Life in Early Philadelphia: Documents from the Revolutionary and Early National Periods / Edition 1

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Overview

The meaning of American history has rarely been contested more fiercely than during the current "culture wars" as Americans battle to define their past. Life in Early Philadelphia can contribute much to a reasoned discussion by giving readers the rare opportunity to interpret and reconstruct life in the country's premier urban center at a time when Americans struggled to establish their independence and to create a new nation. Covering the period from about 1775 to 1810, these remarkable documents reveal glimpses of the lives of everyday men and women—from the impoverished, imprisoned, and enslaved to the "middling sort" and the wealthy. Each document is prefaced by a helpful introduction and is extensively annotated. A general introduction, glossary, bibliography, and guide to further reading make the book ideal for students and general readers. Taken as a whole, this collection reveals much about the shaping of American society.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271014555
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 332
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Billy G. Smith is Professor of History at Montana State University. He is the author of The "Lower Sort": Philadelphia's Laboring People, 1750–1800 (1990) and the co-editor of Blacks Who Stole Themselves: Advertisements for Runaways in the Pennsylvania Gazette, 1728-1790 (1989) and The Infortunate: The Voyage and Adventures of William Moraley, an Indentured Servant (Penn State, 1992).

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Philadelphia: The Athens of America 3
2 The Institutional Poor: The Almshouse Daily Occurrence Docket 29
3 Prisoners: The Prisoners for Trial Docket and the Vagrancy Docket 57
4 Fugitives: Newspaper Advertisements for Runaway Slaves, Indentured Servants, and Apprentices 87
5 A Woman of the "Best Sort": The Diary of Elizabeth Drinker 131
6 A Working Woman: The Autobiography of Ann Baker Carson 155
7 Marriage and Death: The Records of Gloria Dei Church 177
8 Zachariah Poulson's Bills of Mortality, 1788-1801 219
9 Equality and Justice: Philadelphia's Popular Revolution, 1775-1780 245
10 Small-Producer Thought: The Argument About Capitalism 265
Appendix: Monetary Values 279
Glossary 281
Selected Bibliography and Further Reading 285
Contributors 291
Name Index 293
Subject Index 311
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