Dolley Payne Todd Madison was the wife of James Madison, President of the United States from 1809 to 1817. She was noted for holding Washington social functions in which she invited members of both political parties spearheading the concept of bipartisan cooperation, albeit before that term was in use, in the United States. While founders such as Thomas Jefferson would only meet with members of one party at a time, politics could be a violent affair resulting in physical altercations and duels, Madison helped to create the idea that members of each party could amicably socialize and negotiate with each other without resulting in violence. By innovating political institutions as the wife of James Madison, Dolley Madison did much to define the role of the President's spouse, known only much by the title First Lady—a function she had sometimes performed earlier for the widowed Thomas Jefferson. Dolley helped to furnish the newly constructed White House; when the British set fire to it in 1814, she was credited with saving the classic portrait of George Washington, but in reality it was her personal slave who saved the portrait.
In widowhood, she lived in poverty relieved by the sale of her late husband's papers. The first girl in her family, Dolley Payne was born on May 20, 1768, in the Quaker settlement of New Garden, North Carolina, in Guilford County, to Mary Coles Payne and John Payne Jr. both Virginians who had moved to North Carolina in 1765. Mary Coles, a Quaker, had married John Payne, a non-Quaker, in 1761. Three years he applied and was admitted to the Quaker Monthly Meeting in Hanover County, where Coles' parents lived, he became a fervent follower and they reared their children in the Quaker faith. In 1769, the Paynes had returned to Virginia and young Dolley grew up at her parents' plantation in rural eastern Virginia and became attached to her mother's family, she had three sisters and four brothers. In 1783, following the American Revolutionary War, John Payne emancipated his slaves, as did numerous slaveholders in the Upper South. Some, like Payne, were Quakers. From 1782 to 1810, the proportion of free blacks to the total black population in Virginia increased from less than one percent to 7.2 percent, more than 30,000 blacks were free.
When Dolley was 15, Payne moved his family to Philadelphia, where he went into business as a starch merchant, but the business had failed by 1791. This was seen as a "weakness" at his Quaker meetings, he died in October 1792 and Mary Payne made ends meet by opening a boardinghouse, but the next year she took her two youngest children and John, moved to western Virginia to live with her daughter Lucy and her new husband, George Steptoe Washington, a nephew of George Washington. In January 1790, Dolley Payne had married a Quaker lawyer in Philadelphia, they had two sons, John Payne and William Temple. After Mary Payne left Philadelphia in 1793, Dolley's sister Anna Payne moved in with them to help with the children. In August 1793, a yellow fever epidemic broke out in Philadelphia, killing 5,019 people in four months. Dolley was hit hard, as her husband, son William, mother-in-law, father-in-law all died. In addition to her grief, Dolley experienced, as many women did, the compounding effects of coverture law – the legal system that limited women's ability to own property and wages – to her time of mourning.
While undergoing the loss of much of her family, she had to take care of her surviving son without the monetary support of a husband and in the weakened financial position of being female under the coverture system. While her husband had left her money in his will, only men could be the executor of that money and, as such, her husband's brother was the executor. Like many women, Dolley experienced this injustice as her brother-in-law withheld the funds that her husband had left to her, so she had to sue him for the $19 she was owed. Dolley's loss of her early family, the accumulating expenses of both caring for her child and paying for the funerals of lost relatives, highlights the weight of the difficulties many women faced during times of great grief and mourning. Despite Dolley's weakened position after the death of most of her male relatives, she was still considered a beautiful woman and was living in the temporary capital of the United States, Philadelphia. While her mother went to live with another married daughter, Dolley caught the eye of James Madison, who represented Virginia in the U.
