Questions tagged [colonial-america]

Colonial America refers to the period of American history (roughly late 15th century to the mid-19th century) when European states exercised political control over indigenous Americans and European settlers in the Americas. Colonial powers in the Americas included the Spanish, British, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedes, and Russians. The term is sometimes taken to refer to pre-Revolution British colonies that would eventually become the United States.

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In 18th century America, how did people board ships to travel long distance?

This is a continuation of this question I asked earlier. According to the answers I got from the question, a better way for my character to travel is by ship, as quoted from user Mark Johnson: Taking ...
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Did Americans in the later half of the 18th-century have more freedom in choosing a partner?

According to this article, starting from the last half of the 18th century there was a decline in parents' influence over young people's choice of partners, and the idea of romantic love started to be ...
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Did Continental Army officers wear wigs or keep their hair white like their British Army counterparts?

I just can't find any concrete answer to this question because there is just too much conflicting information. While I know British enlisted men weren't allowed to wear wigs but were forced to grow ...
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How did coach service in 18th century America work?

I know that carriage transportation in the US imitated that of Europe, and I know that in the 18th century coaches could be used to transport goods and people and they could also be used as a public ...
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Did George Washington‘s investment in the Ohio Company eventually turn a profit?

The intent of some English and Virginia speculators (including two brothers of George Washington and Virginia Royal Governor Robert Dinwiddie) to open the Ohio Valley (then a French possession) to ...
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Is the Native American relationship with colonists described in 'In the Days of Poor Richard' historically accurate?

I was reading In the Days of Poor Richard by Irving Bacheller (the full book can be viewed here). At the beginning of the book, there is a long paragraph describing the main character that goes like ...
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Could an eight-year-old child be eligible to stand trial as a witness and provide testimony in an 18th-century American courtroom? [closed]

I'm doing research for a historical fiction set in a small fictional town in America between the year 1778 and 1779. Let's say I have two characters, John and Jack. John is an officer in the ...
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What's the origin of the legend that this rock formation in America had a 12th century Welsh Origin?

There is a Welsh legend/myth that America was discovered by a Welshman named Madoc the Great, in the 12th century. His Wikipedia page reads the same but also that there isn't any conclusive evidence ...
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What was the nature of a widow's personal estate in Colonial America?

In books that discuss figures in Colonial America and early American history (and I believe more broadly throughout contemporaneous European history), it is relatively common to see discussions of ...
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What would have been the signal that Pontiac would have given to attack in Fort Detroit?

In the Siege of Detroit, Pontiac had 300 warriors but did not give the "signal" to attack (07 MAY 1763 before the actual siege started). I have found references that a wampum belt was ...
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What is the source of this image of Miles Morgan's “mark”?

Miles Morgan, one of the founders of Springfield, MA made a 'mark' which resembled an anchor (more than anything), though I read it was also compared to a pickaxe. Sometime in the past few months I ...
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Were beaches red with lobsters upon arrival of Columbus?

I remember reading somewhere that upon arrival in Hispaniola, Columbus found beaches that were so plentiful with lobsters that they appeared red. It is possible I read this in a book by Bill Bryson, ...
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Was the Native American population already decimated before settlers and conquistadors arrived in America?

My understanding (which I am stating in case you find it errant) is that while there were no domesticable animals in the Americas, the East had a history of many plagues received from livestock ...
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What did General John Sullivan's sons do?

I'm researching General John Sullivan and need to know what his sons, John (1767-1819) and James (1768-1796) did for a living and how they died. I've looked and looked and only found birth and death ...
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What is a “sheare town?”

Another question from my family history research from this quote: Carrie C. Edgett article: John French - a tailor, was living in Topsfield as early as March 1, 1664/5, when a daughter born there, ...
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What's the significance of “cat, hare, and ale” in this quotation?

