The Saint Louis directory for the years 1854-5 :
Circular of Jones3 Commercial College. 57
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keeping to bo a very simple and easy thing. While to
the thorough accountant and experienced steamboa
clerk, such is the fact, in a great majority of eases tin
precise reverse holds good. That is—Steamboat Book-
Keeping, without a knowledge of the Mercantile, is more
complex, varied and difficult thnn Mercantile Book-
Keeping in the ordinary pursuits—and why should (I not
bo so? Steamboats incur responsibilities, contract debts
and deliver goods without pay, just as merchants do;
they often speculate just as m rchantsspeculate, and no:
unfrequently negotiate bills of exchange, lo “raise tin
wind,” or “to make ends meet, tindercircum thoes that
would make a “Levee merchant” b’ush. I have known
a gentleman to purchase a steamboat without a dollar
in band, drop her down to the wharf, “stick up his shin-
jild” for N. 0., get a full cargo, step into one of our of-
fices, effect an insurance on his ’-freight list,” negotiate
a bill of exchange on his agent in Jsi. 0. to pay charges
and outfit here, make a successful trip or two, pay for
his boat, and in sixty days on the look—out for a similar
speculation; such, and three times as much more of a
kindnd nature, not unfrequently falls to the lot of a
man but partially familiarized with the management of
accounts, to blunder through. Understanding the na-
ture of one account, he has left him an alternative, that
is, to throw all transactions into his Cash Account, Reca-
pitulate, and hand over a “Cash Memorandum” to his

This clerk turns over a new leaf, counts the actual
oaah on board, and commences his work on “a clean
.-beet,” but pays no further attention to the “Cash Me-
morandum” fit being no part of his business.) The m>
rnoiandum is soon misplaced or lost, debts due the boat
remain unbulUwted, bi Is against her commence coming
in—of which there is no entry in the books. The season
advancing, and the receipts falling off, the owners eon-
dude to “tie up;” whereupon the following interesting
conversation takes place, viz:

Owners. Well, Capt. ——, what’s the word?

Captain. Gentl men, wehavehad a fine run, a splen-
did business, carried more freight and passengers, made
better time, burned less wood, carried a smaller crew,
had the best steward in the trade—indeed, gentlemen, it
is acknowledged by all hands in port and out of ]x>rt,
high water or low water, that she is emphatically “the

Owners. Good morning, Mr ——, (clerk); what’s the
good news with you?

Clerk. Good morning, gentlemen. “Right side up!”
Only give this boat a fair chance, and she’ll stack you
up a cord of it.”

Owners. What do you mean by a fair chance Mr—?

Clerk. Let the owners square off old debts up to date.
put in an extra boiler, paint up and put her in first rate
limning order, and let Capt.——manage affairs to suit
his own notion.

Owners. How much short will the boat be, after pay-
ir g i-ff M far as >h> is n w allo?

Clerk. Can’t tell exactly: indeed, a Philadelphia
lawyer couldn’t tell, from the manner in which there
books have been kept, up to the time of my taking
change of them; bills are coming in every trip but, so
far as known, about fourteen hundred dollars will be the

Owners. Wei ! Well! well!! This will do pretty fair for
“green hands” at steamboating. A splendid boat—a
fire and popular captain—an economical steward—had
a splendid run, and made lots of money—but no cash on

This might be thought a fancy sketch by some, (with
a few thousand dollars in pure cash) just ready to em-
bark in a steamboat speculation; but it is our read and
candid opinion, that if “an infallible medium” were to
issue a “narrative.” containing the History of steam-
boating and the Lives of steamboat owners, (especially
of those so unskilled in the management of accounts.) the
facts disclosed would prove that hundreds of captains,
pilot’s, engineers, etc., etc., had been ruined or rendered
bankrupt, and thousands of dollars squandered, by in-
competent, inexp rienced and careless steamboat clerks. But we are bappy to know that an important change i
rapidly taking place, and interested parties are beooin-
ing inrpre sed \\i h the importance if confining them-
sehei to their legitimn e professions, or of qualifyi ;
themse ves for others before engaging in than. ;
coinjc nt and worthy accountants are beginning to ^
appreJatcd. ai d prope ly remunerated for theii service
Voung gen.lemen of the higher! rcsj ectability, who ha
distinguished tl.em e ves alike for moral character, i -
dustry ; nd superior professions:! qualification!1, are abau-
.loning the “coonting-boose” for “The office.”

