Thomas Jones and Benjamin Franklin Foster were two early American accounting textbook authors and teachers. Their careers, spanning the middle of the nineteenth century, occurred during a time of relatively little professional activity and interchange—causing their achievements to appear even more noteworthy. While Jones did not originate the proprietary theory, he was an early advocate of financial statements and not ledger balances as the culmination of bookkeeping. While Foster appears to have made little original contribution, the wide use of his texts appears to have encouraged greater reliance on a theoretical understanding of bookkeeping.

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