Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

MA History




Sean Harvey, Ph.D

Committee Member

Williamjames Hoffer, Ph.D

Committee Member

Dermot Quinn, Ph.D


manufacturing, agriculture, Paterson, Hamilton, Coxe, immigration, river, America


The Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures was one of the first corporations in American history. The company was an attempt by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, with the help of his Assistant Secretary of the Treasury Tench Coxe, to turn Hamilton’s “Report on Manufactures” into a physical reality. Although the SUM would dissolve only five years after openings its doors, there is plenty to extract from the company’s practices. Through the SUM, Alexander Hamilton and his Federalist contemporaries attempted to recreate, and unite, a weak and fledgling United States by strengthening the nation politically and economically. The Society was Hamilton’s first true attempt to bind the nation together through interdependence of economic affairs, therefore attempting to give the nation its first true common interest that would help all people regardless of region or class. Through studying the SUM, ideas such as politics, economics, social hierarchy, and even immigration took on a whole new meaning.