A Test of Faith: The Account Book of Richard Poor, Quaker Merchant of Barbados
AbstractAt the beginning of the eighteenth century, Barbados formed one of the world's most successful economies, specialised in exporting sugar produced using enslaved labour. This paper analyses an account book maintained by the Bridgetown merchant factor, Richard Poor Jr, between 1699 and 1713. Poor Jr initially traded in provisions but switched to importing manufactures in exchange for sugar, rum, and cotton after establishing business relations with London Quaker merchants. Analysis of Sunday trading suggests that many clients were fellow Non-conformists. Quakerism, however, fused with other factors in reinforcing trust and security. The distribution of transactions was skewed towards persons trading only once or twice, while customers owning taxable property and heads of households generated the most valuable accounts and transacted over the longest period of time. The tempo of mercantile life appears slow: on a majority of days zero transactions are recorded. This finding may reflect the degree to which non-business activities complemented commerce.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CHERRY, c/o Department of Economics, University of York in its series Centre for Historical Economics and Related Research at York (CHERRY) Discussion Papers with number 07/02.
Date of creation: May 2007
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: c/o Sue Bowden, Department of Economics and Related Studies, University of York, York, YO10 5DD, United Kingdom
Phone: (0)1904 323776
Fax: (0)1904 323759
Web page: http://www.york.ac.uk/res/cherry/
More information through EDIRC
West Indies; merchant; Atlantic trade; religion and business; eighteenth century;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- N8 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-07-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2007-07-13 (Health Economics)
- NEP-HIS-2007-07-13 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Doriana Delfino) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Doriana Delfino to update the entry or send us the correct address.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.