Beginning Year:       Ending Year:      
1798
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The Federalist majority in Congress adds nine years to the requirement for citizenship.
Government
Congress passes the Alien and Sedition Acts, permitting the arrest and deportation of any “dangerous” alien and restricting political opposition.
Government
The U.S. Public Health Service and the U.S. Marine Hospital is authorized.
Science
Louis Nicholas Vauquelin (1763-1829) discovers the element beryllium.
Medicine
Epidemics: A yellow fever epidemic kills over 2,000 people in Philadelphia.
Medicine
The English dermatologist, Robert Willan (1757 ~ 1812) recognizes psoriasis as an independent disease.
Inventions
German inventor Aloys Senefelder (1771-1834) invents lithography.
Inventions
Eli Whitney (1765-1825) invents a milling machine.
Inventions
Robert Fulton (1765-1815) invents a four-man, hand-operated submarine.
Education
Hannah More (1745-1833) is forced to close her school for working-class children on a trumped-up charge of being an unregistered meeting place for Dissenters.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is published by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834).
Ideas
Thomas R. Malthus (1766-1834) writes his "Essay on the Principle of Population."
Fillmore, Abigail
Abigail Powers (1798-1853), wife of Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) is born in Stillwater, New York, on March 13.
Harrison, Anna
John Cleves Symmes Harrison (1798-1830), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born October 28.
Popular Culture
Joseph Hopkinson (1770-1842) writes the patriotic song, “Hail Columbia.”
Religion
Catholic women forced to do penance for kindling Sabbath fire for Jews.
1799
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
The first U.S. printed ballots were authorized in Pannsylvania.
Government
Congress standardizes U.S. weights and measures.
Government
Gracie Mansion, home of New York City mayors, is completed.
Science
The Rosetta Stone is found near Rosetta, Egypt; when it is translated, it makes the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphics possible.
Technology
Airplanes: Sir George Cayley (1773-1857), a baronet in Yorkshire, near Scarborough, England, conceives a craft with stationary wings to provide lift and "flappers" to provide thrust. It also has a movable tail to provide control.
Education
Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827) opens his school in Burgdorf, Switzerland.
Education
A 14-year-old boy graduates from Rhode Island College. Such ability among children is not uncommon; infants of 3 are sometimes taught to read Latin as soon as they are taught English.
Washington, Martha
George Washington (1732-1799), first President of the U.S., dies of a throat infection at his home at Mount Vernon.
Monroe, Elizabeth
J.S Monroe (1799-1801), the only son of President James Monroe and Elizabeth Monroe, is born.
Economics
Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) describes American industry in "Report on the Subject of Manufactures."
Economics
Russia grants the Russian-American Company a monopoly of trade in Alaska.
Discovery
A perfectly preserved mammoth is found in Siberia.
Daily Life
The metric system is established in France.
Social Issues
Slavery: Virginia banishes white mothers of mulattos with their children.
Reform
Labor Movement: The first recorded use of the term scabs, used to refer to those who take the place of striking workers, occurs during a Philadelphia shoemakers’ strike.
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1800
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) is elected the 3rd President of the U.S. and Aaron Burr (1756-1836) is elected the 3rd Vice President.
Government
National Capital: Washington, DC is established as the capital of the United States; Congress meets there for the first time.
Government
The U.S. Congress passes the first bankruptcy law; founding father Robert Morris is released from debtors’ prison.
Government
Spain cedes the Louisiana territory to France.
Government
Congress divides the Northwest Territory into two territories, Indiana and Ohio.
Government
Presidents: Millard Fillmore (1800-1874), 13th President of the U.S., is born in Locke Township (now Summerhill), New York.
Science
William Herschel (1738-1822) discovers infrared light.
Medicine
Benjamin Waterhouse (1754-1846) gives the first smallpox vaccination in the U.S. to his son.
Medicine
Humphry Davy (1778-1829) announces the anaesthetic properties of nitrous oxide.
Inventions
Railroad History: Oliver Evans (1755-1819), an American, creates the earliest successful non-condensing high pressure stationary steam-engine
Inventions
Alessandro Volta (1745-1827) invents the electric battery.
Inventions
An iron-framed printing press is invented by Charles Stanhope (1753-1816), thus allowing large sheet printing.
Technology
Battery Technology: By 1800 Volta (1745-1827) had created the "crown of cups", a modified arrangement of zinc and silver discs dipped in a salt solution.
Education
Libraries: The Library of Congress is proposed by John Adams.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: William Wordsworth (1770-1850) begins the period known as European Romanticism.
Arts and Letters
Parson Weems (1759-1825) writes "The Life of Washington," creating a number of myths about the first American president.
Arts and Letters
C.B. Brown (1771-1810) publishes "Arthur Mervyn," a realistic description of the yellow fever epidemic in Philadelphia that took the lives of Dolley Madison’s husband and infant son.
Adams, Abigail
John Adams (1735-1826) and Abigail Adams (1744-1818) are the first U.S. President and First Lady to actually live in the new capital, Washington, DC. Abigal is also the first wife of a president to live in the White House.
Adams, Abigail
Charles Adams (1770-1800), son of Abigail and John Adams, dies at age 30 of cirrhosis of the liver.
Harrison, Anna
Lucy Singleton Harrison Este (1800-1826), daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born in September.
Fillmore, Abigail
Abigail Powers' (1898-1853) father, a Baptist minister named Lemuel Powers, dies when she is two.
Economics
Population: The population of Washington, DC is 2,464 free citizens and 623 slaves.
Economics
Population: The second national census puts the U.S. population at 5.3 million, including more than 800,000 slaves.
Economics
William Young of Philadelphia is the first American shoemaker to make different shoes for the left and right feet.
Daily Life
Fireboats are in use in New York harbor.
Sports
Boxing: Bill Richmond (1763-1829), a former slave, becomes one of the first popular boxers.
Popular Culture
Mount Vernon Gardens becomes the site of the first summer theatre in the U.S.
Popular Culture
U.S. Marine Band gives its first concert near the future site of the Lincoln Memorial.
Religion
John Chapman (1774-1845) (Johnny Appleseed) begins spreading religious tracts and apple seeds in pioneer communities in the midwest.
Religion
The Church of the United Brethren in Christ is founded in the U.S.
Religion
The Boston Female Society for Missionary Purposes is founded to fund the education of missionaries, initially male, but later also female.
Social Issues
Slavery: A slave named Gabriel Prosser (1775-1800), believing himself called by God, organizes a plot to kill all whites in Virginia, sparing only Quakers, Methodists, and French. The conspirators meet under the pretense of holding religious meetings.
Reform
Utopian Movement: Robert Owen (1771-1858) takes over New Lanark mills in Scotland and begins social reforms there.
Reform
Elizabeth Peck Perkins (1735?-1807) founds the Boston Female Asylum, the first charitable institution for women there.
1801
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President John Adams (1735-1826) nominates John Marshall (1755-1835) as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He serves for 34 years, longer than any other Chief Justice.
Government
Great Britain and Ireland unite, creating the United Kingdom; its flag is the Union Jack.
Government
National Capital: Congress takes jurisdiction over the District of Columbia.
Government
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) presents his first annual message to Congress in writing.
Government
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) and Aaron Burr (1756-1836) are inaugurated as the 3rd President and Vice President of the U.S.
War
North African War: The North African state of Tripoli declares war on the United States to compel the young nation to pay tribute to commerce-raiding Arab corsairs.
Science
The first asteroid is discovered by Italian monk and professor of astronomy Giussepe Piazzi (1746-1826).
Science
J.J. Lalande (1732-1807) catalogues 47,300 stars.
Science
Lamarck (1744-1829) develops a classification system for invertebrate animals.
Inventions
Robert Fulton (1765-1815), civil engineer, produces the first submarine, “Nautilis.”
Inventions
Richard Trevithick (1771-1833) invents the first steam powered locomotive (designed for roads).
Education
Catholic Education: The first Roman Catholic school in New York is established.
Education
Libraries: The Library of Congress is established by a vote of the Congress.
Education
The Royal College of Surgeons is founded in London.
Arts and Letters
In France Napoleon opened the Louvre to the public.
Ideas
German philosopher Friedrich von Schelling (1755-1829) writes "System of Transcendental Idealism," a treatise on the philosophy of nature, which influences the development of Romanticism in Europe.
Adams, Abigail
John (1735-1826) and Abigail (1744-1818) Adams retire to Braintree.
Madison, Dolley
James Madison (1751-1836) becomes Secretary of State and the Madisons move to the new capital, Washington, DC. Dolley Madison (1768-1849) finds herself a social leader in the city.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1768-1849) becomes an unofficial White House hostess for Jefferson, whose wife, Martha, died in 1782.
Madison, Dolley
James Madison’s father dies; Madison inherits Montpelier.
Monroe, Elizabeth
J.S Monroe (1799-1801), the only son of President James Monroe and Elizabeth Monroe, dies on September 28 at age two. Cause of death is unknown.
Adams, Louisa
George Washington Adams (1801-1829), son of President John Quincy Adams and Louisa Adams, is born April 12.
Economics
Great Britain’s first complete census finds the population at 11 million, one quarter of it urban.
Discovery
Mastodon fossils are discovered on a New York farm, the first such fossils of the extinct mammal.
Discovery
Lewis and Clark: Lewis (1774-1811) is asked by President Jefferson (1743-1826) to be his secretary-aide.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The New York "Evening Post" is first published.
Religion
The “Plan of Union” permits Congregationalists and Presbyterian ministers to serve in each other’s churches, thus helping to spread Protestantism to frontier communities.
Religion
Catholics are excluded from voting in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
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1802
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
National Capitol: Congress passes an act calling for the establishment of a library within the U.S. capitol.
Government
Georgia cedes her western lands to the U.S., the last of the original states to do so.
War
Revolutionary War: The U.S. and Great Britain settle Revolutionary War claims for $2,664,000.
Science
Samuel Hutton explains the natural processes involved in changes in the earth’s crust.
Science
The role of capillaries in pumping blood is explained by Scottish physicist John Leslie.
Science
John Dalton (1766-1844) introduces atomic theory into chemistry.
Science
The term “biology” is coined by German naturalist Gottfried Treviranus (1776-1837).
Medicine
James Smith opens a clinic in Maryland that offers free smallpox vaccinations to the poor.
Education
Higher Education: The U.S. Military Academy at West Point is founded.
Education
Libraries: The Library of Congress issues its first catalog: total holdings, 964 volumes and 9 maps.
Education
Libraries: John Beckley (1757-1807) becomes the first Librarian of Congress; he is paid $2/day.
Ideas
Education of Women: German feminist Amalie Holst publishes "On the Capacity of Women for Higher Education."
Ideas
Daniel Webster (1782-1852) writes "The Rights of Neutral Nations in Time of War."
Washington, Martha
Martha Dandridge Custis Washington (1731-1802) dies of “severe fever” on May 22 at Mt. Vernon.
Harrison, Anna
William Henry Harrison (1802-1838), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born September 3.
Economics
Merino sheep are imported to the U.S. from Spain.
Discovery
Matthew Flinders (1744-1814) lands on a 96-mile-long island south-west of Adelaide and slaughtered 31 kangaroos for a feast. This 3rd largest island off Australia was thus named Kangaroo Island.
Sports
Horse Racing: New York State prohibits public horse races, only allowing them at private jockey clubs.
Popular Culture
The first comic book, "The Wasp," is published.
Popular Culture
The first chess book, "Chess Made Easy," is published in Philadelphia.
Religion
"The Genius of Christianity," by Chateaubriand (1768-1848), attempts to answer the attacks of the Enlightenment by stressing its role in the growth of European culture.
Reform
Labor Movement: The first important labor law protecting children is passed in Great Britain.
1803
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
In "Marbury v. Madison," the U.S. Supreme Court declares a law passed by Congress to be unconstitutional, thereby establishing the principle of judicial review.
Law
The Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution, providing for separate ballots for President and Vice President, is passed by Congress.
Government
New State: Ohio becomes the 17th state in the U.S. on March 1.
Government
Land from the Gulf of Mexico to the northwest, and including Louisiana and New Orleans, is purchased from France for $27 million; the U. S. Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase.
Science
John Dalton (1766-1844) arranges the atomic elements in a periodic table for the first time.
Science
John James Audubon (1785-1851) does the first banding of wild American birds.
Medicine
A detailed description of hemophilia is published by Pennsylvania physician John C. Otto (1774-1844).
Medicine
German pharmacist Friedrich Wilhelm Adam Serturner (1783-1841) makes morphine from opium. Physicians are delighted that opium has been tamed. Morphine is lauded for its reliability and safety.
Inventions
Robert Fulton (1765-1815) powers a boat with steam.
Education
Alexander I of Russia (1777-1825) establishes free, universal education.
Education
The Englishman, Joseph Lancaster (1778-1838) writes "Improvements in Education as it Respects the Industrious Classes." His ideas will be known as the Lancastrian Method.
Education
Education of Women: Maria Dalle Donne (1778-1842) is appointed director of midwives at the University of Bologna, often lecturing in her own home.
Polk, Sarah
Sarah Childress (1803-1891), wife of James K. Polk (1795-1849), is born on a plantation near Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on September 4.
Monroe, Elizabeth
Maria Hester Monroe Gouverneur (1803-1850), daughter of President James Monroe and Elizabeth Monroe, is born in France. She was the first presidential child to be married in the White House.
Adams, Louisa
John Adams II (1803-1834), son of President John Quincy Adams and Louisa Adams, is born on the 4th of July.
Economics
The population of India is estimated at 200 million, about the same size as all of Europe.
Discovery
Lewis and Clark: Lewis (1774-1811) is picked to be the commander of the expedition; he writes to ask William Clark (1770-1838) to join him and share command. Clark accepts.
Daily Life
Jane Aitkin (1764-1832), American printer, bookseller, and bookbinder, publishes the constitution of the Philadelphia Female Association.
Religion
Missionary Peter Cartwright (1785-1872) begins 50 years of circuit riding and preaching on the American frontier.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Louisiana Purchase brings a greater number of trading posts into Indian Territory.
Social Issues
Slavery: Ohio is admitted to the Union as a free state.
Social Issues
Slavery: Denmark becomes the first country to ban slave trade.
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1804
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Twelfth Amendment to the Constitution, providing for separate ballots for President and Vice President, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Politics
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) is re-elected President of the U.S., and George Clinton (1739-1812) is elected as the 4th Vice President of the U.S.
Government
Napoleon Bonaparte (1869-1821) is crowned Emperor of France.
Government
Presidents: Franklin Pierce (1804-1869), 14th President of the U.S., is born in Hillsborough (now Hillsboro), New Hampshire.
War
North African War: Barbary pirates in Tripoli seize and hold the U.S. frigate Philadelphia; Stephen Decatur (1779-1820) and a small group of men destroy it.
Inventions
Railroad History: Matthew Murray of Leeds (1765-1826) , England invents a steam locomotive which runs on timber rails. This is probably the FIRST RAILROAD ENGINE.
Inventions
Railroad History: Richard Trevithick (1771-1833) of Cornwall builds 40 psi steam locomotive for the Welsh Penydarran Railroad.
Technology
John C. Stevens (c.1748-1838) builds a screw-driven boat.
Technology
A method of canning food is developed.
Technology
Shrapnel, named after British soldier Henry Shrapnel (1761-1842), is used for the first time by the British in a war with the Dutch in Africa.
Technology
Airplanes: Sir George Cayley (1773-1857), England, builds a miniature glider with a single wing and a movable tail mounted on a universal joint. It also has a movable weight to adjust the center of gravity. It is the first recorded fixed-wing aircraft of any size capable of flight.
Education
The first Board of Education in New York City comes into being.
Education
Libraries: “Coonskin Libraries” come into being in Marietta, Ohio when settlers on the Ohio River barter coonskins for books from Boston merchants.
Education
Children''s Books: Ann (1782-1866) and Jane (1783-1824) Taylor of England write stories, nursery rhymes, and hymns; their best-known work is “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
Arts and Letters
Beethoven’s (1770-1827) "Third Symphony" (the "Eroica") establishes the symphony as a premier form of classical music.
Madison, Dolley
A portrait of Dolley Madison (1764-1849) is painted by Gilbert Stuart (1764-1849).
Jefferson, Martha
Mary "Polly" "Maria" Jefferson Eppes (1778-1804), daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson, dies from childbirth complications on April 17 at the age of 25.
Harrison, Anna
John Scott Harrison (1804-1878), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born October 4.
Discovery
Lewis and Clark: President Thomas Jefferson commissions Merriweather Lewis (1774-1809) and William Clark (1770-1838) to explore the newly acquired Louisiana Territory and begin their journey; Sacajawea (1787-1812), the Shoshoni Indian wife of a French-Canadian trader, is one of their guides.
Daily Life
The first dahlias appear in England.
Daily Life
Bananas are imported from Cuba.
Sports
Women in Sports: Horse Racing: The first woman jockey was Alicia Meynell of England. She first competed in a four-mile race in York, England.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Sioux and other tribes encounter the Lewis (1774-1809) and Clark (1770- 1838) expedition.
Social Issues
Slavery: Ohio passes black laws to deter runaway slaves from settling in the state.
Social Issues
Slavery: In Pennsylvania, the Underground Railroad is officially established.
1805
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) is inaugurated for his second term as President, and George Clinton (1739-1812) is inaugurated for his first term as Vice President.
Government
The Michigan Territory is created from the northern part of the Indiana Territory.
War
Admiral Horatio Nelson (1758-1805) defeats the French in the Battle of Trafalgar, making Great Britain the leading naval power in the world.
Science
Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac (1778-1850)proves that water is composed of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen.
Medicine
The syndrome later called “shell shock” or “battle fatigue” is described by Richard Gallagher.
