J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Sunday, October 06, 2013

Early American Economics in Philadelphia, 24-25 Oct.

The Library Company of Philadelphia is hosting a free conference on 24-25 October on the theme of “Ligaments: Everyday Connections of Colonial Economies.” The society’s webpage for this event explains:
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.
Fifteen scholars will present papers, which should be circulated in draft soon. The program, registration form, and information about accommodations are available through the conference website.

The Library Company was co-founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin. Its Program in Early American Economy and Society, which has organized this conference, reflects Franklin’s interests as a businessman keen to connect the far-flung parts of Britain’s Atlantic Empire.

1 comment:

John L Smith Jr said...

Thanks for the notice, J.L. I'll look forward to reading some of the subject pdf's they'll be posting soon.