Van Riper House, Passaic, NJ 3/4

Part 3
From the William Winfield Scott scrapbook at the
Passaic County Historical Society-
Taken from the Passaic Daily News March 25,1924.

by William Winfield Scott, Passaic Historian.


That Thomas was thrifty is shown
by the following: After an enum-
eration in figures of his family ex-
penses, he thus wrote:
“It is conceived that £14 13s. 4d,
as above estimated, will be adequate
to furnish all the boys with leather
for breeches, a vest for Derck, a coat
and vest for Jack. calico for long
and short gowns for all the girls,
stripe linen and stripe linsey for
short gowns and petticoats for the
said girls, and a tammy quilt for
Judith..for defraying of which £14
13s. 4d.-220 pair of mittens at 16d.
per pair, will be needed, which will
require 44 pounds of wool… which
will take 44 days work of two girls
to spin, and I’ll pay for that or hire
equivalent in the knitting. If the
girls will do the remainder of the
“I must pursue the following max-
ims Invariably for the present year.
I must fabricate 220 pairs of mit-
tens, and, for the present and future-
year ,if I live, I must supply my
boys with leather for winter
breeches; about £3. 8s. will be suf-
ficient to furnish them all—24
pounds of gray skin at 2s. per pound,
and 2s. 6d. for dressing and freight
of each skin, supposed to consist of
eight skins, tho I think summac
red or short grey, will be most
profitable to buy as the hair is al-
most nothing, which is not so when
the skin is fully coated.”
” In the next place I must buy my
leather and heels, and spin my shoe
thread, and have all my shoes made
up in the house, for I find If I even
hire ‘em made out, find my leather
the shoemaker gains, in all proba-
billty a profit of 3s. on the leather
of a mans pair of shoes, waste in
cutting excepted, for which I should
think 4d. a large allowance, and
the scraps of sole leather may be
converted into lists;.and an eye
may be seen to the cutting and the
thread may be had from the family
labour. And when I am shoeing
my family it is requisite to supply
each individual with two pair, to
prevent shoes being worn too green.
And as a farther advantage in pur-
chasing my leather, I can at all
times take care that it be of good
quality, and by having it made up
together arid in my house will avoid,
the Joss of time in running after
the same; and I should get one of
the boys instructed so as to mend
shoes, to save money and prevent
loss of time. The shoemaker should
be obliged to do his day’s work or
pay for his board.
“In the next place I should hire
my taylor and Tayloress in the
house, and oblige my girls to assist
in the service, for by this means
my diet and female service will be-
come a part of the Taylor’s bill; be-
sides, their day’s wages, as far as
I can discern, are not proportionate
to the sum in gross they ask for
their service, and having the
clothes made at home and together
there may be an oversight of the
cloth and cut, and the loss of time
in going to have clothes taken,
measure for and tried on.
“The best time of hiring I think
is such seasons of the year when
the weather is not so cold as to
need a fire.
“In the next place It will be req-
uisite to consult a blacksmith to
know what allowance he will make
for iron and steel.
“Daniel Harcourt informs me that
mittens sell for 3s” and stockings
for 7s., York money, at Albany,
without any regard to the colour,
and many of ‘em ordinary too-but
wampum will not sell since the re-
duction of Oswego, before that It
was in great demand, equal it not
superior to silver in value, and
there were 60 or 70 wampum shops
in Albany.”