S. House of Representatives. While remarrying would have been crucial for her, as keeping herself and her child alive on the means that a woman could bring in would have been challenging, it is reported that she did seem to genuinely care for James; some sources state that Aaron Burr, a longtime friend of Madison's since their student days at the College of New Jersey, stayed at a rooming house where Dolley resided, it was Aaron's idea to introduce the two. In May 1794, Burr made the formal introduction between the young widow and Madison, who at 43 was a longstanding bachelor 17 years her senior. A brisk courtship followed and, by August, Dolley accepted his marriage proposal; as he was not a Quaker, she was expelled from the Society of Friends for marrying outside her faith, after which Dolley began attending Episcopal services. Despite her Quaker upbringing, there is no evidence, they were marr
Jane Randolph Jefferson
Jane Randolph Jefferson was the wife of Peter Jefferson and the mother of US president Thomas Jefferson. Born in the parish of Shadwell, near London, she was the daughter of Isham Randolph, a ship's captain. Thomas Jefferson showed little interest in his ancestry and details of his mother's life must be gleaned from public records and inscribed family bibles, she was born on February 10, 1720, at Shakspear Walk, in Shadwell, a maritime village about a mile east of the Tower of London, the daughter of Isham Randolph and his wife Jane. Isham, the son of William Randolph, a major Virginia planter, Jane Rogers of London were married in Bishopsgate Church in the City of London in 1717. Jane Randolph Jefferson was aunt of Edmund Randolph, she had an older brother, born two streets away in 1718, who died shortly after his baptism. She most immigrated to Virginia as a child with her family by 1725 and, as was common in the eighteenth century, received her education at home. While Jefferson mentioned his mother, much is known of her from extant records her ability to manage the family's finances.
Randolph married Peter Jefferson, a surveyor and minor planter, at her father's plantation, Dungeness, in Virginia in 1739. Shortly afterwards they established a home near Charlottesville, which they named Shadwell, after her London birthplace. Together, they had the following children: Jane Jefferson - close to her brother Thomas, she died unmarried at age 25. Mary Jefferson Bolling - her husband John Bolling III served in the Virginia House of Burgesses. Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States Elizabeth Jefferson Martha Jefferson Carr - her husband Dabney Carr, Thomas Jefferson's best friend and a member of the Virginia House of Burgesses, helped launch the intercolonial Committee of Correspondence in Virginia in March 1773 Peter Field Jefferson - died as an infant. Peter Jefferson - died as an infant. Lucy Jefferson Lewis Anna Scott Jefferson Marks - twin of Randolph Randolph Jefferson - twin of Anna ScottJane Randolph Jefferson died from what Jefferson described as an "apoplexy" on March 31, 1776 three months before Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence.
"Jane Randolph Jefferson". Monticello. Charlottesville, Virginia: Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. February 2003. Retrieved November 1, 2010
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America referred to as the Confederacy, was an unrecognized country in North America that existed from 1861 to 1865. The Confederacy was formed by seven secessionist slave-holding states—South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Texas—in the Lower South region of the United States, whose economy was dependent upon agriculture cotton, a plantation system that relied upon the labor of African-American slaves; each state declared its secession from the United States, which became known as the Union during the ensuing civil war, following the November 1860 election of Republican candidate Abraham Lincoln to the U. S. presidency on a platform which opposed the expansion of slavery into the western territories. Before Lincoln took office in March, a new Confederate government was established in February 1861, considered illegal by the government of the United States. States volunteered militia units and the new government hastened to form its own Confederate States Army from scratch overnight.
After the American Civil War began in April, four slave states of the Upper South—Virginia, Arkansas and North Carolina—also declared their secession and joined the Confederacy. The Confederacy accepted Missouri and Kentucky as members, although neither declared secession nor were they largely controlled by Confederate forces; the government of the United States rejected the claims of secession and considered the Confederacy illegally founded. The War began with the Confederate attack upon Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, a Union fort in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. No foreign government recognized the Confederacy as an independent country, although Great Britain and France granted it belligerent status, which allowed Confederate agents to contract with private concerns for arms and other supplies. In early 1865, after four years of heavy fighting which led to 620,000–850,000 military deaths, all the Confederate forces surrendered and the Confederacy vanished; the war lacked a formal end.
