Reflections from Guest Curator Shannon Holleran

When the Adverts 250 Project was first assigned and I discovered I would be the first guest curator, I felt very intimidated and overwhelmed by the responsibility I was being tasked with. Luckily, once I started to explore the digitized newspapers and select my advertisements, the project became fun and much less overwhelming. As my week as guest curator is coming to an end, I realize I have acquired a greater knowledge of colonial and revolutionary-era America as well as many new techniques for reading and analyzing sources. During this experience, I have faced many challenges along the way; however, the result has been extremely rewarding.

The first step in this process was to select seven advertisements from eighteenth century newspapers, made available online. This was one of my favorite parts of the project because while I was selecting the advertisements I wanted to post about, I was able to see countless colonial and revolutionary-era newspapers and advertisements. I found this to be so fascinating because I could see how much newspapers and advertisements have changed over time. During the eighteenth century, newspapers were a major form of communication for the colonists; however, in today’s society, we often rely on social media as a main form of communication and advertising.

Once I had selected my seven advertisements, I was then tasked with finding other sources (primary, secondary, digital) to tie in with my post. This was one of the most challenging parts of the project for me. I found myself having a difficult time finding reliable, historically accurate sources for the time period I was posting about. I also faced problems with paraphrasing some of my sources and putting them into my own words. I found this challenging because the sources I used were filled with so many interesting facts; however, Professor Keyes gave me extremely helpful tips to avoid simply repeating what my sources had already said. Through this process of tying in other sources, I was able to acquire much more information about the colonies in the eighteenth century.

This digital humanities project helped me expand my knowledge about everyday life and commerce in colonial America. After seeing and analyzing many different advertisements, it was clear that the colonists’ society and economy had become completely Anglicized. It was interesting for me to see how many of the advertisements were about English goods. Many of the advertisements I worked with, specifically my indigo advertisements, revealed how Great Britain would exploit the colonies for their natural resources. The colonies, in return, would import a wide variety of British goods. This helped the economy in colonial America to flourish. Many advertisements revealed the colonists’ rapidly growing economy and the effects this had on society.

Although at times this project was challenging, it was extremely rewarding in the end to see my work published on the Adverts 250 Project website. It was very exciting to see the entries I had worked so hard on be seen by the public. This was the first time I was involved in a project that was published for the general public to see. I was, of course, very worried at first about people viewing my work; however, it was a very neat experience to be a part of. As a history major, I always love learning new things about our nation’s history and gaining new experiences, such as working with digitized resources and having the opportunity to visit the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester. I am thankful I was given the opportunity to work on such an interesting project. I am looking forward to curating the Slavery Adverts 250 Project and once again having the opportunity to work with these eighteenth-century newspapers.

February 25

GUEST CURATOR: Shannon Holleran

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

feb-25-2251767-georgia-gazette
Georgia Gazette (February 25, 1767).

“Brought to the Work-house, A NEGROE FELLOW, middle aged.”

This advertisement caught my attention because it is an advertisement about runaway slaves. After doing further research on runaway slaves, I discovered that advertisements like this were very common during this period. Advertisements similar to this one were used to recapture slaves and indentured servants. They listed specific physical characteristics, such as height and clothing. The abundance of slavery advertisements is why the Slavery Adverts 250 Project also exists. Slavery was such an important part of society and the colonists’ economy at this time that slavery advertisements were abundant in many eighteenth-century newspapers.

Sadly, according to Tom Costa, advertisements sometimes did not need to be posted because many slave owners would recapture their slaves within one to two weeks of their escape. Costa also states that many slave owners would only put out advertisements if the runaway was seen as valuable. Unfortunately, advertisements such as these often made it nearly impossible for slaves to escape to freedom.

Many slavery advertisements, spanning several decades, have been digitized and made available for the public to view in the Virginia Gazette. The Virginia Gazette is the only colonial and revolutionary-era newspaper that has been digitized and made available to the general public, providing the ability to view many advertisements similar to this one from the colonial and revolutionary eras. Also, other slavery advertisements are easy to view via the Slavery Adverts 250 Project. This project also provides the public with hundreds of slavery advertisements from 250 years ago, emphasizing how commonplace slavery advertisements were. The Slavery Adverts 250 Project includes slavery advertisements published in newspapers throughout all of the colonies.

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY: Carl Robert Keyes

As the guest curators from my Revolutionary America class and I work on this project together, we have many opportunities to discuss methodology, primary and secondary sources, and the availability of digitized documents to scholars and the general public. In the process, my students gain a better understanding of both the past and how historians pursue their work.

