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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

American History A Day at A Time – January

American History A Day at A Time - January
American History A Day at A Time - January
American History A Day at A Time – January has one history lesson a day in the settlement of early America. This January edition covers the historical events of January. The stories include both famous historical events and many little known, obscure facts. This frontier history includes the following stories:

January 1, 1673 - Regular Mail Delivery Begins

January 6, 1759 - George Washington Marries Martha Dandridge Curtis

January 7, 1698 - Fire Destroys Jamestown Virginia

January 14, 1639 - First Connecticut Constitution Adopted In Hartford, Connecticut

January 31, 1620 - Virginia Colony Leaders Request More Orphans for Workers



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© Mossy Feet Books 2017

America's Dusty Files - March 29, 1638 - First Permanent White Settlement In Delaware

A Year of Colonial American Frontier History
A Year of Colonial American Frontier History
March 29, 1638 - First Permanent White Settlement In Delaware 
The Swedes began their short-lived settlement in North America when a group of Swedish Lutherans set foot on Swedish Landing on March 29, 1638. They called their settlement Fort Christina in honor of Queen Christina of Sweden. The city grew into what is now Wilmington, Delaware. The colony was an effort planned and carried out under the auspices of the Swedish West India Company.
Swedish West India Company
Chartered by the Swedish royalty in 1637, the Company's purpose was to compete with the Dutch and English by establishing colonies in North America. It was a private company with a royal monopoly with three quarters of the profit going to the company and one quarter to the Crown.
The Expedition
Swedish admiral Clas Fleming organized the expedition. It embarked from the harbor at Gothenburg, Sweden in the late part of 1637. Peter Minuit, the former Dutch governor of New Amsterdam, led the expedition. It sailed on the ships Fogel Grip and Kalmar Nyckel. The landed at a place now called Swede's Landing on territory claimed by the Dutch. The colony prospered and existed as a Swedish enterprise until 1655. On September 15, the Dutch captured it during the Swedish initiated Second Northern War.

United States history begins many decades before July 4, 1776 when the colonies declared their independence from Great Britain. The first foundations of the nation were laid with the voyages of Christopher Columbus and the settlement that came later. The American History A Day at A Time - 2015 series is in an easy to read "This Day in History," format and includes articles by the author from that series. The reader may read the articles as they appear, or purchase the book:
A Year of Colonial American Frontier History

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© Paul Wonning 2016

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

America's Dusty Files - March 28, 1774 - Paul Revere's Boston Massacre Print Published

March 28, 1774 - Paul Revere's Boston Massacre Print Published
A Year of Colonial American Frontier History
A Year of Colonial American Frontier History
Three weeks after the Boston Massacre Paul Revere published the engraving that publicized it. The engraving helped turn it into one of the major events leading up to the American Revolution.
Paul Revere (December 21, 1734 O.S. – May 10, 1818 N.S.)
The third child of Apollos Rivoire and Deborah Hitchborn entered the world on the North End of Boston. His father was a French Huguenot that had Anglicized his name to Paul Revere after immigrating to Boston at the age of thirteen. Apollos became apprenticed to a silversmith named John Coney. He passed his trade and eventually his shop on to his son, Paul, when he died in 1754. Since Paul was too young to own the shop legally, he entered the militia during the French and Indian War. He returned to Boston to take over the shop and marry Sarah Orne. Together they had eight children. Paul Revere became active in the resistance movement against the British during this time. He joined the "Sons of Liberty" when the group formed. He used his skills as a silversmith to produce several engravings in support of the growing rebellion. The most famous of these engravings was the "The Fruits of Arbitrary Power, or the Bloody Massacre."
"The Fruits of Arbitrary Power, or the Bloody Massacre"
Revere did not intend the depiction of the Massacre as a historically accurate document. He used it as a propaganda piece, and as such, it does contain several significant inaccuracies. Historians regard the engraving as historically important because of its wide publication. It had a profound influence on the growing resistance movement to the British in the Colonies. He produced the engraving in just three weeks after the Massacre. He used the painting of young artist Henry Pelham as a template. Pelham accused Revere of using his painting without his permission. This was not illegal at the time. Historians feel the dispute was more about Revere's not sharing the proceeds with the artist than a copyright dispute.

