Historical Events in 1781

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Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 1 1,500 soldiers of the 6th Pennsylvania Regiment under General Anthony Wayne's command rebel against the Continental Army's winter camp in Morristown, New Jersey as part of the Pennsylvania (Continentals; Regiment) Mutiny of 1781.

Military Leader Anthony Wayne
Military Leader
Anthony Wayne
  • Jan 4 Andre M├ęchain discovers M80 (globular cluster in Scorpio)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 5 British naval expedition led by Benedict Arnold burns Richmond, Virginia

US Defector General Benedict Arnold
US Defector General
Benedict Arnold
  • Jan 6 Battle of Jersey: Major Francis Peirson and his men defeat invading French troops
  • Jan 20 1st edition of Pieter It Hoens "Post of Neder-Rhijn" published

Music releaseMusic Premiere

Jan 29 Mozart's opera "Idomeneo" premieres in Munich

Classical Musician and Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Classical Musician and Composer
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  • Feb 3 Dutch West Indies island of St Eustatia taken by British
  • Mar 1 Articles of Confederation ratified by 13th state, Maryland
  • Mar 1 Continental Congress adopts Articles of Confederation

InventionScientific Discovery

Mar 13 William Herschel sees what he thinks is a "comet" but is actually the discovery of the planet Uranus

Astronomer William Herschel
William Herschel
  • Mar 15 British and American forces clash during the Battle of Guilford Court House, North Carolina. British suffer heavy losses, surrendering to George Washington in October
  • Mar 18 Charles Messier rediscovers global cluster M92
  • Apr 8 Premiere of Mozart's violin sonata K379
  • Apr 29 French fleet occupies Tobago during American War of Independence
  • Apr 29 French fleet stops the Britain from seizing the Cape of Good Hope
  • May 1 Emperor Joseph II decrees protection of population
  • May 26 Bank of North America incorporates in Philadelphia

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 3 Jack Jouett rides to warn Thomas Jefferson of British attack

3rd US President Thomas Jefferson
3rd US President
Thomas Jefferson
  • Jul 11 Thomas Hutchins designated Geographer of US
  • Aug 1 British army under general Cornwallis occupies Yorktown, Virginia
  • Aug 5 Battle of Dogger Bank (Fourth Anglo-Dutch War): a British strategic victory, although both sides claimed to have won

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 20 George Washington begins to move his troops south to fight Cornwallis

First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington
  • Sep 4 Los Angeles is founded by 44 Spanish speaking mestizos in the Bahia de las Fumas (Bay of Smokes)
  • Sep 5 French fleet of 24 ships under Comte de Grasse defeat British under Admiral Graves at Battle of the Chesapeake [Battle of the Virginia Capes] in American Revolutionary War
  • Sep 5 Battle of Virginia Capes, French defeat British, trap Cornwallis
  • Sep 6 The Battle of Groton Heights takes place, resulting a British victory.
  • Sep 25 -26] Joan Derks scatters "On the People of Netherlands" pamphlets
  • Sep 28 9,000 American and 7,000 French troops begin siege of Yorktown
  • Oct 6 Americans & French begin siege of Cornwallis at Yorktown; last battle of American Revolutionary War
  • Oct 16 Washington takes Yorktown
  • Oct 17 Cornwallis defeated at Yorktown
  • Oct 19 British General Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown at 2 pm; US Revolutionary War ends
  • Oct 20 Patent of Toleration, providing limited freedom of worship, was approved in Habsburg Monarchy.
  • Nov 5 John Hanson elected first "President of US in Congress assembled"
  • Nov 13 British troops occupy Negapatam, Ceylon (Sri Lanka)
  • Nov 29 Crew of slave ship Zong murder about 142 African slaves by dumping them into the sea, to claim insurance
  • Dec 31 Bank of North America, 1st US bank opens