Pets in Colonial America

Pets in Colonial America

Pets in Colonial America were kept by the colonists for the same reasons they were in Europe: for companionship and, in the case of dogs, for protection, hunting, and herding. Cats controlled vermin in homes and barns until the 18th century when they became valued as house pets.

The colonists kept many different animals as pets, however, including squirrels, wild birds, raccoons, deer, horses, snakes, frogs, and turtles, among others. The settlers brought their own dogs, horses, and cats from Europe and later tamed other animals – like deer, otter, and beaver – they encountered in North America.

Long before the arrival of the first Europeans, the Native Americans had also kept pets, primarily dogs and turkeys although there is evidence that bobcats were also domesticated. The Native Americans kept dogs for the same purposes as the colonists but also used them to transport goods via sledges attached to harnesses tied around their torsos. Early colonial accounts describe dogs being used in this way but, eventually, the natives adopted the dog collar from the Europeans and the harness was used less frequently.

Each tribe had different dog breeds used for different purposes in the same way they observed various traditions distinct from each other. There was no single Native American dog in North America. The colonists, on the other hand, were more uniform in their use of dogs – and pets in general – and the European model eventually became standard across the country. In the present day, pet owners still adhere to this same model observed in Colonial America.

Native American Dogs

Exactly when and where dogs were first domesticated continues to be debated but it is thought that they were not native to North America but arrived with Paleoindians who migrated into the land across the Bering Land Bridge (also known as Beringia) over 14,000 years ago. Scholar Marion Schwartz comments:

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Dogs are remarkable because they are uniquely sensitive to the cultural attributes of the people with whom they live. Not only are dogs a product of culture, but they also participate in the cultures of humans. In fact, dogs were the first animals to take up residence with people and the only animals found in human societies all over the world. Because of the ubiquity across cultural boundaries, dogs have been so commonplace that their history seemed to warrant little consideration. And yet for the past twelve thousand years dogs have played an integral part in human lives. What is most remarkable about dogs is their ability to adapt to the needs of the people with whom they live. Dogs have proved themselves amazingly flexible beings, and this was as true in the Americas as elsewhere in the world. (2)

The first dog to enter North America is thought to be a kind of dingo, although this claim has been challenged, and it is possible there were a number of different breeds who arrived with the early human immigrants. Dogs were used to protect homes and villages, for hunting, transporting goods via sledges, and in the case of the west coast Salish breed (a larger version of the Pomeranian), their fur was used to make mats and blankets. Some tribes kept dogs as pets and also as a food source, others primarily as guardians and hunters, but all considered dogs as valuable assets.

Dogs were considered intermediaries between the seen & unseen worlds, the realm of mortals & of the gods.

Dogs were highly regarded as a gift from the gods, and although there are many different myths relating how the dog came to live among human beings, the story of the Dog and Great Medicine from the Cheyenne of the midwest is typical. The creator-god Great Medicine made human beings after creating the world and showed his people a land covered in fields of corn and thick with herds of buffalo. The Cheyenne appreciated the gifts but had no means of following the buffalo to hunt them or of transporting the corn once it was harvested. They were also sometimes attacked in the night by other tribes who could sneak up on them so even the small amount of corn and buffalo brought into the village could be taken. Great Medicine showed them how to capture young wolves to raise as pets. These animals then evolved into domesticated dogs who would warn the village of an attack, could transport corn, and would help the people track the buffalo as well as hunt other game.

In some tribal stories, the dog is among the first creatures created, in others, like the Cheyenne, it is a gift given to make life easier for the people. Dogs were considered intermediaries between the seen and unseen worlds, the realm of mortals and of the gods, as they embodied both the wild and the domestic spheres. This view of the dog contrasted sharply with the European understanding of the dog as a created being whose only purpose was to serve people.

Colonists & Their Dogs

According to the Christian Europeans, dogs had no souls – nor did any other animal – as an immortal soul animated only human beings who would answer for the deeds done in life after they died and appeared before the throne of God for judgment. The dog was therefore not viewed as anything special and references to dogs in the Bible encouraged this view as dogs are generally associated with poverty and low social status. To cite only one example, although the biblical tale of Lazarus and the Rich Man from Luke 16:19-31 has been interpreted as showing dogs in a positive light (as healers who lick the sores of the poor man), they are associated with poverty by this very act.

Even so, the colonists did not look down on dogs but cared for them deeply. The first law concerning mistreatment of dogs (or any animal) in the English colonies was the Regulation against Tyranny or Cruelty of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1641. Purposeful cruelty toward an animal was punishable by fine or a sentence in the stocks and pillories. Colonists who bred dogs, especially, took great pride in them and elevated their own above those of their neighbors with collars which were often ornate and, among the upper-class, quite expensive.

Leather collars with a brass plate engraved with the dog’s name, owner’s name, and sometimes a pithy epigram were popular in Europe and mirrored in early Colonial America. Dog ownership came to be associated with a degree of wealth in that one could afford to feed a dog as well as one’s family, and the padlock collar was developed, in part, to prove said ownership. The padlock collar was a hinged ring of metal attached around a dog’s neck by clasps and fastened with a small padlock for which only the owner held the key. If the dog were lost or stolen, one could prove ownership by producing the key and unlocking the collar as the piece was impossible to remove otherwise without harming the dog.

Dogs were used for hunting, guarding the home, and in blood sports such as dogfighting or bearbaiting. Breeds included various hounds, bulldogs, mastiffs, pointers, setters, spaniels, terriers, and others. Smaller breeds were known as “comfort dogs” and were favored by women and the elderly as companions. Upper-class gentlemen, such as George Washington (l. 1732-1799) and Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), kept inventories of breeds and Washington prided himself on his knowledge of dogs. The French general Lafayette (l. 1757-1834), an ally of Washington’s during the Revolution recognized this and gave Washington two Basset Hounds as a gift; thereby introducing the Basset to North America. Another of the best-known anecdotes concerning Washington and a dog also comes from the period of the American War of Independence (1775-1783) and relates how, after the Battle of Germantown in 1777, Washington found the dog of his opponent, General William Howe (l. 1729-1814), and returned it to him with his compliments. Washington knew it was Howe’s dog from the inscription on the dog’s collar.

When a dog went missing, if they lacked identification such as Howe’s dog, advertisements would be posted at the local meeting house, church, or tavern offering a reward for its return, just as people do today. In Colonial Williamsburg, rewards for dogs were offered in the amount of 20 shillings (nine days’ wages) between 1774-1777 signifying the value owners placed on their dogs. Advertisements in New York City during the Revolution follow the same model as British officers posted many for the return of their lost dogs. Portraits of upper-class gentlemen of the time often show them posing with a favorite hunting dog and the same of upper-class women with their comfort dog. Dogs, in fact, begin appearing fairly regularly in family portraits from c. 1700 onwards.

Other Pets

Dogs were not the only domesticated animal to enjoy an elevation in status during the 18th century; cats also became more highly valued as companions whereas previously
they had been regarded more or less as utilitarian pest control. The Age of Enlightenment encouraged people to question many of the beliefs and traditions of the past, and among these was the view of the cat as almost a necessary evil. Cats were associated with pagan cultures and, it was noted, were mentioned nowhere in the Bible, making them suspect. They were useful in controlling the population of rats and mice, however, and were more tolerated for the most part than cared for.

