1838 in History

Events in History

  • Jan 6 The forerunner of Morse code, the telegraph system, is first demonstrated by Alfred Vail
  • Jan 8 Rebellion at Amherstburg, Ontario breaks out

CommunicationHistoric Communication

Jan 11 1st public demonstration of telegraph message sent using dots & dashes at Speedwell Ironworks, Morristown, New Jersey by Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail

Inventor Samuel Morse
Samuel Morse
  • Jan 26 Tennessee enacts the first prohibition law in the United States
  • Feb 16 Kentucky passes law permitting women to attend school under conditions
  • Feb 16 Weenen Massacre: Hundreds of Voortrekkers along the Blaukraans River, Natal are killed by Zulu warriors
  • Feb 25 London pedestrian walks 20 miles backward then forward in 8 hours
  • Feb 28 Robert Nelson, leader of the Patriotes, proclaims the independence of Lower Canada (today Québec)
  • Mar 3 Rebellion at Pelee Island, Ontario, Canada
  • Mar 6 Franz Grillparzer's "Weh dem, der Lugt" premieres in Vienna
  • Mar 8 US mint in New Orleans begins operation (producing dimes)
  • Apr 8 Steamship "Great Western" maiden voyage (Bristol, England, to NYC)
  • Apr 9 UK National Gallery re-opens in its new dedicated building in Trafalgar Square, London
  • Apr 18 Wilkes' expedition to South Pole sails
  • Apr 22 English steamship "Sirius" docks in NYC after crossing the Atlantic, first transatlantic steam passenger service
  • Apr 23 English steamship "Great Western" crossing Atlantic docks in NYC
  • Apr 27 Fire destroys half of Charleston
  • Apr 30 Nicaragua declares independence from Central American federation
  • Jun 10 Myall Creek Massacre in Australia: 28 Aboriginal Australians are murdered.
  • Jun 11 Iowa Territory is organized
  • Jun 12 Hopkins Observatory, dedicated in Williamstown, Mass
  • Jun 12 Iowa Territory forms with Burlington as its capital

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 28 Coronation of Queen Victoria in Westminster Abbey, London

Queen of the United Kingdom Victoria
Queen of the United Kingdom
  • Jul 4 Huskar Colliery Mining Disaster in Silkstone England: mining pit floods drown 26 children, leads to 1842 'Mines and Collieries Act' bans women and children working underground
  • Jul 7 Central American federation is dissolved
  • Jul 8 Arabs attack Jewish community of Safed
  • Aug 1 Apprenticeship system abolished in most of the British Empire. Former slaves no longer indentured to former owners.
  • Aug 18 1st United States Exploring Expedition departs headed by Charles Wilkes
  • Aug 23 Mt Holyoke Female Seminary (South Hadley, Mass) 1st graduating class

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Sep 3 Frederick Douglass escapes from slavery disguised as a sailor

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass
  • Sep 5 Central Museum opens in Utrecht Netherlands
  • Sep 18 Anti-Corn Law League established by Richard Cobden
  • Sep 19 Ephraim Morris patents railroad brake
  • Sep 24 Anti-Corn-Law League forms to repeal English Corn Law
  • Oct 1 Civil Code enforced (- Jan 1, 1992)
  • Oct 27 Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issues the Extermination Order, which orders all Mormons to leave the state or be exterminated.
  • Nov 3 The Times of India, the world's largest circulated English language daily broadsheet newspaper is founded as The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce.
  • Nov 5 Honduras declares independence of Central American Federation

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 8 Victor Hugo's "Ruy Blas" premieres in Paris

Author Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
  • Nov 30 Mexico declares war on France
  • Dec 16 Boers beat Zulu chieftain Dingaan in South Africa
  • Dec 16 Battle of Blood River: Zulu impis defeated by Voortrekkers in South Africa (Great Trek)

