'Have honestly and fairly laboured for money': William and Washington Tuck and Annapolis Cabinetmaking, 1795-1838
Lourie, Alexander J.
Struna, Nancy L
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The careers of William and Washington Tuck coincided with a significant transition of Annapolis furniture-making, and changes in the political and economic hierarchies in the post-revolutionary market economy of Maryland. Both brothers learned their trade under the tutelage of John Shaw at a time when the center of Maryland's cabinetmaking shifted to Baltimore. Politically, republican ideas of democracy and representation began to take hold, and slowly found a place in Annapolis, a town characterized by its adherence to an older system of patronage and backroom negotiations. The Tucks' entrepreneurial talents and social, political, and artisanal connections facilitated their access to the State House, Annapolis' most important source of commerce and employment. This study adds two new players to the scholarly understanding of Annapolis cabinetmaking, a story heretofore dominated by John Shaw, and shows how two artisans in Maryland's capital pursued their trade and maintained their competency in early national Annapolis.