Davies, Samuel (1723-1761), Virginia leader of the religious revival known as the Great Awakening. He was the first "new side" or "new light" minister to settle permanently in the colony. Davies attended a school at Chester, Pennsylvania. He continued at the school because of donations from Presbyterian dissenters in Hanover County, an act that later influenced his decision to accept permanent appointment to that congregation. Feeling it his duty to teach the principles of Christianity to all who would listen, Davies brought many slaves into that congregation, taught them to read, and purchased spelling books, catechisms, and hymnals for their use. Davies left Hanover when he was named President of Princeton University in 1759, a post he held until his death in 1761.
Davies was probably a familiar figure in Williamsburg. Only a few months after settling in Hanover, he married Jane Holt of Williamsburg, daughter of William Holt, former mayor of the city. Davies was careful to obtain the licenses required for dissenting ministers and meetinghouses from the government in Williamsburg before he began preaching. He repeatedly came to the Capitol on this matter, which brought him into direct conflict with Peyton Randolph, attorney general of the colony, to whom Davies reportedly proved himself the equal in his ability to argue points of the law regarding dissenters. Governor Gooch described Davies as "tall, slim, well-formed . . . pale and wasted by disease, dignified and courteous in manner."
Samuel Davies became well known for his preaching; even Patrick Henry acknowledged Davies' influence on his own oratorical style.
De Lamerie, Paul (1688-1751), French-born silversmith. His Huguenot family immigrated to England (see Edict of Nantes) when Paul was less than a year old and it is doubtful that he ever lived in France after that. His French style developed because it was the prevalent art form of the time and because he was apprenticed to Pierre Platel, master goldsmith, at the age of fifteen.
De Lamerie was associated with William Hogarth, who had been apprenticed to a silversmith and engraved some outstanding pieces for De Lamerie, including a salver for Sir Robert Walpole in 1727. De Lamerie is credited with some of the finest and most elaborate silver work of the eighteenth century. A number of pieces by Paul De Lamerie can be seen at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Gallery, including four columnar candlesticks that serve as the gallery logo.
De Sequeyra, Dr. John (1712-1795), Williamsburg physician, was born in London of distinguished Portuguese-Jewish parentage. He attended the medical school at the University of Leiden in Holland, reportedly under the leading clinician, Hermann Boerhaave, and received his medical degree on February 3, l739. He settled in Williamsburg in 1745.
In 1769 de Sequeyra attended George Washington's epileptic stepdaughter, Patsy. In 1770 he was called to attend Lord Botetourt during his fatal illness of bilious fever and St. Anthony's fire (erysipelas). In 1773 he was selected to be the first visiting physician to the Public Hospital for the Insane, a distinguished position that he kept until he died in 1795. He was also a member of the Hospital's Board of Directors from 1774 until his death.
Diderot, Denis (1713-1784), French encyclopedist. He was also a philosopher, novelist, satirist, dramatist, and art critic but is best known for his Encyclopédie, published between 1751 and 1780. It was his intention to demystify preindustrial manufacturing techniques and to elevate the worker and recognize his importance. Jesuit-educated and a friend of Rousseau, Diderot believed that providing documentation and information would increase man's knowledge, broaden his experience, and in so doing further his understanding of the world in which he lived. The idea that artisans should be respected for their contribution to society was loathed by the French aristocracy, and Diderot's emphasis on material things was considered anti-Christian. Thus the encyclopedia met with serious criticism and opposition.
Diderot's dedication to expanding public knowledge and his recognition of the value of the ordinary worker was reflected in the egalitarian society developing in Virginia. The importance of the common man was central to Diderot's theme. Thomas Jefferson subscribed to his encyclopedia and was undoubtedly sympathetic to the views expressed and fascinated by the wealth of technical detail it contained.
Dilettanti, Society of (1732), informal organization of art-minded Englishmen. It was founded by Sir Francis Dashwood and other collectors to encourage the study of classical antiquity. Patrons, artists, and architects met to discuss and deliberate in a convivial atmosphere. Through their financial aid, enthusiasm, and taste, the society sponsored publications and sent expeditions to Italy, Asia Minor, and Greece.
The ideal of the dilettanti appealed to many in a country where the amateur tradition had deep roots. Lord Burlington was one of those who had an interest in architecture as expressed in his pleasure house Chiswick. One was encouraged to "be one's own architect" and to promote an interest and understanding of music, literature, philosophy, painting, and the other arts to be considered a "gentleman of parts." Sir Joshua Reynolds painted two conversation pieces at the time of Sir William Hamilton's induction into the society that portray the intimacy of this cultured and creative circle.
