The "Lower Sort": Philadelphia's Laboring People, 1750-1800

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Cornell University Press, 1994 - Business & Economics - 249 pages
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This book recreates the daily lives of laboring men and women in America's premier urban center during the second half of the eighteenth century. Billy G. Smith demonstrates how the "lower sort" (as they were called by their contemporaries) struggled to carve out meaningful lives during an era of vast change stretching from the Seven Years' War, through the turbulent events surrounding the American Revolution and the U.S. Constitution, into the first decade of the new nation.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
MAPS
10
Walking the Streets
31
Deaths and Births in an Immigrant City
40
FIGURES
43
Laboring People and the Urban Economy
63
Volume of Pennsylvanias trade with England per Philadelphia
70
Seasonality of ship arrivals in Philadelphia by month 1756
77
Shortterm
131
Shortterm occupational mobility of artisans 17561798
141
Migration Housing and Poverty
150
Family Lives
176
Conclusion
197
B Demographic Conditions of Philadelphia
204
Occupational Structure of Philadelphia
213
E Distribution of Taxable Wealth in Philadelphia
224

Housing construction in Philadelphia 17501800
83
Material Conditions
92
Careers
126

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