods for commodities (coal, nails, wood, and food) and for domestic and agricultural services. Types of manual labor included butchering, carting dung, chopping wood, planting seeds, harvesting crops, and house work.