The Origin and History of the New York Employing Printers' Association: The Evolution of a Trade Association

By Charlotte E. Morgan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER II

THE period immediately following the Revolution was one of great business depression: visitors commented on the harbor bare of sails and on the beggary and disorder in the streets. But with the adoption of the Constitution, confidence and stability returned and the years from 1781 to 1815, or the close of the War of 1812, were characterized by experiment, optimism and intense patriotism. New York at that time--smaller, poorer and of less consequence than either Philadelphia or Boston--enjoyed a boom greatly intensified by its selection as the temporary capital. It was a raw, progressive city, with all the characteristics of a pioneer town in a new country, and most amusing are the descriptions of its narrow, dirty streets, mean buildings, and meagre water supply, to be found in the letters of the newly-elected senators and representatives. In the papers of the day we read bitter complaints of high prices, sky-rocketing rents, outrageous wages, tyrannical organizations of workmen, especially in the building trades, and of the influx of cheap labor from abroad.

According to a newspaper census of the inauguration year,1 there were in the city and county 30,022 inhabitants: 1,209 freeholders of £100; 1,221 of £20; 2,661 tenants of 40 shillings; 93 freemen; 2,263 slaves. Curious it is that there were 14,429 females to 13,330 males. According to the City Directory published by Hodge, Allen and Campbell in 1780, there were 4,100 householders, an increase of nearly 700 in

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1
Smith Thomas R. W., City of New York in the Year of Washington's Inauguration, 1787.

Wilson J. G., Memorial History of City of New York.

-22-

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The Origin and History of the New York Employing Printers' Association: The Evolution of a Trade Association
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface 5
  • Table of Contents 7
  • Introduction - A History of the Organization of Employing Printers in New York City 9
  • Chapter II 22
  • Chapter III 39
  • Chapter IV 47
  • Chapter V 61
  • Chapter VI 71
  • Chapter VIII 109
  • Appendix - Sections from the Contracts for Book and Job Officers 127
  • Bibliography 133
  • Index 137
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