The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
History of the United States Marine Corps
The history of the United States Marine Corps begins with the founding of the Continental Marines on 10 November 1775 to conduct ship-to-ship fighting, provide shipboard security and discipline enforcement, assist in landing forces. Its mission evolved with changing military doctrine and foreign policy of the United States. Owing to the availability of Marine forces at sea, the United States Marine Corps has served in nearly every conflict in United States history, it attained prominence when its theories and practice of amphibious warfare proved prescient, formed a cornerstone of the Pacific Theater of World War II. By the early 20th century, the Marine Corps would become one of the dominant theorists and practitioners of amphibious warfare, its ability to respond on short notice to expeditionary crises has made and continues to make it an important tool for U. S. foreign policy. In February 1776, the Continental Marines embarked on their maiden expedition; the Continental Marines were disbanded at the end of the war, along with the Continental Navy.
In preparation for the Quasi-War with France, Congress created the United States Navy and the Marine Corps. The Marines' most famous action of this period occurred in the First Barbary War against the Barbary pirates. In the Mexican–American War, the Marines made their famed assault on Chapultepec Palace, which overlooked Mexico City, their first major expeditionary venture. In the 1850s, the Marines would see service in Panama, in Asia. During the U. S. Civil War the Marine Corps played only a minor role after their participation in the Union defeat at the first battle of First Bull Run/Manassas, their most important task was blockade duty and other ship-board battles, but they were mobilized for a handful of operations as the war progressed. The remainder of the 19th century would be a period of declining strength and introspection about the mission of the Marine Corps. Under Commandant Jacob Zeilin's term, many Marine customs and traditions took shape. During the Spanish–American War, Marines would lead U.
S. forces ashore in the Philippines and Puerto Rico, demonstrating their readiness for deployment. Between 1900 and 1916, the Marine Corps continued its record of participation in foreign expeditions in the Caribbean and Central and South America, which included Panama, Veracruz, Santo Domingo, Nicaragua. In World War I, battle-tested, veteran Marines served a central role in the United States' entry into the conflict. Between the world wars, the Marine Corps was headed by Major General John A. Lejeune, another popular commandant. In World War II, the Marines played a central role, under Admiral Nimitz, in the Pacific War, participating in nearly every significant battle; the Corps saw its peak growth as it expanded from two brigades to two corps with six divisions, five air wings with 132 squadrons. During the Battle of Iwo Jima, photographer Joe Rosenthal took the famous photo Raising of the Flag on Iwo Jima of five Marines and one naval corpsman raising a U. S. flag on Mount Suribachi. The Korean War saw the 1st Provisional Marine Brigade holding the line at the Battle of Pusan Perimeter, where Marine helicopters made their combat debut.
The Marines played an important role in the Vietnam War at battles such as Da Nang, Huế, Khe Sanh. The Marines operated in the northern I Corps regions of South Vietnam and fought both a constant guerilla war against the Viet Cong and an off and on conventional war against North Vietnamese Army regulars. Marines went to Beirut during the 1982 Lebanon War on 24 August. On 23 October 1983, the Marine barracks in Beirut was bombed, causing the highest peacetime losses to the Corps in its history. Marines were responsible for liberating Kuwait during the Gulf War, as the Army made an attack to the west directly into Iraq; the I Marine Expeditionary Force had a strength of 92,990 making Operation Desert Storm the largest Marine Corps operation in history. The earliest lineal predecessor of the modern Marine Corps was the creation and evolution of marines dating back to the European naval wars, during the Second Hundred Years' War of the 17th and 18th century the Second Anglo-Dutch War; the European powers all contended with each other in naval power.
James II of England, the brother of King Charles II, was confirmed as Lord High Admiral, an office that had authoritative command over the English Royal Navy. The position at this time was exercised by a single person an admiral to oversee the structure and institution of naval affairs; as France and the Netherlands were opting to train seamen for infantry combat, England instead in 1664 formed a special regiment, the Duke of York and Albany's Maritime Regiment of Foot known as the "Lord High Admiral's Regiment", the progenitors of the modern Royal Marines. This maritime infantry regiment was directed to be under the complete control of the Admiralty; the Lord High Admiral's Regiment saw action in the Franco-Dutch War, the Third Anglo-Dutch War. However, due to the Glorious Revolution of 1688, King James II was overthrown by British Parliament, leading to the disbandment of the regiment. Two years two new regiments were formed, the 1st and 2nd Regiment of Marines, their functions assumed the same roles as the subsequent marine regiments in the past.
