The American Revolution ended with the treaty of Paris in 1783. Subsequently statesmen formulated a new national government rising out of the ashes of a bankrupted one and, with entrepreneurs, sought ways to fortify and to stabilize both economic and political independence from England. Napoleon’s quest for territory and Britain’s efforts to limit French control disrupted European trade during the last decade of the 18th century. The United States remained neutral trying to take advantage of new markets available to them during the interim. Efforts to capture the new country’s support and to limit its inroads into European markets led both France and England to seize vessels, goods and personnel or to sink foreign trade ships entering into their territory. Trade, which had always been a risky venture, had become even riskier. Merchants sought new trade markets and less risky land-based enterprises for investment diversification. Many merchants turned to manufacturing goods and some initiated textile manufacture. In Hartford; Worcester, and Beverly, Massachusetts; New York, Baltimore, Maryland; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Providence, Rhode Island investors established textile manufacturing operations during the last two decades of the eighteenth century. The investors endeavored to take advantage of known fiber processing and spinning technology. Jenny workshops, founded during this era, initiated changes in the organization of work and the use of labor foreshadowing the more dramatic, social, economic and technological changes, which took place with the rise of water,

powered textile manufacture during the last decade of the 18th century and the 19th century.2