On This Day

What Happened in August 1838

Historical Events

  • Aug 1 Apprenticeship system abolished in most of the British Empire. Former slaves no longer indentured to former owners.

DiscoveryHistoric Expedition

Aug 18 United States Exploring Expedition headed by Charles Wilkes departs for the Pacific Ocean and Antarctica

Naval Officer and Explorer Charles Wilkes
Naval Officer and Explorer
Charles Wilkes
  • Aug 23 Mt Holyoke Female Seminary (South Hadley, Mass) 1st graduating class

Book releaseHistoric Publication

Aug 29 Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm announce their intention to publish a German Dictionary, eventually completed in 1961, after 123 years


Famous Birthdays

  • Aug 12 Joseph Barnby, conductor/academic principal
  • Aug 17 Laura de Force Gordon, California lawyer, a prominent suffragette, and 1st woman to run a daily newspaper in the US (Stockton Daily Leader, 1874), born in North East, Pennsylvania (d. 1907)

Famous Deaths

  • Aug 19 James Geddes, American Engineer (Erie Canal), dies at 75
  • Aug 21 Adelbert von Chamisso, French writer (Peter Schlemihl), dies at 57