On This Day

What Happened in December 1812

Historical Events

Election of Interest

Dec 2 James Madison re-elected President of the US, Elbridge Gerry Vice-President

  • Dec 4 Peter Gaillard of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, patents a horse-drawn mower
  • Dec 11 1st newspaper on Curacao (Curacao Gazette & Commercial Advertiser)

Historic Event

Dec 14 The French invasion of Russia, led by Napoleon Bonaparte, officially ends with the French having lost as many as 530,000 people


Dec 20 "Grimm's Fairy Tales" or "Children's and Household Tales" by Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm is first published

  • Dec 29 The USS Constitution under the command of Captain William Bainbridge, captures the HMS Java off the coast of Brazil after a three hour battle

Famous Birthdays

  • Dec 4 Elias Smith Dennis, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Newburgh, New York (d. 1894)
  • Dec 6 Robert Spear Hudson, English businessman, born in West Bromwich, Staffordshire (d. 1884)
  • Dec 14 Charles Canning, English 1st viceroy of British-Indies, born in Brompton, London (d. 1862)
  • Dec 15 Isidor Dannström, Swedish composer, born in Stockholm, Sweden (d. 1897)
  • Dec 16 William Grose, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Dayton, Ohio (d. 1900)
  • Dec 18 Wiktor Kazynski, Polish composer, born in Vilnius (d. 1867)
  • Dec 20 Achille Peri, Italian composer & conductor, born in Reggio Emilia, Italy (d. 1880)
  • Dec 22 Johanne Luise Heiberg, Danish actress (Romeo & Juliet), born in Copenhagen Denmark (d. 1890)
  • Dec 23 Samuel Smiles, Scotland, author (Self-Help, Character, Duty)
  • Dec 23 William Hauser, American composer and minister, born in Bethania, North Carolina (d. 1880)
  • Dec 24 Henry Russell, English pianist and composer, born in Sheerness, United Kingdom (d. 1900)
  • Dec 24 Karl Eduard Zachariae, German jurist, born in Heidelberg, Germany (d. 1894)
  • Dec 26 Wilhelm Volkmar, German composer, born in Bad Hersfeld, Germany (d. 1887)
  • Dec 28 Julius Reitz, composer

Famous Deaths

  • Dec 12 John Malchair, German-born English artist, violinist and composer, dies at 82
  • Dec 13 Marianne Martinez, Austrian composer, dies at 68


Dec 20 Sacagawea, Shoshone interpreter for the Lewis and Clark expedition, dies at 24

  • Dec 23 Michel Delalande, French sacred music composer and maître de musique (Cathedral of Chartres, 1761-85), dies at 73
  • Dec 27 Shneur Zalman of Liadi, Lithuanian rabbi and founder of Chabad Hasidism (b. 1745)
  • Dec 27 Joanna Southcott, an English self-described religious prophetess.