History professor explores 18th Century trading among British, Native Americans, African-Americans

History professor Robert Paulett presented his book, “An Empire of Small Places: Mapping the Southeastern Anglo-Indian Trade, 1732-1795,” last week at the University Bookstore.

History professor Robert Paulett gave a presentation last week at the University Bookstore about his first book, "An Empire of Small Places: Mapping the Southeastern Anglo-Indian Trade, 1732-1795." Photo by Kari Williams

“An Empire of Small Places” explores trade routes in the 18th Century through investigating the relationship between the British, Native Americans and African-Americans, the traded product itself (deerskin leather) and the pathways the trade existed on, among other aspects of the industry in the southeast.

Paulett pays particular attention to trade in Augusta, Ga., and on the Savannah River.

There were two views of the trade industry, according to Paulett. James Ogelthorpe, the founder of the colony of Georgia, viewed the river as the main artery of commerce, whereas those on the river – the boatmen – were more concerned about keeping the boat upright and the deerskin leather cargo dry.

The Native Americans, from the Creek to the Cherokee, also had their own ideas of what the southeast should look like.

Paulett said he looks at the entire world of trade— from social to human interaction to the participants themselves. Paulett also shows how the trade routes were characterized differently depending on who was documenting their travels.

He also explores the “complex network” of pathways that made the trade possible, noting that power, authority and identity differed from place to place.

“An Empire of Small Places” was published last year and was roughly 14 years in the making, according to Paulett.

Be Sociable, Share!

Filed Under: Historical Studies

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments are closed.

Switch to our mobile site