Timeline 1801-1850


  • John Marshall sworn in as US chief justice (Feb. 4) 
  • Czar Paul I of Russia assassinated (Mar. 23) 
  • Brigham Young born in Vermont (June 1) 
  • Toussaint L'Ouverture declared Haitian independence (June 7) 
  • Benedict Arnold died in London (June 14) 
  • Robert Fulton demonstrated his submarine in France (July 29) 
  • The Act of Union between Great Britain & Ireland (Aug.); Union Jack became the official national flag 
  • London's population counted at 864, 000 
  • U.S. Military Academy at West Point opened  (July 4) 
  • Victor Hugo born (Feb. 26) 
  • Britain & France signed Peace of Amiens (Mar. 27) 
  • France instituted the Legion of Honor (June 19) 
  • Napoleon became First Consul for life (Aug. 2) 
  • Louis Kossuth born in Hungary (Sep. 19) 
  • Debrett's Peerage first published 
  • John Dalton introduced atomic theory into chemistry (Sep.) 
  • The U.S. Supreme Court declared in Marbury v. Madison that the Court may void an Act of Congress as unconstitutional (Feb. 24) 
  • Ohio became a U.S. State (Mar. 1) 
  • Louisiana Purchase made (Apr. 30) 
  • Renewal of Anglo-French wars (May 12) 
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson born (May 25) 
  • Hector Berlioz born (Dec. 11) 
  • Turner's Calais Pier exhibited at Royal Academy 
  • Henry Shrapnel's 1784 invention, the exploding shell, adopted by British artillery 
  • Joseph Priestley died (Feb. 6) 
  • Emmanuel Kant died (Feb. 12) 
  • Code Napoleon adopted in France (Mar. 21) 
  • The Lewis and Clark Expedition began (May 14) 
  • Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony (3rd) completed and first performed (June) 
  • Alexander Hamilton killed in a duel with Aaron Burr in New Jersey (July 11) 
  • Senate trial began for Samuel Chase, first US Supreme Court justice to be impeached (Nov. 30) 
  • Napoleon  crowned Emperor (Dec. 2) 
  • Benjamin Disraeli born (Dec. 21) 
  • Hans Christian Anderson born (Apr. 2) 
  • Tripoli and US sign peace accord (June 4) 
  • Alexis de Toqueville born in Paris (July 29)
  • Mehemet Ali began to build modern Egypt (July) 
  • Nelson won Battle of Trafalgar at sea, securing British from French invasion (Oct. 21) 
  • Napoleon won Battle of Austerlitz on land, knocking Austria out of the war (Dec. 2) 
  • Reputed to be the first university magazine in America, the Yale Cabinet was first published (Nov. 15) 
  • French return to Gregorian calendar (Jan. 1) 
  • Lewis and Clark's Expedition reached the Pacific Coast (Mar. 23)  
  • John Stuart Mill born (May 20) 
  • Official end of Holy Roman Empire when last Emperor Francis I abdicated (Aug. 6) 
  • French army entered Berlin (Oct. 27) 
  • Napoleon's "Continental System" closed all European ports to Britain (Nov. 21) 
  • British cotton factories employed 90,000 workers 
  • Louis Agassiz born in Switzerland (May 28) 
  • Robert E. Lee born in Virginia (Jan. 19) 
  • Pall Mall Street in London lit with gas (Jan. 28) 
  • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow born (Feb. 27) 
  • The British Parliament  voted to end the African slave trade (Mar. 25) 
  • The Chesapeake Incident (June 22) 
  • Congress passed the Embargo Act (Dec. 22) 
  • The U.S. followed  Britain in prohibiting the importation of slaves from Africa (Jan. 1) 
  • In Italy, Pellegrini Turri built first practical typewriter for a blind friend (Apr. 30) 
  • Goya's Execution of Citizens of Madrid (May) 
  • Napoleon driven from Portugal; Convention of Sintra signed to allow French to leave (Aug.) 
