Part 2 - The British and Revolution
From WoD Gotham
Part 2 of New York City's Mundane Historical Timeline.
Continued from: Part 1 - Prehistory
Skip to: Part 3 - Early America
British Colonial Rule and Revolution 1674-1783
- 1686 Governor Thomas Dongan divided the city, then entirely in Manhattan, into six wards. Wards served as the smallest political unit in New York City.
- 1689 to 1691 Leisler's Rebellion, an uprising in which militia captain Jacob Leisler seized control of New York City. Early sign of colonial resentment against the British Crown. Colony had already enjoyed self-rule under the Dutch and the population was used to being independent.
- 1691 William III restores royal authority in New York City. However, the event introduced the principle that the people could replace a ruler they deemed unsuitable; uprisings against royal governors sprouted throughout the colonies.
- 1700 With their game depleted and their lands gone, only 200 Lenape remain in the colony of New York. The rest have migrated elsewhere.
- 1712 New York Slave Revolt. Instills white fear of growing slave population.
- 1735 The libel trial of John Peter Zenger, editor of the New-York Weekly Journal established the principle of freedom of the press in the British colonies.
- 1741 New York Slave Insurrection of 1741 - a supposed plot among poor whites and black slaves that planned to revolt by setting several fires in Lower Manhattan. Several fires were set and many slaves were executed on unclear charges.
- 1754-1763 British use the city as a base of operations during the French and Indian War (Seven Years' War). The war united the British colonies for the first time. The British victory in that war eliminated the two main enemies that threatened colonists – native populations and the French.
- 1754 Columbia University was founded under charter by George II of Great Britain as King's College in Lower Manhattan.
- 1756 Irish immigrant groups celebrate St. Patrick's Day at the Crown and Thistle Tavern. St. Patrick’s Day remains a major holiday in the city ever since and is celebrated with the famous St. Patrick's Day Parade.
- 1765 Stamp Act is passed to finance protection of British colonies.
- October 19, 1765 Stamp Act Congress meets in what later becomes known as Federal Hall to discuss a colonial response to the imposition of the Stamp Act. 9 of the 13 British Colonies are represented. Sons of Liberty groups founded in most British Colonies – most notable are the New York City and Boston groups.
- November 1765 Sons of Liberty establish a committee in New York City to coordinate with other chapters.
- 1766 Stamp Act repealed.
- 1766-1775 Sons of Liberty engage in protests and conflicts with British authorities with liberty poles. Often when a signal device such as a red cap was placed atop the poles, they served as rallying points for public assemblies to protest against the colonial government.
- May 21, 1766 Liberty pole erected in City Hall Park to celebrate the repeal of the Stamp Act.
- January 19, 1770 Battle of Golden Hill. Clash between colonists and British soldiers. Along with the Boston Massacre six weeks later, the battle became one of the contributing events that led to the beginning of the American Revolution.
- 1774-1775 Committees of American patriots are formed to enforce boycott of British goods and are organized from New York City.
- April 19, 1775 American Revolutionary War begins with the Battles of Lexington and Concord.
- 1775-1777 The New York Provincial Congress is formed out of rebels and pro-revolt colonists. It replaces the Committees as well as the more conservative Province of New York Assembly and sends delegates to the Second Continental Congress. This body was a precursor to the First Constitutional Convention.
- July, 1776 United States Declaration of Independence. Sons of Liberty tear down a lead statue of King George III in celebration and melt it to make musket balls.
- Summer 1776 General Washington orders New York City fortified and takes command of the Continental Army in New York City.
- July 2, 1776 British land on Staten Island with a superior force.
- August 27, 1776 Battle of Long Island. General Washington retreats to Manhattan.
- September 15, 1776 British take Manhattan under General William Howe.
- September 16, 1776 Battle of Harlem Heights. Americans and British skirmish in Harlem.
- September 21, 1776 The Great Fire of New York destroys 25% of New York City. A dubious fire breaks out in the Fighting Cocks Tavern and spreads rapidly. British suspected rebel colonists set the fire and this leads to a harsh crackdown of the citizenry.
- October 28, 1776 General Washington retreats to White Plains.
- November 16, 1776 Fort Washington falls to the British who have now completely conquered Manhattan.
- November 1776 General Washington’s forces are across the Hudson and retreating through New Jersey. General Lord Cornwallis is dispatched to give chase.
- December 1776 General Washington crosses Delaware River at Valley Forge into Pennsylvania.
- 1776-1783 British occupation of New York City. Patriots’ exodus out. Tories from colonies held by rebels migrate in. New York City is a Loyalist stronghold until the end of the war.
- November 25, 1783 Evacuation Day. The last day where British troops and Tories left for England. Last shot of the American Revolution where a British gunner shot a cannon at jeering crowds of rebels gathered on Staten Island to watch the British fleet retreat.