Here is an excerpt from Seth Pease's accounts, when he stopped in Philadelphia on his way to join the survey of the Western Reserve. Deciphering and arranging the expenditures is challenge number one. Totaling it all up is a good exercise in fractions and decimals. (Note that "do" means "ditto," not "dollar.") Finally, the mix of English pounds and new American dollars provides an exercise in currency conversion.
Saturday Dinner 87 - 5 cents. Liquor 40 cents. at Trentown Supper & Lodging 0.75 cents
Sunday. Breakfast 50 cent got ot Philadelphia about 11 A.M. Quartered at the sign of Franklin. Capt. Sears No. 59 2d Street. A Phamphlet 3/8 Dollars; Hutton's Tables 4½ Dollars. Tuesday Morning my bill of expence 3 Dollars; hire of a horse bait ½ Dollar; horse bait &Dinner ½ Doll.
Wednesday 18th Shaving & Combing 3/8 Dollar; Compass, 20 Doll.; Quadrant, 14 Doll.
The following year, when Pease led the survey team back to New Connecticut, he recorded these expenses for April 18.
Bot of Thos Mather for the use of the Conn-Land Company Sundry supplies to the amount of £441 - 2 - 4 equal to 1102 Dols. 79 Cents. Conn. Land Company Cr. by one Silk Handerchief-
April 18 1797 I drawed the following sums on Epraim Root Esq.-viz-
1 " 30 Days do................................158.00
1 " at 5 days sight............................116.64 £441 2-4
Given Pease's equation of £441 - 2 - 4 = $1102.79 students can add up his expenses for April 24th in pounds (or dollars).
Pease's accounts are from transcripts in "Journals of Seth Pease to and from New Connecticut 1796-98. Tract No. 94" Annual Reports of the Western Reserve Historical Society. Cleveland, OH, 1914.