Booth, Benjamin (DNB00)


BOOTH, BENJAMIN (fl. 1789), writer on bookkeeping, was an American merchant, and wrote ‘A Complete System of Bookkeeping . . . by and Improved Mode of Double Entry, . . . [with] . . . A New Method of stating Factorage Accounts, adapted particularly to the Trade of the British Colonies,’ 4to, London, 1789. On the title-page Booth describes himself as a merchant of thirty years standing, formerly of New York, and now of London. He became clerk in a store in New York about 1759; and introducing his system of bookkeeping when he had risen to be principal clerk, he used it in his own counting-house in the same city during the many years he traded there as a haberdasher. The war of independence and the peace having cut Booth off ‘from pursuing the line of business to which’ he ‘had long been habituated,’ he used his leisure in England to make known his system, which he held superior to those in vogue. Booth had humour and reading. In his sample invoices he has large imaginary dealings with Lemuel Gulliver, Peter Pindar, and Tristram Shandy. M'Culloch gives the title of Booth's book in ‘Literature of Political Economy,’ p. 139, with the erroneous date 1799.

[Booth's Complete System, pp. 5, 12, 24 (n), 79, 185 et seq.]

J. H.