By 1865 Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America for the duration of the civil war, lamented that the Confederacy had "disappeared". On February 22, 1862, the Confederate Constitution of seven state signatories – Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Texas – replaced the Provisional Constitution of February 8, 1861, with one stating in its preamble a desire for a "permanent federal government". Four additional slave-holding states – Virginia, Arkansas and North Carolina – declared their secession and joined the Confederacy following a call by U. S. President Abraham Lincoln for troops from each state to recapture Sumter and other seized federal properties in the South. Missouri and Kentucky were represented by partisan factions adopting the forms of state governments without control of substantial territory or population in either case; the antebellum state governments in both maintained their representation in the Union. Fighting for the Confederacy were two of the "Five Civilized Tribes" – the Choctaw and the Chickasaw – in Indian Territory and a new, but uncontrolled, Confederate Territory of Arizona.
Efforts by certain factions in Maryland to secede were halted by federal imposition of martial law. A Unionist government was formed in opposition to the secessionist state government in Richmond and administered the western parts of Virginia, occupied by Federal troops; the Restored Government recognized the new state of West Virginia, admitted to the Union during the war on June 20, 1863, re-located to Alexandria for the rest of the war. Confederate control over its claimed territory and population in congressional districts shrank from 73% to 34% during the course of the American Civil War due to the Union's successful overland campaigns, its control of the inland waterways into the South, its blockade of the southern coast. With the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, the Union made abolition of slavery a war goal; as Union forces moved southward, large numbers of plantation slaves were freed. Many joined the Union lines, enrolling in service as soldiers and laborers; the most notable advance was Sherman's "March to the Sea" in late 1864.
Much of the Confederacy's infrastructure was destroyed, including telegraphs and bridges. Plantations in the path of Sherman's forces were damaged. Internal movement became difficult for Southerners, weakening the economy and limiting army mobility; these losses created an insurmountable disadvantage in men and finance. Public support for Confederate President Jefferson Davis's administration eroded over time due to repeated military reverses, economic hardships, allegations of autocratic government. After four years of campaigning, Richmond was captured by Union forces in April 1865. A few days General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant signalling the collapse of the Confederacy. President Davis was captured on May 10, 1865, jailed in preparation for a treason trial, never held; the initial Confederacy was established in the Montgomery Convention in February 1861 by seven states (South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana
The White House is the official residence and workplace of the President of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D. C. and has been the residence of every U. S. President since John Adams in 1800; the term "White House" is used as a metonym for the president and his advisers. The residence was designed by Irish-born architect James Hoban in the neoclassical style. Hoban modelled the building on Leinster House in Dublin, a building which today houses the Oireachtas, the Irish legislature. Construction took place between 1800 using Aquia Creek sandstone painted white; when Thomas Jefferson moved into the house in 1801, he added low colonnades on each wing that concealed stables and storage. In 1814, during the War of 1812, the mansion was set ablaze by the British Army in the Burning of Washington, destroying the interior and charring much of the exterior. Reconstruction began immediately, President James Monroe moved into the reconstructed Executive Residence in October 1817.
Exterior construction continued with the addition of the semi-circular South portico in 1824 and the North portico in 1829. Because of crowding within the executive mansion itself, President Theodore Roosevelt had all work offices relocated to the newly constructed West Wing in 1901. Eight years in 1909, President William Howard Taft expanded the West Wing and created the first Oval Office, moved as the section was expanded. In the main mansion, the third-floor attic was converted to living quarters in 1927 by augmenting the existing hip roof with long shed dormers. A newly constructed East Wing was used as a reception area for social events. East Wing alterations were completed in 1946. By 1948, the residence's load-bearing exterior walls and internal wood beams were found to be close to failure. Under Harry S. Truman, the interior rooms were dismantled and a new internal load-bearing steel frame constructed inside the walls. Once this work was completed, the interior rooms were rebuilt; the modern-day White House complex includes the Executive Residence, West Wing, East Wing, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building—the former State Department, which now houses offices for the President's staff and the Vice President—and Blair House, a guest residence.
