While the financial records detail Washington’s purchases, and thus his belongings, it is difficult to gain deeper meaning from the records in their raw form. We could look at each document line-by-line—discovering that Washington bought twenty bushels of corn one day in 1790 and then sold four pounds of beef the next—but we do not gain any broad historical insight from such information. In order to see meaningful patterns and trends, we must look at the data as a whole.
By Prajeeth Koyada January 10, 2015 Prajeeth is a first year chemistry major at the University of Virginia. He currently transcribes documents for the Financial Papers Project. Transcribing documents for the Papers of George Washington has been both an enlightening and mystifying experience. For every “Caleb Gibbs” I uncover, a multitude […]