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Social and Economic Networks in Early Massachusetts

Atlantic Connections

Marsha L. Hamilton

Publication Year: 2009

Published by: Penn State University Press

Front Cover

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Title Page

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pp. vii

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pp. ix-x

As with most books, this work could not have been completed without a great deal of help and support. First of all, my thanks go to Ned Landsman, my adviser at SUNY Stony Brook, who read many drafts of this manuscript over the years. ...

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A Note on Spelling and Dates

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pp. xi

In general, spelling and dates are rendered here as written in the original documents, although superscriptions and abbreviations have been brought down and spelled out, and the Old English thorn and Latin spelling characteristics (I for J , U for V ) have been changed to modern forms. ...

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Introduction: British and Atlantic Networks in Early Massachusetts

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pp. 1-13

In November 1693, the choleric governor of Massachusetts, Sir William Phips, witnessed an altercation on Boston’s waterfront. Upon inquiry, he was told by Benjamin Faneuil, a Huguenot merchant who had arrived in the Bay Colony in 1689, that Jahleel Brenton, the customs collector, had ordered the seizure ...

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1. The Idea of Community in Early Massachusetts

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pp. 14-23

Community has long been a favorite topic for historians of early New England. Since the seventeenth century, scholars of the region have equated communities with towns, and commitment to the community with land ownership and church membership. The focus on town and religion helped to solidify the image of New England ...

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2. Laborers in Early Massachusetts: Ironworkers at Saugus

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pp. 24-50

A key component of the formation of British communities in early Massachusetts was the need for labor. As the Bay Colony grew and its economy diversified over the course of the seventeenth century, a need for labor developed that could not be provided primarily by families and godly servants.1 ...

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3. British Communities: Agricultural Laborers and Tenant Farmers in Essex County

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pp. 51-71

In early Massachusetts, non-Puritan residents constructed social relationships based on physical proximity (in neighborhoods, for example), but also on nationality, shared experiences as captives or servants, and marriage and kinship. These mixed communities and social networks consisted of non-Puritan English ...

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4. Massachusetts Merchants: From British to Atlantic Networks

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pp. 72-99

At the same time that British communities developed among tenant farmers, servants, and laborers in agricultural districts of coastal Massachusetts, merchants in the major ports formed commercial communities based on economic interests. Initially, many of these merchants traded primarily with their countrymen in other ports ...

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5. Community and Identity in Early Massachusetts

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pp. 100-124

The formation of British and Atlantic communities in seventeenth-century Massachusetts indicates that these settlers did not simply submerge their identities into the dominant Puritan culture. Through their community networks, they provided support for countrymen and other non-Puritan residents. ...

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Conclusion: Into the Eighteenth Century

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pp. 125-132

By the early eighteenth century, Massachusetts society had changed dramatically. Settled initially as a refuge from the corruptions of English society, Massachusetts had been transformed into an Atlantic entrep


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pp. 133-134


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pp. 135-178


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pp. 179-196


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pp. 197-204

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780271053387
E-ISBN-10: 0271053380
Print-ISBN-13: 9780271035512
Print-ISBN-10: 027103551X

Page Count: 216
Publication Year: 2009

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Social networks -- Massachusetts -- History.
  • Community life -- Massachusetts -- History.
  • Ethnicity -- Massachusetts -- History.
  • Massachusetts -- Ethnic relations.
  • Massachusetts -- Economic conditions.
  • Massachusetts -- Social life and customs -- To 1775.
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