From now until the end of the semester, visitors to the Adverts 250 Project may notice that each student incorporates at least one advertisement concerning slavery into her or his week serving as guest curator. This complements the work that each will conduct when curating the companion Slavery Adverts 250 Project during a different week, giving each an opportunity to examine at least one slavery advertisement in greater detail.

Today, Shannon offers important observations about the accessibility of eighteenth-century newspapers, including the advertisements for slaves that prominently appeared in them. To complete their work on both the Adverts 250 Project and the Slavery Adverts 250 Project, students consult several databases of digitized newspapers as they draw material from the nearly two dozen published in the colonies in 1767. They complete most of their research using Readex’s Early American Newspapers, available via databases linked on the campus library’s website. That particular subscription, however, does not include all of the eighteenth-century newspapers Readex has digitized. When students visit the reading room at the American Antiquarian Society they have access to Readex’s America’s Historical Newspapers, which includes all of the newspapers available via Early American Newspapers as well as the Pennsylvania Gazette (perhaps the most important eighteenth-century American newspaper) and both versions of the Virginia Gazette published in 1767 (one by Purdie and Dixon and one by Rind). Students must also visit the American Antiquarian Society to access three newspapers printed in Charleston, South Carolina, via Accessible Archives.

As Shannon notes, it is not necessary to visit a research library or have remote access to their digital resources to examine the Virginia Gazette. Colonial Williamsburg has made these sources available to the general public via their Digital Library, which also includes manuscripts, research reports, and York County estate inventories. This collection of newspapers includes several publications (or continuations of publications with new printers) all published under the title Virginia Gazette: Parks (1736-1740, 1745-1746), Hunter (1751-1757, 1759, 1761), Royle (1762, 1763, 1765), Purdie and Dixon (1766-1774), Rind (1766-1774), Pinkney (1774-1776), Dixon and Hunter (1775-1778), Purdie (1775-1778), Clarkson and Davis (1779-1780), and Dixon and Nicholson (1779-1780).

The Adverts 250 Project includes a daily digest of all slavery advertisements published 250 years ago that day. The citations for advertisements from the Virginia Gazette always includes a link that takes readers to Colonial Williamsburg’s Digital Library, directly to the correct page of the newspaper so readers can examine each advertisement in its original context. Each advertisement tells an important story of human bondage, but they tell even richer and more complete stories when not disembodied from the other advertisements, news items, and other content that accompanied them. It’s not possible for the Adverts 250 Project or the Slavery Adverts 250 Project to provide that kind of access to every eighteenth-century newspaper. Colonial Williamsburg offers unique access to the Virginia Gazette to all readers, not just those associated with colleges and universities or major research institutions.

 

February 24

GUEST CURATOR: Shannon Holleran

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

feb-24-2241767-south-carolina-gazette
South Carolina Gazette (February 24, 1767).

“For LONDON, DIRECTLY, The Snow JUDITH, JOHN DAVIS Master, FOR freight of skins or indico.”

This advertisement is unique for the Adverts 250 Project because it did not advertise goods or services, but it instead advertised the shipment of raw materials (skins and indigo). Advertisements for this project usually focus on the consumption of goods, not the shipment of goods.   Earlier this week, I posted an advertisement regarding the cultivation and use of indigo in the colonies during the eighteenth century. When indigo appeared in today’s advertisement, I decided to look more closely at its shipment between England and the colonies.

In “Indigo Production in the Eighteenth Century,” Kenneth H. Beeson, Jr., notes major producers of indigo at this time were Guatemala, Venezuela, and Mexico.[1] However, Great Britain preferred to get indigo from its own colonies, exploiting the colonies for their goods and resources. As I mentioned in my post about indigo earlier this week, the most significant producers of indigo in the colonies were Georgia and South Carolina. Once Great Britain collected what they needed from the colonies, they would then ship back British manufactured goods. Many of the advertisements posted in eighteenth-century newspapers mentioned “English goods.” The influx in importation of British goods ultimately resulted in the countless advertisements, seen in part in the Adverts 250 Project.

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Map showing exportation of indigo and importation of British manufactured goods in the eighteenth century.  Infobase Publishing.

This map depicts the British Empire’s transatlantic trade routes during the eighteenth century. It shows the exportation of indigo from South Carolina to Great Britain. The map also shows the importation of manufactured goods from Great Britain to the colonies. This trade was supposed to benefit the colonies and Great Britain, but Parliament’s attempts to regulate that trade in the 1760s and 1770s led to resistance and eventually independence.

