The history of London Town, Maryland : a case study of an eighteenth-century Chesapeake tobacco port and its role in the colonial maritime economy
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Presented herein is a detailed study of London Town, a tobacco port in Anne Arundel County, Maryland established during the British colonial period in North America. Long defunct, the town has been the subject of archaeological excavations since 1995. This research was undertaken to answer questions regarding the town's history, economic system, and its role in the local economy: what was the nature of the town; who lived in the town; and what were the forces that caused the town to grow and subsequently fail? Answering these questions has revealed a comprehensive portrait of London Town's undocumented past. This research proves that London Town played an important role in the economic development of Maryland and Anne Arundel County. It was one of many towns established in 1683 by the Maryland Assembly in the "Act for the Advancement of Trade." Only a small number of these towns survived beyond the colonial period. Those tobacco towns that have disappeared have been labelled the "lost towns" of Maryland by local historians and archaeologists: few of these towns have been studied in any detail. This study of London Town combines historical and archaeological research to illustrate the impact that outside forces such as war, market pressures, and regional development had on its growth and existence. This work documents the history of London Town and its role in the colonial mercantile system during the eighteenth century and is presented as a case study for future comparison.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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