Middle Passage

Middle Passage, Captive Africans, Illustration, NYPL

What was the Middle Passage? The Middle Passage was part of the Triangular Trade System, which facilitated the movement of commodities — knives, guns, ammunition, cotton cloth, tools, and other manufactured goods — from Europe to Africa, transporting Africans to serve as laborers in the Americas and West Indies, and conveying various goods, primarily raw … Read more

Great Awakening, First

Jonathan Edwards, Preacher, Great Awakening, NYPL

What was the First Great Awakening? The First Great Awakening was the most significant religious movement of the Colonial Era, sparking an increase in Protestant denominations, including Methodists and Baptists, as well as the establishment of educational institutions like Princeton, Brown, Dartmouth, and Rutgers. It also fueled the ideology of the American Revolution by emphasizing … Read more

Hopkinson, Francis

Francis Hopkinson, Founding Father, Illustration, NYPL

Who Was Francis Hopkinson? Francis Hopkinson was a lawyer, judge, and politician from Pennsylvania who participated in the Second Continental Congress as a delegate from New Jersey. Francis Hopkinson Facts Early Life and Education of Francis Hopkinson Francis Hopkinson was born in Philadelphia in 1737 to Thomas and Mary Hopkinson. His mother was the daughter … Read more

Kegs, Battle of the

Francis Hopkinson, Founding Father, Illustration, NYPL

Battle of the Kegs Summary The “Battle of the Kegs,” happened on January 6, 1778, during the Revolutionary War. It was not actually a battle, but a failed attempt to sink British ships and disrupt shipping. During the winter of 1777–1778, British forces occupied Philadelphia, and the Continental Army was encamped at Valley Forge. It … Read more

Hartford Convention

James Madison, Painting

What was the Hartford Convention? The Hartford Convention — also known as the New England Convention — was a series of meetings held from December 15, 1814, to January 4, 1815, in Hartford, Connecticut.  It was a gathering of New England Federalists who were concerned over perceived abuses of power by President James Madison and … Read more

Fugitive Slave Act 1793, Primary Source

George Washington, Portrait, Stuart

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1794 Full Text and Explanation of the Primary Source Please note that section headings have been added to the original text of the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act. These section headings have been added to aid the understanding of the law, each section, and the provisions of each section. Each section … Read more

Braxton, Carter

Carter Braxton, Founding Father, Illustration, NYPL

Who was Carter Braxton? Carter Braxton was a merchant and politician from Virginia. He was a member of the House of Burgesses and rose to prominence during the American Revolution. He was present when Patrick Henry delivered his famous speech against the Stamp Act. Braxton was also a member of the Virginia Convention in 1774, … Read more

Ames, Adelbert

General Adelbert Ames, USA, Civil War, NA

Adelbert Ames Facts Early Life and Education Adelbert Ames was born on October 31, 1835, in Rockland, Maine. He was the younger of two sons of Jesse and Martha Bradbury Ames. Jesse Ames was a sea captain and owner of the Ames Mill in Northfield, Minnesota. Educated in local schools, Adelbert followed in his father’s … Read more

Clymer, George

George Clymer, Founding Father, Illustration, NYPL

Who was George Clymer? George Clymer was a businessman and politician from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania who rose to prominence during the American Revolution. He is known to have participated in protests against the Stamp Act and Tea Act. During the American Revolutionary War, Clymer served in the Continental Congress, where he used his accounting and business … Read more

Bent, William

William Bent, Fur Trader, Portrait

Who was William Bent? William Bent was a fur trader, merchant, and frontiersman who rose to prominence during the Fur Trade Era. Bent’s family moved from Western Virginia to St. Louis in 1806, where he was born in 1809. In 1827, He explored the Missouri River with his older brother, Charles. Two years later, Charles … Read more

Bent, Charles

Charles Bent, Governor of New Mexico, Illustration

Who was Charles Bent? Charles Bent was a fur trader, merchant, and politician who rose to prominence during the Fur Trade Era and became the first Governor of the New Mexico Territory. Born in present-day Charleston, West Virginia, he moved to St. Louis with his family in 1806. He entered the Fur Trade in 1822 … Read more

California Gold Rush

James K Polk, 11th President, Portrait

What was the California Gold Rush? A Summary of the Event that Transformed the Nation The California Gold Rush, a pivotal event in American history, started on January 24, 1848, when James W. Marshall stumbled upon gold nuggets while working at Sutter’s Mill in the Sacramento Valley. At the time the Marshall found the gold, … Read more

Thirteenth Amendment, 1865

Abraham Lincoln, Portrait, Gardner

What is the 13th Amendment? A Simple Explanation The 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified on December 18, 1865, abolished slavery and involuntary servitude within the United States, except as a punishment for a crime. 13th Amendment Summary The 13th Amendment emerged against the backdrop of the American Civil War, which was caused, … Read more

Roosevelt, Theodore – Presidency

Theodore Roosevelt, 1901, Portrait, Perry, LOC

Theodore Roosevelt Presidency — Timeline and Accomplishments November 6, 1900 — Presidential Election The Presidential Election of 1900 takes place on November 6. Roosevelt represents the Republican Party as Vice President. He is on the ticket with the incumbent President, William McKinley. The McKinley-Roosevelt Ticket wins the election. It is the second term for McKinley … Read more

Black Kettle

Black Kettle, Illustration

Who was Black Kettle, the Cheyenne Peace Chief? Black Kettle was a “Peace Chief” who dedicated his life to advocating for peace between his people, known as the “Southern Cheyenne,” other Native American Indian Tribes living in the Great Plains, and the United States.  He rose to prominence as a member of the Cheyenne Council … Read more


Port of Boston, Colonial America, Illustration

Mercantilism Summary and Definition Mercantilism is an economic theory that focuses on the trading of goods as a means to create wealth. In order for a nation to create more wealth, it needs to export more goods than it imports — it needs to sell more than it buys. If it can achieve that, it … Read more

Salem Witch Trials

Salem Witch Trials, Howard Pyle

Salem Witch Trials Summary The Salem Witch Trials took place in colonial Massachusetts in 1692 and 1693 when people living in and around the town of Salem, Massachusetts were accused of practicing witchcraft or dealing with the Devil. The accusations were initially made by two young girls in the early part of the year. By … Read more

Salem Witch Trials, Victims

Salem Witch Trials, the Salem Martyr, Noble

Salem Witch Trials Victims Facts 20 people died during the Salem Witch Trials, which was the largest single outbreak of witchcraft in Colonial America. 7 men died during the Salem Witch Trials. 6 were executed by hanging, including John Proctor, and one, Giles Corey, was pressed to death. 13 women died during the Salem Witch … Read more