Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Execution Declaration of Rebekah Chablit 1733

Rebekah Chamblit (ca.1706-1733) lived in Boston, Massachusetts. She was tried and executed in 1733 for infanticide. Her "declaration," reportedly "read at the place of execution," September 26th, 1733, may not have been in fact written by Chamblit herself; scholars suggest the text represents a forced or fictional confession in an extremely patriarchal society.
Chamblit was 27 years old and unmarried. According to society norms, she should have remained celibate. Her declaration was a broadside prepared by ministers to be as widely distributed as possible. It was the middle of the Great Awakening, when women were gaining some religious recognition & power, as traditional Puritan ministers were losing some of their power. Reportedly the ministers posed questions to Chamblit, as she walked to the gallows & stood on a ladder waiting to be hung. She answered as long as she could, saying what they wanted to hear. Then she "grew disordered and faint, and not capable of attending further to continu'd discourse."
Infanticide was certainly not a new phenomenon. For centuries, unwed mothers in Europe had occasionally killed their offspring, because they were unable to face the ignominy of raising an illegitimate child. As legal & cultural responses to crime changed by the 18th century, unwed and impoverished mothers might abandon the baby on some local doorstep hoping that the newborn would receive a more healthy upbringing with a different family.Infanticide narratives written in New England colonies & states are particularly revealing. In most infanticide narratives, the murder of the child is not mentioned. The woman is charged with having led an "unclean" life which warrants her execution. Female deviations from the norm, even after the witch hunts had subsided, were met with extreme consequences, especially when the traditional power of the dominant males was being threatened. The details contained in Chamblit's purported declaration seem calculated to fit within the Massachusetts Bastard Neonaticde Act exactly as written, thereby completely justifying her hanging. The declaration, dying warning and advice of Rebekah Chamblit. A young woman aged near twenty-seven years, executed at Boston September 27th. 1733. According to the sentence pass'd upon her at the Superior Court holden there for the county of Suffolk, in August last, being then found guilty of felony, in concealing the birth of her spurious male infant, of which she was delivered when alone the eighth day of May last, and was afterwards found dead, as will more fully appear by the following declaration, which was carefully taken from her own mouth. Boston: Printed and sold by S. Kneeland and T. Green, in Queen-Street, 1733. "On Saturday The Fifth day of May last, being then something more than Eight Months gone with Child, as I was about my Household Business reaching some Sand from out of a large Cask, I received considerable Hurt, which put me into great Pain, and so I continued till the Tuesday following; in all which time I am not sensible I felt any Life or Motion in the Child within me; when on the Said Tuesday the Eighth of may, I was Deliver'd when alone of a Male infant; in whom I did not perceive Life; but still uncertain of Life in it, I threw it into the Vault about two or three Minutes after it was born; uncertain I as, whether it was a living or dead child; Tho' I confess it was probable there was Life in it, and some Circumstances seem to confirm it. I therefore own the Justice of GOD and Man in my Condemnation, and take Shame to my self, as I have none but my self to Blame; and am Sorry for any rash Expressions I have at any time uttered since my Condemnation; and I am verily persuaded there is no Place in the World, where there is a More strict regard to Justice than in this Province."

Sunday, January 7, 2018

1790 Diary of Weaver Elizabeth Fuller Age 14 Massachusettes

Elizabeth Fuller (1775-1856) was 14 years-old, when she started keeping a diary. She made regular entries from October 1790 through December 1792. She lived with her family on a farm in Princeton, Massachusetts.
Pehr Hillström (Swedish artist, 1732-1816) A Woman Spinning, 

Weaving is the process that creates all kinds of things, such as: clothes, towels, sheets, blankets, & sails to name a few. In early America almost all fabric was imported from England. Though England dominated the American market, the colonies had domestic producers, mostly in the northeast.  Some southern planters had their slaves make cloth, keeping agricultural laborers busy off-season & in bad weather. 
However, when trade in the United States became restricted during the period before & during the Revolutionary War, weaving not only became a necessity, but a patriotic duty.

The Boston Chronicle in April, 1766, wrote that women there "exhibited a fine example of industry, by spinning from sunrise until dark."  Spinning bees were held in early America to encourage the production of yarn to provide homespun fabric. In the 1760's these events became popular as a means to demonstrate opposition of the importation of heavily taxed British goods and for the mutual aid for those in their community.  The tradition continued after the conflict had ended.

However, spinning was a domestic chore not much practiced in colonial Virginia, as it was very time-consuming, and most cloth was imported. It would take 12 spinners of wool to keep a weaver busy at the loom, and 100 spinners of cotton to keep a full-time weaver busy. The technology of the spinning wheel dates to 500 B.C. in India.

Unmarried young women in rural New England during the 18C, often spent their days at home engaged primarily in textile production for both their own family's use & to trade for other items. Elizabeth Fuller washed, carded, & spun wool, while assisting with everyday chores such as making cheese & cooking.  The term spinster, once used to denote an occupation, began to refer to an unmarried woman in the 18C, as many continued to spend their days making textiles for the use of their extended families.
Platt Powell Ryder (American artist, 1821–1896) Woman at Spinning Wheel

Oct 1790
13 — Mrs. Perry, Miss Eliza Harris, Miss Sally Puffer, and Miss Hannah Haynes, and Wareham, and Rebekah Hastings were baptised by immersion. — I was fifteen to-day.

14 — A hard storm. Mr. Eveleth was buried.

18 — Pa and Ma set out for Sandwich. I am quite sick, don’t sit up but very little.

21 — I was so bad that we sent for Dr. Wilson. When he came he told me I had a settled Fever.

1790 Nov.
5 — Nathan Perry here about an hour this eve. I am a good deal better, have been out of my room two or three times. 8 o’clock Pa and Ma came home, we were over joyed to see them, but had done expecting them.

7 — Sabbath, no preaching in town.

11 —Timmy went to mill.

14 — Sabbath. Mr. Sparhawk preached, came here at night.

19 — Nathan Perry here this evening.

20 — Leonard Woods here this morn. Mrs. Perry here this afternoon a visiting.

21 —Sabbath. Mr. Brown of Winchendon preached.

22 — Revd. Mr. Brown breakfasted with us this morning. He is an agreable pretty man.

23 — Mr. Gregory killed a cow for Pa.

24 — We baked two ovensfull of pyes. — Mr. Nathan Perry here this eve.

25 — Thanksgiving to-day we baked three ovensfull of pyes. There was no preaching so we had nothing to do but eat them. The pyes were a great deal better than they were last Thanksgiving for I made them all myself, and part of them were made of flour which we got of Mr. H. Hastings therefore we had plenty of spice.

26 — Mr. Ephriam Mirick here. Pa went to town meeting.

27 — Mr. Gregory killed our hogs to-day.

28 — There is no preaching in this town. There came a considerable snow last night.

30 — Caty Eveleth was married the 22nd inst.

1790 Dec.
1 - I went to Mr. Perry’s to make a visit this afternoon, had an excellent dish of tea and a shortcake. — Betsey Whitcomb at work there. Had a sociable afternoon.

2 — Silas Perry here to-day before sunrise. Pa is very poorly having a very bad cough. I am a good deal afraid he will go into a consumption. Oh! if my soul was formed for woe how would I vent my sighs My grief it would like rivers flow, from both my
streaming eyes. I am disconsolate to-night.

4 — I minced the Link meat.

6 — Timmy has gone to the singing meeting.

11 —Sabbath. David Perry here to borrow our singing book.

16 — John Brooks here killing our sheep. A severe snow storm.

17 — Very cold. I made sixteen dozen of candles.

