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Communities of workers: free labor in provincial Massachusetts, 1690-1765 Nellis, Eric Guest 1979

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COMMUNITIES OF WORKERS: FREE LABOR IN PROVINCIAL MASSACHUSETTS, 1690-1765 by ERIC GUEST NELLIS B.A. , U n i v e r s i t y of Calgary, 1974 M.A., U n i v e r s i t y of Western Ontario, 1975 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES i n the Department of HISTORY We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l 1979 (c ) E r i c Guest N e l l i s , 1979 In present ing t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Co lumbia, I agree tha t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r re fe rence and s tudy. I f u r t h e r agree tha t permiss ion f o r ex tens ive copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by h i s r e p r e s en t a t i v e s . I t i s understood tha t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l ga in s h a l l not be a l lowed wi thout my w r i t t e n pe rm iss i on . Department nf H . & W y The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 2075 Wesbrook P lace Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 Date K a V [°> l S > 7 S > i i ABSTRACT The p a r t i c u l a r forms of work i n p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts influenced and were r e f l e c t e d i n the s t r u c t u r e of that s o c i e t y to an extent p r e v i o u s l y ignored by s o c i a l h i s t o r i a n s . While t h i s study presents a d e s c r i p t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l p r a c t i c e s and c o l l e c t i v e patterns of work, i t addresses i t s e l f to the broader framework of p r o v i n c i a l s o c i e t y . As the a n a l y s i s proceeds, i t t e s t s the conclusions of a large number of recent h i s t o r i a n s who have found s i g n i f i c a n t change i n the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e of Massachusetts i n the decades p r i o r to 1765. There were two d i s t i n c t s e t t i n g s f o r work i n the province: the r u r a l network of s e l f - c o n t a i n e d towns where subsistence farming and an informal system of labor and commodity exchange formed a socio-economic base f o r the great m a j o r i t y of the population; and the commercial economy of c o a s t a l Massachusetts, as exemplified by Boston, where contracted s p e c i a l i z e d c r a f t s work and i n d i v i d u a l con- t r o l of production were the most common features of labor. This a n a l y s i s of work and workers reveals a marked d i f f e r e n c e i n the respec- t i v e forms of work i n each of the s e t t i n g s , but i t confirms a s i m i l a r degree of communal i n f l u e n c e upon the nature and o b j e c t i v e s of work. Conversely, the c h i e f features and arrangements of work helped to s u s t a i n the es t a b l i s h e d forms of f a m i l y , d o m i c i l e and l o c a l s o c i e t y . i i i These conditions were upheld i n a balance of i n d i v i d u a l i s m and communalism. In r u r a l s o c i e t y the worker was s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t only to the extent that h i s small farm would permit; beyond that he was dependent on the community f o r the means to apply h i s e x t r a labor and as a source of the goods and s e r v i c e s h i s farm could not provide. In Boston the a r t i s a n exercised independent c o n t r o l of h i s l a b o r but could not c o n t r o l a s i g n i f i c a n t share of the l o c a l market. He was mutually dependent on the i n d i v i d u a l services of other s p e c i a l i z e d a r t i s a n s . In both cases, the worker's s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y was tempered by l o c a l s o c i a l and economic conditions and standards that at once afforded him a measure of s e l f - i n t e r e s t and placed r e s t r a i n t s on i t s excesses. In these circumstances there was no c o n t r a d i c t i o n between the goals of i n d i v i d u a l s and the interdependency of community l i f e . Rather, a durable r e l a t i o n s h i p was formed between the i n d i v i d u a l and h i s community. Population growth was absorbed i n t o a s t a b l e and accommodating s o c i a l arrangement. The s m a l l , l o c a l i z e d markets and i n d i v i d u a l c o n t r o l of economic funct i o n s were t i e d to s o c i a l imperatives that r e s i s t e d t e c h n i c a l or o r g a n i z a t i o n a l innovation i n work p r a c t i c e s . As the scale and f u n c t i o n of work continued i n e s t a b l i s h e d p a t t e r n s , the broader s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e was maintained. Therefore, recent t h e o r i e s of s o c i a l change i n pre- Revolutionary Massachusetts, drawn from concepts of crowding, s t r a t i f i - c a t i o n and c o n f l i c t , must be reconsidered or modified i n l i g h t of the s t a b i l i t y and d u r a b i l i t y of communal s o c i e t y as revealed i n the con- d i t i o n s and aims of p r o v i n c i a l l a b o r . i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Chapter' Page I. PROVINCIAL SOCIETY, THE HISTORIAN AND LABOR 1 I I . THE LOCAL SETTING 16 I I I . THE RURAL ARTISAN 5 6 IV. HUSBANDMEN AND LABORERS 1 0 9 V. THE RURAL SPECIALIST 1 4 5 V I . THE COMMERCIAL SETTING AND THE BOSTON ARTISAN 1 7 9 V I I . THE ENTREPRENEURIAL ARTISAN 2 1 6 V I I I . THE UNSKILLED WORKER IN BOSTON 2 3 4 IX. GROWTH AND STABILITY IN PROVINCIAL MASSACHUSETTS: THE CASE OF LABOR 2 6 5 Appendix I. ACCOUNT SAMPLE 297 I I . BIBLIOGRAPHICAL NOTE 300 I I I . POPULATION DATA 302 IV. VALUATION OF THE SEVERAL COUNTIES IN THE PROVINCE OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY IN 1751 (Taken Verbatim from MS at MHS) 305 BIBLIOGRAPHY 307 V N O T E S Chapter Page I . PROVINCIAL SOCIETY, THE HISTORIAN AND LABOR 13 I I . THE LOCAL SETTING 50 I I I . THE RURAL ARTISAN 102 IV. HUSBANDMEN AND LABORERS 139 V. THE RURAL SPECIALIST 174 VI. THE COMMERCIAL SETTING AND THE BOSTON ARTISAN 211 V I I . THE ENTREPRENEURIAL ARTISAN 231 V I I I . THE UNSKILLED WORKER IN BOSTON 260 IX. GROWTH AND STABILITY IN PROVINCIAL MASSACHUSETTS: THE CASE OF LABOR 290 v i LIST OF MAPS Map Page 1. TOWNS OF MASSACHUSETTS, 1775 22 2. SEVENTEENTH CENTURY TOWNS OF ESSEX COUNTY 24 3. SOILS OF MASSACHUSETTS 36 4. TOWNS OF EASTERN MASSACHUSETTS 1 5 g LIST OF TABLES Table I. LAND AND POPULATION DISTRIBUTION 33 I I . LAND USE DISTRIBUTION SAMPLE 34 I I I . SOIL CHARACTERISTICS 37 IV. AGRICULTURAL LAND USE 39 V. LIVESTOCK DATA '. 40 VI. BOSTON EMPLOYMENT STATISTICS 182 v i i Acts and Resolves AAS AHR Baker BCR Boston Town Papers C i v i l L i s t C o l o n i a l Laws EHR EIHC H i s t o r i c a l Data H i s t o r i c a l S t a t i s t i c s ABBREVIATIONS Acts and Resolves, P u b l i c and P r i v a t e , of the Province of Massachusetts Bay, 1692-1787, 21 v o l s . , (Boston: 1869- 1922) American A n t i q u a r i a n S o c i e t y American H i s t o r i c a l Review American Q u a r t e r l y Baker L i b r a r y Manuscripts and Archives D i v i s i o n , Harvard Graduate School of Business A d m i n i s t r a t i o n , Boston Reports of the Record Commissioners of the C i t y of Boston ( C o l o n i a l Town Meeting Records and Selectmen's Minutes) 39 v o l s , (Boston: 1876- 1909) Unpublished Town Records, Manuscripts D i v i s i o n , Boston P u b l i c L i b r a r y W.H. Whitmore, ed., Massachusetts C i v i l L i s t f o r the C o l o n i a l and P r o v i n c i a l P e r i o d s , 1630-1774 (Albany, N.Y.: 1870) W.H. Whitmore, C o l o n i a l Laws of Massachusetts: Reprinted from the E d i t i o n of 1672, w i t h the Supplements to 1686 (Boston: 1889) Economic H i s t o r y Review Essex I n s t i t u t e H i s t o r i c a l C o l l e c t i o n s H i s t o r i c a l Data R e l a t i n g to the C i t i e s , Towns and Counties of Massachusetts (Secretary of S t a t e , Boston: 1975) H i s t o r i c a l S t a t i s t i c s , C o l o n i a l Times to the Present (U.S. Bureau of the Census, Washington, D.C., 1960) Sec t i o n Z v x i x JEH JIH M. Arch. MHS Mass. Bay Recs. NEHGR NEQ P u b l i c O f f i c i a l s WMi J o u r n a l of Economic H i s t o r y J o u r n a l of S o c i a l H i s t o r y Massachusetts P u b l i c A r c h i v e s , State House, Boston Massachusetts H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y Records of the Governor and Company of The Massachusetts Bay i n New England, 1626-1686, 5 v o l s (Boston: 1853-4) New England H i s t o r i c a l and Genealog i c a l R e g i s t e r New England Q u a r t e r l y Robert F. Seybolt, ed., The Town O f f i c i a l s of C o l o n i a l Boston, 1620- 1775 (Cambridge: 1939) W i l l i a m and Mary Q u a r t e r l y , 3rd Se r i e s ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e to thank A l T u l l y , the supervisor of t h i s t h e s i s f o r h i s p r o f e s s i o n a l judgement and h i s demonstrated confidence i n my choice of s u b j e c t , research methods and op i n i o n s . L i k e many other D o c t o r a l Theses, t h i s one could not have been completed without the f i n a n c i a l support of the Canada C o u n c i l . I am deeply g r a t e f u l to them f o r two years of funding. My g r a t i t u d e extends to the s t a f f of the Massachusetts H i s t o r i c a l S o c i e t y , the Massachusetts State A r c h i v e s , and the Baker L i b r a r y A r c h i v e s D i v i s i o n , a l l i n Boston, f o r t h e i r s i n c e r e cooperativeness. F i n a l l y , I dedicate t h i s work to my w i f e Gere, f o r her a f f e c t i o n and patience. CHAPTER I PROVINCIAL SOCIETY, THE HISTORIAN AND LABOR The purpose of t h i s study i s to examine and e x p l a i n how work co n t r i b u t e d to the s t a t u s of the i n d i v i d u a l i n c o l o n i a l Massachusetts and how the d i s t r i b u t i o n of l a b o r defined the s o c i a l and economic fe a t u r e s of that s o c i e t y . The major t h r u s t of the d i s s e r t a t i o n , then, i s d e s c r i p t i v e ; i t describes v a r i e t i e s of work, the ends to which they were d i r e c t e d and the r e l a t i o n s h i p s between types of work and between work and the other s o c i a l arrangements of the community. I n e v i t a b l y , the r e c o n s t r u c t i n g of such a fundamental f e a t u r e of c o l o n i a l s o c i e t y leads beyond a narrow c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the v a r i o u s forms of work. When work i s examined i n the context of i n d i v i d u a l p r a c t i c e , f a m i l y o r g a n i z a t i o n and community involvement, the broader f e a t u r e s of 'Massachusetts s o c i e t y come i n t o focus. From the p e r s p e c t i v e of a study of work, that s o c i e t y appears f a r l e s s p o l a r i z e d - — - f a r ^ l e s s d y s f u n c t i o n a l i n i t s economic and s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s — than recent h i s t o r i a n s have argued. The s o - c a l l e d p r o v i n c i a l period of Massachusetts h i s t o r y was more than a p o l i t i c a l epoch; i t i s e x p e c i a l l y s u i t a b l e f o r an a n a l y s i s of work because i t was a l s o a p e r i o d of r e l a t i v e l y s t a b l e s o c i a l and economic c o n d i t i o n s . The g r a n t i n g of the 1691 Charter marked the end of the P u r i t a n Commonwealth w i t h i t s frequent c y c l e s of i n s t i t u t i o n a l 1 2 experimentation and adjustment; the years f o l l o w i n g 1765 brought w i t h them i n t e n s i f i e d s o c i a l and economic d i s l o c a t i o n along w i t h p o l i t i c a l and c o n s t i t u t i o n a l c o n f l i c t . The decades from 1690 to 1765 r e v e a l a community i n possession of i t s own s p e c i a l s o c i a l . and_ economic c h a r a c t e r i s - t i c s . ̂  I t was an age of r e l a t i v e p o l i t i c a l s t a b i l i t y and t r a n q u i l i t y d uring which the s o c i a l concepts and experiences of the founding and e a r l y generations had evolved and were expressed i n the p r i n c i p a l f e a t u r e s of p r o v i n c i a l s o c i e t y . In broad terms, p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts was a s o c i e t y that was organized under P u r i t a n p r i n c i p l e s 2 and which was p r e - i n d u s t r i a l and a g r a r i a n , and e t h n i c a l l y homogeneous. At the beginning of the eighteenth century the p o p u l a t i o n of Massachusetts was mostly n a t i v e born and most i n h a b i t a n t s l i v e d w i t h i n 3 a few m i l e s of t h e i r b i r t h p l a c e s . C u l t u r a l and s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s such as r e l i g i o n , education, d o m i c i l e and f a m i l y , economy and work were e s t a b l i s h e d , as were laws and the mechanisms f o r a d m i n i s t e r i n g them. The form and f u n c t i o n of l o c a l government were s t a b l e ; the economic base of the s o c i e t y was w e l l organized, as a s t a b l e under- pi n n i n g f o r the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . Many of the e a r l i e r i d e a l s had been modified to s u i t the r e a l i t i e s of the m a t e r i a l world and the r e l i g i o u s , p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l expectations of the founders had been r e c o n c i l e d w i t h the economic experience of successive generations. In l a r g e measure, the s o c i a l and r e l i g i o u s standards of the f i r s t generation had been maintained w i t h i n the context of the economic l i f e of e a r l y 4 eighteenth century s o c i e t y . 3 As the eighteenth century unfolded the v a r i o u s i n s t i t u t i o n s of t h i s s o c i e t y would have to accommodate the c o n t i n u i n g dynamics of change. P e r i o d i c economic f l u c t u a t i o n and successive bouts of currency i n f l a t i o n , d e f l a t i o n and d e v a l u a t i o n would a f f l i c t the province. The s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l and p o l i t i c a l causes and r a m i f i c a t i o n s of the Great Awakening were other signs of f l u x and change w i t h i n the society."' For the fundamental s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l and economic i n s t i t u t i o n s and p r a c t i c e s to endure through the p r o v i n c i a l p e r i o d , perhaps the g r e a t e s t t e s t of those i n s t i t u t i o n s would be p o p u l a t i o n growth and t e r r i t o r i a l expansion. The p o p u l a t i o n of Massachusetts increased from 49,000 i n 1690 to 227,000 i n 1760. In the process of absorbing that f o u r - f o l d i n c r e a s e , the s o c i e t y of the province was o b l i g e d to i n t e n s i f y and broaden i t s use of land to accommodate the simple pressure of numbers on e x i s t i n g f a c i l i t i e s and at the same time transmit i t s i n s t i t u t i o n a l format to successive generations. Growth over time and the f o r c e of that growth on the e x i s t i n g order and i t s values c o n s t i t u t e d the most potent agent of change i n p r o v i n c i a l s o c i e t y . Serious questions con- cerning the s o c i a l h i s t o r y of Massachusetts have a r i s e n from the phenomenon of q u a n t i t a t i v e growth i n p o p u l a t i o n : could that s o c i e t y d e f l e c t or absorb the changes i m p l i c i t i n r a p i d growth and r e t a i n i t s s p e c i a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s ? Moreover, i f the s o c i e t y d i d s u r v i v e i n t a c t the e f f e c t s of p o p u l a t i o n expansion as w e l l as economic f l u c t u a t i o n and s o c i o - c u l t u r a l i n n o v a t i o n , how was that achieved? 4 Were the i n s t i t u t i o n s and t r a d i t i o n s of t h i s s o c i e t y s u f f i c i e n t l y s t rong, p r a c t i c a l and f l e x i b l e to envelop the processes of growth and p o t e n t i a l change and remain i n t a c t ? Or d i d they y i e l d to these f o r c e s and undergo change themselves? S o c i a l h i s t o r i a n s of pre-Revolutionary eighteenth century Massachusetts r e c e n t l y have d e a l t e x t e n s i v e l y and voluminously w i t h those questions. In order to understand p r o v i n c i a l s o c i e t y , h i s t o r i a n s have examined the f o r c e s of s t a b i l i t y and change as they made contact w i t h each other over time. They have done so by i s o l a t i n g the s o c i e t y ' s b a s i c i n s t i t u t i o n s , . the r e p o s i t o r i e s and agencies of the s o c i e t y ' s s o c i o - c u l t u r a l and economic t r a d i t i o n s and arrangements. These b a s i c i n s t i t u t i o n s have been i d e n t i f i e d as the i n d i v i d u a l , the f a m i l y , the church and the l o c a l community; together, these elements c o n s t i t u t e d the l a r g e r i n s t i t u t i o n , Massachusetts. H i s t o r i a n s have te s t e d those i n s t i t u t i o n s w i t h v a r i o u s approaches, l o o k i n g f o r s t a b i l i t y and c o n t i n u i t y or f l u x and change and f i n d i n g c o n d i t i o n s that range from consensual communalism to p l u r a l i s m and extreme i n d i v i d u a l i s m , from economic e q u a l i t y to d i s p a r i t y , s t r a t i f i c a t i o n and fragmentation, and from s t a b l e c o n t i n u i t y to crowding, d i m i n u t i o n of economic s t a t u s , communal c o n f l i c t and d i s s o l u t i o n of the t r a d i t i o n a l order. For most of these a n a l y s t s , land and p o p u l a t i o n have been key elements i n the question of c o n t i n u i t y versus change. Others have concluded that r e l i g i o u s d e c l i n e permitted the i n d i v i d u a l to abandon h i s seventeenth century corporate communal ways to become the a c q u i s i t i v e s e l f - d i r e c t e d m a t e r i a l i s t of the nineteenth century.^ 5 From the conclusions of demographic and economic s t u d i e s there has emerged disagreement on the nature,.meaning, form and e f f e c t s of change or changing f a c t o r s . There i s , however, some agreement on the f a c t that p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts began w i t h a p a t t e r n of s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s that had emerged from the seventeenth century experiences of P u r i t a n s o c i e t y . Another shared f e a t u r e of these s t u d i e s i s that they have each focused on some aspect of l i f e and s o c i e t y that a f f e c t e d g a l l or most members of the p r o v i n c i a l community. One very common, but commonly overlooked f e a t u r e of t h i s s o c i e t y i s work. Work not only a f f e c t e d a l l members of the Massachusetts community but i t co i n c i d e d w i t h a l l the subsequent v a l u e s , conduct and r e l a t i o n s .among and between the r e s i d e n t s of the province. Everyone d i d or was expected to work. From the moment when a c h i l d reached a stage i n i t s growth where i t could s a f e l y and p r o d u c t i v e l y perform a task, u n t i l the time when o l d age or i n f i r m i t y precluded p h y s i c a l endeavour, men and women worked. That such an obvious and fundamental f a c t of l i f e has been l a r g e l y overlooked by the s o c i a l h i s t o r i a n s of p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts r e f l e c t s acknowledge- ment of work's u n i v e r s a l and b a s i c c h a r a c t e r i s t i c , as much as i t does the h i s t o r i a n ' s b i a s e s . S o c i a l h i s t o r i a n s have been concerned w i t h work as a t a c i t l y acknowledged component of the other s o c i a l f a c t o r s they have examined. Work, as i t was performed, by whom and i n what circumstances, has been l e f t out of most of the c r i t i c a l s t u d i e s of p r o v i n c i a l s o c i e t y . L i v e l i h o o d , i t s means, c o n d i t i o n s , aims and 6 r e s u l t s has been gauged i n terms of demographic, economic and p o l i t i c a l c o nclusions and not i n terms of work as a f a c t o r of l i v e l i h o o d . Yet work was more than a simple means of l i v e l i h o o d . I t was that s i n g l e a c t i v i t y from which a l l subsequent s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s flowed or to which a l l other s o c i a l f a c t o r s were d i r e c t e d . I t was an economic n e c e s s i t y , to be sure, but i t s p a r t i c u l a r q u a l i t i e s o f t e n r e f l e c t e d the s o c i a l p o s i t i o n , opportunity and purposes of the i n d i v i d u a l . I t s importance was c u l t u r a l as w e l l as s o c i a l and economic; i t was seen as part of the general education of the corporate c i t i z e n of e a r l y Massachusetts. Along w i t h moral, s o c i a l , r e l i g i o u s and s c h o l a s t i c t r a i n i n g , the a c q u i s i t i o n of a v o c a t i o n a l s k i l l or f u n c t i o n and i t s a p p l i c a t i o n were presumed to make the c i t i z e n more complete and more 9 i n harmony w i t h s o c i e t y ' s aims and the community's w e l f a r e . Work was something to be maintained and c u l t i v a t e d as one's c o n t r i b u t i o n to i n d i v i d u a l and c o l l e c t i v e s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y . There was no l e i s u r e d c l a s s i n p r o v i n c i a l s o c i e t y . Among the a f f l u e n t overseas merchants, i n v e s t o r s , managers and brokers, and the province's p o l i t i c a l and j u d i c i a l c ustodians, that i s , the members of the General Court and l o c a l Town Meetings, work was as r e g u l a r and as purposeful as i t was f o r a farm l a b o r e r . " ^ Even w i t h s u f f i c i e n t means to forego productive work f o r income, the p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y few r i c h men i n p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts spent long working hours at t h e i r desks, i n t h e i r shops, o f f i c e s and warehouses or i n p u b l i c s e r v i c e . I d l e n e s s , s t r i c t l y speaking, was not permitted i n the d o c t r i n e of P u r i t a n s o c i a l o r g a n i z - 7 a t i o n . Indeed, i d l e n e s s was unlawful as w e l l as m o r a l l y r e p r e h e n s i b l e . T / ) 1 . 11 Idleness was a vxce. The concept of i d l e n e s s and the importance of i t s prevention were major i n d i c a t o r s of t h i s s o c i e t y ' s regard f o r work. " I d l e n e s s " meant both unemployment and s o c i a l , moral or r e l i g i o u s t r a n s g r e s s i o n or i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . The concepts were at once d i s t i n c t and synonymous. To be unemployed was to v i o l a t e the moral code of s o c i e t y . C e r t a i n l y a person could be without employment and s t i l l m a intain a c l o s e obedience to the s o c i e t y ' s moral and s p i r i t u a l standards. But prolonged i d l e n e s s of t h i s s o r t would, i t was b e l i e v e d , e v e n t u a l l y lead to moral d i s s i p a t i o n . I d l e n e s s , i n l e g a l and s o c i a l concept and terminology a l s o was given to mean a sl a c k e n i n g or abandonment of proper s o c i a l , moral and s p i r i t u a l a t t i t u d e and behaviour.. To be i d l e , i n that sense, d i d not immed- i a t e l y imply v o c a t i o n a l s l o t h or i n s u f f i c i e n c y ; but again, i t was thought, moral i d l e n e s s would encourage v o c a t i o n a l i d l e n e s s . So, by l e g a l dictum and w i t h a d m i n i s t r a t i v e apparatus and s o c i a l and e c c l e s - i a s t i c a l persuasion, e i t h e r or both of these forms of i d l e n e s s were 12 to be avoided, prevented or c o r r e c t e d . I f s o c i a l and moral a t t i t u d e and behavior were to be regulated to a s t a b l e conformity, work was an important means of app l y i n g the c o n t r o l s . But law and persuasion were more u s e f u l as c o r r e c t i v e s than as preventives. What operated best i n minimizing i d l e n e s s was a s o c i a l and economic atmosphere that encouraged work — where work was both necessary f o r a l l i n h a b i t a n t s and p e r s o n a l l y 8 f u l f i l l i n g and rewarding. To these ends the P u r i t a n founders of Massachusetts e x p l o i t e d the p h y s i c a l p r o p e r t i e s of the colony. By com- b i n i n g the congregational purposes of settlement w i t h economic n e c e s s i t y , they adapted the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l aims they sought to pursue to the geographical landscape of Massachusetts. They e s t a b l i s h e d a p a t t e r n of s o c i a l and economic o r g a n i z a t i o n that survived and p e r s i s t e d i n the form of corporate communities — the "town" — which included wide- spread i n d i v i d u a l land h o l d i n g . And the p o l i c y of l e g i s l a t i n g and or g a n i z i n g personal economic r e s p o n s i b i l i t y was accomplished by the p r a c t i c e of corporate land grants, so that the i n d i v i d u a l was 13 simultaneously part of a community. In t h i s s e t t i n g the i n d i v i d u a l was made a b s o l u t e l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r h i s own and h i s f a m i l y ' s support; at the same time he was compelled to be responsive to the c o l l e c t i v e s o c i a l , moral and economic needs and demands of h i s community, which was i n Massachusetts, normally the a g r i c u l t u r a l town. The b a s i s f o r work was e s t a b l i s h e d i n e a r l y Massachusetts as an a c t i v i t y that was h i g h l y p e r s o n a l i z e d and served the d i r e c t , v i s i b l e needs of the worker w i t h i n the o r g a n i z a t i o n a l framework of a l o c a l a g r i c u l t u r a l community. The i n d i v i d u a l farm served as the common means of subsistence. But i f the subsistence farm encouraged a s p i r i t and a c t i v i t y of work i t could not provide f o r the complete m a t e r i a l needs of the i n d i v i d u a l farmer. Only i n the context of shared and exchanged work h a b i t s , s k i l l s and m a t e r i a l s could the independent farmer s u r v i v e and succeed. Only i n the l a r g e r , l o c a l community could the i n d i v i d u a l f i n d the 9 opportunity to supply himself and h i s f a m i l y w i t h the goods and s e r v i c e s h i s farm could not provide. Only there could he f i n d the o u t l e t s f o r h i s own goods and s e r v i c e s and the means to complete h i s l i v e l i h o o d . The small subsistence farm served to bind the i n d i v i d - u a l to a p r o p r i e t a r y h a b i t of work; i t s l i m i t a t i o n s o b l i g e d him to 14 cooperate i n a wider economic and labor sphere. The h i s t o r i c a l p i c t u r e of p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts man as a s m a l l - s c a l e , subsistence and non-commercial farmer i s accurate to the extent that the m a j o r i t y of the p o p u l a t i o n f i t t e d i n t o the p a t t e r n described above. What that p i c t u r e has omitted i s the f a c t that the subsistence farmer was not only a farmer but a s o c i a l and economic p a r t i c i p a n t i n an extensive and m u l t i f a c e t e d working environment, one that created work h a b i t s and o p p o r t u n i t i e s that included but exceeded the subsistence f a r m . ^ One i m p l i c a t i o n of t h i s g e n e r a l i z a t i o n a r i s e s immediately: the circumstances of subsistence farming and i t s b a s i c i n f l u e n c e on work patte r n s w i l l not apply to n o n - a g r i c u l t u r a l Boston. In that sense, t h i s study w i l l observe two d i s t i n c t economies and perhaps two s o c i e t i e s . By making the d i s t i n c t i o n between a g r i c u l t u r a l s o c i e t y and the commercial economy of Boston, and by comparing the r e s p e c t i v e patterns of work i n those s e t t i n g s j c onclusions can be drawn of the e f f e c t s of l o c a t i o n on work. In the eighteenth century the word " l a b o r " was used mostly as a verb, o c c a s i o n a l l y as a possessive noun and never as a c o l l e c t i v e pronoun. There were, of course, " l a b o r i n g men" and " l a b o r e r s , " but " l a b o r , " as d e f i n i n g a socio-economic or v o c a t i o n a l p l u r a l i t y , was not a concept i n use i n p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts. The p r a c t i c e of r e f e r r i n g to c e r t a i n groups as " l a b o r " to i d e n t i f y those groups as having c e r t a i n shared socio-economic and p o l i t i c a l q u a l i t i e s as determined by oc c u p a t i o n a l status d i d not occur i n p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts. S o c i a l d i s t i n c t i o n s were observed by contemporaries as being derived from the economic and occupational status and a c t i v i t y of i n d i v i d u a l s , but to merchants, m i n i s t e r s and lawmakers, the term "workman," f o r example, r e f e r r e d more o f t e n only to a c e r t a i n use of labor than to a s o c i a l c l a s s . There were references to s o c i a l s t a t u s to be made w i t h c e r t a i n o c c u p a t i o n a l t i t l e s and a c t i v i t i e s but g e n e r a l l y , to contemporaries, the idea of d i s t i n g u i s h i n g one segment of the p o p u l a t i o n as " l a b o r " was i m p r a c t i c a b l e . This was so because of v o c a t i o n a l and socio-economic m o b i l i t y and because of the h i g h l y f l u i d and p e r s o n a l i z e d nature of work. In t h i s study " l a b o r " w i l l be used as much as p o s s i b l e as i t was used by contemporaries and not as a noun to r e f e r to a l l those who worked.. I t w i l l i n c l u d e p r o f e s s i o n a l s , l a r g e merchants, businessmen and churchmen only to the extent that these m i n o r i t i e s i n f l u e n c e d or were a f f e c t e d by the dominant work a c t i v i t i e s and economies of the m a j o r i t y . S i m i l a r l y , t h i s study w i l l d e a l w i t h s l a v e r y , s e r v i t u d e and ap p r e n t i c e s h i p not as separate l a b o r modes, but as they too were inv o l v e d i n the dominant labor environment. The p r i n c i p a l focus of t h i s examination w i l l be on the i n d i v i d u a l and r e l a t e d c o l l e c t i v e means of economic exchange through the medium of l a b o r . Because of i t s s p e c i a l circumstances, most l a b o r i n p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts was " f r e e " ; that i s , l a b o r was disposed of and exchanged f r e e l y and independently by i t s possessor. The l a b o r of i n d i v i d u a l s was not owned by others i n any r e a l sense or to any s i g n i f i c a n t 16 degree. So f a r , f r e e labor i n p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts has been l a r g e l y ignored by h i s t o r i a n s p a r t l y because i t has been presumed not to represent a d e f i n a b l e and u s e f u l socio-economic e l e m e n t . ^ When lab o r has been studied i t has concentrated on a p p r e n t i c e s h i p , indentured s e r v i t u d e and s l a v e r y , as these represent d e f i n i t e s o c i a l 18 exceptions to the m o n o l i t h i c whole of p r o v i n c i a l working l i f e . Otherwise, f r e e l a b o r has been considered i n l i g h t of e i t h e r an a n t i q u a r i a n n o v e l t y , to study a vanished s o c i a l type such as the "craftsman" f o r example, or as a footnote to general socio-economic h i s t o r y , or more r e c e n t l y as an adjunct to poverty themes or as an 19 organized component i n Revolutionary a c t i v i t y . But i t was the very pervasive and u n i v e r s a l , q u a l i t i e s of f r e e l a b o r i n p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts that make i t an important means of examination of the s o c i a l s t a t e of eighteenth century Massachusetts. Therefore, t h i s study w i l l observe how people worked and why they d i d so. The broader o b j e c t i v e w i l l be to f i t those observations to the wider s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s of l i f e i n p r o v i n c i a l s o c i e t y . As work and s o c i e t y are examined i n t h i s study, something w i l l be s a i d about the e f f e c t s 12 of growth on the s t r u c t u r e of s o c i e t y and the s o c i e t y ' s responses to those other i s s u e s of change that have been r a i s e d by h i s t o r i a n s . But the p r i n c i p a l aim of t h i s examination, i n the choice of i t s s u b j e c t , w i l l be to introduce work as a s o c i a l element i n the h i s t o r i o g r a p h y of pre-Revolutionary Massachusetts; and to d e s c r i b e those f e a t u r e s of work which r e v e a l c e r t a i n other q u a l i t i e s of community l i f e . R ecently, a c a l l was made to the h i s t o r i a n s of e a r l y America to "develop modest t h e o r i e s that a i d them i n t h e i r r e c o n s t r u c t i o n of the i n t e r n a l s t r u c t u r e s of i n d i v i d u a l s o c i e t i e s . " Richard Beeman went on to c r i t i c i z e the i n d i s c r i m i n a t e use of s o c i a l science methodology i n the study of the "community" i n e a r l y America: Much of the work on c o l o n i a l s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . . . i s drawn from the s t r a t i f i c a t i o n t h e o r i e s of modern urban s o c i o l o g y , models which tend to be based on complex, i n t e n s i v e l y c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t i e s and which may not be s u i t e d to the a n a l y s i s of some of the t r a d i t i o n a l i s t elements of seventeenth and eighteenth century American s o c i e t y . 20 This present study w i l l heed BeemanVs c r i t e r i a and w i l l approach the h i s t o r y of work i n e a r l y Massachusetts on the theory that work was a t r a d i t i o n a l element of the i n t e r n a l s t r u c t u r e of that p r e - i n d u s t r i a l s o c i e t y , and that the study of work w i l l add a c l e a r e r understanding of the l i v e s of the i n h a b i t a n t s of p r o v i n c i a l communities. 13 NOTES CHAPTER I James Truslow Adams, P r o v i n c i a l S o c i e t y , 1690-1763 (New York: 1927); E v a r t s B . Greene, P r o v i n c i a l America, 1690-1740 (New York: 1905). 2 Jack P. Greene, "Autonomy and S t a b i l i t y : New England and the B r i t i s h C o l o n i a l Experience," J.S.H. (1974), pp. 171-194; Vernon L. P a r r i n g t o n , The C o l o n i a l Mind, V o l . 1 of Main Currents i n American Thought (New York: 1927). P a r r i n g t o n c a l l e d p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts " u n d i s t i n g u i s h e d . . . rude and drab i n i t s i n s u l a r i t y , " p. 133. 3 J . P o t t e r , "The Growth of P o p u l a t i o n i n America, 1700-1860" i n Glass and E v e r s l e y , eds., P o p u l a t i o n i n H i s t o r y (London: 1965), PP. 636ff.J E t h e l S. B o l t o n , "Immigrants to New England, 1700-75," EIHC, V o l s . 63-67 (1927-31); C l i f f o r d K. Shipton, "Immigration to New England, 1680-1740," J o u r n a l of P o l . Economy 44 (1936), pp. 225-39. 4 Perry M i l l e r , The New England Mind: From Colony to Province (Cambridge, Mass.: 1953), pp. 40-52, 395-480; f o r the laws governing l o c a l a u t h o r i t y , poverty, crime, residence and v o t i n g requirements, education, f a m i l y r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , p u b l i c r e s p o n s i b i l i t y , e t c . , see the Indexes of Mass. Bay Recs., V o l s . 1-5; C o l o n i a l Laws; Acts and Resolves, V o l s . 1-5. A comparison between the seventeenth and eighteenth c e n t u r i e s r e v e a l s very l i t t l e o r i g i n a l enactment on major laws and very l i t t l e r e v i s i o n a f t e r 1692. See a l s o Greene, "Autonomy and S t a b i l i t y . " ^Edwin Gaustad, The Great Awakening i n New England (New York: 1957), pp. 102-125. Appendix I I I , i . ^Richard Beeman, "The New S o c i a l H i s t o r y and the Search f o r 'Community' i n C o l o n i a l America," American Q u a r t e r l y 29 (1977), pp. 422-43; Richard Dunn, "The S o c i a l H i s t o r y of E a r l y New England," AQ_ 24 (1972), pp. 661-679; Rhys Isaac, "Order and Growth, A u t h o r i t y and Meaning i n C o l o n i a l New England," AHR 76 (1971), pp. 728-37; John M u r r i n , "Review Essay," H i s t o r y and Theory I I (1972), pp. 226-75. Together, these c r i t i c a l review essays give a very comprehensive 14 summary of the recent s o c i a l h i s t o r i o g r a p h y of eighteenth century Massachusetts. The major works d e a l t w i t h are those of Bushman, Demos, Greven, L o c k r i d g e , Henretta and Zuckerman. (See B i b l i o g r a p h y at the end of t h i s study). I b i d . , f o r a c r i t i c i s m of the n o t i o n of m a t u r i t y and s t a b i l i t y i n e a r l y p r o v i n c i a l h i s t o r y see esp. Dunn, "The S o c i a l H i s t o r y " ; f o r a c r i t i c i s m of the narrowness of a l l recent s o c i a l h i s t o r i o g r a p h y see Beeman, "The New S o c i a l H i s t o r y . " 9 Bernard B a i l y n , Education i n the Forming of E a r l y American Society (Chapel H i l l : 1960), esp. pp. 53-99. "^J.R.T. Hughes, S o c i a l C o n t r o l i n the C o l o n i a l Economy ( C h a r l o t t e s v i l l e , Va.; 1976). For examples of the work h a b i t s of prominent men, see F r a n c i s G. Walett, The D i a r y of Ebenezer Parkman (Worcester, Ma.: 1974); MHS MSS "Robert Treat Paine Papers"; " E z e k i a l P r i c e Papers"; "Hancock Papers"; "Belknap Papers." For a t t i t u d e s , see J.E. Crowley, This Sheba S e l f : The C o n c e p t u a l i z a t i o n of Economic L i f e i n Eighteenth Century America (Baltimore: 1974). "'"''"Acts and Resolves, V o l . I , pp. 378-81, V o l . I I , pp. 47, 232, 385. For the seventeenth century a n t i - i d l e n e s s laws see C o l o n i a l Laws, pp. 26, 94 and Mass Bay Recs. passim. 12 I b i d . , George L. Haskins, Law and A u t h o r i t y i n E a r l y Massachusetts (New York: 1965). 13 Sumner C h i l t o n P o w e l l , P u r i t a n V i l l a g e : The Formation of a New England Town (Wesleyan: 1963), pp. 178-186; Kenneth L o c k r i d g e , A New England Town: The F i r s t Hundred Years (New York: 1970), pp. 3-36, 57-78. For the o r i g i n s of the farm-town settlement p a t t e r n i n Plymouth Colony see D a r r e t t B. Rutman, Husbandmen of Plymouth, Farms and V i l l a g e s i n the Old Colony, 1620-1690 (Boston: 1967). 14 E.G. N e l l i s , "Labor and Community i n Massachusetts Bay: 1630-1660," Labor H i s t o r y 18 (1977), pp. 525-44. "^A general d i s c u s s i o n , of the small s c a l e farmer as the " t y p i c a l " Massachusetts r e s i d e n t i n the eighteenth century can be found i n J.T. Main, The S o c i a l S t r u c t u r e of Revolutionary America ( P r i n c e t o n : 1965), pp. 7-43, esp. p. 27. Main e r r s , however, when he presumes the 60% to 90% (depending on r e g i o n a l sample) of the p o p u l a t i o n which held land to be f u l l - t i m e farmers and the remainder to be the l o c a l town merchant, a r t i s a n and l a b o r i n g c l a s s e s . The o c c u p a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e was not q u i t e so r i g i d l y d e l i n e a t e d ; see Chapters 3-5 below. A b e t t e r example 15 of the a g r i c u l t u r a l l i m i t a t i o n s of the contemporary subsistence farm i s P.W. B i d w e l l and John Falconer, H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e i n the Northern United S t a t e s , 1620-1860 (Washington: 1925), pp. 130-133. The dual or m u l t i - o c c u p a t i o n a l s t a t u s of the " t y p i c a l farmer" i s w e l l defined i n B i d w e l l , R u r a l Economy i n New England ( H a r t f o r d : 1916), esp. pp. 251 f f . 16 Slaves d i d not c o n s t i t u t e more than 3% of the Massachusetts p o p u l a t i o n i n the eighteenth century; see Appendix I I I . On the r e l a t i v e l y l i m i t e d i n c i d e n c e of white s e r v i t u d e see Abbot L. Smith, C o l o n i s t s i n Bondage (New York: 1947), pp. 4, 28-29. •^Richard B. M o r r i s , "American Labor H i s t o r y P r i o r to the C i v i l War: Sources and O p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r Pvesearch," Labor H i s t o r y I (1960), pp. 308-18. M o r r i s ' s own work, Government and Labor i n E a r l y America (New York: 1946), i s an exception so f a r as i t s p a r t i c u l a r t h e s i s goes. 18 Smith, C o l o n i s t s i n Bondage; Marcus Jernegen, Laboring and Dependent Classes i n C o l o n i a l America (Chicago: 1931). These set the tone f o r many subsequent monographs and p a r t i c u l a r s t u d i e s . I t i s no accident t h a t most s t u d i e s of l a b o r , i n t h i s context ( i . e . , bonded l a b o r ) , are set i n the Chesapeake and South. See M o r r i s , "American Labor H i s t o r y . " 19 On poverty and l a b o r see Alan K u l i k o f f , "The Progress of I n e q u a l i t y i n Revolutionary Boston," WMQ 28 (1971), pp. 375-412; J.A. Henretta, "Economic Development and S o c i a l S t r u c t u r e i n C o l o n i a l Boston," WMQ 22 (1965), pp. 75-92. On the r o l e of "organized" l a b o r i n R e v o l u t i o n a r y a c t i v i t y see e s p e c i a l l y P a u l i n e Maier, From Resistance to R e v o l u t i o n (New York: 1972); M o r r i s , Government and Labor; Jesse Lemisch, "Jack Tar i n the S t r e e t s : Merchant Seamen i n the P o l i t i c s of Revolutionary America," WMQ 25 (1968), pp. 371-407, and "The White Oaks, Jack Tar and the Concept of the I n a r t i c u l a t e , " WMQ 29 (1972), pp. 109- 142. Beeman, "The New S o c i a l H i s t o r y , " pp. 426-428. 16 CHAPTER I I THE LOCAL SETTING Work was one element w i t h i n a l a r g e r sphere of s o c i a l i n s t i t u - t i o n s . Therefore, an examination of the s o c i a l s e t t i n g f o r work becomes an e f f e c t i v e means of e s t a b l i s h i n g a comprehensive background f o r the ways i n which work patterns developed and were maintained i n p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts. In that regard i t i s important to t h i s study to d i s c u s s the general o u t l i n e s of the province's economy and s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n before t u r n i n g to the a g r i c u l t u r a l and l o c a l s o c i e t i e s i n which a narrower s e t t i n g f o r work can be considered. A conventional explanation of the o v e r a l l economy of pre- Revolutionary Massachusetts proceeds from.the standpoint of the province's s t a t u s as a t r a d i n g s o c i e t y . In b r i e f o u t l i n e , that view notes that from an e a r l y date i n i t s h i s t o r y and throughout the p r o v i n c i a l p e r i o d Massachusetts produced such export commodities as timber, lumber, s h i p s , b a r r e l s , l e a t h e r , f i s h , s a l t , r e f i n e d sugar and rum. A l i m i t e d surplus of. a g r i c u l t u r a l products was a l s o exported as revenue-producing goods: beef, pork, mutton, f l a x and hemp, some l i v e horses and c a t t l e and o c c a s i o n a l l y some g r a i n s and f l o u r . The commercial merchants of Boston, Salem and Newbury operated a l a r g e s h ipping f l e e t which enjoyed a s i g n i f i c a n t share of the Empire's c a r r y i n g trade and which y i e l d e d c a p i t a l f o r l o c a l merchants and 17 i n v e s t o r s . The port towns of the province contained businessmen who served e x c l u s i v e l y and e x t e n s i v e l y as agents and i n s u r e r s f o r B r i t i s h maritime commerce. In terms of d i r e c t t r a d e , Massachusetts merchants d e a l t w i t h England, I r e l a n d , the West In d i e s and a l l of mainland North America, and the province was an important sector and l i n k a g e i n the B r i t i s h i m p e r i a l economic network as a center f o r l o g i s t i c a l and f i n a n c i a l s e r v i c e s . R e c i p r o c a l l y , i t served as a market f o r B r i t i s h manufactured goods.''" In o u t l i n e that i s the conventional e x p l a n a t i o n of the economy of pre-Revolutionary Massachusetts. At l e a s t so f a r as i t s cosmopolitan r o l e was concerned, t h i s v i s i b l e and l a r g e l y e x t e r n a l economy of Massachusetts no doubt i n f l u e n c e d the c o n d i t i o n s f o r work i n the province; and i t i s c e r t a i n that the I m p e r i a l markets f o r Massachusetts products provided c a p i t a l f o r p r o v i n c i a l investment i n l o c a l e n t e r p r i s e s and that p r o f i t s from imported merchandise created f u r t h e r support f o r p r o v i n c i a l i n d u s t r i e s . Whether the province was a v i c t i m of a d e l i b e r a t e p o l i c y of r e s t r i c t i v e B r i t i s h m e r c a n t i l i s m or subject to an i n f o r m a l v a r i a n t of I m p e r i a l economic p r o t e c t i o n i s m i s a t o p i c much discussed by economic h i s t o r i a n s of c o l o n i a l America and the f i r s t B r i t i s h Empire; and from these c o n s i d e r a t i o n s , s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l questions have been addressed to the place and f u n c t i o n 2 of Massachusetts i n the economy of Empire. I n t e r p r e t e r s of eighteenth century Massachusetts s o c i e t y f r e q u e n t l y have sought to gauge the e f f e c t s of trade on s o c i a l and economic c o n d i t i o n s i n the province. 18 So f a r as the economic s e t t i n g f o r work i s concerned, much can be learned of t h i s s o c i e t y by posing questions such as, was Massachusetts a "debtor" s o c i e t y — that i s , d i d the value of i t s imports exceed that of i t s exports? Was production of a wider range of l o c a l l y or i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y marketable manufactured items retarded by B r i t i s h p o l i c y and c o n t r o l ? Was there growth, s t a g n a t i o n or d i m i n u t i o n i n 3 the measured wealth of Massachusetts? But economic data f o r the pe r i o d are fragmentary and i t appears u n l i k e l y that an accurate d e s c r i p t i o n can be obtained f o r the p r e c i s e workings of the Massachusetts economy.• I t i s impossible to enumerate or evaluate a "gross product" f o r eighteenth century Massachusetts, and "standards of l i v i n g " f o r t h i s s o c i e t y are d i f f i c u l t to measure, 4 l e t alone f i x . Yet h i s t o r i a n s have continued to examine the behavior of the p r o v i n c i a l economy by r e g u l a r reference to i t s performance w i t h i n the t r a d i n g system of the B r i t i s h Empire. By doing so they have made i m p l i c i t assessments of the domestic economic and s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s of the province. In t r u t h , p r o v i n c i a l s o c i e t y was supported by two economies which were d i s t i n c t and separate at one l e v e l of op e r a t i o n and only p a r t l y r e l a t e d at another. At the l e v e l of m e r c a n t i l e economic a c t i v i t y , commercial towns and c l a s s e s d i d evolve and e s t a b l i s h them- selves i n Massachusetts. Fortunes were made and some were broken, money and c r e d i t c i r c u l a t e d and an.economy of manufacturing, tra d e , commerce and investment f l o u r i s h e d and receded c y c l i c a l l y over time i n the c o a s t a l towns of the province. But t h i s m e r c a n t i l e - t r a d e f e a t u r e d i d not represent the dominant economic mode of the s o c i e t y . ^ Nor d i d i t s mechanisms occupy the m a j o r i t y of the p o p u l a t i o n , d i r e c t l y or otherwise. In terms of the province's i n t e r n a l economy, the merchants, t r a d e r s , craftsmen and workers of Boston, Salem, Newburyport and elsewhere were simply the most commercial components of Massachusetts economic s o c i e t y . Behind the c o a s t a l maritime and m e r c a n t i l e conglomeration of warehouses, workshops, docks and ships l a y the a g r i c u l t u r a l h eartland of p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts. I t i s not p o s s i b l e to say what exact p r o p o r t i o n of the wealth of the province was d e r i v e d from e x t e r n a l trade and commerce but i t can be shown that the economic a c t i v i t y that sustained the m a j o r i t y of the p o p u l a t i o n was a g r i c u l t u r e . In terms of geography and p o p u l a t i o n d i s t r i b u t i o n , c u l t u r a l , s o c i a l and economic standards and performance, and i n view of m a j o r i t y p a r t i c i p a t i o n , p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts was an a g r a r i a n s o c i e t y founded on the b a s i s of an a g r i c u l t u r a l subsistance 7 economy. The demographic d i s t i n c t i o n between the "two economies," and the dominance of agrarianism was revealed by the f a c t that the province contained only three major commercial entrepot p o r t s : Boston, Salem and Newbury-Newburyport, and Boston was the only port devoted e n t i r e l y to n o n - a g r i c u l t u r a l economic f u n c t i o n . At no time between 1700 and 1770 d i d the combined s i z e of these towns exceed 15% of the t o t a l Massachusetts p o p u l a t i o n . F i s h i n g , which sustained the working populations of p o r t i o n s of the seaboard was concentrated i n such 20 towns as Gloucester, Marblehead, Plymouth and Newbury. The p o p u l a t i o n of these, and other p r i m a r i l y f i s h i n g communities c o n s t i t u t e d l e s s than 9 a tenth of the whole. And a great many fishermen were a l s o , con- c u r r e n t l y , s m a l l - s c a l e farmers. In broad o u t l i n e then, l e s s than a quarter of the people of Massachusetts gained t h e i r p r i n c i p a l l i v e l i - hoods from the commercial economies of the po r t s or from f i s h i n g . C e r t a i n l y there was a convergence of economic f u n c t i o n i n the two s e c t o r s . Some surplus farm produce, g r a i n s , l i v e s t o c k , meats and hides d i d f i n d t h e i r way i n t o Boston, Salem and other c o a s t a l towns. Timber, sawn lumber, s a l t and some metal ores were found and processed w i t h i n most areas of eastern Massachusetts, as par t of the economic produce of farms and r u r a l towns; and some of these products were shipped to the coast. S i m i l a r l y , the imported manufactured goods, which entered mainly at Boston, were d i s t r i b u t e d and marketed through a network of connected t r a d e r s and merchants who formed a province- wide system of i n t e r n a l commerce.^ But the d i s t i n c t i v e f e a t u r e s of the l a b o r economy of Boston and Salem were s h i p p i n g , s h i p b u i l d i n g , d i s t i l l i n g , l e a t h e r working and other e x p o r t — r e l a t e d i n d u s t r i e s which, along w i t h p u r e l y l o c a l business, h e l d no d i r e c t a l l i a n c e w i t h the economic and working c o n d i t i o n s of the province's a g r i c u l t u r a l towns. In the r u r a l towns the labor economy revolved around i n d i v i d - u a l l y - o p e r a t e d subsistence farms and the l o c a l , domestic support economy r e l a t e d to those farms. 21 The working c o n d i t i o n s , occupations and purposes and ends of work w i t h i n those two economies presented c o n t r a s t i n g s e t t i n g s which a f f e c t e d the economic, s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l standards and behavior of the r e s p e c t i v e r e s i d e n t s and workers. But as the type of w o r k , i t s substance, d i r e c t i o n and performance, were determined by the economic and s o c i a l s e t t i n g s i n which work was conducted, so too were the r e s p e c t i v e s e t t i n g s shaped and sustained by the p a r t i c u l a r working h a b i t s and purposes of r e s i d e n t s . Work permeated the l i v e s of a l l i n p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts as an a c t i v i t y that conformed to the s p e c i a l s o c i a l q u a l i t i e s of the l o c a l community. Perhaps the greatest s t r e n g t h of Massachusetts s o c i e t y , as i t de a l t w i t h growth, change and time, was i t s t r a d i t i o n a l l o c a l i s m . The community was paramount i n s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n . At the base of th a t o r g a n i z a t i o n was a l o c a l economy which served to secure residence and permanence. The a g r i c u l t u r a l community provided a common labor and s o c i a l s e t t i n g f o r the m a j o r i t y of the po p u l a t i o n of Massachusetts. But i t was a h i g h l y l o c a l i z e d economy. R u r a l p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts was comprised of a s e r i e s of towns; a f a b r i c of contiguous l o c a l commun- i t i e s (Map 1). At the heart of each was the Meeting House-Church, the locus of the e c c l e s i a s t i c a l p o l i t y which at once caused these towns to e x i s t and served as a bi n d i n g agency which marked each of them as a s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l entity."'"''" The motive f o r c e behind the formation and continuance of these communities was an amalgam of r e l i g i o u s , s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l and economic imperatives. The choice of l o c a t i o n and the MAP 1 Towns of Massachusetts 1775 Source: Cappon, Ed., Atlas of Early America Bimimii rriilltjEJjl mm C : c f M n 3 i f V j j l j Jlrf , ' 22 or, t/s is — -n n — > l i s MM* £ 2 3 g. c <E C = ni 5. E" 3 - - - Z 'ST. immediate impetus f o r occupation followed patterns l a i d down from the e a r l i e s t point of c l a i m and settlement by the founders of Massachusetts. Those founders of the colony, the e a r l y migrants and t h e i r descendents formed a c o l l e c t i v e chartered c o r p o r a t i o n of common o b l i g a t i o n s , r i g h t s and aims. Massachusetts was to be a s o c i e t y of common p r i n c i p l e s and i n t e r e s t . I t was a bona f i d e "community of i n t e r e s t " that d i r e c t e d groups of men and t h e i r f a m i l i e s to r e c e i v e and mark o f f a t e r r i t o r y 13 and to s e t t l e i t , c u l t i v a t e and order i t s f u n c t i o n i n g . These settlements, as co r p o r a t i o n s w i t h i n a c o r p o r a t i o n , became the p r o v i n c i a l towns of Massachusetts; and they were, almost u n i v e r s a l l y , a g r i c u l t u r a l towns populated by independent land h o l d i n g subsistance farmers. -The p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l , economic and r e s i d e n t i a l boundaries of the towns were coterminous w i t h t h e i r t e r r i t o r i a l l i m i t s . These were l a r g e , c o n s i s t i n g as they d i d of the complete farms and f u l l time residences of two or three hundred f a m i l i e s . J u d i c i a l l y , economically and s o c i a l l y these c o l l e c t i o n s of farms were the towns; there was no marked geographical separation of "town" from "country" or farm (Map 2). But i f these towns were l a r g e i n t e r r i t o r i a l terms, they were small i n terms of popu l a t i o n . The i n s u l a r i t y of l i f e , as defined by the c e n t r a l p u l l of the Meeting.House, gave these towns a compact f l a v o r , and that c h a r a c t e r i s t i c was r e i n f o r c e d by the shared l o c a l economy. There was no s i g n i f i c a n t economic a l t e r n a t i v e to farming and n e i t h e r the means nor the market e x i s t e d f o r i n t e n s i v e 14 resource e x t r a c t i o n or manufacturing. MAP 2 Seventeenth Century Towns of Essex County, Showing Common Town Boundaries. By 1775 These Ten Towns Had Divided i n t o 21. See Map 1. MAP OF ESSEX COUNTY IN THE BAY COLONY, 1643 Source: T. Gage, H i s t o r y of Rowley (Boston: 1840). 25 The s o i l would y i e l d a v a r i e t y of e d i b l e crops and the b a s i c m a t e r i a l s f o r c l o t h i n g and s h e l t e r ; i t would not produce l a r g e sur- pluses of exportable a g r i c u l t u r a l commodities. However, the c u l t i - vated s o i l of Massachusetts d i d produce an adequate flow of subsistence m a t e r i a l s to ensure b a s i c a g r i c u l t u r a l s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y , m a t e r i a l s e c u r i t y and permanent settlement. Along w i t h the s o c i a l imperatives f o r c r e a t i n g communities of congregational and corporate s t a t u s — the c o n j u n c t i o n of a church congregation w i t h a c o l l e c t i v e land grant and a c i v i c c h a r t e r — there were economic f a c t o r s that helped shape the subsistence farming town. The only a g r i c u l t u r a l products that Massachusetts managed to export i n commercial volume during the p r o v i n c i a l p eriod were those of l i v e s t o c k and l i v e s t o c k products, and then only i n l i m i t e d q u a n t i t y ; c e r t a i n l y not s u f f i c i e n t to encourage c a p i t a l investment i n i n t e n s i v e l i v e s t o c k a g r i c u l t u r e . The f a i l u r e of the Massachusetts s o i l to produce h i g h - y i e l d cash crops f o r export revenue compounded the l a c k of c a p i t a l f o r commercial a g r i c u l t u r e . T his f a c t o r , w h i l e not e n t i r e l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the spread and d u r a b i l - i t y of the subsistence farm community, added to the i n s u l a r i t y and necessary s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y of the r u r a l towns by removing a p o t e n t i a l source of e x t e r n a l economic i n t r u s i o n . Without a major economic i n c e n t i v e f o r commercial a g r i c u l t u r e the p r a c t i c e of s u b d i v i d i n g — by p a r t i b l e i n h e r i t a n c e and s a l e — was continued f o r dependents and h e i r s i n eighteenth-century Massachusetts. As the p a t t e r n of s m a l l - s c a l e farming p e r s i s t e d , the towns continued to grow slowly under the i n f l u e n c e of the subsistence economics."^ Throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth c e n t u r i e s attempts were made i n some i n l a n d towns to e s t a b l i s h n o n - a g r i c u l t u r a l economic bases. The e f f o r t s to make Lynn and Saugus major i r o n and ironwork 16 centers are w e l l known. Als o i n Essex County, at Rowley and Ipswich, a l a r g e - s c a l e c o n c e n t r a t i o n of l i n e n and wool manufacturing was t r i e d . I n the eighteenth century a s e c t i o n of B r a i n t r e e was organized i n t o a f a i l e d s e r i e s of g l a s s f a c t o r i e s and shops. The range of products, the numbers of attempts and the v a r i e t y of regions s e l e c t e d 18 were extensive. In v i r t u a l l y a l l cases, these ventures f a i l e d to r e p l a c e farming as the p r i n c i p a l l o c a l endeavor; and most f a i l e d even to s u r v i v e as complementary a d d i t i o n s to a g r i c u l t u r a l e n t e r p r i s e . I m p e r i a l r e s t r i c t i o n s on c o l o n i a l manufacturing was only one reason f o r these mostly aborted i n d u s t r i a l schemes. The l a c k of a strong 19 r e g i o n a l or colony-wide market demand was another. These many enter- p r i s e s d i d not s u r v i v e because the commodities they sought to produce were already a v a i l a b l e i n s u f f i c i e n t q u a n t i t i e s to meet l o c a l demand w i t h i n communities and regions. They were being produced by i n d i v i d - u a l s i n small q u a n t i t i e s f o r other i n d i v i d u a l s . Enough small ore d e p o s i t s and small forges dotted the landscape to serve the l o c a l needs of communities or c l u s t e r s of communities. Weaving, f o r example, when i t was not a household a c t i v i t y was performed by a few l o c a l independent a r t i s a n s . Most of the other m a t e r i a l s consumed i n the a g r a r i a n towns were produced e i t h e r d o m e s t i c a l l y , i n the user's home, or l o c a l l y by landholding farmers who were a l s o 27 part-time tradesmen or merchants. Lumber, timber, b r i c k s and l e a t h e r along w i t h metals and f a b r i c s were a l l produced l o c a l l y , i n small q u a n t i t i e s . F i n i s h e d products such as shoes, l e a t h e r goods, c l o t h i n g , f u r n i t u r e , metal farm and household implements and many household goods l i k e soap, candles and bedding were made l o c a l l y and i n the home. Those r a r e r or elaborate a r t i c l e s that were not a v a i l a b l e l o c a l l y were imported i n t o the communities, but u s u a l l y from Boston and beyond and not from any i n l a n d f a c i l i t y or source. The r u r a l farming communities of the province were much more than conclaves of like-minded farmers; they were l a r g e l y autonomous and s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t small a g r a r i a n 20 economies. But the towns were not i s o l a t e d from each other. The spread of settlement was westward, away from the Salem, Boston, Plymouth c o a s t a l c o r r i d o r ; and i t continued westward throughout the eighteenth century. Moreover, many ol d e r towns of adequate s i z e s p l i t when pop u l a t i o n c o n c e n t r a t i o n or p o l i t i c a l c o n f l i c t demanded, and formed 21 two separate communities w i t h i n the o r i g i n a l bounds of the o l d town. New towns, i n v i r g i n t e r r i t o r y u s u a l l y were occupied by former r e s i - dents of an adjacent s e t t l e d and c u l t i v a t e d t r a c t ; o r , i f the new town was i n some d i s t a n t area of the p r o v i n c e , the s e t t l e r s were normally a l l from a common former community. Hence, there were s o c i a l and f a m i l i a l bonds as w e l l as geographical contacts between the 22 communities. This c i r c l e of r e l a t i o n s h i p s , w i t h i n and between 23 towns and r e g i o n s , centered u l t i m a t e l y on the f a m i l y u n i t . The 28 i n d i v i d u a l communities were not i s o l a t e d , s o c i a l l y or g e o g r a p h i c a l l y and the i n d i v i d u a l r e s i d e n t s and f a m i l i e s l i v i n g w i t h i n the towns were not separated from each other. The common f o c a l p o i n t f o r a l l l o c a l 24 r e s i d e n t s was the Meeting House, of course. From t h e r e , i t extended to an exchange of necessary economic s e r v i c e s beyond subsistence farming and f u r t h e r cemented r e s i d e n t s i n t o constant contact w i t h each other. Thus, i n a g r i c u l t u r a l Massachusetts there were d i s t i n c t but r e l a t e d s t r a i n s of autonomous s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y and i n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s and interdependence. This j u x t a p o s i t i o n of s e l f - r e l i a n c e w i t h dependence was the b a s i c d i s t i n g u i s h i n g i n f l u e n c e on the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of work i n the r u r a l s e t t i n g . In the case of the s i n g l e f a m i l y , each was r e s p o n s i b l e f o r i t s own, independent b a s i c m a t e r i a l support. This was accomplished i n the context of the subsistence farm where immediate d i e t a r y and m a t e r i a l requirements could be obtained. At the same time, as part of a l o c a l economy, each f a m i l y was l i n k e d to other f a m i l y u n i t s w i t h i n the community to exchange some work, goods, and s e r v i c e s . Everyone looked to the Meeting House f o r moral, s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l and economic a u t h o r i t y , l e a d e r s h i p and governance and f o r personal p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the community's c o l l e c t i v e a f f a i r s . S i m i l a r l y , each town, as i t nurtured i t s own small l o c a l subsistence economy d i d have occasion to engage i n a l a r g e r r e g i o n a l economy of s e r v i c e , l a b o r and m a t e r i a l supply, exchange and t r a n s p o r t a t i o n . The towns looked to the c e n t r a l governing agency, the General Court, as the source and 29 a r b i t e r of t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e and c o l l e c t i v e s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l respon- s i b i l i t i e s and r e l a t i o n s h i p s . F i n a l l y , the p a t t e r n of settlement sustained many common demographic f e a t u r e s and c o n t i n u i t i e s . Towns developed to an approximate common s i z e p a r t l y because government land grants and c h a r t e r s s t i p u l a t e d both numbers of s e t t l e r s and farm l o t s i z e s . Moreover, as Anne MacLear discovered i n her examination of the Massachusetts town: "The s i m i l a r i t y i n the i n s t i t u t i o n s and i n s t i t u - t i o n a l development of the . . . towns i s s t r i k i n g . . . the General Court kept a gu i d i n g hand and to i t s e f f o r t s must be a s c r i b e d a great 26 part of the u n i f o r m i t y . " At l e a s t three-quarters of the p r o v i n c i a l p o p u l a t i o n l i v e d under those c o n d i t i o n s ; c o l l e c t i o n s of f a m i l i e s on small farms w i t h i n a town and a broader s e r i e s and network of towns. Not a l l farms were the same s i z e , of course, and not q u i t e a l l f a m i l i e s owned or leased l a n d . But enough of the farms d i d conform to a general mean s i z e and enough of the p o p u l a t i o n l i v e d on and worked those farms to make the g e n e r a l i z a t i o n apply to the m a j o r i t y of the r u r a l p o p u l a t i o n . And not a l l towns were of a l i k e geographic and p o p u l a t i o n s i z e ; but most were, 2 and the v a r i a t i o n s do not a l t e r the p a t t e r n of approximate conformity. Under the p r o v i n c i a l Charter of 1691 Massachusetts contained seven co u n t i e s . The o r i g i n a l three eastern counties of the Colony, Essex, Middlesex, and S u f f o l k a l l were formed i n 1643; the western county of Hampshire was formed i n 1662 and the three d i v i s i o n s of the former Plymouth Colony were included i n the 1691 confederation. 30 T h e r e a f t e r , the two i s l a n d counties of Dukes and Nantucket were added i n 1695 and the county of Worcester was created from the eastern p r e c i n c t s of Hampshire county i n 1731. Be r k s h i r e was organized from western p o r t i o n s of Hampshire i n 1761. The northern c o a s t a l county of York was a part of Massachusetts during the p r o v i n c i a l period and 28 much l a t e r became a part of Maine. As a d m i n i s t r a t i v e c r e a t i o n s the counties followed the establishment of towns. They served as p r o v i n c i a l j u d i c i a l d i v i s i o n s f o r the towns w i t h i n t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e boundaries and as o r g a n i z a t i o n a l , maintenance and c o n s t r u c t i o n a u t h o r i t i e s f o r p u b l i c works such as roads and bridges which l i n k e d the towns. The county system c e n t r a l i z e d some p u b l i c i n s t i t u t i o n s such as j a i l s , almshouses and s h e r i f f s o f f i c e s — the l a t t e r as part of the J u s t i c e of the Peace and S e s s i o n a l Court f u n c t i o n s of the cou n t i e s . C l e a r l y , the counties were a d m i n i s t r a t i v e mechanisms and d i d not r e - f l e c t any r e a l s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l , economic or ethnic uniqueness. The eastern counties were of s i m i l a r age and each had a s h o r e l i n e but each was predominately a g r i c u l t u r a l w i t h the p o s s i b l e exception of S u f f o l k , h a l f the po p u l a t i o n of which l i v e d and worked i n non- a g r i c u l t u r a l Boston. The western counties were r e l a t i v e l y l a r g e i n area and contained s i z e a b l e p r o p o r t i o n s of u n c u l t i v a t e d , unoccupied and i n many areas ungranted la n d . But i f the counties were p r i m a r i l y a d m i n i s t r a t i v e u n i t s and d i d not r e v e a l or r e f l e c t any major r e g i o n a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n of a g r i c u l t u r a l or c i v i c o r g a n i z a t i o n , they s t i l l 31 serve as means of assessing and comparing land h o l d i n g p a t t e r n s , a g r i - c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i v i t y , p o p u l a t i o n d e n s i t y and town s i z e . To be sure, there was some r e g i o n a l d i v e r s i t y i n a g r i c u l t u r a l p o t e n t i a l and preference and some v a r i a t i o n i n town s i z e s . These were mainly 29 d i f f e r e n c e s of geography, c l i m a t e and l e n g t h of settlement. By and l a r g e , the c o u n t i e s , as r e g i o n s , r e v e a l a s t r i k i n g s i m i l a r i t y of demographic c o n f i g u r a t i o n and economic a c t i v i t y . The average c u l t i v a t e d acreage i n a l l 173 p r o v i n c i a l towns i n 1751 was 3,353 acres. Essex county, w i t h i t s l a r g e r towns, averaged 5,877 acres of c u l t i v a t e d land per town and Hampshire w i t h i t s smaller towns, 30 1,773 acres. These were the extremes. The average p o p u l a t i o n of a l l the province's towns was approximately 1,100; the twenty-five towns of B r i s t o l and Plymouth count i e s averaged s l i g h t l y over 1,300 wh i l e the f o r t y - e i g h t towns of Hampshire and Worcester averaged about 750. But over h a l f the towns i n the province as a whole f e l l w i t h i n 100 31 persons of the p r o v i n c i a l average. The percentage of land under d i r e c t and r e g u l a r a g r i c u l t u r a l s u p e r v i s i o n w i t h i n the p o l i t i c a l boundaries of Massachusetts was roughly 11%. Again the extremes i n d e v i a t i o n were represented by Essex county, w i t h i t s t o t a l land area d i v i d e d i n t o contiguous towns, w i t h the high of 37%, and Hampshire, i n c l u d i n g the s p a r s e l y populated west w i t h i t s extensive ungranted t r a c t s and h i l l y t e r r a i n , the low of 2%. Otherwise, most regions conformed to the p r o v i n c i a l average. The 1,100 people i n the average p r o v i n c i a l town represented approximately 200 to 300 r a t e a b l e p o l l s , 32 that i s , heads of households and a d u l t white male workers. In the 32 province o v e r a l l , the average 3,353 acres of c u l t i v a t e d farmland per town amounted to 14.10 acres per p o l l , or 3.02 acres per c a p i t a . What i s important, from the p o i n t of view of province-wide s i m i l a r i t y and convention, i s that the range of d e v i a t i o n from those averages was r e l a t i v e l y s m a l l . The highest was i n B r i s t o l county, where there were 17.53 acres per p o l l and 3.76 per c a p i t a ; the low average was i n S u f f o l k county, where the f i g u r e s were 10.47 and 2.25 c u l t i v a t e d acres r e s p e c t i v e l y . An even more convincing evidence of p r o v i n c i a l l a n d - h o l d i n g conformity was the narrow range of v a r i a t i o n i n a r a b l e acreage per household. In many cases there was more than one p o l l per d w e l l i n g — a f a t h e r and an unmarried son, f o r example — so that the amount of c u l t i v a t i o n per household, i n c l u d i n g a l l p o l l s , averaged 24.7 acres across the province. In a r e g i o n a l comparison, the highest county average was 28.4 acres and the lowest, 20.4 (Table I ) . These com- parisons do not i n c l u d e the unusual and l i g h t l y populated i s l a n d counties of Dukes and Nantucket. The amount of a g r i c u l t u r a l use represented about 40% of the t o t a l occupied and t i t l e d land i n p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts; the remaining 60% was being h e l d as uncleared i n v e n t o r y , woodlots, unbroken and untaxed g r a z i n g land and v a r i o u s 33 acreages that were u n s u i t a b l e f o r c u l t i v a t i o n . N e a r l y 80% of a d u l t males i n r u r a l towns owned or leased some farm la n d ; i n some areas as many as 90% d i d so. The m a j o r i t y of these men tended between ten and f o r t y a c r e s , w i t h the l a r g e s t p r o p o r t i o n 34 operating approximately twenty-six acres (Table 1.1). The p r o v i n c i a l T A B L E I Land and Population D i s t r i b u t i o n by Town and County, c. 1751 (For Total Acres, Dwellings and P o l l s , See Appendix IV; For estimated County Populations, See Appendix I I I , i i i ) County Estimated % of Province Population % of Province Cultivated Acres % Cultivated of Total Land Number of Towns Estimated Average Population of Towns Average Population Per Dwelling Cultivated Acres Per Taxed P o l l Cultivated Acres Per Dwelling Cultivated Acres Per Capita Massachussetts 100.00 100.00 10.97 173 1,110 7.60 14.10 24.7 3.02 Essex 18.39 20.25 37.17 20 1,706 7.39 15.42 24.6 3.32 Suffolk* 15.74 11.67 23.69 18 1,679 7.19 10.47 28.4 2.25 Middlesex 15.66 17.29 19.00 36 836 7.20 15.46 24.0 3.33 Worcester 10.88 9.48 5.69 27 774 7.75 12.24 20.4 2.63 Plymouth 9.38 9.69 ' 13.44 14 1,287 7.75 15.54 23.3 3.12 B r i s t o l 7.92 9.85 16.12 11 1,384 6.54 17.53 25.6 3.76 Hampshire 7.88 6.41 2.13 21 720 10.31 11.48 25.4 2.46 York 6.68 6.08 N/A 13 988 9.11 12.85 25.0 2.74 Barnstable 5.00 6.08 13.78 9 1,065 7.48 17.26 27.5 3.67 Nantucket 1.26 0.71 14.16 1 2,433 9.14 8.56 15.7 1.71 Dukes 1.02 2.35 20.55 3 655 7.99 35.44 55.6 6.95 Includes Boston Sources: MHS MSS, "Valuations of Counties, 1751"; H i s t . Data; M. Arch. MSS, Vols. 130-134. TABLE I I Land Use D i s t r i b u t i o n Sample (Sample from the town of Roxbury (adjacent to Boston) f o r 1927) The v a l u a t i o n s f o r 100 of the town's 273 p o l l s e x i s t i n manuscript form at MHS, l i s t e d under "Broadsides" "Valuations f o r Roxbury, 1727." Acres No. of P o l l s % o f P o l l s No. of Acres % of Acreage Average Acres Per P o l l 0 10 10 0 0 0 1-10 23 23 127 5.2 5.5 11-20 16 16 237 9.8 14.9 21-30 23 23 602 24.9 26.1 31-40 10 10 349 14.4 34.9 41-50 8 8 366 15.1 45.0 50+ 10 10 730 30.2 73.0 T o t a l s 100 100 2411 99.6* This t o t a l does not a r r i v e at 100% because of the absence of the second decimal place. Acres i n T i l l a g e Pasture Hay Orchard Percent Average Acres per Landholder 261 1234 784 132 10.82 51.18 32.52 5.48 2.9 13.7 8.7 1.5 T o t a l 2411 26.8 There were only 14 teams (28) of oxen among the 90 p o l l s (of 100) who farmed. 35 averages of 14.10 c u l t i v a t e d acres per p o l l and 24.7 acres per house- hold become rough estimates of the amount of land one man and h i s 35 f a m i l y could supervise. By the middle of the eighteenth century the average land h o l d i n g i n the province was from f i f t y to one hundred 3 6 acre s , i n c l u d i n g the n e a r l y 60% that was unused. C e r t a i n l y some of t h i s l a t t e r 60% was useless f o r a g r i c u l t u r e . But much of i t was being h e l d , unbroken, even i n the ol d e r eastern c o u n t i e s , f o r the sons of contemporary farmers, or as an asset f o r o l d age or retirement. The simple, unavoidable f a c t i s that most ara b l e land i n Massachusetts remained i n small i n d i v i d u a l holdings and was being worked by the occupants of those h o l d i n g s . The t r a d i t i o n a l p a t t e r n of widespread subsistance farming was being maintained l a t e i n the p r o v i n c i a l p e r i o d . I t was being conducted by a l a r g e m a j o r i t y of the p o p u l a t i o n w i t h i n the confines of communities of roughly equivalent s i z e . And the h a b i t s of i n d i v i d u a l farmers were co n s i d e r a b l y standardized throughout the 37 province. Most of the s o i l of eastern and c e n t r a l was of the Brown P o d z o l i c group — a r e l a t i v e l y h i g h l y leached s o i l , low i n organic chemicals and only modestly productive without added f e r t i l i z a t i o n . The t e r r a i n was s i m i l a r l y uniform: l a r g e l y undulating lowland w i t h some h i l l y r e l i e f . The s o i l cover not only was of g e n e r a l l y low f e r t i l i t y but was f u r t h e r d i s t i n g u i s h e d by i t s stoniness (Map 3; Table I I I ) . The broad u n i f o r m i t y of farm s i z e , s o i l and to p o g r a p h i c a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s d i d not mean that a l l farmers, i n a l l r e g i o n s ,  37 TABLE I I I S o i l C h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of Massachusetts (See Map 3) Map Code GEM CHP EAM R e l i e f P a t t e r n Undulating to h i l l y lowland Undulating to h i l l y lowland L e v e l to undulat- in g p l a i n , Connecticut r i v e r f l o o d p l a i n S o i l Group Brown P o d z o l i c Brown P o d z o l i c Brown P o d z o l i c , Low humic gley S o i l Features Low f e r t i l i t y , s t o n i n e s s , h i l l y r e l i e f Low f e r t i l i t y , s toniness L e v e l r e l i e f , droughtiness of sandier s o i l s Surface S o i l Texture G r a v e l l y , or stony, "fine sandy loam. Very f r i a b l e Loam, very f r i a b l e F i n e , sandy loam. Loose Surface depth Moderately shallow to deep Moderately shallow Deep Drainage Moderate' to r a p i d Moderately r a p i d Moderate to very r a p i d Native Veg. Mixed hardwoods (oak, maple), white Pine Mixed-.northern hardwoods and c o n i f e r s Mixed hardwoods and c o n i f e r s ; maple, oak, white pine dominant P r i n c i p a l Crops Hay, corn, small g r a i n s Hay, corn, small g r a i n s , pasture Hay, corn, small g r a i n s Source: U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Maps D i v i s i o n . 38 followed a completely i d e n t i c a l system of farming. For example, the p r o x i m i t y of the Boston-Salem market encouraged some S u f f o l k , Essex and Middlesex county farmers to r a i s e more l i v e s t o c k , f o r marginal p r o f i t , than d i d farmers i n other c o u n t i e s . The counties of Barnstable and Worcester contained more than average amounts of n a t u r a l meadow and l i v e s t o c k r a i s i n g was higher there than the p r o v i n c i a l norm. Farmers i n Hampshire c u l t i v a t e d over twice the p r o v i n c i a l average of t i l l a g e , p a r t l y because of low y i e l d s per acre and because much of the settlement of the county was l o c a t e d on the Connecticut R i v e r v a l l e y f l o o d p l a i n — t e r r a i n that was amenable to t i l l a g e . Crop y i e l d s were lower than average i n B r i s t o l and Barnstable c o u n t i e s , i n some cases because of p a r t i a l s o i l exhaustion, and t h i s too made f o r some r e g i o n a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n i n the p r e c i s e workings of i n d i v i d u a l farms. The m i l d e r w i n t e r s of Dukes and Nantucket counties meant that more than average amounts of land were l e f t as winter pasture and l e s s land was devoted to growing grasses f o r winter hay feed (Tables IV., V). Obviously some farms were b e t t e r l o c a t e d than o t h e r s , i n terms of t r a n s p o r t a t i o n , water, n a t u r a l meadow and contours of t e r r a i n — even w i t h i n regions. Across the broad scope of a s i n g l e s o i l group there were pockets of deep-loamed and more f e r t i l e s o i l cover, w h i l e i n other nearby areas the s o i l was r o c k i e r and shallower than average. There were v a r i a t i o n s i n p e r s o n a l i t y i n the exact management of the.subsistence farm. Family s i z e , i n regard to need and l a b o r a v a i l a b i l i t y , o f t e n T A B L E I V A g r i c u l t u r a l Land Use by County, 1751 County Massachussetts Essex Suffolk Middlesex Worcester Plymouth B r i s t o l Hampshire Barnstable Nantucket Dukes York Total Arable Acres 580,200 117,548 68,252 100,325 55,013 56,266 57,188 37,243 35,212 4,169 13,682 35,302 T i l l a g e (%) 104,774 (18.05) 7,360 (6.26) 7,804 (11.43) 20,187 (20.12) 12,077 (21.95) 11,624 (20.65) 11,842 (20.70) 20,490 (55.01) 8,343 (23.69) 501 (12.01) 977 (7.14) 3,569 (10.10) Mowing (%) 212,279 (36.58) 39,553 (33.64) 23,735 (34.77) 43,906 (43.76) 29,279 (53.22) 19,388 (34.45) 19,176 (33.53) 13,815 (37.09) 6,651 (18.88) 552 (13.24) 1,129 (8.25) 15,095 (42.75) Pasture oo 248,861 (42.89) 67,951 (57.80) 34,592 (50.68) 33,112 (33.00) 12,175 (22.13) 23,764 (42.23) 24,170 (42.26) 2,036 (5.46) 20,172 (57.28) 3,116 (74.74) 11,571 (84.57) 16,202 (45.89) Orchard m 14,286 (2.45) 2,684 (2.28) 2,121 (3.10) 3,120 (3.10) 1,490 (2.69) 1,490 (2.64) 2,000 (3.49) 902 (2.42) 46 (0.13) - 5 (0.03) 436 (1.23) Bushels of Grain 1,413,470 246,249* 121,379 292,263 177,220 124,326 106,713 190,713 49,119 6,796 11,796 86,742* Per Acre of T i l l a g e 13.49 33.45* 15.55 14.47 14.67 10.69 9.01 9.30 5.88 13.56 12.23 24.30* M i l l s (saw, g r i s t , f u l l i n g ) and Forges 864 116 95 131 117 130 94 66 51 3 7 Includes storage Source: MHS MSS, "Valuations of the Counties, 1751." T A B L E V Livestock Data Per County, 1751 County Number of Mature Livestock Number of Sheep (%) Cattle (%) Horses (%) Goats Swine (%) Acres of Pasture Per Cattle & Horses % of Pr o v i n c i a l Human Population % of P r o v i n c i a l Livestock Massachusetts 357,000 233,502 (65.40) 79,614 (22.30) 22,061 (6.81) 3,091 18,732 (5.25) 2.45 100 100 Essex 51,076 31,743 (62.15) 13,674 (26.77) 3,265 (6.39) 46 2,348 (4.60) 4.01 18.39 14.30 Suffolk 35,878 22,700 (63.27) 8,853 (24.67) 2,362 (6.58) 490 1,473 (4.10) 3.08 15.74 10.04 Middlesex 51,355 28,386 (55.27) 15,960 (31.08) 4,265 (8.30) 20 2,724 (5.30) 2.34 15.66 14.38 Worcester 42,655 26,691 (62.57)- 10,503 (24.62) 2,907 (6.81) 525 2,029 (4.67) 0.90 10.88 11.94 Plymouth 38,896 26,124 (67.18) • 7,754 (19.93) 1,901 (4.89) 391 2,726 (7.00) 2.46 9.38 10.89 B r i s t o l 45,895 33,717 (73.46) 6,866 (14.96) 2,250 (4.90) 454 2,608 (5.68) 2.65 7.92 12.85 Hampshire 23,046 14,051 (61.00) 4,826 (20.94) 2,736 (11.87) 137 1,296 (5.62) 0.27 7.88 6.45 York 20,601 11,162 (54.18) 5,997 (29.11) 1,142 (5.54) 101 2,199 (10.67) 2.27 6.68 5.77 Barnstable 25,627 19,639 (76.63) 3,909 (15.25) 868 (3.39) 117 1,094 (A.27) 4.22 5.00 7.17 Nantucket 7,373 6,738 (91.39) 472 (6.40) 159 (2.15) 2 2 (-) 11.50 1.26 2.06 Dukes 14,598 12,551 800 206 808 233 4.94 1.02 4.08 Source: MHS MSS, "Valuations of Counties, 1751." 