August 24, 2005

18th Century History HSTX 951

By:  Dr. Frank J. Collazo


Historical Text Archive: This site provides a wide range of history resources that could be adapted for your classroom.  The topics on this page are constantly updated and there is an extensive achieve of articles.  The best way to access them is through the “Search” function located in small print in the links at the bottom of the page.  (Look closely.)




Select one of the articles from this page.  Read what is presented and then under the article, click on “Read more.”  Provide the title and a summary of the article.  Then click on “Topics” in the menu bar at the top of the page and click on two of the titles in two different categories.  Provide the category, title, and a description of the information for each.


Title:  Causes of the American Revolution

Summary:  The Battles of Lexington and Concord in the spring of 1775 marked the beginning of open hostilities between the Colonies and Britain.  These battles were the culmination of difficulties between England and the American colonies.  The Colonists were fighting against the economic exploitation and political oppression of Parliament. The root cause of the revolution was the fact that Britain refused to believe that the colonies had outgrown, both economically and psychologically, their former status.  This week we begin a series about these differences that led to the American Revolution.


The Problems Begin:  The problems between the Colonies and England had not started in the 1770s, but after the French and Indian war with the Peace Treaty of 1763.  In this treaty, the British had gained Canada from France and Florida from Spain.  The French and Indian war and the Treaty of 1763 had caused changes in the relationship between the Mother country and the Colonies.  These changes were as follows:  The Colonies were no longer threatened by the French menace, thus they were no longer dependent upon British Military protection.  The British had a new sense that they must rule their Colonies.  No longer would the British government leave the colonies to themselves, from now on there would be strict and efficient control.  British taxpayers, felt that the Americans should start paying a fair share of the cost of the war.  The new British attitude showed itself in the following ways:  In stricter enforcement of the existing laws, in attempts to tax the Colonies, and In an effort to take control of the West, and in attacks on colonial rights of self government.


1.  Category:  Law Enforcement           

Title:  Law Enforcement

Summary:  To accomplish this task, Greenville implemented the following changes in Colonial policy of enforcement of the laws:  Customs officials were now required to go to their posts in America and actually do their jobs.  These officials were notorious for getting their pay for doing nothing.  The infamous Writs of Assistance gave these officials assistance to stop smuggling in the Colonies.  These Writs are blanket search warrants, that could be used anywhere at any time.  British warships would patrol the inlets and ports of the Americas to catch smugglers and seize contraband.


Alleged smugglers would be tried in the Admiralty Courts.  In these courts, the accused had no right to trial by jury, and the judges would pocket 5% of the fines they imposed.

The Quartering Act of 1765, a supplement of the Mutiny Act of 1764.  This Act directed the Colonies to provide quarters for the 10,000 soldiers based in the Colonies, in their own homes if necessary.  The soldiers were there to provide protection from Indian attacks and to enforce the newly implemented Parliamentary laws.


2. Category:  Tax changes

Summary:  Greenville also implemented new levies on the colonies.  These levies were in the form of taxes.  These taxes raised revenue, instead of regulating the colonial trade. Taxation for revenue purposes was a novel implementation.  The New tax acts were as follows:  The Sugar Act of 1764, which cut in half the Molasses Act of 1733.  This in effect reduced the lucrative trade with the Spanish and French West Indies.

To top this off the Currency Act 1764, forbid the printing of paper currency in the Colonies.  These two acts combined, caused a strain on trade and made Specie (hard money) even scarcer in the Colonies. 


In the end, it would bankrupt the colonial merchants.  Parliament had also passed the Stamp Act, which had attempted to defray the expenses of the war.  The Americans on the other hand, felt that they did not have to pay anything.  Parliament repealed The Stamp Act in 1766, but the same year, passed the Declaratory Act.  This Act states that the Colonies were subordinate to Parliament and that Parliament will make all laws as it sees fit.  The Colonies will in effect obey Parliamentary Law.  Next week we shall look at the Townsend Duties, which was Parliaments second attempt to gain control over the colonial economy.


North American Native History Today: This site provides interesting historical information about Native Americans throughout North and Central America.




Click on “History” from the list to subjects and “United States” and then on “1700s through 1800s.”  Provide the title and a summary of three of the articles. 


1.  Title: Brief Perspective of the Rogue River War

Summary:  The Rogue River War began in October 1855, when a mob from the mining town of Jacksonville, in the Rogue River Valley in southwestern Oregon, killed at least twenty-eight Indian people who were camped near the Table Rock Reservation.  This account is based on the research for the book, The Rogue River Indian War, and it’s aftermath, 1850-1980 by E.A. Schwartz, published by the University of Oklahoma Press in 1997.         


2.  Title: 1755, French Indian War

Summary:  This site is dedicated to the French Soldiers who came to New France between 1755 and 1760 to fight in the French and Indian War.  This conflict was fought, in the most part, in the Lake George, Lake Champlain region of New York, at Quebec City, and Montreal.  While the Canadian Troops and the regiment of La Marine participated in this conflict, I have centered my research on the French Regulars in the regiments of Languedoc, La Reine, Guyenne, Bearn, Royal Roussillon, La Sarre, and Berry.  The regiments of Bourgone and Artois are also covered in small details.


3.  Journal of Captain Nathaniel J. Wyeth's Expeditions to the Oregon Country

Summary: First Expedition – 1832 -  The book containing the journal has been mutilated. There are traces of the removal of four pages describing the early stages of the expedition.  In its place, statements from a letter, which Wyeth addressed to J.G. Palfrey in December 1847, have been added, describing this part of his travels. On the 10th of March 1832 I left Boston in a vessel with 20 men for Baltimore where I was joined by four more, and on the 27th left to Rail Road for Fredrick, MD from thence to Brownsville we marched on foot, and took passage from that place to Liberty, MO. on various steamboats, which place we left for the prairies on the 12th of May with 21 men, three having deserted, and on the 27th of May three more deserted.


America’s Journey Through Slavery: This was when slave ownership began to be popular.  This site provides a historical guide through American slavery




Select and read two of the articles from the 18th Century and summarize each.


1.  Title & Date: 1853-"Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race"
Summary:  Southern journals of the antebellum era were full of advice for slaveholders. De Bow's Review, for example, offered numerous articles detailing methods for dealing with slave discipline, nutrition, work strategies, and other topics.

In this article, "Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race," Dr. Samuel Cartwright, a highly respected and widely published doctor from the University of Louisiana, discusses two diseases, which he claims are unique to African Americans.  One is his newly discovered "Drapetomania," a disease that causes slaves to run away; the other, "Dysaethesia Aethiopica," a disease causing "rascality" in black people free and enslaved.

Dr. Cartwright offers advice for preventing and curing these diseases.  He says, "With the advantages of proper medical advice, strictly followed, this troublesome practice that many Negroes have of running away, can be almost entirely prevented, although the slaves are to be located on the borders of a free state, within a stone's throw of the abolitionists."           


2. Title & Date: Yellow Fever Epidemic-1793

Summary:  Philadelphia's yellow fever epidemic of 1793 was the largest in the history of the United States, claiming the lives of nearly 4,000 people.  In late summer, as the number of deaths began to climb, 20,000 citizens fled to the countryside, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other members of the federal government (at that time headquartered in Philadelphia).

