Life was hard after my grandfather passed from this vale of tears. Any way you look at the income and expenses it is obvious life was hard. Must have been really difficult for my dear paternal grandmother to raise the four kids still at home.
The narratives from my aunts and uncles make that very obvious and the dollar transactions prove it.
Their article, This is how much troops were paid in every major American war, provides the pay for a private in the major wars fought by the U.S. The then-current pay is also adjusted to an equivalent amount of money in 2016. Don’t know how they made the conversion to 2016 dollars. I usually want to look at the conversion rates, but won’t dive deeper for this post.
This info does provide some way of comparing pay rates across time.
The author makes a wild guess on the amount of silver carried out of the Carolingian Empire and away from England.
Based upon written accounts in the 9th century he estimates between 40,000 and 45,000 pounds of silver was extracted from the Carolingian empire as Danegeld payments.
He says most historians would estimate this was between 1/2 and 1/3 of the total silver hauled off. That means there would have been somewhere in the range of 80,000 or 90,000 pounds up to 120,000 or 135,000 pounds in addition. I will smooth that estimate out to somewhere between 80,000 and 125,000 pounds.
Over in England, king Ethelred paid out an estimated 180,000 pounds of silver.
In September 1849, Harriet and her two brothers, Ben and Henry, ran away. Eliza Brodess posted a notice dated “Oct 3rd, 1849” offering $300 for the return of the three. The brothers changed their mind and went back to their master, dragging Harriet with them.
For context, a house and barn were built on the Brodess farm in 1820. Edward Brodess owned Tubman. Upon his death, his wife, Eliza took ownership of the slaves and bore the responsibility of running the small family farm.
The house was described in court documents (I won’t go into background on the messy issue) as
“a single story 32 by 20 ft two rooms below with two plank floors and brick chimney, and also a barn of good material.