What Happened in 1861

Historical Events

Events 1 - 100 of 267

  • Jan 1 Porfirio Diaz conquers Mexico City

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 1 President-elect of the United States Abraham Lincoln declares slavery in Confederate states unlawful (US Civil War)

US President Abraham Lincoln
US President
Abraham Lincoln
  • Jan 2 SC seizes inactive Ft Johnson in Charleston Harbor
  • Jan 2 Colonel Charles Stone is put in charge of organizing DC militia
  • Jan 3 Delaware legislature rejects proposal to join Confederacy
  • Jan 3 US Ft Pulaski & Ft Jackson, Savannah, seized by Georgia
  • Jan 4 US Ft Morgan, Mobile, seized by Alabama
  • Jan 5 250 Federal troops are sent from New York to Ft Sumter
  • Jan 5 Alabama troops seize Forts Morgan & Gaines at Mobile Bay
  • Jan 6 Florida troops seize Federal arsenal at Apalachicola
  • Jan 6 NYC mayor proposes NY become a free city, trading with N & S
  • Jan 7 Florida troops takeover Fort Marion at St Augustine (US Civil War)
  • Jan 9 A Union merchant ship, the Star of the West, is fired upon as it tries to deliver supplies to Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina
  • Jan 9 Mississippi secedes from the Union (US Civil War)
  • Jan 10 Fort Jackson & Fort Philip are taken over by LA state troops (US Civil War)
  • Jan 10 US forts & property seized by Mississippi
  • Jan 10 Florida secedes from the Union (US Civil War)
  • Jan 11 Mexico City captured by Juarez (Lib) in War of Reform
  • Jan 11 Alabama secedes from the Union (US Civil War)
  • Jan 12 Florida state troops demand surrender of Fort Pickens (US Civil War)
  • Jan 14 Fort Pikens, Florida, falls into state hands (US Civil War)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 15 Steam elevator patented by Elisha Otis

Inventor and Elevator Industrialist Elisha Otis
Inventor and Elevator Industrialist
Elisha Otis
  • Jan 19 Misssissippi troops take Fort Massachusetts and Ship Island (US Civil War)
  • Jan 19 Georgia secedes from the Union (US Civil War)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 21 Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and 4 other southern senators resign (U.S Civil War)

President of the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis
President of the Confederate States of America
Jefferson Davis
  • Jan 24 Arsenal at Augusta, Georgia, seized by Confederacy
  • Jan 24 Federal troops from Ft Monroe are sent to Ft Pikens
  • Jan 26 Louisiana secedes from the Union (US Civil War)
  • Jan 29 US state of Kansas admitted to the Union as the 34th state
  • Jan 31 Friedrich Hebbel's "Siegfrieds Tod" premieres in Weimar
  • Jan 31 State of Louisiana takes over US Mint at New Orleans (U.S Civil War)
  • Feb 1 Dike breaks in Gelderland, Netherlands
  • Feb 1 Texas secedes from the Union (which precipitates the American Civil War)
  • Feb 4 Confederate constitutional convention meets for 1st time; Jefferson Davis elected President of Confederacy (US Civil War)
  • Feb 5 Kinematoscope patented by Coleman Sellers, Philadelphia
  • Feb 5 Louisiana delegation except Mr Bouligny withdraws from Congress (US Civil War)
  • Feb 6 1st meeting of Provisional Congress of Confederate States of America (US Civil War)
  • Feb 6 British Vice-Admiral Robert Fitzroy issues first storm warnings for ships
  • Feb 8 Confederate States of America organizes in Montgomery, Alabama (US Civil War)
  • Feb 9 Jefferson Davis & Alexander Stephens elected President & VP of the Confederate States of America (US Civil War)
  • Feb 9 Tennessee votes against secession (US Civil War)

AgreementConstitution of the United States

Feb 9 Confederate Provisional Congress declares all laws under the US Constitution were consistent with constitution of Confederate states (US Civil War)