During the 18th century, the cat became the pampered house pet one is familiar with in the present day.

During the 18th century, however, the cat became the pampered house pet one is familiar with in the present day. Family portraits as well as single-figure pieces frequently featured the person’s or family’s cat, and they began to appear in poetry and literature. The cat as a witch’s favorite familiar, of course, was widely recognized, and they were not embraced as family members as early as dogs were, but by the time of the American Revolution, they were on at least equal standing with dogs as far as portraiture is concerned.

Deer were also featured in portraits and became one of the most highly sought and popular pets of Colonial America. Deer wore collars and were walked on leashes and, based on their depiction in paintings, lived in the family home as comfortably as cats or dogs. Deer were frequently domesticated and let loose in the gardens of colonial estates to amuse guests at parties, and one example of this is a Dr. Benjamin Jones of Virginia Colony who trained over one hundred deer for his property for this purpose as well as for his family to enjoy. Portraits of deer show them in poses very like those of greyhounds of the period with brass colors often of the padlock type.

Another pet which was frequently featured in portraits was the squirrel whose young became more popular than a puppy or kitten with children of the time. People robbed squirrel nests of their young, domesticated them, and sold them in the marketplace as house pets. These house squirrels were collared, leashed, and walked just as comfort dogs were. Flying squirrels were especially popular with young boys who trained them to sit on their shoulders as they walked through town. The popularity of squirrels as pets was lamented by wives and mothers of the time, who complained the creatures chewed through closets, clothing, and linens and could not be contained because they could eat their way through wooden boxes or cages. Tinsmiths capitalized on this by creating metal cages with exercise wheels and other items inside so the squirrel could still entertain a family but remain contained.

Domesticated birds were especially popular with young girls and women, who kept cardinals and others in often elaborate cages in their drawing rooms. It was believed that one could teach a bird a tune by repeating it and so small flutes known as flageolets became popular among bird owners. The person would repeat a simple tune on the instrument throughout the day, and it was thought the bird would learn to sing it. There are no records of this practice actually succeeding, however, except in the case of the mockingbird.

Beavers were also popular, mainly among men and boys, and were trained to catch fish and carry them home. Otters were trained to retrieve game that fell into water, in the same way hunting dogs previously had been. Fishermen, especially, were fond of trained otters who would dive under the water and return with fish. Raccoons, which were also domesticated, were least popular owing to their habit of breaking-and-entering pantries and stealing food or various items from homes. No matter how well-trained, a raccoon was also apt to kill the family’s chickens, which eventually led to it being dropped as a pet and seen more as a predator and nuisance.

Other animals, such as snakes and small monkeys, continued to be popular even though they presented their own problems. Snakes were particularly unpopular among women, although women and girls were the primary owners of monkeys who were far more bothersome in maintaining a neat and clean home. Another animal popular especially among young girls was the lamb which was often depicted in paintings wearing a ribbon around its neck. Chickens, of course, also served as pets although no portraits feature them adorned as lambs and monkeys were.


Changes in pet ownership, concerning the types of animals kept in homes, came with the Industrial Revolution of the late 18th and early 19th century. The British industrialist Samuel Slater (l. 1768-1835) introduced English textile mills into the USA c. 1789. He was assisted by industrialist Moses Brown (l. 1738-1836) who established the first water-powered mill in America in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in 1790. The introduction of textile mills proved quite profitable for businessmen and encouraged the development of more labor-saving technology, which led to urbanization as people moved to cities for work. As industrialization and urbanization increased, pet ownership became more restrictive regarding choice; a city apartment was no place for a deer, horse, or lamb as a pet. Those in rural areas still kept these animals as pets, but they no longer appear in portraiture in the 19th century, and squirrels seem to have followed this same decline in popularity.

Colonization, westward expansion, and further immigration also affected which animals were kept as pets. Deer were regularly hunted as food and for their hides even as they were domesticated as pets, but as natural habitats began to shrink and deer populations moved further away from settlements, catching and domesticating a deer as a pet became less popular than shooting and eating one for dinner. The snake, so popular during the Colonial period, followed this same course as they were driven further away from towns and cities and finally became relegated to the sphere of entertainment by traveling magicians and circus performers by the mid-19th century.

As more land became settled, and more people needed to be fed, animals like beaver, otter, and raccoon – which had been hunted for their skin and meat even when they were seen as popular pets - came to be primarily seen as food sources instead of companions and assistants. Native American villages, which had once been quite numerous along the eastern seaboard of North America were destroyed by colonists to make room for further settlements, and once the inhabitants were relocated onto reservations, it was illegal for them to own dogs just as it was for them to have access to firearms. Native American dogs were confiscated, and these dog breeds eventually went extinct from breeding with European dogs and so thoroughly that it is unclear, today, what many of these breeds even were.

Restrictions on types of pets seem to have occurred naturally as more exotic animals became more difficult to come by. Dogs and cats, therefore, became the primary choice for most people, and their popularity grew as more homes adopted them. In the present day, the dog and cat continue to be the most popular and common animals kept as pets, although a number of Americans continue to keep exotic animals just as their ancestors did.

Elias Legarde Edit

Elias Legarde (or Legardo) was a Jew who arrived at Jamestown, Virginia on HMS Abigail in 1621. This assumption is based solely on the sound of the last name which had a questionable spelling (Legardo).

Solomon Franco Edit

The first Jew known to have lived in northern North America was Solomon Franco, a Sephardic Jew from Holland who is believed to have settled in the city of Boston in the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1649. Franco was a scholar and agent for Immanuel Perada, a Dutch merchant. He delivered supplies to Edward Gibbons, a major general in the Massachusetts militia. After a dispute over who should pay Franco (Gibbons or Perada) the Massachusetts General Court ruled on May 6, 1649, that Franco was to be expelled from the colony, and granted him "six shillings per week out of the Treasury for ten weeks, for sustenance, till he can get his passage to Holland." [1] [2]

Solomon Pietersen Edit

Solomon Pietersen was a merchant from Amsterdam who came to town in 1654. In 1656, Pietersen became the first known American Jew to intermarry with a Christian though there are no records showing Pietersen formally converted, his daughter Anna was baptized in childhood. [3] [4] [5]

Jacob Barsimson Edit

On July 8, 1654, Jacob Barsimson left Holland and arrived aboard Peartree on August 22 in the port of New Amsterdam (in Lower Manhattan, where Wall Street is today). Barsimson was employed by the Dutch East India Company and had fled the Portuguese settlements in the New World, who had captured a formerly Dutch settlement and established the Portuguese Inquisition there.

Asser Levy Edit

Asser Levy (Van Swellem) is first mentioned in public records in New Amsterdam in 1654 in connection with the group of 23 Jews who arrived as refugees from Brazil. It is likely he preceded their arrival. Levy was the (kosher) butcher for the small Jewish community. He fought for Jewish rights in the Dutch colony and is famous for having secured the right of Jews to be admitted as Burghers and to serve guard duty for the colony.