  • Napoleon abolished the Inquisition (Dec. 4) 
  • First performances of Beethoven's Pastoral and Fifth Symphonies in Vienna (Dec. 22) 
  • Goethe's Faust (part one) completed 
  • Pigtails in men's hair out of fashion in Europe 
  • Excavations of Pompeii began 
  • Louis Braille born in France (Jan. 2) 
  • Edgar Allen Poe born in Boston (Jan. 19) 
  • Abraham Lincoln born in Kentucky; Charles Darwin born in Kent on same day  (Feb. 12) 
  • Napoleon captured the Pope (Feb. 19) 
  • James Madison became President of  U.S. (Mar. 4) 
  • Franz Josef Haydn died (May 31) 
  • Tom Paine died in poverty in NYC (June 8) 
  • Alfred Tennyson born in Lincolnshire (Aug. 6) 
  • Ecuador won independence from Spain (Aug. 10) 
  • Napoleon divorced Josephine (Dec. 15) 
  • Elizabeth Seton founded the school  that became in July, 1813 the Sisters of Charity of St. Joseph  
  • Georgetown College was chartered in Washington, D.C., the first Roman Catholic institution of higher learning established in the United States (Mar. 1) 
  • Colombia declared independence (July 20) 
  • In Mexico, Father Hildago made the grito de Dolores declaring freedom (Sep. 15) 
  • Revolts in other Spanish colonies, like Venezuela and Chile (Sep. 18) 
  • Simon Bolivar emerged as a leading figure in South American independence movements. 
  • Walter Scott published Lady of the Lake 
  • Krupp Iron Works opened in Essen, Germany 
  • United States population counted at 7,239,881 
  • In the US, Thomas Pickering became the first US Senator senator to be censured (Jan. 2) 
  • George III mentally incapacitated, Prince Regent ruled in UK  (Feb. 5) 
  • Paraguay independence from Spain (May 14) 
  • Mexican revolutionary priest Miguel Hildago executed by Spanish (July 31) 
  • General W.H. Harrison defeated Tecumseh in Indiana (Nov. 6) 
  • "Luddites" destroyed machines in U.K. (Nov.) 
  • Jane Austen published Sense and Sensibility 
  • Charles Dickins born (Feb. 7) 
  • First cantos of Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage" published (Mar. 10) 
  • Spencer Perceval became the first and so far only British prime minister assassinated (May 11) 
  • Napoleon invaded Russia (June 24) 
  • United States declared war on Britain (June 18); invaded Canada (July 12) 
  • British troops entered Madrid (Aug. 12) 
  • Disastrous "Retreat from Moscow" (Oct. - Nov.) 
  • Sacagawea, Shoshone interpreter, died (Dec. 20) 
  • The Brothers Grimm published Fairy Tales 
  • Emancipation of the Jews in Prussia 
  • Benjamin Rush died (Apr. 19) 
  • Wellington invaded France; Blucher crossed the Rhine (Jan.) 
  • Soren Kierkegaard was born (May 13) 
  • Richard Wagner born in Leipzig (May 22) 
  • Tecumseh died in battle of Thames (Sep. 5) 
  • Napoleon defeated at Leipzig (Oct. 19) 
  • British burned Buffalo, New York (Dec. 29) 
  • Beethoven's "Fourth Symphony" debuted in Vienna (Jan. 27) 
  • Napoleon abdicated, banished to Elba (Apr. 11) 
  • Allies took Paris (Mar. 30) 
  • Congress of Vienna opened (Sep. 14) 
  • British burned Washington D.C. (Apr. 24) 
  • Francis Scott Key wrote "Defense of Fort McHenry" (Sep. 13) 
  • First modern plastic surgery operation was performed in London (Oct. 24) 
  • Treaty of Ghent ended "War of 1812" (Dec. 24) 
  • Library of Congress re-established with the donation of Thomas Jefferson's library of 6500 volumes (Jan. 30) 
  • Post treaty Battle at New Orleans; British defeated (Jan. 8) 
  • Napoleon escaped from Elba (Feb. 26) 
  • Otto von Bismarck born (Apr. 1) 
  • Sumbawa volcanic eruption killed 50,000 in Indonesia (Apr. 5) 
  • Act of Confederation united thirty-nine German states (June 8) 
  • Wellington & Blucher defeated Napoleon at Waterloo (June 18); Napoleon exiled to St. Helena (Aug. 8) 
  • Congress of Vienna completed (June) 
  • Davy patented miner's safety lamp (Oct. 31) 
  • John Macadam first constructed roads from crushed stone 
  • Rossini's opera The Barber of Seville premiered in Rome (Feb. 20) 
  • African Methodist Episcopal Church organized in Philadelphia (Apr. 8) 
  • Charlotte Bronte born (Apr. 21) 
  • American Bible Society founded (May 11) 
  • Argentina declared independent republic (July)
  • In US, Indiana became 19th state (Dec. 11)  
  • Frederick Douglass born (Feb. 14) 
  • Baltimore street first in US lit by gas (Feb. 17) 
  • James Monroe became 5th US president (Mar. 4) 
  • Rush-Bagot Treaty de-militarized the US-Canada border (Apr. 28) 
  • Erie Canal begun in New York state (July 4) 
  • Mirza Husayn Ali born (Nov. 12) 
  • Mississippi joined the Union (Dec. 10) 
  • Turks granted Serbs partial autonomy
  • Chile independent from Spain (Feb. 12) 
  • Mary Shelley's Frankenstein published (Mar.) 