  • Feb 11 President-elect Lincoln takes train from Spingfield IL to Washington, D.C.
  • Feb 11 US House unanimously passes resolution guaranteeing noninterference with slavery in any state
  • Feb 12 State troops seize US munitions in Napoleon, Arkansas, during the US Civil War
  • Feb 13 First military action to result in Congressional Medal of Honor, Arizona
  • Feb 13 Abraham Lincoln declared US president in Washington, D.C.
  • Feb 13 Col Bernard Irwin attacks & defeats hostile Chiricahua Indians
  • Feb 15 Ft Point completed & garrisoned (but has never fired cannon in anger)
  • Feb 18 Confederate President Jefferson Davis inaugurated at Montgomery, Alabama (US Civil War)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 18 King Victor Emmanuel II of Sardinia becomes first King of Italy

King of Sardinia and Italy Victor Emmanuel II
King of Sardinia and Italy
Victor Emmanuel II
  • Feb 19 Russian Tsar Alexander II abolishes serfdom [NS=Mar 3]
  • Feb 20 Department of Navy of Confederacy forms (US Civil War)
  • Feb 21 Steeple of Chichester Cathedral collapses despite the desperate efforts of 70 workmen
  • Feb 21 Navaho indians elect Herrero Grande as chief
  • Feb 22 On a bet Edward Weston leaves Boston to walk to Lincoln's inauguration
  • Feb 23 Dutch Premier Floris A van Hall resigns
  • Feb 27 Russians shoot at Poles protesting Russian rule of Poland in Castle Square, Warsaw
  • Feb 27 US Congress authorizes 1st stamped newspaper wrappers for mailing
  • Feb 28 Territories of Nevada & Colorado created
  • Mar 2 Government Printing Office purchases 1st printing plant, Washington
  • Mar 2 US creates Dakota & Nevada Territories out of the Nebraska & Utah ter
  • Mar 3 Alexander II of Russia signs the Emancipation Manifesto, freeing serfs [OS=Feb 19].
  • Mar 4 Confederate States adopt "Stars & Bars" flag (US Civil War)
  • Mar 4 Abraham Lincoln is inaugurated as 16th US President
  • Mar 4 US President Lincoln opens government Printing Office
  • Mar 6 Provisionary Confederate Congress establishes Confederate Army
  • Mar 8 St Augustine Florida surrenders to Union armies
  • Mar 9 Confederate currency authorized-$50, $100, $500, $1,000
  • Mar 10 El Hadj Umar Tall seizes the city of Segou, destroying the Bambara Empire of Mali.
  • Mar 11 Confederate convention in Montgomery adopts constitution (US Civil War)
  • Mar 13 23rd Grand National: Joseph Kendall aboard Jealousy wins
  • Mar 16 Arizona Territory votes to leave the Union (US Civil War)
  • Mar 16 Confederate government appoints commissioners to Britain

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 16 Edward Clark became Governor of Texas, replacing Sam Houston, who was evicted from the office for refusing to take an oath of loyalty to the Confederacy (US Civil War)

Texan Revolutionary Sam Houston
Texan Revolutionary
Sam Houston

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 17 Italy is unified into a single kingdom under Victor Emmanuel II following the campaigns led by Giuseppe Garibaldi

Unifier of Italy Giuseppe Garibaldi
Unifier of Italy
Giuseppe Garibaldi
King of Sardinia and Italy Victor Emmanuel II
King of Sardinia and Italy
Victor Emmanuel II
  • Mar 19 The First Taranaki War ends in New Zealand
  • Mar 20 An earthquake completely destroys Mendoza, Argentina.
  • Mar 22 1st US nursing school chartered
  • Mar 23 London's 1st tramcars, designed by Mr Train of NY, begins operating
  • Mar 31 Confederacy takes over mint at New Orleans (US Civil War)
  • Apr 5 Federals abandon Ft Quitman, Texas
  • Apr 8 US mint at Dahlonega, Georgia, seized by confederacy (US Civil War)
  • Apr 12 Fort Sumter, SC is shelled by Confederacy, starting Civil War
  • Apr 13 After 34 hours of bombardment, Fort Sumter surrenders to Confederates (US Civil War)
  • Apr 14 Formal Union surrender of Ft Sumter (US Civil War)
  • Apr 15 Federal army (75,000 volunteers) mobilized by US President Lincoln (US Civil War)
  • Apr 16 US president Lincoln outlaws business with confederate states (US Civil War)
  • Apr 17 Indianola TX - "Star of West" taken by Confederacy
  • Apr 17 Virginia secedes from the Union (US Civil War)
  • Apr 18 Battle of Harpers Ferry, Virginia, part of the Maryland Campaign (US Civil War)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 18 Colonel Robert E. Lee turns down offer to command Union armies (US Civil War)

Confederate General Robert E. Lee
Confederate General
Robert E. Lee
  • Apr 19 Baltimore riots-4 soldiers, 9 civilians killed
  • Apr 19 Lincoln orders blockade of Confederate ports (Civil War)
  • Apr 23 Robert E. Lee named commander of Virginia Confederate forces (US Civil War)
  • Apr 23 Arkansas troops seize Ft Smith
  • Apr 25 Battle of Lavaca, Texas (US Civil War)
  • Apr 25 The Union Army arrives to reinforce Washington, D.C. (US Civil War)
  • Apr 27 US President Abraham Lincoln suspends writ of habeas corpus (US Civil War)
  • Apr 27 West Virginia secedes from Virginia after Virginia secedes from Union (US Civil War)

Famous Birthdays

Birthdays 1 - 100 of 113

  • Jan 2 Helen Herron Taft, 1st lady (1909-12)
  • Jan 3 William Renshaw, British champion tennis player (d. 1904)
  • Jan 6 Heinrich Gottlieb Noren, composer
  • Jan 6 George Exton Lloyd, Anglican bishop and theologian (d. 1940)
  • Jan 12 James Mark Baldwin, American Philosopher and Psychologist, born in Columbia, South Carolina
  • Jan 13 Max Nonne, German neurologist (d. 1959)
  • Jan 14 Wilhelm von Polenz, German writer (Der Pfarrer von Breitendorf)
  • Jan 18 Hans Goldschmidt, German chemist
  • Jan 18 Raymond Huntington Woodman, composer
  • Jan 22 Karel Stecker, composer
  • Jan 30 Charles Martin Tornow Loeffler, Mulhouse Alsace, composer
  • Feb 2 Mehmed VI, last sultan of Ottoman Empire (1918-22)
  • Feb 2 Solomon R Guggenheim, philanthropist (Guggenheim Museum NYC)
  • Feb 12 Lou [Andreas-]Salome, Russian/German author (Im Kampf um Gott)
  • Feb 13 Uchimura Kanzo, religious writer (How I Became a Christian), born in Tokyo, Japan
  • Feb 15 Alfred North Whitehead, Engl mathematician/philosopher (Adv of Ideas)
  • Feb 15 Halford John Mackinder, Gainsborough Lincolnshire, geographer
  • Feb 17 Princess Helena, Duchess of Albany (d. 1922)
  • Feb 20 Nicolaas van Meeteren, Curacao, folklorist
  • Feb 21 Pierre Breville, composer
  • Feb 26 Ferdinand I, 1st tsar of modern Bulgaria (1908-18), born in Vienna, Austria
  • Feb 27 Rudolph Steiner, Kraljevic Aust, founder (doctrine of anthroposophy)
  • Mar 19 Lomer Gouin, Quebec politician (d. 1929)
  • Apr 9 Charles Holroyd, painter/etcher
  • Apr 14 Bion Joseph Arnold, electrical engineer/inventor
  • Apr 15 Bliss Carman, Canadian poet (d. 1929)
  • Apr 16 Isaac Murphy, US jockey (won 628 races)
  • Apr 19 Warden Oncle, [Edward Vermeulen], Flemish farmer/writer
  • Apr 23 Edmund Henry Hynman, 1st viscount Allenby of Megiddo/Fieldmarshal
  • Apr 27 Georgy L'vovich Catoire, composer
  • Apr 27 Johan M Skjoldborg, Danish writer (Dynaes-Digte)
  • May 3 Emmett Dalton, American outlaw (d. 1937)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 6 Rabindranath Tagore, Indian philosopher/poet/writer (Nobel 1913), born in Calcutta (d. 1941)

