Although American merchants often fade from historical narratives after the eighteenth century, they remained influential actors in the United States and abroad.
Cargo manifests and other shipping records offer a tangible glimpse into expansive commercial networks, reminding observers of the physical goods underwriting long distance trade.
This flyer advertises the Ann’s 1827 arrival in Salem, Massachusetts, after making one of the first American trips to Zanzibar.
The medieval Genoese ranged from China to the Atlantic, and their experience in navigation, the sugar industry, and the slave trade were the elemental foundation of Iberian colonial expansion.
Dated to the mid-fifteenth century, this Catalan world map is over a meter in diameter on a sheet of vellum (high-quality parchment made of calfskin). Unlike many other surviving charts, this was not meant for practical navigation, though it was based on such nautical charts.
Following the close of World War I, Egypt became a hotbed of anti-colonial nationalism. Leaders of the nationalist Wafd party formally demanded Egyptian independence to British and US officials, utilizing many of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson’s own phrases and rhetoric in their appeals.
The peace process that followed World War One catalyzed calls for self-determination around the colonized world. Existing nationalist organizations seized on the liberal pretensions of the Entente Powers to articulate social and political demands to colonial powers.
This image is the frontispiece of Sir Thomas Roe (ca. 1581-1644) from the book The Negotiations of Sir T. Roe in his Embassy to the Ottoman Porte from the year 1621 to 1628, a collection of his correspondence during his time as the English ambassador to the Ottoman Empire.