At the urging of Benjamin Rush, the support of Philadelphia's free black community was enlisted by Absalom Jones, Richard Allen, and William Gray, a fruit seller who along with Allen and Jones had secured support to build the African Church the previous year.

In an effort to prove themselves morally superior to those who reviled them, Philadelphia's black community put aside their resentment and dedicated themselves to working with the sick and dying in all capacities, including as nurses, cart drivers, and grave diggers.  Despite Rush's belief that blacks could not contract the disease, 240 of them died of the fever.

As the weather cooled, the disease subsided, and the deaths stopped.  Then accusations began against the black citizens who had worked so hard to save the sick and dying. Mathew Carey, whose pamphlet attacked many in the black community, led the attack. Richard Allen and Absalom Jones published a response to the pamphlet.      


3. Title and Date: “A short Account of the Malignant Fever”-1793

Summary:  Soon after Philadelphia's Yellow Fever epidemic of 1793 subsided, accusations began against the black citizens who had worked so hard to save the sick and dying.  Mathew Carey, who had fled the city when the disease hit, led the attack.  In a widely distributed pamphlet (dated November 14, 1793), Carey accused the black community of profiteering from the disease, and of plundering the houses of the sick. Allen, Jones and Gray, he stated, acted nobly, but many of the other blacks had not.

Carey's pamphlet was extremely successful; by the time Richard Allen and Absalom Jones published a response ("A Narrative of the Proceedings of the Black People..."), Carey had already published a fourth edition.


The Revolution’s Black Soldiers: Little is known about the black solders of this era.  This site looks at their contribution.




List what three historical points in this article you consider important.


1.  James Somerset, a slave taken to England by his master Charles Stewart, had run away.  Recaptured and in chains in the hull of a ship bound for Jamaica, he sued for his freedom.  In June 1772, Lord Mansfield, Chief Justice of the King's Bench, held that slavery "is so odious, that nothing can be suffered to support it, but positive law."  As "the law of England" neither "allowed" nor "approved" of slavery, Mansfield ruled, "The black must be discharged."  Mansfield's decision outlawed slavery only in England; it did not apply to British colonies.  But that was immaterial to American slaves. When tensions between Dunmore and Virginia's ruling elite increased in early 1775, the ground was well prepared for his lordship to "arm all my own Negroes and receive all others that will come to me who I shall declare free," as he wrote to Dartmouth on March 1.  Dunmore could argue that since the colonists were clamoring for English law, they could get a taste of it, Somerset and all.  The slaves, on the other hand, considered the government in London and its local representatives to be sympathetic to their cause, and they were only waiting for the sign to take up arms to "reduce the refractory people of this Colony to obedience."


2.  General Washington himself had opened the door for African-Americans in his general orders of January 12, 1777, in which he instructed recruiters to "enlist none but Freemen," the implication being that the recruit could be black just as long as he was free.  To put an end to such unpatriotic behavior on the part of some masters and to stop the self-emancipation of slaves, the Virginia Legislature amended the 1775 Militia Law in June 1777 by "forbidding any recruiting officers within this Commonwealth to enlist any Negro or mulatto into the service of this, or either of the United States, until such Negro shall produce a certificate ... that he is a freeman."


3.  During the winter of 1777-78, dozens of black Virginians served in every one of the state regiments, freezing, starving, and dying at Valley Forge.  By February 1778, the survivors were marching with white comrades through the snow, practicing Baron von Steuben's as yet unfamiliar drill.  When the Steuben-trained army proved its mettle at Monmouth in June, about 700 blacks fought side-by-side with whites.  Eight weeks later, an army report listed 755 blacks in the Continental Army, including 138 Blacks in the Virginia Line.


Partially in response to Monmouth, Sir Henry Clinton, who had replaced Howe in May 1778, shifted the theater of war to the South. On June 30, 1779, Clinton promised in his Philipsburg Declaration that "every NEGRO who shall desert the Rebel Standard, [is granted] full security to follow within these Lines, any Occupation which he shall think proper."  In response, tens of thousands of slaves fled behind British lines.


From Revolution to Reconstruction: This is a site subdivided into chapters, giving a broad look into American history. 




Select the link “Outline of American History” and then “An Outline of American History (1994).”   Select a chapter related to 18th Century history and follow links of interest until you come to an actual article.   Name and summarize two articles from two separate chapters.


1.  Chapter Title: Andrew Jackson and Bank War        

Article Title:  Old Hickory

Summary:  By the time Andrew Jackson was inaugurated as the seventh president of the United States, he had already lived a tumultuous life marked by an unflattering reputation.  "Old Hickory," as he was known, had a reputation as an uncivil and brutish individual. His beloved wife, Rachel, had died after suffering a heart

Henry Clay

John Quincy Adams

attack shortly before his first inauguration in March of 1829. Jackson blamed John Quincy Adams and Henry Clay for causing her death. He reasoned that they were responsible because of the intense, personal mud-slinging campaign the two sides fought.  Adams and Clay contended that the Jackson’s had lived in sin while awaiting Mrs. Jackson's divorce from her estranged husband, Lewis Robards.  Adams and Clay also brought accusations of Jackson's alleged corruption, having lavish expenditures and having committed "every crime, offense, and impropriety that man was ever known to be guilty. "


His earlier career and life had not been any easier or more pleasant.  Jackson had been involved in at least eight different duels, killing one man, Charles Dickinson, in one and being severely wounded in several others.  Jackson's temper had become renowned at an early time in his life.  In his youth, he had a proclivity to slobber or drool while speaking, a problem, which became even worse when he grew ill tempered or irate.  Jackson took measures to improve his image by being elected to the Senate in 1823 but many still saw him in the same regard.  His strategies in the Bank war were carefully planned with his close advisers, those who were members of his "Kitchen Cabinet,' a term used to describe his circle of friends who were not necessarily members of his actual Cabinet.  He reserved his views on the Bank for his annual address to Congress. 


Initially, he planned to mention them in his inaugural address but opted against doing so, believing such a subject was not suitable for such an occasion.  With a mixed reputation and an air of irritability from the death of his wife, Jackson departed for Washington to be inaugurated and would become engulfed in a battle unlike any he had ever encountered.   


2.  Chapter Title: Andrew Jackson and Bank War

Article Title:  The Second Bank of the United States

Summary:  The Second Bank of the United States, located in Philadelphia, held a misleading title.  In actuality, it was under private control but was granted a charter by the federal government, which enabled the two separate entities to share in financial ventures, which would have proven to be mutually prosperous.  The Bank was comprised of twenty- five directors, five of which were appointed by the government.  Private investors who were both foreign and domestic held stocks.  Aside from the directors, the Bank also had a president.


Because of the unique relationship between it and the government, the Bank was awarded special privileges, among these were it’s being a storehouse for public funds.  The Bank could then use these funds for its own purposes without paying interest.  It could issue bank notes and was not required to pay state taxes.  It was also understood that Congress was not to charter any comparable financial institution.  In return, the Bank was to pay a bonus of one and a half million dollars, public funds were transferred and payments made with no charge and the government was to appoint five of the Bank directors.


