Tag Archives: Colonial History

Treaty of Paris signed September 3, 1783

By the Lord Hyde Packet, arrived at New York from Falmouth, we have the following Advices.

LONDON, September 30.

The DEFINITIVE TREATY between GREAT BRITAIN and the UNITED STATES of AMERICA, signed at Paris, the 3d day of September, 1783.

In the Name of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity. IT having pleased the Divine Providence to dispose the hearts of the Most serene and Most Potent Prince George the Third, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, Duke of Brunswick and Lunenburg, Arch Treasurer and Prince Elector of the Holy Roman Empire, &c. and of the United States of America, to forget all past misunderstandings and differences that have unhappily interrupted the good correspondence and friendship which they mutually wish to restore, and to establish such a beneficial and satisfactory intercourse between the two countries, and upon the ground of reciprocal advantages and mutual convenience, as may promote and secure to both perpetual peace and harmony; and having for this desirable end already laid the foundation of peace and reconciliation, by the Provisional Articles signed at Paris, on the 30th of November, 1782, by the Commissioners empowered on each part, which Articles were agreed to be inserted in, and to constitute the Treaty of Peace proposed to be concluded between the Crown of Great Britain and the said United States, but which Treaty was not to be concluded until terms of peace should be agreed upon between Great Britain and France, and his Britannic Majesty should be ready to conclude such Treaty accordingly; and the Treaty between Great Britain and France having since been concluded, his Britannic Majesty and the United States of America, in order to carry into full effect the Provisional Articles above mentioned, according to the tenor thereof, have constituted and appointed, that is to say, his Britannic Majesty on his part, David Hartley, Esq; Member of the Parliament of Great Britain, and the said United States on their part, John Adams, Esq; late a Commissioner of the United States of America at the Court of Versailles, late Delegate in Congress from the State of Massachusetts, and Chief Justice of the said State, and Minister Plenipotentiary of the said United States to their High Mightiness the States General of the United Netherlands; Benjamin Franklin, Esq; late Delegate in Congress from the State of Pennsylvania, President of the Convention of the said State, and Minister Plenipotentiary from the United States of America at the Court of Versailles; and John Jay, Esq; late President of Congress, and Chief Justice of the State of New York, and Minister Plenipotentiary from the said United States at the Court of Madrid, to be Plenipotentiaries for the concluding and signing the present Definitive Treaty; who, after having reciprocally communicated their respective full powers, have agreed upon and confirmed the following Articles: (more…)

The Snow Niagara in 1913

The Wreck of the Snow Catherine

Searching for historical information in newspapers and magazines section of the database for the settlement of Nutfield, part of which is now Derry, New Hampshire, yielded some interesting results. One was a rather sad article about a shipwreck of the snow Catherine off the coast of Nova Scotia in 1737. Although the original settlement of Nutfield began about eighteen years prior, emigrants were still leaving Ireland to come to the New World for a chance at a better life.

The account from The Pennsylvania Gazette tells the tale of those Scotch-Irish emigrants who lost their lives on a snow from County Antrim, Ireland bound for Boston. Ninety-eight people died in the wreck and four more died of their injuries after they made land. Obviously, not everyone who left survived the trip. Unfortunately, the account tells of the dead being buried where the Catherine washed up just north of Canso, Nova Scotia. Since this land was largely uninhabited by European settlers, it is unlikely that a burial ground is extant. No further information about whether they were re-interred elsewhere or remained buried where they died was available in the article.

But, like any great mystery, the article brings up many questions and possibilities for further research. For example, what exactly is a snow?


Tory Refugees on the Way to Canada by Howard Pyle

Loyalists in New Hampshire in the 1770s

I had the great fortune to hear the Town Historian of Derry, New Hampshire speak about the history of Nutfield, as it was known on July 19th. He told a fascinating story of Stephen Holland, a well-known Tory who lived in East Derry during the time that America was about to claim her independence from British rule.

