Portraits of Politics

Patrick Henry introducing the Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions to the House of Burgesses in 1765

QUICK FACTS

           

Great Britain

Prime Ministers

  • George Grenville, 16 Apr 1763 – 13 Jul 1765
  • Marquess of Rockingham, 13 Jul 1765 – 30 Jul 1766
  • William Pitt, 30 July 1766 – 14 October 1768
  • Duke of Grafton, 14 October 1768 – 28 January 1770
  • Lord North, 28 Jan 1770 - 20 Mar 1782
  • Marquess of Rockingham, 27 Mar 1782 – 1 Jul 1782
  • Earl of Shelburne, 4 Jul 1782 – 2 Apr 1783
  • Duke of Portland, 2 Apr 1783 – 19 Dec 1783

Secretarys of State for the American Department

British Legislation

  • Proclamation of 1763
  • American Duties Act of 1764 (Sugar Act)
  • Currency Act of 1764
  • Stamp Act (1765)
  • Quartering Act of 1765
  • Repeal of the Stamp Act (1766)
  • Declaratory Act (1766)
  • Townshend Acts (1767)
    • Revenue Act
    • Indemnity Act
  • Coercive Acts (Intolerable Acts; 1774)
    • Boston Port Act
    • Massachusetts Government Act
    • Administration of Justice Act
    • Quartering Act of 1774
    • Quebec Act

American Colonies

The Colonial Response

Jefferson was in most respects a typical slaveholder. Although he always condemned slavery, he did own one of the largest slave populations in Virginia. Upon the division of his father-in-law’s estate in 1774 he became, in fact, the second-largest slaveholder in Albemarle County. Thereafter the number of his slaves remained around two hundred — with increases through births offset by periodic sales to pay off debts. Jefferson was known to be a good master, reluctant to break up families or to sell slaves except for delinquency or at their own request. Nevertheless, between 1784 and 1794 he disposed of 161 people by sale or gift. It is true that Jefferson was averse to separating young children from their parents; but once slave boys or girls reached the age of ten or twelve and their working lives began, they were no longer children in Jefferson’s mind.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)