19 — Sabbath cold enough to freeze fools but I was so wise I would have gone to meeting had not Ma kept me at home. I had not sense enough to more than balance my folly. Pa went to meeting, got there time enough to hear three hims and the prayer, but it was as much as ever he did. Mr. Lee preached.

21 —James Mirick is here, says Ephraim is gone to Fitzwilliam to bring Mrs. Garfield and her household stuff down.

22 — David Perry here to get Timmy to go to the singing school with him.

24 — I scoured the pewter. Pa went to Fitchburg.

26 — Sabbath. Stormy weather. We all stayed at home. Pretty warm.

28 — Cold and pleasant to-day. Pa sold his mare, is to have eleven dollars and a cow. Pa and Timmy went to Mr. Holden’s in Westminster to drive the cow home. She behaved so bad they did not get her farther than Mr. Dodd’s. Mr. Woods here to borrow some books of Pa.

30 — Very pleasant. Mr. Eveleth’s personal estate vendued. Pa and Tim gone there.

31 — Cloudy and cold, evening. Mr. Nathan Perry herethis evening...

1791 Mar.
1 — Pa went to Mr. Stephen Brighams to write his will. Ma began to spin the wool for Pa’s coat. I card for her & do the household work.

2 — Ma is a spinning.

3 — Ma spun three skeins. — Nathan Perry here. — Pa is gone to Mr. Hastings this eve.

4 — Mrs. Perry here to spend the afternoon.

5 — Ma spun.

6 — Sabbath, no Meeting in Town.

7 — very warm. Anna Perry here visiting. — I made 18 dozen of candles & washed.

8 — Ma spun.

9 — Miss Eunice Mirick here a visiting this afternoon.

10 — Warm and rainy. — Francis Eveleth here to borrow our singing Book. Ma spun.

11 — Rainy weather. Mr. Thomson here to-day after rates. Mr, Parmenter here, bought two calf skins of Pa, gave him ten shillings apiece. — David Perry here. — Timmy went to Mr. Brooks.

12 — David Perry here to-day.

13 — Sabbath no Meeting.

14 — March Meeting Mr. Crafts asked a dismission, had his request granted without the least difficulty, so now we are once more a free people ha ha, he is going to Weymouth to keep shop a going out of Town this week 'tis thought he has not much to carry with him I do not know nor care what he has.

15 — Revd. Mr. Rice & Mr. Isaac Thomson here. Mr. Rice Dined here.

16 — Pa went to Mr. Bangs to-day.

18 — Capt. Clark here this evening.

19 — John Brooks here to-day. — Nathan Perry here for the newspaper. — Ma spun two skeins & an half of filling yarn.

20 — Sabbath. Pa went to church Mr. Saunders Preached, he is one of Stephen Baxters classmates, the going was so bad that none of the rest of our Family went to hear him.

21 —- Cold. Mr. Brooks here.

22 — Pa went to Mr. Bangs.

23 — Pa went to Mr. Rolphs to-day. On the 13th inst. Miss Caty Mirick was Married to Mr. Joshua Eveleth.

24 — Mr. Brooks here to-day to get Pa to write a Deed of Mr. Hastingses Farm for him.

25 — Ma finished spinning her blue Wool to-day.

26 — Ma went to Mrs. Miricks to get a slay Harness. Mrs. Caty Eveleth came home with her.

27—Sabbath very pleasant I went to church. Mr. Rolph Preached. — Esqr. Woolson here to tarry all night.

28 — Esqr. Woolson went from here this morning. A man here to-day that was both deaf and dumb, he is Son to a Merchant in London, he went to sea & the ship was struck with Lightning & which occasioned his being deaf & dumb, he could write wrote a good deal here. He was a good looking young Man, about 25 he wrote his name Joel Smith. I really pitied him. I went to Mrs. Miricks & warped the piece.

29 — Mrs. Garfield came here to show me how to draw in Piece did not stay but about half an hour.

30 — I tyed in the Piece & wove two yards.

31 — Fast. I went to Meeting all day. Mr. Rolph preached half of the day & Mr. Saunders the other half. Mr. Saunders is a very good Preacher & a handsome Man. — David Perry here this evening to sing with us.

1791 April
1 — I wove two yards and three quarters & three inches to-day & I think I did pretty well considering it was April Fool day. Mr. Brooks & Mr. Hastings here to get Pa to do some writing for them.

2 — I wove three yards and a quarter,

3 —Sabbath. I went to church. — an anular eclipse of the sun, it was fair weather. 4— I wove five yards & a quarter. Mr. Cutting here this eve.

5 — I wove four yards. Mrs. Garfield & Mrs. Eveleth who was once Caty Mirick here a visiting. —The real estate of Mr. Josiah Mirick deceased is vendued to-day. (eve) Timmy has got home from the vendue Mr. Cutting has bought the Farm gave 255£ Sam Matthews has bought the part of the Pew gave eight dollars.

6 — I got out the White piece Mrs. Garfield warped the blue, came here & began to draw in the Piece.

7 — I finished drawing in the Piece & wove a yard & a half. Sam Matthews here to-day.

8 — I wove two yards & a quarter.

9 — I wove two yards & a quarter.

10 — Sabbath. I went to church in the A.M. Mamma went in the P.M. she has not been before since she came from Sandwich.

11 —I wove a yard & a half. Parmela Mirick here to see me.

12 — I wove to-day.

13 — Mrs. Brooks here a visiting. I wove.

14 — I got out the Piece in the A.M. Pa carried it to Mr. Deadmans. Miss Eliza Harris here.

15 — I began to spin Linnen spun 21 knots. I went to Mr. Perrys on an errand. Pa went to Mr. Matthews to write his will & some deeds. He has sold Dr. Wilson 20 acres of Land & given Sam a deed of some I believe about 25 acres.

16 — Pa went to Mr. Matthews again. — I spun 21 knots.

17 — Sabbath I went to church all day Mr. Davis Preached Mr. Saunders is sick.

18 — I spun two double skeins of Linnen.

19 — I spun two double skeins.

20—I spun two double skeins. — Ma went to Mrs. Miricks for a visit was sent for home. — Revd. Daniel Fuller of Cape Ann here to see us.

21—Revd. Mr. Fuller went from here this morn. Ma went to Mrs. Miricks again. — I spun two skeins. — Sukey Eveleth & Nabby here to see Nancy.

22 — I spun two double skeins O dear Quadyille has murdered wit, & work will do as bad, for wit is always merry, but work does make me sad.

23 — I spun two skeins. Nathan Perry here. — Ware-ham Hastings at work here.

24 — I went to church. Mr. Thurston Preached. — Mr. Saunders is sick.

25 — Leonard Woods here all this forenoon, brought Hoi-yokes singing Book. Left it here.

26 — Pa went to see Mr. Saunders. I Pricked some tunes out of Holyokes Singing Book.

27 — I spun five skeins of linnen yarn.

28 — I spun five skeins of linnen yarn. Pa went to Sterling.

29 — I Pricked some Tunes out of Holyokes singing Book. I spun some.

30 — I spun four skeins to-day.

1791 May
1 —Sabbath I went to Meeting to-day.

2 — I spun five skeins to-day.

3 — I spun five skeins to-day.

4 — I spun two skeins to-day finished the Warp for this Piece. — Nathan Perry worked here this P.M.

5 — I spun four skeins of tow for the filling to the Piece. I have been spinning, Pa went to Worcester to get the newspaper. Nathan Perry here this eve.

6— I spun four Skeins to-day.

7 — I spun four Skeins to-day.

8 — Sabbath. I went to church A.M. Mr. Thurston preached. Mr. John Rolph & his Lady & Mr. Osburn her Brother & a Miss Anna Strong (a Lady courted by said Osbourn) came here after Meeting and drank Tea.

