1754-1783: Business and the Economy: Chronology
1754-1783: Business and the Economy: Chronology
- A board of brokers is formed to supervise the financial activities at the London Coffee-House for Merchants and Traders in Philadelphia.
- A stagecoach line begins operating between Philadelphia and New York City.
- Parliament allows duty-free imports of American iron into England.
- Virginia forms a public corporation to encourage the growth of manufacturing.
- Benjamin Franklin publishes The Interests of Great Britain Considered, arguing that colonial manufactures will not hurt the mother country.
- Boston, Providence, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Charleston are connected by a rough road.
- Boston merchants oppose in Massachusetts court the use of general warrants by English customs officials. These warrants allow the authorities to search anywhere and at any time for smuggled goods.
- The United Company of Spermaceti Candle Manufacturers of Providence and Newport is formed to fix prices, limit dealers, and ban new candle companies.
- Anthracite coal is discovered in Pennsylvania.
- Parliament reduces bounties on indigo.
- Chambers of commerce are established in New York and New Jersey.
- Boston forms the Society for Encouraging Trade and Commerce.
- In Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Henry Williams unsuccessfully attempts to navigate a steamboat on Conestoga Creek.
- The Proclamation of 1763 places the Indian trade under royal control and temporarily bans new settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains.
- 9 Sept. The English Crown grants George Washington and associates 2.5 million acres at the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.
- New York City businessmen and merchants form the Society for the Promotion of Arts, Agriculture, and Economy.
- Parliament bans the immigration of skilled workers to the colonies.
- German-born Heinrich Stiegel founds a glass factory in Pennsylvania and staffs it with foreign glassmakers.
- Peter Hasenclever starts two industrial complexes, including blast furnaces, forges, stamping mills, and grist and steel mills, in northern New Jersey.
- 5 Apr. Parliament passes the Sugar Act.
- 19 Apr. Parliament passes the Currency Act forbidding colonies, particularly Virginia, from issuing paper money.
- May-June Boston merchants and mechanics begin to boycott English luxury goods.
- Jonn Harmon manufactures the first chocolate in North America, in Dorchester Lower Mills, Massachusetts.
- 22 Mar. Parliament passes the Stamp Act.
- 19 Oct. The Stamp Act Congress in New York City resolves not to import goods that require payment of the stamp duty.
- London merchants, fearful of losing business, petition Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act.
- The Flying Machine, a wagon running from Camden, New Jersey, to presentday Jersey City, offers passengers a service faster than any currently available.
- 18 Mar. The Stamp Act is repealed, but Parliament’s Declaratory Act affirms its right to make any law for the American colonies.
- 29 June. The Townshend Revenue Act imposes taxes on tea, glass, paper, and dyestuffs.
- Public protest meetings in Massachusetts and Virginia result in nonimportation agreements.
- A committee is formed in New York City to develop native industries.
- The proclamation line of 1763 is redrawn to accommodate land companies.
- Twenty journeymen tailors strike for higher wages in New York City.
- The New York City Chamber of Commerce is formed in Fraunces’ Tavern.
- 10 June. John Hancock’s Liberty is seized by customs officials for transporting illicit wine, but the authorities release it when a mob forms.
- 1 Aug. Boston and New York merchants boycott English goods.
- Heinrich Stiegel opens a second American glassmaking plant at Manheim, Pennsylvania; his name becomes identified with a type of American glassware.
- Anthracite coal is used for the first time in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
- The Grand Ohio Company is formed in England to buy twenty million acres in the Ohio River valley for settlement.
- New Jersey grants the Hibernian Ironworks seven years’ exemption from taxes.
- A guild of building trades workers is founded in New York City.
- The Boston Society for Encouraging Industry and Employing the Poor builds a spinning school.
- Mar. Philadelphia and Baltimore merchants join the nonimportation association.
- 31 Jan. Five hundred Boston women agree to support a boycott of tea.