The first group of Jews in the northern colonies disembarked in early September 1654, shortly after Barsimson. Barsimson is said to have met them at The Battery upon their arrival. This group was made up of twenty-three Portuguese Jews from the Netherlands (four couples, two widows, and thirteen children). Like Barsimson, they had fled from a former Dutch settlement the group had emigrated from Dutch Brazil after the settlement was conquered by the Portuguese. Fearing the Inquisition, the Jews left Recife. They originally docked in Spanish Jamaica and Spanish Cuba, but the Spanish did not allow them to remain there. Their ship, Ste. Catherine, went to New Amsterdam instead, settling against the wishes of local merchants and the local Dutch Reformed Church. Colonial governor Peter Stuyvesant, upon complaint from these groups, attempted to have the Jews expelled. He wrote a letter to the directors of the Dutch West India Company dated September 22, 1654:

The Jews who have arrived would nearly all like to remain here, but learning that they (with their customary usury and deceitful trading with the Christians) were very repugnant to the inferior magistrates, as also to the people having the most affection for you the Deaconry also fearing that owing to their present indigence they might become a charge in the coming winter, we have, for the benefit of this weak and newly developing place and the land in general, deemed it useful to require them in a friendly way to depart, praying also most seriously in this connection, for ourselves as also for the general community of your worships, that the deceitful race—such hateful enemies and blasphemers of the name of Christ—be not allowed to further infect and trouble this new colony to the detraction of your worships and the dissatisfaction of your worships' most affectionate subjects.

However, among the directors of the Dutch West India Company included several influential Jews, who interceded on the refugees' behalf. Company officials rebuffed Stuyvesant and ordered him in a letter dated April 26, 1655, to let the Jews remain in New Amsterdam, "provided the poor among them shall not become a burden to the company or to the community, but be supported by their own nation":

We would have liked to effectuate and fulfill your wishes and request that the new territories should no more be allowed to be infected by people of the Jewish nation, for we foresee therefrom the same difficulties which you fear, but after having further weighed and considered the matter, we observe that this would be somewhat unreasonable and unfair, especially because of the considerable loss sustained by this nation, with others, in the taking of Brazil, as also because of the large amount of capital which they still have invested in the shares of this company. Therefore after many deliberations we have finally decided and resolved to apostille [annotate] upon a certain petition presented by said Portuguese Jews that these people may travel and trade to and in New Netherland and live and remain there, provided the poor among them shall not become a burden to the company or to the community, but be supported by their own nation. You will now govern yourself accordingly.

Upon the capture of the colony by the English in 1664, the rights enjoyed by the Jews were not interfered with, and for twenty years they appear to have lived much as before the British occupation, though with slight increase in their numbers. Jews had previously been barred from settling in English colonies, as they had been banned from all English lands for 400 years. Oliver Cromwell (British Protector from 1649 through 1660, through his son Richard) lifted this prohibition, and founding of the first major Jewish settlement soon followed in Newport, Rhode Island. In 1672, Rabba Couty attained prominence by his appeal to the King's Council in England from a decree passed against him by the courts of Jamaica, as a result of which one of his ships had been seized and declared forfeited. His appeal was successful and established the rights of Jews as British subjects. This appears to be the first case in which a colonial grant of naturalization was recognized as valid.

In 1685, the application of Saul Brown (originally Saul Pardo) to trade at retail was denied, as was also that of the Jews for liberty to exercise their religion publicly. That they did so privately in some definite place of worship would appear from the fact that a map of New York, dated 1695, shows the location of a Jewish synagogue on Beaver Street, also that Saul Brown was the minister, and that the congregation comprised twenty families. Five years later the site of the synagogue was so well known that in a conveyance of property the premises were referred to as a landmark. In 1710, the minister of the congregation, Abraham de Lucena, was granted exemption from civil and military service by reason of his ministerial functions, and reference is made to the enjoyment of the same privileges by his predecessors. The minutes of the Congregation Shearith Israel of New York begin in 1729, when it was located in Mill Street, and refer to records dating back as far as 1706. This congregation established on Mill Street, in 1730, on a lot purchased two years before, the first synagogue in the future United States.

It would thus appear that the religious rights of these early Jewish settlers had been secured in the beginning of the 18th century, and that they enjoyed also many political rights. An act passed by the General Assembly of New York on November 15, 1727, provided that when the oath of abjuration was to be taken by any British subject professing the Jewish religion, the words "upon the true faith of a Christian" might be omitted. Three days later an act was passed naturalizing one Daniel Nunes da Costa. A bitter political controversy of 1737 resulted in the decision by the General Assembly that Jews should not be allowed to vote for members of that body.

In 1740, Parliament passed the Plantation Act specifically permitting Jews to be naturalized in the colonies. Previous to this date, however, the New York Colonial Assembly had passed numerous special acts of naturalization, some of which were applicable to individuals only others, more general in character, under which Jews could be naturalized without taking oath "upon the true faith of a Christian," were also put upon the statute-book. Between this time and the Revolutionary War the Jewish community in this colony increased by slow stages, the principal immigrants coming from Spain, Portugal, and the West Indies.

During the French and Indian War, Jacob Franks was the royal agent, in association with a British syndicate, for provisioning the British forces in America his dealings with the crown during this period exceeded £750,000 in value.

Although most of the earlier immigrants settled in New York City, a few settled beyond its limits, some even as far as the confines of what now constitutes the state of Pennsylvania. In 1661, when Albany was but a trading-post, Asser Levy owned real estate there, but between that date and the early years of the nineteenth century there are no records of any settlers in that town. They were not there in sufficient numbers to form a congregation until 1838, and they had no rabbi until 1846.

A group of Jews settled in Newport, Rhode Island in the late 1600s due to the official religious tolerance of the colony as established by Roger Williams. In other parts of New England there were probably occasional settlers in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but the intolerance of the Puritans rendered impossible the establishment of any religious communities. According to several sources, Moses Simonson, who settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621, may have had Dutch Jewish ancestry. [1] [2] An interesting personality is that of Judah Monis, who became a convert to Christianity and filled the chair of Hebrew in Harvard College from 1722 until his death in 1764.

Mention is found of a Jew in Connecticut on November 9, 1659, and of another in 1670. The first Jewish family to settle in New Haven came in 1772, though a few individuals who had become converts to Christianity dwelt there a few years before. The first congregation was established about 1840, the congregants being members of about twenty Bavarian families. From that date on the community increased by slow stages. There are Jewish settlements also in Bridgeport, Ansonia, Derby, Waterbury, New London, and Hartford. The first congregation in Hartford was established in 1843. Since 1891, a number of Jewish farmers have been settled in various parts of the state.