Technology
Rockets, originally constructed by Sir William Congreave (1772-1828), are reintroduced as weapons into the British army.
Technology
The first covered bridge is built in the U.S. over the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia.
Education
Public Education: New York State creates a permanent school fund.
Education
Johann Pestalozzi (1746-1827) opens his school in Yverdon, Switzerland.
Education
Public Education: New York Public School Society is formed by wealthy businessmen to provide education for poor children. Schools are run on the "Lancasterian" model, in which one "master" can teach hundreds of students in a single room. The master gives a rote lesson to the older students, who then pass it down to the younger students. These schools emphasize discipline and obedience qualities that factory owners want in their workers.
Arts and Letters
The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts is organized.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: "The Lay of the Last Minstrel," by Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), is the first full-length narrative poem in the Romantic tradition.
Economics
Shipping ice to Martinique in the West Indies becomes a profitable business.
Discovery
Lewis and Clark: On November 24, by majority vote, the expedition decides to cross to the south side of the Columbia River to build winter quarters.
Discovery
Lewis and Clark: The expedition reaches the three forks of the Missouri River, then on to Montana and the Columbia River, 20 miles from the Pacific Ocean.
Sports
Women in Sports: Hot Air Balloons: Madeleine Sophie Armant Blanchard solos in the first of 67 gas-powered balloon flights. She made her living as a balloonist, was appointed official Aeronaut of the Empire by Napoleon, and toured Europe until she fell to her death in an aerial fireworks display in 1819.
Sports
Women in Sports: Horse Racing: Englishwoman Alicia Meynell, riding as Mrs. Thornton, defeats a leading male jockey, Buckle, in a race.
Sports
Boxing: Tom Cribb (1781-1848), the champion of English bare-knuckle boxers, first enters the ring.
Popular Culture
Ludwig Achim von Arnim (1781-1831), German folklorist, publishes Des Knaben Wunderhorn, setting the stage for the work of the Brothers Grimm.
Religion
Slavery: Virginia allows slaves to accompany white masters to religious services presided over by white preachers.
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1806
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The abdication of Emperor Francis II (1768-1835) signals the end of the Holy Roman Empire.
Government
Holland becomes a kingdom ruled by Louis Bonaparte (1778-1846).
War
The British seize the colony of Capetown in Africa from the French-dominated Dutch.
Medicine
Morphine becomes the first drug to be isolated from a plant.
Technology
Coal gas is first used for lighting at Newport, Rhode Island.
Education
Noah Webster (1758-1843) publishes "The Compendious Dictionary of the English Language," which becomes the recognized authority on American English. The letters i and j and u and v are established as separate letters.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Lord Byron (1788-1824) privately publishes "Fugitive Pieces," which is immediately suppressed by the Church of England on grounds of immorality.
Jefferson, Martha
James Madison Randolph (1806-), the grandson of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), is the first child born in the White House.
Pierce, Jane
Jane Means Appleton (1806-1863), wife of Franklin Pierce (1804-1869), is born March 12 in Hampton, New Hampshire.
Harrison, Anna
Benjamin Harrison (1806-1840), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born.
Discovery
Lewis and Clark: January 4, President Jefferson welcomes a delegation of Missouri, Oto, Arikara, and Yankton Sioux chiefs who had met with Lewis (1774-1811) and Clark more than a year earlier.
Discovery
Lewis and Clark: March 23, Fort Clatsop is presented to the Clatsop Indian, for which it was named, and the expedition begins the journey home.
Discovery
Lewis and Clark: In the fall, Lewis (1774-1811) and Clark (1770-1838) are treated as national heroes. They return to Washington, D.C. The men receive double pay and 320 acres of land as reward, the captains get 1,600 acres. Lewis is named governor of the Louisiana Territory, Clark is made Indian agent for the West and brigadier general of the territory's militia.
Discovery
Zebulon Pike (1779-1813) identifies the Colorado peak that will eventually bear his name.
Discovery
Mungo Park’s (1771-1806) final Niger River expedition ends tragically when he and several other are attacked and killed by African tribesmen.
Sports
Horse Racing: “Yankee” becomes the first horse to trot a mile in under 3 minutes.
1807
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Scandal: Aaron Burr (1756-1836), Vice President under Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), is arrested for treason for planning to invade Mexico; he is later acquitted of all charges.
Government
In an effort to punish Great Britian for impressing American sailors, Congress passes the Embargo Act, which prohibits American vessels from landing in any foreign port without the express authorization of the President.
War
War of 1812: The U.S. frigate "Chesapeake" fires on the British man-of-war Leopard in conflict over the impressments of sailors.
Science
Potassium and sodium are discovered by Sir Humphrey Davy (1778-1829).
Science
A huge meteor lands in Connecticut.
Inventions
Isaac de Rivas makes a hydrogen gas powered vehicle - first with internal combustion power, however it is a very unsuccessful design.
Technology
London streets are lit by gas light.
Technology
Robert Fulton’s (1765-1815) paddle steamer, the Clermont, navigates on the Hudson River.
Education
Children''s Books: Charles (1775-1834) and Mary (1764-1847) Lamb publish "Tales from Shakespeare," a collection of children’s stories based on the plays.
Education
Libraries: The Athenaeum Library is founded in Boston.
Arts and Letters
Architecture: Napoleon (1769-1821) commissions the construction of the Arch de Triumphe.
Adams, Louisa
Charles Frances Adams (1807-1886), son of President John Quincy Adams and Louisa Adams, is born on August 18.
Van Buren, Hannah
Abraham Van Buren (1807-1873), son of Martin and Hannah Van Buren is born on November 27.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The very first passenger train runs from Swansea to Mumbles in England on March 25th.
Economics
Transportation: The first steamboat with regular passenger service is instituted by Robert Fulton's Clermont (1765-1815).
Economics
The manufacture of clocks with interchangeable parts is begun in Connecticut by Seth Thomas (1785-1859) and Eli Terry (1772-1852).
Discovery
Zebulon Pike (1779-1813) leads first Anglo American expedition into New Mexico. He publishes account of way of life in New Mexico upon return to U.S.
Daily Life
Townsend Speakman 1st sells fruit-flavored carbonated drinks in Philadelphia
Daily Life
Townsend Speakman sells first fruit-flavored carbonated drinks in Philadelphia
Sports
Horse Racing: The first Ascot Gold Cup in horse racing is held in England.
Religion
The U.S. Evangelical Association, founded by Jacob Albright (1759-1808), holds its first convention.
Social Issues
Slavery: England prohibits the African slave trade.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: New Jersey revokes the right of women to vote which it had granted in 1776.
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1808
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
"The American Law Journal," America’s earliest law periodical, is published.
Politics
James Madison (1751-1836) is elected as the 4th President of the U.S., defeating Charles Pickney; George Clinton (1739-1812)is reelected as Vice President.
Government
Presidents: Andrew Johnson (1808-1875), 17th President of the U.S., is born December 29 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Government
Slavery: The United States bans slave trade that involves importing African slaves, but smuggling continues.
Science
Sir Humphrey Davy (1778-1829) discovers the elements boron and strontium.
Inventions
Railroad History: Trevithick (1771-1833) builds a circular railway in London's Torrington Square. Steam carriage "Catch Me Who Can" weighes 10 tons and makes 15 mph.
Education
Higher Education: Andover Theological Seminary is established.
Education
Education of Women: Catholic Education: Elizabeth Seton (1774-1821) establishes a school for girls in Baltimore, Maryland.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1837) publishes the first section of his Romantic epic, "Faust," in Germany.
Arts and Letters
Beethoven (1770-1827) composes the "Fifth" and the "Pastoral" Symphonies.
Ideas
Women''s Rights Movement: Charles Fourier’s (1772-1837) "Theory of the Four Movements" relates social progress to the progress of women toward freedom.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1768-1849) accompanies her husband in his campaign for the presidency, influencing many with her charm and tact.
Jackson, Rachel
Andrew Jackson Jr. (1808-1865), Andrew and Rachel Jackson's adopted son (he was one of the pair of twins born to a sibling of Rachel Jackson), is born and named after his new father.
Economics
John Jacob Astor (1763-1848) incorporates the American Fur Company with himself as the sole stockholder.
Discovery
Extensive excavations begin at Pompeii and last until 1815.
Discovery
The source of the Ganges River is discovered.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "Times" of London sends Henry Crabb Robinson (1775-1867) as the first war correspondent to cover Napoleon’s (1769-1821) campaign in Spain.
Religion
Napoleon (1769-1821) abolishes the Inquisition in Spain and Italy.
Religion
Women''s Firsts: Jane Aitken (1764-1832) publishes the only Bible ever printed by a woman in the U.S. up to this date.
Religion
The first Bible Society is established in Philadelphia.
1809
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
James Madison (1751-1836)is inaugurated as the nation's fourth President and George Clinton is inaugurated as the continuing Vice President.
Government
The Illinois Territory, including what is now Wisconsin, is established.
Government
Presidents: Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), 16th President of the U.S. is born February 12 in Hardin (now Larue) County, Kentucky.
War
Indian Wars: General William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) obtains over 3 million acres of Indian lands with the Treaty of Fort Wayne.
Science
The first detailed geological survey of the United States is published by William McClure.
Inventions
The steamboat is patented by Robert Fulton (1765-1815).
Inventions
Airplanes: The first successful glider is built in England.
Technology
Women's Firsts: The first patent given to a woman was to Mary Kies of Connecticut, for a technique for weaving straw with silk and thread.
Arts and Letters
Architecture: Neoclassicism emerges as a dominant force in British architecture with the construction of Covent Garden Theatre.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1768-1849) becomes the first First Lady to attend her husband's inauguration and the first to host an inaugural ball.
Harrison, Anna
Mary Symmes Harrison Thornton (1809-1842), daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison is born January 22.
Adams, Louisa
John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) is appointed American minister to Russia.
Economics
The U.S. resumes trade with all countries except Britain and France.
Economics
The "Phoenix" becomes the first sea-going steamship, traveling from New York to Philadelphia.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first newspaper published west of the Mississippi River, the "Missouri Gazette," is published in St. Louis.
Sports
Cricket: The first cricket club is founded in Boston.
Popular Culture
Washington Irving (1783-1859) writes "Rip van Winkle."
Religion
Napoleon (1769-1821) annexes the Papal States and takes Pope Pius VII prisoner.
Religion
Elizabeth Seton (1774-1821) founds the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph in the U.S.
Reform
The African Female Benevolent Society of Newport (RI) is founded.
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1810
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Simon Bolivar (1783-1830) emerges as a major figure in South American politics.
Government
Chile declares its independence from Spain.
War
Southerners revolt against Spanish rule in West Florida; the U.S. annexes the area.
Science
John Dalton (1766-1844) publishes "New System of Chemical Philosophy," the foundation for modern chemistry.
Science
Charles Bell’s (1744-1842) "Anatomy of the Brain," studies the difference between sensory and motor nerves.
Science
Nicotine is identified and named after Jean Nicot (c.1530-1600), who sent tobacco back to France.
Medicine
The first American book on pediatrics, "The Maternal Physician," is published in Philadelphia.
Medicine
The field of homeopathy is founded by German physician Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) ; it is not called by this name until 1826.
Technology
Airplanes: Sir George Cayley (1773-1857) tries three times to organize an aeronautical society to study the problem of flight, but finds little interest among scientists.
Education
Yale Medical School is established.
Education
Parochial Education: Elizabeth Seton (1774-1821) and her community of sisters founds the first American Catholic parochial school in Emmitsburg, Maryland.
Education
Education of Women: German feminist and educator Betty Gleim publishes "On the Upbringing and Instruction of the Female Sex."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) writes "Lady of the Lake."
Arts and Letters
The Philharmonic Society in Boston is organized by Gottlieb Graupner (1767-1836).
Arts and Letters
The San Carlo Opera House is built in Naples, Italy.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: During this year, English stars begin to come in larger numbers to U.S.
Van Buren, Hannah
John Van Buren (1807-1873), son of Martin and Hannah Van Buren is born February 18.
Johnson, Eliza
Eliza McCardle (1810-1876), wife of Andrew Johnson, is born October 4 in Leesburg, Tennessee.
Economics
Population: The U.S. population is about 7,239,881, including 60,000 immigrants and about 1.2 million slaves; New York City becomes the largest city in the U.S.
Economics
Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877) founds a ferry service between New York City and Staten Island.
Economics
The American cotton crop exceeds 175,000 bales; American cotton mills quadruple in one year to 269.
Sports
The first public billiards rooms open in London.
Sports
Boxing: Tom Molineaux (1784-1818), a freed Virginia slave and the first unofficial heavy-weight boxing champion, is defeated in the 40th round in a match in England.
Popular Culture
The first American county fair (a cattle show) is held in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Religion
The Cumberland Presbytery in Kentucky is excluded from the Presbyterian Church.
Religion
The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions is established, beginning a wide missionary effort in the U.S.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Shawnee, under Tecumseh (1768-1813), begin to establish a tribal confederacy to preserve their lands and culture.
Social Issues
Abortion: Abortion is made a criminal offense in France.
1811
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Scandal: U.S. Senator Timothy Pickering (1745-1829) becomes the first senator to be censured when he reveals confidential documents communicated by the President of the United States (John Adams).
Government
The Prince of Wales, later George IV (1762-1830), becomes Prince Regent of England after George III (1738-1820) is declared insane.
War
Indian Wars: William Henry Harrison (1773-1841), Governor of the Indiana Territories, defeats Indians under Tecumseh (1768-1813) at Tippecanoe, IN.
Science
Iodine is isolated by French chemist Bernard Courtois (1777-1838).
Science
William Herschel (1738-1822) suggests that a nebula is an early stage in the development of a galaxy.
Science
Mary Anning (1799-1847), British geologist, at age 12 is involved in the finding of the first identifiable icthyosaurus and later of a plesiosaur.
Medicine
Sir Charles Bell (1774-1842) writes "New Idea of the Anatomy of the Brain."
Education
Education of Women: Sarah Pierce (1767-1852), founder of the Litchfield Academy, publishes "Sketches of Universal History Compiled from Several Authors: For the Use of Schools."
Education
African American Education: Christopher McPherson (c.1763-?) , a free African American, opens a school for other free Blacks and slaves in Richmond, Virginia. Local white citizens, not only close the school as a public nuisance, but they also send him to the Williamsburg Lunatic Asylum.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Jane Austen (1775-1817) writes "Sense and Sensibility."
Adams, Louisa
Louisa Catherine Adams (1811-1812), the only daughter of John Quincy and Louisa Adams, is born.
Taylor, Margaret
Anne Margaret Mackell Taylor Wood (1811-1875), daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, is born April 9.
Economics
Work begins on the Cumberland Road at Cumberland, Maryland; the road reaches Vandalia, Illinois in 1840, at a cost of $7 million, and becomes an important route for the westward expansion of the U.S.
Discovery
The eastern coast of Africa is explored by English naval captain Philip Beaver.
Daily Life
Disasters: Earthquakes beginning on December 16 cause the Mississippi River to flow upstream for several hours; the town of New Madrid, Missouri, is pushed into the river.
Sports
Women in Sports: Golf: On January 9, the first known women’s golf tournament is held at Musselburgh Golf Club, Scotland, among the town fishwives.
Sports
Competitive rowing races are popular; a race between Knickerbocker of New York City and Invincible of Long Island attracts thousands; Knickerbocker wins.
Religion
The “Great Schism” of Welsh Protestants occurs; two thirds leave the Anglican Church.
Religion
The Presbyterian Church in the U. S. formally states its support for “pious females,” who had begun organizing independent, female-run benevolent societies to support foreign and domestic missionaries, teachers, and doctors.
Reform
Labor Movement: “Luddites” destroy weaving machines in North England, trying to prevent conversion from hand looms.
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1812
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
James Madison (1751-1836) is re-elected to a second term as President of the U.S. and Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814) is elected the nation's 5th Vice President.
Politics
The term gerrymander is coined, meaning the practice of dividing a geographic area into voting districts in such a way that one political party is given unfair advantage in an election. The practice is named for Elbridge Gerry, who first thought of doing it, and salamander, because the original voting district resulting from the practice looked like a salamander.
Government
New State: Louisiana becomes the 18th state in the U.S.
Government
George Clinton (1729-1812), 4th Vice President of the United States, dies in office. He is not replaced until the general election in the fall, when Elbridge Gerry is elected.
War
War of 1812: The U.S. declares war on Britain.
War
War of 1812: The U.S. frigate Constitution, Old Ironsides, defeats the British ship Guerriere.
Science
Georges Couvier (1769-1832) discovers that fossils follow an increasing age sequence as one probes deeper into layers of rock and soil.
Medicine
Benjamin Rush (1745-1813) publishes "Medical Inquiries and Observation Upon the Diseases of the Mind."
Medicine
Physician James Thatcher publishes a book about rabies.
Technology
Transportation: Transportation technology is advanced by Scotsman Henry Bell (1767-1830) with his new steamboat, the three-horsepower Comet, which sails on the River Clyde.
Education
Children''s Books: The Brothers Grimm--Jacob (1785-1863) and Wilhelm (1786-1859)-- publish their "Fairy Tales," which include Tom Thumb, Little Red-Riding Hood, Bluebeard, Snow White, and Cinderella.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Lord Byron (1788-1824) writes "Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage."
Arts and Letters
The final shipment of Elgin Marbles—a group of ancient sculptures and architectural details from the Parthenon obtained from the Turks by Lord Elgin (1776-1841)—arrives in England from Greece, giving Londoners their first taste of original classical Greek art.
Ideas
German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Hegel (1770-1831) publishes "Die Objektive Logik."