  • Congress adopted the present style "Stars and Stripes" as the national flag design (Apr. 4) 
  • US -Canada border set at 49th parallel (Apr. 16) 
  • Karl Marx born in Prussia (May 5) 
  • The Savannah was first steamship to cross the Atlantic, taking twenty-six days (June 20) 
  •  W. K. Clarkson patented the bicycle (June 26)  
  • Two cantos of Byron's Don Juan released (July) 
  • Emily Bronte born in Yorkshire (July 30) 
  • Uruguay independent from Brazil (Aug. 25) 
  • Illinois became 21st U.S.  state (Dec. 3) 
  • Handel's "Messiah" first complete performed in the U.S. in Boston (Dec. 25) 
  • "Silent Night," by Franz Joseph Gruber and Joseph Mohr, was first sung (Dec. 25) 
  • Hegel became professor of philosophy at Berlin 
  • Prado Museum founded in Madrid 
    Ann C. Coleman, fiancée of  James Buchanan, committed suicide (Dec. 9)
  • British founded Singapore (Jan.) 
  • United States bought Florida from Spain (Feb. 22) 
  • US passed its first immigration law (Mar. 2) 
  • Keats wrote "Ode on a Grecian Urn" (May) 
  • Future Queen Victoria born (May 24) 
  • Odd Fellows Lodge established (May 26) 
  • Walt Whitman born on Long Island (May 31) 
  • Savannah became the first steamship across Atlantic (June 20) 
  • Herman Melville born in New York (Aug. 1) 
  • "Peterloo Massacre" in Manchester (Aug. 16) 
  • George Eliot [Mary Evans] born (Nov. 22) 
  • Alabama became 22nd U.S. state (Dec. 14) 
  • Prince Regent became George IV (Jan. 29) 
  • Susan B. Anthony born (Feb. 15) 
  • Cato Street Conspiracy in London (Feb. 23) 
  • Walter Scott published Ivanhoe (May) 
  • Florence Nightingale born (May 12) 
  • Isvar Chandra Vidyasagar born Bengal (Sep. 26) 
  • Daniel Boone died in Missouri at 85 (Sep. 26) 
  • Friedrich Engels born  (Nov. 28) 
  • The Missouri Compromise - Maine entered Union as free state, Missouri entered as a slave state (Aug. 10, 1821) 
  • Washington Colonization Society founded Liberia for repatriation of African slaves 
  • Philadelphia College of Apothecaries established the first pharmacy college, in Philadelphia (Feb. 23) 
  • Elizabeth Ann Seton died (Jan. 4) 
  • John Keats died in Rome at 25 (Feb. 23) 
  • Bishop of Patra declared Greek uprising (Apr. 6) 
  • Napoleon died on St. Helena (May 5) 
  • Saturday Evening Post began in NY (Aug. 4) 
  • Peru, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama all declared independence from Spain (Sep. 15) 
  • Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky born (Nov. 11) 
  • Gustave Flaubert born in France (Dec. 12) 
  • Constable's Hay Wain completed 
  • Population of U.S. was 9.6 million 
  • Thomas Seebeck discovered thermo-electricity 
  • Greece declared independence (Jan. 1) 
  • Ulysses S. Grant born in Ohio (Apr. 27) 
  • John Phillips elected first Boston mayor (May 1) 
  • Gregor Mendel born in Austria (July 22) 
  • In Syria, 20,000 people died in an earthquake at Antioch (Aug. 10) 
  • Brazil independent from Portugal (Sep. 7) 
  • Dom Pedro emperor of Brazil (Dec. 1) 
  • Matthew Arnold born in England (Dec. 24) 
  • Louis Pasteur born Dole, France (Dec. 27) 
  • Mexico became a republic (Apr. 14) 
  • The Oxford Union Society founded (Apr.) 
