Beginning Year:       Ending Year:      
1744
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 Iroquois Confederation cedes the Ohio Valley territory north of the Ohio River to England.
Inventions
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) invents the Pennsylvania Fireplace (or Franklin Stove) which provides much more heat on much less fuel than regular fireplaces.
Arts and Letters
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) edits Cato’s "Cato Major" in Philadelphia.
Arts and Letters
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) completes Part 2 of "The Well-Tempered Clavier."
Adams, Abigail
Abigail Smith (1744-1818) is born on November 11, in Weymouth, MA.
Economics
Elizabeth (Eliza) Pinckney (1722-1793) develops indigo as a commercial crop in the Carolinas.
Economics
Rubber is first used in Europe about this time.
Discovery
George Anson (1697-1762) returns from trip around the world.
Sports
Cricket: The first recorded cricket match is held in England.
Popular Culture
“God Save the Queen” is published in Thesaurus Musicus.
1745
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
Science
Women''s Firsts: Higher Education: Laura Bassi (1711-1778) lectures on physics at the University of Bologna, becoming the first woman physics professor at any university.
Medicine
Thomas Cadwalader (1708-1779) publishes America’s first medical pamphlet describing the treatment of lead poisoning caused by drinking rum distilled in lead pipes.
Inventions
Ewald Georg von Kleist (1700-1748), invents the capacitor.
Education
Higher Education: Yale College, Connecticut, receives a new royal charter.
Ideas
The writings of Charles de Secondat (1689-1755), Baron of Montesquieu appear in American periodicals, influencing the formation of the Constitution.
Daily Life
“The Campbells Are Coming,” Scottish national song, is published.
Daily Life
The first meeting of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows takes place in England.
Daily Life
Dancing: The quadrille becomes a fashionable dance in France.
Popular Culture
Men and women make Whist a popular card game.
Religion
Judaism: Jews are expelled from Prague.
Religion
The first carillon in America is installed in the belfry of Christ Church, Boston.
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1746
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
War
Charles Edward Stuart (1720-1788), the “Young Pretender” of Scotland, wins a victory at Falkirk, but is defeated finally at Colloden; with the help of Flora MacDonald he escapes to France.
Science
Benjamin Franklin (1705-1790) explains weather patterns, pressure systems, and water spouts. He begins his experiments with electricity.
Education
Higher Education: The College of New Jersey is founded; it becomes Princeton University in 1896.
Arts and Letters
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) contracts for "A Dictionary of the English Language."
Ideas
Denis Diderot (1713-1784) publishes "Pensées philosophiques."
Daily Life
Wearing of the tartan is prohibited in Great Britain until 1782.
Popular Culture
Lucy Terry's (c. 1730-1821) "Bars Fight" is published; it is the earliest existing poem by an African-American.
Religion
First Great Awakening: The establishment of the College of New Jersey (later, Princeton University) owes something to graduates of the Log College, founded in 1726 to train evangelical ministers during the First Great Awakening.
1747
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 first legal society, the New York Bar Association, is founded in New York City.
Science
German chemist A. S. Marggraf (1709-1782) discovers sugar in beetroot.
Science
Mark Catesby (1683-1749) publishes "On Migration," writing about migrating birds; he is later called the “Father of American Ornithography.”
Medicine
James Lind (1716 – 1794) discovers that citrus fruits prevent scurvy.
Medicine
Epidemic: A measles epidemic sweeps through Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: English poet Thomas Gray (1716-1771) publishes "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College," containing the lines, “Where ignorance is bliss,/’Tis folly to be wise.”
Arts and Letters
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) publishes “A Plan of a Dictionary of the English Language.”
Arts and Letters
William Stith (1689-1755) publishes "The History of the First Discovery and Settlement of Virginia," one of the most accurate accounts of a colonial settlement, covering the years to 1624.
Economics
The Ohio Company is formed to extend colonial settlements of Virginia westward; rivalry for the West, especially for the upper Ohio Valley, increases between France and Great Britain.
Popular Culture
The Drury Lane Theatre begins to flourish under David Garrick (1717-1779).
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1748
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
Halifax, Nova Scotia, is founded by the British.
Science
John Mitchell (1690-1768) is the first to accurately describe the lifestyle and pouch of the opossum.
Science
Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (1707-1783) relates the functions of unknown quantities in equations.
Science
Maria Agnesi (1718-1799) discusses analysis in "Instituzioni Analitiche ad Uso della Gioventu Italiana."
Medicine
English physician John Fothergill (1712-1780) describes diphtheria.
Education
Libraries: A circulating library opens in Charleston, SC.
Ideas
Charles de Secondat, Baron of Montesquieu (1689-1755), publishes his "Spirit of Laws."
Ideas
David Hume (1711-1776) publishes "An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding."
Jefferson, Martha
Martha Wayles (1748-1782), is born on October 30 in Charles City County, Virginia.
Economics
Platinum arrives in Europe from South America.
Economics
The Dutch begin to trade on Africa’s east coast.
Discovery
Excavation begins at Pompeii.
Sports
Cricket: Court of King’s Bench rules that “cricket is a legal sport.”
1749
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
Georgia becomes a Crown Colony.
Inventions
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) invents the lightning rod, installing one on his Philadelphia house.
Education
Special Education: Giacobbo Rodriguez Pereira (1715-1780) invents sign language for deaf-mutes.
Education
Children''s Books: Sarah Fielding (1710-1768), sister of Henry Fielding (1707-1754), publishes "The Governess," the first English novel written expressly for children.
Education
Higher Education: The Philadelphia Academy is founded; it becomes the University of Pennsylvania in 1791.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Henry Fielding (1707-1754) writes "A History of Tom Jones, a Foundling."
Ideas
Education of Women: Dorothea Erxleben (1715-1762) publishes "Rational Thoughts on Education of the Fair Sex," advocating university study for women.
Economics
The Ohio Company makes its first settlement around the forks of the Ohio River.
Social Issues
Slavery: Black slavery is legalized in Georgia.
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1750
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 British Parliament passes The Iron Act, limiting the growth of the iron industry in the American Colonies
Science
Higher Education: Maria Agnesi (1718-1799) is named honorary professor of mathematics at the University of Bologna
Science
Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille (1713-1762), French astronomer, plots 10,000 Southern Hemisphere stars.
Science
Thomas Wright (1711-1786) discusses galaxies and the shape of the Milky Way in "An Original Theory or New Hypothesis of the Universe."
Education
Education of Women: The word "bluestocking," is used as a put-down for learned women
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Thomas Gray (1716-1771) writes "Elegy Written in a Country Church Yard."
Arts and Letters
Neoclassicism as a reaction against baroque and rococo styles spreads over Europe.
Ideas
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) attacks science and art as tools of the rich in "Discours sur les sciences et les arts."
Ideas
David Hume (1711-1776) publishes "Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals."
Washington, Martha
Martha Dandridge (1731-1802) marries Daniel Parke Custis (1711-1757).
Economics
The first American coal mine opens on the James River in Virginia.
Economics
Movable type for printing music comes into use.
Economics
The population of Europe is approximately 140 million.
Economics
U. S. Population: Over a million people live in colonial America.
Daily Life
Transportation: The river flatboat and the Conestoga wagon first appear in Pennsylvania.
Sports
Cricket: The Humbledon Cricket Club is founded in England.
Sports
Horse Racing: The English Jockey Club is founded in London to promote the sport of horse racing.
Popular Culture
American Theatre: The first playhouse opens in New York City.
Religion
The Great Awakening: The first Great Awakening ends when Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) is forced to resign from his church in Northampton, MA because of his emphasis on the sinful nature of man.
Reform
American Protest Music: “Yankee Doodle” is written during the American Revolution by Dr. Richard Schuckburg.
1751
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
Britain passes the British Calendar Act, which places England and its colonies on the Gregorian Calendar beginning in 1752.
Government
Presidents: James Madison (1751-1836), fourth President of the U.S., is born in Port Conway, Virginia.
Science
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1791) publishes "Experiments and Observations on Electricity," using the terms positive and negative for the first time.
Education
Higher Education: Calculus is introduced into the Harvard curriculum by John Winthrop, Jr.
Education
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) helps found the first “English Academy” in Philadelphia.
Washington, Martha
Daniel Parke Custis, Jr. (1751-1754), first son of Martha and Daniel Parke Custis, is born.
Economics
The Ohio Company actively colonizes in the Ohio Valley.
Economics
The first sugar cane grown in America is introduced in Louisiana by Catholic missionaries; it is used to make a kind of rum.
Daily Life
The 4th edition of Hannah Glasse’s (1708-1770) cookbook is printed.
Daily Life
Dancing: The minuet becomes Europe’s fashionable dance.
Sports
Cricket: The first cricket match is held in New York City.
Popular Culture
Tobias Smollett (1721-1771) writes "The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle."
Reform
Mental Health Movement: The first mental asylums appear in London.
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1752
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
Great Britain adopts the Gregorian calendar on Sept. 14 (Sept. 3-13 is omitted).
War
French and Indian: The French begin building forts across Pennsylvania and into Ohio to stop British invasion of their territory.
Science
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) performs his famous kite experiment, proving that lightning is electricity.
Science
René Antoine Réaumur (1683-1757) identifies gastric juices and their role in digestion.
Medicine
Thomas Bond (1712-1784) establishes the first general hospital in the colonies in Philadelphia, treating all except those with incurable or infectious diseases.
Ideas
David Hume (1711-1776) writes "Political Discourses."
Economics
An early fire insurance company is founded in Pennsylvania by Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790).
Religion
Missionaries first arrive at the Cape Colony, South Africa.
1753
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
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) and William Hunter are appointed as postmasters general for the American Colonies.
War
French and Indian: French troops from Canada seize the Ohio Valley in action leading up to the French and Indian War.
Science
Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778) publishes "Species Plantarum," establishing the names of plant species.
Medicine
John Lining (1708-1760) publishes a detailed description of yellow fever.
Education
Museums: The British Museum in London is granted a royal foundation charter, and begins its collection with 50,000 volumes, thousands of manuscripts, coins, and other artifacts left to England by London physician Sir Hans Slone.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Charlotte Lennox’s (1720-1804) "Shakespear Illustrated," a pioneering study of Shakespeare’s sources, is published.
Washington, Martha
Frances Parke Custis (1753-1757), first daughter of Martha and Daniel Parke Custis, is born.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: First steam engine arrives in the colonies from England.
