Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Barbara J. Heath

Committee Members

Gerald F. Schroedl, Elizabeth J. Kellar, Christopher P. Magra


Trade in goods, and the exchange of information and ideas that resulted, was the backbone and lifeblood of the Chesapeake colonies. Through these formal and informal interactions colonists formed personal and community relationships that defined many aspects of life in 17th-century Virginia and Maryland. Marked or decorated imported clay tobacco pipes and locally-produced mold-made tobacco pipes are one of the most tangible pieces of evidence of these relationships and are the main focus of this study. By combining archaeological and documentary records, the multiple interaction spheres in which residents from 16 archaeological sites in the Potomac River Valley were engaged from 1630 to 1730 are studied to examine the impacts of politics and conflict on trade and exchange. The overarching questions that guide this study of local and trans-oceanic trade are: How did colonists on the periphery use material culture to negotiate their new place within the early modern world, their integration within the Atlantic World, their participation in the emerging capitalist world-system, and ultimately, how did their actions on the periphery help shape the formation of an 18th-century British-Atlantic identity? The formation of social networks based on the trade of goods and the exchange of information at the local, regional, trans-Atlantic, trans-ethnic, and trans-national levels helped Chesapeake settlers establish a new colonial society; a society with foundations not only rooted in English culture, laws, and mores, but one that was also heavily influenced by interactions with new groups of people. While the colonists encountered many different groups of people, all of whom contributed to the formation of this new society, I will specifically trace Anglo-Dutch interactions and discuss the influence of political and economic ideologies from the Netherlands on Chesapeake culture. The creolization process was not the same for everyone, and the adoption of a multiscalar , micro-historical approach allows for a discussion of trade at the household, community, regional, and Atlantic levels and determine why individuals chose to interact with specific people or groups. These differences speak to agency and consumer choice, rather than pure economic or geographic constraints.

Files over 3MB may be slow to open. For best results, right-click and select "save as..."