Jenkins' Ear, War of (1739), British-Spanish conflict. It was provoked by a series of incidents in the Americas such as border disagreements with Spain in Florida, Spanish naval hostilities and English logging activities in Honduras. When the British government decided to use colonial troops in its campaign against the Spanish provinces in the Americas, Lieutenant Governor William Gooch raised Virginia's quota of 400 men, known thereafter as "Colonel Gooch's American Regiment." They were part of a force of 3,000 colonials under the command of former Virginia governor Colonel Alexander Spotswood, quartermaster general of the forces from America. When Spotswood died in Annapolis in 1740, Gooch succeeded to his military posts. Departing in October 1740 from the Virginia capes, he led an expedition against the Spanish in Cartagena (present-day Colombia). Gooch was absent from Williamsburg for ten months, leaving the government in the hands of the Council. The attack on the Spanish at Cartagena was unsuccessful, and Gooch himself was severely wounded when he was struck by a cannonball that injured both legs. In spite of the disastrous nature of the campaign, Gooch reported that "the Virginians were mightily rejoiced at my return day and night firing guns, bonfires and illuminations."
The conflict acquired its colorful name as a result of widespread public outrage when shipmaster Robert Jenkins reported to the House of Commons that the Spanish had cut off his ear for suspected smuggling activities.
Jones, Hugh (1692-1760), mathematics professor at William and Mary and author of The Present State of Virginia (1724). He arrived in Virginia from England in 1716 shortly after receiving a master's degree from Oxford. In addition to his professorship, Jones was appointed to serve both as chaplain to the General Assembly and as minister at Jamestown. In 1719 he became entangled in a dispute between Lieutenant Governor Alexander Spotswood and the Reverend James Blair, president of the College. At a gathering of ministers the motion was made that the bishop suspend Blair because of his Scottish ordination. Blair, no stranger to power struggles, won the dispute. The fact that he had sided with Spotswood created difficulties with Blair that led Jones to return to England in 1721.
After a four-year absence, he returned to Virginia. Blair assigned him to preside over Saint Stephen's Parish in King and Queen County, which was known to be a difficult parish. Jones held this position for a year then moved to a series of Maryland parishes. Hugh Jones died in Maryland in 1760.
His writings, especially The Present State of Virginia, are invaluable references to the natural, physical, intellectual, and emotional world of colonial Virginia.
Kant, Immanuel (1724-1804), German philosopher. Through the influence of the pastor of the family's Lutheran Church, Kant obtained a classical education. The death of his father in 1746 cut short his college education. It was not until 1755, after several years as a private tutor, that Kant was awarded a doctor`s degree from the University of Königsberg, whereupon he became a lecturer at the university. Although he was known as an excellent teacher, Kant was not elevated to a full professorship of logic and metaphysics until 1770. He held this position until just before his death.
Kant's early thinking was heavily influenced by the rationalism of Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz and Sir Isaac Newton. During the 1760s his close reading of the English philosophers John Locke and David Hume began to undercut his earlier belief in dogmatic rationalism. His meditations on these writers resulted in the Critique of Pure Reason (1781), Critique of Practical Reason (1788), and Critique of Judgment (1790), among others. Kant's achievement was that he produced a synthesis of Leibniz's rationalism and Hume's skepticism. He argued a thing can be known only insofar as it conforms to the way the mind knows things. Objects can only be perceived through the senses and understood only in categories by which the mind makes sense of perceptions. Kant went on to say that even if some things are unknowable, for example, the existence of God cannot be scientifically proved, they must be presumed to exist a priori because they are necessary for certain universal laws to be binding on all people.
Kant was the foremost philosopher of the late Enlightenment and his ideas structured the nature of philosophical debate throughout the nineteenth century.
Kay, John (1704-1764), inventor of the fly shuttle in 1733. Horizontal looms had been in general use since the thirteenth century with no major improvements. Before Kay's invention the weaver had to use one hand to throw the shuttle, the other hand to receive it, and, finally, the beater had to be pulled down to put the thread into position. The fly shuttle device was an amazingly simple idea. By jerking a stick with one hand a weaver could propel and return a shuttle that carried the thread across the loom quickly. With Kay's invention the second hand was free to operate the beater and did not have to return the shuttle manually. The speed of weaving was greatly increased. The fly shuttle was first used in the woolen industry in the north of England. Kay's invention was adopted slowly by the very traditional industry, and not until his son Robert refined the invention did it begin to attain widespread use.
