A Chronology of American History:
15th | 16th
| 17th | 18th | 19th
May 13: The first permanent English
colony is founded in Jamestown, Virginia.
July 30: Virginia's House of Burgesses
convenes; it is the first legislative assembly in English North
August: A Dutch ship carries 20
blacks to Virginia. We now know that these were not the first
blacks to arrive in Virginia.
May 21: The Mayflower
Compact, signed by 41 adult males in Provincetown Harbor, Mass.,
represents the first agreement on self-government in English North
December 26: The Pilgrim Separatists
land at Plymouth, Mass.
December 25: Massachusetts
Governor William Bradford forbids game-playing on Christmas day.
March 22: Indian attacks
kill one-third of the English settlers in Virginia.
John Smith publishes
his General History of Virginia, New England, and the Summer Isles,
which describes his rescue by Pocahontas.
May: The Dutch establish the colony
of New Netherland.
May 1: The Maypole at Mare Mount.
In what is now Quincy, Mass., Thomas Morton and others set up
a May Pole, engaged in drinking and dancing with Indian women,
and celebrated "the feasts of the Roman Goddes Glora, or
the beastly practises of the Madd Bacchinalians," according
to Massachusetts Governor William Bradford. Morton was deported
Charles I grants Lord
Baltimore territory north of the Potomac River, which will become
Maryland. Because the royal charter did not restrict settlement
to Protestants, Catholics could settle in the colony.
law forebodes the purchase of woolen, linen or silk clothes with
silver, gold, silk, or lace on them.
June: After being expelled
from Massachusetts Bay Colony, Roger Williams founds Rhode Island,
which becomes the first English colony to grant complete religious
November 7: Massachusetts
banishes Anne Hutchinson for preaching that faith alone was sufficient
March: The first Swedish
colonists settle in Delaware.
The first Jews arrive
in New Amsterdam, fleeing the Spanish Inquisition in Brazil.
May: Massachusetts forbids
the celebration of Christmas.
December 1: Parliament adopts
the First Navigation Act, which requires all goods carried to
and from England to be transported on English ships and that the
colonies could export cotton, ginger, sugar, tobacco, and wool
exclusively to England. Other Navigation Acts were enacted in
1662, 1663, 1670, and 1673.
John Endicott orders an end to persecution of Quakers in Massachusetts,
where three Quakers had been executed.
A synod of Massachusetts churches adopts the Halfway Covenant,
which permits baptism of children whose parents had not become
full church members.
Maryland adopts a statute
denying freedom to slaves who converted to Christianity. A similar
act was adopted by Virginia in 1667.
September 7: The Dutch surrender
New Netherland to the English, who rename the colony New York.
The Dutch temporarily regained possession in 1673 and 1674.
John Locke drafts the
Fundamental Constitutions for the Carolinas, which combines a
feudal social order with a stress on religious toleration.
June 24: King Philip's War begins.
Relative to the size of the population, this conflict between
the New England colonists and the Mohegans, Naragansetts, Nipmucks,
Podunks, and Wampanoags was the deadliest in American history.
September 19: Jamestown,
Virginia., is burned during Bacon's Rebellion. Declining tobacco
prices, a cattle epidemic, and a belief that the colony's governor
had failed to take adequate measures to protect Virginia against
Indian attacks contributed to the rebellion, which petered out
after its leader, Nathaniel Bacon, died in October 1676.
March 4: Charles II
grants William Penn a charter to what is now Pennsylvania.
Mary Rowlandson publishes
an account of her captivity among Indians.
June 21: Charles II
revokes Massachusetts' charter on the grounds that it had imposed
religious qualifications for voting, discriminated against the
Church of England, and set up an illegal mint.
James II consolidates
the New England colonies into the Dominion of New England and
names Sir Edmund Andros governor, who dissolved the New England
Following the overthrow of James II, Jacob Leisler, a German merchant,
force New York's governor to flee. He was subsequently executed
The first French and Indian war,
King William's War begins. Colonists launch attacks on Port Royal,
Nova Scotia, and Quebec, and the French and their Indian allies
burn Schenectady. The 1697 Treaty of Ryswick restored the pre-war
April 18: The New England colonies
out Royal Governor Edmund Andros.
March: The Salem Witch
Scare begin when a group of young girls claims that they have
been bewitched. When Massachusetts Governor William Phips halted
the trials in October, 19 people had been hanged, one man had
been crushed to death, and two people had died in prison. In 1697,
one of the Salem witch judges, Samuel Sewall, publicly repented
his role in the affair.