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William Blathwayt, secretary of the Lords of Trade and Plantations, personified the imperial British power structure in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Long years of effective service made Blathwayt well known in his own time. His habit of carefully preserving his wide correspondence has made his papers an important archive of British-colonial relations. This collection reproduces the entire collection of Blathwayt Papers at Colonial Williamsburg. Each of the 41 volumes focuses on one area or colony over a long span of time. Of more than 2,500 items, about half are from North American colonies and half from the Caribbean. With its unusual scope--from New Hampshire to Barbados--the collection lends itself especially well to comparative studies of colonial problems.

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