Sunday, June 30, 2013

Timeline 1750-1759


Over a million people live in colonial America.

The British Parliament passes The Iron Act, limiting the growth of the iron industry in the American Colonies

The word "bluestocking," is used as a put-down for learned women.

Neoclassicism as a reaction against baroque and rococo styles spreads over Europe.

The first American coal mine opens on the James River in Virginia.

The river flatboat and the Conestoga wagon first appear in Pennsylvania.

The first playhouse opens in New York City.

The first Great Awakening ends when Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) is forced to resign from his church in Northampton, MA because of his emphasis on the sinful nature of man. He rejects the liberal "halfway covenant." He becomes pastor of a church in the frontier settlement of Stockbridge, in western Massachusetts.

The Currency Act is passed by the English Parliament, banning the issuing of paper money by the New England colonies.

Charlotte Ramsay Lennox (1720-1804) writes the first novel by an Ameican-born writer, The Life of Harriet Stuart. Lennox, born in New York and sent to England at the age of fifteen for schooling, remained there for the rest of her life. It is also the first novel with American settings, such as the Hudson River, Albany, and the Mohawk Valley.


Britain passes the British Calendar Act, which places England and its colonies on the Gregorian Calendar beginning in 1752.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1791) publishes "Experiments and Observations on Electricity," using the terms positive and negative for the first time. And he helps found the first “English Academy” in Philadelphia.

James Madison (1751-1836), fourth President of the U.S., is born in Port Conway, Virginia

The Ohio Company actively colonizes in the Ohio Valley.

Sugar cane grown in America is introduced in Louisiana by Catholic missionaries; it is used to make a kind of rum.

The minuet becomes Europe’s fashionable dance.

George II repeals the 1705 act, making slaves real estate in Virginia.

James Davis begins publishing the North Carolina Gazette, the colony’s first newspaper, in New Bern. He also prints North Carolina’s first book.

The first cricket match is held in New York City.


French and Indian: The French begin building forts across Pennsylvania and into Ohio to stop British invasion of their territory.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) performs his famous kite experiment, proving that lightning is electricity.

Thomas Bond (1712-1784) establishes the first general hospital in the colonies in Philadelphia, treating all except those with incurable or infectious diseases.

Martha Daniell Logan (1704-1779) writes a "Gardener's Kalendar." The Charleston, South Carolina, widow, plantation owner, schoolteacher, and horticulturist's publishes it in the South Carolina Almanack, published by John Tobler. Her work is significant as the first American treatise on gardening.

Charlotte Ramsay Lennox writes The Female Quixote; or, The Adventures of Arabella satirizing the idealized conventions of French romances. Ramsay would dramatize the novel as Angelica; or Quixote in Petticoats in 1758.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) and William Hunter are appointed as postmasters general for the American Colonies.

George Washington undertakes a difficult and ineffectual journey to persuade the French to withdraw from the Ohio valley

French troops from Canada seize the Ohio Valley in action leading up to the French and Indian War.

Moravians from Pennsylvania purchase a 100,000-acre tract in present-day Forsyth County in North Carolina from Earl Granville. They name the area Wachovia, which means “peaceful valley.” They establish the settlement of Bethabara in November.

Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778) publishes "Species Plantarum," establishing the names of plant species.

Elizabeth Sampson Ashbridge (1713-1755) writes an autobiography of her spiritual development Some Account of the Fore Part of the Life of Elizabeth Ashbridge. An ordained Quaker minister, she hints that the ability to free herself from male authority depends on her ability to accept God's authority. The work would be first published in 1774.


George Washington kills ten French troops at Fort Duquesne, in the first violent clash of the French and Indian war. Washington leads a small group of American colonists to victory over the French, then builds Fort Necessity in the Ohio territory. In July, after being attacked by numerically superior French forces, Washington surrenders the fort and retreats.

The French and Indian War begins. France and Britain fight for seven years over the territory from Canada down the west side of the Mississippi River to New Orleans. In Europe, the conflict is called the Seven Years' War. Albany Plan of Union; June

King’s College in New York City is founded; it becomes Columbia University in 1784.

Benjamin Franklin's chopped-up snake, urging union of the colonies with the caption 'Join or Die', is the first American political cartoon. And he proposes to the Albany Congress that the colonies should unite to form a colonial government.

Esther Edwards Burr (1732-1758) begins writing her Journal. Burr chronicles daily life from 1754 to 1757, giving information on topics such as the founding of Princeton College, religious revivals, childbearing practices, the French and Indian War, and women's roles during the period. It would be published in several editions by Jeremiah Eames Rankin (1828-1904) as Esther Burr's Journal.An account of the kidnapping by Indians of Elizabeth Hanson (1648-1737), wife of John Hanson of Dover, New Hampshire was published posthumously in Philadelphia as God's mercy surmounting man's cruelty, exemplified in the captivity and redemption of Elizabeth Hanson, wife of John Hanson, of Knoxmarsh at Kecheachy, in Dover township, who was taken captive with her children, and maid-servant, by the Indians in New-England, in the year 1724.


British General Edward Braddock (c.1695-1755) takes command of all English forces in America during the French and Indian War. In April, Gen. Braddock and Lt. Col. George Washington set out with nearly 2000 men to battle the French in the Ohio territory. In July, a force of about 900 French and Indians defeat those English forces in an ambush near Ft. Duquesne in Western Pennsylvania. Braddock is mortally wounded. Massachusetts Governor William Shirley then becomes the new commander in chief.

The first Conestoga wagons are acquired by George Washington for an expedition through the Alleghenies.

Sarah Haggar Osborn (1714-1796) writes a series of emotional letters on her spiritual awakening The Nature, Certainty, and Evidence of True Christianity. This work begins as a series of letters to a friend and represents a look back on Osborn's spiritual awakening. In 1799, Osborn would expand her letters into Memoirs of the Life of Mrs. Sarah Osborn.