Edict of Nantes (1598), decree establishing Catholic-Protestant coexistence in France. It granted French Protestants, the Huguenots, full civil rights by Catholic courts. The implication of a Protestant state within a Catholic state led Louis XIV to revoke the Edict of Nantes in 1685. While most Huguenots remained in France and abjured Calvinism for Catholicism, an estimated 160,000 fled France to Geneva, Berlin, Amsterdam, and London.
This infusion of French refugees brought twenty to fifty thousand immigrants to England, many of whom practiced specialized occupations and crafts. French taste in fashion became more evident as refugee wigmakers, hairdressers, bootmakers, shoemakers, perfumers, fan makers, jewelers, furriers, and gunsmiths worked in London. French silversmiths brought new skills and more advanced designs. They used thicker silver with higher relief and engraved rather than applied ornament. Huguenot cabinetmakers moved from square or rectangular chair backs toward curvilinear backs. The English textile industry also benefitted. French weavers were more technologically advanced than English weavers and won fame for their pattern designs, flowered silks, and printed calicoes. As a result of these innovations, less linen and silk were imported from France, helping to reverse the English-French balance of trade in favor of the English by the 1690s. By 1700 it was said that, "the English have now so great an esteem for the workmanship of the French refugees, that hardly anything vends without a gallic name."
Edwards, Jonathan (1703-1758), American theologian and philosopher. He is generally credited with stimulating the religious revival known as the Great Awakening. He attempted to revive Puritan idealism in a new age of science, secularism, and mercantile activity. Rigorously schooled at home, Edwards entered Yale at age thirteen, graduating in 1720 when he was seventeen. In 1729 Edwards was called to the Congregational church in Northampton, Massachusetts, which has been called the most powerful pulpit in New England.
Possessed of a fascination with nature and an extremely analytical mind, Edwards discovered John Locke before any other American thinker. He later used theories gleaned from Locke to support such Calvinistic doctrines as predestination and the sovereignty of God.
Late in 1734 Edwards was in the midst of a closely reasoned series of sermons on the necessity of salvation. His former congregation began to warm, leading Edwards to view dramatic conversions as evidence of the "peculiar and immediate" manifestations of God. "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God," Edwards's most famous sermon, presents only a fraction of the range of his thought, for Edwards was far more concerned with God's grace than His anger. He generally disapproved of extreme emotionalism in religion and went so far as to rebuke George Whitefield for the hysteria his sermons inspired.
Dismissed after conflicts with his Northampton congregation in 1750, he became a missionary to the remnants of the Mohican Indians near Stockbridge. In 1758 he was invited to become president of the College of New Jersey (later Princeton University). A few weeks later he died from the effects of a smallpox inoculation.
F. H. C. Society (1750), first college fraternity in British America, founded at William and Mary. It faded from existence during the Revolution and little is known about its early years. Even the meaning (presumably Latin) of the letters "F.H.C." remains a mystery. The first reference to the society as the "Flat Hat Club" may date from the late nineteenth century, although it might reflect a contemporary nickname for the society. Surviving fraternity medals, a certificate of membership, and correspondence among members indicate that the objectives of the society included friendship, conviviality, charity, and science. Over the years members included Thomas Jefferson, John Page, Warner Lewis, Beverley Randolph, James Innes, and St. George Tucker.
Fielding, Henry (1707-1755), English novelist. He began his literary career as a less than successful dramatist. In 1737 laws restricting the number of theaters led Fielding to an alternative career as a lawyer, and he eventually became London's first police magistrate. Tom Jones, which is considered one of the finest comic novels of the eighteenth century, was written during the period when Fielding faced large debts and death of his wife and child. His novels are peopled with young men who relish the pleasures of life; through them Fielding exposed his belief in the innate goodness of man. He used satire to poke fun at the hypocrisy he perceived in society, an effort in which he was joined by his good friend William Hogarth. Tom Jones was included in the libraries of Lord Botetourt, Robert Carter, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and St. George Tucker.