Curious, I searched the Accessible Archives databases to see what was known about Mr. Holland and came across some interesting information in the “History of Rockingham” about the lives of those whose loyalty remained with the Crown instead of the newly forming nation:

…Stephen Holland was the most prominent. His reputation as a Tory was more than local, as the history of the times clearly proved. He was a tavernkeeper and merchant, a man of wealth and education…He was…banished by the act of November 19, 1778 [because he was sympathetic to the British cause, or in Mr. Holmes description ‘a spy,’] and his property, numbering four farms, was confiscated.



News from Boston – August 25, 1763

The Pennsylvania Gazette was one of the United States’ most prominent newspapers from before the American Revolution all the way through to 1815.

The paper was first published by Samuel Keimer under the name The Universal Instructor in all Arts and Sciences: and Pennsylvania Gazette, reflecting Keimer’s plans to print out a page of Ephraim Chambers’ Cyclopaedia, or Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences in each and every edition of the paper.

In 1729, Benjamin Franklin and Hugh Meredith bought the paper and shortened its name to simply The Pennsylvania Gazette and dropped Keimer’s plan to print out the Cyclopaedia. Franklin not only printed the paper but also often contributed pieces to the paper under various aliases. The Gazette rapidly grew to be the most popular newspaper in the colonies.

The Pennsylvania Gazette articles available to Accessible Archives subscribers are divided into four separate folios. The periods covered by these folios include:

  • Folio I – (1728 – 1750) “Benjamin Franklin`s Newspaper”
  • Folio II – (1751 – 1765) “The French & Indian War”
  • Folio III – (1766 – 1783) “The American Revolution”
  • Folio IV – (1784 – 1800) “The New Republic”

In 1752, Franklin published a third-person account of his pioneering kite experiment in the The Pennsylvania Gazette, without mentioning that he himself had performed it.

Franklin and Meredith took the work of keeping the colonies informed about what was going on in the East Coast colonies seriously as you can see in this report from Boston from 1763.

News from Boston – August 25, 1763

Thursday last the Province Sloop Massachusetts, Captain Saunders, arrived here from the Eastward, in which came Meserwanderomet, Ectambuit, and Sawro Woraromogasa, Indians of Penobscot. And on Monday and Tuesday last his Excellency the Governor, in Council, had a Conference with them at the Council Chamber.

The Conference related chiefly to the proper Methods of Trade to be carried on between the English and the Indians. (more…)


10 Southern US Slave Advertisements

When people think of slavery in America’s past they usually think of plantations and agricultural work and the Civil War.

In reality, by the latter half of the 1700s, slaves were to be found across the whole spectrum of home and economic life in the Southern colonies. Local newspapers of the time in the Accessible Archives contain many notices about runaway slaves, and slaves for sale or rent.

This is a collection of ten slave notices from Virginia and South Carolina newspapers in the 1700s.

  1. RUN away about the beginning of February, a NEGRO WENCH, named, about 35 years old, of a yellowish complexion; had on, when she run away, a green Negroe-cloth gown; well known in Charlestown, Goose-Creek, Ponpon and John’s-Island. Whoever will a the said Negroe, and deliver her to the Warden of the Work house, shall have five pounds reward from Lambert Lance.
  2. RUN away on Monday evening the 9th April inst. from my house near the new barracks, a negro man named LONDON, about forty years of age by trade a barber, and is very well known here, at Beaufort, and at Augusta in Georgia. Whoever entertains or pretends to hire him without a line from me, may depend on being prosecuted with as much severity as the law allows; and whoever will deliver the said negro to the warden of the work-house, or to me, shall be handsomely rewarded. – White Outerbridge
  3. RUN away the first of June 1762, A Negroe fellow named Andrew, cannot tell his master’s name, he is remarkable by having a bosent, which he tried to cut out, and was cured by a doctor, Guinea born, and is supposed to be harboured; if by a white person, on conviction, the sum of Thirty pounds, and if by a Negroe Ten Pounds. Whoever delivers him to me on the Cypress, within ten miles of Dorchester, shall receive a reward of Ten Pounds and all reasonable charges. – Robert Ekills
  4. Runaway Slave