French under General Louis Montcalm (1712-1759) capture and destroy British colonial Fort Oswego in New York.

England declares war on France, as the French and Indian War in the colonies now spreads to Europe.

The governor of Pennsylvania, in response to Indian attacks, offers a bounty for Indian scalps. This act of war forces those remaining Quakers to resign from the Assembly, as it goes against the pacifist beliefs . This marks the true onset of the Age of Quietism within the Quaker community.


William Pitt becomes England's Secretary of State and escalates the French and Indian War in the colonies by establishing a policy of unlimited warfare.

The first street lights—whale-oil lamps designed by Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)—are used on a few streets in Philadelphia.

The first public concert is held in Philadelphia.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) is sent to London as a representative of the Pennsylvania legislature to negotiate for the heirs of William Penn and remains there for 5 years.

Martha Wadsworth Brewster (fl. 1725-1757) of Lebanon, Connecticut, writes Poems on Divers Subjects, containing poems, letters, & some prose works. Brewster tackles radical subject matter for an 18th century woman, including military events & the brutality of war. When the book first appears, Brewster has to demonstrate her authorship to a public skeptical that a woman could write poetry by publicly paraphrasing a psalm into verse.


James Monroe (1758-1831) 5th President of the U.S., is born on April 28, in Westmoreland County, Virginia.

English forces at Lake George, New York, lose nearly two thousand men during a frontal attach against well-entrenched French forces at Fort Ticonderoga; French losses are 377. General Montcalm and his French troops are defeated and colonials begin settling there.

George Washington (1732-1799) and General John Forbes (1710-1759) take Fort Duquesne, later renamed Pittsburgh.

A school for Negroes is established in Philadelphia by the Anglican missionary group.

Molly (Mary) Brant (c.1736-1796), a Mohawk woman, becomes the partner of Sir William Johnson. She is largely responsible for the alliance between the Iroquois and the British.

A raiding party consisting of French and Shawnee warriors takes Mary Jemison (1743-1833) captive. She adopts Native American customs, which she retains all her adult life.

Jonathan Edwards becomes president of the College of New Jersey, later Princeton University.

The first North American Indian reservation is established on 3,000 acres in New Jersey.

Elizabeth Sandwith Drinker (1734-1807) begins writing her diary, which later becomes an in-depth portrait of an elite urban woman from Philadelphia in the late eighteenth century. Excerpts of the diary would be first published in 1889.

Charlotte Ramsay Lennox writes Henrietta, a novel concerning an orphaned French girl's adventures. It would be adapted by the author as the drama The Sister in 1769.

Annis Boudinot Stockton (1735-1801) writes "Epistle to Mr. S." This is one of Stockton's earliest poems and possibly the first poetry published by a New Jersey woman. The poem originally appeared in the New York Mercury and reveals a period of great sadness in Stockton's life--the time of her husband's extended and final illness. Stockton would become one of the most published American women poets of the century, with at least twenty-one of her poems appearing in prestigious newspapers and magazines.

Martha Brewster publishes Poems on divers subjects…A word of advice reserv'd for my two grand-sons, being yet babes. By Martha Brewster, of Lebanon.

Pennsylvania Quakers forbid their members from owning slaves or participating in the slave trade.


The French surrender to the British at Quebec. Ft. Niagara is captured by the British.

A measles epidemic breaks out all over North America, wherever white people live.

Martha Dandridge Custis (1731-1802) marries George Washington (1732-1799).

Abigail Smith (1744-1818) is received into her father’s Congregational Church in Weymouth on June 24. Later that summer, she meets John Adams (1735-1826) in her father’s parsonage.

Colonial shipbuilders are producing nearly 400 vessels each year.

Thomas Penn (1702-1775) and Richard Penn establish the first recorded life insurance company, the Presbyterian Ministers fund, in Philadelphia.

Peter Harrison (1716-1775) designs the first U.S. synagugue, the Touro synagogue in Newport, RI.

War erupts between Cherokee Indians and southern colonists.

Yale Law School, The Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy. New Haven, CT.Burt, Daniel S., editor. THE CHRONOLOGY OF AMERICAN LITERATURE: AMERICA'S LITERARY ACHIEVEMENTS FROM THE COLONIAL ERA TO MODERN TIMES. Houghton Mifflin Internet.

HISTORY MATTERS. American Social History Project / Center for Media and Learning (Graduate Center, CUNY) and the Center for History and New Media (George Mason University). Internet.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Timeline 1740-1749


Samuel Richardson (1689-1761) publishes Pamela one of the first English novels.

A great fire destroys half of Charleston, South Carolina.

Large numbers of women join churches during the Great Awakening of the 1740s. Some have called this the “feminization of the church.” Open-air preaching, the charismatic phenomena, and the involvement of the poor all gain more public attention for this movement. Support comes from most American Protestant denominations, but not from Anglicans.

Fifty black slaves are hanged in Charleston, South Carolina, after plans for a 1739 revolt are found.

Aaron Moses witnesses a will, becoming the first Jewish person on record in North Carolina.

South Carolina passes the comprehensive Negro Act, making it illegal for male and female slaves to move abroad, assemble in groups, raise food, earn money, and learn to read English. Owners are permitted to kill rebellious slaves if necessary.

Georgia and Carolina attempt to invade Florida in retaliation for the territory's policy toward runaways.

War of the Austrian Succession begins after the death of Emperor Charles VI and eventually results in France and Spain allied against England. The conflict is known in the American colonies as King George's War and lasts until 1748.


Elizabeth Lucas Pinckney introduces indigo cultivation in South Carolina; by 1742 she has a successful crop.