  • "Home Sweet Home" first sung, London (May 8)  
  • Lord Amherst became the Governor General of India (Aug.) 
  • Rugby football began in Rugby, UK (Autumn) 
  • Charles Macintosh of Scotland began selling waterproof coats (Oct. 12) 
  • The Monroe Doctrine declared (Dec. 2) 
  • In US, James Fenimore Cooper published the first of his "Leather Stocking" novels 
  • T. J. "Stonewall" Jackson born (Jan. 21) 
  • Bedrich Smetana born in Bohemia (Mar. 2) 
  • Leland Stanford born (Mar. 9) 
  • Lord Byron died in Missolonghi in the Greek War of Independence, aged 36 (Apr. 19) 
  • First Burmese War broke out (Feb.); British took Rangoon (May) 
  • In Vienna, Beethoven's Choral Symphony and his Missa Solemnis debuted (May 7) 
  • In US, first presidential poll published in the Harrisburg Pennsylvanian (July 24) 
  • Fifth Avenue opened in New York City (Aug. 2) 
  • St. Petersburg flood in Russia, 10,000 died (Nov.) 
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic opened in Troy, NY as first U.S. engineering college  (Jan. 25) 
  • John Quincy Adams elected by House of Representatives after a "hung" election (Feb. 9) 
  • Coded Diary of Samuel Pepys deciphered and published (May) 
  • Pushkin wrote Boris Gudunov though he was not allowed to publish it till Feb. 1831 
  • Bolivia declared its independence (Aug. 6) 
  • World's first public railway service began with the Stockton and Darlington Railway's first train on its 27 mile track 32 passenger wagons at ten miles per hour (Sep.) 
  • Erie Canal completed; dedicated (Oct. 26) 
  • Rossini's Barber of Seville opened in NYC, first Italian opera presented in US (Nov. 29) 
  • Decemberist revolt crushed in Russia (Dec. 26) 
  • John Nash built Buckingham Palace 
  • A Baseball Club was organized in Rochester, NY. 
  • University of London founded (Feb. 11)
  • German Reformed Church located its seminary in Carlisle with a tie to Dickinson. The seminary Professor taught German at Dickinson in return for the seminary's use of a college building 
  • US established Indian Reservations (Jan. 24) 
  • The American Temperance Union began in Boston (Feb. 12) 
  • In Greece, Missolonghi captured by Turks who massacre the population (May 23) 
  • Thomas Jefferson & John Adams died (July 4) 
  • Lithuanian riots in Vilnius became an anti Jewish pogrom (July 26) 
  • Andre Ampere published Electrodynamics 
  • Brunel began work on Thames Tunnel 
  • Russia declared war on Persia 
  • J. Elliott, a Dickinson alumni, as well as a member of the U.S. Navy, made a large donation to the Dickinson Museum of birds, plants, stones, and insects that he collected while in Brazil 
  • First Mardi Gras festival was held in New Orleans (Feb. 27) 
  • In U.K.,  John Walker first marketed friction matches (Apr. 17) 
  • Ludwig von Beethoven died (Mar. 26) 
  • Thomas Rowlandson died in England (May 22) 
  • Turks entered Athens (June 5);  UK, France, and Russia entered war to force the issue of Greek independence (July); allied navies destroyed Turkish fleet at Navarino Bay (Oct. 20) 
  • William Blake died (Aug. 12) 
  • Race riots in Cincinnati (Aug. 10) 
  • J. J. Audobon began to publish Birds of North America 
  • George Ohm formulated laws of electrical resistance. 
  • Forty shares of stock in the Carlisle Bank amounting to the sum of $1000 were left to the college by Robert Coleman for the endowment of a professorship 
  • The Duke of Wellington became U.K. Prime Minister (Jan.) 
  • Jules Verne born in France (Feb. 8) 
  • Mexico expelled all Spaniards (Mar. 8) 
  • Henrik Ibsen born (Mar. 20) 
  • Count Leon Tolstoy born in Russia (Aug. 28) 
  • Andrew Jackson defeated John Quincy Adams in United States election (Nov.) 
  • Turkey agreed to quit Greece 
  • Noah Webster published his American Dictionary 
  • Baltimore and Ohio Railroad began construction as first in the U.S. for passengers and freight; it opened Jan., 7, 1830 
  • President Neill and much of his faculty all left around the same time because of internal disagreements and disagreements with the Board of Trustees over how to enforce college policy 
  • First Oxford-Cambridge Boat Race (June 10) 
  • John Smithson died (June 27) 
  • Rossini's "William Tell" debuted (Aug. 31) 
  • Metropolitan Police established in London (Sep. 29) 
  • Slavery abolished in Mexico (Sep. 15) 
  • George Stephenson's "Rocket" won Rainhill trials for a working locomotive (Oct.) 
  • President Jackson attacked the Bank of the United States. 
  • Chopin debuted in Vienna 
  • First U.S. patent on a typewriter issued 
  • Samuel How was inaugurated as President of Dickinson College (Mar. 3) 
  • The Book of Mormon published (Mar. 26) 
  • George IV died in England (June 26) 
  • France invaded Algeria (July 5) 
  • Revolution of 1830 in Paris (July); Louis Philippe became king (Aug. 7) 
  • The Liverpool to Manchester railway formally opened; William Huskisson became the world first railway fatality (Sep. 15) 
  • Polish insurrection in Warsaw (Nov.) 
  • Simon Bolivar died in Colombia (Dec. 17) 
  • Serbia declared complete autonomy from Turks 
  • Stiff collars became part of mens' dress 
  • Samuel Agnew resigned from the Board of Trustees (Jan. 16) 
  • William Lloyd Garrison began publishing in Boston The Liberator, the country's first publication to demand an immediate end to slavery (Jan. 1); Georgia offered $5000 to anyone who would bring him to the state for trial.  
  • The French Foreign Legion founded (Mar. 9) 
  • Belgium became separate from Holland (July 21) 
  • Nat Turner, a literate slave, began a slave revolt in Virginia (Aug. 22)  He and his followers killed 57 whites, but revolt  put down and up to 200 slaves killed. Turner was hanged (Nov. 11) 
  • Charles Darwin sailed on The Beagle (Dec. 27) 
  • Population of U. S. counted at 12.8 million; U.K. counted at 13.9 million 
  • Moncure Conway born in Virginia (Mar. 17)
  • Dickinson College shut down at How's suggestion and the Board's agreement due to lack of funds 
  • Goethe died (Mar. 22) 
  • Great Reform Bill enacted in Britain (June 7) 
  • "America" sung in public for first time in a Boston church; Samuel Smith wrote the words but did not know the tune he had borrowed was the British national anthem (July 4) 
  • Sir Walter Scott died (Sep. 21) 
  • Jackson, now leader of "Democrats," defeated Henry Clay for a second term as U.S. president 
  • Charles Carroll, last living signer of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, died (Nov. 14) 
  • Andrew Jackson re-elected in US (Dec. 5) 
  • John C Calhoun became the first U.S. vice president to resign from office (Dec. 28) 
  • Guiseppe Mazzini founded "Young Italy" 
  • A Law School was authorized at the request of Judge John Reed (June) 
  • The new board met and elected John Price Durbin 9th President of the College (Sep. 25)
  • Reverend Edwin Dorsey of the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Church showed interest in acquiring Dickinson College 
  • A special meeting of the board was held and the proposal was agreed upon 
  • The Baltimore and Philadelphia Conferences joined enterprises in order to secure and maintain the College
  • The Whig Party formed in U.S. 
  • General Santa Anna was elected  president of Mexico (Apr. 1) 
  • Jacob Ebert & George Dulty patented the soda fountain (Apr. 24) 
  • Johannes Brahms was born in Hamburg (May 7) 
  • Abolition of slavery in British Empire.  The Parliament adopted a gradual emancipation plan, providing compensation to slave owners and establishing an apprenticeship plan to prepare nearly 800,000 slaves for freedom (Aug. 23) 
  • Garrison and some 60 other delegates, male and female and black and white, formed the American Anti-Slavery Society in Philadelphia (Dec. 4) 
  • Durbin headed the first meeting as president of the college and the board of trustees. This was the first time in the history of the college that the president of the college and board were one in the same (Sep. 8)  
  • Inaugural procession to the Methodist church - the College was officially reopened and Durbin inaugurated  as president (Sep. 10) 
  •  William Morris born in Epping (Mar. 24) 
  • Senate censured President Jackson over the Bank of United States actions (Mar. 28) 
  • Marquis de Lafayette died in France (May 20) 
  • Spanish Inquisition officially ended (July 15) 
  • Chicago (pop. c 250) incorporated (Aug. 5) 
  • First  published reference to poker (Nov. 1) 
  • Lincoln elected to Illinois Assembly (Nov.) 
  • Hansom cabs appeared in London (Dec.) 
  • First of four Carlist Wars began in Spain
  • George Bancroft's History of the United States began to appear 
  • Chilean  earthquake; 5,000 died (Feb. 20)  
  • John Marshal died in Philadelphia (July 6) 
  • The Liberty Bell cracked (July 9) 
  • Melbourne, Australia founded (Aug. 30) 
  • Boston mob almost lynched Garrison (Oct. 21) 
  • Texans declared  Texas' right to secede from Mexico (Nov. 2) 
  • Andrew Carnegie born (Nov. 25) 
  • Samuel Clemens "Mark Twain" born (Nov. 30) 
  • 2nd Seminole War began in Florida (Dec. 2) 
  • Christmas Day became a national holiday in Britain 
  • Roger B. Taney became fifth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (Mar. 28) 
  • At a Board meeting Durbin reported the morals of the students at the College to be of upstanding quality and their church attendance outstanding (July 20) 
  • Betsy Ross died in Philadelphia (Jan. 30) 
  • Ramakrishna, Hindu saint, born (Feb. 16) 
  • Winslow Homer born (Feb. 24) 
  • Samuel Colt patented first "revolver" (Feb. 25)  
  • Alamo fell to the Mexican Army (Mar. 6) 
  • Texas won independence from Mexico (Apr. 26) 
  • Arkansas became 25th US state (June 15) 
  • Japanese kendo master Yamaoka Tesshu born (June 10) 
  • James Madison died in Virginia (June 28) 
  • Adelaide, South Australia founded (July 27) 
  • Aaron Burr died (Sep. 14) 
  • Boers began "the Great Trek" in South Africa 
  • Number of  U.S. antislavery societies reached 52  
  • Oberlin Collegiate Institute of Ohio became first co-educational college in US with 4 women and 30 men (Sep. 6) 
  • Mount Holyoke founded (Nov. 8)
  • Enrollment was up to over 100 students and the first Senior Class of Dickinson to graduate under Methodist leadership took place 
  • The Cumberland Valley Railroad operated the first steam trains through Carlisle High Street 
  • Earthquake in southern Syria (Jan. 21) 
  • Aleksandr Pushkin killed in a duel (Jan. 29) 
  • Canadian black citizens enfranchised (Mar. 24) 
  • Victoria became Queen, aged 18 (June 20) 
  • Martin Van Buren became 8th US president 
  • Joseph Lister born (Apr. 5) 
  • Samuel Morse exhibited his electric telegraph at City University in New York (Sep.) 
  • Revolts in Upper and Lower Canada (Nov.) 
  • Sir Isaac Pitman published his Stenographic Soundhand (Nov. 15) 
  • U.S Congress passed the Gag Law, aimed at dampening debate on slavery 
  • Sitting Bull born (approximate) in the Dakotas 
  • American Presbyterians completed their split 
  • Methodist Church wrote a letter to the college stating that the church is now in full agreement that education should play a key role in evangelism 
  • Henry Adams born (Feb. 16) 
  • Speaker of the Arkansas House found guilty of killing a member of the House with a bowie knife on the House floor while in session (May 9)
  • Queen Lydia Kamekeha Liliuokalani, last queen of Hawaii, born (Sep. 2) 
  • In US, Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery disguised as a sailor (Sep. 3) 
  • Dickins' Oliver Twist published in volume form; in serial form the first parts of Nicholas Nickeleby sold 50,000 copies in England (Nov.) 
  • First British-Afghan War began (Dec. 10) 
  • There were 1,300 antislavery societies with 109,000 members in the United States 
  • Auguste Comte gave sociology its name 
  • The Daguerre-Niepce method of photography exhibited at Academy of Sciences in Paris (Jan. 9) 
  • Penny post established in UK (Jan. 10) 
  • Chinese authorities destroyed British opium shipments and First Opium War (Mar. 18) 
  • Guatemala declared a republic (Apr. 17) 
  • Israel Ashkenazi of Shklov died (May 13) 
  • Samuel Cunard began the Cunard Line (May 4) 
  • The Spanish slave ship Amistad taken in slave mutiny (July 30) 
  • Uruguay declared war on Argentina 
  • Edgar Allan Poe published Fall of the House of Usher 
  • Charles Goodyear discovered "vulcanization" 
  • Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, 1st in US, incorporated (Feb. 1)
  • Spencer Fullerton Baird graduated from Dickinson 
  • Professor Thomas Emory Sudler joined faculty as chair of Mathematics 
  • 95,820 "Pubs" counted in England (Jan. 5) 
  • UK colonists arrived in New Zealand (Jan. 22) 
  • Queen Victoria wed Prince Albert (Feb. 10) 
  • Emile Zola born (Apr. 2) 
  • Penny postage established in Britain (May 6) 
  • Ashes of Napoleon returned to Paris (May 30) 
  • Nelson's Column appeared in Trafalgar Square 
  • Louis Agassiz published Etudes sur les Glaciers 
  • There were 2,816 miles of railroad in the U.S. 
  • Fordham University opened in the Bronx as St. John's College (June 24)
  • All loans paid off for the building of East college and Grammar  school, except for $1200 for Grammar school lumber. 
  • President Durbin had western wall of Old West bound more closely to the rest of the building 
  • Britain proclaimed sovereignty over Hong Kong (Jan. 26) 
  • William Henry Harrison died (Apr. 4) one month after his inauguration as U.S. president; Vice President John Tyler became tenth president 
  • Bombay Gazette began publication (Apr. 26) 
  • Henry Kennedy of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, received a patent for the first recliner (May 22) 
  • First Canadian parliament opened (June 14) 
  • English travel agent Thomas Cook opened for business (July 5) 
  • Punch first published in London (July 17) 
  • Thomas Carlyle published On Heroes, Hero Worship and the Heroic in History (Dec.) 
  • P.T. Barnum opened his "American Museum" 
  • First university degrees awarded to women in US. 
  • In Prigg v. Pennsylvania, the US Supreme Court upheld the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793, stating that slave owners have a right to retrieve their "property." In so doing, the court ruled that Pennsylvania's anti kidnapping law was unconstitutional (Mar.) 
  • Treaty of Nanjing ended Opium War and ceded Hong Kong to Britain (June 26)  
  • Balzac began publication of  La Comedie Humaine (July) 
  • The Webster-Ashburton Treaty set US/Canada border line (Aug. 9) 
  • New York Philharmonic Society founded; first concert (Dec. 7) 
  • Peter Kopotkin born (Dec. 9) 
  • President Durbin left to go to Europe; Robert Emory President Pro Tem 
  • All salaries reduced 8% due to probable deficit in following year 
  • Wagner's opera "The Flying Dutchman" premiered in Dresden (Jan. 2) 
  • Maori revolts in New Zealand 
  • Edward Kavanagh of Maine took office as first Catholic governor in US history (Mar. 7) 
  • Brunel's Great Britain launched (July 19)
  • Henry James born (Apr. 15) 
  • John Ruskin's Modern Painters began publication (Apr.)
  • John C. Fremont crossed Rockies (Sep.) 
  • The Economist began in London (Sep. 22) 
  • B'nai Brith founded in New York (Oct. 13) 
  • Dickins published A Christmas Carol (Dec. 19) 
  • Board decided to have the Senior Professor placed in charge of all the duties of the President in his absence, except his lectures and recitations 
  • President Durbin returned from Europe 
  • Sam Morse sent first telegraph message (May 1) 
  • U.S. Congress narrowly approved the annexation of Texas after Senate rejection (May 12) 
  • Anatole France born (May 16) 
  • Mary Cassatt born (May 22) 
  • Morse's telegraph used for first time to connect Baltimore and Washington (May 24) 
  • Y.M.C.A founded in England (June 6) 
  • Joseph Smith Jr.  lynched at 38 (June 22) 
  • Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels first met, in Paris (Aug.) 
  • The Treaty of Tangier ended French war in Morocco (Sep. 10) 
  • Friedrich Nietzsche born (Oct. 15) 
  • Robert Bridges born (Oct. 23) 
  • U.S. Naval Academy opened in Annapolis, Maryland (Oct.)
  • President Durbin resigned; Robert Emory elected President 
  • Spencer Fullerton Baird joined faculty as Professor of Natural History and Curator of the Museum 
  • Poe's "The Raven" appeared (Jan. 29) 
  • First overriding of US presidential veto (Mar. 3) 
  • James K. Polk became 11th President of U.S. 