9 — I spun four skeins. Mr. Thurston here this P.M. a visiting he is an agreeable Man appears much better out of the Pulpit than in.

10— I spun four Skeins to-day.

11 — I spun four skeins.

12 — I spun four skeins. Lucy Matthews here.

13 — I spun four skeins. — Ma is making Soap. Rainy.

14 — I spun four skeins. Ma finished making soap and it is very good.

15 — I went to church A. M. Mr. Thurston Preached he is a ——. — Mr. Rolph drank Tea here.

17 — I spun four skeins to-day.

18 — I spun four skeins of linnen yarn to Make a Harness of. — Ma is a breaking.

19 — I spun two skeins and twisted the harness yarn.

20— Mrs. Garfield came here this Morning to show me how to make a Harness, did not stay but about half an Hour. — Mrs. Perry & Miss Eliza Harris here a visiting.

21 — I went to Mrs. Miricks and warped the Piece.

22 — I went to church in the A.M. Mr. Saunders preached gave us a good sermon his text Romans 6th Chap. 23 verse. For the wages of Sin is Death.

23 — I got in my Piece to-day wove a yard.

24 — Wove two yards & an half.

25 — Election. I wove three Yards to-day. — Mrs. Perry here a few moments.

26 — I wove three Yards to-day. The two Mrs. Matthews here to Day. I liked Sam’s Wife much better than I expected to. — Miss. Eliza Harris here about two Hours.

27 — I wove five Yards to-day.

29 — Pleasant weather. Pa went to Sterling. My Cousin Jacob Kcmbal of Amherst came here to-day.

30 — General Election at Bolton. — Mr. Josiah Eveleth & Wife & Mrs. Garfield here on a visit.

1791 June
1—Moses Harrington carried off Mr. Hastings old shop.

2—Elislia Brooks here to-day.

5—I made myself a Shift. — Mrs. Perry here a visiting. Nathan Perry here this evening.

6—Sabbath. No Meeting in Town. Elisha Brooks here to see if there was a meeting.

7—I made myself a blue worsted Coat.

8—Aaron & Nathan Perry here. — Pamela Mirick here a visiting this afternoon.

9—Mrs. Brooks here a visiting. — I helped Sally make me a blue worsted Gown.

10—I helped Sally make me a brown Woolen Gown.

12—Sally cut out a striped lutestring Gown for me.

13—Sabbath I went to church. Mr. Green Preached.

14—Aaron Perry here.

15—I cut out a striped linnen Gown. — Sally finished my lutestring.

16—Rainy weather. Ma cut out a Coattce for me. —Salmon Houghton breakfasted with us. — Elisha Brooks spent the afternoon here.

17—Ma, Sally & I spent the afternoon at Mrs. Miricks.

18—Cool. Sally finished my Coattee.

19—I finished my striped linnen Gown. Mr. Soloman Davis here. Sabbath.

20—I went to Church, wore my lutestring, Sally wore hers we went to Mr. Richardsons & Dined. —rained at night.

21—Pleasant weather. Mr. Bush here.

22—Capt. Moore here to-day. Put in my dwiant Coat & Sally & I quilted it out before night.

23—Sally put in a Worsted Coat for herself and we quilted it out by the middle of the afternoon. Very pleasant weather.

24—I made myself a Shift.

Source: Francis E. Blake, “Diary Kept by Elizabeth Fuller,” History of the Town of Princeton (Princeton, Massachusetts: Town, 1915)

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Sexual Politics-Mohawk-Style 1754

Hendrick Theyanoguin  Chief of the Mohawk Indians, published in London in 1755 

The British American colonial government convened a conference in Albany, New York, in the summer of 1754. French troops had occupied the Ohio valley; while the Indians in New York had declared the Covenant chain alliance broken.

Hendrick, a Mohawk leader among the Iroquois Confederation, wanted to renew the alliance between the Iroquois & the colonists. But in his speech at the meeting, he called the British weak. Soon the Seven Year's War would involve the French, the British colonists, & the Native Americans in a war that would also be called The French & Indian War.

Mohawk Hendrick:
Then Hendrick, brother to the said Abraham, and a Sachem of the same castle, rose up and spake in behalf of the Six Nations as follows:
"Brethren, This is the ancient place of treaty where the fire of friendship always used to burn, and it is now three years since we have been called to any public treaty here; ‘tis true, there are commissioners here, but they have never invited us to smoke with them (by which they mean, the commissioners had never invited them to any conference), but the Indians of Canada came frequently and smoked with them, which is for the sake of their beaver, but we hate them (meaning the French Indians)

We have not as yet confirmed the peace with them: ’tis your fault, brethren, we are not strengthened by conquest, for we should have gone and taken Crown Point, but you hindered us: We had concluded to go and take it; but we were told it was too late, and that the ice would not bear us. Instead of this you burnt your own fort at Saraghtogee and run away from it; which was shame and a scandal to you. Look about your country, and see you have no fortifications about you, no not even to this city. 'Tis but one step from Canada hither, and the French may easily come and turn you out of doors.

"Brethren, You desired us to speak from the bottom of our hearts, and we shall do it. Look about you, and see all these houses full of beaver, and money is all gone to Canada; likewise your powder, lead, and guns, which the French make use of at the Ohio.

“Brethren, You were desirous we should open our minds and our hearts to you; look at the French, they are men; they are fortifying every where; but we are ashamed to say it; you are like women, bare and open, without any fortifications.”

Source: Jeptha Root Simms, History of Schoharie County, and the Border Wars of New York. Albany: Munsell & Tanner, 1845.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Mary Jemison, Indian Captive 1750s

Mary Jemison captured by Native Americans from the 1856 printing of The Life of Mary Jemison, Deh-He-Wa-Mis

Mary Jemison (Deh-he-wä-mis) (1743–1833) was probably about 15 years old, when she was captured & adopted by Seneca Indians during the French and Indian War. Jemison was 80 years old, when she told her story to James Seaver who wrote the narrative of the young English woman who chose to remain within the Indian culture which had adopted her.

The night was spent in gloomy forebodings. What the result of our captivity would be, it was out of our power to determine, or even imagine. At times, we could almost realize the approach of our masters to butcher and scalp us; again, we could nearly see the pile of wood kindled on which we were to be roasted; and then we would imagine ourselves at liberty, alone and defenseless in the forest, surrounded by wild beasts that were ready to devour us. The anxiety of our minds drove sleep from our eyelids; and it was with a dreadful hope and painful impatience that we waited for the morning to determine our fate.

The morning at length arrived, and our masters came early and let us out of the house, and gave the young man and boy to the French, who immediately took them away. Their fate I never learned, as I have not seen nor heard of them since.

I was now left alone in the fort, deprived of my former companions, and of every thing that was near or dear to me but life. But it was not long before I was in some measure relieved by the appearance of two pleasant looking squaws, of the Seneca tribe, who came and examined me attentively for a short time, and then went out. After a few minutes' absence, they returned in company with my former masters, who gave me to the squaws to dispose of as they pleased.

The Indians by whom I was taken were a party of Shawnees,* if I remember right, that lived, when at home, a long distance down the Ohio.

My former Indian masters and the two squaws were soon ready to leave the fort, and accordingly embarked -- the Indians in a large canoe, and the two squaws and myself in a small one-and went down the Ohio. When we set off, an Indian in the forward canoe took the scalps of my former friends, strung them on a pole that he placed upon his shoulder, and in that manner carried them, standing in the stern of the canoe directly before us, as we sailed down the river, to the town where the two squaws resided.

