Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture

Leading Early American Scholarship Since 1943


Unless otherwise indicated, all Institute books are published and distributed by The University of North Carolina Press. For ordering information, call 1.800.848.6224 or fax 1.800.272.6817. Please note that these books can be purchased only through UNC Press and not through the Institute.

Farmers and Fishermen

Two Centuries of Work in Essex County, Massachusetts, 1630–1850

Daniel Vickers

Paper ISBN 978-0-8078-4458-8

Copyright 1994 by the University of North Carolina Press

A Prize-Winning Book

  Louis Gottschalk Prize, American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (1994-95)
  John H. Dunning Prize, American Historical Association (1995)

Visit the University of North Carolina Press web page for this book.

“Rich in detail, convincing in argument, and broad in its implications, Farmers and Fishermen is at once a superb study of the capitalist transformation of the fishing industry and an important addition to the existing literature on the farm economy of New England. Vickers’s coherent analysis of two centuries of economic development will immediately become the point of departure for subsequent scholarship. An impressive achievement!”

--James A. Henretta

Farmers and Fishermen is an extraordinary account of ‘Adam’s curse’ in New England—how Puritans worked, by land and by sea, how they built a new society by the sweat of their collective brow. Had Max Weber read it, he would have thought differently about the Protestant work ethic. But this is not the only triumph of the book; Daniel Vickers has here explained the deepest inner workings of New England society. He has also given the greatest form of early American history, the community study, a new sophistication and a new originality.”

--Marcus Rediker

“Meticulously researched, cogently argued, and beautifully written, this is—quite simply—the best study available on patterns of work and economic development in early New England.”

--Stephen Innes