The general military service type of "marines" first appeared throughout the Dutch and French wars, but the majority of the marine infantry
Original six frigates of the United States Navy
The United States Congress authorized the original six frigates of the United States Navy with the Naval Act of 1794 on March 27, 1794, at a total cost of $688,888.82. These ships were built during the formative years of the United States Navy, on the recommendation of designer Joshua Humphreys for a fleet of frigates powerful enough to engage any frigates of the French or British navies yet fast enough to evade any ship of the line. After the Revolutionary War, a indebted United States disbanded the Continental Navy, in August 1785, lacking funds for ship repairs, sold its last remaining warship, the Alliance, but simultaneously troubles began in the Mediterranean when Algiers seized two American merchant ships and held their crews for ransom. Minister to France Thomas Jefferson suggested an American naval force to protect American shipping in the Mediterranean, but his recommendations were met with indifference, as were the recommendations of John Jay, who proposed building five 40-gun warships.
Shortly afterward, Portugal began blockading Algerian ships from entering the Atlantic Ocean, thus providing temporary protection for American merchant ships. Piracy against American merchant shipping had not been a problem when under the protection of the British Empire prior to the Revolution, but after the Revolutionary War the "Barbary States" of Algiers and Tunis felt they could harass American merchant ships without penalty. Additionally, once the French Revolution started, Britain began interdicting American merchant ships suspected of trading with France and France began interdicting American merchant ships suspected of trading with Britain. Defenseless, the American government could do little to resist; the formation of a naval force had been a topic of debate in the new America for years. Opponents argued that building a navy would only lead to calls for a navy department, the staff to operate it; this would further lead to more appropriations of funds, which would spiral out of control, giving birth to a "self-feeding entity".
Those opposed to a navy felt that payment of tribute to the Barbary States and economic sanctions against Britain were a better alternative. In 1793 Portugal reached a peace agreement with Algeria, ending its blockade of the Mediterranean, thus allowing Algerian ships back into the Atlantic Ocean. By late in the year eleven American merchant ships had been captured. This, combined with the actions of Britain led President Washington to request Congress to authorize a navy. On January 2, 1794, by a narrow margin of 46–44, the House of Representatives voted to authorize building a navy and formed a committee to determine the size and type of ships to be built. Secretary of War Henry Knox submitted proposals to the committee outlining the design and cost of warships. To appease the strong opposition to the upcoming bill, the Federalist Party inserted a clause into the bill that would bring an abrupt halt to the construction of the ships should the United States reach a peace agreement with Algiers.
The bill was presented to the House on March 10 and passed as the Naval Act of 1794 by a margin of 50–39, without division in the Senate on the 19th. President Washington signed the Act on March 27, it provided for acquisition, by purchase or otherwise, of four ships to carry forty-four guns each, two ships to carry thirty-six guns each. It provided pay and sustenance for naval officers and marines, outlined how each ship should be manned in order to operate them; the Act appropriated $688,888.82 to finance the work. With the formation of a Department of the Navy still several years away, responsibility for design and construction fell to the Department of War, headed by Secretary Henry Knox; as early as 1790 Knox had consulted various authorities regarding ship design. Discussions of the designs were carried out in person at meetings in Philadelphia. Little is known about these discussions due to a lack of written correspondence, making determination of the actual designers involved difficult to assemble.
Secretary Knox reached out to ship architects and builders in Philadelphia, the largest seaport in North America at the time and the largest freshwater port in the world. This meant that many discussions of ship design took place in Knox's office, resulting in few if any records of these discussions being available to historians. Joshua Humphreys is credited as the designer of the six frigates, but Revolutionary War ship captains John Foster Williams and John Barry and shipbuilders Josiah Fox and James Hackett were consulted; the final design plans submitted to President Washington for approval called for building new frigates rather than purchasing merchant ships and converting them into warships, an option under the Naval Act. The designers realized that the fledgling United States could not match the European states in the number of ships afloat; this gave the Americans the distinct advantage in that their ship design was not constrained by access to timber nor limited crew. This allowed the designers to plan for enormous ships given their role.
