Beginning Year:       Ending Year:      
1826
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Third Parties: The first third party in the U.S., the Anti-Masonic Party, is founded.
Science
André Ampere (1775-1836) publishes his "Treatise on Electrodynamics."
Inventions
The first permanent photograph is produced by J.N. Niepce (1765-1833), a French scientist.
Inventions
Samuel Morey (1762-1843) patents an internal combustion engine.
Inventions
The first reflecting telescope is built in the U.S. by Amasa Holcomb (1787-1875) in Massachusetts.
Inventions
Bassell designs a pendulum that takes exactly one second per swing.
Education
Education of Women: The first public high schools for girls open in New York and Boston.
Education
The American Lyceum—a mechanism for adult education—is founded.
Education
The Smithsonian Institution is founded in Washington, DC, endowed by James Smithson (1765-1829).
Arts and Letters
The U.S. Academy of Design is founded by Samuel F.B. Morse (1791-1872).
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) publishes "Essays on Mind, with Other Poems."
Adams, Louisa
John Adams (1735-1826), 2nd President of the U.S., dies in Braintree (now Quincy), MA.
Jefferson, Martha
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) dies on July 4 at Monticello (near Charlottsville, VA).
Fillmore, Abigail
Abigail Powers (1798-1853) marries Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) on Feb. 5 in Moravia, NY.
Harrison, Anna
Lucy Singleton Harrison Este (1800-1826), daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies April 7.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd (1818-1882) enters the academy of Dr. John Ward; stays until she is 14.
Grant, Julia
Julia Boggs Dent (1826-1902), wife of Ulysses S. Grant, is born on January 26 on her family’s plantation near St. Louis, Missouri.
Taylor, Margaret
Richard Taylor (1826-1879), son of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, is born January 27.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The first line of rails in the New England States is said to have been laid down at Quincy, Mass., 3 miles in length and pulled by horses.
Discovery
The first overland journey to Southern California is led by Jedediah Strong Smith (1798-1831).
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first issue of the "United States Telegraph" is published; it reflects an anti-John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) bias.
Popular Culture
James Fennimore Cooper (1789-1851) publishes "The Last of the Mohicans."
Social Issues
Slavery: A Pennsylvania law makes kidnapping a felony, thereby nullifying the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Creek Indians sign the Treaty of Washington, which voids the previous treaty and cedes less land to the government; it requires the Indians to move in 1827.
Reform
Temperence Movement: The American Society for the Promotion of Temperance is founded in Boston.
1827
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Sectional differences in the U.S. between the North and South increase over tariffs: northern industrialists are for them; southern plantation owners oppose them.
Government
Joint occupation of the Oregon territory is agreed upon by the U.S. and Britain.
War
Congress gives the President the right to call out the militia.
Science
The mammalian ovum (egg) is discovered, proving that mammals do develop from eggs.
Science
John J. Audubon (1785-1851) publishes "Birds of North America."
Medicine
Brights’ disease (of the kidneys) is described by English physician Richard Bright (1789-1858).
Inventions
The screw propeller for ships is invented.
Education
Joanne Bethune founds the Infant School Society in New York City.
Education
African American Education: A letter in the Freedom Journal demands education for black women.
Education
The first nautical school in America is opened in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Education
Public Education: Massachusetts requires every town with 500 or more families to establish a public high school.
Education
Public Education: Massachusetts passes a law making all grades of public school open to all pupils free of charge.
Arts and Letters
"A Midsummer Night’s Dream," by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847), premieres.
Economics
Transportation: The first public transit system—horse-drawn busses—appear in New York City.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad is chartered to run from Baltimore to the Ohio River in Virginia. It was the first westward bound railroad in America.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The Switch Back Gravity Railroad in Pennsylvania begins operation in May of 1827 before work begins on the B&O. It is the second railroad in the U.S.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first newspaper for blacks in the U.S., "Freedom’s Journal" is published in New York City.
Daily Life
Cincinnati is considered the Queen City of the west, at least for a time before the rise of Chicago.
Daily Life
Karl Baedeker (1801-1859) begins publishing his travel guides.
Daily Life
John Walker (1781-1859) introduces sulfur friction matches—called Lucifers—in England.
Daily Life
Holidays: The Mardi Gras celebration begins when French-American students organize a procession of street maskers on Shrove Tuesday in New Orleans.
Sports
A handbook for sportsmen, the American Shooter’s Manual, is published in Philadelphia.
Popular Culture
The murder of Maria Martin in England is the inspiration for a wildly popular melodrams, Maria Martin, or The Murder in the Red Barn.
Religion
The Second Great Awakening, an era of intense, emotional religious revivalism, makes a large impression across the country.
Reform
Perhaps the first organized American women’s club, the Women’s Social Society at New Harmony, is founded by Frances Wright.
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1828
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
First Political Parties: The Democratic party is formed, based on Jeffersonian principles. Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) is the first nominee, and defeats John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) for the Presidency; John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) is re-elected Vice President.
Politics
Third Parties: The Working Men’s Party is founded in New York City.
Government
Railroad History: Congress authorizes the construction of the first state-owned railway in Pennsylvania.
Government
The so-called Tariff of Abominations, imposing duties on manufactured goods is passed.
Science
The discipline of organic chemistry begins.
Science
Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) is awarded a gold medal by Britain’s Royal Astronomical Society for her catalog of nebulae.
Medicine
Dr. Hopff first uses the term "hemophilia" in describing the blood disease.
Inventions
The electromagnet is invented.
Education
Education of Women: Zilpah Grant (1794-1874) becomes head of the Ipswitch Female Seminary, a select girls’ boarding school.
Education
Noah Webster (1758-1843) publishes his "American Dictionary of the English Language," with 70,000 definitions, including many words derived from immigrant and Native American languages.
Education
Libraries: The Reading Room Society, the first social library for African Americans, opens in Philadelphia.
Arts and Letters
Franz Schubert (1797-1828) gives his only public concert in Vienna.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Alexander Dumas (pere--1802-1870) writes "The Three Musketeers."
Jackson, Rachel
Rachel Donelson Robards Jackson (1767-1828) dies at home on December 22 at 62. She is the first President's wife to die after her husband had been elected to office of President but before he was sworn in and she could become the First Lady.
Fillmore, Abigail
Millard Fillmore (1800--1874) is elected to the New York State Legislature, where he serves until 1831.
Fillmore, Abigail
Millard Powers Fillmore (1828-1889), son of Millard and Abigail Fillmore, is born April 25.
Johnson, Eliza
Martha Johnson Patterson (1828-1901), daughter of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, is born October 25.
Adams, Louisa
White House Weddings: Louisa (1775-1852) and John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) son, John II (1803-1834), marries Mary Catherine Hellen in the White House.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: Delaware & Hudson Canal Co. builds a railroad from their mines to the termination of the canal at Honesdale.
Economics
Construction starts on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first Indian newspaper, the Cherokee Phoenix is published in Georgia.
Daily Life
Magazines: Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879) becomes editor-publisher of the American Ladies Magazine (until 1836).
Sports
The first archery club is formed in Philadelphia; members pay an initiation fee of $5.00 and $.50 dues a month.
Popular Culture
Thomas (“Jim Crow”) Rice (1808-1860) introduces the song “Jim Crow” between acts of a play; it is the first international song hit of American popular music.
Social Issues
Native Americans: American social critic Elizabeth Sanders (1762-1851) anonymously publishes a booklet praising Indian culture and condemning its destruction by General Andrew Jackson.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Isabella van Wagener (c. 1797-1883) is freed from slavery and takes the name Sojourner Truth; she preaches against slavery throughout New York and New England.
1829
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
The practice of awarding political appointments based on party service is introduced by Andrew Jackson (1767-1845).
Government
Andrew Jackson (1767-1848) is inaugurated as the 7th President of the U.S. and John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) is inaugurated as the continuing Vice President.
Inventions
Louis Daguerre (1787-1851) invents the daguerreotype, a commonly used form of photography.
Inventions
The concertina is patented by Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875).
Inventions
An early version of the typewriter is patented by William Austin Burt (1792-1858).
Technology
The term “technology” is coined in a work called "Elements of Technology" by Harvard professor Jacob Bigelow., M.D. (1787-1879).
Education
Special Education: The Perkins Institution, the first school for the blind in the U.S. opens.
Education
The first American encyclopedia, Encyclopedia Americana ins published.
Education
Special Education: Louis Braille (1809-1852) adapts a communication system used by the French military.
Education
Children’s Books: Ann Taylor (1782-1866) and her sister Jane (1783-1824) collaborated on several books of poems for "infant minds," chiefly but not exclusively religious poems. Ann (1782-1866) was author of "My Mother" and Jane (1783-1824) of "Twinkle, twinkle, little star." They wrote "Original Poems for Infant Minds," illustrated with woodcuts.
Arts and Letters
Opera: Rossini (1792-1868) completes his last major work, the opera, "William Tell."
Arts and Letters
Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) debuts in Vienna.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849) publishes his first work, "Tamerlane and Other Poems."
Adams, Louisa
George Washington Adams (1801-1829), son of President John Quincy Adams and Louisa Adams, dies a mysterious death on April 30. Many historians believe he committed suicide.
Economics
The first modern hotel, the Tremont, opens in Boston with 170 rooms.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The first steam locomotive used in America, the English-built Stourbridge Lion, is put to work on the Delaware & Hudson.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: Peter Cooper (1791-1883) of New York in 6 weeks time builds the Tom Thumb, a vertical boiler 1.4 HP locomotive, for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad.
Daily Life
Second Great Awakening: In part stimulated by the Second Great Awakening, crusader Sylvester Graham attacks meats, fats, catsup, mustard, pepper, and white bread as stimulating carnal appetites.
Religion
The Catholic Emancipation Act in Britain allows Catholics to hold public office.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Sarah Moore Grimké (1792-1873) publishes Epistle to the Clergy of the Southern States, in which she attacks religious rationalizations of slavery.
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1830
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Native Americans: The Indian Removal Act is passed enabling whites to move Indians to reservations.
Government
Abortion: U.S. Congress makes abortion a statutory crime.
Government
Mexico bans further U.S. settlement in Texas.
Government
Presidents: Chester A. Arthur (1830-1886), 21st President of the U.S., is born October 5 in Fairfield, Vermont.
Science
The cell nucleus in plants is discovered.
Science
Charles Lyell (1797-1875) organizes the geological system into three groups: eocene, miocene, and pliocene.
Medicine
America’s first veterinarian, Charles Grice, opens an animal hospital in New York City.
Inventions
Frenchman, B. Thimonnier (1793-1859), invents a sewing machine.
Inventions
The fountain pen is patented by H.D. Hyde of Pennsylvania.
Education
African American Education: By this time, most southern states have laws forbidding teaching people in slavery to read. Even so, around 5 percent become literate at great personal risk.
Arts and Letters
Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) writes his "Symphonie fantastique."
Monroe, Elizabeth
Elizabeth Kortright Monroe (1768-1830), wife of James Monroe, in office 1817-1825, dies at the family home, Oak Hill, in Virginia.
Fillmore, Abigail
The Fillmore family moves to Buffalo; both parents are active in efforts to improve public education and establish a public library system there.
Harrison, Anna
John Cleves Symmes Harrison (1798-1830), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies October 30 in the midst of political controversy.
Lane, Harriet
Harriet Lane (1830-1903), niece of President James Buchanan, is born on May 9 in Franklin County, Pennsylvania.
Johnson, Eliza
Charles Johnson (1830-1863), son of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, is born February 19.
Tyler, Letitia
Tazewell Tyler (1830-1874), the youngest of John and Letitia Tyler's children, is born December 6.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The first locomotive built in the U.S. makes its first trip on the Baltimore and Ohio railroad; it later loses a race against a horse when an engine belt slips. 0 1210 1830 12 Population: The fifth national census puts the population at 12.8 million, including about 150,000 immigrants. 0 8066 1830 12 Transportation: Railroad History: The Best Friend is built at the West Point Foundery at New York for the Charlston & Hamburg Railroad. It was the first complete
Economics
Population: The fifth national census puts the population at 12.8 million, including about 150,000 immigrants.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The Best Friend is built at the West Point Foundery at New York for the Charlston & Hamburg Railroad. It was the first completely American-built steam engine to go into scheduled passenger service.
Daily Life
Fashion: Ladies' skirts grow shorter and sleeves and hats grow bigger; stiff collars become part of men’s dress.
Daily Life
Sylvester Graham invents the graham cracker, which becomes a favorite of children everywhere.
Daily Life
Magazines: "Godey's Lady's Book," a magazine for women, is founded.
Popular Culture
Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) writes the poem, “Old Ironsides,” which so popularizes the story of the U.S.S. Constitution that plans to scrap the ship are cancelled.
Religion
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or Mormons, is founded by Joseph Smith (1805-1844).
1831
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Former President John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) is elected as the Congressional representative from Massachusetts.
Government
Presidents: James A. Garfield (1831-1881), 20th President of the U.S. is born November 19 in Orange, Ohio.
Government
U.S. copyright law is amended to last for 28 years, renewable for 14.
War
The French Foreign Legion is founded.
Science
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) sails on the H.M.S. Beagle, a trip on which he conceives the idea of evolution.
Science
Michael Farraday (1791-1867) develops the electromagnetic generator.
Inventions
Chloroform is invented.
Inventions
An early version of the mechanical reaper is developed by Cyrus McCormick (1809-1884).
Technology
Airplanes: Thomas Walker (1804-1886) proposes a tandem-wing airoplane with the pilot and the propulsion system amidships. This would later influence Samuel Langley as he designed his aerodromes.
Education
Libraries: The Female Literary Society, the first social library for African-American women, is founded in Philadelphia.
Education
African American Education: Maria W. Miller Stewart (1803-1879), an African American orator, exhorts African Americans to become educated and fight for their rights; she speaks out at a time when very few women are able to speak in public.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Victor Hugo (1802-1885) publishes "The Hunchback of Notre Dame."
Monroe, Elizabeth
James Monroe, fifth President of the U.S. dies in New York, New York (b. 1758).
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Ware Webb (1831-1889), wife of Rutherford B. Hayes, is born August 28 in Chillicothe, Ohio.
Economics
The Industrial Revolution focuses on textile mills.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: Robert L. Stevens buys the British locomotive, the John Bull, and establishes America’s first steam railway.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The 3.5 ton De Witt Clinton hauls 5 stage coach bodies on railroad wheels at 25 mph on the Mohawk & Hudson Railroad between Albany and Schenectady.
Economics
Transportation: The Canadian paddle steamer, Royal William, cross the Atlantic with steam as the prime source of drift. However, her engines had to be stopped every few days because they had to be scraped from the accumulated salt deposits from the seawater used in her boilers.
Discovery
Scottish explorer James Ross (1800-1862) and his Uncle, Sir John Ross (1777-1856), determine the position of the magnetic North Pole.
Daily Life
This year sees the first use of the term “Old Glory” for the U.S. flag.
Sports
Horse Racing: A popular racing sheet, the "Spirit of the Times," is established by William Trotter; its aim is to improve the reputation of racing and other sports.
Popular Culture
American Theatre: The first showboat is built, called "The Floating Theatre."
Popular Culture
Samuel Francis Smith (1808-1895) writes the words to "My Country, 'Tis of Thee."
Social Issues
Immigration: German immigration to the U.S. is about 15,000.
Social Issues
Slavery: Nat Turner (1800-1831) leads an unsuccessful slave uprising.
Social Issues
Slavery: The term "underground railroad" becomes widely used.
Reform
Abolition Movement: William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) begins publishing his abolitionist periodical, The Liberator.
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1832
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) is re-elected President and Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) is elected the 8th Vice President on the new Democratic Party ticket.
Politics
Third Parties: For the first time in American history, a third party challenges the major two parties. William Wirt (1772–1834) of the Anti-Masonic Party carries 8 percent of the vote and one state. Andrew Jackson (1767–1845), Democratic-Republican, is reelected President over National-Republican Henry Clay (1777–1852).
Government
John C. Calhoun (1782-1850) becomes the first Vice President to resign from office; he runs successfully for the Senate.
Government
States in the South begin a series of nullification acts, attempting to redefine their relationship to the federal government.
War
Indian Wars: U.S. troops fight the last Indian war north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi.
Science
Jane Kilby Welsh publishes her textbook, "Familiar Lessons in Mineralogy and Geology."
Medicine
The dissection of cadavers in medical schools is legalized in Massachusetts.
Medicine
Epidemics: A cholera epidemic sweeps through major American cities, killing over 7,000 people in New York and New Orleans.
Medicine
The disease later known as Hodgkin’s disease is described by English physician Thomas Hodgkin (1798-1866).
Inventions
The lawn mower is invented.
Inventions
Walter Hunt (1796-1859) invents a lock-stitch sewing machine.
Inventions
Louis Braille (1809-1852) invents the stereoscope.
Inventions
Cyrus McCormick invents the first commercially successful reaper.
Education
Education of Women: Catherine Beecher (1800-1878) founds the Western Female Institute in Cincinnati.
Education
Special Education: Samuel Howe (1801-1876) founds the Perkins Institute, the first major school for the blind in the U.S.
Arts and Letters
The Boston Academy of Music offers free music lessons to children, adults, and teachers.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) finishes "Faust."
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) publishes "The Lady of Shalott."
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb's (1831-1889) father dies of cholera.
Fillmore, Abigail
A daughter, Mary Abigail (1832-1854), is born to Abigail and Millard Fillmore in Buffalo on March 27.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary (1818-1882) is enrolled at Madame Victorie Mentelle’s select school for young ladies.
Garfield, Lucretia
Lucretia Rudolph (1832-1918), wife of James A. Garfield, is born on April 19 in Hiram, Ohio.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Lavinia Scott (1832-1892), wife of Benjamin Harrison, is born On October 1 in Oxford, Ohio.
Johnson, Eliza
Mary Johnson Stover Brown (1832-1883), daughter of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, is born May 8.
Adams, Abigail
Thomas Boylston Adams, third son of John and Abigail Adams, dies at 59, probably of complications of alcoholism.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: "The Brother Jonathon" was the first locomotive in the world to have a four-wheel leading truck; it was designed by John B. Jervis for the Mohawk & Hudson Railroad.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: "The American No. 1" was the first 4-4-0, the first of its class; it was designed by John B. Jervis (1795 –1885), Chief Engineer for the Mohawk & Hudson.
Economics
Transportation: The "Ann McKim," first of the American clipper ships, is launched in Baltimore.
Daily Life
Frances Trollope (1780-1863) publishes "Domestic Manners of the Americans."
Reform
The first work to treat women in a completely distinctive way, "The History of Women," is published.
Reform
Abolition Movement: The New England Anti-Slavery Society is founded in Boston.
Reform
Abolition Movement: African American women found the first Anti-Slavery society in Salem, Massachusetts.
1833
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Congress gives President Jackson (1767-1845) the power to use the armed forces to enforce the tariff laws; South Carolina rescinds its nullification acts after a compromise on tariffs is reached.
Government
President: Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901), 23rd President of the U.S., is born.
Government
National Capital: The Treasury building burns to the ground in Washington, DC.
Government
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) is inaugurated as President and Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) is inaugurated as the nation's 8th Vice President.
Science
Michael Farraday (1791-1867) coins the terms electrolysis, electrolyte, anode, and cathode.
Inventions
Computers: Charles Babbage (1791-1871) suggests the possibility of building an “analytical engine,” an early calculator.
Education
Education of Women: Prudence Crandall (1803-1890) admits black students to her girls’ school in Connecticut and is imprisoned for violating a law passed especially to prevent her from doing so.
Education
Higher Education; Education of Women: African American Education: Oberlin College in Ohio is the first college to admit Blacks and women.
Education
Children’s Books: Peter Parley's "Winter Evening Tales;" this delightful little book with its copperplate title page and frontispiece shows a less forbidding side of S. G. Goodrich (1793-1860).
Education
Libraries: The first tax-supported public library in the United States is founded in Peterborough, New Hampshire.
Arts and Letters
Frederic Chopin (1810-1849) writes the "Piano Concerto in E Minor."
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) writes "In Memoriam."
Daily Life
Transportation: The Canadian ship, S.S. Royal William crosses the Atlantic in 25 days.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first "penny press," the "New York Sun," makes newspapers widely available, thus helping the spread of literacy.
Daily Life
Magazines: The first magazine for mothers, "Mother’s Magazine," is published and edited by Abigail Goodrich Whittelsey (1788-1858).
Daily Life
Magazines: Parley's Magazine for Children & Youth. This is a twice-monthly magazine, founded by Samuel Griswold Goodrich (1793-1860). It emphasized geography, travel, natural history, and simple technology, along with Bible stories.
Sports
Baseball: An early form of baseball is played by the Olympic Ball Club in Philadelphia; most rules are like those of English cricket.
Popular Culture
The legend of Davy Crockett (1786-1836) is begun with the publication of "Sketches and Eccentricities of Col. David Crockett, of West Tennessee."
Social Issues
Slavery: The British Empire abolishes slavery in its colonies.
Reform
Abolition Movement: The American Anti-Slavery Society is founded in Philadelphia by James Mott (1788-1868). Lucretia Mott (1793-1880), his wife, founds the Female Anti-Slavery Society.
Reform
Labor Movement: Shoemakers in Geneva, New York, go on strike; they win, but a later court case declares strikes to be illegal.
Reform
Labor Movement: The General Trades Union is formed in New York City.
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1834
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Third Parties: Anti-Jackson forces form the American Whig party; it lasts until 1852.
Government
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) removes federal deposits from the Bank of the U.S. and deposits them in “pet” state banks around the country.
Government
The U.S. Senate censures Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) for taking federal deposits from the Bank of the U.S.; the censure is removed from the record the following year.
Government
The city of Toronto is incorporated.
Science
Amalgam (a mercury alloy) is introduced as a filling material for decayed teeth.
Medicine
An antidote for arsenic poisoning is discovered by Robert Bunsen (1811-1899).
Inventions
The mechanical reaper is patented by Cyrus H. McCormick (1809-1884).
Inventions
Computers: Charles Babbage (1791-1871)invents the principle of the "analytical engine," which is the forerunner of the computer.
Inventions
Jacob Perkins (1766-1849) invents an early refrigerator (really an early ice machine).
Education
Special Education: French teacher Louis Braille invents (1809-1852) a system of printed raised dots that enables the blind to read.
Education
Children''s Books: The fairy tale "The Three Bears" is popularized.
Arts and Letters
"The Last Days of Pompeii is published."
Lincoln, Mary
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) enters politics in the Illinois legislature at the age of 25.
Adams, Louisa
John Adams II (1803-1834), son of President John Quincy Adams and Louisa Adams, dies an alcohol related death on October 23.
Johnson, Eliza
Robert Johnson (1834-1869), son of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, is born February 22.
Economics
Twenty-eight million acres of public land are offered for sale to those who wish to move west.
Discovery
The first settlement is established in Oregon.
Daily Life
Tomatoes are begun to be eaten in the U.S.; before this, people thought they were poisonous and they were only used as ornamental “love apples.”
Sports
Baseball: The first printed rules for a game much like baseball are found in the Book of Sports.
Sports
Baseball: Robin Carver publishes the "Book of Sports," the first American book on baseball.
Sports
Women in Sports: The first modern Lacrosse games are played. Lacrosse will become a major new sports opportunity for women in the 1990's with many colleges offering scholarship dollars. The original game was played by North American Indians.
Popular Culture
Madame Tussaud (1761-1850) opens her wax museum in London.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Under an 1828 treaty, the U.S. orders the Seminole Indians to leave Florida.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Four thousand Oglala people relocate to Fort Laramie to boost their fur trade with white people.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Factory Girls Association is organized in the Lowell textile mills; women workers stage their first strike, which fails.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Anti-abolition riots occur in New York City and Philadelphia.
1835
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Congress pays off the national debt.
War
Mexican Wars: American settlers defeat a Mexican cavalry in the first battle of the Texas Revolution.
War
Indian Wars: A new Seminole War begins in Florida after the escape of Seminole leader Osceola.
Science
Hailey's comet appears in its usual 75-year cycle.
Inventions
The revolver is invented by Samuel Colt (1814-1862).
Inventions
Computers: Charles Babbage (1791-1871) invents a mechanical calculator.
Education
African American Education: A school that enrolls 14 Black students in New Hampshire is burned to the ground.
Education
Education of Women: Harriet Hunt (c.1805-?) is accepted at Harvard Medical School, but the male students riot and she is forced to withdraw.
Education
Education of Women: Education for girls is established in Panama.
Education
Children''s Books: Hans Christian Anderson (1805-1875) publishes a book of his "Fairy Tales."
Ideas
Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) publishes his "Democracy in America," a work that is still quoted today.
Ideas
Women''s Rights Movement: Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) publishes "History of the Condition of Women."
Jackson, Rachel
Assassination: President Andrew Jackson survives the first-ever assassination attempt on a U.S. president.
Monroe, Elizabeth
Eliza Kortright Monroe Hay (1786-1835), daughter of President James Monroe and Elizabeth Monroe, dies in France at age 49, shortly after converting to the Catholic faith. Cause of death is unknown
Taylor, Margaret
Sarah "Knox" Taylor Davis (1814-1835), daughter of Zachary and Margaret Taylor, dies September 15 of malaria.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: 1,096 miles of railroad tracks are in use in the U.S.
Economics
Native Americans: Gold is found on Cherokee lands in Georgia.
Economics
The first cast-iron bridge in America is built over Dunlap’s Creek in Brownsville, Pennsylvania.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "New York Herald" is published as a penny-paper.
Sports
For a purse of $1,000, nine runners participate in a 10-mile foot race on Long Island; the winner’s time is 59 minutes, 44 seconds.
Popular Culture
P.T. Barnum (1810-1891) begins his career as a showman in the U.S.
Popular Culture
A pseudoscience called “phrenology” becomes popular; it says that physiological features, especially of the head, determine character.
Religion
Women''s Firsts: Henrietta Hall Schuck becomes the first American female missionary in China at age 18.
Reform
Prison Reform: Mt. Pleasant Female Prison, the first American prison for women, is founded in New York.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Censorship efforts in Southern states expel abolitionists and forbid the mailing of antislavery propaganda.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Pro- and anti-slavery mobs clash in Charleston, South Carolina, in Boston, and in New York; in Boston, the pro-slavery attackers take William Lloyd Garrison (1805-1879) and parade him through the streets with a rope around his neck.
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1836
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President Andrew Jackson(1767-1845) nominates Roger Brooke Taney (1777-1864) as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He is confirmed by the Senate in 1836 and serves for twenty-eight years, the second-longest tenure of any Chief Justice.
Politics
Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) is elected as the 8th U.S. President and Richard M. Johnson (1780-1850) is elected as the nation's 9th Vice President.
Politics
Texas declares independence from Mexico.
Government
New State: Arkansas becomes the 25th state in the U.S.
Government
The Michigan territory is divided to create Wisconsin.
War
Mexican Wars: The battle of the Alamo takes placeover 13 days; less than 200 defenders are finally defeated by 2,500 Mexican soldiers.
Science
The first American botanical textbook, "Elements of Botany," is written by Asa Gray (1810-1888).
Science
Pepsin, the powerful ferment in gastric juice, is recognized by the German physiologist, Theodor Schwann (1810-1882).
Inventions
Francis Pettit Smith and John Ericcson (1803-1889) co-invent the propellor.
Education
Public Education: Child labor laws in Massachusetts require children to attend school for at least three months a year until they are 15.
Education
Higher Education: Education of Women: Women’s Colleges: Wesleyan College is chartered to Georgia and is known for granting the first college degrees to women.
Education
Special Education: Laura Bridgman (1829-1889) becomes the first deaf-mute taught to communicate at the Perkins Institute.
Education
Public Education: The first McGuffey readers are published.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Charles Dickens (1812-1870) writes "The Pickwick Papers."
Ideas
The first meeting of the Transcendentalist Club is held in Boston.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd (1818-1882) enrolls for two more years at Ward’s academy.
Madison, Dolley
James Madison (1751-1835) dies at the Madisons' home at Montpelier, and is buried there.
Fillmore, Abigail
Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) is elected again as a Representative to Congress; serves until 1839.
Jefferson, Martha
Martha Washington Jefferson Randolph (1772-1836), daughter of Thomas and Martha Jefferson, dies of apoplexy on October 10.
Pierce, Jane
Franklin Pierce Jr. (1836), son of Franklin and Jane Pierce, is born February 2 and dies three days later on February 5.
Economics
American Money: With minimum regulation, a proliferation of 1,600 local state-chartered, private banks now issue paper money.
Daily Life
The Arc de Triumphe, begun 30 years earlier, is finished.
Daily Life
Gas stoves are manufactured for the first time.
Sports
Cricket: Batting pads for Cricket are invented.
Religion
The first Mormon Temple is dedicated in Kirtland, Ohio.
Social Issues
Native Americans: A written Seneca Indian language is devised by missionaries Laura Wright (1809-1886) and her husband.
Social Issues
Slavery: Texas wins independence from Mexico and legalizes slavery. Free blacks and mulattos are forbidden from entering the state.
Reform
Labor Movement: At age 11, mill worker Harriet Jane Hanson Robinson leads her young co-workers out in support of older workers striking in protest over wage cuts.
Reform
Abolition Movement: There are 500 active abolitionist societies in the North.
Reform
Temperance Movement: The Ladies' American Home Education Society and Temperance Union is founded.
1837
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Membership on the Supreme Court is increased from seven to nine.
Government
President Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) recognizes the Republic of Texas on his last day in office, thereby preventing its admission as a slave territory.
Government
Martin Van Buren (1782-1862) is inaugurated as the 8th U.S. President and Richard M. Johnson (1780-1850) is inaugurated as the nation's 9th Vice President.
Government
New State: Michigan becomes the 26th state in the U.S.
Government
Presidents: Grover Cleveland (1837-1906), 22nd President of the U.S., is born in Caldwell, New Jersey.
War
Indian Wars: General Zachary Taylor tricks(1784-1850) Seminole leader Osceloa (c.1804-1838) and captures him.
Science
French mathematician Simeon Denis Poissson (1781-1840) develops the rules of probability by studying the incidence of death from mule kicks in the French army.
Inventions
Alfred Lewis Vail (1807-1859), Samuel Morse’s (1791-1872) assistant, develops the “Morse Code” of dots and dashes that will be used by telegraphers everywhere.
Inventions
John Deere (1804-1886) invents the steel-toothed plow.
Inventions
English schoolmaster, Rowland Hill (1744-1833) invents the postage stamp.
Education
Public Education: Horace Mann (1796-1959) becomes head of the newly formed Massachusetts State Board of Education. Edmund Dwight (1716-1755), a major industrialist, thinks a state board of education was so important to factory owners that he offered to supplement the state salary with extra money of his own.
Education
Higher Education: Education of Women: Women’s Colleges: Mount Holyoke Female Seminary is founded and is chartered in 1888(becomes the model for other colleges in the future years).
Education
Higher Education: Education of Women: Women's Colleges: Mary Mason Lyon (1797-1849) opens Mt. Holyoke Seminary in Massachusetts, one of the first colleges for women.
Education
Freidrich Froebel (1782-1852) establishes the first kindergarten in Germany.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s (1804-1864) first work, "Twice-Told Tales" is published.
Ideas
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) publishes "The American Scholar."
Arthur, Ellen
Ellen Lewis Herndon Arthur (1837-1880), wife of Chester A. Arthur, is born August 30 in Culpepper Court House, Virginia.
Economics
Transportation: The first British liner made of iron—the Great Britain—is launched.
Economics
The economic Panic of 1837 is felt across the nation. Many people are out of work.
Daily Life
Victoria (1819-1901) becomes Queen of Great Britain. She is the first monarch to live in Buckingham Palace.
Daily Life
Magazines: Sarah Josepha Hale (1788-1879), author of "Mary Had A Little Lamb," begins editing the popular women''s magazine, "Godey''s Lady''s Book."
Sports
The first boat race, sponsored by the Castle Garden Boat Club, is held in Poughkeepsie, NY.
Sports
Women in Sports: Donald Walker's book, "Exercise for Ladies," warns women against horseback riding, because it deforms the lower part of the body.
Religion
American Presbyterians are split into the “old” and the “new.”
Reform
Abolition Movement: The first Anti-Slavery Convention of American Women is held in New York.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Grimké sisters found the National Female Anti-Slavery Society, one of the first to admit women of color from the start.
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1838
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Slavery: John Calhoun (1782-1850), Senator from South Carolina, introduces resolutions in the Senate affirming the legality of slavery.
War
Afrikaner (Boer) forces fight and defeat the Zulu at the Battle of Blood River in South Africa.
Science
The Royal Irish Academy elects astronomer Caroline Herschel to membership.
Science
The idea that cells are the basic building blocks of all living things is advanced.
Inventions
America’s first microscope is built by Charles A. Spencer (1813-1881).
Inventions
A one-day, brass movement clock is invented that is both accurate and inexpensive, giving rise to the term “Yankee ingenuity.”
Technology
Samuel Morse (1791-1872) gives the first demonstration of the telegraph.
Education
Education of Women: William Holmes MdGuffey (1800-1873) supports more liberal education for women.
Education
French philosopher Auguste Comte (1798-1857) gives the discipline of sociology its name.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Author James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) publishes two novels criticizing American democracy; he is roundly criticized.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849) writes "Ligeia," often called the first work of American science fiction.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Charles Dickens (1812-1870) writes "Oliver Twist" and "Nicholas Nickleby."
Harrison, Anna
William Henry Harrison (1802-1838), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born September 3.
Economics
Transportation: The British liner Great Western sails from England on her maiden voyage; she is the first to cross the Atlantic regularly.
Economics
Transportation: The British steamship Sirius crosses the Atlantic solely on steam power in 18 days, 10 hours.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The New York "Herald" is the first U.S. newspaper to employ European correspondents.
Daily Life
The coronation of Queen Victoria (1819-1901) takes place a year after she ascends the throne.
Popular Culture
Jenny Lynd (1820-1887), the "Swedish Nightingale," makes her debut.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Fifteen thousand Cherokee Indians remaining in Georgia are moved by federal troops 800 miles westward in what becomes known as "the Trail of Tears."
Reform
Women's Suffrage: Widows with school-age children are allowed to vote in school board elections in Kentucky.
Reform
Abolution Movement: Angelina Grimké becomes the first woman to ever address an American legislature, speaking on abolition in Massachusetts.
1839
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Women's Firsts: Mississippi becomes the first state to give the right to own property to women, although they must have their husbands’ permission.
Politics
Third Parties: The first anti-slavery political party, the Liberty Party, runs James Birney (1792-1857) for president. He loses.
Government
The kingdom of Belgium is recognized by all countries of Europe.
War
The first Opium War between Britain and China begins.
Science
Ozone is discovered and named.
Inventions
The first electric clock is invented.
Inventions
The first bicycle is constructed by Scottish inventor Kirkpatrick Macmillan (1813-1878).
Technology
Louis Daguerre (1787-1851) takes the first photograph of the moon.
Technology
Telegraph inventor Samuel F.B. Morse (1791-1872) makes the first daguerreotype portraits to be produced in the U.S.
Education
The Lowell Institute in Boston is founded to provide free lectures by eminent scholars.
Education
A College of Dental Surgery opens in Baltimore.
Education
Teacher Education: The first public normal school (teachers' college) is founded in Lexington, Massachusetts.
Ideas
The unofficial headquarters of the Transcendentalist Club is Elizabeth Palmer Peabody’s (1804-1894) Boston bookshop.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1768-1849) moves back to Montpelier to try farming.
Harrison, Anna
Carter Bassett Harrison (1812-1839), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies August 12.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd (1818-1882) goes to live with her sister, Elizabeth Edwards (Mrs. Ninian), in Springfield, Illinois; she meets Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) there at a dance.
Tyler, Julia
Julia Gardner Tyler (1820-1889) is the first President's wife to pose for a department store advertisement.
Pierce, Jane
Frank Robert Pierce (1839-1843), son of Franklin and Jane Pierce, is born August 27.
Economics
The manufacture of rubber is pioneered by Charles Goodyear (1800-1860).
Daily Life
Magazines: The Lowell mill girls begin publishing "The Lowell Offering," a monthly magazine of poetry, fiction, and essays that becomes internationally known.
Sports
Horse Racing: The first Grand National horse race is run in Britain.
Sports
Baseball: Abner Doubleday (1819-1893) lays out the first baseball field and the first game is played.
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1840
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) is elected the 9th President of the U.S., and John Tyler (1790-1862) is elected as the 10th Vice President on the Whig ticket.
Government
Upper and lower Canada are united by an Act of Parliament.
Government
Stamps: The first postage stamps appear in Britain, bearing Queen Victoria's (1837-1901) profile. The tiny stamps (3/4 by 7/8 inches) are printed using only black ink. Brazil is the second nation to have postage stamps.
Science
Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) publishes a work on the movements and effects of glaciers.
Science
The fundamentals of artificial fertilizer are discovered.
Science
James Joule (1818-1889) develops the idea that energy can be converted from one state to another, but cannot be destroyed.
Medicine
The American Society of Dental Surgeons is organized in New York City.
Inventions
Englishman John Herschel (1792-1871) invents the blueprint.
Education
Public Education: Irish Catholics in New York City struggle for local neighborhood control of schools as a way of preventing their children from being force-fed a Protestant curriculum.
Education
Women’s Colleges: St. Mary-of-the-Woods College is founded in Indiana as the first of many women's institutions that are established by Catholic Sisters and is chartered in 1846.
Ideas
Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) becomes editor of "The Dial," an influential transcentalist publication.
Harrison, Anna
Benjamin Harrison (1806-1840), son of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born.
Adams, Abigail
"Selected letters" by Abigail Adams (1744-1818) on social, political, and other matters are published.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: There are 2,816 miles of railroad in operation in the U.S.
Economics
Transportation: The Cunard steamship line is established, the first with scheduled transatlantic sailings.
Economics
Population: The sixth national census shows a population of more than 17 million; 600,000 immigrants have arrived since 1830, 207,281 from Ireland.
Daily Life
Women''s Firsts: Elizabeth Peabody (1804-1894) becomes the first woman publisher in Boston and the U.S.
Daily Life
History of Toys: The first American dollmaker is granted a patent and dolls begin to be mass-produced in America for the first time.
Sports
The game of bowling (called nine pins) becomes popular in the U.S.
Popular Culture
The expression, "O.K." is first used; it refers to “Old Kinderhook,” birthplace of Martin Van Buren (1782-1862), and is also the name of a Democratic Club in New York City.
