From Rainforest to Parlor: The Mahogany Trade in Colonial Rhode Island

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By the 1760s, imported mahogany was all the rage for fine furniture in colonial America. As these coveted trees were quickly depleted in their native Caribbean range, however, the mahogany trade became an increasingly risky and competitive business. Rhode Island merchants, sea captains, and cabinetmakers—eager to profit from this desirable wood—took their chances in this new line of trade. Prof. Jennifer Anderson will discuss the adventures (and misadventures) of some of these participants and their quest to secure this precious material. Colony House, Washington Square. $5 per person, $1 NHS members. RSVP to 401-841-8770