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Morrisville PROJECt
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THE WAR OF 1812
THE SPANISH AMERICAN WAR
WORLD WAR ONE
WORLD WAR TWO
THE COLD WAR

 

pot photoThe War Of 1812

In the War of 1812 America was caught again between the powers of the Old World. France and Britain were embroiled in conflict and both required the help of American goods to keep their armies fed and armed for war. Neither would settle just for trade rights, they each wanted an exclusive trade agreement in which America only traded with them. Rather than get caught in this President Jefferson, in December 1807, issued the Embargo Act calling for absolutely no foreign trade. Foreign trade is the way a nation makes a profit so the entire nation suffered from the Act. Morrisville during the time was mainly a town working on self-sufficiency. The area produced just enough different goods to supply Morrisville and not much more. The one exception to this was potash. Potash is a key ingredient in soap made from boiling down ashes that people in the Morrisville area traded to Britain through Canada. It was the only cash crop producing extra profit for the citizens of Morrisville. The removal of trade with Britain was a serious blow to Morrisville's economy. The affect on Morrisville was a growing trend towards smuggling to make up for the dwindling trade items.

Low economic standards were common in many rural regions of the time. There was not much profit to be made anywhere at all. People soon discovered an old practice that got quick cash, indentured servitude. Parents sold their children off into a form of slavery to make a profit and to guarantee their children enough to start a life of their own. Parents agreed to their children working a certain number of years to a master learning their trade in trade for enough goods to get the child on their feet when they completed their indentured time.

 

 
flakjacket
Potash Kettle of the early 1800's
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Indentured Servitude Contract of kent Drown (1806). Click letter for a transcription.