Economic History

A Vigorous Spirit of Enterprise: Merchants and Economic by Thomas M. Doerflinger

By Thomas M. Doerflinger

A social, monetary, and political research of Philadelphia retailers, this learn offers either the spirit and information of service provider existence. Doerflinger stories the Philadelphia service provider group from 3 views: their advertisement global, their war of words with the Revolution and its aftermath, and their position in diversifying the neighborhood economic system. The research of entrepreneurship dominates the learn and demanding situations long-standing assumptions approximately American fiscal history.

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Additional resources for A Vigorous Spirit of Enterprise: Merchants and Economic Development in Revolutionary Philadelphia (Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia)

Sample text

In 1798, he made a disastrous personal diplomatic mission to France. The family fortune that underwrote these activities, as with several other prominent families, was based on shrewd investments by an early and well-connected settler in Pennsylvania, George Logan's grandfather James Logan, who was secretary to William Penn. But, in general, Pennsylvania in its early years, unlike Maryland, Virginia, and South Carolina, was not a particularly good place to found a fortune; it is not surprising, therefore, to find that a substantial proportion of the great families of the province, including the Hamiltons, Dickinsons, Chews, Cadwaladers, Tilghmans, Pleasantses, and Galloways, had kinship ties with the Chesapeake.

From their imperfect efforts we can estimate with a fair degree of accuracy what the size of the merchant community was at four points between 1756 and 1791. 6 All of these figures may be too high or too low by as much as 15 percent, but the orders of magnitude that they imply certainly are not misleading. Although the exceptionally high fig6. , The Philadelphia Directory (Philadelphia, 1791). Figures for 1756 and 1774 are estimates because occupational designations in the documents covering those years are incomplete.

Figures for 1756 and 1774 are estimates because occupational designations in the documents covering those years are incomplete. The enumeration for 1774 was supplemented by County Tax Duplicates, 1773—1775, Philadelphia City and County, in Philadelphia City Archives, Philadelphia City Hall; and by Transcript of the Assessment for the 1772. Provincial Tax for the City and County of Philadelphia (microfilm copy at HSP). 18 Character of the Merchant Community ure for 1785 may seem anomalous and therefore suspect, it accords well with what we know of Philadelphia's business cycle.

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