The earliest mention of a Jew in Massachusetts bears the date May 3, 1649, and there are references to Jews among the inhabitants of Boston in 1695 and 1702 but they can be regarded only as stragglers, as no settlers made their homes in Massachusetts until the Revolutionary War drove the Jews from Newport. In 1777, Aaron Lopez and Jacob Rivera, with fifty-nine others, went from Newport to Leicester, and established themselves there but this settlement did not survive the close of the war. A number of Jews, including the Hays family, settled at Boston before 1800. Of these Moses Michael Hays was the most important. In 1830, a number of Algerian Jews went to Boston, but they soon disappeared. The history of the present community begins with 1840, when the first congregation was established.

The Jewish immigrants to Vermont and New Hampshire have never been very numerous, though there are congregations in Burlington, Vermont and in Manchester, Nashua, Concord, Portsmouth, and Dover, New Hampshire. Little of importance can be said about the communal life of the Jews in New England, and their numbers increased but slowly until after the beginning of the great Russian emigration in 1882, when the overflow from New York as well as the emigration through Canada commenced to stream into New England.

The opening up of the West and the resulting unprofitable nature of farming in New England drew away from this part of the United States many thrifty farmers, who abandoned their unfruitful fields for the more attractive opportunities in the western states. Of interest in connection with this shifting of the population is the fact that many of these abandoned farms, especially in Connecticut, have been taken up by Russian Jews, who, principally as dairy farmers, have added a new and useful element to the agricultural community.

It would seem that only a few Jews found their way to Maryland during the first half of the 17th century, and that the first settlers of this colony came as individuals, and not in considerable numbers at any time, as was the case in New York, Newport, Savannah, and Charleston. To judge by the names alone it would appear that a few Jews were resident in Maryland from the earliest days of the colony. The most prominent figure, who was unquestionably a Jew, was a Dr. Jacob Lumbrozo, who had arrived January 24, 1656, and who, in 1658, was tried for blasphemy, but was released by reason of the general amnesty granted in honor of the accession of Richard Cromwell (March 3, 1658). Letters of denization were issued to Lumbrozo September 10, 1663. Besides practising medicine, he also owned a plantation, engaged in trade with the Native Americans, and had active intercourse with London merchants. He was one of the earliest medical practitioners in the colony, and his career casts much light upon the history and nature of religious tolerance in Maryland. By the strength of his personality he was able to disregard nearly all the laws which would have rendered his residence in the colony impossible, and he seems to have observed his faith even though this, under the laws, was forbidden. The unfavorable environment rendered the admittance of Jews to Maryland difficult, and until the Constitution of 1776 established the religious rights of all, few Jews settled in the colony.

It is on record that Jews from New Amsterdam traded along the Delaware River as early as 1655. There were probably some settlers in the southeastern portion of the territory of which William Penn took possession in 1681. A very considerable number of the early Pennsylvania colonists were German Jews. The first Jewish resident of Philadelphia was Jonas Aaron, who was living there in 1703. Another early pioneer and one of considerable prominence was Isaac Miranda. He was the first to settle at Lancaster, at which place, as also at Shaefferstown, there was an early Jewish immigration. Miranda became a convert to Christianity and held several state offices. A number of Jews settled in Philadelphia in the first half of the eighteenth century, and became prominent in the life of the city. Among these were David Franks, Joseph Marks, and Sampson Levy. The Non-Importation Resolutions of 1765 contained the signatures of eight Jews, an indication of the importance of the Jewish community at this time. As early as 1747 a number of persons held religious services in a small house in Sterling alley, and afterward in Cherry alley—between Third and Fourth streets. They were mostly German and Polish Jews and their differences as to the liturgy to be followed prevented, at the time, the formation of any regular congregation. Attempts, indeed, were made in 1761 and 1773 to form one, but none was established until the influx of Jews from New York during the Revolutionary War, with the arrival of Gershom Mendes Seixas, gave the community sufficient strength to carry out this cherished object. A lot was purchased and a synagogue erected, the dedication occurring in September 1782. A number of Philadelphia Jews served in the army of the Revolution and the inestimable services rendered by Haym Salomon to Robert Morris in the finances of the Revolution make his name stand out as the most prominent character in American Jewry.

Jews have lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, since at least 1730, before the town and county were organized. Joseph Simon was the best known of the first arrivals. Meyer Hart and Michael Hart were among the earlier settlers at Easton, where they arrived previous to the Revolutionary War. A synagogue was established there in 1839. Shaefferstown had a few Jewish settlers at an early date, and a synagogue and cemetery in 1732. For a considerable number of years preceding the Revolutionary War a number of Jews of Pennsylvania were engaged in the exploitation and sale of western Pennsylvania lands. Among the more prominent of these were Jacob and David Franks, Barnard and Michael Gratz, Joseph Simon, and Levy Andrew Levy.

The Jewish settlement in Georgia dates almost from the very foundation of the colony and the early history of Georgia is practically the history of the growth and development of Savannah, Jewish life centering in that city. It would appear that a movement was set on foot in London to settle some Jews in the colony even before James Oglethorpe, in June, 1733, led his first band of followers to the point which soon after became the city of Savannah. The second vessel which reached the colony from England (on July 11, 1733) had among its passengers no less than forty Jewish emigrants. Although their arrival was unexpected, the liberal-minded governor welcomed them gladly, notwithstanding that he was aware that the trustees of the colony in England had expressed some opposition to permitting Jews to settle there. These first settlers were all of Spanish, Portuguese, and Prussian extraction, though within a year of their arrival others, who were apparently German Jews, also took up their residence there. These two bands of settlers received equally liberal treatment from Oglethorpe, and were the progenitors of one of the most important communities of Jews in the U.S. Many of their descendants are still living in various parts of the country. The first male white child born in the colony was a Jew, Philip (Uri) Minis on July 11, 1734.

Among the first immigrants was Dr. Nunis, who was made welcome because of his medical knowledge, and because he, with a number of others, brought sufficient wealth to the colony to enable the immigrants to take up large tracts of land. A congregation was organized as early as 1734. Three years later Abraham de Lyon, who had been a vigneron in Portugal, introduced the culture of grapes. The cultivation and manufacture of silk and the pursuit of agriculture and of commerce were the chief occupations of these early settlers. A dispute with the trustees of the colony respecting the introduction of slaves caused an extensive emigration to South Carolina in 1741, and resulted in the dissolution of the congregation. But in 1751 a number of Jews returned to Georgia, and in the same year the trustees sent over Joseph Ottolenghi to superintend the somewhat extensive silk-industry in the colony. Ottolenghi soon attained prominence in the political life of his associates, and was elected a member of the Assembly in 1761 and in succeeding years. There seems to have been little if any distinction made socially between the Jews and the other settlers, and educational and philanthropic institutions seem to have been supported by all alike.

The liberal charter which John Locke drew up in 1669 for the governance of the Carolinas should have operated to attract Jews there at an early date, since "Jews, heathen, and dissenters" were by the terms of Locke's charter granted full liberty of conscience. Although political changes modified Locke's original plans considerably, the spirit of tolerance was always retained. Nevertheless, no Jews in any numbers appear to have come to South Carolina until the exodus from Georgia from 1740 to 1771, already referred to. However, one Simon Valentine, one of four Jews who applied for citizenship in 1697, became the first documented Jewish landowner, which entitled him to vote. [3] A few others followed him, for in 1703 a protest was raised against "Jew strangers" voting in an election for members of the Assembly.

