Hugh Starke Morrison Account Book
Scope and Content
The Hugh Starke Morrison Account Book, 1871-1876, consists of one ledger that documents the business transactions and expenses of Hugh Starke Morrison’s photography studio in Harrisonburg, Virginia. The account book is marked on the front inside page with “Hugh Morrison” and “March 11th 1871.” Approximately half of the 285-page account book records patrons’ names, location, services rendered, and their respective cost. Hugh Starke served customers from the greater Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, and Shenandoah County area including the towns of Lacey Spring, Cross Keys, Ottobine, Dayton, and New Market. The remaining pages record expenses. Part of the expenses listed relate to the photography studio and are designated as “gallery expenses.” These include frames, glass, and freight. Hugh Starke also kept monthly accounts for his personal expenses which included foodstuffs, clothing (“shoes for Susan $1.50”), and medicine.
Of particular interest is a draft letter to Charles G. Allen dated April 30, 1872 (page 275-276). In it, Hugh Starke writes:
I have been wide awake and duly sober and in the active pursuit of my Photographic occupation, enjoying the generous and remunerating patronage of the citizens of all ages sexes creeds and colors of the little Burg & vicinity. I have been married since 66 and am proud of a hiarty [sic] little male heir who I hope will soon be able to assist me in making impressions of our good Patrons.
As fate would have it, Hugh Starke’s son, Hugh Morrison Jr., went on to have a prolific photography career of his own in Shenandoah County. Not related to Hugh Starke’s photography business are two drafts (page 280 and 283) of a February 12, 1872 letter that he wrote to The New York Times commenting on the growth of the Republican Party in Rockingham County.
- Creation: 1871-1876
- Morrison, Hugh Starke, 1840-1925 (Person)
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Hugh Starke Morrison was born February 4, 1840 in Orange, Virginia to William Dabney and Elizabeth Morrison (née Clinedinst). He married Susan Ann Elick in 1866 and had two children (Hugh Jr., b.1871 and Anna, b. 1875). Hugh Starke opened a photography studio on Harrisonburg’s Court Square in 1859. His son, Hugh Morrison Jr., became a traveling photographer in Shenandoah County, Virginia and went on to have his own successful photography studio in Woodstock. Hugh Starke operated his photography studio into the twentieth century. He passed away on March 11, 1925 in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
0.2 cubic feet (1 half-Hollinger box)
Language of Materials
The Hugh Starke Morrison Account Book, 1871-1876, consists of one ledger that documents the business transactions and expenses of Hugh Starke Morrison’s photography studio in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
The account book is housed in a slipcase, foldered, and boxed in a half-Hollinger box with no further arrangement.
The account book was acquired from Between the Covers Rare Books, Inc. (Gloucester City, New Jersey) in April 2016.
- "Hugh Starke Morrison." 1840-1925. Accessed May 11, 2016. http://www.ancestry.com/genealogy/records/hugh-starke-morrison_173100863
- K, Jeremiah. "Fading Light: Photos from the HRHS Collection." Fading Light: Photos from the HRHS Collection. Accessed May 11, 2016. http://www.oldsouthhigh.com/2013/05/24/fading-light-photos-from-the-hrhs-collection/
- "As Good as Can Be - Shenandoah County Through the Lens of Hugh Morrison, Jr." As Good as Can Be - Shenandoah County Through the Lens of Hugh Morrison, Jr. Accessed May 11, 2016. http://www.hughmorrisonexhibition.org/biography/biography.html
Genre / Form
- Harrisonburg (Va.) -- Economic conditions -- 19th century -- Sources
- Harrisonburg (Va.) -- History -- 19th century -- Sources
- A Guide to the Hugh Starke Morrison Account Book, 1871-1876
- Joel Webster and Tiffany Cole
- November 2016
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