3.  Title: Thomas Paine's The Crisis, Number One, 1776

Summary:  After the colonists in America decided that they were going to attempt a move towards freedom from British rule, they found themselves faced with several problems.  Many of these problems dealt directly with the threat of a British invasion to stamp out such a revolution.  However, a major problem was an internal one.  The feelings regarding independence were mixed throughout the colonies and divided among classes.  The Patriots found themselves among many devoted British loyalists who were totally against any ideas of secession.  Many neutrals felt that any attempt at independence would be an incoherent one.  They felt that living under British control was adequate. 


It was a situation, which many knew would have to be altered if independence was to be achieved.  It is not surprising that there was a large amount of loyalists and neutrals in the colonies.  Many of these may have believed that Britain's hold on the colonies was tyrannical.  Logically speaking, however, it would seem infeasible that thirteen colonies, made up of mostly farmers and craftsmen, would be able to mount such a defensive against the worlds most powerful nation.


Thomas Paine was the editor of the Pennsylvania Magazine in Philadelphia.  An earnest supporter of the move towards independence he used media as a weapon against British rule.  He was in strong favor of a war against Britain, if that is what it was going to take to gain independence.  Knowing that the war was going to need the support of all the colonists, he understood that unity was essential and found it necessary to offer what he could to help unite the thirteen colonies into one nation.  In 1776, Paine wrote, The Crisis, Number One, a plainspoken commentary, outlining obstacles the colonies faced in the struggle with Britain.  His conviction was to unite all in the colonies and expose the stubbornness and tyranny of Britain in hopes of gaining the support of the Loyalists and neutrals to support the cause with the Patriots.



Archiving Early America: This site has a sample of documents and newspaper

s available for viewing on-line.  These early newspapers can provide an insight to the daily interactions of 18th-century American people.




Select the link “Explore the World of Early America,” then “Pages from the Past,” and click on a page; a readable size version of the page will appear.  Provide the name of the page, the heading of an article, and a summary of that article.


Page Name:  The Whiskey Rebellion    

Article Heading:  George Washington's Proclamation Calling Out The Militia To Occupy the Western Counties of Pennsylvania

Summary:  Angered by an excise tax imposed on whiskey in 1791 by the federal government, farmers in the western counties of Pennsylvania engaged in a series of attacks on excise agents.  The tariff effectively eliminated any profit by the farmers from the sale or barters of an important cash crop, and became the lightning rod for a wide variety of grievances by the settlers of the region against federal government.  While citizens in the east did not find it difficult to abide by the concept that individual states were "subservient to the country," people west of the mountains were less accepting of decisions made by the central government.


The rebel farmers continued their attacks, rioting in river towns and roughing up tax collectors until the so-called "insurrection" flared into the open in July of 1794 when a federal marshal was attacked in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  Almost at the same time several hundred men attacked the residence of the regional inspector, burning his home, barn and several outbuildings.  Pittsburgh was another scene of disorder by enraged mobs.


On August 7, 1794 President Washington issued a proclamation, calling out the militia and ordering the disaffected westerners to return to their homes.  Washington's order mobilized an army of approximately 13,000 - as large as the one that had defeated the British - under the command of General Harry Lee, the then-Governor of Virginia and father of Robert E. Lee.  Washington himself, in a show of presidential authority, set out at the head of the troops to suppress the uprising.


This was the first use of the Militia Law of 1792 setting a precedent for the use of the militia to "execute the laws of the union, (and) suppress insurrections," asserting the right of the national government to enforce order in one state with troops raised in other states. Even more importantly, it was the first test of power of the new federal government, establishing its primacy in disputes with individual states.  In the end, a dozen or so men were arrested, sent to Philadelphia to trial and released after pardons by Washington.


18th Century Bombay: The City of Bombay has always captured the imagination of writers and moviemakers.  This site provides some of the historical highlights of the 18th century.  Much of the historical fact is as fascinating as the fiction.



Select and review a topic from “Territorial Disputes” and “Consolidation of British Power” and provide the title and a summary of the information for each.


1.  Title: Territorial Disputes     

Summary:  By the end of the 17th century, Bombay had developed into an important local port.  In 1715 Charles Boone became the Governor of Bombay.  He implemented Aungier's plans for the fortification of the island, and had walls built from Dongri in the north to Mendham's point in the south.   He established a force of Marines and constructed St. Thomas' Church, within the fort. 


2.  Title: The Shipbuilding Industry

Summary:  The shipbuilding industry started in Bombay in 1735.  The master shipbuilder, Lowjee Nusserbanji, was induced to move from Surat to Bombay, where he built the first docks and took the name of Wadia.  Bombay began to grow into and took the name of Wadia.  Bombay began to grow into a major trading town. By the middle of the century Bhandaris from Chaul, Vanjaras from the Ghats, slaves from Madagascar, Madagascar, Bhatias, Banias, Madagascar, Bhatias, Banias, Shenvi Brahmins, goldsmiths, ironsmiths and weavers from Gujarat migrated to the islands.


Article of Confederation: This site includes a copy of the original Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States of America.




This page contains the entire text of this document.  Summarize the information in Articles “V,” “VII,” and “XIII.”


Article V:

1.   Delegates shall be annually appointed in such manner as the legislatures of each State shall direct, to meet in Congress on the first Monday in November, in every year, with a power reserved to each State to recall its delegates, or any of them, at any time within the year, and to send others in their stead for the remainder of the year.


2.  No State shall be represented in Congress by less than two, nor more than seven members; and no person shall be capable of being a delegate for more than three years in any term of six years; nor shall any person, being a delegate, be capable of holding any office under the United States, for which he, or another for his benefit, receives any salary, fees or emolument of any kind.


3.  Each State shall maintain its own delegates in a meeting of the States, and while they act as members of the committee of the States.


4.   In determining questions in the United States in Congress assembled, each State shall have one vote.

5. Freedom of speech and debate in Congress shall not be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Congress, and the members of Congress shall be protected in their persons from arrests or imprisonments, during the time of their going to and from, and attendance on Congress, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace


Article VII: The State Legislature shall appoint Officers above the grade of Colonel and vacancies.        


Article XIII:  All charges of war, and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defense or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in Congress assembled, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury, which shall be supplied by the several States in proportion to the value of all land within each State, granted or surveyed for any person, as such land and the buildings and improvements thereon shall be estimated according to such mode as the United States in Congress assembled, shall from time to time direct and appoint.


Battles of the Revolution: This site provides links to the major battles of the revolution.




Choose and list any three battles and summarize the information you find about each battle sit.   Note:  It has been difficult to summarize because of the level of detail of the information-loses it’s meaning.


Battle:     Battle of Lexington and Concord

Description:      On the 15 of April 1775, when General Thomas Gage, British Military Governor of Massachusetts, was ordered to destroy the rebel's military stores at Concord.  He assembled the "Flanking units", including Light Infantry and Grenadiers, from his Boston Garrison.  Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith and Marine Major John Pitcairn were in charge of the battle.


