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1600-1754: Colonial Americans: Chronology

1600-1754: Colonial Americans: Chronology




  • The Englishman Bartholomew Gosnold sails from England to New England with thirty-two men who intend to set up a colony; they return home when their food runs out.


  • Pierre du Guast, Comte de Monts, establishes a Huguenot colony at Port Royal (Annapolis), Nova Scotia; the settlement founders and is sacked by the English in 1614.


  • King James I of England is persuaded by wealthy investors to charter a jointstock company with two branches, the Plymouth Company and the Virginia Company.


  • Over 140 men and boys form a settlement at Jamestown, Virginia; approximately one-half die before the end of the year. Jamestown will become the second oldest town in North America, after Saint Augustine, and the first permanent British settlement.
  • Two ships of male settlers arrive at Sagadahoc River in Maine; the colony is abandoned within two years.



  • Spaniards abandon San Gabriel and move the town to Santa Fe, the third oldest town in what will become the United States.


  • Henry Hudson sails his ship the Half Moon up the river that will bear his name, thereby laying Dutch claims to present-day New York.


  • Juan Rodrigues, a mulatto from the West Indies, sails with a Dutch trader to the Hudson River and stays behind with trade goods for a year, living among the Indians.


  • The first Africans arrive in Virginia.





  • The Dutch West India Company builds a fort on Manhattan Island and calls the settlement New Amsterdam.
  • The first slaves are brought to New Netherland.
  • The village of Salem, Massachusetts, is settled.


  • The Massachusetts Bay Company forms in England with the idea of establishing a colony for religious dissenters called Puritans.
  • Kiliaen Van Rensselaer, a wealthy Amsterdam merchant, receives a patroonship (land grant) and the right to settle families around Albany, New York.
  • Samuel de Champlain surrenders Quebec to the Scotsmen Lewis and Thomas Kirke, but they are uninterested in colonization. At the treaty of SaintGermain-en-Laye all French territory seized by the English is returned to France.



  • The French return to Quebec.
  • King Charles I grants his friend George Calvert, first Baron Baltimore, lands in America upon which he can settle Roman Catholics.


  • Cecilius Calvert, second Lord Baltimore, establishes the colony of Maryland to be a haven for Roman Catholics who are mistrusted in England; the first settlers, however, are predominantly Protestant.
  • Several families leave Massachusetts and create the towns of Hartford, Windsor, and Wethersfield in Connecticut.


  • Roger Williams is expelled from Massachusetts over matters of religious orthodoxy and founds Providence in Rhode Island.
  • Swedish king Augustus Adolphus grants a charter for a trading company, the New Sweden Company, to open a post on the Delaware River.



  • The New Sweden Company founds its first settlement at Fort Christina, near Wilmington, Delaware.



  • The island of Montreal is given to the Société de Notre Dame de Montréal to establish a mission settlement with a church, school, and hospital; settlers including Jeanne Mance, a nurse, arrive the next year.
  • The Great Migration to Massachusetts ends with the collapse of the reign of King Charles I and the beginning of the English Civil War; an estimated ten thousand Englishmen had come to New England by this time.
  • Small settlements begin in Maine.
  • Englishmen, dissatisfied with religious intolerance in Massachusetts, petition the Dutch for land on western Long Island.


  • William Coddington establishes the town of Newport, Rhode Island.


  • Samuel Gorton establishes the town of Warwick, Rhode Island.
  • Johan Printz, governor of New Sweden, arrives with one hundred Swedish and Finnish settlers.


  • The Dutch town of New Amsterdam is officially created as a municipality.




  • The Stuart monarch Charles II is restored to the English throne.


  • The Dutch settlements at Bergen, New Jersey, and Kingston, New York, are granted town courts.


  • Charles II issues a grant to eight proprietors for the region known as the Carolinas.


  • The Dutch found Schenectady, New York.
  • During the second Anglo-Dutch War the English take New Netherland and rename the colony New York.


  • The Carolina proprietors found a settlement called Charles Town on the Ashley River; some of the new settlers come from Barbados and bring African slaves with them.
  • Some twenty-eight hundred Spaniards live in the upper valley of the Rio Grande, many of them in Santa Fe.




  • Jews in Newport, Rhode Island, buy land for a cemetery. By 1685 many of these people, who had originally lived in Barbados, will leave Rhode Island.


  • Lowland Scots begin to arrive in New Jersey.
  • The Charles Town settlement of Carolina is moved to the junction of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers.
  • An Indian uprising, known as the Pueblo Revolt, forces the evacuation of Santa Fe, and many refugees flee to El Paso.