Kent, William (1684-1748), English architect, landscape architect, and designer. Born in Yorkshire, he was apprenticed at age fourteen to a coach and house painter in Hull. Kent departed without permission for London before completing his apprenticeship. Several Yorkshire gentlemen recognized his talents and sent him to Italy around 1710. During his ten-year stay in Italy, he eventually came to the notice of Richard Boyle, third earl of Burlington, who later brought Kent back to England and set him up in his own dwelling for the remainder of his life.
With Burlington's encouragement, Kent tried his hand at architectural and landscape designs. His approach to design was purely visual; pictorial views of his designs were his trademark. He never drew a plan of his proposed layouts, nor did he possess any training as a gardener. Kent was strongly influenced by the architecture of Andrea Palladio as well as by the designs of Inigo Jones. He also suggested furniture designs to complete his architectural creations.
Kent's most enduring legacy and a project to which he devoted many years of continuing refinements was the house and gardens of Lord Burlington at Chiswick.
According to Horace Walpole, Kent revolutionized English gardening, replacing the formal parterres of the previous generation with clumps of trees and serpentine lines of "pleasing nature." He recognized that the tastes of his English contemporaries were changing in favor of "natural," classical landscapes with temples, grottoes, cascades, and statuary.
King George's War (1743-1748), English-French conflict over Canada. During the course of the War of Spanish Succession (called Queen Anne's War in America), French and Indian forces were in conflict with the English in Canada for settlements there. The Treaty of Utrecht ended Queen Anne's war in 1713 by granting certain territories to France and others to England, but ambiguities in the treaty led to subsequent hostilities between the two countries. By 1743 the French were again attacking settlements in Canada, Maine, and New York, precipitating King George's War, during the course of which (1743-1748) a New England force took Louisbourg and Cape Breton Island from the French.
In July 1746 Governor Gooch convened the Virginia General Assembly in response to a call for troops in the colonies to march with British forces on Canada. Recruiting was difficult because officers and men who had taken part in the Cartagena expedition during the war of Jenkins Ear felt that they had not received fair treatment from the British authorities. King George II again chose Gooch to lead the troops from the colonies, but he declined saying that he was "fitter for an hospital than a camp."
The attempt to add Canada to the English colonies failed, and King George's War ended in 1748 with the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. Territories were restored as they had been before the conflict, but it was apparent that the treaty was only a truce, for hostilities broke out again only seven years later in the French and Indian War.
Kneller, Godfrey (1646-1723), German-born portrait painter. He was taught by Rembrandt and his pupil Ferdinand Bol. Kneller went to Italy in the 1660s and/or 1670s, where he studied Raphael and the antique. He went to England in 1676 and soon became King Charles II's favorite painter.
During the reign of James II, Kneller was not the only court painter and faced keen competition from others. During that period Kneller's full-length portraits were unequalled and engraved prints of them began appearing in the colonies.
The reign of William and Mary was the zenith of Kneller's career. He maintained a studio similar in scope to Lely's. Kneller's royal portraits were more widely copied and distributed than any other artist's. Colonial Williamsburg's William Byrd II is an example of his studio work. Kneller was the first governor of the London Academy for Drawing and Painting from 1711 to 1718.
Lely, Sir Peter (1618-1680), Dutch-born English portrait painter. Little is known of his early training, but he went to England in the early 1640s. Whether he was apolitical or politically shrewd is arguable, but the artist managed to work for Charles I, Cromwell, and Charles II.
At the Restoration, Lely was the best painter in England, officially regarded as Van Dyck's successor. He was made Painter to the King in 1661. The next year he became an English citizen and was knighted in 1680. A prolific worker, Lely painted the heads of his sitters from life but merely sketched their poses and costumes, laying in the colors of the hands and garments to be completed later by his many assistants. The studio turned out portraits of everyone of importance, including Charles II's female associates, otherwise known as the "Hampton Court Beauties."
Licensing Act, expiration of (1695), easing of government censorship. Since the introduction of printing into England in 1477, both the government and the Church of England had extensive powers of censorship on publications before they were printed. This power was granted through a series of Licensing Acts. In 1695 the last of the Licensing Acts was allowed to lapse and governmental control was limited to post-publication libel laws. The suspension of these acts spurred the development of a press that was at liberty to publish works without the consent of the authorities. In both Britain and the North American colonies a strong periodical and political press flourished (See Zenger).
Linnaeus, Carl (1707-1778), Swedish botanist. He first revealed his system of classification that included all living things in Systema Naturae (1735) and Genera Plantarum (1737). In his classification system, every living thing has two names, one for genus and the other for species. Species Plantarum (1753) remains the basis for modern botanical nomenclature.
