On This Day

What Happened in February 1839

Historical Events

Historic Event

Feb 7 Henry Clay declares in Senate "I had rather be right than president"

  • Feb 12 Aroostoock (or "Pork & Beans) War: Boundary dispute between Maine & New Brunswick
  • Feb 18 Detroit Boat Club forms (& still exists)
  • Feb 20 Congress prohibits dueling in District of Columbia
  • Feb 24 Steam shovel patented by William Otis, Philadelphia
  • Feb 25 Seminoles & black allies shipped from Tampa Bay Florida, to the West
  • Feb 26 1st Grand National steeplechase, Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool: Jem Mason wins aboard 5/1 favourite Lottery

Famous Birthdays

  • Feb 1 James A Herne [J Aherne], US playwright (Hearts of Oak)
  • Feb 7 Nicolaas G Pierson, Dutch banker/Suriname premier (1897-1901)
  • Feb 9 Silas Adams, American lawyer and politician (d. 1896)
  • Feb 11 Josiah Willard Gibbs, theoretical physicist/chemist
  • Feb 20 Benjamin Waugh, English social reformer who founded the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, born in Settle, North Yorkshire, England (d. 1908)
  • Feb 22 Francis Pharcellus Church, American editor and publisher (The New York Sun - "Yes, Virginia, There Is A Santa Claus"), born in Rochester, New York (d. 1906)
  • Feb 22 Octavius Catto, American educator (Institute for Colored Youth, 1859-71), civil rights activist, and baseball player (Philadelphia Pythians, 1865-71), born in Charleston, South Carolina (d. 1871)

Famous Deaths

  • Feb 1 Giuseppe Valadier, Italian architect & archaeologist, dies at 76
  • Feb 7 Karl August Nicander, Swedish poet (b. 1799)
  • Feb 15 Chevalier de Lorimier, Quebec notary (b. 1803)
  • Feb 26 Sybil Ludington, American revolutionary heroine (rode to alert militia), dies at 77