By Barbara C Bigelow; Stacy A McConnell

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The most popular card game of the day was whist, a game that required bluffing one’s opponents. The Germans called it pochen (to bluff), the French called it poque, and it came to be called poker by Americans. The Stamp Act of 1765 placed a tax on playing cards; that may have been the most unpopular feature of the Act. Colonial settlements grew up around water sources, and water sports were popular pastimes. New England and Maryland colonists liked to race sailboats, rowboats, and canoes. Wealthy South Carolina planters escaped the summer heat by traveling to Rhode Island, where they enjoyed the pleasures of sailing.

Detroit: Gale, 1998. “President John Adams,” painting by John Singleton Copley. ) Becker, Carl L. Benjamin Franklin.

He is even credited with establishing America’s first circulating library. In 1729 Franklin bought the struggling Pennsylvania Gazette (later called the Saturday Evening Post) and transformed it into a profitable publication. While pursuing daring new scientific research—in 1751 he published New Experiments and Observations on Electricity—Franklin became involved in colonial politics, first as a member of the Pennsylvania Assembly and later as America’s spokesperson in England. He is Engraving of Benjamin Franklin, 1771, by H.

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