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When you've got a lot of people together, it makes sense to pick someone to be in charge. As exploration expanded, individuals were chosen to oversee colonies and settlements. This section highlights those men (and some women), as well as the leaders and attendant ruling class -- nobles, peerage, wannabes and hangers-on --back home.
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Cross-listed in Military

Andrew Jackson

bornactivedied
1767, Mar 151829-18371845, Jun 8
the seventh President of the United States (1829–1837). He was born near the end of the colonial era, somewhere near the then-unmarked border between North and South Carolina, into a recently immigrated Scots-Irish farming family of relatively modest means. During the American Revolutionary War Jackson, whose family supported the revolutionary cause, acted...
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Timeline (26)Links (22)Notes (2)


Israel Jacobs

bornactivedied
1726, Jun 91770-17931796, Dec 10
a colonial Pennsylvania Legislator and United States Representative from Pennsylvania. In 1790, Jacobs was elected to the Second Congress and served from March 4, 1791 to March 3, 1793. He resumed agricultural pursuits, and died in Providence Township.
Timeline (1)Links (3)


Isabella Jagiellon

bornactivedied
1519, Jan 181530-15571559, Sep 15
the oldest child of Polish King Sigismund I the Old and his Italian wife Bona Sforza. In 1539, she married John Zápolya, Voivode of Transylvania and King of Hungary, becoming Queen consort of Hungary. At the time Hungary was contested between Archduke Ferdinand of Austria who wanted to add it to the Habsburg domains, local nobles who wanted to keep Hungary ...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in ClergyWriters

King James I

aka: James VI of Scotland
bornactivedied
1566, Jun 191603-16251625, Mar 27
King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland (and Supreme Head of the Church of England) from 1603 until his death. He achieved most of his aims in Scotland but faced great difficulties in England, including the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 and repeated conflicts with the English Parliament. Under James, the "Golden Age" of Eliza...
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Timeline (14)Links (1)Notes (1)


Cross-listed in Clergy

King James II

aka: James VII of Scotland
bornactivedied
1633, Oct 141685-16881701, Sep 6
King of England and Ireland as James II and King of Scotland as James VII, and Supreme Governor of the Church of England from 6 February 1685 until he was deposed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688. He was the last Roman Catholic monarch to reign over the Kingdoms of England, Scotland and Ireland. James is best known for his struggles with the English Parlia...
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Timeline (26)Links (1)Notes (1)


King James IV

bornactivedied
1473, Mar 171488-15131513, Sep 9
the King of Scots from 11 June 1488 to his death. He assumed the throne following the death of his father, James III, after the Battle of Sauchieburn, a rebellion in which the younger James played an indirect role. He is generally regarded as the most successful of the Stewart monarchs of Scotland, but his reign ended with the disastrous defeat at the Battle...
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Timeline (4)Links (1)


James V

borndied
1512, Apr 101542, Dec 14
King of Scotland from 9 September 1513 until his death, which followed the Scottish defeat at the Battle of Solway Moss. James increased his income by tightening control over royal estates and from the profits of justice, customs and feudal rights. He also gave his illegitimate sons lucrative benefices, diverting substantial church wealth into his coffers. J...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Jan Willem Janssens

borndied
1762, Oct 121838, May 23
a Dutch nobleman, soldier and statesman who served both as the governor of the Cape Colony and governor-general of the Dutch East Indies. Born in Nijmegen, his military career began at the age of nine when he became a cadet in the Dutch army. He rose through the ranks and by 1793, at the start of the Revolutionary Wars, he held the rank of colonel, and was w...
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Links (1)Notes (1)


Cross-listed in Explorers

Willem Janszoon

aka: Jansz
bornactivedied
1570 ca1598-1620s1630
a Dutch navigator and colonial governor. Janszoon served in the Netherlands East Indies in the periods 1603–11 and 1612–16, including as governor of Fort Henricus on the island of Solor. He is the first European known to have seen the coast of Australia during his voyage of 1605–06. Explored Australia (Queensland)
Links (3)


