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Preview: 18th-century American Women--a museum in a blog

18C American Women

Including portraits of women in the British America colonies & around the World

Updated: 2018-01-10T04:00:37.427-05:00


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."[...]

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 WheelOct 179013 — 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 [...]

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.[...]

Mary Jemison, Indian Captive 1750s


Mary Jemison captured by Native Americans from the 1856 printing of The Life of Mary Jemison, Deh-He-Wa-MisMary 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 rela[...]

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.

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

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.

18C Early American Timeline 1790-1800


1790A 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 EdwardsGeorge 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.1791The 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 su[...]

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.

18C Early American Timeline 1780-1789


178012 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 1A freedom clause in the Massachusetts constitution is interpreted as an abolishment of slavery.Massachusetts enfranchises all men, but not women, regardless of race.178117 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, 1781The Bank of North America is established by the Continental Congress to lend money to the fledgling Revolutionary governmentJury Decides in Favor of "Mum Bett" Freeman, August 22, 1781Ann Lee leads her Shaker colleagues in a missionary tour of New England lasting two yearsSlaves in Williamsburg, Virginia, rebel and burn several buildings1782Deborah 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, 1782Mercy 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.1782-83Some 40,000 Loyalists flee from British America to the previously French colonies, in particular Nova Scotia1783Treaty of Paris ends the Revolutionary War.The Supreme Court of Massachusetts abolishes slavery in that state.Letitia Cunningham, worried about the public debt, published in Philadelphia, THE CASE OF THE WHIGS WHO LOANED THEIR MONEY ON THE PUBLIC FAITH FAIRLY STATED. INCLUDING A MEMENTO FOR CONGRESS TO REVIEW THEIR ENGAGEMENTS, AND TO ESTABLISH THE HONOUR AND HONESTY OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.1783-5Noah 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.1784Beginning 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[...]

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.

18C Early American Timeline 1770-1779


1770Population of the colonies is 2,210,000Boston Massacre. British troops fire point blank into an unruly crowd in Boston, Massachusetts, killing five and injuring 6. Escaped slave, Crispus Attucks, is killed & is one of the first colonists to die in the war for independence. After the incident, the new Royal Governor of Massachusetts, Thomas Hutchinson, at the insistence of Sam Adams, withdraws British troops out of Boston to nearby harbor islands. The captain of the British soldiers, Thomas Preston, is then arrested along with eight of his men & charged with murder.27-year-old Thomas Jefferson begins constructing a mansion on a hilltop in Charlottesville, calling it Monticello ('little mountain')The Townshend Acts are repealed by the British. All duties on imports into the colonies are eliminated except for tea. Also, the Quartering Act is not renewed.Trial begins for the British soldiers arrested after the Boston Massacre. Colonial lawyers John Adams & Josiah Quincy successfully defend Captain Preston and six of his men, who are acquitted. Two other soldiers are found guilty of manslaughter, branded, then released.Phillis Wheatley writes "An Elegiac Poem, on the Death of That Celebrated Divine, and Eminent Servant of Jesus Christ, the Reverend and Learned George Whitefield." Wheatley's moving tribute to the leading minister of the religious revivalist movement of the 1740s-1750s, known as the Great Awakening, earns her the attention of Boston's literary elite and establishes her as a literary prodigy.Jane Fenn Hoskens (1694-c. 1750) writes The Life and Spiritual Sufferings of that Faithful Servant of Christ. Jane Hoskens is a public preacher among the Quakers. Like other traveling ministers, Hoskens believes her mission is to share the Quaker gospel with the largest possible audience, and she depends on other Quaker women for a female support network.1772British customs schooner, the Gaspee, runs aground off Rhode Island in Narragansett Bay. Colonists from Providence row out to the schooner & attack it, set the British crew ashore, then burn the ship. In September, a 500 pound reward is offered by the English Crown for the capture of those colonists, who would then be sent to England for trial. The announcement that they would be sent to England further upsets many American colonists.A Boston town meeting assembles, called by Sam Adams. During the meeting, a 21 member committee of correspondence is appointed to communicate with other towns & colonies. A few weeks later, the town meeting endorses three radical proclamations asserting the rights of the colonies to self-rule.James Albert Ukawsaw Gronniosaw's writes the first autobiographical slave narrative.Samson Occom (1732-1792) writes "A Sermon Preached at the Execution of Moses Paul, an Indian Who Was Executed at New Haven." The first publication in America by a Native American is a sermon warning of the evils of alcohol, based on an incident in which an Indian killed a white man while drunk. Occom also condemns racial intolerance, which he says corrupts the minds of both whites & Indians.1773 About 8000 Bostonians gather to hear Sam Adams tell them Royal Governor Hutchinson has repeated his command not to allow the ships out of the harbor until the tea taxes are paid. That night, the Boston Tea Party occurs as 50 colonial activists disguise themselves as Mohawk Indians then board the ships & dump all 342 containers of tea into the harbor. These colonials are also angered by the East India Company's monopoly on the tea trade.Virginia House of Burgesses appoints an eleven member committee of correspondence to communicate with the other colonies regarding common complaints against the British. Members of that committee include, Thomas Jefferson[...]

