chapter  1
20 Pages

The Current Account as Cognitive Artefact: Stories and Accounts of la Maison Chaurand

ByLaure Pineau-Defois

This chapter argues that the regional staple crop of tobacco exhausted the land, and indebtedness to British merchants further eroded entrepreneurial energies by the late colonial era. It portrays a generally prosperous economy at least for larger planters. Unlike sugar, tobacco did not reap the scale of profits that allowed West Indian planters surpluses enabling them to ride out years without trade. Merchant activity had been possible for planters since the American revolution had nullified the navigation acts, leaving them free to market tobacco where they could get the highest prices. As Rosalie Calvert worried about tobacco markets and other matters during the War of 1812 and the embargo and non-intercourse acts before it, her father lost some of his tobacco to British soldiers raiding the Bladensburg warehouses. Women like her were able to play such key roles because the households to which gender convention nominally but far from entirely confined them were not entirely private spaces.