What Happened in 1840

Historical Events

  • Jan 1 1st recorded bowling match in US, Knickerbocker Alleys, NYC
  • Jan 3 1st deep sea sounding by James Clark Ross in south Atlantic at 2425 fathoms (14,450 feet)
  • Jan 5 Records show 95,820 licensed public houses in England on this date
  • Jan 10 Penny Post mail system starts
  • Jan 13 The steamship Lexington burns and sinks four miles off the coast of Long Island with the loss of 139 lives.
  • Jan 18 Electro-Magnetic Intelligencer, 1st US electrical journal, appears
  • Jan 20 Dumont D'Urville discovers Adélie Land, Antarctica
  • Jan 20 Dutch King Willem II crowned
  • Jan 22 New Zealand Company settlers arrive aboard the Aurora at Te Whanganui a Tara, which becomes Port Nicholson, Wellington
  • Jan 25 American naval expedition under Charles Wilkes first to identify Antarctica as a new continent

AgreementTreaty of Waitangi

Jan 29 First Governor of New Zealand and co-author of the Treaty of Waitangi Captain William Hobson arrives in the Bay of Islands, NZ

  • Feb 1 Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, 1st in US, incorporated
  • Feb 6 The Treaty of Waitangi is signed between 40 Māori Chiefs (later signed by 500) and representatives of the British crown in Waitangi, New Zealand. The treaty was designed to share sovereignty between the two groups.
  • Feb 11 Gaetano Donizetti's Opera "La Fille du Regiment" premieres in Paris
  • Feb 12 Housatonic Railroad opens
  • Feb 16 American Charles Wilkes discovers Shackleton Ice Shelf, Antarctica
  • Mar 1 Adolphe Thiers becomes prime minister of France.
  • Mar 5 2nd Grand National: Mr Bartholomew Bretherton aboard Jerry wins
  • Mar 14 Jose Zorilla's "El Zapatero y el Rey" premieres in Madrid
  • Mar 23 Draper takes 1st successful photo of the Moon (daguerrotype)
  • Apr 27 Foundation stone for new Palace of Westminster, London, laid by wife of Sir Charles Barry.
  • May 1 "Penny Blacks", first adhesive postage stamps issued by Great Britain
  • May 6 World's first postage stamp, the Penny Black, is issued in Great Britain
  • May 7 Tornado strikes Natchez, Miss, kills 317
  • May 8 Alexander Wolcott patents Photographic Process
  • May 20 York Minster badly damaged by fire
  • May 21 Captain William Hobson proclaims British sovereignty over New Zealand; the North Island by treaty and the South Island by 'discovery'
  • May 22 The transporting of British convicts to the New South Wales colony is abolished.
  • Jun 12 Meteorite hits Uden, Netherlands

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 20 Samuel Morse patents his telegraph

Inventor Samuel Morse
Samuel Morse
  • Jul 4 The Cunard Line's 700 ton wooden paddle steamer RMS Britannia departs from Liverpool bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia on the first transatlantic crossing with a scheduled end.
  • Jul 6 Christian Hebbel's "Judith" premieres in Berlin
  • Jul 15 Great Britain, Russia, Austria & Prussia sign Quadruple Alliance
  • Jul 23 Union Act passed by British Parliament, uniting Upper & Lower Canada
  • Aug 1 Labourer slaves in most of the British Empire are emancipated.
  • Aug 18 American Society of Dental Surgeons founded (NY)
  • Aug 18 French colony established in Akaroa, South Island of New Zealand
  • Aug 28 Nine Jewish prisoners are released from Damascus jails
  • Oct 7 Willem I resigns as king of Netherlands
  • Oct 8 First Hawaiian constitution proclaimed
  • Oct 14 Maronite leader Bashir II surrenders to the British forces and goes into exile in Malta.
  • Nov 16 New Zealand officially becomes British colony
  • Dec 2 Gaetano Donizetti's opera "La Favorita" premieres in Paris

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

Dec 2 William Henry Harrison elected the 9th President of the United States of America

9th US President William Henry Harrison
9th US President
William Henry Harrison

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 15 Napoleon Bonaparte receives a French state funeral in Paris 19 years after his death

