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                 Timeline 1800-1860 

1800  Oct 1, Spain ceded Louisiana to France in a secret treaty.

1800  Dec, In Virginia Martha Washington set all her slaves free.

1800  The Parliament in Westminster passed an Act of Union formally binding Ireland with England and abolished the Irish parliament. The Act of Union entailed the loss of legislative independence of the Irish Parliament.

1801  Feb 17, The House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, electing Jefferson president. Burr became vice president.

1801  Haitian slaves under Toussaint L'Ouverture seized power in Haiti from French control.

1801  Ireland becomes part of Great Britain under the Act of Union, spawning more than a century of religious conflict between independence-minded Catholics and pro-British Protestants

1802  Mar 27, Treaty of Amiens was signed. The French Revolutionary War ended.

1802  Apr 19, Spain reopened the New Orleans port to American merchants.

1802  May 18, Great Britain declared war on Napoleon's France

1802  Aug 31, Captain Meriwether Lewis left Pittsburgh to meet up with Captain William Clark and begin their trek to the Pacific Ocean.

1802  Dec 20, The United States bought the Louisiana territory from France.

1802  United States and Great Britain settle Revolutionary War claims for $2,664,000.

1803  May 18, France declared war against England.

1803  Jul 23, Irish patriots throughout the country rebelled against Union with Great Britain

1804  Feb 15, New Jersey became the last northern state to abolish slavery.

1805  May 1, The state of Virginia passed a law requiring all freed slaves to leave the state, or risk either imprisonment or deportation.

1807  Jan 7, Responding to Napoleon's blockade of the British Isles, The British blockaded Continental Europe

1807  Aug 17, Robert Fulton's "North River Steam Boat" (popularly known as the "Clermont") began heading up New York's Hudson River on its successful round-trip to Albany.

1807  Dec 22, Congress passed the Embargo Act, designed to force peace between Britain and France by cutting off all trade with Europe. It was hoped that the act would keep the United States out the European Wars.

1808  Dec 7, James Madison was elected president in succession to Thomas Jefferson.

1809  Feb 3, The territory of Illinois was created.

1811 Jan 6, Charles Sumner, American senator and author, was born in Boston. He was active in the movement to outlaw war, opposed the Mexican War and was a founder in 1848 of the Free-Soil party. A senator from Massachusetts, Sumner was an ardent abolitionist and helped organize the Republican party. In c1867 Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner popularized the name Alaska for the territory that had been known as Russian America in a famous Senate speech supporting the treaty to purchase Russian America: "There is the National flag. He must be cold, indeed, who can look upon its folds rippling in the breeze without pride of country. If in a foreign land, the flag is companionship, and country itself, with all its endearments."

1811 Jan 15, In a secret session, Congress planned to annex Spanish East Florida.

1811 Oct 11, The first steam-powered ferryboat, the Juliana, was put into operation between New York City and Hoboken, N. J.

1811 Nov 7, Gen. Willaim Henry Harrison won a battle against the Shawnee Indians at the Battle of Tippecanoe in the Indiana territory.
Tenskwatawa, the brother of Shawnee leader Tecumseh, was engaged in the Battle of the Wabash, aka Battle of Tippecanoe, in spite of his brother's strict admonition to avoid it. The battle near the Tippecanoe River with the regular and militia forces of Indiana Territory Governor William Henry Harrison, took place while Tecumseh was out of the area seeking support for a united Indian movement. The battle, which was a nominal victory for Harrison's forces, effectively put an end to Tecumseh's dream of a pan-Indian confederation. Harrison's leadership in the battle also provided a useful campaign slogan for his presidential bid in 1840.

1811 Francis Cabot Lowell, an American industrialist, moved to England and gathered information on mill details. He returned to the US and started the textile industry in New England and the Massachusetts mill town of his name.

1811 A great comet was observed.

1811-1812 The Scott expedition to the South Pole culminated in tragedy.

1812 Apr 4, The territory of Orleans became the 18th state and later became known as Louisiana.

1812 Jun 18, The War of 1812 began as the United States declared war against Great Britain. The term "war hawk" was first used by John Randolph in reference to those Republicans who were pro-war in the years leading up to the War of 1812. These new types of Republicans, who espoused nationalism and expansionism, included Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun. Most of them came from the agrarian areas of the South and West. 1812 Madison proposed to France and England that if one would stop attacking American commerce at sea, then the US would break off commercial relations with the other. Napoleon quickly accepted Madison's terms and under congressional pressure Madison declared war on England. He did not know that 24 hours prior to the declaration, England had voted to stop its abuses on American shipping.

1812 Jun 22, A pro-war mob destroyed Hanson's newspaper office, four days after America"s declaration of war against Great Britain. Revered
American Revolutionary cavalry hero Henry "Light-Horse Harry" Lee was nearly beaten to death by a mob in Baltimore. Lee came to the aide of an anti-war newspaper publisher in Baltimore, Alexander Contee Hanson, defending his right to freedom of speech. When Hanson returned to Baltimore five weeks later to resume publication, his office was again besieged by vigilantes. After a tense standoff through the night of July 27, Hanson and his supporters, including Lee, were taken to a local jail. Later the mob stormed the jail, severely beating those being held. Lee, father of Robert E. Lee, never fully recovered from injuries sustained in the beating and died in 1818.

