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Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers: "How a Nineteenth-Century Man of Business, Science, and the Sea Changed American Life"

Tamara Plakins Thornton

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9781469626932
eISBN:
9781469628110
Item type:
book
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:
10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626932.001.0001
Subject:
History, American History: 19th Century

Nathaniel Bowditch (1773-1838) was a mathematician, astronomer, navigator, seafarer, and business executive whose Enlightenment-inspired perspectives shaped nineteenth-century capitalism while ... More


Introduction

Tamara Plakins Thornton

in Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers: "How a Nineteenth-Century Man of Business, Science, and the Sea Changed American Life"

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9781469626932
eISBN:
9781469628110
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:
10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626932.003.0001
Subject:
History, American History: 19th Century

This chapter introduces Nathaniel Bowditch first as contemporaries celebrated him, and then as we should understand him: a man whose mathematical sensibilities transformed the world of practical ... More


Born into Salem

Tamara Plakins Thornton

in Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers: "How a Nineteenth-Century Man of Business, Science, and the Sea Changed American Life"

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9781469626932
eISBN:
9781469628110
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:
10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626932.003.0002
Subject:
History, American History: 19th Century

This chapter presents Nathaniel Bowditch’s childhood and youth in Salem, Massachusetts, as they were shaped by the town’s maritime orientation, Revolutionary-era events, and the network of family and ... More


Parts Unknown

Tamara Plakins Thornton

in Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers: "How a Nineteenth-Century Man of Business, Science, and the Sea Changed American Life"

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9781469626932
eISBN:
9781469628110
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:
10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626932.003.0003
Subject:
History, American History: 19th Century

This chapter presents Nathaniel Bowditch’s participation in trading voyages to Spain, Portugal, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Indian Ocean island of Réunion in the 1790s. As he encountered ... More


The Navigator

Tamara Plakins Thornton

in Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers: "How a Nineteenth-Century Man of Business, Science, and the Sea Changed American Life"

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9781469626932
eISBN:
9781469628110
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:
10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626932.003.0004
Subject:
History, American History: 19th Century

This chapter focuses on the content, significance, critique, and ultimate success of Bowditch’s New American Practical Navigator (1802). A revised and expanded version of an English nautical manual, ... More


Gentleman Actuary

Tamara Plakins Thornton

in Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers: "How a Nineteenth-Century Man of Business, Science, and the Sea Changed American Life"

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9781469626932
eISBN:
9781469628110
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:
10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626932.003.0005
Subject:
History, American History: 19th Century

This chapter examines Nathaniel Bowditch’s assumption of a leading role in Salem’s economic and social elite, and the business conduct, social activities, and religious and partisan loyalties elite ... More


Celestial Events

Tamara Plakins Thornton

in Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers: "How a Nineteenth-Century Man of Business, Science, and the Sea Changed American Life"

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9781469626932
eISBN:
9781469628110
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:
10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626932.003.0006
Subject:
History, American History: 19th Century

This chapter examines Bowditch’s attempts to join the international Republic of Letters through scholarly publication, culminating in 1818 with his honorary membership in London’s Royal Society, the ... More


The Prudent Man

Tamara Plakins Thornton

in Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers: "How a Nineteenth-Century Man of Business, Science, and the Sea Changed American Life"

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9781469626932
eISBN:
9781469628110
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:
10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626932.003.0007
Subject:
History, American History: 19th Century

This chapter follows Bowditch’s professional activities and personal life between 1815 and 1823, an era in which Salem entered a period of decline. Along with townsman Joseph Story, Bowditch emerged ... More


The Clockwork Corporation

Tamara Plakins Thornton

in Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers: "How a Nineteenth-Century Man of Business, Science, and the Sea Changed American Life"

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9781469626932
eISBN:
9781469628110
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:
10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626932.003.0008
Subject:
History, American History: 19th Century

This chapter examines the nature, impact, and significance of Bowditch’s work as head of the Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance Company (MHL). In offering trust accounts and pooling investment ... More


Harvard and Other Imperfect Mechanisms

Tamara Plakins Thornton

in Nathaniel Bowditch and the Power of Numbers: "How a Nineteenth-Century Man of Business, Science, and the Sea Changed American Life"

Published in print:
2016
Published Online:
September 2016
ISBN:
9781469626932
eISBN:
9781469628110
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:
10.5149/northcarolina/9781469626932.003.0009
Subject:
History, American History: 19th Century

This chapter examines Bowditch’s drive to transform three institutions fundamental to the Boston elite--the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Boston Athenaeum, and Harvard University—into ... More


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