Adams, Louisa
Louisa Catherine Adams (1811-1812), the only daughter of John Quincy and Louisa Adams, dies in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Van Buren, Hannah
Martin Van Buren (1812-1855), son of Martin and Hannah Van Buren, is born December 20.
Harrison, Anna
Carter Bassett Harrison (1812-1839), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born October 26.
Madison, Dolley
White House Wedding: At the first wedding in the White House, Dolley Madison's (1768-1849) widowed sister, Lucy Payne Washington (1777?-1846), is married to Supreme Court Justice Thomas Todd.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The first commercially successful steam locomotives, using the Blenkinsop rack and pinion drive, commenced operation on the Middleton Railway.
Economics
The City Bank of New York opens, the forerunner of today’s Citibank.
Economics
The manufacture of lead pencils begins.
Economics
Transportation: The first steamboat to sail down the Mississippi River reaches New Orleans in January.
Economics
Large-scale drug production begins in Philadelphia.
Discovery
Swiss historian J.L. Burckhardt (1773-1825) discovers the Great Temple at Abu Simbel in Egypt.
Discovery
Lewis and Clark: On December 20th Sacagawea (1790-1812/1884) dies at Fort Manuel. Clark (1770-1838), who is in St. Louis, assumes custody of Jean Baptiste, as well as her daughter, Lisette.
Popular Culture
The present Drury Lane Theatre in London is built.
Religion
Women''s Firsts: Ann Nancy Hesseltine Judson and Harriet Newell are the first two American women sent abroad as missionaries.
Religion
Mother Catherine Spaulding (1793-1858) founds the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Kentucky, a home-visiting order of nurses and teachers.
Religion
Elizabeth Seton (1774-1821) formally establishes the Sisters of Charity, the first Catholic sisterhood founded in America, from her earlier community (1809).
1813
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
James Madison (1751-1836) is inaugurated to a second term as President of the U.S. and Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814) is inaugurated as the nation's 5th Vice President.
War
War of 1812: U.S. forces capture York (now Toronto); the British seize Fort Niagara and burn Buffalo, NY; the British blockade coastal ports.
War
War of 1812: The Battle of Lake Erie (under Captain Oliver Hazard Perry) and the Battle of the Thames (Ontario) provide two victories for the Americans.
Inventions
J.F. Hummel patents rubber.
Inventions
Railroad History: Englishman William Hedley (1773-1843) builds and patents a railroad locomotive which can haul 10 coal wagons at 5 mph, equal to 10 horses.
Education
Higher Education: Colby College in Maine is founded.
Education
Higher Education: McGill University in Montreal, Canada, is founded.
Arts and Letters
The London Philharmonic Society is founded.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1827) completes his first major work, "Queen Mab"—an anti-religious work, at the age of 21.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Jane Austen (1775-1817) writes "Pride and Prejudice."
Adams, Abigail
Nabby Adams Smith (1765-1813), daughter of Abigail and John Adams, dies on August 15, of cancer.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1764-1849) serves ice cream for the first time in the White House at the second Inaugural Ball.
Harrison, Anna
Anna Tuthill Harrison Taylor (1813-1845), daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born October 28.
Economics
Francis Cabot Lowell (1775-1817) first employs young women workers to work at the spinning frames and looms at his mill in Waltham, Massachusetts; living in boardinghouses established by Lowell, they became the first large-scale women’s labor force in America.
Daily Life
Newspapers: An editorial in the Troy (NY) Post first uses the nickname, “Uncle Sam,” as a symbolic reference to the United States.
Daily Life
The Grand Freemason Lodge is founded in the U.S.
Daily Life
Dancing: The waltz becomes popular in Europe.
Daily Life
The game of craps is first introduced into New Orleans, adapted from a French dice game called “hazards.”
Popular Culture
Johann Rudolf Wyss (1782-1830) completes "The Swiss Family Robinson."
Religion
The Methodist Missionary Society is founded.
Religion
A choirbook is composed for use in the Spanish missions of the southwest.
Religion
American nun Mother Mary Rhodes (1782-1853) founds the Sisters of Loretto in Kentucky after establishing two other communities for women west of the Allegheny Mountains.
Reform
Labor Movement: Leaders of the anti-technology Luddite movement in England are sentenced to hanging or deportation.
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1814
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Elbridge Gerry, 5th Vice President of the United Sates, dies in office; he is not replaced until the election of 1816, when Daniel D. Tompkins is elected.
War
National Capital: War of 1812: The British burn the White House, the Capital, and many other buildings in Washington, DC.
War
War of 1812: The Treaty of Ghent ends the British-American War on December 24. The Treaty returned conditions between the two countries to those that existed before the war began. Neither side achieved a clear victory.
Science
Massachusetts physician Jacob Bigelow (1786-1879) publishes "Flora Bostoniensis," the standard botany manual for years.
Inventions
Railroad History: George Stephenson (1781-1848), British inventor, invents the first steam locomotive, which is used instead of horses and mules to haul coal.
Inventions
The metronome is invented in Vienna by J.N. Maelzel (1772-1838).
Inventions
Eli Terry (1772-1852) invents a 30-hour shelf clock that uses interchangeable parts.
Inventions
Railroad History: Englishman George Stephenson (1781-1841) builds Blucher, his first railway engine. Pulls 30 tons at 4 mph, but is not efficient.
Education
Libraries: Although the Library of Congress is destroyed when the British burn Washington, DC, Congress decides to start over by purchasing Thomas Jefferson’s (1743-1826) personal library.
Arts and Letters
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) begins composing Lieder, lyrical songs in the Romantic tradition.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Jane Austen (1775-1817) publishes the novel "Mansfield Park," creating the character of Fanny Brice.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1764-1849) is responsible for saving the famous Peale portrait of George Washington, hanging in the White House, and the Declaration of Independence, from the British when they invade the capital. She leaves the city just ahead of the British troops, who then burn Washington, DC.
Fillmore, Abigail
Abigail Powers (Fillmore) (1798-1853) begins teaching in New Hope at age 16.
Taylor, Margaret
Sarah Knox Taylor Davis (1814-1835), daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, is born March 6.
Harrison, Anna
James Findlay Harrison (1814-1817), is the last son born to William Henry and Anna Harrison.
Economics
Francis Cabot Lowell (1775-1817) opens the first totally mechanized factory for processing raw cotton into finished cloth.
Daily Life
The term grapefruit is used for the first time in print, perhaps because its clusters resemble those of grapes.
Daily Life
Gas street lamps are installed in the first neighborhood—St. Margarets, Westminster, in London.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "London Times" begins to be printed by a steam-operated press.
Popular Culture
Frances Scott Key (1779-1843) writes a poem about the British bombardment of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812 called “Defense of Fort McHenry.” It is later set to music and becomes “The Star Spangled Banner.”
Popular Culture
Children’s Books: Johann David Wyss (1743-1818) added religious piety to the Rousseauian influence in his "The Swiss Family Robinson"(German original 1812-1813); first edited and translated for English readers by William (1756-1836) and Mary (1797-1851) Godwin.
Religion
Pope Pius VII (1740-1823) returns to Rome and restores the Inquisition.
Religion
Elizabeth Seton’s (1774-1821) Sisters of Charity take charge of orphanages in Philadelphia (and later, in 1817, in New York City), establishing the first Catholic orphanages in America.
Social Issues
Native Americans: War of 1812: General Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) leads his troops to victory over the Creek Indians allied with Britain in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend (Alabama), thus destroying all future Creek power in the West.
1815
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
National Capital: The Capitol Building and the White House are rebuilt after the burning of Washington, DC.
War
The first steam warship, the U.S.S. Fulton is built.
War
U.S. naval hero Stephen Decatur (1779-1820) stops attacks by Algerian pirates by threatening to bomb Algiers.
War
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) defeats the British at the Battle of New Orleans, fought two weeks after the Treaty of Ghent is signed.
Science
Sophie Germain (1776-1831) is awarded a gold medal from the Institute of France for her essay on elasticity.
Medicine
The Apothecaries Act in Britain bans the practice of medicine by unqualified doctors.
Inventions
A harder, smoother road surface made of crushed stones is invented by John McAdam (1756-1836).
Inventions
Davy invents the safety lamp for miners.
Inventions
Railroad History: Stephenson's (1781-1841) second engine: 6 wheels and a multitubular boiler.
Inventions
Railroad History: Englishman Julius Griffiths patents a passenger road locomotive.
Education
Libraries: Thomas Jefferson sells his book collection to the Library of Congress after its original collection was destroyed by the British army.
Education
Sunday school education is promoted in Boston.
Education
Education of Women: Margaret Bryan publishes An Astronomical and Geographical Class Book for Schools based on her girls’ school lectures.
Arts and Letters
The Biedermeier period in art and furniture design begins.
Arts and Letters
Magazines: "The North American Review" is established in Boston, soon to be the foremost literary journal in the U.S.
Tyler, Letitia
Mary Tyler Jones (1815-1848), is the first daughter born to John and Letitia Christian Tyler on April 15.
Economics
Leading imports in the United States are woolen and cotton items, sugar, and coffee. The leading export is cotton.
Daily Life
Transportation: The Conestoga wagon becomes a major method of transportation, especially among those headed west.
Daily Life
Dancing: A French ballroom dance, the quadrille, becomes fashionable among the English aristocracy.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: The 1815 edition of the Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon lays out the division of the sexes: “Man obtains, woman sustains . . . man resists fate itself and defies force, even in defeat. Woman, however, submits willingly and finds comfort and succor, even in her tears.”
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1816
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The right to review state court decisions is affirmed by the Supreme Court.
Politics
James Monroe (1758-1831) is elected 5th President of the U.S. and Daniel Tomkins (1774-1825) is elected as the nation's 6th Vice President.
Government
New State: Indiana becomes the 19th state in the U.S.
Government
The U.S. Congress passes the first protective tariffs.
Science
The first book on mineralogy in the U.S., "Elementary Treatise on Mineralogy and Geology," is published by Parker Cleaveland (1780-1858).
Medicine
Epidemics: Ireland suffers a typhus epidemic that kills about a quarter of its population.
Inventions
The stethoscope is invented by French physician R. T. Laennec (1781-1826).
Inventions
The kaleidoscope is invented by Sir David Brewster (1781-1868).
Education
German educator Friedrich Frobel (1782-1852) moves his first educational community from Griesheim to Keilau, Thuringia.
Education
Children’s Books: "A Merry Method of Making Minor Mathematicians" is published by John Harris (1820-1884); this collection of mnemonic rhymes was designed to teach the multiplication tables.
Arts and Letters
Opera: "The Barber of Seville," by Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) opens in Rome.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Jane Austen (1775-1817) writes "Emma."
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1827) writes his first major poem, "Alastor."
Ideas
Hegel (1770-1831) completes his "Science of Logic;" his philosophy of idealism will dominate metaphysics for 25 years.
Taylor, Margaret
Octavia Pannel Taylor (1816-1820), daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, is born August 16.
Tyler, Letitia
Robert Tyler (1816-1877), the first son of John and Letitia Christian Tyler, is born September 9.
Economics
Transportation: Regular clipper ship service across the Atlantic begins between New York and Liverpool, England.
Economics
The first Savings bank, The Provident Institute for Savings, is founded in Boston.
Economics
American Money: The second Bank of the United States is chartered for 20 years until 1836.
Daily Life
Disasters: The summer of 1916 is unusually cold in many parts of the world due to the eruption of the Tambora volcano in Indonesia—perhaps the greatest in recorded history. In New England, there is 10 inches of snow in June 6, and half an inch of ice in Vermont and New Hampshire in July and August. It is recorded as “the year in which there was no summer.”
Sports
Boxing: Jacob Hyer beats Tom Beasley in a boxing match and calls himself America’s first boxing champion.
Popular Culture
Ananias Davisson (1780-1857) publishes "Kentucky Harmony," a collection of music of the South and Midwest U.S.
Religion
The American Bible Society is founded; one of its goals is to place a Bible in every American home.
Social Issues
Immigration: Large numbers of British immigrants come to the United States and Canada.
Social Issues
The American Colonization Society forms—assists in repatriating free African Americans to a Liberian colony on the west coast of Africa.
1817
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
New State: Mississippi becomes the 20th state in the U.S.
Government
James Monroe (1758-1831) is inaugurated as the 5th President of the U.S. and Daniel Tomkins (1774-1825) is inaugurated as the nation's 6th Vice President.
War
Indian Wars: The Seminole War begins on the border between the U.S. and Spanish Florida.
Science
Selenium and lithium are discovered.
Science
Cadmium is discovered independently by Friedrich Stromeyer (1776-1835) and Hermann (1765-1846).
Medicine
James Parkinson (1755-1828) describes the degenerative disease that will carry his name.
Education
Early frontier education is influenced by the American Tract Society which spreads religious literature by means of circuit riders.
Education
Public Education: A petition presented in the Boston Town Meeting calls for establishing of a system of free public primary schools. Main support comes from local merchants, businessmen and wealthier artisans. Many wage earners oppose it, because they don't want to pay the taxes.
Arts and Letters
Opera: "Cinderella," a comic opera by Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868), is first staged in Rome.
Ideas
David Ricardo (1772-1823) promotes liberal economic theory in his "Principles of Political Economy and Taxation;" his ideas are the foundation of modern economics as a science.
Ideas
G.F. Hegel (1770-1831) publishes the "Encyclopedia of Philosophy."
Madison, Dolley
The Madisons retire to Montpelier, their estate in Virginia, where Dolley continues her role as hostess and helps her husband, who suffers from arthritis, by taking dictation for his correspondence. She also helps him prepare his papers for future publication.
Harrison, Anna
James Findlay Harrison (1814-1817), the last son born to William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies.
Van Buren, Hannah
Smith Thompson Van Buren (1817-1876), son of Martin and Hannah Van Buren is born January 16.
Economics
The U.S. begins construction of the Erie Canal between Buffalo and Albany.
Economics
The New York Stock and Exchange Board is officially established, to be renamed the New York Stock Exchange in 1863.
Economics
John Jacob Astor (1763-1848) obtains a fur trade monopoly in the Mississippi Valley, founding his fortune.
Economics
Native Americans: American traders began to compete with Native American tribes for the buffalo fur business.
Daily Life
Baltimore becomes the first American city lit by gas.
Popular Culture
Stories of a sea serpent off the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts tell of a creature 3 feet in diameter and from 70-100 feet long with a long tongue that shoots out of its mouth.
Religion
Construction of the Vatican Museum begins in Rome.
Social Issues
Slavery: The American Society for the Return of Negroes to Africa is founded in Richmond, Virginia; the Society first sends Negroes to Sierra Leone, then buys and establishes a neighboring area called Liberia.
Reform
Prison Reform: British reformer Elizabeth Fry (1780-1845) founds a prisoner’s aid society focusing on the prison conditions of women and children.
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1818
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The border between the U.S. and Canada is agreed to be the 49th parallel.
Government
New State: Illinois becomes the 21st state in the U.S.
Government
American Flag: The Act of April 4, 1818 states that 13 stripes and one star for each state will be added to the flag on the 4th of July following the admission of each new state and is signed into action by President Monroe.
Science
F.W. Bessel (1784-1846) catalogs over 3,000 stars in his Fundamenta Astronomiae.
Science
Cadmium is discovered independently by Friedrich Stromeyer (1776-1835) and Hermann (1765-1846).
Medicine
Iodine is used as a treatment for goiter by French chemist Jean-Baptiste Dumas (1800-1884).
Medicine
Marie Gillain Boivin (1776-1841) publishes her gynecological-obstetrical text, "Nouveau traité des maladies de l’uterus et des annexes."
Inventions
A lathe for making irregularly shaped items such as gun stocks is designed.
Education
Public Education: Boston public schools offer schooling for children as young as 4 years.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Lord Byron (1788-1824) writes "Don Juan."
Arts and Letters
Poetry: John Keats (1795-1821) writes "Endymion."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) writes "The Heart of Midlothian" and "Rob Roy."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Mary Godwin Shelley (1797-1851) writes "Frankenstein."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Jane Austen’s (1775-1817) last two novels, "Northanger Abbey" and "Persuasion," are published after her death.
Adams, Abigail
Abigail Adams (1744-1818), second First Lady of the United States, dies of typhoid fever in October while residing in Braintree, MA.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd Lincoln (1818-1882), wife of Abraham Lincoln, is born December 13 in Lexington, Kentucky.
Economics
Transportation: Packet boat lines begin to sail between New York and Liverpool, England.
Discovery
John Ross (1777-1856) leads an expedition to the Arctic to discover a Northwest Passage.
Daily Life
The tin can is introduced to the United States.
Sports
Horse Racing: The first professional horse racing occurs in the U.S.
Popular Culture
Englishman Thomas Bowdler (1754-1825) publishes a censored version of "The Family Shakespeare"; the expression to bowlderize becomes a term for the practice of omitting vulgar words from written works.
Religion
The lyrics for the hymn “Silent Night, Holy Night,” are written by the young curate, Joseph Mohr.
1819
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
'In "McCulloch v. Maryland," the Supreme Court expands federal powers by allowing Congress to charter a bank, an act not specifically permitted by the Constitution.
Government
Florida is ceded to the U.S. by Spain.
Government
New State: Alabama becomes the 22nd state in the U.S.
Government
The U.S. cities of Memphis and Minneapolis are founded.
Science
The American Geological Society is established at Yale College in Connecticut; it disbands in 1828.
Science
Electromagnetism is discovered by Danish physicist Hans C. Oersted (1777-1851).
Medicine
Mitscherlich discovers isomorphism.
Inventions
W.K. Clarkson patents the bicycle.
Education
Education of Women: Emma Hart Willard (1787-1870) writes "An Address to the Public: Particularly to the Members of the Legislature of New York, Proposing a Plan for Improving Female Education."
Education
Higher Education: Focusing on technical training, Norwich University opens in Vermont.