They had the ability to overpower other frigates, but were capable of a speed to escape from a ship of the line. The design was unusual for the time, being long on keel and narrow of beam; this gave the hull greater strength than the hulls of other navies' frigates. Knox advised President Washington that the cost of new construction would exceed the appropriations of the Naval Act. Despite this, Washington accepted and approved the plans the same day they were submitted, April 15, 1794. Joshua Humphreys was appointed Mas
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. It is the largest and most capable navy in the world and it has been estimated that in terms of tonnage of its active battle fleet alone, it is larger than the next 13 navies combined, which includes 11 U. S. allies or partner nations. With the highest combined battle fleet tonnage and the world's largest aircraft carrier fleet, with eleven in service, two new carriers under construction. With 319,421 personnel on active duty and 99,616 in the Ready Reserve, the Navy is the third largest of the service branches, it has 282 deployable combat vessels and more than 3,700 operational aircraft as of March 2018, making it the second-largest air force in the world, after the United States Air Force. The U. S. Navy traces its origins to the Continental Navy, established during the American Revolutionary War and was disbanded as a separate entity shortly thereafter.
The U. S. Navy played a major role in the American Civil War by blockading the Confederacy and seizing control of its rivers, it played the central role in the World War II defeat of Imperial Japan. The US Navy emerged from World War II as the most powerful navy in the world; the 21st century U. S. Navy maintains a sizable global presence, deploying in strength in such areas as the Western Pacific, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, it is a blue-water navy with the ability to project force onto the littoral regions of the world, engage in forward deployments during peacetime and respond to regional crises, making it a frequent actor in U. S. foreign and military policy. The Navy is administratively managed by the Department of the Navy, headed by the civilian Secretary of the Navy; the Department of the Navy is itself a division of the Department of Defense, headed by the Secretary of Defense. The Chief of Naval Operations is the most senior naval officer serving in the Department of the Navy.
The mission of the Navy is to maintain and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas. The U. S. Navy is a seaborne branch of the military of the United States; the Navy's three primary areas of responsibility: The preparation of naval forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war. The maintenance of naval aviation, including land-based naval aviation, air transport essential for naval operations, all air weapons and air techniques involved in the operations and activities of the Navy; the development of aircraft, tactics, technique and equipment of naval combat and service elements. U. S. Navy training manuals state that the mission of the U. S. Armed Forces is "to be prepared to conduct prompt and sustained combat operations in support of the national interest." As part of that establishment, the U. S. Navy's functions comprise sea control, power projection and nuclear deterrence, in addition to "sealift" duties, it follows as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, with it, everything honorable and glorious.
Naval power... is the natural defense of the United States The Navy was rooted in the colonial seafaring tradition, which produced a large community of sailors and shipbuilders. In the early stages of the American Revolutionary War, Massachusetts had its own Massachusetts Naval Militia; the rationale for establishing a national navy was debated in the Second Continental Congress. Supporters argued that a navy would protect shipping, defend the coast, make it easier to seek out support from foreign countries. Detractors countered that challenging the British Royal Navy the world's preeminent naval power, was a foolish undertaking. Commander in Chief George Washington resolved the debate when he commissioned the ocean-going schooner USS Hannah to interdict British merchant ships and reported the captures to the Congress. On 13 October 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the purchase of two vessels to be armed for a cruise against British merchant ships. S. Navy; the Continental Navy achieved mixed results.
In August 1785, after the Revolutionary War had drawn to a close, Congress had sold Alliance, the last ship remaining in the Continental Navy due to a lack of funds to maintain the ship or support a navy. In 1972, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, authorized the Navy to celebrate its birthday on 13 October to honor the establishment of the Continental Navy in 1775; the United States was without a navy for nearly a decade, a state of affairs that exposed U. S. maritime merchant ships to a series of attacks by the Barbary pirates. The sole armed maritime presence between 1790 and the launching of the U. S. Navy's first warships in 1797 was the U. S. Revenue-Marine, the primary predecessor of the U. S. Coast Guard. Although the USRCS conducted operations against the pirates, their depredations far outstripped its abilities and Congress passed the Naval Act of 1794 that established a permanent standing navy on 27 March 1794; the Naval Act ordered the construction and manning of six frigates and, by October 1797, the first three were brought into service: USS United States, USS Constellation, USS Constitution.