Locke, John (1632-1704), English philosopher, teacher, physician, scholar, administrator, politician, and one of the early members of the Royal Society. Educated at Christ Church, Oxford, Locke became interested in science and philosophy and ultimately examined theoretical questions about the nature of man and society. He also experienced the practical problems of government and economy first-hand when he served on the Board of Trade advising King William III on colonial policies. No small part of Locke's understanding of the colonies was gained through meetings and correspondance with Virginia Commissary James Blair.
Locke wrote Two Treatises on Government (1690) as a defense of the Glorious Revolution of 1688. It defended limited monarchy and stressed consent of the governed and the natural rights of the people. This written defense set a precedent for the Declaration of Independence.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690) examined the basic characteristics of man as rational, free and equal, and living in a state of nature governed by law. Locke described the human mind at birth as a blank slate (tabula rasa) without ideas, arguing that man acquires knowledge through experience (reflection and impressions of the external world derived through the senses).
Locke's influential Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693) began as a series of letters about education. Because Locke believed that perception was the source of knowledge and that the derivation of knowledge was through experience, he had several innovative ideas about the proper raising of children. For example, he suggested making tasks of learning pleasurable by turning them into games. His works were translated into several languages and even were mentioned in a letter by Eliza Lucas Pinckney from South Carolina asking a friend in England to send her young son "The new toy (a description of which I have carefully studied) to play himself into learning." Locke's ideas about education and his political views were influential in colonial America and the early Republic.
London, George (ca. 1640-1714), English gardener, nurseryman, and landscape architect. Apprenticed to the Royal Gardener to Charles II at St. James's Palace in 1666, London was recognized for his talents and sent to France for study around 1672. He was one of over three hundred gardeners employed by Louis XIV at Versailles and elsewhere. In 1685 London traveled in Holland, where he studied Dutch landscape styles. Upon his return to England, he put this knowledge to use in designing formal gardens at a number of estates.
The style of design of that day was very formal, with bilateral symmetry around one central axis. French features included radiating avenues of trees extending out at angles from a central point, ornate patterns of gravels or small plants, formally grouped trees, and the extensive use of statuary and fountains. The Dutch added a wide variety of topiary, canals, and reflecting pools. To these many features were often added additional touches in the form of mounts, mazes, water cascades, and even "treillage" (arches, pilasters, pediments, and friezes) a type of decorative wooden lattice work.
In 1681 George London founded the Brompton Park Nursery in London with three other notable gardeners. After the retirement and deaths of his partners by 1687, nurseryman Henry Wise (1653-1738) joined the business. Thereafter, the nursery grew in fame as London and Wise achieved a virtual monopoly in the field. The purposes of the nursery were to provide plants of all types, to standardize the use of plant names, especially of fruit trees, and to design and construct gardens.
In 1689 London became Royal Gardener and Deputy Superintendent of Works. In that capacity London dispatched an assistant to Williamsburg in 1694 "to make and plant the Garden designed for the New Colledge." This assistant may have been James Road, a gardener at Hampton Court, who is known to have come to Virginia in 1694.
In 1702 William III died and his sister-in-law, Anne, ascended the throne. Soon after, in a review of expenditures for the royal gardens, she resolved to restrain further spending and seek ways to economize all of the royal gardening activities. London picked this very inopportune moment to present outstanding bills; he was promptly sacked and replaced by Wise.
London and Wise continued with Brompton Nursery and in 1706 they jointly published a two volume work, taken from the French, called the Retir'd Gardener.
Louvre, The (1793), French national museum of the arts. The museum, housed in a former palace modified into a picture gallery, exhibited the French royal collections. Francois I was the first French king to collect paintings, while Louis XIV increased the collection from two hundred to two thousand works. At the end of the eighteenth century the Louvre collections were again significantly enhanced, this time by Napoleon. He captured art objects from some countries (Egypt and Holland, for instance) and let the rulers of the Italian city-states use art rather than cash to pay war reparations.
The Louvre is especially significant as a product of Enlightenment thinking. Its founders intended it as an encyclopedia of European art, and by 1793 it was opened to all citizens, making it the first major public art museum in Europe.
Marot, Daniel (1661 - 1752), French Huguenot designer. He fled France in 1684 and entered the service of William of Orange bringing with him the idea of complete control of all aspects of design, particularly of interiors and furnishings so as to present a unified whole. Daniel Marot was the only person in Holland or England to take such a dictatorial stance before the end of the seventeenth century,.
He was the primary designer of Het Loo, the small palace of William and Mary at Otterloo. Though Paris of the 1680s was a strong influence, he had to rely on his own inspiration once he was separated from his native country.