Cross-listed in PhysiciansInventors

James Jay

borndied
17321815
an American physician and politician. He was brother of John Jay, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. While initially a supporter of American independence, he later changed his views becoming a Loyalist and went into exile in London after the Treaty of...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Writers

John Jay

borndied
1745, Dec 231829, May 17
an American statesman, Patriot, diplomat, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, signatory of the Treaty of Paris, and first Chief Justice of the United States (1789–95). Jay was born into a wealthy family of merchants and government officials in New York City. He became a lawyer and joined the New York Committee of Correspondence and organized ...
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Timeline (6)Links (22)


Cross-listed in ArchitectsWriters

Thomas Jefferson

bornactivedied
1743, Apr 21767-18241826, Jul 4
an American Founding Father, the principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776), and the third President of the United States (1801–1809). He was an ardent proponent of democracy and embraced the principles of republicanism and the rights of the individual. At the beginning of the American Revolution, he represented Virginia in the Continental ...
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Timeline (25)Links (28)Notes (4)


Cross-listed in Commerce

Joseph Jenckes [2]

borndied
16321717, Jan 4
Arrived in Massachusetts in 1645, having remained in England until his father was settled. He was the earliest known settler of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. In 1671, he built and operated the first sawmill in the area, which was destroyed by fire during King Philip's War. He was a Deputy to the Rhode Island Assembly for a number of terms in the late 17th century...
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Links (1)


Joseph Jenckes [2]

aka: Jenks, Jencks
borndied
16321717, Jan 4
Arrived in Massachusetts in 1645, having remained in England until his father was settled. He was the earliest known settler of Pawtucket, Rhode Island. In 1671, he built and operated the first sawmill in the area, which was destroyed by fire during King Philip's War. He was a Deputy to the Rhode Island Assembly for a number of terms in the late 17th century...
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Links (1)


Joseph Jenckes [3]

aka: Jenks, Jencks
borndied
16561740
From 1691 through 1732, he continuously held high offices of public trust in Rhode Island, culminating as Governor from 1727 to 1732. Jenckes was the son of Joseph and Esther (Ballard) Jenckes who lived in Lynn, Massachusetts before coming to Rhode Island. His father, the son of an earlier Joseph Jenckes, operated a sawmill in Warwick, but shortly thereafter...
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Links (1)


John I

aka: Johan I
bornactivedied
1455, Feb 21483-15131513, Feb 20
a Scandinavian monarch under the Kalmar Union. He was King of Denmark (1481–1513), Norway (1483–1513) and as John II (Swedish: Johan II) Sweden (1497–1501). From 1482 to 1513, he was concurrently Duke of Schleswig and Holstein in joint rule with his brother Frederick. He currently remains the only King of Denmark since the mid-15th century to not be na...
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Links (1)


John IV of Portugal

borndied
1604, Mar 191656, Nov 6
the King of Portugal and the Algarves from 1640 to his death. He was the grandson of Catherine, Duchess of Braganza, who had in 1580 claimed the Portuguese crown and sparked the struggle for the throne of Portugal. John IV was nicknamed John the Restorer (João o Restaurador). On the eve of his death in 1656, the Portuguese Empire reached its territorial zen...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


John VI of Portugal

aka: João VI
borndied
1767, May 131826, Mar 10
nicknamed "the Clement", was King of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves from 1816 to 1822. Although the United Kingdom over which he ruled ceased to exist de facto beginning in 1822, he remained its monarch de jure between 1822 and 1825. After the recognition of Brazilian independence under the Treaty of Rio de Janeiro of 1825, he contin...
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Timeline (2)Links (1)


John Frederick I

aka: Johann the Magnanimous, St. Johann the Steadfast, Elector of Saxony
borndied
1503, Jun 301554, Mar 3
Elector of Saxony and Head of the Protestant Confederation of Germany (the Schmalkaldic League), "Champion of the Reformation". He received his education from George Spalatin, whom he highly esteemed during his whole life. Spalatin was Martin Luther's friend and...
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Timeline (3)Links (1)