  • May 6 Motilal Nehru, Indian freedom fighter (d. 1931)
  • May 11 Frederick Russell Burnham, father of the international scouting movement (d. 1947)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

May 16 H. H. Holmes [Herman Webster Mudgett], American serial killer, born in Gilmanton, New Hampshire (d. 1896)

Serial Killer H. H. Holmes
Serial Killer
H. H. Holmes
  • May 19 Dame Nellie Melba, Australian opera singer (d. 1931)
  • May 27 Victoria E Matthews, educator
  • May 31 Emily Perkins Bissell, welfare worker (1st christmas seal drive, 1907)
  • Jun 9 Floris H Verster, [van Wulverhorst], painter/cartoonist/etcher
  • Jun 10 Josephus T J Cuypers, Dutch architect (St Bavo, Haarlem)
  • Jun 10 Pierre M M Duhem, French naturalist/philosopher/historian
  • Jun 11 Sigismund Vladislavovich Zaremba, composer
  • Jun 12 William Attewell, English cricketer (d. 1927)
  • Jun 16 Scato Gocko de Vries, Dutch paleographer/librarian
  • Jun 17 Sidney James Jones, composer
  • Jun 17 Pete Browning, American baseball player (d. 1905)
  • Jun 17 Omar Bundy, U.S. army general and soldier (d. 1940)
  • Jun 18 Jose FdT Coelho, Portuguese writer (Os Meus Amores)
  • Jun 19 Douglas Haig, British fieldmarshal (Sudan, WW I)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jun 19 José Rizal, Filipino nationalist, author ('Noli Me Tángere', 'El Filibusterismo') and ophthalmologist, born in Calamba City, Laguna, Philippines (d. 1896)

Filipino Nationalist and Novelist Jose Rizal
Filipino Nationalist and Novelist
Jose Rizal
  • Jun 20 Arthur Battelle Whiting, composer
  • Jun 22 Maximilian von Spee, German admiral (d. 1914)
  • Jun 29 William James Mayo, surgeon/co-founder Mayo clinic in Minnesota
  • Jul 1 Samuel D Riddle, horse owner (Man 'o War)
  • Jul 3 Peter Jackson, heavyweight boxer (hall of famer)
  • Jul 11 George William Norris, (Rep/Sen-Neb) (Lame duck-amendement)
  • Jul 12 Anton Stepanovich Arensky, composer
  • Jul 23 Alexander W F Idenburg, gov-gen of Neth Indies (1909-16)
  • Jul 25 Andrew Cowper Lawson, Anstruther Scotland, Scottish-Canadian Geologist who was the first person to identify and name the San Andreas Fault
  • Jul 29 Alica Hathaway Lee Roosevelt, 1st wife of Theodore Roosevelt
  • Jul 29 Sergei D Sazonov, Russian minister of Foreign Affairs (1910-16)
  • Aug 1 Sam Jones, cricketer (Australian batsman of 1880's)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Aug 6 Edith Roosevelt, US First Lady and wife of Teddy Roosevelt, born in Norwich, Connecticut (d. 1948)