4> O 41 determined the degree of a t t e n t i o n given to e i t h e r crop growing or l i v e s t o c k r e a r i n g . Another reason why t i l l a g e was more popular i n Hampshire than elsewhere was that household s i z e was l a r g e r than normal i n that county; an average of two a d u l t males per household meant that there was increased l a b o r a v a i l a b l e f o r the manual demands of crop r a i s i n g , which r e q u i r e d more labor than d i d l i v e s t o c k manage- ment (Table I ) . There were other p a r t i c u l a r v a r i a t i o n s : some men simply were b e t t e r farmers than were others. Nevertheless, b a s i c subsistence p r a c t i c e s were f a i r l y uniform throughout the province. The conformity i n land use and average holdings i s best i l l u s t r a t e d by the f a c t that the percentage of pro- v i n c i a l p o p u l a t i o n per county c l o s e l y matched each county's percentage of the p r o v i n c i a l c u l t i v a t e d acreage. Moreover, i t i s worth repeat- i n g t h a t the p r o v i n c i a l average of 24.7 acres of ara b l e land per house- hold was c l o s e to the averages w i t h i n each county — again excluding Dukes and Nantucket, and t h e i r combined 2.28% of the p r o v i n c i a l p o p u l a t i o n (Table I ) . These f i g u r e s and comparisons, more than any other data, i l l u s t r a t e the s c a l e and the u n i f o r m i t y of d i s t r i b u t i o n of subsistence farming throughout Massachusetts. By the beginning of the p r o v i n c i a l p eriod the e a r l i e r communal p r a c t i c e of common and open pasture and feed-grass f i e l d s had l a r g e l y disappeared from towns; the commons lands had been d i s t r i b u t e d to p r i v a t e use. In the eighteenth century, i n d i v i d u a l farmers d i v i d e d and. worked t h e i r p r o p e r t i e s according to t h e i r own needs and preferences. F i e l d systems were v a r i e d by r e g i o n and by i n d i v i d u a l p r a c t i c e . But 42 f o r the purposes of su b s i s t e n c e , most farmers ordered t h e i r f i e l d s w i t h a view to p r o v i d i n g b a s i c d i e t a r y m a t e r i a l s f o r t h e i r f a m i l i e s . Because the Massachusetts s o i l would not y i e l d a s u f f i c i e n t volume of a cash crop f o r export, t i l l e d f i e l d s were kept to a s i z e that could be managed 38 by a f a m i l y and provide f o r a l l or most of i t s household g r a i n s . The small t i l l a g e component — u s u a l l y two to four acres — of the f i e l d arrangements of most farmers meant that they could r e l o c a t e crop f i e l d s on t h e i r holdings without r e s o r t to crop r o t a t i o n methods of s o i l maintenance. This t e c h n o l o g i c a l l y p r i m i t i v e p r a c t i c e was t y p i c a l of a general absence of a g r i c u l t u r a l t e c h n i c a l i n n o v a t i o n among p r o v i n c i a l subsistence farmers; a p r a c t i c e that r e f l e c t e d some of the permanence of work patte r n s i n the r u r a l s e t t i n g . As Percy B i d w e l l notes: I n the century and a h a l f i n t e r v e n i n g between the settlement of New England and the opening of the nineteenth century, improvements of f a r - r e a c h i n g s i g n i f i c a n c e had been introduced i n E n g l i s h a g r i c u l t u r e . . . . [In Massachusetts] as soon as the pioneer stage had passed . . . the c o l o n i s t s s e t t l e d down i n a r o u t i n e husbandry. . . . There was no r e g u l a r l y observed succession of g r a i n crops . . . and the p r i n c i p a l c e r e a l s were a l t e r n a t e d on the l a r g e r f i e l d s , sharing the land w i t h small patches of o a t s , b a r l e y and f l a x . . . the land was u s u a l l y broken up a f t e r being i n grass 3 or 4 years, and then cropped f o r 3 years. 39 The mixed crop and l i v e s t o c k - r e a r i n g p r a c t i c e s of p r o v i n c i a l farmers r e f l e c t e d a mixed u t i l i t y of time, c l i m a t e , topography, economics and l a b o r . Crop t i l l a g e was the most time consuming work and r e q u i r e d the hardest p h y s i c a l l a b o r . I t was a l s o very s e n s i t i v e to the c a p r i c e s of weather and the l i m i t a t i o n s of s o i l type, and was f u r t h e r d i s c i p l i n e d by seasonal c l i m a t e . H U But i t was at the base of the farmer's personal economy. He needed g r a i n s f o r h i s household d i e t and any small surplus f o r s a l e or b a r t e r . Therefore, he balanced h i s land use w i t h c o n s i d e r a t i o n of maximum f e a s i b l e crop y i e l d upper- most i n h i s d e l i b e r a t i o n s . He devoted the smallest p r o p o r t i o n of h i s a r a b l e land and the bulk of h i s time and energy to crop r a i s i n g . L i v e s t o c k r a i s i n g r e q u i r e d more land and l e s s l a b o r than t i l l a g e , hence the farmer kept over 40% of h i s a r a b l e land i n pasture w i t h a f u r t h e r 35% i n grasses to provide winter hay feed f o r h i s handful of l i v e s t o c k . Nearly 20% was given over to g r a i n crops and the remaining 5% to orchard and vegetable gardens (Table I V ) . . The general r e s t r i c t i o n s on exten- s i v e t i l l a g e can be seen as manifest i n the p r o v i n c a l farm average of only 2.2 acres of e d i b l e crops. As a f u r t h e r means of a g r i c u l t u r a l economy and u t i l i t y the farmer u s u a l l y kept more sheep than c a t t l e , the former being e a s i e r to r a i s e and wool as important as l e a t h e r i n the l o c a l economies.^ Massachusetts produced corn, wheat, oats and rye as p r i n c i p a l crops — much corn a l s o went as feed f o r swine — w i t h wheat the most de s i r e d crop because of i t s food v a l u e . The province produced b a r l e y f o r brewing, f l a x f o r l i n e n f i b e r s and a l i t t l e hemp f o r commercial canvas production. Most of t h i s produce was consumed at home i n a v a r i e t y of ways. In eighteenth century Massachusetts crop y i e l d s ran from ten to f i f t e e n bushels per acre depending on g r a i n type, seed q u a l i t y , s o i l f e r t i l i t y , weather, personal i n d u s t r y and l u c k . Even 44 i f the small farmer was bold enough to attempt to plan t h i s e n t i r e crop i n wheat — a l o w e r - y i e l d i n g g r a i n than others i n the province — f o r t y to s i x t y bushels of ground wheat would b a r e l y supply the bread 42 needs of a household of s i x to eigh t persons. Each farmer attempted to grow as many types of c e r e a l g r a i n s as he could, i n order to avoid the r i s k of f a i l u r e — through bad weather, poor seed or b l i g h t — of an e n t i r e crop made up of a s i n g l e p a r t i c u l a r g r a i n . B a r l e y , corn, f l a x and hemp o c c a s i o n a l l y produced small marketable surpluses f o r the subsistance farmer, but o n l y s p o r a d i c a l l y . What wool, hides and ski n s he d i d not use at home provided another source of i r r e g u l a r farm s u r p l u s . He would have h i s f l o u r and meal ground at a l o c a l m i l l and o f t e n made h i s own c i d e r — i t being an e s s e n t i a l i n g r e d i e n t of the contemporary d i e t ; he k i l l e d , cured and packed h i s own l i v e s t o c k f o r meat. Many farmers had good stands of timber on the u n c u l t i v a t e d p o r t i o n s of t h e i r lands where s u p p l i e s of cordwood and some marketable 43 wood f o r l o c a l sawmills could be obtained. The farm home was as much part of the farm economy as were the f i e l d s , l i v e s t o c k and woodlots. In the home, the w i f e of the farmer, as w e l l as performing her customary domestic tasks of c h i l d r e a r i n g , baking, sewing, k n i t t i n g and so on, a l s o made soap and candles from the f a t s of animals butchered on the farm. She and her eld e r daughters spun l i n e n yarn from f l a x seeds grown, reaped, t r e a t e d and crushed by her husband and she spun some course wool f i b e r s from her husband's shearing. She made c l o t h e s , o f t e n from f a b r i c s woven elsewhere i n the community from yarns she had submitted The male c h i l d r e n of the household, when they were o l d and able enough, j o i n e d 45 t h e i r f a t h e r i n h i s work on the farm and elsewhere. Work was d i s t r i b u t e d and shared according to the i n d i v i d u a l f a m i l y members' c a p a c i t i e s , the farm's p a r t i c u l a r o r g a n i z a t i o n and the needs of the t o t a l f a m i l y . I n that way e n t i r e f a m i l i e s c o n t r i b u t e d as s i n g l e u n i t s to the domestic farm economy. The farm thus provided the common economic base f o r a f a m i l y ' s m a t e r i a l needs and the f a m i l y u n i t served as the p r a c t i c a l means of e x t r a c t i n g the maximum y i e l d from the i n d i v i d u a l farm. But the a g r i c u l t u r a l seasons i n Massachusetts were short and the amount of work r e q u i r e d to operate a ten-to twenty-acre mixed farm consumed perhaps h a l f the working year of an a d u l t male. Therefore, he sought other work away from h i s small farm. The i n d i v i d u a l i n the p r o v i n c i a l r u r a l town was not sequesterered i n 46 i s o l a t i o n on h i s own completely s e l f - c o n t a i n e d property. There i s no doubt that the subsistence f a m i l y farm was the dominant socio-economic mode of r u r a l p r o v i n c i a l s o c i e t y . But sub- s i s t e n c e was a l l t hat the f a m i l y farm could provide. The small farm was not a b s o l u t e l y capable of producing the t o t a l range of m a t e r i a l s used by a f a m i l y , j u s t as i t could not render t o t a l s o c i a l autonomy. For, as the f a m i l y needed the community f o r l e g a l , s o c i a l , moral and p o l i t i c a l l e a d e r s h i p and guidance, the heads of households r e q u i r e d the community f o r the m a t e r i a l and economic resources t h a t the sub- s i s t e n c e farm alone could not provide. In s h o r t , the p o l i c y and 46 p r a c t i c e of s e t t l i n g , o r g a n i z i n g and occupying r u r a l Massachusetts were drawn from e a r l i e r P u r i t a n p r i n c i p l e s that combined s o c i a l and moral values w i t h rudimentary m a t e r i a l s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y . Work and m o r a l i t y were l i n k e d and then based i n the socio-economic c r u c i b l e of the f a m i l y farm. The economic and i n t e l l e c t u a l values of the f a m i l y and the l a r g e r s o c i e t y were upheld w i t h i n t h i s and the b i n d i n g medium of the town. Without the a v a i l a b i l i t y of a cash crop, or the d e s i r e or opportunity f o r i n t e n s i v e n o n - a g r i c u l t u r a l i n d u s t r y or manufacturing, the s o c i e t y of r u r a l Massachusetts arranged i t s e l f on thousands of small f a m i l y farms. These were i d e a l l y s u i t e d to the congregational and corporate values of the s o c i e t y . Without a commercial a g r i c u l t u r a l base the l a r g e l a b o r - i n t e n s i v e commercial farm o p e r a t i o n was imprac- t i c a l . The absence i n r u r a l towns, of a s i g n i f i c a n t c o n c e n t r a t i o n of commercial n o n - a g r i c u l t u r a l i n d u s t r i a l e n t e r p r i s e , f u r t h e r l i m i t e d the economic a l t e r n a t i v e s of the r u r a l ..worker. I t was to the l a r g e r community of other small farmers that the i n d i v i d u a l subsistence farmer turned f o r added economic support, and f o r the s o c i a l expression and f u l f i l l m e n t he found i n the community's r e l i g i o u s and p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t i e s . Bound as he was to h i s farm by c u l t u r a l preference and economic n e c e s s i t y and p r a c t i c a l i t y , i t was i n the l o c a l and shared economy -of the town that the independent farmer completed h i s income and s e c u r i t y . I t was necessary t h e r e f o r e , that the farmer be more than a farmer. He was o b l i g e d to possess a s i n g l e or v a r i e t y of 47 a l t e r n a t i v e work t a l e n t s and the means to apply them. 47 There was a l s o need i n the communities of r u r a l Massachusetts f o r a permanent and v a r i e d range of non-farm labor s e r v i c e s . There was a mixture of the s u b s i d i a r y goods and la b o r requirements of a g r i - c u l t u r e , w i t h the assorted non-farming needs of any small pre- i n d u s t r i a l community. The subsistence farmer was s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t only to the l e v e l of h i s immediate a g r i c u l t u r a l means. His t a l e n t s , h i s f a m i l y and h i s farm provided a great d e a l of the b a s i c n e c e s s i t i e s of l i f e . But he a l s o r e q u i r e d b u i l d i n g s and b u i l d i n g m a t e r i a l s , farm and household implements, f i n i s h e d l e a t h e r goods, f u r n i t u r e , c l o t h i n g , footwear and a host of other manufactured items. No i n d i v i d u a l f a m i l y could hope to be a b s o l u t e l y capable of p r o v i d i n g f o r a l l i t s m a t e r i a l and s e r v i c e e s s e n t i a l s , and very few were capable of supporting t h e i r e n t i r e budgets from l a r g e - s c a l e farming. The community, as a place of supply and exchange of added goods and s e r v i c e s t h e r e f o r e became the source of the subsistence farmer's a d d i t i o n a l m a t e r i a l needs and the o u t l e t f o r h i s surplus time and l a b o r . To meet the d i v e r s e demands of the whole farm community, that surplus l a b o r o f t e n was r e f i n e d or expanded as a s k i l l i n one of the l o c a l non-farm t r a d e s , s e r v i c e s or c r a f t s . The s i n g l e most outstanding f e a t u r e of the l a b o r economy of r u r a l Massachusetts arose d i r e c t l y from those premises and r e s u l t e d i n the existence of a farmer who was a l s o p r o f i c i e n t and a c t i v e i n another work a c t i v i t y . This v o c a t i o n a l d u a l i t y created i n the r u r a l worker a simultaneous independence and dependence i n the context of l a b o r , f a m i l y , farm and community. 48 The a g r i c u l t u r a l town continued to accommodate t h i s p a t t e r n of work and personal farming. From forty-two i n number i n 1650, i n both Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth C o l o n i e s , they increased to e i g h t y - four i n 1700 and to 173 i n 1754; there were 192 towns i n the province 48 i n 1765 and 212 i n 1775. Spawned by the o l d e r settlements, these newer towns came i n t o being w i t h common p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l , economic and a g r i c u l t u r a l mandates and arrangements. The elementary c o n f i g u r a - t i o n of Meeting House and i n d i v i d u a l farm l o t s was maintained. The m a j o r i t y of the new towns a f t e r 1700 arose from the spread of p o p u l a t i o n both east and west of the Connecticut R i v e r v a l l e y towns; there was a continuous b i f u r c a t i o n of e x i s t i n g towns i n the o r i g i n a l eastern c o u n t i e s . As populations i n some towns in c r e a s e d , as the average po p u l a t i o n f o r a l l towns rose, congestion was prevented by increased u t i l i z a t i o n of unused l a n d , by emigration and i n t e r n a l rearrangement. The h a b i t s of a g r i c u l t u r e and economic l i f e remained as they were. A f a m i l y could farm no more i n 1750 and produce no higher y i e l d s than i t d i d i n 1650. 4 9 Thus the new towns, l i k e the o l d , were a g r i c u l t u r a l communities and c o n s t i t u t e d l o c a l economies to the extent that the farm economy had to be supplied w i t h i t s n o n - a g r i c u l t u r a l domestic s e r v i c e and l a b o r needs. And these communities, even when t h e i r p opulations reached and exceeded 1,100 were not l a r g e enough to support much labor s p e c i a l - i z a t i o n . Moreover, as a major reason f o r residency, farming remained an a c t i v i t y of v i r t u a l l y a l l a d u l t males and t h e i r f a m i l i e s . C e n t r a l - 49 i z e d f a c i l i t i e s f o r the manufacture and supply of the many necessary non-farm commodities were not developed i n the small p r o v i n c i a l market. As Stuart Bruchey notes: "No l a r g e s u p p l i e s of c a p i t a l or labor were seeking employment.""^ The l o c a l communities managed to produce and manufacture t h e i r commodity requirements from the s k i l l s and surplus lab o r of t h e i r farm po p u l a t i o n s ; the production of non- a g r i c u l t u r a l commodities was conducted on a personal or very l i m i t e d s c a l e i n the l o c a l i z e d markets and economies of i n d i v i d u a l towns. The town i n r u r a l p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts had not subdivided i t s e l f i n t o s p e c i a l i z e d l a b o r s e c t o r s as had occurred i n the l a r g e r , commercial s e t t i n g of Boston where c e r t a i n workers were employed f o r the e n t i r e year i n a s i n g l e work a c t i v i t y . As there was not a segment of l a b o r devoted e x c l u s i v e l y to farming, n e i t h e r was there one committed wholly to c o n s t r u c t i o n , manufacturing, s e r v i c e or m a t e r i a l supply. The f a c t o r s that made v i r t u a l l y everyone a farmer a l s o created very few f u l l - t i m e farmers. Those same f a c t o r s a l s o shaped towns and regions i n t o a g r i c u l t u r a l communities of s t r i k i n g s i m i l a r i t i e s . In t h i s s e t t i n g , the work h a b i t s of subsistence farmers were tempered and enlarged by other s k i l l s and occupations and a l a b o r economy of f l u i d i t y , v e r s a t i l i t y and f l e x i b i l i t y ensued. 50 NOTES CHAPTER : I I "^Bernard B a i l y n , New England Merchants i n the Seventeenth Century (New York: 1955) sets the tone f o r t h i s view of the Massachusetts economy at the s t a r t of the p r o v i n c i a l p e r i o d . See a l s o Michael Kammen, Empire and I n t e r e s t (New York: 1970), Chapter 3 and " B i b l i o g r a p h i c a l Essay," pp. 158-164. 2 A.M. S c h l e s i n g e r , The C o l o n i a l Merchants and the American R e v o l u t i o n (New York: 1968), pp. 15-31; L.H. Gipson, The Coming of the Rev o l u t i o n (New York: 1954), pp. 10-84; Charles McL. Andrews, England's Commerical and C o l o n i a l P o l i c y (New Haven: 1938); C u r t i s N e t t e l s , " B r i t i s h M e r c a n t i l i s m and the Economic Development of the T h i r t e e n C o l o n i e s , " JEH 12 (1952), pp. 105-14. J.P. Greene, "Search f o r I d e n t i t y : An I n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the Meaning of Selected P a t t e r n s of S o c i a l Response i n 18th Century America," JSH 3 (1970), pp. 189-220; Greene, " P o l i t i c a l Mimesis: A C o n s i d e r a t i o n of the H i s t o r i c a l and C u l t u r a l Roots of L e g i s l a t i v e Behavior i n the B r i t i s h Colonies i n the Eighteenth Century," AHR 75 (1969-70), pp. 337-68; John C l i v e and Bernard B a i l y n , "England's C u l t u r a l P rovinces: Scotland and America," WMQ 11 (1954), pp. 200-13; Clarence Ver Steeg, The Formative Years, 1607-1763 (New York: 1964), pp. 173-202. 3 A l i c e Hanson Jones, "Wealth Estimates f o r the New England Colonies about 1770," JEH 32 (1972), pp. 98-127. This a r t i c l e attempts to make sense of a complex problem and succeeds i n p r o v i d i n g some new insights,? even though i t s methods are flawed. 4 Appendix I I . ^"Economic mode" i s given to mean that a c t i v i t y which produced m a t e r i a l support or l i v e l i h o o d . Jones, "Wealth Estimates," p. 124, notes that j u s t over 70% of a l l measured wealth i n 1770 i n Massachusetts was i n la n d . ^Jackson Turner Main, The S o c i a l S t r u c t u r e of Rev o l u t i o n a r y America ( P r i n c e t o n : 1965), Chapter 1, esp. p. 18; Kenneth L o c k r i d g e , "Land, P o p u l a t i o n and the E v o l u t i o n of New England S o c i e t y ; and An Afterth o u g h t " i n S. Katz, ed,, C o l o n i a l America (Boston: 1971), pp. 466-91. 51 Q Appendix I I I ; M. Arch. MSS V o l . 130, " V a l u a t i o n s of Towns." 9 I b i d . ; Baker MSS, "V.S. C l a r k Notes," Box 2. C l a r k estimates the number of commercial fishermen i n Massachusetts i n 1720 at 1,100. "^W.I. Davisson and D.J. Duggan, "Commerce i n 17th Century Essex County," EIHC 107 (1971), pp. 113-43; E.R. Johnson, et a l . , H i s t o r y of Domestic and Foreign Commerce (Washington: 1915), V o l . I . "'""'"Michael Zuckerman, Peaceable Kingdoms: New England Towns i n the Eighteenth Century (New York: 1970); Kenneth Lockridge and Alan K r e i d e r , "The E v o l u t i o n of Massachusetts Town Government, 1640-1740," WMQ 23 (1966), pp. 549-74; Anne Bush MacLear, E a r l y New England Towns: A Comparative Study of Their Development (New York: 1908). 12 Sumner C h i l t o n P o w e l l , P u r i t a n V i l l a g e : The Formation of a New England Town (Westleyan: 1963), pp. 178-86. 13 Mass. Bay Recs. V o l . I , pp. 18, 116-121, 160, 353. The major ac t s concerning the,.purposes of town settlement, government, a u t h o r i t y and purpose can be found i n summary i n W i l l i a m Whitmore, compiler, C o l o n i a l Laws, pp. 11, 147-9. See a l s o Page Smith, As a C i t y Upon a H i l l : The Town i n American H i s t o r y (New York: 1966), pp. 8-10. 14 On the p h y s i c a l alignment of town farms and residences see P o w e l l , P u r i t a n V i l l a g e and MacLear, E a r l y New England Towns. On markets, manufacturing and farming see: V.S. C l a r k , H i s t o r y of Manufactures i n the United S t a t e s , 1607-1860 (Washington: 1916), pp. 87-122; P.W. B i d w e l l and John Falconer, H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e i n the Northern United S t a t e s , 1620-1860 (Washington: 1925), pp. 59, 119- 120, 131; Richard H o f s t a d t e r , America, 1750: A S o c i a l P o r t r a i t (New York: 1973) , pp. 142-151. " ^ B i d w e l l , H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e , pp. 84-101, 136; D a r r e t t B. Rutman, "Gov. Winthrop's Garden Crop: The S i g n i f i c a n c e of A g r i c u l t u r e i n the E a r l y Commerce of Mass. Bay," WMQ 20 (1963), pp. 396-415; Robert R. Walcott, "Husbandry i n C o l o n i a l New England," NEQ 9 (1936), pp. 218-52. M. Arch. MSS, V o l . 1, " A g r i c u l t u r e , " passim. " ^ C o l l e c t i o n s of the Old Colony S o c i e t y , No. 3, pp. 131-62 (Taunton, Mass.: 1885); C l a r k , H i s t , of Manufactures, pp. 54, 76, 138; Mass. Bay Recs., V o l . I I , pp. 61, 81, 103, 105; Baker, MSS, Lynn Iron Works F o l d e r , " T y p e s c r i p t s of O r i g i n a l Documents." 52 17W.R. B a g n a l l , The T e x t i l e I n d u s t r i e s of the United States (Cambridge, Mass.: 1893), pp. 1-27. 1 8 M. Arch. MSS., V o l . 59, pp. 355-7, 376-7 and passim f o r a l l r u r a l manufacturing e n t e r p r i s e s ; Acts and Resolves, V o l . 3, pp. 1053-4 dis c u s s e s the problems i n l o c a t i n g monopoly businesses i n r u r a l communities. 1 9 C l a r k , H i s t , of Manufactures, pp. 9-30, 87-122; B i d w e l l , H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e , p. 131. 20 For ore, c o a l , and other mineral de p o s i t s and f o r m i l l s and f o r g e s , see L e s t e r J . Cappon, e d i t o r , A t l a s of E a r l y American H i s t o r y : The Revolutionary Era, 1760-90 ( P r i n c e t o n : 1976). A l s o , see C u r t i s s N e t t e l s , "The Menace of C o l o n i a l Manufacturing," NEQ 4 (1931), pp. 230- 69; C l a r k , H i s t , of Manufactures, pp. 73-86, 159-161; Main, S o c i a l S t r u c t u r e , pp. 21, 23, 27, 31-32. 21 H i s t o r i c a l Data R e l a t i n g to Counties, C i t i e s and Towns i n Massachusetts (Boston: 1975), passim; P o w e l l , P u r i t a n V i l l a g e . 22 L o i s K. Mathews, The Expansion of New England (Boston: 1909), pp. 90 f f ; Robert Gross, The Minutemen and Their World (New York: 1976), pp. 68-108. 23 Edmund Morgan, The P u r i t a n Family (New York: 1944). 24 Zuckerman, Peaceable Kingdoms. 25 Main, S o c i a l S t r u c t u r e , p. 27; B i d w e l l , H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e , pp. 126-131. 2 6 MacLear, E a r l y New England Towns, p. 181. Zuckerman, Peaceable Kingdoms; Gross, Minutemen, pp. 11-16. 27 Main, S o c i a l S t r u c t u r e , pp. 7-42; MHS MSS "Roxbury V a l u - a t i o n , 1727," i n a d e t a i l e d breakdown of t h i s assessment i t was found that 92.6% of the p o p u l a t i o n l i v e d on p l o t s of 1 to 108 acres of c u l t i v a t e d l a n d . Of 273 rated p o l l s , only 42 farmed l e s s than 10 acres of c u l t i v a t e d l a n d . The average f o r the 241 who occupied more than 10 acres was 2.7 acres of combined t i l l a g e , pasture, orchard and c u l t i v a t e d grass. The Roxbury f i g u r e s were s l i g h t l y higher than the p r o v i n c i a l average. For town populations see M. Arch. MSS, V o l s . 130-134, " V a l u a t i o n of Towns," passim. These documents a l s o c o n t a i n data on land use, farm s i z e , value and y i e l d s . See Appendix IV,and Table I I . 53 28 . . . . . H x s t o r i c a l Data. 29 MHS.MSS, "Valuations of Counties, 1751," i n Miscellaneous Bound Manuscripts (see Appendix IV, t h i s paper). Ibxd. 31 I b i d . , H i s t o r i c a l Data. 3 2M. Arch.MSS., V o l . 130, "Va l u a t i o n s of Towns." The number of persons per r a t e a b l e p o l l can be given as 4.67 based on known gross p o p u l a t i o n f i g u r e s f o r the province and separate assessments of p o l l s . See MHS.MSS. "Valuations of Counties, 1751" and Appendix I I I , and IV. 33 Approximately 59% of t i t l e d land i n 1767 was not being used f o r a g r i c u l t u r e ; M. Arch. MSS., V o l s . 130-134, "Valuations of Towns." For l a t e r f i g u r e s see B i d w e l l , H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e , p. 119. pp. 7-42. 34MHS.MSS., "Roxbury V a l u a t i o n s " ; J.T. Main, S o c i a l S t r u c t u r e , 35 Walcott, "Husbandry"; B i d w e l l , H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e , pp. 33-39, 94 f f . 3 6 M e r i l l Jensen, "The American R e v o l u t i o n and American A g r i - c u l t u r e , " A g r i c . H i s t o r y 43 (1969), pp. 107-125; Walcott, "Husbandry"; B i d w e l l , H i s t , of A g r i c u l t u r e , pp. 115-116; Kenneth L o c k r i d g e , A New England Town: The F i r s t Hundred Years (New York: 1970); Lockridge, "Land, P o p u l a t i o n . " There i s widespread disagreement on how much average land was held by p r o p r i e t o r s a f t e r 1750. C e r t a i n l y i t was of greater q u a n t i t y i n the west than i n the older eastern r e g i o n s . The M. Arch., "Valuations of Towns" 'give more in f o r m a t i o n on farmed land than on t o t a l land possessed by i n d i v i d u a l s but a f i g u r e c l o s e to 100 acres seems to be the p r o v i n c i a l norm. The problem of f i x i n g p r e c i s e f i g u r e s f o r r e g i o n s , towns and i n d i v i d u a l s i s compounded by the f a c t that not a l l land was deeded and recorded i n t r a n s a c t i o n , e s p e c i a l l y between f a t h e r s and sons, and much land was leased and sub-leased under a v a r i e t y of forms and methods. 54 37 B i d w e l l , H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e , Chapter 9, esp. pp. 119- 20, 131; Jensen, "American A g r i c u l t u r e , " p. 124; Matthews, Expansion, p. 90 f f ; Walcott, "Husbandry." 38 On s o i l s and y i e l d s , see B.T. Bunting, The Geography of S o i l (Chicago: 1965); Jensen, "American A g r i c u l t u r e , " pp. 110-125; Walcott, "Husbandry." 39 B i d w e l l , H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e , pp. 84, 86. 84 f f . 4 0 W a l c o t t , "Husbandry"; B i d w e l l , H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e , p. 41 MHS.MSS, "Roxbury V a l u a t i o n s " ; Appendix IV. On crop y i e l d s see M. Arch. MSS., V o l . I , " A g r i c u l t u r e , " passim; B i d w e l l , H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e , pp. 89-93. On bread d i e t , types, and the l a r g e amounts consumed, see MHS. Misc. Bound MSS, "Alms House Expenses," Mar. 1, 1760; C a r l Bridenbaugh, "The High Cost of L i v i n g i n Boston, 1728," NEQ 5 (1932), pp. 800-11; Acts and Resolves, V o l . 7, App. 2, pp. 567 f f . The " M i l i t a r y , " Volumes (67-80), i n M. Arch. MSS co n t a i n i n f o r m a t i o n on bread consumption. 43 M. Arch. MSS, V o l . I , " A g r i c u l t u r e , " passim. 44 A l i c e Morse E a r l e , Home L i f e i n C o l o n i a l Days (Stockbridge, Mass.: 1974), (1989), Chapters' 1, 8, 9, 11. 45 Walcott, "Husbandry." 46 This p o i n t has been much debated. I t has been argued that i n d i v i d u a l i s m and i s o l a t i o n increased as town common lands were broken up f o r p r i v a t e ownership and that e a r l i e r "corporatism" d e c l i n e d as a r e s u l t of t h i s process. See Richard Dunn, "The S o c i a l H i s t o r y of E a r l y New England," AQ 24-5 (1972), pp. 661-679. 47 B i d w e l l , H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e , p. 131. 48 H i s t o r i c a l Data, f o r the r i s e i n average populations of towns see Appendix I I I , i . Walcott, "Husbandry"; B i d w e l l , H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e , pp. 5-146; Anonymous, Some Observations R e l a t i n g to Massachusetts Bay (Boston: 1750), p. 22. Stuart Bruchey, The Roots of American Economic Growth, 1607-1861 (New York: 1965), p. 71. CHAPTER I I I THE RURAL ARTISAN In h i s d i s c u s s i o n of r u r a l f a m i l i e s , subsistence farming and dual occupational s t a t u s , James Henretta observed that these i n s t i t u t i o n s and p r a c t i c e s were: not only the r e s u l t of geographical or economic f a c t o r s . These men and women were enmeshed a l s o i n a web of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s and c u l t u r a l expectations that i n h i b i t e d the f r e e - p l a y of market f o r c e s . Much of the output of t h e i r farms was consumed by [ l o c a l ] r e s i d e n t s , most of whom . . . were not paid wages f o r t h e i r l a b o r . 1 Among the p r i n c i p a l f a c t o r s which determined the nature of work i n the towns of r u r a l Massachusetts were the strong i n f l u e n c e s of subsistence farming, the dual-occupation character of work and the m a t e r i a l s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y of l o c a l economies. Work a l s o i n v o l v e d the i n d i v i d u a l i n a balance of independence and interdependence i n h i s r e l a t i o n s w i t h the community. The use of b a r t e r , r a t h e r than cash wages, was an a d d i t i o n a l i n f l u e n c e on the personal r e l a t i o n s h i p s between r e s i d e n t s . The a g r i c u l t u r a l town was the dominant s o c i a l s e t t i n g f o r work i n the province. In order to gain a b e t t e r understanding of the r e l a t i o n s h i p of work to community, i t w i l l be necessary to examine the major kinds of work which were performed l o c a l l y . A c l o s e d e s c r i p t i o n of how work merged w i t h the needs of the community, and 56 57 by whom and under what c o n d i t i o n s i t was performed, w i l l show the strong i n f l u e n c e of work patterns on the s o c i a l character and s t a b i l i t y of the community i n Massachusetts. As the ends of work were d i r e c t e d toward the maintenance of the subsistence farm, the exact forms of work were r e f l e c t e d i n the demands and l i m i t a t i o n s of extensive a g r i c u l t u r e . The supremacy of the f a m i l y farm, as a d e s i r e d and fundamental s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n , was combined w i t h l o c a l patterns of work to f o s t e r common c o n d i t i o n s , i n t e r e s t s and aims. These shared q u a l i t i e s u nderlined the d u r a b i l i t y of the s o c i e t y ' s i n s t i t u t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e . The records show that from the end of the seventeenth to the middle of the eighteenth c e n t u r i e s , more than one hundred d i f f e r e n t o c c u p a t i o n a l c a t e g o r i e s e x i s t e d i n r u r a l Massachusetts. Not a l l of these were found i n any one community at a l l times; the usual number i n any town was about t h i r t y . Apart from " l a b o r e r s " and "husbandmen," these v o c a t i o n a l t i t l e s i n v a r i a b l y r e f e r r e d to a r t i s a n s , that i s to s k i l l e d , t r a i n e d craftsmen. Nearly h a l f of the r u r a l male p o p u l a t i o n claimed c r a f t s c r e d e n t i a l s , and of the many trades and s k i l l e d occupa- t i o n s which served the a g r i c u l t u r a l community as a n c i l l a r i e s to the farming and domestic economies, four stood out as being predominant. These were b l a c k s m i t h i n g , carpentry, shoemaking and l e a t h e r working, and w e a v i n g - t a i l o r i n g . Of these the blacksmith was the most v i t a l to farming i n non-mechanized a g r i c u l t u r a l s o c i e t y . The carpenter, 58 shoemaker and t e x t i l e - c l o t h e s m a k e r provided the b a s i c necessary ad- j u n c t s to domestic l i f e . Of the hundred or more oc c u p a t i o n a l d i v i s i o n s , only a few were not d i r e c t l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the four p r i n c i p a l a r t i s a n c a t e g o r i e s . ^ Most were r e l a t e d as e i t h e r m a t e r i a l s u p p l i e r s to the main occupations such as sawyers, forge-operators, tanners or f u l l e r s or were a r t i s a n s who l i s t e d a s u b - s p e c i a l t y as a mark of s p e c i a l e x p e r t i s e . For example, a man who was a general b l a c k s m i t h might p r e f e r to be known as a " l o c k s m i t h " because he was perhaps the only s p e c i a l i z e d l o c k s m i t h i n the r e g i o n ; most of h i s blacksmith work would be of a more conventional shop v a r i e t y , but even i f he d i d l o c k s m i t h work only r a r e l y , he might nevertheless come to be r e f e r r e d to as a l o c k s m i t h and not a blacksmith. S i m i l a r l y , a l e a t h e r worker, although he might produce everything from simple tanned hides to saddles, harnesses and even l e a t h e r coats and breeches, might be designated a "harness maker" because he happened to make the best l o c a l harnesses and not because he spent a m a j o r i t y of h i s time i n that p a r t i c u l a r a c t i v i t y . And so i t was w i t h carpenters v i s - a - v i s s h i n g l i n g , p l a s t e r i n g , f l o o r i n g or stairmaking; the s p e c i a l t y noted d i d not s i g n i f y a p r i n c i p a l o c c u p a t i o n a l a c t i v i t y but r a t h e r a s p e c i a l or o c c a s i o n a l e x p e r t i s e . In s h o r t , the great many occupa- t i o n a l t i t l e s , when examined, can be reduced to a narrower range of general c r a f t s . A r u r a l carpenter or b l a c k s m i t h understood and p r a c t i c e d the complete range of s k i l l s i n v o l v e d i n h i s trade. The r u r a l community d i d have need of s p e c i a l t y goods, s e r v i c e s and work but the l o c a l economy was too small to support many workers i n f u l l - time labo r s p e c i a l i z a t i o n . The p r i n c i p a l trades were p r a c t i c e d by men who performed the most comprehensive range of t a s k s , i n c l u d i n g 3 o c c a s i o n a l s p e c i a l t i e s . The r u r a l a r t i s a n was v e r s a t i l e i n the conduct of h i s c r a f t ; he was v e r s a t i l e a l s o s i n c e he maintained a 4 p r o p r i e t a r y and v o c a t i o n a l attachment to the land. I t was that attachment to the land that determined the s o c i a l and economic p r i o r i t i e s of the r u r a l a r t i s a n ' s l i f e . I t served as the s t a r t i n g p o i n t f o r h i s experience, as the legacy f o r h i s progeny, and i t f l a v o r e d the conduct of h i s working l i f e . Yet w h i l e the farm was the c e n t r a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n i n h i s economy the r u r a l a r t i s a n a l s o p r a c t i c e d h i s c r a f t and r e l i e d on i t and used i t to e s t a b l i s h h i s place i n the community. The r u r a l a r t i s a n was normally the son of a f a r m e r - a r t i s a n . He was r a i s e d on a subsistence farm as part of the t r a d i t i o n a l farm f a m i l y u n i t , r e c e i v i n g a rudimentary s c h o l a s t i c education and t a k i n g part i n farm work, as an a i d to h i s f a t h e r , when he was e i g h t or nine years o l d . From that point i n h i s l i f e , u n t i l he was fourteen to s i x t e e n years o l d , the son of the a r t i s a n - farmer was included as part of the complete economic f u n c t i o n of the f a m i l y . At some point i n h i s mid-teens, the boy would be apprenticed to l e a r n a t r a d e . I n keeping w i t h Massachusetts custom, a p r a c t i c e encouraged by law and based on E n g l i s h precedent, the youth would l e a r n a s k i l l away from the home and h i s f a t h e r ' s d i r e c t t u t e l a g e , w h i l e h i s f a t h e r , i f he r e q u i r e d or d e s i r e d an apprentice of h i s own 60 would seek one from outside the immediate f a m i l y . This method of c r a f t s t r a i n i n g was predicated upon a p r i n c i p l e of combining trades acumen w i t h s o c i a l exposure. By removing the apprentice from the i n s t r u c t i o n of the f a t h e r i t was hoped that c r a f t s t r a i n i n g would be more d i s c i p l i n e d , o b j e c t i v e and r i g o r o u s than i t would be at home; by p l a c i n g the youth w i t h another a r t i s a n and h i s f a m i l y , i t was expected that the young man would encounter wider communal standards of s o c i a b i l i t y , h u m i l i t y and r e s p e c t a b i l i t y . Thus the young a r t i s a n entered independent adulthood i n possession of a sense of personal and community r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and a s k i l l learned at the hands of a n e u t r a l teacher. These a t t r i b u t e s would support him w h i l e he r e f i n e d h i s work s k i l l s , and u n t i l he e i t h e r i n h e r i t e d land or saved enough to purchase, rent or le a s e a c u l t i v a t e d p l o t or prop e r t y . t h a t could be c u l t i v a t e d . Sometimes, when land was not a v a i l a b l e , or when there was i n s u f f i c i e n t work f o r the young journeyman to set up an independent household, the a r t i s a n would r e t u r n home, to help on h i s f a t h e r ' s land and p r a c t i c e h i s c r a f t i n the community as he was needed. I n time, the young man would u s u a l l y succeed i n e s t a b l i s h i n g himself i n h i s own house, on land that he i n h e r i t e d , bought or l e a s e d , w h i l e he continued to gain experience i n h i s c r a f t and expand h i s working time and income. W h i l e . i t . i s c e r t a i n that not a l l Massachusetts r u r a l a r t i s a n s followed that p a r t i c u l a r p a t t e r n , a m a j o r i t y d i d . Though many sons d i d f o l l o w t h e i r f a t h e r s ' t r a d e s , not a l l boys 61 were a u t o m a t i c a l l y apprenticed to t h e i r f a t h e r ' s c r a f t s . Other c o n s i d e r a t i o n s f o r the trade to be learned were the a v a i l a b i l i t y of a p p r e n t i c e s h i p s i n the community or nearby and the f a t h e r ' s means — f o r there was u s u a l l y a cost i n c u r r e d by the parents. The boy's s p e c i a l v o c a t i o n a l i n c l i n a t i o n s or t a l e n t s were a l s o considered. I t can be assumed,on the b a s i s of Robert Seybolt's samples, that at l e a s t h a l f of the sons of r u r a l a r t i s a n s who were apprenticed, followed trades other than those of t h e i r f a t h e r s ; and more than h a l f began farming t h e i r own p r o p e r t i e s soon a f t e r completion of t h e i r appren- t i c e s h i p s . 