This book employs historical archaeological evidence to demonstrate how polite rituals reproduced the social and material world of commerce in colonial Massachusetts. The author situates artifacts within the social contexts descibed in contemporary letters and diaries and depicted in literature and art and demonstrates how the New English merchants selected and adapted contemporary British manners to create a new American form of polite behavior.
1. Introduction: The Polite World of the Merchant Elite of Colonial Massachusetts 2. History, Archaeology and the Ideal World of Manners 3. The Merchant Community in Massachussetts and England 4. Material Expressions of Mannerly Behavior 5. Manners and Women's Roles in Merchant Society 6. Conclusion: An Archaeology of Mannners. References. Index