On the way we passed a Shawnee town, where I saw a number of heads, arms, legs, and other fragments of the bodies of some white people who had just been burned. The parts that remained were hanging on a pole, which was supported at each end by a crotch stuck in the ground, and were roasted or burnt black as a coal. The fire was yet burning; and the whole appearance afforded a spectacle so shocking that even to this day the blood almost curdles in my veins when I think of them.

At night we arrived at a small Seneca Indian town, at the mouth of a small river that was called by the Indians, in the Seneca language, She-nan-jee, about eighty miles by water from the fort, where the two squaws to whom I belonged resided. There we landed, and the Indians went on; which was the last I ever saw of them.

Having made fast to the shore, the squaws left me in the canoe while they went to their wigwam or house in the town, and returned with a suit of Indian clothing, all new, and very clean and nice. My clothes, though whole and good when I was taken, were now torn in pieces, so that I was almost naked. They first undressed me, and threw my rags into the river; then washed me clean and dressed me in the new suit they had just brought, in complete Indian style; and then led me home and seated me in the center of their wigwam.

I had been in that situation but a few minutes before all the squaws in the town came in to see me. I was soon surrounded by them, and they immediately set up a most dismal howling, crying bitterly, and wringing their hands in all the agonies of grief for a deceased relative.

Their tears flowed freely, and they exhibited all the signs of real mourning. At the commencement of this scene, one of their number began, in a voice somewhat between speaking and singing, to recite some words to the following purport, and continued the recitation till the ceremony was ended; the company at the same time varying the appearance of their countenances, gestures, and tone of voice, so as to correspond with the sentiments expressed by their leader.

"Oh, our brother! alas! he is dead-he has gone; he will never return! Friendless he died on the field of the slain, where his bones are yet lying unburied! Oh! who will not mourn his sad fate? No tears dropped around him: oh, no! No tears of his sisters were there! He fell in his prime, when his arm was most needed to keep us from danger! Alas! he has gone, and left us in sorrow, his loss to bewail! Oh, where is his spirit? His spirit went naked, and hungry it wanders, and thirsty and wounded, it groans to return! Oh, helpless and wretched, our brother has gone! No blanket nor food to nourish and warm him; nor candles to light him, nor weapons of war! Oh, none of those comforts had he! But well we remember his deeds! The deer he could take on the chase! The panther shrunk back at the sight of his strength! His enemies fell at his feet! He was brave and courageous in war! As the fawn, he was harmless; his friendship was ardent; his temper was gentle; his pity was great! Oh! our friend, our companion, is dead! Our brother, our brother! alas, he is gone! But why do we grieve for his loss? In the strength of a warrior, undaunted he left us, to fight by the side of the chiefs! His warwhoop was shrill! His rifle well aimed laid his enemies low: his tomahawk drank of their blood: and his knife flayed their scalps while yet covered with gore! And why do we mourn? Though he fell on the field of the slain, with glory he fell; and his spirit went up to the land of his fathers in war! They why do we mourn? With transports of joy, they received him, and fed him, and clothed him, and welcomed him there! Oh, friends, he is happy; then dry up your tears! His spirit has seen our distress, and sent us a helper whom with pleasure we greet. Deh-hew5-mis has come: then let us receive her with joy!-she is handsome and pleasant! Oh! she is our sister, and gladly we welcome her here. In the place of our brother she stands in our tribe. With care we will guard her from trouble; and may she be happy till her spirit shall leave us."

In the course of that ceremony, from mourning they became serene,-joy sparkled in their countenances, and they seemed to rejoice over me as over a long-lost child. I was made welcome among them as a sister to the two squaws before mentioned, and was called Deh-hew5-mis; which, being interpreted, signifies a pretty girl, a handsome girl, or a pleasant, good thing. That is the name by which I have ever since been called by the Indians.

I afterward learned that the ceremony I at that time passed through was that of adoption. The two squaws had lost a brother in Washington's war, sometime in the year before, and in consequence of his death went up to Fort Du Quesne on the day on which I arrived there, in order to receive a prisoner, or an enemy's scalp, to supply their loss. It is a custom of the Indians, when one of their number is slain or taken prisoner in battle, to give to the nearest relative of the dead or absent a prisoner, if they have chanced to take one; and if not, to give him the scalp of an enemy. On the return of the Indians from the conquest, which is always announced by peculiar shoutings, demonstrations of joy, and the exhibition of some trophy of victory, the mourners come forward and make their claims. If they receive a prisoner, it is at their option either to satiate their vengeance by taking his life in the most cruel manner they can conceive of, or to receive and adopt him into the family, in the place of him whom they have lost. All the prisoners that are taken in battle and carried to the encampment or town by the Indians are given to the bereaved families, till their number is good. And unless the mourners have but just received the news of their bereavement, and are under the operation of a paroxysm of grief, anger, or revenge; or, unless the prisoner is very old, sickly, or homely, they generally save them, and treat them kindly. But if their mental wound is fresh, their loss so great that they deem it irreparable, or if their prisoner or prisoners do not meet their approbation, no torture, let it be ever so cruel, seems sufficient to make them satisfaction. It is family and not national sacrifices among the Indians, that has given them an indelible stamp as barbarians, and identified their character with the idea which is generally formed of unfeeling ferocity and the most barbarous cruelty.

It was my happy lot to be accepted for adoption. At the time of the ceremony I was received by the two squaws to supply the place of their brother in the family; and I was ever considered and treated by them as a real sister, the same as though I had been born of their mother.

During the ceremony of my adoption, I sat motionless, nearly terrified to death at the appearance and actions of the company, expecting every moment to feel their vengeance, and suffer death on the spot. I was, however, happily disappointed; when at the close of the ceremony the company retired, and my sisters commenced employing every means for my consolation and comfort.

Being now settled and provided with a home, I was employed in nursing the children, and doing light work about the house. Occasionally, I was sent out with the Indian hunters, when they went but a short distance, to help them carry their game. My situation was easy; I had no particular hardships to endure. But still, the recollection of my parents, my brothers and sisters, my home, and my own captivity, destroyed my happiness, and made me constantly solitary, lonesome, and gloomy.

My sisters would not allow me to speak English in their hearing; but remembering the charge that my dear mother gave me at the time I left her, whenever I chanced to be alone I made a business of repeating my prayer, catechism, or something I had learned, in order that I might not forget my own language. By practicing in that way, I retained it till I came to Genesee flats, where I soon became acquainted with English people, with whom I have been almost daily in the habit of conversing.

My sisters were very diligent in teaching me their language; and to their great satisfaction, I soon learned so that I could understand it readily, and speak it fluently. I was very fortunate in falling into their hands; for they were kind, good-natured women; peaceable and mild in their dispositions; temperate and decent in their habits, and very tender and gentle toward me. I have great reason to respect them, though they have been dead a great number of years...

After the conclusion of the French war, our tribe had nothing to do till the commencement of the American Revolution. For twelve or fifteen years, the use of the implements of war was not known, nor the warwhoop heard, save on days of festivity, when the achievements of former times were commemorated in a kind of mimic warfare, in which the chiefs, and warriors displayed their prowess, and illustrated their former adroitness, by laying the ambuscade, surprising their enemies, and performing many accurate maneuvers with the tomahawk and scalping knife; thereby preserving, and banding to their children, the theory of Indian warfare. During that period they also pertinaciously observed the religious rites of their progenitors, by attending with the most scrupulous exactness, and a great degree of enthusiasm, to the sacrifices, at particular times, to appease the anger of the Evil Deity; or to excite the commiseration of the Great Good Spirit, whom they adored with reverence, as the author, governor, supporter, and disposer of every good thing of which they participated.