Fox, George (1624-1691), English founder of the Society of Friends. In 1646 he underwent a mystical experience that convinced him that Christianity was an inner light by which Christ directly illumines the believing soul. Fox began preaching in 1647 and soon attracted a considerable following. Commonly called Quakers from the spiritual "trembling" experienced during meetings, his followers refused to take oaths or bear arms. They wanted to be free of all outward authorities, including ordained priests and ministers. Fox subscribed to the Reformation idea of a universal priesthood of all believers--the assumption that all men were potentially near enough to God to be their own priests. Quaker missionaries met with persecution and imprisonment on most of their travels. In America Quakerism was most prevalent in New England.
From 1671 to 1672 Fox and William Edmundson, an important Quaker missionary, traveled in Virginia. Edmundson actually met with Governor Berkeley in order to speak to him about Friends' sufferings. Edmundson found Berkeley "peevish and brittle" and departed the meeting having made no progress in persuading the governor to be kind to Quakers in Virginia. While in America, Fox greatly strengthened the Quaker organization in the colonies, though they continued to meet with varying degrees of harassment in the southern colonies.
Garrick, David (1717-1779), English actor. He is credited with developing a more naturalistic style of acting, moving away from the stylized practices in vogue earlier in the century.
In 1747 he became a partner in the Drury Lane Theatre at Covent Garden and managed many of the productions. Garrick was credited with forbidding patrons from sitting on the stage itself because it was evident they cared more about being seen than seeing the play. He also influenced the development of more sophisticated set designs. Garrick also directed plays, wrote several, and by his death had amassed a fortune that has been estimated at £10,000.
Geminiani, Francesco (1689-1762), eminent Italian violinist. His violin treatise of 1751 The Art of Playing on the Violin, has special significance for the tradition of domestic music in eighteenth-century Virginia. The predominance of the violin as the most popular instrument for the gentleman amateur during the period is well documented. Thomas Jefferson, John Randolph, and Patrick Henry all played the violin; in fact, Jefferson had a copy of Geminiani's influential Opus IX treatise in his private music library.
Geminiani's work was a continuation of a long succession of instruction books for the violin. From 1658 to 1731 there were thirty such works printed in England. Geminiani's Art, however, departs from the earlier violin treatises in its thoroughness. His treatise sets down the performance techniques of the classical, or Roman, violin school as established by Archangelo Corelli in the late seventeenth century.
Glorious Revolution (1688), period of English history when Catholic King James II was replaced by William III and Mary. William of Orange was a nephew of James II; Mary was his daughter and a niece of Charles II. They were invited to assume the throne by a group of influential noblemen. Unlike James, who believed in divine right of kings, William and Mary shared the duties and responsibilities of governance with Parliament. When the crown was offered to William and Mary, their assent to a Declaration of Rights was secured. The Declaration asserted that it was illegal to suspend laws, collect taxes, maintain a standing Army without consent of Parliament, interfere with Parliamentary elections, tamper with juries, or impose excessive fines. Parliament turned the agreement into a Bill of Rights with two additional provisions: No Catholic could succeed to the crown and succession thereafter would be the children of William and Mary, then those of Anne, Mary's younger sister, and finally the children of William if he should marry again.
Goldsmith, Oliver (1730-1774), English writer. He was educated to pursue a career in the medical field and ultimately became one of England's most versatile authors. Goldsmith began writing essays and humorous sketches for British periodicals to improve his financial situation. His association with publisher John Newbery opened the door to a lasting friendship with Dr. Samuel Johnson, and Goldsmith became an important figure in the London literary scene. He could justifiably boast of his success in writing fiction (The Vicar of Wakefield, 1766), poetry (The Deserted Village, 1770), and drama (She Stoops to Conquer, 1774), yet he constantly worried about how his works would be received by the British public. Thomas Jefferson considered The Vicar of Wakefield one of his favorite novels, and it was also listed in the library of George Washington.
Great Awakening, religious revivalism that occurred in the American colonies in the 1730s and 1740s. The movement was a repudiation of Enlightenment rationalism, an antidote to religious complacence in established churches in the colonies, and a change from the formalism of Anglican liturgy.
The Great Awakening is commonly held to have started in 1734 when Jonathan Edwards, jarred his congregation out of its apathy and into a frenzy of repentance of sin and rejoicing in salvation. The revival sparked hundreds of conversions. As news of this revival spread, so did its effects. Evangelist George Whitefield, travelling in America in 1739, added momentum to the spread of revivalism. His spellbinding sermons attracted large crowds as he journeyed from New England to Georgia.