Daily Life
The Liberty Bell is recast after it arrived from Europe with a crack in it; it cracked again after this casting.
Sports
Horse Racing: The Jockey Club establishes a permanent track for horse racing at Newmarket, in London.
Religion
Judaism: English Act of Parliament permits naturalization of Jews.
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1754
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
War
French and Indian: The French and Indian War begins as Britain declares war on France in the American colonies.
Science
Scottish chemist Joseph Black (1728-1799) discovers carbonic acid gas.
Medicine
Women's Firsts: Dorothea Erxleben (1715-1762) graduates from the University of Halle, the first woman to obtain a medical degree from a German university.
Medicine
James Lind (1716-1794) publishes a paper that proves that citrus juice can be an effective way to combat scurvy.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Benjamin Bannecker (1731-1806) makes the first clock built entirely in America.
Education
Higher Education: King’s College in New York City is founded; it becomes Columbia University in 1784.
Arts and Letters
Architecture: The Winter Palace in St. Petersburg is completed by Italian architect Bartolomeo Rastrelli (1700-1771).
Washington, Martha
Daniel Parke Custis, Jr. (1751-1754), son of Martha and Daniel Parke Custis, dies.
Washington, Martha
John "Jacky" Parke Custis (1754-1781), second son of Martha and Daniel Parke Custis, is born.
Sports
Golf: St. Andrew’s Royal and Ancient Golf Club is founded in Scotland.
1755
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
War
French and Indian: British General Edward Braddock (c.1695-1755) takes command of all English forces in America during the French and Indian War. He is mortally wounded in an ambush near Fort Duquesne in western Pennsylvania.
War
French and Indian: Twenty-three year-old George Washington (1732-1799) assumes command of the retreating army of British and colonial troops
Technology
The first steam engine in America is installed to pump water from a mine.
Education
Higher Education: The first Russian institution of higher education, Moscow State University, is founded
Arts and Letters
Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) begins his work on "The Dictionary of the English Language."
Ideas
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), publishes his "Discourse upon the Origin and Foundation of Inequality Among Mankind" (Second Discourse).
Daily Life
Maps of Virginia and the Middle British Colonies are printed.
Daily Life
Sir Harry Frankland (1716-1768) marries his mistress, Agnes Surriage (1726-1783), according to legend, after she saves him from being buried alive following an earthquake.
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1756
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
War
120 British soldiers are imprisoned and die in India (“Black Hole of Calcutta”).
War
French and Indian: The French and Indian War is formally declared; the French under General Louis Montcalm (1712-1759) capture and destroy British colonial Fort Oswego in New York and drive Britain from the Great Lakes in North America.
Ideas
Edmund Burke (1729-1797) writes "Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful."
Washington, Martha
Martha "Patsy" Parke Custis (1756-1773), second daughter of Martha and Daniel Parke Custis, is born.
Economics
Transportation: A stagecoach line is established between Philadelphia and New York City
Economics
The first chocolate factory is opened in Germany.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "New Hampshire Gazette," one of the longest running newspapers in America, is established.
Daily Life
Louis François du Plessis, the Duc de Richelieu (1696-1788) invents mayonnaise.
Daily Life
Fashion: Cotton velvets are first made in England.
1757
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
William Pitt (1708-1778) becomes England's Secretary of State.
Government
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) is sent to London as a representative of the Pennsylvania legislature to negotiate for the heirs of William Penn.
War
French and Indian: William Pitt (1708-1778) escalates the War in the colonies by establishing a policy of unlimited warfare.
Ideas
David Hume (1711-1776) publishes "The Natural History of Religion."
Washington, Martha
Frances Parke Custis (1753-1757), first daughter of Martha and Daniel Parke Custis, dies.
Washington, Martha
Daniel Parke Custis (1711-1757) dies, leaving Martha a 26-year-old widow with two young children.
Washington, Martha
George Washington (1732-1799) acquires Mount Vernon.
Daily Life
The first street lights—whale-oil lamps designed by Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)—are used on a few streets in Philadelphia.
Popular Culture
The first public concert is held in Philadelphia.
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1758
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: James Monroe (1758-1831) 5th President of the U.S., is born on April 28, in Westmoreland County, Virginia.
War
French and Indian: English forces at Lake George, New York, lose nearly two thousand men during a frontal attach against well-entrenched French forces at Fort Ticonderoga; French losses are 377.
War
French and Indian: George Washington (1732-1799) and General John Forbes (1710-1759) take Fort Duquesne, later renamed Pittsburgh.
Inventions
A hose-knitting machine is invented.
Inventions
John Dolland (1706-1761) reinvents the achromatic lens.
Education
African American Education: A school for Negroes is established in Philadelphia by the Anglican missionary group.
Arts and Letters
Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) writes his first symphony.
Washington, Martha
Martha Dandridge Custis (1731-1802) becomes engaged to George Washington (1732-1799).
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: An Act of Parliament establishes the Middleton Railway in Leeds.
Daily Life
Native Americans: Molly (Mary) Brant (c.1736-1796), a Mohawk woman, becomes the partner of Sir William Johnson. She is largely responsible for the alliance between the Iroquois and the British.
Daily Life
Native Americans: A raiding party consisting of French and Shawnee warriors takes Mary Jemison (1743-1833) captive. She adopts Native American customs, which she retains all her adult life.
Popular Culture
The first English manual on playing the guitar is published.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The first North American Indian reservation is established on 3,000 acres in New Jersey.
1759
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
War
French and Indian: The French surrender to the British at Quebec.
Medicine
Epidemic: A measles epidemic breaks out all over North America, wherever white people live.
Education
Museums: The British Museum is opened at Montegu House.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Voltaire (1694-1778) writes "Candide."
Washington, Martha
Martha Dandridge Custis (1731-1802) marries George Washington (1732-1799). The family moves first to Williamsburg, and then to Mount Vernon.
Adams, Abigail
Abigail Smith (1744-1818) is received into her father’s Congregational Church in Weymouth on June 24. Later that summer, she meets John Adams (1735-1826) in her father’s parsonage.
Economics
Irish brewer Arthur Guinness (1725-1803) establishes a brewery in Dublin that will become the world’s largest
Economics
Colonial shipbuilders are producing nearly 400 vessels each year.
Economics
Thomas Penn (1702-1775) and Richard Penn establish the first recorded life insurance company, the Presbyterian Ministers fund, in Philadelphia.
Religion
Judaism: Architecture: Peter Harrison (1716-1775) designs the first U.S. synagugue, the Touro synagogue in Newport, RI.
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1760
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
George III (1738-1820) becomes King of Great Britain, Ireland, and the 1.6 million colonists living in America.
War
French and Indian: British General Lord Jeffrey Amherst (1717-1797) captures Montreal and ends French resistance in Canada; France cedes Quebec to England.
Medicine
New York requires that all physicians and surgeons pass a test and be licensed to practice medicine.
Inventions
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) invents the first bifocal lenses for eye glasses.
Education
Special Education: The first British school for the deaf is opened by Thomas Braidwood (1715-1806), in Edinburgh.
Education
African American Education: The Bray School for African-American children is established in Williamsburg.
Education
Higher Education: College of William and Mary students petition for better food; they ask for salt and fresh meat for dinner, and desserts 3 times a week.
Arts and Letters
The Royal Society of the Arts is founded in London.
Jefferson, Martha
Thomas Jefferson (1723-1826) enters the College of William and Mary in Virginia.
Economics
Josiah Wedgewood (1730-1795) founds a pottery works at Etruria, Staffordshire, England.
Economics
U.S. Population: The population in the American colonies is estimated at 1.6 million.
Economics
Watermarks are used in woven paper.
Daily Life
Fashion: The first silk hats appear in Florence Italy.
Sports
The first roller skates are introduced in London by musical instrument maker Joseph Merlin (1735-1803).
Popular Culture
The rules of Whist (later to be bridge) are laid down by Edmund Hoyle (1672-1769).
1761
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 Otis (1725-1783) opposes British writs of assistance, claiming they violate the natural rights of the British colonials.
War
French and Indian: General Jeffrey Amherst (1717-1797) forbids presents of food and arms to Indians in the French and Indian War.
War
French and Indian: The Iroquois present a war belt to the Detroit Indians, but it is rejected.
Science
Russian scientist and poet Mikhail V. Lomonosov (1711-1765) discovers the atmosphere of Venus.
Science
Josef Kobreuter, German botanist, recognizes the role of the wind and insects in the pollination of plants.
Science
Chemist Joseph Black (1728-1799) discovers that ice absorbs heat without changing temperature when melting.
Medicine
Epidemic: An epidemic of influenza breaks out in North America and the West Indies.
Washington, Martha
George Washington (1732-1799) begins experimenting with crop rotation, soil fertilization, and livestock management and breeding at Mount Vernon.
Daily Life
The earliest recorded American folk ballad, “Springfield Mountain” is sung in New England.
Social Issues
Slavery: Women''''s Firsts: Slavery: The first black American poet, Phillis Wheatley (c. 1753-1784) is bought as a young child off a Boston slave ship.
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1762
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
Catherine the Great (1729-1796) begins her 34-year reign as Empress of Russia.
Inventions
John Harrison (1693-1776), English inventor, builds a marine chronometer.
Education
Libraries: Higher Education: The library of the Sorbonne is opened in Paris.
Education
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) publishes "The Emile," his major treatise on education.
Ideas
Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) publishes "The Social Contract."
Economics
Cast iron is converted into malleable iron for the first time in Scotland.
Economics
Ethan Allen (1738-1789) establishes an ironworks and blast furnace in Connecticut which will make many of the cannons used in the Revolutionary War.
Daily Life
Holidays: The first St. Patrick’s Day parade is held in New York City.
Religion
The Moravians publish a collection of hymns in the language of the Delaware Indians.
1763
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 British Proclamation of 1763 forbids the American colonists to settle the land beyond the Appalachian Mountains, and requires those already settled in those regions to return east in an attempt to ease tensions with Native Americans.
War
French and Indian: General Thomas Gage (1721-1787) succeeds Lord Jeffrey Amherst (1717-1797) as head of British forces in America.
War
French and Indian: The Treaty of Paris ends the French and Indian War; France cedes Canada and all its North American territories east of the Mississippi to Great Britain.