From Alice Morse Earle's Colonial Days in Old New York (1896): In Albany in 1677 all "Shrovetide misdemeanors were prohibited, viz.: riding at a goose, cat, hare, and ale." The fine was ...
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How did slavery become permissible in the French West Indies when it was forbidden in France?

In 1315, France abolished slavery in continental France. Unless I am mistaken, the first French territories outside of "continental France" were established in 1534 with the North American ...
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How did the Boston Tea Party protest affect the British?

"The Boston Tea Party was a political protest that occurred on December 16, 1773, at Griffin's Wharf in Boston, Massachusetts. American colonists, frustrated and angry at Britain for imposing “...
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What was an “alower of Society debts” in colonial America?

"Alower of Society debts" - one of my ancestors held this role in Colonial America. I can find a reference to the role of "tithingman" - but not this... seems self-explanatory, ...
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Was drowning a form of mercy killing in Colonial America?

In doing family history research I came across this death notice, "John French, his wife drown’d herself 13 May 1701." Curious wording. Last summer I visited the French-Andrews house, ...
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What systems of opression did colonial South America utilized to acculturate indigenous peoples, compared to the ones used in North America? [closed]

After reading and writing about boarding schools (and prisons) of acculturation here in North America, where Indigenous peoples were forced into Western ways, I am left wondering: Did these systems ...
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Were there actually slaves in Georgia while slavery was banned there?

Wikipedia reports that "The Georgia Experiment [from 1735 to 1751] was the colonial-era policy prohibiting the ownership of slaves in the Georgia Colony," and that this was done in order to &...
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What group is identified by the term “Egyptians” in the Flushing Remonstrance?

I am reading about the Flushing Remonstrance and its significance in the history of freedom of religion in the United States. An article by the Social Science Research Council indicates it was ...
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How was religious diversity represented in the Thirteen Colonies?

I understand that many settlers of the original thirteen English colonies in America were Protestants (or Puritans, specifically) who left Europe in search for better religious freedom. However, since ...
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What sort of boat transported transport the French colonial Governors of New Orleans?

I am writing a description of the changeover of the French colonial Governors of New Orleans in 1753, from Vaudreuil to Kerlérec. There is mention of a Governor's boat used to take important guests to ...
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Is there basis in saying Venezuela was Aragonese?

So... This sounds like a silly question even to me, but this is the background. In the recent TV show, Bolivar, there is an Inspector of Weights and Measures for Caracas who comes in to weigh a ...
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Any truth to this story of Native American journeying to England?

In "A New Voyage to Carolina", John Lawson, British Surveyor-General of North Carolina, asserts that some natives once attempted to journey themselves all the way to England as an attempt to cut out ...
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Did other British colonies at the time have seats in parliament [duplicate]

I know the American colonies didn’t have a seat, but what about the other British colonies. Did some have it. Like Australia, and the places in Africa.
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How long to travel from Ireland or England in 1680 to Plymouth in the Massachusetts Bay Colony?

I'm writing a historical fiction romance novel and I'm trying to gain a perspective of the travel times. The story is set in 1692, but the hero and his family arrived around 1680 from Ireland.
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How did American colonial rights and conditions compare to those within the British Isles?

A major point of contention between American colonists and British administrators was that the American colonists, being the descendants of Englishmen, allegedly should have been entitled to ...
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When did Europeans realize Native Americans had weaker immunity to Old World diseases?

The question is fairly simple: when did Europeans come to a general knowledge that the Native Americans had weak immunity specifically to Old World diseases? I'm looking for the first person to ...
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Why did a young George Washington sign a document admitting to assassinating a French military officer?

On May 28, 1754, a young Lt. Colonel named George Washington ambushed a French force at Jumonville Glen with assistance from a Iroquois leader named Tanacharison. One of the casualties was the French ...
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What were the rules of the migration to the Louisiana Territory in USA?

To my best knowledge, at the point of Louisiana Purchase, the area was inhabited mostly by Native Americans. At the time there existed some legislation regarding how the settlement should look like. ...
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Gregorian dating in the Julian time period?