Established churches like the Anglican church in Virginia were largely gentry dominated. The evangelical message that all men are equal in the eyes of God attracted slaves and poor whites by the thousands. There was a proliferation of unschooled "New Light" itinerants -- including some blacks and women -- whose only credential was a call from God to preach to anyone who would listen, in the open air if necessary.
A legacy of the Great Awakening was continued expansion of evangelical churches and increasing demand for, first, toleration of religious views outside those sanctioned by the established churches, and then full freedom of religion in America. Agitation for this right went hand in hand with the revolutionary thought developing in the political arena leading up to the American Revolution.
Gregorian Calendar (1582), current calendar replacing the Julian calendar. In addition to new rules governing leap years, Pope Gregory XIII decreed that ten days be dropped from the year 1582 by designating October 5 as October 15 in order to correct inaccuracies in the Julian calendar. Although the Gregorian calendar (New Style) was technically superior, it was impossible for England (still embroiled in the intellectual and religious trauma of the Protestant Reformation) to accept a new calendar devised by the Catholic pope and adopted under the auspices of the Roman Church. England clung to the Julian (Old Style) calendar for another 170 years with the result that after 1582, English dates were ten days behind those used by other European countries.
The English calendar for much of the colonial period was further complicated by an anomaly that developed in medieval England when the clergy began dating the new year from the Feast of the Annunciation--or Lady Day as the English styled it--March 25, making the last few days of March the first few days of the new year; that is, the dates January 1 through March 24 were still part of the previous year in England but part of the new year in the rest of Europe. Thus dates between January 1 and March 24 often appear in colonial documents with both Old Style and New Style years separated by a slash (for example, February 18, 1701/2) though not everyone in England and the colonies used this convention.
An end was put to these confusions when a bill for the adoption of the Gregorian calendar passed Parliament. The act went into effect September 3, 1752 which was designated September 14 to correct for the now eleven-day difference that had accumulated between the old and new calendars. It also transferred the beginning of the new year in England from March 25 to January 1 starting in 1753.
Griffin, The Reverend Charles (fl. 1715-1720), English missionary among the Indians. In 1715 he was hired and paid by Lieutenant Governor Spotswood to teach at the school at Fort Christanna in Brunswick County. His personality, skills, and dedication made him very popular with the Indians, and he created a thriving school with as many as seventy-five students at times. Later Griffin was called upon to be master of the Indian school at the College of William and Mary.
Handel, George Frideric (1685-1759), German-born composer. He became kapellmeister to the Elector of Hanover in 1710 and later that year made his first visit to England. Handel returned again in 1712 and took up permanent residence in 1714 when the Elector, now George I, ascended the English throne. In his early years in England he wrote and produced many Italian operas. In 1717 he wrote the popular Acis and Glatea, music of which was owned by many in Virginia. With John Gay's The Beggar's Opera in 1728 there was a decline in the popularity of Italian opera. Handel finally abandoned the form in 1741 and focused on the oratorio. He wrote and produced Messiah in Dublin in 1742. It was well received in England as well as in Ireland and he continued composing in this popular form until his death.
Hepplewhite, George (?-d.1786), English cabinetmaker and designer. Biographical information about Hepplewhite is exceedingly meager. He is known to have served an apprenticeship in Lancaster and later to have conducted a business in London. In 1788 The Cabinet Maker and Upholsterer's Guide was published. No claim was made for originality in the Guide. These designs were not the creation of any one particular person, but represented collectively the prevailing taste at that time. Consequently the name Hepplewhite is accepted as expressing the current fashion rather than the works of Hepplewhite. In fact, there has never been a single piece of furniture that could be directly attributed to Hepplewhite. The Guide gave a fine interpretation of Adam's style and adapted that style for the use of the cabinetmaker.
Hogarth, William (1697-1764), English painter and engraver. He took great pride in being a native English artist in a sea of foreign competitors. He began his career as a silver engraver in 1713 but found the craft too tedious and restrictive on his imagination. Hogarth also worked as a book illustrator until his thirties, when he was able to establish himself as an independent artist. Founder of the Second St. Martin's Lane Academy, Hogarth held the radical belief that artists should not look to the work of other artists for inspiration but to nature itself.
