1793 Philadelphia Document Signed for Painting the Brig ‘Amiable Creole.’

An 18th century usage of the word ‘Creole’

A small manuscript artifact, in various hands, documenting the Brig ‘Amiable Creole’ which plied the waters from Philadelphia to the West Indies until being condemned circa 1804. Here, Messrs. Dutilth & Wachsmuth pay Walters & Skinner “for Painting boat 19 feet twice done” at a cost of 19£. In a smaller hand, signed at the end by a William Belcher: “It is expected Mr. Flinn [Flynn?] will deduct this Bill from his acct. of painting of the Brig ‘Amiable Creole’.”  In another hand: “Rec’d the above Walter & Skinner.”

In Creolization: History, Ethnography, Theory… [2016, Charles Stewart, edit.] the ‘Amiable Creole’ is put in the context of the usage of the word ‘creole’ in 18th century colonial America. In the chapter “Creoles in British America: From Denial to Acceptance,” Joyce E. Chaplin argues that indigenous West Indians and American colonists resisted using this term; noting the word ‘creole’ appeared only 18 times between 1728 to 1800 in Franklin’s Pennsylvania Gazette. (Of these 18 examples found, 10 applied to ‘negroes’.)

Within one 18th century text, the ‘Amiable Creole’ is mentioned for an instance in which its captain witnessed the British ‘Hermione’ impressing American seamen near Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Various American institutions have scattered holdings (typically, single items only) of printed and manuscript documenting the history of the ‘Amiable Creole’.

Description: 1793 Philadelphia Document Signed for Painting the Brig ‘Amiable Creole.’

Philadelphia. July 3rd, 1793. Document Signed. 2.5 x 8 inches. [1]p., laid paper, very good.


Price: $45.00

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