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY: Carl Robert Keyes

In preparing the image of today’s advertisement, Shannon and I made a decision to include a header that appeared immediately above it rather than the advertisement alone. That header, in an ornate font and larger than other text on the front page of the South Carolina Gazette, proclaimed “New Advertisements.” Peter Timothy, the printer, intended it guide readers as they examined the contents of the newspaper.

In general, advertisements did not appear according to any sort of classification system during the eighteenth century. Rather than categorize and organize them according to purpose or products, printers instead inserted paid notices in the order received or, depending on length, whatever order deemed necessary to format an issue into columns of equal length. Depending on the preferences of the printer, advertisements could appear anywhere throughout the newspaper. Some printers placed advertisements on the first page. Others exhausted all other content on the first several pages before inserting all of the advertising at the end. In such instances, they sometimes, but not always, inserted a header that simply stated “Advertisements” without revealing which, if any, were new to that issue.

Peter Timothy experimented with providing more guidance to readers of the South Carolina Gazette. To help them navigate the February 24, 1767, issue, he inserted headers for “New Advertisements” and “SALES by the Provost-Marshal” on the first page. The “New Advertisements” header again appeared on the third page, distinguishing nine advertisements from another ten on that page and fourteen on the next that followed an “Advertisements” header and line of printing ornaments that attracted even more attention by dividing the column. Those two dozen advertisements presumably ran in previous editions. Although Timothy inserted a note that “ADVERTISEMENTS unavoidably left out this week, will be in our next,” he also distributed a two-page supplement that included an “Advertisements” header in ornate font for the convenience of readers.

Unlike some newspapers published in smaller colonial cities, the South Carolina Gazette was overflowing with advertisements in the 1760s. Although the printer made little attempt to classify commercial notices and other paid announcements, he did experiment with headers that guided readers to new content. Given that some advertisements ran for weeks or months, such headers were a valuable innovation that likely gave a boost to advertisements running for the first time.

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[1] Kenneth H. Beeson, Jr., “Indigo Production in the Eighteenth Century,” Hispanic American Historical Review 44, no. 2 (May 1964): 214-218.

February 23

GUEST CURATOR: Shannon Holleran

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

feb-23-2231767-newport-mercury
Newport Gazette (February 23, 1767).

“Nutmegs, Copperass, Allum, Pepper, Tea.”

This advertisement interested me because of its length. As T. H. Breen notes in “Baubles of Britain,” with the increase in imported goods colonists had countless options, exemplified by this advertisement.[1] Another thing that intrigued me about this advertisement was that nutmeg was being sold in the 1760s. Nutmeg is a spice that is commonly used today, however, I was surprised to see it mentioned in an eighteenth-century advertisement. I discovered that nutmeg was used as a spice then, just like it is today. In Food in Colonial and Federal America, Sandra L. Oliver states, “The nutmeg husk is cracked, and the nut within is used for spice, usually grated on a grater specifically for nutmegs.”[2]

 

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Nutmeg grater crafted by Joseph Kneeland (ca. 1720-1740). Metropolitan Museum of Art. Visit the museum’s online record to see additional photos.

The importation and sale of nutmeg in the colonies reveals that the colonists and the mother country took part in trade that expanded beyond than the Atlantic Ocean. After further research, I discovered that nutmeg was grown in the Banda Islands, also known as the Spice Islands (in modern Indonesia).

After the American Revolution, the new United States became more involved in the global spice trade by trading directly with Asian growers, instead of going through Great Britain. Some American businessmen embarked on long voyages to obtain spices. American entrepreneurs formed new businesses in search of profits to be made once they were free of the restrictions of the British imperial system.

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY: Carl Robert Keyes

As Shannon indicates, Christopher Champlin’s advertisement provides evidence of an expansive and expanding consumer culture in the decade before the American Revolution. In many instances, purchasing one product made it necessary to obtain other goods as well. Such was the case with nutmeg. The buyer also needed a nutmeg grater, though it did not have to be as ornate as the one currently in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum. As Oliver notes, “Spices were usually imported whole, and it was the cook’s job to pound and sift them for use in cookery.”[3] Note that Champlin’s advertisement lists “Nutmegs” rather than “Nutmeg,” an indication that they were indeed whole and needed to be grated by the customer. A consumer only needed to purchase a nutmeg grater once, but that was still an acquisition that contributed to colonial households being filled with an increasing number of possessions.

