Thirteenth Annual Conference of the
Program in Early American Economy and Society
How did ordinary colonial people accomplish the daily buying and selling, producing and exchanging, that sustained their households? How did colonial traders put a ship of goods together, protect goods moving into foreign Atlantic empires, and communicate effectively with strangers during the early modern era? What kinds of skills and resources did ordinary colonists need in order to survive in local market places? How did merchants in early modern port towns make connections with distant ports? This conference will explore the practical linkages and mutual obligations that were made from individual to individual in the economies of local North American places, and across the boundaries of frontiers and empires. Whether a widow tavern keeper in Montreal, or a merchant in Veracruz, or a stone mason in Charleston, imperial subjects had to know how to make a sale, evaluate forms of money, judge a neighbor’s reliability, set the value of goods. How did colonists gain the expertise to write business letters, dun their debtors, acquire marine insurance, charter ships, or negotiate with bills of exchange brokers? How did they forge economic friendships and dispute misunderstandings and willful deceit? The conference will explore these and other connective sinews of skill and knowledge among colonists of all classes and cultures across European empires.
This conference is free and open to everyone interested in the topic. Please let us know if you will be attending by registering electronically.
The Library Company’s Program in Early American Economy and Society is dedicated to promoting scholarship and public understanding about the origins and development of the early North American and Atlantic economy, including such topics as the cultures of business, local and international commerce, manufacturing, labor, political economy, households, gender, and technology. PEAES offers research fellowships for both junior and senior scholars, collaborates on a monograph publication series with Johns Hopkins University Press, holds annual conferences and seeks publication of their scholarly proceedings, holds seminars and colloquia, sponsors public programs, and aids the acquisition and conserving of printed materials that augment the rich collections at the Library Company. PEAES strives to extend these resources to as wide an audience as possible, and to stimulate a broad and ongoing discussion of its themes.
PEAES Director: Dr. Cathy D. Matson, cmatson@UDEL.edu
PEAES Program Coordinator: Alison McMenamin, firstname.lastname@example.org