Article ID: CBB001212880

Fashioning Moccasins: Detroit, the Manufacturing Frontier, and the Empire of Consumption, 1701--1835 (2012)


Cangany, Catherine (Author)

William and Mary Quarterly
Volume: 69, no. 2
Issue: 2
Pages: 265-304

Moccasins were worn by Euroamericans on many frontiers, but colonial Detroiters, unlike other frontier residents, did not just wear moccasins; they also manufactured them. By the 1770s Detroit was home to at least three tanneries that produced native-style shoes. Due to Detroit's situation in the heart of the Great Lakes, merchants then shipped moccasins to the eastern seaboard. By the early nineteenth century, this frontier footwear had transitioned into imperial culture. The fashioning of moccasins---tracing the appropriation, fabrication, distribution, marketing, and consumption of a native cultural item by nonnatives---challenges our understanding of the frontier in three ways. It establishes the existence and scope of a hybridized culture that borrowed and blended the most useful components of several cultural traditions. It demonstrates that Detroit capitalized on components of both west and east to capture some degree of commercial autonomy. And it identifies an instance in which the interior influenced and shaped the Atlantic. The local production of moccasins for an eastern clientele reversed production, distribution, consumption, and fashionability to flow from west to east. Such a reordering enabled Detroit to exert both its importance within and its distinctness from empire.

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Book Steel, Frances; (2011)
Oceania under Steam: Sea Transport and the Cultures of Colonialism, c. 1870--1914 (/isis/citation/CBB001200612/) unapi

Book Trinder, Barrie Stuart; (2013)
Britain's Industrial Revolution: The Making of a Manufacturing People, 1700--1870 (/isis/citation/CBB001421820/) unapi

Book Meacham, Sarah Hand; (2009)
Every Home a Distillery: Alcohol, Gender, and Technology in the Colonial Chesapeake (/isis/citation/CBB001020416/) unapi

Thesis Stebbins McCaffrey, Katherine; (2007)
Reading Glasses: American Spectacles in the Age of Franklin (/isis/citation/CBB001561338/) unapi

Book Joseph Stanhope Cialdella; (2020)
Motor City Green: a century of landscapes and environmentalism in Detroit (/isis/citation/CBB584202863/) unapi

Book Brückner, Martin; (2006)
The Geographic Revolution in Early America: Maps, Literacy, and National Identity (/isis/citation/CBB000651412/) unapi

Book David J. Silverman; (2016)
Thundersticks: Firearms and the Violent Transformation of Native America (/isis/citation/CBB009874334/) unapi

Book Kusserow, Karl; Blackmar, Elizabeth; Staiti, Paul J.; Bluestone, Daniel M.; Barquist, David L.; (2013)
Picturing Power: Portraiture and Its Uses in the New York Chamber of Commerce (/isis/citation/CBB001550195/) unapi

Book Russell, Ben; (2014)
James Watt: Making the World Anew (/isis/citation/CBB001510127/) unapi

Book Weightman, Gavin; (2007)
The Industrial Revolutionaries: The Making of the Modern World, 1776--1914 (/isis/citation/CBB001033457/) unapi

Article Evans, Chris; (2012)
The Plantation Hoe: The Rise and Fall of an Atlantic Commodity, 1650--1850 (/isis/citation/CBB001212882/) unapi

Book Barbara Hahn; (2020)
Technology in the Industrial Revolution (/isis/citation/CBB086776543/) unapi

Book McCalman, Iain; Cook, Alexander; Reeves, Andrew; (2001)
Gold: Forgotten Histories and Lost Objects in Australia (/isis/citation/CBB000100967/) unapi

Book MacLeod, Christine; (2007)
Heroes of Invention: Technology, Liberalism and British Identity, 1750--1914 (/isis/citation/CBB000830491/) unapi

Book Maines, Rachel; (2009)
Hedonizing Technologies: Paths to Pleasure in Hobbies and Leisure (/isis/citation/CBB000952151/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
McCalman, Iain
Goodman, David
Pickering, Paul
Fahey, Charles
Curthoys, Ann
Bunbury, Bill
William and Mary Quarterly
Environmental History
Cambridge University Press
Johns Hopkins University Press
Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture by University of North Carolina Press
Grove Press
Manchester University Press
Technology and economics
Great Britain, colonies
Industrial revolution
Technology and culture
Watt, James
Boulton, Matthew
United States
North America
Great Britain
18th century
19th century
17th century
20th century, early
20th century

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment