1781 in History

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Events in History


Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 1 1,500 soldiers of the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment under General Anthony Wayne's command rebel against the Continental Army's winter camp in Morristown, New Jersey as part of the Pennsylvania (Continentals; Regiment) Mutiny of 1781.

Military Leader Anthony Wayne
Military Leader
Anthony Wayne
  • Jan 4 Andre Méchain discovers M80 (globular cluster in Scorpio)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 5 British naval expedition led by Benedict Arnold burns Richmond, Virginia

US Defector General Benedict Arnold
US Defector General
Benedict Arnold
  • Jan 6 Battle of Jersey (Island in UK)
  • Jan 20 1st edition of Pieter It Hoens "Post of Neder-Rhijn" published
  • Feb 3 Dutch West Indies island of St Eustatia taken by British
  • Mar 1 Articles of Confederation ratified by 13th state, Maryland
  • Mar 1 Continental Congress adopts Articles of Confederation

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 13 William Herschel sees what he thinks is a "comet" but is actually the discovery of the planet Uranus

Astronomer William Herschel
Astronomer
William Herschel
  • Mar 15 Battle of Guilford Court House, SC (British suffer heavy losses)
  • Mar 18 Charles Messier rediscovers global cluster M92
  • Apr 29 French fleet occupies Tobago during American War of Independence
  • Apr 29 French fleet stopped Britain from seizing the Cape of Good Hope
  • May 1 Emperor Jozef II decrees protection of population
  • May 26 Bank of North America incorporates in Philadelphia

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 3 Jack Jouett rides to warn Thomas Jefferson of British attack

3rd US President Thomas Jefferson
3rd US President
Thomas Jefferson
  • Jul 11 Thomas Hutchins designated Geographer of US
  • Aug 1 British army under general Cornwallis occupies Yorktown, Virginia
  • Aug 5 Battle of Dogger Bank (Fourth Anglo-Dutch War): a British strategic victory, although both sides claimed to have won

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 20 George Washington begins to move his troops south to fight Cornwallis

First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington
  • Sep 4 Los Angeles is founded by 44 Spanish speaking mestizos in the Bahia de las Fumas (Bay of Smokes)
  • Sep 5 French fleet of 24 ships under Comte de Grasse defeat British under Admiral Graves at Battle of the Chesapeake [Battle of the Virginia Capes] in American Revolutionary War
  • Sep 5 Battle of Virginia Capes, French defeat British, trap Cornwallis
  • Sep 6 The Battle of Groton Heights takes place, resulting a British victory.
  • Sep 25 -26] Joan Derks scatters "On the People of Netherlands" pamphlets
  • Sep 28 9,000 American and 7,000 French troops begin siege of Yorktown
  • Oct 6 Americans & French begin siege of Cornwallis at Yorktown; last battle of American Revolutionary War
  • Oct 16 Washington takes Yorktown
  • Oct 17 Cornwallis defeated at Yorktown
  • Oct 19 British General Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown at 2 pm; US Revolutionary War ends
  • Oct 20 Patent of Toleration, providing limited freedom of worship, was approved in Habsburg Monarchy.
  • Nov 5 John Hanson elected first "President of US in Congress assembled"
  • Nov 13 British troops occupy Negapatam, Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
  • Nov 29 Crew of slave ship Zong murder about 142 African slaves by dumping them into the sea, to claim insurance
  • Dec 31 Bank of North America, 1st US bank opens