In 1748, some prominent London Jews set on foot a scheme for the acquisition of a tract of 200,000 acres (80,937 ha) (809 km 2 ) of land in South Carolina. Nothing came of this, however, though on November 27, 1755, Joseph Salvador purchased 100,000 acres (40,469 ha) (405 km 2 ) of land near Fort Ninety-six for £2,000. Twenty years later Salvador sold 60,000 acres (24,281 ha) (243 km 2 ) of land for £3,000 to thirteen London Sephardic Jews. This land was known as the "Jews' Lands." Another of the Salvadors (Francis Salvador, the nephew of Joseph) purchased extensive tracts of land in the same vicinity in 1773–74. [3] Moses Lindo, likewise a London Jew, who arrived in 1756, became actively engaged in indigo manufacture, [3] spending large sums in its development, and making this one of the principal industries of the state.

During the Revolutionary War the Jews of South Carolina were to be found on both sides and the most eminent of the revolutionists was Francis Salvador, who was elected a member of the First and Second Provincial Congresses which met 1775–76, the most important political office held by any Jew during the Revolution. [3] Two-thirds of a company of militia commanded by Richard Lushington was made up of Charleston Jews.

After the fall of Charleston in 1780 the majority of Jews left that city, but most of them returned at the close of the war. The Sephardic Jews established a congregation in 1750, and the Jews of German descent another shortly thereafter. In 1791, when the Sephardic congregation was incorporated, the total number of Jews in Charleston is estimated to have been 400.

To judge by names alone, it would appear that a few Jews wandered into Virginia as early as 1624. A small number seem also to have been there before the end of the seventeenth century, but for nearly 100 years no traces of Jewish settlement are found. At least one Jewish soldier—possibly two—served in Virginia regiments under Washington in his expedition across the Allegheny Mountains in 1754. It is probable that Jews drifted into the colony from Baltimore and other points in Maryland at an early date. By 1785, Richmond had a Jewish community of about a dozen families of Spanish-Portuguese descent, which organized a Sephardic congregation in 1791. This congregation remained in existence until 1898.

A few Jews were among the traders who settled in Tennessee, near the Holston River, in 1778, but they were mere stragglers and made no permanent settlement.

Of the remaining states of the southern group east of the Mississippi River the principal Jewish settlements have been made in Alabama and Mississippi. An occasional Jew made his way into the territory which is now Alabama during the early part of the eighteenth century. One Pallachio became prominent in 1776.

It is likely that there were a few Jews in the Natchez district of Mississippi before the close of the eighteenth century, but no congregation was organized until that of Natchez was established in 1843.

Before and during the American Revolutionary War the Jews had representatives of their people upon both sides of the controversy, though the majority joined the colonial side. On the Non-Importation Agreement of 1769 the names of not less than five Jews are found this is also the case with respect to other agreements of a similar nature. The outbreak of the Revolutionary War dissolved the congregation in New York and upon the eve of the British occupancy of the town the majority of the congregation, headed by Gershom Mendes Seixas, took all the belongings of the synagogue and removed to Philadelphia, where they established the first regular congregation, the Mickvé Israel, in 1782. The small number who remained in New York occasionally held services in the synagogue. Most of those that left for Philadelphia returned to New York after the war. Haym Solomon or (Salomon), (1740–1785) was possibly the prime financier of the American side during the American War of Independence against Great Britain. He was born in Prussia and died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Although the Jews participated prominently in the events leading up to the Revolution, it would appear that even in the midst of absorbing political discussions they were able, in 1774, to start another congregation. They were not all, however, to be found on the colonial side during the war, for Mordecai Sheftall, Levi Sheftall, Philip Jacob Cohen, Philip Minis, and Sheftall Sheftall were in the first days of the Revolution disqualified by the authorities from holding any office of trust in the province because of the pronounced revolutionary ideas which they advocated. The community was dispersed during the Revolution, but many Jews returned immediately after the close of the war.

George Washington Bred Hunting Dogs for Speed

George Washington and Lord Fairfax, mounted on horses, on a fox hunt with a slave managing a team of hunting dogs.

Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Washington, Hager adds, wanted a speedier hunting dog, and hoped to breed that speed into the hounds he already owned.

“When his good friend, the Marquis de Lafayette, heard about this, he sent General Washington a group of French hound dogs in the care of young John Quincy Adams,” he says. “These dogs were much more aggressive than Washington’s usual hounds, and were eventually bred with them. This created the new breed, although it’s important to note that Washington wasn’t thinking about the breed in any sort of legacy way. He just wanted to improve his personal collection of hunting dogs.”

According to Mary Thompson, research historian at Mount Vernon, many dog breeds were developed through selective breeding over many years.

“The fact that American foxhounds have a lighter build and longer legs than English Foxhounds suggests that Washington and others who were developing this new breed wanted a good hunting dog that was faster than the English dogs,” she says. Thompson added that American foxhounds also work more individually than as a pack, with each dog being willing to take the lead.

The American Kennel Club recognizes Washington as the father of the American foxhound, noting the breeds of Bluetick Coonhound, American English Coonhound and Treeing Walker Coonhound were also “likely influenced by his quest for a superior dog.”

Thompson adds that Washington kept many dog breeds, each with their own speciality. There were herding dogs, hounds, non-sporting dogs, terriers, toys and working dogs at Mount Vernon.

“In fact, we can document the presence and/or knowledge of breeds in every group currently recognized by the American Kennel Club among the dogs in Virginia in the 18th century,” she says. Breeds at Mount Vernon included Briards, Dalmatians, English foxhounds, French hounds, Greyhounds, Italian Greyhounds, mastiffs, Newfoundlands, pointers, spaniels and terriers.

Washington often gave his dogs names, too. Some of note: Sweet Lips, Venus, Trulove, Taster, Tippler, Drunkard and Madame Moose.

According to Thompson, many of the dog names seem to relate to singing or music: Droner, Hearkwell, Music and Singer, for example.

�h foxhound had a distinctive voice, which was important as a way to tell one dog from another when hunters were following behind them after prey animals,” she says. “Sweet Lips may have gotten her name because Washington liked the sound of her voice as she was hunting.”

