Pennsylvanian

  • Captain John Smith of Virginia visited Susquehanna Indians

    Captain John Smith of Virginia visited Susquehanna Indians
    During his time at Jamestown and on his Chesapeake voyages, Captain John Smith and his men met people from many different Indian tribes. Most tribes welcomed the English newcomers and helped them on their journey, but a few tried to drive them away.
  • Explorers Etienne Brule of France, Cornelius Hendricksen of The Netherlands explored part of Pennsylvania; Brule lived among Indians

    Explorers Etienne Brule of France, Cornelius Hendricksen of The Netherlands explored part of Pennsylvania; Brule lived among Indians
    He was to become an interpreter, or dragoman (entrenchment in French), between the French and their Amerindian allies.He appears to have been the first European to set eyes on the Ottawa Valley, Georgian Bay, Pennsylvania and four of the Great Lakes, and to give at least an oral description of them.
  • Swedes established first permanent settlement in Pennsylvania on Tinicum Island

    Swedes established first permanent settlement in Pennsylvania on Tinicum Island
    The site for the first permanent settlement of Pennsylvania was carefully selected and construction begun immediately, for the success of marker New Sweden depended on it. As soon as the new governor, Lieutenant-Colonel Johan Printz, arrived in 1643, he ordered the construction of a massive new fort, trading post, and personal residence on a place the Swedes called Tinicum Island.
  • British captured Dutch colonies in name of Duke of York

    British captured Dutch colonies in name of Duke of York
    On September 8, 1664, the Dutch surrendered the colony of New Netherlands to the English, who subsequently renamed it New York after the king's brother, the Duke of York.
  • Duke of York's Laws introduced for English laws, civil government

    Duke of York's Laws introduced for English laws, civil government
    He established a civil and criminal code with provisions for local governments, provincial courts, and a militia, as well as regulations for Indian affairs, ecclesiastical establishments, social and domestic regulations, standards for weights and measures, and legal methods for record keeping. Gradually, the code was extended to apply to the whole province of New York.
  • William Penn received royal grant of Pennsylvania from King Charles II

    William Penn received royal grant of Pennsylvania from King Charles II
    William Penn, one of the best known Quakers in England, decided that his followers needed a new place to worship in peace. So he asked King Charles II to repay a debt owed to his family by granting him land in America. In 1681, King Charles agreed to the deal, and he named the new colony "Pennsylvania" or Penn's Woods for the Penn family.
  • Duke of York deeded lands to William Penn; Penn arrived in Pennsylvania, laid out Philadelphia; created three original counties; first Assembly held, united Delaware counties with Pennsylvania, adopted Great Law

    Duke of York deeded lands to William Penn; Penn arrived in Pennsylvania, laid out Philadelphia; created three original counties; first Assembly held, united Delaware counties with Pennsylvania, adopted Great Law
    Was enacted 7 December 1682 by an assembly of freeholders called at Upland (Chester) by William Penn shortly after his arrival in Pennsylvania. It expanded upon a body of laws that Penn had submitted, known as the Laws Agreed upon in England (also known as Penn's Frame of Government). The Great Law established liberty of conscience, extended manhood suffrage, and limited the death penalty to relatively few offenses.
  • Penn signed friendship treaty with Lenni Lenape Indians; Mennonite families arrived from Germany, settled Germantown

    Penn signed friendship treaty with Lenni Lenape Indians; Mennonite families arrived from Germany, settled Germantown
    One possible basis is a treaty in June 1683 that resulted in several land deeds signed by Penn and the Lenape leader Tamanend (the legendary “Tammany”), among others. The location is unspecified, but it may have been Shackamaxon. Formal promises of friendship were likely exchanged, perhaps under the Great Elm.
  • Germantown Quakers adopted first antislavery resolution in America

    Germantown Quakers adopted first antislavery resolution in America
    The signers were disturbed that many of Philadelphia’s Quakers chose to own slaves. In fact, at the time of the protest, six years after Philadelphia’s founding, about half of British Quakers in the Philadelphia region, including William Penn, held slaves. Although they had come to the new world to escape persecution, they saw no contradiction in owning slaves.
  • Penn presented Charter of Privileges for Province of Pennsylvania; established religious freedom, tolerance. Remained as constitution until American Revolution

    Penn presented Charter of Privileges for Province of Pennsylvania; established religious freedom, tolerance. Remained as constitution until American Revolution
    When William Penn's Charter of Privileges—also known as the Charter of Liberties—was adopted in 1701, it became the most liberal outline for a colonial government in North America, containing procedures for democratic government, codifying freedom of religion, and ensuring merciful and just treatment for those accused of crimes.
  • Pennsylvania Assembly banned importing of slaves