Education
Slavery: African American Education: Virginia outlaws blacks and a mulatto, whether free or slave, from meeting for the purposes of education and forbids teaching blacks to read and write.
Ideas
German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860) publishes "The World as Will and Idea."
Taylor, Margaret
Margaret Smith Taylor (1819-1820), daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, is born July 27.
Tyler, Letitia
John Tyler Jr. (1819-1896), son of John and Letitia Tyler, is born April 27.
Van Buren, Hannah
Hannah Hoes Van Buren (1783-1819) dies of tuberculosis on February 5, eighteen years before her husband, Martin Van Buren, becomes President of the U.S.
Fillmore, Abigail
Abigail Powers (1798-1853) meets Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) at the Academy in New Hope, New York.
Economics
The Bank for Savings in New York City opens as one of the first U.S. savings banks.
Economics
The first commercially produced eating chocolate is produced in Switzerland.
Economics
Transportation: The very first ship to use steam as support on an Atlantic crossing was the American sailing ship Savannah who had been equipped with auxiliary steam engines geared to two paddle wheels on the ship’s sides. Because of distrust in this new mode of transportation, the vessel does not carry either passengers or cargo.
Discovery
An expedition to the Rocky Mountains is led by explorer Stephen Long (1784-1864).
Religion
With roots in the Protestant Reformation and liberal New England Congregationalism, Unitarianism is founded in Boston by William Ellering Channing (1780-1842).
Social Issues
Immigration: Congress establishes reporting on immigration.
Social Issues
Slavery: Canada denies the American government the right to pursue runaway slaves within its borders.
Reform
Labor Movement: Children under the age of 9 are forbidden to work in mills in England; other young workers are limited to 12-hour days.
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1820
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
First Political Parties: James Monroe (1758-1831) is re-elected to a second term as President of the U.S. on the Democratic-Republican ticket, defeating John Quincy Adams; John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) is elected the nation's 7th Vice President.
Government
Slavery: Congress passes the Missouri Compromise, admitting Maine into the Union as a free state and Missouri as a slave state; slavery becomes excluded from the Union north of the Mason-Dixon Line.
Government
The Public Land Act lowers the cost of western lands to $1.25 an acre, in the hope of encouraging settlement of the West.
Government
New State: Maine becomes the 23rd state to join the Union.
Science
Andre Marie Ampere (1775-1836), French physicist, discovers the basic processes of electric currents.
Medicine
The New York Eye Infirmary is founded.
Inventions
An improved plow and cultivator is invented by Henry Burden (1791-1871) of New York.
Education
Massachusetts physician John Gorham (1783-1829) publishes a 2-volume textbook, "Elements of Chemical Science," which is the standard for years.
Education
Public Education: First public high school in the U.S., Boston English, opens.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: John Keats (1795-1821) writes "Ode on a Grecian Urn" and "Ode to a Nightingale."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) publishes "Ivanhoe."
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Percy Bysshe Shelly (1792-1827) writes "Prometheus Unbound."
Ideas
Thomas Malthus (1766-1834) writes "Principles of Political Economy."
Monroe, Elizabeth
White House Wedding: Elizabeth Monroe (1768-1830) is the first First Lady to have a daughter (Maria Hester Monroe) married in the White House.
Fillmore, Abigail
While teaching in New Hope, Abigail Fillmore (1798-1853) begins a campaign to raise funds for the first circulating library in New York.
Tyler, Julia
Julia Gardiner Tyler (1820-1889), second wife of John Tyler, is born in Gardiner’s Island in New York.
Taylor, Margaret
Margaret Smith Taylor (1819-1820), daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, dies October 22 from malaria three months after the death of her sister.
Taylor, Margaret
Octavia Pannel Taylor (1816-1820), daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, dies July 8 of malaria.
Economics
A canning factory is opened in Boston by William Underwood.
Economics
The percentage of people working in agriculture begins to decline as family farms are gobbled up by larger agricultural businesses. At the same time, cities grow tremendously, fueled by new manufacturing industries.
Discovery
Nathanial Palmer becomes the first person to actually see the land mass of Antartica.
Discovery
The statue of the Venus de Milo (c. 150 B.C.) is discovered in Melos.
Discovery
Major Stephen Long (1784-1864) leads an expedition from Pittsburgh, exploring the area between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains.
Discovery
Platinum is discovered in the Russian Ural Mountains.
Popular Culture
The short story as a literary form is introduced by Washington Irving (1783-1859) with the publication of "The Sketch Book," which includes “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”
Religion
The Jesuits are driven out of Rome.
Religion
The music for the hymn “Silent Night, Holy Night,” is composed by Franz Xaver Huber to words written by the young curate, Joseph Mohr.
Social Issues
Slavery: 86 Blacks set sail for the British colony of Sierra Leone on the ship Mayflower of Liberia.
Social Issues
Slavery: In Charleston, South Carolina, slaves are required to wear distinctive identification tags. This law is later extended to free blacks in the city as well.
1821
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Mexico declares independence from Spain. Santa Fe Trail opened to international trade.
Government
James Monroe (1758-1831) is inaugurated to a second term as President of the U.S. and John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) is inaugurated as the nation's 7th Vice President.
Government
New State: Missouri becomes the 24th state to join the Union (as a slave state).
Inventions
The electric motor is invented by Michael Faraday (1791-1867).
Technology
Sound reproduction is demonstrated by Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875).
Education
Native American Education: A Cherokee named Sequoyah (c.1770-1843) develops an alphabet of 86 characters, with which stories, hymns, and a Bible were printed in the Cherokee language.
Education
Education of Women: Dorothea Dix (1802-1887) opens a dame school for young girls in Boston.
Education
Education of Women: The Troy Female Seminary is founded by Emma Hart Willard (1787-1870).
Education
Children’s Books: Early Piety, or Memoirs of Childhood mixes stories such as "Of a very good girl; that died very happy before she was seven years old, with others like "the history of a sad wicked child, and his miserable death."
Arts and Letters
Frances Wright (1795-1852) publishes "Views of Society and Manners in America."
Tyler, Letitia
Letitia (Letty) Tyler Semple (1821-1907), daughter of John and Letitia Tyler, is born on May 11.
Economics
Population: The fourth census (1820) shows that the population of the U.S. is about 9.6 million.
Daily Life
Transportation: The first wagon train on the Santa Fe Trail is led by William Becknell (1788-1865).
Daily Life
The game of poker is invented by sailors in New Orleans.
Popular Culture
James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) publishes "The Spy," which leads him to become the first popular American novelist.
Religion
The first Catholic cathedral to be dedicated in the U.S. is the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Baltimore.
Reform
Black Suffrage Movement: Nearly all property qualifications required to vote are abolished by the New York state constitution, but the state continues to deny suffrage to Blacks.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Benjamin Lundy (1789-1839), Quaker saddle maker, begins publishing his anti-slavery newspaper, Genius of Universal Emancipation.
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1822
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Presidents: Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), 18th President of the U.S., is born April 27 in Point Pleasant, Ohio.
Government
Presidents: Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1881), 19th President of the U.S., is born October 4 in Delaware, Ohio.
Government
Florida is organized as a territory.
Science
A theory of evolution, subsequently proved to be in error, is published by Jean Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829).
Medicine
Observations of human gastric juices are begun by U.S. Army physician William Beaumont (1785-1853). His observations are made on a sailor who suffered a bullet wound in the stomach that did not quite heal.
Inventions
The first patent for making false teeth is obtained by W.C. Graham.
Technology
Gas lights are installed on the streets of Boston.
Education
Higher Education: Hobart College is founded in Geneva, NY; it offers an “English Course” designed for “the practical business of life.”
Arts and Letters
Franz Liszt (1811-1886), Hungarian pianist, makes his debut at age 11.
Arts and Letters
The diorama, paintings illuminated in a dark room to give the illusion of reality, is invented by Daguerre and Bouton.
Arts and Letters
The Royal Academy of Music in founded in London.
Economics
Cotton mills in Massachusetts begin using water-powered machinery.
Discovery
The Rosetta stone, found in 1799, is deciphered by French Egyptologist Jean Francois Champollion (1790-1832).
Daily Life
Molly Pitcher, a.k.a. Mary McCauley (1754-1832), is awarded a pension by the state of Pennsylvania.
Sports
Soccer: Yale prohibits the playing of football (soccer); violators are fined.
Social Issues
Slavery: An informer reveals a plot led by Denmark Vesey (1767-1822), a free black man, for a massive slave uprising in South Carolina. Thirty-five blacks, including Vessey, are hanged, and severely repressive slave codes are passed in the South.
Reform
Slavery: Liberia is founded as a colony for blacks fleeing America.
Reform
Protest Music: “The Ballad of Major Andre” is written during the American Revolution by Major John Andre (? -1780).
1823
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Daniel Webster (1782-1852) takes a seat in the House of Representatives, and Henry Clay (1777-1852) becomes Speaker of the House.
Government
James Monroe (1758-1831) presents his Monroe Doctrine, stating that any attempts by Europeans to interfere in the Americas will be considered an affront to the national interest of the U.S.
War
Indian Wars: American troops defeat the Sauk and Fox chief Black Hawk, who has tried to prevent white settlement in the Illinois territory.
Medicine
The first ophthalmology book in the U.S., "A Treatise on the Diseases of the Eye," is published.
Medicine
The British medical journal, "The Lancet," is first published.
Inventions
Computers: Early attempts to build a calculating machine (computer) are made by Charles Babbage (1791-1871).
Inventions
A waterproof fabric is invented by Charles Macintosh (1766-1843).
Education
Education of Women: Catherine Beecher (1800-1878) founds a girls’ school in Hartford, CT.
Education
Teacher Education: The first private normal school (for training teachers) in the U.S. opens in Concord, Vermont.
Education
The first gymnasium offering systematic instruction is started by the Round Hill School in Massachusetts. Gymnastics is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m.
Education
Children''s Books: Clement Clark Moore (1779-1863) publishes "A Visit from St. Nicholas" ("‘Twas the Night Before Christmas").
Education
African American Education: Alexander Lucius Twilight (1795-1857) graduates from Middlebury College, making him the first black college graduate in the U.S.
Arts and Letters
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1857) completes the "Missa Solemnis, Op. 123."
Tyler, Letitia
Elizabeth "Lizzie" Tyler Waller (1823-1850), daughter of John and Letitia Tyler, is born July 11.
Sports
Football: Football is invented by a 17-year-old British rugby player when, against the rules of rugby, he takes up the ball and runs with it.
Sports
Horse Racing: The first great U.S. horse race takes place between the North and the South on Long Island; the purse is about $20,000.
Popular Culture
James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) publishes "The Pioneers," the first of the Leatherstocking Tales.
Reform
Abolition Movement: An Anti-Slavery Society is founded in England by William Wilberforce (1759-1833).
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1824
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
The world’s first public opinion poll tries to predict voting intentions for the presidential election of 1824.
Politics
John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) is elected as the 6th President of the U.S. by the House of Representatives when none of the four candidates achieves a majority in the national election; John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) is re-elected as Vice President.
Government
The Tariff Act of 1824 is passed by Congress in an effort to protect American industry.
Government
National Capital: The Capitol Rotunda is completed; it is the connecting space between the House of Representatives and the Senate sides of the building.
Government
Native Americans: The U.S. Secretary of War establishes the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), which does not receive congressional authorization until 1934.
Science
French physicist Nicholas Leonard Sadi Carnot (1796-1832) first states the principle that will become William Thompson’s (1824-1907) Second Law of Thermodynamics (energy moves from a warm to a cold body, not the reverse).
Education
Mary Randolph (1762-1828) publishes "The Virginia Housewife," intended to instruct novice wives.
Education
Emma Willard (1787-1870) writes a widely-used textbook, "Ancient Geography."
Education
The first science and engineering school in the U.S. is founded; it is later named Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute.
Education
Children''s Books: Dorothea Dix (1802-1887) writes a children’s book, "Conversations on Common Things."
Arts and Letters
The National Gallery is London is founded.
Taylor, Margaret
Mary Elizabeth Taylor Bliss Dandridge (1824-1909), daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, is born April 20.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd’s (1818-1882) mother dies in childbirth when she is six years old.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: Construction begins on the 1st locomotive workshop in New Castle, England.
Discovery
A gateway to the west through the Rocky Mountains is discovered at South Pass, WY.
Discovery
The Great Salt Lake is discovered.
Religion
The Sunday School Union is founded in the United States.
Reform
Utopian Movement: Robert Owen (1771-1858) founds New Harmony, a utopian community in Indiana.
Reform
Labor Movement: The first recorded strike by women is a weaver’s strike at Pawtucket, RI.
1825
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The U.S. signs a treaty with Russia setting the border between Canada and Alaska.
Government
Native Americans: Congress adopts a policy of removal of eastern Indian tribes to territory west of the Mississippi River; whites settle on Indian lands.
Government
John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) is inaugurated as the 6th President of the U.S. and John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) is inaugurated as the continuing Vice President.
Government
Native Americans: A treaty is established between the U.S. and the Oglala branch of the Teton Sioux (Lakota) regarding fur trade, signed for the Oglala by Standing Buffalo (aka Standing Bull).
Science
Michael Faraday (1791-1867) succeeds in isolating benzene.
Science
Georges Couvier (1769-1832) suggests that alterations in the earth causing extinction of whole animal species are associated with great natural catastrophes.
Technology
Railroad History: Stephenson's (1781-1841) 8-ton LOCOMOTION No. 1 built for the Stockton & Darlington Railroad is capable of pulling 90 tons of coal at 15 mph.
Arts and Letters
"The Diary of Samuel Pepys" is published.
Arts and Letters
Dance: The Bolshoi Ballet is established in Moscow.
Ideas
English philosopher John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) publishes "Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind," an early work in psychology, at age 19.
Tyler, Letitia
Anne Contesse Tyler (1825), daughter of John and Letitia Tyler, is born in April and dies three months later in July.
Adams, Louisa
Louisa Adams (1775-1852) moves into the White House with her husband, John Quincy.
Adams, Louisa
Louisa Adams (1775-1852) becomes the first First Lady to write her autobiography, which she called "Adventures of a Nobody."
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd’s (1818-1882) father remarries—Elizabeth (Betsy) Humphreys of Frankfort, KY.
Economics
The Erie Canal, connecting Lake Eire and the Hudson River, opens.
Economics
The New York Stock Exchange opens, trading mostly canal, turnpike, mining, and gas lighting companies.
Discovery
Alexander Gordon Laing (1793-1826) is the first explorer to reach Timbuktu (in what is now Mali).
Daily Life
Tea roses from China are introduced in Europe.
Daily Life
Duncan Phyfe (1768-1854) begins producing furniture in the Empire style.
Sports
Baseball: A Baseball Club is organized in Rochester, New York.
Sports
Horse Racing: The New York Trotting Club builds a race course on Long Island.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Chippewa, Iowa, Potawami, Sauk and Fox, Sioux, and Winnebago tribes sign a treaty for territorial boundaries.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Creek Indians reject a treaty ceding all their lands in Georgia to the U.S.
Reform
Labor Movement: In Boston, 600 master carpenters strike for a 10-hour day.
Reform
Utopian Movement: A community of slaves is organized by Frances Wright (1795-1852), designed to help them get ready for freedom.
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1826
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Third Parties: The first third party in the U.S., the Anti-Masonic Party, is founded.
Science
André Ampere (1775-1836) publishes his "Treatise on Electrodynamics."
Inventions
The first permanent photograph is produced by J.N. Niepce (1765-1833), a French scientist.
Inventions
Samuel Morey (1762-1843) patents an internal combustion engine.
Inventions
The first reflecting telescope is built in the U.S. by Amasa Holcomb (1787-1875) in Massachusetts.
Inventions
Bassell designs a pendulum that takes exactly one second per swing.
Education
The American Lyceum—a mechanism for adult education—is founded.
Education
The Smithsonian Institution is founded in Washington, DC, endowed by James Smithson (1765-1829).
Education
Education of Women: The first public high schools for girls open in New York and Boston.
Arts and Letters
The U.S. Academy of Design is founded by Samuel F.B. Morse (1791-1872).
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) publishes "Essays on Mind, with Other Poems."
Adams, Louisa
John Adams (1735-1826), 2nd President of the U.S., dies in Braintree (now Quincy), MA.
Jefferson, Martha
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) dies on July 4 at Monticello (near Charlottsville, VA).
Fillmore, Abigail
Abigail Powers (1798-1853) marries Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) on Feb. 5 in Moravia, NY.
Harrison, Anna
Lucy Singleton Harrison Este (1800-1826), daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies April 7.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd (1818-1882) enters the academy of Dr. John Ward; stays until she is 14.
Grant, Julia
Julia Boggs Dent (1826-1902), wife of Ulysses S. Grant, is born on January 26 on her family’s plantation near St. Louis, Missouri.
Taylor, Margaret
Richard Taylor (1826-1879), son of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, is born January 27.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The first line of rails in the New England States is said to have been laid down at Quincy, Mass., 3 miles in length and pulled by horses.
Discovery
The first overland journey to Southern California is led by Jedediah Strong Smith (1798-1831).
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first issue of the "United States Telegraph" is published; it reflects an anti-John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) bias.
Popular Culture
James Fennimore Cooper (1789-1851) publishes "The Last of the Mohicans."
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Creek Indians sign the Treaty of Washington, which voids the previous treaty and cedes less land to the government; it requires the Indians to move in 1827.
Social Issues
Slavery: A Pennsylvania law makes kidnapping a felony, thereby nullifying the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793.
Reform
Temperence Movement: The American Society for the Promotion of Temperance is founded in Boston.
1827
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Sectional differences in the U.S. between the North and South increase over tariffs: northern industrialists are for them; southern plantation owners oppose them.
