https://my.americanancestors.org/1670/1788 New England Historic Genealogical Society
99-101 Newbury St
Boston, MA 02115
After the Revolutionary War, the fortunes of New England merchants expanded rapidly as they led the way in developing new markets and trading partners. By necessity, trade expanded to China and India, well beyond the former colonial coastal trade and transshipping of European goods through the West Indies. The mansions built with the fortunes made (and lost) in the China Trade belie the notion that returning merchants sought to capture their experience of China in the design of their houses. With few exceptions, the urban residences of the early China Trade merchants were impressive, but conventional architectural statements. Only in their interior furnishings does one detect the impact of China. On the other hand, their country houses often featured curiosities that only a visitor or resident of China could have assembled. This talk considers a group of houses built between 1780 and 1850 by Providence, Newport, and Boston merchants and traces the impact of China upon both the merchants and their houses.