  • Florida became 27th US state (Mar. 3) 
  • Macon B. Allen became first black admitted to the bar in the US (May 3) 
  • Theater fire killed 1,600, Canton China (May 3) 
  • Andrew Jackson died in Nashville (June 8)
  • A homing pigeon flew from the Namibia coast to London in 55 days - nearly 7000 miles - dying one mile from its home loft (summer) 
  • Knickerbocker Club in NYC organized and codified baseball (Sep. 24) 
  • Wagner's Tannhauser premiered (Oct. 19) 
  • U.S. Naval Academy opened (Oct. 10) 
  • Texas admitted as 28th US state (Dec. 29)  
  • Board opted to have Grammar school and College under one administration (July) 
  • Congress authorized the founding of the Smithsonian Institution (Aug. 10) 
  • British war on the Sikhs in India (Feb.) 
  • Brigham Young began the trek of the Mormons to Utah, arriving on July 24, 1847 (Feb. 10) 
  • The aborted  purchase of New Mexico led to fighting and two months later a U.S.  declaration of  war on Mexico (May 13) 
  • The House of Representatives adopted the Wilmot Proviso, to bar slavery from any territory acquired from Mexico (Aug.)  
  • German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle discovered the planet Neptune (Sep. 23) 
  • Iowa entered the US Union (Dec. 28) 
  • Second year of potato crop failures brought famine to Ireland 
  • The McClintock Riot in Carlisle (June 2) 
  • President Emory fell ill; William H. Allen, Acting President 
  • Thomas Edison born in Ohio (Feb. 11) 
  • Alexander Graham Bell born in Scotland (Mar. 3) 
  • American Medical Association founded (May 5) 
  • Bunsen invented his burner (June 14) 
  • The Doughnut invented (June 22) 
  • First U.S. postage stamps printed (July 2) 
  • Liberia became an independent republic (July 26) 
  • Charlotte Bronte completed manuscript for Jane Eyre (Aug. 24) and her sister Emily Wuthering Heights 
  • Jesse James born in Missouri (Sep. 5) 
  • U.S. troops captured Mexico City (Sep. 14) 
  • Revolutions in Paris, Vienna, Venice, Berlin,  Prague, and Rome (Jan. - June) 
  • Gold discovered in California at Sutter's Mill (Jan. 24) 
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo signed.  Mexico ceded New Mexico, California, Utah, Nevada, and Arizona.  Mexico got $15 million (Feb. 2) 
  • First Chinese immigrants arrived in San Francisco (Feb. 2) 
  • Marx and Engels published their Communist Manifesto (Feb. 26) 
  • Conscience Whigs and antislavery Democrats merged with the Liberty Party to form the Free Soil Party, which demanded the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia and exclusion of slavery from the federal territories. Their Presidential nominee Martin Van Buren received 10 % of the vote (Nov.) 
  • Elizabeth Blackwell awarded the first medical degree to go to a woman in the United States in Geneva, New York (Jan. 23)
  • University of Wisconsin opened with twenty students and one room (Feb. 4)
  • Moncure D. Conway graduated from Dickinson College 
  • Collegian, a literary magazine started by Moncure D. Conway with a joint staff of Belles Lettres and Union Philosophical Society members, began in Mar. and ended in July
  • Corn Laws abolished in Britain (Jan. 31) 
  • Zachary Taylor 12th President of U. S. (Mar. 5) 
  • Republics declared all over Europe but slowly "order" restored and the "Revolutions of 1848" come to an end. 
  • Edgar Allan Poe died aged 40 (Oct. 7) 
  • Ivan Pavlov born (Sep. 14) 
  • Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery in Maryland (Dec. 6) 
  • Dostoyevsky sentenced to die, then, at the last moment, to life in Siberia (Dec. 22) 
  • David Livingstone crossed Kalahari Desert
  • Professor Spencer Fullerton Baird resigned to become Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute 
  • Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter published (Mar. 16) 
  • American Express Company founded (Mar. 18) 
  • William Wordsworth died (Apr. 23) 
  • Millard Fillmore became 13th President of U.S. on the death of Zachary Taylor (July 9) 
  • Francesca Xavier Cabrini born (July 15) 
  • Balzac died aged 51 (Aug. 18) 
  • California became 31st U.S.  state (Sep. 9) 
  • Harishchandra born in India (Sep. 9) 
  • Fugitive Slave Law,  part of Compromise of 1850, stripped runaways of rights of jury trial and of testifying in their own defense (Sep. 18) 
  • Jenny Lind first toured America (Sep.) 
  • Numbers in the U.S. 23 million (3.2 mill. slaves) 
  • Millet's "The Sower" exhibited