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.

18C Early American Timeline 1760-1769


1760George III becomes king of England, Ireland and the colonies1.5 million colonists living in America.British General Lord Jeffrey Amherst (1717-1797) captures Montreal and ends French resistance in Canada.New York requires that all physicians and surgeons pass a test and be licensed to practice medicine.Benjamin Franklin invents the first bifocal lenses for eye glasses.New Jersey prohibits the enlistment of slaves in the militia without their master's permission.The Bray School for African-American children is established in Williamsburg.College of William and Mary students petition for better food; they ask for salt and fresh meat for dinner, and desserts 3 times a week.Thomas Jefferson (1723-1826) enters the College of William and Mary in Virginia.Much of Boston is destroyed by a raging fire.1761George Washington inherits the plantation Mount Vernon in Virginia from his half-brother Lawrence.The first liturgy for the Evening Services for Rosh-Hashanah and Yom Kippur are published in New York.Abigail Adams (1744-1818) keeps her correspondence and the Letters of Mrs. Adams, the Wife of John Adams, which would be published in the 1840s. Her letters, starting in 1761 and ending in 1814, span the Revolutionary and Early Federal eras. Adams displays a rather strong feminist bent throughout.1762England declares war on Spain, which had been planning to ally itself with France and Austria. The British then successfully attack Spanish outposts in the West Indies and Cuba.Elizabeth Eliza Lucas Pinckney’s letters are collected into The Letterbook of Eliza Lucas Pinckney, 1739-1762, containing details of her life, including her changing politics; ideas on slave education; voracious reading habits; an happy marriage; and her devotion to her children. As a married woman, Eliza manages her father's large plantation holdings, pioneers large-scale cultivation of indigo in South Carolina, and develops into a fervent patriot. The collection would be published in 1972.1763The Treaty of Paris is signed by France and Britain, ending the French and Indian War. England now owns all the territory from the eastern coastline west to the Mississippi.In Virginia, Patrick Henry presents the theory of a mutual compact between the governed and the ruler.In North Carolina, A group of white men from Edgecombe, Granville, and Northampton Counties petitions the General Assembly to repeal a 1723 law that heavily taxes free African Americans upon marriage. The petitioners state that the tax leaves blacks and mixed-race people “greatly impoverished and many of them rendered unable to support themselves and families with the common necessaries of life.”Ottawa Native Americans under Chief Pontiac begin all-out warfare against the British west of Niagara, destroying several British forts and conducting a siege against the British at Detroit. In August, Pontiac's forces are defeated by the British near Pittsburgh. The siege of Detroit ends in November, but hostilities between the British and Chief Pontiac continue for several years.The Proclamation of 1763, signed by King George III of England, prohibits any English settlement west of the Appalachian mountains and requires those already settled in those regions to return east in an attempt to ease tensions with Native Americans.The synagogue building of Congregation Jeshuat Israel of Newport, Rhode Island, (later known as the Touro Synagogue), the oldest synagogue building still in use in America, is dedicated.1764The Sugar Act is passed by the British, forbidding American importation of foreign rum and taxing imported molasses, wine, silk, coffee, and a number of other luxury items. Parliament, desiring revenue from its North American colonies, passed th[...]

