Massachusetts Historical Society


Between Boston & Bombay: Cultural & Commercial Encounters of Yankees & Parsis, 1771–1865


Jenny Rose, Claremont Graduate University

This is a hybrid event. FREE.

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A few years after the American Declaration of Independence, the first American ships set sail to India. The commercial links that American merchant mariners established with the Parsis* of Bombay contributed significantly to the material and intellectual culture of the early Republic. This book maps the circulation of goods, capital, and ideas between Bombay Parsis and their contemporaries in the northeastern United States, uncovering a range of cultural interaction. Just as goods and gifts from the Zoroastrians of India quickly became an integral part of popular culture along the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, so their newly translated religious texts had a considerable impact on American thought. Using a wealth of previously unpublished primary sources, this work presents the narrative of American-Parsi encounters within the broader context of developing global trade and knowledge. Following the presentation there will be a small display of items from our collection related to American and Indian trade.

*The Parsis are an ethnoreligious group of the Indian subcontinent adhering to Zoroastrianism.

Hybrid Event

Masks are optional for this event.

The virtual program begins at 2:00 PM and will be hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

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