Historical Events in 1791

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  • Jan 2nd Big Bottom massacre in the Ohio Country, marking the beginning of the Northwest Indian War.
  • Feb 17th Messier catalogs M83 (spiral galaxy in Hydra)
  • Feb 25th 1st Bank of US chartered
  • Mar 2nd Long-distance communication speeds up with the unveiling of a semaphore machine in Paris.
  • Mar 3rd 1st US internal revenue act (taxing distilled spirits & carriages)
  • Mar 3rd Congress establishes US Mint
  • Mar 4th 1st Jewish member of US Congress, Israel Jacobs (PA), takes office
  • Mar 4th Pres Washington calls the US Senate into its 1st special session
  • Mar 4th Vermont admitted as 14th state (1st addition to the 13 colonies)
  • Mar 10th John Stone, Concord, Mass, patents a pile driver
  • Mar 10th Pope condemns France's Civil Constitution of the clergy
  • Mar 11th Samuel Mulliken, Phila, is 1st to obtain more than 1 US patent
  • Mar 21st Capt Hopley Yeaton of NH becomes 1st commissioned officer in USN
  • May 3rd The Constitution of May 3 (the first modern constitution in Europe) is proclaimed by the Sejm of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.
  • May 15th Maximilien Robespierre proposes the Self-denying Ordinance.
  • Jun 20th King Louis XVI caught trying to escape French Revolution
  • Jun 21st Fleeing French King Louis XVI & family captured at Varennes-en-Argonne
  • Jul 5th Jose Maria Narvaez discovers Point Grey (now Vancouver BC)
  • Jul 14th The Priestley Riots drive Joseph Priestley, a supporter of the French Revolution, out of Birmingham, England.
  • Jul 17th Members of the French National Guard under the command of General Lafayette open fire on a crowd of radical Jacobins at the Champ de Mars, Paris, during the French Revolution, killing as many as 50 people.
  • Aug 2nd Samuel Briggs & his son, patent nail-making machine
  • Aug 4th The Treaty of Sistova is signed, ending the Ottoman-Habsburg wars.

AgreementUnited States Declaration of Independence

Aug 19th Benjamin Banneker sends a copy of his Almanac and writes a letter to Thomas Jefferson criticizing his pro-slavery stance and requesting justice for African Americans using language from the Declaration of Independence

  • Aug 22nd Haitian Slave Revolution begins under voodoo priest Boukman
  • Aug 26th John Fitch granted US patent for his working steamboat
  • Aug 30th HMS Pandora sank after running aground on a reef the previous day, on her return from her search for the Bounty and the mutineers who had taken her

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 30th Thomas Jefferson responds to Benjamin Banneker's letter on the issue of slavery

3rd US President Thomas Jefferson
3rd US President
Thomas Jefferson
Mathematician, Astronomer and Almanac Author Benjamin Banneker
Mathematician, Astronomer and Almanac Author
Benjamin Banneker
  • Sep 3rd French Constitution passed by French National Assembly

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Sep 6th Mozart's opera "La Clemenza di Tito" premieres in Prague

Classical Musician and Composer Wolfang Amadeus Mozart
Classical Musician and Composer
Wolfang Amadeus Mozart
  • Sep 13th France's King Louis XVI accepts constitution
  • Sep 30th Mozart's opera "Magic Flute" premieres in Vienna
  • Sep 30th The National Constituent Assembly in Paris is dissolved; Parisians hail Maximilien Robespierre and Jérôme Pétion as incorruptible patriots.
  • Oct 1st 1st session of new French legislative assembly
  • Nov 3rd Battle at Wabash: indians assault general St Clair/killed 637 soldiers
  • Nov 15th 1st Catholic college in US, Georgetown, opens

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 21st Colonel Napoléon Bonaparte is promoted to full general and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the French Republic.

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • Nov 29th Chatham Islands sighted by HMS Chatham commanded by William Broughton
  • Dec 4th Britain's Observer, oldest Sunday newspaper in the world, first published
  • Dec 12th Bank of North America opens at Carpenter's Hall, Philadelphia
  • Dec 15th 1st US law school established at University of Pennsylvania
  • Dec 15th US Bill of Rights ratified when Virginia gives its approval. Becomes amendments 1-10 of the US constitution
  • Dec 17th NYC traffic regulation creates 1st 1-way street