Science
Nicole-Reine Lepaute’s (1723-1768) maps and tables showing the precise times and extent of an annular eclipse of the sun across Europe is published by the Academy of Sciences for astronomers and navigators.
Medicine
America’s first medical society is formed in New London, Connecticut.
Medicine
Claudius Aymand (1660-1740) performs the first successful appendectomy.
Medicine
Epidemic: A smallpox epidemic breaks out in Massachusetts.
Technology
The technology of printing is established in all 13 colonies.
Education
Frederick the Great (1712-1786) establishes village schools in Prussia.
Ideas
Voltaire (1694-1778) writes his "Treatise on Tolerance."
Adams, Abigail
A smallpox epidemic interferes with the wedding plans of John Adams and Abigail Smith; John has himself inoculated—a risky procedure—but has only mild effects from the inoculation.
Economics
The first Chambers of Commerce are established in New York and New Jersey.
Discovery
Charles Mason (1730-1787) and Jeremiah Dixon(1733-1779) begin surveying the Mason-Dixon line.
Social Issues
Slavery: The beginning of the free Negro tradition is seen in New England; there are 5214 Negroes in Massachusetts (out of a total population of 235,810).
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1764
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
At a town meeting in Boston, James Otis (1725-1783) raises the issue of taxation without representation and urges a united response to the recent acts imposed by England.
Government
Great Britain passes the Sugar Act to raise money to pay for the French and Indian War by taxing the colonies on lumber, food, molasses, and rum.
Medicine
Epidemic: A smallpox epidemic sparks the opening of two inoculation hospitals in the Boston area.
Inventions
James Watt (1736-1819) invents the condenser, the first step toward the steam engine.
Inventions
The spinning jenny is invented in England.
Technology
Pierre-Simon Fournier (1712-1768), French engraver and typographer, publishes a work on typefaces and printing.
Education
Higher Education: Brown University is founded in Providence, RI.
Ideas
American James Otis (1725-1783) publishes "The Rights of the British Colonies Asserted and Proved."
Adams, Abigail
Abigail Smith (1744-1818) marries John Adams (1735-1826) on October 25, at her father’s parsonage in Weymouth, Massachusetts; she is nineteen and he is twenty-nine.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison’s (1768-1849) father, John Payne, and her mother, Mary Coles Payne, apply to and are accepted into the Society of Friends (Quakers).
Economics
Boston merchants begin a boycott of British luxury goods.
Economics
The first permanent settlement (as a fur-trading post) is established by the French in St. Louis.
Daily Life
The practice of numbering houses is begun in London.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "Connecticut Courant," perhaps the American newspaper in longest continuing publication, is established in Hartford, CT.
Religion
Dancing: The first minister of the Dutch Reformed Church preaches in New York City; he tries to have dancing banned in the colony.
1765
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
Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780) publishes "Commentaries on the Laws of England."
Politics
Delegates from nine colonies meet to draw up a declaration of rights and liberties.
Politics
Patrick Henry (1736-1799) presents seven Resolutions to the Virginia House of Burgesses, asserting that only the Virginia Assembly can legally tax Virginia residents; he says, “If this be treason, make the most of it.”
Politics
The Sons of Liberty is formed in many colonial towns; using violence and intimidation, its members eventually force all of the British stamp agents to resign and also stop many American merchants from ordering British goods.
Government
Parliament passes the Stamp Act, taxing all colonists on every paper purchase. In addition, the Quartering Act requires colonists to house and feed British troops.
Medicine
Higher Education: John Morgan (1736-1789) establishes the first medical school in America at the College of Philadelphia.
Inventions
James Watt (1736-1819) designs a steam engine that produces power much more efficiently than the Newcomen engine of 1712.
Technology
Lazzaro Spallanzani (1729-1799) suggests preserving food by means of hermetic sealing.
Education
Higher Education: A College of New Jersey (later, Princeton) student, William Patterson, founds the first college society of arts and letters in America.
Education
Public Education: Latin schools exist in at least 40 of 140 Massachusetts communities with more than 100 families.
Education
Curriculum for well-to-do young Southerners includes Latin, Greek, Hebrew, reading, writing, arithmetic-vulgar, plane geometry, surveying, Italian bookkeeping, and navigation.
Adams, Abigail
A daughter, Abigail – Nabby (1765-1813) – is born to Abigail and John Adams on July 14.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison‘s (1768-1849) parents, John Payne and Mary Coles Payne, move to North Carolina from Virginia.
Economics
Chocolate is first made at Dorchester, Massachusetts.
Economics
Philadelphia, with its agricultural exports, shipbuilding and iron forging, is the leading economic center of the American colonies.
Daily Life
The potato is the most popular foodstuff in Europe.
Daily Life
Newspapers: Mary Katherine Goddard (1738-1816) begins "The Providence Gazette" in Rhode Island.
Sports
Horse Racing: Horse racing becomes popular in Maryland; the course at Annapolis is one of the best in the country.
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1766
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
New York residents continue to refuse to obey the Quartering Act.
Government
Great Britain repeals the Stamp Act but declares its right to tax the colonies.
Government
The New York legislature is suspended by the British crown.
Science
Henry Cavendish (1731-1810) discovers that hydrogen is less dense than air.
Medicine
The 8-volume "Physiological Elements of the Human Body," a milestone in medicine, is published by Albrecht von Haller (1708-1777).
Inventions
Johann Zumpe (1735-1800) builds the first pianoforte in England.
Education
Higher Education: Queen's College, later Rutgers University, is founded in New Jersey as a Dutch Reformed institution.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774) writes "The Vicar of Wakefield," a novel.
Economics
Transportation: A stagecoach line between New York City and Philadelphia advertises itself as a “flying-machine;” in good weather, trips take two days.
Discovery
Charles Mason (1730-1787) and Jeremiah Dixon (1733-1779) finish surveying the Mason-Dixon Line.
Daily Life
The first paved sidewalk is laid in Westminster, London.
Sports
The first regular fox-hunting group, The Gloucester Fox Hunting Club, is established in New Jersey.
Popular Culture
American Theatre: The first play on an American subject, "Ponteach," or "The Savages of America" is written by Major Robert Rogers (1731-1795).
Popular Culture
American Theatre: An early, permanent playhouse, the Southwark Theatre, is built in Philadelphia.
Religion
Catherine the Great (1729-1796) establishes freedom of worship in Russia.
Religion
The oldest surviving church in Manhattan, St. Paul’s Chapel, is constructed.
1767
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
Boston residents agree not to import those items taxed by the Townshend Acts.
Government
With the Townshend Acts, Britain imposes taxes on imports of tea, glass, paper, and dyestuffs.
Government
Presidents: Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), seventh President of the United States, is born in Waxhaw, South Carolina on March 15.
Government
Presidents: John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), sixth President of the United States, is born on July 11, in Massachusetts.
Science
Joseph Priestly (1733-1804) proposes an electrical inverse-square law.
Inventions
The astronomer David Rittenhouse (1732-1796) invents a planetarium.
Education
The first of the weekly numbers of the "Encyclopedia Britannica" is published; 100 are planned.
Education
Higher Education: King’s College in New York City opens the second of America’s medical schools.
Education
Austrian emperor Joseph II (1741-1790) and his mother, Maria Theresa (1717-1780), introduce educational reforms.
Arts and Letters
Essay: Adam Ferguson (1723-1816) publishes "An Essay on the History of Civil Society."
Adams, Abigail
A son, John Quincy (1767-1848), is born to John and Abigail Adams on July 11th.
Jackson, Rachel
Rachel Donelson (1767-1828), is born in Virginia on June 15.
Economics
Women''s Firsts: Anne Catherine Hoof Green (c.1720-1775) takes over her late husband''s printing and newspaper business, becoming the first American woman to run a print shop.
Discovery
James Cook (1728-1779) sails on the first circumnavigation of the world; he returns in June 1771.
Discovery
Starting in North Carolina, Daniel Boone (1734-1820) makes his first exploration west of the Appalachian Mountains, traveling along the present-day Kentucky-West Virginia border.
Popular Culture
American Theatre: The first professional production of a native play, 'The Prince of Parthia,' by Thomas Godfrey (1736-1763) is mounted in Philadelphia.
Religion
The Jesuits are expelled from Spain and France.
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1768
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
Samuel Adams (1722-1803) of Massachusetts writes a Circular Letter opposing taxation without representation.
Politics
Boston citizens refuse to quarter British troops.
Government
The Massachusetts Assembly is dissolved for refusing to assist in the collection of taxes.
Government
Native Americans: treaties are negotiated between Great Britain and the six nations of the Iroquois.
War
Revolutionary War: British troops sail to Boston, and two regiments come ashore to take up quarters in the city.
Medicine
Smallpox inoculations in Norfolk, VA cause riots.
Education
Higher Education: The medical school at Philadelphia College graduates its first physicians.
Arts and Letters
The Royal Academy is founded in London, with painter Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) as president.
Adams, Abigail
A second daughter, Susanna (1768-1770), is born December 28 to Abigail and John Adams. The Adams family moves to Boston.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Payne (1768-1849) is born on May 20 in Guilford County, North Carolina.
Monroe, Elizabeth
Elizabeth Kortright (1768-1830) is born on June 30 in New York City.
Economics
Sheet music is published and sold in Boston.
Economics
Anne Catherine Green (c.1720-1775) is formally appointed provincial printer for the province of Maryland.
Discovery
Explorer James Cook (1728-1779) investigates islands in the south Pacific, and observes a transit of Venus in order to determine the size of the solar system.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "Boston Gazette" publishes “The Liberty Song,” possibly America''s first patriotic song.
Religion
The first Methodist Church is established in New York City.
1769
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 Privy Council in London decides to retain the duty on tea in the American colonies.
Government
The Virginia Assembly is dissolved.
Government
San Diego is founded by Franciscan Friar Juniper Serra (1713-1784).
Science
Charles Bonnet (1720-1793) suggests an evolutionary theory.
Science
New mathematical symbols, such as pi are introduced by Leonhard Euler (1707-1783).
Science
David Rittenhouse (1732-1796) plots the orbits of Venus and Mercury.
Inventions
James Watt (1736-1819) patents his steam engine.
Inventions
Frenchman Nicholas Cugnot (1725-1804) builds a steam carriage.
Education
The Academie de Coiffure is established in France by Legros de Rumigny, who teaches hairdressing and wig-making skills.
