Historical Events in 1854

  • Jan 1 Lincoln University, a black college, chartered (Oxford, Penn)
  • Jan 4 The McDonald Islands are discovered by Captain William McDonald aboard the Samarang.
  • Jan 5 Steamship San Francisco wrecked-300 die
  • Jan 9 Astor Library opens in NYC
  • Jan 13 Anthony Foss patents accordion
  • Jan 18 Filibuster William Walker proclaims Republic of Sonora in NW Mexico
  • Jan 25 Aleksandr Ostrovsky's "Bednost ne Porok" premieres in Moscow
  • Jan 30 1st election in Washington Territory; 1,682 votes cast
  • Jan 31 Dutch KNMI established (Royal Meteorological Institute)
  • Feb 2 Pope Pius IX encyclical "On persecution of Armenians"
  • Feb 4 Alvan Bovay proposes name "Republican Party", Ripon, Wisc
  • Feb 6 Composer Robert Schumann is saved from suicide attempt into the Rhine
  • Feb 11 Major streets lit by coal gas for 1st time

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Feb 16 Franz Liszt's symphony "Orpheus" premieres

Composer/Pianist Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt
  • Feb 17 Britain recognises independence of Orange Free State (South Africa)
  • Feb 22 1st meeting of Republican Party (Michigan)
  • Feb 23 Great Britain & Orange Free state sign Convention of Bloemfontein
  • Feb 27 Composer Robert Schumann saved from suicide attempt in Rhine
  • Feb 28 Republican Party formally organized at Ripon, Wisc
  • Mar 1 SS City of Glasgow leaves Liverpool harbour with apprpx 480 passengers and crew; she was never seen again
  • Mar 1 German psychologist Friedrich Eduard Beneke disappears; two years later his remains are found in a canal near Charlottenburg.
  • Mar 1 16th Grand National: John Tasker aboard Bourton wins
  • Mar 7 Charles Miller patents 1st US sewing machine to stitch buttonholes

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 8 US Commodore Matthew C. Perry's second trip to Japan

Commodore of the US Navy Matthew C. Perry
Commodore of the US Navy
Matthew C. Perry
  • Mar 17 1st park land purchased by a US city, Worcester, Mass
  • Mar 28 Britain & France declare war on Russia (Crimean War)
  • Mar 31 Treaty of Kanagawa: Commodore Perry forces Japan to opens ports to US

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 1 Hard Times begins serialisation in Charles Dickens magazine, "Household Words"

Novelist Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
  • Apr 16 Franz Liszt's "Mazeppa" premieres
  • Apr 16 San Salvador destroyed by earthquake
  • Apr 16 Steamer "Long Beach" sinks off Long Beach NY, 311 die
  • May 1 Amsterdam begins transferring drinking water out of the dunes
  • May 5 English pirate Plumridge robs along pro-English Finnish coast

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 21 Frederic Mistral, Joseph Roumanille, and five other Provencal poets found FĂ©librige, a literary and cultural association

Provencal Poet Frederic Mistral
Provencal Poet
Frederic Mistral
  • May 24 Anthony Burns, slave, arrested by US Deputy marshals in Boston
  • May 24 Lincoln University, Penn, 1st Black college in US founded by John Miller Dickey and Sarah Emlen Cresson
  • May 27 Marine Telegraph from Ft Point to SF completed
  • May 30 Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed Missouri Compromise opens north slavery
  • May 30 Territories of Kansas & Nebraska created
  • Jun 10 Georg F B Reiman proposes that space is curved
  • Jun 10 The first class of the United States Naval Academy students graduate.
  • Jun 21 First Victoria Cross won during bombardment of Bomarsund in the Aland Islands (Crimean War)
  • Jun 23 Antwerp-Roosendaal railway goes into use
  • Jun 29 Netherlands allows corporal punishment
  • Jul 6 1st Republican state convention (Jackson, Mich)
  • Jul 13 US forces shell & burn San Juan del Norte, Nicaragua
  • Jul 13 In the Battle of Guaymas, Mexico, General Jose Maria Yanez stops the French invasion led by Count Gaston de Raousset Boulbon.
  • Jul 25 Walter Hunt is awarded the first U.S. patent for a paper shirt collar
  • Aug 4 The Hinomaru is established as the official flag to be flown from Japanese ships.
  • Aug 8 Smith & Wesson patents metal bullet cartridges

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 9 Henry David Thoreau publishes "Walden"

Naturalist/Pacifist Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
  • Aug 24 National emigration convention meets in Cleveland
  • Aug 29 Self-governing windmill patented (Daniel Halladay)
  • Sep 4 English/French assault on Petropavlovsk Kamchatka
  • Sep 14 Allied armies, including those of Britain & France, land in Crimea
  • Sep 19 Henry Meyer patents sleeping rail car
  • Sep 20 Battle of the Alma: first major battle of Crimean War. British and French alliance defeat the Russians
  • Sep 27 Steamship "Arctic" sinks with 300 people on board
  • Oct 1 The watch company founded in 1850 in Roxbury by Aaron Lufkin Dennison relocates to Waltham, Massachusetts, to become the Waltham Watch Company, a pioneer in the American System of Watch Manufacturing.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 4 Abraham Lincoln made his 1st political speech at Illinois State Fair

US President Abraham Lincoln
US President
Abraham Lincoln
  • Oct 6 The Great Fire of Newcastle and Gateshead started shortly after midnight, leading to 53 deaths and hundreds injured.
  • Oct 9 The siege of Sebastopol begins (Crimean War)
  • Oct 10 US Assay Office in NY City, NY opens
  • Oct 12 Lincoln University founded as Ashmun Institute

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 21 Florence Nightingale with a staff of 38 nurses is sent to the Crimean War

  • Oct 23 The Times gives precise British positions in Crimea
  • Oct 25 Charge of Light Brigade (Battle of Balaclava, Crimean War), 409 die
  • Oct 25 Prince Menshikov of Crimea occupies British base at Balaclava
  • Nov 2 Cobblestone paving of Washington St between Dupont & Kearny starts
  • Nov 4 Lighthouse built on Alcatraz Island
  • Nov 5 Crimean War: British & French defeat Russian force of 50,000 at Inkerman
  • Nov 9 Franz Liszt's "Fest-Long" premieres
  • Nov 13 "New Era" sinks off NJ coast with loss of 300
  • Nov 15 In Egypt, the Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, is given the necessary royal concession.
  • Nov 28 Dutch army stops Chinese uprising in Borneo
  • Dec 3 Eureka Stockade: In what is claimed by many to be the birth of Australian democracy, more than 20 goldminers at Ballarat, Victoria, Australia are killed by state troopers in an uprising over mining licences.
  • Dec 5 Aaron Allen of Boston patents folding theater chair
  • Dec 8 Pope Pius IX proclaims Immaculate Conception, makes Mary, free of Original Sin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Dec 9 Alfred Tennyson's poem "Charge of the Light Brigade" published

  • Dec 15 1st street-cleaning machine in US 1st used in Philadelphia
  • Dec 19 Allen Wilson of Conn patents sewing machine to sew curving seams
  • Dec 26 Wood-pulp paper 1st exhibited, Buffalo
  • Dec 30 Pennsylvania Rock Oil Co, 1st in US, incorporated in NYC