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Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence, RI 02906-1012)
Joanne Pope Melish (Project Director: March 2008 to June 2010)

Institutes for K-12 Educators
Education Programs

$132,339 (approved)
$132,339 (awarded)

Grant period:
10/1/2008 – 12/31/2009

The Role of Slavery in the Rise of New England Commerce, Industry, and Culture to 1860

A two-week institute for thirty school teachers on economic development, slavery, and antislavery in New England during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

The proposed institute will lead teachers to understand the critical role of slavery in two phases of New England's pre-Civil-War development: a) its rise as a maritime power from roughly 1700 to 1800 through its dominance of both the American slave trade and the provisioning trade to the West Indies, using its own slave labor to raise agricultural products that were in turn exported to the Caribbean slave societies; and b) its antebellum rise as an industrial power, through the development of its cotton and woolen textile industry (processing slave grown cotton and producing cotton and wool "slave cloth" for the Southern market) and its machine tool industry (producing shovels, axes, etc. specifically marketed to Southern slave owners as implements to be used by their slaves).