Hogarth's popularity, during both the eighteenth century and today, resulted not only from his great accomplishments as a painter but also from his extraordinary printmaking skills. His images were directed toward wide audiences and their compositions reflected the ideals of a social reformer, which are best seen in his "modern moral subjects." The artist was the instigator of the Engravers' Copyright Act of 1735. His theoretical work The Analysis of Beauty was published the same year. Some of Hogarth's famous works include The Harlot's Progress (1732), The Rake's Progress (1735), Before and After (1736), Marriage a la Mode (1745), and Industry and Idleness (1747).
Hopkinson, Francis (1737-1791), Philadelphia-born lawyer, statesman, writer, composer, and signer of the Declaration of Independence. He wrote the first piece of music by a native-born American, "Ode to Music," in 1754 and the first original American song, "My Days have been so Wondrous Free," in 1759. Both Thomas Jefferson and George Washington owned copies of Hopkinson's music. In 1788 Hopkinson composed a set of songs dedicated to George Washington.
Houghton (1722-1735), great country house in Norfolk, England, of Sir Robert Walpole. It was designed by Colen Campbell, who illustrated it in Vitruvius Brittanicus. The house is Palladian as interpreted from Inigo Jones's designs for Wilton and the Queen's House at Greenwich. Houghton was one of the "power houses" built from the 1720s to the 1740s.
Many influential artisans and designers of the period worked at Houghton. Architect James Gibbs altered Campbell's plan for the four corner towers, adding domes. William Kent, Master Carpenter of the Board of Works, was commissioned in 1727 to do the interior design and decoration that was one of the most elaborate in England. Newly introduced mahogany was used for the stair balustrade, doors, and window shutters. John Michael Rysbrack (1693?-1770) provided stone work ornament and sculpture. Kent himself painted the murals.
No expense was spared on the furnishings. Hundreds of yards of green silk velvet were woven to cover the walls of two rooms, to upholster over ninety chairs, and to hang the state bed designed by Kent. The bed's gold trimmings alone cost over £1,200! Architects were the influential tastemakers of the late baroque period; consequently, furnishings have strong architectural overtones. Kent's ponderous style relies heavily on scallop shell and eagle motifs. His furniture pieces look best in the rooms for which they were designed and seem out of context when moved to other interiors.
Walpole fell from power in 1742 and died impoverished from building Houghton. His heirs were forced to sell the great picture collection in the house to Empress Catherine of Russia in 1779. Today Houghton is the seat of the marquess of Cholmondeley, whose family has restored much of its original splendor.
Hume, David (1711-1776), Scottish philosopher and historian. He was extremely influential in British, German, and American philosophy and in the history of modern metaphysical thinking.
Hume believed that there is no knowledge a priori (through reason) but that cause and effect are discovered by experience; all ideas come from impressions. Hume's skepticism led him to believe that the mind can have distinct impressions of distinct facts but that neither substance nor cause and effect can be verified; they can only be inferred on the basis of perceived probability. It followed that the laws we make are based on past experience and have nothing to do with the future. Hume presented the Christian faith with one of the greatest philosophical challenges it has ever faced. Though he did not openly deny the reality of God's existence, perfection, miracles, and providence, he did question whether belief in such things can be grounded in human experience and reason. His questions of "what we know" and "how we know" raised doubts that have remained the subject of lively controversy.
Hume's Treatise of Human Nature (1734-1740) was written while he was studying in France and was subsequently published in England. He later wrote An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding (1748) as well as a history of England and other philosophical treatises.
Hutcheson, Francis (1694-1746), Irish-born philosopher. He was educated in Ireland and Scotland and in 1729 was elected to the chair of moral philosophy at the University of Glasgow. His work and teaching methods were a powerful stimulation to the spirit of inquiry in Scotland. William Small introduced Hutcheson's techniques at the College of William and Mary where they had a profound influence on Thomas Jefferson.
Hutcheson's first work, An Inquiry into the Original of our Ideas of Beauty and Virtue (1725), established meaning for man's moral sense, a theme that dominated the Scottish Enlightenment and spread quickly to America and the Continent. He developed an entirely original approach to the problem of motivating man toward one another rather than by animal gratification. His starting point was aesthetics. He argued that one of the pleasures motivating man was his delight in order and harmony. This delight is as real as any pleasure of the senses yet is not limited to them. He called this the "internal sense." It is an appetite, though not a predatory one because humans like to see their delight in evidences of cosmic order extended to others. We reenact this order in our own lives, which explains the civilizing effect of the arts and the formation of graceful and delicate habits.