Education
The first day nursery opens at Steintal, Alsace.
Education
Higher Education: Native American Education: Dartmouth College is established to educate Native Americans.
Jefferson, Martha
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) begins building Monticello in Albemarle County, Virginia.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Payne’s (1768-1849) father, John Payne, moves his wife and family back to his wife's family plantation at Cole's Hill, Virginia.
Economics
The first American-made printing fonts are produced by silversmith Abel Buell (1742-1822).
Economics
Henry William Stiegel (1729-1785) opens his glass works in Manheim, Pennsylvania.
Discovery
Daniel Boone (1734-1820) explores the Cumberland Gap.
Daily Life
The first lightning rod conductors are installed on high buildings.
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1770
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 British Parliament repeals the Townshend Acts, but retains the duty on tea. The Quartering Act is not renewed.
War
Revolutionary War: The “Boston Massacre” occurs.
Medicine
John Warren and several other Harvard students form a society for the secret dissection of animals; this society later becomes the Massachusetts Medical Society.
Inventions
African American Inventors: Benjamin Bannecker (1731-1806) builds a wooden clock that keeps accurate time for more than 50 years.
Education
Higher Education: The College of Charleston is established in South Carolina as the first municipal college.
Education
Leonhard Euler (1707-1783) publishes a mathematics textbook, "Introduction to Algebra."
Arts and Letters
Painting: Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) paints “The Blue Boy.”
Ideas
Edmund Burke (1729-1797) writes "Thoughts on the Causes of the Present Discontent."
Adams, Abigail
Susanna Adams (1767-1770), second daughter of Abigail and John Adams, dies at 13 months of age on February 4. It is widely reported that she was "sickly" from birth (usually a way of saying either that the cause was an unknown infection or that no one really knew what was wrong).
Adams, Abigail
A second son, Charles (1770-1800), is born to Abigail and John Adams on November 30. John Adams is asked to defend the British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre; he does, and they are acquitted.
Economics
U.S. Population: The American colonies’ population is estimated at 2.2 million.
Economics
"The New England Psalm Singer," by William Billings (1746-1800), marks the beginning of publishing of American compositions.
Discovery
James Bruce (1730-1794) discovers the source of the Blue Nile.
Discovery
James Cook (1728-1779) discovers Botany Bay in Australia.
1771
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
Science
Luigi Galvani (1737-1798) discovers the electrical nature of the nervous impulse.
Science
Joseph Priestly (1733-1804) discovers that plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen.
Medicine
New York Hospital is founded.
Education
The Encyclopedia Britannica publishes its first edition.
Education
An edict in Spain requires the modernization of textbooks.
Ideas
The first issue of "Transactions," the journal of the American Philosophical Society, is published.
Economics
Sir Richard Arkwright (1732-1792) produces the first spinning mill in England.
Daily Life
Quaker Susanna Wright (1697-1784) acts as a legal counselor, unofficial magistrate, and physician for her neighbors in Pennsylvania.
Religion
The first separate Baptist Association was formed at a meeting in Orange County, Virginia.
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1772
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: An English court rules that a slave is free on landing in England.
Politics
Samuel Adams (1722-1803) forms the Committees of Correspondence in Massachusetts for action against Great Britain.
Politics
The Boston Assembly demands rights of colonies, threatens secession.
Science
Daniel Rutherford (1749-1819) and Joseph Priestly (1733-1804) discover nitrogen.
Science
Caroline Herschel (1750-1848), with her brother, William Herschel (1738-1822) assists in the first sightings of eight comets and 14 nebulae.
Science
Leonhard Euler (1707-1783) clarifies the basic principles of optics, acoustics, mechanics, and astronomy.
Inventions
John Hobday of Virginia, invents the threshing machine.
Education
The first schoolhouse west of the Allegheny Mountains is built in Schoenbrunn, Ohio, by Moravian missionaries.
Education
Higher Education: Education of Women: Women’s Colleges: Salem Academy is founded in North Carolina and is chartered as a college in 1866.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Charles Wilson Peale (1741-1827) completes a life-sized portrait of George Washington.
Jefferson, Martha
Martha "Patsy" Washington Jefferson Randolph (1772-1836), daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson, is born September 27.
Adams, Abigail
A third son, Thomas Boylston (1772-1832), is born to Abigail and John Adams on September 15.
Jefferson, Martha
Martha Wayles Skelton (1748-1782) marries Thomas Jefferson on New Year's Day, when she is 23.
Discovery
James Bruce (1730-1794) traces the Blue Nile to its confluence with the White Nile.
Discovery
James Cook (1728-1779) leaves England on his second voyage; this time he approaches the Antarctic Circle.
Sports
The first military ski competitions are held in Norway.
Religion
The Inquisition is abolished in France.
1773
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 Virginia House of Burgesses appoints a Provincial Committee of Correspondence.
Politics
The Boston Tea Party takes place, dumping 340 chests of tea into Boston harbor in a protest against the duty on tea.
Government
Presidents: William Henry Harrison (1773-1841), 9th Presdident of the United States, is born on February 9 in Berkeley, Virginia.
Medicine
Mental Health Movement: An early mental hospital, the Public Hospital for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds, opens in Williamsburg, VA.
Education
Museums: The Charleston (VA) Library Society opens the first American museum of natural history.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Oliver Goldsmith (1728-1774) writes the play, "She Stoops to Conquer."
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Women''s Firsts: Women''s Firsts: Black poet Phillis Wheatley (c.1753-1784) publishes "Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral," the first published works by an African American poet.
Arts and Letters
Dance: A dance class begun in Moscow later becomes the Bolshoi Ballet Company.
Washington, Martha
Martha "Patsy" Parke Custis (1754-1773), second daughter of Martha Washington and John Parke Custis, and stepdaughter of George Washington, dies suddenly of epilepsy on June 19.
Adams, Abigail
Abigail Adams (1744-1818) establishes a friendship with Mercy Warren (1728-1814), sister of James Otis (1725-1783).
Economics
Transportation: Oliver Evans (1755-1819) proposes steam-powered “horseless carriage.”
Discovery
James Cook (1728-1779), captains the first ship to cross the Antarctic Circle.
Daily Life
Dancing: The waltz becomes fashionable in Vienna.
Daily Life
310 street lamps are installed and kept lighted in Boston from October to May.
Religion
Pope Clement XIV (1705-1774) dissolves the Jesuit Order.
Religion
The first annual conference of American Methodists meets in Philadelphia.
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1774
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 Virginia House of Burgesses calls a Continental Congress to meet at Philadelphia.
Government
General Thomas Gage (1721-1787) arrives from England to be Royal Governor of Massachusetts.
Government
Parliament passes the Coercive Acts (Intolerable Acts); the port of Boston is closed.
War
Revolutionary War: George Washington (1732-1799) orders a military campaign against the Iroquois.
Science
Johann G. Gahn (1745-1818) isolates manganese.
Science
Karl W. Scheele (1742-1786) discovers chorine and barium.
Medicine
Austrian physician Franz Mesmer (1734-1815) uses hypnosis for health purposes.
Medicine
Native Americans: Benjamin Rush (1745-1813) describes Indian medical practices.
Inventions
Scotsman James Watt (1736-1819) builds first "modern" stationary steam engine
Education
Swiss educator Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827) founds a school for orphaned and neglected children in Zurich (Switzerland).
Education
Education of Women: Leonhard Usteri founds the first school for girls in Zurich, Switzerland.
Ideas
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) writes his first important work, "A Summary View of the Rights of British America."
Washington, Martha
Jacky Custis (1755-1781) leaves King's College to marry Eleanor Calvert of Maryland and settle at Abingdon, his estate up the river from Mount Vernon.
Adams, Abigail
John Adams (1735-1826) goes to the first Continental Congress.
Jefferson, Martha
Jane Randolph Jefferson (1774-1775), daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson, is born on April 3.
Economics
English silversmith Hester Bateman (c. 1709-1794) registers her hallmark in London’s guildhall.
Daily Life
Magazines: The Royal American Magazine is the first to use illustrations regularly, some engravings contributed by Paul Revere (1735-1818).
Sports
Cricket: The rules for cricket are first drawn up.
Religion
The Quebec Act, to secure Canada’s loyalty to Great Britain, establishes Roman Catholicism in Canada.
Religion
Anne Lee (1736-1784) of Massachusetts settles in New York to begin a spiritualist revival (the Shakers).
1775
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 Continental Congress establishes a Committee on Indian Affairs, appointing commissioners to create peace treaties with the Indians.
War
Revolutionary War: England hires 29,000 German mercenaries for war in North America.
War
Revolutionary War: Fort Ticonderoga is captured from the British.
War
Revolutionary War: The American Revolution begins on April 19, with the battles at Lexington and Concord; the Battle of Bunker Hill follows shortly.
War
Revolutionary War: George Washington becomes Commander-in-Chief, a navy is authorized.
Science
Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) discovers hydrochloric and sulfuric acids.
Medicine
Digitalis is used for the first time as a diuretic in dropsy (water retention in the body).
Medicine
Epidemics: A world-wide epidemic of influenza occurs.
Inventions
James Watt (1736-1819) perfects his invention of the steam engine.
Inventions
David Bushnell (1742-1824) invents a one-man, hand-operated submarine, the “American Turtle.”
Ideas
Edmund Burke (1729-1797) writes his “Speech on Conciliation with America.”
Ideas
Patrick Henry (1736-1799) gives his famous “Give me liberty or give me death” speech.
Washington, Martha
George Washington (1732-1799) attends the Second Continental Congress, where he accepts command of the Continental Army. In December, Martha (1731-1802) joins him at his headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Jefferson, Martha
Jane Randolph Jefferson (1774-1775), second daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson, dies at seventeen months in September.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Payne (1768-1849) attends school with her brothers at the Cedar Creek Friends meetinghouse in Virginia.
Adams, Louisa
Louisa Catherine Johnson (1775-1852) is born in London on February 12. She is the first First Lady to be born outside of the United States.
Harrison, Anna
Anna Tuthill Symmes (1775-1864) is born in Flatbrook, New Jersey on July 25.
Economics
American Money: American colonists issue paper currency for the Continental Congress to finance the Revolutionary War.
Economics
The colonies supply nearly 15% of the world’s iron.
Discovery
James Cook (1728-1779) returns from his second voyage.
