Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Scipio in 1860

It was 1860, the year of turmoil just before the Civil War began. In Scipio, many men sacrificed their time, their lives and their livelihood for this war. I wondered who lived here then, so I checked the assessment book for 1860.
The total acreage that year was determined to be 22,426 and 3/4 acres. An acre in Scipio was valued at an average of $38.48 (or $1,020 in today's dollars).
That 1860 real estate was assessed at $863,166.00. Personal property was assessed at $190,650.00, for a total of $1,054,186.00. Take a deep breath - according to www.measuringworth.com, $28,100,000.00 in the year 2009 has the same "purchase power" as $1,054,186.00 in the year 1860.
That year, there was an additional assessment of 50 cents for military purposes. It appears that anyone liable for military service, including any household with a person age 18 to 21, was asked by law to pay this amount to defray town expenses. In Scipio, about 97 folks did not pay that bounty at the time the records were filed, and they are listed by name in the assessment book. They include George Adriance, Edward Buckhout, Fay, William and Edward Close; Robert and Manassah Knox, Manassah Story, Abram Post, Henry and Giles Slocum, and Alonzo Wyckoff.


Roger A. Post said...

Sandie, in defense of Abram Post not paying the military bounty in 1860, I am not aware that he had any 18-21 year old male in his household. Abram was about 39 and his son, Myron, was about 4. Maybe Abram was still liable for military service at 39, in which case, I can't defend his delinquent payment afterall!

Sandie Stoker Gilliland said...

You know, I have done some looking for the specific law that woulod have applied and cannot find it. I imagine that a 39-year-old would have been liable for military service, so that is probably why he was assessed.
I also found information for a future entry; I did not realize that the Civil War led the beginning of the personal income tax system. I bet it was supposed to be temporary!