First Lady of the United States Edith Roosevelt
First Lady of the United States
Edith Roosevelt
  • Aug 8 William Bateson, English biologist (originator of term "genetics")
  • Aug 9 Wilhelm Berger, composer
  • Aug 10 Almroth Wright, Yorkshire England, bacteriologist
  • Sep 10 Niels Hansen Jacobsen, Danish sculptor and ceramist (d. 1941)
  • Sep 11 Juhani Aho, Fins journalist/writer (Panu, Tuomio)
  • Sep 17 Owen Seaman, poet/editor (Punch)
  • Sep 20 Herbert Putnam, Librarian of Congress (d. 1955)
  • Sep 23 Edmond H H Allenby, British field marshal
  • Sep 23 Robert Bosch, German inventor and industrialist (d. 1942)
  • Sep 28 Pedro De Cordoba, actor (Club Havana, Swamp Fire, Saboteur), born in NYC, New York
  • Sep 28 Amélie of Orléans, queen of Portugal (d. 1951)
  • Sep 30 William Wrigley Jr., American industrialist (Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company) (d. 1932)
  • Oct 4 Frederic Remington, US, artist/sculptor of American West
  • Oct 4 Joao Marcellino Arroyo, composer
  • Oct 8 Theodore Roberts, actor (Roaring Road, 10 Commandments), born in San Francisco, California

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Oct 10 Fridtjof Nansen, Norwegian Arctic explorer and advocate for refugees (Nobel Prize 1922), born in Store Frøen, Christiania (d. 1930)

Arctic explorer/Nobel Laureate Fridtjof Nansen
Arctic explorer/Nobel Laureate
Fridtjof Nansen
  • Oct 14 Bjarni Thorsteinsson, composer
  • Oct 14 Artur Gavazzi, Croatian geographer (d. 1944)
  • Oct 16 J. B. Bury, Irish historian (d. 1927)
  • Oct 26 Richard D Sears, tennis champ, US Open (1881), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Oct 29 Andrei Ryabushkin, Russian painter (d. 1904)
  • Oct 30 Antoine Bourdelle, French sculptor (d. 1929)
  • Nov 3 Johann Peter Kirsch, Luxembourg church historian/archaeologist

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Nov 6 James Naismith, Canadian physical educator and inventor (basketball, football helmet), born in Almonte, Ontario (d. 1939)

Basketball Inventor James Naismith
Basketball Inventor
James Naismith
  • Nov 7 Jeff Milton, American lawman (d. 1947)
  • Nov 10 Robert T A Innes, astronomer (Proxima Centauri), born in Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Nov 14 Frederick Jackson Turner, Wisc, historian/educator (Harvard U)
  • Nov 16 Václav Suk, Czech-born Russian composer and violinist, born in Kladno, Bohemia (1933)
  • Nov 18 Dorothy Dix, pseudonym of US journalist Elizabeth Meriwether Gilmer (d. 1951)
  • Nov 21 Joao da Cruz, Brazilian poet
  • Nov 23 Konstantin Korovin, Russian painter (d. 1939)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Nov 26 Albert B. Fall, New Mexico Senator (Teapot Dome Scandal), born in Frankfort, Kentucky

United States Senator Albert B. Fall
United States Senator
Albert B. Fall
  • Nov 30 French Gailliard, Belgian painter (Zeustempel in Athens)
  • Nov 30 Ludwig Thuille, composer
  • Dec 4 Lillian Russell, [Helen Leonard], US, singer/actress (Great Mogul)
  • Dec 5 Armando V Diaz, Italian marshal/minister of War (1922-24)

Famous Weddings

HeartWedding of Interest

Sep 26 Political cartoonist Thomas Nast (21) weds Sarah Edwards (20) in USA

Political Cartoonist Thomas Nast
Political Cartoonist
Thomas Nast

Famous Deaths

  • Jan 2 Frederik Willem IV, King of Prussia (1840-61)/Germ (1849-61), dies at 65
  • Jan 17 Lola Montez, Irish-born adventurer (b. 1821)
  • Jan 31 Franciscus J van Vree, Dutch Catholic foreman, dies at 53
  • Feb 10 Francis Danby, Exmouth, painter, dies
  • Feb 12 Hippolyte-Andre-Baptiste Chelard, composer, dies at 72
  • Feb 18 Louis C Luzac, Dutch minister of Internal affairs, dies at 74
  • Mar 10 Josepf Francois Snel, composer, dies at 67
  • Mar 10 Taras Shevchenko, Ukrainian poet (b. 1814)
  • Mar 14 Abraham Louis Niedermeyer, composer, dies at 58
  • Mar 17 Petter Conrad Boman, composer, dies at 56
  • Apr 4 John McLean, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (b. 1785)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Apr 8 Elisha Otis, American founder of the Otis Elevator Company and inventor of a safety device that prevents elevators from falling if the hoisting cable fails, dies of diphtheria at 50

