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City upon the Atlantic Tides: Merchants, Pirates, and the Seafaring Community of Boston

Pitt, Steven (2015) City upon the Atlantic Tides: Merchants, Pirates, and the Seafaring Community of Boston. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation examines colonial America’s maritime history through the lens of its most developed and powerful port city – Boston – and an Atlantic economic system reliant on ships and sailors. The maritime perspective fills significant gaps in colonial Boston’s historiography, ranging from transformative events such as the 1689 revolution and the town’s dramatic economic rise and decline. The port city perspective, meanwhile, anchors the maritime history in a fixed historical trajectory with familiar actors, vessels, and shipping routes, revealing the centrality of maritime labor, impressment, piracy, and trade in the Atlantic from 1689 to 1748. In pursuit of the elusive sailor and ship, this dissertation draws on merchant accounts and letters, ships’ papers and logbooks, court records and sailor depositions, state papers, newspapers, customs records, sermons, diaries, political and economic tracts, and travel literature. The results of this investigation demonstrate that maritime labor created wealth, stability, and security in colonial Boston, underscoring the profound symbiotic relationship between the port and the ships and seafarers upon which it depended.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Pitt, Stevensjp55@pitt.eduSJP55
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairRediker,
Committee MemberManning, Patrickpmanning@pitt.eduPMANNING
Committee MemberHall, Van Beckvanbeck@pitt.eduVANBECK
Committee MemberGaynor,
Date: 27 September 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 26 June 2015
Approval Date: 27 September 2015
Submission Date: 31 July 2015
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 271
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > History
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Boston, Seafarers, Pirates, Merchants, Port Cities, Impressment
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2015 00:55
Last Modified: 27 Sep 2020 05:15


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