Popular Culture
The ritual of afternoon tea is introduced in Britain by Anna, the Duchess of Bedford (1788-1861).
Popular Culture
James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) writes "The Pathfinder."
Social Issues
Native Americans: An increasing flow of emigrants to Oregon and California bring cholera, smallpox, and measles to the Indians as well as accelerated buffalo hunting for the fur trade.
Social Issues
Immigration: Over a million Irish immigrants arrive in the United States, driven out of their homes in Ireland by the potato famine.
Social Issues
Slavery: Slaves on the Spanish ship Amistad mutiny and sale the ship into a Connecticut harbor.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880) and her husband, David Lee Child (1794-1874), edit the Anti-Slavery Standard until 1844.
Reform
Labor Movement: The 10-hour day is established for federal employees by a Presidential order.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Women's Rights Movement: William Lloyd Garrison refuses to speak at the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London because women have been excluded from the meeting.
Reform
Abolution Movement: Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton are chosen as delegates to the World’s Anti-Slavery Convention in London.
1841
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Slavery: Affirming a strong argument made by John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), the Supreme Court rules that the slaves who took over the Amistad may be freed. Thirty-five freed men return to Africa.
Government
President William Henry Harrison (1773-1841) dies in office and is replaced by Vice-President John Tyler (1790-1852) as the 10th U.S. president; no new Vice President is selected.
Government
Tyler’s cabinet resigns over his veto of a bill creating a national bank; Daniel Webster remains Secretary of State.
Government
New Zealand becomes a British crown colony.
War
Mexican Wars: Texas soldiers invade New Mexico and claim all land east of the Rio Grande. Their efforts are thwarted by Governor Manuel Armijo (1793-1853).
Medicine
James Braid (1795-1860), Scottish surgeon, investigates the use of hypnosis.
Inventions
Adolphe Sax (1814-1894) invents the saxophone.
Inventions
Cornstarch is patented by Orlando Jones.
Inventions
Samuel Slocum (1792- 1861) patents the stapler.
Technology
The first U.S. steam fire engine is tested in New York City.
Education
Education of Women: Oberlin College in Ohio is the first to grant college degrees to women.
Education
New England transcendentalists found the commune and school, Brook Farm.
Education
Education of Women: Catherine Beecher (1800-1878) publishes "A Treatise on Domestic Economy."
Education
Children''s Books: Harriet Martineau (1802-1876) publishes a collection of children’s stories, "The Playfellow."
Education
Children’s Books: Unlike the early nineteenth-century Rousseauesque castaways, Victorian versions of the Crusoe story stressed adventure, manliness, and self-help. Well-known examples include Captain Marryat's reassuringly Evangelical Masterman Ready.
Education
Children’s Books: Frederick Marryatt (1792-1848), an ex-naval officer who wrote a whole series of shipboard novels. His Masterman Ready, or the Wreck of the Pacific, first published in three volumes in 1841-42.
Ideas
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) writes "Self Reliance."
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1764-1849) returns to Washington, DC.
Pierce, Jane
Benjamin Pierce (1841-1853), son of Franklin and Jane Pierce, is born April 13.
Harrison, Anna
Anna Symmes Harrison (1775-1864) is the first President's wife to never get to see or live in the White House because her husband, William Henry Harrison, died before she could join him there. President Harrison delivered the longest inaugural address (105 minutes) on a very cold winter day and contracted pneumonia.
Tyler, Letitia
Letitia Christian Tyler (1790-1842) is the First Vice President's wife to become First Lady at the death of the former president.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "New York Tribune" begins publishing, edited by Horace Greeley.
Popular Culture
Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) publishes the first detective story, "Murders in the Rue Morgue."
Popular Culture
James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) writes "The Deerslayer."
Popular Culture
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) writes "The Old Curiosity Shop."
Social Issues
Slavery: Slaves aboard the U.S.S. Creole take over the ship and sail it to Nassau, where they become free.
Social Issues
Slavery: Texas gives its citizens the right and responsibility to apprehend runaway slaves and turn them over to the law so that they may be returned to their owners or sold at auction.
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1842
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The border between the U.S. and Canada is established from Maine to the Great Lakes.
Government
American author Washington Irving (1783-1859) is appointed ambassador to Spain.
Government
Stamps: The first adhesive postage stamps are used in the U.S.
War
Indian Wars: After destroying the Seminoles’ crops and villages, U.S. troops force a peace treaty and move them to Indian Territory in eastern Oklahoma.
Science
The Doppler Effect is described by Christian Doppler (1803-1853).
Medicine
The first surgery using an anesthetic—ether—is performed by Dr. Crawford Long (1815-1878) of Georgia.
Inventions
Joseph Dart builds the first grain elevator.
Education
Women's Colleges: Augusta Female Seminary—later Mary Baldwin Seminary, then College) is founded by Presbyterians in Staunton, VA; it will become one of the best-known early 19th century schools for girls.
Arts and Letters
The New York Philharmonic Orchestra gives its first performance.
Ideas
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) becomes editor of "The Dial," an influential transcendentalist publication.
Tyler, Letitia
Letitia Christian Tyler (1790-1842) dies of a second stroke in the White House on September 10. She is the first First Lady to die during her husband's presidency.
Mary Todd (1818-1882) and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) are married on November 4 at her sister Elizabeth’s house in Springfield.
Harrison, Anna
Mary Symmes Harrison Thornton (1809-1842), daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies November 16.
Discovery
John Charles Fremont (1813-1890) maps the Oregon Trail and wagon trains begin to move west.
Daily Life
Disasters: Mount St. Helens in Washington state erupts.
Sports
Horse Racing: Horse races at the Union Course on Long Island attract thousands of fans.
Popular Culture
P.T. Barnum (1810-1891)exhibits the young midget, Tom Thumb (Charles Sherwood Stratton, c. 1850).
Reform
Labor Movement: The landmark Supreme Court decision, Commonwealth v. Hunt, rules that trade union are not illegal, the striking for a closed shop is legal, and that unions cannot be held responsible for illegal actions by individuals.
1843
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) enters politics as a delegate to the Democratic State Convention in Alabama.
Government
Diplomatic representatives are sent to Hawaii by the U.S.
Government
Presidents: William McKinley (1843-1901), 25th President of the U.S. is born in Niles, Ohio.
Government
The first town meeting is held in Boston at Faneuil Hall.
Inventions
A U.S. patent for a hand-cranked ice cream freezer is granted to Nancy M. Johnson.
Inventions
Alexander Bain (1818-1903) of Scotland invents the facsimile.
Technology
Airplanes: William Samuel Henson, England, proposes the Aerial Steam Carriage in "Mechanics Magazine," the first known design for a propeller-driven fixed-wing aircraft.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) writes "Morte d’Arthur" and "Locksley Hall."
Ideas
Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) lays the foundations for existentialism by stressing the primacy of the individualand the inevitability of suffering.
Ideas
Women''s Rights Movement: Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) writes “The Great Lawsuit: Man versus Men, Woman versus Women.”
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd (1818-1882) and Abraham Lincoln’s(1809-1865) son Robert Todd (1843-1926) is born August 1 in Springfield, in the Globe Tavern, where the Lincolns lived for a time after their marriage.
Pierce, Jane
Frank Robert Pierce (1839-1843), son of Franklin and Jane Pierce, dies November 14 of typhoid fever; Franklin Pierce begins to wonder if God is taking his children.
Economics
Samuel Morse (1791-1872) starts to build a telegraph line between Baltimore and Washington, DC.
Discovery
John Charles Fremont (1813-1890) crosses the Rocky Mountains into California.
Daily Life
Fashion: A new form of female dress--bloomers--is introduced by Amelia Bloomer (1818 - 1894).
Daily Life
The first use of the word “millionaire” occurs in newspapers.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: The Mansion of Happiness is developed by S.B. Ives in Salem, Massachusetts. It becomes the first board game sold in the United States.
Sports
Skiing begins as a sport in Norway.
Sports
Rowing is introduced at Harvard.
Popular Culture
American Theathre: The first minstrel show is performed in New York City.
Popular Culture
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) publishes "A Christmas Carol."
Religion
The Jewish organization B’nai B’rith is founded.
Religion
Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) becomes a traveling evangelical preacher.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Lowell Female Labor Reform Association wins the first investigation of labor conditions by a government agency.
Reform
Mental Health Movement: Dorothea Dix (1802-1887) pushes reforms in the way mental health patients are treated through the Massachusetts legislature.
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1844
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
James Knox Polk (1795-1849) is elected as the 11th President of the U.S., and George Dallas (1792-1864) is elected as the nation's 11th Vice President.
Government
A plan to annex Texas is rejected by the Senate.
Government
The first treaty of peace, amity, and commerce is signed by the U.S. with China.
War
A gun on the new frigate Princeton, being demonstrated by the U.S. Navy, explodes, killing the Secretaries of State and the Navy, as well as other government officials.
Medicine
Nitrous oxide is first used in dentistry.
Inventions
Paper made from wood pulp is invented by Friedrich Keller.
Inventions
Englishman John Mercer (1829- 1897) invents mercerized cotton.
Technology
Charles Goodyear (1800-1860) receives a patent for rubber vulcanization.
Technology
Samuel F.B. Morse (1791-1872) sends his first telegraph message to an associate 45 miles away: the message is, “What hath God wrought?”
Arts and Letters
Literature: Alexander Dumas (1802-1870) writes "The Three Musketeers."
Ideas
Karl Marx (1818-1883) writes of religion as “the sigh of the oppressed creature, the feelings of a heartless world…the opium of the people.”
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1768-1849) sells Montpelier and is the first First Lady to be granted a permanent seat on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd (1818-1882) and Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) buy a home from the Episcopal minister who had married them. This will prove to be the only home the couple ever own.
