from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A building, room, or office in which a business firm carries on operations such as accounting and correspondence.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. an office used by a business to house its accounts department
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The house or room in which a merchant, trader, or manufacturer keeps his books and transacts business; the offices used by the accountants of a business.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A building or office appropriated to the bookkeeping, correspondence, business transactions, etc., of a mercantile or manufacturing establishment.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. office used by the accountants of a business
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Morris stayed busy enough in the daytime, shuttling between committee offices, the countinghouse, and the waterfront, where he harangued teams of seamen and stevedores—“I have scolded the officers like a gutter-whore,” he said of one laggard crew.
The unwitting instigator was John Brown, a former clerk in the Willing & Morris countinghouse, who was sent by Thomas Willing to deliver a secret message that originated with the British high command.
Quartered at the southern end of the Philadelphia waterfront, Willing operated a countinghouse, warehouse, a retail store, and below those, a wharf, berth to his several square-rigged frigates.
Morris learned of this bit of slander one morning when “four or five poor women with Sacks under their arms” came knocking at the door of his countinghouse.
Affairs at the countinghouse wound down to the point that Morris sent his half-brother, Thomas, now a partner in the firm, back to Europe.
His day entailed drudgery at his writing desk in the countinghouse, attending arrivals and supervising the lading of outgoing vessels, and meeting with vendors and other merchants at the City Tavern, at the India Queen, or at any of a dozen other dens where merchants did their business.
Morris perused the documents in the chilly gloom of the countinghouse: among them was a printed copy of the Prohibitory Act, a new law passed by Parliament just before Christmas in retaliation for the warlike posture of the colonies.
Had the conflict with England receded, Morris would likely have maintained that course, attending to the affairs of the countinghouse while his partner navigated the byways of Philadelphia politics.
Before long he was brought into the countinghouse as a clerk, churning out the voluminous, painstaking correspondence that was the lifeblood of the shipping trade.
But Morris and Greene were separated by circumstance and experience, one entrenched in his Philadelphia countinghouse, the other camped under the southern stars.