Government
Joint occupation of the Oregon territory is agreed upon by the U.S. and Britain.
War
Congress gives the President the right to call out the militia.
Science
The mammalian ovum (egg) is discovered, proving that mammals do develop from eggs.
Science
John J. Audubon (1785-1851) publishes "Birds of North America."
Medicine
Brights’ disease (of the kidneys) is described by English physician Richard Bright (1789-1858).
Inventions
The screw propeller for ships is invented.
Education
Joanne Bethune founds the Infant School Society in New York City.
Education
African American Education: A letter in the Freedom Journal demands education for black women.
Education
The first nautical school in America is opened in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Education
Public Education: Massachusetts requires every town with 500 or more families to establish a public high school.
Education
Public Education: Massachusetts passes a law making all grades of public school open to all pupils free of charge.
Arts and Letters
"A Midsummer Night’s Dream," by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), premieres.
Economics
Transportation: The first public transit system—horse-drawn busses—appear in New York City.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad is chartered to run from Baltimore to the Ohio River in Virginia. It was the first westward bound railroad in America.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The Switch Back Gravity Railroad in Pennsylvania begins operation in May of 1827 before work begins on the B&O. It is the second railroad in the U.S.
Daily Life
Karl Baedeker (1801-1859) begins publishing his travel guides.
Daily Life
John Walker (1781-1859) introduces sulfur friction matches—called Lucifers—in England.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first newspaper for blacks in the U.S., "Freedom’s Journal" is published in New York City.
Daily Life
Cincinnati is considered the Queen City of the west, at least for a time before the rise of Chicago.
Daily Life
Holidays: The Mardi Gras celebration begins when French-American students organize a procession of street maskers on Shrove Tuesday in New Orleans.
Sports
A handbook for sportsmen, the American Shooter’s Manual, is published in Philadelphia.
Popular Culture
The murder of Maria Martin in England is the inspiration for a wildly popular melodrams, Maria Martin, or The Murder in the Red Barn.
Religion
The Second Great Awakening, an era of intense, emotional religious revivalism, makes a large impression across the country.
Reform
Perhaps the first organized American women’s club, the Women’s Social Society at New Harmony, is founded by Frances Wright.
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1828
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
First Political Parties: The Democratic party is formed, based on Jeffersonian principles. Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) is the first nominee, and defeats John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) for the Presidency; John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) is re-elected Vice President.
Politics
Third Parties: The Working Men’s Party is founded in New York City.
Government
Railroad History: Congress authorizes the construction of the first state-owned railway in Pennsylvania.
Government
The so-called Tariff of Abominations, imposing duties on manufactured goods is passed.
Science
The discipline of organic chemistry begins.
Science
Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) is awarded a gold medal by Britain’s Royal Astronomical Society for her catalog of nebulae.
Medicine
Dr. Hopff first uses the term "hemophilia" in describing the blood disease.
Inventions
The electromagnet is invented.
Education
Education of Women: Zilpah Grant (1794-1874) becomes head of the Ipswitch Female Seminary, a select girls’ boarding school.
Education
Noah Webster (1758-1843) publishes his "American Dictionary of the English Language," with 70,000 definitions, including many words derived from immigrant and Native American languages.
Education
Libraries: The Reading Room Society, the first social library for African Americans, opens in Philadelphia.
Arts and Letters
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) gives his only public concert in Vienna.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Alexander Dumas (pere--1802-1870) writes "The Three Musketeers."
Jackson, Rachel
Rachel Donelson Robards Jackson (1767-1828) dies at home on December 22 at 62. She is the first President's wife to die after her husband had been elected to office of President but before he was sworn in and she could become the First Lady.
Fillmore, Abigail
Millard Fillmore (1800--1874) is elected to the New York State Legislature, where he serves until 1831.
Fillmore, Abigail
Millard Powers Fillmore (1828-1889), son of Millard and Abigail Fillmore, is born April 25.
Johnson, Eliza
Martha Johnson Patterson (1828-1901), daughter of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, is born October 25.
Adams, Louisa
White House Weddings: Louisa (1775-1852) and John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) son, John II (1803-1834), marries Mary Catherine Hellen in the White House.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: Delaware & Hudson Canal Co. builds a railroad from their mines to the termination of the canal at Honesdale.
Economics
Construction starts on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first Indian newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix is published in Georgia.
Daily Life
Magazines: Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879) becomes editor-publisher of the American Ladies Magazine (until 1836).
Sports
The first archery club is formed in Philadelphia; members pay an initiation fee of $5.00 and $.50 dues a month.
Popular Culture
Thomas (“Jim Crow”) Rice (1808-1860) introduces the song “Jim Crow” between acts of a play; it is the first international song hit of American popular music.
Social Issues
Native Americans: American social critic Elizabeth Sanders (1762-1851) anonymously publishes a booklet praising Indian culture and condemning its destruction by General Andrew Jackson.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Isabella van Wagener (c. 1797-1883) is freed from slavery and takes the name Sojourner Truth; she preaches against slavery throughout New York and New England.
1829
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
The practice of awarding political appointments based on party service is introduced by Andrew Jackson (1767-1845).
Government
Andrew Jackson (1767-1848) is inaugurated as the 7th President of the U.S. and John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) is inaugurated as the continuing Vice President.
Inventions
Louis Daguerre (1787-1851) invents the daguerreotype, a commonly used form of photography.
Inventions
The concertina is patented by Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875).
Inventions
An early version of the typewriter is patented by William Austin Burt (1792-1858).
Technology
The term “technology” is coined in a work called "Elements of Technology" by Harvard professor Jacob Bigelow., M.D. (1787-1879).
Education
Special Education: The Perkins Institution, the first school for the blind in the U.S. opens.
Education
The first American encyclopedia, Encyclopedia Americana ins published.
Education
Special Education: Louis Braille (1809-1852) adapts a communication system used by the French military.
Education
Children’s Books: Ann Taylor (1782-1866) and her sister Jane (1783-1824) collaborated on several books of poems for "infant minds," chiefly but not exclusively religious poems. Ann (1782-1866) was author of "My Mother" and Jane (1783-1824) of "Twinkle, twinkle, little star." They wrote "Original Poems for Infant Minds," illustrated with woodcuts.
Arts and Letters
Opera: Rossini (1792-1868) completes his last major work, the opera, "William Tell."
Arts and Letters
Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) debuts in Vienna.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849) publishes his first work, "Tamerlane and Other Poems."
Adams, Louisa
George Washington Adams (1801-1829), son of President John Quincy Adams and Louisa Adams, dies a mysterious death on April 30. Many historians believe he committed suicide.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The first steam locomotive used in America, the English-built Stourbridge Lion, is put to work on the Delaware & Hudson.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: Peter Cooper (1791-1883) of New York in 6 weeks time builds the Tom Thumb, a vertical boiler 1.4 HP locomotive, for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.
Economics
The first modern hotel, the Tremont, opens in Boston with 170 rooms.
Daily Life
Second Great Awakening: In part stimulated by the Second Great Awakening, crusader Sylvester Graham attacks meats, fats, catsup, mustard, pepper, and white bread as stimulating carnal appetites.
Religion
The Catholic Emancipation Act in Britain allows Catholics to hold public office.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Sarah Moore Grimké (1792-1873) publishes Epistle to the Clergy of the Southern States, in which she attacks religious rationalizations of slavery.
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1830
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Native Americans: The Indian Removal Act is passed enabling whites to move Indians to reservations.
Government
Abortion: U.S. Congress makes abortion a statutory crime.
Government
Mexico bans further U.S. settlement in Texas.
Government
Presidents: Chester A. Arthur (1830-1886), 21st President of the U.S., is born October 5 in Fairfield, Vermont.
Science
The cell nucleus in plants is discovered.
Science
Charles Lyell (1797-1875) organizes the geological system into three groups: eocene, miocene, and pliocene.
Medicine
America’s first veterinarian, Charles Grice, opens an animal hospital in New York City.
Inventions
Frenchman, B. Thimonnier (1793-1859), invents a sewing machine.
Inventions
The fountain pen is patented by H.D. Hyde of Pennsylvania.
Education
African American Education: By this time, most southern states have laws forbidding teaching people in slavery to read. Even so, around 5 percent become literate at great personal risk.
Arts and Letters
Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) writes his "Symphonie fantastique."
Monroe, Elizabeth
Elizabeth Kortright Monroe (1768-1830), wife of James Monroe, in office 1817-1825, dies at the family home, Oak Hill, in Virginia.
Fillmore, Abigail
The Fillmore family moves to Buffalo; both parents are active in efforts to improve public education and establish a public library system there.
Johnson, Eliza
Charles Johnson (1830-1863), son of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, is born February 19.
Harrison, Anna
John Cleves Symmes Harrison (1798-1830), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies October 30 in the midst of political controversy.
Lane, Harriet
Harriet Lane (1830-1903), niece of President James Buchanan, is born on May 9 in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
Tyler, Letitia
Tazewell Tyler (1830-1874), the youngest of John and Letitia Tyler's children, is born December 6.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The Best Friend is built at the West Point Foundery at New York for the Charlston & Hamburg Railroad. It was the first completely American-built steam engine to go into scheduled passenger service.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The first locomotive built in the U.S. makes its first trip on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad; it later loses a race against a horse when an engine belt slips. 0 1210 1830 12 Population: The fifth national census puts the population at 12.8 million, including about 150,000 immigrants. 0 8066 1830 12 Transportation: Railroad History: The Best Friend is built at the West Point Foundery at New York for the Charlston & Hamburg Railroad. It was the first complete
Economics
Population: The fifth national census puts the population at 12.8 million, including about 150,000 immigrants.
Daily Life
Fashion: Ladies' skirts grow shorter and sleeves and hats grow bigger; stiff collars become part of men’s dress.
Daily Life
Sylvester Graham invents the graham cracker, which becomes a favorite of children everywhere.
Daily Life
Magazines: "Godey's Lady's Book," a magazine for women, is founded.
Popular Culture
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) writes the poem, “Old Ironsides,” which so popularizes the story of the U.S.S. Constitution that plans to scrap the ship are cancelled.
Religion
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormons, is founded by Joseph Smith (1805-1844).
1831
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Former President John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) is elected as the Congressional representative from Massachusetts.
Government
Presidents: James A. Garfield (1831-1881), 20th President of the U.S. is born November 19 in Orange, Ohio.
Government
U.S. copyright law is amended to last for 28 years, renewable for 14.
War
The French Foreign Legion is founded.
Science
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) sails on the H.M.S. Beagle, a trip on which he conceives the idea of evolution.
Science
Michael Farraday (1791-1867) develops the electromagnetic generator.
Inventions
Chloroform is invented.
Inventions
An early version of the mechanical reaper is developed by Cyrus McCormick (1809-1884).
Technology
Airplanes: Thomas Walker (1804-1886) proposes a tandem-wing airoplane with the pilot and the propulsion system amidships. This would later influence Samuel Langley as he designed his aerodromes.
Education
African American Education: Maria W. Miller Stewart (1803-1879), an African American orator, exhorts African Americans to become educated and fight for their rights; she speaks out at a time when very few women are able to speak in public.
Education
Libraries: The Female Literary Society, the first social library for African-American women, is founded in Philadelphia.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Victor Hugo (1802-1885) publishes "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
Monroe, Elizabeth
James Monroe, fifth President of the U.S. dies in New York, New York (b. 1758).
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Ware Webb (1831-1889), wife of Rutherford B. Hayes, is born August 28 in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Economics
The Industrial Revolution focuses on textile mills.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: Robert L. Stevens buys the British locomotive, the John Bull, and establishes America’s first steam railway.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The 3.5 ton De Witt Clinton hauls 5 stage coach bodies on railroad wheels at 25 mph on the Mohawk & Hudson Railroad between Albany and Schenectady.
Economics
Transportation: The Canadian paddle steamer, Royal William, cross the Atlantic with steam as the prime source of drift. However, her engines had to be stopped every few days because they had to be scraped from the accumulated salt deposits from the seawater used in her boilers.
Discovery
Scottish explorer James Ross (1800-1862) and his Uncle, Sir John Ross (1777-1856), determine the position of the magnetic North Pole.
Daily Life
This year sees the first use of the term “Old Glory” for the U.S. flag.
Sports
Horse Racing: A popular racing sheet, the "Spirit of the Times," is established by William Trotter; its aim is to improve the reputation of racing and other sports.
Popular Culture
American Theatre: The first showboat is built, called "The Floating Theatre."
Popular Culture
Samuel Francis Smith (1808-1895) writes the words to "My Country, 'Tis of Thee."
Social Issues
Immigration: German immigration to the U.S. is about 15,000.
Social Issues
Slavery: Nat Turner (1800-1831) leads an unsuccessful slave uprising.
Social Issues
Slavery: The term "underground railroad" becomes widely used.
Reform
Abolition Movement: William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) begins publishing his abolitionist periodical, The Liberator.
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1832
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) is re-elected President and Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) is elected the 8th Vice President on the new Democratic Party ticket.
Politics
Third Parties: For the first time in American history, a third party challenges the major two parties. William Wirt (1772–1834) of the Anti-Masonic Party carries 8 percent of the vote and one state. Andrew Jackson (1767–1845), Democratic-Republican, is reelected President over National-Republican Henry Clay (1777–1852).
Government
John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) becomes the first Vice President to resign from office; he runs successfully for the Senate.
Government
States in the South begin a series of nullification acts, attempting to redefine their relationship to the federal government.
War
Indian Wars: U.S. troops fight the last Indian war north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi.
Science
Jane Kilby Welsh publishes her textbook, "Familiar Lessons in Mineralogy and Geology."
Medicine
The dissection of cadavers in medical schools is legalized in Massachusetts.
Medicine
Epidemics: A cholera epidemic sweeps through major American cities, killing over 7,000 people in New York and New Orleans.
Medicine
The disease later known as Hodgkin’s disease is described by English physician Thomas Hodgkin (1798-1866).
Inventions
The lawn mower is invented.
Inventions
Walter Hunt (1796-1859) invents a lock-stitch sewing machine.
Inventions
Louis Braille (1809-1852) invents the stereoscope.
Inventions
Cyrus McCormick invents the first commercially successful reaper.
Education
Education of Women: Catherine Beecher (1800-1878) founds the Western Female Institute in Cincinnati.
Education
Special Education: Samuel Howe (1801-1876) founds the Perkins Institute, the first major school for the blind in the U.S.
Arts and Letters
The Boston Academy of Music offers free music lessons to children, adults, and teachers.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) finishes "Faust."
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) publishes "The Lady of Shalott."
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb's (1831-1889) father dies of cholera.
Fillmore, Abigail
A daughter, Mary Abigail (1832-1854), is born to Abigail and Millard Fillmore in Buffalo on March 27.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary (1818-1882) is enrolled at Madame Victorie Mentelle’s select school for young ladies.
Garfield, Lucretia
Lucretia Rudolph (1832-1918), wife of James A. Garfield, is born on April 19 in Hiram, Ohio.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Lavinia Scott (1832-1892), wife of Benjamin Harrison, is born On October 1 in Oxford, Ohio.
Johnson, Eliza
Mary Johnson Stover Brown (1832-1883), daughter of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, is born May 8.
Adams, Abigail
Thomas Boylston Adams, third son of John and Abigail Adams, dies at 59, probably of complications of alcoholism.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: "The Brother Jonathon" was the first locomotive in the world to have a four-wheel leading truck; it was designed by John B. Jervis for the Mohawk & Hudson Railroad.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: "The American No. 1" was the first 4-4-0, the first of its class; it was designed by John B. Jervis (1795 –1885), Chief Engineer for the Mohawk & Hudson.
Economics
Transportation: The "Ann McKim," first of the American clipper ships, is launched in Baltimore.
Daily Life
Frances Trollope (1780-1863) publishes "Domestic Manners of the Americans."
Reform
The first work to treat women in a completely distinctive way, "The History of Women," is published.
Reform
Abolition Movement: The New England Anti-Slavery Society is founded in Boston.
Reform
Abolition Movement: African American women found the first Anti-Slavery society in Salem, Massachusetts.
1833
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Congress gives President Jackson (1767-1845) the power to use the armed forces to enforce the tariff laws; South Carolina rescinds its nullification acts after a compromise on tariffs is reached.
Government
President: Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901), 23rd President of the U.S., is born.
Government
National Capital: The Treasury building burns to the ground in Washington, DC.
Government
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) is inaugurated as President and Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) is inaugurated as the nation's 8th Vice President.
Science
Michael Farraday (1791-1867) coins the terms electrolysis, electrolyte, anode, and cathode.
Inventions
Computers: Charles Babbage (1791-1871) suggests the possibility of building an “analytical engine,” an early calculator.
Education
Education of Women: Prudence Crandall (1803-1890) admits black students to her girls’ school in Connecticut and is imprisoned for violating a law passed especially to prevent her from doing so.
Education
Higher Education; Education of Women: African American Education: Oberlin College in Ohio is the first college to admit Blacks and women.
Education
Libraries: The first tax-supported public library in the United States is founded in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
Education
Children’s Books: Peter Parley's "Winter Evening Tales;" this delightful little book with its copperplate title page and frontispiece shows a less forbidding side of S. G. Goodrich (1793-1860).
Arts and Letters
Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) writes the "Piano Concerto in E Minor."
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) writes "In Memoriam."
Daily Life
Magazines: Parley's Magazine for Children & Youth. This is a twice-monthly magazine, founded by Samuel Griswold Goodrich (1793-1860). It emphasized geography, travel, natural history, and simple technology, along with Bible stories.
Daily Life
Transportation: The Canadian ship, S.S. Royal William crosses the Atlantic in 25 days.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first "penny press," the "New York Sun," makes newspapers widely available, thus helping the spread of literacy.
