On This Day

Historical Events in 1831

Book releaseHistoric Publication

Jan 1 William Lloyd Garrison publishes 1st issue of abolitionist journal

Abolitionist and Social Reformer William Lloyd Garrison
Abolitionist and Social Reformer
William Lloyd Garrison
  • Jan 2 Liberator, abolitionist newspaper, begins publishing in Boston
  • Jan 3 1st US building & loan association organized, Frankford, Penn
  • Jan 15 1st US-built locomotive to pull a passenger train makes 1st run
  • Jan 15 1st US railroad honeymoon trip, Mr & Mrs Pierson, Charleston, South Carolina

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jan 22 Charles Darwin takes his Bachelors of Art exam at Christ's College, Cambridge, coming tenth out of 171 candidates

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
  • Feb 5 Jan van Speijk blows up his gunboat in Antwerp, killing about 30
  • Feb 7 Belgium adopts its Constitution
  • Feb 14 Ras Marye of Yejju marches into Tigray and defeats and kills Dejazmach Sabagadis in the Battle of Debre Abbay
  • Feb 19 1st practical US coal-burning locomotive makes 1st trial run in Pennsylvania
  • Feb 20 Polish revolutionaries defeat Russians in battle of Growchow

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 1 Lord John Russell introduces the Reform Bill in the British House of Commons on the government's behalf to revamp the electoral system of England and Wales and increase the franchise

British Prime Minister John Russell
British Prime Minister
John Russell
  • Mar 2 John Frazee becomes 1st US sculptor to receive a federal commission

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 6 Edgar Allan Poe removed from West Point military academy

  • Mar 6 Vincenzo Bellini's opera "La Sonnambula" premieres in Milan
  • Mar 10 The French Foreign Legion is established by King Louis-Philippe to support his war in Algeria

  • Mar 19 1st US bank robbery, the City Bank in New York robbed of $245,000
  • Mar 29 Great Bosnian uprising: Bosniak rebel against Turkey.
  • Mar 31 Mainzer Rijnvaart Convention ends
  • Mar 31 Quebec & Montreal incorporated
  • Apr 7 Dom Pedro abdicates to son, Dom Pedro II crowned emperor of Brazil
  • Apr 14 Soldiers marching on a bridge in Manchester, England, cause it to collapse.
  • Jun 4 National Congress selects Leopold von Saksen-Coburg as King of Belgium
  • Jun 6 2nd US national black convention (Philadelphia)
  • Jul 1 Admiral James C Ross reaches magnetic North Pole
  • Jul 4 "America (My Country 'Tis of Thee)" is 1st sung in Boston
  • Jul 21 Belgium gains independence from Netherlands, Leopold I made king
  • Aug 1 London Bridge opens to traffic
  • Aug 2 Ten day campaign begins, Dutch army occupies Belgium
  • Aug 8 Battle of Hasselt - Dutch army drives out Belgians
  • Aug 9 1st US steam engine train run (Albany to Schenectady, NY)
  • Aug 10 Hurricane hits Barbados; about 1,500 die
  • Aug 12 Dutch troops conquer Leuven
  • Aug 12 Netherlands & Belgium sign peace treaty

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 21 Former slave Nat Turner leads uprising against slavery

Rebel Slave Nat Turner
Rebel Slave
Nat Turner
  • Aug 24 John Henslow asks Charles Darwin to travel with him on the HMS Beagle
  • Aug 29 Michael Faraday demonstrates 1st electric transformer
  • Sep 8 William IV is crowned King of Great Britain.
  • Sep 15 The locomotive "John Bull" operates for the first time in New Jersey on the Camden and Amboy Railroad
  • Sep 26 Robert Montgomery Bird's play "The Gladiator" premieres in NYC
  • Oct 9 Ioannis Kapodistrias, first Head of State of modern Greece, assassinated in Nafplion

Music concertMusic Concert

Oct 17 Felix Mendelssohn's 1st Piano concert in G, premieres

Composer and Pianist Felix Mendelssohn
Composer and Pianist
Felix Mendelssohn
  • Nov 7 State of Gran Colombia disbands
  • Nov 17 Ecuador and Venezuela separated from Greater Colombia
  • Nov 22 Opera "Robert Le Diable" is produced (Paris)
  • Dec 1 Erie Canal closes for entire month due to cold weather
  • Dec 5 Former US President John Q Adams takes his seat as a member of House of Representatives
  • Dec 10 "Spirit of the Times" begins publishing in New York City, the premier sports journal of the 19th century
  • Dec 25 Louisiana & Arkansas are first states to observe Christmas as holiday
  • Dec 26 Vincenzo Bellini's opera "Norma" premieres in Milan
  • Dec 27 HMS Beagle with Charles Darwin on board departs England for a survey of South America, a voyage Darwin later said "determined my whole career"
  • Dec 31 Gramercy Park is deeded to New York City