What is the differance between these sentences:
By 1712, James was......etc
In 1712, James was........etc
At 1712, James was........etc
By 1712 usually will refer to a year or time of day. If it was a time it would be usually be written 17:12.
In 1712 refers to a year. For Example In 1712 this happened........
At 1712 would be a time of day and would be expressed in writing as above, 17:12.