United States history begins many decades before July 4, 1776 when the colonies declared their independence from Great Britain. The first foundations of the nation were laid with the voyages of Christopher Columbus and the settlement that came later. The American History A Day at A Time - 2015 series is in an easy to read "This Day in History," format and includes articles by the author from that series. The reader may read the articles as they appear, or purchase the book:
A Year of Colonial American Frontier History

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© Paul Wonning 2016

Monday, March 27, 2017

America's Dusty Files - March 27, 1513 - Spanish Explorer Sights Florida

A Year of Colonial American Frontier History
A Year of Colonial American Frontier History
March 27, 1513 - Spanish Explorer Sights Florida 
After setting sail from their colony on Puerto Rico, Ponce De Leon went in quest of rumored undiscovered lands. On March 27, members of his crew sight an "island" of which the sailors of his crew were not familiar. Many historians believe that what they actually saw was the Florida mainland.  Ponce De Leon and some crewmen landed on the mainland a few days later, near present day St. Augustine, to claim it for the Spanish Crown.
Juan Ponce De León (1474 – July 1521)
The son of a noble Spanish family, Ponce De León served as a page at the Aragon court as a boy. As a young man, he served in a military campaign against the Moors. Then many historians believe he accompanied Christopher Columbus on his second voyage in 1493. By 1502, he served as captain under Spanish governor of Hispaniola. Because of his role in suppressing a mutiny by the Indians, the governor appointed him as vice governor of Hispaniola. An expedition he led found large deposits of gold on the island of Borinquen in 1507.
The Spanish king named him governor of this island in 1508. He renamed it Puerto Rico and served as governor for two years. The Spanish king replaced him with Christopher Columbus's son, Diego Colón. King Ferdinand of Spain encouraged León to explore for new lands that would not fall under Colón's authority. Ferdinand did not want to have more lands under the authority of Colón.
Further Explorations
In February 1512, the king granted León a contract authorizing him to explore for "the Islands of Benimy." The contract gave him exclusive rights for three years and granted him the governorship of any lands he discovered. The contract stipulated that he would have to finance any explorations himself. He equipped three ships and sailed from Puerto Rico on March 4, 1513. He went in search of new lands, gold and the fabled "fountain of youth" that natives claimed lay somewhere to the north. On March 27 he sighted what many historians believe was the mainland of Florida.

United States history begins many decades before July 4, 1776 when the colonies declared their independence from Great Britain. The first foundations of the nation were laid with the voyages of Christopher Columbus and the settlement that came later. The American History A Day at A Time - 2015 series is in an easy to read "This Day in History," format and includes articles by the author from that series. The reader may read the articles as they appear, or purchase the book:
A Year of Colonial American Frontier History

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© Paul Wonning 2016

Friday, March 24, 2017

America's Dusty Files - March 24, 1665 - Britain Enacts Quartering Act

A Year of Colonial American Frontier History
A Year of Colonial American Frontier History
March 24, 1665 - Britain Enacts Quartering Act
At the end of the French and Indian War in 1763, the British had a large standing army that needed housing. They faced depleted treasuries because of fighting the French in both the North American theatre and in Europe.  They needed funds to keep their army intact. They looked to the colonies to help house the soldiers in Colonial America to defray the cost of the war. Since the British felt the war had mainly benefited the colonists, they did not think this unreasonable. There had been minimal British military presence before the war. The colonists wondered why the British needed an army stationed there, since the war was over and the French gone. As a result, the colonial assemblies refused British Lieutenant-General Thomas Gage's requests for funding. Gage asked Parliament to do something to aid his troops.
The Quartering Act of 1765
To satisfy Gage's request for help, Parliament passed the Quartering Act on March 24, 1765. The act went far beyond what Gage had requested and helped set the stage for further Colonial resistance to Parliamentary laws. It did not require private citizens to house soldiers in their homes. It did require Colonial assemblies to provide quarters in "barracks, in inns, livery stables, ale houses, victualling houses, and the houses of sellers of wine by retail to be drank in their own houses or places thereunto belonging, and all houses of persons selling of rum, brandy, strong water, cyder or metheglin, by retail, to be drank in houses; and in case there shall not be sufficient room for the officers and soldiers in such barracks, inns, victualling and other publick ale houses."
It also directed that if these were insufficient, they must make vacant houses and other buildings available at their expense. Thus, Parliament made the colonies pay for both the billeting and feeding of the troops.
New York Restraining Act
After the Quartering Act went into effect, Parliament sent 1500 more troops to New York. The New York colonial assembly refused to comply with the Quartering Act, so the troops had to remain on the ships. Parliament attempted to break the stalemate with the passage of the New York Restraining Act. The Act prevented the New York Royal Governor from signing legislation passed by the legislature until they complied. The assembly eventually supplied some funds in 1771, but resentment remained.
Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, barracks already existed on an island in the middle of the bay. The city was already in turmoil over the Townsend Acts. The commander moved the soldiers from the island to billet in public places in Boston. The tents erected on the Boston Common and other places led to resentment and brawls between citizens and soldiers. This finally erupted into the Boston Massacre in 1770.
The Quartering Act Expires
This act expired on March 24, 1776. This act is not considered part of the Intolerable Acts that led to the unrest that became the American Revolution. It was the amendment to this act, passed on June 2, 1774, that went further and provoked further unrest. All the colonies except Pennsylvania resisted the original Quartering Act to some degree.

