Research Seminar: Hannah Tucker

Research Seminar: Hannah Tucker

“Creating an America Market: Slavery and Intercolonial Trade in the British Atlantic, 1698-1766”


Virtual Event

Time 12:00 p.m.

Between 1698 and 1766 traders in the British Atlantic forged significant shipping efficiencies. Some studies have attributed these efficiencies to reductions in days in port for transatlantic trading ventures. Yet, a dataset of 30,821 discrete records for vessel entrances and clearings out of Virginia to ports around the Atlantic demonstrates that emerging multilateral connections between colonial ports showed the greatest improved efficiency. In intercolonial trading, particularly with the Caribbean, entrepreneurial mariners responded to rapidly shifting conditions by connecting isolated communities through legal and illegal trading. These small-scale ventures provided a broad base of investors with the profits from completed voyages. Over the early-eighteenth century, these profits, borne of improved intercolonial shipping efficiency, came primarily from activities related to slavery. Intercolonial traders provided enslavers with the bare necessities that prolonged the lives of the men and women they enslaved, transported the products created by enslaved people, and moved enslaved people between varied sites of enslavement. The profits derived from the strongest efficiency improvements in the Atlantic shipping sector accrued to the broad base of mariners, investors, and traders who enabled ships to sail to the Caribbean colonies and trade between these islands. This paper explores the entangled histories of entrepreneurial mariners, landed attempts to organize trade, and the material growth created by enslaved people that powered their profits.

Dr. Hannah Tucker

Hannah Knox Tucker is an assistant professor of history in the Department of Management, Politics and Philosophy at the Copenhagen Business School where she is a member of the Centre for Business History. Her research examines the entrepreneurial and managerial functions of traders in the early-modern Atlantic. Her teaching focuses on entrepreneurship in platform businesses, maritime contexts, and beyond. Her work uses historical and statistical methods to explore how shifts in businesses practices shaped culture and society. She received her PhD in history from the University of Virginia and grew up in Alabama.

Greg O'Malley of University of California, Santa Cruz will provide an introductory comment.

Attendees are encouraged to read Tucker's paper, “Creating an America Market: Slavery and Intercolonial Trade in the British Atlantic, 1698-1766” which may be obtained by contacting Carol Lockman at

Registration for this event is via Eventbrite.