7 By h i s mid-to l a t e - t w e n t i e s , the young a r t i s a n would be married and would have begun a f a m i l y . E v e n t u a l l y he would have anywhere from two to s i x or more c h i l d r e n who survived i n f a n c y ; the higher number of s u r v i v i n g c h i l d r e n normally r e f l e c t e d an i n d i v i d u a l ' s sound economic s t a t u s or prospects. With h i s f a m i l y , h i s few c u l t i v a t e d acres and h i s c r a f t s s k i l l , the r u r a l a r t i s a n was now at the head of g a l a b o r and economic u n i t w i t h i n the a g r i c u l t u r a l community. I f the a r t i s a n ' s f a t h e r had been s u c c e s s f u l i n h o l d i n g or amassing a l a r g e contiguous acreage f o r the purpose of s e t t l i n g h i s grown sons then the young a r t i s a n would r e s i d e i n c l o s e p r o x i m i t y to h i s f a t h e r . But u s u a l l y the land obtained by the son was i n another p a r t of the town or even i n another community. The process of land accumulation and d i s p o s a l among r u r a l a r t i s a n s was v a r i e d and complex. Sometimes an eighteenth century son took possession of land that remained from 62 hundred—year-old grants that had not been exhausted by previous p a r t - i b l e d i s p o s a l . I t should be remembered that 100 acres of land would provide "home l o t s " f o r s e v e r a l subsistence farms. In other ways, f a t h e r s attempted to ensure i n h e r i t a b l e land by buying or l e a s i n g , over time, small q u a n t i t i e s of land elsewhere i n the town or i n other towns and even i n d i s t a n t regions of the province. But land u s u a l l y was a v a i l a b l e to the young r u r a l a r t i s a n ; p a r t s of f i f t y - acre h o l d i n g s , of which only h a l f had been c u l t i v a t e d , were s t i l l being leased to be cl e a r e d and planted i n the 1760s i n the o l d e s t q s e t t l e d s e c t i o n s of Massachusetts. As the b a s i s f o r the f a m i l y economy, the farm provided d o m i c i l e , subsistence, p r i v a c y and a foundation f o r economic s t a b i l i t y . The a r t i s a n ' s c r a f t work d i r e c t l y and i n d i r e c t l y s u p plied the means of working the farm and of a c q u i r i n g any n o n - a g r i c u l t u r a l requirements he d i d not produce f o r h i m s e l f . At an e a r l y date the young a r t i s a n - farmer would f i n d i t necessary to " h i r e " a man and o f t e n that man's "boys" — e i t h e r sons or apprentices — to work h i s land f o r him w h i l e he r e p a i d t h i s debt by performing s k i l l e d work. But l a t e r , as h i s own sons grew and h i s economic c o n d i t i o n improved, he would reverse t h i s p r a c t i c e and could send h i s sons, horses and oxen to work the land of others. Meanwhile, w i t h a young and growing f a m i l y the a r t i s a n - farmer was kept f u l l y occupied by farm and c r a f t . He balanced h i s f i n a n c i a l accounts w i t h an i n f o r m a l method of l a b o r exchange and b a r t e r . He re c e i v e d help on h i s small farm, work m a t e r i a l s f o r h i s trade and domestic commodities i n exchange f o r h i s own work and f o r goods or s e r v i c e s produced by h i s c r a f t . Of course he d i d as much as p o s s i b l e of h i s own farm work but i n very busy p e r i o d s , even on small acreages, help was o f t e n needed."*"^ R e c i p r o c a l farm work was not simply a matter of neighbor " h e l p i n g " neighbor. These exchanges of la b o r were based upon a monetary value or i t s equivalent i n s e r v i c e , commodity or l a b o r . The value of the exchange was t i e d to a previous s e r v i c e performed by one of the p a r t i e s and r e t i r e d by the other; or the l a b o r would be recorded, to be c r e d i t e d l a t e r by some other exchange of la b o r or goods Few a r t i s a n s suspended t h e i r c r a f t s work e n t i r e l y during the busy "growing season." I t was reduced, of course, to a l l o w f o r the very s t r i c t demands of tending to crops. But the work of the b l a c k s m i t h , carpenter, shoemaker, t a i l o r and weaver continued. In t h i s way, the a r t i s a n - f a r m e r was e s p e c i a l l y dependent upon other l o c a l workers to a i d him i n necessary farm work, j u s t as he continued to r e q u i r e the goods and s e r v i c e s provided by other a r t i s a n s and as the community required h i s s e r v i c e s and c r a f t i n a l l seasons. Thus, the a r t i s a n - farmer was e a r l y e s t a b l i s h e d as h i s own master, possessing a market- able s k i l l along w i t h the farm property that served to secure h i s b a s i c d i e t a r y and household needs. That measure of independence could only be sustained by a c l o s e l a b o r and economic r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h the r e s t of the l o c a l community. In that way the a r t i s a n - farmer was at once an independent worker whose fortunes were i n t e r - dependent w i t h a l a r g e r l a b o r economy. Furthermore, w i t h a minimum of money or hard currency being c i r c u l a t e d , the f l e x i b l e b a r t e r method of payment con s o l i d a t e d the i n d i v i d u a l ' s contact w i t h and involvement i n the shared economic a f f a i r s of the town and i t s r e s i d e n t s . ' ^ W i t h i n t h i s system the r u r a l b l a cksmith was the man mainly r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the m a t e r i a l work needs of farmers. He shoed horses of course, but he made and r e p a i r e d plows, hoes, scythes and other a g r i c u l t u r a l implements. For the home he r e p a i r e d metal pots, p a i l s and k e t t l e s , made door hinges, axe heads and other domestic metal products. In most towns of 200 to 300 f a m i l i e s , there would be f i v e or s i x b l a c k s m i t h s , and w h i l e some d i d s t r e s s c e r t a i n aspects of metalwork, most were in v o l v e d i n a combination of f a r r i e r work, farm t o o l and hardware r e p a i r and production. T y p i c a l l y , a l o c a l b l a c k - smith d i d business w i t h between t h i r t y and f i f t y separate people i n any year, performing s e r v i c e s ranging from a few minutes sharpening a scythe to s e v e r a l weeks making a plow. He would have as many as t h i r t y outstanding accounts at any time. This meant that h i s b l a c k s m i t h i n g work was c o n s t a n t l y being balanced f o r or against goods and l a b o r and s e r v i c e s provided f o r him. For at l e a s t f o u r months between l a t e autumn and the f o l l o w i n g sowing season, he would work f u l l time at h i s c r a f t f o r up to twelve hours a day, s i x days a week. At the height of the haying or harvest season, he might reduce h i s shop work to one or two days a week. The s t r i k i n g f e a t u r e of the young blacksmith's work h a b i t s i s the degree of hard, constant work invo l v e d i n b a l a n c i n g the demands of the farm w i t h the necessary 65 c r a f t s work. This regimen was e s p e c i a l l y t a x i n g during the f i r s t few years of farming and marriage. Then, the b l a c k s m i t h , as other young a r t i s a n - f a r m e r s , was almost s o l e l y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r h i s f a m i l y ' s income. But i n time h i s e l d e s t son would be supplementing the f a m i l y income by doing o c c a s i o n a l farm work on h i s f a t h e r ' s b e h a l f , away from home and earning about h a l f the usual farm l a b o r e r s r a t e of pay. A l s o , at that stage, t h i s son could do more work on the home farm, i n summer and w i n t e r , f r e e i n g h i s f a t h e r from some expense and a l l o w i n g him to perform more shop w o r k . ^ The l i f e of N a t h a n i e l Chamberlin, a Plymouth county b l a c k s m i t h , followed that general p a t t e r n . He was born i n 1722, and i n 1743 he f i n i s h e d h i s a p p r e n t i c e s h i p , s t a r t e d h i s own shop, began farming f i f t e e n i n h e r i t e d acres and married, a l l w i t h i n a few months. Of h i s c h i l d r e n born between 1745 and 1764, eigh t survived i n f a n c y , four each of boys and g i r l s . The bulk of Chamberlin's e a r l y expenditure was f o r h i r i n g men and animals f o r h i s farm work. Throughout h i s working l i f e , Chamberlin received help on h i s farm, i r o n s u p p l i e s and v a r i o u s i n d u s t r i a l and domestic commodities i n exchange f o r h i s bla c k s m i t h i n g . N a t u r a l l y he d i d as much of h i s own farm work as he could but, i n season, he o f t e n needed a s s i s t a n c e ; he paid f o r that a i d w i t h shop work. Over the course of twenty years, h i s accounts were balanced mostly by exchanges of goods and s e r v i c e s and not by money payments. H i s scope was such that at v a r i o u s times Chamberlin had as many as f o r t y accounts which were c u r r e n t ; and the v a r i e t i e s of other trades — v i r t u a l l y a l l i n the community — bestowed on 66 him a great d e a l of m a n o e u v e r a b i l i t y i n h i s b a r t e r i n g . During the 1740s and 1750s, Chamberlin's labor represented the f a m i l y ' s s o l e source of income. But by 1755 h i s e l d e s t son, then ten years o l d , was c o n t r i b u t i n g to the f a m i l y budget, as Chamberlin debited a c l i e n t , " f o r my boy and mare to plow." As the f a m i l y matured i t s l a b o r p a t t e r n s changed. With fewer young c h i l d r e n r e q u i r i n g her a t t e n t i o n and energies the blacksmith's w i f e could begin carding and spinning more f l a x and wool both f o r her own f a m i l y ' s c l o t h i n g and t e x t i l e needs and on contract to other f a m i l i e s and to l o c a l weavers. With more f a m i l y members t a k i n g part i n the economy of the home, the f a m i l y economic u n i t became more f l e x i b l e and e f f i c i e n t . For example, a blacksmith w i t h a w i f e , e i g h t c h i l d r e n and a r e s i d e n t a p p r e n t i c e , could supply h i s e n t i r e household w i t h shoes f o r a year by p r o v i d i n g a l o c a l shoemaker w i t h about two weeks of assorted b l a c k s m i t h work and by having h i s w i f e and adolescent daughters s p i n a q u a n t i t y of l i n e n yarn from the l a t t e r ' s own f l a x . The blacksmith's o l d e s t son could complete the f a m i l y ' s combined c o n t r i b u t i o n and round o f f the value of the shoes, by working a few days i n the shoemaker's hay meadow. In t h i s way the maturing f a m i l y combined to supplement the t o t a l income of the blacksmith's economy w h i l e he continued to do farm work, f o r himself and f o r others; and pursued h i s trade and sometimes performed other work f o r c r e d i t o r s who might have no need f o r b l a c k - 13 smithing but who demanded h i s labor f o r other t a s k s . The mutual exchange of work and goods b a r t e r meant that the bla c k s m i t h , when he needed help or m a t e r i a l s or commodities, would commit himself to repaying as he could. He would attempt to do t h i s by means of h i s c r a f t but o f t e n a c r e d i t o r would r e q u i r e farm l a b o r or other forms of work and s e r v i c e and the blacksmith would r e t i r e the debt w i t h v a r i o u s forms of h i s or h i s f a m i l y ' s l a b o r . The reverse was true too, of course. Often, the blacksmith d i d not r e q u i r e shoes, or woven c l o t h or the s e r v i c e s of a t a i l o r f o r whom he had done work and would have the other man, or h i s f a m i l y , repay the o b l i g a t i o n w i t h farm l a b o r or other forms of work. Hence, i n these matters of b a r t e r and r e c i p r o c i t y the kinds of work, goods and s e r v i c e s exchanged depended upon the needs and c a p a c i t i e s of both p a r t i e s . The r u r a l a r t i s a n , by being both craftsman and farmer, was and had to be very f l e x i b l e w i t h h i s work a b i l i t i e s . His personal v e r s a t i l i t y enlarged the t o t a l l a b o r f l e x i b i l i t y of the complete f a m i l y u n i t . As a s i n g l e economic u n i t i n the context of a h i g h l y p a r o c h i a l l o c a l economy, the f a m i l y had l i t t l e need f o r cash. The a r t i s a n - f a r m e r could manipulate h i s own and h i s f a m i l y ' s l a b o r and balance i t against t h e i r combined needs.'''4 In the f i r s t h a l f of the eighteenth century, a r u r a l b l a c k s m i t h i n Massachusetts, w i t h a busy trade and a farm of approximately f i f t e e n acres of land would have a combined income roughly equal to that of the f u l l - t i m e wage earning Boston a r t i s a n . But he would r e c e i v e l e s s than o n e - f i f t h of that income i n cash. I f he was e f f i c i e n t and hard working, the r u r a l blacksmith's expenditures would be s l i g h t l y l e s s than h i s assessed income. Even i f l i t t l e money was exchanged i n t h i s economy, a l l work and goods, no matter how they were r e p a i d , were given monetary values and incomes and expenditures were always evaluated i n terms of the equivalent p r i c e s and wages of bartered items, s e r v i c e s and l a b o r . In some i n d i v i d u a l cases, and i n some years f o r a l l r u r a l a r t i s a n s , income equivalent would f a l l below that of the f u l l - t i m e Boston a r t i s a n . But the annual budget of the r u r a l a r t i s a n d i d not in c l u d e many d i e t a r y and domestic items. The farm generated most of the f a m i l y ' s food requirements and much c l o t h i n g was made p a r t l y or completely at home. Wood from uncleared p o r t i o n s of the property and hides from the few slaughtered l i v e s t o c k provided another source of m a t e r i a l s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y , A great d e a l of domestically-produced food and m a t e r i a l s d i d not show up on the account books, ledgers and tax assessments of r u r a l a r t i s a n s . To speak of the incomes of r u r a l , land h o l d i n g a r t i s a n s i s to acknowledge the combined work earnings of the craftsman and h i s f a m i l y and the unrecorded domestically—produced and consumed m a t e r i a l s of subsistence farming. These l a t t e r " i n v i s i b l e " earnings helped the a r t i s a n farmer accumulate cash and c r e d i t from h i s other sources i n t o a surplus f o r investment i n more l a n d , a b e t t e r or l a r g e r house or shop or barn to accommodate a l a r g e r , growing f a m i l y or to improve h i s working cap- a c i t i e s . I f he had sons, the a r t i s a n farmer was cu s t o m a r i l y o b l i g e d to attempt to secure land f o r t h e i r m a t u r i t y . Most farming a r t i s a n s d i d not produce s i g n i f i c a n t q u a n t i t i e s of marketable farm commodities. A few s k i n s , some shipments of g r a i n s , wool or f l a x were infrequent t r a n s a c t i o n s . The a r t i s a n ' s l i v e s t o c k 69 consumed most of h i s hay and h i s f a m i l y consumed most of the meat of h i s slaughtered animals. In f a c t , during the e a r l y years of h i s working l i f e , the a r t i s a n farmer was as l i k e l y to "buy" feed, meat and household g r a i n s as he was to s a t i s f y h i s own needs or produce a s u r p l u s . H is circumstances, needs and p r o d u c t i v i t y v a r i e d from year to year as h i s f a m i l y grew and h i s work h a b i t s adjusted to these changes. In time, as the r a t i o of c r a f t s work to farming s t a b i l i z e d , the a r t i s a n might expand h i s a g r i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t i e s . But there were se r i o u s l i m i t a t i o n s to t h i s p r a c t i c e . Subsistence farming on ten to f i f t e e n acres required some 100 i n d i v i d u a l working days f o r seeding, weeding, haying,harvesting and r e l a t e d work. During the f a l l and winter another f o r t y or f i f t y days would be taken up i n g r a i n t h r e s h i n g , corn husking, f l a x breaking, c a r t i n g g r a i n , stones and s u p p l i e s , and c a r i n g f o r l i v e s t o c k . A l l of t h i s would produce a range of foods and c l o t h i n g and some other m a t e r i a l needs f o r the immediate use of the f a m i l y ; any surplus was used as b a r t e r f o r manufactured items and some other l a b o r or s e r v i c e requirements and o c c a s i o n a l l y a small surplus could be s o l d o u t side the community."*""^ For a s i n g l e man t h i s work o b l i g a t i o n consumed h a l f of h i s annual time and l a b o r . He was l e f t w i t h an equal amount of time i n which to p r a c t i c e h i s c r a f t or other v o c a t i o n and produce s u f f i c i e n t income or c r e d i t to meet h i s other extensive m a t e r i a l requirements. U s u a l l y , w i t h a good trade and s u f f i c i e n t energy and f i n a n c i a l prudence, the a r t i s a n - f a r m e r remained solvent and even managed to improve h i s m a t e r i a l c o n d i t i o n . But the extent to which he could expand h i s a g r i c u l t u r a l production was always l i m i t e d . The presence of h i s sons and the b e n e f i t s of t h e i r added labor was u s u a l l y temporary; the young males, as they matured, expected to be made independent from t h e i r f a t h e r s . O c c a s i o n a l l y , a son d i d remain to help the a r t i s a n - farmer enlarge h i s farming operation but the normal course of events u s u a l l y prevented t h i s . Otherwise, the a r t i s a n could only i n crease '.. h i s revenue and outside labor a i d by i n c r e a s i n g h i s c r a f t s produc- t i v i t y and there were r e s t r i c t i o n s of time and means to t h i s a l t e r n a t i v e . E x t r a c u l t i v a t e d land could not alone ensure a l a r g e r farming a c t i v i t y without a concomitant of cheap and p l e n t i f u l farm l a b o r . The l a t t e r was not a v a i l a b l e i n any important numbers i n 16 p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts. Thus the r u r a l a r t i s a n s p l i t h i s time between h i s c r a f t and h i s farm. In some cases the amount of l a n d , number of sons and other sources of income permitted an a r t i s a n to devote as much as 80% of h i s time and work to farming; i n other cases the r a t i o could be a c c u r a t e l y i n v e r t e d . Normally a 40% farm-work to 60% craft-work balance was s t r u c k . Even i n cases where an a r t i s a n ' s c r a f t work brought a higher r e t u r n i n l a b o r owed to him, i t was seldom s u f f i c i e n t , over the short or long term, to permit s u b s t a n t i a l farm expansion. The a r t i s a n t h e r e f o r e u s u a l l y s e t t l e d upon a l i f e - l o n g mixture of trades work and farming. The advantages to c o n v e r t i n g , over time, to f u l l — s c a l e farming were not as promising as they might have been i n a cash-crop, 71 labor-cheap economy. Rather, i n the l i m i t e d and s m a l l - s c a l e r u r a l economies of eighteenth century Massachusetts, the subsistence farmer was o b l i g e d a l s o to be a non-farm worker and the a r t i s a n was re q u i r e d to be and chose to be a part-time and subsistence farmer. The la b o r needs of i n d i v i d u a l communities and of l a r g e r r e g i o n a l areas were v a r i a b l e . Respective s i z e of towns, t h e i r age, l o c a t i o n , a r a b l e s o i l q u a n t i t y and timber and mineral d e p o s i t s a l l c o n t r i b u t e d to the s p e c i f i c economic standards and p r a c t i c e s and work patterns i n the i n d i v i d u a l town. As few as 70% and as many as 95% of f a m i l y heads and adul t males occupied c u l t i v a t e d or ara b l e land w i t h i n s p e c i f i c towns. But d e s p i t e these v a r i a t i o n s and the enormously wide range of i n d i v i d u a l acreage h o l d i n g s , from as l i t t l e as one acre to as much as s e v e r a l hundred ac r e s , n e a r l y 65% of r u r a l Massachusetts f a m i l i e s farmed between ten and f i f t y acres. This i s not to suggest a composite or "average" a g r i c u l t u r a l town f o r p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts; but a m a j o r i t y of communities d i d share c e r t a i n common a g r i c u l t u r a l , economic, v o c a t i o n a l and popu l a t i o n f e a t u r e s . The p o i n t to be made here i s that ten to twenty acres of mixed c u l t i v a t e d land were as much as an eighteenth century f a m i l y could farm e f f e c t i v e l y . This same acreage was i n s u f f i c i e n t to produce enough p r o f i t to completely supply that f a m i l y ' s m a t e r i a l needs. The phenomenon of combined occupations i n t h i s s o c i e t y i s understandable on that b a s i s . ^ The s o c i a l purposes and imperatives of the founders and s e t t l e r s of Massachusetts and t h e i r 72 successors when added to the economic l i m i t a t i o n s of i t s a g r i c u l t u r e , were at the core of the province's r u r a l l a b o r economy. The supremacy of the f a m i l y u n i t ensconced oh i t s small subsistence farm, and the absence of e i t h e r a dominant manufacturing f a c i l i t y or a commercial cash crop, r e q u i r e d workers to be f l e x i b l e , s e l f - r e l i a n t and m u l t i - s k i l l e d . Thus, w h i l e they enjoyed a measure of independence, i n terms of d i s p o s a l of t h e i r l a b o r s , they were r e q u i r e d to be i n t e r - dependent w i t h the needs and o p p o r t u n i t i e s of t h e i r communities. The a r t i s a n - f a r m e r stands as a model case of the i n d i v i d u a l worker's involvement i n the economic l i f e of the r u r a l town. I t f u r t h e r demonstrates the i n d i v i d u a l ' s wide l a b o r f l e x i b i l i t y . Today, most of the ar t i s a n - f a r m e r s of r u r a l pre-Revolutionary Massachusetts would be considered "self-employed" and i n a very s t r i c t sense, con- temporaneously, they were. But e s s e n t i a l l y they exchanged t h e i r s k i l l s , l a b o r and produce f o r the s k i l l s , l a b o r and produce of others. The c e n t r a l place of the farm i n the l i v e s of those a r t i s a n s can be accounted a personal preference as much as a n e c e s s i t y . For c e r t a i n l y i n many cases a r u r a l a r t i s a n , i n some communities, could have supported a f a m i l y from the income of h i s c r a f t . But the possession of farm land afforded him an added means of labor exchange i n the b a r t e r economy as w e l l as a measure of m a t e r i a l s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y . And s o c i a l l y , the farm provided him w i t h a f i x e d property w i t h i n the community where he could f u n c t i o n more e f f e c t i v e l y as a domestic p a t r i a r c h and a p o l i t i c a l p a r t i c i p a n t under the t r a d i t i o n a l P u r i t a n 73 c r i t e r i a of church membership and residency. Although the concept of l a n d l e s s property — "personal wealth" — was e s t a b l i s h e d i n the p r o v i n c e , most r u r a l a r t i s a n could not ensure a p o r t a b l e legacy f o r t h e i r successors, even though the law permitted the i n h e r i t a n c e of personal wealth. Land, i t s c u l t i v a t i o n and the t r a n s m i s s i o n of farming h a b i t s , a learned s k i l l and a p o s s i b l e i n h e r i t a n c e of land were the surest and soundest means of legacy i n t h i s s o c i e t y . Thus was c o n t i n u i t y assured. Land was passed on by p a r t i b l e i n h e r i t a n c e i n Massachusetts. There was no cash to bequeath, and no c a p i t a l i n v e s t - ment stocks i n trade and commerce to pass on, but there was the endowment of an attachment to the land and i t s ancient economic and c u l t u r a l purposes, and the communication to youth of a learned and u s e f u l a l t e r n a t i v e work s k i l l . The r u r a l a r t i s a n looked backward to the experience of h i s predecessors and forward i n time to h i s own needs as he labored to support himself and h i s f a m i l y . And beyond the m a t e r i a l p r o v i s i o n s of h i s work he sought to confirm the s o c i a l 18 and c u l t u r a l p r i o r i t i e s of h i s s o c i e t y . Economically, the a r t i s a n a p p l i e d h i s c r a f t to the extent that personal circumstances and l o c a l c o n d i t i o n s would a l l o w . By h i s i n d u s t r y , s k i l l and care he could add small p a r c e l s of land to h i s present holdings f o r the f u t u r e needs of h i s f a m i l y . The r u r a l a r t i s a n seldom farmed more than twenty or so acres or achieved s u f f i c i e n t wealth to abandon h i s c r a f t , employ men f u l l time and c u l t i v a t e more land f o r f u l l - t i m e farming; but he s t i l l saw h i s f a m i l y ' s f u t u r e i n terms of land. The ends of s k i l l e d 19 la b o r i n r u r a l s o c i e t y were focused upon a g r i c u l t u r e . 74 While the a g r i c u l t u r a l s e t t i n g d i c t a t e d the p r i n c i p a l aims of s k i l l e d l a b o r , other f a c t o r s i n f l u e n c e d i t s p r e c i s e form and a p p l i c a t i o n . I t has been noted that the conduct of s k i l l e d l a b o r was modified by the s i z e , composition and m a t e r i a l requirements of l o c a l communities, and by the methods of labor and m a t e r i a l b a r t e r and exchange that were p r a c t i c e d l o c a l l y . The a r t i s a n as independent businessman was another f e a t u r e of s k i l l e d l a b o r i n the r u r a l economy. To a c e r t a i n extent, a l l s k i l l e d workers i n p r o v i n c i a l s o c i e t y were entrepreneurs. That i s to say, they performed as workers who produced a marketable product or s e r v i c e f o r t h e i r own d i s p o s a l . As such they sought to c o n t r o l the e n t i r e m a t e r i a l supply, l a b o r and d i s t r i b u t i o n of t h e i r c r a f t s o p e r a t i o n . The b l a c k s m i t h , f o r example, when he could, leased or rented a c o a l p i t or a wood-lot f o r cord wood as f u e l supply f o r h i s shop forge. I f he manufactured a great d e a l of farm implements he might cooperate i n a j o i n t ownership of a bloomery and i r o n forge where he could secure q u a n t i t i e s of working i r o n . I f t h i s was not f e a s i b l e he might " r e n t " time at a p r i v a t e l y owned forge and produce h i s own rough metals. I f he was f o r t u n a t e , he might be reasonably c l o s e to a s l i t t i n g m i l l from which he could r e a d i l y o b t a i n s u p p l i e s of sheet, bar and f i n i s h e d bulk i r o n . Otherwise he was subject to high m a t e r i a l c o s t s and cartage charges; and so i t was w i t h most independent a r t i s a n s . They a s p i r e d to own or share or be c l o s e to a source of raw m a t e r i a l s u p p l i e s . The blacksmith Chamberlin, f o r example, owned a " c o a l p i t . " F o l l o w i n g t h i s p r i n c i p l e many 75 b r i c k l a y e r s were a l s o brickmakers, carpenters were sawyers and shoe- makers d i d t h e i r own tanning wherever p o s s i b l e . Many weaver-farmers kept l a r g e f l o c k s of sheep and a l l o t t e d more of t h e i r t i l l a g e acreage to f l a x . The p r i n c i p l e at stake was c o n t r o l . C o n t r o l of the sources of m a t e r i a l s meant l e s s b a r t e r i n g and fewer arrangements w i t h s u p p l i e r s i n an economy dominated by m u l t i p l e trade and l a b o r agreements and exchanges. The a r t i s a n a l s o was determined to c o n t r o l the f i n i s h e d product of h i s c r a f t . The l a t t e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n was probably more important to the i n d i v i d u a l craftsman than resource ownership or c o n t r o l . By possessing f r e e d i s p o s a l of the u l t i m a t e use of h i s l a b o r the a r t i s a n could be both s e l e c t i v e i n h i s choice of whom he d e a l t w i t h and f l e x i b l e when he had to be. The s c a l e and o p e r a t i o n of the l o c a l economy a s s i s t e d and perpetuated the a r t i s a n ' s independent d i s p o s a l of h i s l a b o r . Most r u r a l b l a c k s m i t h s , shoemakers, carpenters, weavers, t a i l o r s and other tradesmen d i d "bespoke" work and seldom produced items f o r s a l e i n an unknown market or to anonymous purchasers. Most a r t i s a n work at the r u r a l l e v e l was contracted i n advance by i n d i v i d u a l u s e r s , and terms of p r i c e , or b a r t e r or l a b o r exchange were mutually 21 agreed upon before work was done. But some "stock manufacture" d i d occur. In a c e n t r a l and h i g h volume trade such as shoemaking, a l o c a l a r t i s a n w i t h a good r e p u t a t i o n and a w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d and p r e d i c t a b l e demand could a n t i c i p a t e the p a r t i c u l a r footwear needs of h i s customers. I f h i s share of the l o c a l market was s t a b l e , the shoemaker might make shoes 76 i n advance of a c t u a l need or request. A l s o , footwear was manufactured on a small s c a l e f o r r e t a i l s a l e i n Boston and o c c a s i o n a l l y f o r export to other c o l o n i e s . But t h i s p r a c t i c e , when i t d i d occur was i r r e g u l a r and was always t a n g e n t i a l or secondary to the r o l e of the shoemaker as a l o c a l craftsman supplying the needs of h i s l o c a l community. Residence, a g r i c u l t u r e and c r a f t were the normal dominant i n f l u e n c e s 22 on the r u r a l shoemaker. S t i l l , i t was o f t e n necessary f o r a young journeyman shoemaker to make shoes on contract f o r another shoemaker. E a r l y i n h i s career, w h i l e devoting h i s summers to farming and h i s winters to h i s c r a f t , he o f t e n made shoes, f o r wages, f o r a l o c a l "master shoemaker." At the same time, u s u a l l y working i n h i s farmhouse, he d e a l t . d i r e c t l y , on 23 h i s own b e h a l f , w i t h i n d i v i d u a l customers and f a m i l i e s . In t h i s manner, he b u i l t a r e p u t a t i o n , acquired a r e g u l a r c l i e n t e l e and took part i n the usu a l b a r t e r and l a b o r exchange of the l o c a l a g r i c u l t u r a l community. The formal arrangement w i t h the "master shoemaker" helped him r e g u l a t e h i s income while he e s t a b l i s h e d h i s independent s t a t u s i n the community. U s u a l l y i n these cases the r e t a i l e r s u p p l i e d the young shoemaker w i t h stock l e a t h e r and heels and purchased a f i x e d , contracted number of shoes. The master shoemaker then marketed those shoes to an ou t s i d e d i s t r i b u t o r or to h i s own l o c a l customers. As the young shoemaker matured and began r e g u l a t i n g h i s income and improving h i s own economic c o n d i t i o n he sometimes " reversed t h i s procedure and •in turn "employed" other young journeymen to whom he paid wages f o r contracted shoes. But there was not enough demand f o r t h i s system 77 of shoemaking to ensure f u l l - t i m e and f u t u r e s e c u r i t y and whatever measure of p r o s p e r i t y was a v a i l a b l e to the a r t i s a n . Therefore, the r u r a l shoemaker, even when s u c c e s s f u l , seldom r e l i n q u i s h e d h i s p r a c t i c e 24 of farming i n season and making shoes to order f o r l o c a l townspeople. By working n e a r l y every day i n h i s shop, an energetic and s k i l l e d shoemaker could produce approximately s i x t y p a i r s of shoes of a l l kinds i n a busy winter season. With an o c c a s i o n a l c o n t r a c t to supply shoes f o r an outside market, a l o c a l shoemaker, along w i t h h i s apprentice and one or two contracted journeymen could make twelve p a i r s 25 of shoes a week. And there was no d i v i s i o n of f u n c t i o n , s p e c i a l t y or l a b o r i n p r o v i n c i a l shoemaking; the "cordwainer" was expected to be capable of making a l l types of footwear from any design and he made a f i n i s h e d p a i r of shoes e n t i r e l y by himself from tanned l e a t h e r to product. Often, a servant or apprentice made wooden heels f o r the journeyman and o c c a s i o n a l l y these same helpers made l e a t h e r heels and so l e s f o r s p e c i f i c orders. And l o c a l shoemakers d i d buy pre-made wooden heels from l o c a l woodworkers or from Boston merchants. But the t y p i c a l shoe or boot i n r u r a l p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts was made 26 e n t i r e l y by a s i n g l e shoemaker. And as w i t h most other h a n d i c r a f t s , the cost of labor involved i n a p a i r of shoes was roughly 30% to 40% of the t o t a l p r i c e . This p r o p o r t i o n was constant throughout the f i r s t h a l f of the eighteenth century and was matched i n other trades such as weaving, t a i l o r i n g , harness-making and bla c k s m i t h work such 27 as implement and t o o l manufacture. The r e l a t i v e cost of l a b o r , i n 78 the f i n a l production of a commodity, was i n v a r i a b l y l e s s than h a l f i t s r e t a i l or exchange valu e . Shoemaking was one of the most popular of p r e - i n d u s t r i a l c r a f t s and could be studied and perf e c t e d by an a l e r t a pprentice i n as 28 few as three years. I t was, t h e r e f o r e , a common trade among many who would otherwise have been u n s k i l l e d . The wide use of l e a t h e r i n t h i s s o c i e t y made shoemaking and other l e a t h e r trades very competitive. The demand f o r l e a t h e r goods was steady, h i g h and u n i v e r s a l . Harness- making was, along w i t h shoe-making, a high-volume trade and one that was v i t a l to the a g r a r i a n s o c i e t y . Some l e a t h e r workers combined the two f u n c t i o n s , but there was normally enough l o c a l demand f o r harnesses to encourage a sep a r a t i o n of the two manufactures. While t h i s d i s - c ussion i s focused on shoemakers, i t should be noted that many of the l a b o r , b a r t e r and production p r i n c i p l e s , and a s i m i l a r s e a s o n a l i t y of shop-work, a p p l i e d e q u a l l y to harnessmakers. In t h i s atmosphere, the more s u c c e s s f u l shoemakers of the period possessed not only b e t t e r than average s k i l l s and a r e l i a b l e and high degree of personal pro- d u c t i v i t y , but had d e l i b e r a t e l y emphasized t h e i r trade i n the allotment of t h e i r time. In a town of 200 to 300 f a m i l i e s , there might be as many as eight shoemakers — u s u a l l y a l l part-time farmers — a l l of whom were dependent upon a c e r t a i n amount of c r a f t s work. Some were content w i t h a marginal or i r r e g u l a r a p p l i c a t i o n of t h e i r trade w h i l e others pursued q u a n t i t y production v i g o r o u s l y . In any case, those who prospered by t h e i r trade a l s o tended to t h e i r a g r i c u l t u r a l sub- s i s t e n c e i n c l o s e tandem w i t h t h e i r c r a f t s and e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l a c t i v i t i e s . 79 The range of p r o d u c t i v i t y by shoemaker-farmers was from twenty- f i v e to 150 p a i r s of shoes and boots a year. There was l i t t l e s p e c i a l - i z a t i o n i n the r u r a l shoemaking trades; i n d i v i d u a l s d i d not, f o r example, concentrate on making only or p r i m a r i l y a s p e c i f i c k i n d of shoe such as expensive r i d i n g or dress boots. Most shoemakers were compelled to d e a l w i t h a v a r i e t y of customers w i t h whom they d i d a v a r i e t y of business and so were n e c e s s a r i l y v e r s a t i l e i n the range of product they made. Some shoemakers, on t h e i r own and without other journeymen under c o n t r a c t , could do an a s t o n i s h i n g volume of work. High p r o d u c t i v i t y would b r i n g a shoemaker the s e r v i c e s of a great v a r i e t y of c l i e n t s . As noted, f i f t y separate customers a year was not unusual f o r a busy r u r a l a r t i s a n . The u n i v e r s a l need f o r shoes and the d i r e c t , s u p p l i e r to user r e l a t i o n s h i p meant that a productive shoe- maker was i n contact w i t h the broadest p o s s i b l e spectrum of l o c a l s o c i e t y ; customers who were involved i n most aspects of the r u r a l economy. Consequently, at l e a s t three-quarters of a competent and busy shoemaker's income was derived from goods and la b o r exchanged f o r shoes. In some years, f o r example, some shoemaker-farmers had t h e i r a g r i c u l t u r a l work conducted almost e n t i r e l y by c l i e n t - s u r r o g a t e s who had obtained shoes i n exchange f o r labor or s e r v i c e s . As an example of the range of contacts two., tradesman might have, and the extent of the b a r t e r system i n v o l v e d i n the a r t i s a n ' s economy — and the community g e n e r a l l y — the f o l l o w i n g t r a n s a c t i o n s are t y p i c a l and q u i t e i l l u s t r a t i v e . Late i n the p r o v i n c i a l p eriod 80 John Reed was a farmer-shoemaker i n r u r a l S u f f o l k county, about twelve m i l e s from Boston. In the twelve months f o l l o w i n g February 1742/3 he recorded accounts w i t h over t h i r t y separate customers. A l l h i s t r a n s a c t i o n s were given a monetary value but v i r t u a l l y no money was exchanged. Among the items Reed recei v e d as c r e d i t were hi d e s , m i l k , r y e , c a l f - s k i n s , f a t , cash, t u r n i p s , f l a x , honey, meat, earthenware, an almanac, dry f i s h , two p i g s , wool, s a l t , hay, molasses, o i l , plums, b i s c u i t s , c i d e r , casks and f i s h . For house c o n s t r u c t i o n or r e p a i r , Reed rece i v e d p o s t s , r a i l s , 1,000 s h i n g l e s , 1,000 b r i c k s , pavements, l i m e , clapboards and planks; a l l were gained i n b a r t e r . A l s o , as b a r t e r , Reed re c e i v e d f o r h i s shop, "four dozen h e e l s , " "a s i d e of cured l e a t h e r " and tacks. Apart from goods, Reed bartered f o r the l a b o r of o t h e r s ; from a c l i e n t ' s s l a v e "Sambo, s p l i t t i n g r a i l s , plowing, d r i v i n g plow two a c r e s , s l i d i n g s i x loads of wood." From the white servant of a customer, Reed was given "a days p l a n t i n g , one day t h a t c h i n g a barn, a day's work hoeing and m o r t i s i n g e i g h t p o s t s , " From the labor of customers themselves, he r e c e i v e d " c a r t i n g dung and hay," " h e l p i n g i n c a r r y i n g hay," " c a r t i n g corn," " c a r t i n g stones," "gathering corn and p i c k i n g apples," " c a r t i n g hides to B r a i n t r e e , " and "hoeing, mowing and b u t c h e r i n g . " For the c o n s t r u c t i o n of h i s d w e l l i n g , Reed c r e d i t e d a mason w i t h chimney work, l a y i n g paths, making mortar, underpinning and "you and N a t h a n i e l ' s work." From a b l a c k s m i t h he r e c e i v e d some axe sharpening, a s p i n d l e and a hoe. A t a i l o r provided him w i t h a f r o c k , a doublet and a j a c k e t and breeches, 81 and " d r i v i n g my plow" and "your w i f e f o r work" ( u n s p e c i f i e d ) . Reed a l s o had a deed w r i t t e n and "borrowed horses." He balanced a l l these goods and s e r v i c e s w i t h shoemaking and shoe r e p a i r . As l a t e as 1764, whi l e operating a twenty-acre farm, Reed worked a l l or part of 250 days making and r e p a i r i n g shoes. Jacob Adams, a shoemaker w i t h s i m i l a r p r a c t i c e s , who l i v e d i n Essex at the beginning of the p r o v i n - c i a l p e r i o d , farmed over twenty acres, yet i n 1700 he spent n e a r l y 29 200 days i n h i s shop. A good shoemaker, l i k e other s u c c e s s f u l r u r a l a r t i s a n s , c o u l d , by exchange and produ c t i o n , provide himself and f a m i l y w i t h many goods and s e r v i c e s f o r r e g u l a r a g r i c u l t u r a l and domestic needs and uses. But some long-term assets accrued from the surplus value of s u c c e s s f u l a r t i s a n work. A shoemaker could buy an acre or two of land or arrange a long-term lease by c o n t r a c t i n g to supply a c e r t a i n f a m i l y ' s footwear needs over s e v e r a l years. This kind of arrangement had to be mutually tenable and agreeable, of course. I f i t was, i t could b e n e f i t both p a r t i e s by ensuring some f u t u r e needs and improving the economic c o n d i t i o n s of the i n d i v i d u a l s and f a m i l i e s i n v o l v e d . The surrender of an acre of land by exchange f o r l a b o r , or the le a s e r i g h t s to s e v e r a l acres, was o f t e n a very p r a c t i c a l means of b a r t e r f o r a landowner — o f t e n an a r t i s a n himself — to ensure an u n i n - t e r r u p t e d long-term supply of one of h i s f a m i l y ' s b a s i c n e c e s s i t i e s , i n t h i s case footwear. For the shoemaker, t h i s form of long-term labor-product arrangement was a convenient and manageable means of p r o v i d i n g a f i x e d asset f o r h i s f a m i l y ' s f u t u r e . Some shoemakers could have new houses or workshops or barns b u i l t f o r them, using m a t e r i a l s acquired or owed i n b a r t e r , and c o n t r a c t i n g the c o n s t r u c t i o n to a carpenter w i t h whom a long-term shoe supply arrangement had been made. A l l a r