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Building Wealth Through the China and East Indies Trade
Content Session Material

Theme: An Industrious People: American Economic History
Topic:  Building Wealth Through the China and East Indies Trade
Date: Summer 2005
Scholars:

Dane Morrison, Ph.D., Professor, Department of History, Salem State College (dane.morrison@salemstate.edu)

Samuel Scott, Assistant Curator, Russell W. Knight Department of Maritime Arts & History, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA (Samuel_Scott@pem.org)

Karina Corrigan, Assistant Curator of Asian Export Art at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA (Karina_Corrigan@pem.org)

Overview | Required Reading | Reading Questions

Materials selected and syllabus compiled by SALEM in History staff


OVERVIEW

Today’s schedule and activities will offer a broad look at the relationship between Salem’s prominence in the China and East Indies trade and the production and display of wealth in the United States (on both large and small scales) in the early years of the new republic. The structure of this day is unique, with numerous brief presentations by historians, curators and archivists touching on three specific but related aspects of the day’s topic:

1)Building Wealth Through the China And East Indies Trade Part I: “Building National Wealth: Trade Revenues and the National Treasury

Lead Scholar: Dr. Dane Morrison, Professor, Department of History, Salem State College

Dr. Morrison will lecture on the growth of the national treasury and the role of Salem-derived customs revenue in the early federal budget.

2)Building Wealth Through the China And East Indies Trade Part II: “The Emergence and Structure of the China and East Indies Trade”

Lead Scholar: Samuel Scott, Assistant Curator, Russell W. Knight Department of Maritime Arts & History, Peabody Essex Museum

Mr. Scott will speak on the history, goals, organization, financing and challenges of the China and East Indies trade.

3)Building Wealth Through the China And East Indies Trade Part III: “The Material Culture of the China and East Indies Trade”

Lead Scholar: Karina Corrigan, Assistant Curator of Asian Export Art at the Peabody Essex Museum

Ms. Corrigan will speak on the material manifestation of the China and East Indies trade in the form of consumer goods produced oversees for an American market. Many of these objects graced the homes and bodies of Salemites at the height of the trade.

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REQUIRED READING

Hawes, Dorothy Schurman. To the Farthest Gulf: The Story of the American China Trade. Ipswich, MA: Ipswich Press, 1990. (originally published as two articles in the Essex Institute Historical Collections in 1941) (Chapter 3 “The Empress of China and the Launching of the American China Trade”; Chapter 6 “Samuel Shaw and the MASSACHUSETTS”; Chapter 8 “The Height of Salem’s Glory: The Spice Trade, Bowditch, Derby, Peabody”)

National Park Service. SALEM:Maritime Salem in the Age of Sail. Washington DC: US Department of the Interior (Section: “Bordeaux to Sumatra: Salem’s World            Trade”- if time allows, please read entire book)

Stewart, Doug. “Salem Sets Sail.” Smithsonian (June 2004):92-99. 

RECOMMENDED READING

Rothenberg, Winifred Barr. “The Invention of American Capitalism: The Economy of New England in the Federal Period” Temin, Peter ed. Engines of Enterprise: An             Economic History of New England. Cambridge, MA  and London: Harvard             University Press, 2000.

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READING QUESTIONS

None for this session

 

 

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