They also practiced in various athletic games, such as running, wrestling, leaping, and playing ball, with a view that their bodies might be more supple -- or, rather, that they might not become enervated, and that they might be enabled to make a proper selection of chiefs for the councils of the nation, and leaders for war.

While the Indians were thus engaged in their round of traditionary performances, with the addition of hunting, their women attended to agriculture, their families, and a few domestic concerns of small consequence and attended with but little labor.

No people can live more happy than the Indians did in times of peace, before the introduction of spiritous liquors among them. Their lives were a continual round of pleasures. Their wants were few, and easily satisfied, and their cares were only for to-day -- the bounds of their calculation for future comfort not extending to the incalculable uncertainties of to-morrow. If peace ever dwelt with men, it was in former times, in the recess from war, among what are now termed barbarians. The moral character of the Indians was (if I may be allowed the expression) uncontaminated. Their fidelity was perfect, and became proverbial. They were strictly honest; they despised deception and falsehood; and chastity was held in high 'veneration, and a violation of it was considered sacrilege. They were temperate in their desires, moderate in their passions, and candid and honorable in the expression of their sentiments, on every subject of importance.

Thus, at peace among themselves and with the neighboring whites -though there were none at that time very near- our Indians lived quietly and peaceably at home, till a little before the breaking out of the Revolutionary War...

Soon after the close of the Revolutionary War, my Indian brother, Kau-jises-tau-ge-au, (which being interpreted signifies Black Coals,) offered me my liberty, and told me that if it was my choice I might go to my friends.

My son Thomas was anxious that I should go; and offered to go with me, and assist me on the journey, by taking care of the younger children, and providing food as we traveled through the wilderness. But the chiefs of our tribe, suspecting, from his appearance, actions, and a few warlike exploits, that Thomas would be a great warrior, or a good counselor, refused to let him leave them on any account whatever.

To go myself, and leave him, was more than I felt able to do; for he had been kind to me, and was one on whom I placed great dependence. The chiefs refusing to let him go was one reason for my resolving to stay; but another, more powerful if possible, was, that I had got a large family of Indian children that I must take with me; and that, if I should be so fortunate as to find my relatives, they would despise them, if not myself, and treat us as enemies, or, at least, with a degree of cold indifference, which I thought I could not endure.

Accordingly, after I had duly considered the matter, I told my brother that it was my choice to stay and spend the remainder of my days with my Indian friends, and live with my family as I hitherto had done. He appeared well pleased with my resolution, and informed me that, as that was my choice, I should have a piece of land that I could call my own, where I could live unmolested, and have something at my decease to leave for the benefit of my children.

Source: James E. Seaver, The Life of Mary Jemison: The White Woman of the Genesee. 1824. New York.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

18C Women Across the Globe

1797 Jacques Grasset of Saint-Sauveur (France, 1757-1810), Costumes of Different Countries, Los Angeles County Art Museum 

Across the 18C globe, dress varied widely. In the early 1700s, British & British American colonial women dressed similarly, but they could get an idea how women in far places also might dress from costume drawings, which were becoming more popular & more widely available.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Timeline of America's British Rulers

The British Royal House during British American Colonization

Elizabeth I (the Great) 1558-1603  Daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, last of the Tudors

James I  1603-1625  James VI of Scotland, House of Stuart

Charles I 1625-1649 Deposed. Executed 1649—English Civil War

The Protectorate 1649-1660 Oliver Cromwell is Lord Protector; Son Richard Cromwell succeeds in 1658

Charles II 1660-1685 The Restoration; Cromwell removed

James II 1685-1688 Deposed in the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688

William and Mary 1689-1694 Joint rule. Battle of the Boyne—1690

William III 1694-1702 William is of the House of Orange (Netherlands) Succeeds on Mary's death.

Anne 1702-1714  Last of the Stuarts. No surviving children.

George I 1714-1727  House of Hanover

George II 1727-1760 Seven Years' War begins 1756

George III 1760-1820 American Revolution 1775-1783

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

18C Women Across the Globe

1797 Jacques Grasset of Saint-Sauveur (France, 1757-1810), Costumes of Different Countries, Los Angeles County Art Museum 

Across the 18C globe, dress varied widely. In the early 1700s, British & British American colonial women dressed similarly, but they could get an idea how women in far places also might dress from costume drawings, which were becoming more popular & more widely available.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

18C Early American Timeline 1790-1800

A Census Act is passed by Congress. The first census indicates a total population of nearly 4 million persons in the U.S. and western territories. African Americans make up 19 percent of the population, with 90 percent living in the South. For white Americans, the average age is under 16. Most white families are large, with an average of eight children born. The white population will double every 22 years.

The largest American city is Philadelphia, with 42,000 persons, followed by New York (33,000) Boston (18,000) Charleston (16,000) and Baltimore (13,000). The majority of Americans are involved in agricultural pursuits, with little industrial activity occurring at this time.

Petition to Congress by Mary Katherine Goddard, January 29, 1790, to retain her position as the 1st postmistress in America. Her appeals to Congress & to George Washington failed. See entry on Mary Katherine Goddard in this blog.

George Washington replies to Moses Seixas's letter on behalf of the Newport Hebrew Congregation using the off-quoted phrase that the USA government "gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance"

First American cotton mill.

Mother Bernardina Matthews establishes a Carmelite convent near Port Tobacco, Maryland, the first community of Roman Catholic nuns established in one of the original 13 states. (The Ursuline convent established in New Orleans in 1727 was still in French territory.)

Judith Sargent Murray writes "On the Equality of the Sexes"

A second great revival movement sweeps northeast America, inspired by the earlier example of Jonathan Edwards

George Washington and the Congress chose the Potomac as the navigable river on which the new US capital city will be sited.

Benjamin Franklin dies in Philadelphia at age 84. His funeral four days later draws over 20,000 mourners.

Sarah Wentworth Morton (1759-1846) writes Ouabi; or, The Virtues of Nature. An Indian tale by Philenia, a lady of Boston. Boston: I. Thomas and E.T. Andrews, 1790. The Boston writer known as the American Sappho treats a love triangle between an Illinois chief, his wife, and a European aristocrat. The narrative poem is notable for its researched representation of Indian life. It would be set to music by Hans Graham in 1793 and would inspire Louis James Bacon's play The American Indian (1795).

Mercy Otis Warren writes Poems, Dramatic and Miscellaneous, Boston: I. Thomas. and E.T. Andrews, [1790]. This is the first work printed under her own name. Warren produces verse tragedies & other poems extolling republican virtues & confirming women as moral authorities.

The first ten amendments to the Constitution protecting individual rights are ratified. They are called the Bill of Rights.

First Bank of the United States is founded in Philadelphia under Alexander Hamilton and is granted a 20-year charter. Its charter is not renewed in 1811.

Susanna Haswell Rowson writes Mentoria; or, The Young Lady's Friend, a collection of letters, stories, and an essay wtih topics ranging from charity & the pitfalls of social ambition to obedience & moral conduct.

Anne Bailey rode to present-day Lewisburg to obtain ammunition for settlers at Fort Lee at present-day Charleston, which was being attacked by Native Americans. (More recent studies suggest this incident may never have occurred.)
Source: Conley and Doherty, West Virginia History, 148-149.

An Indian raid on an American military camp beside the Maumee river leaves more than 600 US soldiers dead.

Haitian Revolution. an 1802 engraving of Toussaint L’Ouverture.

Slave insurrection in the French colony of St. Domingue begins the bloody process of founding the nation of Haiti, the first independent black country in the Americas. Refugees flee to America, many coming to Philadelphia, the largest & most cosmopolitan city in America with the largest northern free black community. Philadelphia has many supporters for Toussaint L'Overture.