t i s a n - f a r m e r s and t h e i r f a m i l i e s shared common needs, wants and expectations. This brought most i n t o d i r e c t contact w i t h each other, i n some degree, at some time i n a l l communities. The d i v e r s i t y of t a l e n t s involved i n a commonly—shared economy r e s u l t e d i n a f l u i d 30 system of b a r t e r and a permanent s o c i a l connection. A few shoemakers worked up to 95% of the time at t h e i r c r a f t . Such was the l o c a l demand f o r footwear that the e f f i c i e n t shoemaker could use shoe manufacture and r e p a i r as h i s only means of b a r t e r exchange. He might even produce shoes during the a g r i c u l t u r a l season w h i l e others contracted to do h i s farm work f o r him. The shoemaker- farmer best e x e m p l i f i e s the low-cash nature of the l o c a l r u r a l economy. With h i s wide ranging c l i e n t e l e and t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l resources and s k i l l s , the busy r u r a l shoemaker had v i r t u a l l y no need f o r money. His taxes could be paid i n h i s or a debtor's farm produce or by the money 31 payment of someone who was indebted to him. I f h i s c o n t r i b u t i o n to the c o n s t r u c t i o n or r e p a i r of the l o c a l meeting house was paid f o r him by a l o c a l g r i s t or saw m i l l operator f o r example, the shoe- maker could r e t i r e the debt w i t h shoes — a commodity always i n demand. In these communities even the m i n i s t e r s of the l o c a l congregations were drawn i n t o the steady and p e r s i s t e n t p r a c t i c e of b a r t e r exchange. S a l a r i e s were seldom paid e n t i r e l y i n cash and the m i n i s t e r s were o f t e n landowners and part-time farmers and were o b l i g e d to engage i n the l o c a l exchange and c i r c u l a t i o n of goods and s e r v i c e s . The normal p e r q u i s i t e s of the church were always given i n the form of farm produce 32 h a n d i c r a f t products and f r e e work. To speak of wages i n p r o v i n c i a l r u r a l Massachusetts i s to r e f e r to the r e l a t i v e value of s k i l l e d to u n s k i l l e d work, which i t s e l f was t i e d to the b a s i c values of c e r t a i n f o o d s t u f f s , m a t e r i a l s and goods. These i n t u r n r e f l e c t e d the t a n g i b l e value of the combined m a t e r i a l and l a b o r involved i n the p r o v i s i o n of a commodity or s e r v i c e . R e l a t i v e s c a r c i t y and p l e n t i t u d e moderated a l l v a l u e s , of course, but f o r the s k i l l e d a r t i s a n h i s work-time and product represented a f i x e d value i n b a r t e r . A p a i r of o r d i n a r y men's work or walking shoes was worth two days mowing or a bushel of wheat or a day's carpentry; two cords of firewood or twenty pounds of horse or ste e r hide. The system of b a r t e r was at once the cause and the s o l u t i o n of the p a u c i t y of 33 specie and paper money i n these r u r a l towns. The b a r t e r system survived i n t h i s s e t t i n g f o r a number of reasons, not the l e a s t of which was i t s simple u t i l i t y i n the p a r o c h i a l community. But there were other reasons why b a r t e r , and not cash, was prevalent i n the economic a f f a i r s of the r u r a l communities, and c h i e f among those was the absence of a c e n t r a l p r o v i n c i a l agency to r e g u l a t e a s t a b l e and r e l i a b l e currency and i s s u e l o c a l coinage and b i l l s based upon systematic production and purchasing v a l u e s . Otherwise, the money used i n Massachusetts was drawn from everywhere i n the A t l a n t i c 84 world; i t s flow was small and i r r e g u l a r and i t s values were always subject to change. Moreover, without a l a r g e wage-labor component i n the working p o p u l a t i o n , the small p r o v i n c i a l communities had l i t t l e need f o r cash as a medium of exchange. The b a r t e r system o b l i g e d the community to f u n c t i o n more as an i n t e g r a t e d economic u n i t than might have been the case otherwise. The constant and f l u i d exchange of labor permeated the working and s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s of a l l r e s i d e n t s to the poin t where a h i g h l y i n d i v i d u a l i z e d process of l a b o r exchange r e s u l t e d and was maintained. The d e a l i n g s between one a r t i s a n and another normally produced a d i r e c t exchange of s e r v i c e or product of the r e s p e c t i v e c r a f t s of the two p a r t i e s . From u n s k i l l e d workers, farm labor and assorted menial work s e r v i c e was obtained. From p a r t l y - s k i l l e d workers the a r t i s a n could round out h i s m a t e r i a l and s e r v i c e requirements. Some such r e l a t i o n s h i p s were maintained over many years and even f o r l i f e t i m e s . Those workers who possessed no p r e c i s e c r a f t and who farmed fewer than ten acres were o b l i g e d to g r e a t l y d i v e r s i f y t h e i r work a c t i v i t y . The s e m i - s k i l l e d handyman or j a c k - o f - a l l - t r a d e s was a common fe a t u r e of r u r a l towns. One such worker — John P o r t e r — who farmed only f i v e acres of l a n d , was a l s o a c a r t e r , c i d e r maker, inf o r m a l weaver, wood sawyer, c o a l digger and general l a b o r e r . Others proved u s e f u l i n the l o c a l economies by being v e r s a t i l e and e f f i c i e n t i n a number of other necessary work f u n c t i o n s . In de a l i n g s between John Reed, the shoemaker, f o r i n s t a n c e , and John P o r t e r , the handyman, 85 the former would provide only shoes and i n r e t u r n would have h i s apples pressed to c i d e r , some of h i s own f i b e r s woven i n t o c l o t h and most of h i s cartage done f o r him. There would be some i s o l a t e d exchanges of farm work to help balance the j o i n t l a b o r and s e r v i c e account. C a r t i n g was e s s e n t i a l to a l l a r t i s a n - f a r m e r s i n the province. I t was needed to t r a n s p o r t g r a i n to the l o c a l m i l l , of course. But f o r the a r t i s a n , cartage was v i t a l to the movement and d e l i v e r y of raw m a t e r i a l s such as lumber, h i d e s , metals and other s t o c k s , s u p p l i e s and products. On the farm, cordwood had to be moved and stones c l e a r e d from f i e l d s , A team and wagon were not beyond the means of the i n d i v i d u a l f a r m e r - a r t i s a n , but the work of c a r t i n g 34 was time consuming and involved heavy manual l a b o r . Otherwise the s e m i - s k i l l e d worker k i l l e d and skinned the beef and swine of the busy a r t i s a n . Perhaps, too, he s t i t c h e d some rough c l o t h e s or wove some l i n e n or wool, made beer and c i d e r and sent h i s sons to hoe, weed and mow f o r others. By spreading h i s work a c t i v i t i e s w idely and v a r i o u s l y he developed u s e f u l s k i l l s and exper- ience. U s u a l l y he was a man of some n a t i v e t a l e n t and d e x t e r i t y who could help a carpenter by measuring and sawing wood and n a i l i n g , s h i n g l i n g or performing other r e l a t e d t a s k s . For the shoemaker or l e a t h e r worker he might tan hides or cu r r y them; f o r the bla c k s m i t h he might do s k i l l e d l a b o r such as hammering implement p a r t s or sharpening hoes, axe heads and scythes. He would not do f i n i s h e d work or a l a r g e q u a n t i t y of work to the poin t where he might v i o l a t e 86 trades q u a l i f i c a t i o n s t a t u t e s and standards. But h i s partly-developed and manifold s k i l l s made him i n v a l u a b l e to many a r t i s a n s during e s p e c i a l l y busy pe r i o d s ; and h i s v e r s a t i l i t y afforded both he and the 35 community a s i n g l e f l e x i b l e source of l a b o r exchange. A semi- s k i l l e d worker w i t h a f a i r l y l a r g e household might r e q u i r e as many as twenty-five footwear t r a n s a c t i o n s a year, i n c l u d i n g new shoes and r e p a i r s . By being v e r s a t i l e and a v a i l a b l e f o r a l a r g e number of d i f f e r e n t jobs and s e r v i c e s , the s e m i - s k i l l e d worker was of great use to the shoemaker, i n t h i s case, and possessed the ready and d i r e c t means to pay f o r h i s footwear needs. These f l e x i b l e r e l a t i o n s h i p s helped s u s t a i n the comprehensive nature of community labor exchange. When a no n - a r t i s a n r e q u i r e d e x t r a f i e l d work f o r h i s own farm, an a r t i s a n would sometimes o b l i g e by r e d i r e c t i n g some menial labor which was owed to him, to the other's use. A debt f o r l a b o r , goods or s e r v i c e s could be bartered by the c r e d i t o r to a t h i r d p arty. The common method of re c o r d i n g these t r a n s a c t i o n s was by the ledger book system or by the issuance of personal c r e d i t notes which were exchanged among p a r t i c i p a n t s . As s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t as might be the i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s a n - f a r m e r , he too d i d some l a b o r i n g f o r o t h e r s , even u n s k i l l e d workers, on t h e i r lands or during the c o n s t r u c t i o n of a house or barn. He d i d i t f o r work c r e d i t , i f convenient, or as a v o l u n t a r y favor during times of need or f o r harvest emergency, f o r example. The p r a c t i c e of t r a n s f e r r i n g a l a b o r or s e r v i c e or commodity debt from one man to another was 87 conducted as f o l l o w s : I f a shoemaker owned a b l a c k s m i t h f o r a s c y t h e , f o r example, and was owed by another man f o r a p a i r of shoes, he might channel the labor of h i s debtor to the blacksmith's use and a l l three t r a n s a c t i o n s would be c l o s e d . As usual these arrangements 36 had to be amenable to a l l p a r t i e s . Other types of l a b o r s u r r o g a t i o n and c r e d i t t r a n s f e r were p r a c t i c e d too. I f a man was s u c c e s s f u l , a f f l u e n t or prominent enough to employ a servant, s l a v e or apprentice, he used that employee as a r e g u l a r means of p r o v i d i n g o u t s i d e l a b o r to r e t i r e debt or o b t a i n c r e d i t f o r s e r v i c e s or goods su p p l i e d to h i m s e l f . Always, the sons of a r t i s a n - f a r m e r s were i n d i s p e n s i b l e i n attending to the more rudimentary and menial farm tasks which might be owed to o t h e r s . In every way, v o c a t i o n a l and economic f l e x i b i l i t y was a key- note f o r i n d i v i d u a l s and f a m i l i e s i n the economic l i f e of the r u r a l community. Men had to be wide-ranging i n t h e i r work h a b i t s and f i n a n c i a l a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h i n the otherwise s t a b l e s t r u c t u r e of the l o c a l economy. A r t i s a n s had to be v e r s a t i l e w i t h i n t h e i r c r a f t s . As noted, blacksmiths and shoemakers manufactured f i n i s h e d products; the former making a very wide range of a r t i c l e s . Often both processed the raw m a t e r i a l s that were necessary to t h e i r c r a f t s . The r u r a l carpenter was e s s e n t i a l l y a frame b u i l d e r , e r e c t i n g houses, barns, workshops, bridges and making a d d i t i o n s and r e p a i r s to e x i s t i n g s t r u c t u r e s . But he a l s o d i d "shop work," making f u r n i t u r e , c h e s t s , benches, wagons and other appliances. He r e p a i r e d and made pa r t s 88 f o r other wooden items, f a s h i o n i n g wheels, a x l e s , gates, doors and window frames, and he was capable of a host of v a r i e d carpentry work that was being done by c r a f t s s p e c i a l i s t s i n l a r g e r eighteenth century urban communities. The r u r a l carpenter made t o o l s such as spinning wheels and hoe, axe and scythe handles. Many r u r a l carpenters found themselves doing most of these carpentry jobs i n the space of one, two or a few years. He d i d hot, indeed he could not reduce h i s c r a f t to a s i n g l e s u b - s p e c i a l t y . N a t u r a l l y , some carpenters d i d more house carpentry than shop work, and v i c e v e r s a . But most were obl i g e d to d i v e r s i f y t h e i r s k i l l s and i n c l u d e a v a r i e t y of r e l a t e d 37 f u n c t i o n s , as l o c a l need d i c t a t e d . In b u i l d i n g c o n s t r u c t i o n work, the r u r a l carpenter i n the absence of a mason, might do some masonry, b r i c k l a y i n g and p l a s t e r i n g and here and there he would do p a i n t i n g , s h i n g l i n g and f e n c i n g ; though i n most cases, the i n d i v i d u a l householder d i d these l a t t e r j o b s . He might contract f o r the complete c o n s t r u c t i o n of a b u i l d i n g , as the "housewright" and sub-contract to one or two other carpenters. Or he might act as a sub-contractor h i m s e l f , to a s s i s t another carpenter or to do a s p e c i f i e d p o r t i o n of the c o n s t r u c t i o n . In house c o n s t r u c t i o n , the carpenter was the customary p r i n c i p a l c o n t r a c t o r . In t h i s e n t e r p r i s e the i n d u s t r y , v e r s a t i l i t y and genius of the r u r a l craftsman was given f u l l r e i n . Not only d i d the carpenter design and b u i l d the b a s i c house frame but the same man o f t e n completed the 89 general e x t e r i o r and i n t e r i o r c o n s t r u c t i o n . He made, hung and f i n i s h e d the doors, turned, shaped and i n s t a l l e d the s t a i r b a n i s t e r s , b u i l t the s t a i r c a s e and l a i d the s t a i r s and f l o o r s . When and i f necessary, he made and i n s t a l l e d the window frames and f i t t e d the g l a s s , and he could c u t , shape and apply ornamental woodwork. An experienced journeyman carpenter i n r u r a l Massachusetts, given adequate time, resources and labor a s s i s t a n c e , was capable of making every piece of f i n i s h e d wood that went i n t o the eighteenth century wooden frame b u i l d i n g and of e r e c t i n g and i n s t a l l i n g each pi e c e and a l l other 38 m a t e r i a l s according to h i s own plans. The s p e c i a l demands of b u i l d i n g c o n s t r u c t i o n meant that carpentry, among the s k i l l e d t r a d e s , r e q u i r e d long-term commitment and i n v o l v e d a s l i g h t d e v i a t i o n from the o r d i n a r y r u r a l a r t i s a n ' s labor h a b i t s . For most a r t i s a n s , of whatever c r a f t , contracted work or s e r v i c e involved numerous but b r i e f d u r a t i o n commitments. In terms of the r e l a t i v e s c a l e of time in v o l v e d i n many l o c a l j o b s , a horse could be shod i n an hour or two and a plow share could be made i n a week. I t took a day to make a p a i r of shoes or a simple j a c k e t and a 39 yard of l i n e n c l o t h could be woven i n an afternoon. But a l a r g e house took months to b u i l d and f i n i s h and a multi-purpose barn could take up to s e v e r a l weeks to complete. Therefore some r u r a l carpenters d i d become b u i l d i n g entrepreneurs and as such contracted l a r g e r c o n s t r u c t i o n p r o j e c t s . The normal procedure then would be f o r the c o n t r a c t o r s to sub-contract p o r t i o n s of the p r o j e c t to l o c a l carpenters; and many housewrights engaged young, sometimes l a n d l e s s carpenters f o r f u l l time employment of up to s i x months at a time. Other a c t i v e c o n s t r u c t i o n carpenters employed a servant l a b o r e r , who would agree to a term of short " s e r v i t u d e " — u s u a l l y f o r a f i x e d p e r i o d of s i x months or a year. This employee-servant was clothed and housed and fed by the carpenter and h i s labor c o n t r a c t would be mutually r e n e g o t i a b l e and renewable at the t e r m i n a t i o n of each indenture. During 1719-1720, f o r example, John Pearson, a "house- w r i g h t , " h i s servant and another carpenter worked on one house f o r 124 consecutive days under Pearson's sub-contract to a "master b u i l d e r They spent a f u r t h e r 90 and. 82 days together r e s p e c t i v e l y on two other houses i n r u r a l Essex county, f o r other c o n t r a c t o r s . At the co n c l u s i o n of these c o n t r a c t s , the "servant" was rel e a s e d from h i s commitment and was paid a sum of earned money, "beyond keep," which 40 had been wi t h h e l d by Pearson. Some carpenters, who concentrated t h e i r e f f o r t s on b u i l d i n g c o n s t r u c t i o n , f i l l e d i n the gaps between l a r g e r c o n t r a c t s by doing s k i l l e d shop work i f they had the opportun- i t y , and some became, by t u r n , expert cabinetmakers. A major s o c i a l and economic problem f o r these c o n s t r u c t i o n carpenters was geographical d i s t a n c e between home and work p r o j e c t . In most cases they had farms to attend to and here the employment of a servant could be doubly u s e f u l . To be sequestered f o r an extended period of time on a l a r g e p r o j e c t i n another town was normally inconvenient f o r the r u r a l carpenter. Hence, much carpentry work 91 was d i s t r i b u t e d as small jobs by the c o n t r a c t i n g housewright. He might c o n t r a c t one man to make the window frames or doors and another 41 to apply the clapboard or i n s t a l l the f l o o r s and so on. In t h i s manner most r u r a l carpenters managed to maintain t h e i r dual occupa- t i o n a l s t a t u s as both a r t i s a n and farmer. F u l l — t i m e carpentry i n c o n s t r u c t i o n was a p o t e n t i a l l y l u c r a t i v e a c t i v i t y i n the long term. But i t s f u t u r e b e n e f i t s could not be seen or touched. Only land and the annual y i e l d of the farm could provide a source of s e c u r i t y f o r the f u t u r e . The r u r a l economic laws of l i m i t e d market and widespread i n d i v i d u a l land ownership, combined w i t h a l a r g e number of a v a i l a b l e and competitive carpenters to shape the a t t i t u d e s , behavior and work- ing c o n d i t i o n s of these men. The r e s u l t was an " i n d u s t r y " that was l o c a l i z e d and made up of many i n d i v i d u a l s k i l l e d workers who each possessed a comprehensive range of v e r s a t i l e s k i l l s . The wider e f f e c t s of t h i s system l i m i t e d trades s p e c i a l i z a t i o n and retarded the develop- ment of dominant r e g i o n a l general c o n t r a c t o r s . The absence of a c e n t r a l i z e d c o n t r a c t i n g apparatus or a l e g a l or defacto s p e c i a l i z a t i o n i n r u r a l carpentry was customary a l s o i n the. l e a t h e r trades. The Massachusetts laws which i n s i s t e d on s t r i c t s e p a r a t i o n of the v a r i o u s stages of l e a t h e r production had been enacted to ensure q u a l i t y c o n t r o l of product and to s t a b i l i z e the supply and p r i c e of l e a t h e r ; the same laws had been prompted by Boston's trades c o l l e c t i v e s i n the e a r l y stage of seventeenth century s e t t l e - ment. But these ordinances were not appropriate or enforcable i n 92 the a g r i c u l t u r a l economy. In Boston, the tanning stage of l e a t h e r manufacture was kept d i s t i n c t from the c u r i n g and other primary processes, and a l l were performed by separate s p e c i a l i s t s . S i m i l a r l y , the production of harnesses, gloves, saddles, shoes and l e a t h e r c l o t h e s was done by a r t i s a n s who s p e c i a l i z e d and were regulated to manufacture a s i n g l e l e a t h e r product. But i n the r u r a l towns these f u n c t i o n s o f t e n were the v a r i e g a t e d p r a c t i c e of one man. The r u r a l shoemaker was sometimes a l s o a tanner and would process f r e s h hide through the many stages of l e a t h e r down to the p a i r of shoes he fashioned at h i s bench. Of course, i n the l o c a l b a r t e r economy surplus hides or dressed or tanned l e a t h e r appeared everywhere as exchange commodities and shoemakers bargained t h e i r s e r v i c e s f o r l e a t h e r that came from a v a r i e t y of sources. Some a r t i s a n - f a r m e r s tanned t h e i r own l e a t h e r and supplied shoemakers only w i t h enough m a t e r i a l f o r the shoes they r e q u i r e d f o r t h e i r own use. In l a r g e r r u r a l towns there was l e s s need or opportunity f o r a l o c a l shoemaker to tan hides or work l e a t h e r i n t o proper c o n d i t i o n ; but even here a complete s e p a r a t i o n of f u n c t i o n d i d not occur, and only r a r e l y were tanners e x c l u s i v e trades s p e c i a l - i s t s i n any r u r a l town. 4 3 Of a l l the c r a f t s p r a c t i c e d i n r u r a l p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts, shoemaking was the one most l i k e l y to evolve i n t o an organized wage- labor manufacturing i n d u s t r y . But a sound system of d i v i s i o n of l a b o r ; of pre-cut p a r t s and separate c o n s t r u c t i o n processes, c o n t r o l l e d r e - t a i l marketing and c e n t r a l o p e r a t i o n , d i d not ensue. Of a l l commodities, 93 the shoe and some forms of c l o t h i n g were high-volume items of s i m i l a r design, c o s t , purpose and wear. Men, women and c h i l d r e n u s u a l l y r e q u i r e d two p a i r s of shoes each a year i n t h i s s o c i e t y . Nearly 250,000 p a i r s of shoes were made i n the province annually i n the 44 decades p r i o r to the R e v o l u t i o n . Yet t h i s p o t e n t i a l was not e x p l o i t e d i n the form of a c e n t r a l i z e d , d i s c i p l i n e d , wage-labor i n d u s t r y . D i s t r i b u t i o n was only a l i m i t e d p r o h i b i t i o n because a twenty-mile r a d i u s market could have been accommodated from a s i n g l e , c e n t r a l manufacturing and d i s t r i b u t i o n l o c a t i o n . Nor was mechanical p r i m i t i v e n e s s a major r e s t r a i n t to production; some commercial shops i n Boston employed s e v e r a l men making shoes by hand f o r wages, f o r +  4 5 export. Yet i n r u r a l Massachusetts the i n d i v i d u a l l o c a l bespoke shoe- maker p r e v a i l e d . A combination of the str e n g t h of the b a r t e r system at the community l e v e l , the imperatives of a g r i c u l t u r e and the t r a d i t i o n a l emphasis on land ensured the s u r v i v a l of the independent shoemaker. A l l labor found a b a s i c place i n a g r i c u l t u r e and d i d not r e q u i r e the apparatus of an i n d u s t r i a l employer. A b a s i c l i v e l i h o o d could be derived from the land of each i n d i v i d u a l worker. F u r t h e r - more, without a cash flow or a wider use of b i l l s of c r e d i t , no i n d u s t r i a l i n v e s t o r could f u n c t i o n e f f e c t i v e l y on a s u b s t a n t i a l s c a l e . No i n v e s t o r or organizer could expect to i n t e r r u p t the h i g h l y p e r s o n a l - i z e d method of b a r t e r that e x i s t e d i n the r u r a l towns. For even i f he d i d base h i s operation on the exchange of h i s product f o r commodities and f u r t h e r exchanged those commodities f o r wages and raw 94 m a t e r i a l s , the u l t i m a t e aim of accumulating c a p i t a l would be defeated by the l o c a l absence of c a p i t a l and the patter n s of work of the l o c a l 46 populations. The b a r t e r system worked e f f i c i e n t l y i n the economic s t r u c t u r e s of the towns,it was in f o r m a l but b i n d i n g and v a r i a b l e by i t s p e r s o n a l i z e d operation. I t was f l e x i b l e because i t was i n d i v i d u a l - i z e d . Mass produced shoes, even i f they had been a v a i l a b l e , could not have competed w i t h the l o c a l l y made shoes of the farmer-shoemaker, because.he was part of a labor and goods exchange economy that made h i s product e a s i e r to acquire and pay f o r . Apart from the d i f f i c u l t y of o r g a n i z i n g independent shoemakers i n t o a f u l l — t i m e i n d u s t r i a l e n t e r p r i s e , any attempt to c e n t r a l i z e shoemaking, or weaving or c l o t h e s - making, would have intruded upon the working methods, t r a d i t i o n s and purposes of l o c a l s o c i e t y . The c l o s e i n t e g r a t i o n of a g r i c u l t u r e and a r t i s a n s h i p and the sc a l e of i n d i v i d u a l f a m i l y and community l a b o r was most c l e a r l y demonstrated i n l o c a l t e x t i l e and c l o t h i n g manufacturing p r a c t i c e s . V i r t u a l l y a l l spinning i n p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts was done i n the (home. The d i s t a f f members of every f a m i l y were r e s p o n s i b l e f o r spinning yarns f o r f a m i l y and household needs. F l a x thread was the most common yarn produced by t h i s s o c i e t y . Derived from the broken and spun f l a x b o l l , which was grown e a s i l y on n e a r l y every farm i n the p r o v i n c e , l i n e n was p l e n t i f u l and v e r s a t i l e . Wool was next i n qu a n t i t y and importance and some combination l i n e n and wool t e x t i l e s were made l o c a l l y . The m a j o r i t y of r u r a l households spun yarn s u f f i c i e n t f o r t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r f a b r i c and c l o t h i n g needs.**' But where the spinning wheel was a u n i v e r s a l household a p p l i a n c e , the looms required f o r weaving were f a r fewer and more c e n t r a l i z e d i n the . . 48 communities. Hence, most households contracted to have t h e i r own yarns woven by l o c a l journeymen weavers. The c l o t h s were u s u a l l y returned to the same households to be made i n t o bedding, l i n e n s and undergarments, and some c l o t h i n g . Most outer c l o t h i n g , of wool, l e a t h e r or linen-woolen mixes was made by l o c a l t a i l o r s . Towns were almost s e l f - s u f f i c i e n t i n supplying t h e i r l o c a l c l o t h i n g requirements. More elaborate and expensive c l o t h i n g would be brought i n t o the towns from Boston, or Salem, made there o f t e n from imported c l o t h s and a c c e s s o r i e s . Some l o c a l t a i l o r s imported f a b r i c s and made dress or fancy c l o t h i n g i n the towns. But most forms of p l a i n c l o t h i n g and c e r t a i n l y a l l work c l o t h i n g was made l o c a l l y , from l o c a l l y produced f i b e r s and woven 49 c l o t h s . Weavers u s u a l l y were capable of doing some t a i l o r i n g and many t a i l o r s combined weaving w i t h t h e i r clothesmaking p r a c t i c e s . But because of the volume and r e g u l a r i t y of the t e x t i l e and c l o t h i n g trades and the q u a n t i t i e s of c l o t h and c l o t h i n g r e q u i r e d to s a t i s f y them, the two trades were o f t e n separate or i f not, one or the other would be given emphasis by combination w e a v e r - t a i l o r s . " ^ Some t a i l o r s , l i k e some.shoemakers, were occupied n e a r l y f u l l time w i t h t h e i r c r a f t s . But most were not. Again, the r e l a t i v e s i z e and l o c a t i o n of the community, the number of l o c a l p r a c t i t i o n e r s and the degree of competition, and the personal v o c a t i o n a l preferences 96 of i n d i v i d u a l craftsmen a l l determined the incidence and l e v e l of l i m i t e d s p e c i a l i z a t i o n . Weaving was done by many i n d i v i d u a l s , at. v a r i o u s l e v e l s of p r o f i c i e n c y , q u a l i t y and volume. I t was a marginal and winter-season e n t e r p r i s e f o r many far m e r - a r t i s a n s who happened to possess a loom; some others wove only f o r t h e i r personal needs w h i l e most towns contained s e v e r a l s k i l l e d and t r a i n e d weavers who could devote more time to q u a n t i t y production. For most part-time weavers the trade was very u s e f u l as a winter occupation, when reduced farm work made an a l t e r n a t i v e income source necessary. Thus many were encouraged to take up weaving and by t h i s process helped keep the trade d e c e n t r a l i z e d and competitive. Ebenezer Wright, a weaver i n Hampshire county i n the e a r l y eighteenth century,' r e g u l a r l y exchanged f i b e r s , bleaches and dyes w i t h four other independent weavers. He a l s o d i d some s p i n n i n g , k n i t t i n g and t a i l o r i n g . Even as the b u s i e s t weaver i n the town of Westford, Wright r e g u l a r l y exchanged h i s own farm l a b o r f o r that of h i s neighbors."'"'" As noted, some weaving was done by men who had not been apprenticed to the trade but who had learned the process i n f o r m a l l y and could i n c l u d e o c c a s i o n a l rough weaving i n t h e i r r e p e r t o i r e of i n f o r m a l s k i l l s . Another important determinant i n the s c a l e and d i s p e r s a l of l o c a l weaving was the mechanical l i m i t a t i o n s of the eighteenth century loom. Of course Cartwright's power loom d i d not appear u n t i l w e l l a f t e r 1785, but some innovations of mechanical technique and s i z e had been developed by 1760 i n England. But i n r u r a l p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts the most 97 common loom a v a i l a b l e was small and crude and whether hand or f o o t operated was s e v e r e l y l i m i t e d i n i t s productive c a p a c i t y . As evidence of the e f f e c t s m a l l - s c a l e weaving had on the r e t a r d a t i o n of weaving technology, the loom used i n Massachusetts had not advanced beyond the fixed-frame type. As V.S. C l a r k notes, "the f l y - s h u t t l e loom was 52 not used . . . u n t i l a f t e r the R e v o l u t i o n . " The cost of importing more s o p h i s t i c a t e d and l a r g e r looms was p r o h i b i t i v e even to r u r a l 53 weavers w i t h a busy trade. Moreover, the market c o n d i t i o n s i n the l o c a l communities presented formidable o b s t a c l e s to the p r o f i t a b i l i t y of an expensive l a r g e r , f a s t e r , more productive loom or one that produced f i n e r c l o t h s . The looms that d i d e x i s t i n r u r a l Massachusetts were, d e s p i t e being small and clumsy, s u i t e d to the part-time h a b i t s of l o c a l weaver-farmers and others who wove i n very small q u a n t i t i e s , at i r r e g u l a r i n t e r v a l s f o r i n d i v i d u a l customers. The a c q u i s i t i o n of wool, or f l a x and spun yarn, i n the course of a g r i c u l t u r a l production, household work and b a r t e r exchange meant that f a m i l i e s had access to most of t h e i r own raw t e x t i l e m a t e r i a l s . S t i l l , the independent weaver would, whenever p o s s i b l e , arrange f o r a supply of f i b e r s , to maintain a stock of m a t e r i a l s f o r c o n t r a c t work. But f u l l time s p e c i a l i z e d weaving operations r e q u i r e d f a i r l y l a r g e c a p i t a l investments i n raw m a t e r i a l s , b u i l d i n g s and implements. A steady flow and bulk storage of. m a t e r i a l s , l a r g e bleach and dye yards and f a c i l i t i e s , a d i s c i p l i n e d , sedentary work f o r c e and an inventory of v a r i o u s c l o t h types and s i z e s would have been necessary 54 f o r a c e n t r a l i z e d , bulk commercial weaving e n t e r p r i s e . L i k e commercial 98 l a r g e - s c a l e shoemaking, a s i n g l e , set and p r e d i c t a b l e market would have been r e q u i r e d . Again, l o c a l c o n d i t i o n s , p r a c t i c e s and t r a d i t i o n s f o r e s t a l l e d the development of c e n t r a l i z e d t e x t i l e p roduction. As w i t h shoemaking, a p o t e n t i a l commercial e n t e r p r i s e was l e f t to i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s a n s . The most a c t i v e r u r a l weavers a l l o t t e d perhaps o n e - t h i r d of t h e i r working year to weaving. A production of 250 yards of woven t e x t i l e s was considered a busy year f o r a r u r a l weaver. To s t r e s s the general part-time nature of l o c a l weaving i t should be noted that a competent weaver, operating a small hand loom, and working s i x t y hours a week a l l year, could produce 1,000 yards of c l o t h i n eighteenth century Massachusetts.^^ S i m i l a r l y , most r u r a l t a i l o r s devoted l e s s than s i x months of any year to clothesmaking. The i n d i v i d u a l t a i l o r - f a r m e r survived because he could cater to the c l o t h i n g needs of customers whose pur- chasing c a p a c i t y was steady over the long term but u n p r e d i c t a b l e from day to day or season to season. Moreover, the means of payment were of such an e r r a t i c and p e r s o n a l i z e d nature that only an indepen- dent, f l e x i b l e t a i l o r , and s e v e r a l of them i n the same community could s a t i s f a c t o r i l y provide the c l o t h i n g requirements of that community. They too had farms and f a m i l i e s and these f a c t o r s , as much as anything e l s e , influenced, t h e i r working a c t i v i t i e s . A f a m i l y ' s income and s e c u r i t y was the sum of a l l i t s component occupational f u n c t i o n s banded i n t o a s i n g l e labor-economic u n i t w i t h i n the community. At the base of t h i s i n d i v i d u a l f a m i l y economy was the subsistence farm. A man might s t y l e himself " t a i l o r " or "weaver," but i n a g r i c u l t u r a l Massachusetts that d e s i g n a t i o n merely depicted h i s p r i n c i p a l c o n t r i b u t i o n to the common economy of the town. His l a b o r , i n terms of i t s t o t a l a p p l i c a t i o n was much more v a r i e d and i t s - end purpose was much more than the production of a s i n g l e commodity. Butchers, bakers, brewers and coopers were not found i n any q u a n t i t y i n r u r a l Massachusetts. Meat, hi d e s , bread, beer and c o n t a i n e r s were high volume s t a p l e s i n the r u r a l town. But the a r t i s a n - f a r m e r u s u a l l y k i l l e d h i s own l i v e s t o c k or had i t done f o r him by another farmer. Bread was baked i n the i n d i v i d u a l farmhouse and most men brewed l i m i t e d amounts of beer f o r personal use. Casks and b a r r e l s f o r the storage of p r o v i s i o n s or f o r the shipment of surplus g r a i n , f l o u r and meat, were made by the v e r s a t i l e carpenter. Of course some men were more e f f i c i e n t or had more f r e e time f o r the k i l l i n g of animals and the s t r i p p i n g of h i d e s ; and some men d i d make more and b e t t e r beer than others. A few towns, i n some r e g i o n s , exported s u f f i c i e n t produce to r e q u i r e the s e r v i c e s of a cooper. But by and l a r g e there was no place i n the a g r i c u l t u r a l towns f o r these and many other c r a f t occupations. Apart from the s e v e r a l b a s i c v o c a t i o n a l s k i l l s demanded by simple a g r a r i a n s o c i e t y , most s p e c i a l i z e d c r a f t s belonged i n the commercial towns of the seaboard. But there were exceptions to t h i s general r u l e . Some towns d i d c o n t a i n a "staymaker," or "barber," "wig maker," " b r a z i e r , " "wheel- w r i g h t , " "chairmaker," " s a d d l e r , " " g l o v e r " and so on. But those instances of occupational s p e c i a l i z a t i o n were unusual and most of these c r a f t s designations were given as s p e c i a l t y v a r i a n t s of a more c e n t r a l trade. The s k i l l e d worker i n the r u r a l town possessed two things of note: h i s v o c a t i o n a l a p t i t u d e and h i s land. The degree to which he spent h i s time w i t h e i t h e r of these was v a r i a b l e , but both demanded h i s c o n s i d e r a t i o n and a t t e n t i o n - While the r u r a l a r t i s a n was p r i n c i p a l l y occupied w i t h farming and the p r o s e c u t i o n of h i s c r a f t , he showed no a v e r s i o n to extending h i s l a b o r , at times as a menial, to a v a r i e t y of tasks which arose from personal or community o b l i g a t i o n . He was head of a f a m i l y but not i t s s o l e economic mainstay. The f a m i l y c o n t r i b u t e d to i t s own w e l f a r e as a u n i t and not as a c o l l e c t i o n of s i n g l e i n d i v i d u a l s ; i t was not a dependency. The r u r a l a r t i s a n was most l i k e l y a b l a c k s m i t h , carpenter, shoemaker, weaver, c l o t h i e r or leatherworker of some s o r t , or a tradesman d i r e c t l y connected ..with those c r a f t s . Above a l l he was an independent worker. Not only d i d he have c o n t r o l over the d i s p o s a l of h i s l a b o r , but he was f l e x i b l e and t a l e n t e d enough to govern h i s household economy and important and u s e f u l enough to a f f e c t the economic s t a t u s and behavior of h i s community. At the same time, he was subject to the v o c a t i o n a l needs of the community, the vagaries of c l i m a t e , weather and s o i l , and rhythmic i n f l u e n c e s of seasons. 101 I t i s p o i n t l e s s to d i s c u s s which of h i s possessions, h i s c r a f t or h i s l a n d , was most c r u c i a l to h i s w e l f a r e ; or the extent to which he was dependent on or independent from the i n f l u e n c e s of the general community. A l l were p a r t s of the continuous and p e r s i s t e n t p a t t e r n of settlement and residence, c i v i l o r g a n i z a t i o n , s o c i a l t r a d i t i o n , c u l t u r a l preference and a g r a r i a n economy. To f u n c t i o n i n t h i s s o c i e t y , d o m e s t i c a l l y , s o c i a l l y and economically, the m a j o r i t y of s k i l l e d workers;, found that the v o c a t i o n a l d u a l i t y of farming and c r a f t s was the most s u i t a b l e p r a c t i c e . At l e a s t to the end of the p r o v i n c i a l p e r i o d , no major demographic, economic, p o l i t i c a l or t e c h n o l o g i c a l i n n o v a t i o n i n t e r r u p t e d the f i x e d but dual r o l e of the s k i l l e d worker i n the a g r i c u l t u r a l towns of Massachusetts. 102 NOTES CHAPTER I I I J.A. Henretta, " F a m i l i e s and Farms: M e n t a l i t e i n Pre- I n d u s t r i a l America," WMQ 35 (1978), p. 19. ZHenry W. Belknap, Trades and Tradesmen i n Essex County (Salem: 1929), p. 96; M. Arch. MSS, "Muster R o l l s f o r the Crown P o i n t E x p e d i t i o n , 1756," i n V o l . 94, pp. 167-557. Belknap l i s t s over 500 men and records 118 d i f f e r e n t trades. The muster r o l l s c o n t a i n the names and occupations of 2,544 men. Among the s k i l l e d occupations (over h a l f of the t o t a l ) over 80% were i n woodwork, metalwork and l e a t h e r trades. From a sample .of 193 names on the L756 muster Occupation Given No. % Laborer-husbandman* 95 49.2 Wood c r a f t s 23 11.9 Leather c r a f t s 22 11.4 Metal c r a f t s 21 10.9 C l o t h c r a f t s 15 7.8 Others 17 8.8 "See Chapter IV. 3M. Arch. MSS., V o l s . 39-44, " J u d i c i a r y " ; V o l . 59,"Manufactures"; V o l . 71, " M i l i t a r y " ; V o l s . 244-254, "Accounts." These volumes c o n t a i n hundreds of work c o n t r a c t s , d e s c r i p t i o n s of working c o n d i t i o n s and standards of work, p r i c e s wages and l e g a l l y r e q u i r e d q u a l i f i c a t i o n s of a r t i s a n s . 4M. Arch. MSS., V o l . 1, " A g r i c u l t u r e " ; V o l s . 112-117, "Towns"; V o l s . 130-134, "Valuations of Towns"; and " B i o g r a p h i c a l Index'.' Land ownership and trades occupations were sampled and matched f o r over 200 a r t i s a n s . ^Baker MSS. Catalogue numbers 403, 446, 641 and 871 c o n t a i n over f i f t y sets of p r i v a t e papers showing a r t i s a n ' s sons being apprenticed. For f u r t h e r s t a t i s t i c s and d i s c u s s i o n , see Robert F. Seybolt, A p p r e n t i c e - ship and Apprenticeship T r a i n i n g i n C o l o n i a l New England and New York (New York: 1917). W.H. Whitmore, compiler, The C o l o n i a l Laws of Massachusetts (Boston: 1889), pp. 26-28; Acts and Resolves, V o l . I , pp. 64 f f . For 103 an example of a standard a p p r e n t i c e s h i p indenture form w i t h notes on o b l i g a t i o n s , expectations and purposes, see Edward Stephens, R e l i e f of Apprentices Wronged by t h e i r Masters (London: 1687) ( i n use i n P r o v i n - c i a l Massachusetts). See a l s o MHS Misc. Bd. MSS f o r A p r i l 1725. ^Seybolt, A p p r e n t i c e s h i p; U.S. Bureau of A p p r e n t i c e s h i p , "Apprenticeship T r a i n i n g Since C o l o n i a l Days" (Washington: 1950); P h i l i p Greven J r . , Four Generations: P o p u l a t i o n Land and Family i n C o l o n i a l Andover, Massachusetts ( I t h a c a , N.Y.: 1970). Edmund Morgan, The P u r i t a n Family (New York: 1944, 1966); J.A. Henretta, The E v o l u t i o n of American S o c i e t y , 1700-1815 (Toronto: 1973), pp. 9-15. Greven, Four Generations. On marriage age and f a m i l y s i z e , see D a n i e l Scott Smith, "The Demographic H i s t o r y of C o l o n i a l New England," 32 (1972), p. 177. 