A Colonial Merchant

The ledger of William Ramsay


This project continues a multi-year engagement with historical evidence of global trade, mercantile practice, and retail sales to re-imagine the material culture and business of colonial America. The user can study what purchases customers make, see them as real objects rather than unfamiliar words, and finally, evaluate a range of options, a modern cost comparison, and a cohort of other items purchased by a customer. Students and a more general audience will be drawn into the world of eighteenth-century goods via a modern on-line store, but scholars are also offered a robust and curated data set. The initial data entry and analysis of the database of sales that fuels the website was done by undergraduate and graduate students in a 2013 seminar by Professor Ann Smart Martin. Further data entry was undertaken by material culture graduate students Ann Glascock and Morgan Lemmer-Webber. The website was created by Morgan Lemmer-Webber under the direction of Professor Ann Smart Martin.