In 1771 this sample book was an innovative marketing tool that traveled from Liverpool to New York City with Captain Nicholson on the brigantine Havannah. Its five hundred swatches, made by the Manchester manufacturing firm of Benjamin and John Bower, represent the type of inexpensive cloth worn by sailors, artisans, and enslaved persons. Such textiles—especially the colorful checked and striped examples—were also a valuable currency exchanged for enslaved African men, women, and children. African traders preferred the finer all-cotton fabrics from India over the European fabrics that were mixtures of linen and cotton. The preference in lucrative markets such as Africa for Indian cottons influenced the way European textiles were made, spurring manufacturers to eventually master the production of all-cotton fabrics.