While a nutmeg grater could be a relatively minor purchase (even though it appears that “RW” opted for one inspired by fashion as much as practical use), consuming other imported grocery items required equipment that could become quite expensive, depending on the tastes and desires of the consumer. For instance, Champlin sold both tea and chocolate. To enjoy either of these beverages, his customers also needed to possess various sorts of housewares, including cups and either a teapot or a chocolate pot. In addition, tea drinkers also obtained strainers, waste bowls, sugar tongs, ewers for cream or milk, tea canisters, sugar bowls, saucers, and stands for the pot and sometimes even the bowls. Decorative tea sets could be made of ceramic, Chinese export porcelain, or silver. Champlin also sold “hard metal Tea Pots and Spoons.” Fashions evolved for housewares just as they did for clothing, prompting consumers to make additional purchases.

It comes as no surprise that colonists needed various sorts of kitchen equipment in order to prepare food. That being said, eighteenth-century advertisements that list assorted grocery items sometimes obscure the specialized items that colonists also needed (or wanted). As Shannon notes, the length of this advertisement testifies to the growth of consumer culture in eighteenth-century America. On closer examination of individual items, however, we discover that the cascade of selling and acquiring was even more significant than the length of the advertisement alone suggests.

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[1] T.H. Breen, “‘Baubles of Britain’: The American and Consumer Revolutions of the Eighteenth Century,” Past and Present 119 (May 1988): 73-104.

[2] Sandra L. Oliver, Food in Colonial and Federal America (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005), 74.

[3] Oliver, Food in Colonial and Federal America, 74.

February 22

GUEST CURATOR: Shannon Holleran

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago this week?

feb-22-2211767-providence-gazette
Providence Gazette (February 21, 1767).

“Powder horns.”

The “Powder horns” near the end of Joseph and William Russell’s full-page advertisement made me curious. I discovered that a powder horn was used for holding gun powder (which the Russells also sold).

Many powder horns from this period have intricate engravings on them. Some people took up horn carving as an occupation. One of the best-known horn carvers of this time period was Jacob Gay, who often carved his initials onto the powder horns he created. Historians are now able to spot the artwork he created by the “J G” engraved on a powder horn.

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Powder horn engraved by Jacob Gay (dated 1759).  Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Visit the museum’s online record for this object to see additional photos and other eighteenth-century powder horns.

Many powder horns have specific styles based on the period they were made and the battles that occurred at that time. Powder horns decorated just before and during the American Revolution often indicated New England’s anti-British feelings. Also, many of the engraved horns depicted battles fought during the Revolution. In addition to being used to reflect battles, powder horn engravings were also expressive of camp life during the Revolution.

In the midst of the Revolution, many powder horns were also used as forms of identification. Following the Battles of Lexington and Concord, many soldiers began engraving their names or initials on their powder horns. As a result, historians are now able to identify many of the soldiers who fought in battles of the Revolution.

For more information and examples, see William H. Guthman’s “Powder Horns Carved in the Provincial Manner, 1744-1777.”

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY: Carl Robert Keyes

Joseph and William Russell’s full-page advertisement, the first published in the Providence Gazette, first appeared three months earlier, on November 22, 1766. Since then, it ran multiple times, either because the Russells were keen on advertising or because Mary Goddard and Company needed any sort of content to fill the pages when faced with the combination of a dearth of new paid notices and post riders carrying news from other colonies chronically arriving too late for any of it to appear in the current issue. As a result, residents of Providence and readers of the newspaper printed there were exposed to the Russells’ full-page advertisement on many occasions.

Due to the prominence and frequency it appeared in late 1766 and early 1767, this advertisement has also reappears fairly regularly as a point of reference when examining other paid notices in the Providence Gazette – or trying to explain the absence of those notices. While the methodology for the project, when strictly observed, prohibits featuring this advertisement a second time, there’s room for making exceptions when doing so yields productive observations about advertising practices and consumer culture in eighteenth-century America.

Shannon is the first student in my Revolutionary America class to take on responsibilities for guest curating the Adverts 250 Project. In turn, this is the first time students in that class have encountered the Russells’ advertisement, giving us an opportunity to discuss what was possible when it came to advertising in the revolutionary era compared to what was much more common. Revisiting this advertisement serves a second pedagogical purpose. For her work in preparing today’s entry, Shannon considered the variety of goods listed in this lengthy advertisement before choosing one to examine in greater detail. In the end, she took a closer look at an item not previously incorporated into the Adverts 250 Project, simultaneously expanding her own knowledge about an aspect of early American material culture and enhancing the project.