Spirits of Our Forefathers - Alcohol in the American Colonies

The above statements by three of the Founding Fathers reflect the prevailing attitude toward alcohol in the 18th century and throughout much of our country's early existence. Alcohol has played a major role in our nation's history, and its use is a part of our heritage. In colonial times, Americans probably drank more alcohol that in any other era. Spirits were an integral part of daily life throughout the colonies no matter the geographic or economic differences. It was reported that the average American drank eight ounces of alcohol a day. And it didn't matter what. Americans drank beer, and cider with breakfast rum and wine with dinner claret, ratafias, creams, punches, and other concoctions in the evening. (Robinson, 2001)

"Revolutionary War era persons drank a phenomenal amount. We have here an account of a gentleman's average consumption: 'Given cider and punch for lunch rum and brandy before dinner punch, Madeira, port and sherry at dinner punch and liqueurs with the ladies and wine, spirit and punch till bedtime, all in punchbowls big enough for a goose to swim in.'" (As cited in Washington and Kitman, 1970)

There are a number of reasons for all of this tippling. Our English heritage declared that water was bad for a person's health. Given the sanitary standards of the day this was probably true. Beer consumption especially, was seen as a healthy substitute for water. Beer was considered a food, which showed social status (only the most destitute drank water) and allowed for persons to put in a full days work. Franklin while working in a printing house in London was known as the "water American", because of his affinity to water, by his fellow printers who were

Americans of the period believed it was particularly healthier to drink lukewarm alcohol during hot weather rather than drink cold water. Signs were displayed at public wells warning individuals of the dangers of cold water during the summer. The rationale for this is that when a person sweated, heat was conducted from the inside of the body. Therefore, the stomach needed warmth, which could be provided by alcohol. (Barr, 1999)

The bias against water was so great that a recent immigrant from Italy, Phillip Massei, caused a stir at a large dinner party where he asked for a glass of water. I perceived some confusion among the servants, and the water did not arrive. The host, next to who I sat, whispered in my ear, asking with a smile if I could not drink something else, because the unexpected request for a glass upset the entire household and they did not know what they were about." (As cited in Barr, 1999)

Beer usually replaced water as the daily drink. An early morning tankard of beer was typical in colonial America, even for children. This tradition, as stated earlier, came from England. The Pilgrims loaded more beer than water on the Mayflower. And, there is some evidence that they were put off at Plymouth, rather than Virginia, because the ship's crew wished to make sure they had enough beer to consume on the return voyage. (Royce, 1981)

The ingredients for beer did not grow well in New England. As a substitute, the Puritans made do with hard cider. The many apple orchards of the area were planted for its production. Men usually began the day with a quart or more at breakfast.

Beer and cider were not readily available on the frontier. Settlers west of the Allegheny Mountains converted their corn into whiskey as a substitute and to make their crop transportable. Life was hard on the frontier. The pioneers called their whiskey the "Good Creature of God", giving them the strength needed to dull the pain of the brutal manual labor of making a home in the wilderness. (Powell, 1999)

". there is unquestionably too much spirituous liquors drank in the newly settled parts of America, but a very good reason can be assigned for it. The labor of clearing the land is rugged and severe, and the summer sweats are sometimes so great that it would be dangerous to drink cold water. "(As cited in Barr, 1999)

The first businesses established on the frontier were often simple taverns located along trails and roads to take care of the needs of travelers. Tradition of the time dictated that a drink be had at every halt in a journey. One story tells of two travelers on a seventy-mile trek by coach who drank a quart of liquor at each of the eight stops that were made.

Tavern owners enjoyed higher social status than did the clergy during the colonial era. Taverns were the center of civic life. Because of this they were often required to be located near the church or meeting house. Religious services and court sessions were often held in taverns. Judges interrupted court to drink, and clergy were obligated to drink at every house call and were often seen reeling home. (Powell, 1999)

All of this drinking did not go on without some comment. John Adams stated: "If the ancients drank as our people drink rum and cider, it is no wonder we hear of so many possessed with devils." (As cited in History of Alcohol in America) But, among the founding fathers Adams stood pretty much alone. Washington, Franklin, and Jefferson all imbibed and enjoyed brewing or distilling their own alcoholic beverages.

Jefferson was one of the most knowledgeable wine connoisseurs ever to hold national office. And, he was the wine advisor for Washington, Madison and Monroe. He felt that wine was ". indispensable for my health." He further advocated the virtues of wine stating "no nation is drunken where wine is cheap and none sober, where the dearness of wine substitutes ardent spirits as the common beverage." (As cited in Insiders Guide to Virginia Wineries)

Jefferson believed that wine stimulated conversation. There must have been quite a bit of talking at Monticello because there are records that he and his guests consumed 1,203 bottles of wine in just over two year's time. (Garr, 1997) Jefferson, though, thought of himself as a man of moderation.

". you are not to conclude I am a drinker. My measure is a perfectly sober one of 3 or 4 glasses at dinner, and not a drop at any other time. But as to those 3 or 4 glasses I am very fond." (As cited in Garr, 1997)

Jefferson's interests in wine went far beyond just drinking. He was also involved in viticulture. He planted vineyards at Monticello and encourage others to take up the practice. Jefferson's attempts were not successful since the phylloxera louse, which was not discovered until the 1860s, attacked his grapes.

The sober picture we have of Washington is not correct if we are to believe anecdotes of his day. It was said that he could dance the night away with four bottles of wine under his belt. And, that his Revolutionary War personal expense account for alcohol from September 1775 to March 1776 amount to over six thousand dollars. (Washington & Kitman, 1970) He was a devout lover of beer in particular a dark porter was always in ample supply at Mount Vernon. A typical Washington hosted dinner "included several wines, beer, cider." (Mount Vernon An Illustrated Handbook, 1974)

With all the drinking that went on during this era, one tends to agree with Adams' statement and wonder how we fought a war, won our independence, and established a government. Perhaps the Spirit of '76, which inspired our forefathers, was indeed spirits.


Barr, Andrew. Drink: A Social History of America. 1999, Carroll & Graff Publishers, Inc.

Garr, Robin. "Jefferson and Wine". 1997, www.winelovers

"History of Alcohol in America" (Cider). www.2020

Mount Vernon An Illustrated Handbook. 1974, Mount Vernon Ladies Association.

Powell, Stephen. "The Devils Drink: 1999,

Robinson, Matthew. : How To Toast Like Our Founding Fathers", 2001, Claremont Institute Publications, 010118.cfm.

Royce, James E. Alcohol Problems: A Comprehensive Survey. 1981, New York Free Press.

"Thomas Jefferson: Food and Wine Connoisseur", The Insiders Guide to Virginia Wineries. www.blueridge/sb-wineries.

Washington, George and Kitman, Marvin. 1970, George Washington's Expense Account. 1970, Simon and Schuster.

Spinning Patriotic Sentiment in Colonial America

“As for me, I will seek wool and flax, and work willingly with my hands and indeed there is occasion for all our industry and economy.”
—Abigail Adams, in a 1774 letter to her husband, John Adams

Did you know that the humble spinning wheel was once a symbol of patriotic fervor in America? Colonial women in the years before the Revolution created their own homespun cloth as a way to disrupt the British monopoly on the textile market. In fact, spinning played such an important role in the conflict that the Daughters of the American Revolution chose a spinning wheel as a symbol for their organization.

It all started with Britain’s attempt to protect one of their biggest industries, textiles. Colonists imported most of their textiles from Britain, and wool production in the colonies was discouraged since Britain saw America as a supplier of raw materials for England’s factories. England could then sell the manufactured goods to the colonies at a handsome profit.

But early Americans had other ideas. By the end of the 1600s, America was exporting wool, which outraged England and led to the Wool Act of 1699, prohibiting the colonies from exporting wool, wool yarn, and wool cloth.

The passage of the Wool Act lit the fires of resentment in the colonies and many people resisted by making cloth from flax and hemp—and producing their own essential clothing instead of buying British imports.