  • Charles II grants William Penn lands to pay off a debt owed to his father, Adm. Sir William Penn. Pennsylvania, or Penns Woods, will be a refuge for Quakers and other religious minorities.


  • Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, and a large band of Frenchmen and Indians descend the Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.


  • Francis Daniel Pastorius and a small contingent of Germans settle in Germantown, just north of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


  • King Louis XIV revokes the Edict of Nantes, which had protected French Protestants. They flee France, migrating to England, the Netherlands, Massachusetts, New York, and South Carolina.
  • Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, with several hundred colonists, lands at Matagorda Bay in what is now Texas; the settlement ends in disaster.


  • German Pietists, such as Mennonites and Dunkers, arrive in Pennsylvania.
  • Spaniards are beginning to abandon the missions along the Georgia coast.


  • Jews begin filtering back to Newport, Rhode Island.
  • German Protestants flee the Palatinate after their prince converts to Roman Catholicism.


  • The Spanish repopulate Santa Fe.



  • The Spanish found the settlement of Santa Rosa Pensacola in Florida.


  • French priests from Quebec found the Mission de la Sainte Famille at Cahokia, Illinois.
  • A French fleet under Pierre Le Moyne dIberville sails into Pensacola Bay, and a settlement begins at Biloxi, Mississippi.


  • Father Eusebio Francisco Kino founds the mission of San Xavier del Bac, near modern Tucson, Arizona. He introduces cattle and wheat culture to the Indians living around the mission.
  • The French begin establishing more villages on the banks of the Mississippi between Cahokia and Kaskaskia. By 1735 there are six settlements and the area becomes the center of French life in the middle Mississippi valley until the founding of Saint Louis in 1764.


  • Delaware, which had been part of Pennsylvania, is granted a separate charter, although it will continue to share a governor with Pennsylvania.


  • East and West New Jersey become a single united royal province.
  • The French establish the town of Saint Louis on Mobile Bay in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The French establish a mission at Kaskaskia.
  • As part of the War of the Spanish Succession, known as Queen Annes War in America, the English governor of South Carolina, James Moore, attacks Saint Augustine, burning outposts and missions in Apalachee, or northern Florida.


  • The Act of Union unites Scotland and England, allowing Scots to migrate more freely to America.


  • Blacks outnumber whites in South Carolina and will continue to do so through the American Revolution.


  • Swiss Mennonites first migrate to Pennsylvania.


  • Rhinelander Germans settle on the Schoharie River in New York, but most leave for Pennsylvania after a brief stay.


  • French colonists establish a permanent settlement at Mobile, Alabama.


  • The Jacobite uprising in Scotland causes many Scots to immigrate to America.


  • The Spanish set up four missions and a presidio, or fort, in East Texas.


  • Scotch-Irish settlers arrive in the Delaware River valley, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.


  • The Spanish found the presidio of San Antonio de Bejar and the mission of San Antonio de Valero at San Antonio, Texas.
  • France creates the province of Louisiana, which includes the Illinois country of the middle Mississippi; New Orleans becomes the capital.
  • Pennsylvania grants land to Scotch-Irish settlers to found the town of Donegal.


  • German Lutheran, German Reformed, and Scotch-Irish immigrants begin arriving in Pennsylvania.


  • North and South Carolina become royal colonies.


  • Jews begin to settle in Philadelphia.
  • Settlement of the Shenandoah Valley begins.


  • Sixteen families from the Canary Islands settle around the mission and presidio of San Antonio.


  • The English Crown approves a charter for the colony of Georgia.


  • James Oglethorpe arrives with the first English settlers in Georgia.
  • Jews arrive in Georgia.


  • Germans from Salzburg settle in Georgia.


  • Moravians arrive in Pennsylvania and Georgia after their expulsion from Austria.


  • Highland Scots are recruited to settle at Darien on the Altamaha River in Georgia.


  • Former slaves who had escaped from South Carolina and converted to Catholicism are formed into a regiment by Spanish authorities and placed in a settlement called Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose just north of Saint Augustine; they remain there until 1763.


  • Settlers, including the Scotch-Irish, move into the piedmont of North Carolina.
  • The last of the Moravians leave Georgia for Pennsylvania over a misunderstanding about their pacifism.


  • A second Jacobite uprising in Scotland fails, and many Highland Scots leave for America.


  • Settlers, including the Scotch-Irish, move into the backcountry of South Carolina.


  • Congregationalists who had resettled in South Carolina from New England leave unfertile lands and begin moving to Georgia.
  • The Crown takes over Georgia from the trustees, and it becomes a royal colony.
  • Moravians settle in North Carolina.


  • Royal officials are appointed in Georgia, two years after the Crown takes over the colony.

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