9 For examples of mid-eighteenth century land l e a s e s , legacy arrangements, and the f r e s h c u l t i v a t i o n of ol d e r s e t t l e d l a n d , see: M. Arch. MSS, V o l . 11, " A g r i c u l t u r e " ; V o l . 43 " J u d i c i c a l , " pp. 449- 51; V o l . 44, " J u d i c a l , " p. 46 f f and passim. For S u f f o l k County Deeds and Probate Court land h o l d i n g and i n h e r i t a n c e t r a n s a c t i o n s regarding a r t i s a n s i n S u f f o l k County, see MHS "Thwing Catalogue." See a l s o Manfred Jonas, "The W i l l s of the E a r l y S e t t l e r s of Essex County," EIHC 96 (1960), pp. 228-35; R.A. Gross, The Minutemen and Thei r World (New York: 1976), Chapter 4; R.R. Walcott, "Husbandry i n C o l o n i a l New England," NEC; 9 (1936), pp. 218-52; P.W. B i d w e l l and J . Falconer, H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e i n the Northern United S t a t e s , 1620-1860 (Washington: 1925), pp. 49-58, 115; Kenneth Lo c k r i d g e , "Land, P o p u l a t i o n and the E v o l u t i o n of New England S o c i e t y 1630-1790:. and an Aftert h o u g h t " i n S. Kat z , ed,, C o l o n i a l America (Boston: 1971), pp. 466-91. 1 0 B a k e r MSS, 871 C443, "Account Book of N a t h a n i e l Chamberlin, 1743-75"' 641A214, "Jacob Adams Account Book (n.p.) 1673-93"; 641 r 3 2 4 , "John Reed Account Book, 1740-1818 (n.p.)." Blanche Hazard, "Jacob Adams Shoemaking Accounts," B u l l e t i n of the Business H i s t o r y S o c i e t y 9 (1935), No. 6, pp. 86-92. For a sample of b a r t e r exchange among r u r a l a r t i s a n s see Appendix I . 11 J.R. Commons, et a l . , H i s t o r y of Labor i n the United States V o l . I (New York: 1918), David J . Saposs. S e c t i o n , pp. 25-168, Baker MSS 871 A 616, "Blacksmith's Ledger, 1703-28,(n.p.); Account Book of N a t h a n i e l Chamberlin." 104 13 "Account Book of N a t h a n i e l Chamberlin, 1743-1775"; R o l l a Tryon, Household Manufactures i n the United S t a t e s , 1640-1860 (Chicago: 1917), Chapter 2. 14 "Account Book of Na t h a n i e l Chamberlin"; "Jacob Adams Account Book"; A l i c e E a r l e , Home L i f e i n C o l o n i a l Days (Stockbridge, Mass.: 1898), pp. 1-32, 252-280. "'"''"Account Book of N a t h a n i e l Chamberlin," pp. 44-64. 16 Marcus Jernegan, Laboring and Dependent Classes i n C o l o n i a l America (Chicago: 1931), pp. 45-56; J.T. Main, The S o c i a l S t r u c t u r e of Revolutionary America ( P r i n c e t o n : 1965), pp. 21, 30; Abbot Smith, C o l o n i s t s i n Bondage (New York: 1947), pp. 4, 28-29. 1 7MHS MSS, "Roxbury V a l u a t i o n s , 1727'.'; M. Arch. MSS V o l . 130, "Valuations of Towns"; B i d w e l l and Falconer, H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e , pp. 20-40; J.T. Main, S o c i a l S t r u c t u r e of Revolutionary America ( P r i n c e t o n : 1965), pp. 7-43. 18 J.A. Henretta, " F a m i l i e s and Farms: M e n t a l i t e i n Pre- I n d u s t r i a l America," WMQ_ 35 (1978), pp. 3-32. 19 Bruno Foreman, "Salem Tradesmen and Craftsmen c 1762," EIHC 107 (1971), pp. 62-82, notes that i n mid-18th century Salem, a commer- c i a l town w i t h l i m i t e d a v a i l a b l e farm property, over 50% of l o c a l a r t i s a n s decreed farm property i n t h e i r e s t a t e s . I n more a g r i c u l t u r a l towns, the percentage r i s e s to as much as 95%. See Watertown Records 1634-1829; D.G. H i l l , Dedham Records 1635-1845; M.F. P i e r c e , ed., Town of Weston Records; S.A. Bates, ed., B r a i n t r e e Records 1640-1793. A l l passim. Copies of a l l at MHS. For 17th century examples of land accumulation by a r t i s a n s , see Jonas, "The W i l l s of E a r l y S e t t l e r s . 1 20 This e n t r e p r e n e u r i a l aspect of the r u r a l a r t i s a n can be found i n t h e i r accounts. For blacksmiths see "Account Book of Nathan- i e l Chamberlin"; "Blacksmiths Ledger." For carpenters see Baker MSS 446P361, "Pearson Family Account Books," V o l . 2. For b r i c k l a y e r s and masons see MHS MSS, "John M a r s h a l l D i a r y 1688-1711." For weavers and t a i l o r s see Baker MSS I B 291, " B a r t l e t t Accounts, 1704-1760," V o l . 1; B a g n a l l , T e x t i l e I n d u s t r i e s , pp. 1-27; A.H. Cole, The American Wool Manufacture (New York: 1926), V o l . 1, Chapters 1-4. For shoe- makers see "Adams Accounts," "Reed Accounts" and Baker MSS "John Baker Accounts", Baker MSS, "V.S. C l a r k Notes," Box 2. 105 21 V.S. C l a r k , H i s t o r y of Manufacturing In the United S t a t e s , 1607-1860 (Washington: 1929), pp. 87-88. Saposs, H i s t o r y of Labor, pp. 160-68. 22 "Jacob Adams Account Book"; "Account Book of John Reed"; Blanche Hazard, The Orga n i z a t i o n of the Boot and Shoe Industry i n Massachusetts Before 1875 (Cambridge, Mass.: 1921), Chapter 1. 23 I b i d . 24 Jacobs Adams, wh i l e s e r v i n g as the S u f f i e l d , Hamps. Co. r e p r e s e n t a t i v e to the General Court from 1711-17 and i n h i s l a t e f i f t i e s , was s t i l l making shoes f o r neighbors who repayed by " p u l l i n g f l a x , " "work i n f i e l d s , " " c a r t i n g stones," e t c . See " T r a n s c r i p t i o n and biography" ( t y p e s c r i p t ) i n "Jacob Adams Account Book." 25 "John Baker Accounts"; Account Books of "Jacob Adams"and "John Reed." 82. 26 "V.S. C l a r k Papers," Box 2; C l a r k , H i s t o r y of Manufactures, 27 U.S. Bureau of Labor S t a t i s t i c s , " H i s t o r y of Wages," B u l l e t i n No. 604 (1934); "Wages i n the C o l o n i a l P e r i o d , " B u l l e t i n No. 499 (1929); MHS MSS " E z e k i a l P r i c e Papers, 1754-85," Sheets 199- 322 contains d e t a i l e d r e l a t i v e l a b o r - m a t e r i a l c o s t s f o r t e x t i l e weaving. MHS MSS "Joseph Belknap Ledger, 1748-85," V o l . 7 gives r a t i o s f o r l e a t h e r tanning, c u r i n g and l e a t h e r goods manufacture. Baker MSS 451 M 358 "Edward Marrett Daybooks and Invoice Books" and Baker MSS 451 R 281 "Daniel Rea Daybooks and Ledgers" give l a b o r and m a t e r i a l values f o r t a i l o r i n g . See "Account Book of N a t h a n i e l Chamberlin" f o r the comparable r a t i o s f o r metalwork. 28 "V.S. C l a r k Papers," Box 2. Book." 29 "John Reed Account Book." See a l s o "Jacob Adams Account 30 See Appendix I. Acts and Resolves, V o l . I , pp. 92, 214, 413, 484. 32 For an e x c e l l e n t example of the economic c o n d i t i o n s of r u r a l m i n i s t e r s see MHS MSS, " L e t t e r f o r N. E l l i s , March 31, 1736" i n "Cushing Papers." The best o v e r a l l source f o r the economic and p r o p r i e t a r y a c t i v i t i e s of c o l o n i a l Massachusetts m i n i s t e r s i s C l i f f o r d K. Shipton, S i b l e y ' s Harvard Graduates 17 V o l s . (Boston: 1873-1975). 33 See Appendix I I . 3 A "John P o r t e r Accounts" and "Samuel P r a t t Accounts" i n "John Reed Account Book." See Appendix I . 35 I b i d . ; Baker MSS 77 S 419 "Bayes Manchester Account Book, 1708-1729"; Baker MSS 871C 985 "Pyam Cushing Account Books," 2 V o l s . 60-68. V o l . 1. 3 6 For example, "Nathaniel Chamberlin Account Book," pp. 50, 3 7 Baker MSS 446P361, "Pearson Family Account Books," 2 Vols, 38 The Town and Country B u i l d e r s A s s i s t a n t (Boston: 1786); Joseph Moxon, Mechanick E x e r c i s e s . . . a p p l i e d to . . . smithing, j o i n e r y , carpentry, t u r n i n g , b r i c k l a y e r y (London: 1703). Copy at Kress L i b r a r y , Harvard; Belknap, Trades and Tradesmen; C a r l B r i d e n - baugh, C o l o n i a l Craftsmen (New York: 1950). MHS Misc. Bd. MSS Dec. 25, 1736, " C o n s t r u c t i o n Contract of John White." A great many examples of carpenter v e r s a t i l i t y can be found i n MHS Misc. Bd. MSS, 1700-1760, passim. 39 See above, notes 20 and 25. 40 "Pearson Family Account Books," V o l . 2. A l s o , M. Arch. MSS V o l . 59, pp. 391-4, "Gunter Contract." For v o l u n t a r y short term s e r v i t u d e i n r u r a l p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts see MHS Misc. Bd. MSS A p r i l 21, 1726 and March 2, 1749. 41 " C o n s t r u c t i o n Contract of John White"; MHS M i s c . Bd. MSS " L e t t e r from John Cotman," August 23, 1745. 42 Whitmore, C o l o n i a l Laws, pp. 88-90; Acts and Resolves, V o l . I , pp. 312-14 f f . For o r g a n i z a t i o n s of a r t i s a n s i n Boston, see Mary Roys Baker, "Anglo-Massachusetts Trade Union Roots, 1130- 1790," i n Labor H i s t o r y 14 (1973), pp. 352-96. 107 43 "Jacob Adams Account Book"; Sappos, I n d u s t r i a l S o c i e t y. 44 Hazard, Boot and Shoe Industry, Chapter 1. 4 5"V.S. C l a r k Notes," Box 2. 46 C l a r k , H i s t o r y of Manufactures, pp. 151-2. 47 E a r l e , Home L i f e , Chapters 7-8; W.R. B a g n a l l , T e x t i l e I n d u s t r i e s of the United S t a t e s , Chapter 1. 48 Bruno Foreman, "The Account Book of John Gould, Weaver, 1697-1724," EIHC 105 (1969), pp. 36-49. A.L. Cummings, Ru r a l Household I n v e n t o r i e s (Boston: 1964), a s s e r t s the u n i v e r s a l i t y of home spinning. 49 Bag n a l l , T e x t i l e I n d u s t r i e s , Chapter 1. On l e a t h e r c l o t h i n g use and manufacture see "Joseph Belknap Ledger," V o l . 7; Baker MSS 403 N 751, "Mathew Noble Ledger, 1766." 5 0 B a k e r MSS 1 B 291, V o l . 1, " B a r t l e t t Accounts, 1704-1760." Three generations of B a r t l e t t s were combination farmers-weavers- t a i l o r s . Although they emphasized weaving as t h e i r c h i e f a l t e r n a t i v e to farming, i n some years t h e i r t a i l o r i n g accounts exceeded the value of weaving. 5 1 B a k e r MSS 44 W 948, "Ebenezer Wright Account Book, 1710-90." 52 C l a r k , H i s t o r y of Manufactures, p. 160; E a r l e , Home L i f e , Chapter 4. For the technology of t e x t i l e p roduction and i t s s t a t u s i n eighteenth century England, see S.D, Chapman, "The T e x t i l e Factory before Arkwright: A Typology of Factory Development." Bus. H i s t . Rev. 48 (1974), pp. 451-78. " E z e k i e l P r i c e Papers," Sheets 311-12. The p r i c e of an imported, p a r t l y mechanized English-made hand loom would have cost Wright (note 51) the equivalent of f i v e years rent of f i v e acres of ara b l e land. Most looms at work i n r u r a l communities were made l o c a l l y or i n Boston. On land costs see J.T. Main, S o c i a l S t r u c t u r e , pp. 166-76. 108 J 4 S e e records of The S o c i e t y f o r Encouraging Industry and Employing the Poor i n " E z e k i a l P r i c e Papers." " ^ I b i d . To produce 1,000 yards of loomed coarse l i n e n i n a year would have r e q u i r e d the t o t a l yarn produced annually by ten f u l l - t i m e spinners. The " E z e k i a l P r i c e Papers" i s perhaps the best source f o r spinning and weaving technology, methods and production f i g u r e s i n p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts, Sheets 199-322 c o n t a i n c a l c u l a t i o n s , estimates and examples of contemporary c l o t h production. CHAPTER IV HUSBANDMEN AND LABORERS A r t i s a n s represented the s k i l l e d , t r a i n e d v o c a t i o n a l backbone of the r u r a l economy. But not a l l men were s k i l l e d i n terms of possessing s p e c i a l t r a i n i n g , and those who were not c o n s t i t u t e d the l a r g e s t p l u r a l i t y of r u r a l workers. These were the husbandmen and la b o r e r s of the a g r i c u l t u r a l towns. And i f the a r t i s a n s can be judged " s k i l l e d " i n reference to c r a f t s acumen and occu p a t i o n a l p r a c t i c e , the husbandmen and l a b o r e r s of t h i s s o c i e t y were " u n s k i l l e d " by simple reason of not having learned a manual trade or c r a f t . Yet the word' " u n s k i l l e d " had no common contemporary usage. The words most f r e q u e n t l y used to d e f i n e the working status of men were "mechanic," " a r t i s a n , " "handi-craftsman," " l a b o r e r " and "husbandman." A "mechanic" was simply anyone, t r a i n e d or not, who worked w i t h h i s hands i n a non- a g r i c u l t u r a l occupation. The a r t i s a n s and handicraftsmen were those who possessed a s p e c i a l , l e g a l i n d u s t r i a l ( i . e . , n o n - a g r i c u l t u r a l ) s k i l l . While i t was acknowledged that a learned s k i l l was an advantage to the i n d i v i d u a l and the community, there was f e l t to be no ser i o u s disadvantage i n not possessing a s k i l l e d c r a f t . A " h a b i t of work" was more important i n t h i s s o c i e t y than p a r t i c u l a r work c r e d e n t i a l s , and only c h i l d r e n were deemed to be " u n s k i l l e d . " Anyone who worked d i l i g e n t l y and r e g u l a r l y at any occupation was considered to possess c e r t a i n l a b o r i n g a t t r i b u t e s that went beyond ca t e g o r i e s of q u a l i f i c a t i o n s . ^ 109 110 Yet the community d i d i n s i s t on the use of an occ u p a t i o n a l s u f f i x i n l e g a l and formal matters. The terms " a r t i s a n , " "mechanic" or "handicraftsman" were seldom used i n i n d i v i d u a l cases but were a p p l i e d to groups or as c o l l e c t i v e g e n e r a l i z a t i o n s . Occupational designations f e l l i n t o s e v e r a l d i s t i n c t forms of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and d e f i n i t i o n . On the one hand, i f a worker possessed and p r a c t i c e d an apprenticed c r a f t , the p a r t i c u l a r trade was given; hence the appendages "carpenter," "weaver," "cordwainer," "tanner" and so on. The word "merchant" was very broad i n i t s meaning and included some s t o r e - keepers as w e l l as wealthy i n t e r n a t i o n a l t r a d e r s and businessmen. Some sen i o r and wealthy businessmen, along w i t h many p r o f e s s i o n a l s , j u s t i c e s and p o l i t i c i a n s were known as " e s q u i r e " or "gentleman." For those p e t t y businessmen who had not yet achieved s u f f i c i e n t prominance f o r the d e s i g n a t i o n "merchant," s u f f i x e s such as " r e t a i l e r s , " 2 "taverner" or " d i s t i l l e r " were used. The system, i f such i t was, had s o c i a l meaning as w e l l as l e g a l purpose, and i t was f l e x i b l e . A man's s t a t i o n i n the s o c i a l and economic order was subject to change over time and according to circumstance. In Boston and elsewhere i n the province's commercial economy, a man might change h i s occupational status s e v e r a l times i n h i s l i f e t i m e i f he progressed from " l a b o r e r " through a c r a f t or c r a f t s to entrepreneur, merchant or businessman. This form of voca- t i o n a l and s o c i a l m o b i l i t y was common i n eighteenth century Boston. In a d d i t i o n , a man might have adjusted h i s occupational s t a t u s from I l l year to year or season to season. A mariner, f o r example, who spent part of h i s year ashore could be a l t e r n a t i v e l y a "seaman," and a " c a r t e r " or " l a b o r e r . " S a i l o r s were u s u a l l y termed "mariners" whether they were common seamen or ship's o f f i c e r s ; indeed many ship owners were a l s o r e f e r r e d to as "mariners." In the s p e c i a l i z e d work envi r o n - ment of Boston, a blacksmith might a l t e r n a t i v e l y be a b r a z i e r , and a carpenter a blockmaker, or a barber-wigmaker a d e n t i s t , i f s u b - s p e c i a l t i e s were inv o l v e d i n the i n d i v i d u a l ' s c r a f t , and t h i s s p e c i a l i z a t i o n d i f f e r e d from that of the r u r a l a r t i s a n . The Boston carpenter, f o r example, o f t e n abandoned general carpentry to s p e c i a l i z e e x c l u s i v e l y i n a 3 p a r t i c u l a r branch of the trade. In a g r i c u l t u r a l Massachusetts, v o c a t i o n a l d e s i g n a t i o n s were more fundamental and s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d . In s p i t e of the pragmatic and f l u i d q u a l i t y of work i n the r u r a l communities, men u s u a l l y held a s i n g l e o c cupational t i t l e f o r the d u r a t i o n of t h e i r working l i v e s . The n e a r - u n i v e r s a l a l t e r n a t i v e of farming minimized extensive v o c a t i o n a l change. O c c a s i o n a l l y , i f workers, s k i l l e d or otherwise, rose i n s o c i a l , economic or p o l i t i c a l s t a t u s the occupational s u f f i x might be dropped and replaced by " e s q u i r e " or "gentleman." But o f t e n , when the rank perhaps i n v i t e d the use of "gentleman," the r u r a l c e l e b r i t y continued to use h i s o l d occupational t i t l e . One man, f o r example, a shoemaker, became a s u c c e s s f u l commercial farmer and prominant landowner and a member of the General Court and was r e f e r r e d to as "gentleman" i n Boston; but i n h i s l o c a l r u r a l community he remained a "shoemaker" i n the tax and assessment r o l l s . 4 The terms "farmer" 112 and "yeoman" commonly a p p l i e d to those who not only farmed f u l l time but who employed others i n t h e i r operations and produced marketable a g r i c u l t u r a l surplus."' But the most common occ u p a t i o n a l d e s i g n a t i o n s i n r u r a l Massachusetts were those of "husbandman" and " l a b o r e r . " These l a t t e r named were not u n s k i l l e d i n any meaningful way. For, w h i l e a great d e a l of the work these men d i d was manual r a t h e r than t e c h n i c a l or s t u d i e d , they were re q u i r e d to possess a cons i d e r a b l e degree of knowledge and experience of a l l f a c e t s of a g r i c u l t u r a l work. Moreover, they performed many other tasks i n the community that f e l l o u t s i d e wholly a g r i c u l t u r a l employment but which d i d not demand s p e c i a l t r a i n i n g . Their work was a combination of p h y s i c a l l a b o r , a g r i c u l t u r a l e x p e r t i s e and a s s i s t a n c e and support to the more r e f i n e d f u n c t i o n s of the craftsman. For t h e i r own personal economies, these husbandmen and l a b o r e r s were n e c e s s a r i l y v e r s a t i l e i n an i n f o r m a l manner. Many were adept i n tanning l e a t h e r , weaving, rough carpentry and the many other tasks that arose and were part of the operation of a farm. To r e f e r to them as " u n s k i l l e d " i s to d i s t i n g u i s h them from a r t i s a n s and to seek c l a r i t y i n i d e n t i f y i n g a s i g n i f i c a n t body of r e s i d e n t workers i n r u r a l s o c i e t y . The un- s k i l l e d workers of r u r a l p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts were those who had no formal, l e g a l i z e d a p prenticeship t r a i n i n g , no matter what t h e i r occupations might be. As such they represented a v o c a t i o n a l constituency that d i f f e r e d i n many ways from the r u r a l a r t i s a n s . As part of the same community and economy, t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e s t a t u s 113 was subject to the same laws of s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y , interdependency and communal usefulness. But t h e i r v o c a t i o n a l d i s t i n c t i v e n e s s was r e f l e c t e d i n other s o c i a l and economic p a r t i c u l a r s . In the p r o v i n c i a l s o c i a l order and mind, i f not i n i t s l e x i c o n , " s k i l l e d " and " u n s k i l l e d " d i d have some d e f i n i t i o n . ^ The a p p r e n t i c e s h i p system that had excluded the province's husbandmen and l a b o r e r s operated on a set of e s t a b l i s h e d r u l e s and c i r c u m s t a n t i a l determinants. F i r s t , the p o p u l a t i o n grew at a h i g h and f a i r l y constant r a t e . From 1690 to 1760 the p r o v i n c i a l p o p u l a t i o n increased by some 350%, at an average decennial r a t e of s l i g h t l y more than 24%; i n one e x t r a o r d i n a r y decade, 1710-1720, the g growth r a t e was 45.8%. Thus, w i t h a minimum of per c a p i t a economic growth, or even d e c l i n e , and given the r e l a t i v e l y s t a b l e nature of l o c a l economic and labor p r a c t i c e s , the s k i l l e d occupations would r e q u i r e a d d i t i o n s and a replacement f a c t o r roughly equal to p o p u l a t i o n Q i n c r e a s e . The p o l i c i e s and s t r i c t enforcement a c t i o n s of v a r i o u s p r o v i n c i a l l e g a l a u t h o r i t i e s l i m i t e d the i n f l u e n c e of immigration on growth. The formal c o n t r o l of immigration and of i n t r a - p r o v i n c i a l t r a n s i e n c y meant that towns grew more from i n t e r n a l demographic f a c t o r s than from e x t e r n a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s . " ^ Even the c r e a t i o n of new towns was more a r e s u l t of indigenous p r o v i n c i a l p o p u l a t i o n growth than of a r e g u l a r i n f l u x of immigrants. I t has been noted that the economic c o n f i g u r a t i o n s of towns and the behavior of workers and f a m i l i e s precluded a high incidence of f u l l - t i m e c r a f t s occupation. This f u r t h e r s t a b i l i z e d the l o c a l demand f o r t r a i n e d a r t i s a n s . The f i g u r e s are d i f f i c u l t to o b t a i n , but even i f 40% of r u r a l a d u l t males p r a c t i c e d an occupational s k i l l , i n v a r y i n g degrees of a c t i v i t y , not a l l of these a r t i s a n s would simultaneously need an apprentice. And i f fewer than 40% of males were being apprenticed, the remainder were l e f t to a l i m i t e d number and choice of a l t e r n a t i v e s . For some, apprenticeship was simply delayed, u n t i l the l o c a l need f o r craftsmen was balanced against l o c a l growth and the i n e v i t a b l e replacement of o l d e r a r t i s a n s . For most, however, c r a f t s t r a i n i n g was never a c o n s i d e r a t i o n . The sons of l o c a l merchants and p r o f e s s i o n a l s normally followed i n t h e i r f a t h e r s ' paths; some of these sons i n h e r i t e d enough land at an e a r l y age to be unconcerned w i t h an a l t e r n a t i v e work s k i l l . Future v o c a t i o n a l status was u s u a l l y determined at an e a r l y stage of youth, f r e q u e n t l y as soon as a boy's eleventh or t w e l f t h year. At that time, the economic means, needs and v o c a t i o n a l s t a t u s of the f a t h e r were brought to bear on a son's f u t u r e . The requirements of the town's p r a c t i c i n g a r t i s a n s and the subject boy's i n t e l l i g e n c e , a p t i t u d e and n a t i v e a b i l i t i e s a l l c o n t r i b u t e d to h i s l a t e r o c c u p a t i o n a l r o l e . For the sons of the province's husbandmen and l a b o r e r s , the o p p o r t u n i t i e s to acquire apprenticed s k i l l s were q u i t e circumscribed. C e r t a i n l y , the m a j o r i t y of a r t i s a n s ensured that t h e i r own sons were given preference i n trades t r a i n i n g and much of the turnover i n a r t i s a n s was accomplished t h i s way. Often, q u i t e simply, a r u r a l l a b o r e r could not a f f o r d to l o s e a son's c o n t r i b u t i o n to the household economy or 115 meet the fees or o b l i g a t i o n s of indentured a p p r e n t i c e s h i p . So, f o r a m a j o r i t y of the sons of the u n s k i l l e d , there was no s u b s t i t u t e to t h e i r f a t h e r s ' s t a t u s . The sons of some saw-and g r i s t - m i l l o p e r a tors, or those whose f a t h e r s owned marketable wood, ore, c o a l or s a l t d e p o s i t s , d i d have access to careers as a l t e r n a t i v e s to e i t h e r a p p r e n t i c e s h i p or farm l a b o r i n g . But f o r most, the f u t u r e l a y i n owning a small piece of c u l t i v a t e d land and c o n t r i b u t i n g to the l o c a l economy as an u n s k i l l e d 12 or p a r t l y s k i l l e d worker. The best a v a i l a b l e estimate of the r a t i o of s k i l l e d to un- s k i l l e d f r e e workers i n r u r a l p r o v i n c i a l s o c i e t y i n d i c a t e s that about 40% of a l l a d u l t males possessed c r a f t s c r e d e n t i a l s . Approximately 45% were l i s t e d as " l a b o r e r s " or "husbandmen," wh i l e the remaining 15% were merchants, m i l l operators, forge owners, k i l n owners, c a r t e r s and so on. P r o f e s s i o n a l s such as lawyers, teachers and m i n i s t e r s represented a small percentage of the l a t t e r f i g u r e . Of the t o t a l working 13 p o p u l a t i o n — f r e e and slave — l e s s than 10% were i n s e r v i t u d e . To speak of " l a n d l e s s l a b o r e r s " i n t h i s s o c i e t y would be, by and l a r g e , a f a l l a c y . A " p o l l " i n Massachusetts was any f r e e white male over the age of s i x t e e n years who was subject to l o c a l and p r o v i n c i a l tax assess- ment because he owned or leased property, worked f o r income or derived income from r e n t s , investments or other business. According to the p r o v i n c i a l " v a l u a t i o n " assessments, i n most years over 90% of a l l p o l l s were taxed. Nearly 80% of a l l p o l l s , i n a d d i t i o n to t h e i r l i s t e d occupations owned, leased or rented some c u l t i v a t e d land. There i s 116 nothing to i n d i c a t e that the 20% who d i d no farming were predominately " l a b o r e r s . " What can be e s t a b l i s h e d i s that l a b o r e r s and husbandmen g e n e r a l l y possessed fewer acres of farm land than d i d s k i l l e d workers, p r o f e s s i o n a l s , e s p e c i a l l y c l e r g y , most r u r a l merchants and entrepreneurs. Thus, s k i l l e d and u n s k i l l e d workers had a common i f unequal p r o p r i e t a r y i n t e r e s t i n the land. The s u c c e s s f u l a r t i s a n - f a r m e r occupied more farmland than, he could manage i n d i v i d u a l l y and e f f i c i e n t l y and h i s use of land was both p r a c t i c a l , as farmed subsistence, and reserved as 14 property c o l l a t e r a l and as legacy. The terms l a b o r e r and husbandman might imply separate and s p e c i f i c forms of u n s k i l l e d l a b o r . But they were used interchangeably i n the assessment r o l l s of r u r a l communities. The r u r a l l a b o r e r derived a major p o r t i o n of h i s l i v e l i h o o d from farm work, an a c t i v i t y synonymous w i t h the conventional meaning of "husbandman." I f a d i s t i n c t i o n can be made, i t would be i n terms of land ownership and r e l a t i v e average acreages, and the r e l a t i v e amount of work performed on the i n d i v i d u a l ' s own property. "Husbandmen," so c a l l e d i n o f f i c i a l tax r e c o r d s , sometimes farmed more of t h e i r own acreages than d i d " l a b o r e r s . " But the d i s t i n c t i o n was s l i g h t , u s u a l l y amounting to the d i f f e r e n c e between f i v e - and ten-acre h o l d i n g s , and was made more as a personal preference than as an o b j e c t i v e and p r a c t i c a l d e f i n i t i o n . I t i s of some importance, i n regard to s o c i a l context, that the t i t l e " l a b o r e r " was not t r e a t e d w i t h opprobrium but normally defined a s m a l l subsistence farmer who a l s o worked elsewhere i n the community i n non- 117 a r t i s a n c a p a c i t i e s . The term "husbandman" was not ap p l i e d to some- one who farmed f u l l time e i t h e r only f o r himself or only f o r ot h e r s , but r e a l l y meant "farmer" and "laborer.""'""' On the average, the u n s k i l l e d worker occupied fewer acres than d i d the ar t i s a n - f a r m e r . Yet i n most cases he farmed no l e s s than he and h i s f a m i l y could e f f e c t i v e l y manage. He was subject to the same a g r i c u l t u r a l f o r c e s that a f f e c t e d the a r t i s a n - f a r m e r : a short season and v a r i a b l e s e e d , s o i l , and weather c o n d i t i o n s , p r i m i t i v e implements and farming techniques, and problems of o r g a n i z i n g h i s own l a b o r . The common a g r i c u l t u r a l impediments were compounded f o r the l e s s a f f l u e n t laborer-farmer. U s u a l l y , he owned no oxen and h i s f a c i l i t i e s and equipment x^ere s m a l l e r , o l d e r and l e s s e f f i c i e n t . H i s f a m i l y was smaller as a r e s u l t of h i s more l i m i t e d economy and th e r e f o r e d i d not c o n t r i b u t e l a b o r on the sc a l e of the a r t i s a n ' s f a m i l y u n i t . His plow was n e c e s s a r i l y small and simple, to permit i n d i v i d u a l use, and even w i t h borrowed or h i r e d oxen, the seeding of more than two or three acres of t i l l a g e crops was a p r o h i b i t i v e task. The plow most commonly used i n p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts was the "Carey Plow" which has been noted by Percy B i d w e l l as having "the l a n d - s i d e and standard made of wood [with] a wooden mould-board, o f t e n roughly p l a t e d over w i t h o l d pieces of . . . sheet i r o n . I t had a clumsy wrought i r o n share, w h i l e the handles were u p r i g h t , held i n place by two wooden p i n s . " The p l a n t i n g and h a r v e s t i n g seasons — u s u a l l y three or four weeks i n April-May and September-October, r e s p e c t i v e l y — were too short to a l l o w f o r a p r o t r a c t e d or more l e i s u r e l y a p p l i c a t i o n of i n d i v i d u a l l a b o r . Often, the husbandman was o b l i g e d to a s s i s t a team or s i n g l e horse to p u l l h i s plow, using h i s w i f e , a son, daughter or neighbor to steady the implement. The subsequent weeding and t h i n n i n g of crops was accomplished w i t h a simple hoe and demanded long days of r e g u l a r and repeated stooped manual work. Harvesting meant even more intense and exhausting work, w i t h the t h r e a t of r a i n , f r o s t or premature crop ripeness adding urgency to the p h y s i c a l demands of reaping. Mean- w h i l e , haying and some l i v e s t o c k s u p e r v i s i o n , stone c l e a r i n g , f e n c i n g and other r e g u l a r maintenance work occupied the small farmer f o r much of the s i x months between e a r l y A p r i l and l a t e September-early October W r i t i n g i n the American Museum i n 1787, General Warren of Massachusett i n deprecating, the p r i m i t i v e n e s s of p r o v i n c i a l farming techniques, observed that even those husbandmen w i t h extensive acreages were constrained by the l a b o r and seasonal l i m i t a t i o n s of subsistence farming. On crop t i l l a g e he noted: "one miserable team, a p a l t r y plow and everything i n the same p r o p o r t i o n ; three acres of Indian corn . . . as many acres of h a l f - s t a r v e d E n g l i s h g r a i n . . . and a small yard of t u r n i p s complete the t i l l a g e , and the whole i s conducted perhaps by a man and a boy and performed i n h a l f t h e i r time." L i k e the a r t i s a n - f a r m e r , the u n s k i l l e d laborer-farmer spent between 100 and 150 days a year tending to h i s own a g r i c u l t u r a l needs and o b l i g a t i o n s ; he was then l e f t w i t h an equal or greater number of working days — most of them i n winter — w i t h which to f i l l out h i s annual income. 119 L i k e the a r t i s a n - f a r m e r , the husbandman o f t e n r e q u i r e d a s s i s t a n c e on h i s own small acreage. Hence h i s deep involvement i n the b a r t e r and 16 labor-exchange economy of the l o c a l community. With no s i n g l e v i t a l s k i l l w i t h which to b a r t e r , the a g r i c u l t u r a l l a b o r e r proved most u s e f u l to the l o c a l economy by h i s p r o v i s i o n of manual l a b o r . He paid f o r h i s f a m i l y ' s shoes and c l o t h i n g not w i t h self-produced commodities or s p e c i a l v o c a t i o n a l e x p e r t i s e , but w i t h h i s v a r i e d l a b o r . The u n s k i l l e d subsistence farmer spent a great deal of h i s time weeding, haying and th r e s h i n g f o r a r t i s a n - f a r m e r s to whom he was indebted f o r household and farm supply goods and s e r v i c e s . He cut t r e e s , hauled wood, cl e a r e d stones from f i e l d s , b u i l t and r e p a i r e d fences and slaughtered and skinned l i v e s t o c k ; he supplemented and augmented h i s subsistence by s u b s t i t u t i n g f o r others on o b l i g a t o r y p u b l i c works such as road, d i t c h and bridge maintenance. He paid h i s taxes, t i t h e s and Meeting House fees and charges w i t h h i s l a b o r . O c c a s i o n a l l y he amassed a small surplus of work c r e d i t and could n e g o t i a t e w i t h others f o r labor a s s i s t a n c e on h i s small home l o t , i f necessary. In these and other ways the u n s k i l l e d worker's regimen was not u n l i k e that of any i n the community, i n the p r a c t i c a l use and exchange of h i s time and l a b o r . Of course, h i s work d i f f e r e d from the a r t i s a n ' s , i n kind and i n r e l a t i v e v a l u e . He spent a m a j o r i t y of h i s working l i f e , i n the work he d i d outside h i s own h o l d i n g , repaying debts i n c u r r e d f o r goods and s e r v i c e s p r e v i o u s l y extended to him. He d i f f e r e d from the r u r a l a r t i s a n i n that regard a l s o . In a way, the u n s k i l l e d laborer-farmer was as c l o s e as p o s s i b l e 120 to being "employed." The s k i l l e d worker was "engaged" to perform a task or produce an item and was u s u a l l y "owed" f o r h i s work. The reverse was true i n the case of the u n s k i l l e d worker who, a f t e r arranging f o r h i s own and h i s f a m i l y ' s m a t e r i a l or s e r v i c e needs, found himself beholden to a c r e d i t o r who would t h e r e a f t e r supervise h i s l a b o r as repayment. In s h o r t , the s k i l l e d a r t i s a n , and e s p e c i a l l y the more s u c c e s s f u l of them, was more o f t e n a c r e d i t o r i n h i s accounting; the u n s k i l l e d l a b o r e r n e a r l y always owed l a b o r . But that l a b o r was c r u c i a l to l o c a l c o n d i t i o n s and i n many respects the place of the l a b o r e r was as v i t a l as any i n the economy of the r u r a l community. I t i s u n l i k e l y that more than 5% of a l l a d u l t white males i n p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts were long term indentured servants; and only about 3% of the t o t a l working pop u l a t i o n were negro s l a v e s . In f a c t , i n r u r a l Massachusetts the f i g u r e f o r sl a v e s never exceeded 2% during 19 the p r o v i n c i a l p e r i o d . In view of the absence of any c e n t r a l i z e d i n d u s t r i a l f a c i l i t i e s and the p a u c i t y of l a r g e - s c a l e commercial a g r i c u l t u r e , these f i g u r e s are not s u r p r i s i n g . There was no economic i n c e n t i v e or opportunity to employ l a r g e numbers of dependent u n s k i l l e d workers i n permanent wage-related employment. But the l o c a l small farm-and community-centred economies d i d r e q u i r e a permanent presence and r e g u l a r and r e l i a b l e supply of u n s k i l l e d l a b o r . Because of the o r i e n t a t i o n of the towns' economies, h i r e d u n s k i l l e d l a b o r was only p r a c t i c a b l e on a small and p e r s o n a l i z e d s c a l e . I t was needed and a p p l i e d i n much the same manner as was s k i l l e d l a b o r : b r i e f l y , exten- s i v e l y , by and f o r i n d i v i d u a l s , f o r personal and v a r i a b l e use. In r u r a l s o c i e t y there was occasion f o r and the p r a c t i c e of se r v i t u d e . Apprentices became de f a c t o servant-trainee-employees. Many daughters of l a b o r e r s and husbandmen found t h e i r way i n t o the homes of more a f f l u e n t men, as domestic servants to a r t i s a n s , merchants farmers, and business entrepreneurs. U n s k i l l e d workers sometimes indentured themselves as "servants" to-commercial farmers, a r t i s a n s and merchants. But apart from the normal four-to-seven year terms of r e s i d e n t i a l a p p r e n t i c e s h i p , these other arrangements were f o r b r i e f and temporary d u r a t i o n . The usual term of v o l u n t a r y s e r v i t u d e was 20 f o r s i x months or a year, w i t h some exceptions of up to two years. In the case of a g r i c u l t u r a l s e r v i t u d e , many l a r g e landowners leased f i v e , ten or more acres of ara b l e land to r u r a l l a b o r e r s on long term agreement, p r e f e r i n g t h i s method of land u t i l i z a t i o n and p r o f i t to d i r e c t term-employment of the a g r i c u l t u r a l l a b o r that would have been necessary f o r the owner's personal operation of the lan d . Lease payments, i n whatever form, were often.considered more a t t r a c t i v e than the p o t e n t i a l problems of the management and d i r e c t r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of 21 short-term r e s i d e n t servant l a b o r . Yet another form of l e g a l short-term v o l u n t a r y s e r v i t u d e e x i s t e d i n r u r a l p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts. Agreements of indenture were made f o r the purpose of r e t i r i n g s p e c i f i c debts. Many u n s k i l l e d workers owed annual l e a s e payments and r e t i r e d these o b l i g a t i o n s by 122 consenting to work e x c l u s i v e l y f o r the l e a s o r under terms and c o n d i t i o n s mutually agreeable. I f a l a b o r e r ' s debts to a l o c a l a r t i s a n were l a r g e enough, o f t e n f o r a year's supply of shoes or c l o t h i n g or b l a c k - smith's work, f o r example, the debtor would f o r m a l l y agree to an extended supply of farm labor equal to the value of the amount owed. Here, eighteenth century s e r v i t u d e acquires a unique meaning. For although the "master" i n these cases would have f u l l access to the labor of the c o n t r a c t i n g "servant," the l a t t e r was sometimes permitted by a generous master to attend to h i s personal a g r i c u l t u r a l and domestic work and a f f a i r s as a p r i o r i t y . The terms and c o n d i t i o n s of s e r v i t u d e were r e l a x e d , f l e x i b l e and were customarily f o r s p e c i f i e d 22 and temporary purposes. Even ap p r e n t i c e s , who were, s t r i c t l y speaking, p r a c t i c a l s ervants, were not mere employees. C e r t a i n l y they were expected to c o n t r i b u t e to the economic advantage of: t h e i r masters i n r e t u r n f o r the transference of knowledge and c r a f t s e x p e r t i s e . But a p p r e n t i c e - ship a l s o was a complex of s o c i a l , moral and s c h o l a s t i c l e a r n i n g and the master was under.a r i g i d o b l i g a t i o n . t o guide the young ward through adolescence to manhood. This l e g a l l y mandated r e s p o n s i b i l i t y s t r e s s e d the i n c l u s i o n of the apprentice i n t o the h i e r a r c h y of the host f a m i l y u n i t , as an a c t i v e f a m i l y member. N a t u r a l l y the apprentice was a worker engaged by h i s artisan-master, but h i s s t a t u s extended beyond that of a servant-employee. Abuses of t h i s arrangement, such as masters using the apprentices' time i n excessive 123 f i e l d work to the detriment of shop work, f o r example, were c l o s e l y monitored by parents, neighbors and constables and reported and 23 corre c t e d by l o c a l a u t h o r i t i e s . With only a marginal servant c l a s s — one that was f l u i d and t r a n s i t o r y i n composition — and. w i t h an economy based on i n d i v i d u a l production and pragmatic working c o n d i t i o n s and r e l a t i o n s h i p s , r u r a l s o c i e t y ' s l a b o r needs were f i l l e d by workers who were independent, mobile and v e r s a t i l e . The i n d i v i d u a l u n s k i l l e d worker was incorporated i n t o the l o c a l economy as a f u l l p a r t i c i p a n t i n the community's s o c i a l and economic o r g a n i z a t i o n . The u n s k i l l e d worker i n r u r a l p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts occupied a novel p o s i t i o n w i t h i n s o c i e t y i n c o n t r a s t to some other l a b o r i n g c l a s s e s elsewhere i n the A t l a n t i c world and western Europe. The r u r a l l a b o r e r i n eighteenth century Massachusetts u s u a l l y 24 owned or had leasehold on the subsistence land he occupied. In Massachusetts the u n s k i l l e d r u r a l worker was not a member of a bonded, indentured servant c l a s s . He was not subject to the steady and perpetual d i c t a t e s of a master or s i n g l e employer, nor dependent upon the vagaries of manorial or g e n t r y - c o n t r o l l e d tenancy, nor of the dogmatic laws of cash crop, m e r c a n t i l e or manufacturing economies. He d i d not s u f f e r