Daily Life
The song “Yankee Doodle” becomes popular as a rallying song to taunt the British.
Daily Life
Women’s Firsts: Mary Katherine Goddard (1738-1816) became the first woman postmaster in the country (in Baltimore).
Sports
Native Americans: Indians in Florida are described as playing lacrosse, using a deerskin ball and deerskin nets on sticks.
Popular Culture
Sarah Siddons (1755-1831) appears for the first time at the Drury Lane Theatre in London.
Popular Culture
American Theatre: Colonial government regulations curb sport and entertainment during the Revolution; theatres close.
Social Issues
Slavery: Thomas Paine (1737-1806) writes "African Slavery in America."
Reform
Abolition Movement: The first abolition society in the U.S. is organized in Philadelphia by Anthony Benezet (1713-1784); Benjamin Franklin becomes its president in 1787.
Reform
Women''s Rights Movement: American political philosopher Thomas Paine (1737-1806) proposes women’s rights in an article in the Pennsylvania Magazine.
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1776
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 Declaration of Independence, drafted by The Continental Congress, is signed on July 4.
Government
The Second Continental Congress names the new nation the United States of America.
War
Revolutionary War: The British army occupies New York City.
War
Revolutionary War: George Washington (1732-1799) crosses the Delaware River, defeating the Hessian troops at Trenton, NJ.
Education
Higher Education: Phi Beta Kappa is founded at the College of William and Mary.
Arts and Letters
Edward Gibbon (1737-1794) writes "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire."
Ideas
Adam Smith (1723-1790) writes "An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations."
Ideas
Thomas Paine’s (1737-1806) "Common Sense" is published.
Adams, Abigail
Abigail Adams (1744-1818) writes a letter to John in which she tells him to “remember the ladies” when writing the Declaration of Independence.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: English tram road is laid down with cast iron angle bars on timber ties.
Discovery
James Cook’s (1728-1779) third voyage to the Pacific begins.
Discovery
Franciscan friars Dominguez and Escalante (1769–1779) explore route from New Mexico to California.
Daily Life
Disasters: Fire destroys most of the old parts of New York City.
Religion
San Francisco is established by Spanish missionaries.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Cherokee leader Nancy (or Nanye’hi) Ward (c. 1738-1824) heads the Woman’s Council and sits as a member of the Council of Chiefs.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: New Jersey grants women the right to vote (revoked in 1807).
1777
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 Continental Congress adopts the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.
Government
American Flag: On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passes the first Flag Act which states: "That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation."
War
Revolutionary War: The Marquis de Lafayette’s (1757-1834) French volunteers arrive in America.
War
Revolutionary War: British General John Burgoyne (1722-1792) is defeated and surrenders to the Americans at Saratoga, NY.
Science
Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier (1743-1794) proves that air consists mainly of oxygen and nitrogen, and coins the term oxygen.
Medicine
George Washington (1732-1799) orders his soldiers to be inoculated against smallpox.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan (1751-1816) writes the comedy "The School for Scandal."
Jefferson, Martha
The only Jefferson son was born May 28 and died a short while later on June 14. Over the course of time, this child's name has been lost.
Economics
Women''s Firsts: Baltimore postmaster Mary Katherine Goddard (1738-1816) is the first person to print the Declaration of Independence.
Daily Life
Women’s Firsts: Mary Katherine Goddard (1738-1816) became the first printer to offer copies of the Declaration of Independence that included the signers' names.
Religion
The New Testament of the Bible is published in English for the first time in America.
Religion
The chapel of the San Juan Capistrano mission, the oldest building still in existence in California, is built.
Social Issues
Slavery: Vermont abolishes slavery, becoming the first colony to do so.
Social Issues
Civil Rights Movement: New York enfranchises all free propertied men regardless of color or prior servitude.
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1778
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: An Act of Congress prohibits the import of slaves into the U.S.
Government
Congress ratifies a treaty with France and rejects a British peace offer.
War
Revolutionary War: British Tories and Indians massacre inhabitants of Wyoming Valley, PA and Cherry Valley, NY.
War
Revolutionary War: Mary McCauley (1754-1832) (Molly Pitcher), carries water to American soldiers during the Battle of Monmouth; she then mans her husband’s cannon when he is killed.
Medicine
William Brown (1748-1792), Virginia physician, publishes "Pharmacopoeia," a guide to medicines and drugs.
Inventions
Joseph Bramah (1748-1814) from Yorkshire constructs an improved water closet (toilet).
Education
Phillips Andover Academy is founded in Massachusetts, with a broader curriculum than the Latin Grammar School.
Adams, Abigail
A sixth child is stillborn to Abigail (1744-1818) and John Adams (1735-1826).
Jefferson, Martha
Mary "Polly" "Maria" Jefferson (1778-1804), daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson, is born on August 1.
Economics
American Money: The dollar sign ($) is created by Oliver Pollack.
Discovery
James Cook (1728-1779) discovers Hawaii (then called the Sandwich Islands).
Social Issues
Native Americans: Frances Slocum (1773-1847) is captured by Delaware Indians; she is discovered in 1835 but refuses to return to her family, preferring to die where “the Great Spirit will find me.”
Social Issues
Slavery: Rhode Island forbids the removal of slaves from the state.
Social Issues
Slavery: Virginia prohibits the importation of slaves.
1779
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
War
Revolutionary War: John Paul Jones (1747-1792) makes his famous statement, “I have not yet begun to fight!” aboard the American warship Bonhomme Richard.
War
Revolutionary War: The British surrender to Americans at Vincennes.
Medicine
Lazzaro Spallanzani (1729-1799) studies the role of semen in fertilization.
Education
Higher Education: Under Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), William and Mary College creates schools of medicine, law and modern languages, and pioneers in a system allowing students to choose courses.
Education
Public Education: Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) proposes a two-track educational system, with different tracks in his words for "the laboring and the learned." Scholarship would allow a very few of the laboring class to advance, Jefferson says, by "raking a few geniuses from the rubbish."
Daily Life
The first “velocipedes” (bicycles) appear in Paris.
Daily Life
Political cartooning blossoms in England with satires of King George III (1738-1820) drawn by James Gillray (1756-1815).
Sports
Horse Racing: Quarter-mile horse races become popular around Charlottesville, VA.
Sports
Horse Racing: The Derby is established at Epsom racetrack in England.
Religion
John Murray (1741-1815) establishes the First Universalist congregation at Gloucester, Massachusetts.
Religion
The Great Awakening: Olney Hymns are published; it includes the original form of “Amazing Grace,” written by John Newton (1725-1807), a converted slave trader.
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1780
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 capital of Virginia is moved to Richmond.
Science
The American Academy of Sciences is founded in Boston.
Medicine
The Philadelphia Humane Society is established to teach first aid (reviving drowning victims). Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) proposes mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Inventions
The circular saw is invented by Gervinus.
Inventions
Scheller invents the first fountain pen.
Technology
Battery Technology: The modern battery development dates as far back as the late 18th century. The cause was championed by the work carried out by Luigi Galvani (1737-1798) from 1780 to 1786.
Jefferson, Martha
Lucy Elizabeth I (1780-1781), daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson, is born on November 3.
Economics
Population: U.S. population is estimated at 2.7 million.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first Sunday newspapers appear in London.
Daily Life
Dancing: The bolero, a lively Spanish dance, is introduced by Sebastian Cerezo.
Sports
Cricket: The first six-seamed cricket ball is manufactured in England.
Social Issues
Slavery: Delaware makes it illegal to enslave imported Africans.
Social Issues
Slavery: Pennsylvania begins gradual emancipation of slaves.
Social Issues
Slavery: Women''s Firsts: Elizabeth Freeman (1742-1829), great-grandmother of W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963) and the first slave to be emancipated in the American colonies is given her freedom in Massachusetts.
1781
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 Barclay (1728-1793) is appointed as the first diplomat of the Continental Government, representing the new nation in France.
War
Revolutionary War: The American Revolution ends when British General Charles Cornwallis (1738-1805) surrenders to General George Washington (1732-1799) at Yorktown, Virginia.
Science
Astronomer William Herschel (1738-1822) discovers the planet Uranus.
Education
Johann Pestalozzi (1747-1827) writes his educational aims in the novel, "Leonard and Gertrude."
Washington, Martha
John "Jacky" Parke Custis (1754-1781), second son of Martha Washington and stepson of George Washington, dies of dysentery while serving under Washington during the Revolutionary War. The Washingtons take his two younger children, George Washington Parke Custis and Eleanor (Nelly) Custis, to raise.
Jefferson, Martha
Lucy Elizabeth I (1780-1781), fourth daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson, dies 5 months after birth on April 15, perhaps as a result of exposure to wintry cold as she fled with her family from the British.
Economics
American Money: Also to support the Revolutionary War, the continental Congress charters the Bank of North America in Philadelphia as the nation's first "real" bank.
Economics
Blue laws get their name in New Haven, CT, when a town ordinance printed on blue paper prohibits work on Sunday.
Economics
Construction begins on the Siberian highway.
Economics
The Bank of North America is chartered.
Religion
Franciscan monks settle at Los Angeles.
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1782
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 Great Seal of the United States is adopted.
Government
Presidents: Martin Van Buren (1782-1862), 8th President of the United States, is born on December 5 in Kinderhook, New York.
War
Congress passes a national conscription act to require “each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the republic” to serve in the U.S. militia.
War
Preliminary peace negotiations between England and the United States occur in Paris.
Medicine
Higher Education: Harvard Medical school opens.
Inventions
James Watt (1736-1819) invents a double-acting rotary steam engine.
Technology
Hot Air Balloons: The Montgolfier brothers, Joseph (1740-1810) and Jacques (1745-1799), build an hot air balloon.
Education
Catholic Education: The first Catholic parochial school is founded by St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Philadelphia.
Arts and Letters
The Royal Irish Academy is founded in Dublin.
Jefferson, Martha
Martha Wayles Skelton Jefferson (1748-1782), wife of Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), dies on September 6 at Monticello. She is the first First Lady to die before her husband was elected to office.
Jefferson, Martha
Lucy Elizabeth II (1782-1784), daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson, is born on May 8.
Economics
The Bank of North America is established in Philadelphia.
Reform
Temperance Movement: A Town Meeting in Worcester, Massachusetts opposes a state liquor tax because it is felt that liquor is necessary for the morale of farm workers.
