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1711
In Massachusetts 14 women, who in 1692 had been accused and hanged or killed for being witches, were cleared in a general amnesty.
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1712
South Carolina law required church attendance and prohibited work or travel on Sundays.
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1716 Sep 14
The 1st lighthouse in the US was lit in Boston Harbor. It was blown up by the British in 1776 and was replaced in 1783.
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1718 May 7
La Nouvelle-Orleans (New Orleans) was founded by the French Mississippi Company, under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, on land inhabited by the Chitimacha. It was named for Philippe II, Duke of Orleans, the Regent of France.
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1718 May
Edward Teach, aka Blackbeard, used his 40-gun, captured French flagship (La Concorde), renamed as Queen Anne's Revenge, to blockade the harbor at Charleston, S.C.
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1718 Jun 10
Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge, ran aground about this time and soon sank off the coast of Beaufort, NC. In 1997 underwater archeologist raised a canon believed to be from this ship.
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1718 Nov 22
A force of British troops under Lt. Robert Maynard captured English pirate Edward Teach (b.~1682), better known as "Blackbeard" (aka Captain Drummond), during a battle near Ocracoke Island, off the North Carolina coast. They beheaded him. The governor of Virginia had put a price of 100 pounds on his head.
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1719
The French captured and burned the Spanish settlement Presidio Santa Maria de Galve (later Pensacola, Flordia), but handed Pensacola back to Spain three years later. Hurricanes forced the Spanish to repeatedly rebuild.
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1720 Nov 20
Pirates Mary Read, Anne Bonny (b.~1700) and Captain Calico Jack Rackham were tried by an admiralty court in Jamaica. Rackham was found guilty and hanged the next day. Read and Bonny were also found guilty and sentenced to hang but pleaded pregnancy. Their sentences were commuted until they gave birth. Bonny was later pardoned but Read died in prison on Apr 28, 1721. Bonny, an Irish American pirate, had plied her trade in the Caribbean and died around 1782.
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1722 Feb 10
Black Bart (b.1682), Welsh pirate, died. He raided shipping off the Americas and West Africa between 1719 and 1722.
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1722
Cotton Mather authored “An Account of the Method and Success of Inoculating the Small-Pox…” This followed work in support of inoculation trials in Boston.
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1722
Legend has it that the Arkansas “Little Rock” rock was first discovered at this time by the French explorer Jean Baptiste Benard de La Harpe. It was the first outcropping of any size on an 118-mile stretch of the Arkansas River.
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1722
The original Iroquois League, often known as the Five Nations (the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, and Seneca nations) became the Six Nations after the Tuscarora nation joined the League.
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1724
Brattleboro became the first permanent English settlement in Vermont.
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1725 Dec 11
James Mason (d.1792), American Revolutionary statesman, was born at Gunston Hall Plantation, situated on the Potomac River some 20 miles south of Washington D.C. Mason framed the Bill of Rights for the Virginia Convention in June 1776. This was the model for the first part of fellow Virginian Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence and the basis of the first 10 Amendments to the federal Constitution. Mason died at Gunston Hall on October 7, 1792.
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1728
Vitus Bering (47), Danish explorer in the Russian navy, discovered the Bering Strait between Asia and North America.
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1730
Benjamin Franklin became the official printer for Pennsylvania. He ultimately became the official printer for several colonial governments.
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1731 Jul 1
The “Instrument of Association” for the Library Company of Philadelphia was signed under the leadership of Benjamin Franklin. It was America’s first circulating library.
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1733
John Bartram, American farmer, began sending seed boxes from Philadelphia to Peter Collinson, a London cloth merchant and passionate plant collector.
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1735 Jan 1
Paul Revere (d.1818), U.S. patriot who rode through the streets of Boston during the American Revolution, warning of the British landings, was born to Apollos Rivoire and Deborah Hitchbourne, one of 13 children.
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1736 Aug 8
Mahomet Weyonomon, a Mohegan sachem or leader, died of smallpox while waiting to see King George II to complain directly about British settlers encroaching on tribal lands in the Connecticut colony. The tribal chief was buried in an unmarked grave in a south London churchyard.
