Bishop Roberts, Prospect of Charles Town, watercolor and ink on paper, Charleston, South Carolina, 1737–1738.
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 runaway slaves.
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 6 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.
Printer Ann Franklin (1695-1763) of Newport, Rhode Island, printed on one sheet A SHORT NARRATIVE OF THE UNJUST PROCEEDINGS OF MR. GEORGE GARDNER OF NEWPORT DISTILLER, AGAINST ANN MAYLEM WIDOW AND ADMINISTRATRIX TO THE ESTATE OF JOHN MAYLEM (1695-1742) LATE OF NEWPORT DISTILLER DECEASED.
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.
See 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).