1783
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
War
Revolutionary War: Great Britain recognizes the independence of the U.S. and the war is officially over with the signing of the Treaty of Paris.
War
Revolutionary War: George Washington (1732-1799) resigns as Commander-in-Chief and the Continental Army is disbanded.
Science
Antoine Lavoisier (1743-1794) suggests that water is composed of hydrogen and oxygen.
Inventions
John Broadwood (1732-1812) patents his piano pedals.
Inventions
D. Domenico Salsano invents the seismograph for measuring the strength of earthquakes.
Education
Higher Education: Enrollment at Yale College is 270.
Education
Education of Women: Choderlos de Laclos (1741-1803) publishes "De l’éducation des femmes" (On the Education of Women).
Education
Noah Webster (1758-1843) publishes "The American Spelling Book," called the “Blue-Backed Speller,” which helps standardize spelling of American English.
Arts and Letters
The first works of Ludwig van Beethoven’s (1770-1827) are published.
Washington, Martha
As the Revolutionary War ends, Martha (1731-1892) and George Washington (1732-1799) return to Mount Vernon.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison’s (1764-1849) father, John Payne, influenced by his Quaker tenets and desiring a better education for his children, frees his slaves, sells his plantation, and moves his family to Philadelphia.
Van Buren, Hannah
Hannah Hoes (1783-1819) is born on March 8th in Kinderhook, New York. She is the first First Lady to be born an American citizen. All First Ladies before her were British subjects.
Economics
Population: Population of the U.S. is estimated at 2.4 million.
Daily Life
Newspapers: At the war's end, there are forty-three newspapers in print. The press plays a vital role in the affairs of the new nation; many more newspapers are started, representing all shades of political opinion.
Daily Life
Society of the Cincinnati, an elite American Revolutionary group, is established.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first daily newspaper in the U.S., "The Pennsylvania Evening Post," begins publication.
Daily Life
Transportation: It takes Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) five days to travel from Philadelphia to Baltimore, about 90 miles.
Popular Culture
Hot Air Balloons: The first recorded manned flight in a hot air balloon takes place in Paris; the Montgolfier brothers pilot their paper and silk balloon for 22 minutes.
Social Issues
Slavery: Virginia emancipates those slaves who served in the colonial forces against Britain, provided that the slave's master gives permission.
Social Issues
Slavery: Affluent free blacks in New Orleans, Louisiana, organize the Perseverance, Benevolence and Mutual Aid Association to support their own interests and assist the poor.
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1784
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: Congress narrowly defeats Thomas Jefferson’s (1743-1826) proposal to ban slavery in new territories after 1800.
Government
Presidents: Zachary Taylor (1784-1950), 12th President of the U.S., is born November 24, near Barboursville, Virginia.
Government
North Carolina cedes its western lands to the U.S. The state of Franklin (present-day east Tennessee) exists until 1888, when settlers accept renewed jurisdiction of North Carolina.
War
Revolutionary War: The U.S. ratifies the treaty with England ending the Revolutionary War.
Medicine
Johann von Goethe (1749-1837) discovers the human intermaxillary bone.
Inventions
Swiss inventor Aimé Argand (1755-1803) designs an oil burner.
Inventions
Joseph Bramah (1748-1814), English engineer, invents a pick-proof lock.
Education
Special Education: The first school for the blind is established in Paris.
Education
Higher Education: King’s College in New York City becomes Columbia University.
Ideas
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) publishes "Notes on Virginia."
Adams, Abigail
Abigail Adams (1744-1818) joins husband, John (1735-1826), in Paris, where he is an ambassador.
Jefferson, Martha
Lucy Elizabeth II (1782-1784), daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson, dies October 13 from the "complicated evils of teething, worms and hooping cough."
Economics
The "Empress of China" sails from Salem, Massachusetts to Canton, China, establishing a route for the New England-China trade.
Daily Life
The first political cartoons by Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827) are published.
Daily Life
Magazines: "Gentlemen and Ladies’ Town and Country Magazine" begins publication as does "The American Mercury."
Sports
Deer hunting at night in the Carolinas is made a misdemeanor because of the accidental slaughter of many cows and horses.
Popular Culture
Hot Air Balloons: Vincent Lunardi (1759-1806) first ascends in a hot air balloon in England.
Popular Culture
Hot Air Balloons: Elisabeth Thible becomes the first woman to go aloft as a passenger in a hot air balloon over Lyons, France.
Religion
The first American bishop for the colonies is appointed.
Religion
The Great Awakening: John Wesley (1702-1791) publishes his Deed of Declaration, and Weslayan Methodism is chartered.
Religion
Women''s Firsts: Hannah Adams (1755-1832), the first American woman to support herself as a writer, publishes "An Alphabetical Compendium of the Various Sects."
1785
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 passes the Land Ordinance of 1785 (Northwest Ordinance).
Government
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) becomes Minister to France and John Adams (1735-1826) becomes Minister to Great Britain.
Inventions
Chlorine bleach is invented.
Inventions
The steam-powered loom is invented.
Education
The London Society for the Establishment of Sunday Schools is founded.
Education
Public Education: The Northwest Ordinance stimulates the establishment of public schools through land grants by stipulating that certain amounts of land must be set aside for public education purposes.
Ideas
Hot Air Balloons: Philip Freneau (1752-1832) suggests that hot air balloons could be used to travel to other planets.
Adams, Abigail
Abigail Adams (1744-1818) continues as a diplomatic wife in London when John (1735-1826) is appointed the first U.S. minister to Great Britain.
Economics
American Money: The dollar becomes the official currency of the United States.
Economics
Ann Timothy holds the post Printer to the State of South Carolina.
Economics
Transportation: Regular stagecoach routes linking New York City, Boston, and Philadelphia begin operations.
Popular Culture
Hot Air Balloons: The first hot air balloon flight across the English Channel takes place.
Social Issues
Slavery: Virginia deems any person with black blood to be a mulatto and declares that the use of the term Negro is understood to include mulattos.
Social Issues
Slavery: New York passes a gradual emancipation law, prohibits the importation of slaves, and allows masters to manumit slaves without posting bonds.
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1786
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
Science
German chemist M. H. Klaproth (1743-1817) discovers uranium.
Medicine
Benjamin Rush (1745-1813) suggests that some illnesses may be psychosomatic.
Medicine
Pennsylvania Hospital opens an outpatient dispensary, a forerunner of free clinics.
Inventions
American inventor James Rumsey (c.1743-1792), designs the first mechanically driven boat.
Education
Education of Women: A government boarding school for girls is founded in Vienna for the education of teachers and governesses.
Education
Museums: The Philadelphia Museum is founded by Charles Wilson Peale (1741-1827).
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Robert Burns (1759-1796) publishes "Poems, chiefly in the Scottish dialect."
Arts and Letters
Opera: Mozart’s (1756-1791) "The Marriage of Figaro" is produced in Vienna.
Monroe, Elizabeth
Elizabeth Kortright (1768-1830) marries James Monroe (1738-1851) in February when she is seventeen.
Monroe, Elizabeth
Eliza Kortright Monroe (1817-1825), daughter of President James Monroe and Elizabeth Monroe, is born.
Economics
Debt-ridden farmers in western Massachusetts, led by Daniel Shays (c.1745-1825), revolt against the state government, protesting high taxes, shortage of money, and insistent creditors. Shays’ Rebellion is crushed in 1787.
Economics
The first ice cream is made commercially in New York City.
Sports
Golf: The Charleston, NC Golf Club is established.
Sports
Mt. Blanc in the Alps is climbed for the first time.
Religion
A collection of sacred music for schools is the first book in the U.S. published with moveable type.
Religion
The Religious Freedom Act abolishes religious tests for voting in Virginia.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The U.S. establishes first Native American reservation and policy of dealing with each tribe as an independent nation.
1787
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
A constitutional convention meets in Philadelphia to frame a Constitution; the Constitution of the U.S. is signed.
Government
New State: Delaware ratifies the Constitution and becomes the 1st state in the Union; Pennsylvania is 2nd state in the Union; New Jersey becomes the 3rd.
Government
Congress enacts the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.
Government
National Capital: The new Constitution provides the the creation of a separate national capital, and the search for a site begins.
Inventions
American inventor John Fitch (1743-1798) launches a steamboat on the Delaware River.
Education
Higher Education: The College of Physicians of Philadelphia opens.
Education
Children''s Books: The first American edition of "Mother Goose Rhymes" is published by Isaiah Thomas (1749-1831
Arts and Letters
Mozart (1756-1791) composes "Don Giovanni;" it premieres in Prague.
Ideas
John Adams (1735-1826) writes "A Defense of the Constitution of Government of the U.S.A."
Ideas
James Madison (1751-1836) writes "The Vices of the Political System of the United States."
Washington, Martha
George Washington (1732-1799) attends a concert given by Alexander Reinagle (c.1750-1809), finest pianist in the U.S. at the time; he later engages Reinagle to give music lessons to his daughter.
Economics
The first American cotton mill opens in Beverly, Massachusetts.
Daily Life
One of the first non-religious song books, A Select Collection of the Most Favorite Scots Tunes, is published in the U.S. by Alexander Rienagle.
Religion
Lucy Wright (1760-1821), successor to Ann Lee, dominates the period of the Shaker society’s greatest growth.
Religion
Black preacher Richard Allen (1760-1831) founds the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Reform
Abolition Movement: The Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade is formed by British Quakers.
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1788
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: Georgia ratifies the new Constitution and becomes the 4th state admitted to the Union; Connecticut becomes the 5th; Massachusetts is the 6th; Maryland is the 7th; South Carolina is the 8th; New Hampshire is the 9th; Virginia is the 10th; New York is the 11th.
Government
National Capital: New York City becomes the federal capital of the U.S.
Government
National Capital: Maryland and Virginia give land for a new federal capital.
Science
The Marquis Pierre Simon de Laplace (1749-1827) writes "Laws of the Planetary System."
Medicine
Mobs riot in New York and Boston protesting the use of cadavers for dissection in medical schools.
Inventions
Andrew Meikle (1719-1811), Scottish millwright, patents a thrasher for removing husks from grain.
Education
Hannah More (1745-1833) opens a school for illiterates in England and receives much opposition for educating laborers.
Education
Public Education: The Constitution gives the power to establish schools and license teachers to individual states rather than to the federal government.
