1791 in History

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Events in History

  • Jan 2 Big Bottom massacre in the Ohio Country, marking the beginning of the Northwest Indian War.
  • Feb 17 Messier catalogs M83 (spiral galaxy in Hydra)
  • Feb 25 1st Bank of US chartered
  • Mar 2 Long-distance communication speeds up with the unveiling of a semaphore machine in Paris
  • Mar 3 1st US internal revenue act (taxing distilled spirits & carriages)
  • Mar 3 Congress establishes US Mint
  • Mar 4 1st Jewish member of US Congress, Israel Jacobs (PA), takes office
  • Mar 4 President Washington calls the US Senate into its 1st special session
  • Mar 4 Vermont admitted as 14th state (1st addition to the 13 colonies)
  • Mar 10 John Stone of Concord, Massachusetts, patents a pile driver
  • Mar 10 Pope condemns France's Civil Constitution of the clergy
  • Mar 11 Samuel Mulliken is 1st to obtain more than one US patent
  • Mar 21 Captain Hopley Yeaton of NH becomes 1st commissioned officer in US Navy
  • May 3 The Constitution of May 3 (the first modern constitution in Europe) is proclaimed by the Sejm of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 15 Maximilien Robespierre proposes the self-denying ordinance, making it so that no deputy who sat in the Constituent Assembly could sit in the succeeding Assembly

Revolutionary Maximilien Robespierre
Maximilien Robespierre

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 20 King Louis XVI and the French royal family are caught during an attempt to flee Paris during the French Revolution, severely undermining their credibility

King of France Louis XVI
King of France
Louis XVI
  • Jun 21 Fleeing French King Louis XVI & family captured at Varennes-en-Argonne
  • Jul 5 Jose Maria Narvaez discovers Point Grey (now Vancouver BC)
  • Jul 14 The Priestley Riots drive Joseph Priestley, a supporter of the French Revolution, out of Birmingham, England.
  • Jul 17 Members of the French National Guard under the command of General Lafayette open fire on a crowd of radical Jacobins at the Champ de Mars, Paris, during the French Revolution, killing as many as 50 people.
  • Aug 2 Samuel Briggs & his son, patent nail-making machine
  • Aug 4 The Treaty of Sistova is signed, ending the Ottoman-Habsburg wars.

/flags/united statesUnited States Declaration of Independence

Aug 19 Benjamin Banneker sends a copy of his Almanac and writes a letter to Thomas Jefferson criticizing his pro-slavery stance and requesting justice for African Americans using language from the Declaration of Independence

  • Aug 22 Haitian Slave Revolution begins under voodoo priest Boukman
  • Aug 26 John Fitch granted US patent for his working steamboat
  • Aug 30 HMS Pandora sank after running aground on a reef the previous day, on her return from her search for the Bounty and the mutineers who had taken her

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 30 Thomas Jefferson responds to Benjamin Banneker's letter on the issue of slavery

3rd US President Thomas Jefferson
3rd US President
Thomas Jefferson
Mathematician, Astronomer and Almanac Author Benjamin Banneker
Mathematician, Astronomer and Almanac Author
Benjamin Banneker
  • Sep 3 French Revolution: The new French Constitution, declaring France a constitutional monarchy, is passed by the National Assembly
  • Sep 13 France's King Louis XVI accepts constitution
  • Sep 30 The National Constituent Assembly in Paris is dissolved; Parisians hail Maximilien Robespierre and Jérôme Pétion as incorruptible patriots
  • Oct 1 1st session of new French legislative assembly
  • Nov 3 Battle at Wabash: Indians assault general St Clair, 637 soldiers killed
  • Nov 15 1st Catholic college in US, Georgetown, opens

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 21 Colonel Napoléon Bonaparte is promoted to 1st Lieutenant and appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Armies of the French Republic.

