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 British Commodore James Plumridge attacks Finnish settlements in Gulf of Bothnia, killing civilians and destroying British-owned goods.

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, 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