The Triangle Trade and Early Nineteenth Century Rum Distilleries in Bristol, Rhode Island
Author(s): Jennifer Banister
This is an abstract from the session entitled "Reinterpreting New England’s Past For the Future" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.
Although the slave trade was outlawed in 1787, Rhode Island merchants continued slave voyages to West Africa and the West Indies into the early 1800s. By then the coastal town of Bristol had surpassed Newport as the busiest slave port in the state. Bristol’s DeWolf family financed 88 slaving voyages from 1784 to 1807, roughly a quarter of all Rhode Island’s slave trips during that period. The triangular rum-slave-molasses network connected to the state was a model of profitable exploitation in an emerging global economy. Leading the state in the slave trade, the Bristol waterfront became the site of five rum distilleries, the largest and most famous of which was owned by the DeWolf family. Recent archaeological investigations of DeWolf’s distillery and the contemporaneous Pierce distillery, both hidden from sight for nearly two centuries, have shed new light on historical rum distilling processes and Bristol’s role in the Triangle Trade.
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The Triangle Trade and Early Nineteenth Century Rum Distilleries in Bristol, Rhode Island. Jennifer Banister. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457487)
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min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;
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Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology