Edges of Transatlantic Commerce in the Long Eighteenth Century examines and challenges the boundaries of the Atlantic in the eighteenth century, with a particular focus on commerce. Commerce as a keyword encompasses a wide range of documented and undocumented encounters that invoke topics such as shared or conflicting ideas of value, affective experiences of the emerging global system, and development of national economies, as well as their opponents. By investigating what gets exchanged, created, or obscured on the peripheries of transatlantic commercial relations and geography in the eighteenth century, the chapters in this collection reimagine the edge as a liminal space with a potential for an alternative historical and aesthetic knowledge. To ground this inquiry in a more material dimension, the chapters engage specifically with what is being exchanged, sold, or communicated across the Atlantic by exploring ideas that are being shaped, concealed, undermined, or exploited through intricate exchanges. With its contributions from multiple contexts and disciplinary perspectives, Edges of Transatlantic Commerce offers insights into relatively neglected aspects of the transatlantic world to cultivate the value that the edges allow us to conceive.
Table of Contents
1 Introduction: Promises and Predicaments of the Long Eighteenth-Century Transatlantic World 1
2 Pirates, Slaves, and Profligate Rogues: Sailors of Color in the Eighteenth-Century Maritime World 18
3 “Commencing Merchant”: Forms of Feeling and Logics of Capital in Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789) 46
4 “Peruvia’s Bleeding Land”: Bodyscape Commerce in Helen Maria Williams’s Peru 74
LEAH M. THOMAS
5 Religion, Sexuality, and Antislavery Resistance: The Hart Sisters and Mary Prince in the Atlantic World 104
6 “A Cure, Both for Soul and Body”: Transculturation in Robinson Crusoe’s Tobacco “Application” 128
7 “One Man’s Trash Is Another Man’s Treasure”: Counterfeit Coins and Imperial Commerce in
1770s Jamaica 148
8 Currency, Credit, and Trust: Naval Victualing at the Cape Colony, 1795–1815 167
ELIZABETH C. LIBERO
9 Epilogue: Reimagining the Edge of Transatlantic Commerce as Center 188
LEAH M. THOMAS AND SEOHYON JUNG
Seohyon Jung received her Ph.D. in English from Tufts University in 2020. She specializes in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British literature, with a particular interest in the ideas of motherhood, women's labor, and theories of colonial modernity. She currently teaches at Seoul National University.
Leah M. Thomas is Assistant Professor of English in the Department of Languages and Literature at Virginia State University.