The battle strategy:  A relief column under the command of Lord Hugh Percy was organized to leave 6 hours after the main column.  He kept the plans secret until time Zero. Because Boston became a glass fish bowl-created security problems.  All rebel eyes were watching to see the British' next action, and when the garrison committed to an action, the Americans knew their every move.  At midnight on the 19th of April the British column, consisting of 650-900 troops left Boston, crossed the Charles River, followed closely by the alarm rider Paul Revere.  As the British marched towards Concord, the entire countryside had been alerted to their presence, and rebel militia was deployed to meet them.  No British casualties were noted.  Cage met resistance at Salem but no shots were fired.  The British retreated without completing their objective.


Major Pitcairn, arrived at Lexington Green to see a group of armed Militia in formation across the Green.  Pitcairn ordered the militia, to be surrounded and disarmed. Lueitenant   Parker  ordered his men to disperse.  Then a shot rang out.  No one really knows who fired first, but the British, hearing the shot, fired upon the small group of militia, killing 8, and wounding 10 more. The militia then retreated into the woods to avoid the British fire. So started the first battle in the American Revolutionary War.


The British column then advanced to Concord, and in spreading out to destroy some cannons believed to be at Provincial Colonel Barrett's farm encountered a group of armed militia at Concord North Bridge.  This time when shots rang out the Americans were more prepared, and fired back in "The Shot Heard Round The World.", and so began the American Revolution.  The short battle at the bridge was a rout, and the British abandoned the bridge, retreating to Concord center.  Knowing that he was in a dangerous situation, Smith decided to return to Boston as soon as possible. In his retreat the real battle began.  Militia and Minutemen  were outflanked, out gunned and scared.  The Americans did not fight as the British did.  Because the American's never formed a firing line the inexperienced British had little to shoot at.  This style of flanking and shooting from behind trees, walls etc. destroyed the British morale, and they broke ranks while retreating towards Lexington.


Waiting at Lexington, Percy used his two cannon to disperse the provincials and collected Smiths troops back into regiments.  Under Percy's command the retreating column maintained control and the retreated to Boston successessfully.  The British suffered badly, nearly 20 percent casualties, but more importantly, this action led to the siege of Bos ton and the start of the Revolutionary War.  Days later the men of Massachusetts used the engagement asprppaganda to turn the public opinion to their cause.  At the time of the battle only one third of the population believed in breaking from Britain.


Battle:   Battle of Saratoga

The Surrender of Gen. Burgoyne at Saratoga, New York, 1777
Painting © The Frick Collection, New York

John Trumbull painted this portrait of the surrender of General Burgoyne at the Battle of Saratoga. In the painting, General Burgoyne surrenders his sword to General Gates, commander of the American forces at Saratoga.

Summary:  Historians consider the Battle of Saratoga to be the major turning point of the American Revolution.  This battle proved to the world that the fledgling American army was an effective fighting force capable of defeating the highly trained British forces in a major confrontation.  As a result of this successful battle, the European powers, particularly the French, took interest in the cause of the Americans and began to support them.


In the British Campaign of 1777, Major General Burgoyne planned a concentric advance of three columns to meet in Albany, New York.  He led the main column, which moved southward along the Hudson River.  A second column under General Barry St. Leger served as a diversionary attack, moving eastward from Canada along the Mohawk River.  General Howe was expected to direct the third element of the attack.  According to the plan, General Henry Clinton, under the direction of Howe, would move northward along the Hudson River and link up with Burgoyne in Albany.  Through this campaign, the British hoped to isolate and destroy the Continental forces of New England.


Initially, the British plan appeared to be working, with British victories at Ticonderoga and Hubbardton. Burgoyne's army continually pushed back the Americans southward along the Hudson River with only minor casualties.  The Battle of Bennington marked the first significant American victory, when General John Stark led the American militia to victory against a British resupply expedition.


In an attempt to slow the British advance, the American General Philip Schuyler detached 1,000 men under the command of Major General Benedict Arnold.  This force moved west to thwart St. Leger's eastward advance along the Mohawk River.  Arnold returned with his detachment after repelling St. Leger in time serve in the Battle of Saratoga.


At the Battle of Freeman's Farm, the new commander of the Northern Department of the American army, General Horatio Gates, lost an indecisive battle.


During this First Battle of Saratoga, fought on September 19, 1777, the American forces lost ground to the British forces under General Burgoyne.  Disagreements in tactics and personalities led to a heated argument between Generals Gates and Arnold.  General Gates relieved Arnold of command as a result.  The Battle of Bemis Heights was the second battle of Saratoga, taking place October 7th when Burgoyne desperately attacked rebel defenses with his tired, demoralized army.  At Bemis Heights, Gate's defensive tactics insured a tactical victory for the Patriots.  However, Arnold saw an opportunity to seize the offensive while Burgoyne was vulnerable and led a counterattack.  This bold move so badly wounded the British forces that Burgoyne surrendered days later at Saratoga.


Battle:   Battle of Monmouth

A Brief History:

Summary:  As British General Clinton prepared to evacuate Philadelphia there was strong sentiment in the Continental Army command that a cooperative effort between their army and the newly allied French naval fleet might result in winning the war.  A French naval squadron consisting of 11 war ships along with transports carrying 4,000 French troops sailed from France in May of 1778 and headed to America.  The fleet, commanded by Comte d'Estaing, was far superior than any Admiral Howe (British) could immediately concentrate in American waters.  This represented a stronghold on strategic initiative in favor of the Americans, which General Washington hoped to capitalize on.

Clinton received orders from England to detach 8000 of his roughly 10,000 man force to the West Indies and Florida and evacuate the rest of his men from Philadelphia to New York by sea. Instead, Clinton decided to move the entire army to NY before making any detachments and to move them overland.  His decision was largely based on the fact that he didn't have the transports to move his 3,000 horses over sea.  Clinton set out from Philadelphia with his 10,000 men, to include Tories from the region, on June 18, 1778. Washington and his growing army of 12,000 men immediately occupied Philadelphia and began pursuit of Clinton towards NY.


Washington was still undecided as to whether he should risk an attack on the British column while it was on the march.  He held a meeting of his command staff, the Council of War, and attempted to find some resolve in that matter.  The council, however, was quite divided on the issue.  The only unifying theme was that none of Washington's generals advised in favor of a general action. Brig Gen Anthony Wayne, the boldest of the staff, and Maj Gen Marquis de Lafayette, the youngest of the staff, urged for a partial attack on the British column while it was strung out on the road. General Lee, who had been captured and exchanged and had rejoined the army at Valley Forge, was the most cautious.  He advised only guerilla action to harass the British column. On 26, June 1778, Washington sided with a more bold approach but did not go so far as issuing orders for a general action.  He sent almost one-half of his army as an advance force to strike at the rear of the British when Clinton made the eminent move out of Monmouth Courthouse, which occurred on 28, June 1778.