The Executive Residence is made up of six stories—the Ground Floor, State Floor, Second Floor, Third Floor, as well as a two-story basement. The property is a National Heritage Site owned by the National Park Service and is part of the President's Park. In 2007, it was ranked second on the American Institute of Architects list of "America's Favorite Architecture". Following his April 1789 inauguration, President George Washington occupied two executive mansions in New York City: the Samuel Osgood House at 3 Cherry Street, the Alexander Macomb House at 39–41 Broadway. In May 1790, New York began construction of Government House for his official residence, but he never occupied it; the national capital moved to Philadelphia in December 1790. The July 1790 Residence Act named Philadelphia, Pennsylvania the temporary national capital for a 10-year period while the Federal City was under construction; the City of Philadelphia rented Robert Morris's city house at 190 High Street for Washington's presidential residence.
The first U. S. President occupied the Market Street mansion from November 1790 to March 1797 and altered it in ways that may have influenced the design of the White House; as part of a futile effort to have Philadelphia named the permanent national capital, Pennsylvania built a much grander presidential mansion several blocks away, but Washington declined to occupy it. President John Adams occupied the Market Street mansion from March 1797 to May 1800. On Saturday, November 1, 1800, he became the first president to occupy the White House; the President's House in Philadelphia became a hotel and was demolished in 1832, while the unused presidential mansion became home to the University of Pennsylvania. The President's House was a major feature of Pierre Charles L'Enfant's' plan for the newly established federal city, Washington, D. C.. The architect of the White House was chosen in a design competition which received nine proposals, including one submitted anonymously by Thomas Jefferson. President Washington visited Charleston, South Carolina in May 1791 on his "Southern Tour", saw the under-construction Charleston County Courthouse designed by Irish architect James Hoban.
He is reputed to have met with Hoban then. The following year, he summoned the architect to Philadelphia and met with him in June 1792. On July 16, 1792, the President met with the commissioners of the federal city to make his judgment in the architectural competition, his review is recorded as being brief, he selected Hoban's submission. The building has classical inspiration sources, that could be found directly or indirectly in the Roman architect Vitruvius or in Andrea Palladio styles; the building Hoban designed is verifiably influenced by the upper floors of Leinster House, in Dublin, which became the seat of the Oireachtas. Several other Georgian-era Irish country houses have been suggested as sources of inspiration for the overall floor plan, details like the bow-fronted south front, interior details like the former niches in the present Blue Room; these influences, though undocumented, are cited in the official White House guide, in White
Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network is an American cable and satellite television network, created in 1979 by the cable television industry as a nonprofit public service. It televises many proceedings of the United States federal government, as well as other public affairs programming; the C-SPAN network includes the television channels C-SPAN, C-SPAN2, C-SPAN3, the radio station WCSP-FM, a group of websites which provide streaming media and archives of C-SPAN programs. C-SPAN's television channels are available to 100 million cable and satellite households within the United States, while WCSP-FM is broadcast on FM radio in Washington, D. C. and is available throughout the U. S. on SiriusXM via Internet streaming, globally through apps for iOS, BlackBerry, Android devices. The network televises U. S. political events live and "gavel-to-gavel" coverage of the U. S. Congress, as well as occasional proceedings of the Canadian and British Parliaments and other major events worldwide, its coverage of political and policy events is unmoderated, providing the audience with unfiltered information about politics and government.
Non-political coverage includes historical programming, programs dedicated to non-fiction books, interview programs with noteworthy individuals associated with public policy. C-SPAN is a private, non-profit organization funded by its cable and satellite affiliates, it does not have advertisements on any of its networks, radio stations, or websites, nor does it solicit donations or pledges; the network operates independently, neither the cable industry nor Congress has control of its programming content. Brian Lamb, C-SPAN's chairman and former chief executive officer, first conceived the concept of C-SPAN in 1975 while working as the Washington, D. C. bureau chief of the cable industry trade magazine Cablevision. It was a time of rapid growth in the number of cable television channels available in the United States, Lamb envisioned a cable-industry financed nonprofit network for televising sessions of the U. S. Congress and other public affairs event and policy discussions. Lamb shared his idea with several cable executives.