- 12 Apr. Parliament repeals the Townshend duties but retains the tax on tea. In response the colonies lift their embargo of British goods except tea.
- July A crisis in the English banking system reduces the credit available to colonial merchants, forcing them to sell their inventories at low prices.
- Tailors in Philadelphia form a company to fix prices and limit journeymen’s wages.
- Phillip Mazzei of Virginia imports workers and materials from Italy to start silk production.
- 27 Apr. Parliament passes the Tea Act to save the British East India Company from bankruptcy. The company’s resulting monopoly puts American tea merchants out of business.
- 16 Dec. The Boston Tea Party occurs.
- Parliament bans exports of textile machinery, including plans and models, to the American colonies; additional acts are passed in 1781 and 1782.
- The Transylvania Company is formed by land speculators in Kentucky. The Illinois and Wabash Land companies are formed to buy tracts of western territory.
- 19 Apr. Edmund Burke writes On American Taxation.
- 20 Oct. The Continental Association, a committee of the Continental Congress, bars the importation of British goods.
- 25 Oct. Fifty-one women in Edenton, North Carolina, sign an antitea declaration.
- The English Board of Trade approves the Vandalia Company’s request to buy 2.4 million acres of land in eastern Kentucky. (Benjamin Franklin is among the members of the company.)
- Samuel Wetherill starts a cloth factory with spinning jennies in Philadelphia.
- 20 Feb. The first joint-stock manufacturing company, the American Manufactory of Woolens, Linens, and Cottons, is established. Shares of the company sell at ten pounds apiece.
- 10 Mar. Daniel Boone begins blazing the Wilderness Road westward from Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. It was improved for wagon traffic in 1795.
- 22 Mar. Burke gives his Speech on Conciliation with the Colonies to Parliament.
- May Congress establishes a postal system with Benjamin Franklin as postmaster.
- 15 July. Congress authorizes foreign vessels to import essential war materials and to export American products.
- 19 Sept. Congress appoints a Secret Committee to make contracts for the purchase of foreign war supplies.
- 8 Nov. Congress empowers the Secret Committee to export American products to the West Indies in exchange for arms, ammunition, and saltpeter.
- Congress institutes a national lottery.
- Paul Revere starts a gunpowder factory at Canton, Massachusetts.
- John Sears builds a saltworks on Cape Cod to evaporate salt from seawater.
- Adam Smith publishes The Wealth of Nations.
- Congress authorizes a loan of $5 million to finance the war.
- 6 Apr. Congress declares American ports open to all marine traffic except that from England.
- 26 Sept. Congress appoints commissioners to negotiate commercial treaties with European nations.
- Oliver Evans invents a machine that improves the productivity of wool manufacturing.
- Congress establishes a cannon manufactory in Springfield, Massachusetts.
- July After declaring itself an independent state in January, Vermont adopts a constitution that abolishes slavery and adopts universal male suffrage without regard to property.
- Congress prohibits the importation of slaves into the United States.
- 6 Feb. A French-American commercial treaty is signed in Paris.
- Peletiah Webster writes Essay on Free Trade and Finance, opposing regulations on prices and wages.
- 25 Feb. Congress requisitions the states to provide specific supplies to the Continental Army.
- 1 Mar. Pennsylvania becomes the first state to abolish slavery. (Vermont does not join the Union until 1791.) All children born after the law’s passage are free citizens.
- 18 Mar. Congress passes an act to redeem Continental paper money at one-fortieth of the face value.
- The first American pharmaceutical firm is founded.
- The Mutual Assurance Company is formed in Philadelphia to provide fire insurance on houses.
- Robert Morris and associates form the North American Land Company, the first American trust, to sell nearly six million acres of western lands in six states.
- France extends a large loan to the United States.
- 20 Feb. Congress appoints Robert Morris as superintendent of finance.
- 31 Dec. The Bank of North America is established by Congress.
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