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The Value of a Dollar 1600-1865 Colonial to Civil War


Following the format of the widely acclaimed, The Value of a Dollar, The Value of a Dollar 1600- 1865, The Colonial Era to The Civil War records the actual prices of thousands of items that consumers purchased, from the Colonial Era to the Civil War. Our editorial department was flooded with requests from users of our Value of a Dollar for the same type of information, just from an earlier time period. This volume was created to fill that important need.

Divided into six chapters, each fact-filled chapter details:

  • Chapter Introductions & Historical Snapshots – a chronology of key economic and historical events from each year; 
  • Selected Income – a selection of wages of various jobs; 
  • Services & Fees – unique to this volume, it provides a more accurate look at the cost of doing business in early America; 
  • Financial Rates & Exchanges – unique to this volume, it includes the price of gold, inflation rates and more; 
  • Slave Trade – defines the price traded for slaves imported to the Americas by British merchants;
  • Commodities – includes a selection of prices of food items, agricultural products and manufactured goods;
  • Selected Prices – details prices of a wide array of items, from alcohol to fabrics, farm equipment to firearms; 
  • Miscellany – a selection of fascinating insights into early America, drawn from diaries, advertisements, letters, speeches and more.

Additional features include:

  • Handy Currency Conversion Charts, in British currency from 1600-1799 and in US currency from 1800 to 1865, run through the text to make it easy to find out how these currencies of the time relate to today’s dollar;
  • Subject Index for easy location of specific pricing information;
  • Available in print and ebook formats.

The Value of a Dollar 1600-1865 is for both the user who simply wants to know what life was like for early Americans to the serious historical researcher. This fascinating survey will serve a wide range of research needs and will be useful in all high school, public and academic library reference collections.


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Pub. Date: October 2005
Softcover: 1262 pages
ISBN: 978-1-59237-094-8
Price: $155
Includes Free Online Access on the Salem Press Platform
e-ISBN: 978-1-59237-169-3
eBook User Price: $