Compiled by Sara E. Lewis
From an index to the Virginia Gazette, produced in 1950 by Lester J. Cappon and Stella F. Duff of the Institute of Early American History and Culture (Omohundro Institute) with additional Gloucester (including Kingston Parish) material not captured by the indexers. Annual lists of world events put local listings in context. Please review primary source material before citing.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

1738 - Events from Around the World

The Scullery Maid, 1738, by Jean-Simèon Chardin. William A. Clark Collection, The Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.

"They write from Paris that the Court of Spain has very lately declared to that of France, that she will not change a single Iota of the Conditions upon which she had heretofore offer'd to accede to the definitive Treaty of Vienna." Virginia Gazette, July 21, 1738

In 1738, the excavation of Herculaneum, a Roman city buried by the volcanic eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, begins. The discovery of ancient decoration sparks the neo-classical movement in the arts and design.

March 28 - Robert Jenkins, captain of the ship Rebecca, exhibits his ear, which he claims Spanish guards cut off in 1731. The English parliament declares war on Spain. The conflict with the declining European power had more to do with the establishment of power over Spain in the southern North American mainland and the Caribbean than with the indignity to Capt. Jenkins.

May 24 - John Welsey's conversion and establishment of the Methodist Church launches the Methodist Movement.

June 4 - George III, son of Frederick, Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha, is born in London. He was the third Hanoverian king of Great Britain. During his reign, Britain lost its American colonies but emerged as a leading power in Europe. He suffered from recurrent fits of madness.

November 13 - The Treaty of Vienna that ended the War of the Polish Succession in 1735 is ratified.

December 31 - British General and colonial governor Charles Cornwallis is born. During the American Revolution he would serve his country with distinction. Engagements in the Carolinas in 1780 and 1781, however, would sap his reserves such that he entrenched at Yorktown, Va. There, surrounded by a superior force of French and American troops, he would surrender on October 19, 1781, virtually ending the war.