Early in the morning on 28 June, Lee advanced upon unreconnoitered ground and made contact with the British rear guard at Monmouth Courthouse.  Clinton reacted quickly and maneuvered to envelop the American right flank.  Lee felt that he was then faced by a superior force and fell into a retreat that seems to have been quite confused. Washington was quite irate at the retreat and spoke harshly at Lee.  Washington then assumed a defensive position to repel a possible British counter-attack.  The ensuing battle, involving the bulk of both armies, was fought on that hot, sultry day and continued until nightfall with both sides holding their original positions


Betsy Ross Home Page: This site has a collection of information about the American flag, a history of its development, and a biography of Betsy Ross.




Locate and click on “Betsy Ross House” and then on “Betsy Ross Sewed the First American Flag.”  Click on “Start here” link to take the virtual tour.  Move through the tour by clicking on the “Next” button at the bottom of each page.  Describe who “Widow Lithgow” was.  Complete the tour    When you are returned to back to the “Betsy Ross Home Page,” click on “The Story of Betsy Ross' Life.”  Read the page and provide the title of the four sections and a summary of each. 


Widow Lithgow:  The house where she boarded with the elderly Widow Lithgow has been restored to early 1777. Walk through the wrought-iron gates to behold the courtyard, where originally another house stood (you'll see a picture of it on the Betsy Memorabilia page, toward the end of this tour).


Widow Lithgow's Bedroom

This was the Widow Lithgow's chamber, which she shared with her two granddaughters. This room is at the back of the house where it was quieter, away from the noises of the street.


Kitchen:  In this 18th century kitchen you will see furnishings, pottery, and herbs hanging from the ceiling, all typical of the period.  This is the room where the boarders of Widow Lithgow's house would have taken their meals.


1.  Title:  William Penn Found Philadelphia       

Summary:  One year before William Penn founded Philadelphia in 1681, Betsy Ross's great-grandfather, Andrew Griscom, a Quaker carpenter, had already emigrated from England to New Jersey.  Andrew was successful at his trade.  He was also of firm Quaker belief, and he was inspired to move to Philadelphia to become an early participant in Penn's "holy experiment."  He purchased 495 acres of land in the Spring Garden section north of the city of Philadelphia (the section would later be incorporated as part of the city), and received a plot of land within the city proper.


Griscom's son and grandson both became respected carpenters as well.  Both have their names inscribed on a wall at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia, home of the oldest trade organization in the country.  Griscom's grandson Samuel helped build the bell tower at the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall).  He married Rebecca James who was a member of a prominent Quaker merchant family.  It was not unusual for people in those days to have many children, so it is only somewhat surprising to learn that they had 17!


2.  Title:  Betsy’s First Marriage           

Summary:  Elizabeth Griscomalso called Betsy, their eighth child and a fourth-generation American, was born on January 1, 1752.  Betsy went to a Friends (Quaker) public school.  For eight hours a day she was taught reading, writing, and received instruction in a trade — probably sewing.  After completing her schooling, Betsy's father apprenticed her to a local upholsterer.  Today we think of upholsterers primarily as sofa-makers and such, but in colonial times they performed all manner of sewing jobs, including flag-making.  It was at her job that Betsy fell in love with another apprentice, John Ross, who was the son of an Episcopal assistant rector at Christ Church.


Quakers frowned on inter-denominational marriages.  The penalty for such unions was severe — the guilty party being "read out" of the Quaker meeting house.  Getting "read out" meant being cut off emotionally and economically from both family and meeting house.  One's entire history and community would be instantly dissolved.  On a November night in 1773, 21-year-old Betsy eloped with John Ross.  They ferried across the Delaware River to Hugg's Tavern and were married in New Jersey.  Her wedding caused an irrevocable split from her family.  [It is an interesting parallel to note that on their wedding certificate is the name of New Jersey's Governor, William Franklin, Benjamin Franklin's son.  Three years later William would have an irrevocable split with his father because he was a Loyalist against the cause of the Revolution.] Less than two years after their nuptials, the couple started their own upholstery business.


3.  Title:  War Comes to Philadelphia   

Summary:  In January 1776, a disaffected British agitator living in Philadelphia for only a short while published a pamphlet that would have a profound impact on the Colonials. Tom Paine ("These are the times that try men's souls") wrote Common Sense which would swell rebellious hearts and sell 120,000 copies in three months; 500,000 copies before war's end.  However, the city was fractured in its loyalties.  Many still felt themselves citizens of Britain.  Others were ardent revolutionaries heeding a call to arms.

Betsy and John Ross keenly felt the impact of the war.  Fabrics needed for business were becoming hard to come by.  Business was slow.  John joined the Pennsylvania militia. While guarding an ammunition cache in mid-January 1776, John Ross was mortally wounded in an explosion.  Though his young wife tried to nurse him back to health he died on the 21st and was buried in Christ Church Cemetery.


Title: Betsy’s Second Marriage

Summary:  Betsy would be married again in June 1777, this time to sea captain Joseph Ashburn in a ceremony performed at Old Swedes Church in Philadelphia.  During the winter of 1777, Betsy's home was forcibly shared with British soldiers whose army occupied Philadelphia.  Meanwhile the Continental Army was suffering that most historic winter at Valley Forge.  Betsy and Joseph had two daughters (Zillah, who died in her youth, and Elizabeth).  On a trip to the West Indies to procure war supplies for the Revolutionary cause, Captain Ashburn was captured by the British and sent to Old Mill Prison in England where he died in March 1782, several months after the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia, the last major battle of the Revolutionary War.


Title: Betsy’s Third Marriage/After the War:

Summary:  Betsy learned of her husband's death from her old friend, John Claypoole, another sailor imprisoned at the brutal Old Mill. In May of 1783, Betsy was married for the third time, the ceremony performed at Christ Church.  Her new husband was none other than old friend John Claypoole.  Betsy convinced her new husband to abandon the life of the sea and find landlubbing employment.  Claypoole initially worked in her upholstery business and then at the U.S. Customs House in Philadelphia.  The couple had five daughters (Clarissa Sidney, Susannah, Rachel, Jane, and Harriet, who died at nine months).

Betsy's signature from the roster at the Free Quaker Meeting House, in Philadelphia.

After the birth of their second daughter, the family moved to bigger quarters on Second Street in what was then Philadelphia's Mercantile District.  Claypoole passed on in 1817 after years of ill health and Betsy never remarried.  She continued working until 1827 bringing many of her immediate family into the business with her.  After retiring, she went to live with her married daughter Susannah Satterthwaite in the then-remote suburb of Abington, PA, to the north of Philadelphia.


Originals: This site provides overview information about the 13 original colonies with links to provide more in-depth information.




Review the entire page and select one of the colonies.  Provide the name of the colony and a summary of the information on this page.  Then click on three of the links under the title and provide the title of each link and a description of the information in each.  Many of these links will have additional links.  Follow the links until you arrive at a destination site.


Colony Name:  Massachusetts 

Summary:  In 1607, about the same time as the Jamestown colonization, a group of English colonists attempted to establish a colony in the Northern Virginia territory.  The colony was located in present day Maine and was named Popham.  It lasted for approximately a year before the discouraged settlers returned to England.  New England ColoniesThe Pilgrims were the first English colonists to permanently settle in New England in what we now know as Massachusetts.  On Sept. 16, 1620 the ship "Mayflower" set off from Plymouth, England on it journey to the New World.  There were 102 passengers on the Mayflower including 41 Christian Puritan Separatists known collectively as the Leiden group.  After spending many years in Holland exiled from the English Church, the Puritans were seeking a new life of religious freedom in America.  All 102 of the passengers were referred to as the "Pilgrims" after they arrived.  The group had obtained a Patent from the London Virginia Company, which indentured them into service for the Company for seven years after they arrived and settled. 


