Resources for Teaching American History: 1600-to-1800

Here are lists of people, places, and dates to include in a unit study about American history from 1600 to 1800 A.D.. I've also included links to other resources for learning more about American history from the founding of Jamestown to the time shortly after the ratification of the United States Constitution.

People to Remember

Captain Christopher Newport (1561- 1617) English sea captain who was hired by the Virginia Company to transport the colonists to the New World

Captain John Smith (c.1580–1631) - English soldier and explorer who helped found Jamestown and became Colonial Governor of Virginia

Pocahontas (1595-1617) Daughter of Chief Powhatan who assisted colonial settlers at Jamestown

Chief Powhatan (c. 1545 -1618) Chief of the Powhatan Confederacy when Jamestown was settled in 1607

John Rolfe (c. 1585 – 1622) English settler in Jamestown who married Pocahontas and cultivated a tobacco plant that Jamestown was able to successfully grow and export back to England.

Henry Hudson - (c. 1560 – 1611?) English explorer who was hired by the Dutch and explored what is now the Hudson Bay and the Hudson River while attempting to find a northwest passage to the Orient.

William Bradford (1590 – 1657) - Leader of the of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts

Miles Standish (c. 1584 – 1656) - Plymouth Colony's military leader

Samoset - First Native American to make contact with the Pilgrims

Massasoit (c.1580–1661) - Chief of the Wampanoag tribe who signed a peace treaty with the Pilgrims

The Wampanoag - The first American Indians to meet the Pilgrims

Squanto (c.1580 - C.1622) Native American from the Patuxet tribe who assisted the Pilgrims after their first winter in the New World

Roger Williams (c. 1603 - 1683) Puritan minister who founded Providence, Rhode Island. He believed that the church should be separate from government.

Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet -First Europeans to see and map the northern part of the Mississippi River (1673)

William Penn (1644 - 1718) Founder of Pennsylvania (1681)

Robert de LaSalle (1643 - 1687) French explorer who claimed the Mississippi River basin for France

Jonathan Edwards (1703 - 1758) -Great American theologian and pastor who was a prominent figure in the Great Awakening

Chief Pontiac (1720 - 1769) Leader of the Ottawa Indian tribe who organized a rebellion against the British, in what is known as Pontiac's War (1763-1764)

George III (1738-1820) - The ruler of Great Britain during the American Revolution

Paul Revere (1735 - 1818) - Patriot and silversmith who rode from Charlestown to Lexington in 1775 to warn the countryside of approaching British troops

Thomas Paine (1737 - 1809) - Author of the pamphlet Common Sense (1776) which advocated America's independence from Great Britain

George Washington (1732 -1799) - Commander of the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War and the first President of the United States

John Adams (1735 – 1826) - Signer of the Declaration of Independence and second President of the United States

Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826) - Author of the Declaration of Independence and third President of the United States

John Hancock (1737-1793) - The first member of the Continental Congress to sign the Declaration of Independence

Benjamin Franklin (1706 -1790) - Printer, inventor, scientist, and author who represented the Colonies in England before the Revolution, contributed to the Declaration of Independence, and was America's first ambassador to France

Samuel Adams (1722-1803) Leader of the Sons of Liberty who organized the Boston Tea Party

Crispus Attucks (1723 - 1770) The first person killed in the Boston Massacre

Israel Putman (1718 - 1790) American general who fought with distinction at the Battle of Bunker Hill

Patrick Henry (1736 - 1799) - Influential advocate of the American Revolution who is known for his "Give me Liberty, or give me death!" speech. Patrick Henry served in the Virginia House of Burgesses and the Continental Congress. He was also Governor of Virginia

John Paul Jones (1747 -1792) - Naval fighter in the American Revolutionary War

Ethan Allen (1738 - 1789) - Leader of the Green Mountain Boys in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga early in the American Revolutionary War

Nathan Hale (1755 - 1776) - American soldier and spy for the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War who was captured by the British and hanged

Marquis de Lafayette (1757 - 1834) French soldier who served under George Washington as a major general in the American Revolution, and helped persuade the French government to send aid to the American colonists

Betsy Ross (1752 - 1836) Philadelphia seamstress who is credited with sewing the first American Flag

James Madison (1751-1836)- The principal author of the Constitution and the fourth President of the United States

Alexander Hamilton (1755 - 1804) - The first United States Secretary of the Treasury

John Jay (1745 - 1829) - The first Chief Justice of the United States

Henry Knox (1750 - 1806) - First United States Secretary of War

General Thomas Gage (1721 - 1787) - British general who was commander in chief of all British forces in North America from 1763 to 1774

General Charles Cornwallis (1738 - 1805) - Leading British general in the Revolutionary War who surrendered at Yorktown

Benedict Arnold (1741-1801 - American general during the Revolutionary War who became a traitor and joined the British Army

Daniel Boone (1734 - 1820) American pioneer, explorer, and frontiersman who blazed the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap in the Appalachian Mountains and founded the village of Boonesborough, Kentucky

James Watt (1736 - 1819) - Scottish inventor who improved the steam engine

Robert Fulton (1765 - 1815)- Inventor who developed the first commercially successful steamboat

Eli Whitney (1765 - 1825) Inventor of the cotton gin

James Cook (1728 - 1779) British explorer and navigator who circumnavigated New Zealand and made the first European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands

Frederick the Great (1712 - 1786) King of Prussia from 1740 to 1786

Catherine the Great (1729 - 1796) - Empress of Russia for more than 30 years


Places and Terms to Know

Jamestown - The first permanent English colony in America

London Company - Company that founded Jamestown. The London Company, which was later called the Virginia Company, sent settlers, supplies, and ships to Jamestown with the hope that the settlement would be profitable.