1812 Sep 14, Napoleon's invasion of Russia reached its climax as his Grande Armee entered Moscow-only to find the enemy capital deserted and burning, set afire by the few Russians who remained.

1812 Maine separated from the state of Massachusetts.

1813 Mar 25, The first U.S. flag flown in battle was on the frigate Essex in the Pacific.

1813 Apr 29, Rubber was patented.

1813 Aug 27, The Allies defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Dresden.

1813 Aug 30, Creek Indians massacred over 500 whites at Fort Mims Alabama.

1813 Sep 10, The nine-ship American flotilla under Oliver Hazard Perry wrested naval supremacy from the British on Lake Erie by capturing or destroying a force of six English vessels in the War of 1812. With Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's flagship unable to fight, an outmatched British flotilla faced the prospect of a remarkable victory. But Perry only transferred his pennant to another ship and fought on. American Captain Oliver Hazard Perry led his home-built 10-vessel fleet to victory against a six-vessel British squadron commanded by Captain Robert H. Barclay in the Battle of Lake Erie. Perry's triumph, marked by his legendary message to General William Henry Harrison, "We have met the enemy and they are ours," was of great strategic value for the United States because it ensured American control of the Northwest Territory. During the battle, Perry left his badly damaged Lawrence and transferred his motto flag, reading, "Don't Give Up the Ship," to Niagara. From there he continued the fight.

1813 Dec 29, The British burned Buffalo, N.Y., during the War of 1812

1814 Mar 27, General Jackson led U.S. soldiers who killed 700 Creek Indians at Horseshoe Bend, La. [in Northern Alabama] Jackson lost 49 men.

1814 Apr 6, Granted sovereignty in the island of Elba and a pension from the French government, Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated at Fountainebleau. He was allowed to keep the title of emperor.

1814 Aug 9, Andrew Jackson and the Creek Indians signed the Treaty of Fort Jackson, giving the whites 23 million acres of Mississippi Creek
territory. This ended Indian resistance in the region and opened the doors to pioneers after the conclusion of the War of 1812.

1814 Aug 24, 5,000 British troops under the command of General Robert Ross marched into Washington, D.C., after defeating an American force at Bladensburg, Maryland. It was in retaliation for the American burning of the parliament building in York (Toronto), the capital of Upper Canada. Meeting no resistance from the disorganized American forces, the British burned the White House, the Capitol and almost every public building in the city before a downpour extinguished the fires. President James Madison and his wife fled from the advancing enemy, but not before Dolly Madison saved the famous Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington. This wood engraving of Washington in flames was printed in London weeks after the event to celebrate the British victory.

1814 Sep 12, A British fleet under Sir Alexander Cochrane began the bombardment of Fort McHenry, the last American defense before Baltimore. Lawyer Francis Scott Key had approached the British attackers seeking the release of a friend who was being held for unfriendly acts toward the British. Key himself was detained overnight on September 13 and witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry from a British ship. As the sun rose, Key was amazed to see the American flag still flying over the battered fort. This experience inspired Key to write the lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner" and adapt them to the tune of a well-known British drinking song. "The Star-Spangled Banner" was officially recognized as the national anthem in 1931.

1814 Nov 7, Andrew Jackson attacked and captured Pensacola, Florida, defeating the Spanish and driving out a British force.

1814 Dec 24, A treaty of peace between the United States and Great Britain, terminating the War of 1812, was signed at Ghent, Belgium. The news did not reach the United States until two weeks later (after the decisive American victory at New Orleans). The treaty, singed by John Quincy Adams for the US, committed the US and Britain "to use their best endeavors" to end the Atlantic slave trade.

1815 Jan 8, U.S. forces led by Gen. Andrew Jackson and French pirate Jean Lafitte led 4,000 backwoodsmen to victory against 8,000 British veterans on the fields of Chalmette in the Battle of New Orleans -- the closing engagement of the War of 1812. A British army marched on New Orleans without knowing that the War of 1812 had ended on Christmas Eve of 1814. A massacre ensued, as 2,044 British troops, including three generals, fell dead, wounded or missing before General Andrew Jackson's well-prepared earthworks, compared with only 71 American casualties. Among the British victims were the Highlanders of the 93rd Regiment of Foot, mowed down by Jackson's contingent of U.S. Marines. In 2000 Robert V. Remini published "The Battle of New Orleans."

1815 Jan 5, Federalists from all over New England, angered over the War of 1812, drew up the Hartford Convention, demanding several important changes in the U.S. Constitution.

