United States and American History 1773

About the United States in 1773, the first electrocutions, Phillis Wheatley's first book of poems, the first museum and the creation of the Tea Act.


--Women's fashion note. A diarist commented sadly about the adoption of the corset stay, complaining that these objects "... are produced upwards so high that we can have scarcely any view at all of the Ladies' Snowy Bosoms."

--Harvard College announced that students would no longer be listed in its catalog in order of social prominence.

--First successful electrocution done by Benjamin Franklin. Writing to French friends, he described killing numerous chickens, a 10-lb. turkey, and a small lamb with an electrical current he had generated, using 6 Leyden jars.

--Phillis Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects was published. She was the slave of Boston merchant John Wheatley, who was impressed by her talent and encouraged her to write.

Jan. 12 The 1st public museum was organized in Charleston, S.C.

May 10 The British Parliament passed the Tea Act to prevent the British East Indian Company from going bankrupt. This act authorized the company to sell, through its own consignees in the Colonies, a huge tea surplus (a supply ample for 7 years at the current rate of consumption) without payment of duty charges. Established tea merchants objected bitterly, since the Act meant the East Indian Company could undersell them.

Oct. 12 The State of Virginia opened its "Publick Hospital for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds." Its 1st patient: Zachariah Mallory.

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