5 thoughts on “When London Was Capital of America

  1. Parts of the accounts are lively and enjoyable, but others are drier and more of use to a researcher, which is why I am not giving more stars.

    We meet a wealthy American household, which sends a son aged seven to school in London. He is accompanied by a black slave who has renamed himself Robert, from Scipio, to fit in better. Upon walking around London the slaves at this time get to see that white people are not all powerful, all wealthy and all respected. Indeed, the gutters and slums are full

  2. Super interesting! In the few decades before the Revolution, American colonists were well represented in London. They lived in a particular neighborhood, frequented particular pubs (New Yorkers in one, Carolinians in another), and were known for their laddish behavior — not unlike what you hear about British fellas having their stag dos in Estonia in modern times!

    The southerners (including the West Indians, who were considered American colonists at the time) brought their slaves, which made for

  3. Interesting little episodes, but not quite the payoff I was hoping for. As the other reviewers note, the book lacks an overarching argument and the episodic mash-up can get confusing at points.

  4. Using Henry Laurens’ papers as a core, an examination of the pivotal role of London as the center of the Atlantic world–as late as 1774, it was completely reasonable to send your 7 year old son with a household slave to London for schooling, hide your trashy pregnant cousin in a family trip to Britain and model yourself on Whig gentlemen. Of course, when the slave runs off after renaming himself and claiming benefit of the Somerset ruling, the cousin becomes an opium fiend and politics gets too

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