Tyler, Julia
Julia Gardner (1820-1889) is the first woman to marry an American President while he was in office.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb's (1831-1889) mother, Maria Webb, moves her family to Delaware, Ohio, so that her sons, Joseph and James, can enroll in the newly formed Methodist college, Ohio Wesleyan University.
Economics
Morse’s (1791-1872) telegraph is used for the first time between Baltimore and Washington, DC.
Daily Life
The first private bath in an American hotel is built in the New York Hotel.
Sports
Cricket: The first official international cricket match is played: Canada vs. United States.
Religion
Brigham Young (1801-1877) is chosen to replace Joseph Smith (1805-1844) as leader of the Mormons.
Religion
The Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) is founded in England.
Reform
Anti-Child Labor Movement: The Factory Act in England prohibits children under 13 from working more than 6 ½ hours a day.
1845
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Congress establishes the first week in November for election day; the harvest is over but the roads are still passable.
Government
The U.S. Senate overrides a presidential veto for the first time.
Government
New State: Florida becomes the 27th state in the Union.
Government
New State: Texas becomes the 28th state in the Union.
Government
James Knox Polk (1795-1849) is inaugurated as the 11th President of the U.S., and George Dallas (1792-1864) is inaugurated as the nation's 11th Vice President.
Inventions
American Elias Howe (1819-1867) invents a sewing machine.
Inventions
Sarah Mather receives a patent for a submarine telescope.
Inventions
Rubber bands are invented.
Inventions
The first pneumatic tires are patented in England.
Technology
Airplanes: William Samuel Henson and John Stringfellow (1799-1883) attempt to form the Aerial Transit Company, which (if only they had a practical airplane), would have been the world's first airline. To drum up support, they build and test a model of Henson's aerial carriage with a 20-foot wingspan. It makes brief glides, but does not sustain flight.
Education
The first written examinations in elementary schools begin in Boston.
Education
Higher Education: The U.S. Naval Academy opens at Annapolis, MD.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) publishes his poem, “The Raven” with the famous line, “Quoth the Raven, Nevermore.”
Ideas
Catherine Beecher writes An Essay on Slavery and Abolitionism with Reference to the Duty of American Women to Their Country
Ideas
Margaret Fuller publishes Women in the Nineteenth Century, an expansion of her earlier essay calling for equality for women.
Jackson, Rachel
Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), 7th President of the U.S., dies at the Hermitage in Nashville, Tennessee.
Polk, Sarah
Sarah Childress Polk (1803-1891) is the first First Lady to be "selected" by the previous President for her position (President Tyler told newly elected James Polk that he needed to get married and should marry Sarah). As a result of this selection, Sarah is the first First Lady to serve as her husband's personal secretary.
Harrison, Anna
Anna Tuthill Harrison Taylor (1813-1845), daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies July 5.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb (1831-1889) attends classes at Ohio Wesleyan and receives some credits from the College, although female students are not officially enrolled there.
Economics
Power looms for weaving carpets and tapestries are built by Erastus Bigelow (1814-1879).
Daily Life
The Eastern Hotel in Boston becomes the first steam-heated building in the U.S.
Daily Life
Magazines: "Scientific American Magazine" begins publication.
Religion
Children’s Books: "Letter to My Young Cousin" by American Sunday school Union. This is a book of religious advice on behavior in the family, written as from one teenage girl to another.
Social Issues
Immigration: The potato crop fails in Europe, hitting Ireland especially hard; Irish immigrants continue to flock to the U.S.
Reform
Labor Movement: The Industrial Congress of the U.S., one of the earliest labor unions, is organized.
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1846
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
New State: Iowa becomes the 29th state in the U.S.
War
Mexican War: The U.S. declares war on Mexico over California. U.S. forces under General Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) defeat the Mexicans at Palo Alto, the Navy occupies Monterey, and the territory of New Mexico is annexed to the U.S.
Science
Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) is awarded the King of Prussia’s Gold Medal for science.
Science
The planet Neptune is discovered by German astronomer Johann Gottfied Galle.
Medicine
Dr. William Morton (1819-1868), a Massachusetts dentist, is the first to use anesthesia for tooth extraction.
Inventions
Elias Howe (1819-1867) receives a patent for his sewing machine.
Education
The Smithsonian Institution is established in Washington, DC as a center for scientific research.
Education
Education of Women: The National Academy of Design accepts women students.
Ideas
Catherine Beecher (1800-1878) publishes "The Evils Suffered by American Women and American Children."
Lincoln, Mary
With Mary’s (1818-1882) encouragement, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Lincoln, Mary
Edward Baker (1846-1850), son of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln, born on March 10 in Springfield.
Tyler, Julia
David Gardiner "Gardie" Tyler (1846-1927), the first son born to John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born on July 12.
Harrison, Anna
Elizabeth "Betsey" Bassett Harrison Short (1796-1846), the oldest daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, is born September 29.
Harrison, Anna
Elizabeth "Betsey" Bassett Harrison Short (1796-1846), the oldest daughter of William Henry and Anna Harrison, dies September 26.
Daily Life
Women''s Firsts: Sarah Bagley (1806-1848) becomes the first woman telegrapher in the U.S.
Daily Life
The first painted Christmas card is designed.
Sports
Baseball: New York surveyor Alexander Cartwrite codifies the rules of baseball.
Sports
Baseball: The first recorded baseball game is played in Hoboken, NJ.
Popular Culture
Edward Lear (1812-1888) publishes his "Book of Nonsense."
Religion
The Mormons under Brigham Young (1801-1877) move westward beyond the U.S. borders to the Great Salt Lake.
Religion
The American Missionary Association is founded, combining Protestant evangelicalism with abolitionism.
Social Issues
Slavery: During the Mexican-American War, Mexico is defeated and forced to yield an enormous amount of territory to the United States. Americans then wrestle with a controversial topic: Should slavery be permitted in the new lands?
Reform
Capital Punishment: Michigan becomes the first state to outlaw capital punishment.
1847
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
California comes under U.S. control.
Government
Liberia, colonized by American ex-slaves, becomes the first independent republic in Africa.
Government
Stamps: United States stamps debut. The first two feature George Washington (1732-1799) and Ben Franklin (1706-1790).
Science
Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) discovers a new comet which is named after her.
Science
Joseph Leidy (1823-1891) suggests that the environment affects changes (evolution) within a species.
Medicine
Childbirth assisted by anesthetic (chloroform) first takes place.
Medicine
The American Medical Association is organized in Philadelphia.
Medicine
Epidemics: Another world-wide epidemic of influenza occurs.
Medicine
Antiseptics are developed by Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-1865), a Hungarian.
Inventions
The ophthalmoscope is invented by Charles Babbage (1791-1871) .
Education
Women's Colleges: Rockford Female Seminary (later College) is founded in Rockford, IL; it is called the “Mount Holyoke of the West.”
Arts and Letters
Literature: Emily Bronte (1818-1848) writes "Wuthering Heights" and Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855) writes "Jane Eyre."
Fillmore, Abigail
The Fillmore (1800-1874) family moves to Albany when Fillmore is elected state comptroller; the children are away at boarding school and college.
Mckinley, Ida
Ida Saxon (1847-1907) , wife of William McKinley, is born in Canton, Ohio on June 8.
Tyler, Letitia
Alice Tyler Denison (1847-1854), daughter of John and Letitia Tyler, is born March 23.
Economics
Evaporated milk is made for the first time.
Daily Life
Disasters: Forty-seven of the eighty-seven members of the Donner Party die while trapped in the Sierra Mountains.
Daily Life
The California town of Yerba Buena is renamed San Francisco.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The telegraph is used to transfer stories over great distances, thus making news more immediate.
Religion
The Mormons found Salt Lake City, Utah.
Social Issues
Immigration: The first Chinese immigrants arrive in the U.S.
Social Issues
Immigration: Irish immigration reaches 105,000, 3 times more than the year before.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Taos Rebellion against the U.S. military occurs.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) , escaped ex-slave, begins publishing his abolitionist newspaper, the North Star.
Reform
Anti-Child Labor Movement: Women and children in Britain may only work a 10-hour day.
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1848
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) is elected 12th President of the U.S. on the Whig ticket; Millard Fillmore is elected as the 12th Vice President.
Politics
Third Parties: Former Democratic President Martin van Buren (1782-1862) becomes the presidential candidate of the anti-slavery Free-Soil Party. He wins 10 percent of the popular vote, and is credited with siphoning off enough votes from Democratic candidate Lewis Cass (1782-1866 ) to help Whig candidate Zachary Taylor (1784- 1850) win the election.
Government
New State: Wisconsin becomes the 30th state in the U.S.
War
Mexican Wars: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the war with Mexico, the U.S. receives New Mexico and California as well as parts of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Colorado for $15 million.
Science
Maria Mitchell (1818-1889) becomes the first woman to be elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Science
Hyperion, the eighth moon of Saturn, is discovered.
Medicine
Epidemics: More than 5,000 deaths are caused by a cholera epidemic in New York City.
Inventions
Margaret (Mattie) Knight (1838-1914) (10) invents a stop-motion device to keep shuttles from sliding out of the looms and injuring workers.
Inventions
Chewing gum is invented by John B. Curtis (1827–1897) of Maine.
Inventions
Waldo Hanchett patents the dental chair.
Education
Public Education: Massachusetts Reform School at Westboro opens, where children who have refused to attend public schools are sent. This begins a long tradition of "reform schools," which combine the education and juvenile justice systems.
Education
Public Education: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo guarantees citizenship rights to everyone living in new American areas, mostly Mexicans and Native people. It also guarantees the continued use of the Spanish language, including in education. One hundred fifty years later, in 1998, California breaks that treaty, by passing Proposition 227, which would make it illegal for teachers to speak Spanish in public schools.
Education
Libraries: Boston Public Library becomes the first publicly supported major urban library.