Daily Life
Magazines: The first magazine for mothers, "Mother’s Magazine," is published and edited by Abigail Goodrich Whittelsey (1788-1858).
Sports
Baseball: An early form of baseball is played by the Olympic Ball Club in Philadelphia; most rules are like those of English cricket.
Popular Culture
The legend of Davy Crockett (1786-1836) is begun with the publication of "Sketches and Eccentricities of Col. David Crockett, of West Tennessee."
Social Issues
Slavery: The British Empire abolishes slavery in its colonies.
Reform
Abolition Movement: The American Anti-Slavery Society is founded in Philadelphia by James Mott (1788-1868). Lucretia Mott (1793-1880), his wife, founds the Female Anti-Slavery Society.
Reform
Labor Movement: Shoemakers in Geneva, New York, go on strike; they win, but a later court case declares strikes to be illegal.
Reform
Labor Movement: The General Trades Union is formed in New York City.
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1834
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Third Parties: Anti-Jackson forces form the American Whig party; it lasts until 1852.
Government
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) removes federal deposits from the Bank of the U.S. and deposits them in “pet” state banks around the country.
Government
The U.S. Senate censures Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) for taking federal deposits from the Bank of the U.S.; the censure is removed from the record the following year.
Government
The city of Toronto is incorporated.
Science
Amalgam (a mercury alloy) is introduced as a filling material for decayed teeth.
Medicine
An antidote for arsenic poisoning is discovered by Robert Bunsen (1811-1899).
Inventions
The mechanical reaper is patented by Cyrus H. McCormick (1809-1884).
Inventions
Computers: Charles Babbage (1791-1871)invents the principle of the "analytical engine," which is the forerunner of the computer.
Inventions
Jacob Perkins (1766-1849) invents an early refrigerator (really an early ice machine).
Education
Special Education: French teacher Louis Braille invents (1809-1852) a system of printed raised dots that enables the blind to read.
Education
Children''s Books: The fairy tale "The Three Bears" is popularized.
Arts and Letters
"The Last Days of Pompeii is published."
Lincoln, Mary
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) enters politics in the Illinois legislature at the age of 25.
Johnson, Eliza
Robert Johnson (1834-1869), son of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, is born February 22.
Adams, Louisa
John Adams II (1803-1834), son of President John Quincy Adams and Louisa Adams, dies an alcohol related death on October 23.
Economics
Twenty-eight million acres of public land are offered for sale to those who wish to move west.
Discovery
The first settlement is established in Oregon.
Daily Life
Tomatoes are begun to be eaten in the U.S.; before this, people thought they were poisonous and they were only used as ornamental “love apples.”
Sports
Baseball: The first printed rules for a game much like baseball are found in the Book of Sports.
Sports
Baseball: Robin Carver publishes the "Book of Sports," the first American book on baseball.
Sports
Women in Sports: The first modern Lacrosse games are played. Lacrosse will become a major new sports opportunity for women in the 1990's with many colleges offering scholarship dollars. The original game was played by North American Indians.
Popular Culture
Madame Tussaud (1761-1850) opens her wax museum in London.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Under an 1828 treaty, the U.S. orders the Seminole Indians to leave Florida.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Four thousand Oglala people relocate to Fort Laramie to boost their fur trade with white people.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Factory Girls Association is organized in the Lowell textile mills; women workers stage their first strike, which fails.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Anti-abolition riots occur in New York City and Philadelphia.
1835
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Congress pays off the national debt.
War
Mexican Wars: American settlers defeat a Mexican cavalry in the first battle of the Texas Revolution.
War
Indian Wars: A new Seminole War begins in Florida after the escape of Seminole leader Osceola.
Science
Hailey's comet appears in its usual 75-year cycle.
Inventions
The revolver is invented by Samuel Colt (1814-1862).
Inventions
Computers: Charles Babbage (1791-1871) invents a mechanical calculator.
Education
Children''s Books: Hans Christian Anderson (1805-1875) publishes a book of his "Fairy Tales."
Education
African American Education: A school that enrolls 14 Black students in New Hampshire is burned to the ground.
Education
Education of Women: Harriet Hunt (c.1805-?) is accepted at Harvard Medical School, but the male students riot and she is forced to withdraw.
Education
Education of Women: Education for girls is established in Panama.
Ideas
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) publishes his "Democracy in America," a work that is still quoted today.
Ideas
Women''s Rights Movement: Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) publishes "History of the Condition of Women."
Jackson, Rachel
Assassination: President Andrew Jackson survives the first-ever assassination attempt on a U.S. president.
Taylor, Margaret
Sarah "Knox" Taylor Davis (1814-1835), daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, dies September 15 of malaria.
Monroe, Elizabeth
Eliza Kortright Monroe Hay (1786-1835), daughter of President James Monroe and Elizabeth Monroe, dies in France at age 49, shortly after converting to the Catholic faith. Cause of death is unknown
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: 1,096 miles of railroad tracks are in use in the U.S.
Economics
Native Americans: Gold is found on Cherokee lands in Georgia.
Economics
The first cast-iron bridge in America is built over Dunlap’s Creek in Brownsville, Pennsylvania.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "New York Herald" is published as a penny-paper.
Sports
For a purse of $1,000, nine runners participate in a 10-mile foot race on Long Island; the winner’s time is 59 minutes, 44 seconds.
Popular Culture
P.T. Barnum (1810-1891) begins his career as a showman in the U.S.
Popular Culture
A pseudoscience called “phrenology” becomes popular; it says that physiological features, especially of the head, determine character.
Religion
Women''s Firsts: Henrietta Hall Schuck becomes the first American female missionary in China at age 18.
Reform
Prison Reform: Mt. Pleasant Female Prison, the first American prison for women, is founded in New York.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Censorship efforts in Southern states expel abolitionists and forbid the mailing of antislavery propaganda.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Pro- and anti-slavery mobs clash in Charleston, South Carolina, in Boston, and in New York; in Boston, the pro-slavery attackers take William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) and parade him through the streets with a rope around his neck.
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1836
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President Andrew Jackson(1767-1845) nominates Roger Brooke Taney (1777-1864) as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He is confirmed by the Senate in 1836 and serves for twenty-eight years, the second-longest tenure of any Chief Justice.
Politics
Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) is elected as the 8th U.S. President and Richard M. Johnson (1780-1850) is elected as the nation's 9th Vice President.
Politics
Texas declares independence from Mexico.
Government
New State: Arkansas becomes the 25th state in the U.S.
Government
The Michigan territory is divided to create Wisconsin.
War
Mexican Wars: The battle of the Alamo takes placeover 13 days; less than 200 defenders are finally defeated by 2,500 Mexican soldiers.
Science
The first American botanical textbook, "Elements of Botany," is written by Asa Gray (1810-1888).
Science
Pepsin, the powerful ferment in gastric juice, is recognized by the German physiologist, Theodor Schwann (1810-1882).
Inventions
Francis Pettit Smith and John Ericcson (1803-1889) co-invent the propellor.
Education
Higher Education: Education of Women: Women’s Colleges: Wesleyan College is chartered to Georgia and is known for granting the first college degrees to women.
Education
Public Education: Child labor laws in Massachusetts require children to attend school for at least three months a year until they are 15.
Education
Special Education: Laura Bridgman (1829-1889) becomes the first deaf-mute taught to communicate at the Perkins Institute.
Education
Public Education: The first McGuffey readers are published.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Charles Dickens (1812-1870) writes "The Pickwick Papers."
Ideas
The first meeting of the Transcendentalist Club is held in Boston.
Madison, Dolley
James Madison (1751-1835) dies at the Madisons' home at Montpelier, and is buried there.
Fillmore, Abigail
Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) is elected again as a Representative to Congress; serves until 1839.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd (1818-1882) enrolls for two more years at Ward’s academy.
Pierce, Jane
Franklin Pierce Jr. (1836), son of Franklin and Jane Pierce, is born February 2 and dies three days later on February 5.
Jefferson, Martha
Martha Washington Jefferson Randolph (1772-1836), daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson, dies of apoplexy on October 10.
Economics
American Money: With minimum regulation, a proliferation of 1,600 local state-chartered, private banks now issue paper money.
Daily Life
Gas stoves are manufactured for the first time.
Daily Life
The Arc de Triumphe, begun 30 years earlier, is finished.
Sports
Cricket: Batting pads for Cricket are invented.
Religion
The first Mormon Temple is dedicated in Kirtland, Ohio.
Social Issues
Native Americans: A written Seneca Indian language is devised by missionaries Laura Wright (1809-1886) and her husband.
Social Issues
Slavery: Texas wins independence from Mexico and legalizes slavery. Free blacks and mulattos are forbidden from entering the state.
Reform
Temperance Movement: The Ladies' American Home Education Society and Temperance Union is founded.
Reform
Abolition Movement: There are 500 active abolitionist societies in the North.
Reform
Labor Movement: At age 11, mill worker Harriet Jane Hanson Robinson leads her young co-workers out in support of older workers striking in protest over wage cuts.
1837
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Membership on the Supreme Court is increased from seven to nine.
Government
President Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) recognizes the Republic of Texas on his last day in office, thereby preventing its admission as a slave territory.
Government
Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) is inaugurated as the 8th U.S. President and Richard M. Johnson (1780-1850) is inaugurated as the nation's 9th Vice President.
Government
New State: Michigan becomes the 26th state in the U.S.
Government
Presidents: Grover Cleveland (1837-1906), 22nd President of the U.S., is born in Caldwell, New Jersey.
War
Indian Wars: General Zachary Taylor tricks(1784-1850) Seminole leader Osceloa (c.1804-1838) and captures him.
Science
French mathematician Simeon Denis Poissson (1781-1840) develops the rules of probability by studying the incidence of death from mule kicks in the French army.
Inventions
Alfred Lewis Vail (1807-1859), Samuel Morse’s (1791-1872) assistant, develops the “Morse Code” of dots and dashes that will be used by telegraphers everywhere.
Inventions
John Deere (1804-1886) invents the steel-toothed plow.
Inventions
English schoolmaster, Rowland Hill (1744-1833) invents the postage stamp.
Education
Higher Education: Education of Women: Women’s Colleges: Mount Holyoke Female Seminary is founded and is chartered in 1888(becomes the model for other colleges in the future years).
Education
Freidrich Froebel (1782-1852) establishes the first kindergarten in Germany.
Education
Higher Education: Education of Women: Women's Colleges: Mary Mason Lyon (1797-1849) opens Mt. Holyoke Seminary in Massachusetts, one of the first colleges for women.
Education
Public Education: Horace Mann (1796-1959) becomes head of the newly formed Massachusetts State Board of Education. Edmund Dwight (1716-1755), a major industrialist, thinks a state board of education was so important to factory owners that he offered to supplement the state salary with extra money of his own.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s (1804-1864) first work, "Twice-Told Tales" is published.
Ideas
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) publishes "The American Scholar."
Arthur, Ellen
Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur (1837-1880), wife of Chester A. Arthur, is born August 30 in Culpepper Court House, Virginia.
Economics
Transportation: The first British liner made of iron—the Great Britain—is launched.
Economics
The economic Panic of 1837 is felt across the nation. Many people are out of work.
Daily Life
Victoria (1819-1901) becomes Queen of Great Britain. She is the first monarch to live in Buckingham Palace.
Daily Life
Magazines: Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879), author of "Mary Had A Little Lamb," begins editing the popular women''s magazine, "Godey''s Lady''s Book."
Sports
The first boat race, sponsored by the Castle Garden Boat Club, is held in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Sports
Women in Sports: Donald Walker's book, "Exercise for Ladies," warns women against horseback riding, because it deforms the lower part of the body.
Religion
American Presbyterians are split into the “old” and the “new.”
Reform
Abolition Movement: The first Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women is held in New York.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Grimké sisters found the National Female Anti-Slavery Society, one of the first to admit women of color from the start.
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1838
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Slavery: John Calhoun (1782-1850), Senator from South Carolina, introduces resolutions in the Senate affirming the legality of slavery.
War
Afrikaner (Boer) forces fight and defeat the Zulu at the Battle of Blood River in South Africa.
Science
The Royal Irish Academy elects astronomer Caroline Herschel to membership.
Science
The idea that cells are the basic building blocks of all living things is advanced.
Inventions
A one-day, brass movement clock is invented that is both accurate and inexpensive, giving rise to the term “Yankee ingenuity.”
Inventions
America’s first microscope is built by Charles A. Spencer (1813-1881).
Technology
Samuel Morse (1791-1872) gives the first demonstration of the telegraph.
Education
Education of Women: William Holmes MdGuffey (1800-1873) supports more liberal education for women.
Education
French philosopher Auguste Comte (1798-1857) gives the discipline of sociology its name.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849) writes "Ligeia," often called the first work of American science fiction.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Charles Dickens (1812-1870) writes "Oliver Twist" and "Nicholas Nickleby."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Author James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) publishes two novels criticizing American democracy; he is roundly criticized.
Harrison, Anna
William Henry Harrison (1802-1838), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born September 3.
Economics
Transportation: The British liner Great Western sails from England on her maiden voyage; she is the first to cross the Atlantic regularly.
Economics
Transportation: The British steamship Sirius crosses the Atlantic solely on steam power in 18 days, 10 hours.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The New York "Herald" is the first U.S. newspaper to employ European correspondents.
Daily Life
The coronation of Queen Victoria (1819-1901) takes place a year after she ascends the throne.
Popular Culture
Jenny Lynd (1820-1887), the "Swedish Nightingale," makes her debut.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Fifteen thousand Cherokee Indians remaining in Georgia are moved by federal troops 800 miles westward in what becomes known as "the Trail of Tears."
Reform
Women's Suffrage: Widows with school-age children are allowed to vote in school board elections in Kentucky.
Reform
Abolution Movement: Angelina Grimké becomes the first woman to ever address an American legislature, speaking on abolition in Massachusetts.
1839
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women's Firsts: Mississippi becomes the first state to give the right to own property to women, although they must have their husbands’ permission.
Politics
Third Parties: The first anti-slavery political party, the Liberty Party, runs James Birney (1792-1857) for president. He loses.
Government
The kingdom of Belgium is recognized by all countries of Europe.
War
The first Opium War between Britain and China begins.
Science
Ozone is discovered and named.
Inventions
The first electric clock is invented.
Inventions
The first bicycle is constructed by Scottish inventor Kirkpatrick Macmillan (1813-1878).
Technology
Louis Daguerre (1787-1851) takes the first photograph of the moon.
Technology
Telegraph inventor Samuel F.B. Morse (1791-1872) makes the first daguerreotype portraits to be produced in the U.S.
Education
The Lowell Institute in Boston is founded to provide free lectures by eminent scholars.
Education
A College of Dental Surgery opens in Baltimore.
Education
Teacher Education: The first public normal school (teachers' college) is founded in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Ideas
The unofficial headquarters of the Transcendentalist Club is Elizabeth Palmer Peabody’s (1804-1894) Boston bookshop.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1768-1849) moves back to Montpelier to try farming.
Harrison, Anna
Carter Bassett Harrison (1812-1839), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies August 12.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd (1818-1882) goes to live with her sister, Elizabeth Edwards (Mrs. Ninian), in Springfield, Illinois; she meets Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) there at a dance.
Tyler, Julia
Julia Gardner Tyler (1820-1889) is the first President's wife to pose for a department store advertisement.
Pierce, Jane
Frank Robert Pierce (1839-1843), son of Franklin and Jane Pierce, is born August 27.
Economics
The manufacture of rubber is pioneered by Charles Goodyear (1800-1860).
Daily Life
Magazines: The Lowell mill girls begin publishing "The Lowell Offering," a monthly magazine of poetry, fiction, and essays that becomes internationally known.
Sports
Horse Racing: The first Grand National horse race is run in Britain.
Sports
Baseball: Abner Doubleday (1819-1893) lays out the first baseball field and the first game is played.
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1840
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) is elected the 9th President of the U.S., and John Tyler (1790-1862) is elected as the 10th Vice President on the Whig ticket.
Government
Upper and lower Canada are united by an Act of Parliament.
Government
Stamps: The first postage stamps appear in Britain, bearing Queen Victoria's (1837-1901) profile. The tiny stamps (3/4 by 7/8 inches) are printed using only black ink. Brazil is the second nation to have postage stamps.
Science
Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) publishes a work on the movements and effects of glaciers.
Science
The fundamentals of artificial fertilizer are discovered.
Science
James Joule (1818-1889) develops the idea that energy can be converted from one state to another, but cannot be destroyed.
Medicine
The American Society of Dental Surgeons is organized in New York City.
Inventions
Englishman John Herschel (1792-1871) invents the blueprint.
Education
Women’s Colleges: St. Mary-of-the-Woods College is founded in Indiana as the first of many women's institutions that are established by Catholic Sisters and is chartered in 1846.
Education
Public Education: Irish Catholics in New York City struggle for local neighborhood control of schools as a way of preventing their children from being force-fed a Protestant curriculum.
Ideas
Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) becomes editor of "The Dial," an influential transcentalist publication.
Harrison, Anna
Benjamin Harrison (1806-1840), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born.
Adams, Abigail
"Selected letters" by Abigail Adams (1744-1818) on social, political, and other matters are published.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: There are 2,816 miles of railroad in operation in the U.S.
Economics
Transportation: The Cunard steamship line is established, the first with scheduled transatlantic sailings.
Economics
Population: The sixth national census shows a population of more than 17 million; 600,000 immigrants have arrived since 1830, 207,281 from Ireland.
Daily Life
Women''s Firsts: Elizabeth Peabody (1804-1894) becomes the first woman publisher in Boston and the U.S.
Daily Life
History of Toys: The first American dollmaker is granted a patent and dolls begin to be mass-produced in America for the first time.