Finally, by choosing this advertisement Shannon contributes to an ongoing analysis of the advertising content of the Providence Gazette. This advertisement repeatedly occupied one-quarter of the space in any issue in which it appeared, quite a bit of space for the printers to yield. As mentioned above, Goddard and Company seemed to have difficulty attracting advertisers, especially when comparing their newspaper to counterparts published in Boston, Charleston, New York, and Philadelphia. That is a story that could not be told if the Russells’ full-page advertisement were permanently excluded from further consideration simply because the Adverts 250 Project previously featured it.

 

February 20

GUEST CURATOR: Shannon Holleran

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

feb-20-2201767-new-hampshire-gazette
New-Hampshire Gazette (February 20, 1767).

“Choice Indigo.”

I chose this advertisement because I didn’t know what indigo was or how it was used. After some research, I learned that it is a plant used in making blue dyes.

According to James Bitler, “plants of the genus Indigofera, known as indigo, provided a stronger, richer blue and replaced woad blue in Western Europe.” As a result, American colonists learned to cultivate a commodity considered superior to what was produced in Europe.

South Carolina and Georgia became major exporters of indigo in the mid eighteenth century. In 1744, a woman who grew up in Charleston, Eliza Lucas (who became Eliza Lewis Pinckney that same year), shipped six pounds of indigo to Great Britain, introducing the use of indigo from South Carolina to the country. As a result, the indigo business expanded in both South Carolina and Georgia. Bitler notes that exports expanded from Lucas’ six pounds in 1744 to five thousand pounds in 1745. Once the British government became aware of the profit the indigo business had to offer, they placed a bounty on indigo to encourage more production. As a result, South Carolina and Georgia greatly increased their indigo exports, greatly increasing their profit.

I found this advertisement interesting because I did not realize the importance of indigo as an export during the colonial and revolutionary periods. I was surprised to learn that the exportation of indigo was a major business in South Carolina and Georgia.

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY: Carl Robert Keyes

John Adams’ stark advertisement for “Choice Indigo, TO BE SOLD … At his Shop at the Sign of the State House” belies the role that a female entrepreneur played in turning indigo into a staple crop in South Carolina and Georgia. Historians of consumer culture have long noted that advertisements for tobacco, rum, and, especially, sugar disguise the means of production, although colonists certainly realized that these commodities they desired and enjoyed so much were inextricably linked to the unfree labor of slaves on distant plantations. Advertisements for indigo conceal both the role of slaves in its production and the contributions of a young woman, Elizabeth (Eliza) Lucas Pinckney, in transforming indigo into a viable and profitable colonial export.

Born in Antiqua in the British West Indies in 1722, Lucas was raised on one of her family’s sugarcane plantations, though she also attended a boarding school in London for a portion of her youth. In 1738, Colonel Lucas moved his family to South Carolina, though he was unable to join them at that time. At the age of sixteen, she oversaw Wappoo Plantation in her father’s absence. She assumed the role of head of household and overseer of the family’s plantation when her mother died shortly after arriving in South Carolina.

Lucas’ letters indicate that she especially enjoyed studying botany when in London, making it no surprise that she experimented with growing ginger, cotton, and alfalfa before turning to indigo. In the process of cultivating and improving strains of the indigo plant, she incorporated the knowledge and skills of enslaved Africans who had previous experience growing the crop in the West Indies and Africa.

As Shannon has noted above, the quantity of indigo production and exports exploded in South Carolina and Georgia after Lucas’ successful efforts in 1744 and her willingness to share her seeds and methods with other planters. As far as staple crops went, indigo was second only to rice in South Carolina. It became a major part of the colonial economy, enriching many planters. In the period before the American Revolution, indigo accounted for one-third of the total value of South Carolina’s exports.

John Adams’ advertisement does not even hint at the role Eliza Lucas Pinckney played in shaping the colonial economy or the reverberations her work throughout transatlantic networks of trade. With a little bit of effort, however, economic history and women’s history merge to create a richer narrative of American history.

Eliza Lucas Pinckney’s letters and other papers have been digitized. For a trial subscription, visit The Digital Editions of Eliza Lucas Pinckney & Harriott Pinckney Horry, 1739-1830.

