Historical Events in 1807

  • Jan 1 Curacao is taken by English (until March, 1816)
  • Jan 12 Gunpowder-ship explodes in Leiden, Netherlands, 150 die

The Great Sanhedrin

Jan 20 Napoleon convenes the "Great Sanhedrin", a Jewish high court in Paris, gives legal sanction to the principles expressed by the Assembly of Notables

  • Jan 28 London's Pall Mall is 1st street lit by gaslight
  • Feb 3 A British military force, under Brigadier-General Sir Samuel Auchmuty captures the city of Montevideo in the Battle of Montevideo, then part of the Spanish Empire now capital of Uruguay (Napoleonic Wars)
  • Feb 8 Battle of Eylau ends inconclusively between Napoleon's forces and Russian Empire - 1st battle Napoleon isn't victorious
  • Feb 9 The Grand Sanhedrin (Jewish high court) is convened by Napoleon Bonaparte to give legal sanction to the principles in the Assembly of Notables
  • Feb 10 US Coast Survey authorized by Congress
  • Feb 19 British squadron under Admiral Duckworth attempts to force passage of Dardanelles

Aaron Burr Arrested

Feb 19 US Vice President Aaron Burr arrested in Alabama for treason; later acquitted

  • Feb 24 17 die & 15 wounded in a crush to witness execution of Holloway, Heggerty & Elizabeth Godfrey in England
  • Mar 2 US Congress bans the slave trade within the US, effective January 1, 1808

British History

Mar 2 William Cavendish-Bentinck, Duke of Portland becomes British Prime Minister for the second time after the fall of William Grenville's Whig government

Music Premiere

Mar 5 1st performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's 4th Symphony in B

Britain Abolishes the Slave Trade

Mar 25 British Parliament abolishes slave trade throughout the British Empire; penalty of £120 per slave introduced for ship captains

  • Mar 25 First fare-paying, passenger railway service in the world established on the Oystermouth Railway in Swansea, Wales

Event of Interest

Mar 25 George Canning becomes British Foreign Secretary

  • May 22 Former US Vice President Aaron Burr is tried for treason in Richmond, Virginia (acquitted)
  • May 22 Townsend Speakman 1st sells fruit-flavored carbonated drinks in Philadelphia
  • Jun 14 Emperor Napoleon I's French Grande Armee defeats the Russian Army at the Battle of Friedland in Prussia (modern Russian Kaliningrad Oblast) ending War of the Fourth Coalition
  • Jun 19 Russian Admiral Dmitry Senyavin destroys the Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Athos during Russo-Turkish War
  • Jun 22 British board USS Chesapeake, a provocation leading to War of 1812
  • Jun 26 Lightning hits gunpowder warehouse in Luxembourg; 230 die
  • Jun 28 British troops land at Ensenada, Argentina
  • Jul 5 Second Battle of Buenos Aires lost by invading British forces

Napoleon Meets the Tsar

Jul 7 French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte and Russian Tsar Alexander I meet on a raft in the middle of the Neman River and sign the first Treaty of Tilsit

  • Jul 9 Second Treaty of Tilsit signed by France, Russia and Prussia

Fulton's Trip up the Hudson

Aug 17 Robert Fulton's steamboat Clermont begins first trip up Hudson River

  • Sep 1 Aaron Burr acquitted of charges of plotting to set up an empire
  • Sep 2 The Royal Navy bombards Copenhagen with fire bombs and phosphorus rockets to prevent Denmark from surrendering its fleet to Napoleon.
  • Sep 4 Robert Fulton begins operating scheduled passenger service on his steamboat between New York and Albany
  • Sep 14 Aaron Burr acquitted of a misdemeanor charge


Nov 11 Washington Irving's Salmagundi periodical published - first to associate the name "Gotham" with New York City

Portuguese Royal Family Leave for Brazil

Nov 27 Portuguese Royal Family and its court of nearly 15,000 people leave Lisbon for their colony of Brazil to escape invading Napoleonic troops

  • Dec 17 France issues the Milan Decree, which confirms the Continental System.

Event of Interest

Dec 22 US Congress passes Embargo Act and President Thomas Jefferson signs into law. Prohibits American ships from trading in foreign ports, as result of involvement in hostilities between France and Britain