Elizabeth Pinckney sights a comet whose appearance was predicted by Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727).

American revivalism is inflamed by Jonathan Edwards' vivid sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God delivers at Enfield, Massachusettes.

The second slave uprising takes place in New York; 26 slaves are killed and 71 deported.

The first labor strike occurs in New York City when bakers protest the regulation of the price of bread.

A law is enacted requiring all newly freed slaves to leave North Carolina within six months.


Moravians (Church of the United Bretheran) found a school in Germantown, Pa. (later Bethlehem); this will grow into the Moravian Seminary for Young Females (from 1805, the Young Ladies Seminary), one of the earliest American girls’ boarding schools.
Georg Frederic Handel’s (1685-1759) "The Messiah" is performed in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The fishing industry grows in New England; there are nearly 1,000 fishing boats.

"COMPLETE HOUSEWIFE," an English cookbook by Eliza Smith, appears in Williamsburg. Virginia.

Cornelia Smith Bradford (c. 1700-1755) takes over the responsibilities for the AMERICAN WEEKLY MERCURY. From 1742 until 1744, she published the paper with the help of one assistant. After 1744, she became the sole editor and printer until the paper folded in 1746.


Isabella Marshall (Mrs. John Graham) 1742-1814, was born in Scotland. She moved to New York City where she opened a school for girls and formed relief societies for the destitute sick, widows, and orphans.


The first American town meeting is held in Boston’s Faneuil Hall.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), 3rd U.S. President, is born in Virginia.

In Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin drafts the founding document for the American Philosophical Society.

A “pesthouse” is established in Philadelphia to quarantine immigrants.


Benjamin Franklin publishes his design for an improved stove in Account of the New Invented Pennsylvania Fire Place (or Franklin Stove) which provides much more heat on much less fuel than regular fireplaces.

Abigail Smith (1744-1818), wife of John Adams, is born on November 11, in Weymouth, Massachusettes.

Elizabeth (Eliza) Pinckney (1722-1793) develops indigo as a commercial crop in the Carolinas.

Sarah Parsons Moorhead (fl. 1741-1742) writes "LINES... DEDICATED TO THE REV. MR. GEORGE TENNENT." Moorhead's poem sharply criticizes the Great Awakening evangelical clergyman: "O dear sacred TENNENT, pray beware. / Lest too much Terror, prove to some a Snare." She believed that the religious revivalism of the period had become an emotional "Drunkard's song." She lived in Boston during the 1740s.


Thomas Cadwalader (1708-1779) publishes America’s first medical pamphlet describing the treatment of lead poisoning caused by drinking rum distilled in lead pipes.

Men and women make Whist a popular card game.

The first carillon in America is installed in the belfry of Christ Church, Boston.

Cadwallader Colden writes Explication of the First Causes of Action in Matter, and, of the Causes of Gravitation. In this scientific critique, Colden takes on Newtonian physics by claiming to have discovered the cause of gravity. Colden's contemporaries are baffled by his logic and subsequent scholars have dismissed his ideas. Plantae Coldenghamiae, a treatise on medicine, moral philosophy, and natural science, would follow it in 1749.


Benjamin Franklin (1705-1790) explains weather patterns, pressure systems, and water spouts. He begins his experiments with electricity.

The College of New Jersey is founded; it becomes Princeton University in 1896.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) contracts for "A Dictionary of the English Language."

Lucy Terry (c. 1730-1821) writes "BARS FIGHT, AUGUST 28, 1746." Lucy Terry Prince was among the residents of Deerfield, Massachusetts, traumatized by an Abenaki raid on the village. Lucy, a slave, described the horrific event in "The Bars Fight," the earliest known poem by a black writer in North America. The work is also the most accurate account of what happened that day. Five colonists died, one was badly wounded, and another was taken captive.


The first legal society, the New York Bar Association, is founded in New York City.

A measles epidemic sweeps through Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

In England, Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) publishes “A Plan of a Dictionary of the English Language.”

A new wave of Highlanders begins arriving in North Carolina after the failed revolt in Scotland in 1746. Forced from their Scottish homelands, these immigrants settle mainly in the Cape Fear Valley.

The Ohio Company is formed to extend colonial settlements of Virginia westward; rivalry for the West, especially for the upper Ohio Valley, increases between France and Great Britain.


A circulating library opens in Charleston, South Carolina.

Martha Wayles (1748-1782), wife of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), is born on October 30 in Charles City County, Virginia.

Lucy Terry's (c. 1730-1821) "Bars Fight" is published.

Georgia becomes a Crown Colony and Trustees of Georgia colony revoke their prohibition on slavery in the colony, marking a legal recognition of slavery there.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) invents the lightning rod, installing one on his Philadelphia house.

The Philadelphia Academy is founded; it becomes the University of Pennsylvania in 1791.

The Ohio Company makes its first settlement around the forks of the Ohio River.

James Davis installs North Carolina’s first printing press in New Bern. His first publications are government documents.

Black slavery is legalized in Georgia.

First American repertory acting company established in Philadelphia; it opens with Thomas Keane in Richard III.


Jewish Congregation Beth Elohim (The House of God) is founded in Charleston, South Carolina.

Georgia repeals its prohibition and permits the importation of black slaves.

HISTORY MATTERS. American Social History Project / Center for Media and Learning (Graduate Center, CUNY) and the Center for History and New Media (George Mason University). Internet.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Timeline 1730-1739


The population in the colonies is estimated at 655,000

William Parks of Maryland establishes a printing press in Virginia.

Baltimore is founded in the Maryland colony.

Both men & women begin wearing white stockings, made of silk or cotton.

John Wesley (1703-1791) & Charles Wesley (1707-1788) found the Methodist sect in Oxford, England

North Carolina Cherokee leaders visit London & confer with the king. They pledge friendship to the English & agree to return runaway slaves & to trade exclusively with the British.