The homespun clothing movement really gained steam when the Daughters of Liberty turned to their spinning wheels. This group of patriotic women organized mass spinning “bees’’ in town squares, churches, and private homes. Once the war started, they gathered to spin and sew uniforms for the Continental Army.

During Sheep-to-Shawl at Philipsburg Manor, interpreters demonstrate 18th-century spinning and weaving techniques similar to those used by the Daughters of Liberty. Although the owners of Philipsburg Manor sided with England during the Revolution and bought their textiles from Britain, it’s certain there were patriotic spinners among the manor’s many tenant farm households!


Over time each region developed its own cuisine. It was influenced by their environment, religious practices, and British imports.

    : Growing seasons were short so they depended more on British Imports, Corn crops, Wild Game, and Seafood. Puritans dominated the population so their recipes tended to be simple. : Growing seasons were longer and they were called the &ldquobreadbasket colonies&rdquo due to the number of crops that were grown in their soil. Due to Quaker influence, cream cheese and various fruit butter were developed. : the Growing season was year-round and the population was more diverse. There was a clear difference in the diets of the wealthy and the poor.

5b. Indentured Servants

The growth of tobacco, rice, and indigo and the plantation economy created a tremendous need for labor in Southern English America. Without the aid of modern machinery, human sweat and blood was necessary for the planting, cultivation, and harvesting of these cash crops. While slaves existed in the English colonies throughout the 1600s, indentured servitude was the method of choice employed by many planters before the 1680s. This system provided incentives for both the master and servant to increase the working population of the Chesapeake colonies.

Virginia and Maryland operated under what was known as the " headright system ." The leaders of each colony knew that labor was essential for economic survival, so they provided incentives for planters to import workers. For each laborer brought across the Atlantic, the master was rewarded with 50 acres of land. This system was used by wealthy plantation aristocrats to increase their land holdings dramatically. In addition, of course, they received the services of the workers for the duration of the indenture.

This system seemed to benefit the servant as well. Each indentured servant would have their fare across the Atlantic paid in full by their master. A contract was written that stipulated the length of service &mdash typically five years. The servant would be supplied room and board while working in the master's fields. Upon completion of the contract, the servant would receive "freedom dues," a pre-arranged termination bonus. This might include land, money, a gun, clothes or food. On the surface it seemed like a terrific way for the luckless English poor to make their way to prosperity in a new land. Beneath the surface, this was not often the case.

Only about 40 percent of indentured servants lived to complete the terms of their contracts. Female servants were often the subject of harassment from their masters. A woman who became pregnant while a servant often had years tacked on to the end of her service time. Early in the century, some servants were able to gain their own land as free men. But by 1660, much of the best land was claimed by the large land owners. The former servants were pushed westward, where the mountainous land was less arable and the threat from Indians constant. A class of angry, impoverished pioneer farmers began to emerge as the 1600s grew old. After Bacon's Rebellion in 1676, planters began to prefer permanent African slavery to the headright system that had previously enabled them to prosper.

Brewing in the Seventeenth Century

Beermaking at 17th-century Jamestown

Oh we can make liquor to sweeten our lips
Of pumpkins, of parsnips, of walnut-tree chips.

On May 24, 1607, the newly-arrived colonists at Jamestown had their first feast. George Percy reported that among the potables was beer, and, although the Virginia Company had expressed concern as early as 1606 concerning "that odious vice of drunkenes," alcohol consumption was a way of life for the colonists long before they founded the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Beer, cider and other relatively weak fermented beverages were almost universally consumed from the earliest days of Virginia's history. The colonists, in addition to importing the beer from the Mother Country, quickly began practicing the art of brewing themselves.

Beer, the result of the slow fermentation of malted and hopped liquid, is divided into three basic categories. Stout is a dark, heavy beverage with a relatively high alcoholic content. Lager, produced by a yeast which is activated at a relatively low temperature (40° F), is the lightest form of beer. In between these two extremes in both color and alcohol content is ale, which is produced by yeast which ferments best at about 60° F. Ale, because it was produced at a temperature which was more easily maintained, was the brew of choice in colonial times.

Producing a drinkable ale was not easy, and the colonists were not always successful, as the complaint from a 17th century inhabitant of Jamestown confirms: "I would you could hang that villain Duppe who by his stinking beer hath poisoned . . . the colony." Unlike the sophisticated scientific methods employed in today's breweries, the beer-maker of the 17th century relied on taste, smell and touch. In England, one of a housewife's duties was the production of beer for her family and servants. Beer, from the Middle Ages well into the 17th century, was produced commercially by both men and women.

Many ingredients were added during the brewing process. The first step in making beer was choosing water of a pleasing taste. Fortunately for the consumer, all the boiling which took place in subsequent steps would destroy any dangerous bacteria. The grain, which gave the beverage its body (barley was the usual ingredient, although corn, oats, wheat and rye could also be used) had to be malted (sprouted then dried in kilns) before being added to the mixture. Sugar of some type, usually in the form of molasses or honey, provided nourishment to the yeast. Hops, the fruit of a vinelike plant related to the mulberry tree, gave the ale its characteristic scent and flavor.

To make beer, malt was soaked in a large wooden mash tub at low temperatures then separated out of the liquid and ordinarily used for animal food. The liquid, called "wort," was transferred to the keeler, a large copper pot to which was added hops and other ingredients. After boiling the mixture for several hours, the brewer cooled it to about 70° F and sprinkled on the yeast, which began to digest the sugar in the solution and excrete it as alcohol. Bacteria and foreign yeast could spoil a brew, so it was important to keep the keeler covered. Stirring took place periodically, traditionally done with a bunch of broomstraw which was impregnated with yeast and quickened the action.

When fermentation was complete, the beverage would be either consumed right away or transferred to barrels for storage, leaving as much as the sediment behind in the keeler as possible.

Bonnett, Kendra. A Report on Drinking and Beer Brewing in the Seventeenth Century.

American History Timeline: 1651–1675

The American Revolution would not commence until 1765, when the Stamp Act Congress, representing the 13 colonies, disputed the right of the British parliament to tax the colonists without providing them with representation in the House of Commons. The American Revolutionary War would not begin until 1775. During the period from 1651 to 1675, however, attempts by the British government to control commerce in the American colonies gradually created an atmosphere in which rebellion was almost inevitable.

October: England passes the Navigation Act that forbids goods to be imported from the colonies to England in non-English ships or from locations other than where they were produced. This action causes supply shortages hurting colonies and eventually leads to the Anglo-Dutch War, which lasts from 1652–1654.

April 4: New Amsterdam is given permission to form its own city government.

May 18: Rhode Island passes the first law in America which prohibits enslavement, but is never enforced.

After the death of Maine's founder Ferdinando Gorges ( c. 1565–1647), the Massachusetts Bay Colony revises its borders to the Penobscot Bay, absorbing the growing colony of Maine.

July: The first battle of the Anglo-Dutch Wars (1652–1654) breaks out.

In defiance of England, Massachusetts Bay declares itself independent and starts minting its own silver coins.

