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  • Cathy Matson, Richards Professor Emerita of American History in the History Department at the University of Delaware

    Richards Professor Emerita of American History
    University of Delaware


    ​Cathy Matson  teaches courses in the early modern Atlantic World, colonial North America, the Revolutionary Atlantic, and material life in early America.  She is currently completing a study of Philadelphia’s Revolutionary and early national economic culture and material networks with the Atlantic world down to 1815.  A second book in progress is about the economy of color during the eighteenth century.   Another  long-term project compares the regional economies of New York City and Philadelphia from roughly 1720 to 1820. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1985. Publications include A Union of Interests(1990; repr. Ppb. 1997); Merchants and Empire (1998; Ppb. 2002; repr. 2007); editor plus chapter 1 of The Economy of Early America: Achievements and New Directions (2005, 2007); The American Experiment (2001; 2nd ed., 2005; 3rd ed. 2008), and numerous articles on American economic culture and political economy.  Dr. Matson is also the director of the Program in Early American Economy and Society at the Library Company in Philadelphia.



    • The American Experiment: A History of the United States, Volume 2: Since 1865 With Steven M. Gillon (Cengage Learning, 2001; 2nd ed., 2005; 3rd ed. 2008)
    • Merchants and Empire: Trading in Colonial New York (Johns Hopkins University Press,1998; Ppb. 2002; repr. 2007))
    • A Union of Interests: Political and Economic Thought in Revolutionary America With Peter Onuf (University Press of Kansas, 1990; repr. Ppb. 1997)

    Edited Volumes

    • The Economy of Early America: Historical Perspectives and New Directions (Penn State University Press, 2011).

    Articles and Book Chapters

    • “Mathew Carey’s Learning Experience: Commerce, Manufacturing, and the Panic of 1819,” in Early American Studies, 11 (Fall 2013), 455-485.
    • “Imperial Political Economy: An Ideological Debate and Shifting Practices,” William and Mary Quarterly (Jan. 2012), 35-40, part of a special forum on “Rethinking Mercantilism. ”
    • “A Port in the Storm: Philadelphia’s Commerce During the Atlantic Revolutionary Era,” in Thomas Bender, et al., eds., Revolution: The Atlantic World Reborn (New York and London: N-Y Historical Society, 2011), pp. 65-90.
    • "Flimsy Fortunes: Americans’ Fascination with Paper Speculation and their Familiarity with Panics,” in Special Issue of Common-Place, Michael Zakim, ed., (April, 2010), Vol. 10, #3.
    • “Permeable Empires: The Commercial Exchanges of New York with Spanish Possessions Before 1800,” for Nueva York, 1613-1945, ed. Edward Sullivan, (Yale, 2010), chapter 2, 82-95.
    • “Economic Networks of Dutch traders and the British Colonial Empire, 1624-1783,” in Willem Frijoff and Jaap Jacobs, ed., Four Centuries of Dutch-American Relations, 1609-2009 (Amsterdam and New York, 2009).
    • “Accounting for War and Revolution: Philadelphia Merchants and Commercial Risk, 1774-1811,” in Margaret Jacobs, ed., The Self Perception of Early Modern Capitalists (Palgrave, 2008), chap 8.
    • “Philadelphia in the Early Republic: Qualified Recovery,” in Ann Wagner and Donald Fennimore, eds., Silversmiths to the Nation, Thomas Fletcher and Sidney Gardiner, 1808-1848 (Winterthur Museum Publications, 2007), chapter 1.





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