Mary Kinnan was captured & her husband & daughter were killed by Shawnee Indians along the Tygart Valley River in Randolph County. Kinnan lived with her captors for 3 years. Source: Conley and Doherty, West Virginia History, 142.

The cornerstone of the White House in at Washington City in The District of Columbia is laid.

Bunker Gay, A Genuine and Correct Account of the Captivity, Sufferings, and Deliverance of Mrs. Jemima Howe (captivity narrative).

The first political parties, Hamilton's Federalists and Jefferson's Republicans, emerge in the USA.

The US Congress passes Fugitive Slave Laws, enabling southern slave owners to reclaim escaped slaves in northern states.

Hannah Slater receives the first U.S. patent granted to a woman, for a type of cotton thread. Her invention helps her husband build a successful textile business.

Eli Whitney (1765–1825) produces the cotton gin, which speeds the process of separating the cotton fibers from the seeds.

George Washington lays the cornerstone for the Congress building on Capitol Hill.

Suzanne Vaillande appears in The Bird Catcher, in New York, the first ballet presented in the U.S. She was also probably the first woman to work as a choreographer & set designer in the United States.

An epidemic of yellow fever kills 4,044 at Philadelphia. Believed by many to have been brought to the city by refugees from Santo Domingo The fever strikes nearly all of the 24,000 inhabitants who do not flee, and it kills 1 in every 6. Physican Benjamin Rush, 47, works round the clock to bleed more than 100 patients per day; he recruits free blacks who have not fled the city, training them to bleed & purge patients. The epidemic does not abate until autumn, when cold weather kills the mosquitoes.

Massachusetts repeals its Puritanical anti-theater laws after a fight led by Sarah Wentworth Apthorp Morton & her husband, Perez.

Anonymous: The Hapless Orphan; or, Innocent Victim of Revenge. Boston: Printed at the Appollo Press by Belknap and Hall, 1793. By an American Lady. This sentimental didactic novel concerns a self-centered Philadelphia girl whose attachment to another's fiancé leads to the hero's suicide & a vendetta by her rival.

Ann Eliza Bleecker (Schuyler) (1752-1783) is published in The Posthumous Works of Ann Eliza Bleecker. New York: T. and J. Swords, 1793. This collection of letters, poems, and prose published by Bleecker's daughter (the writer Margaretta Faugères (1771-1801), details life on the front lines of the American Revolution and the death of Bleecker's daughter Abella. As a poet, fiction writer, & correspondent, Bleecker provides firsthand accounts of women's life during the Revolution.

Whiskey Rebellion breaks out in western Pennsylvania among farmers who oppose the collection of the tax on liquor & stills. George Washington uses military force to assert government authority on rebels in Pennsylvania refusing to pay a federal tax on whiskey.

Congress enacts the federal Slave Trade Act of 1794 prohibiting American vessels to transport slaves to any foreign country from outfitting in American ports.

Jay's Treaty provides for withdrawal of British forces from the Northwest Territory by 1 June 1796 in exchange for payments of war debts to British citizens. It is ratified on 24 June 1795.

Columbianum, first American art society, founded by Charles Willson Peale, Philadelphia

Anne Kemble Hatton (c. 1757-c. 1796) writes Tammany; or, The Indian Chief. The earliest drama about American Indians; the title character rescues his beloved from Spanish kidnappers.

The first independent black churches in America (St. Thomas African Episcopal Church and Bethel Church) established in Philadelphia by Absalom Jones & Richard Allen, respectively, as an act of self-determination & a protest against segregation.

Susanna Haswell Rowson writes Slaves in Algiers; or, A Struggle for Freedom. Philadelphia: Printed for the author by Wrigley and Berriman, 1794. The first play by a woman successfully produced in America & Rowson's only drama surviving in complete form utilizes the Barbary pirates' raids on American ships to demonstrate tyranny. The author would also perform in this play & in her subsequent dramas, including The Female Patriot (1795), The Volunteers (1795), & Americans in England (1797).

Susanna Haswell Rowson writes Mrs. Charlotte, a Tale of Truth. [Philadelphia]: Mathew Carey, 1794. One of the first American bestsellers, this novel tells the story of an English girl seduced by a British officer, Montraville. Charlotte follows Montraville to New York, where he abandons her & she dies in childbirth. The supposedly true story exemplifies Rowson's argument for the importance of the education of young women. It had been published first in England in 1791. A sequel, Charlotte's Daughter, would be published in 1828. Also published by Rowson was, The Inquisitor; or, Invisible Rambler. 3 vols. Philadelphia: Mathew Carey, 1794.

Founding of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, a joining several state & regional antislavery societies into a national organization to promote abolition. Conference held in Philadelphia.

Anne Parrish founds the House of Industry in Philadelphia, which provides employment to poor women. It is the first American charitable organization operated by women for women.

Two extra stars are added to the American flag for Vermont & Kentucky, two new states that have joined since the original union of thirteen.

Margaretta V. Bleecker Faugères (1771-1801) writes Belisarius: A Tragedy. Faugères's blank-verse tragedy is her major literary achievement, echoing Shakespeare's King Lear.

Susanna Haswell Rowson writes The Volunteers, a "musical entertainment" concerning the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania. The score, with Rowson's lyrics set to music by Alexander Reinagle (1756-1809), is all that now survives of the play.

Susanna Haswell Rowson writes Trials of the Human Heart, 4 vols. Philadelphia: Printed for the author by Wrigley & Berriman and sold by M. Carey [and others], 1795. This novel describes 16 years of suffering by Meriel Howard. Rowson's first novel written in America wins an impressive list of subscribers, including Martha Washington, members of prominent Philadelphia families, and members of the New Theatre Company.

George Washington's Farewell Address is published in Philadelphia's Daily American Advertiser. He warns against the divisiveness of a party system & permanent foreign alliances, and cautions against an overpowerful military establishment. He then retires to Mount Vernon, Virginia.

Amelia Simmons produces the first truly American cookbook American Cookery: The Art of Dressing Viands, Fish, Poultry, and Vegetables, and the Best Modes of Making Puff-Pastes, Pies, Tarts, Puddings, Custards, and Preserves, and All Kinds of Cakes From the Imperial Plumb to plain Cake, Adapted to this Country, and All Grades of Life. See this blog for more on Amelia Simmons.

The election brings in a Federalist president (John Adams) and a Republican vice-president (Thomas Jefferson)

1 June. Tennessee is admitted to the Union as a slave-holding state.

Susanna Haswell Rowson writes Americans in England, one of the first American works exploring the "international theme," Rowson's social comedy would be revised by the author as The Columbian Daughter in 1800.

John Adams (1735–1826) becomes the second president of the United States.

A cast-iron plow is invented, but farmers fear it will poison the soil and refuse to use it.

18 October. Amid tensions between the US & France, French foreign minister Tallyrand's agents suggest a "loan," essentially a bribe, to bring the French to the bargaining table. Charles C. Pinckney, the American minister to France, refuses, saying, "Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute."
The USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides") is launched as part of the new US navy.

Ann Eliza Bleecker’s work is published posthumously, The History of Maria Kittle. It is a captivity narrative set during the French & Indian War, is a fictionalized elaboration of the author's own experiences. It is thought to be the first American fictional account focusing on Native Americans, where horrific descriptions of an Indian attack & an earthquake are contrasted with tranquil rural scenes.

Hannah Webster Foster (1759-1840) writes The Coquette; or, The History of Eliza Wharton, an epistolary novel based on the alleged seduction of Foster's distant cousin, Elizabeth Whitman, by Pierpont Edwards, and her death in childbirth. Wildly popular, the novel would appear in numerous editions, with early editions attributed to "A Lady of Massachusetts."

