By Emma Rothschild

ISBN-10: 0691148953

ISBN-13: 9780691148953

"They have been abolitionists, speculators, slave proprietors, executive officers, and coffee politicians. They have been observers of the anxieties and dramas of empire. and so they have been from one family members. the interior lifetime of Empires tells the intimate background of the Johnstones--four sisters and 7 brothers who lived in Scotland and all over the world within the fast-changing eighteenth century. Piecing jointly their voyages, Read more...

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58 Patrick Johnstone (1737–56), the next son, also joined the East India Company at the age of sixteen. ”60 In India, Patrick worked as an accountant and set up in trade with his brother John. He died in Calcutta shortly before his nineteenth birthday, in 1756. Gideon Johnstone (1739–88), the youngest of the brothers and sisters, was the most unsettled of all of them. He joined the navy and served in the West Indies together with his older brother George. He then went to join his brother John in the East Indies as a free merchant, became an official of the East India Company, and enlisted in the Company’s army.

45 He was educated for the law, and he was the most respectable of the brothers and sisters. He was also the most successful. 50 He was a naval officer in the West Indies, Lisbon, the Cape Verde Islands, and the Cape of Good Hope, and was governor of the new British colony of West Florida in 1764–66. He was a member of parliament, and closely involved in the parliamentary politics of the East India Company and of the American Revolution, initially as a supporter of the American revolutionaries, until he was sent to the new United States as part of the peace commission of 1778, and later as a vehement defender of the British government.

115 At home in Westerhall, the older Johnstones waited anxiously for news of events that had unfolded in the East and the West Indies months or years earlier. “We are in great fear for Both Sandy & Jock,” Betty, who had become the family’s center of information, wrote in September 1759. ” In May 1760 she wrote, “There is a report here that there has been an ingagement in the East Indias God preserve Jock. . ”118 Setting Out 33 The brothers who were overseas sent presents, from time to time. Gideon, when he returned from Jamaica, brought “a present of four small Images & Seven Baskets for having frute,” as Betty wrote to William.

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The inner life of empires : an eighteenth-century history by Emma Rothschild

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