The New England Confederation—a union of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven colonies formed in 1643—plans to help England in the ongoing Anglo-Dutch Wars. The Massachusetts Bay colony flatly refuses to participate.

The first Jewish immigrants arrive from Brazil and settle in New Amsterdam.

October: The new governor of Maryland, William Fuller (1625–1695), nullifies the 1649 Toleration Act which gave Catholics the right to practice their religion. The colony also removes Lord Baltimore from authority.

March 25: The Battle of the Severn, considered by some historians the last battle of the English Civil War, is fought in Annapolis, Maryland, between Puritan loyalists and moderate protestant and Catholic forces loyal to Baltimore the Puritans take the day.

Sept. 1: After a last maritime battle between the Dutch colonists led by Peter Stuyvesant (1592–1672) and forces from the Swedish government, the Swedish surrender, ending royal rule by Sweden in America.

July 10: Lord Baltimore is returned to power in Maryland and appoints Josias Fendall (1628–1687) as the new governor.

The first Quakers, Anne Austin and Mary Fisher, arrive in Massachusetts Bay from their colony in Barbados and are arrested and imprisoned. Later in the year, Connecticut and Massachusetts pass laws to allow for the banishment of Quakers.

Quakers who arrive in New Amsterdam are punished and then banished to Rhode Island by Governor Peter Stuyvesant.

September: Massachusetts colony passes laws that do not allow for religious freedom of Quakers including the holding of their meetings.

Quaker Mary Dyer (1611–1660) is arrested in New Haven and convicted for preaching Quakerism and is among those banished to Rhode Island.

Two Quakers are punished by hanging when they return to the Massachusetts Bay Colony after being banished.

Lord Baltimore is removed from power by the Maryland assembly.

The Navigation Act of 1660 is passed requiring only English ships with a three-quarters English crew be allowed to be used for trade. Certain goods including sugar and tobacco could only be shipped to England or English colonies.

The English crown, in protest to the rules against Quakers, orders them released and returned to England. They are later forced to stop the harsh penalties against Quakers.

April 23: Connecticut governor John Winthrop Jr. (1606–1676), secures a royal charter for the colony after nearly a year of negotiation in England.

The Massachusetts Bay Colony's charter was accepted by England as long as they extended the vote to all landowners and allows for freedom of worship for Anglicans.

The Elliot Bible, the first complete Bible to be printed in America, is published at the Harvard College in Cambridge—in the Algonquin language. The Algonquin New Testament had been published two years earlier.

The Carolina colony is created by King Charles II and has eight English noblemen as proprietors.

July 8: Rhode Island is given a royal charter by Charles II.

July 27: The second Navigation Act is passed, requiring that all imports to the American colonies must come from England on English vessels.

The Hudson River valley Indians surrender part of their territory to the Dutch.

The Duke of York is given a charter to control lands that include the Dutch area of New Netherland. By the end of the year, a naval blockade by the English of the area causes Governor Peter Stuyvesant to surrender New Netherland to the English. New Amsterdam is renamed New York.

The Duke of York grants land called New Jersey to Sir George Carteret and John, Lord Berkeley.

Maryland and later New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia pass laws that do not allow for the freeing of enslaved Black people.

New Haven is annexed by Connecticut.

The King's commissioners arrive in New England to oversee what is occurring in the colonies. They demand that colonies must comply by swearing allegiance to the King and allowing for the freedom of religion. Plymouth, Connecticut, and Rhode Island comply. Massachusetts does not comply and when representatives are called to London to answer to the King, they refuse to go.

The territory of Carolina is extended to include Florida.

Maryland prohibits the growing of tobacco for a year due to a glut of tobacco on the market.

July 31: The Peace of Breda officially ends the Anglo-Dutch War and gives England formal control over New Netherland.

Massachusetts annexes Maine.

March 1: The Fundamental Constitutions, written partly by the English philosopher John Locke (1632–1704), are issued in Carolina by its eight proprietors, providing for religious tolerance.

Charles Town (present-day Charleston, South Carolina) is established on the Albemarle Point by colonists William Sayle (1590–1671) and Joseph West (died 1691) it would be moved and re-established in its present location in 1680.

July 8: The Treaty of Madrid (or Godolphin Treaty) is completed between England and Spain. Both parties agree that they will respect each other's rights in America.

Governor William Berkeley (1605–1677) of Virginia convinces the Virginia General Assembly to change the rules from allowing all freemen to vote to white males who owned enough property to pay local taxes.

Plymouth forces King Philip (known as Metacomet, 1638–1676), chief of the Wampanoag Indians, to surrender his weapons.

French explorer Simon François d’Aumont (or Daumont, sieur de St. Lusson) claims the interior of North America for King Louis XIV, as an extension of New France.

First copyright law is passed in the colonies by Massachusetts.

The Royal Africa Company is given a monopoly for the English trade of enslaved people.

Feb. 25: Virginia is granted by the English crown to Lord Arlington (1618–1685) and Thomas Culpeper (1635–1689).

May 17: French explorers Father Jacques Marquette (1637–1675) and Louis Joliet (1645–

1700) set off on their expedition down the Mississippi River exploring as far as the Arkansas River.

The Dutch launch a naval attack against Manhattan to try and win back New Netherland during the Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672–1674). Manhattan is surrendered. They capture other towns and rename New York to New Orange.

Feb. 19: The Treaty of Westminster is signed, ending the third Anglo-Dutch War with the American Dutch colonies reverting back to England.

Dec. 4: Father Jacques Marquette establishes a mission at present-day Chicago.

Quaker William Penn (1644–1718) is granted rights to portions of New Jersey.

King Philip's War begins with retaliation for the execution of three Wampanoag Indigenous people. Boston and Plymouth unite to fight against Indigenous tribes. Nipmuck tribal members unite with the Wampanoags to attack settlements in Massachusetts. The New England Confederation then reacts by officially declaring war on King Philip and raising an army. The Wampanoags are able to defeat settlers near Deerfield on September 18th and Deerfield is abandoned.

1750–1775 : Diplomatic Struggles in the Colonial Period

Colonial era diplomacy focused on two issues: the European balance of power and the colonists’ appropriation of land from the Native Americans.

Rivalry in Europe, between the French and the British in particular, often influenced the course of events in their North American colonies.In an effort to increase their political and economic power, the British and the French competed to acquire the better share of the available land and control over the new trading opportunities the colonies presented.

At the same time, the European colonial governments tried to find ways to coexist with the original inhabitants of North America, often making alliances with some tribes while alienating others. Sometimes, as in the case of the French and Indian War (which in Europe was referred to as the Seven Years’ War), European politics regarding balances of power resulted in conflict in the colonies. As wars in Europe became more heated, fighting broke out between the French and the British in the American colonies. Both sides called upon Native American allies to assist them, exacerbating tensions between the tribes, as well as tensions between the tribes and colonists. Ultimately, the British Government found it necessary to pour additional troops and resources into protecting its possessions in the Americas and taxed their colonists to pay for these resources. These taxes eventually became a rallying cry for the American independence movement.

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