Cross-listed in Military

John George II

aka: Prince of Anhalt-Dessau
borndied
1627, Nov 171693, Aug 7
a German prince of the House of Ascania and ruler of the principality of Anhalt-Dessau from 1660 to 1693. A member of the Fruitbearing Society, he also served as a Field marshal of Brandenburg-Prussia. After the death of his father on 15 July 1660, John George took over the government of Anhalt-Dessau. He also inherited his family's claim on Aschersleben, wh...
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Timeline (1)Links (1)


Andrew Johnson

borndied
1808, Dec 291875, Jul 31
the 17th President of the United States, serving from 1865 to 1869. Johnson became president as he was vice president at the time of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. A Democrat who ran with Lincoln on the National Union ticket, Johnson came to office as the Civil War concluded. The new president favored quick restoration of the seceded states to the Un...
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Timeline (2)Links (1)


Richard M. Johnson

bornactivedied
1780, Oct 171802-18501850, Nov 19
the ninth Vice President of the United States, serving in the administration of Martin Van Buren (1837–41). He is the only vice president ever elected by the United States Senate under the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment. Johnson also represented Kentu...
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Timeline (1)Links (10)Notes (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Zachariah Johnston

borndied
17421800, Jan 7
He attended Liberty Hall Academy and later was a trustee of Washington College. Johnston was a prosperous farmer by the time the American Revolution began. In 1776, he was appointed a captain in the county militia. In 1781, he participated in the Virginia campaign which led to Lord Cornwallis' surrender. Representing Augusta County in the House of Delegates ...
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Links (3)


Cross-listed in PiratesWriters

Jorgen Jorgensen

aka: The Dog-Days King
bornactivedied
1780, Mar 291807-18081841, Jan 20
a Danish adventurer during the Age of Revolution. During the Action of 2 March 1808 his ship was captured by the British. In 1809 he sailed to Iceland, declared the country independent from Denmark and pronounced himself its ruler. He was also a prolific writer of letters, papers, pamphlets and newspaper articles covering a wide variety of subjects, and was ...
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Links (1)


HRE Joseph I

bornactivedied
1678, Jul 261705-17111711, Apr 17
Holy Roman Emperor from 1705 until his death in 1711. He was the eldest son of Emperor Leopold I from his third wife, Eleonor Magdalene of Neuburg. Joseph was crowned King of Hungary at the age of nine in 1687, and King in Germany at the age of eleven in 1690. He succeeded to the imperial throne and that of Bohemia when his father died. Joseph continued the...
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Timeline (2)Links (1)


HRE Joseph II

bornactivedied
1741, Mar 131765-17901790, Feb 20
Holy Roman Emperor from 1765 to 1790 and ruler of the Habsburg lands from 1780 to 1790. He was the eldest son of Empress Maria Theresa and her husband, Francis I, and was the brother of Marie Antoinette. He was thus the first ruler in the Austrian dominions...
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Timeline (3)Links (1)


Queen Josephine

aka: Joséphine, Marie Josèphe Rose Tascher de La Pagerie
borndied
1763, Jun 231814, May 29
the first wife of Napoleon, and thus the first Empress of the French. Her marriage to Napoleon was her second; her first husband, Alexandre de Beauharnais, was guillotined during the Reign of Terror, and she was imprisoned in the Carmes Prison until five days after his execution. Her two children by Beauharnais became significant to royal lineage. Through he...
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Links (1)


Cross-listed in Military

Jack Jouett

bornactivedied
1754, Dec 71776-17821822, Mar 1
a politician and a hero of the American Revolution, known as the "Paul Revere of the South" for his late night ride to warn Thomas Jefferson, then the governor of Virginia, and the Virginia legislature of the approach of British cavalry, who had been sent to ...
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Timeline (1)Links (10)

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