Ideas
"The Federalist Papers" are published.
Ideas
Emmanuel Kant (1724-1804) writes "A Critique of Pure Reason."
Adams, Abigail
Abigail (1744-1818) and John Adams (1735-1826) return to Braintree, MA from abroad.
Taylor, Margaret
Margaret “Peggy” Mackall Smith (1788-1852), wife of Zachary Taylor, is born in Calvert County, MD on September 21.
Economics
"Northwest America," the first American ship built on the west coast, is launched.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Botany Bay in Australia becomes an English penal colony.
Daily Life
The first hortensia and fuchsia are imported to Europe from Peru.
Daily Life
Disasters: Fire destroys more than 800 buildings in New Orleans.
Social Issues
Slavery: New York passes a new comprehensive slave law, confirming that all current slaves are slaves for life.
Social Issues
Slavery: Connecticut and Massachusetts forbid residents from participating in the slave trade.
1789
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 Federal Judiciary Act creates the Supreme Court.
Law
Chief Justices: President George Washington (1732-1799) nominates John Jay (1745-1829) as the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on September 24th. The Senate confirms the appointment on September 26th. After serving as Chief Justice for five years, Jay resigns from the Supreme Court on June 29, 1795. He is elected Governor of New York in 1796.
Law
The Constitution of the United States goes into effect; the first ten amendments to the Constitution are introduced by the Congress.
Politics
George Washington (1732-1799) is elected President of the U.S., and John Adams (1735-1826)is elected Vice President.
Politics
First Political Parties: The Federalist Party is formed.
Politics
Tammany (Hall) is founded in New York City.
Politics
Political buttons first appear.
Government
New State: North Carolina ratifies the Constitution and becomes the 12th state admitted to the Union.
War
French Revolution: The French Revolution begins.
Medicine
Edward Holyoke (1728-1829), physician, publishes life expectancy table showing the Americans live longer than Europeans.
Inventions
Englishman William Jessup designs first wagons with flanged wheels.
Education
Higher Education: Georgetown University is established in what is now Washington, D.C.
Education
The first modern chemistry textbook, "Elements of Chemistry," is published by Antoine Lavoisier (1743-1794); all illustrations are provided by his wife, Marie.
Education
One of the earliest complaints about a textbook is made by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison against a geography book written by Jedidiah Morse, who object to the popular text’s characterization of the young men of Virginia, as “gamblers, cockfighters, and horse-jockies”.
Ideas
Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832), English barrister, publishes "An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation."
Washington, Martha
Martha Washington (1731-1802) becomes the nation’s first First Lady. She does not attend her husband''s presidential inauguration, but joins him several weeks later in New York City, the nation''''s first capital.
Adams, Abigail
John Adams (1735-1826) becomes Vice President; serves two terms under George Washington.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Paine’s (1764-1849) father loses his business in Philadelphia and is expelled from the Pine Street Monthly Meeting for failure to pay his debts.
Economics
Christopher Colles (c.1738-1821) publishes the first American road map.
Economics
Women''s Firsts: Mary Katherine Goddard (1738-1816) opens a Baltimore bookstore, probably the first woman in America to do so.
Daily Life
Chrysanthemums are introduced to Britain from the Orient.
Daily Life
Holidays: Thanksgiving Day is celebrated as a national holiday for the first time.
Daily Life
Magazines: The first periodical designed for children, "The Children’s Magazine," is published in Hartford, CT.
Reform
Abolition Movement: The Maryland Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the Relief of Free Negroes and Others Unlawfully Held in Bondage is founded.
Reform
Temperance Movement: The first organized temperance group is formed by 200 farmers in Connecticut, who pledge not to drink alcoholic beverages during farming season.
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1790
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 first session of the Supreme Court takes place.
Government
The Copyright Act is passed with the help of Noah Webster.
Government
Congress gives George Washington (1732-1799) the power to choose the site for the new capitol.
Government
U.S. President George Washington (1732-1799) delivers the first State of the Union address.
Government
New State: Rhode Island becomes the 13th state to ratify the Constitution and join the United States.
Government
Presidents: John Tyler (1790-1862), 10th President of the U.S., is born in Greenway, Virginia.
Medicine
Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) rages against the prevalent practice of bloodletting as a universal cure and founds homeopathy.
Inventions
A foot-powered dental drill is invented by John Greenwood (1760-1819).
Education
Education of Women: Catherine Macaulay’s (1731-1791) "Letters on Education" influences Mary Wollstonecraft’s thinking in "A Vindication of the Rights of Women" (1792).
Education
Public Education: Pennsylvania state constitution calls for free public education but only for poor children. It is expected that rich people will pay for their children's schooling.
Washington, Martha
The Washingtons move to Philadelphia when the capital does.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Payne (1764-1849) marries John Todd, Jr., a Quaker lawyer, on January 7.
Tyler, Letitia
Letitia Christian Tyler (1790-1842), first wife of John Tyler, is born on her family's plantation, Cedar Grove, in Virginia on November 12.
Economics
The first American steam-powered cotton-processing machines are built, marking the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the U.S.
Economics
Population: The first national census shows the American population at 4 million—about 25% in New England, 25% in the Middle States, and 50% in the South.
Religion
The first Roman Catholic bishop consecrated in America is John Carroll (1735-1815) of Baltimore.
Religion
Women’s Firsts: Mother Bernardina Matthews (1732-1800) establishes a Carmelite convent near Port Tobacco, Maryland, and the first community of Roman Catholic nuns in the Thirteen Colonies.
Religion
The first Roman Catholic Bible is published in the U.S. by Mathew Carey.
Social Issues
Slavery: The First United States Census reveals that nearly 700,000 slaves live and toil in a nation of 3.9 million people.
Social Issues
Slavery: Congress denies naturalization to anyone who is not a free white.
Social Issues
Slavery: Congress advocates the expansion of slavery into the Southwest.
Social Issues
Immigration: The federal government requires two years of residency for naturalization.
Reform
Women''s Rights Movement: French philosopher Condorcet (1743-1794) writes "On the Admission of Women to Citizens’ Rights."
1791
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 first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution (Bill of Rights) are ratified and become known as the Bill of Rights.
Government
Congress passes the first internal revenue law, a tax of 20 to 30 cents on a gallon of distilled spirits.
Government
New State: Vermont becomes the 14th state in the U.S., ending 14 years as a republic.
Government
National Capital: The design of Washington, DC is developed by Pierre-Charles L’Enfant (1754-1825); President Washington (1732-1799) chooses a site along the Potomic River for the federal district; Congress names it the Territory of Columbia and the capital the City of Washington.
Government
Presidents: James Buchanan (1791-1868), 15th President of the U.S., is born April 23 in Cove Gap (near Mercersburg), Pennsylvania.
Science
M.H. Klaproth (1743-1817) names the element titanium.
Education
Higher Education: The Philadelphia Academy becomes the University of Pennsylvania.
Arts and Letters
Opera: The first performance of Mozart’s (1756-1791) "Magic Flute" takes place in Vienna.
Arts and Letters
The first opera house in the U.S. opens in New Orleans.
Ideas
Thomas Paine (1737-1806) writes "The Rights of Man, Part I" in defense of the French Revolution.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Payne Todd’s father, John Payne, dies.
Jackson, Rachel
Rachel Donelson Robards (1767-1828) marries Andrew Jackson )1767-1845) in New Orleans.
Economics
The first successful sugar refinery is opened in New Orleans.
Economics
American Money: After adoption of the Constitution in 1789, Congress charters the First Bank of the United States until 1811 and authorizes it to issue paper bank notes to eliminate confusion and simplify trade.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The ratification of the Bill of Rights at last guarantees the freedom of the press, and America's newspapers begin to take on a central role in national affairs.
Daily Life
Dancing: The waltz becomes fashionable in England.
Reform
Women''s Rights Movement: The first French feminist magazine, Etrennes nationales des dames is founded on the principle that “women are equal to men in rights and in pleasure.”
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Etta Palm d’Aelders (1743-1799) speaks before the French National Assembly, promoting equal education for girls and equal rights for women.
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1792
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-Republican Party is formed under Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826).
Politics
George Washington (1732-1799) and John Adams (1735-1826) are re-elected President and Vice President of the U.S.
Government
National Capital: The cornerstone of the White House is laid.
Government
A U.S. mint is established in Philadelphia.
Government
New State: Kentucky becomes the 15th state in the U.S.
War
Congress passes a national conscription act to require “each and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the republic” to serve in the U.S. militia.
War
Slavery: Congress excludes blacks from military service.
Arts and Letters
Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) begins studying with Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) in Vienna.
Arts and Letters
Architecture: Irish-American architect James Hoban (1762-1831) begins to build the White House in Washington, DC.
Arts and Letters
Women’s Firsts: Dance: Suzanne Vaillande (1778-1826) appears in "The Bird Catcher," in New York, the first ballet presented in the U.S. She was also probably the first woman to work as a choreographer and set designer in the United States.
Ideas
Thomas Paine (1737-1806) writes "The Rights of Man, Part II."
Ideas
Education of Women: Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) writes "A Vindication of the Rights of Women."
Madison, Dolley
Dolley and John Todd, Jr. have a son, John Payne Todd (1792-1852) on February 29. He was later adopted by James Madison after Dolley and Madison were married.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Payne Todd's father, John Payne, dies; her mother opens a boarding house in Philadelphia.
Economics
Twenty-four merchants meet on what is now Wall Street, signing the Buttonwood Agreement, creating the New York Stock Exchange.
Economics
American Money: The federal monetary system is established with the creation of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, and dollar coins are minted for the first time in the U.S.
Discovery
The Columbia River is discovered by Captain Robert Gray (1755-1806).
Popular Culture
The French national anthem, "La Marseillaise," is composed by Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle (1760-1836).
Religion
The Baptist Missionary Society is founded in London.
Reform
Women''s Rights Movement: Judith Sargent Murray (1751-1820) begins a series of essays titled "The Gleaner.”
1793
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
George Washington (1732-1799) and John Adams (1735-1826) are inaugurated as President and Vice President of the U.S.
Government
National Capital: The cornerstone of the Capital Building is laid by President Washington (1732-1799).
Government
Slavery: The Fugitive Slave Act compels escaped slaves to be returned to their masters.
War
French Revolution: The Reign of Terror begins.