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 1 William Hugh Young, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1901)
  • Jan 4 Charles Stratton, [General Tom Thumb] (famous short person)
  • Jan 5 Camille Jordan, French mathematician (d. 1922)
  • Jan 16 Franz Brentano, German philosopher and psychologist (d. 1917)
  • Feb 6 Yisrael Meir Kagan, Chofetz Chayim (d. 1933)
  • Feb 12 Charles Carroll Walcott, Bvt Mjr Gen (Union volunteers), (d. 1898)
  • Feb 14 Margaret Knight, inventor, "the female Thomas Edison"
  • Feb 16 Arnoldus Pannevis, South African ship's doctor/linguist
  • Feb 16 Henry Adams, historian, writer (Education of Henry Adams), born in Boston, Massachusetts
  • Feb 18 Ernst Mach, Chirlitz-Turas Austria, physicist/philosopher/psychologist
  • Feb 20 James Barbour Terrill, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1864)
  • Feb 22 Pierre Jules Cesar Janssen, discoverer of hydrogen in Sun
  • Feb 23 Gilbert Moxley Sorrel, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1901)
  • Feb 24 Thomas Benton Smith, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1923)
  • Feb 28 Maurice Lévy, French engineer (d. 1910)
  • Mar 1 Gabriele dell' Addolorata, [Francesco Possenti], Italian priest
  • Mar 3 George William Hill, US astronomer (calculated Moon's orbit)
  • Mar 12 William Perkin, inventor (1st artificial dye)
  • Mar 15 Alice Cunningham Fletcher, ethnologist (Stranger in Her Native Land)
  • Mar 18 Jan B Stobbaerts, Flemish painter
  • Mar 18 Randal Cremer, Britain, trade unionist, pacifist (Nobel 1903)
  • Mar 31 Leon Dierx, French poet
  • Apr 3 Leon Michel Gambetta, French attorney/premier (1881-82)
  • Apr 5 Alpheus Hyatt, US, invertebrate paleontologist
  • Apr 12 John Shaw Billings, US, librarian/army physician
  • Apr 18 Paul Emile Lecoq de Boisbaudran, French scientist (d. 1912)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Apr 21 John Muir, Scottish naturalist/discoverer (glaciers in High Seirras), born in Dunbar

Environmental Philosopher John Muir
Environmental Philosopher
John Muir
  • Apr 23 Alfred J Verwee, Flemish painter
  • Apr 28 Tobias M Carel Asser, Holland, advocate of world law (Nobel 1911)
  • May 10 James, 1st Viscount Bryce, historian/statesman
  • May 11 Walter Goodman, British painter, illustrator and author (d. 1912)
  • May 20 Jules Méline, French statesman (d. 1925)
  • May 24 Paul Laband, German lawyer
  • May 28 Basil Wilson Duke, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1916)
  • May 31 Henry Sidgwick, English philosopher (Wife at University)
  • Jun 2 Grand Duchess Alexandra Petrovna (d. 1900)
  • Jun 4 Servaas Daems, [Peeter Klein], Flemish writer (Lute & Flute)
  • Jun 16 Cushman Davis, American politician (d. 1900)
  • Jun 17 Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya/Chatterjee, Bengali writer and poet (Vande Mataram)
  • Jun 23 Edwin Henry Stoughton, Brigadier General (Union volunteers), (d. 1868)
  • Jun 24 Gustav von Schmoller, German economist (Lectern Socialism)
  • Jun 27 Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, Bengali novelist (Anandamath)
  • Jun 27 Paul von Mauser, German weapon designer (d. 1914)
  • Jul 6 Vatroslav Jagic, Croatian scholar (d. 1923)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Jul 8 Ferdinand von Zeppelin, German general and inventor (rigid dirigibles) who founded the Zeppelin airship company, born in Konstanz, Grand Duchy of Baden, Germany (d. 1917)