William Penn wrote about his friend and my 9th great grandfather, Cuthbert Hayhurst, dying in 1682. I have seen the letter in Penn's writing. How is it that he dated the death in 1682 when the ...
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What could explain the myth (or truth) of drunken defenders during the battle of the plains of Abraham?

I have come across popular references towards the sodden or sozzled state of the French and Canadien defenders of Quebec City during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Mostly, these references are ...
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William Penn and the Frame of Government of Pennsylvania

William Penn wrote three different frames of government documents. All three are different, so therefore which one do we go by? How do we read them? And which one is the final document that PA uses?
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To what extent has the United States become (in 1870) the nation that it originally set out to be? [closed]

I was thinking about this for a while. I know that the US never intended to abolish slavery at that time, but it still happened. Is that even relevant? Some of the things I thought that they ...
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Did the Governor of Virginia in 1786 have the authority to veto laws passed by the Virginia General Assembly?

I believe that the Act for Establishing Religious Freedom was passed by the Virginia General Assembly on January 16, 1786. Did the Governor of Virginia at the time have the right to veto it?
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What happened to the British convicts transported to America after the American Revolution?

From the early 1600s until the American Revolution of 1776, the British colonies in North America received transported British criminals for, what I have read, a term of 6 to 14 years. I have read (...
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When were differing hemispheric seasons first understood?

When did people - scientists or philosophers - first realise/discover/understand that the seasons in the southern hemisphere were the opposite to those in the northern hemisphere? Additionally, when ...
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188 views

What is the number of slaves imported from Africa to the Americas by non-British countries?

From 1526 to approximately 1870, slave ships from various countries loaded slaves from Africa and took them to somewhere in the Americas. (Note, in this question, I use "America" and "Americas" to ...
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Looking for colonial era evidence of Jesuit missions from San Martin Peru up to the Pastaza river

if there are any Peruvian colonial era history experts out there, I'm looking for a citable source of some kind for the following scenario. In my research I've noticed an interesting discrepancy in ...
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How far did climate affect civilisation development in the Americas?

The shapes and orientations of Eurasia and Africa result in the former having larger regions of similar climate. This video discusses the hypothesis that: regions of similar climate can more readily ...
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Is the scarlet letter 'A' a real historical thing?

I've heard someone say something like: It's not a scarlet letter, it's not a mark on your forehead you keep for life. Obviously this was said in terms of permanency of a badge of shame, or ...
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Ports with ships in the commercial Halifax trade, late 18th Century

Halifax, Nova Scotia, was founded by the British in 1749; I am interested in the commercial trade during the French Revolutionary Wars, 1792 thru 1798, which is the period of the First Coalition. The ...
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Was there any distinction between the 13 Colonies and the Canadian provinces prior to the American Revolution?

Was there any distinction between the 13 Colonies that became the United States and the Canadian colonies/provinces prior to the American Revolution? For example, did New Brunswick and New Hampshire ...
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Did indentured servants in British North America have job security?

Most people know about the practice of Indentured Servitude in the British North American colonies - that workers would receive "free" passage to the Colonies in exchange for working for the ...
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Did any Moors accompany Hernando de Soto in his exploration of Mississippi?

I was reading about Hernando de Soto and saw William Powell's painting (Relevant bit cropped and added below): The odd thing (Marked with a red arrow) is the man who looks Moorish and is dressed in ...
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Do we know who graduated from the University of Mexico in the 1700s?

The Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico was the country's first and foremost university in the colonial period. According to George I. Sánchez, by 1776 it had awarded 29,882 bachelor's and 1,162 ...
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Who was the Halach Uinik of Can Pech?

Who was the ruler (Halach Uinik) of the pre-conquest Mayan state (Kuchkabal) of Can Pech around the beginning of the 16th century? If not the individual, the dynasty?