the economic, s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l p r o s c r i p t i o n s of l a n d l e s s farm.laborers i n England or the indentured 25 and post-indentured a g r i c u l t u r a l servants of the Chesapeake. In Massachusetts, because the r u r a l l a b o r e r u s u a l l y enjoyed church member- ship and held t i t l e to l a n d , he was o f t e n e l i g i b l e to vote on and p a r t i c i p a t e i n a wide range of issues that were common to the e n t i r e 124 community. He was above a l l , an i n t e g r a l and important independent l i n k i n the modest and l o c a l economies of a g r a r i a n and communal Massachusetts. And although h i s c h i e f source and means of independence, s t a b i l i t y and s e c u r i t y was h i s l a b o r and not a s p e c i a l s k i l l , or ownership of s u b s t a n t i a l disposable r e a l e s t a t e , he was r e l a t i v e l y f r e e to deploy h i s l a b o r , as much on h i s own terms as at the command or under the a u t h o r i t y of others. There can be no mistake that he was indebted o f t e n to merchants, a r t i s a n s and landowners and that h i s l a b o r was i n v a r i a b l y h i s only method of repayment of those debts. A r e g u l a r demand f o r farm help meant that the u n s k i l l e d worker was permitted and even encouraged to repay w i t h h i s l a b o r when time, the nature and importance of the work and the occasion f o r mutual convenience coalesced. In a l l matters i t was the possession of land that afforded 26 a measure of e q u a l i t y f o r the r u r a l l a b o r i n g p o p u l a t i o n . S t i l l , there were some d i s p a r i t i e s between s k i l l e d and u n s k i l l e d workers. A l a b o r e r ' s work was c o n s i s t e n t l y valued at n e a r l y 60% that of the a r t i s a n . Moreover, the l a t t e r normally farmed about 50% more 27 acreage than t h e . l a b o r e r . While t h i s gap was s i g n i f i c a n t , i t was not i n i t s e l f the main cause of economic and s o c i a l d i s t i n c t i o n between the two groups. Rather, i t was a symptom of the perpetuation of b a s i c advantages inherent i n c r a f t s v o c a t i o n s and the attendant property accumulations. The sons of a r t i s a n s were more l i k e l y to i n h e r i t more land at adulthood i n a d d i t i o n to the i n e v i t a b l e and more remunerative trades t r a i n i n g they would have r e c e i v e d . The 125 a r t i s a n - f a r m e r turned h i s higher earning power i n t o extended a g r i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t y by b a r t e r i n g h i s s e r v i c e s f o r s u b s t i t u t e farm l a b o r . The added value of h i s c r a f t s work sometimes produced s u f f i c i e n t c r e d i t to a f f o r d the gradual purchase, lease or r e n t a l of small p a r c e l s of land that he could r e - s e l l , sub-lease or otherwise manipulate as a m a t e r i a l a s s e t ; or he simply accumulated land f o r f u t u r e bequeath. Despite the laws and p r a c t i c e s which favored p a r t i b l e i n h e r i - tance, the small holdings of l a b o r e r s meant that u n s k i l l e d or untrained workers i n h e r i t e d only a l i t t l e , i f any a r a b l e land from t h e i r u s u a l l y l e s s a f f l u e n t f a t h e r s and were o f t e n l e f t to t h e i r own means to acquire a s u i t a b l e farm property f o r a maximum p o s s i b l e l e v e l of a g r i c u l t u r a l s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y . H i s smaller income, measured i n the c r e d i t h i s l a b o r brought, hindered h i s o p p o r t u n i t i e s i n t h i s regard, as i t d i d t h e r e a f t e r c o n s t r i c t h i s a b i l i t y to amass and reserve land f o r p o s s i b l e h e i r s . Nevertheless, leased land was a v a i l a b l e to him and i n most cases the r u r a l l a b o r e r d i d manage to o b t a i n a r e s p e c t a b l e home l o t acreage; one that would provide immediate m a t e r i a l support and that could be enlarged and l a t e r p o s s i b l y subdivided, i n very s m a l l , f o u r — and f i v e - a c r e p l o t s , and t r a n s f e r r e d as subsistence bases to one or more successors. The gap between s k i l l e d and u n s k i l l e d men was r e a l i n terms of economic c o n d i t i o n , o p p o r t u n i t y , and legacy, but i t d i d not prevent the r u r a l landed l a b o r e r from enjoying a f i r m measure of independence and p o s s i b l y f u l l p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the a f f a i r s of the community. In Massachusetts a l l men were taxed according to t h e i r r e a l and personal worth; both the value of property and the value of work were included i n p u b l i c tax assessments. The method of tax assessment used i n the province was based upon a percentage of the value of r e a l e s t a t e and earnings. The t o t a l value of property was c a l c u l a t e d at s i x times i t s annual rent v a l u e . This was taxed along w i t h personal estate or income, at r a t e s which ranged from a "penny i n the pound" to over eightpence, depending on l o c a l and p r o v i n c i a l f i n a n c i a l needs. The r a t e s were set annually, and seldom d i d the tax exceed one or two pence per pound of income or r e a l e s t a t e . The m a j o r i t y of u n s k i l l e d workers paid more tax on the value of t h e i r personal e s t a t e s — farm produce and other measured work income — than they d i d on r e a l property. The balance was roughly equal f o r most a r t i s a n - f a r m e r s . The p o i n t to be noted here i s that most l a b o r e r s and husbandmen were taxed. Fewer than 10% of a l l r u r a l white male a d u l t s were not rated i n any given year and the i n d i v i d u a l s included i n that 10% d i d not always appear p e r e n n i a l l y . To be considered r a t e a b l e and then assessed i n p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts was to be judged s o l v e n t . The great m a j o r i t y of u n s k i l l e d workers i n the a g r a r i a n towns were con- sidered solvent under the law i n the p r o v i n c i a l p e r i o d , on the b a s i s of t h e i r combined r e a l and personal worth. This solvency gave un- s k i l l e d workers a c t u a l or p o t e n t i a l access to l o c a l p o l i t i c a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n w h i l e i t o f f e r e d them assurances of continued s o c i a l and economic w e l f a r e . ^ While u n s k i l l e d workers d i d p a r t i c i p a t e i n the p o l i t i c a l , s o c i a l and economic a f f a i r s of the l o c a l community, they d i d so at a l e v e l g e n e r a l l y below that of the a r t i s a n - f a r m e r , merchant or l a r g e landowner. C e r t a i n l y , r u r a l l a b o r e r s and husbandmen represented a stratum of "second-class c i t i z e n s , " and there were v a r i o u s r e s t r i c - t i o n s imposed on them by t h e i r economic l i m i t a t i o n s . U n s k i l l e d workers r a r e l y occupied senior l o c a l e l e c t e d or appointed p o s i t i o n s ; selectmen, j u s t i c e s , s e c r e t a r i e s and most posts at l e a s t to the l e v e l of constable were held by commercial farmers, merchants, entrepreneurs, and a r t i s a n s . Only minor appointments such as "hog- reeves" and "fence-viewers" were given to l a b o r e r s who were w e l l e s t a b l i s h e d i n the community. S o c i a l l y , u n s k i l l e d workers married l a t e r , had smaller f a m i l i e s and l i v e d i n more modest m a t e r i a l circumstances than d i d a r t i s a n s . The l a b o r e r ' s household s i z e was n e c e s s a r i l y smaller than that of others i n the community; many a r t i s a n s , f o r example, augmented t h e i r l a r g e r f a m i l y s i z e by i n c l u d - ing a r e s i d e n t apprentice and servant g i r l . Many of those servant g i r l s were the daughters of l o c a l l a b o r e r s ; and t h i s form of contact between the f a m i l i e s of v o c a t i o n a l groups was a l i n k a g e i n the socio economic bond that ran through communities. The b a r t e r and l a b o r exchange between a r t i s a n s and l a b o r e r s , t h e i r sons, daughters and wives, and a l i m i t e d p o l i t i c a l v o i c e i n the community gave the un- s k i l l e d worker an important s o c i a l and o c c u p a t i o n a l niche i n s o c i e t y The f a c t that t h i s niche i n d i c a t e d a lower economic s t a t u s and was r e f l e c t e d i n a diminished s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l r o l e d i d mean a 128 reduced standard of c i t i z e n s h i p . But t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n was not perman- ent and a b s o l u t e l y p e r p e t u a l . Although t h e i r c o n d i t i o n s and circumstances were l e s s rewarding and t h e i r horizons lower than those of a r t i s a n s , r u r a l u n s k i l l e d workers were not a f i x e d subordinate c l a s s . The e l e c t i o n and appointment of former l a b o r e r s i n Watertown, B r a i n t r e e , Dedham and other towns i s evidence of some s o c i a l and 29 p o l i t i c a l m o b i l i t y . G e n e r a l l y , l o c a l economic and v o c a t i o n a l c o n d i t i o n s were s t a b l e and p e r s i s t e n t . But these agents of c o n t i n u i t y d i d not preclude some oc c u p a t i o n a l , economic and s o c i a l m o b i l i t y f o r i n d i v i d u a l s and groups. The minor husbandman, occupying ten or fewer acres of c u l t i v a t e d land and busy w i t h the seasonal and p e r e n n i a l pressures of subsistence was ever concerned w i t h h i s immediate and short-term needs, r e l y i n g upon and applying h i s l a b o r i n a complex of a c t i v i t i e s , o b l i g a t i o n s and n e c e s s i t i e s . His opportunity f o r v o c a t i o n a l and subsequent economic improvement was abridged by the l i m i t s of h i s p r o p r i e t a r y value and the r e l a t i v e worth of h i s work. Yet the socio-economic boundaries imposed upon the r u r a l l a b o r e r d i d not always devolve to t h e i r c h i l d r e n . Sons could transcend t h e i r f a t h e r s ' s t a t i o n s i n a s o c i e t y that f o s t e r e d f l u i d work patte r n s and which supported continued p e r s o n a l i z e d economic t r a n s a c t i o n . The simple i n t e g r a t i o n of u n s k i l l e d workers i n t o a l l corners of the l o c a l economies and the common a f f i l i a t i o n w i t h the la n d , i n the form of independent and p r i v a t e subsistence farming, created a constant s o c i a l i n t e r c o u r s e between s k i l l e d and u n s k i l l e d 129 workers, t h e i r f a m i l i e s and a l l r e s i d e n t s and t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e s o c i a l and economic p o s i t i o n s and f u n c t i o n . In t h i s s e t t i n g i t was d i f f i c u l t , i f not imp o s s i b l e , f o r any group or even a m a j o r i t y i n the community to exclude, segregate or debase the u n s k i l l e d worker and h i s f a m i l y when the l a t t e r normally possessed the ethnic f e a t u r e s and r e l i g i o u s a f f i l i a t i o n t hat were r e - quired of everyone e l s e f o r membership i n the corporate Massachusetts town. Moreover, these workers were v i t a l , as i n d i v i d u a l s , to the support of the towns' o r d e r l y m a t e r i a l undertakings. Without the apparatus or d e s i r e f o r a permanent i n d u s t r i a l or a g r i c u l t u r a l l a b o r i n g c l a s s , there e x i s t e d no means or i n s t i t u t i o n a l precedent f o r c r e a t i n g or maintaining a body of cheap, d i s c i p l i n e d u n s k i l l e d l a b o r . The s t a b i l i t y of the Massachusetts town was pr e d i c a t e d upon p r i n c i p l e s of balanced co-existence i n a l l matters of community l i f e . The corporate- congregational system was best upheld when the m a j o r i t y of i n h a b i t a n t s shared at l e a s t some b a s i c e q u a l i t y . In r u r a l s o c i e t y , residency was tenuous without a f i x e d and necessary place i n the community; the possession of even a small farm acreage, a u s e f u l work a l t e r n a t i v e and a d a p t a b i l i t y i n the conduct of i n d i v i d u a l economic and v o c a t i o n a l behavior were the q u a l i t i e s that ensured a place i n the community f o r the r u r a l l a b o r e r . C e r t a i n f a m i l i e s , at c e r t a i n times, d i d c o n s t i t u t e a dependent source of a v a i l a b l e cheap l a b o r f o r the more a f f l u e n t . But few men, of any v o c a t i o n a l or economic standing, needed or could a f f o r d f u l l - t i m e , permanent employees. Moreover, there was seldom a surplus of l a b o r e r s i n r u r a l p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts. Indeed, the records suggest that there 130 was a constant marginal shortage of la b o r that was aggravated by 30 p e r i o d i c excessive shortages. These more troublesome shortages always occurred at c r i t i c a l j u n c t u r e s i n the a g r i c u l t u r a l calendar however, p r i n c i p a l l y at harvest time. These f a v o r a b l e o p p o r t u n i t i e s f o r the farm worker o f t e n were countered by shortages of work during some w i n t e r s . But u s u a l l y there was a s t a b l e demand f o r u n s k i l l e d l a b o r ; and that demand was made by m u l t i p l e and s m a l l — s c a l e competitive elements. The scope of t h i s competition and the short-term nature of c o n t r a c t u a l - o r b a r t e r - l a b o r accords meant that the u n s k i l l e d worker and h i s f a m i l y were never bound to a s i n g l e source of o u t s i d e employ- ment; one that could n u l l i f y the worker's l i b e r t y to engage i n the l o c a l economy as an independent f a c t o r . The u n s k i l l e d worker, d e s p i t e h i s lower earning c a p a c i t i e s and economic p r o f i l e , could not be e x p l o i t e d by long-term dependency or commitment to u n f a i r low r e t u r n f o r h i s l a b o r . Once again, as the form of the r u r a l economy allowed the s k i l l e d worker to be both craftsman and farmer-landowner, that same s t r u c t u r e granted the u n s k i l l e d worker an a g r i c u l t u r a l base and a c e r t a i n freedom and m o b i l i t y i n h i s other and necessary v o c a t i o n a l p u r s u i t s . Indeed, the economic framework of r u r a l c u l t u r e was founded upon those c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and demanded that m o b i l i t y from a l l i t s l a b o r p a r t i c i p a n t s . In that way the r u r a l u n s k i l l e d worker was part of a con- t i n u i n g paradox. While he was, i n most r e s p e c t s , a p r i v a t e dispenser of h i s time, s e r v i c e and l a b o r , not u n l i k e the a r t i s a n , nevertheless he was burdened by the socio-economic and p o l i t i c a l f a c t o r s enumerated 131 e a r l i e r . With no serious expansion of the s k i l l e d l a b o r economy, and w i t h no easy or p r e d i c t a b l e access to more land and more extensive farming i n the l o c a l community, the u n s k i l l e d worker, h i s f a m i l y and h e i r s had to seek economic and s o c i a l improvement w i t h i n a f a i r l y s t a b l e and sometimes s t a t i c l o c a l economy. The most p r a c t i c a l and common method of advancement f o r the a d u l t l a b o r i n g farmer was a p a t i e n t a p p l i c a t i o n of h i s l a b o r over time under a personal program of constant work and d i s c i p l i n e d f r u g a l i t y . Thus, a man might g r a d u a l l y lease or purchase a few more acres of farm land or more l i v e s t o c k . Often t h i s was achieved through the development of i n d i s - p e n s i b l e or more p r o f i t a b l e s k i l l s . By o b s e r v a t i o n , experience and i n f o r m a l i n s t r u c t i o n the u n s k i l l e d worker improved h i s d e x t e r i t y and promoted the demand f o r and value of h i s l a b o r i n many non - c r a f t s s p e c i a l t i e s . The more s u c c e s s f u l husbandmen and a g r a r i a n l a b o r e r s were very o f t e n e c l e c t i c handymen who p r a c t i c e d v a r i o u s s k i l l s up to but short of the l e v e l of the formal i n s t r u c t e d trades. And as i t i s not p o s s i b l e to lump together a l l a r t i s a n - f a r m e r s as possessing equal a p t i t u d e , worth and s t a t u s , or v o c a t i o n a l behaviour, there, was a l s o a graduation of c o n d i t i o n s among u n s k i l l e d workers. Some were simply b e t t e r workers, more r e l i a b l e and p r o f i c i e n t than others and more s o p h i s t i c a t e d managers of t h e i r time, b a r t e r arrangements and lands. Some bartered t h e i r l a b o r f o r c a p i t a l c r e d i t w i t h which to secure land or support a l a t e r a p p r e n t i c e s h i p . Many of these men o f t e n 132 a s p i r e d to and matched the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l c r e d e n t i a l s of the average a r t i s a n - f a r m e r , without ever having learned or p r a c t i c e d an a c c r e d i t e d c r a f t s s k i l l . An outstanding example of the m u l t i - t a l e n t e d , i n d i s p e n s i b l e handyman-laborer was Cockerel Reeves of Essex county, who spent over twenty years as a l a b o r e r before s e t t l i n g on h i s own farm. He l i v e d i n the town of Salem but d i d most of h i s work i n neighboring a g r i c u l t u r a l towns. According to h i s own r e c o r d , Reeves considered himself a " c i t i z e n " and an important man "of business." He was e x c e p t i o n a l among l a b o r e r s i n that he kept accounts of h i s d a i l y and short-term l a b o r agreements. To emphasize h i s v e r s a t i l i t y , w i t h i n the space of three months i n 1711 he charged separate employers f o r " p a s t u r i n g and c a r i n g f o r a horse, making c l o g s , going to i s l a n d w i t h s h i p , making h e e l s , cording wood, p u l l i n g down a barn, washing f i s h , making a saw, three days work on ship [ b u i l d i n g ] , work aboard s h i p , p u t t i n g up a bedstead, work i n garden, g r i n d i n g k n i v e s , making a hoe handle, making c i d e r , k i l l i n g lambs, c a r t i n g ten yards of crap, framing, slat-work." I f Reeves was not t y p i c a l of the r u r a l l a b o r e r . h i s . v a r i e t y of work does: i n d i c a t e the kinds of jobs a v a i l a b l e to the 31 u n s k i l l e d ' worker. O f f s p r i n g d i d not a u t o m a t i c a l l y i n h e r i t t h e i r f a t h e r s ' v o c a t i o n a l and socio-economic s t a t u s . The adult sons of r u r a l l a b o r - e r s , i n the event of no i n h e r i t a b l e l a n d , or no prospect of reasonable purchase or l e a s e of land and l a c k i n g an apprenticed s k i l l , were not i n e v i t a b l y assumed to repeat t h e i r f a t h e r s ' experiences. Adult v o l u n t a r y a p p r e n t i c e s h i p , i n another l o c a t i o n at an opportune time, o f f e r e d one means of improved v o c a t i o n a l opportunity. New towns i n the west of the province or i n New Hampshire, w i t h cheaper land and obtainable land r e s e r v e s , made a g r i c u l t u r a l s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y a r e a l i t y 32 f o r some. A son of an u n s k i l l e d worker might even remain i n the town of h i s b i r t h and endure a precarious l i v e l i h o o d u n t i l he could p l a n t himself on a small independent farm. Or, he might take a l a t e a p p renticeship l o c a l l y , i f the opportunity arose and i f he could arrange a personal s e r v i t u d e indenture w i t h a craftsman i n order to defray the cost of ap p r e n t i c e s h i p . Many u n s k i l l e d men obtained and developed high demand s e r v i c e occupations such as c a r t i n g , sawing, cider-making and s m a l l - s c a l e m i l l i n g . By these means, u n s k i l l e d , sometimes l a n d l e s s men improved t h e i r c o n d i t i o n s , increased t h e i r incomes and e v e n t u a l l y possessed some land and a l a r g e r measure of economic independence and s e c u r i t y . Some l a n d l e s s men removed to Boston or Salem to go to sea or to attempt to secure a p p r e n t i c e s h i p s i n the many c r a f t s p r a c t i c e d i n 33 , the commercial economies. * Some became s a i l o r s f o r pa r t of the year, r e t u r n i n g to r u r a l communities when a g r i c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t y created a 34 higher than usual demand f o r u n s k i l l e d l a b o r . Of course, geographical m o b i l i t y was more convenient f o r unmarried males than f o r those who had been s e t t l e d by home and f a m i l y ; yet many married u n s k i l l e d r u r a l men manned the New England c o a s t i n g v e s s e l s f o r part of t h e i r incomes. In s h o r t , d e s p i t e the r e l a t i v e permanence of the r u r a l s o c i e t y ' s v a r i o u s i n s t i t u t i o n s and p r a c t i c e s , no f i x e d , permanent and transgen- 134 e r a t i o n a l subordinate working c l a s s e x i s t e d or evolved. W i t h i n the continuous and p r e d i c t a b l e patterns of communal s o c i e t y and i t s economy, workers were f r e e to change occupations, l e a r n s k i l l s , determine t h e i r v o c a t i o n a l and economic contacts and a s p i r e to the i d e a l of t r a n s m i t t a b l e landed e s t a t e . Moreover, workers were not bound to repeat the p r e c i s e or even general work h a b i t s and s o c i o - economic c o n d i t i o n s of t h e i r forebearers. S t i l l , a d i s t i n c t i o n was maintained between s k i l l e d and u n s k i l l e d workers. I t was not a l e g a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n except where the law i n s i s t e d on c e r t a i n c r a f t s c r e d e n t i a l s i n the production of c e r t a i n e s s e n t i a l commodities or i n the p r a c t i c e of v a r i o u s s k i l l e d s e r v i c e s . Only r a r e l y d i d the law s i n g l e out a p a r t i c u l a r occupational group f o r s p e c i a l c o n t r o l or biased l e g i s l a t i o n . For example, when t r a n s i e n t workers sought 35 residence or when t h e i r presence threatened e x i s t i n g business. D i s t i n c t i o n s between s k i l l e d and u n s k i l l e d workers were not g e n e r a l l y determined by an g e n e a l o g i c a l precedent. Of course m i n o r i t y e t h n i c , r a c i a l or s e c t a r i a n backgrounds created automatic v o c a t i o n a l as w e l l as s o c i a l b a r r i e r s . But the laws concerning residency-: made eth n i c or r e l i g i o u s m i n o r i t i e s a very small part of the p o p u l a t i o n of most towns. These were e x p l i c i t i n the laws and p r a c t i c e s of "warning out" unwanted migrants. P r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts was approximately 3 6 90% E n g l i s h and 75% C o n g r e g a t i o n a l i s t . S o c i a l d i f f e r e n c e s between a r t i s a n s and l a b o r e r s were not formed by r e l i g i o n , race or parentage but r a t h e r by the nature of the labor requirements of the l o c a l 135 communities and by the m u l t i p l e o p t i o n s , t a l e n t s and ambitions of indiv i d u a l s ' . C e r t a i n l y the reduced economic and m a t e r i a l assets of poorer u n s k i l l e d workers tended to devolve to subsequent generations and a f f e c t the v o c a t i o n a l s t a t u s of successors. But those reduced assets did.not mean that the sons of l a b o r e r s had no a l t e r n a t i v e to t h e i r f a t h e r s ' s t a t i o n s i n s o c i e t y . The working l i f e of an u n s k i l l e d worker was s i m i l a r i n out- l i n e to that of the a r t i s a n - f a r m e r . I t was a blend of farm work and v a r i e d r e l a t e d and general l a b o r commitments and p r a c t i c e s . The combination of sabbaths, thanksgivings, days of f a s t and h u m i l i a t i o n , v a r i o u s s o c i a l , f a m i l i a l , p o l i t i c a l , weather and h e a l t h i n t e r r u p t i o n s l e f t the p r o v i n c i a l r u r a l worker w i t h some 200 to 300 working days to f i l l i n a year. The lower f i g u r e a p p l i e d to some a r t i s a n - f a r m e r s whose s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l o b l i g a t i o n s demanded a good d e a l of h i s time. Among the evidence remaining of annual days worked by v a r i o u s men i s that of John M a r s h a l l , a mason who worked between 228 and 241 days a year between 1700 and 1711.; he was p o l i t i c a l l y a c t i v e every year i n p o s i t i o n s ranging from m i l i t i a o f f i c e r to constable, and once as a selectman. John Reed, a shoemaker and farmer, served i n va r i o u s o f f i c i a l c a p a c i t i e s i n Weymouth w h i l e he averaged 250 working days a year i n the 1750s and 1760s. Joseph Andrews, a commercial farmer, normally worked between 210 and 260 days a year i n farm-related work, depending on " s e r v i c e i n the town's b e h a l f . " Cockerel Reeves, on the other hand, w i t h no c i v i c commitments, worked as many as 305 37 days i n one year, 1707. 136 A g r i c u l t u r a l and d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d work kept some going from l a t e March u n t i l mid-November. The most d i f f i c u l t months f o r work, n a t u r a l l y , were January through March. Then, the u n s k i l l e d worker was most o f t e n engaged i n whatever l i m i t e d c o n s t r u c t i o n and cartage work he could f i n d ; and he aided the working a r t i s a n s i n t h e i r shops or at t h e i r benches i f such work were a v a i l a b l e . Otherwise he broke and "swingled" f l a x s t a l k s i n t o usable f i b e r s and i f he could weave or s t i t c h , sew or k n i t he would r e t r e a t to h i s home to produce what he could i n t h i s " f i r e s i d e " a c t i v i t y . He cut wood or made s h i n g l e s or 38 l a t h s or b r i c k s . O c c a s i o n a l l y , he e x t r a c t e d p i t c h or potash or dug s a l t . Over the course of a year, some 75% of the u n s k i l l e d workers' l a b o r s were d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y t i e d to farming; f o r t h e i r own and f o r others' operations. This i n v o l v e d a l l manner of f i e l d l a b o r and l i v e s t o c k management. I t included b u t c h e r i n g , s k i n n i n g , packing and shearing. The l a b o r e r picked the stones from f i e l d s and carted them; he a l s o gathered and carted dung, wood, hides and produce; he b u i l t and r e p a i r e d fences and c l e a r e d d i t c h e s . He was, l i k e a l l workers and landowners, subject to l e g a l harvest impressment 39 when a shortened reaping season threatened l o c a l g r a i n y i e l d s . In p r o v i d i n g f o r b a s i c s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y , both the b e n e f i t s and inadequacies of subsistence farming were s i m i l a r f o r a r t i s a n and l a b o r e r a l i k e . A f u l l y developed and u t i l i z e d small farm of ten f e r t i l e and productive acres would r e t u r n v i r t u a l l y a l l the b a s i c foods consumed annually by a f a m i l y of f i v e . That prod u c t i o n , of the g r a i n and meat s t a p l e s , included f o r t y to s i x t y bushels of mixed e d i b l e g r a i n s , apples f o r c i d e r and t u r n i p s , and one-to-three slaughtered l i v e s t o c k , u s u a l l y one steer and one sheep or swine. The subsistence farmer i n eastern Massachusetts had l i t t l e o pportunity to supplement h i s d i e t w i t h w i l d b i r d s and game. The same ten-acre farm would provide between h a l f a n d . a l l of the five-member f a m i l y ' s b a s i c c l o t h i n g m a t e r i a l s of l e a t h e r , spun l i n e n and wool. When combined, these commodities c o n s t i t u t e d about h a l f or l e s s of the f a m i l y ' s m a t e r i a l budget. I f the f a m i l y wanted or re q u i r e d other foods such as eggs, b u t t e r , cheese, beer and f i s h , these had to be obtained w i t h work outside the home l o t , or w i t h a domestic e n t e r p r i s e such as c i d e r - p r e s s i n g , weaving or rough l e a t h e r work. Most other m a t e r i a l needs — cordwood, lumber, f u r n i t u r e and t o o l s — were paid f o r by other s e r v i c e s , as were taxes, t i t h e s and any lease payments. To l i v e at a m a t e r i a l l e v e l that was n e i t h e r too rude nor p r e c a r i o u s , the subsistence laborer-farmer was pressed to work as o f t e n and as hard as he could. While t h i s regime d i d not bestow any measure of refinement, l u x u r y or re g u l a r savings, i t could and d i d a f f o r d a b a s i c and manageable standard , , . . 40 of l i v i n g . A c h i e f concern of the laborer-farmer was w i t h securing as many working days as p o s s i b l e . His budget was determined more by qu a n t i t y of work than by q u a l i t y , although the b e t t e r h i s work was, the more s k i l l e d and l u c r a t i v e would be the kinds of tasks he was o f f e r e d . Therefore, he could not a f f o r d many missed days of employment. 138 The demand was normally so great f o r h i s labor that only weather and i l l h e a l t h forced him i n t o unproductive and unremunerative i d l e n e s s . S o c i a l l y , according to Perry M i l l e r , h i s r e c r e a t i o n and r e s t were regulated by the sabbath and he accorded him s e l f only a l i t t l e p l a y f u l 41 l e i s u r e . H i s la b o r s were p h y s i c a l , long and o f t e n l o n e l y and monotonous. Yet o v e r a l l i t was not a working l i f e of u n r e l i e v e d tedium and m e n i a l i t y . From day to day and from season to season there was some v a r i e t y i n the tasks the u n s k i l l e d worker was expected to perform. In the process of completing t h i s extended work p a t t e r n , the laborer-farmer was exposed to a great d e a l of s o c i a l contact w i t h the r e s t of the community. In many ways h i s labor and h i s s o c i a l l i f e were one, shared f i r s t w i t h h i s f a m i l y and extending to i n c l u d e h i s neighbors and a s i g n i f i c a n t p o r t i o n of the community. No matter how s e n s i t i v e he was to h e a l t h , weather and the v a r i a b l e p r o d u c t i v i t y of h i s farm, the r u r a l l a b o r e r u s u a l l y obtained a measure of s t a b i l i t y and opportunity w i t h i n his. community. He achieved t h i s by working long days, o f t e n at p h y s i c a l l y demanding t a s k s , and by p a r t i c i p a t i n g as an independent and u s e f u l member of an i n t i m a t e and mostly cash- f r e e l o c a l economy. 139 NOTES CHAPTER IV XH.W. Belknap, Trades and Tradesmen of Essex County (Salem, Mass.: 1929), passim. M. Arch. MSS., V o l s . 39-44, 47, 71 a l l give examples of contemporary usage. For "Husbandmen," V o l . 40, pp. 478, 500, 645, 653. On " l a b o r e r s " see V o l . 44, pp. 10, 281, 599, 600 f f . On the use of the terms "mechanic," " a r t i s a n , " " h a n d i c r a f t s - man" see Mass. Bay Recs. and Acts and Resolves, V o l s . 1-5. Both passim. 2M. Arch. MSS., I b i d . ; MHS Misc. Bd. MSS., "De p o s i t i o n s . " 3 MHS, Thwing Catalogue. Included i n the b i o g r a p h i c a l and es t a t e i n f o r m a t i o n are hundreds of examples of oc c u p a t i o n a l m o b i l i t y and t i t u l a r v a r i a t i o n s . 4W.H. Whitmore, ed., Massachusetts C i v i l L i s t (Albany: 1870), p. 86; Baker MSS., "Jacob Adams Account Book." 5M. Arch. MSS., V o l . I , " A g r i c u l t u r a l " ; V o l s . 40-46, indexes, passim. 6M. Arch. MSS., V o l . 94, "Muster Rolls'," pp. 167-557. Over 2,500 names and occupations from r u r a l r e s i d e n t s were sampled from these l i s t s . Another 300 names and occupations were sampled from M. Arch. MSS., mostly, V o l s . 39-46, 70-71, 244-245. See Chapter 3, n. 2, t h i s paper. ^ O c c a s i o n a l l y the terms were used, o f t e n i n matters d e a l i n g w i t h poverty, i d l e n e s s and c h a r i t y . Then, i t was o f t e n urged that the poor and i d l e be taught " s k i l l s , " or be made " s k i l l f u l . " See e s p e c i a l l y the sermons of Samuel Cooper and Charles Chauncy at MHS and the laws governing a p p r e n t i c e s h i p and i d l e n e s s i n C o l o n i a l Laws, Mass. Bay Recs. and Acts and Resolves. The standard term f o r an i n d u s t r i a l " s k i l l " used i n indenture c o n t r a c t s was "trade or mystery" or " a r t , trade or c a l l i n g , " see MHS Misc. Bd., "Apprentice Indentures," 1725. Appendix I I I , i . 140 On the question of general growth, stagnation or d e c l i n e i n the p r o v i n c i a l economy, see A l i c e Hanson Jones, "Wealth Estimates f o r the New England Colonies About 1770," JEH 32 (1972), pp. 98-127; Marc E g n a l l , "The Economic Development of the T h i r t e e n C o n t i n e n t a l C o l o n i e s , 1720-1775," WMQ 32 (1975), pp. 191-222; Stuart Bruchey, The Roots of American Economic Growth, 1607-1861 (New York: 1965), pp. 16-65. 1 0 J . P o t t e r , "The Growth of American P o p u l a t i o n , 1700-1860," i n Glass and E v e r s l l e y , eds., P o p u l a t i o n i n H i s t o r y (London: 1965); D a n i e l Scott Smith, "The Demographic H i s t o r y of C o l o n i a l New England," JEH 32 (1972), pp. 165-183; C l i f f o r d K. Shipton, "Immigration to New England, 1680-1740," J o u r n a l of P o l i t i c a l Economy 44 (1936), pp. 225- 239; J o s i a h Benton, Warning Out i n New England, 1656-1817 (Boston: 1911) 11 M. Arch. MSS, V o l . 94; Belknap, Trades and Occupations; J.T. Main, The S o c i a l S t r u c t u r e of Revolutionary America ( P r i n c e t o n : 1965), pp. 21-23, speaks of 10% of r u r a l Massachusetts workers as being a r t i s a n s . He i s r e f e r r i n g to f u l l — t i m e or even l a n d l e s s a r t i s a n s who d i d no personal farming. Main, l i k e o t h e r s , encourages the n o t i o n that to farm at the subsistence l e v e l i n the eighteenth century made one a "farmer" and nothing more. For a more r e a l i s t i c a p p r a i s a l of the s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y and m u l t i - v o c a t i o n a l status of p r a c t i c a l l y a l l "farmers," i n c l u d i n g the incidence of a r t i s a n s h i p among subsistence farmers, see P.W. B i d w e l l and John Falconer, H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e i n the Northern United S t a t e s , 1620-1860 (Washington: 1925), pp. 115-133. 12 A l i c e E a r l e , Home L i f e i n C o l o n i a l Days (New York: 1899), pp. 40 f f . ; Robert F. Seybolt, Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship Education i n C o l o n i a l New England and New York (New York: 1917). 13 M. Arch. MSS, V o l . 94, pp. 157-557; Main, S o c i a l S t r u c t u r e , pp. 7-43; B i d w e l l , Rural Economy i n New England ( H a r t f o r d : 1916), p. 241 f f . Although the l a t t e r deals mainly w i t h the e a r l y N a t i o n a l P e r i o d , the author i s at pains to e s t a b l i s h precedents i n the p r o v i n c i a l p e r i o d . For a sample of r u r a l occupations, see Chapter I I I , n. 2, t h i s paper. B i d w e l l , R u r a l Economy, I n t r o d u c t i o n . M. Arch MSS, V o l s . 130-134, "Valuations of Towns." 141 Trench Coxe, View of the United States of America (London: 1794), pp. 442-460. Coxe went beyond New England and the p r o v i n c i a l p e r i o d , of course, but h i s observations and views of the American farmer as being n e c e s s a r i l y v e r s a t i l e , m u l t i - v o c a t i o n a l and even dependent on other income sources and employment o f f e r s a sobering a n t i d o t e to h i s more i n f l u e n t i a l (to h i s t o r i a n s ) contemporary, Crevecoeur. The l a t t e r ' s c e lebrated "new man," the stereotyped American yeoman, has p e r s i s t e d as an image of the eighteenth century farmer. See J . Hector St. J . Crevecoeur, L e t t e r s from an American Farmer ( r e p r i n t , New York: 1916). 16 General Warren, American Museum, V o l . 2 (1787), No. 4, p. 347. Robert R. Walcott, "Husbandry i n C o l o n i a l New England," NEQ 9 (1936), pp. 218-52. On the l i m i t e d number of oxen see MHS MSS "Roxbury V a l u a t i o n s , " 1727; On farm implenents see B i d w e l l and Falconer, H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e , esp. pp. 123-25. 1 7M. Arch. MSS, V o l . 8, p. 236, V o l . 12 " E c c l e s i a s t i c a l , 1739- 49," passim; Baker MSS. Account Books "Nathaniel Chamberlin," "Jacob Adams," "John Reed," "Cockerel Reeves"; Appendix I. 18 Baker MSS., I b i d . ; Appendix I . 19 Abbot Smith, C o l o n i s t s i n Bondage (New York: 1947), pp. 28- 29, 316-17; E.J. McManus, Black Bondage i n the North (Syracuse: 1973), pp. 36-107. Appendix I I I . 20 The most complete study of s e r v i t u d e i n Massachusetts i s Lawrence Towner, "A Good Master Well Served: A S o c i a l H i s t o r y of Servitude i n Massachusetts, 1620-1750" (unpublished Ph.D. T h e s i s , Northwestern, 1955). For the h i g h turnover i n servants i n p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts see MHS MSS, "Benjamin Wadsworth Account Book and D i a r y 1692-1727." In a t h i r t y year period Wadsworth employed n e a r l y 100 s e r v a n t s , never more than two at a time. The average tenure per servant, male and female, was four months. For some of the reasons f o r servant turnover see Towner, "A Fondness f o r Freedom: Servant P r o t e s t i n P u r i t a n S o c i e t y , " WM£ 19 (1962), pp. 201-19. 21 B i d w e l l and Falconer, H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e , p. 133. 22 Baker MSS "Ebenezer Wright Account Book," " A b i d i j a h Upton Accounts," "Pearson Accounts," "John Reed Account Book"; MHS Misc. Bd. MSS, "Depositions." M. Arch. MSS, V o l . 40, p. 585. 142 23 Robert F. Seybolt, Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship T r a i n i n g i n C o l o n i a l New England and New York (New York: 1 9 1 7 ) . 24 D.C. Coleman, "Labour i n the E n g l i s h Economy of the Seventeenth Century," EHR 8 (1956), pp. 283-95; C.B. MacPherson, "Servants and Laborers i n Seventeenth Century England" i n Democratic Theory: Essays i n R e t r i e v a l (Oxford: 1973); J.R. Commons, et a l . , H i s t o r y of Labor i n the United S t a t e s , V o l . I (New York: 1917), pp. 25-168. E.S. F u r n i s s , The P o s i t i o n of the Laborer i n a System of N a t i o n a l i s m . . . (New York: 1920). 25 R u s s e l l R. Menard, "From Servant to Freeholder: Statu s , M o b i l i t y and Property Accumulation i n 17th Century Maryland," WMQ 30 (1973), pp. 37-64. On the st a t u s of r u r a l l a b o r e r s i n England, see Peter L a s l e t t , The World We Have Lost (London: 1965), e s p e c i a l l y pp. 22-52, i n c l u d i n g Gregory King's assessment and census t a b l e s f o r 1688. "^Appendix I. 27 V.S. C l a r k , H i s t o r y of Manufacturing i n the United S t a t e s , 1607-1860 (Washington: 1916), pp. 144-158; Main, S o c i a l S t r u c t u r e , pp. 68-114. The wage d i f f e r e n t i a l between s k i l l e d and u n s k i l l e d work (the l a t t e r 2/3 to 1/2 of s k i l l e d value) was constant from 1630 to 1775. The many account books at Baker MSS and the MHS Misc. Bd. MSS co n t a i n hundreds of examples to support t h i s . For a c t u a l wages, at va r i o u s times, see Main, pp. 68-114; U.S. Bureau of Labour S t a t i s t i c s , B u l l e t i n 499 (1929), "Wages i n the C o l o n i a l P e r i o d . " 28 MHS MSS "Roxbury V a l u a t i o n s 1727"; M. Arch. MSS, V o l s . 130- 134, "Valuations of Towns." On assessment and t a x i n g p r i n c i p l e s and laws and r a t e s see Acts and Resolves, V o l . I , pp. 92, 214, 413, 484 and annually through V o l s . 2-5. On f r a n c h i s e q u a l i f i c a t i o n s , v o t i n g and p o l i t i c a l p a r t i c i p a t i o n see Katherine Brown, "The Controversy over the Franchise i n P u r i t a n Massachusetts, 1954-1974," WMQ 33 (1976), pp. 212-241; Michael Zuckerman, " S o c i a l Context of Democracy i n Massachusetts," WMQ 25 (1968), pp. 523-44. 29 On c i v i c appointments see M. Arch. MSS, V o l s . 112-118, "Towns"; Watertown Records .1634-1829 (Watertown, Mass.: 1894-1939); S.A. Bates, e d i t o r , B r a i n t r e e Records 1640-1793; D.G. H i l l , ed., Dedham Records, 1635-1845. Kenneth Lockridge and Alan K r e i d e r , "The E v o l u t i o n of Mass. Town Government, 1640-1740," WMQ 23 (1966), pp. 549-574. On f a m i l i e s and r e l a t i v e f a m i l y s i z e , see Smith, "Demographic H i s t o r y , " p. 177. 143 30 R.B. M o r r i s , Government and Labor i n E a r l y America (New York: 1946), p. 60 f f . C l a r k , H i s t o r y of Manufactures, pp. 152-155. 