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte

Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 101

  • Jan 3 Father Joseph Damien de Veuster, Belgium, helped lepers in Hawaii
  • Jan 5 John Doby Kennedy, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1896)
  • Jan 10 Louis Nazaire Bégin, French Canadian archbishop and cardinal (d. 1925)
  • Jan 18 Austin Dobson, England, poet/critic/biographer
  • Jan 18 Ernst Rudorff, composer
  • Jan 21 Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake, Hastings, English Physician and feminist who was one of the first female medical students at a British university
  • Jan 22 Ernest Roland Wilberforce, English bishop (d. 1907)
  • Jan 23 Ernst Abbe, Germany, physicist (Carl Zeiss Optics Company)
  • Feb 2 Louis Bourgault-Ducoudray, composer
  • Feb 5 Hiram Stevens Maxim, inventor (automatic single-barrel rifle)
  • Feb 5 John Boyd Dunlop, Scotland, developer (pneumatic rubber tire)
  • Feb 11 Sanuel Dana Greene, Lt Cmdr (Union Navy), (d. 1884)
  • Feb 13 Georg Jacobi, composer
  • Feb 22 F August Bebel, German social-democrat
  • Feb 23 Carl Menger, Austrian economist
  • Feb 25 Alexis Hollander, composer
  • Feb 25 Otto Liebmann, German philosopher (Climax of Theories)
  • Feb 28 Henri Duveyrier, French explorer (d. 1892)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Feb 29 John Philip Holland, Liscannor Ireland, father of the modern submarine

  • Mar 5 Constance Fenimore Woolson, NH, writer (Jupiter Lights)
  • Mar 8 Franco Faccio, Italian composer/conductor
  • Mar 11 Edmund Kirby Jr, Brigadier General (Union volunteers), (d. 1863)
  • Mar 16 Shibusawa Eiichi, Japanese industrialist (d. 1931)
  • Mar 18 William Cosmo Monkhouse, English poet and critic (d. 1901)
  • Mar 20 Illarion Pryanishnikov, Russian painter (d. 1894)
  • Mar 25 Myles Keogh, U.S. Soldier in U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment & Irish Soldier of Fortune (d. 1876)
  • Mar 26 Carli Zoeller, composer
  • Mar 26 George Smith, Archaeologist and assyriologist (cuneiform (script)), born in London, England
  • Mar 28 Mehemed Emin Pasja, German explorer/governor (Equatoria)
  • Mar 31 John Herbert Kelly, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1864)
  • Mar 31 Benjamin Baker, Frome Somerset, English Engineer who designed the bridge over the Firth of Forth, Scotland and the London underground
  • Apr 2 Émile Zola, French novelist and critic (d. 1902)
  • Apr 11 John Conrad Nordqvist, composer
  • Apr 12 Edmond Audran, composer
  • Apr 19 Andrea Bezzola, writer
  • Apr 21 Franz Xaver Haberl, German priest/musicologist (Magister choralis)
  • Apr 22 Odilon Redon, French painter (d. 1916)
  • Apr 25 James Dearing, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1865)
  • Apr 27 Edward Whymper, 1st to climb Matterhorn (1865)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 7 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer of the late-Romantic period (1812 Overture, Swan Lake), born in Votkinsk, Russia (d. 1893)