Among them were Bob Rosencrans, who provided $25,000 of initial funding in 1979, John D. Evans, who provided the wiring and access to the headend needed for the distribution of the C-SPAN signal. C-SPAN was launched on March 19, 1979, in time for the first televised session made available by the House of Representatives, beginning with a speech by then-Tennessee representative Al Gore. Upon its debut, only 3.5 million homes were wired for C-SPAN, the network had just three employees. The second C-SPAN channel, C-SPAN2, followed on June 2, 1986 when the U. S. Senate permitted itself to be televised. C-SPAN3, the most recent expansion channel, began full-time operations on January 22, 2001, shows other public policy and government-related live events on weekdays along with weekend historical programming. C-SPAN3 is the successor of a digital channel called C-SPAN Extra, launched in the Washington D. C. area in 1997, televised live and recorded political events from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday.
C-SPAN Radio began operations on October 9, 1997, covering similar events as the television networks and simulcasting their programming. The station broadcasts on WCSP in Washington, D. C. is available on XM Satellite Radio channel 120 and is streamed live at c-span.org. It was available on Sirius Satellite Radio from 2002 to 2006. Lamb semi-retired in March 2012, coinciding with the channel's 33rd anniversary, gave executive control of the network to his two lieutenants, Rob Kennedy and Susan Swain. On January 12, 2017, the online feed for C-SPAN1 was interrupted and replaced by a feed from the Russian television network RT America for 10 minutes. C-SPAN announced that they were troubleshooting the incident and were "operating under the assumption that it was an internal routing issue." C-SPAN celebrated its 10th anniversary in 1989 with a three-hour retrospective, featuring Lamb recalling the development of the network. The 15th anniversary was commemorated in an unconventional manner as the network facilitated a series of re-enactments of the seven historic Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, which were televised from August to October 1994, have been rebroadcast from time to time since.
Five years the series American presidents: Life Portraits, which won a Peabody Award, served as a year-long observation of C-SPAN's 20th anniversary. In 2004, C-SPAN celebrated its 25th anniversary, by which time the flagship network was viewed in 86 million homes, C-SPAN2 was in 70 million homes and C-SPAN3 was in eight million homes. On the anniversary date, C-SPAN repeated the first televised hour of floor debate in the House of Representatives from 1979 and, throughout the month, 25th anniversary features included "then and now" segments with journalists who had appeared on C-SPAN during its early years. Included in the 25th anniversary was an essay contest for viewers to write in about how C-SPAN has influenced their life regarding community service. For example, one essay contest winner wrote about how C-SPAN's non-fiction book programming serves as a resource in his charitable mission to record non-fiction audio books for people who are blind. To commemorate 25 years of taking viewer telephone calls, in 2005, C-SPAN had a 25-hour "call-in marathon", from 8:00 pm.
Eastern Time on Friday, October 7, concluding at 9:00 pm. Eastern Time on Saturday, October 8; the network had a viewer essay contest, the winner of, invited to co-host an hour of the broadcast from C-SPAN's Capitol
Monticello was the primary plantation of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, who began designing and building Monticello at age 26 after inheriting land from his father. Located just outside Charlottesville, Virginia, in the Piedmont region, the plantation was 5,000 acres, with Jefferson using slaves for extensive cultivation of tobacco and mixed crops shifting from tobacco cultivation to wheat in response to changing markets. Due to its architectural and historic significance, the property has been designated a National Historic Landmark. In 1987 Monticello and the nearby University of Virginia designed by Jefferson, were together designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the current nickel, a United States coin, features a depiction of Monticello on its reverse side. Jefferson designed the main house using neoclassical design principles described by Italian Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio and reworking the design through much of his presidency to include design elements popular in late 18th-century Europe and integrating numerous ideas of his own.