America's first synagogue, Shearith Israel (The Remnant of Israel) is built on Mill Street in Lower Manhattan.


Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) and members of his Junto Club found a circulating library in Philadelphia, the Library Company of Philadelphia.

Martha Dandridge Custis (1731-1802), wife of George Washington, is born on June 2 near Williamsburg, Virginia.

Work is begun on building Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Public concerts are held in Boston & Charleston, S.C.

The Spanish reverse a 1730 decision & declare that slaves fleeing to Florida from Carolina will not be sold or returned.


George Washington (1732-1799), first President of the United States, is born on February 22 in Virginia.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) begins publishing "POOR RICHARD’S ALMANACK" (for the year 1733) which contains weather predictions, humor, proverbs, & epigrams.

The game of ninepins (bowling) is played for the first time in New York City.

A theatrical company from London performs for the first time in New York City.

Georgia is the last of the thirteen English colonies to be settled. It is established not so much for economic opportunity, but to be a military barrier between Spanish-owned Florida & the Carolinas. It is also set up as a refuge for former prisoners & the poor. It also would prevent slaves escaping from South Carolina from reaching Florida, where they could gain their freedom. Charter of Georgia; June 9.

Slaves aboard the ship of New Hampshire Captain John Major kill both captain & crew, seizing the vessel and its cargo.


The Molasses Act, passed by the English Parliament, imposes heavy duties on molasses, rum and sugar imported from non-British islands in the Caribbean to protect the English planters there from French and Dutch competition.

James Oglethorpe (1696-1785) names Georgia in honor of King George II. He also founds the city of Savannah.

The first serious outbreak of influenza sweeps through New York City and Philadelphia; about three-fourths of the population is affected.

The New York "WEEKLY JOURNAL" is published by John Peter Zenger (1697-1746), opposing policies of the colonial government.

Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) preaches on “The Great Awakening” in New England—a religious revival that emphasizes man’s sinful nature.
Jews settle in Savannah, Georgia.

Quaker Elihu Coleman's A Testimony against That Anti-Christian Practice of MAKING SLAVES OF MEN is published.



John Peter Zenger, editor of the NEW YORK WEEKLY Journal, is imprisoned in New York for upholding freedom of the press. He is accused of libeling New York Governor William Cosby. In 1735, Zenger is acquitted when his attorney, Andrew Hamilton, says that the charges cannot be libelous because the accusations against Cosby were true. While Zenger is imprisoned, his wife continues to publish the newspaper.


John Adams (1735-1826), 2nd President of the U.S., is born on October 30, in Massachusetts.

The first opera performed in the colonies, “Flora,” opens in Charleston, South Carolina.

Women’s status in the colonies changes due to increasing wealth. Newspapers tell of runaway wives and elopements.

John Peter Zenger: A BRIEF NARRATIVE OF THE CASE AND TRYAL OF JOHN PETER ZENGER. Zenger explains the story of the court case that links his name to the notion of freedom of the press. Arrested for alleged libelous statements made in several issues of the New-York Weekly Journal in 1734, Zenger had been brought to trial in 1735. The jury found him not guilty, & the acquittal gained an important precedent for American freedom of the press

Under an English law Georgia prohibits the importation & use of black slaves. Georgia petitions Britain for the legalization of slavery.

Louis XV, King of France, declares that when an enslaved woman gives birth to the child of a free man, neither mother nor child can be sold. Further, after a certain time, mother and child will be freed.

Scots-Irish immigrants begin coming to North Carolina in large numbers, settling mainly in the Piedmont. Most are second-generation colonists moving south down the Great Wagon Road from Pennsylvania, Maryland, & Virginia, but a few come directly from Northern Ireland.

Ann Smith Franklin publishes "A BRIEF ESSAY ON THE NUMBER SEVEN." She is one of the first women printers in the American colonies, and the essay deals with the possible biblical significance of the number seven.


Charles Theodore Pachelbel (1690-1750) gives organ concerts in New York City, bringing the Bach tradition to the New World.

Elisabeth Mixer, daughter of Deacon John Mixer and Abigail Fiske who had married in Connecticut on 15 August 1695 and gave birth to Elisabeth on 30 December 1702, revealed AN ACCOUNT OF SOME SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES AND RAPTUROUS AND PIOUS EXPRESSIONS OF ELISABETH MIXER…OF WHAT GOD HAD DONE FOR HER SOUL, IN ORDER TO HER ADMISSION INTO THE CHURCH OF CHRIST IN ASHFORD.


The first colonial copper coins are minted, also in Connecticut.

Thomas Penn, son of William, attempts to claim more lands from the Minisink tribe of the Delaware. The original agreement, made by William Penn , was that as much land would be claimed as a man
could walk in a day & a half, understood by all to mean 30 miles. Thomas Penn, wanting to expand further west, hires two trained athletes to "walk" along newly cut paths & assists them with boats across streams. The "walkers" cover sixty miles & this incident becomes known as The Walking Purchase, the beginning of the end for the Quaker peace policy in the colony


Population in the colonies is estimated at 800,000.

A smallpox epdemic begins in South Carolina.

The first successful glass factory is founded in Salem County, New Jersey.

Mail is first carried regularly through North Carolina on the post road that runs from Boston to Charlestown, S.C.

Elizabeth Timothy (?-1757) begins publishing the weekly newspaper, the "SOUTH CAROLINA GAZETTE."