    Runaway Slave

    RUN away the 17th of October 1763, a likeyl young NEGROE MAN, this country born, named Cain, and stature about five feet nine or ten inches; he formerly belonged to Mr. Thomas Miles, and used to be a cattle-hunter at Messrs. Miles’s Cow-pen on the Saltketchers. He is well known at most of the plantations and Cow-pens in those parts. I will give a reward of Twenty Pounds to any person that will deliver him to Robert Rowand in Charlestown, or to me at Horse-Savannah. – Isaac Macpherson

  5. RUN away in the night of the 26th of January, a negro man named OSBORN; he had on when he went away a blue negro cloth waistcoat and breeches, black worsted stockings, and shoes, he is about five feet nine inches high, about nineteen years of age, speaks very plain English, and is very talkative; it is very probable he may change both his name and dress, as he carried sundry cloaths with him; and as he has been used to go by water, it is supposed he will endeavour to get off in some vessel: Allmasters of vessels are hereby cautioned from carrying off or harbouring the said fellow, as they may depend on having the law put strictly in execution. Whoever will deliver the said fellow to me at White-point, shall have a reward of five pounds; and whoever will inform me of the said fellow’s being harboured – if by a white person they shall receive twenty pounds, and if by a negro five pounds, from Edward Blake.
  6. Slave Ship

    Slave Ship

    TO BE SOLD – A CARGO of about One Hundred and Sixty prime SLAVES All in good Health, JUST arrived in the Brigestine Lively, Capt. Caird, after passage of 33 days from GAMBIA. Thomas Shirley, Edward Martin

  7. WHEREAS a negro man, a sailor, named August, my property, well known in Charlestown, frequently hires himself out without my knowledge; all persons, as they would avoid being prosecuted, are hereby forbid to employ, hire, harbour, or entertain the said negro man name’d August, without a written order from Elisabeth Tucker.
  8. RAN away on the 12th of September last, from the Plantation of the Hon. Philip Lightfoot, Esq; on Queen’s Creek, near Williamsburg, a large, well-made Mulatto Slave, nam’d Amos, aged about 32, with long, bushy Hair, like an East-Indian’s; Speaks tolerable good English; but on a Surprize, stammers a little. Had on an old Felt Hat, a Canvas Shirt, a Cotton Jackets, and a Pair of Crocus Breeches. Whoever takes up the said Slave, and brings him to the plantation afore said,shall have Twenty Shillings Reward, besides what the Law allows, paid by Philip Lightfoot.
  9. Runaway Slave Ad

    Runaway Slave Ad

    RAN away, on Saturday the 15th of July, at Night, a Negro Man, nam’d Abraham, belonging to Col.George Braxton, of King and Queen County: He is a lusty stout young Fellow, about 23 Years of Age; is bow-leg’d: Has with him a Cloth colour’d Coat,  and several other Sorts of Wearing Apparel. He is a Shoemaker by Trade. And a Negro Man, nam’d Windsor, belonging to the Subscriber, of the same County: is about 5 Feet and a Half high, very square, and strong made, about 20 Years of Age. Has a black Cloth Coat, full trimm’d, and some other Apparel. The Negros are Virginia born, and are sensible Fellows. They went away by Water, and are suppos’d to be gone to South-Carolina. Whoever will secure the Said Runaways, and bring them to me in King and Queen County, Virginia, shall have Fifteen Pounds Reward, or Five Pounds for each, besides what the Law allows, paid by George Braxton, Junior.

  10. WANTED ON HIRE, NEGROES, by the month, quarter or year, of any age above seven and under fifty. A good reasoable price will be given—the negroes well used—and the money paid as agreed upon.—Also wanted about two hundred acres, more or less, of pine barren land, that has plenty of pine wood and good clay, upon a navigable river within twenty miles of Charlestown, the nearer the better, for which a good price will be given either on hire or to be bought. Enquire at the printing-office in Elliott-street.

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