Deborah Sampson (1760-1827) cooperates with Herman Mann in writing The Female Review; or, Life of Deborah Sampson, Dedham [Mass.}: Nathaniel and Benjamin Heaton, 1797. This is an account of Deborah Sampson, afterwards Mrs. Benjamin Gannett, who served as a soldier in the revolutionary war under the name of Robert Shirtliff. an embellished autobiography detailing Sampson's experiences in the American Revolution, in which she had dressed as a man & served in the Massachusetts militia & Continental army. Although she had lost her wartime diary, she told her tale to Herman Mann, who wrote & published it.

In the first black initiated petition to Congress, Philadelphia free blacks protest North Carolina laws re-enslaving blacks freed during the Revolution.

Sarah Wentworth Morton writes Beacon Hill: A Local Poem, Historic and Descriptive, Boston: Manning & Loring, 1797. This was poetical record of the American Revolution.

Controversial Alien and Sedition Acts are passed by the US Congress as emergency measures in response to the perceived threat of war with France. The Alien and Sedition Acts give the president the power to imprison or deport foreigners believed to be dangerous to the United States and make it a crime to attack the government with "false, scandalous, or malicious" statements or writings. Thomas Jefferson later pardons all those convicted under the Sedition Act, many of whom were Democrat-Republicans.

Congress abolishes debtors' prisons.

Susanna Haswell Rowson writes Reuben and Rachel; or, Tales of Old Times, Boston: Manning and Loring, for D. West, 1798. This romantic novel surveys the history of Western civilization & attempts to interest young women toward history.

Hannah Webster Foster writes The Boarding School; or, Lessons of a Preceptress to Her Pupils, Boston: I. Thomas and E.T. Andrews, 1798. This is a collection of moral & domestic lectures, including her advocacy of female education & criticism of sexual double standards.

Judith Sargent Murray (1751-1820) writes The Gleaner, Boston: I. Thomas and E.T. Andrews, 1798. This is a collection of essays on history, guidelines for women's conduct, discussion of education and politics, & poems. Originally published under the guise of male authorship to maintain an impartial readership, the essays attempt to prove the capability of women writers.

George Washington, aged sixty-seven, dies after a brief illness at his home in Virginia.

American born Helena Wells (c. 1760-c. 1809) writes The Stepmother. The story of an independent woman who manages her own finances & property after the death of her husband; it includes detailed descriptions of the conduct of a sensible woman. The daughter of a Loyalist bookseller & publisher, Wells was a novelist & educator who operated, with her sister, a boarding school for girls in London & worked as a governess.

Hannah Adams (1755-1831) writes A Summary History of New England, Dedham [Mass.]: Printed for the author, by H. Mann and J.H. Adams. This is an account of events from the sailing of the Mayflower to the establishment of the Constitution, based on primary sources from state archives & newspapers. Adams conducted much of her research in bookshops, because she could not afford to purchase books.

The census estimated the population of the United States at 3,929,214.

The United States reports a birth rate of 7.04 children per woman, one of the highest in the world.

The congress founds a new national library in Washington named The Library of Congress.

US president John Adams moves into the newly completed White House, named for its light grey limestone.

Republican Thomas Jefferson and Federalist Aaron Burr tie votes in the Electoral College in the presidential election. The US House of Representatives votes for Jefferson as president.

According to George Washington's vision, Washington City in the District of Columbia becomes the capital of the United States, a new city located at the junction of the Potomac & Anacostia rivers. Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant (1754–1825) designs a plan modeled on Versailles with grand public parks & spacious avenues radiating out from on a domed Capitol.

Off the coast of Cuba, the U.S. naval vessel Ganges captures two American vessels, carrying 134 enslaved Africans, for violating the 1794 Slave Trade Act & brings them to Philadelphia for adjudication in federal court by Judge Richard Peters. Peters turns the custody of the Africans over to the Pennsylvania Abolition Society, which attempts to assimilate the Africans into Pennsylvania using the indenture system with many local Quakers serving as sponsors.

American born Helena Wells writes Constantia Neville; or, The West Indian, a novel about education promoting Christianity in arguments with deists & Unitarians and includes an attack on English author and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.

Absalom Jones & other Philadelphia blacks petition Congress against the slave trade & against the fugitive slave act of 1793.

Sarah Sayward Barrell Keating Wood (1759-1855) writes Julia and the Illuminated Baron, a gothic story of an intrepid young woman who resists an atheistic baron during the French Revolution.

See Burt, Daniel S , editor. The Chronology of American Literature: America's Literary Achievements from the Colonial Era to Modern Times. Houghton Mifflin Internet. History Matters. American Social History Project / Center for Media and Learning (Graduate Center, CUNY) and the Center for History and New Media (George Mason University). Internet.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

18C Women Across the Globe

1797 Jacques Grasset of Saint-Sauveur (France, 1757-1810), Costumes of Different Countries, Los Angeles County Art Museum 

Across the 18C globe, dress varied widely. In the early 1700s, British & British American colonial women dressed similarly, but they could get an idea how women in far places also might dress from costume drawings, which were becoming more popular & more widely available.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

18C Early American Timeline 1780-1789

12 May. After 40 days of siege, General Benjamin Lincoln surrenders Charles Town (Charleston), South Carolina, to the British forces commanded by General Henry Lincoln.

2 October. After being captured with Benedict Arnold's plans for the surrender of West Point, the headquarters of the Continental army, British spy Major John Andre is hanged. Having escaped on 25 September after hearing of Andre's capture, Arnold later becomes a brigadier general in the British army.

Delaware makes it illegal to enslave imported Africans.

Pennsylvania passes an Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery - on March 1

A freedom clause in the Massachusetts constitution is interpreted as an abolishment of slavery.

Massachusetts enfranchises all men, but not women, regardless of race.

17 January. At the battle of Cowpens, South Carolina, General Daniel Morgan defeats the British forces of Colonel Banastre Tarleton, an important victory for the Americans.

Articles of Confederation : March 1, 1781

10 June. Reinforced by troops under General Anthony Wayne, American forces under the Marquis de Lafayette help to fend off raids by Benedict Arnold and Cornwallis in Virginia.

6 September. Benedict Arnold and his troops attack and destroy parts of New London, Connecticut.

28 September After French Admiral de Grasse defeats the British fleet under Admiral Thomas Graves and gains control of Chesapeake Bay, the siege of Yorktown begins as 9,000 American and 7,000 French troops under General George Washington and Jean Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, converge on the city.

General Cornwallis signs the surrender papers on October 19, thus ending the last major battle of the Revolutionary War.

 Articles of Capitulation; October 18, 1781

The Bank of North America is established by the Continental Congress to lend money to the fledgling Revolutionary government

Jury Decides in Favor of "Mum Bett" Freeman, August 22, 1781
Ann Lee leads her Shaker colleagues in a missionary tour of New England lasting two years

Slaves in Williamsburg, Virginia, rebel and burn several buildings

Deborah Sampson, disguised as a man, enlists in the 4th Massachusetts Regiment as Robert Shurtleff. She is one of many women who fight in the American Revolution. Letter by Paul Revere in support of a military pension for Deborah Sampson Gannett.

Contract Between the King and the Thirteen United States of North America, signed at Versailles July 16, 1782

Mercy Otis Warren: "TO A YOUNG GENTLEMAN, RESIDING IN FRANCE." An instructional poem in which Warren offers advice to her son about avoiding the temptations young men from America may encounter when they are away from home.


Some 40,000 Loyalists flee from British America to the previously French colonies, in particular Nova Scotia

Treaty of Paris ends the Revolutionary War.