  • May 10 Hadzhi Dimitar, Bulgarian revolutionist (d. 1868)
  • May 11 Filippo Capocci, composer
  • May 13 L-M Alphonse Daudet, French writer (Tartarin of Tarascon)
  • May 24 Frederick Walker, painter
  • May 29 Hans Makart, Austrian painter (Plague in Florenz)
  • Jun 2 Thomas Hardy, poet and novelist (Far from the Madding Crowd), born in Higher Bockhampton, Dorset (d. 1928)
  • Jun 3 Eugeen van Oye, Flemish writer/poet (Morning Twilight)
  • Jun 6 John Stainer, composer
  • Jun 6 William Francis Bartlett, Bvt Major General (Union volunteers)
  • Jun 7 Carlota of Mexico, princess of Belgium and empress consort of Mexico (1864-67), born in Brussels, Belgium
  • Jun 10 Thomas Fentress Toon, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1902)
  • Jun 10 Theodor Philipsen Danish painter (d. 1920)
  • Jun 11 Henri Braekeleer, Flemish painter/etser
  • Jun 16 Ernst Otto Schlick, German engineer (d. 1913)
  • Jun 22 Ernest Debes, German cartographer (Baedeker)
  • Jun 24 Louis Brassin, composer
  • Jul 1 Robert S Ball, Irish mathematician/astronomer
  • Jul 4 James McGranahan, composer
  • Jul 12 Abraham Goldfaden, Eastern European Yiddish dramatist
  • Jul 25 Flora Adams Darling, founded Daughters of American Revolution
  • Jul 27 Ranald Slidell Mackenzie, Bvt Major General (Union volunteers)
  • Aug 1 Aldine Sillman Kieffer, composer
  • Aug 14 Baron Richard Freiherr von Krafft-Ebing, psychiatrist
  • Aug 17 Wilfrid Scawen Blunt, England, writer (Irish Land League)
  • Aug 28 Ira D Sankey, US evangelist/composer/singer (Gospel hymns)
  • Aug 28 Alexander Cameron Sim, Scottish merchant (d. 1900)
  • Sep 2 Giovanni Verga, Italian writer (Eros)
  • Sep 3 Jacob Fabricius, composer
  • Sep 9 Gentil T Antheunis, Flemish poet/music/composer
  • Sep 14 George Elbridge Whiting, composer
  • Sep 21 Murad V, sultan of Turkey (1876)
  • Sep 26 Louis-Olivier Taillon, French Canadian politician (d. 1923)
  • Sep 27 Alfred Thayer Mahan, US, naval officer (Influence of Sea Power)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Sep 27 Thomas Nast, German political cartoonist of late 1800s America, born in Landau, Germany (d. 1902)

Political Cartoonist Thomas Nast
Political Cartoonist
Thomas Nast
  • Sep 28 Alexander Swift "Sandie" Pendleton, Lt-Col (Confederate Army)
  • Sep 28 Rudolf Baumbach, Thuringia [Germany], writer of student drinking songs
  • Sep 30 Johan Severin Svendsen, composer
  • Oct 4 Charles Ferdinand Lenepveu, composer
  • Oct 5 Fran Gerbič, Slovenian composer and tenor, born in Cerknica (d. 1917)
  • Oct 5 John Addington Symonds, British historian/writer (Probs in Greek Ethics)
  • Oct 9 Simeon Solomon, British artist (d. 1905)
  • Oct 12 Helena Modjeska, Poland, Shakespearian actress (Juliet)/anti-Russian
  • Oct 15 Honoré Mercier, politician and premier of Quebec (d. 1894)
  • Oct 16 Kuroda Kiyotaka, Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1900)
  • Oct 30 Carlotta Patti, Italian soprano
  • Oct 30 William G Sumner, US sociologist/political analyst
  • Nov 9 Joseph-Adolphe Chapleau, French Canadian lawyer (d. 1898)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Nov 12 Auguste Rodin, French sculptor (Kiss, Thinker), born in Paris, France (d. 1917)

Sculptor Auguste Rodin
Auguste Rodin

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Nov 14 Claude Monet, impressionist (Water Lilies), born in Paris, France (d. 1926)

Impressionist Painter Claude Monet
Impressionist Painter
Claude Monet
  • Nov 15 Aleksei N Apuchtin, Russian poet/friend of Tsjaikovski [NS=11/27]
  • Nov 16 Frederick Scotson Clark, composer
  • Nov 19 Aleksandr Kovalevsky, Shustyanka near Dvinsk, Russian Biologist who founded comparative embryology and experimental histology and who identified a common pattern of embryological development in all multi-cellular animals
  • Nov 21 Victoria, Empress of Germany/Queen of Prussia
  • Nov 25 Hugo Verriest, Flemish author/poet (Flemish Movement)
  • Nov 27 Aleksei N Apuchtin, Russian poet/friend of Tsjaikovski [OS=11/15]
  • Nov 30 Henry Birks, Canadian businessman (d. 1928)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Dec 4 Crazy Horse [Tashunka Witko], Fort Robinson Nebraska, Oglala Sioux chief (Battle of the Little Bighorn)

