March 9 – After a public campaign by the writer
Voltaire, judges in
Paris posthumously exonerate
Jean Calas of murdering his son. Calas had been tortured and executed in
1762 on the charge, though his son may have committed suicide.
February 5 – An observer in
North Carolina reports to the
Edinburgh newspaper Caledonian Mercury that three ships have been seized by British men-of-war on the charge of carrying official documents without stamps. The strict enforcement causes seven other ships to leave Wilmington for other ports.
February 20 – The Pennsylvania Gazette reports that a British sloop outside of Wilmington, North Carolina has seized a sloop sailing from
Philadelphia and another sailing from
Saint Christopher on the charge of carrying official documents without stamps. In response, local residents threaten to burn a Royal Man-of-War attempting to deliver stamps to Wilmington, forcing the ship to return to the mouth of the Cape Fear River.
November 27 – An observer in New York City, in the
Province of New York, reports to the Pennsylvania Gazette that a British sloop of war is searching all vessels passing near
Cape Lookout, North Carolina and that some vessels have been seized.
Pitcairn Island in the Pacific Ocean is sighted from HMS Swallow by 15-year-old
Midshipman Robert Pitcairn on a British Royal Navy expeditionary voyage commanded by
Philip Carteret, the first definite European sighting.
September – Massive droughts in
Bengal, which lead to the
Bengal famine of 1770 in which ten million people, a third of the population, will die, the worst natural disaster in human history (in terms of lives lost). The
Maharajah of Mysore forces the British to agree a treaty of mutual assistance in view of the famine, but the
British East India Company increases its demands on the Bengali people to keep profits up.