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A Flâneur in Philly: Class, Gender, Race, and All That Jazz

A Flâneur in Philly: Class, Gender, Race, and All That Jazz <p>Between 1793 and 1797, a British musician who fancied himself a flâneur—a stroller, idler, time waster—moved to the United States to earn his living and travel around the country. William Priest’s letters to England contain insightful comments about urban life in the new nation, observations that the authors amplify and analyze using both newer GIS technology and good, old-fashioned techniques of labor historians. Although he arrived in 1793 in the midst of a severe yellow fever epidemic, Billy Priest, undeterred, walked through Philadelphia, noting a host of details about the nation’s capital, ranging from the conditions of daily life to the consequences of so many deaths caused by the disease. Using city directories, censuses, and tax lists, the essay maps a pre-industrial city in more detail than has ever previously been possible. Neighborhoods are recreated by occupation, race, gender, and commercial development. In addition, the authors examine the beginnings of one of the earliest organized labor movements by shoemakers, the transition in the work lives of middle- and lower-class women, and the struggles of ex-slaves to free themselves and create a vibrant free black urban community.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal University of Pennsylvania Press

A Flâneur in Philly: Class, Gender, Race, and All That Jazz

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The McNeil Center for Early American Studies.
ISSN
1559-0895

Abstract

<p>Between 1793 and 1797, a British musician who fancied himself a flâneur—a stroller, idler, time waster—moved to the United States to earn his living and travel around the country. William Priest’s letters to England contain insightful comments about urban life in the new nation, observations that the authors amplify and analyze using both newer GIS technology and good, old-fashioned techniques of labor historians. Although he arrived in 1793 in the midst of a severe yellow fever epidemic, Billy Priest, undeterred, walked through Philadelphia, noting a host of details about the nation’s capital, ranging from the conditions of daily life to the consequences of so many deaths caused by the disease. Using city directories, censuses, and tax lists, the essay maps a pre-industrial city in more detail than has ever previously been possible. Neighborhoods are recreated by occupation, race, gender, and commercial development. In addition, the authors examine the beginnings of one of the earliest organized labor movements by shoemakers, the transition in the work lives of middle- and lower-class women, and the struggles of ex-slaves to free themselves and create a vibrant free black urban community.</p>

Journal

Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary JournalUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Jul 22, 2015

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