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World News, 1690-92: Beyond Salem

By Sam M

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Many interesting things happened in the past couple of years and this news just arrived to share with the entire town of Salem Massachusetts. The world is rapidly changing, new inventions, and events race by. Occasions that occurred over the past two years (1690-1692), I will be reviewing novel inventions, important events, battles, and other items of importance.

Invented in the past couple of years the clarinet, a woodwind instrument (an improvement of the Chalumeau) was constructed by Johann Christoph Denner, and his son Jacob Denner, in Nuremburg Germany. This instrument offers three and one half octaves, two more than the Chalumeau's one and one half octaves. This makes the clarinet superior in sound and range.

On September 25, 1690, the first newspaper, Publick Occurrences, was published in the new world colonies. Benjamin Harris printed and published (against the government's will) the first issue in Boston, Massachusetts. The government immediately suppressed Publick Occurrences because officials looked at newspapers as a source of "disobedience and heresy… libels against the best government." Within a few days, the governor and council banned publication of the paper. The government ordered every known copy burned. Rumors state that one copy survived and resides in a safe place, possibly moved to the British Library.

In the field of math and science, two years ago Gottfried van Leibnitz developed a metal device he called a calculator. This device can add, subtract multiply, divide, and find the square root of numbers.

On December 10 1960, the Massachusetts Bay Colony printed the first banknotes (some may know it as paper money) because the Governor, Sir William Phips, failed to lay siege to a French fort in Quebec. The colony did not expect this to happen, and were unable to pay the soldiers. The town knew they would get no financial support from Great Britain, so the court authorized the making and issuing of £7,000.

In the Virginia Colony, The Court grabbed the opportunity at a convention, for the founding of a college. Lieutenant Governor Francis Nicholson authorized subscriptions for the proposed college and issued an appeal for financial support. The Reverend James Blair, representative of the Bishop of London, traveled to England to request the King and Queen to grant a charter for suggested college. They await his return, as this would be the second college in America, after New College here in Massachusetts Bay Colony called Harvard after John Harvard, and the only with a Royal Charter. If Reverend Blair succeeds, then they plan to name the school William and Mary after his Royal Majesty King William and his consort Queen Mary.

Several things have happened in the past couple of years. Some of the most important things include the establishment of Calcutta (a British colony in India) by Job Charnok, an agent of the East India Company. The location of this city would be was carefully selected, protected by a creek in the north, the Hooghly River in the west and by salt lakes. It is currently a small village but there is hope that the population increases over time.

With happiness, comes bad news. The "generous, peace-loving, and indulgent" 242nd Pope Alexander VIII has passed away and been replaced by the 243rd Pope Innocent XII.

There have been several battles within the past few years, and the most major one is the battle of the Boyne. On July first 1690 two massive armies stared at each other from across the river Boyne near, Dublin, in Ireland. One side was for James II, the former king of England, who had lost his throne to the man and his army across the river. The army of William of Orange, the king of England, Scotland, and Ireland. James II is Catholic, and William of Orange is Dutch Protestant. William being recklessly courageous wanted to find the crossing point himself and immediately got his shoulder grazed by a bullet. Then the fighting began. The battle lasted for four hours; a large part of Williams Cavalry crossed the river not only to be pinned down by James' army. But William fought hard, and in the end James ordered a retreat. William of Orange was now officially the new king of England.

This is a chart showing other important events occurring in 1690-2.

Event Date Summary
New King of Romans Jan 06 1690 Joseph, son of Emperor Leopold I, becomes King of the Romans
Iroquois Renew Allegiance Jan 22 1690 The Iroquois Indian tribe renews its allegiance to the British against the French
Schenectady Burns Feb 08 1690 French and Indian troops set Schenectady settlement in New York on fire on this day
Conquer Port Royal Nova Scotia May 11 1692 English troops of W Phips conquer Port Royal Nova Scotia
Act of Grace May 20 1690 England passes Act of Grace, forgiving followers of James II
Battle at Beachy Head Jun 30 1690 Battle at Beachy Head. French following the command of General Tourville, beat the Netherland/English fleet
English attack French Oct 7 1690 English attack Qhebec under Louis de Buade
Turks occupy Belgrade Oct 8 1690 Turkish troops occupy Belgrade Serbia
Massachusetts 1st to borrow money in new world Dec 10 1690 Massachusetts Bay becomes the 1st American colony to borrow money
Uranus Discovered Dec 23 1690 John Flamsteed observes the undiscovered Uranus
Postal Service Feb 17 1691 Thomas Neale granted British patent for American postal service
Battle at Szalankemen Aug 19 1960 Battle at Szalankemen, Austrians beat Turks

Some of the events presented above happened across the globe, some happened only a few miles away. There are advances in politics settling conflicts to make the world a more peaceful place, academics which can help the future generation make better choices, and culture such as the clarinet to help people enjoy their lives to the fullest. These events may be able to explain the Salem Witch Trials. This paves the way for a bright future, past the darkness of the witch-hunts.

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