As a leader of the new Federalist Party, Jay was the Governor ofNew York State from 1795 to 1801, and he became the state’s leading opponent of slavery. His first two attempts to emancipate the slaves in New York failed in 1777 and in 1785, but his third attempt succeeded in 1799. The 1799 act, a gradual emancipation act, that he signed into law eventually brought about the emancipation of all slaves there before his death in 1829.
Eli Whitney (December 8, 1765 – January 8, 1825) was an American inventor best known for inventing the cotton gin. This was one of the key inventions of the Industrial Revolution and shaped the economy of the antebellum South. Whitney’s invention made short staple cotton into a profitable crop, which strengthened the economic foundation of slavery.
Despite the social and economic impact of his invention, Whitney lost his profits in legal battles over patent infringement, closed his business and nearly filed for bankruptcy.
Theodore D. Roosevelt (October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919) was the 26thPresident of the United States. He is well remembered for his energetic persona, his range of interests and achievements, his model of masculinity, and his “cowboy” image. He was a leader of the Republican Party and founder of the short-lived Bull Moose Party. Before becoming the 26th President (1901–1909) he held offices at the municipal, state, and federal level of government. Roosevelt’s achievements as a naturalist, explorer, hunter, author, and soldier are as much a part of his fame as any office he held as a politician.
In the early modern period, the voyages of Columbus initiated Europeanexploration and colonization of the American continents, and are thus of great significance in world history. Christopher Columbus was a navigator and an admiral for Castile, a country that later founded modern Spain. He made four voyages to the Americas, with his first in 1492*, which resulted in what is widely referred to as the Discovery of America or Discovery of the Americas. He did not actually reach the mainland until his third voyage, in 1498, when he reached South America, and the fourth voyage, when he reached Central America.
* …After 29 days out of sight of land, on October 7, 1492, the crew spotted “[i]mmense flocks of birds”, some of which his sailors trapped and determined to be “field” birds (probably Eskimo curlews and American golden plovers). Columbus changed course to follow their flight.
Land was sighted at 2 a.m. on October 12, by a sailor named Rodrigo de Triana (also known as Juan Rodriguez Bermejo) aboard La Pinta. Columbus would later assert that he had first seen the land and, thus, earned the reward of 10,000 maravedís. Columbus called the island San Salvador, in present day the Bahamas or the Turks and Caicos, although the indigenous residents had already named it Guanahani. Exactly which island in the Bahamas or Turks and Caicos this corresponds to is an unresolved topic; prime candidates are Samana Cay, Plana Cays, Grand Turk, or San Salvador Island (named San Salvador in 1925 in the belief that it was Columbus’ San Salvador).