Take a closer look at the first draft of the US Constitution to see an example of the “long S” in print.
Take a closer look at George Washington’s letter using 18th-century abbreviations.
It is difficult today to recapture the iconoclasm signaled by Oscar Handlin’s opening words to his Pulitzer Prize-winning The Uprooted more than fifty years ago: “Once I thought to write a history of the immigrants in America. Then I discovered that the immigrants were American history.”
On a quarter-mile strip of land in the bustling city of Canton (Guangzhou), China, trade was conducted between merchants from China and...
No Native people affected the course of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century American history more than the Haudenosaunee, or Iroquois, of present-day upstate New York. Historians have been attempting to explain how and why ever since, and central to their explanations is the remarkable political and diplomatic structure, the League of the Iroquois.
On April 10, 1606, James I of England granted a charter to the Virginia Company. The aims of the Jamestown expedition were to establish England’s claim to North America, search for gold or silver mines, find a passage to the Pacific Ocean (the “Other Sea”), harvest the natural resources of the land, and trade with Indian peoples.
Colonial America’s Jewish population offers a good case study of how original plans often went awry, though undoubtedly in the case of the Jews in large part to their satisfaction, rather than to their dismay and disappointment. The history of the Jewish people on the North American mainland dates to 1654, when a small band of twenty-three men, women, and children made landfall at New Amsterdam on the southern edge of Manhattan Island.
The Salem witchcraft scare, and the trials that followed, have especially seized the popular imagination. Separating the myths from the reality of the Salem witchcraft episode is the historian’s task.
By the middle of the eighteenth century both the British and the French believed that a military contest in North America was inevitable as an element of their global rivalry. Governor Robert Dinwiddie of Virginia and other colonial governors were in constant correspondence concerning the French threat. In 1753, Dinwiddie sent Major George Washington, his newly appointed militia adjutant of the southern district of Virginia, to confront the French.
Imagine saying goodbye to family, friends, and familiar places to take a dangerous voyage across thousands of miles of ocean in a small wooden ship. Your destination: a strange and often hostile land. Yet, in the 1600s, thousands of Dutch, English, French, and Spanish men and women did just that because of poverty, religious persecution, or a hope that a better life lay across the Atlantic Ocean.