Cover

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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Introduction

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pp. 1-10

When I began the research for this book, I had a fairly clear idea about where my project might fit within an established historiography. Three decades of social and labor history had provided a persuasive account of the transformation of colonial American artisans into waged workers during a contested transition to capitalism. ...

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1. “Earning a beaver”: Tradesmen in New Amsterdam

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pp. 11-52

On 11 September 1609 Henry Hudson guided the Half Moon from the open sea, through the narrows dividing present-day Staten Island and Long Island, and into the large bay that lay beyond. He had set sail from Holland in April, intending to explore the Arctic seas north of Norway for a possible eastern route to the Indies. ...

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2. “Like a child in their debt and consequently their slave”: The Transition to English Rule, 1664–1691

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pp. 53-95

In May 1664 James Duke of York dispatched Colonel Richard Nicolls with four ships and three hundred soldiers to secure the “entyre submission and obedience” of England’s newest colonial American subjects. In mid-August, the invaders disembarked from vessels anchored off Long Island in Gravesend Bay and moved west to Brooklyn, ...

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3. “Diverse necessaries and conveniences work found and provided”: Trading in a Craft Economy, 1691–1730

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pp. 96-130

The accession of William and Mary delivered a mortal blow to the Stuarts’ absolutist ambitions and affirmed the force of parliamentary sovereignty and English liberties over the claims of hereditary succession. Yet few in Parliament tolerated the philosophical abstractions and leveling sentiments of radical Whigs, ...

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4. “The only obstruction at this present is our want of people”: The Labor Problem, 1691–1730

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pp. 131-162

In 1705, the governor of New York, Edward Hyde, Lord Cornbury, wrote to the Board of Trade in London regarding the colony’s commerce. Routine reports on commercial comings and goings were a key administrative duty for England’s colonial governors, and in most respects Cornbury’s memorandum ...

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5. “So much as he should reasonably deserve to have”: Tradesmen and the English Common Law

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pp. 163-188

In May 1692, John Demares, a planter from East New Jersey, made a bargain with the brickmaker Jacob Fairen. Demares agreed to provide Fairen with meat, drink, and washing and to pay him “so much as he should reasonably deserve for his labor and pains” for making and burning a kiln of bricks on his land. ...

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6. “C’mon brave boys let us be brave for liberty and law”: Artisans and Politics, 1730–1763

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pp. 189-224

Toward the end of September 1730, the surveyor James Lyne submitted his “Plan of the City of New-York” to William Bradford for inclusion in the New York Gazette.1 The plan graphically confirmed the effects of more than three decades of urban expansion: in lower Manhattan, the well-to-do residents of Dock and Queen streets ...

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7. Conclusion

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pp. 225-228

This book began by observing that the view of a general and fundamental shift from independent and amenable craft work to alienated and penurious wage work, and the implied causal relationship between this shift and the formation of a new kind of working-class politics in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, ...

Notes

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pp. 229-294

Index

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pp. 295-304

Acknowledgments

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pp. 305-306