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1737 Dec 18
Antonio Stradivari, the most renowned violin maker in history, died in Cremona, Italy. He made about 1200 violins of great quality of which half still survive. In 2006 Joseph Nagyvary, a Texas biochemist and violin maker, put forward evidence that the quality of sound in a Stradivari violin was due to chemicals used to protect the wood from wood-eating worms.
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1738
Benjamin Franklin wrote in Poor Richard's Almanack "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power."
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1739
In northern California and Oregon some sort of extreme climactic event slowed the growth of redwood and other trees according to later tree ring studies by researchers.
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1741 Jan 14
Benedict Arnold, U.S. General turned traitor, was born.
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1741 Jul 15
George Steller, an observer with Vitus Bering (1680-1741), claimed to see the American mainland (Alaska). Bering, a Danish-born mariner, was on an exploratory mission on behalf of Russia.
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1741 Jul 16
Vitus Bering (1680-1741) first sighted Mt. St. Elias, the second highest peak in Alaska at 18,008 feet.
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1741
A slave revolt in New York caused considerable property damage but left people unharmed. Rumors of a conspiracy among slaves and poor whites in New York City to seize control led to a panic that resulted in the conviction of 101 blacks, the hanging of 18 blacks and four whites, the burning alive of 13 blacks and the banishment from the city of 70. In 2005 Anne Farrow, Joel Lang and Jennifer Frank authored “Complicity: The North Promoted, Prolonged and Profited from Slavery,” which included a chapter on the 1941 NYC slave revolt.
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1743 Apr 13
Thomas Jefferson (d.1826), the third president of the United States (1801-1809), was born in present-day Albemarle County, Va. He called slavery cruel but included 25 slaves in his daughter’s dowry, took enslaved children to market and had 10-year-old slaves working 12-hour days in his nail factory. He stated that blacks were “in reason inferior” and “in imagination they are dull, tasteless and anomalous.” “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." "History, in general, only informs us what bad government is."
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1743
Benjamin Franklin and John Bartram founded the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia as an American counterpart to the British Royal Society.
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1748
Lord Fairfax, Virginia land owner, commissioned a survey of the Patterson Creek Manor, which later became part of West Virginia. The surveyor was accompanied by the nephew of Lord Fairfax and the nephew’s best friend, George Washington (16). The survey was unusually erroneous.
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1749 Jun 25
Massachusetts residents were asked to fast due to a severe drought.
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1750
Benjamin Franklin drew up plans for a “sentry box,” designed to prove his theory that lightning as an electrical phenomenon.
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1751 Jun 10
The British Currency Act restricted New England colonies from creating paper money The colonies had issued paper fiat money known as “bills of credit” to help pay for the French and Indian Wars. The Act limited future issuance of bills of credit to certain circumstances (i.e. to pay public debts, such as taxes, but not private debts, such as to merchants).
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1751 Sep 28
George Washington. As a young man of 19, George Washington accompanied his sick older half-brother Lawrence to Barbados in 1751. Lawrence had been advised that the island's climate might help restore his ill health. The brothers left Virginia on September 28 and arrived at Bridgetown, Barbados, November 3. George, who survived the smallpox while in Barbados, left Lawrence on December 21 and arrived back in Virginia on January 28, 1752.
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1751
Benjamin Franklin published “Experiments and Observations on Electricity” in England.
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1752 Jan 1
Betsy Ross (d.1836), flag maker who contributed to the design of the American flag, was born in Philadelphia as Elizabeth Griscom.
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1752 Jun 15
Benjamin Franklin and his son tested the relationship between electricity and lightning by flying a kite in a thunder storm. Some sources date this to June 10.
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1753 Oct
Robert Dinwiddie, governor of Virginia, called a meeting to discuss the eviction of British settlers from homesteads west of the Appalachian Mountains by French soldiers from Canada. Major George Washington volunteered to deliver a letter of trespass to French authorities in the Ohio Valley.
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1753 Dec 14
French Captain Jacques Le Gardeur rejected the pretensions of the English to ownership of the Ohio Valley, but promised to forward Virginia Gov. Dinwiddie’s letter of trespass to his superiors in Canada.