The Supreme Court of Massachusetts abolishes slavery in that state.


Noah Webster's "BLUE-BACKED SPELLER" (A GRAMMATICAL INSTITUTE OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE) helps to standardize spelling and to distinguish British from American English that eventually will sell more than 60 million copies.


Beginning of the China Trade, as the American Ship Empress of China, sailing from New York, arrives at Canton, China. The ship will return with exotic goods, including silks and tea, spurring large numbers of American merchants to enter the trade.

Hannah Adams (1755-1831) writes AN ALPHABETICAL COMPENDIUM OF THE VARIOUS SECTS. Boston: B. Edes and Sons, 1784. Adams, the first American woman to earn a living by writing, produces her most significant work, a reference to modern religions intended to "avoid giving the least preference of any denomination over another." Revised editions would appear in 1791, 1801, and 1817 as A DICTIONARY OF ALL RELIGIONS, and the work is an indispensable resource in registering the changes in religious views in America from 1784 to 1817.

Americanus, Ovid [pseud.]. LESSONS FOR LOVERS. TO WHICH IS ADDED THE THUNDERSTORM, A POEM. Supposed to be written by the late celebrated Miss A***, now Mrs. L***. Philadelphia: Robert Bell, 1784.

Treaty With the Six Nations : 1784.

Phillis Wheatley writes her final publication, "LIBERTY AND PEACE: A POEM." Wheatley had married John Peters, a free black Bostonian, in 1778. Their union was marked by constant financial difficulties, and after her husband was jailed for debt, Wheatley found herself without friends to help her. She supported herself and her family as a laundress in a boardinghouse that catered to blacks. This poem, her last attempt to regain public notice, was unsuccessful. Sick and overworked, Wheatley died on December 5.

Martha Ballard begins her diary on January 1, 1785.

Congress relocates to New York City, temporary capital of the U.S.

Thomas Jefferson is appointed minister to France, replacing Benjamin Franklin.

Treaty With the Wyandot, etc.; January 21

Treaty With The Cherokee; November 28

Mercy Otis Warren writes SANS SOUCI, a biting satire of elite society in Boston after the Revolution. This social critique of fashion and manners uses many of Mercy Otis Warren's literary hallmarks, though she never claimed authorship.

A Petition by Rachel Lovell Wells, 1786

Treaty With the Chocktaw; January 3

Treaty With the Chickasaw; January 10

Treaty With the Shawnee; January 31

Americans suffer from post-war economic depression including a shortage of currency, high taxes, nagging creditors, farm foreclosures and bankruptcies.

Congress adopts a decimal coinage system based on the Spanish milled dollar.

In Massachusetts, angry representatives from 50 towns meet to discuss money problems including the rising number of foreclosures, the high cost of lawsuits, heavy land and poll taxes, high salaries for state officials, and demands for new paper money as a means of credit. To prevent debtors from being tried and put in prison, ex-Revolutionary War Captain Daniel Shays, who is now a bankrupt farmer, leads an armed mob and prevents the Northampton Court from holding a session.

Susanna Haswell Rowson (c. 1762-1824) writes VICTORIA. Rowson's first novel is published by subscription. It is a tale of seduction, in which a woman is tricked into a sham marriage, becomes pregnant, is abandoned, and goes insane before dying.

Publication in London of An Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species, Particularly the African, by Thomas Clarkson. Quickly reprinted in the United States, it is the single most influential antislavery work of the late 18th century.

The Federal Convention convenes in Philadelphia, although only seven states are represented. Several provisions of James Madison's Virginia Plan become part of the U. S. Constitution, including a bicameral legislature, a federal judiciary branch, and an executive branch. The Constitution is approved on 17 September and then is sent to the states for ratification. A large group of representatives from the newly independent colonies, including George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin, and others meet at the Philadelphia State House to discuss the future of the country and to draft a document reflecting Revolutionary ideals. This becomes the Constitutional Convention.

Congress enacts the Northwest Ordinance which establishes formal procedures for transforming territories into states. It provides for the eventual establishment of three to five states in the area north of the Ohio River, to be considered equal with the original 13.

The Ordinance includes a Bill of Rights that guarantees freedom of religion, the right to trial by jury, public education and a ban on slavery in the Northwest. Quakers flocked to the new territory, believing their prayers had been answered.

Philadelphia free blacks establish the Free African Society in Philadelphia, the first independent black organization and a mutual aid society.

The ratified U.S. Constitution allows a male slave to count as three-fifths of a man in determining representation in the House of Representatives. The Constitution sets 1808 as the earliest date for the national government to ban the slave trade. No vote is given to women.
Mercy Warren to Catherine Macaulay, 28 September 1787

October 1787-May 1788. The Federalist Papers appear in New York newspapers under the pseudonym Publius. The letters are written by James Madison (1731-1836), Alexander Hamilton (1757-1804), and John Jay (1745-1829).

Rhode Island outlaws the slave trade.


The constitution of the United States is ratified by the states, but it is immediately agreed that amendments will be desirable

Hannah More (1745-1833) publishes in Philadelphia, SLAVERY, A POEM.
Jews are permitted to hold federal office.

Pennsylvania amends law to forbid removal of blacks from the state.

George Washington (1732–1799) is unanimously elected the first president of the United States on April 30. and is inaugurated on Wall Street in New York. He serves two consecutive four-year terms.

Gershom Mendes Seixas, prayer leader of New York's Jewish congregation, is invited to Washington's inaugural.

The first American novel, William Hill Brown's The Power of Sympathy, seeks "to expose the dangerous Consequences of Seduction and to set forth the advantages of female Education."
Alexander Hamilton becomes secretary of the treasury in the administration of George Washington, whose federalist views he shares

Olaudah Equiano (c. 1745-c. 1801): THE INTERESTING NARRATIVE OF THE LIFE OF OLAUDAH EQUIANO, OR GUSTAVUS VASSA, THE AFRICAN. This narrative is an autobiography about being forced from Africa as an adolescent into slavery. In one of the first slave narratives, Equiano transcends the inhumanity of bondage and writes an insightful narrative.

Mercy Warren. Letter signed, dated Plimouth [Massachusetts], 20 September 1789, to Catharine Macaulay

Georgetown University, the first Catholic college in the U.S., is founded by Father John Carroll.

The first inaugural ball occurs in honor of President Washington.

In France, the French Revolution begins with the fall of the Bastille in Paris, an event witnessed by the American ambassador, Thomas Jefferson.

The U.S. Army is established by Congress. Totaling 1000 men, it consists of one regiment of eight infantry companies and one battalion of four artillery companies.

Quakers reconcile with the American government by congratulating Washington on his election as president, at the same time reaffirming that they "can take no part in any warlike measures on any occasion or under any power"

Susanna Haswell Rowson writes "A TRIP TO PARNASSUS" criticizing in verse the contemporary stage. She also publishes POEMS ON VARIOUS SUBJECTS AND THE INQUISITOR. In a loosely related collection of scenes from domestic life, Rowson expresses her opposition to the excessively contrived, idealized fiction of the day.

Treaty With the Wyandot, etc.; January 9

Treaty With the Six Nations; January 9

Susanna Haswell Rowson writes Mary; OR, THE TEST OF HONOUR. Rowson depicts a spirited heroine who demonstrates that her moral sense is superior to that of the wealthy aristocrat who refuses to let his son marry her.

Yale Law School, The Avalon Project: Documents in Law, History, and Diplomacy. New Haven, CT.
HISTORY MATTERS. American Social History Project / Center for Media and Learning (Graduate Center, CUNY) and the Center for History and New Media (George Mason University). Internet.