An original and engaging account of illicit trading by New York City merchants-some of whom became America's Founding Fathers-during the French and Indian War
Finalist for the 2009 Francis Parkman Prize sponsored by the Society of American Historians
In the first half of the 18th century, France and Britain engaged in several wars for control of North America, culminating in the Seven Years' War (1756-63). Throughout that time, enterprising Colonial merchants engaged in controversial trade with French ports. Using a multithematic approach, Truxes (senior lecturer in history, Trinity Coll., Hartford; Irish American Trade, 1660-1783) examines New York City's participation in smuggling and privateering before and during the war, both at sea and on the city's streets. Combining elements of political, economic, military, social, and legal history, Truxes describes the operations in which merchants and sailors engaged. He presents both the merchants' views that their practices were perfectly legitimate and the Crown's perspective that these acts were treasonous. All the while, Truxes keeps the book's theme in context, providing brief overviews of the war's major events and the influence those events had on domestic trade and politics. Helpful end matter includes a chronology of events, glossaries of persons and terms, relevant legal decrees, and notes. This lively and scholarly analysis of a largely untreated topic would be an excellent purchase for academic libraries and public libraries with strong Colonial history collections.