Science
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829) links fossils with similar living organisms.
Medicine
Epidemics: Yellow fever kills 5,000 people in Philadelphia.
Inventions
Eli Whitney (1765-1825) invents the cotton gin.
Inventions
French engineer Claude Chappe (1763-1805) invents the mechanical semaphore.
Inventions
Women's Firsts: Mrs. Samuel Slater obtains the first patent given to a woman in the U.S. for a method of producing cotton thread.
Education
African American Education: Katy Ferguson (c.1774-1854), an ex-slave, founds her school for the poor in New York City; students include 28 Black children and 20 white children.
Education
Higher Education: African American Education: Lucy Terry Prince (1724-1821) defends her son’s admission to Williams College, eloquently presenting African-American people’s desire for an education.
Arts and Letters
The Louvre in Paris becomes a national art gallery.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: William Wordsworth (1770-1850) publishes his first poems.
Madison, Dolley
A second son, William Temple Todd (1793-1793), is born to Dolley and John Todd, Jr. Several months later, an epidemic of yellow fever takes the life of this baby, as well as that of his father and his paternal grandparents.
Economics
American Money: The first American coins are struck.
Daily Life
The first public zoo opens in Paris.
Daily Life
France becomes the first country to use the metric system.
Popular Culture
Hot Air Balloons: French aeronaut Jean-Pierre Blanchard (1753-1809) makes the first hot air balloon flight over the North American continent.
Religion
Roman Catholicism is banned in France.
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1794
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 Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution, limiting the power of the federal courts, is passed by Congress.
Government
American Flag: The Act of January 13, 1794 states that15 stripes and 15 stars will be added to the flag after May 1795.
War
The U.S. Navy is established.
Science
Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802), English physician, suggests the theory of evolution 50 years before his grandson, Charles Darwin (1809-1882) writes his own theory.
Inventions
The cotton gin is patented by Eli Whitney (1765-1825).
Technology
The first "telegraph"--a visual semaphore system--is developed by Claude Chappe (1763-1805) and established between Paris and Lille in France.
Education
Teacher Education: The Ecole Normale is founded in Paris to educate teachers.
Education
Higher Education: The world’s first technical college, the Ecole Polytechnique, opens in Paris.
Education
"Elements of Geometry," by French mathematician Adrien-Marie Legendre (1752-1833) becomes the standard geometry text in Europe and North America.
Ideas
Thomas Paine (1737-1806) writes "The Age of Reason."
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Payne Todd (1764-1849) is introduced to James Madison (1751-1836) by Aaron Burr (1756-1836) Madison and Dolley Todd are married on September 15 at her sister's estate in what is now West Virginia. Mrs. Madison is disavowed by the Quakers.
Jackson, Rachel
Rachel (1767-1828) and Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) marry a second time in Nashville on January 17.
Economics
The “Whiskey Rebellion”—a protest over the excise tax place on liquor--occurs in Pennsylvania.
Daily Life
Duncan Phyfe (c.1768-1854), a cabinetmaker in New York, brings the elegant Sheraton and Regency furniture styles to the U.S.
Daily Life
Postal rates are usually paid by the person receiving the mail; amount is set by length of distance the mail travels.
Daily Life
Fashion: Men no longer powder their hair.
Popular Culture
The song, "Auld Lang Syne" is published; it was written by Robert Burns (1759-1796) in 1781.
1795
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 George Washington (1732-1799) nominates John Rutledge (1739-1800) as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He serves in that position as a recess appointee for four months, but the Senate refuses to confirm him.
Law
The Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution, limiting the power of the federal courts, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Government
The Naturalization Act establishes a five-year residence requirement for citizenship. Members of the nobility entering the U.S. must give up their titles.
Government
Presidents: James Knox Polk, 11th President of the U.S., is born in Mecklanburg County, North Carolina.
Government
The Treaty of San Lorenzo between the U.S. and Spain draws the boundary with Florida and gives the U.S. the right to navigate the Mississippi River.
Science
Martin H. Klaproth (1743-1817) names the element titanium.
Inventions
Robert Fulton (1765-1815) patents the first power-shovel for digging canals.
Technology
Francois Appert (1750-1841) designs a preserving jar for foods.
Education
Higher Education: The University of North Carolina, the first state university in the U.S., accepts its first student, Hinton James.
Education
Public Education: Connecticut sells its land in the Western territories for $1.2 million and uses the proceeds to establish a permanent school fund.
Arts and Letters
The American Academy of Fine Arts holds its first exhibition in Philadelphia.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The first horse-drawn railroad appears in England.
Economics
The metric system is officially adopted in France.
Daily Life
Women’s Firsts: Anne Parrish establishes, in Philadelphia, the House of Industry, the first charitable organization for women in America.
Religion
Freedom of worship is declared in France.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Federal Society of Journeymen Cordwainers (shoemakers) is founded, one of the earliest unions in the U.S.
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1796
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 George Washington (1732-1799) nominates Oliver Ellsworth (1745-1807)as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He is immediately confirmed by the Senate as remains as Chief Justice until his resignation in 1800.
Politics
George Washington (1732-1826) refuses a third term, warns against the dangers of foreign entanglements.
Politics
John Adams (1735-1826)and Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) are elected President and Vice-President.
Government
New State: Tennessee becomes the 16th state in the U.S.
Science
Horace de Saussure (1740-1799) coins the term geology in his work Travels in the Alps.
Medicine
English physician Edward Jenner (1749-1823) introduces vaccination against smallpox.
Technology
James Finley (1768-1822) builds America’s first suspension bridge across Jacob’s Creek in Westmoreland, Pennsylvania.
Technology
Battery Technology: From 1796 - 1799, Alessandro Volta (1745 – 1827) experimented with zinc and silver plates to produce electric currents at the Pavia University. Volta stacked the two to form a "pile", the first "dry" battery.
Arts and Letters
Literature: The first complete works of William Shakespeare (1564-1616) are published in the U.S.
Harrison, Anna
Elizabeth "Betsey" Bassett Harrison Short (1796-1846), the oldest daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born September 29.
Economics
Zane’s Trace, which becomes one of the main routes traveled by migrants to the west, begins construction.
Daily Life
The elephant is brought to the United States from India.
Sports
Billiards is a popular game in the South.
1797
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
John Adams (1735-1826) and Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) are inaugurated as President and Vice-President of the United States.
Government
Tennessee Senator William Blount (1749-1800) becomes the first senator to be impeached.
War
The U.S.S. Constitution, “Old Ironsides,” is launched in Boston Harbor.
Medicine
The Royal Society in England rejects Edward Jenner’s (1749-1823) smallpox vaccination technique.
Technology
A washing machine is patented by Nathaniel Briggs.
Technology
America’s first iron plow is patented by Charles Newbold, amid rumors that the iron would poison the soil and increase weeds.
Technology
The vacuum bottle is designed.
Washington, Martha
Martha (1731-1802) and George (1732-1799) Washington retire to their home at Mount Vernon. Martha wrote to a friend, “The General and I feel like children just released from school.”
Madison, Dolley
James (1751-1836) and Dolley Madison (1764-1849) move from Philadelphia to their home at Montpelier, in Orange County, the Virginia piedmont.
Economics
One pound notes are issued for the first time by the Bank of England.
Sports
Hot Air Balloons: The first parachute jump from a balloon is made by Andre-Jacques Garnerin (1770-1823).
Religion
Ann Griffiths (1776-1805) joins the Methodists and begins composing hymns for them.
Religion
The Pocket Hymn Book, containing words but not music, is published; it is widely used at revival camp meetings.
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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
Elizabeth Peck Perkins (1735?-1807) founds the Boston Female Asylum, the first charitable institution for women there.
Reform
Utopian Movement: Robert Owen (1771-1858) takes over New Lanark mills in Scotland and begins social reforms 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
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.
Government
National Capital: Congress takes jurisdiction over the District of Columbia.
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.
Adams, Louisa
John Adams II (1803-1834), son of President John Quincy Adams and Louisa Adams, is born on the 4th of July.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”
Education
The first Board of Education in New York City comes into being.
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
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.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Sioux and other tribes encounter the Lewis (1774-1809) and Clark (1770- 1838) expedition.
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 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.
Education
Public Education: New York State creates a permanent school fund.
Education
Johann Pestalozzi (1746-1827) opens his school in Yverdon, Switzerland.
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.
Van Buren, Hannah
Abraham Van Buren (1807-1873), son of Martin and Hannah Van Buren is born on November 27.
Adams, Louisa
Charles Frances Adams (1807-1886), son of President John Quincy Adams and Louisa Adams, is born on August 18.
Economics
Transportation: The first steamboat with regular passenger service is instituted by Robert Fulton's Clermont (1765-1815).
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The very first passenger train runs from Swansea to Mumbles in England on March 25th.
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."
Taylor, Margaret
Anne Margaret Mackell Taylor Wood (1811-1875), daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, is born April 9.
Adams, Louisa
Louisa Catherine Adams (1811-1812), the only daughter of John Quincy and Louisa Adams, is born.
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 manufacture of lead pencils begins.
Economics
The City Bank of New York opens, the forerunner of today’s Citibank.
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
Elizabeth Seton (1774-1821) formally establishes the Sisters of Charity, the first Catholic sisterhood founded in America, from her earlier community (1809).
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.
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
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.
Inventions
J.F. Hummel patents rubber.
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.
Harrison, Anna
James Findlay Harrison (1814-1817), is the last son born to William Henry and Anna Harrison.
Taylor, Margaret
Sarah Knox Taylor Davis (1814-1835), daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, is born March 6.
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.
Tyler, Letitia
Robert Tyler (1816-1877), the first son of John and Letitia Christian Tyler, is born September 9.
Taylor, Margaret
Octavia Pannel Taylor (1816-1820), daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, is born August 16.
Economics
American Money: The second Bank of the United States is chartered for 20 years until 1836.
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.
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
The American Colonization Society forms—assists in repatriating free African Americans to a Liberian colony on the west coast of Africa.
Social Issues
Immigration: Large numbers of British immigrants come to the United States and Canada.
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
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.
Government
New State: Mississippi becomes the 20th state in the U.S.
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
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.
Education
Early frontier education is influenced by the American Tract Society which spreads religious literature by means of circuit riders.
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
Native Americans: American traders began to compete with Native American tribes for the buffalo fur business.
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.
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.