John Wesley (1702-1791) and George Whitefield (1713-1779) immigrate to Savannah, Georgia as leaders of the “Great Awakening.” Whitefield's sermons promote the "Great Awakening" throughout the 1740s. One of the thousands impressed by his eloquence is Benjamin Franklin, who writes in his Autobiography, "I happened soon after to attend one of his Sermons, in the Course of which I perceived he intended to finish with a Collection, & I silently resolved he should get nothing from me. I had in my Pocket a Handful of Copper Money, three or four silver Dollars, and five Pistoles in Gold. As he proceeded I began to soften, and concluded to give the Coppers. Another Stroke of his Oratory made me asham'd of that, and determin'd me to give the Silver; & he finish'd so admirably, that I empty'd my Pocket wholly into the Collector's Dish, Gold and all." Other preachers in this movement included Theodore Frelinghuysen of the Dutch Reformed Church, Gilbert Tennent (Presbyterian), and Jonathan Edwards.

Georgia's trustees permit the importation of black slaves.

Mary Katherine Goddard born in Connecticut. Becomes publisher of the Maryland Journal and 1st female postmistress. (See posting on Mary Katherine Goddard in this blog.)
Spanish Florida promises freedom and land to runaway slaves.



War of Jenkins' Ear: England declares war on Spain; border skirmishes erupt between colonists in South Carolina and Georgia and the Spanish in Florida.

A measles epidemic breakes out in Boston.

Moravian Church founded in America by Bishop A. G. Spengenberg(1704-1792). Moravians introduce Saint Nicholas as a central feature of Christmas celebrations.

Violent uprisings by black slaves occur on three separate occasions in South Carolina. The Stono Rebellion refers to slaves in Stono, South Carolina, sacking & burning an armory & killing whites. The colonial militia puts an end to the rebellion before slaves are able to reach freedom in Florida.

Eliza Lucas Pinckney (c. 1722-1793) begins writing her journal. Her compiled letters and journal become the life chronicle of one of the leading women of the colonial era, a prominent South Carolina planter and mother of political figure Charles Pinckney (1757-1824). Not published until 1850, it reveals an intellectually curious successful 18th century businesswoman.

HISTORY MATTERS. American Social History Project / Center for Media and Learning (Graduate Center, CUNY) and the Center for History and New Media (George Mason University). Internet.
Yale Law School, The Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy. New Haven, CT.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Timeline 1710-1729 + Paintings of American Women


3,000 German men and women from the Palatinate settle near Livingston Manor on the Hudson River in New York to produce naval stores. When the colony fails, the settlers go first to the Mohawk Valley (in New York) and finally to eastern Pennsylvania.

The English Parliament passes the Post Office Act which sets a postal system for the American colonies controlled by the postmaster general of London and his deputy in New York City.

New York forbids blacks, Indians, and mulattos from walking at night without lighted lanterns.

1711 Artist: Henrietta Johnston 1674-1729. Subject: Henriette Charlotte de Chastaigner, Mrs Nathaniel Broughton.


Pennsylvania prohibits the importation of male & female blacks and Indians.

Rhode Island prohibits the clandestine importation of male & female black and Indian slaves. (See this blog for more information of enslaved women in the 18th century.)


Tuscarora Indian War in North and South Carolina. Hostilities break out between Native Americans and settlers in North Carolina after the massacre of male & female settlers there.


The Carolina colony is officially divided into North Carolina and South Carolina.

Charles II's Grant of New England to the Duke of York, 1676 - Exemplified by Queen Anne; October 30
The Pennsylvania assembly bans the import of male & female slaves into that colony.

In Massachusetts, the first sperm whale is captured at sea by an American from Nantucket.

Grace Smith writes The Dying Mothers Legacy: Or the Good and Heavenly Counsel of that Eminent and Pious Matron, Mrs. Grace Smith, late Widow to Mr. Ralph Smith of Eastham in New-England. Left as a Perpetual Monitor to Her Surviving Children; As It Was Taken from Her Own Mouth a Little Before Her Death, by the Minister From that Town Where She Died. Boston, Printed and sold by Timothy Green, at the lower-end of Middle-Street, 1712

An alleged slave revolt in New York City leads to violent outbreaks. Nine whites are killed and eighteen slaves are executed.

New York declares it illegal for male & female blacks, Indians, and slaves to murder other blacks, Indians, and slaves. And New York forbids freed blacks, Indians, and mulatto slaves from owning real estate and holding property.

In Charleston, South Carolina male & female slaves are forbidden from hiring themselves out.


England's South Sea Company is allowed to transport 4,800 male & female slaves per year into the Spanish colonies of North America.

Queen Anne's War ends with the Treaty of Utrecht.


George I becomes king of England (r. 1714–27).

Tea is introduced for the first time into the American Colonies.

1715 Artist: Henrietta Johnson 1674-1729. Subject: Mary Magdalen Gendron, Mrs Samuel Prioleu 1691-1765

Yamasee tribes attack and kill several hundred male & female Carolina settlers.

Rhode Island legalizes slavery.

Maryland declares all slaves entering the province and their descendants to be slaves for life.


South Carolina settlers and their Cherokee allies attack and defeat the Yamassee.

The first group of black slaves is brought to the Louisiana territory.

1717-18 Artist: Henrietta Johnston 1674-1729. Mary Griffith (Mrs Robert Brewton, Mrs William Loughton) 1698-1761.


Scots-Irish immigration begins, with most settling to western Pennsylvania.

New York enacts a fugitive slave law.


French found New Orleans.

The Tuscarora people are defeated in a war with North Carolina colonists. With many of their people killed they move north to live with other Iroquois nations in New York Colony.

Blackbeard, the pirate, is killed, putting an end to pirate raids along the southern colonial coast.

North Carolina’s first free school, endowed by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, opens at Bath.
1719 Artist: Henrietta Johnston 1674-1729. Subject: Judith DuBose (Mrs Joseph Wragg) 1698-1769.


