1612 John Rolfe plants first tobacco in Virginia with seeds from West Indies.
August 1619 The British raider, the Treasurer, and the Dutch pirate ship, the Trier, raid a Portuguese slave ship, the San Juan Batista, off the coast of Campeche, Mexico, and sail to Jamestown, VA, where they trade 40-60 captured West Africans to settlers for provisions.
January 1, 1673 Regular overland mail service is started between New York and Boston by order of New York governor Lovelace.
March 19, 1705 Virginia formulates “slave code,” defining slaves as property.
August 17, 1730 Nicolas Bayard builds New York’s first large sugar refinery on Liberty Street.
1734 First colonial women’s labor organization is formed by New York maids to protect against abuses from husbands.
November 15, 1755 The British government inaugurates monthly fast-sailing postal packets from Falmouth to New York.
March 22, 1765 Stamp Act taxes all printed material in colonies; repealed March 17, 1766 following violent outbursts in the colonies.
May 10, 1773 Tea Act grants the near-bankrupt British East India Company the right to sell tea to colonies, directly hurting local merchants; in protest colonists disguised as Mohawk Indians dump 342 chests of tea into Boston harbor.
January 7, 1782 The Bank of North America, the first commercial bank in the U.S., opens in Philadelphia, with the support of Alexander Hamilton and Robert Morris.
February 22, 1784 The Empress of China, a ship financed by Robert Morris and partners, carries ginseng root to China and returns with tea, earning Morris a 30% profit.
June 9, 1784 William Duer and Alexander Hamilton start the Bank of New York, the first state-chartered bank in the U.S.
May 17, 1792 New York Stock Exchange opens as 24 stockbrokers meet under a buttonwood tree at 68 Wall Street and sign an agreement to trade securities on a commission basis.