18C Women Across the Globe


1792 Unmarried woman of HIndeloopen. Plate II of Letters over the united Netherlands by J. Grabner, a lieutenant in the service of the republic. 1792

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.

18C Early American Timeline 1750-1759


1750Over a million people live in colonial America.The British Parliament passes The Iron Act, limiting the growth of the iron industry in the American ColoniesThe word "bluestocking," is used as a put-down for learned women.Neoclassicism as a reaction against baroque and rococo styles spreads over Europe.The first American coal mine opens on the James River in Virginia.The river flatboat and the Conestoga wagon first appear in Pennsylvania.The first playhouse opens in New York City.The first Great Awakening ends when Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) is forced to resign from his church in Northampton, MA because of his emphasis on the sinful nature of man. He rejects the liberal "halfway covenant." He becomes pastor of a church in the frontier settlement of Stockbridge, in western Massachusetts.The Currency Act is passed by the English Parliament, banning the issuing of paper money by the New England colonies.Charlotte Ramsay Lennox (1720-1804) writes the first novel by an Ameican-born writer, The Life of Harriet Stuart. Lennox, born in New York and sent to England at the age of fifteen for schooling, remained there for the rest of her life. It is also the first novel with American settings, such as the Hudson River, Albany, and the Mohawk Valley.1751Britain passes the British Calendar Act, which places England and its colonies on the Gregorian Calendar beginning in 1752.Benjamin Franklin (1706-1791) publishes "Experiments and Observations on Electricity," using the terms positive and negative for the first time. And he helps found the first “English Academy” in Philadelphia.James Madison (1751-1836), fourth President of the U.S., is born in Port Conway, VirginiaThe Ohio Company actively colonizes in the Ohio Valley.Sugar cane grown in America is introduced in Louisiana by Catholic missionaries; it is used to make a kind of rum.The minuet becomes Europe’s fashionable dance.George II repeals the 1705 act, making slaves real estate in Virginia.James Davis begins publishing the North Carolina Gazette, the colony’s first newspaper, in New Bern. He also prints North Carolina’s first book.The first cricket match is held in New York City.1752French and Indian: The French begin building forts across Pennsylvania and into Ohio to stop British invasion of their territory.Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) performs his famous kite experiment, proving that lightning is electricity.Thomas Bond (1712-1784) establishes the first general hospital in the colonies in Philadelphia, treating all except those with incurable or infectious diseases.Martha Daniell Logan (1704-1779) writes a "Gardener's Kalendar." The Charleston, South Carolina, widow, plantation owner, schoolteacher, and horticulturist's publishes it in the South Carolina Almanack, published by John Tobler. Her work is significant as the first American treatise on gardening.Charlotte Ramsay Lennox writes The Female Quixote; or, The Adventures of Arabella satirizing the idealized conventions of French romances. Ramsay would dramatize the novel as Angelica; or Quixote in Petticoats in 1758.1753Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) and William Hunter are appointed as postmasters general for the American Colonies.George Washington undertakes a difficult and ineffectual journey to persuade the French to withdraw from the Ohio valleyFrench troops from Canada seize the Ohio Valley in action leading up to the French and Indian War.Moravians from Pennsylvania purchase a 100,000-acre tract in present-day Forsyth County in North Carolina from Earl Granville. They name the area Wachovia, which means “peaceful valley.” They establish the settlement of Bethabara in November.Carolus Linnaeus ([...]

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.