To prepare for their life in America, they had sought advice from people who had already visited the New World.  Among their advisors was Captain John Smith who, earlier, had helped found Jamestown for the Virginia Company.  It took sixty six days to reach New England and the journey was very hard for these non-seafarers. When they arrived they anchored off the tip of Cape Cod, in an area now known as Massachusetts, and before they even set foot on shore they wrote, and all the men signed, an agreement called the "Mayflower Compact" that would set the rules to guide them through the early, hard times of establishing a new community.  The Compact, which was signed on November 21, 1620, served as the official Constitution of the Plymouth Colony for many years.


1.  Title: Boston History/Alexander Graham Bell

Web Site: and


Title:     The Skylight System

Summary:  When Al Rich decided to design his own solar water heater, he asked himself, "What do people want?" as well as "Is there a need?"  In Rich's opinion, the answer to the second question was a resounding "Yes."  In the words of one of his satisfied Skylight customers, "I had always liked the idea of solar water heaters because they could save my family a lot of money.  My main objection to them is that, to me, they were ugly and far too expensive. " From his experience, Rich knew this opinion of current solar systems was widespread; thus he decided to design and market an inexpensive, aesthetically pleasing, solar water heater.  As he worked on his design, it occurred to Rich that his ideas might be patentable.  On June 16, 1989, Al Rich submitted an application for his first patent.  After almost a year of revisions and debates about the uniqueness of his designs, Rich was awarded his first patent, #4930492, on June 5, 1990.  In 1993, Rich was awarded a second patent that detailed further improvements to his original Skylight product.


2.  Title: July 11, 1843 Declaration of Widow

Note: It is an interesting case during this period of time where the widows were pensioned at half pay.  In the early 1950’s, the soldier or officer had the option to choose a progressive pension based on the his salary.  However, the contribution was made by a deduction from the individual retirement’s account.

Summary:  Benefit of the act of Congress passed July 7th

1838, entitled an act granting half pay and pensions to certain widows.


State of New York}


Columbia County  }


On this Eleventh day of July One thousand Eight hundred forty three,

before the subscriber, a Justice of the Justices Court in the city of Hudson

in said County, the same being a court of record, personally appeared

Christina Ten Broeck, a resident of the Town of Claverack in said County, aged

Seventy Eight years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth, on her

oath, make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the act

of Congress  passed July 7th 1838, entitled an act granting half pay &

pensions to certain widows.


That she is the widow of Samuel J. Ten Broeck, who was a Lieutenant in the war

of the Revolution & served, as I have been informed & believe, in 1775 in

Captain Sharp's Minute Men as Lieutenant for 9 months. This Company was raised from the Manor of Livingston in this County.


Declarant further says that in 1776 her said husband, said Samuel J. Ten

Broeck  was a Lieutenant in Captain Petrus Van Gaasbeck's  Rangers raised in

said Manor of Livingston. She has been informed that this was a 9 months tour.


She respectfully refers to the statement of John J. Best, who in his

lifetime obtained a pension under the act of 7th of June 1832, & who was a

soldier under my said husband, and I am informed that the widow of said John

J. Best has made an application for a pension under the act of 7th July 1838,

& has been allowed 9 months for the service of her husband in the said Ranger



My husband  had performed other service in said war, but how much she cannot state, as she married him a long time after the war. & she refers to the old paper hereto annexed , and such proof as may be furnished.


Declarant further says that she was married to said Samuel J. Ten Broeck  on the sixteenth day of April One thousand Seven  Hundred & Eighty five. That she was not married to the said Samuel J. Ten Broeck previous to his last tour of service in the said war, but the marriage took place prior to the first day of June Seventeen hundred Ninety four (1794), viz. The time above stated.


That she has not remarried but continued the widow of the above mentioned

Samuel J. Ten Broeck, who died the 25th day of April 1830. That she has no

record of marriage and has no record of her children. That she and her husband

have three children, only sons, and all were baptized by the Rev. *** *******

in Claverack.  The oldest was Wessel Ten Broeck, now deceased.  The second was

Jeremiah Ten Broeck, and the third was William Ten Broeck, deceased.


This Declarant further says that her husband was a clerk in Drick

Jansen's store at the same time that Petrus Van Gaasbeckwas.  That she has

frequently heard her husband talks of his services in Van Gaasbeck's Company of

Rangers.  My father's name was Wessel Ten Broeck and was **** of the Committee

of Safety of the "Camp", now Germantown in this County.


My said husband wrote his name Samuel J. Ten Broeck and was a cousin of

the late Gen'l. Sam'l Ten Broeck, the late Rev. Pensioner in this County.

/s/ Christina Ten Broeck

Sworn to & subscribed

Before me this 11th

Day of July 1843.

/s/ Wm. E. Heath, Justice.


(Certification omitted.)

[Note: the General Ten Brock she refers to was Major Samuel Ten Broeck of

the 10ty Albany Militia Regiment. After the war he rose to the rank of Brig.

General in the Militia.]


3.  Title: Second Attempt to Depart, 1608, and Map

Summary:  In the spring of 1608, there was another attempt made by some of these and others to get over to the Low Countries.  At Scrooby, the women and children with their goods were set aboard a small bark which they had hired, and traveled down the River Idle to the River Trent, to the River Umber and thence to Immingham.  The men were to meet them by land.  The first boatload was hauled aboard and the boat was ready to go back for more passengers when the ship master saw a large company Kings' officers, both horse and foot, marching in with weapons to take those on shore.  The Dutchman weighed anchor, hoisted his sails and sped away. 


The poor men who were aboard were in great distress for their destitute wives and children, which they saw being taken into custody.  The poor women were left without aid, "and they also, not having a cloth to shift them with, more than they had on their backs, and some scarce a penny about them, all they had being aboard the bark.  It drew tears from their eyes, and anything they had they would have given to have been ashore again; but all in vain, there was no remedy, they must thus sadly part."


While at sea the men had to endure a terrifying storm at sea, "being fourteen days or more before they arrived at their port, in seven whereof they neither saw the sun, moon or stars".  In the storm the ship was driven near the coast of Norway.  It was such a terrible storm that even the mariners themselves feared for their lives, "and once with shrieks and cries gave over all, as if the ship had been foundered in the sea and they sinking without recovery."


In that desperate situation, the Separatists turned to their faith.  As Bradford recorded, "when man's hope and help wholly failed, the Lord's Power and mercy appeared in their recovery; for the ship rose again and gave the mariners courage again to manage her.  And if modesty would suffer me, I might declare with what fervent prayers they cried unto the Lord in this great distress (especially some of them) even without any great distraction.  When the water ran into their mouths and ears and the mariners cries out, "We sink, we sink!" they cried they cried (if not with miraculous, yet with a great height or degree of divine faith), "Yet Lord Thou must save! Yet Lord Thou canst save!"  With such expressions as I will forbear.  Upon which the ship did not only recover, but shortly after the violence of the storm began to abate, and the Lord filled their afflicted minds with such comforts as everyone cannot understand, and in the end brought them to their desired haven, where the people came flocking, admiring their deliverance, the storm having been so long and sore, in which much hurt had been done, as the master's friends related unto him in their congratulations."