Native American War Leader Crazy Horse
Native American War Leader
Crazy Horse
  • Dec 7 Hermann Goetz, German composer, born in Königsberg, East Prussia (d. 1876)
  • Dec 11 Kemal Bey, Turkey, poet/author (Fatherland-1872)
  • Dec 17 Christian Frederik Emil Horneman, composer

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

Feb 1 Novelist Alexandre Dumas (37) weds actress Ida Ferrier

HeartWedding of Interest

Feb 10 British Queen Victoria (20) marries her cousin Albert (20) of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, later the Prince Consort at St James' Palace

Queen of the United Kingdom Victoria
Queen of the United Kingdom

HeartWedding of Interest

May 1 Women's rights activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton (24) weds fellow abolitionist Henry Brewster Stanton (34)

Women's Rights Activist Elizabeth Cady Stanton
Women's Rights Activist
Elizabeth Cady Stanton

HeartWedding of Interest

Sep 6 Publisher James Gordon Bennett (45) weds Henrietta Agnes Crean in NYC, New York

Founder of the New York Herald James Gordon Bennett
Founder of the New York Herald
James Gordon Bennett
  • Sep 12 Composer Robert Schumann marries Clara Wieck

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 6 Fanny Burney, English novelist and diarist (b. 1752)
  • Jan 22 Johann Friedrich Blumenbach, German anthropologist (b. 1752)
  • Mar 2 Heinrich Olbers, German astronomer (comets & asteroids), dies at 81
  • Mar 12 Friedrich Westenholz, composer, dies at 61
  • Mar 22 Étienne Bobillier, French mathematician (b. 1798)
  • Mar 23 William Maclure, Scottish-American Geologist (first geological map), dies at 76
  • Mar 28 Simon-Antoine-Jean Lhuillier, Swiss mathematician, dies at 89
  • Mar 30 George (Beau) Brummell, Dandy, dies
  • Apr 19 Jean-Jacques Lartigue, Roman catholic bishop of Montreal (b. 1777)
  • Apr 25 Siméon-Denis Poisson, French mathematician (b. 1781)
  • May 5 Gottlob Benedikt Bierey, composer, dies at 67
  • May 5 Matthaus Fischer, composer, dies at 76
  • May 6 Francisco de Paula Santander, Colombian president and independence leader (b. 1792)
  • May 7 Caspar David Friedrich, German painter (b. 1774)
  • May 26 Sidney Smith, British admiral (b. 1764)
  • May 27 Niccolo Paganini, Italian composer and violinist, dies at 57
  • May 30 Dominique J de Eerens, gov-gen of Dutch-Indies, dies at 59
  • Jun 6 Marcellin Champagnat, French priest (b. 1789)
  • Jun 7 Frederik Willem III, King of Prussia (1797-1840), dies at 69
  • Jun 19 John Cockerill, English/Belgian industrial/orangist, dies at 50
  • Jun 25 Leopold count of Limburg Stirum, Dutch general/politician, dies at 82
  • Jun 29 Lucien Bonaparte, prince of Canino/Musignano, dies at 65

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jul 4 Karl Ferdinand von Graefe, German surgeon who helped create modern plastic surgery dies at 53

  • Jul 22 Josef Jawurek, composer, dies at 83
  • Jul 23 Frantisek Max Knize, composer, dies at 55
  • Aug 18 Antony CW Staring, Dutch patriot/poet (Jaromir), dies at 73
  • Aug 24 Joseph Waast Aubert Nonot, composer, dies at 89
  • Aug 25 Karl Leberecht Immermann, German writer, dies at 44
  • Aug 27 William Kneass, 3rd US chief engraver (1824-40), dies in office
  • Sep 8 John H van de Palm, theologist/literature/speaker, dies at 77
  • Sep 15 Franz Xaver Pechacek, composer, dies at 47
  • Sep 25 Jacques-Etienne-Joseph-Alexandre Macdonald, Duc de Tarente, soldier
  • Nov 24 Cornelis RT Krayenhoff, fortress architect/cartographer, dies at 82
  • Dec 11 Emperor Kokaku of Japan (b. 1771)