Inventor of the Zeppelin Ferdinand von Zeppelin
Inventor of the Zeppelin
Ferdinand von Zeppelin
  • Jul 11 John Wanamaker, merchant (Wanamakers Dept Store)
  • Jul 19 Joel Asaph Allen, US zoologist (Rule of Allen)
  • Jul 20 Augustin Daly, American playwright (d. 1899)
  • Jul 20 George Otto Trevelyan, British statesman and biographer (d. 1928)
  • Jul 30 Eugen Richter, German parliament member (Liberal)
  • Sep 2 Liliuokalani, [Lydia Paki], last queen of Hawaii (1891-93)
  • Sep 6 Samuel Arnold, Lincoln conspirator (d. 1906)
  • Sep 11 John Ireland, Irish/US archbishop of St Paul
  • Sep 14 John Pelham, Major (Confederate Army), (d. 1863)
  • Sep 16 James J Hill, Canada, RR entrepreneur (Great Northern Railroad)
  • Sep 18 Anton Mauve, painter/graphic artist/cousin of Vincent Van Gogh
  • Sep 23 Victoria Woodhull, in Ohio US, feminist/reformer - first woman to be nominated for US presidency
  • Sep 27 Antony E J Modderman, Dutch minister of Justice (1879-83)
  • Sep 29 Henry Hobson Richardson, St James LA, Romanesque revival architect
  • Oct 6 Giuseppe Cesare Abba, Italian patriot and writer (d. 1910)
  • Oct 8 John Milton Hay, politician (Union), (d. 1905)
  • Oct 27 John Davis Long, 32nd Governor of Massachusetts (d. 1915)
  • Oct 31 King Louis of Portugal (d. 1889)
  • Nov 6 John Grant Mitchell, Bvt Mjr General (Union volunteers), (d. 1894)
  • Nov 7 Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, French writer (d. 1889)
  • Nov 13 Joseph F Smith, 6th President of Mormon church
  • Nov 14 August Senoa, Croatian author (Zlatarevo zlato)
  • Nov 29 Aeneas Mackay, Baron/Dutch minister of interior/Colonies
  • Dec 3 Cleveland Abbe, US, meteorologist (Father of Weather Bureau)
  • Dec 3 Octavia Hill, British reformer, leader of open-space movement
  • Dec 11 Emil Rathenau, German industrialist (AEG)
  • Dec 12 Sherburne W Burnham, US, astronomer (binary stars)
  • Dec 20 Edwin Abbott Abbott, English schoolmaster, theologian, and author (d. 1926)
  • Dec 31 Emile Loubet, premier/president of France (1892, 1899-1906)

Weddings in History

HeartWedding of Interest

Sep 14 Newly escaped slave Frederick Douglass marries free woman Anne Murray in New York

Abolitionist Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass

HeartWedding of Interest

Nov 11 Emma Wedgwood accepts Charles Darwin's marriage proposal (English Naturalist later author of Origin of the Species)

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin

Deaths in History

  • Jan 16 Aleksandr I Polezjajev, Russian poet (Sasjka), dies at 33 [OS]
  • Jan 23 Arnold A Buyskes, Dutch vice-admiral/colonial director, dies at 67
  • Jan 28 Aleksandr I Polezjajev, Russian poet (Sasjka), dies at 33 [NS]
  • Jan 30 Osceola, chief of Seminole indians, dies in jail
  • Feb 1 Abraham de Veer, Dutch gov-gen of Suriname (1822-28), dies at 71
  • Mar 16 Nathaniel Bowditch, astronomer/navigation expert, dies at 64
  • Mar 22 Hendrik Fagel, Dutch/English baron, dies at 73
  • Apr 3 Francesco Antommarchi, Napoleon's physician on St Helena, dies at 57
  • Apr 6 Jose B de Andrada e Silva, premier of Brazil (1822-23), dies at 74
  • Apr 11 Pieter L Uys, South African pioneer (Great Pull), murdered at 40
  • Apr 17 J Schopenhauer, writer, dies at 71
  • Apr 23 John W Janssens, gov-gen of Cape Colony/Dutch-Indies, dies at 75
  • May 17 Charles Maurice de Talleyrand, French diplomat (b. 1754)
  • May 17 René Caillé, French explorer (b. 1799)
  • May 23 John W Janssens, gov-gen (Cape Colony), dies at 75
  • Jun 25 François Nicolas Benoît, Baron Haxo, French general (b. 1774)
  • Jul 10 Willem earl van Hogendorp, Dutch colonial governor, dies at about 43
  • Jul 17 John Whites, hydraulic engineer, dies at 82
  • Aug 19 James Geddes, American Engineer (Erie Canal), dies at 75
  • Aug 21 Adelbert von Chamisso, French writer (Peter Schlemihl), dies at 57

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Sep 1 William Clark, American explorer, soldier, Indian agent and territorial governor who lead the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804-06 and claimed the Pacific Northwest for the United States, dies at 68

Explorer and Leader of Lewis and Clark Expedition William Clark
Explorer and Leader of Lewis and Clark Expedition
William Clark
  • Sep 5 Charles Percier, French architect (b. 1764)
  • Oct 1 Charles Tennant, Scottish chemist and industrialist (b. 1768)
  • Oct 3 Black Hawk (chief), Leader of the Sauk Native American tribe (b. 1767)
  • Oct 19 Henry Fagel, baron/court clerk of States-General/diplomat, dies at 73
  • Dec 14 Jean-Olivier Chénier, French Canadian physician and Patriote (b. 1806)