18C Early American Timeline 1740-1749


1740A great fire destroys half of Charleston, South Carolina.Large numbers of women join churches during the Great Awakening of the 1740s. Some have called this the “feminization of the church.” Open-air preaching, the charismatic phenomena, and the involvement of the poor all gain more public attention for this movement. Support comes from most American Protestant denominations, but not from Anglicans.Fifty black slaves are hanged in Charleston, South Carolina, after plans for a 1739 revolt are found.Aaron Moses witnesses a will, becoming the first Jewish person on record in North Carolina.South Carolina passes the comprehensive Negro Act, making it illegal for male and female slaves to move abroad, assemble in groups, raise food, earn money, and learn to read English. Owners are permitted to kill rebellious slaves if necessary.Georgia and Carolina attempt to invade Florida in retaliation for the territory's policy toward runaway slaves.War of the Austrian Succession begins after the death of Emperor Charles VI and eventually results in France and Spain allied against England. The conflict is known in the American colonies as King George's War and lasts until 1748.1741Elizabeth Lucas Pinckney introduces indigo cultivation in South Carolina; by 1742 she has a successful crop.Elizabeth Pinckney sights a comet whose appearance was predicted by Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727).American revivalism is inflamed by Jonathan Edwards' vivid sermon Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God delivers at Enfield, Massachusettes.The second slave uprising takes place in New York; 26 slaves are killed and 71 deported.The first labor strike occurs in New York City when bakers protest the regulation of the price of bread.A law is enacted requiring all newly freed slaves to leave North Carolina within 6 months.1742Moravians (Church of the United Bretheran) found a school in Germantown, Pa. (later Bethlehem); this will grow into the Moravian Seminary for Young Females (from 1805, the Young Ladies Seminary), one of the earliest American girls’ boarding schools.Georg Frederic Handel’s (1685-1759) "The Messiah" is performed in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.The fishing industry grows in New England; there are nearly 1,000 fishing boats."COMPLETE HOUSEWIFE," an English cookbook by Eliza Smith, appears in Williamsburg. Virginia.Cornelia Smith Bradford (c. 1700-1755) takes over the responsibilities for the AMERICAN WEEKLY MERCURY. From 1742 until 1744, she published the paper with the help of one assistant. After 1744, she became the sole editor and printer until the paper folded in 1746.Printer Ann Franklin (1695-1763) of Newport, Rhode Island, printed on one sheet A SHORT NARRATIVE OF THE UNJUST PROCEEDINGS OF MR. GEORGE GARDNER OF NEWPORT DISTILLER, AGAINST ANN MAYLEM WIDOW AND ADMINISTRATRIX TO THE ESTATE OF JOHN MAYLEM (1695-1742) LATE OF NEWPORT DISTILLER DECEASED. Isabella Marshall (Mrs. John Graham) 1742-1814, was born in Scotland. She moved to New York City where she opened a school for girls and formed relief societies for the destitute sick, widows, and orphans.1743The first American town meeting is held in Boston’s Faneuil Hall.Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), 3rd U.S. President, is born in Virginia.In Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin drafts the founding document for the American Philosophical Society.A “pesthouse” is established in Philadelphia to quarantine immigrants.1744Benjamin Franklin publishes his design for an improved stove in Account of the New Invented Pennsylvania Fire Place (or Franklin Stove) which provides much more heat on much less fuel than regular fireplaces.Abigai[...]

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.

