Read this old book by Dr. Martin Larson - The Federal Reserve and our Manipulated Dollar. Pretty good read as recalled. He goes back through American Monetary Policy, while looking through the years 1775 to 1981 (the book was revised in 1981).
Somewhere in his book he makes a comparison of when he was a young father/professor and what his income could buy. A house was $5,000 - paid off over a few years, food for the family, clothes for the family, a car, with room for savings.
A question, though - was one dollar so much higher in value in 1700 simply because there wasn't much currency in circulation?
Perhaps it was its consistency to standard units of metal that gave it its value, which would later debase as is known - quality vs. quantity, while competing on international markets.
In the section The First American Dollar (coinage Act of 1792), the dollar was established "consisting of 371.25 grains of pure and 416 grains of stander silver" - continued along to when the "unit of currency-the dollar-until 1873, when replaced by one consisting of 25.8 grains of standard gold." There was debate on whether it should be a bimetallic currency.