In our own half of the world, the birth of nations and states proceeded in 1777. The Spaniard Jose de Escandon brought a group of colonists to the Matamoros area of Mexico, where they would settle in the interior, using the mouth of the Rio Bravo as a port on the Gulf of Mexico.

This same year a future governor of Cuba, Migu Thuisel de Tacón, is born in Spain.

In the rebellious colonies to the north white settlers attempted to escape from the hostilities by moving inland, away from the coastal regions. They moved into areas where the Cherokee were already established. In self defense tribesmen, schooled in white towns along the coast and literate in the English language, began negotiating with the incipient white nation, creating their own United Cherokee Nation. Ceding their territory to the colony, in the Treaty of DeWitts Corner, they would soon move on, further inland, into Tennessee, then Arkansas.

While this was going on, the other North American colonies were struggling to establish their own boundaries and identities. Overlapping claims by New York and its neighbor to the east, for the area known as the New Hampshire Grants, were abrogated when the area's inhabitants declared themselves an independent republic on January 16th, taking the name of New Connecticut. They would rename their republic on July 12th ­p; they became Vermont.

Georgia adopted a state constitution on February 5th. Fifteen days later Virginia annexed Kentucky lands and named them Kentucky County of Virginia, just to confuse matters further. And toward the end of the year, on November 9th, a Minorcan priest was the last settler to leave the Florida town of New Smyrna. Presumably he turned the lights off on the way out.

New York's efforts toward self-government were little delayed by the impending presence of three invading armies. A constitutional convention met in Kingston, partway between New York City and Albany, and granted the colony statehood on April 20th. They named George Clinton as their first governor; he took office in July.

Another impending invasion, this one of Philadelphia, which would fall to the British in September, was not enough to deter local printer Robert Aitken from his work. On March 9th he published the first U. S. edition of the King James New Testament.

For Classical ninety-one five, this is David Minor.

© 1997 David Minor / Eagles Byte