United States history begins many decades before July 4, 1776 when the colonies declared their independence from Great Britain. The first foundations of the nation were laid with the voyages of Christopher Columbus and the settlement that came later. The American History A Day at A Time - 2015 series is in an easy to read "This Day in History," format and includes articles by the author from that series. The reader may read the articles as they appear, or purchase the book:
A Year of Colonial American Frontier History

Facebook
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@MossyFeetBooks Twitter
@MossyFeetBooks
© Paul Wonning 2016

Thursday, March 23, 2017

America's Dusty Files - March 23, 1775 - Patrick Henry Proclaims "Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death"

A Year of Colonial American Frontier History
A Year of Colonial American Frontier History
March 23, 1775 - Patrick Henry Proclaims "Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death" 
By late March 1775, the American Revolution had begun in the colonies. In February, the British government declared Massachusetts to be in a state of rebellion. Virginia's Royal Governor Lord Dunmore had dissolved the Virginia House of Burgesses. He did this because the House had called for a day of prayer as a show of solidarity for Boston after Parliament passed the Boston Port Act. The House of Burgesses next assembled in a series of sessions now called the Virginia Conventions.  It was in this atmosphere that Patrick Henry rose to give his resonating speech.
Patrick Henry (May 29, 1736 – June 6, 1799)
The Patrick family farm, Studley, was the site of John Henry's birth. His parents were John Henry and Sarah Winston Syme. The farm is in Hanover County, Virginia. Patrick Henry's father tutored him at home during his early years. After trying stints as a planter and storeowner, Patrick Henry found his niche when he qualified as a lawyer in 1760. Elected to the House of Burgesses in 1765, he became a leading opponent of the British in short order. He introduced the Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions just nine days after his inauguration into the House. In summary, the resolutions stated that no legislative body save one elected by Virginians could tax them. Since no one from the colonies served in Parliament, Parliament had no right to impose taxes. Only the Virginia House of Burgesses had the right to tax Virginians. The language he used to propose the Resolutions was so inflammatory that many in the House shouted "Treason," during his speech. Convinced by the strength of his speech, the House passed the resolutions. This was one of the early legislative salvos in the building resistance to British rule in the Colonies.
The Virginia Conventions
After Lord Dunmore dissolved the House of Burgesses, the body convened for five sessions. These sessions occurred from 1774 through 1776. In 1776, they approved Virginia's first Constitution, and then adjourned. The second convention opened in St. John's Episcopal Church St. in Richmond, Virginia on March 20, 1775. The debate over arming a militia flitted back and forth for several days. On March 23, Patrick Henry rose and delivered the speech that swung the votes in favor of arming the militia. He had not prepared the speech ahead of time and spoke entirely from the heart. The speech not only changed the course of his own life, but that of the Colonies and the world as well.
Impact
The speech ended with the words “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?  Forbid it, Almighty God!  I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!” After this passionate ending, the House sat for several moments in silence. The impact and passion of his words moved everyone. The delegates included two future Presidents, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Another, Thomas Marshall, was the father of John Marshall, future Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. The Resolution declared the United Colonies independence from Great Britain. It also and authorized the raising of a militia. It then passed the House of Burgesses.
Aftermath.
Upon hearing of this Resolution, Lord Dunmore confiscated gunpowder stored at the Williamsburg armory. The House had appointed Patrick Henry, appointed the head of the newly formed militia. Henry led a force of hundreds of armed militiamen to Williamsburg. He demanded that Dunmore return it. Dunmore, after declaring that Henry and his men were treasonous, fled to a British warship for refuge. He would eventually reimburse the colonists for the confiscated armaments.
St. John's Episcopal Church
2401 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia.
http://historicstjohnschurch.org/
Visitor Center:
(804) 648-5015
The church is still active and offers tours.