18C Early American Timeline 1730-1739


1730The population in the colonies is estimated at 655,000William Parks of Maryland establishes a printing press in Virginia.Baltimore is founded in the Maryland colony.Both men & women begin wearing white stockings, made of silk or cotton.John Wesley (1703-1791) & Charles Wesley (1707-1788) found the Methodist sect in Oxford, EnglandNorth Carolina Cherokee leaders visit London & confer with the king. They pledge friendship to the English & agree to return runaway slaves & to trade exclusively with the British.America's first synagogue, Shearith Israel (The Remnant of Israel) is built on Mill Street in Lower Manhattan.1731Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) and members of his Junto Club found a circulating library in Philadelphia, the Library Company of Philadelphia.Martha Dandridge Custis (1731-1802), wife of George Washington, is born on June 2 near Williamsburg, Virginia.Work is begun on building Independence Hall in Philadelphia.Public concerts are held in Boston & Charleston, S.C.The Spanish reverse a 1730 decision & declare that slaves fleeing to Florida from Carolina will not be sold or returned.1732George Washington (1732-1799), first President of the United States, is born on February 22 in Virginia.Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) begins publishing "POOR RICHARD’S ALMANACK" (for the year 1733) which contains weather predictions, humor, proverbs, & epigrams.A theatrical company from London performs for the first time in New York City.Georgia is the last of the thirteen English colonies to be settled. It is established not so much for economic opportunity, but to be a military barrier between Spanish-owned Florida & the Carolinas. It is also set up as a refuge for former prisoners & the poor. It also would prevent slaves escaping from South Carolina from reaching Florida, where they could gain their freedom. Charter of Georgia; June 9.Slaves aboard the ship of New Hampshire Captain John Major kill both captain & crew, seizing the vessel and its cargo.1733The Molasses Act, passed by the English Parliament, imposes heavy duties on molasses, rum and sugar imported from non-British islands in the Caribbean to protect the English planters there from French and Dutch competition.James Oglethorpe (1696-1785) names Georgia in honor of King George II. He also founds the city of Savannah.The first serious outbreak of influenza sweeps through New York City and Philadelphia; about three-fourths of the population is affected.The New York "WEEKLY JOURNAL" is published by John Peter Zenger (1697-1746), opposing policies of the colonial government.Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) preaches on “The Great Awakening” in New England—a religious revival that emphasizes man’s sinful nature.Jews settle in Savannah, Georgia.Quaker Elihu Coleman's A Testimony against That Anti-Christian Practice of MAKING SLAVES OF MEN is published.Rebekah Chamblit (1706-1733) reportedly conveys A DECLARATION, DYING WARNING AND ADVICE OF REBEKAH CHAMBLIT. A YOUNG WOMAN AGED NEAR TWENTY-SEVEN YEARS, EXECUTED AT BOSTON SEPTEMBER 27TH. 1733. 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... (See the Declaration on this blog.)1734John Peter Zenger, editor of the NEW YORK WEEKLY Journal, is imprisoned in New York for upholding freedom of the press. He is accused of libeling New York Governor William Cosby. In 1735, Zenger is acquitted when his attorney, Andrew Hamilton, says t[...]

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.

18C Early American Timeline 1710-1729


17103,000 German men and women from the Palatinate settle near Livingston Manor on the Hudson River in New York to produce naval stores. When the colony fails, the settlers go first to the Mohawk Valley (in New York) and finally to eastern Pennsylvania.The English Parliament passes the Post Office Act which sets a postal system for the American colonies controlled by the postmaster general of London and his deputy in New York City.New York forbids blacks, Indians, and mulattos from walking at night without lighted lanterns.1711 Artist: Henrietta Johnston 1674-1729. Subject: Henriette Charlotte de Chastaigner, Mrs Nathaniel Broughton 1711Pennsylvania prohibits the importation of male & female blacks and Indians.Rhode Island prohibits the clandestine importation of male & female black and Indian slaves. (See this blog for more information of enslaved women in the 18th century.) 1711-13Tuscarora Indian War in North and South Carolina. Hostilities break out between Native Americans and settlers in North Carolina after the massacre of male & female settlers there.1712The Carolina colony is officially divided into North Carolina and South Carolina.Charles II's Grant of New England to the Duke of York, 1676 - Exemplified by Queen Anne; October 30The Pennsylvania assembly bans the import of male & female slaves into that colony. In Massachusetts, the first sperm whale is captured at sea by an American from Nantucket.Grace Smith writes The Dying Mothers Legacy: Or the Good and Heavenly Counsel of that Eminent and Pious Matron, Mrs. Grace Smith, late Widow to Mr. Ralph Smith of Eastham in New-England. Left as a Perpetual Monitor to Her Surviving Children; As It Was Taken from Her Own Mouth a Little Before Her Death, by the Minister From that Town Where She Died. Boston, Printed and sold by Timothy Green, at the lower-end of Middle-Street, 1712 An alleged slave revolt in New York City leads to violent outbreaks. Nine whites are killed and eighteen slaves are executed.New York declares it illegal for male & female blacks, Indians, and slaves to murder other blacks, Indians, and slaves. And New York forbids freed blacks, Indians, and mulatto slaves from owning real estate and holding property.In Charleston, South Carolina male & female slaves are forbidden from hiring themselves out.1713England's South Sea Company is allowed to transport 4,800 male & female slaves per year into the Spanish colonies of North America.Queen Anne's War ends with the Treaty of Utrecht.1714George I becomes king of England (r. 1714–27).Tea is introduced for the first time into the American Colonies. 1715 Artist: Henrietta Johnson 1674-1729. Subject: Mary Magdalen Gendron, Mrs Samuel Prioleu 1691-1765 1715Yamasee tribes attack and kill several hundred male & female Carolina settlers.Rhode Island legalizes slavery.Maryland declares all slaves entering the province and their descendants to be slaves for life.1716South Carolina settlers and their Cherokee allies attack and defeat the Yamassee.The first group of black slaves is brought to the Louisiana territory. 1717-18 Artist: Henrietta Johnston 1674-1729. Mary Griffith (Mrs Robert Brewton, Mrs William Loughton) 1698-17611717Scots-Irish immigration begins, with most settling to western Pennsylvania.New York enacts a fugitive slave law.1718French found New Orleans. The Tuscarora people are defeated in a war with North Carolina colonists. With many of their people killed they move north to live with other Iroquois [...]

