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Colonial America Time-Line


General Colonial America Links

1492.. Christopher Columubus sets sail for the west....

15.. ..  Cortez Conquest of Mexico

1585..  Roanoke, VA, first English colony, first white baby in America (Virginia Dare).

1587..  Queen Elizabeth authorizes the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots, for allegedly plotting against her.

1588.. The Spanish Armada is defeated by England and the weather.

1590..  Roanoke, VA, the "lost" colony disappears.

1595..  Shakespeare wrote "A Midsummer's Nights Dream".

1605.. Hawke's Gunpowder Plot. Efforts at terrorism in England by Catholics motivated by their persecution.

1606.. Australia discovered by Dutch explorer Willem Janszoon.

1607..  105 London Company sponsored settlers arrive in Jamestown, Virginia from England. The first permanent colony, was motivated by economic reasons (as opposed to religious reasons), only moderately successful.)

1609..  On an expedition of discovery, Samuel de Champlain and his Huron allies battled a band of Iroquis on the Ticonderoga Peninsula in present day New York.

1609..  Hendrick Hudson was the first to explore the Hudson River as far north as present day Albany, New York. He was sailing for the Dutch East India Company. (He wasn't the first European to discover the river, however. That distinction belongs a hundred years earlier, to Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian sailing under the French flag.)

1610.. King Henry IV of France assassinated. Succeeded by nine year old son, King Louis XIII, who ruled till 1643.

1612..  King James version of Bible published.

1612.. Thirty Years War begins on the continent of Europe.  Actions in Bohemia, ruled by the Habsburgs since 1529, led to a revolt which opened a general conflict between Catholic and Protestant Europe that was the most destructive war in Western society before the World Wars of the 20th Century.

1614..  Pochahontas married John Rolfe.

1618.. Thirty Years War begins in Europe. Civil war in Germany spreads to become a European War. Protestants against Catholics. French against the Spanish. Netherlands against the Spanish. What a mess. Many parts of Germany and central Europe devastated by years of conflict.

1620.. The Mayflower lands at Plymouth Rock, MA with the Pilgrims

1621.. The next year, the Pilgrims celebrate the first Thanksgiving

1622.. Indian massacre of 300 plus settlers in Virginia

1623.. The "Anne" arrives at Plymouth colony with my earliest known immigrant ancestor, Stephen Tracy, aboard.

1626..  The Dutch buy Manhattan Island for $24, a presence is established, but no large settlements.

1629.. The earliest Puritans in Massachusetts.

1630.. John Winthrop's fleet. 1,000 Puritans land at Salem, MA and soon relocate to Charlestown, now a part of Boston. Included in the fleet are Ezekiel and Susannah Richardson, my ancestors. The population of (excluding Native Americans) in America is approximately 2,500.

1632..  Phebe Richardson, one of my ancestors, is the tenth child born in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. She married Henry Baldwin.

1633..  Baltimore settled

1636..  Roger Williams is driven from Puritan Mass and settles Rhode Island, a haven for religious freedom

1637.. The Pequot War cleared Connecticut for settlement.

1638..  Anne Hutchinson is driven from Massachusetts Bay. She and her followers go to Rhode Island to join the Roger Williams followers there. She and her family are later killed in New York by Indians. Read the account of one of my ancestors had to recount his support of Anne Hutchinson to avoid reprisal from the Massachusetts Bay Colony's government, along with more links to Anne Hutchinson there.

1638..  Peter Minuet settles Delaware

1639..  John Wheelwright, banished from Boston, founded a colony in New Hampshire

1640..  There are now an estimated 5,700 people in the American Colonies. First objective evidence of my ancestor Henry Baldwin, in Charlestown, Mass, appears.

1642..  Isaac Newton, physicist, is born.

1647..  The Massachusetts Bay Colony requires that all settlements with more than 50 families construct a school.

1648..  Thirty Years War ends in Europe. Germany is in ruins. See also the Thirty Years War Page.

1650..  There are now an estimated 40,000 people in the American Colonies.

1665.. The Bubonic Plague, or Black Death, strikes London. 70,000 die.

1664.. The British take control of all of New York... the Dutch are out of America, politically. Dutch settlers stay in the area, under British control.

1666.. The Great Fire of London burns most of London, England to the ground.

1675-76.. King Philip's War  resulted in attacks on 52 of the 90 towns existing in Puritan New England and the leveling of 13 of them. 600 settlers were killed. The Indians were thoroughly defeated, as much from disease as from bullets. See also a page from the History of Holyoke, Massachusetts web site, that contains a compact history of this confilict, as well as the King Phillip's War Page - with rosters and other info on the participants for genealogists.

