The Baubles of America: Object Lessons from the Eclectic Empire of Peter Williamson
In October 1776, a curious advertisement appeared in the Scots Spy, a magazine published by an Edinburgh publican and printer Peter Williamson: "To be Sold by way of Lottery, a pair of American gray Squirrels, about eighteen Months old, are very tame and tractable, and need no confinement in cages, as they are used to run about the house: Those animals generally live long, and are two years old before they begin to breed." Williamson informed his readers that the squirrels could be seen at his "Penny-post-office" inside Edinburgh's Royal Exchange building, where the curious could also purchase tickets for the drawing. (chapter excerpt)
Shannon, Timothy J. “The Baubles of America: Object Lessons from the Eclectic Empire of Peter Williamson,” in Experiencing Empire: Power, People, and Revolution in Early America, ed. Patrick Griffin. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2017. 27-49.