The American Weekly Mercury is the first newspaper launched in Philadelphia by Andrew Bradford (1686-1742). It would publish six of Franklin's "Busy-Body Papers" in 1729 and continue publication until 1746.

The Boston Gazette is the second newspaper in Boston is launched by William Brooker (fl. 1715-1720) and printed by Benjamin Franklin's older half-brother, James Franklin (1697-1735). The paper would become the official organ of the government and continue until 1741.

1720 Attributed to Gerrit or Gerardus Duyckinck Subject: Portrait of a Lady

1720 Artist: Gerardus Duyckinck 1695-1746. Subject: Mrs Johannes van Braght b 1673. Her husband was an alderman for the City of New York.


Estimated population of colonies: 475,000. Including Boston (pop. 12,000), Philadelphia (pop. 10,000), and New York (pop. 7000).

A smallpox epidemic in Boston prompts Cotton Mather and Zabdiel Boylston to experiment with inoculation against the disease. Mather had learned of the practice from Onesimus, his slave, who had himself been inoculated as a child and knew inoculation to be a widely accepted medical practice in Africa.

1720-25 Attributed to Schuyler Limner (active ca. 1715–1725) Portrait of a Lady (possibly Tryntje Otten Veeder)

Benjamin Franklin leaves Boston for Philadelphia, a trip that he chronicles in his Autobiography.

South Carolina planters settle along the Lower Cape Fear River and begin developing the rice and naval stores industries. They bring large numbers of enslaved people and establish a large, plantation-style slave system.

Virginia abolishes manumissions.

1720-28 Artist: Gerardus Duyckinck 1695-1746 Subject: Grace Mears, Mrs Moses Levy


The French build forts on the Mississippi, the St. Lawrence, and the Niagara rivers.

French Louisiana prohibits slaves from marrying without the permission of their owners.

The population of male & female black slaves in the American colonies reaches 75,000.

Riots occur in Philadelphia as poor people tear down the pillories and stocks and burn them.

1725 Artist: Charles Bridges 1670-1747. Subject: Evelyn(1708-1737) daughter of William Byrd II and Lucy Parke.


Explanatory Charter of Massachusetts Bay; August 26


Zabdiel Boylston: An Historical Account of the Smallpox Inoculated in New England. Boylston details his experiments with smallpox inoculation in Boston, in which only 6 of his 244 patients die of the disease. This figure compared with the 844 out of 5,757 Bostonians who died of smallpox naturally during the same epidemic. One of the first of its kind written by an American physician.

1727 John Smibert 1688 - 1751. Eleanor Nightengale


George II becomes king of England

Benjamin Franklin founds the Junto Club.

Cadwallader Colden (1688-1776): History of the Five Nations. Colden's greatest achievement is this tribal history of the Iroquois Indians based on firsthand observation.


Elizabeth Hanson (1684-1737) writes God's Mercy Surmounting Man's Cruelty, a polished literary account of Hanson's 1724 capture by the French and Indians. (See Hanson's account on this blog.)

Jewish colonists in New York City build the first American synagogue.

1729 Artist: John Smibert 1688-1751. Subject: Mrs. Tyng.

Benjamin Franklin prints, publishes and largely writes the weekly Pennsylvania Gazette.

Yale Law School, The Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy. New Haven, CT.
HISTORY MATTERS. American Social History Project / Center for Media and Learning (Graduate Center, CUNY) and the Center for History and New Media (George Mason University). Internet.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Timeline 1700-1709 + Paintings of American Women


Population of the British American colonies: about 260,000 people. Boston has 7,000 people and New York, 5000. Jewish population of America numbers between 200 and 300.

Massachusetts representative assembly orders all Roman Catholic priests to vacate the colony within three months, an action also taken by the New York legislature.

Anglicans in England grow concerned that their church does not have a significant presence in North Carolina. The Reverend Daniel Brett becomes the first Anglican minister to serve in the colony. Brett’s disorderly behavior causes him to be called “the Monster of the Age.”

The first public library is established at Bath, North Carolina, with books sent from England by the Reverend Thomas Bray.

Pennsylvania legalizes slavery. (See this blog for more information of enslaved women in the 8th century.) 

1700 Mrs Augustus Jay. Attributed to Gerrit Duyckinck (1660–ca. 1712).


Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut, is founded.

Charter of Privileges Granted by William Penn, esq. to the Inhabitants of Pennsylvania and Territories, October 28

Charter of Delaware; October 28 

1708-10 Artist: Henrietta Johnston 1674-1729. Subject: Mrs. Pierre Bacot (Marianne Fleur Du Gue)


Queen Anne, the younger sister of Mary, ascends the English throne. England declares war on France after the death of the King of Spain, Charles II, to stop the union of France and Spain. This War of the Spanish Succession is called Queen Anne's War in the colonies, where the English and American colonists will battle the French and their Native American allies, plus the Spanish for the next eleven years. 1702-1713.

In Maryland, originally founded by Catholic proprietors, the Anglican Church is established as the official church, financially supported by taxation imposed on all free men, male servants, and slaves.

Surrender from the Proprietors of East and West New Jersey, of Their Pretended Right of Government to Her Majesty; April 15

New York passes An Act for Regulating Slaves prohibiting more than 3slaves from meeting together, slaves from testifying in court, and trading by slaves.

1708-09 Artist: Henrietta Johnston 1674-1729 Portrait of an Unknown Lady of South Carolina


Massachusetts requires those masters who liberate slaves to provide a bond of 50 pounds or more in the event that the freedman becomes a public charge.

Connecticut assigns the punishment of whipping to any slaves who disturb the peace or assault whites.

Rhode Island makes it illegal for blacks and Indians to walk at night without passes.