1815 Mar 2, To put an end to robberies by the Barbary pirates, the United States declared war on Algiers.

1815 Mar 20, Napoleon Bonaparte entered Paris, beginning his "Hundred Days" rule. He had escaped from his imprisonment on the island of Elba off the coast of Tuscany. He gathered his veterans and marched on Paris. At Waterloo, Belgium, he met the Duke of Wellington, commander of the allied anti-French forces and was resoundingly defeated. Napoleon was then imprisoned on the island of St. Helena in the south Atlantic.

1815 Jul 17, Napoleon Bonaparte surrendered to the British at Rochefort, France.

1815 Aug 5, A peace treaty with Tripoli-which followed treaties with Algeria and Tunis-brought an end to the Barbary Wars.

1815 The first New England missionaries arrived on Maui.

1816 Dec 2, The first savings bank in the United States, the Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, opened for business.

1816 Dec 4, James Monroe of Virginia was elected the fifth president of the United States.

1816 Dec 11, Indiana became the 19th state.

1816 Medical records from upstate NY showed that a patient paid 25 cents to have a tooth pulled and $1.25 to have a baby.

1817 Feb 17, A street in Baltimore became the first to be lighted with gas from America's first gas company.

1817 Dec 10, Mississippi was admitted as the 20th state of the Union.

1817 Work began on the Erie Canal, more properly named the New York State Barge Canal. The canal connected Lake Erie with the Hudson and opened on October 26, 1825. The canal was proposed by NY Gov. Dewitt Clinton and detractors called it "Clinton's Folly." Workers were paid a quart of whiskey a day plus $1

1817 The New York Stock and Exchange Board (NYSE) was formalized and established its first quarters in a rented room at 40 Wall St.

1818 Apr 18, A regiment of Indians and blacks was defeated at the Battle of Suwann, in Florida, ending the first Seminole War.

1818 Dec 3, Illinois was admitted as the 21st state.

1818 Dec 24, Franz Gruber wrote "Silent Night."

1818 Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley wrote "Frankenstein." It was an attack on industrialization.

1819 Feb 22, Spain signed a treaty with the United States ceding eastern Florida.

1819 Jul 4, The Territory of Arkansas was created

1819  Britain declares a maximum 12-hour working day for children

1819 Dec 14, Alabama was admitted as the 22nd state, making 11 slave states and 11 free states

1820 Jan, A large fire in Savannah, Georgia wiped out 463 buildings.

1820 Mar 6, The Missouri Compromise was enacted by Congress and signed by President James Monroe. This compromise provided for the admission of Missouri into the Union as a slave state, but prohibited slavery in the rest of the northern Louisiana Purchase territory.

1820 Mar 15, Maine became the 23rd state.

1820 Nov 18, U.S. Navy Capt. Nathaniel B. Palmer discovered the frozen continent of Antarctica

1820 There are more than a thousand ships engaged in transporting timber from the North America to the British Isles. Human cargo filled the
return journey.

1821 Feb 22, Spain sold eastern Florida to the U.S. for $5 million.

1821 Feb 24, Mexico declared its independence from Spain and took over the mission lands in California.

1821 May 5, Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile on the island of St. Helena. They poisoned him by putting arsenic in his food. He died by slow
poisoning at the hands of his companion Charles Tristan de Montholon on the island of St. Helena. Scottish pathologist Dr. Hamilton Smith later used Napoleon's hair to determine that arsenic had been administered about 40 times from 1820-1821.

1821 Aug 10, Missouri became the 24th state

1821 Sep 1, William Becknell led a group of traders from Independence, Mo., toward Santa Fe on what would become the Santa Fe Trail

1822 Mar 9, The first patent for false teeth was requested by C. Graham.

1823 Dec 2, President Monroe, replying to the 1816 pronouncements of the Holy Alliance, proclaimed the principles known as the Monroe Doctrine, "that the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintained, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by European powers." His doctrine opposing European expansion in the Western Hemisphere insured that American influence in the Western hemisphere remain unquestioned. .

1825 Feb 9, The House of Representatives elected John Quincy Adams Jr. 6th U.S. president (1825-1829) after no candidate received a majority of electoral votes.

1825 Sep 27, The first locomotive to haul a passenger train was operated by George Stephenson in England.

1825 Oct 9, The first Norwegian immigrants to America arrived on the sloop Restaurationen.

1825 Oct 26, The Erie Canal was opened in upstate New York. It cut through 363 miles of wilderness and measured 40 feet wide and 4 feet deep. It had 18 aqueducts and 83 locks and rose 568 feet from the Hudson River to Lake Erie. The first boat on the Erie Canal left Buffalo, N.Y. after eight years of construction. At the request of New York Governor DeWitt Clinton, the New York state legislature had provided $7 million to finance the project. The canal facilitated trade between New York City and the Midwest--manufactured goods were shipped out of New York and agricultural products were returned from the Midwest. As the canal became vital to trade, New York City flourished and settlers rapidly moved into the Midwest and founded towns like Clinton, Illinois. [see 1826] Gov. Clinton rode the Seneca Chief canal boat from Buffalo to New York harbor for the inauguration.