Due to his strong posture on having a strong standing Navy during this period, John Adams is "often called the father of the American Navy". In 1798–99 the Navy was involved in an undeclared Quasi-War with France. From 18
The Quasi-War was an undeclared war fought entirely at sea between the United States and France from 1798 to 1800, which broke out during the beginning of John Adams's presidency. After the French Monarchy was abolished in September 1792 the United States refused to continue repaying its large debt to France which had supported it during its own War for Independence, it claimed. France was outraged over the Jay Treaty and that the United States was trading with Britain, with whom they were at war. In response France authorized privateers to conduct attacks on American shipping, seizing numerous merchant ships, leading the U. S. to retaliate. The war was called "quasi", it involved two years of hostilities at sea, in which both navies and privateers attacked the other's shipping in the West Indies. Many of the battles involved famous naval officers such as Stephen Decatur, Silas Talbot and William Bainbridge; the unexpected fighting ability of the newly re-established U. S. Navy, which concentrated on attacking the French West Indian privateers, together with the growing weaknesses and final overthrow of the ruling French Directory, led Foreign Minister Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord to reopen negotiations with the US.
At the same time, President John Adams feuded with Alexander Hamilton over control of the Adams administration. Adams took sudden and unexpected action, rejecting the anti-French hawks in his own party and offering peace to France. In 1800 he sent William Vans Murray to France to negotiate peace. Hostilities ended with the signing of the Convention of 1800; when the United States won its independence it no longer had Britain's protection and therefore had the task of protecting its own ships and interests at sea. There were few American ships capable of defending the American coastline while trying to protect its merchant ships at sea; the Kingdom of France was a crucial ally of the United States in the American Revolutionary War. In March 1778, France signed a treaty of alliance with the rebelling colonists against Great Britain and had loaned the new Republic large sums of money. However, Louis XVI of France was deposed in September 1792; the monarchy was abolished. In 1794 the U. S. government reached an agreement with Great Britain in the Jay Treaty, ratified the following year.
It resolved several points of contention between the United States and Britain that had lingered since the end of the American Revolution. The treaty encouraged bilateral trade, enabled expanded trade between the United States and Britain, stimulating the American economy. From 1794 to 1801, the value of American exports nearly tripled, from US$33 million to US$94 million, but the Jeffersonian Democratic-Republicans, who were pro-France, always denigrated the Jay Treaty. The United States declared neutrality in the conflict between Great Britain and revolutionary France, U. S. legislation was being passed for a trade deal with Great Britain. When the U. S. refused to continue repaying its debt, saying that the debt was owed to the previous government, not to the French First Republic, French outrage led to a series of responses. First, France authorized privateers to seize U. S. ships trading with Great Britain, taking them back to port as prizes to be sold. Next, the French government refused to receive Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, the new U.
S. Minister, when he arrived in Paris in December 1796, severing diplomatic relations. In President John Adams's annual message to Congress at the close of 1797, he reported on France's refusal to negotiate a settlement and spoke of the need "to place our country in a suitable posture of defense". Adams offered Washington a commission as lieutenant general on July 4, 1798, as commander-in-chief of the armies raised for service in that conflict. In April 1798, President Adams informed Congress of the "XYZ Affair", in which French agents demanded a large bribe before engaging in substantive negotiations with United States diplomats. Meanwhile, French privateers inflicted substantial losses on U. S. shipping. On 21 February 1797, Secretary of State Timothy Pickering told Congress that during the previous eleven months, France had seized 316 U. S. merchant ships. French marauders cruised the length of the Atlantic seaboard unopposed; the United States government had nothing to combat them, as it had abolished the navy at the end of the Revolutionary War and its last warship sold in 1785.
The United States had only a flotilla of small Revenue-Marine cutters and a few neglected coastal forts. Increased depredations by French privateers led to the government in 1798 to establish the Department of Navy and the U. S. Marine Corps to defend the expanding U. S. merchant fleet. Benjamin Stoddert was appointed as Secretary of Navy. Congress authorized the president to acquire and man not more than twelve ships of up to twenty-two guns each. Several merchantmen were purchased and refitted as ships of war. Congress rescinded the treaties with France on 7 July 1798; that date is now considered the beginning of the Quasi-War. Two days Congress passed authorization for the U. S. to attack French warships in U. S. waters. On 16 July Congress appropriated funds "to build and equip the three remaining frigates begun under the Act of 1794": USS Congress, launched at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on 15 August 1799. To make the most effective use of his limited resources, Secretary Stoddert established a policy that U.
