The College of Charleston’s Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World (CLAW) program’s biennial Hines Prize has been awarded to Huw T. David for his book-manuscript entitled The Atlantic at Work: Britain and South Carolina’s Trading Networks, c. 1730 to 1790.
The prize, endowed by former College of Charleston Dean Samuel Hines, is awarded every other year for the best first manuscript on a topic relating to the Carolina Lowcountry and/or Atlantic World.
“David’s manuscript presents a compendious history of the trade relations between South Carolina and Great Britain in the eighteenth century, both in the decades leading up to the Revolutionary War and immediately following the Revolution,” CLAW director Simon Lewis said.
David’s manuscript derives from his thesis at Oxford University, for which he used a collective biography of some two dozen “Carolina traders.” His study offers new insights into the political economy of Carolina trade with Great Britain and its impact on Atlantic politics in the era of the American Revolution. David’s study reveals how these men’s trading activity at first acted as a stabilizing force but from the 1760s on aggravated intra-imperial discord. After the Revolution, according to David, Carolinians exercised greater commercial discretion than contemporaries and historians have appreciated. David’s work thus challenges contentions of South Carolina’s continuing commercial subservience to British trading interests.
In the context of remarkably strong competition, with manuscripts on topics ranging from the Civil War to African and African American watermen, the Hines Prize committee praised David’s manuscript especially for its placing of the Lowcountry squarely at the center of Atlantic World geo-politics in the critical decades before, during, and immediately after American independence.
David works as a Development Officer at the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University. He has previously published a number of articles in academic journals and he has held visiting fellowships at institutions including the University of South Carolina and the Huntington Library, Los Angeles.