1826 Oct 7, The first railway in the United States opened at Quincy, Massachusetts.

1826 Englishmen scientist James Smithson (d.1829) drew up his will and named his nephew as beneficiary. In the will he stated that should his nephew die without heirs, the estate should go to the US of America to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institute, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.

1827 Businessman and publisher Louis A. Godey bought the Boston Godey's Lady's Book, a ladies' magazine, and offered its editorship to successful novelist Sarah Hale, a widow with four children to support. Godey's Lady's Book, with Sarah Josepha Hale as its editor and driving force for 50 years, was an important cultural influence in 19th-century America. Godey's enjoyed great success publishing morally upright and sentimental literature and avoiding unfeminine topics like politics, scandal and controversy. By mid-century it had 150,000 subscribers. Particularly popular were fashion plates, such as the steel-plate engraving of wedding gowns shown here, crafts, décor and housekeeping ideas that greatly influenced American home life. Competition and Hale's retirement in 1877 led Louis Godey to sell the magazine in 1883. Thirteen years later, Godey's was absorbed into another publication.

1827 John Herschel proposed contact lenses.

1828 Dec 3, Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States over John Quincy Adams. Resentment of the restrictive credit policies of the first central bank, the Bank of the United States, fueled a populist backlash that elected Andrew Jackson.

1829 Feb 26, Levi Strauss, creator of blue jeans, was born.

1829 In England the ban on Catholic voting was lifted.

1830 Jan 1, William Lloyd Garrison published the first edition of a journal entitled The Liberator, calling for the complete and immediate
emancipation of all slaves in the United States.

1830 Apr 6, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized by Joseph Smith and five others in Fayette, N.Y. [in Seneca, N.Y.]. Joseph Smith published the "Book of Mormon" in Palmyra, New York. He claimed that the manuscript was based on ancient golden plates revealed to him by the angel Moroni and written in the language of the Egyptians.

1830 Andrew Jackson, seventh President of the US, signed the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The act banished the Cherokee and other eastern tribes to beyond the Mississippi.

1830 Jul 29, Liberals led by the Marquis of Lafayette seized Paris in opposition to the king's restrictions on citizens' rights.

1830 American alcohol consumption reached 7.1 gallons per capita.

1830 There were 40 million buffalo in the US at this time. By 1890 the number was reduced to 1,000.

1830s-1880s The art of creating a memorial wreath from the hair of a departed loved one was a popular Victorian mourning ritual.

1831 Mar 6, Edgar Allan Poe failed out of West Point. He was discharged from West Point for "gross neglect of duty." His parade uniform was supposedly incorrect.

1831 Mar 19, The first recorded bank robbery occurred at the City Bank, in New York. Some $245,000 is stolen.

1831 At Yale the Skull and Bones society was founded. Boneswomen were not admitted until 1991.

1831 Robert A. Kinzie paid $127.68 for 102 acres of land that became much of Chicago.

1831 The Ohio city of Cincinnati became known as "Porkopolis". Strategically located on the banks of the Ohio River, Cincinnati gained the nickname because it was then America's greatest meat packing center.

1831 The lawn mower was invented in England.

1832 May 21, The first Democratic National Convention got under way, in Baltimore and re-nominated Andrew Jackson.

1832 Nov 26, Public streetcar service began in New York City. The fare: 12 1/2 cents

1832 Dec 28, John C. Calhoun became the first vice president of the United States to resign, stepping down over differences with President Jackson.

1832 The US Congress passed a law that required all US citizens to fast and pray one day a week. It was neither enforced nor observed.

1832 Alfred Mosher Butts, an architect in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., invented the game he called "Lexico." He made millions after the name was changed to "Scrabble."

1832 Cholera Epidemic, New York State

1833 Mar 14, Lucy Hobbs Taylor, first woman dentist, was born.

1833 Apr 9, The US first tax-supported public library was founded in Peterborough, N.H.

1833 Dec 3, Oberlin College opens. In a triumph for the abolitionists, it's the first American college to admit women and blacks.
Parliament orders slaves in British colonies to be freed and compensates slaveholders with 120 million pounds.

1833 England passed stronger measures regulating child labor.

1834 Jun 21, Cyrus Hall McCormick received a patent for his reaping machine.

1834 Aug 1, England ended slavery in the West Indies slaves and all its Caribbean holdings effective on this date. Slavery was abolished
throughout the British Empire.

1834 Nov 25, The Delmonico restaurant in New York City charged 12 cents for soup, steak, half a pie and coffee.

1835 Mar 27, The Mexican army massacred Texan rebels at Gohad.

1835 Oct 2, The first battle of the Texas Revolution took place as American settlers defeated a Mexican cavalry near the Guadalupe River.

1835 Nov 13, Texans officially proclaimed Independence from Mexico, and called itself the Lone Star Republic, after its flag, until its admission to the Union in 1845.