S. forces would be concentrated on attacks against French forces in the Caribbean, wh
Philadelphia, sometimes known colloquially as Philly, is the largest city in the U. S. state and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the sixth-most populous U. S. city, with a 2017 census-estimated population of 1,580,863. Since 1854, the city has been coterminous with Philadelphia County, the most populous county in Pennsylvania and the urban core of the eighth-largest U. S. metropolitan statistical area, with over 6 million residents as of 2017. Philadelphia is the economic and cultural anchor of the greater Delaware Valley, located along the lower Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers, within the Northeast megalopolis; the Delaware Valley's population of 7.2 million ranks it as the eighth-largest combined statistical area in the United States. William Penn, an English Quaker, founded the city in 1682 to serve as capital of the Pennsylvania Colony. Philadelphia played an instrumental role in the American Revolution as a meeting place for the Founding Fathers of the United States, who signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776 at the Second Continental Congress, the Constitution at the Philadelphia Convention of 1787.
Several other key events occurred in Philadelphia during the Revolutionary War including the First Continental Congress, the preservation of the Liberty Bell, the Battle of Germantown, the Siege of Fort Mifflin. Philadelphia was one of the nation's capitals during the revolution, served as temporary U. S. capital while Washington, D. C. was under construction. In the 19th century, Philadelphia became a railroad hub; the city grew from an influx of European immigrants, most of whom came from Ireland and Germany—the three largest reported ancestry groups in the city as of 2015. In the early 20th century, Philadelphia became a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration after the Civil War, as well as Puerto Ricans; the city's population doubled from one million to two million people between 1890 and 1950. The Philadelphia area's many universities and colleges make it a top study destination, as the city has evolved into an educational and economic hub. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Philadelphia area had a gross domestic product of US$445 billion in 2017, the eighth-largest metropolitan economy in the United States.
Philadelphia is the center of economic activity in Pennsylvania and is home to five Fortune 1000 companies. The Philadelphia skyline is expanding, with a market of 81,900 commercial properties in 2016, including several nationally prominent skyscrapers. Philadelphia has more outdoor murals than any other American city. Fairmount Park, when combined with the adjacent Wissahickon Valley Park in the same watershed, is one of the largest contiguous urban park areas in the United States; the city is known for its arts, culture and colonial history, attracting 42 million domestic tourists in 2016 who spent US$6.8 billion, generating an estimated $11 billion in total economic impact in the city and surrounding four counties of Pennsylvania. Philadelphia has emerged as a biotechnology hub. Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States Marine Corps, is the home of many U. S. firsts, including the first library, medical school, national capital, stock exchange and business school. Philadelphia contains 67 National Historic Landmarks and the World Heritage Site of Independence Hall.
The city became a member of the Organization of World Heritage Cities in 2015, as the first World Heritage City in the United States. Although Philadelphia is undergoing gentrification, the city maintains mitigation strategies to minimize displacement of homeowners in gentrifying neighborhoods. Before Europeans arrived, the Philadelphia area was home to the Lenape Indians in the village of Shackamaxon; the Lenape are a Native American tribe and First Nations band government. They are called Delaware Indians, their historical territory was along the Delaware River watershed, western Long Island, the Lower Hudson Valley. Most Lenape were pushed out of their Delaware homeland during the 18th century by expanding European colonies, exacerbated by losses from intertribal conflicts. Lenape communities were weakened by newly introduced diseases smallpox, violent conflict with Europeans. Iroquois people fought the Lenape. Surviving Lenape moved west into the upper Ohio River basin; the American Revolutionary War and United States' independence pushed them further west.
In the 1860s, the United States government sent most Lenape remaining in the eastern United States to the Indian Territory under the Indian removal policy. In the 21st century, most Lenape reside in Oklahoma, with some communities living in Wisconsin, in their traditional homelands. Europeans came to the Delaware Valley in the early 17th century, with the first settlements founded by the Dutch, who in 1623 built Fort Nassau on the Delaware River opposite the Schuylkill River in what is now Brooklawn, New Jersey; the Dutch considered the entire Delaware River valley to be part of their New Netherland colony. In 1638, Swedish settlers led by renegade Dutch established the colony of New Sweden at Fort Christina and spread out in the valley. In 1644, New Sweden supported the Susquehannocks in their military defeat of the English colony of Maryland. In 1648, the Dutch built Fort Beversreede on the west bank of the Delaware, south of the Schuylkill near the present-day Eastwick neighborhood, to reassert their dominion over the area.
