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By Thomas M. Doerflinger

A social, financial, and political learn of Philadelphia retailers, this research offers either the spirit and data of service provider lifestyles. Doerflinger experiences the Philadelphia service provider neighborhood from 3 views: their advertisement global, their war of words with the Revolution and its aftermath, and their position in diversifying the neighborhood economic climate. The research of entrepreneurship dominates the examine and demanding situations long-standing assumptions approximately American fiscal history.

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Extra resources for A vigorous spirit of enterprise : merchants and economic development in Revolutionary Philadelphia

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See also Bridenbaugh, 22 Character of the Merchant Community PLATE z. The Blackwell Parlor. Circa 1764. Courtesy of The Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum Social Structure and Recruitment 23 Because these elegant chambers overlooked dusty streets strewn with noxious refuse from the waterfront and marketplace, rich Philadelphians found it convenient to spend the summer months in country seats beyond the city limits. Although the finest of these summer residences were grand indeed and cost as much as a good town house, merchants more often elected to build relatively simple structures.

Z3, 1767. 4. D. , Columbia University, 1955), 1—47- Social Structure and Recruitment 15 vicinity of either Warwick, England, or Bristol, Pennsylvania, eighteen miles to the north of Philadelphia. Trained as a cooper, Clifford was orphaned at the age of fifteen but inherited some land from his father. When he married, he probably received little in the way of a dowry, for his father-in-law was poor enough to merit financial assistance from the Philadelphia monthly meeting. There was, in short, little in his background, training, or financial resources to prepare Thomas Clifford for a life as a Philadelphia merchant.

After the Revolution, newcomers rushed into the city to sell cloth and other manufactures, but in the ensuing depression many left or shifted to other occupations. These wholesalers to some extent formed a coherent social group. Because of the common demands of business, mercantile transactions were facilitated by standard rules concerning such matters as commissions charged for various services, the correct manner of negotiating bills of exchange, and procedures for settling insurance claims. Naturally, the merchants had many common concerns about which to gossip during long, convivial sessions in William Bradford's London Coffee House or the more elegant City Tavern.

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