Trade in Strangers: The Beginnings of Mass Migration to North America / Edition 1

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American historians have long been fascinated by the "peopling" of North America in the seventeenth century. Who were the immigrants, and how and why did they make their way across the ocean? Most of the attention, however, has been devoted to British immigrants who came as free people or as indentured servants (primarily to New England and the Chesapeake) and to Africans who were forced to come as slaves. Trade in Strangers focuses on the eighteenth century, when new immigrants began to flood the colonies at an unprecedented rate. Most of these immigrants were German and Irish, and they were coming primarily to the middle colonies via an increasingly sophisticated form of transport.
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Editorial Reviews

Tells the story of fundamental changes in the process of populating America in the 1700s, showing how first the German system of immigration developed, and then how Irish immigration altered to adopt the same pattern, focusing especially on the Delaware Valley. Looks at how the sea transportation industry took shape in the middle decades of the 18th century to service and profit from migration flows from various European territories. Includes an appendix of German immigrant voyages, 1683-1775. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher

“This monograph will be of interest to specialists in early American history and immigration history.”
—L. Scott Philyaw, History

“This is a valuable contribution to the study of immigration, ethnicity and the economy, and essential for historians of greater Pennsylvania. . . . This is a rich study of the peopling of North America that should be of widespread interest to specialists in many sub-disciplines of history.”
—Susan E. Klepp, Temple University Book Review

Trade in Strangers is an important addition to the study of mass migration.”
—Nupur Chaudhuri, International Migration Review

Trade in Strangers makes a useful contribution to our knowledge of colonial immigration, and raises many questions for future research.”
—David W. Galenson, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

“Only a historian versed in the Dutch, English and German languages and armed with tenacity could accomplish such a carefully researched chronicle.”
—Simone A Wegge, EH.NET

Trade in Strangers is first a sharply focused, impressively researched monographic study of the movement of German-speaking settlers to eighteenth-century Pennsylvania. Based on detailed research in German, Dutch, English, and American archives, Trade in Strangers is clearly the best study we have of this important migration and will serve as the starting point for all future scholarship on the subject. . . . While this book is aimed at professional historians even those with a more casual interest in early America will find much of interest here. Wokeck presents the clearest description I have seen of the redemptioner system, and offers a compelling account of the experience of eighteenth-century transatlantic migrants. In sum, this is a first-rate book that deserves a large audience.”
—Russell R. Menard, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography

“This monograph will be of interest to specialists in early American history and immigration history.”

—L. Scott Philyaw, History

Trade in Strangers is an important addition to the study of mass migration.”

—Nupur Chaudhuri, International Migration Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780271018331
  • Publisher: Penn State University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.78 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Marianne S. Wokeck is Associate Professor of History at Indiana University/Purdue University at Indianapolis. She was previously Associate Editor of The Papers of William Penn and director of the Biographical Dictionary of Pennsylvania Legislators.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps and Figures
List of Tables
Introduction: A New Form of Transatlantic Migration
1 German Long-Distance Migration 1
2 The Flow and Composition of German Immigration to the American Colonies 37
3 The Trade in Migrants 59
4 The Ordeal of Relocation 113
5 Irish Immigration to the Delaware Valley 167
Conclusion: A Model for the Modern Era 221
Appendix German Immigrant Voyages, 1683-1775 239
Selected Bibliography 277
Index 311
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