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ABH Travel Tip
You can visit much of the Pre-Revolution history of the United States throughout the many trails and historic sites of the nation. And don't miss out on the Native American history throughout Florida or other regions. The history of the nation and North America comes from the culture of the many tribes that made up the mosaic of human culture in each state. They were here before the majority of us, after all, and their history is an amazing collection of wonder, beauty, and dedication to the land that sits beneath us.
Pre-Revolution Timeline - The 1600s
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1600 - In present-day Arizona and New Mexico, members of the Franciscan order from the Spanish settlements in Mexico establish missions in Hopi Indian tribe areas. The first permanent mission, San Bernardino, was established at Awátobi in 1629.
April 26, 1607 - After five months at sea, three ships led by Captain Christopher Newport reach Cape Henry on the Virginia coast. The Susan Constant, the Discovery, and the Godspeed, later move up the James River for forty miles till they stop on Jamestown Island.
May 13, 1607 - The three ships land in Jamestown, establishing the first English settlement in the United States. There are 103 settlers among them. Upon arrival, Captain John Smith is named to the governing council.
September 3, 1609 - Henry Hudson, working for the Dutch, sails into New York harbor and up the river that would bear his name to Albany.
1609 - Exploration of the New World continues as Samuel de Champlain explores Lake Champlain.
April 5, 1614 - The history of Jamestown continues with the
marriage of Pocahontas to John Rolfe, who would bring tobacco
seeds to the colony and begin its harvesting this year. Their
marriage led to eight years of peace among the colonists and
1600 to 1615 - American Indian Felipe Guaman Poma de Ayala
(Quechua) illustrates his 1,189-page book, El primer nueva
corónica, y buen gobierno.
1618 to 1619 - Smallpox epidemic wipes out 90% of the Native
Americans in the Massachusetts Bay area.
July 30, 1619 - First representative assembly, the House of
Burgesses, held in America is elected in Jamestown. The next
month, the Dutch land with indentured servants in Jamestown.
November 11, 1620 - The Puritan expedition which left England for the New World on September 6, reaches Cape Cod near
Provincetown, not their original destination of Virginia. They
explore the coastline for an appropriate settlement location.
December 11, 1620 - A landing party searches the coast for a
suitable site for a settlement and start to move the entire party to Plymouth Harbor. Plymouth Rock was identified as the first solid land the Pilgrims set foot on.
December 20, 1620 -The Purtitans begin to establish settlement in Plymouth. They form the Mayflower Compact, which established a government and legal structure. During the next winter, half of the colonists would perish. Site of the settlement had previously been the location of an Indian village that had been wiped out in 1617 by a plague.
September/October 1621 - The first Thanksgiving celebration is held in the autumn for three days between the Pilgrims and members of the Wampanoag tribe, who had helped them settle and plant the colony's land.
March 22, 1622 - The Indian Massacre of 1622 occurs when Chief Opchanacanough and the Powhatan Confederacy tried to rid the colony of settlers. One third of the colony at the time, three hundred people, were killed.
1623-1626 - In the area of New Mexico, on Navajo land, warriors of the Jemez Apache tribe war against Spaniards and Tiwas.
May 6, 1626 - Peter Minuit, one of eight men left by Dutch explorers headed for the Albany area from the ship New Netherland on Manhattan Island, buys the island from the Man-a-hat-a Indians for $24 in trinkets.
March 25, 1634 - Maryland is founded as a Catholic colony
promoting religious tolerance. The subsequent state is named for
Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of England's Charles I.
October 28, 1636 - Harvard College is founded in Cambridge,
June 1636 - Providence, Rhode Island is founded as a colony by
Roger Williams. Its charter would be granted eight years later as a democratic colony believing in the separation of church and
1640 - The first book is printed in North America, the Bay Psalm Book.
1641 - Witchcraft is made a capital crime in English law. The
Massachusetts colony becomes the first colony to legalize
March 1, 1642 - York, Maine of the Massachusetts Colony
(known as Georgeana in colonial times) becomes the first
incorporated city in the American colonies.
1643 - The book, A Key into Language of Americas, is published
by Roger Williams, co-founder of the Rhode Island colony.
April 18, 1644 - In the last Indian rebellion in the region,
Opchanacanough and the Powhatan Indians attack the English
at Jamestown, but their effort is repulsed and proves
May 29, 1647 - The constitution of the General Assembly of
Rhode Island is drafted, separating church and state, as well as
permitting public referendums and initiatives in legislation.
1650 - Slavery is legalized in Connecticut and recognized in the American colonies.
June 9, 1650 - The Harvard Board becomes the first legalized
corporation in the American colonies.
May 18, 1652 - Rhode Island passes the first law in the American
colonies restricting slavery, making it illegal for more than ten
August 22, 1654 - Jewish settlement in the American colonies
begins with the arrival of twenty-three settlers from Brazil in New Amsterdam.
September 13, 1660 - The Navigation act is passed by British
Parliament to control colonial commerce in the New World.
September 8, 1664 - Three hundred British troops seize New
Netherlands from the Dutch in a peaceful takeover. The Duke of
York, brother to Charles II, is granted the Dutch province and city of New Amsterdam, renaming them New York.
September 6, 1667 - A large hurricane ravages southeast
Virginia, with twelve days of rain, causing damage to plantation
homes and crops.
August 9, 1673 - Dutch forces recapture the colony of New York (New Amsterdam) from the British, but would only be able to hold power in the area for one year.
September 19, 1676 - Bacon's Rebellion causes the burning of
Jamestown. Nathanial Bacon leads the rebellion of planters
against Governor Berkeley. Bacon would perish and twenty-three
others were executed.
August 12, 1676 - The Indian War between the Narragansett
Indians and the colonists in New England ends.
April 9, 1682 - France claims the lower Mississippi River valley, Louisiana, when Robert Cavelier, Sieur de LaSalle explores the region.
1683 - The colony of Pennsylvania is established when William
Penn signs a treaty with the Delaware Indians and pays for
1684 - Additional outposts, at the behest of Cavelier, in Illinois and Texas spread the influence of the French in the central part of the American territories.
March 19, 1687 - Mutiny causes the death of Robert Cavelier,
Sieur de LaSalle.
September 25, 1690 - The first newspaper issue in the United
States publishes in Boston, the Public Occurrences. It was
suppressed after its initial issue and the publication of a regular newspaper would not begin again until 1704.
1691 - The Plymouth colony, which had remained independent
since its founding in 1620, joins the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
February 1692 - May 1693 - The Salem witch hunts, spurred by
preaching, results in the arrest of one hundred and fifty people
and the death of nineteen. These trials were held in Essex,
Suffolk, and Middlesex counties.
1696 - Captain William Kidd becomes a pirate of the high seas,
turning away from his job for the British Empire to patrol and
control piracy. He would be hanged in 1701.
1699 - Jamestown is abandoned after the statehouse is burned.
Colonial government was moved to Middle Plantation, renamed
soon after as Williamsburg.
1699 - Additional French settlements would be established in
Mississippi and Louisiana.
History Photo Bomb
America's Best History where we take a look at the timeline of American History and the historic sites and national parks that hold that history within their lands.
Photos courtesy of the Library of Congress, National Archives, National Park Service, americasbesthistory.com & its licensors.