Sports
The game of bowling (called nine pins) becomes popular in the U.S.
Popular Culture
The expression, "O.K." is first used; it refers to “Old Kinderhook,” birthplace of Martin Van Buren (1782-1862), and is also the name of a Democratic Club in New York City.
Popular Culture
The ritual of afternoon tea is introduced in Britain by Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788-1861).
Popular Culture
James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) writes "The Pathfinder."
Social Issues
Native Americans: An increasing flow of emigrants to Oregon and California bring cholera, smallpox, and measles to the Indians as well as accelerated buffalo hunting for the fur trade.
Social Issues
Slavery: Slaves on the Spanish ship Amistad mutiny and sale the ship into a Connecticut harbor.
Social Issues
Immigration: Over a million Irish immigrants arrive in the United States, driven out of their homes in Ireland by the potato famine.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Women's Rights Movement: William Lloyd Garrison refuses to speak at the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London because women have been excluded from the meeting.
Reform
Abolution Movement: Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are chosen as delegates to the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) and her husband, David Lee Child (1794-1874), edit the Anti-Slavery Standard until 1844.
Reform
Labor Movement: The 10-hour day is established for federal employees by a Presidential order.
1841
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Slavery: Affirming a strong argument made by John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), the Supreme Court rules that the slaves who took over the Amistad may be freed. Thirty-five freed men return to Africa.
Government
President William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) dies in office and is replaced by Vice-President John Tyler (1790-1852) as the 10th U.S. president; no new Vice President is selected.
Government
Tyler’s cabinet resigns over his veto of a bill creating a national bank; Daniel Webster remains Secretary of State.
Government
New Zealand becomes a British crown colony.
War
Mexican Wars: Texas soldiers invade New Mexico and claim all land east of the Rio Grande. Their efforts are thwarted by Governor Manuel Armijo (1793-1853).
Medicine
James Braid (1795-1860), Scottish surgeon, investigates the use of hypnosis.
Inventions
Adolphe Sax (1814-1894) invents the saxophone.
Inventions
Cornstarch is patented by Orlando Jones.
Inventions
Samuel Slocum (1792- 1861) patents the stapler.
Technology
The first U.S. steam fire engine is tested in New York City.
Education
Education of Women: Oberlin College in Ohio is the first to grant college degrees to women.
Education
New England transcendentalists found the commune and school, Brook Farm.
Education
Education of Women: Catherine Beecher (1800-1878) publishes "A Treatise on Domestic Economy."
Education
Children''s Books: Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) publishes a collection of children’s stories, "The Playfellow."
Education
Children’s Books: Unlike the early nineteenth-century Rousseauesque castaways, Victorian versions of the Crusoe story stressed adventure, manliness, and self-help. Well-known examples include Captain Marryat's reassuringly Evangelical Masterman Ready.
Education
Children’s Books: Frederick Marryatt (1792-1848), an ex-naval officer who wrote a whole series of shipboard novels. His Masterman Ready, or the Wreck of the Pacific, first published in three volumes in 1841-42.
Ideas
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) writes "Self Reliance."
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1764-1849) returns to Washington, DC.
Pierce, Jane
Benjamin Pierce (1841-1853), son of Franklin and Jane Pierce, is born April 13.
Harrison, Anna
Anna Symmes Harrison (1775-1864) is the first President's wife to never get to see or live in the White House because her husband, William Henry Harrison, died before she could join him there. President Harrison delivered the longest inaugural address (105 minutes) on a very cold winter day and contracted pneumonia.
Tyler, Letitia
Letitia Christian Tyler (1790-1842) is the First Vice President's wife to become First Lady at the death of the former president.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "New York Tribune" begins publishing, edited by Horace Greeley.
Popular Culture
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) publishes the first detective story, "Murders in the Rue Morgue."
Popular Culture
James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) writes "The Deerslayer."
Popular Culture
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) writes "The Old Curiosity Shop."
Social Issues
Slavery: Texas gives its citizens the right and responsibility to apprehend runaway slaves and turn them over to the law so that they may be returned to their owners or sold at auction.
Social Issues
Slavery: Slaves aboard the U.S.S. Creole take over the ship and sail it to Nassau, where they become free.
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1842
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The border between the U.S. and Canada is established from Maine to the Great Lakes.
Government
American author Washington Irving (1783-1859) is appointed ambassador to Spain.
Government
Stamps: The first adhesive postage stamps are used in the U.S.
War
Indian Wars: After destroying the Seminoles’ crops and villages, U.S. troops force a peace treaty and move them to Indian Territory in eastern Oklahoma.
Science
The Doppler Effect is described by Christian Doppler (1803-1853).
Medicine
The first surgery using an anesthetic—ether—is performed by Dr. Crawford Long (1815-1878) of Georgia.
Inventions
Joseph Dart builds the first grain elevator.
Education
Women's Colleges: Augusta Female Seminary—later Mary Baldwin Seminary, then College) is founded by Presbyterians in Staunton, VA; it will become one of the best-known early 19th century schools for girls.
Arts and Letters
The New York Philharmonic Orchestra gives its first performance.
Ideas
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) becomes editor of "The Dial," an influential transcendentalist publication.
Tyler, Letitia
Letitia Christian Tyler (1790-1842) dies of a second stroke in the White House on September 10. She is the first First Lady to die during her husband's presidency.
Mary Todd (1818-1882) and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) are married on November 4 at her sister Elizabeth’s house in Springfield.
Harrison, Anna
Mary Symmes Harrison Thornton (1809-1842), daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies November 16.
Discovery
John Charles Fremont (1813-1890) maps the Oregon Trail and wagon trains begin to move west.
Daily Life
Disasters: Mount St. Helens in Washington state erupts.
Sports
Horse Racing: Horse races at the Union Course on Long Island attract thousands of fans.
Popular Culture
P.T. Barnum (1810-1891)exhibits the young midget, Tom Thumb (Charles Sherwood Stratton, c. 1850).
Reform
Labor Movement: The landmark Supreme Court decision, Commonwealth v. Hunt, rules that trade union are not illegal, the striking for a closed shop is legal, and that unions cannot be held responsible for illegal actions by individuals.
1843
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) enters politics as a delegate to the Democratic State Convention in Alabama.
Government
Diplomatic representatives are sent to Hawaii by the U.S.
Government
Presidents: William McKinley (1843-1901), 25th President of the U.S. is born in Niles, Ohio.
Government
The first town meeting is held in Boston at Faneuil Hall.
Inventions
A U.S. patent for a hand-cranked ice cream freezer is granted to Nancy M. Johnson.
Inventions
Alexander Bain (1818-1903) of Scotland invents the facsimile.
Technology
Airplanes: William Samuel Henson, England, proposes the Aerial Steam Carriage in "Mechanics Magazine," the first known design for a propeller-driven fixed-wing aircraft.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) writes "Morte d’Arthur" and "Locksley Hall."
Ideas
Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) lays the foundations for existentialism by stressing the primacy of the individualand the inevitability of suffering.
Ideas
Women''s Rights Movement: Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) writes “The Great Lawsuit: Man versus Men, Woman versus Women.”
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd (1818-1882) and Abraham Lincoln’s(1809-1865) son Robert Todd (1843-1926) is born August 1 in Springfield, in the Globe Tavern, where the Lincolns lived for a time after their marriage.
Pierce, Jane
Frank Robert Pierce (1839-1843), son of Franklin and Jane Pierce, dies November 14 of typhoid fever; Franklin Pierce begins to wonder if God is taking his children.
Economics
Samuel Morse (1791-1872) starts to build a telegraph line between Baltimore and Washington, DC.
Discovery
John Charles Fremont (1813-1890) crosses the Rocky Mountains into California.
Daily Life
Fashion: A new form of female dress--bloomers--is introduced by Amelia Bloomer (1818 - 1894).
Daily Life
The first use of the word “millionaire” occurs in newspapers.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: The Mansion of Happiness is developed by S.B. Ives in Salem, Massachusetts. It becomes the first board game sold in the United States.
Sports
Skiing begins as a sport in Norway.
Sports
Rowing is introduced at Harvard.
Popular Culture
American Theathre: The first minstrel show is performed in New York City.
Popular Culture
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) publishes "A Christmas Carol."
Religion
The Jewish organization B’nai B’rith is founded.
Religion
Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) becomes a traveling evangelical preacher.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Lowell Female Labor Reform Association wins the first investigation of labor conditions by a government agency.
Reform
Mental Health Movement: Dorothea Dix (1802-1887) pushes reforms in the way mental health patients are treated through the Massachusetts legislature.
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1844
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
James Knox Polk (1795-1849) is elected as the 11th President of the U.S., and George Dallas (1792-1864) is elected as the nation's 11th Vice President.
Government
A plan to annex Texas is rejected by the Senate.
Government
The first treaty of peace, amity, and commerce is signed by the U.S. with China.
War
A gun on the new frigate Princeton, being demonstrated by the U.S. Navy, explodes, killing the Secretaries of State and the Navy, as well as other government officials.
Medicine
Nitrous oxide is first used in dentistry.
Inventions
Paper made from wood pulp is invented by Friedrich Keller.
Inventions
Englishman John Mercer (1829- 1897) invents mercerized cotton.
Technology
Charles Goodyear (1800-1860) receives a patent for rubber vulcanization.
Technology
Samuel F.B. Morse (1791-1872) sends his first telegraph message to an associate 45 miles away: the message is, “What hath God wrought?”
Arts and Letters
Literature: Alexander Dumas (1802-1870) writes "The Three Musketeers."
Ideas
Karl Marx (1818-1883) writes of religion as “the sigh of the oppressed creature, the feelings of a heartless world…the opium of the people.”
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1768-1849) sells Montpelier and is the first First Lady to be granted a permanent seat on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd (1818-1882) and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) buy a home from the Episcopal minister who had married them. This will prove to be the only home the couple ever own.
Tyler, Julia
Julia Gardner (1820-1889) is the first woman to marry an American President while he was in office.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb's (1831-1889) mother, Maria Webb, moves her family to Delaware, Ohio, so that her sons, Joseph and James, can enroll in the newly formed Methodist college, Ohio Wesleyan University.
Economics
Morse’s (1791-1872) telegraph is used for the first time between Baltimore and Washington, DC.
Daily Life
The first private bath in an American hotel is built in the New York Hotel.
Sports
Cricket: The first official international cricket match is played: Canada vs. United States.
Religion
Brigham Young (1801-1877) is chosen to replace Joseph Smith (1805-1844) as leader of the Mormons.
Religion
The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) is founded in England.
Reform
Anti-Child Labor Movement: The Factory Act in England prohibits children under 13 from working more than 6 ½ hours a day.
1845
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Congress establishes the first week in November for election day; the harvest is over but the roads are still passable.
Government
The U.S. Senate overrides a presidential veto for the first time.
Government
New State: Florida becomes the 27th state in the Union.
Government
New State: Texas becomes the 28th state in the Union.
Government
James Knox Polk (1795-1849) is inaugurated as the 11th President of the U.S., and George Dallas (1792-1864) is inaugurated as the nation's 11th Vice President.
Inventions
Sarah Mather receives a patent for a submarine telescope.
Inventions
Rubber bands are invented.
Inventions
The first pneumatic tires are patented in England.
Inventions
American Elias Howe (1819-1867) invents a sewing machine.
Technology
Airplanes: William Samuel Henson and John Stringfellow (1799-1883) attempt to form the Aerial Transit Company, which (if only they had a practical airplane), would have been the world's first airline. To drum up support, they build and test a model of Henson's aerial carriage with a 20-foot wingspan. It makes brief glides, but does not sustain flight.
Education
The first written examinations in elementary schools begin in Boston.
Education
Higher Education: The U.S. Naval Academy opens at Annapolis, MD.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) publishes his poem, “The Raven” with the famous line, “Quoth the Raven, Nevermore.”
Ideas
Catherine Beecher writes An Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism with Reference to the Duty of American Women to Their Country
Ideas
Margaret Fuller publishes Women in the Nineteenth Century, an expansion of her earlier essay calling for equality for women.
Jackson, Rachel
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), 7th President of the U.S., dies at the Hermitage in Nashville, Tennessee.
Polk, Sarah
Sarah Childress Polk (1803-1891) is the first First Lady to be "selected" by the previous President for her position (President Tyler told newly elected James Polk that he needed to get married and should marry Sarah). As a result of this selection, Sarah is the first First Lady to serve as her husband's personal secretary.
Harrison, Anna
Anna Tuthill Harrison Taylor (1813-1845), daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies July 5.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb (1831-1889) attends classes at Ohio Wesleyan and receives some credits from the College, although female students are not officially enrolled there.
Economics
Power looms for weaving carpets and tapestries are built by Erastus Bigelow (1814-1879).
Daily Life
The Eastern Hotel in Boston becomes the first steam-heated building in the U.S.
Daily Life
Magazines: "Scientific American Magazine" begins publication.
Religion
Children’s Books: "Letter to My Young Cousin" by American Sunday school Union. This is a book of religious advice on behavior in the family, written as from one teenage girl to another.
Social Issues
Immigration: The potato crop fails in Europe, hitting Ireland especially hard; Irish immigrants continue to flock to the U.S.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Industrial Congress of the U.S., one of the earliest labor unions, is organized.
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1846
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
New State: Iowa becomes the 29th state in the U.S.
War
Mexican War: The U.S. declares war on Mexico over California. U.S. forces under General Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) defeat the Mexicans at Palo Alto, the Navy occupies Monterey, and the territory of New Mexico is annexed to the U.S.
Science
Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) is awarded the King of Prussia’s Gold Medal for science.
Science
The planet Neptune is discovered by German astronomer Johann Gottfied Galle.
Medicine
Dr. William Morton (1819-1868), a Massachusetts dentist, is the first to use anesthesia for tooth extraction.
Inventions
Elias Howe (1819-1867) receives a patent for his sewing machine.
Education
The Smithsonian Institution is established in Washington, DC as a center for scientific research.
Education
Education of Women: The National Academy of Design accepts women students.
Ideas
Catherine Beecher (1800-1878) publishes "The Evils Suffered by American Women and American Children."
Lincoln, Mary
With Mary’s (1818-1882) encouragement, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Lincoln, Mary
Edward Baker (1846-1850), son of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln, born on March 10 in Springfield.
Tyler, Julia
David Gardiner "Gardie" Tyler (1846-1927), the first son born to John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born on July 12.
Harrison, Anna
Elizabeth "Betsey" Bassett Harrison Short (1796-1846), the oldest daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born September 29.
Harrison, Anna
Elizabeth "Betsey" Bassett Harrison Short (1796-1846), the oldest daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies September 26.
Daily Life
Women''s Firsts: Sarah Bagley (1806-1848) becomes the first woman telegrapher in the U.S.
Daily Life
The first painted Christmas card is designed.
Sports
Baseball: New York surveyor Alexander Cartwrite codifies the rules of baseball.
Sports
Baseball: The first recorded baseball game is played in Hoboken, NJ.
Popular Culture
Edward Lear (1812-1888) publishes his "Book of Nonsense."
Religion
The Mormons under Brigham Young (1801-1877) move westward beyond the U.S. borders to the Great Salt Lake.
Religion
The American Missionary Association is founded, combining Protestant evangelicalism with abolitionism.
Social Issues
Slavery: During the Mexican-American War, Mexico is defeated and forced to yield an enormous amount of territory to the United States. Americans then wrestle with a controversial topic: Should slavery be permitted in the new lands?
Reform
Capital Punishment: Michigan becomes the first state to outlaw capital punishment.
1847
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
California comes under U.S. control.
Government
Liberia, colonized by American ex-slaves, becomes the first independent republic in Africa.
Government
Stamps: United States stamps debut. The first two feature George Washington (1732-1799) and Ben Franklin (1706-1790).
Science
Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) discovers a new comet which is named after her.
Science
Joseph Leidy (1823-1891) suggests that the environment affects changes (evolution) within a species.
Medicine
Childbirth assisted by anesthetic (chloroform) first takes place.
Medicine
The American Medical Association is organized in Philadelphia.
Medicine
Epidemics: Another world-wide epidemic of influenza occurs.
Medicine
Antiseptics are developed by Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-1865), a Hungarian.
Inventions
The ophthalmoscope is invented by Charles Babbage (1791-1871) .
Education
Women's Colleges: Rockford Female Seminary (later College) is founded in Rockford, IL; it is called the “Mount Holyoke of the West.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: Emily Bronte (1818-1848) writes "Wuthering Heights" and Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) writes "Jane Eyre."
Fillmore, Abigail
The Fillmore (1800-1874) family moves to Albany when Fillmore is elected state comptroller; the children are away at boarding school and college.
Mckinley, Ida
Ida Saxon (1847-1907) , wife of William McKinley, is born in Canton, Ohio on June 8.
Tyler, Letitia
Alice Tyler Denison (1847-1854), daughter of John and Letitia Tyler, is born March 23.
Economics
Evaporated milk is made for the first time.
Daily Life
Disasters: Forty-seven of the eighty-seven members of the Donner Party die while trapped in the Sierra Mountains.
Daily Life
The California town of Yerba Buena is renamed San Francisco.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The telegraph is used to transfer stories over great distances, thus making news more immediate.
Religion
The Mormons found Salt Lake City, Utah.
Social Issues
Immigration: The first Chinese immigrants arrive in the U.S.
Social Issues
Immigration: Irish immigration reaches 105,000, 3 times more than the year before.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Taos Rebellion against the U.S. military occurs.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) , escaped ex-slave, begins publishing his abolitionist newspaper, the North Star.
Reform
Anti-Child Labor Movement: Women and children in Britain may only work a 10-hour day.
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1848
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) is elected 12th President of the U.S. on the Whig ticket; Millard Fillmore is elected as the 12th Vice President.