1835 Dec 16, A fire in New York City destroyed property estimated to be worth $20,000,000. Beginning in a store at Pearl and Merchant (Hanover) Streets, it lasted two days, ravaged 17 blocks (52 acres), and destroyed 674 buildings including the Stock Exchange, Merchants' Exchange, Post Office, and the South Dutch Church

1836 Feb 23, The Alamo was besieged by Santa Anna. Thus began the siege of the Alamo, a 13-day moment in history that turned a ruined Spanish mission in San Antonio, Texas, into a shrine known and revered the world over

1836 Apr 20, The Territory of Wisconsin was established by Congress.

1836 Jun 15, Arkansas became the 25th state.

1836 Oct 22, Sam Houston was inaugurated as the first constitutionally elected president of the Republic of Texas.

1836 Oct 24, The match was patented.

1836 Dec 7, Martin Van Buren (d.1862) was elected the eighth president of the United States and served one term. His term was marred by depression and financial panic.

1837 Jan, 26, Michigan became the 26th state of the US.

1837 Mar, Pres. Jackson left office. There was a financial crash and a bitter depression and the government was again forced to borrow money.

1837 There was a financial bust and John Jacob Astor bought up foreclosed properties in NYC and later sold them for a 10-fold profit

1837 Jun 20, Queen Victoria ascended the British throne following the death of her uncle, King William IV

1837 Nov 7, A mob attack on the Alton, Illinois, office newspaper editor Elijah P. Lovejoy and the subsequent killing of Lovejoy was inspired by the editor's anti-slavery writings. Several persons were indicted in the killing, but they were found not guilty

1837 Samuel F.B. Morse incorporated the discoveries of Sturgeon and Henry in the first practical telegraph, separating the magnet from the switch by some five hundred yards of wire.

1838 Oct 31, A mob of about 200 attacked a Mormon camp in Missouri, killing 20 men, women and children

1838 Nov 30, Mexico declared war on France.

1838 New York passed the Free Banking Act and the idea of state-chartered banks spread across the country. Each bank issued its own bills in
various shapes and sizes.

1838 Amid rising debts and rumors of polygamy, the Mormons moved from Ohio to Far West, Mo., where they clashed violently with other settlers

c1838 The Proctor & Gamble Company was formed

1838 Greece made an attempt to restart the Olympics.

1838-1839 Aug, some 12,000 Cherokee Indians in 13 ragtag parties followed the Trail of Tears west 800 miles to eastern Oklahoma. Estimates have placed the death toll in camps and in transit as high as 4,000. They followed the trail already set by the Choctaw out of Mississippi, the Creek from Alabama, the Chickasaw from Arkansas and Mississippi, and the Seminole from Florida

1839 Jun 12, Baseball was invented.

1839  New England clergyman John Humphrey Noyes starts a bible class in Putney, Vermont, and will soon establish a communal society there.

1839 Aug 19, At a meeting of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris a new photographic process was unveiled by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre. He "was able to capture images directly onto small, silvered plates; and in England where William Henry Fox invented what he called "photogenic drawing."

1839 In the US the Virginia Military Institute (VMI) for young men was founded in Lexington, Virginia

1839 Capt. John Sutter established a fort on a hill near the American River east of Sacramento Ca

1841 Mar 27, The first U.S. steam fire engine was tested in New York City

1841 Apr 4, President William Henry Harrison, 9th President of the US, succumbed to pneumonia one month after his inaugural, becoming the first U.S. chief executive to die in office

1841 Jun 14, The first Canadian parliament opened in Kingston.

1841-1869 Approximately 400,000 settlers crossed the American West on the Oregon Trail during this period. The influx of settlers began after
legendary mountainmen Thomas Fitzpatrick and Joe Meek guided a small band of settlers out of Independence, Missouri, in 1841, heading west toward the Oregon Territory, 2,000 miles distant. The route they used, pieced together from Indian and trapper paths, would become known as the Oregon Trail. By the time the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, some 400,000 settlers had traveled west on the Oregon Trail.

1842 Feb 15, The 1st adhesive postage stamps in US were made available by a private delivery company in NYC.

1842 Dec 7, The New York Philharmonic gave its first concert.

1842 The Maclay Bill in New York State barred all religious instruction from public schools and provided no state money to parochial schools.

1843 Apr 3, A comet in the night sky led William Miller and his 50,000 New York religious cult, the Millerites, to proclaim the end of the world. They put on white robes and prepared to go to heaven from their rooftops. When nothing happened Miller concluded that he had made a mistake.

1843 Jun 1, It snowed in Buffalo and Rochester N.Y., and also in Cleveland Ohio.

1843 In NYC the population grew to 350,000 and 16 day policemen kept order.

1844 Jan 30, Richard Theodore Greener became the first African American to graduate from Harvard University.

1844 James K. Polk was elected President of the US. His wife, Sarah, recognized that James was insufficiently impressive to draw attention on
appearance and therefore began the tradition of having "Hail to the Chief" played when he made a public showing.

1845 Mar 3, Florida became the 27th state.

1845 Dec 29, Texas (comprised of the present State of Texas and part of New Mexico, Colorado, and Wyoming) was admitted as the 28th state, with the provision that the area (389, 166 square miles) should be divided into no more than five states "of convenient size."