You Can Sign the Declaration of Independence: The National Archives web site contains interesting information about several key documents including the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution and the people who signed them.



In the upper right corner search box click on the down arrow and then “The Declaration of Independence” and then near the bottom of this page click on “Sign the Declaration of Independence.”  Your students will love to see their names on the document.  Click on the button “sign the declaration” and follow the instructions.  Then return to the “Declaration of Independence” home page and click on the any two of the small boxes near the top.  Provide the title and a description of the information on each.


1.  Title:  Slavery and the American Revolution 

Description:  he Revolution's ideals of liberty and equality existed side by side with the brutal realities of human slavery. By the time of the Revolution, slavery existed in all the colonies, slaves made up 20 percent of the population, and their labor had become a vital contribution to the physical and economic development of the colonies.  he existence of slavery created tensions that would strain the integrity of the United States for many decades to come.


The Society of Friends, a religious group also known as the Quakers, formed the first formal antislavery society in 1775.  Throughout the Revolution, as the states struggled to find common ground, the issue of slavery was so divisive that it threatened to shatter their fragile union.  Some prominent leaders of the Revolution raised their voices to oppose slavery on moral grounds.  Slaves and free Africans embraced the principles of liberty and equality embedded in the Declaration as their own best hope for freedom and better treatment.  Many, fighting as soldiers in the American armies, helped to defeat the British, while earning their freedom and gaining the respect and gratitude of some whites.  And clinging to their own understanding of "all men are created equal," they pushed the country closer to living out the full promise of its words.


2.  Title:  From Loyal Subjects to Traitorous Rebels-A

Royal Proclamation      

Description:  In 1761, fifteen years before the United States of America burst onto the world stage with the Declaration of Independence, the American colonists were loyal British subjects who celebrated the coronation of their new King, George III.  The colonies that stretched from present-day Maine to Georgia were distinctly English in character although Scots, Welsh, Irish, Dutch, Swedes, Finns, Africans, French, Germans, and Swiss, as well as English had settled them.


As English men and women, the American colonists were heirs to the thirteenth-century English document, the Magna Carta, which established the principles that no one is above the law (not even the King), and that no one can take away certain rights.  So in 1763, when the King began to assert his authority over the colonies to make them share the cost of the Seven Years' War England had just fought and won, the English colonists protested by invoking their rights as free men and loyal subjects.  It was only after a decade of repeated efforts on the part of the colonists to defend their rights that they resorted to armed conflict and, eventually, to the unthinkable–separation from the motherland.


Glimpses of the Man: Benjamin Franklin was a man of many accomplishments in early American history.  This Web site contains his biography, information on his work, and graphics of museum collections.




List Benjamin Franklin's seven occupations as presented by this Web page.  Click on one of the occupation links and summarize the information on that page. 


1.  Occupation: Scientist: In the 1700s, a scientist was someone who thought about the way things work and tried to figure out ways to make things work better.  Today, that definition is still true.  Every time Ben Franklin saw a question and tried to answer it, he was a scientist.  Every time you ask a question and try to get an answer, you too are a scientist.  Ben is most famous for his questions about electricity, but he also experimented with many other ideas in nature.


Significant Achievements

Storms: In 1743, Ben observed that northeast storms begin in the southwest.  He thought it was odd that storms travel in an opposite direction to their winds.  He predicted that a storm's course could be plotted.  Ben rode a horse through a storm and chased a whirlwind three-quarters of a mile in order to learn more about storms.


Weather Forecast (he even printed weather forecasts in his almanac.)


Balloons:  From his hotel window, he was able to watch the world's first known hot air balloon flight.  The balloon lifted the Montgolfier brothers off of the ground as the first human beings ever known to fly.  Ben was very interested in the idea of flight, predicting that one day balloons would be used for military spy flights and dropping bombs during battle.  Soon, balloons were actually being used for recreation, military, and scientific purposes.


2.  Occupation: Inventor

Bifocals:  Ben had poor vision and needed glasses to read.  He got tired of constantly taking them off and putting them back on, so he decided to figure out a way to make his glasses let him see both near and far. He had two pairs of spectacles cut in half and put half of each lens in a single frame.  Today, we call them bifocals.     


Urinary Catheter: He was interested in how the human body works and looked for ways to help it work better.  For example, Ben's older brother John suffered from kidney stones and Ben wanted to help him feel better.  Ben developed a flexible urinary catheter that appears to have been the first one produced in America.


Ship Design Contributions: During Ben's lifetime, he made eight voyages across the Atlantic Ocean.  These long journeys gave him a lot of time to learn about ships and how they worked.  As early as 1784, Franklin suggested following the Chinese model of dividing ships' holds into watertight compartments so that if a leak occurred in one compartment, the water would not spread throughout the hold and sink the ship.


Lighting Rod:  He did, however, invent the lightning rod, which protected buildings and ships from lightning damage.


Franklin’s Stove:  His invention of an iron furnace stove allowed people to warm their homes less dangerously and with less wood.  The furnace stove that he invented is called a Franklin stove.  Interestingly enough, Ben also established the first fire company and the first fire insurance company in order to help people live more safely.


Odometer:  As postmaster, Ben had to figure out routes for delivering the mail.  He went out riding in his carriage to measure the routes and needed a way to keep track of the distance.  He invented a simple odometer and attached it to his carriage.


Long Arm: He found, however, that his old age had made it difficult for him to reach books from the high shelves.  Even though he had many grandchildren to help him, he invented a tool called a long arm to reach the high books. The long arm was a long wooden pole with a grasping claw at the end.


Occupation: Statesman


Diplomat:  His role in the American Revolution was not played out on the battlefields like George Washington, but rather in the halls and staterooms of governments.  His clear vision of the way things should be, and his skill in both writing and negotiating, helped him to shape the future of the United States of America.


Signed Four Documents:  Ben stands alone as the only person to have signed all four of the documents which helped to create the United States: the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Treaty of Alliance, Amity, and Commerce with France (1778), the Treaty of Peace between England, France, and the United States (1782), and the Constitution (1787).           


Contributions to the Declaration of Independence:  He actually helped to write parts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  No other individual was more involved in the birth of our nation.


Fire Insurance:  In 1752, he set up America's first fire insurance company. He even organized a Night Watch and Militia to help keep peace and safety in Philadelphia.

Daylight Savings Time: While in Paris, Ben proposed the idea of Daylight Savings Time.

