The Clerk’s Ledger
The Soldiers’ Monument afe (authorization for expenditures) ledger is a two part, financial account kept by the clerk of the Soldiers’ Monument Committee. That finance committee was made up of seven members, all of whom belong to the York, Maine Association of Veterans and Sons of Veterans. According to Maine historian Charles Banks, that association formed on October 30, 1897 and had 37 veteran and 15 veteran’s sons who were members at that time. - From The Soldiers' Monument by Michael Dow, 2018
afe – an accounting abbreviation for “authorization for expenditure.”
Upon my deceased this book is to be deposited in the York Public Library by my Executor - John Dannett
The transcribers are quite sure the man whose name appears on the piece of paper below the title of the book is Captain John Dennett. According to well-known York historian Col. Charles Banks, Capt. Dennett was the last surviving Civil War veteran in York that Banks was aware of. That would make him the last living member of the Soldiers’ Monument Committee. The transcribers further believe that this ledger ended up in his possession because he was the last man standing. The directions (above) were most likely written by another as his last name was spelled wrong and the hand that wrote it does not match that of the author of the ledger.
The ledger did in fact end up in the York Library after his death. At that time, the York Library was very small and handed off a number of historic books to Virginia Spiller to be put in the Old York Historical Library collection.
The Clerk’s Ledger
The first section of this account concerns committee formation, minutes, contractual and monument details. In this section, no pages were found to have been torn or cut out and the pages were not numbered. In the transcription, the pages have been printed one after another with Roman numerals in italic inserted at the top of each page to indicate where one page stops and the next starts.
The second section is more of an accounting ledger and includes a list of subscribers, money collected from each and an accounting of monies spent on the monument itself. In this section, no pages were found to have been torn or cut out. The pages are numbered but not consecutively, however. We have kept that interesting page numbering system at the top center of each page, where they were in the original. The sequential numbering of the book pages continues at the bottom.
Also in the second section, the reader will note pages 12 & 14 (original page numbers) have only one line of text at the top. That line reads: “D.A. Stevens in afe with Soldiers Monument Committee.” The transcribers can find no logical explanation for this and rather than waste paper we have chosen to print the entire section, one page after the other.
The transcribers have done their best to be accurate with this effort. The book may have had more than one author as the writing style does vary. The text was written in cursive with a fountain pen that sometimes is overwritten with the word “Paid” making some words difficult to decipher. Many names were entered twice, once as a promise to contribute a specific amount and once again to show credit after that amount had been paid. This double entry proved to be very helpful in deciphering some names. Spelling, case, abbreviations and numbers were transcribed as found. The last figure in the accounting section number column has been underlined with the total in bold. Italic indicates something added by transcribers for clarity.
Michael A. Dow
Roberta E. Jones
- From The Soldiers' Monument by Michael Dow, 2018