Nathaniel S. Way manuscript business ledger C0251
Published by George Mason University Libraries
Nathaniel S. Way (1843-1911) was born in Pennsylvania. He married Mary H. Troth, the daughter of former Woodlawn mansion owner and Quaker farming community founder Paul Hillman Troth, in Fairfax, Virginia on January 1, 1873. He settled in the community, and his farming activities and business interactions with his neighbors from 1872-1887 are documented in his manuscript business ledger.
The Woodlawn farming community, founded in 1846 by Quakers Chaulkley and Lucas Gillingham and Jacob and Paul Hillman Troth, was located on almost 2000 acres of land bought from the son of George Washington's nephew Lawrence Lewis. The land had formerly been part of Washington's Mount Vernon plantation before being given to Lewis upon his marriage. The community was pacifist and anti-slavery, in keeping with the religious beliefs of its members. Paul Hillman Troth lived in the Woodlawn mansion itself with his family before selling the house to John and Rebecca Mason in 1850. The house went through a series of owners from the late 1880s to the 1950s before the National Trust for Historic Preservation bought it in 1957. Woodlawn currently houses the Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture, continuing the socially conscious legacy of its former Quaker residents.
This collection consists of a manuscript business ledger dating from 1872-1887. It was maintained by Nathaniel S. Way, a member of the Woodlawn farming community in Northern Virginia, and it covers Way's transactions with his neighbors and local businesses, such as the Accotink, VA Post Office. The majority of the accounts listed are personal and include P.H. Troth, Way's father-in-law and a founder of the Woodlawn Quaker community, as well as John Mason, the owner of the Woodlawn mansion following Troth. Items bought and sold include household goods and food as well as farm supplies such as hay, corn, and expenses related to human and animal labor. There are approximately 25 loose pages added throughout the ledger, most of which include extra account lists and arithmetic. The ledger is 360 pages long (some of which are blank), and it contains an alphabetical index of names on the first few pages.
The ledger is arranged chronologically within each personal account. An alphabetical index of names is located at the beginning of the ledger.
This is a single item collection.
There are no access restrictions.
There are no restrictions on personal use. Permission to publish material from the Nathaniel S. Way manuscript business ledger must be obtained from Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.
Account books--Virginia--Fairfax County.
Nathaniel S. Way manuscript business ledger, C0251, Special Collections Research Center, George Mason University Libraries.
Purchased in September 2014.
Processing completed by Elizabeth Beckman in November 2014. EAD markup completed by Elizabeth Beckman in November 2014. Finding aid updated by Amanda Brent in April 2020.
Hellmann, Susan. 'A Brief History of Woodlawn and its Owners', The National Trust for Historic Preservation, 2012.