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 20 Joseph Hormayr Freiherr zu Hortenburg, Austrian politician (d. 1848)
  • Jan 26 Ludwig Joachim "Achim" von Arnim, German poet (Des Knaben Wunderhorn)
  • Jan 30 Adelbert von Chamisso, French writer (Peter Schlemihl), born in Champagne (d. 1838)
  • Feb 9 Johann Baptist von Spix, German scientist (d. 1826)
  • Feb 17 René-Theophile-Hyacinthe Lannec, French inventor (stethoscope)
  • Feb 17 René Laënnec, French physician (invented the stethoscope), born in Quimper, France (d. 1826)
  • Feb 18 Henry Martyn, Truro, missionary
  • Mar 4 Rebecca Gratz, American educator and philanthropist (d. 1869)
  • Mar 12 Frederica of Baden, Queen of Sweden (d. 1826)
  • Mar 13 Karl F Schinkel, German architect/painter/writer (Schloss Tegel)
  • Mar 17 Dominique J de Eerens, governor-general of Neth Indies
  • Mar 17 Ebenezer Elliott, British Poet. Know as the "Corn Law Rhymer'" (d. 1849)
  • Apr 2 Bhagwan Swaminarayan, religious leader (d. 1830)
  • May 4 Karl Christian Friedrich Krause, German philosopher (d. 1832)
  • May 14 Friedrich von Raumer, German historian/parliamentarian
  • May 25 Ferdinand K J, archduke of Austria-Este/gov-gen (Sicily)
  • Jun 5 Christian August Lobeck, German scholar (d. 1860)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jun 9 George Stephenson, English engineer known as the "Father of Railways" (Locomotion No. 1, Standard Guage), born in Newcastle, England

Engineer Known as the Father of Railways George Stephenson
Engineer Known as the Father of Railways
George Stephenson
  • Jun 21 Siméon-Denis Poisson, French mathematician and physicist (d. 1840)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jul 6 Stamford Raffles, British statesman and founder of Singapore, born in off the coast of Port Morant, Jamaica (d. 1826)

British Statesman and Founder of Singapore Stamford Raffles
British Statesman and Founder of Singapore
Stamford Raffles
  • Aug 12 Robert Mills, American architect (Washington Monument)
  • Sep 3 Eugène de Beauharnais, son of Josephine de Beauharnais (d. 1824)
  • Sep 23 Princess Juliane of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld (d. 1860)
  • Oct 1 James Lawrence, naval hero (War of 1812-"Don't give up the ship!")
  • Oct 5 Bernard Bolzano, Czech mathematician and philosopher (d. 1848)
  • Nov 20 Karl F Eichhorn, German law historian
  • Nov 29 Andres Bello, Venezuela poet/diplomat/scholar (Silvas Americanas)
  • Nov 30 Alexander Berry, British adventurer (d. 1873)
  • Dec 11 David Brewster, Scotland, physicist/inventor (kaleidoscope)

Deaths in History

  • Jan 12 Richard Challoner, English Catholic prelate (b. 1691)
  • Jan 15 Marianne Victoria of Borbón, queen regent of Portugal (b. 1718)
  • Jan 17 Marie de Negre Dables, marquess, dies
  • Feb 4 Willem Crul, admiral (West-Indies), dies in battle at 59
  • Feb 15 Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, Saxon playwright/critic, dies at 52
  • Feb 23 George Taylor, American signer of the Declaration of Independence (bc. 1716)
  • Feb 24 Edward Capell, English critic (b. 1713)
  • Feb 28 Richard Stockton, US attorney (signed Declaration of Independence), dies at 50
  • Mar 18 Anne Robert Turgot, French statesman (b. 1727)
  • Apr 23 James Abercrombie, British general (b. 1706)
  • Apr 28 Cornelius Harnett, American delegate to the Continental Congress (b. 1723)
  • May 8 Richard Jago, English poet (b. 1715)
  • May 18 Túpac Amaru II, Peruvian Indian revolutionary, a descendant of the last Inca ruler, Túpac Amaru (b. 1742)
  • May 27 Giovanni Battista Beccaria, Italian physicist (b. 1716)
  • Jul 23 John Joachim Zubly, Swiss-born Continental Congressman (b. 1724)
  • Jul 29 Johann Kies, German astronomer and mathematician (b. 1713)
  • Sep 28 William Henry Nassau de Zuylestein, 4th Earl of Rochford, British diplomat and statesman (b. 1717)
  • Oct 16 Edward Hawke, 1st Baron Hawke, British naval officer (b. 1705)
  • Nov 2 Jose F de Isla, Spanish Jesuit/author, dies at 78
  • Nov 4 Johann Nikolaus Götz, German poet (b. 1721)
  • Nov 22 John Ekels, the Old, Amsterdam painter/cartoonist, dies at 57
  • Nov 24 James Caldwell, American revolutionary (b. 1734)