IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/yor/cherry/07-02.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A Test of Faith: The Account Book of Richard Poor, Quaker Merchant of Barbados

Author

Listed:
  • Simon Smith

Abstract

At 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Smith, 2007. "A Test of Faith: The Account Book of Richard Poor, Quaker Merchant of Barbados," Centre for Historical Economics and Related Research at York (CHERRY) Discussion Papers 07/02, CHERRY, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:cherry:07/02
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.york.ac.uk/media/economics/documents/cherrydiscussionpapers/RichardPoor.pdf
    File Function: Main text
    Download Restriction: no

    More about this item

    Keywords

    West Indies; merchant; Atlantic trade; religion and business; eighteenth century;

    JEL classification:

    • N8 - Economic History - - Micro-Business History

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:yor:cherry:07/02. See general 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). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/deyoruk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.