1845 In Boston the Eastern Hotel became the first building heated by steam. Radiators were used.

1845 The style of button-fly pants was introduced to the US "despite protests from the religious community, who saw the flap as a license to sin."

1845-1846 As Ireland's potato crop was consumed by blight. The nation's peasants, who relied on the potato as their primary food source, starved. The famine took as many as one million lives from hunger and disease and caused mass emigration. The British government responded to the calamity too late with too little aid, even though eyewitnesses reported the suffering in the press. About 1,200,000 people leave Ireland, mostly for the US.

1845-1849 James Knox Polk became President of the US.

1846 Jan 13, President James Polk dispatched General Zachary Taylor and 4,000 troops to the Texas Border as war with Mexico loomed. At the outset of the Mexican-American War, the Mexican army numbered 32,000 and the American army consisted of 7,200 men. The American army had, since 1815, only fought against a few Indian tribes. Forty-two percent of the army was made up of recent German or Irish immigrants. In the course of the war, the total U.S. force employed reached 104,000

1846 Feb 9, William Maybach, German engineer, designed the first Mercedes automobile.

1846 Feb 23, The Liberty Bell tolled for the last time, to mark George Washington's birthday. A hairline fracture had developed since 1817 and a failed attempt to repair it resulted in the crack.

1846 Jun 15, The United States and Britain signed a treaty settling a boundary dispute between Canada and the United States in the Pacific
Northwest at the 49th parallel. Great Britain and the U.S. agreed on a joint occupation of Oregon Territory

1846 Jun 19, The New York Knickerbocker Club played the New York Club in the first baseball game at the Elysian Field, Hoboken, New Jersey.

1846 Sep 10, Elias Howe of Spencer, Mass., received a U.S. patent for his first workable lockstitch sewing machine. Howe, a Massachusetts
machinist, developed his sewing machine in 1843-45 and patented it in 1846. Although Howe's machine sewed only short, straight lines, tailors and seamstresses saw it as a threat to their jobs. Unable to market his machine in America, Howe took it to Britain where he sold the rights to an English manufacturer in 1847. Upon his return to the United States, Howe discovered that his patent had been infringed upon by other sewing machine manufacturers, such as Isaac Singer. After a lengthy court battle, Howe's patent was upheld and royalties from sewing machine sales made him a wealthy man.

1846 Oct 16, Ether was first administered in public at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston by Dr. William Thomas Green Morton during an operation performed by Dr. John Collins Warren.

1846 Nov 4, Benjamin F. Palmer of Meredith N.H. received a patent on an artificial human leg.

1846 Nov 7, Zachary Taylor, one of the heroes of the Mexican War, was elected president

1846 Dec 28, Iowa became the 29th state to be admitted to the Union.

1846 The Seventh-Day Adventists broke from the Adventist Church, stressing legalism and Sabbatarianism, with strong views on diet, health and medicine.

1846 Washington diplomats established a straight line border between the US and Canada in the northwest and thus established Point Roberts, Wa. as the westernmost corner of the US. The enclave is 4.9 sq. miles and allows Canadians to escape their country, its high taxes and buy GMCs - gasoline, milk and cheese.

c1846 In Aroostook County, Maine, Scottish and Irish immigrants began planting potatoes

1846 A major immigration of Swedes to the US began and by the 1920s brought in 1.2 million people

1846-1854 Darwin devoted himself to the study of barnacles.

1847 Jul 24, Mormon leader Brigham Young and his followers, the first members of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons), arrived in the valley of the Great Salt Lake in present-day Utah.

1847 Aug 26, Liberia was proclaimed an independent republic. Freed American slaves founded Liberia. They modeled their constitution after that of the US, copied the US flag, and named their capital Monrovia, after James Monroe, who financed early settlers. Over the decades 16,400 former slaves made the voyage. They assumed that the 16 native tribes were there to be exploited.

1847 The first doughnut with a hole in it was made.

1848 Jan 24, Gold was discovered by carpenter James Wilson Marshall at his partner Johann August Sutter's sawmill on the South Fork of the American River, near Coloma, California. John [James Wilson] Marshall, while inspecting the construction of a mill on the American River, being built for Capt. John Sutter, spotted a gold nugget. Marshall, Sutter and their workers tried to keep the discovery quiet but gold-seekers quickly began pouring into California, raising the state's non-Indian population to about 20,000 in 1848, 100,000 in 1849 and twice that amount by 1852.

1848 Mar 29, Niagara Falls stopped flowing due to an ice jam in the Niagara River.

1848 May 19, The first department store opened

1848 May 19, Texas was awarded to the U.S.A. by Mexico thus ending the war.

1848 May 29, Wisconsin became the 30th state of the union.

1848 Jun 19, [Jul 19]The first women's rights convention convened in Seneca Falls, New York. Organized by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, the two-day convention discussed such topics as voting, property rights and divorce. It launched the women's suffrage movement

1848 The Associated Press (AP) was founded.

1848 In Brooklyn NY Antoine Zegera set up the 1st macaroni factory in the US.

1848 Andrew Carnegie came to America from Scotland as a teenager. He worked in a variety of jobs that paid modestly, but prepared him well for future ventures. A few years after being hired by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1852, he began to invest in railroads, receiving huge dividends. When a new steel-making process made cheap steel possible, Carnegie built his own plant.