 

February 19

GUEST CURATOR: Shannon Holleran

What was advertised in a colonial American newspaper 250 years ago today?

feb-19-2191767-massachusetts-gazette
Massachusetts Gazette (February 19, 1767).

At the Corner Shop East End of Faneuil-Hall Market … Lemmons by the Box.”

This advertisement caught my attention because of the location of the marketplace. I live less than an hour south of Boston and have visited Faneuil Hall many times. This landmark is an exciting and unique marketplace, one of the most famous spots in Boston. I found this advertisement especially interesting because Faneuil Hall served as a marketplace and a meeting hall for the colonists 250 years ago and it still serves as a marketplace, selling food and clothes to countless tourists and Bostonians. This historic spot was especially significant to the colonists during the Revolutionary era because it served as a meeting place to discuss important events, such as the Stamp Act, the Boston Massacre, and the Boston Tea Party.

In late 1767, after Parliament passed the Townshend Acts, “the Freeholders and other Inhabitants of the Town of Boston” held a meeting at Faneuil Hall, according to the headline for a broadside published for the Boston selectmen and printed by Edes and Gill. According to the Massachusetts Historical Society, this broadside “outlines why the colonists’ dependence on imported goods is a problem and what can be done. A petition is presented, a plan is laid out, it is unanimously endorsed and there is a way to ensure commitment from all those who endorse it, and communication with those who did not attend.” This broadside reveals how significant Faneuil Hall was for colonists in 1767. Not only did it serve as a market, but it also provided a place for patriots to meet to discuss plans for resistance to new acts and commercial regulations from Parliament.

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ADDITIONAL COMMENTARY: Carl Robert Keyes

Faneuil Hall was indeed an important gathering spot for colonists to discuss resistance during the years of the imperial crisis, including, as the broadside Shannon consulted outlined, the encouragement of American production of popular imported goods and, in turn, nonimportation of those goods via English ports. Faneuil Hall was also a landmark that merchant Thomas Webb realized potential customers would recognize without needing further directions beyond indicating that he occupied the “Corner Shop South East End.” A quarter of a millennium later, the marketplace still stands, inextricably bound into the history the American Revolution.

Yet revolution was a process. Neither the colonists who placed advertisements in the Massachusetts Gazette in February 1767 nor those who met in Faneuil Hall to protest the Townshend Acts later that year were ready to declare independence rather than seek redress of grievances. Thomas Webb’s advertisement for “Lemmons by the Box” and other grocery items appeared to the right of an announcement for a vendue sale of “twice-laid Cordage” slated to take place “at the Royal Exchange Tavern in King-Street.” That notice appeared immediately above two others that listed addresses that testified to colonists’ sense of British identity: “the Bunch of Grapes Tavern in King-Street” and “the British Coffee House in Boston.” Elsewhere in the same issue, John Mein promoted his “MASSACHUSETTS REGISTER With and ALMANACK for 1767,” which he sold “At the LONDON BOOK STORE North Side of KING-STREET, BOSTON.” That volume included valuable reference material, including lists of colonial officeholders, “the sittings of the Superior and Inferior Courts in the four Provinces of New England,” and a “Table of Interest at 6 perCent.” Mein led the advertisement, however, by noting that the Massachusetts Register listed the members of “the Royal Family of Great-Britain.” Several other advertisers, including shopkeeper Jolley Allen, emphasized that they sold goods “Just imported from LONDON.”

In terms of their landmarks and sense of spatial geography within the city of Boston, their print culture, and their consumer culture, colonists continued to think of themselves as Britons in 1767, even as they increasingly began to assert that they were Britons with unique American perspectives and needs within the empire. Eventually Bostonians and others throughout the new nation would rename streets, buildings, and other landmarks. Similarly, printers and authors of almanacs would replace the royal family with the president and other important officials. Yet colonists were not ready to do so in 1767. Revolution was a process, one that was underway but also one that would gain much more momentum over the course of the next decade.

Welcome, Guest Curator Shannon Holleran

Shannon Holleran is a sophomore majoring in Education and History at Assumption College. She has always had a love for history, but truly recognized her passion for the past when she visited Washington, DC, to participate in the finals for the National History Day competition. She spent a week in DC exploring the city and delving into our nation’s history. After that incredible experience, she was certain she wanted to pursue a career in history. She will be the guest curator of the Adverts 250 Project during the week of February 19 to 25, 2017. She will also curate the Slavery Adverts 250 Project during the week of March 19 to 26, 2017.

Welcome, Shannon Holleran!