Situated on the summit of an 850-foot -high peak in the Southwest Mountains south of the Rivanna Gap, the name Monticello derives from the Italian for "little mount". Along a prominent lane adjacent to the house, Mulberry Row, the plantation came to include numerous outbuildings for specialized functions, e.g. a nailery. Cabins for field slaves were farther from the mansion. At Jefferson's direction, he was buried on the grounds, in an area now designated as the Monticello Cemetery; the cemetery is owned by the Monticello Association, a society of his descendants through Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson. After Jefferson's death, his daughter Martha Jefferson Randolph sold the property. In 1834 it was bought by Uriah P. Levy, a commodore in the U. S. Navy, who admired spent his own money to preserve the property, his nephew Jefferson Monroe Levy took over the property in 1879. In 1923, Monroe Levy sold it to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which operates it as a house museum and educational institution.
Jefferson's home was built to serve as a plantation house, which took on the architectural form of a villa. It has many architectural antecedents, but Jefferson went beyond them to create something much his own, he consciously sought to create a new architecture for a new nation. Work began on what historians would subsequently refer to as "the first Monticello" in 1768, on a plantation of 5,000 acres. Jefferson moved into the South Pavilion in 1770, where his new wife Martha Wayles Skelton joined him in 1772. Jefferson continued work on his original design. In constructing and reconstructing his home, Jefferson used a combination of free workers, indentured servants and enslaved laborers. After his wife's death in 1782, Jefferson left Monticello in 1784 to serve as Minister of the United States to France. During his several years in Europe, he had an opportunity to see some of the classical buildings with which he had become acquainted from his reading, as well as to discover the "modern" trends in French architecture that were fashionable in Paris.
His decision to remodel his own home may date from this period. In 1794, following his service as the first U. S. Secretary of State, Jefferson began rebuilding his house based on the ideas he had acquired in Europe; the remodeling continued throughout most of his presidency. Although completed by 1809, Jefferson continued work on the present structure until his death in 1826. Jefferson added a center hallway and a parallel set of rooms to the structure, more than doubling its area, he removed the second full-height story from the original house and replaced it with a mezzanine bedroom floor. The interior is centered on two large rooms, which served as an entrance-hall-museum, where Jefferson displayed his scientific interests, a music-sitting room; the most dramatic element of the new design was an octagonal dome, which he placed above the west front of the building in place of a second-story portico. The room inside the dome was described by a visitor as "a noble and beautiful apartment," but it was used—perhaps because it was hot in summer and cold in winter, or because it could be reached only by climbing a steep and narrow flight of stairs.
The dome room has now been restored to its appearance during Jefferson's lifetime, with "Mars yellow" walls and a painted green and black checkered floor. Summertime temperatures are high in the region, with indoor temperatures of around 100 °F. Jefferson himself is known to have been interested in Roman and Renaissance texts about ancient temperature-control techniques such as ground-cooled air and heated floors. Monticello's large central hall and aligned windows were designed to allow a cooling air-current to pass through the house, the octagonal cupola draws hot air up and out. In the late twentieth century, moderate air conditioning, designed to avoid the harm to the house and its contents that would be caused by major modifications and large temperature differentials, was installed in the house, a tourist attraction. Before Jefferson's death, Monticello had begun to show signs of disrepair; the attention Jefferson's university project in Charlottesville demanded, family problems, diverted his focus.
The most important reason for the mansion's deterioration was his accumulating debts. In the last few years of Jefferson's life, much went without repair in Monticello. A
The planter class, known alternatively in the United States as the Southern aristocracy, was a socio-economic caste of Pan-American society that dominated seventeenth- and eighteenth-century agricultural markets through the forced labor of enslaved Africans. The Atlantic slave trade permitted planters access to inexpensive labor for the planting and harvesting of crops such as tobacco, indigo, tea, sugar cane, oil seeds, oil palms,hemp, rubber trees, fruits. In the American South, planters maintained a distinct culture characterized by its similarity to the manners and customs of the British nobility, whom many planters were related to, with an emphasis on chivalry and hospitality, the latter becoming a marked trait of modern Southern society; this southern culture with its landed gentry was distinctly different from areas north of the Mason–Dixon line and west of the Appalachians that were characterized by small land holdings worked by yeoman farmers without slave labor. After the American Civil War, many in this class saw their wealth reduced as the enslaved Africans were freed.
