The capture-recapture method, which ecologists, demographers, and social scientists utilize to estimate the size of contemporary populations that cannot be subjected to conventional enumeration or census-taking procedures, has never been applied to the study of a historical population. Using it to uncover the size and characteristics of the colonial American community in London finds regional variations in the demographic patterns of provincial Americans who traveled to London during the late colonial period, challenging the presumption of a common colonial reaction to metropolitan culture on the eve of American independence.

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