The Swedes responded by building Fort Nya Korsholm, or New Korsholm, named after a town in Finland with a Swedish majority. In 1655, a
William Lee (valet)
William "Billy" Lee known as Will Lee, was George Washington's personal assistant and the only one of Washington's slaves freed by Washington in his will. Because he served by Washington's side throughout the American Revolutionary War and was sometimes depicted next to Washington in paintings, Lee was one of the most publicized African Americans of his time. Born c.1750, Lee was purchased on May 27, 1768, when he was just a teenager, by George Washington, as described in Washington's account book as Mulatto Will, from the estate of the late Colonel John Lee of Westmoreland County, Virginia for sixty-one pounds and fifteen shillings. William kept the surname "Lee" from this previous owner. Purchased at this time was William's brother Frank, as well as two other slaves. Washington paid high prices for William and Frank, as they were to be household slaves rather than field laborers. William and Frank were chosen to serve as domestic servants, who were given responsibilities and privileges most slaves never enjoyed.
Frank became Washington's butler at Mount Vernon, while William served in a variety of roles, including Washington's valet or manservant. As the valet, Lee performed chores such as brushing Washington's long hair and tying it behind his head. Washington was a frequent fox hunter, Lee became his huntsman, a role that required expert horsemanship. In his memoirs, Washington's step-grandson George Washington Parke Custis described Lee during a hunt:Will, the huntsman, better known in Revolutionary lore as Billy, rode a horse called Chinkling, a surprising leaper, made much like its rider, but sturdy, of great bone and muscle. Will had but one order, to keep with the hounds. Before the Revolutionary War, Lee traveled with Washington to the House of Burgesses in Williamsburg, or on journeys such as a surveying expedition to the Ohio Valley in 1770 and to the First Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1774. Lee served at Washington's side throughout the eight years of the Revolutionary War, including the winter at Valley Forge and at the siege of Yorktown.
According to historian Fritz Hirschfeld, Lee "rode alongside Washington in the thick of battle, ready to hand over to the general a spare horse or his telescope or whatever else might be needed." Lee's wife was Margaret Thomas Lee, a free African American from Philadelphia who had worked as a servant in Washington's headquarters during the war. Although slave marriages were not recognized by Virginian law, in 1784, at the couple's request, Washington tried to arrange having Margaret move to Mount Vernon to live with her husband. Whether or not she came to Mount Vernon is unknown. In 1785, Lee injured a knee while on a surveying expedition with Washington. Three years while going to the post office in Alexandria, he fell and injured his other knee, rendering him disabled. After Washington was elected president in 1789, Lee attempted to make the journey to New York City for the inauguration, but had to be left in Philadelphia for medical treatment, he was attended by several physicians, who made a steel brace for his knee that allowed him to join Washington's presidential household.
Frank's nephew, Christopher Sheels, assisted Lee in New York City, took over Lee's duties in 1790 at the Philadelphia President's House. Following Washington's 1797 retirement, Lee's disabilities prevented him from continuing his previous duties, he spent the last years of his life as a shoemaker at Mount Vernon, struggling with alcoholism. Revolutionary War veterans who visited Mount Vernon stopped to reminisce with Lee about the war; when Washington died in 1799, he freed William Lee in his will, citing "his faithful services during the Revolutionary War". Lee was the only one of Washington's 124 slaves freed outright in his will. Lee was given a pension of thirty dollars a year for the rest of his life, the option of remaining at Mount Vernon if he wanted. Lee chose to live out the rest of his life at Mount Vernon. "If Billy Lee had been a white man," wrote historian Fritz Hirschfeld, "he would have had an honored place in American history because of his close proximity to George Washington during the most exciting periods of his career.
But because he was a black servant, a humble slave, he has been ignored by both black and white historians and biographers." Lee is portrayed by Ron Canada in the 1984 CBS miniseries "George Washington". Lee is portrayed by Gentry White in the AMC series Turn: Washington's Spies, he is featured prominently in season-2 episode "Valley Forge." List of slaves George Washington and slavery Samuel Osgood House – First Presidential Mansion. Alexander Macomb House – Second Presidential Mansion. President's House – Third Presidential Mansion. Hirschfeld, Fritz. George Washington and Slavery: A Documentary Portrayal. University of Missouri Press, 1997. Wiencek, Henry. An Imperfect God: George Washington, His Slaves, the Creation of America. New York: Farrar and Giroux, 2003. "William Lee", from the Mount Vernon Ladies Association website Last Will and Testament of George Washington "Colonel Washington and Me"