Welcome to the Economy of Goods! Our project explores the eighteenth-century world of consumption and trade through the account ledgers of John Glassford, a Scottish merchant who owned stores in Virginia and Maryland, and one of his factor’s, Alexander Henderson. Our purpose is to provide access to the material world of early America and to understand how consumer goods shaped social, economic, and political relationships.
I am Sensible it must be vexing to you to be at so much pains to lay in goods for this Store which, as Yet, is but a Charge, but if you’ll take that Pains, Ill do all in my Power to make it a profitable settlement which I hope to be able to accomplish…To know of Your being Successful in every branch of business You are engag’d in will always afford real pleasure to me. ~Alexander Henderson to John Glassford, 27 July 1759
Rugs of the above sort [9/4 fine good white Spotted Rugs] have been wrote for both the lasts [two] Years but never sent; dissappointments of this kind make a Man appear little in the Eyes of his Customers, by rendering him uncapable of fulfilling the promises he makes them[.] be kind enough <then> before to give <posting> orders to send them. ~Alexander Henderson, A Scheme of Goods for Mr. John Glassford’s Store at Colchester, Virginia for 1761.