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Shifting away from the Federalist ideas, which were in many senses an updated view of colonialism, required hard work and a skillful balancing act.Through the account book of Joshua Shipman, a young joiner from Saybrook, Connecticut, we can see this process unfold, and in some senses, Shipman’s efforts parallel those of the country in which he lived, as the late eighteenth century also found the newly formed United States working to develop an identity and to realize the promise of the lofty rhetoric that had fueled the Revolution.Full-scale seaworthy vessels, more than twenty, were actually constructed on the banks of the Ohio, loaded with local agricultural goods (mostly flour and salt pork), then sailed downriver on the surge of the spring melt.Whereas flatboats had to stop in New Orleans to move cargo to larger ships (and pay a duty), the Marietta-built ships bypassed the city, stopping in the Caribbean, selling the goods, and were freighted with more goods (often sugar) that were transported to eastern ports like Philadelphia, where the crew would sell both the goods and the ship before venturing back home overland.
However, the founders of Marietta, led by General Rufus Putnam, were, by and large, Federalists.Most of what is known about Shipman comes from two principal sources: a biographical sketch published in the in January 1879; and the privately printed reminiscences of Joanna Shipman Bosworth, Joshua Shipman’s granddaughter.It was through the ownership of a single share of the Ohio Company of Associates, the land company responsible for orchestrating the first official community north of the Ohio River, that the family found its way to Marietta.One path to success was to court the sizable influence and patronage of the town founders, but to do so required one to adopt their Federalist views or at least to abandon the more autonomous hopes of an independent farmer on a growing homestead.Early residents often seemed to have to choose between the two, making a ringing political announcement in their choices.
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The Trust offers scholarship opportunities to students who reside in Caswell, Halifax, Henry, Pittsylvania and Rockingham counties (including all towns or cities located within these 5 counties).