On This Day

What Happened in May 1841

Historical Events

  • May 1 First emigrant wagon train leaves Independence, Missouri, for California
  • May 3 New Zealand proclaimed a colony independent of New South Wales

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 11 American Charles Wilkes lands at Fort Nisqually in Puget Sound

Naval Officer and Explorer Charles Wilkes
Naval Officer and Explorer
Charles Wilkes

Famous Birthdays

  • May 10 James Gordon Bennett Jr., American publisher (d. 1918)
  • May 11 Ernst von Possart, German actor and theatre director (Bayerische Hoftheater), born in Berlin, Germany (d. 1921)
  • May 14 Sir Squire Bancroft [Butterfield], British actor and manager known for creating 'drawing-room comedy' (Haymarket), born in Rotherhithe, London (d. 1926)
  • May 15 Giovanni Bolzoni, composer
  • May 20 Sara Louisa Oberholtz, social reformer, anti-smoking advocate
  • May 21 Joseph Parry, Welsh composer and musician, born in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales (d. 1903)
  • May 22 Catulle Mendès, French poet, born in Bordeaux, France (d. 1909)
  • May 24 Charles Napier Hemy, British painter, born in Newcastle, England (d. 1917)
  • May 24 Tito Mattei, Italian pianist and composer, born in Campobasso, Italy (d. 1914)
  • May 28 Giovanni Sgambati, Italian pianist and composer, born in Rome (d. 1914)
  • May 29 Sylvester Magee, last living American slave and oldest person who ever lived, born in North Carolina (d. 1971)

Famous Deaths

  • May 3 Cornelis T Elout, Dutch minister of Finance/Navy/Colonies, dies at 74
  • May 6 John Thomson, Scottish composer, dies at 35
  • May 20 Joseph Blanco White, theological writert, dies
  • May 23 Franz Xaver von Baader, German philosopher and theologist, dies at 76