18C Women Across the Globe


1797 Jacques Grasset of Saint-Sauveur (France, 1757-1810), Woman of the Seed Coast. 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.

18C Early American Timeline 1700-1709


1700Population of the British American colonies: about 260,000 people. Boston has 7,000 people and New York, 5000. Jewish population of America numbers between 200 and 300.Massachusetts representative assembly orders all Roman Catholic priests to vacate the colony within three months, an action also taken by the New York legislature.Anglicans in England grow concerned that their church does not have a significant presence in North Carolina. The Reverend Daniel Brett becomes the first Anglican minister to serve in the colony. Brett’s disorderly behavior causes him to be called “the Monster of the Age.”The first public library is established at Bath, North Carolina, with books sent from England by the Reverend Thomas Bray.Pennsylvania legalizes slavery. (See this blog for more information of enslaved women in the 18th century.) 1700 Mrs Augustus Jay. Attributed to Gerrit Duyckinck (1660–ca. 1712).1701Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut, is founded.Charter of Privileges Granted by William Penn, esq. to the Inhabitants of Pennsylvania and Territories, October 28Charter of Delaware; October 28 1708-10 Artist: Henrietta Johnston 1674-1729. Subject: Mrs. Pierre Bacot (Marianne Fleur Du Gue)1702Queen Anne, the younger sister of Mary, ascends the English throne. England declares war on France after the death of the King of Spain, Charles II, to stop the union of France and Spain. This War of the Spanish Succession is called Queen Anne's War in the colonies, where the English and American colonists will battle the French and their Native American allies, plus the Spanish for the next eleven years. 1702-1713.In Maryland, originally founded by Catholic proprietors, the Anglican Church is established as the official church, financially supported by taxation imposed on all free men, male servants, and slaves.Surrender from the Proprietors of East and West New Jersey, of Their Pretended Right of Government to Her Majesty; April 15 New York passes An Act for Regulating Slaves prohibiting more than 3slaves from meeting together, slaves from testifying in court, and trading by slaves.1708-09 Artist: Henrietta Johnston 1674-1729 Portrait of an Unknown Lady of South Carolina1703Massachusetts requires those masters who liberate slaves to provide a bond of 50 pounds or more in the event that the freedman becomes a public charge.Connecticut assigns the punishment of whipping to any slaves who disturb the peace or assault whites.Rhode Island makes it illegal for blacks and Indians to walk at night without passes.1708-1709 Artist: Henrietta Johnston 1674-1729. Subject: Mary DuBose Mrs Samuel Wragg1704February. Deerfield, Massachusetts is destroyed and 100 residents including women and children are abducted, a consequence of Queen Anne's War.The Boston News-Letter. Is the first printed version of a formerly handwritten newsletter sent to New England governors by the Boston postmaster is published. It offers local information and foreign news reprinted from English papers. It would continue until 1776 as a mouthpiece for the governor and the Loyalists.Quakers in the North Carolina assembly are forced to resign after refusing to take a new oath to Queen Anne.1710 Artist: Henrietta Johnston 1674-1729. Subject: Susanne Le Noble, Mrs Alexander de Chastaigner.1705The Virginia Slave Code codifies slave status, declaring all non-Christian servants entering the colony to be slaves. It defines all slaves as real estate[...]

18C Women Across the Globe


1770s-Bunka Fashion College in Japan. Underneath the illustration the word Dutch is handwritten in pencil. Netherlands 

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.