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Risk, kinship and personal relationships in late eighteenth-century West Indian trade: The commercial network of Tobin & Pinney


  • Albane Forestier


Which strategies enabled merchants to sustain commercial expansion in the risky context of Atlantic trade? This study evaluates the role of kinship and long-term relationships as solutions to the problems posed by long-distance trade, when there is a common national and legal framework. Tobin & Pinney did not rely much on family connections to develop and support their operations. As former planters themselves, they took advantage of the contacts and 'friendships' they had established with planters and agents in Nevis before setting up in the commission trade in Bristol, and their success was based on repeated interaction and their former proximity to the Nevis planter class. This risk reduction strategy however limited the partners' ability to expand their business beyond Nevis.

Suggested Citation

  • Albane Forestier, 2010. "Risk, kinship and personal relationships in late eighteenth-century West Indian trade: The commercial network of Tobin & Pinney," Business History, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 52(6), pages 912-931.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:bushst:v:52:y:2010:i:6:p:912-931
    DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2010.511182

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