Union forces under Generals William T. Sherman and Phillip Sheridan had cut wide swaths of destruction through portions of Virginia, the Carolinas and Georgia destroying crops, killing or confiscating livestock, burning barns and gristmills, in some cases torching plantation houses and entire cities such as Atlanta in scorched earth tactics designed to starve the Confederacy into submission. After emancipation, many plantations were converted to sharecropping with freed Africans working as sharecroppers on the same land they had worked as slaves before the war. During the Gilded Age many plantations, no longer viable as agricultural operations, were purchased by wealthy northern industrialists as hunting retreats; some plantations became museums on the U. S. National Register of Historic Places. Planters were prolific throughout the British, French and Spanish colonies of North and South America, the West Indies. Members of this class include colonists Robert "King" Carter, William Byrd of Westover, many signers of the Declaration of Independence including Benjamin Harrison V, Thomas Nelson, Jr. George Wythe, Carter Braxton and Richard Henry Lee, Founding Fathers, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and James Monroe, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Confederate General Robert E. Lee, Mary Chesnut, Valcour Aime, Sallie Ward, the fictional Scarlett O'Hara from the movie Gone with the Wind.
The search for gold and silver was a constant theme in overseas expansion, but there were other European demands the New World could satisfy, which contributed to its growing involvement in the Western-dominated world economy. While Spanish America seemed to fulfill dreams of mineral wealth, Brazil became the first major plantation colony in 1532, organized to produce a tropical crop – sugar – in great demand and short supply in Europe; the other major powers, England and the Netherlands, soon thereafter hoped to establish profitable colonies of their own. Presented with new opportunities, Europeans disenchanted by the rigid social structures of feudalism emigrated to the abundant virginal lands of the colonial frontier. Arriving through the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, settlers landed on the shores of an unspoiled and hostile countryside. Early planters first began as colony farmers providing for the needs of settlements besieged by famine and tribal raids. Native Americans friendly to the colonists taught them to cultivate native plant species including tobacco and fruits, which within a century would become a global industry itself funding a multinational slave trade.
Colonial politics would come to be dominated by wealthy noble landowners interested in commercial development. In an effort to reduce the financial burden of continental wars, European governments began instituting land pension systems by which a soldier an officer, would be granted land in the colonies for services rendered; this incentivized military professionals to settle in the Americas and thus contribute to colonial defense against foreign colonists and hostile Natives. John Rolfe, a settler from Jamestown, was the first colonist to grow tobacco in North America, he arrived in Virginia with tobacco seeds procured from an earlier voyage to Trinidad, in 1612 harvested his inaugural crop for sale on the European market. During the 17th century, the Chesapeake Bay area was immensely hospitable to tobacco cultivation. Ships annually hauled 1.5 million pounds of tobacco out to the Bay by the 1630s, about 40 million pounds by the end of the century. Tobacco planters financed their operations with loans from London.
When tobacco prices dropped precipitously in the 1750s, many plantations struggled to remain financially solvent. In an effort to combat financial ruin planters either pushed to increase crop yield or, with the depletion of soil nutrients, converted to growing other crops such as cotton or wheat. In 1720, coffee was first introduced to the West Indies by French naval officer Gabriel de Clieu, who procured a coffee plant seedling from the Royal Botanical Gardens in Paris and transported it to Martinique, he transplanted it on the slopes of Mount Pelée and was able to harvest his first crop in 1726, or shortly thereafter. Within fifty years there were 18,000 coffee trees in Martinique enabling the spread of coffee cultivation to Saint-Domingue, New Spain and other islands of the Caribbean; the French territory of Saint-Domingue began cultivating coffee in 1734, by 1788 supplied half the global market. The French colonial plantations relied on African slave laborers. However, the harsh conditions that slav