Pilgrims - Colonists who sailed to America from Plymouth, England on the Mayflower in 1620 and founded the colony of Plymouth in New England

Separatists - People who decided to separate from the Church of England rather than try to reform it

Mayflower -The ship that transported the Pilgrims from Plymouth, England to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1620.

Mayflower Compact - The first governing document of Plymouth Colony

Puritans - People who wanted to reform and purify the Church of England

Manhattan - Island purchased by the Dutch from Native Americans

King Philip's War (1675 - 1676) - Conflict between the Native Americans in New England, led by Wampanoag chief King Philip (Metacom) and the American colonists

French and Indian War (1754 to 1763)- War in North America between England and France

Redcoats - The nickname that the colonists gave the British troops

Stamp Act - An act passed by the Parliament of Great Britain that required all legal documents, permits, commercial contracts, almanacs, newspapers, wills, pamphlets, and playing cards in the American colonies to carry a tax stamp

Quartering Act - An act passed by the Parliament of Great Britain that required colonists to provide housing, candles, bedding, and beverages to British soldiers stationed in the colonies.

Loyalists - American colonists who believed that America should stay under England's rule

Sons of Liberty - Secret organization of American colonists who opposed British laws in the colonies.

The Boston Tea Party - Incident on December 16th, 1773, during which American patriots disguised as Indians threw tea from three British ships into the Boston Harbor to protest the British tax on tea.

Boston Massacre - A riot in Boston on March 5, 1770 that resulted in five colonists being killed.

Hessians- German soldiers who fought for the British Army in the Revolutionary War

Battles of Lexington and Concord - First battles of the Revolutionary War

Battle of Bunker Hill - First major battle in the American Revolutionary War. The British won the battle, but at a very high cost.

Battle of Fort Ticonderoga - The first American victory of the Revolutionary War

Battle of Yorktown - Battle in Yorktown, Virginia in 1781 which ended the Revolutionary War.

Liberty Bell - A symbol of America's freedom. On July 8, 1776, the Liberty Bell was rung to celebrate the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia.

Independence Hall -Location where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and adopted

Green Mountain Boys - Soldiers from Vermont who helped capture Fort Ticonderoga under the leadership of Ethan Allen

Articles of Confederation - The first constitution of the United States that was written during the Revolutionary War.

Monticello - Thomas Jefferson's home in Virginia

Mount Vernon - George Washington's estate

The Federalist Papers - A series of 85 articles or essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay that promoted the ratification of the United States Constitution


Dates to Remember for U.S. History 1600s-1700s

1607 - Jamestown founded

1620 - Mayflower Compact; Pilgrims settle Plymouth Colony

1754 - 1763 - French and Indian War

1765 - Stamp Act

1770 - Boston Massacre

1773 - Boston Tea Party

1775 - Daniel Boone begins cutting the Wilderness Trail

1776 -Declaration of Independence

1781 - Surrender at Yorktown; Articles of Confederation

1783 - End of the Revolutionary War

1789 - Constitution; George Washington elected President, French Revolution

1791 - Bill of Rights



Quotes to Remember

"He who does not work,will not eat." - Captain John Smith

“Welcome, Englishmen!” - Samoset

"These are the times that try men's souls." - Thomas Paine

"Taxation without representation is tyranny" - James Otis, Jr.

"Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes!" - Colonel William Prescott

"I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." - Nathan Hale

"Yes, we must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately." - Benjamin Franklin

"Give me liberty, or give me death!" - Patrick Henry

"I have not yet begun to fight!" - John Paul Jones

Memory Work

The Declaration of Independence

Memory Cards for the Declaration of Independence - These cards divide the beginning of the Declaration of Independence into four sections, to help with memorization.

Preample to the Constitution of the United States

Paul Revere's Ride

Presidents Memory Cards - This is a link to cards that you can use to memorize the names of the presidents.

Other Resources for American History
(1600s - 1700s)

Printable Crossword Puzzle about Jamestown

Homeschool resources for learning about Jamestown - This is a separate page on this website with resources for learning about Jamestown.

Quia game for Twenty-five People to Remember for the American Revolution- Flashcards, Word Search, Memory, and Concentration

Another Quia game for Twenty-five People to Remember for the American Revolution - Matching Columns

The Paul Revere House

Liberty! The American Revolution - PBS has a website to go along with its documentary about the American Revolution. The website has lots of information about the American Revolution, and a teacher's guide to go along with the series.

Memorial Hall Museum's American Centuries: Views from New England - This site has interactive pages about clothing and tools from the 1770's. has lots of short videos and articles about the American Revolution

Garden of Praise has biographies for Ben Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson. At the end of each biography, there are links to quizzes, puzzles, and games.