1848-1854 The non-Indian population of California exploded from an estimated 13,000 to 300,000

1849 Jan 23, English-born Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman in America to receive medical degree, from the Medical Institution of
Geneva, N.Y.

1849-1850 Zacharay Taylor was the12th President of the US but died of a stroke after 16 months in office.

1850 Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky introduced the 8 provisions of the Great Compromise Bill. The provisions of the Great Compromise bill were reduced to 5 and passed one by one. They were in sum: 1) the admission of California as a free state; 2) slavery in the territories of Utah and New Mexico would be resolved by popular sovereignty; 3) slavery would be ended in the District of Columbia; 4) the federal government would assume a $10 million debt by Texas; 5) the federal government would be responsible for the return of runaway slaves. W.F. Seward stated: "The unity of our empire hangs on the decision of this day."

1850 Mar 18, American Express was founded.

1850 Jul 4, President Zachary Taylor stood hatless in the sun for hours listening to long-winded speeches. He returned to the White House and
attempted to cool off by eating cherries, cucumbers and drinking iced milk. Severe stomach cramps followed and it is likely that Taylor's own
physicians inadvertently killed him at the age of 55 after serving only 16 months with a whole series of debilitating treatments. He was succeeded by Millard Fillmore. Taylor was a Southerner, a slaveholder and the hero of the Mexican War in 1848 when he was nominated by the Whig Party as a candidate for president of the United States. He was an inoffensive candidate in the anxious years leading up to the Civil War because he had never taken a position on a political issue or even cast a vote in his life.

1850 Sep 9, California was admitted as the 31st state of the US.

1850 Sep 18, Congress passed the second Fugitive Slave Bill into law (the first was enacted in 1793), allowed slaveowners to reclaim slaves who had escaped to other states. Dedicated Massachusetts abolitionist Silas Soule ironically gave his life for the red man, not the black.

1850 Laws in California were passed that allowed the enslavement of Indians.

1850 Woodsmen marched west from New York clearing forests of white pine, yellow birch, hemlock, maple, and oak

1850 Folgers Coffee established itself on the Barbary Coast and was the first major coffee company in SF.

1850 The US census showed a black population of 3,639,000 people of whom 90% were born in America. The mulatto count was 406,000.

1850 An estimated 50,000 Irish prostitutes worked in new York City

1850 Only 2% of the American population lived past 65.

1850s In New York City the African-American community of Seneca Village was razed to make way for Central Park. The village had 264 frame houses, 3 churches, 2 cemeteries and a school.

1850s The political organization called the American Party, which flourished in the 1850s, is better known as the Know-Nothing Party. Originally a clandestine organization, members were instructed to say that they "know nothing" when asked about the party, hence the name. Primarily, the party was anti-immigrant and stood in opposition to whatever political power immigrant groups happened to have in Northern cities. In 1854 the American Party won significant elections in seven state governments. The party's national platform in 1856 included anti-Catholic and anti-alien planks.

1850s Elizabeth Ware Packard led successful struggles in 13 states to obtain due process of law for women, who previously could be committed to mental institutions simply on the word of their husbands.

1850s English inventor Alexander Parkes is credited with being the first to make plastic in the 1850s. Parkes' plastic was a cellulosic made by
treating a mixture of cotton and nitric acid with camphor. In the United States, John and Isaiah Hyatt developed a similar plastic in 1869 as a substitute for ivory in the manufacture of billiard balls, which they called celluloid. The first completely synthetic plastic, Bakelite, was invented in 1907 and produced in 1909 by Dr. Leo H. Baekeland. Parkes mixed chloroform and castor oil to make the first plastic which he called Parkesine.

1851 Jun 2, Maine became the first state to enact a law prohibiting alcohol. By the Civil War 13 Northern states had bans on alcohol sales.

1851 Aug 22, The schooner America outraced the Aurora off the English coast to win a trophy that became known as the America's Cup.

1851 Sep 18, The first edition of The New York Times was published.

1851 The Fort Laramie Treaty was signed between the US government and the Sioux Indians. The Sioux pledged not to harass the wagon trains traveling the Oregon Trail in exchange for a $50,000 annuity. The treaty did not last long.

1851 In Minnesota Chief Shakopee and the Dakota Indians were pressured into selling 24 million acres for pennies an acre. Food and money from the federal government was to be distributed to the Indians as part of the treaty

1852 Mar 20, Harriet Beecher Stowe's (1811-1896) "Uncle Tom's Cabin" was published. It was based on the theme that slavery is incompatible with Christianity.

