On This Day

What Happened in May 1794

Historical Events


Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 6 Haiti, under Toussaint Louverture, revolts against France

General and Revolutionary Toussaint Louverture
General and Revolutionary
Toussaint Louverture
  • May 7 Influential Gothic romance "The Mysteries of Udolpho" is published by Ann Ratcliffe in London
  • May 17 Hard frost in southern New England
  • May 18 Second Battle of Bouvines (France-Austria)

Famous Birthdays

  • May 13 Louis-Leopold Robert, French painter (d. 1835)
  • May 17 Anna Brownell Jameson, Anglo-Irish historian and writer (Loves of the Poets), born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1860)
  • May 23 Isaak-Ignaz Moscheles, Bohemian composer, born in Prague (d. 1870)
  • May 24 William Whewell, English polymath and philosopher (History of Inductive Science), born in Lancaster, Lancashire, England (d. 1866)

Person of interestCornelius Vanderbilt

May 27 Cornelius Vanderbilt, American shipping and railroad magnate (New York Central Railroad), born in Port Richmond, New York (d. 1877)

Business Magnate Cornelius Vanderbilt
Business Magnate
Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • May 29 Johann Heinrich von M√§dler, German astronomer (published the most complete map of the Moon of the time, Mappa Selenographica, 4 vol. with Wilhelm Beer), born in Berlin (d. 1874)

Famous Deaths

  • May 6 Jean-Jacques Beauvarlet-Charpentier, French composer, dies at 59
  • May 8 Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, father of modern chemistry (identified oxygen and hydrogen), guillotined at 50
  • May 10 √Člisabeth of France, princess of France, youngest sister of king Louis XVI, beheaded at 30