America's Dusty Files - United States history begins many decades before July 4, 1776 when the colonies declared their independence from Great Britain. The first foundations of the nation were laid with the voyages of Christopher Columbus and the settlement that came later. The American History A Day at A Time - 2015 series is in an easy to read "This Day in History," format and includes articles by the author from that series. The reader may read the articles as they appear, or purchase the book:
A Year of Colonial American Frontier History

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© Paul Wonning 2016

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

America's Dusty Files - March 22, 1621 - Massasoit and Pilgrims Agree On League Of Friendship

A Year of Colonial American Frontier History
A Year of Colonial American Frontier History
March 22, 1621 - Massasoit and Pilgrims Agree On League Of Friendship 
The meeting with Samoset several days earlier had eased the minds of the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony. However, they were still apprehensive. This apprehension peaked on March 22, 1721. That day Samoset returned with an Indian named Tisquantum. Their concern grew when, an hour later, Masasasoit appeared at the top of a hill overlooking the settlement. A group of about sixty warriors accompanied him. The alarmed settlers retreated to a half-finished stockade on another hill. Here they had installed their cannon and some fortifications. With a stream dividing them, the two groups stood in an uneasy standoff.
Tisquantum (Squanto) (1585 or 1592 - November 30, 1622)
A member of the Patuxet tribe, Tisquantum was familiar with the English. Captain John Smith had visited the area of Plymouth in 1614 on a mapping expedition. When finished, he left behind a man named Thomas Hunt. Hunt was to try to establish friendly relations with the Amerindian tribes in the area, chiefly the Patuxets. Instead of establishing relations, Hunt lured twenty-four Nauset and Patuxet Indians to a ship. Then he abducted them and took them to Calaga, Spain to sell as slaves. The kidnapped Amerindians included Tisquantum. By a series of circumstances, Tisquantum ended up in England, employed by a man named John Slaney.  While here, Tisquantum began learning the English language. Slaney, treasurer of the Newfoundland Company, soon sent Tisquantum to Newfoundland. In Newfoundland, he fell in with Thomas Dermer, an associate with John Smith. Dermer, an employee of the New England Company, recognized Tisquantum. He had been on Smith's 1614 expedition to Tisquantum's village. He realized he might help reestablish good relations with the Patuxet tribe. The tribe had turned hostile to the English after Hunt had abducted the Amerindians. He took Tisquantum back to the Plymouth area in 1619.
The Plaque
During the years of 1618 and 1619, the diseases smallpox and tuberculosis swept through the Patuxet village. The diseases killed all of the inhabitants of the tribe and many of the neighboring Wampanoag. When Dermer returned Tisquantum to his village, he found his plan awry because of the extinction of his tribe. The calamity had left Tisquantum as the only survivor. Tisquantum traveled to the neighboring Wampanoag tribe to live. Dermer departed the area.
Massasoit (c. 1581 – 1661)
Not much is known about Massasoit before 1620. He was the Grand Sachem of the Wampanoag tribe at the time of the Pilgrim's arrival in November 1620. He changed the previous Amerindian tradition of not allowing the Europeans to establish permanent bases.  He did this by allowing the Pilgrims to stay. The reasons are unknown. The previous contagions had weakened the tribe. They also felt pressure from their traditional enemies on the west, the Narragansett. Massasoit probably needed an ally and felt that the English might fulfill that role.
The Negotiations
To end the standoff, John Winslow donned a full suit of armor, crossed the stream and offered himself as a hostage to the Wampanoag. Massasoit and twenty unarmed warriors followed suit. They waded the stream and went unarmed to the Pilgrim's fort. The colonists fed the Indians and gave them a portion of their moonshine. The two sides talked, using Tisquantum as interpreter. They came to an agreement. According to the terms, the Pilgrims would ally themselves with the Wampanoag. If any Englishman did harm to a Wampanoag the English would turn him over to the tribe for punishment. Likewise, if any Wampanoag did harm to the English, the tribe would turn him over to the English. This peace lasted for almost forty years, until Massasoit's death.

United States history begins many decades before July 4, 1776 when the colonies declared their independence from Great Britain. The first foundations of the nation were laid with the voyages of Christopher Columbus and the settlement that came later. The American History A Day at A Time - 2015 series is in an easy to read "This Day in History," format and includes articles by the author from that series. The reader may read the articles as they appear, or purchase the book:
A Year of Colonial American Frontier History

Facebook
@indianatreker
@MossyFeetBooks Twitter
@MossyFeetBooks
© Paul Wonning 2016