1708-1709 Artist: Henrietta Johnston 1674-1729. Subject: Mary DuBose Mrs Samuel Wragg


February. Deerfield, Massachusetts is destroyed and 100 residents including women and children are abducted, a consequence of Queen Anne's War.

The Boston News-Letter. Is the first printed version of a formerly handwritten newsletter sent to New England governors by the Boston postmaster is published. It offers local information and foreign news reprinted from English papers. It would continue until 1776 as a mouthpiece for the governor and the Loyalists.

Quakers in the North Carolina assembly are forced to resign after refusing to take a new oath to Queen Anne.

1710 Artist: Henrietta Johnston 1674-1729. Subject: Susanne Le Noble, Mrs Alexander de Chastaigner.


The Virginia Slave Code codifies slave status, declaring all non-Christian servants entering the colony to be slaves. It defines all slaves as real estate, acquits masters who kill slaves during punishment, forbids slaves and free colored peoples from physically assaulting white persons, and denies slaves the right to bear arms or move abroad without written permission.

In New York, a law against runaway slaves assigns the death penalty for those caught over 40 miles north of Albany.

Massachusetts declares marriage between African Americans and whites illegal.

Charles Griffin, the first schoolteacher in North Carolina, operates a school in Pasquotank County. He later moves to Edenton and runs a school there for several years.


January 17, Benjamin Franklin is born in Boston.

South Carolina declares the Anglican Church its official church.

Connecticut requires that Indians, mulattos, and black servants gain permission from their masters to engage in trade.


Settlers in Charlestown, South Carolina successfully defend their town against an attack by French and Spanish colonists from Havana and St. Augustine

England, Scotland and Wales are combined into the United Kingdom of Great Britain by the Act of the Union, in a plan endorsed by Queen Anne.


“That Properly Belongs to Every Christian Man” This record of Ann Walker's appearance before the governor and Council in Williamsburg documents one part of a continuing dispute between her and George Walker, her husband, over their religious beliefs and practices. (See this blog for more on Ann Walker's plight.)

Surveyor John Lawson, who began a thousand-mile journey through the colony at the end of 1700, publishes A New Voyage to Carolina. It describes the colony’s flora and fauna and its various groups of American Indians. Lawson also publishes a map of Carolina.

New York declares blacks, Indians, and slaves who kill white people to be subject to the death penalty.

Connecticut requires that Indians, mulattos, and black servants gain permission from their masters to engage in trade.


Bathsheba Bowers (1672/3-1718) writes An Alarm Sounded to Prepare the World to Meet the Lord in the Way of His Judgments. (See this blog for more on the life and writings of Bathsheba Bowers.)

The Queen's Acceptance of the Surrender of Government New Jersey; April 17

Yale Law School, The Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy. New Haven, CT.
HISTORY MATTERS. American Social History Project / Center for Media and Learning (Graduate Center, CUNY) and the Center for History and New Media (George Mason University). Internet.

Monday, June 24, 2013

1776 America's first female lighthouse keeper

The Gurnet, a 27 acre peninsula forming the northern boundary of Plymouth Bay, is located a few miles northeast of Plymouth Rock. The Pilgrims knew the land as “the gurnett’s nose,” apparently naming the area for similar headlands in the English Channel, where the gurnet fish flourished along Devonshire’s shores. When Samuel de Champlain arrived in 1606 to map the Gurnet and Clark’s Island, he found thick pine forests & Native Americans fishing for cod using lines made of tree bark with wooden fish hooks to which a spear-shaped bone was attached.

Lighthouse at Plymouth (Gurnet), now Saquish Beach, MA

The Gurnet became part of Plymouth on January 7, 1638. By the 1770s, 75 fishing vessels were based in the area, and at one point, Duxbury was one of the world’s leading shipbuilding centers.

Under the direction of the Massachusetts Legislature, the first Plymouth Lighthouse, a wooden keeper’s dwelling measuring 15 by 30 feet, equipped with a lantern at each end of its roof, was completed in September 1768 at a cost of £660. The twin lights, exhibited at a height of 86 feet above the sea, distinguished the station from the single light used at Boston.

The lighthouse was built on land rented for 5 shillings a year from John & Hannah Thomas. John, a surgeon, was hired as the 1st keeper serving until he joined the Continental Army. He recruited a regiment of volunteers from Plymouth County to help repel the British in the Siege of Boston, & then served as a major general led troops in Quebec, where he died of small pox on June 2, 1776. Along with raising their 3 children, Hannah took over John’s lighthouse post, making her the first woman lighthouse keeper in America.

It is said that in 1776, after Fort Andrew was erected at Gurnet Point, the H.M.S. Niger reportedly sailed around the Gurnet toward Plymouth Harbor, exchanging fire with the fort’s six-cannon battery and, many believe, destroying one of the lighthouse beacons in the process.

Plymouth’s worst shipwreck occurred in 1778, when the American privateer General Arnold was trapped in a blizzard less than a mile from Plymouth Light. Choosing to forego the risk of entering Plymouth’s inner harbor without a pilot, the captain dropped anchor hoping to ride out the storm. As the gale rose to hurricane force, the vessel drug anchor running aground on White Flats. Before residents of the Gurnet could construct a causeway over the ice to reach the stranded vessel, 72 of the its crew of just over 100 froze to death in view of the light.

After the war, the lighthouse was refurbished & put back in service with Hannah Thomas as keeper. Hannah hired Nathaniel Burgess (or Burges) to serve as keeper in 1786, and that same year a coasting sloop traveling from Boston to Plymouth struck a sand bar near the Gurnet. Two of the seamen from the vessel trudged 7 miles through a bitter snowstorm to reach Gurnet Lighthouse. Keeper Burgess fed & warmed them beside the fire, dispatching his assistant, possibly Hannah’s son John, to bring in the rest of the crew.

