Examines an important and complex period in the history of the laws and customs devised by merchants to regulate their relations with each other, and the changes in the law merchant and in negotiable instruments in colonial New York during the years 1664 to 1730 in the context of New York's commercial place in the British Empire. "Economic influences and legal theory combined to form the New York law of negotiable instruments during the colonial period. That the legal theory was an amalgam of Dutch civil law and elementary English common law serves to complicate the situation. Furthermore, the unsettled nature of the judicial system during the seventeenth century made consistent legal development fortuitous at best, and haphazard at its worst. This fluid state of economic and legal development is as fascinating in its complexity as it is baffling in its inconsistency." Introduction, 3. "This brief study of the law of merchant and bills of exchange has as its background a fascinating era of legal history. Changing legal institutions and patterns of trade were typical of these early years. For the student of history, as well as the legal scholar, these developments are of great significance for they are the basis for the future growth of the law and the commercial supremacy of the province of New York." (Preface, vii.) Herbert A. Johnson is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Law, University of South Carolina School of Law. He is the author of numerous books including History of Criminal Justice, Fourth Edition (2010).