- Fellowship year:2010-2011
- University: Johns Hopkins University
- Dissertation Topic/Category: United States
- Dissertation Title: 'Yankey Dodle Will Do Verry Well Here': New England Traders in the Caribbean, 1713-1812**
James Roberts’ dissertation investigates the activities and networks of northern merchants and their agents in Caribbean ports before, during, and after the American Revolution. No studies of this inter-regional trade, which was central to New England’s social and economic history, adequately trace the experiences and strategies of Northern American sojourners who pursued business opportunities, investments, and or careers in the Caribbean through and beyond the imperial crisis.
Combining broad study of Atlantic and Caribbean trade and war with a series of individual case studies, Mr. Roberts’ dissertation examines the interplay of business and family networks and explores the resources that drew New England traders into the Caribbean, sustained them, and contributed to their successes or failures.
Through extensive analysis of business and family papers, he illuminates the social contingencies of overseas trade networks, assesses the place of the Caribbean in individual merchant career trajectories, and studies inter-generational strategies for entering and succeeding in business.
**In an original historic quote, Dodle is a mispelling for Doodle.