Politics
Third Parties: Former Democratic President Martin van Buren (1782-1862) becomes the presidential candidate of the anti-slavery Free-Soil Party. He wins 10 percent of the popular vote, and is credited with siphoning off enough votes from Democratic candidate Lewis Cass (1782-1866 ) to help Whig candidate Zachary Taylor (1784- 1850) win the election.
Government
New State: Wisconsin becomes the 30th state in the U.S.
War
Mexican Wars: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the war with Mexico, the U.S. receives New Mexico and California as well as parts of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Colorado for $15 million.
Science
Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) becomes the first woman to be elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Science
Hyperion, the eighth moon of Saturn, is discovered.
Medicine
Epidemics: More than 5,000 deaths are caused by a cholera epidemic in New York City.
Inventions
Margaret (Mattie) Knight (1838-1914) (10) invents a stop-motion device to keep shuttles from sliding out of the looms and injuring workers.
Inventions
Chewing gum is invented by John B. Curtis (1827–1897) of Maine.
Inventions
Waldo Hanchett patents the dental chair.
Education
Women’s Colleges: Moore College of Art is founded in Philadelphia (then called the Philadelphia School of Design for Women); it is the first and only women's visual arts college in the nation--and one of only two in the world.
Education
Libraries: Boston Public Library becomes the first publicly supported major urban library.
Education
Education of Women: A medical school for women opens with 12 students in Boston.
Education
Public Education: Massachusetts Reform School at Westboro opens, where children who have refused to attend public schools are sent. This begins a long tradition of "reform schools," which combine the education and juvenile justice systems.
Education
Public Education: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo guarantees citizenship rights to everyone living in new American areas, mostly Mexicans and Native people. It also guarantees the continued use of the Spanish language, including in education. One hundred fifty years later, in 1998, California breaks that treaty, by passing Proposition 227, which would make it illegal for teachers to speak Spanish in public schools.
Ideas
Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) publish "The Communist Manifesto."
Adams, Louisa
John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), son of Abigail and John Adams, dies of a massive stroke on February 23.
Taylor, Margaret
Margaret Smith Taylor (1788-1852) is the only First Lady whose portrait does not hang in the White House. She refused to ever have it made.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb (1831-1889) meets Rutherford B. Hayes for the first time when he is visiting her town with his mother. She begins college at the Cincinnati Wesleyan Female College this year as well.
Tyler, Julia
John Alexander "Alex" Tyler (1848-1883), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born on April 7.
Tyler, Letitia
Mary Tyler Jones (1815-1848), the first daughter born to John and Letitia Christian Tyler, dies June 17.
Economics
Gold is first discovered in California, in Sutter's mill. After President Polk (1795-1849) announces the news in December, the gold rush begins soon after.
Daily Life
Niagara Falls stops flowing for the first time in history because of an ice jam in the Niagara River.
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) writes “Oh, Susannah,” which becomes popular among the “49ers” and establishes his reputation as a song writer.
Religion
Spiritualism becomes popular in the U.S.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The California Gold Rush begins, increasing Western expansion across former Native American lands.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: The National Convention of Colored Freedmen held in Cleveland, Ohio resolves that women should be elected delegates on an equal basis with men.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: The first Women’s Rights convention is held in Seneca Falls, NY.
1849
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) is inaugurated as the 12th President of the U.S. and Millard Fillmore is inaugurated as the 12th Vice President.
Government
Thomas Ewing (1829-1896) of Ohio is appointed as the first Secretary of the Interior, a department created to meet the needs of western settlers.
Government
Congress establishes the Minnesota territory.
Science
Jeffries Wyman (1814-1874) describes the similarities between the skeletons of apes and humans.
Medicine
Women's Firsts: Female doctors are permitted to practice medicine for the first time in the U.S., and Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) becomes the first woman physician in the U.S.
Inventions
The safety pin is invented by Walter Hunt (1796-1859) , trying to satisfy a $15 debt; he spends 3 hours bending wire into various forms.
Inventions
Mary Ann Woodward patents a fan that attaches to a rocking chair.
Technology
Airplanes: Sir George Cayley (1773-1857), builds a small glider designed to lift about 80 pounds of the ground. He refers to it as his Boy Glider. It is the first recorded manned (or boyed) fixed-wing aircraft. It lifts a 10-year old boy off the ground for a few yards on test runs. Cayley also flew it in a high wind like a kite, tethered to the ground.
Education
The Free Academy in New York City opens; it will become the College of the City of New York and offer free education to the children of New York’s working class.
Education
Children’s Books: Anna Maria Hall (1800-1881) is one of the most prolific Victorian writers for children, best known for such moral tales as "Grandmamma's Pockets."
Tyler, Julia
Julia Tyler Spencer (1849-1871), daughter of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born on December 25.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1768-1849) dies on July 12 at the age of 81.
Polk, Sarah
James K. Polk (1795-1849) is the first President to be photographed while in office; he dies on June 15 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Fillmore, Abigail
The family moves to Washington.
Lincoln, Mary
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) applies for a patent on a floating dry dock; he is the only U.S. President to do so.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) meets Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) , a student of her father’s in Cincinnati.
Economics
Seven thousand “49ers” invade California in a search for gold.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The Pacific Railroad Company is chartered, the first railroad west of the Mississippi River.
Economics
Women''s Rights Movement: Amelia Bloomer (1818 - 1894) begins publishing "The Lily," moving it to Ohio in 1853 and employing female typesetters in spite of a strike by males on the staff.
Sports
The Pearl of Bermuda beats the U.S. yacht Brenda in the first recognized international yacht race.
Social Issues
Slavery: California holds a convention, adopting a constitution that forbids slavery and requests admission to the Union.
Social Issues
Immigration: The California Gold Rush sparks first mass immigration from China.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The giant redwood trees in California are named Sequoias in honor of the Cherokee Indian Chief, Sequoya (c.1770-1843).
Reform
Abolition Movement: Maryland slave Harriet Tubman (c.1820-1913) escapes to the North with some help from her friends.
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1850
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
New Mexico (which included present day Arizona, southern Colorado, southern Utah, and southern Nevada) is designated a territory, but denied statehood.
Government
Slavery: The Compromise of 1850 is passed after bitter debates about slavery in new territories and states.
Government
Vice President Millard Fillmore (1800-1847) becomes the 13th President of the U.S. on the death of Zachary Taylor. No new Vice President is selected.
Government
New State: California becomes the 31st state in the U.S.
Government
The city of Los Angeles is incorporated.
Science
The inner-most ring of Saturn is discovered.
Inventions
The continuous stitch sewing machine is invented by Isaac Singer (1811-1875).
Inventions
Joel Houghton is granted the first dishwasher patent in 1850.
Technology
Newspapers: Powerful, giant presses appear, and they are able to print ten thousand complete papers per hour.
Technology
The first clear photograph of the moon is made (a daguerreotype).
Education
Children’s Books: "Three Little Kittens" and other stories from Mama Lovechild''s Series were issued by the American toy and game publisher, McLoughlin Brothers.
Education
Education of Women: The Female Medical College of Pennsylvania is founded.
Education
Public Education: One of the first “free,” or public, schools in New Jersey is founded by Clara Barton (1821-1912).
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) writes "Sonnets from the Portuguese."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) writes "The Scarlet Letter."
Lincoln, Mary
Edward Baker Lincoln (1846-1850), son of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln, dies of tuberculosis at age 3, on February 1.
Lincoln, Mary
William Wallace Lincoln (1850-1862), son of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln, is born on December 21.
Taylor, Margaret
President Zachary Taylor (1784-1850), 12th President of the U.S., dies of indigestion on July 9 in Washington D.C. after less than a year-and-a-half in office on .
Fillmore, Abigail
The first library in the White House is established by Abigail Fillmore (1798-1853); She used her furniture money to buy the books. In addition to the library, she also had the first White House bathtub installed and replaced the fireplace used for cooking with the first White House cookstove.
Grant, Julia
Fredrick Dent Grant (1850-1912), son of Ulysses and Julia Grant, is born May 30.
Monroe, Elizabeth
Maria Hester Monroe Gouverneur (1803-1850) President James Monroe and Elizabeth Monroe, dies at the age of 47.
Tyler, Letitia
Elizabeth "Lizzie" Tyler Waller (1823-1850), daughter of John and Letitia Tyler, dies June 1 from childbirth complications.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb Hayes (1831-1889) is the first First Lady to earn a college degree from Cincinnati Wesleyan.
Economics
Young Bavarian-American Levi Strauss (1829-1902) invents blue jeans.
Economics
Population: The population of the U.S. is 23 million (3.2 million black slaves).
Daily Life
Fashion: Crinolines become popular in the U.S., later to be replaced by hoop skirts.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first "pictorial" weekly newspapers emerge; for the first time they feature extensive illustrations of news events.
Popular Culture
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) publishes "David Copperfield."
Popular Culture
P.T. Barnum (1810-1891) brings Jenny Lind (1820-1887) to sing in the U.S.
Popular Culture
Steven Foster (1826-1864) writes “Camptown Races.”
Social Issues
Native Americans: Silversmithing is introduced to the Navajo Indians, who make it an art form.
Social Issues
Slavery: The Compromise of 1850 includes the Fugitive Slave Act, a law designed to assist in the recovery of runaway slaves by increasing federal officers and denying fugitive slaves a right to a jury trial.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Harriet Tubman (c.1820-1913) begins to lead slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad. She makes 19 trips back to the South to free about 300 slaves.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Women gain the right to own land in Oregon.
1851
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
American Money: Three-cent coins are authorized by Congress.
Government
National Capital: The dome on top of the Capitol Building is designed.
Science
Understanding of the rotation of the earth is advanced.
Medicine
Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) sets up a small medical clinic in a New York City tenement district.
Medicine
The use of glass eyes is introduced; many think they will restore sight.
Education
Libraries: The first law allowing towns to support free libraries through taxes is passed in Massachusetts.
Education
Teacher Education: White American education pioneer Myrrilla Miner opens a teaching college for black women in Washington, DC, the Miner Normal School, amid threats, arson attempts, and stone-throwing mobs.
Education
Libraries: Fire at the Library of Congress burns two-thirds of its collection, 900 of which have still to be replaced.
Education
Public Education: State of Massachusetts passes its first compulsory education law. The goal is to make sure that the children of poor immigrants get "civilized" and learn obedience and restraint, so they make good workers and don't contribute to social upheaval.
Arts and Letters
Opera: Giuseppe Verdi’s (1813-1901) opera "Rigoletto" is first performed in Venice.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Herman Melville (1819-1891) publishes "Moby Dick."
Tyler, Julia
Lachlan Tyler (1851-1902), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born December 2.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1881) asks Lucy Webb (1831-1889) to marry him; she accepts.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "New York Times" begins publishing.
Daily Life
The first double-decker omnibus, drawn by horses, appears in England.
Daily Life
Fashion: Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-1894) gives her name to “bloomers,” a split skirt designed by Elizabeth Smith Miller (1822-1911) for bicycle riding.
Sports
In the America’s Cup race, the U.S. yacht America beats the British yacht Aurora on Cowes, England.
Sports
Baseball: The first baseball uniforms are worn by the New York Knickerbockers—straw hats, white shirts, and blue trousers.
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) publishes “Old Folks at Home.”
Popular Culture
Children’s Books: The American abolitionist novel Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1812-1896) was pirated and abridged to become a children's classic. Although the book presents both African-American and white characters through melodrama and stereotype, the novel has received increasing critical reappraisal in recent years.
Religion
The first Young Men’s Christian Association (WMCA) opens in Boston.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Sioux Indians give their Iowa lands, and most of their lands in Minnesota to the U.S.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Prohibition against liquor is begun in Maine and Illinois.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) gives her famous "Ain't I a Woman" speech at the Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio.
Reform
Native Americans: Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy (1818-1888) arrives in New Mexico and establishes schools, hospitals and orphanages throughout the territory.
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1852
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Democrat Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) is elected as the 14th President of the U.S., defeating the Whig candidate, General Winfield Scott; William R. King (1786-1853) is elected as the 13th Vice President. The Whig party ceases to be a power.
Government
Napoleon III (1808-1873) becomes the Emperor of France.
Government
The South African Republic (Transvaal) is established.
Government
Stamps: The first pre-stamped envelopes are sold. Pre-stamped postcards (for a penny) appear 19 years later.
Science
Kerosene is discovered and named.
Medicine
A Dutch army surgeon creates the first cast for broken bones by injecting bandages with plaster.
Inventions
Elisha Gray (1835-1901) invents a safety device to prevent the fall of heavy machinery; his invention makes the development of the elevator possible.
Inventions
James Otis (died 1861) designs a passenger elevator.
Inventions
The non-rigid airship is invented by Henri Giffard.
Education
Education of Women: Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) publishes "The Laws of Life, with Special Reference to the Physical Education of Girls."
Education
Women's Colleges: The National Women’s Education Association is founded by Catherine Beecher (1800-1878) to provide help for women’s colleges, and promote the idea of women as teachers.
Education
The first effective school attendance law is passed in Massachusetts; it requires at least 12 weeks attendance for all children between 8 and 14, six of which must be consecutive.
Education
Libraries: The Boston Public Library is founded.
Education
Women’s Colleges: Mills College is founded in California; it is the oldest women's college in the western part of the United States.
Johnson, Eliza
Andrew Johnson Jr. (1852-1879), son of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, is born August 6.
Grant, Julia
Ulysses Simpson "Buck" Grant Jr. (1852-1929), son of Ulysses and Julia Grant, is born July 22.
Madison, Dolley
John Payne Todd (1792-1852), the biological son of Dolley Madison and the stepson of President James Madison, dies of typhoid fever. John''s life choices, made him a charlatan and constant disgrace to his parents.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb (1831-1889) and Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1881) are married on December 30 in Cincinnati.
Adams, Louisa
Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams (1775-1852) dies in Washington on May 15 at the age of seventy-seven; the U.S. Congress adjourns to attend her funeral, the first time this honor is conferred upon a woman.
Taylor, Margaret
Margaret Mackall Smith Taylor (1788-1852) dies near Pascagoula, Mississippi on August 18 at the age of sixty-four.
Economics
The Wells Fargo Company is founded.
Discovery
Livingstone (1813-1873) begins explorations of the Zambezi River in South Africa.
Daily Life
The U.S. imports sparrows from Germany as a defense against caterpillars.
Sports
The first intercollegiate rowing race is held between Harvard and Yale.
Popular Culture
The character of “Uncle Sam” appears for the first time in the "New York Lantern Weekly."
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) writes “My Old Kentucky Home.”
Religion
American Catholics hold their first Plenary Council in Baltimore.
Social Issues
Immigration: Chinese immigration is encouraged in California, particularly to provide labor for building railroads.
Reform
Labor Movement: Ohio becomes the first state to regulate working hours for women.
Reform
Temperance Movement: The Woman’s New York Temperance Society is formed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.
1853
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
With the Gadsden Treaty, the U.S. secures land from Mexico that completes its acquisition of land in the continental United States.
Government
The Washington Territory is formed from part of the Oregon Territory.
Government
Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) is inaugurated as the 14th President of the U.S., and William R. King (1786-1853) is inaugurated as the 13th Vice President. King dies soon after taking office, and is not replaced.
Medicine
Alexander Wood (1817-1884) uses hypodermic syringes for injections under the skin.
Medicine
Smallpox vaccinations are made compulsory in Britain.
Medicine
Chloroform is used by Queen Victoria (1819-1901) as an anesthetic in the birth of her 7th child; it becomes an accepted practice in England.
Medicine
Epidemics: More than 3,000 perish from yellow fever in New Orleans.
Inventions
African American inventors: George Crum invents the potato chip.
Technology
Airplanes: The first heavier-than-air flying machine, a glider, flies across a valley for 500 yards carrying its frightened creator, George Cayley (1773-1857).
Education
Children’s Books: From his weekly magazine, "Household Words," Charles Dickens (1812-1870) waxes nostalgic for the educationally-incorrect fairy tales and nursery rhymes of his youth, such as Aladdin or Jack the Giant-Killer.
Education
Higher Education: Antioch College in Ohio opens.
Education
Women's Colleges: American educator Mary Easton Sibley (1800-1878) founds the Lindenwood Female College in Missouri.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Rosa Bonheur’s (1822-1899) painting, "The Horse Fair," establishes her reputation as an artist.
Fillmore, Abigail
Abigail Powers Fillmore (1798-1853) dies of pneumonia at the Willard Hotel in Washington at the age of fifty-five.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Scott (1832-1892) graduates from the Oxford Female Academy. She begins teaching
Hayes, Lucy
Birchard Austin Hayes (1853-1926), son of Rutherford and Lucy Hayes, is born November 4 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln’s son Thomas "Tad" (1853-1871) is born on April 4 in Springfield.
Tyler, Julia
Lyon Gardiner Tyler (1853-1935), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born in August.
Pierce, Jane
Benjamin Pierce (1841-1853), son of Franklin and Jane Pierce, dies tragically January 16 in a train accident before his parents' eyes.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The Baltimore and Ohio railroad is completed as far as the Ohio River.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The New York Central railroad is formed, connecting New York City and Buffalo, NY.
Economics
The building of Steinway pianos is begun in New York City by Henry Steinway (1797-1871) and his three sons.
Economics
Tiffany and Company, jewelers, is established.
Economics
Condensed milk is introduced by Gail Borden (1801-1871).
Economics
American Money: Three-dollar gold pieces are authorized by Congress.
Discovery
Commander Matthew Perry (1794-1858) sails into Japan’s Edo Bay, hoping to open Japan to trade with the west.
Religion
Women's Firsts: Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825-1921) becomes the first ordained minister of a recognized denomination, the Congregationalists.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Seventy-three women present a petition to the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention urging women’s suffrage.
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