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admonish- to warn gently

adjournment- to suspend indefinitely or until a stated time

affirmation-to give approval to

amalgam-a mixture of different elements

amendments- the process of changing a constitutional or parliamentary motion

annulment- to make legally void

appellate- a court having the power to review the decisions of a lower court

attainder- revoking the civil rights of an individual after they have been sentenced in a court of law

autonomous- having the right or power of self-government

bartered- to trade by exchanging goods rather than money

calamity- an event causing great harm or loss

catechize- a test of religious understanding in the form of questions and answers

charter- an official document granting rights or privileges to a city from a government

chattel- property other than real estate. In the 1700's this included livestock, wives and children who were considered property of their husbands/fathers

cognizance- awareness

compact- agreement or covenant

confirmation- to verify or prove

congregation- a religious community

consanguinity- blood relationship

contentious- argumentative

convene- to assemble or meet

coopers- a person who makes or repairs barrels of casks

covenant- a formal binding agreement

delegate- to entrust to another

dialects- a regional variety of a language

discrepancies- a difference or a disagreement

disposition- natural attitude towards things

docents- a person who leads a guided tour

ellipsis- missing part of a word or a sentence

emigration- to leave a place and to settle elsewhere

emolument- the salary earned from employment

engrossed- totally focused

enumeration- to list

espionage- the practice of spying

excises- a tax on the manufacture, sale or use of a commodity

ex post facto- after the fact

felony- a serious crime punishable by a heavy sentence

flax- a fiber that is the source of linen cloth

fledgling- a young bird with recently developed feathers

fraudulent- deceitful

garrisoned- permanent military installation

guineas- a British gold coin, no longer issued, worth 21 shillings

impeachment- to remove from public office for misconduct

imposts- a tax

indentured- a contract binding one individual to work for another for a certain amount of time

incorporated- to unite closely so as to form one body, or organization

indictment- to charge with a crime by the findings of a jury

indigenous- produced, growing or living naturally in a particular area

injunctions- a court decision that puts limitations on what you can do

jurisdiction- the limits or territory within which authority may be exercised

liable- legally obligated

lucrative- profitable

magistrates- officials who administer the law

matriarchy-a female who dominates or rules a family, group or state

mentors- trusted counselors or guides

militia- citizen soldiers who can be called on in an emergency

muster- assembling of soldiers for a military inspection

norms- a widespread or typical practice, procedure or custom

oral tradition- oral tradition is the whole of all testimony types verbally transmitted by a people on their past

pacification- to subdue or control anger or agitation

petitioned- a formal written request made to an authority

posterity- all future generations

primeval- of or relating to the earliest ages of time

pro tempore- for the time being

proximity- nearness

Quakers- religious organization known as "Friends" who settled in Pennsylvania

quenched- to put out or extinguish, or to satisfy such as "quench your thirst"

quorum-the number of members needed to be present for business to be legally transacted

ratified- to formally approve or accept

rite- a ceremonial act or action

secession- to withdraw from an organized political group

seminal- creative or original

sovereign- supreme in power or authority

suffrage- the right to vote

supplication- to ask earnestly and humbly

syntax- the way that words are put together to form phrases

synthesize- the combining of parts or elements into a whole

tallow- hard white fat of sheep or cattle used for making candles

tithingman- the individual who collected donations for the church

tranquility- peacefulness

transcribed- to write a copy of something

tribunals- courts of justice

treason- attempting to overthrow your government or helping enemies in times of war

typographical- the style and appearance of printed matter

unscrupulous- without principles

vested- fully and unconditionally guaranteed as a legal right or benefit

wampum- beads made of shells strung in strands, belts and sashes and used by North American Indians as money, ornament, and political signifiers


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© 1 October 2001, Portland State University