3 1 B a k e r MSS, "Cockerel Reeves Account Book; 1708-1729"; MHS Thwing Catalogue contains many hundreds of cases of upward economic m o b i l i t y among " l a b o r e r s . " The evidence i s drawn l a r g e l y from probate and deed records. Another f i n e d e t a i l e d example of a p r o s p e r i n g , i n d u s t r i o u s and t a l e n t e d l a n d l e s s l a b o r e r i s MHS MSS "Benjamin Bangs D i a r y 1742-61." See a l s o A.L. Cummings, Rural Household I n v e n t o r i e s (Boston: 1964). 32 L o i s K. Mathews, The Expansion of New England (Boston: 1909). 3 3 B a k e r MSS, "V.S. C l a r k Notes," Box 2. 3 A B i d w e l l , H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e , p. 133; "Benjamin Bangs D i a r y . " For many examples of the r u r a l o r i g i n s of e n l i s t i n g s a i l o r s see MHS MSS "Rovert Treat Paine Papers," V o l . I . See a l s o Elmo Hohman, H i s t o r y of American Merchant Seamen (New York: 1956). 35 As i n the case of " d i s r u p t i v e , d i s r e p u t a b l e " t r a n s i e n t p e d l a r s . See "An Act against Hawkers, Pe d l a r s and P e t t y Chapmen," Acts and Resolves, V o l . I , pp. 720-21 (November 1713) and renewed t h e r e a f t e r , Acts and Resolves, V o l . 2, pp. 47, 232, 385. On c r i m i n a l proceedings against v a r i o u s u n s k i l l e d , u s u a l l y t r a n s i e n t , workers see M. Arch. MSS, V o l s . 43-44. 3 6 Benton, Warning Out. On the e t h n i c and r e l i g i o u s homogeneity of p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts, see H i s t o r i c a l S t a t i s t i c s , C o l o n i a l Times to the Present Washington: 1961), S e c t i o n Z. '37MHS MSS, "John M a r s h a l l D i a r y 1688-1711"; "Joseph Andrews Jo u r n a l 1731-1777"; "John Met c a l f Commonplace Book 1730-90." Baker MSS, "John Reed Account Book"; "Pearson Accounts." These prominant a r t i s a n s , farmers and merchants, a l l a c t i v e s o c i a l l y and p o l i t i c a l l y a l l worked more than two hundred days a year. For the working days of husbandmen and l a b o r e r s , see Walcott, "Husbandry." For the meaning of the sabbath and other r e l i g i o u s h o l i d a y s see Sidney Ahlstrom, A R e l i g i o u s H i s t o r y of the American People (New Haven: 1972). 38 Walcott, "Husbandry"; "John P o r t e r Accounts" and "Samuel P r a t t Accounts" i n "John Reed Account Book." B i d w e l l , H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e , pp. 115-131. 144 I b i d . , on harvest impressment see Mass. Bay Recs.. V o l . I l l , p. 102. This A c t , f i r s t issued i n the 1650s under v a r i o u s forms, remained on the s t a t u t e books throughout the eighteenth century and was o f t e n r e f e r r e d t o . See M. Arch., V o l s . 42-43. 40 "Joseph Andrews J o u r n a l " ; B i d w e l l , H i s t o r y of A g r i c u l t u r e , pp. 115-131; Main, S o c i a l S t r u c t u r e , pp. 115-163; Walcott, "Husbandry." 41 Perry M i l l e r , The New England Mind: From Colony to Province (Cambridge: 1953), esp. Book IV. Even M a r s h a l l , a s u c c e s s f u l a r t i s a n who had some c o n t r o l over h i s income was b i t t e r when he missed work through bad weather or i l l h e a l t h : "Diary," pp. 140, 152, 168. Cockerel Reeves, w h i l e working as a day l a b o r e r , took one day of " p l a y " i n one year, see "Account Book," n.p. For a comparison w i t h the annual working days and r e c r e a t i o n h a b i t s of contemporaneous E n g l i s h a r t i s a n s and l a b o r e r s , see K e i t h Thomas, "Work and L e i s u r e i n P r e - i n d u s t r i a l S o c i e t y , " Past and Present 29 (1964), pp. 50-66, CHAPTER V THE RURAL SPECIALIST Not a l l f r e e workers i n r u r a l Massachusetts were a r t i s a n - f a r m e r s or laborer-farmers. Those who were not, though they represented a m i n o r i t y , were numerous enough and t h e i r s p e c i a l i t i e s important enough to exert some s i g n i f i c a n t i n f l u e n c e on the l o c a l economies and f u r t h e r d e f i n e the r u r a l l a b o r economy. They were the f u l l - t i m e s p e c i a l i s t s or s i n g l e occupation workers of t h i s s o c i e t y . They included the f u l l - time farmer, the f u l l — t i m e , non-farming a r t i s a n and the non-farming s e r v i c e trades such as m a t e r i a l s u p p l i e r s and manufacturers and small merchants. This group, or groups, c o n s t i t u t e d perhaps o n e - t h i r d of the adul t f r e e white male population of r u r a l p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts. N a t u r a l l y , t h i s number included the 20% or so of the po p u l a t i o n who possessed no a r a b l e land; and i t would i n c l u d e a f u r t h e r 10% of the t o t a l p o p u l a t i o n who conducted f u l l time personal commercial farm operations. G e n e r a l l y , t h i s o n e - t h i r d of the working p o p u l a t i o n was made up of equal p a r t s of the main s i n g l e - o c c u p a t i o n c a t e g o r i e s . Thus i n r e g i o n s , i f not i n every town, 10% of the workers would be f u l l - time a r t i s a n s and 10% were i n the s e r v i c e trades as e x c l u s i v e enter- p r i s e s ; another 10% would be f u l l - t i m e farmers tending e n t i r e l y to t h e i r own properties."'" The s o c i e t y ' s few p r o f e s s i o n a l s , the j u s t i c e s , lawyers, teachers and p h y s i c i a n s , were almost i n v a r i a b l y a l s o farmers, l a r g e 145 146 landowners or merchants. The number of l a n d l e s s f u l l - t i m e l a b o r e r s was not s i g n i f i c a n t and the status of these workers, l i k e those i n s e r v i t u d e , was t r a n s i t o r y . As noted, the l a n d l e s s l a b o r e r was always subject to a change of status through the a c q u i s i t i o n of some la n d , m i g r a t i o n from the community, adu l t a p p r e n t i c e s h i p , v o l u n t a r y s h o r t - term r e s i d e n t i a l s e r v i t u d e or involvement i n an independent s e r v i c e e n t e r p r i s e such as woodcutting, sawing, c a r t i n g , forgework, brickmaking, s a l t mining or any assortment of these that would ensure long-term and r e l i a b l e subsistence. General short-term, day-to-day farm and a n c i l l a r y l a b o r , f o r which the demand was constant and h i g h , was performed by the community's landed l a b o r i n g p o p u l a t i o n . I t was r a r e , i n the a g r i c u l - t u r a l towns, f o r an " u n s k i l l e d " worker to s p e c i a l i z e as a c o n t r a c t l a b o r e r , even i f he possessed a v a r i e t y of s e m i - s k i l l e d a p t i t u d e s , 2 without a l s o possessing a small acreage of productive farm land. But s i m i l a r v a r i a b l e s d i d not apply to other r u r a l work s p e c i a l i s t s ; and where s p e c i a l i z a t i o n occurred, i t was o f t e n the r e s u l t of the d e l i b e r a t e preference of the i n d i v i d u a l s p e c i a l i s t . C e r t a i n l y e x t e r n a l matters i n f l u e n c e d the d e c i s i o n by i n d i v i d u a l s to pursue a s i n g l e work occupation. L o c a l demand and opportunity were c r i t i c a l f a c t o r s , and the i n d i v i d u a l ' s background and circumstance f u r t h e r determined the n e c e s s i t y or advantages to s p e c i a l i z a t i o n . For example, a young, p o s s i b l y l a n d l e s s a r t i s a n might have forsaken farming e n t i r e l y i f the l o c a l market could support him i n f u l l — t i m e employment of h i s c r a f t . And a son r a i s e d to i n h e r i t a f u l l y f u n c t i o n i n g commercial 147 farm might never contemplate or be o f f e r e d an a l t e r n a t i v e to f u l l - t i m e independent farming. U s u a l l y , however, the d e c i s i o n on a s u i t a b l e v o c a t i o n was based on personal choice. Most men who d i d become s i n g l e occupation s p e c i a l i s t s d i d have access to a l t e r n a t i v e s . Few i n t h i s s o c i e t y were without the occasion to a v a i l themselves of two or more labor a l t e r n a t i v e s . In f a c t the s o c i a l and economic o r g a n i z - a t i o n of p r o v i n c i a l r u r a l s o c i e t y encouraged and even demanded cross and m u l t i p l e l a b o r h a b i t s . Those who.chose to narrow t h e i r work e n t e r p r i s e i n t o a s p e c i f i c and e x c l u s i v e occupation d i d so f o r reasons of p e r s o n a l i t y , a p t i t u d e and preference; and to a c e r t a i n degree they d i d so a l s o f o r personal gain. Some were i n p o s i t i o n s to e x p l o i t the advantages of b e t t e r l a n d , e a s i e r c a p i t a l funding or access to t r a n s - p o r t a t i o n . Hence, many r u r a l s p e c i a l i s t s were or stemmed from or became s o c i e t y ' s more secure, f o r t u n a t e or g i f t e d , ambitious and even 3 w e a l t h i e r l a b o r p l u r a l i t y . In the l a b o r h e i r a r c h y of the r u r a l economy i t was o f t e n these s p e c i a l i s t s who occupied the highest s o c i a l l e v e l s as a l a b o r a r i s t o c r a c y or e l i t e . But the same q u a l i t i e s of economic l o c a l i s m and communalism which made pe r s o n a l i z e d and pragmatic working h a b i t s the dominant l a b o r mode, a l s o tempered s o c i a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n the l a b o r h i e r a r c h y . R u r a l s p e c i a l i s t s , though t h e i r work might have y i e l d e d a high economic and s o c i a l r e t u r n , i n some cases, could not remove themselves from the context of the l o c a l and wholly c o l l e c t i v e labor economy. That i s to say, they d i d not stand apart from the community 148 as a s p e c i a l c l a s s of employers, f o r example, but were compelled to conform to the s c a l e and l i m i t a t i o n s and labor p r a c t i c e s of the l o c a l economy. Most important, they d i d not form an a l l i a n c e of superi o r 4 or i n f l u e n t i a l or c o n s c i o u s l y c o l l e c t i v e s e l f - i n t e r e s t . They remained as d i s t i n c t and i n d i v i d u a l components i n the shared and interdependent economic world of the r u r a l community. As such they were workers themselves and d i d not c o n t r o l the la b o r of others to any great extent. Their uniqueness l a y i n the p a r t i c u l a r s t y l e and o r g a n i z a t i o n of t h e i r work p r a c t i c e s . Their conformity was imposed by the u n i v e r s a l n e c e s s i t y of work and the communal purposes of labor.~* One simple d e f i n i t i o n of the p r o v i n c i a l commercial farmer was that he exchanged no work w i t h o t h e r s , a g r i c u l t u r a l l y or otherwise, except w i t h members of h i s f a m i l y . He spent h i s e n t i r e working year w i t h i n the p r e c i n c t s of h i s , or c l o s e r e l a t i v e s ' , farming operations. Normally, the f u l l - t i m e farmer began commercial operations f o l l o w i n g the i n h e r i t a n c e or e a r l y possession of a comparatively l a r g e c u l t i v a t e d or a r a b l e acreage of superior s o i l q u a l i t y ; land that was w e l l watered . f o r l i v e s t o c k and f r e e of n a t u r a l o b s t a c l e s to t i l l a g e , such as h i l l s , r a v i n e s and rock outcrops. I f he had been w i l l e d the necessary amount of land he was probably the son of a s u c c e s s f u l man who might have had some or a l l of h i s sons t r a i n e d i n an a l t e r n a t i v e c r a f t i n t h e i r formative years. In that event, upon r e c e i p t of the l a n d , the pros p e c t i v e farmer would put aside h i s other work to devote himself to f u l l - t i m e farming. This r e q u i r e d a s u f f i c i e n t l y w e l l organized and, i n Massachusetts, a thoroughly v a r i e d o p e r a t i o n , or one that could be made to f u n c t i o n as such. I f the i n h e r i t e d land was only p a r t i a l l y or even m a r g i n a l l y c u l t i v a t e d and stocked, as was o f t e n the case, the new p r o p r i e t o r would be o b l i g e d to support himself w i t h other work w h i l e he farmed at a subsistence l e v e l and e v e n t u a l l y converted unbroken or disused land to c u l t i v a t i o n to the p o i n t where the farm would produce a complete l i v e l i h o o d . In that case, the gradual and d e l i b e r a t e process of abandoning a l l or any other work to become a f u l l - t i m e farmer was a personal d e c i s i o n . I h . a c u l t u r e where land was a common and d e s i r e d asset and farming the p r i n c i p a l occupation, i t was i n e v i t a b l e that f u l l - t i m e farming should e x i s t , d e s p i t e the commercial and l a b o r l i m i t a t i o n s . Moreover, the f a c t that most men were r a i s e d to a h a b i t of both farm and a l t e r n a t i v e work s k i l l s adds to the element of personal choice as a determinant of f u l l - t i m e farming. Most a r t i s a n - f a r m e r s were o b l i g e d , and some p r e f e r r e d to spend t h e i r working l i v e s mixing farm w i t h non-farm occupations. This f l e x i b i l i t y was seen as the most s u i t a b l e means f o r accommodating present and f u t u r e needs and f o r i n v o l v i n g the i n c l u s i v e f a m i l y u n i t i n the l o c a l economy. Often, the a r t i s a n or part-time farmer t r i e d but f a i l e d to progress to f u l l - time farming. When he f a i l e d , i t was because he d i d not amass s u f f i c i e n t land to e x p l o i t . Or, because of the i n s u f f i c i e n t time and la b o r of h i m s e l f , h i s f a m i l y or bartered l a b o r i n the community, he was unable to e x p l o i t any aggregate of land he d i d possess or amass. Then, h i s unused land would l i e as an a s s e t , as n e g o t i a b l e , t r a n s f e r r a b l e property, and not as an e x c l u s i v e l a b o r endeavor." Thus, choice was combined w i t h opportunity and m a t e r i a l pre- c o n d i t i o n s as the p r i n c i p a l determinant i n who became a commercial farmer, how and under what c o n d i t i o n s t h i s was achieved, and the numbers who a c t u a l l y met the v a r i o u s c r i t e r i a . Along w i t h the necessary q u a n t i t y of land and an appropriate a g r i c u l t u r a l d i v e r s i f i - c a t i o n , the f u l l - t i m e farmer a l s o r e q u i r e d r e g u l a r a s s i s t a n c e and the constant cooperation of a v a i l a b l e l a b o r . This l a t t e r was best accomplished by the extended f a m i l y a g r i c u l t u r a l e n t e r p r i s e . Here, adjacent or nearby farms were occupied by a f a t h e r , b r o t h e r , brother i n law, cousin or u n c l e . 7 Together they owned, leased or rented and shared some common t i l l a g e , grass and pasturage acreage. They a s s i s t e d each other w i t h r e c i p r o c a l l a b o r and s e r v i c e on the r e s p e c t i v e "home l o t s " and exchanged and c i r c u l a t e d the l a b o r s of t h e i r own f u l l - time or seasonal servants when necessary. Seeding, weeding, haying and h a r v e s t i n g , along w i t h l i v e s t o c k p a s t u r i n g , w i n t e r i n g and k i l l i n g , were "the more common c o l l e c t i v e e n t e r p r i s e s and re q u i r e d concerted l a b o r . These tasks were performed, when p o s s i b l e , i n r o t a t i o n on the r e s p e c t i v e i n d i v i d u a l holdings by a l l or s e v e r a l members of the extended operations. In t h i s system the p a r t i c u l a r acreage, produce, management and income were the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and reward of the i n d i v i d u a l farmer. The independent f u l l - t i m e farmer owned and operated h i s own farm, c e r t a i n l y , but he d i d so u s u a l l y as par t of a g f a m i l i a l l a b o r c o l l e c t i v e . 151 For the i n d i v i d u a l to succeed as an independent f u l l - t i m e farmer i n the p r o v i n c i a l s e t t i n g he r e q u i r e d volume and v a r i e t y of produce. This i n t u r n r e q u i r e d at l e a s t f o r t y acres of mixed c u l t i v a t e d land and u s u a l l y an equal or greater amount i n timber stands, n a t u r a l meadow and s a l t marsh grassland. The p r e c i s e amount was v a r i a b l e of course, according to r e g i o n (topography, r a i n f a l l , s o i l type and n a t u r a l vegetation) and r e l a t i v e i n d i v i d u a l s k i l l , energy and ambition. The farm had to y i e l d much more than a f r a c t i o n a l surplus of produce. To be capable of supporting the e n t i r e budget of a f a m i l y , i t had to produce r e g u l a r annual marketable q u a n t i t i e s of g r a i n , meat, h i d e s , wool 9 and hay to be s o l d or traded i n volume l o c a l l y or i n Boston. I f a c o n t r a s t were to be drawn between the needs and c a p a c i t i e s of commercial and subsistence farmers, i t would show that the former r e q u i r e d at l e a s t four times the amount of c u l t i v a t e d land of the l a t t e r and an even higher r a t i o of y i e l d from each acre."*"^ G r a i n , w h i l e u l t i m a t e l y more v a l u a b l e , was not the predominant concern of the commercial farmer l a r g e l y because i t was the most labor i n t e n s i v e of farm-produced commodities and was subject to a great range of u n p r e d i c t a b l e growing and h a r v e s t i n g f a c t o r s . I t shared importance w i t h l i v e s t o c k r a i s i n g . Sheep made up n e a r l y 65% of a l l p r o v i n c i a l l i v e s t o c k and c a t t l e n e a r l y 25%. They each afforded roughly equal f i n a n c i a l r e t u r n to the farmer and were popular because of the r e l i a b i l i t y of t h e i r growth and m a r k e t a b i l i t y . Sheep were cheaper and e a s i e r to manage i n volume and t h e i r l a r g e numbers r e f l e c t e d the advantages of r a i s i n g them. 152 In 1750 there were over 230,000 sheep i n Massachusetts (Table V, p. 40). In f a c t , l i v e sheep, c a t t l e , swine — and t h e i r meats and by-products — and to a l e s s e r degree horses, were the only a g r i c u l t u r a l products that p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts exported i n commercial q u a n t i t y to the B r i t i s h Empire. But even that trade d i d not i n v o l v e s u f f i c i e n t amounts of product to warrant l a r g e c a p i t a l investment i n l i v e s t o c k farming. Moreover, the s o i l of Massachusetts would not y i e l d commercial q u a n t i t i e s of g r a i n ; a f a c t o r that encouraged the predominance of subsistence farming and f u r t h e r retarded c a p i t a l investment i n commercial a g r i c u l t u r e . This p a r t i c u l a r o b s t a c l e to c a p i t a l growth i n r u r a l Massachusetts no doubt i n f l u e n c e d the slow development of new farming techniques and labor use and was an added stimulus to the economic l o c a l i s m and s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y of the r u r a l communities. But i f the commercial p o s s i b i l - i t i e s of r a i s i n g l i v e s t o c k were l i m i t e d , n e vertheless i t was not unusual f o r a medium-sized commercial farmer to possess a f l o c k of 100 or more. These and the twenty or so mature c a t t l e he would k i l l i n a year provided the f u l l - t i m e farmer w i t h a cons i d e r a b l e amount of winter work. ± x P a r a d o x i c a l l y , the volume that made f u l l - t i m e farming p o s s i b l e , as a year around s p e c i a l t y , a l s o demanded more than a farmer's i n d i v i d - u a l l a b o r . The immediate f a m i l y of the farmer performed the same la b o r f u n c t i o n s as d i d the subsistence farm f a m i l y w i t h the exception that the sons of commercial farmers seldom worked outside the home farm and the daughters r a r e l y , i f ever, became r e s i d e n t domestic servants e l s e - 153 where. On commercial farms the male c h i l d r e n and youths a s s i s t e d t h e i r f a t h e r s i n the f i e l d s and barns w h i l e the young females worked w i t h and alongside t h e i r mothers and baked, sewed, spun and made soap and candles, r a i s e d vegetables and performed other domestic and farm- r e l a t e d t a s k s . But the bulk of the e x t r a l a b o r r e q u i r e d on the commercial farm was ad u l t male l a b o r and was obtained by exchange and by short-term s e r v i t u d e . I f these farms d i d c o n t a i n any r e s i d e n t long-term l a b o r i n g servants, a s i n g l e negro sl a v e was normally employed. The major winter work f o r the farmer c o n s i s t e d of tending to l i v e s t o c k , c u t t i n g c o n s t r u c t i o n timber and c u t t i n g and cording f i r e wood, breaking and " s w i n g l i n g " f l a x s t a l k s and s e p a r a t i n g g r a i n s , husking corn f o r feed, and r e p a i r i n g b u i l d i n g s and implements. I t d i f f e r e d l i t t l e from the winter work of subsistence farmers except i n terms of volume. Where the part-time farmer was hard pressed to f i n d s u f f i c i e n t and constant work i n the w i n t e r , the commercial farmer spent every day working on h i s p r o p e r t y , or i n work d i r e c t l y r e l a t e d to i t . In t h i s and other ways the f u l l - t i m e farmer worked as hard or harder than any labor he might employ. Moreover, r e g u l a r and necessary winter work was both dangerous and uncomfortable. For example, tending to those l i v e s t o c k which were not i n or c l o s e to barns and which might be s c a t t e r e d i n rough winter pasturage or c a r t i n g s u p p l i e s along i n f e r i o r roads, sometimes i n the complete darkness i n the harshest weather. Indoor work, which by proper management the farmer organized f o r the w i n t e r , was d i r t y , tedious and backbreaking; e s p e c i a l l y work 154 w i t h wool, raw h i d e s , f l a x and wheat. In the growing and h a r v e s t i n g seasons the farmer, no matter who or how many he had to help him, worked every day, at the most menial t a s k s , from dawn to dark. A l l t h i s work invo l v e d t i r i n g manual labor and r e q u i r e d r e g u l a r attendance. Often the farmer's own added e x e r t i o n s precluded the need to h i r e at l e a s t one e x t r a hand. The p r o v i n c i a l commercial farmer was a working farmer and not a "gentleman farmer" or one who merely organized and supervised the farm o p e r a t i o n , i n c l u d i n g i t s l a b o r . The l a t t e r d i d e x i s t i n t h i s s o c i e t y , but only as extremely r a r e exceptions. In f a c t , f o r an example of the l a b o r i n g h a b i t s of commercial farmers and the usu a l f a m i l i a l l a b o r network they u t i l i z e d , the l a r g e s t farm i n the town of Roxbury, near Boston, i n the 1720s contained s l i g h t l y over one hundred acres of c u l t i v a t i o n and employed only two f u l l - t i m e " s e r v a n t s . " The great m a j o r i t y of f u l l - t i m e commercial farmers were men who worked manually f o r an average of 250 days a year, on t h e i r own and t h e i r famxlxes acreages. The commercial farmer derived h i s e n t i r e l i v e l i h o o d from an a g r i c u l t u r a l e n t e r p r i s e that provided h i s immediate m a t e r i a l needs and produced income from a commercially marketed s u r p l u s . Some of t h i s commercial surplus was needed i n the l o c a l community, but only a l i t t l e and only i n some l o c a l i t i e s . The greater part of the commercial y i e l d went to Boston or Salem f o r consumption there or f o r export. As a consequence, many commercial farm operations were w i t h i n convenient t r a n s p o r t a t i o n d i s t a n c e of Boston or another port and c l o s e to access 155 routes. But even l a t e i n the p r o v i n c i a l p e r i o d the l o c a t i o n of the province's p o p u l a t i o n meant that over h a l f the province's c u l t i v a t e d land l a y w i t h i n t h i r t y m i l e s of e i t h e r Boston or Salem (Map 4) so t h a t commercial farms were d i s t r i b u t e d f a i r l y w e l l throughout those regions and towns. I n e v i t a b l y , there was a higher percentage of commercial farms i n the immediate area of the c o a s t a l p o p u l a t i o n centres but they 13 were not, even here, a dominant f e a t u r e of the landscape. By and l a r g e , the economy of Massachusetts d i d not encourage commercial farming. Extensive l a r g e acreage farming was retarded by the p r a c t i c e of subsistence farming which at once supplied most of the needs of the l o c a l communities. The absence of a cash crop and the higher p r o f i t - a b i l i t y of s e l l i n g or l e a s i n g land f u r t h e r impeded the accumulation of huge c e n t r a l i z e d acreages; the subsistence farm a l s o prevented the formation of a n a t i v e l a n d l e s s farm l a b o r i n g c l a s s . I t bears r e p e a t i n g that a l l t h i s was t i e d to the absence of an exportable high-volume cash crop. Nevertheless, the commercial farm d i d e x i s t i n p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts and i t and the working, f u l l - t i m e farmer f i t t e d i n t o the l o c a l economies i n important ways even i f t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l and c o l l e c - t i v e i n f l u e n c e s on the community were l i m i t e d . S o c i a l l y and p o l i t i c a l l y , the commercial farmer occupied a higher-than-average s t a t u s ; but he d i d not dominate l o c a l p o l i t i c s or s o c i e t y . He was more important to the l o c a l community i n other ways. The excess produce from these p r o d u c t i v e farms could balance l o c a l demand f o r g r a i n s , hay, meat and hides when MAP 4 156 Towns of Eastern Massachusetts, c. 1770. Approximately 50% of the Province's P o p u l a t i o n and 40% of i t s Towns were Located i n the Area Covered by This Map Source: Cappon, ed., A t l a s of E a r l y American H i s t o r y . 157 re q u i r e d and the l a r g e r farm u n i t and household provided frequent work f o r l o c a l a r t i s a n s . The commercial farm created work f o r many marginal subsistence farmers and l a b o r e r s and sometimes created l i m i t e d term " s e r v i t u d e " when that became a recourse f o r some. In these ways i t was u s e f u l without being dominant or r e g r e s s i v e i n terms of i n d i v i d u a l and community labor p a t t e r n s . The l i m i t a t i o n s on i t s s c a l e and the o v e r a l l work d i s c i p l i n e shared by the f u l l - t i m e farmer and a l l workers kept the i n f l u e n c e s of commercial farming at a modest l e v e l . The commercial farmer was s t i l l attached to the wider communal economy and s o c i e t y . For as e f f i c i e n t and s e l f - c o n t a i n e d as i t was, the l a r g e s t commercial farm i n Massachusetts was not even remotely l i k e the economic systems such as manorial tenancy operations and p l a n a t i o n s elsewhere. In some eighteenth century p l a n t a t i o n s i n V i r g i n i a and the West I n d i e s , everything from workshops to l e a t h e r yards to quarters f o r r e s i d e n t 14 l a b o r e r s represented an extreme of a g r i c u l t u r a l c o n c e n t r a t i o n . In p r o v i n c i a l Massachusetts the extreme was represented by the working f u l l - t i m e farmer who was perhaps more dependent on the l o c a l community of independent a r t i s a n s and l a b o r e r s than they were on him. The f u l l - t i m e a r t i s a n i n the a g r i c u l t u r a l town was perhaps more unusual than the f u l l - t i m e farmer. By not farming at a l l , at any l e v e l , t h i s a r t i s a n broke w i t h the fundamental p r a c t i c e of d i e t a r y s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y and a l s o stood as a unique exception to the r u r a l labor-and goods-exchange b a r t e r economy. He produced no food, p l a n t f i b e r s or hides and r e q u i r e d only o c c a s i o n a l exchange of l a b o r f o r 158 h i s own s e r v i c e s . Consequently, he d e a l t f r e q u e n t l y f o r cash or b i l l s of c r e d i t . By c o n c e n t r a t i n g a l l h i s time i n h i s trade he was l e s s f l e x i b l e than others and h i s b a r t e r i n g a c t i v i t i e s were diminished."'"^ The f u l l - t i m e r u r a l a r t i s a n was never f r e e to a s s i s t h i s customers or neighbors i n t h e i r farm or r e l a t e d l a b o r needs. I t i s c l e a r that v i r t u a l l y a l l a r t i s a n s i n r u r a l Massachusetts owned land or had access to purchasable or l e a s a b l e farm property. Why the f u l l - t i m e a r t i s a n chose to exempt himself from the customary dual or mixed farm and c r a f t s l a b o r and economic p a t t e r n of h i s f e l l o w tradesman remains a complex question; one that i n v o l v e d p e r s o n a l i t y and socio-economic f a c t o r s that b e l i e d the p r a c t i c e s of the m a j o r i t y of Massachusetts workers. In t h i s s o c i e t y , land was the b a s i c , p r a c t i c a l measure of s e c u r i t y , independence and economic, s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l s t a t u s . The possession of land r e f l e c t e d a f i x e d r e a l stake, i n the a f f a i r s and f u t u r e of the community. The t r a d i t i o n a l and c o n t i n u i n g economic standards of a g r a r i a n s o c i e t y demanded the encouraged i n d i v i d u a l s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y — f o r the m a j o r i t y t h i s was b e s t achieved by subsistence farming. The c o n j u c t i o n of these two f a c t o r s , the possession of land and at l e a s t the p a r t i a l farming of i t , was a normal imperative f o r meeting the r e s i d e n t i a l requirements of the consensual community. For the a r t i s a n to own land and not farm i t f o r h i s own use, or to be l a n d l e s s and remain so, r e q u i r e d at l e a s t two p r e c o n d i t i o n s : one, that the a r t i s a n ' s c r a f t was i n s u f f i c i e n t demand so that he could 159 best serve h i s own and the community's i n t e r e s t s by p r a c t i s i n g i t to the e x c l u s i o n of farming; and two, that h i s competence and p r o d u c t i v i t y were super i o r to other competitive a r t i s a n s of the same trade and could ensure f o r him a r e g u l a r , constant and f u t u r e demand f o r h i s work. In the area of demand, i t was i n the b a s i c c r a f t s of b l a c k - smithing, shoemaking, w e a v i n g - t a i l o r i n g , carpentry and masonry that the f u l l - t i m e a r t i s a n f l o u r i s h e d . But demand was contingent upon a market of s u f f i c i e n t s i z e and p r e d i c t a b i l i t y to support f u l l - t i m e s p e c i a l i z a t i o n . Hence the f u l l - t i m e a r t i s a n was most o f t e n found i n the l a r g e r than average r u r a l towns of more than 500 f a m i l i e s , or i n towns w i t h i n more h e a v i l y populated r e g i o n s . For shoemakers, b l a c k - smiths and t e x t i l e a r t i s a n s the l o c a l volume of demand was u s u a l l y a s u f f i c i e n t market f o r f u l l - t i m e e n t e r p r i s e ; f o r carpenters and masons, 16 p r o x i m i t y to Boston or Salem was e q u a l l y important. F u l l - t i m e a r t i s a n s were not a common f e a t u r e of a l l communities and t h e i r uniqueness was as much a f u n c t i o n of l o c a t i o n as i t was of occ u p a t i o n a l s p e c i a l i z a t i o n . As many.as one i n four and as few as one i n ten of l o c a l craftsmen were f u l l - t i m e o p e r a t i v e s , and i n some very small communities there were no f u l l - t i m e a r t i s a n s at a l l . John M a r s h a l l , the B r a i n t r e e mason, kept a d a i l y work j o u r n a l from 1688 to 1711; i t provides a v i v i d p o r t r a i t of the l i f e of a f u l l - t i m e r u r a l a r t i s a n . The geographical range of h i s work took him to Boston, Hingham, Weymouth, M i l t o n , M e d f i e l d and Dorchester — towns as f a r as twenty m i l e s from h i s home. He noted that he was contracted to " b r i c k an oven i n M e d f i e l d , there being no mason there." M a r s h a l l began h i s d i a r y : "Here i s contained i n t h i s book some b r i e f memorials of my own business, how I spend my time, what work I do, and where, some remarkable providences recorded and the weather remembered." H i s meticulous notes over a twenty-two year span i l l u s t r a t e the s e a s o n a l i t y of c o n s t r u c t i o n work i n r u r a l s o c i e t y . An.early winter could d i s r u p t the planned economy of the independent a r t i s a n : "As to November l a s t [1703], i t was a r i g h t winter month. .1 never knew the l i k e f o r f r o s t , snow and tedious weather. I never d i d so l i t t l e work i n November si n c e I knew what work i s " ; he worked only e i g h t days. But an e a r l y s p r i n g was a boon to the same man; summarizing a m i l d March [1708/9], M a r s h a l l noted: "This month hath been a very good, comfortable month. I wrought [worked] near twenty days at my trade." For most of the winter M a r s h a l l was kept busy preparing m a t e r i a l s f o r the b u i l d i n g season, but t h i s alone d i d not f u l l y s t a b i l i z e the flow of h i s annual income. So he d e a l t i n l i v e s t o c k — not as a subsistence farmer — by buying, f e e d i n g , k i l l i n g and s e l l i n g a few pigs and c a t t l e i n the w i n t e r , i n a barn on h i s property. But winter was a l s o a time of domestic g r a t i f i c a t i o n f o r M a r s h a l l ; he spent more time at home w i t h h i s f a m i l y , attended more Town Meetings and — as a deeply r e l i g i o u s man — took part i n more Church-related a c t i v i t i e s . " ^ Most f u l l - t i m e a r t i s a n s spent t h e i r e n t i r e working year i n preparing and performing t h e i r contracted o b l i g a t i o n s . For the i n - door c r a f t s such as b l a c k s m i t h i n g , the emphasis was i n m a i n t a i n i n g an 161 even fl o w of work. B u i l d e r s could and d i d encounter s l a c k periods due mostly to weather r e s t r i c t i o n s and were o b l i g e d to arrange most of t h e i r indoor work f o r the winter months. They a l s o used these periods to prepare m a t e r i a l s f o r the b u s i e r summer c o n s t r u c t i o n season. Masons spent the December to March pe r i o d securing m a t e r i a l s , making b r i c k s i n m i l d e r weather, c a r v i n g stone and c u t t i n g l a t h s , w h i l e carpenters stocked wood, sawed and s i z e d standard c u t s , made studs and s h i n g l e s , secured n a i l s , s ealants and p a i n t and r e p a i r e d and replaced t o o l s . To a n t i c i p a t e and secure medium-and long-term f u t u r e work assignments a r t i s a n s had to p r e d i c t the need f o r t h e i r s e r v i c e s , organize t h e i r time and c o n t r a c t s and be of r e l i a b l e p r o f i c i e n c y and r e p u t a t i o n i n order to a t t r a c t f u t u r e demand. The c o n s t r u c t i o n a r t i s a n was not only more g e o g r a p h i c a l l y mobile than the shop craftsman but h i s work c o n t r a c t s were f o r l a r g e r s c a l e p r o j e c t s and i n v o l v e d more formal arrangements. The shop a r t i s a n d e a l t w i t h a l a r g e number of c l i e n t s and r e t a i n e d a h i g h degree of e x t e n s i v e , personal economic r e l a t i o n s w i t h h i s customers. Often, f u l l - t i m e carpenters and masons were away from home f o r days and even weeks at a time when t h e i r work c o n t r a c t s were l o c a t e d at some di s t a n c e from t h e i r residences. A ten-mile s e p a r a t i o n of work and home u s u a l l y negated commuting. T r a v e l by horse, c a r t or coach was not p r a c t i c a l or s e n s i b l e i n the dark or i n bad weather and when f u l l y engaged on a work p r o j e c t , the a r t i s a n u t i l i z e d a l l day- l i g h t hours i n working. Therefore, he might spend cons i d e r a b l e time lodging w i t h h i s c l i e n t . And i f the carpenter or mason chose to spend part of h i s working year i n Boston or Salem or elsewhere where s h i p - b u i l d i n g , shop, warehouse and r e s i d e n t i a l c o n s t r u c t i o n was a constant source of employment, he would be compelled to stay i n i n n s , taverns or boarding houses. For the r u r a l l a b o r e r and some part-time a r t i s a n s , the range of t h e i r working areas was determined by the d i s t a n c e a man could walk i n an hour or so, to and from a place of work i n the morning and evening. Thus the f u l l - t i m e c o n s t r u c t i o n a r t i s a n made s i g n i f i c a n t s o c i a l and domestic s a c r i f i c e s to pursue h i s c r a f t . At the l e a s t , h i s normal f a m i l y l i f e was f r e q u e n t l y i n t e r r u p t e d . While others spent the s p r i n g , summer and f a l l months working at home, or i n the f i e l d s at home or adjacent to home, the f u l l - t i m e carpenter or mason might be ten, twenty or more miles away. Yet these men maintained permanent residences i n r u r a l towns of t h e i r b i r t h or choice and a l a r g e number of them took an a c t i v e and o f t e n important part i n the s o c i a l and 18 p o l i t i c a l a f f a i r s of t h e i r communities. What made these f u l l — t i m e a r t i s a n s d e v i a t e from the more conventional work h a b i t s of t h e i r neighbors was o f t e n simply a matter of personal choice. This choice had to be made and then supported by a f i x e d residence i n the community and a continued p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n i t s : a f f a i r s . As long as the l a t t e r could be maintained, the question of i n d i v i d u a l choice or preference could be r e s o l v e d . Most men made the d e c i s i o n to s p e c i a l i z e i n a f u l l - t i m e n o n - a g r i c u l t u r a l occupation f o r obvious economic advantage. Some men,, f o r example, w i t h l a r g e land h o l d i n g s , r e c e i v e d more farm 163 produce by way of lease payments than they might have r a i s e d themselves. A few others found that the equivalent e f f o r t i n c r a f t s work produced more than enough income to purchase farm produce that was normally gained by longer, harder and sometimes unproductive farm l a b o r . S t i l l , the o b s t a c l e s a gainst f u l l — t i m e , non-farm labor s p e c i a l i z a t i o n were many and formidable. The problems of s c a l e and volume were the most pro- h i b i t i v e . R u r a l s o c i e t y contained a great many competing a r t i s a n s who served a f r a c t - i o n a l i z e d market of i n d i v i d u a l customers, w i t h whom they d e a l t d i r e c t l y . For the more s t a t i o n a r y trades such as t a i l o r i n g , weaving and smithing, r e s i d e n t i a l and f a m i l y s t a b i l i t y was not the problem i t was f o r f u l l - t i m e carpenters and masons. But f o r a l l , a knowledge of o r g a n i z a t i o n a l and f i n a n c i a l procedures was necessary to conduct a f u l l - t i m e c r a f t e n t e r p r i s e . Not a l l a r t i s a n s possessed those a u x i l i a r y t a l e n t s . So i t was that f u l l - t i m e a r t i s a n s t a t u s , maintained f o r the d u r a t i o n of a working l i f e , was an ext r a o r d i n a r y occurrence i n p r o v i n c i a l r u r a l s o c i e t y . That i t d i d e x i s t on a marginal s c a l e says something of minor v a r i a t i o n s of p e r s o n a l i t i e s and l o c a l economies. But i t s l i m i t e d presence tends to confirm the general l o c a l i s m of s c a l e and the f l e x i b l e nature of i n d i v i d u a l l a b o r h a b i t s i n the r u r a l economic s e t t i n g . The s i m p l i c i t y of r u r a l l a b o r and economic arrangements overshadowed the i m i t a t i o n of the contemporary marketing p r a c t i c e s of the s k i l l e d a r t i s a n i n Boston, and marked a c o n t r a s t i n work h a b i t s i n 19 the two s e t t i n g s . 164 Yet another group of workers i n r u r a l Massachusetts stood apart from the m a j o r i t y . This group was composed of v a r i o u s l a b o r s p e c i a l i s t s , but they shared common q u a l i t i e s by reason of t h e i r r e j e c t i o n of e i t h e r farming or a r t i s a n s h i p . This c o l l e c t i v e was made up of the small merchants, t r a d e r s , c a r t e r s , bloomery owners and workers, saw, g r i s t and f u l l i n g m i l l operators and v a r i o u s other f u l l - 20 time n o n - c r a f t s , non-farm s p e c i a l i s t s . U s u a l l y , most of these business or occupational f u n c t i o n s were conducted by part-time farmers. For example, a subsistence farmer w i t h a good stream on h i s property could e s t a b l i s h a g r i s t m i