Education
Women’s Colleges: Moore College of Art is founded in Philadelphia (then called the Philadelphia School of Design for Women); it is the first and only women's visual arts college in the nation--and one of only two in the world.
Education
Education of Women: A medical school for women opens with 12 students in Boston.
Ideas
Karl Marx (1818-1883) and Friedrich Engels (1820-1895) publish "The Communist Manifesto."
Adams, Louisa
John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), son of Abigail and John Adams, dies of a massive stroke on February 23.
Tyler, Julia
John Alexander "Alex" Tyler (1848-1883), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born on April 7.
Tyler, Letitia
Mary Tyler Jones (1815-1848), the first daughter born to John and Letitia Christian Tyler, dies June 17.
Taylor, Margaret
Margaret Smith Taylor (1788-1852) is the only First Lady whose portrait does not hang in the White House. She refused to ever have it made.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb (1831-1889) meets Rutherford B. Hayes for the first time when he is visiting her town with his mother. She begins college at the Cincinnati Wesleyan Female College this year as well.
Economics
Gold is first discovered in California, in Sutter's mill. After President Polk (1795-1849) announces the news in December, the gold rush begins soon after.
Daily Life
Niagara Falls stops flowing for the first time in history because of an ice jam in the Niagara River.
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) writes “Oh, Susannah,” which becomes popular among the “49ers” and establishes his reputation as a song writer.
Religion
Spiritualism becomes popular in the U.S.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The California Gold Rush begins, increasing Western expansion across former Native American lands.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: The National Convention of Colored Freedmen held in Cleveland, Ohio resolves that women should be elected delegates on an equal basis with men.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: The first Women’s Rights convention is held in Seneca Falls, NY.
1849
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Zachary Taylor (1784-1850) is inaugurated as the 12th President of the U.S. and Millard Fillmore is inaugurated as the 12th Vice President.
Government
Thomas Ewing (1829-1896) of Ohio is appointed as the first Secretary of the Interior, a department created to meet the needs of western settlers.
Government
Congress establishes the Minnesota territory.
Science
Jeffries Wyman (1814-1874) describes the similarities between the skeletons of apes and humans.
Medicine
Women's Firsts: Female doctors are permitted to practice medicine for the first time in the U.S., and Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) becomes the first woman physician in the U.S.
Inventions
The safety pin is invented by Walter Hunt (1796-1859) , trying to satisfy a $15 debt; he spends 3 hours bending wire into various forms.
Inventions
Mary Ann Woodward patents a fan that attaches to a rocking chair.
Technology
Airplanes: Sir George Cayley (1773-1857), builds a small glider designed to lift about 80 pounds of the ground. He refers to it as his Boy Glider. It is the first recorded manned (or boyed) fixed-wing aircraft. It lifts a 10-year old boy off the ground for a few yards on test runs. Cayley also flew it in a high wind like a kite, tethered to the ground.
Education
Children’s Books: Anna Maria Hall (1800-1881) is one of the most prolific Victorian writers for children, best known for such moral tales as "Grandmamma's Pockets."
Education
The Free Academy in New York City opens; it will become the College of the City of New York and offer free education to the children of New York’s working class.
Madison, Dolley
Dolley Madison (1768-1849) dies on July 12 at the age of 81.
Polk, Sarah
James K. Polk (1795-1849) is the first President to be photographed while in office; he dies on June 15 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Fillmore, Abigail
The family moves to Washington.
Lincoln, Mary
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) applies for a patent on a floating dry dock; he is the only U.S. President to do so.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Harrison (1832-1892) meets Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) , a student of her father’s in Cincinnati.
Tyler, Julia
Julia Tyler Spencer (1849-1871), daughter of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born on December 25.
Economics
Seven thousand “49ers” invade California in a search for gold.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The Pacific Railroad Company is chartered, the first railroad west of the Mississippi River.
Economics
Women''s Rights Movement: Amelia Bloomer (1818 - 1894) begins publishing "The Lily," moving it to Ohio in 1853 and employing female typesetters in spite of a strike by males on the staff.
Sports
The Pearl of Bermuda beats the U.S. yacht Brenda in the first recognized international yacht race.
Social Issues
Slavery: California holds a convention, adopting a constitution that forbids slavery and requests admission to the Union.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The giant redwood trees in California are named Sequoias in honor of the Cherokee Indian Chief, Sequoya (c.1770-1843).
Social Issues
Immigration: The California Gold Rush sparks first mass immigration from China.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Maryland slave Harriet Tubman (c.1820-1913) escapes to the North with some help from her friends.
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1850
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Slavery: The Compromise of 1850 is passed after bitter debates about slavery in new territories and states.
Government
Vice President Millard Fillmore (1800-1847) becomes the 13th President of the U.S. on the death of Zachary Taylor. No new Vice President is selected.
Government
New State: California becomes the 31st state in the U.S.
Government
The city of Los Angeles is incorporated.
Government
New Mexico (which included present day Arizona, southern Colorado, southern Utah, and southern Nevada) is designated a territory, but denied statehood.
Science
The inner-most ring of Saturn is discovered.
Inventions
The continuous stitch sewing machine is invented by Isaac Singer (1811-1875).
Inventions
Joel Houghton is granted the first dishwasher patent in 1850.
Technology
Newspapers: Powerful, giant presses appear, and they are able to print ten thousand complete papers per hour.
Technology
The first clear photograph of the moon is made (a daguerreotype).
Education
Education of Women: The Female Medical College of Pennsylvania is founded.
Education
Public Education: One of the first “free,” or public, schools in New Jersey is founded by Clara Barton (1821-1912).
Education
Children’s Books: "Three Little Kittens" and other stories from Mama Lovechild''s Series were issued by the American toy and game publisher, McLoughlin Brothers.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) writes "Sonnets from the Portuguese."
Arts and Letters
Literature: Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864) writes "The Scarlet Letter."
Lincoln, Mary
Edward Baker Lincoln (1846-1850), son of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln, dies of tuberculosis at age 3, on February 1.
Lincoln, Mary
William Wallace Lincoln (1850-1862), son of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln, is born on December 21.
Taylor, Margaret
President Zachary Taylor (1784-1850), 12th President of the U.S., dies of indigestion on July 9 in Washington D.C. after less than a year-and-a-half in office on .
Fillmore, Abigail
The first library in the White House is established by Abigail Fillmore (1798-1853); She used her furniture money to buy the books. In addition to the library, she also had the first White House bathtub installed and replaced the fireplace used for cooking with the first White House cookstove.
Monroe, Elizabeth
Maria Hester Monroe Gouverneur (1803-1850) President James Monroe and Elizabeth Monroe, dies at the age of 47.
Tyler, Letitia
Elizabeth "Lizzie" Tyler Waller (1823-1850), daughter of John and Letitia Tyler, dies June 1 from childbirth complications.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb Hayes (1831-1889) is the first First Lady to earn a college degree from Cincinnati Wesleyan.
Grant, Julia
Fredrick Dent Grant (1850-1912), son of Ulysses and Julia Grant, is born May 30.
Economics
Young Bavarian-American Levi Strauss (1829-1902) invents blue jeans.
Economics
Population: The population of the U.S. is 23 million (3.2 million black slaves).
Daily Life
Fashion: Crinolines become popular in the U.S., later to be replaced by hoop skirts.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The first "pictorial" weekly newspapers emerge; for the first time they feature extensive illustrations of news events.
Popular Culture
P.T. Barnum (1810-1891) brings Jenny Lind (1820-1887) to sing in the U.S.
Popular Culture
Steven Foster (1826-1864) writes “Camptown Races.”
Popular Culture
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) publishes "David Copperfield."
Social Issues
Native Americans: Silversmithing is introduced to the Navajo Indians, who make it an art form.
Social Issues
Slavery: The Compromise of 1850 includes the Fugitive Slave Act, a law designed to assist in the recovery of runaway slaves by increasing federal officers and denying fugitive slaves a right to a jury trial.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Women gain the right to own land in Oregon.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Harriet Tubman (c.1820-1913) begins to lead slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad. She makes 19 trips back to the South to free about 300 slaves.
1851
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
American Money: Three-cent coins are authorized by Congress.
Government
National Capital: The dome on top of the Capitol Building is designed.
Science
Understanding of the rotation of the earth is advanced.
Medicine
Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) sets up a small medical clinic in a New York City tenement district.
Medicine
The use of glass eyes is introduced; many think they will restore sight.
Education
Libraries: The first law allowing towns to support free libraries through taxes is passed in Massachusetts.
Education
Teacher Education: White American education pioneer Myrrilla Miner opens a teaching college for black women in Washington, DC, the Miner Normal School, amid threats, arson attempts, and stone-throwing mobs.
Education
Libraries: Fire at the Library of Congress burns two-thirds of its collection, 900 of which have still to be replaced.
Education
Public Education: State of Massachusetts passes its first compulsory education law. The goal is to make sure that the children of poor immigrants get "civilized" and learn obedience and restraint, so they make good workers and don't contribute to social upheaval.
Arts and Letters
Opera: Giuseppe Verdi’s (1813-1901) opera "Rigoletto" is first performed in Venice.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Herman Melville (1819-1891) publishes "Moby Dick."
Tyler, Julia
Lachlan Tyler (1851-1902), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born December 2.
Hayes, Lucy
Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1881) asks Lucy Webb (1831-1889) to marry him; she accepts.
Daily Life
Newspapers: The "New York Times" begins publishing.
Daily Life
The first double-decker omnibus, drawn by horses, appears in England.
Daily Life
Fashion: Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-1894) gives her name to “bloomers,” a split skirt designed by Elizabeth Smith Miller (1822-1911) for bicycle riding.
Sports
In the America’s Cup race, the U.S. yacht America beats the British yacht Aurora on Cowes, England.
Sports
Baseball: The first baseball uniforms are worn by the New York Knickerbockers—straw hats, white shirts, and blue trousers.
