Louis Martin’s account book


As a young man, Louis Martin kept a little accounting notebook from 1845-1847. 


Only several pages written in a school notebook measuring 15.3 cm by 19.2 cm.

What do we learn from this list of Louis Martin’s book keeping, a 22 year old bachelor? His usual expenses for clothing summer and winter. When the feasts of Christmas and New Year’s arrive, he thought of presents. He also had his father and helped him sometimes. A remarkable fact, he bought school books to learn Latin. He also planned to start learning Greek; every month he regularly paid for lessons with a tutor. In vain because it ended 18 months later with the resale of the dictionary and seemingly by the end of classes. The young Martin would never be a priest but father of a family. And skilled at doing his accounts and making the couple’s money grow.
b           livre-de-comptes Louis-Martin mini

Louis Martin, 1845

Expenses since October 16, 1845

comptes Louis-Martin 1
The 17th [October 1845] bought two dictionaries for French and Latin 10 francs
The 18th purchased .15 cents of green paper for covering [books]
The 20th, Sunday, spent  .15 cents
Thursday, October 23rd, bought the components of a Latin grammar by Lhomond, revised and enlarged by Abel Robert, 1.75 francs (postage paid),
also a little hourglass .30 cents
Sun. the 26th I spent  .15 cents
The 30th, chestnuts for  .10 cents
Nov. 7th for the binding of two books, one was Le Manuel du Voyageur en Suisse [handbook of the Switzerland traveller] and the other a table of N (?) 1.50 francs
Sat. Nov. 8 for the purchase of a Latin grammar by l’hom.[Lhomond] 1 franc
Sun. Nov. 9 spent  .25 cents
Sun. Nov. 15 spent  .15 cents
The 17th paid Mr. Vaquerie 30 francs
The 21st spent  .30 cents for paper
The 22nd spent 1.25 francs for a game of checkers
Ditto 22nd spent 10 francs for a silk tie [ties of Louis and family friends]
Ditto 22nd gave father 30 francs
Ditto 22nd 1 franc for a map of the holy land
Sun. the [23rd or 30th] I spent  .50 cents
December 3rd paper .30 cents
The 16th during this month for seashells of which there are six, 4 francs
The 17th for barley .30 cents
December 24th for a capon 3.50 francs
For a fishing hamper .30 cents

The 24th for a billfold, a metallic pencil box 4 francs
Shipping for the hamper to Paris 1.40 francs
The 24th bought a Roman history book, enhanced and corrected by the Author 1.25 francs
The 28th  .50 cents
The 30th for New Year’s Day presents purchased 3 candy dishes and 6 oranges with 9 coins 9.70 francs
The 31st purchased four oranges and two small candies .50 cents
January 1st, 1846 bought a half pound of sugar coated almonds and 2 oranges, everything cost me 1.40 francs.
The 2nd for postage for a letter .40 cents
Jan. 7th, for shipping paid on goose liver paté coming from Mr. Mathey in Strasbourg, 3.50 francs and .30 cents for the mailman
The 8th for some little letter paper notebooks and two other little notebooks .70 cents
January 10th paid for 20 lessons… 30 francs
The 18th I spent .20 cents
January 31st .90 cents for postage on a letter coming from Strasbourg
The 22nd [February] Sunday, some crepe for my hat and various little expenses, 1.25 francs for one and .70 cents for the other


 comptes Louis-Martin 2

 comptes Louis-Martin 3

February 28th bought a Selecta à Profania - and five little notebooks 1.65 francs
The 28th also paid Mr. Vacquerie for the lessons 30 francs
The 28th for black pants bought at Romet   24.70 francs

March 25th bought a cap for the price of 5.50 francs

April 1st paid at Romet 55.50 francs for an overcoat made of wool
April 7th given for the Comex …M. Me. Riv. 1 franc
April 11th, for different things at Mr. Der. such as the Les Aventures de Télémaque by Fénelon [in 2 volumes], a Short treatise on easy virtues [text by Jesuit Count Father Robert], Excerpts chosen from Fénelon, a little notebook of writing, all for 2.85 francs
April 18th for lessons, due to Mr. Vacquerie the sum of 30 francs
The 25th .50 cents for postage for a letter
May 12th for 25 sheets of paper and two little notebooks, spent the amount of .65 cents
My lessons were interrupted beginning May 18th 1846 to June 23rd 1846
June 5th for 25 sheets of paper   .40 cents
July 9th paid Mr. Vacquerie 30 francs for lessons
July 18th 1846 for a Greek grammar book 3 francs
For a package of pens .35 cents
July 27th purchased a geography book by [Felix] Ansart [perhaps this Petite geographie moderne, which had just been republished], 3 francs then a notebook - .25 cents
August 1st for a lined notebook 1.50 francs
August 27th given to Mr. Vacquerie…30 francs
September 1st for a Virgil and 3 little notebooks 2 francs
September 17th purchased 25 sheets of paper from Mr. Voiturier .35 cents
October 1st bought a prosody and four little notebooks from M. Voiturier .90 cents
The 13th bought an appendix and a syllabus 1.20 francs
The 30th bought gray pants 26 francs
November 13th 3 notebooks .30 cents
December 16th bought 6 notebooks .60 cents
The 18th bought a De Viris Illustribus  1.10 francs
4 notebooks .20 francs
The 21st bought at Deveau the complete works of Chateaubriand of 10 volumes [all readable on line] price 2.50 francs each / 25 francs
The 23rd bought 2 boxes of candy 12 francs then 6 oranges for a total of 2.40 francs

*Until here the total of all expenses is 409.50 francs of which I gave 165 francs to Mr. Vacquerie

 comptes Louis-Martin 4

 comptes Louis-Martin 5

For expenses x .40 cents
For sugar coated almonds -2 francs
January 10th 1847 .30 cents
The same day x .10 cents
The 12th for chestnuts .22 cents
The 14th for expenses .45 cents
The same day x .20 cents
The 13th for Tab. .10 cents
The 16th…………… .15 cents
The 17th…………… .10 cents
The 18th…………… .5 cents
The 22nd p. chap. Fa 2.50 cents
Feb. 7th for gingerbread .70 cents
Feb. 27th for some chestnuts .30 cents
For four lottery numbers .40 cents
The 28th for some m. .60 cents
March 16th Px .52 cents
The 17th for Px. .25 cents
The 18th for Px. .50 cents
The 29th for Px. .50 cents
April 1st for two little rose bushes .80 cents
For a chap. [chapeau? hat] 13 francs
Ditto for a pair of g. [gloves] 2 francs
The 4 for the Church .50 cents
Ditto … .15 cents
The 8th for exchange of my dictionary L.F. 4.50 francs
Ditto for 25 sheets of paper .30 cents
The 28th for expenses av. AM. 1.50 francs
For a letter’s postage… .50 cents
April 30th for expenses 1.50 francs

Me, the 19th, bought a pair of pants at Mr.Romet’s 22.80 francs

same for purchase of a… .10 cents and for tobacco .10 cents

The 27th bought a bottle of toilet water LOB 5 francs ditto for .10 cents

June 1st bought a summer overcoat at Romet’s 38 francs



Note about the currency of 1845

1 franc was equivalent to about 3.50 euros.


 comptes Louis-Martin 6

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