1852 Dec 31, The richest year of the gold rush ended, with $81.3 million in gold produced.

1852 Smith & Wesson founded its business in Springfield, Mass.

1852 More than 20,000 Chinese immigrants arrived to the US. They were fleeing floods, droughts, famines and revolutions.

1853 Dec 30, The United States bought some 45,000 square miles of land from Mexico in a deal known as the Gadsden Purchase. It included parts of Arizona and New Mexico (29,640 sq. miles) south of the Gila River. The purchase was ratified by Congress on April 25, 1854

1853 In Boston Sarah Parker Remond was thrown out of theater for refusing to be seated in an area reserved for blacks. She fell and filed suit and was awarded monetary. The theater was desegregated.

1853 The US government fortified the 22-acre island of Alcatraz to protect SF from attack.

1853 Karl Gerhardt discovered aspirin.

1853  The first heavier-than-air flying machine, a glider, makes an airborne trip of 500 yards across a valley carrying its terrified creator, George Cayley.

1853-1857 Franklin Pierce is the 14th President of the US

1854 Feb 28, Some 50 slavery opponents met in Ripon, Wis., to call for creation of a new political group, which became the Republican Party.

1854 The New England Emigrant Aid Society was created to colonize Kansas with Northern abolitionists. The Massachusetts Emigrant Aid Society, founded by Eli Thayer of Worcester, Massachusetts, promoted the settlement of anti-slavery groups in Kansas, with the ultimate objective of making it a free state. Adhering to the cause of "popular sovereignty," the organization-which was reincorporated in February, 1855 as the New England Emigrant Aid Company-founded the town of Lawrence and other Free State communities. Active into 1857, it helped settle some 2,000 people in Kansas

1854 Keshena Falls, Wisconsin. The Menominee (people of the wild rice) Chiefs Oshkosh and Keshena met with federal Indian agents and agree to retain only 275,000 acres from their original nine and a half million acres. As part of the settlement the chiefs and their followers were promised eternal government protection. In 1954 Congress voted to withdraw that support.

1854 Phillip Morris began making cigarettes in London.

1855 Mar 27, Abraham Gesner patented kerosene.

1856 May 22, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner was assaulted on the Senate floor by South Carolina's Preston Brooks. Representative Brooks, a pro-slavery Democrat from South Carolina, used a cane to attack Senator Charles Sumner, a Republican abolitionist from Mass. Sumner was beaten unconscious and was unable to resume duties for 3 years. Brooks resigned from his seat but was re-elected. Sumner's injuries in the attack compelled his absence from the Senate until December, 1859.

1856 William Walker, a private adventurer, invades Nicaragua and conquers the country. He sets himself up as a dictator and hopes to make it the foundation of a Central American empire based on slave labor; though Walker's ideas seem like an expression of Southern expansionist fantasies, his backing came from transportation companies interested in the isthmus.

1857 Mar 6, After years in litigation, the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Roger Taney, ruled that Dred Scott did not gain his freedom by living in a free territory. The essence of the decision was that as a slave, Dred Scott was not a citizen and therefore could not sue in a federal
court. The opinion also stated that Congress could not exclude slavery in the territories and that blacks could not become citizens. That ruling
further increased the tension already simmering between the North and the South. Dred Scott was a slave who accompanied his owner, army surgeon John Emerson, to military posts in Wisconsin and Illinois in 1834-35. In 1846 Scott, backed by abolitionists, sued for his freedom on the grounds that he became free when he lived in an area where slavery was outlawed.

1857 Mar 23, Elisha Otis installed the first modern passenger elevator in a public building, at the corner of Broome Street and Broadway in New York City.

1857 Sep 5, Charles Darwin first outlined his theory of evolution in a letter to American botanist Asa Gray dated September 5, 1857. The leading botanist of his time, Gray was one of the founders of the National Academy of Science.

1857 Joseph C. Gayette of NYC was said to have invented toilet paper.

1857-1861 James Buchanan is the 15th President of the US.

1858 May 11, Minnesota became the 32nd state of the Union

1858 Jul 29, Japan signed a treaty of commerce and friendship with the United States.

1859 Feb 14, Oregon was admitted to the Union as the 33rd state.

1859 Oct 16, Abolitionist John Brown led a group of about 20 men in a raid on the Federal Arsenal at Harper's Ferry. 17 people were killed including 2 of John Brown's sons.

1859 One of the first reports relating tobacco to cancer was published in France.

1859 There was a rain of tiny fish over England.

1860 Feb, A strike of shoemakers in Lynn and Natick, Massachusetts, spread throughout New England and involved 20,000 workers. The strike was for higher wages and included women. The workers won their major demands.

1860 Aug 11, The nation's first successful silver mill began operation near Virginia City, Nev.

1860 Nov 6, Former Illinois congressman Abraham Lincoln was elected 16th president. He defeated three other candidates for the U.S. presidency. He won the US presidential elections with a majority of the electoral votes in a 4-way race. Following his election South Carolina seceded from the Union followed by Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas.

1860s Italian immigration to America slowly began.


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