    Pennsylvania Assembly banned importing of slaves
    Early Pennsylvania was not immune to the tragedy of slavery. Though the colony was established in 1682, under a constitution that provided more freedom of thought and practice, with more general liberty and equality for all people than any government in world history to that point, indentured servitude and slavery were not banned.
  • First Catholic congregation organized in Philadelphia

    First Catholic congregation organized in Philadelphia
    The first Catholic congregation was organized in Philadelphia in 1720, and the first chapel was erected in 1733; Pennsylvania had the second largest Catholic population among the colonies. The Scotch brought Presbyterianism; its first congregation was organized in Philadelphia in 1698.
  • Pennsylvania took over large portion of Native American land, (Walking Purchase)

    Pennsylvania took over large portion of Native American land, (Walking Purchase)
    The disruption of Pennsylvania’s Indian relations caused a deep political rift to open between Philadelphia’s Quaker community and colonists living along the Susquehanna Valley frontier. By the 1790s, Native Americans and Pennsylvania’s European peoples were permanently estranged from each other, and no Indian nations retained secure possession of homelands within the state’s borders.
  • Benjamin Franklin established American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia

    Benjamin Franklin established American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia
    For over 250 years, the Society has played an important role in American cultural and intellectual life. Until the mid-nineteenth century, the Society fulfilled the role of a national academy of science, national library and museum, and even patent office. Early members of the Society included Thomas Jefferson, David Rittenhouse, Benjamin Rush, Stephen Peter Du Ponceau, George Washington, and many other figures prominent in American history.
  • Benjamin Franklin used kite to establish that lightning is a form of electricity

    Benjamin Franklin used kite to establish that lightning is a form of electricity
    It was exactly one month after the Dali bard experiment, on June 10, 1752, that Franklin (supposedly) performed his famous kite and key experiment. Franklin stood outside under a shelter during a thunderstorm and held on to a silk kite with a key tied to it. When lightning struck, electricity traveled to the key and the charge was collected in a Leyden jar.
  • Benjamin Franklin tested lightning rod; Liberty Bell arrived in Philadelphia

    Benjamin Franklin tested lightning rod; Liberty Bell arrived in Philadelphia
    During one experiment, Ben accidentally shocked himself. In one of his letters, he described the shock as"...a universal blow throughout my whole body from head to foot, which seemed within as well as without; after which the first thing I took notice of was a violent quick shaking of my body..." (He also had a feeling of numbness in his arms and the back of his neck that gradually wore off.)
  • French and Indian War began; George Washington claimed first victory at Laurel Mountain; Lenape Indians attacked Gnadenhutten Mission, killed 11 white people

    French and Indian War began; George Washington claimed first victory at Laurel Mountain; Lenape Indians attacked Gnadenhutten Mission, killed 11 white people
    When France and England declared war on each other in Europe in 1689, French and English colonists in America also began to fight. With their Native American allies, they attacked each other’s settlements and forts. During the 1700s, two more wars between France and England fueled wars in their colonies. Neither side won a clear victory in these wars. A final war, the French and Indian War (1754–1763), decided which nation would control the northern and eastern parts of North America.
  • Gen. John Forbes led British forces in capture of Fort Duquesne

    Gen. John Forbes led British forces in capture of Fort Duquesne
    Fort served as a staging area for the French to conduct raids on British settlements during the Seven Years’ War (1756-63). Following defeats at the Battle of Fort Necessity in 1754 and the Battle of Monongahela in 1755 (where British General Edward Braddock had been killed), the third attempt to take Fort Duquesne was to be led by General John Forbes, a Scottish doctor turned soldier who was a veteran of the War of Austrian Succession and the Scottish Campaigns from 1745-46.
  • Boundary between Maryland, Pennsylvania established, named Mason-Dixon line

    Boundary between Maryland, Pennsylvania established, named Mason-Dixon line
    The Mason–Dixon line, also called the Mason and Dixon line or Mason's and Dixon's line, was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in the resolution of a border dispute involving Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware in Colonial America.
  • Philadelphia refused entry to tea ships

    Philadelphia refused entry to tea ships
    At nine o'clock on the night of December 16, 1773, a band of Bostonians disguised as Native Americans boarded the British merchant ship Dartmouth and two companion vessels anchored at Griffin's Wharf in Boston harbor. The Americans, who numbered around 70, shared a common aim: to destroy the ships' cargo of British East India Company tea.
  • First Continental Congress met secretly in Philadelphia; protested British measures, taxes