1685... King James II tries to establish control over New England

1688-97..  King Williams' War - the first of a series of conflicts betwen the French and British called the French and Indian Wars.

1688-89.. The Glorious Revolution in England deposes King James II, leading to the overthrow of his representative here in America, Sir Edmund Andros. Sir Edmund Andros, 16371714, Governor of New York (167481) was bitterly criticized for his high-handed methods, and he was embroiled in disputes over boundaries and duties, going so far as to arrest Philip Carteret. When James II, partly influenced by Edward Randolph , consolidated all the New England colonies into the Dominion of New England, he named Andros governor (1686). In 1688, New York and the Jerseys were also  put under his control. The suppression of charters and colonial assemblies, interference with local customs and rights, and Andros's overbearing ways caused intense friction. After news of the overthrow of James II in 1688 reached the colonies, the colonials in Boston rebelled (1689), seized Andros and other officials, and sent them to England as prisoners. He was soon released and later was governor of Virginia (169297) and governor of Guernsey, (17046).

1691.. Massachusetts Bay Colony and the Plymouth Colony merge. The other colonies in New England re-establish their former governments after King James failed attempt to control New England.

1691.. Major Peter Schuyler led an expedition of English and Dutch colonists against the French fort at La Prairie near Montréal, stopping at Ticonderoga on their way north.

1692.. The village of Salem, Massachusetts gets caught up in a public hysteria over witches and witchcraft. Over twenty people over hung for being witches. See a time-line of the witch trials with the names of the participants. See also the Salem Witchcraft Trials Page as well as the New England Enquirer Page on the Witchcraft Trials.

1702-13..  Queen Anne's War, the second conflict between the French and British (another stage of the French and Indian Wars). (Also known as Spanish Succession War) Queen Anne ruled England from 1702-1714.

1704..  The country's first newspaper at Cambridge, Massachusetts (the home of Harvard).

1705.. Benjamin Baldwin and his family settle in Canterbury, Connecticut.

1714.. King George I becomes King of England. He rules for 13 years, till 1727.

1727.. King George II becomes King of England. He sits on the crown for 33 years, until 1760, although a man named Walpole actually controlled the English government.

1730... The Great Awakening - Challenged the established clergy and eventually led to the proliferation of many Protestant denominations. This contributed to the concept of acceptance of religious tolerance, the decline of Puritanism, and the growth of Baptists, Methodist, and Presbyterians. If you want to know everything you ever wanted to know about Jonathan Edwards, the founder of this movement, go to the Jonathan Edwards web site.

1743.. King George's War, related to the Austrian succession.

1744...  Benjamin Franklin invents the Franklin stove.. in essence, the "pot-belly" stove, whereby a cast iron stove in the middle of a room radiates heat... even for awhile after the fire has gone out.

1752.. The French establish two forts south of Lake Erie securing the headwaters of the Ohio River, prelude to the French-Indian War..

1753.. Twenty-one year old George Washington delivers a message to the French, to leave the area south of Lake Erie. They politely tell him his request was refused and he was invited to leave. See also Washington Triggers the French and Indian War.

1754.. The English start building Fort Duquesne (present day Pittsburgh). The French take the fort before it is finished. Virginia responded by sending George Washington to take it back. He was soundly defeated and surrendered to the French at Fort Necessity, south of Fort Duquesne.

1754.. The French and Indian War, (also the Adirondack web page is great site) also known as the Seven Years War, begins in the colonies, pitting the French, with Indian Allies, against the English to control New England. This is actually the third, and last, conflict with the French over what parts of North America they should control. At this time, the French controlled most land west of the Alleghenies, from Quebec to New Orleans, including the Mississippi River Valley.

1755.. Benjamin Franklin proposes the Colonies unite in the French and Indian War. His proposal is soundly rejected. The colonies don't want to give each other's autonomy.

1763.. The French and Indian War Ends.  The French have finally been defeated and driven out of North America, after 100 years of conflict. They give up rights to lands they occupied in Canada and the upper Mississippi River Valley. They will exact their revenge by helping the fledgling colonies during their revolution from Britain twelve years later.

1759.. One of my ancestors, Jacob Feather, Revolutionary War Veteran, is born in Frankenthal, Germany

1769..  James Watt invents the steam engine and the industrial revolution begins.

1770.. The Boston Massacre, where British troops fire on Bostonians throwing snowballs will be a rallying cry through the Revolutionary years.

1775.. My ancestor Jacob Feather arrives in Philadelphia at age 16 with parents Joseph and Maria Vatter on the King of Prussia. (Named changed from Vatter to Feather by Jacob.)

1775.. Daniel Boone begins to clear the Wilderness Road into Kentucky.

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