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1753
Peter Kalm, Swedish-born naturalist, published the first of his 3 volumes of “Travels in North America,” which described his 1748-1751 trip there. It was Linnaeus and the Swedish Royal Academy that had sent Kalm to America. Kalm later spent much of his life as a professor at Turku, Finland. In 2007 Paula Ivaska Robbins authored “The Travels of Peter Kalm.
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1753
The Georgian-style colonial legislature (later Pennsylvania State House) was completed at 520 Chestnut St. in Philadelphia for the Province of Pennsylvania. It became the location where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted and thus became known as Independence Hall.
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1753
The British Crown appointed Benjamin Franklin postmaster of its American colonies.
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1754 Jan 6
Major George Washington, while returning to Virginia, encountered a party of English settlers and militiamen at Will’s Creek sent by Gov. Dinwiddie to establish a fort and trading post at the Forks of the Ohio.
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1754 May 28
Col. George Washington led a 40-man detachment that defeated French and Indian forces in a skirmish near Great Meadows, Pa.
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1754 Jun 19
The Albany Congress opened. New York colonial Gov. George Clinton called for the meeting to discuss better relations with Indian tribes and common defensive measures against the French. The attendees included Indians and representatives from Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Benjamin Franklin attended and presented his Plan of Union, which was adopted by the conference. The meeting ended on July 11.
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1754 Jul 3
George Washington surrendered the small, circular Fort Necessity (later Pittsburgh) in southwestern Pennsylvania to the French, leaving them in control of the Ohio Valley. This marked the beginning of the French and Indian War also called the 7 Years' War. In 2005 Fred Anderson authored “The War That Made America: A Short History of the French and Indian War.”
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1754
Under instructions from Governor Dinwiddie, of Virginia, Col. Jas. Innes established a fort at Wills Creek (Maryland).
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1755 Jul 9
General Edward Braddock was mortally wounded when French and Indian troops ambushed his force of British regulars and colonial militia, which was on its way to attack France's Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh). Gen. Braddock's troops were decimated at Fort Duquesne, where he refused to accept George Washington's advice on frontier style fighting. British Gen'l. Braddock gave his bloody sash to George Washington at Fort Necessity just before he died on Jul 13.
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1755 Jul 13
Edward Braddock, British general, died Following the July 9 battle at Fort Duquesne (Pittsburgh, Pa.).
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1755 Sep 8
British forces under William Johnson and 250 Indians defeated the French and their allied Indians at the Battle of Lake George, NY.
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1755 Nov 18
The Cape Ann (Boston) earthquake, estimated at 6.0-6.5, hit the east coast from the Chesapeake Bay to Nova Scotia.
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1757 Jul 26
Benjamin Franklin (51) arrived in London and soon established himself at a house on Craven Street, which served as home, except for 2 intervals, for the next 16 years.
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1757
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) helped set up America’s first street cleaning service in Philadelphia.
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1758 Jul 8
During the French and Indian War a British attack on Fort Carillon at Ticonderoga, New York, was foiled by the French. Some 3,500 Frenchmen defeated the British army of 15,000, which lost 2,000 men.
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1758 Oct 16
Noah Webster (d.1843), US teacher lexicographer and publisher, was born in Hartford, Conn. He wrote the “American Dictionary of the English Language.”
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1758 Nov 25
In the French and Indian War British forces under General John Forbes captured Fort Duquesne (the site of present day Pittsburgh, est. 1754). George Washington participated in the campaign. Forbes renamed the site Fort Pitt after William Pitt the Elder, who di-rected British military policy in the Seven Years' War of 1756-'63. Before his arrival, the French had burned the fort and retreated.
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1759 Jul 26
The French relinquished Fort Carillon in New York, to the British under General Jeffrey Amherst. The British changed the name to Fort Ticonderoga, from the Iroquois word Cheonderoga (land between the waters).
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1761
In western North Carolina British soldiers razed Kituwha, the heart of the Cherokee Nation. Punitive raids here were repeated in 1776.
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1761
George-Louis Leclerc (1707-1788), Comte de Buffon, French naturalist and theoretical biologist published the 9th volume of his 35 volume work titled "Histoire Naturelle, Generale, et Particuliere," an attempt to record all that was known of the world of nature. This volume expanded on his “theory of American degeneracy,” his view that all animals in America were smaller than their European counterparts.
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