Barry's Relatively Speaking: One Hundred Bushels of Corn per Yard ?

Posted on Dec 28, 2012

Barry's Relatively Speaking shares the personal experiences and stories of genealogists found in the Everton Genealogical Helper Magazine collection on Phoebe shares the following experience.

Those of us who are so worldly minded as to love good clothes are glad we did not live in some of the central parts of this state in the early days when a yard of silk would cost as much money as eighty bushels of corn would sell for, or calico was exchanged at the rate of one yard for eight bushels of corn while good broadcloth commanded one hundred bushels of corn per yard. No wonder the women spent so much time weaving cotton and woolen cloth.

Change was not plentiful, and cut silver was used - a dollar cut into four pieces for quarters, or eight pieces for bits. The currency question was troublesome in those days: money which would "pass" in New Albany might be worthless in Louisville (across the Ohio river). My father received $3,000 for a debt, but in a day or two it was worthless here but current in New Orleans, so he sent it down there, invested it in flour which was sent around to Boston by ship and converted into cash. This was in the good time when New Albany was noted for its boat building and the shipyard bell told the time for all the town as regularly as the town clocks do now.

Excerpt from a story written by a daughter of my great-grandfather, David Hedden, a merchant who settled in New Albany, Indiana in 1820. He died in 1895 at the age of 93.

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