In 1790, the light was ceded to the U.S. government, & John Thomas took over as keeper. His salary of $200 per annum was lower than at other lighthouses, because the Gurnet was deemed an acceptable place to live with ample fishing & land with good soil to garden. Keepers at less hospitable locations, such as Thatcher Island or Boston Light, earned $266.67.

1843 photo of the twin Plymouth Lights. Photo from US Navy
After the lighthouse was completely destroyed in a fire on July 2, 1801, the merchants of Plymouth and Duxbury funded the construction of a temporary beacon. On April 6, 1802, Congress voted to repay them $270 and appropriated $2,500 to rebuild the lighthouse on the Gurnet. The Thomas family was paid $120 for the land on which twin, 22' tall lighthouses, spaced 30 feet apart, were built in 1803.

See Lighthouse Friends here for more intriguing stories.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Paintings of 18th-Century American Families

1729 John Smibert (American colonial era artist, 1688-1751). The Bermuda Group

Family portraits are rare in early 18th century British colonial America, perhaps because they were expensive & usually so large, that they required a sizable public parlor for display. Most 18th-century colonial American houses were not spacious. Family portraits are also much more complicated for the artist, and there were few artists available in colonial America early in the century. But the incidence of family portraits grew, as the number of painters & spaces in homes also grew.

1741 Robert Feke (American colonial era artist, 1707-1751). Family of Isaac Royall.

Some gentlemen had family portraits painted as a sign of wealth & as a factor in gaining respect & power in the new world. The painting announced that they were important, entitled to be the natural leader in the new society. Other family paintings commemorated a specific event. Most were not painted to be tucked away for private family contemplation, but to act as a public icon or an emblematic memory for an audience larger than the immediate family. The composition of family paintings was changing throughout the 18th-century as well.

1747 John Greenwood (American colonial era artist, 1727-1792). The Greenwood-Lee Family

The concept of family was evolving as emerging Enlightenment ideas began to impact everyday domestic life & family values in colonial America. Slowly throughout the century, the strict partriarchal family concept was beginning to change. English philosopher John Locke (1632-1704) implied that women should have greater authority in the family & the home. In portraits, artists began to display the woman on nearly the same level as the husband.

1750 John Wollaston (American colonial era artist, 1710-1775). Family Group

Artists began to feel that they could portray married couples as congenial companions. Painters began to portray men participating more in the rearing of their children, they were no longer just expected to be distant strict disciplinarians. Americans were beginning to believe that children needed to be loved & to play. The individual was also becoming more important in 18th-century America. Artists often used props to signify something about the talents, skills, & identities of individuals within these families. In one way or another, each of the following portraits reflects changing patriarchial values, gender relations, attitudes towards women & children, and the growing democratization of American society. But we still remember that women did not receive the right to vote in the United States until 1920.

1755 Joseph Blackburn (American colonial era artist, fl 1753-1763). Isaac Winslow and His Family

NB For this posting I have excluded portraits of children only. Smibert's Bermuda Group and Copley's family portrait were executed immediately before or after the artist entered or exited the American colonial experience. They are so good, I just couldn't resist stretching the boundries to include them.

1763-65 Henry Benbridge (American colonial era artist, 1743-1812). Gordon Family (Including his stepfather & mother Mary Clark Benbridge Gordon)

1770 Henry Benbridge (American colonial era artist, 1743-1812). The Tannatt Family

1771 Charles Willson Peale (American colonial era artist, 1741-1827). Edward Lloyd Family with wife Elizabeth Tayloe and daughter Anne.

1771 William Williams (American colonial era artist, 1727-1791). The Wiley Family.

1771-73 Charles Willson Peale (American colonial era artist, 1741-1827). The Peale Family.

1772 William Williams (American colonial era artist, 1727-1791). The William Denning Family

1775 Henry Benbridge (American colonial era artist, 1743-1812). The Archibald Bulloch Family.

1776 John Singleton Copley (American-born artist, 1738-1815). The Copley Family.

1779 Edward Savage (American artist, 1761-1817). The Savage Family.

1779 Henry Benbridge (American artist, 1743-1812). The Enoch Edwards Family.

1785 Robert Edge Pine (American artist, 1720-30-1788). Alexander Contee Hanson, Sr. and Family.

1787 Henry Benbridge (American artist, 1743-1812). The Hartley Family.

1788 Johannes Eckstein (American artist, 1736-1817) The Samels Family

1789 Charles Willson Peale (American artist, 1741-1827). Robert Goldsborough & Family.

1789 Edward Savage (American artist, 1761-1817). The George Washington Family.

1790 John Brewster Jr. (American painter, 1766-1854) Morgan Family Portrait

1793 Joseph Wright (American artist, 1756-1793). The Wright Family (Joseph & Sarah with children Harriet, Sarah, & Joseph).

1795 James Peale (American artist, 1749-1831). The Artist & His Family.

c 1795 John Brewster Jr. (American painter, 1766-1854) Deacon Eliphaz Thayer and His Wife, Deliverance

1795 Unknown Artist. The Cheney Family.

1790s Josè Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza (Mexican-born Louisiana artist, 1750–1802) Family of Don Antonio Mendez (1750-1829)

1796 Jonathan Budington (American artist, 1766-1854). Portrait of George Eliot and Family.

1796 Ralph Earl (American artist, 1751-1801) The Nickerson Family

1798 John Ritto Penniman (American painter, 1782–1841) Family Group

1798 Ralph Earl (American artist, 1751-1801). Mrs. Noah Smith and Her Children.

1790s Josè Francisco Xavier de Salazar y Mendoza (Mexican-born Louisiana artist, 1750–1802) Family of Dr. Joseph Montegut

1800 Joshua Johnson (American artist, c.1763–1832). Family Group.