    First Continental Congress met secretly in Philadelphia; protested British measures, taxes
    In response to the British Parliament’s enactment of the Coercive Acts in the American colonies, the first session of the Continental Congress convenes at Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia. Fifty-six delegates from all the colonies except Georgia drafted a declaration of rights and grievances and elected Virginian Peyton Randolph as the first president of Congress. Patrick Henry, George Washington, John Adams, and John Jay were among the delegates.
  • Second Continental Congress met, George Washington named supreme commander; postal system for colonies established, Benjamin Franklin first postmaster general

    Second Continental Congress met, George Washington named supreme commander; postal system for colonies established, Benjamin Franklin first postmaster general
    It was agreed that a CONTINENTAL ARMY would be created. The Congress commissioned George Washington of Virginia to be the supreme commander, who chose to serve without pay. The Congress authorized the printing of money. Before the leaves had turned, Congress had even appointed a standing committee to conduct relations with foreign governments, should the need ever arise to ask for help. No longer was the Congress dealing with mere grievances.
  • A committee of the Second Continental Congress

    A committee of the Second Continental Congress
    Consisting of John Adams of Massachusetts, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, Thomas Jefferson of Virginia, Robert R. Livingston of New York, and Roger Sherman of Connecticut (the "Committee of Five") was formed to draft a declaration of independence from Britain. The resulting Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia; Pennsylvania established commonwealth; Betsy Ross sewed first American flag
  • British troops occupied Philadelphia

    British troops occupied Philadelphia
    General George Washington (America's first President) and his bloodied and battle-worn Continental Army wintered at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. This tactical decision provided a much-needed rest and retraining period, and after six months in camp his highly-motivated and revitalized army marched out of Valley Forge to defeat the British in battle after battle
  • Pennsylvania first state to abolish slavery

    Pennsylvania first state to abolish slavery
    William Penn was granted his colony in Pennsylvania in 1681, and added Delaware to it in 1682. Though he flooded the "Holy Experiment" with Quakers whose descendants would later find their faith incompatible with slave holding, the original Quakers had no qualms about it. Penn himself owned slaves, and used them to work his estate, Pennsburg. He wrote that he preferred them to white indentured servants, "for then a man has them while they live."
  • Pennsylvania second state to ratify U. S. Constitution

    Pennsylvania second state to ratify U. S. Constitution
    On this day in 1787, Pennsylvania becomes the second state to ratify the Constitution, by a vote of 46 to 23. Pennsylvania was the first large state to ratify, as well as the first state to endure a serious Anti-Federalist challenge to ratification.
  • Yellow fever epidemics in Philadelphia killed about 2,000

    Yellow fever epidemics in Philadelphia killed about 2,000
    Philadelphia's ravenous mosquitoes provided the perfect vehicle for spreading the disease by first lunching on an infected victim and then biting a healthy one. The first fatalities appeared in July and the numbers grew steadily. Shortly, the disease would announce its return with an even more severe fever and turn the victim's skin a ghastly yellow while he vomited black clots of blood. Death soon followed as the victim slipped into a helpless stupor.
  • Whiskey Rebellion occurred - protest against taxes on distilled spirits

    Whiskey Rebellion occurred - protest against taxes on distilled spirits
    The Whiskey Rebellion (also known as the Whiskey Insurrection) was a tax protest in the United States beginning in 1791 during the presidency of George Washington. ... Resistance came to a climax in July 1794, when a U.S. marshal arrived in western Pennsylvania to serve writs to distillers who had not paid the excise.
  • Harrisburg became state capital

    Harrisburg became state capital
    In 1791, Harrisburg became incorporated and was named the Pennsylvania state capital in October 1812. The cornerstone for the new capitol building was laid in 1819 by Governor William Find-lay.
  • Liberty Bell cracked while being tolled for Chief Justice John Marshall

    Liberty Bell cracked while being tolled for Chief Justice John Marshall
    When the bell arrived in Philadelphia in 1752, it cracked on its first test strike. Two local craftsmen, John Pass and John Stow, twice cast a new bell using metal from the cracked English bell. They also added more copper, to make the bell less brittle, and silver, to sweeten its tone. The recast behemoth weighed in at 2,000 pounds: 70 percent copper, 25 percent tin, and a scattering of lead, zinc, gold, silver, and arsenic.