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) publishes “Old Folks at Home.”
Popular Culture
Children’s Books: The American abolitionist novel Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe (1812-1896) was pirated and abridged to become a children's classic. Although the book presents both African-American and white characters through melodrama and stereotype, the novel has received increasing critical reappraisal in recent years.
Religion
The first Young Men’s Christian Association (WMCA) opens in Boston.
Social Issues
Native Americans: The Sioux Indians give their Iowa lands, and most of their lands in Minnesota to the U.S.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Prohibition against liquor is begun in Maine and Illinois.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) gives her famous "Ain't I a Woman" speech at the Women's Rights Convention in Akron, Ohio.
Reform
Native Americans: Bishop Jean Baptiste Lamy (1818-1888) arrives in New Mexico and establishes schools, hospitals and orphanages throughout the territory.
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1852
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Democrat Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) is elected as the 14th President of the U.S., defeating the Whig candidate, General Winfield Scott; William R. King (1786-1853) is elected as the 13th Vice President. The Whig party ceases to be a power.
Government
Napoleon III (1808-1873) becomes the Emperor of France.
Government
The South African Republic (Transvaal) is established.
Government
Stamps: The first pre-stamped envelopes are sold. Pre-stamped postcards (for a penny) appear 19 years later.
Science
Kerosene is discovered and named.
Medicine
A Dutch army surgeon creates the first cast for broken bones by injecting bandages with plaster.
Inventions
Elisha Gray (1835-1901) invents a safety device to prevent the fall of heavy machinery; his invention makes the development of the elevator possible.
Inventions
James Otis (died 1861) designs a passenger elevator.
Inventions
The non-rigid airship is invented by Henri Giffard.
Education
Education of Women: Elizabeth Blackwell (1821-1910) publishes "The Laws of Life, with Special Reference to the Physical Education of Girls."
Education
Women's Colleges: The National Women’s Education Association is founded by Catherine Beecher (1800-1878) to provide help for women’s colleges, and promote the idea of women as teachers.
Education
The first effective school attendance law is passed in Massachusetts; it requires at least 12 weeks attendance for all children between 8 and 14, six of which must be consecutive.
Education
Libraries: The Boston Public Library is founded.
Education
Women’s Colleges: Mills College is founded in California; it is the oldest women's college in the western part of the United States.
Adams, Louisa
Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams (1775-1852) dies in Washington on May 15 at the age of seventy-seven; the U.S. Congress adjourns to attend her funeral, the first time this honor is conferred upon a woman.
Taylor, Margaret
Margaret Mackall Smith Taylor (1788-1852) dies near Pascagoula, Mississippi on August 18 at the age of sixty-four.
Johnson, Eliza
Andrew Johnson Jr. (1852-1879), son of Andrew and Eliza Johnson, is born August 6.
Grant, Julia
Ulysses Simpson "Buck" Grant Jr. (1852-1929), son of Ulysses and Julia Grant, is born July 22.
Madison, Dolley
John Payne Todd (1792-1852), the biological son of Dolley Madison and the stepson of President James Madison, dies of typhoid fever. John''s life choices, made him a charlatan and constant disgrace to his parents.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy Webb (1831-1889) and Rutherford B. Hayes (1822-1881) are married on December 30 in Cincinnati.
Economics
The Wells Fargo Company is founded.
Discovery
Livingstone (1813-1873) begins explorations of the Zambezi River in South Africa.
Daily Life
The U.S. imports sparrows from Germany as a defense against caterpillars.
Sports
The first intercollegiate rowing race is held between Harvard and Yale.
Popular Culture
The character of “Uncle Sam” appears for the first time in the "New York Lantern Weekly."
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) writes “My Old Kentucky Home.”
Religion
American Catholics hold their first Plenary Council in Baltimore.
Social Issues
Immigration: Chinese immigration is encouraged in California, particularly to provide labor for building railroads.
Reform
Labor Movement: Ohio becomes the first state to regulate working hours for women.
Reform
Temperance Movement: The Woman’s New York Temperance Society is formed by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.
1853
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The Washington Territory is formed from part of the Oregon Territory.
Government
With the Gadsden Treaty, the U.S. secures land from Mexico that completes its acquisition of land in the continental United States.
Government
Franklin Pierce (1804-1869) is inaugurated as the 14th President of the U.S., and William R. King (1786-1853) is inaugurated as the 13th Vice President. King dies soon after taking office, and is not replaced.
Medicine
Alexander Wood (1817-1884) uses hypodermic syringes for injections under the skin.
Medicine
Smallpox vaccinations are made compulsory in Britain.
Medicine
Chloroform is used by Queen Victoria (1819-1901) as an anesthetic in the birth of her 7th child; it becomes an accepted practice in England.
Medicine
Epidemics: More than 3,000 perish from yellow fever in New Orleans.
Inventions
African American inventors: George Crum invents the potato chip.
Technology
Airplanes: The first heavier-than-air flying machine, a glider, flies across a valley for 500 yards carrying its frightened creator, George Cayley (1773-1857).
Education
Higher Education: Antioch College in Ohio opens.
Education
Women's Colleges: American educator Mary Easton Sibley (1800-1878) founds the Lindenwood Female College in Missouri.
Education
Children’s Books: From his weekly magazine, "Household Words," Charles Dickens (1812-1870) waxes nostalgic for the educationally-incorrect fairy tales and nursery rhymes of his youth, such as Aladdin or Jack the Giant-Killer.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Rosa Bonheur’s (1822-1899) painting, "The Horse Fair," establishes her reputation as an artist.
Fillmore, Abigail
Abigail Powers Fillmore (1798-1853) dies of pneumonia at the Willard Hotel in Washington at the age of fifty-five.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline Scott (1832-1892) graduates from the Oxford Female Academy. She begins teaching
Hayes, Lucy
Birchard Austin Hayes (1853-1926), son of Rutherford and Lucy Hayes, is born November 4 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Lincoln, Mary
Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln’s son Thomas "Tad" (1853-1871) is born on April 4 in Springfield.
Tyler, Julia
Lyon Gardiner Tyler (1853-1935), son of John Tyler and his second wife Julia, is born in August.
Pierce, Jane
Benjamin Pierce (1841-1853), son of Franklin and Jane Pierce, dies tragically January 16 in a train accident before his parents' eyes.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The Baltimore and Ohio railroad is completed as far as the Ohio River.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: The New York Central railroad is formed, connecting New York City and Buffalo, NY.
Economics
The building of Steinway pianos is begun in New York City by Henry Steinway (1797-1871) and his three sons.
Economics
Tiffany and Company, jewelers, is established.
Economics
Condensed milk is introduced by Gail Borden (1801-1871).
Economics
American Money: Three-dollar gold pieces are authorized by Congress.
Discovery
Commander Matthew Perry (1794-1858) sails into Japan’s Edo Bay, hoping to open Japan to trade with the west.
Religion
Women's Firsts: Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825-1921) becomes the first ordained minister of a recognized denomination, the Congregationalists.
Reform
Women's Suffrage Movement: Seventy-three women present a petition to the Massachusetts Constitutional Convention urging women’s suffrage.
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1854
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
Political Parties: The Republican Party is formed in Ripon, Wisconsin; opposition to slavery is their central principle.
Politics
Third Parties: The Know-Nothing Party is formed; native white Protestants opposed to immigration and Catholicism run Millard Fillmore (1800-1874) for President.
Government
Clara Barton (1821-1912) becomes perhaps the first regularly appointed woman civil servant in the U.S. with a clerkship in a Washington, DC patent office.
Government
The Gadsden Purchase Treaty is ratified.
Medicine
Florence Nightingale (1820-1910) introduces nurses and standards of cleanliness into military hospitals in the Crimea.
Inventions
The first form of the electric light bulb is invented by Heinrich Goebel (1818-1893) in Germany.
Inventions
The Smith and Wesson revolver is invented.
Technology
The use of the Bunsen burner is introduced.
Education
Special Education: The first state-supported school especially designed for the mentally retarded opens in Syracuse, NY.
Education
Education of Women: Emily Blackwell (1826-1910), Elizabeth Blackwell’s sister, earns a medical degree at Cleveland’s Western Reserve University.
Arts and Letters
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) writes "Walden," or "Life in the Woods."
Arts and Letters
Poetry: Alfred Lord Tennyson (1809-1892) writes "The Charge of the Light Brigade," a poem about a tragic battle in the Crimean War.
Fillmore, Abigail
Mary Abigail (Abby) Fillmore (1832-1854) dies of cholera on July 27 at the age of 22.
Hayes, Lucy
Lucy (1831-1889) and Rutherford Hayes (1822-1893) and their family move into its own house in Cincinnati.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline (1832-1892)and Benjamin Harrison (1831-1901) move to Indianapolis, Indiana.
Tyler, Letitia
Alice Tyler Denison (1847-1854), daughter of John and Letitia Tyler, dies June 8 of colic.
Harrison, Caroline
Caroline and Benjamin Harrison’s son, Russell Benjamin Harrison (1854-1936), is born on August 12.
Economics
Transportation: Railroad History: Immigration: 13,000 Chinese arrive, the beginning of large-scale Chinese immigration; they are employed largely in railroad building in the west.
Popular Culture
Stephen Foster (1826-1864) writes “Jeanne with the Light Brown Hair.”
Religion
Pope Pius IX (1792-1878) sets forth the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.
Social Issues
Slavery: During the Kansas-Nebraska Act, Congress sets aside the rulings from the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and allows these two new territories to choose whether or not to allow slavery. Violent clashes erupt.
Reform
Abolition Movement: Northern resistance to the expansion of slavery increases.
Reform
Temperance Movement: Black temperance advocate Frances Ellen Watkins Harper (1825-1911) lectures for antislavery societies.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Susan B. Anthony collects 6,000 signatures on a petition for women’s rights.