Historical Events in 1854

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

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Feb 16th Franz Liszt's symphony "Orpheus" premieres

Composer/Pianist Franz Liszt
Franz Liszt
  • Feb 17th Britain recognises independence of Orange Free State (South Africa)
  • Feb 22nd 1st meeting of Republican Party (Michigan)
  • Feb 23rd Great Britain & Orange Free state sign Convention of Bloemfontein
  • Feb 27th Composer Robert Schumann saved from suicide attempt in Rhine
  • Feb 28th Republican Party formally organized at Ripon, Wisc
  • Mar 1st SS City of Glasgow leaves Liverpool harbour with apprpx 480 passengers and crew; she was never seen again
  • Mar 1st German psychologist Friedrich Eduard Beneke disappears; two years later his remains are found in a canal near Charlottenburg.
  • Mar 1st 16th Grand National: John Tasker aboard Bourton wins
  • Mar 7th Charles Miller patents 1st US sewing machine to stitch buttonholes
  • Mar 8th US Commodore Matthew C. Perry's second trip to Japan
  • Mar 17th 1st park land purchased by a US city, Worcester, Mass
  • Mar 28th Britain & France declare war on Russia (Crimean War)
  • Mar 31st Treaty of Kanagawa: Commodore Perry forces Japan to opens ports to US

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 9th Henry David Thoreau publishes "Walden"

Naturalist/Pacifist Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
  • Aug 24th National emigration convention meets in Cleveland
  • Aug 29th Self-governing windmill patented (Daniel Halladay)
  • Sep 4th English/French assault on Petropavlovsk Kamchatka
  • Sep 14th Allied armies, including those of Britain & France, land in Crimea
  • Sep 19th Henry Meyer patents sleeping rail car
  • Sep 20th Battle of the Alma: first major battle of Crimean War. British and French alliance defeat the Russians
  • Sep 27th Steamship "Arctic" sinks with 300 people on board
  • Oct 1st 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 4th Abraham Lincoln made his 1st political speech at Illinois State Fair

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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