Inventor and Elevator Industrialist Elisha Otis
Inventor and Elevator Industrialist
Elisha Otis
  • Apr 11 Francisco González Bocanegra, Mexican poet (b. 1824)
  • Apr 18 Heinrich August Neithardt, composer, dies at 67
  • May 3 Anthony Philip Heinrich, composer, dies at 80
  • May 9 Peter Ernst von Lasaulx, German philosopher and writer (b. 1805)
  • May 12 Christian Heinrich Hohmann, composer, dies at 50
  • May 24 Elmer Ellsworth, US warrior (Chicago Zouaves), shot to death at 23
  • May 24 James T Jackson, US landlord (doodde EE Ellsworth), shot dead)
  • Jun 1 John Q Marr, US Confederate captain, dies in battle at Fairfax Courthouse, the first Confederate death of the war
  • Jun 3 Stephen A Douglas, "Little Giant", senator (Lincoln Debates), dies
  • Jun 5 John Garland, US Union colonel/brig-general, dies in battle
  • Jun 5 Tomas Genoves y Lapetra, composer, dies at 55
  • Jun 6 Giuseppe Concone, Italian singing teacher, dies at 59
  • Jun 6 Count Camillo Benso di Cavour, Prime Minister of Italy (b. 1810)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jun 13 Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin, French magician and father of modern magic, dies of pneumonia at 65

  • Jun 25 Abd-ul-Mejid, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1823)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jun 29 Elizabeth Barrett Browning, British poet and writer ("How Do I Love thee"), dies at 55

  • Jul 2 Peter A de Genestet, vicar/poet, dies at 31
  • Jul 7 John Willis Ellis, US governor of NC (1858-61), dies
  • Jul 13 Robert Selden Garnett, US Confederate Brigadier General, dies at 41
  • Jul 21 Francis Stebbins Bartow, Confederate colonel, dies in battle at 44
  • Jul 22 Barnard Elliot Bee, US Confederate brig-general, dies at 37
  • Jul 25 Jonas Furrer, Swiss Federal Councilor (b. 1805)
  • Aug 10 Nathaniel Lyon, US Union brig-gen, dies in battle at 43
  • Aug 12 Eliphalet Remington, American inventor, designer of the Remington rifle (b. 1793)
  • Aug 17 Alcée Louis la Branche, American Politician (b. 1806)
  • Aug 22 Xianfeng, Emperor of China (b. 1831)
  • Aug 29 Franz Joseph Glaser, composer, dies at 63
  • Sep 14 Fortunato Santini, composer, dies at 83
  • Oct 5 Antoni Melchior Fijałkowski, Polish bishop (b. 1778)
  • Oct 6 Elias Canneman, liberal minister of Finance (1813-14), dies at 84
  • Oct 21 Edward Dickinson Baker, US attorney/senator, dies in battle at 50
  • Oct 21 John Breckinridge Grayson, Confederate brig-general, dies
  • Oct 25 Friedrich C von Savigny, German lawyer, dies at 82
  • Nov 11 Pedro V van Alcantara, King of Portugal (1853-61), dies at 24
  • Nov 28 Robert Fuhrer, composer, dies at 54
  • Dec 14 Albert, Prince consort of England and husband of Queen Victoria, dies at 42
  • Dec 14 George HG earl of Aberdeen, Engl Minister of Foreign affairs, dies at 76
  • Dec 14 Heinrich August Marschner, composer, dies at 66
  • Dec 15 Gualtiero Sanelli, composer, dies at 45
  • Dec 16 Karol Joseph Lipinski, composer, dies at 71
  • Dec 26 Philip St George Cocke, Confederate brig-gen, commits suicide at 52