Occupation: Printer


Printing Press: At the age of twelve, Ben Franklin first began to learn the business of printing the truth.  By the time Ben was seventeen, he was a fully skilled printer able to work in any print shop.  In 1728, at the age of twenty-two, Ben opened his own printing office in Philadelphia.  His most famous publications were a newspaper called The Pennsylvania Gazette and his annual Poor Richard's Almanac.  He used cartoons and pictures so that everyone could understand the news, even people who had not learned to read.  In 1731, Ben founded America's first circulating library so that people could borrow books to read even though they might not have been able to afford to buy books to read.


5.  Occupation:  Philosopher    

The Rattlesnake as a Symbol of America:  I observed on one of the drums belonging to the marines now raising, there was painted a Rattle-Snake, with this modest motto under it, "Don't tread on me."   I sat down to guess what could have been intended by this uncommon device — I took care, however, to consult on this occasion a person who is acquainted with heraldry, from whom I learned, that it is a rule among the learned of that science "That the worthy properties of the animal, in the crest-born, shall be considered," and, "That the base ones cannot have been intended;" he likewise informed me that the ancients considered the serpent as an emblem of wisdom, and in a certain attitude of endless duration — both which circumstances I suppose may have been had in view.


Occupation: Musician


Amonica:  He played several musical instruments, including the violin, harp, and guitar. His great interest in music lead him to build his own glass armonica.  Touching the edge of the spinning glass with dampened fingers played this simple musical instrument. The armonica's beautiful tones appealed to many composers, including Mozart and Beethoven.


The American Colonist’s Library: This site provides an extensive collection of links and references on the American colonies. 




Scroll down to the “Eighteen Century Sources Which Profoundly Impacted American History.”  This is a very long list of resources and continues to several other categories.  Click on three of the links and provide the title and a description of each.  


Title:  Marco Polo's Travels

Description:  The following text led to the discovery of America. These passages, written by Marco Polo, motivated Christopher Columbus to find an alternative route to the Indies.  Going eastward had become almost impossible since Muslims who would not allow Christian’s safe passage occupied the Middle East.  It should be understood that the sea in which the Island of Zipangu [Japan] is situated is the sea of CHIN, and so extensive is this eastern sea that according to experienced pilots and mariners, who should know, it contains no fewer than 7,440 islands, mostly inhabited.


It is impossible to estimate the value of gold and other articles found in these islands. Their distance from the continent is so great, and the navigation so difficult, that vessels sailing there do not reap large profits; for they consume a whole year in the voyage.

It is impossible to estimate the value of gold and other articles found in these islands. Their distance from the continent is so great, and the navigation so difficult, that vessels sailing there do not reap large profits; for they consume a whole year in the voyage.


2.  Title:  Title:  Statutes of the College of William and Mary (1727)

Description:  There are three things, which the Founders of this College proposed to themselves, to which all its Statutes shall be directed:


First: That the Youth of Virginia should be well educated to Learning and good Morals.


Second:  That the Churches of America, especially Virginia, should be supplied with good Ministers after the Doctrine and Government of the Church of England; and that the College should be a constant Seminary for this Purpose.


Third:  That the Indians of America should be instructed in the Christian Religion, and that some of the Indian Youth that are well-behaved and well-inclined, being first well prepared in the Divinity School, may be sent out to preach the Gospel to their Countrymen in their own Tongue, after they have duly been put in Orders of Deacons and Priests.


Method of Teaching: 


On Saturdays and the Eves of Holidays, let a sacred Lesson be prescribed out of Castalio's Dialogues, or Buchanan's Paraphrase of the Psalms, or any other good Book which the President and Master shall approve of, according to the Capacity of the Boys, of which an Account is to be taken on Monday, and the next Day after the Holidays.


The master shall likewise take Care that all the Scholars learn the Church of England Catechism in the vulgar Tongue; and to learn Latin as advanced study.


3.  Title:  The Wesleys and Their Times

Description:  What is an Arminian?       


a.  To say, "This man is an Arminian," has the same effect on many hearers, as to say, "This is a mad dog."  It puts them into a fright at once:  They run away from him with all speed and diligence; and will hardly stop, unless it be to throw a stone at the dreadful and mischievous animal.


b.  The more unintelligible the word is, the better it answers the purpose.  Those on whom it is fixed know not what to do:  Not understanding what it means, they cannot tell what defence to make, or how to clear themselves from the charge.


c.  To those who so freely pin this name upon others, that they may not say what they do not understand; to those that hear them, that they may be no longer abused by men saying they know not what; and to those upon whom the name is fixed, that they may know how to answer for themselves.


d.  First, that many confound Arminians with Arians.  But this is entirely a different thing; the one has no resemblance to the other.


Title:  The Principles of Natural Law

Description: The textbook on political theory used at Harvard.  It was this book that gave James Otis, John Hancock, Samuel Adams, Joseph Warren, and John Adams their understanding of political science. In what the Law of Nature consists, and that there is such a thing. First considerations, drawn from the existence of God and his authority over us.


Definition:  Let us begin with a proper definition of the terms.  By natural law we understand a law, that God imposes on all men, and which they are able to discover and know by the sole light of reason, and by attentively considering their state and nature.

Natural law is likewise taken for the system, assemblage, or body of, the laws of nature. Natural jurisprudence is the art of attaining to the knowledge of the laws of nature, of explaining and applying them to human actions.


In order to make a proper answer we must ascend to the principles of natural theology, as being the first an true foundation of the law of nature.


The existence of God, that is of a first, intelligent, and self-existent being, on whom all things depend, as on their first cause, and who depends himself on no one; the existence, I say, of such a being is one of those truths, that show themselves to us at the first glance.


18th Century Chronology: This site provides a year-by-year breakdown of events including those of the 18th Century.




Select three years from the 18th Century.  Read the information, then list and describe one event from each year.


1.  Year: 1740,  Event 1 - Politics & Law

The War of Austrian Succession begins as Frederick II invades Silesia (through 1748); in Georgia, Virginia, and the Caribbean, it is known as King George's War (1743-48)

Samuel Johnson begins his reports of the Parliamentary debates.

Fifty slaves are hanged in Charleston, South Carolina, for a planned rebellion.


Science and Technology:  Frederick the Great founds the Berlin Academy of Science in Germany Anson begins his circumnavigation of the globe

Benjamin Franklin founds the University of Pennsylvania


2. Year: 1752, Event 2 - Science, Technology, & Medicine

America's first general hospital is founded in Philadelphia.


Politics & Law

The British and French fight in both America and India.

The French advance on the Ohio Valley, and establish two forts south of Lake Erie

St. John (Bolinbroke), Letters on the Study and Use of History (posthumous)

Clive takes Trichinopoly

David Hume, Political Discourses

Britain abandons the Julian and adopts the Gregorian calendar, losing ten days in September.

Irish Language Society established in Dublin


3. Year 1770, Event 3 -  Science and Technology

Anson begins his circumnavigation of the globe

Benjamin Franklin founds the University of Pennsylvania

January: Grafton resigns as Lord Treasurer, and is replaced by North

Parliament passes Greenville’s act on contested elections

The Spanish occupy Falkland's Islands

Burke, Thoughts on the Present Discontents

Samuel Johnson, The False Alarm, on the Wilkes affair

The printers and publishers of the letters of "Junius" are tried for seditious libel.


The Boston Massacre: British troops fire on citizens of Boston