When William of Orange became William III, Marot followed him to England and was responsible for much of the design of Kensington Palace and Hampton Court, bringing to England not only influence from Paris, but from Holland as well. Marot introduced an idea that completely captivated Queen Mary II--to furnish houses with chinaware--which increased to the point of piling it upon cabinets, scrutoires, and chimneypieces almost up to the ceiling. One of Marot's engravings shows just such an arrangement made for the Queen.
Daniel Marot published many designs of furnishings and interior decorations, thus influencing many who were to follow in his footsteps.
Masonic Lodge, Williamsburg (before 1751 - present), fraternal organization stressing charity and brotherly love. Some of its early members listed on the 1762-1763 treasurer's report include John Blair, Jr., Charles Carter, Peter Hay, and Peyton Randolph, Grand Master. Records of the local lodge pick up again in 1773 when minutes revealed that the Masons obtained a new charter from England. Minutes also record social activities such as balls and dinners as well as philanthropic projects.
Other contemporary lodges in Virginia were at Norfolk, Fredericksburg, Kilwinning Crosse, and Blandford. The Williamsburg Lodge's membership in the 1770s included many familiar names: Benjamin Bucktrout, James Galt, John Minson Galt, Humphrey Harwood, William Hunter, James Madison, James McClurg, James Monroe, Peter Pelham, Edmund Randolph, George Reid, and St. George Tucker; Peyton Randolph was still Grand Master. In 1777 the Williamsburg Masons called for the formation of a Grand Lodge of Virginia. The next year John Blair, Jr., was elected the first Grand Master of Masons of the Grand Lodge of Virginia.
Mattey's Free School (1706), local charity school. Mrs. Mary Whaley established it in memory of her son Matthew who died at about age nine. He is buried alongside his father, James Whaley, in Bruton Parish Churchyard. The institution named the Mattey's Free School was located on Capitol Landing Road and is illustrated on the College Map of about 1790 as consisting of a schoolhouse and dwelling house. Its purpose was to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic to the neediest children of Bruton Parish. When Mary Whaley died in 1742, she bequeathed the property to Bruton Parish for administration by the minister and churchwardens. The school operated as late as 1768 according to Virginia Gazette advertisements, but how it functioned and where the money came from is not known.
In 1865 the College of William and Mary was designated administrator of the endowment that due to legal technicalities had never been released to Bruton Parish officials. College officials used the money to build a school on the site of the Governor's Palace and called it the Grammar and Mattey School. To make way for reconstruction of the Palace, the school was relocated one block west of the present Palace. This school retains the Matthew Whaley name to memorialize this eighteenth-century Williamsburg resident.
Montesquieu, Baron de (1689-1755), French lawyer, philosopher, and man of letters. Born Charles-Louis de Secondat, he came from a family of nobility, inherited large estates, was educated in the law, and held the office of chief justice of Bordeaux for ten years. Eventually he resigned in order to devote more time to his writing.
Montesquieu wrote and published on a variety of subjects. His works include The Persian Letters (1721), a satire and criticism of French institutions, and his most famous composition, The Spirit of the Laws (1748). Montesquieu traveled widely and lived in Britain for several years. He became an ardent admirer of England's constitutional monarchy with its separation of powers.
The Spirit of the Laws, a formidable compilation of material assembled from ancient texts, contemporary travelers, and Montesquieu's own observations, is a thorough study of governments, emphasizing freedom. He believed that social and political behavior is determined by climate and that physical environment and religion influence the politics of a country. This latter theory has earned Montesquieu the title of "Father of Sociology."
No other modern French work was as well known in America during the colonial period. Political classes at Yale and Princeton used it as a textbook. During the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Montesquieu was frequently cited. All of his works were read by many of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence and were found in libraries on both sides of the Atlantic.
Northwest Ordinance of 1787, legislation providing for the rapid and orderly expansion of the new nation across the continent. As the Constitutional Convention deliberated in secret sessions in Philadelphia, the Congress under the Articles of Confederation meeting in New York the same summer produced the Northwest Ordinance. It opened up the Northwest Territory for settlement, established a coherent plan for settling and governing the area, provided guidelines for the admission of new states, and protected the civil liberties of settlers.
In addition to a comprehensive system for expansion, the Confederation Congress debated whether newer settlements would be equal or subservient to the thirteen original states; in other words, would western territories be colonies of the established eastern states? The 1787 Ordinance assured settlers in the West that a process existed for changing the territories into full fledged states of the Union. As well as dealing with status of the states, it dealt with the slavery issue in a very decisive way: slavery was forbidden in the Northwest. The Ordinance also provided for religious freedom.
Drafted by Nathan Dane and based on a 1784 ordinance plan by Jefferson, the Northwest Ordinance covered the area that includes the present-day states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and parts of Minnesota.