Owners are requiring ihe books to be correctly kept,
and exacting Trip Statements and such other checks as
are n^ees.siry to p otect ih ir interests from the ineom-
petjent, the careiesand thedesigning.

The old—fashionid steamboat c erks, who understood
nothing but the recapitulation of cash,” are aban-
doning -th’ office” ami seeking empliymcnt in oth i
profesaiona, or they ar qualifying thtins. lves foraprfto-
tical and intelligenl disohaige of Jbeirduties; and we
are anticipating a period not distant, when steamboat-
ingi as a profusion, will be. elevated to its legitimate
and proper p Bition, and its lucrative otnees entrusted to
those only who are competent.

An extensive acquaintance with steamboat owners,
and an experience of thirteen years in overhaulirg and
adjusting steamboat Books, have induced u* to believe it
a duty we owe alike to ourselves and to those who are not
perfect, but wi.-h to be thoroughly qualified for the du-
:irs of tin ir office, to call attention to this subject, and
to ^ive a more extensive outline of what our institution
contemplates. It is not a school in the comm n aeoep-
ration of that term, but it is pre-eminently a counting-
hou-e, or an office. Ea h respective has his
own table, chair and drawer, and receives p rsonal > r
individual iustructiun during his continuance at the

The preparatory course to Steamboat Book-Keepingia
substantially the same as that of the Mercantile, (ex-
cept Commission operations, &c.) after which the pupil
enters upon his duties as second clerk. With his “Me-
morandum Book,” he receives his freight, dray-load i f-
ter dray-load, signing his “tickets,” as in the practical
p 1 loin’ianeo of his duties on the wharf; when folly pre-
pared, he opens his Books and proceeds in his work, r^-
oeiving jind paying out cash, recording his freight list,
ooLectTng !iis passage and freight bills, adjusting the ac-
counts for damages, &c., winds up his trip, and makes
out his “balance sheet,” exhibiting the gains or Losmt
for every trip or month, as the case may be. The utili-
ty this coins has been Fully establish d in the jxipu-
I rity t f these who have adopted it, as well as those Who
are Interested in Books kept by pupils of ihis Institu-
tion. From among some thi tv. who have completed
h ir courses and distinguished themselves as competent
o practically perform the duties of steamboat book—
keepen, we beg leave to ref.r those wishing information

Capt.N.Wall, , Steamboat Agent .
"Thos. W.Sett, , Steamer St. Ange .
"J. H.Johnstone, , Keokuk Packet Line.
"DanielAble, " "
"J. H.Burke, , " "
DanielHazard, , Clerk , " "
J. H.Maitland, , late Clerk of steamers Alexander Ha-
milton, and Bunker Hill No. 3, now at the Planter’s
JohnSkiles, . late Clerk of steamer Soltana.
James SJohnston, , " Kate Kearney, (Cal.)
D. S.Raymond, , " Sonora.
Albert G.Folger, , " Prairie Bird.
Robert H.Powers, , " General Lane.
Wm. A.Young, , " Crescent.
W. W.McCrieght, , " El Paso.
C. D.Blossom, . " Polar Star.
D. D.Moore, , New Orleans Trade.
J. F.Mil1ar, , Nashville Trade.
Wm. A.Smith, , New Orleans Trade.
F. L.Rhoder, , Illinois River Trade.

And others omitted for the want of room.