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • Nov 29 Chatham Islands sighted by HMS Chatham commanded by William Broughton
  • Dec 4 Britain's Observer, oldest Sunday newspaper in the world, first published
  • Dec 12 Bank of North America opens at Carpenter's Hall, Philadelphia
  • Dec 15 1st US law school established at University of Pennsylvania
  • Dec 15 US Bill of Rights ratified when Virginia gives its approval, becomes amendments 1-10 of the US constitution
  • Dec 17 NYC traffic regulation creates 1st 1-way street

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 8 Jacob Collamer, (Sen-Vt)
  • Jan 14 Calvin Phillips, became shortest known adult male (67 cm; 2' 2")
  • Jan 15 Franz Gillparzer, Austrian tragic dramatist (Golden Fleece)
  • Feb 12 Jan D Zocher Jr, Dutch garden architect (Vondelpark, Amsterdam)
  • Feb 12 Peter Cooper, American industrialist, inventor and philanthropist (Cooper Union, steam locomotive), born in NYC, New York (d. 1883)
  • Mar 6 Anna Claypoole Peale, painted miniatures
  • Mar 9 George Hayward, American surgeon, 1st to use ether
  • Mar 15 Charles Knight, English publisher (d. 1873)
  • Apr 9 George Peacock, Denton County Durham, English Mathematician (algebraic theory)
  • Apr 12 Francis Preston Blair, newspaper editor (Washington Globe)
  • Apr 13 Félix PBOG earl de Merode, Belgian minister of War/Finance

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Apr 23 James Buchanan, 15th US president (1857-61), born in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania (d. 1868)

15th US President James Buchanan
15th US President
James Buchanan
  • Apr 23 W Friedrich Olivier, German landscape painter/cartoonist
  • Apr 24 Nikolaj A Bestuzhev, Russian writer/painter (Account about Holland)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Apr 27 Samuel Morse, American inventor (telegraph, Morse code) and painter, born in Charlestown, Massachusetts (d. 1872)

Inventor Samuel Morse
Samuel Morse
  • May 15 Baron Floris A van Hall, Dutch minister of Justice/Finance
  • Jun 21 Robert Napier, British engineer (d. 1876)
  • Jun 30 Félix Savart, French surgeon/physicist (law of Biot & Savart)
  • Sep 1 Lydia Sigourney, American religious author (How to Be Happy)
  • Sep 20 Sergei T Aksakov, Russian writer (Semejnaja chronika)
  • Sep 22 Michael Faraday, English scientist who discovered principle of electric motor, born in Newington Butts, England (d. 1867)
  • Sep 23 Johann F Encke, German astronomer (Encke Comet)
  • Sep 23 Karl T Korner, German poet (Zriny, Leyer und Schwerdt)
  • Sep 26 Théodore Géricault, French painter (d. 1824)
  • Oct 1 Sergey Aksakov, Russian novelist (Chronicles of a Russian Family)
  • Oct 26 Charles Sprague, American banker and poet (Curiosity), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1875)
  • Nov 11 Josef Munzinger, Swiss Federal Councillor (d. 1855)
  • Dec 12 Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria, second wife of Napoleon (d. 1847)
  • Dec 14 Charles Wolfe, Irish poet (d. 1823)
  • Dec 24 A Eugene Scribe, French dramatist (Bertrand et Raton)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Dec 26 Charles Babbage, British inventor (calculating machine), born in London, England (d. 1871)

Inventor Charles Babbage
Charles Babbage

Weddings in History

  • Oct 1 Prince Willem Frederick (later King of Netherlands) marries his cousin princess Frederica Louise Wilhelmine of Prussia

Deaths in History

  • Jan 11 William Williams Pantycelyn, Welsh hymnist (b. 1717)
  • Feb 16 Richard earl d'Alton, Austria general of S Neth, commits suicide at 58

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Mar 2 John Wesley, English co-founder of Methodism dies at 87 (b. 1703)

Evangelist John Wesley
John Wesley
  • Mar 14 Johann Salomo Semler, German historian and Bible commentator (b. 1725)
  • Apr 1 Richard Butler American soldier (b. 1743)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

Apr 2 Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, Comte de Mirabeau, French revolutionary (influential member of the National Constituent Assembly), dies of natural causes at 42

Revolutionary and Politician Comte de Mirabeau
Revolutionary and Politician
Comte de Mirabeau
  • Apr 19 Richard Price, nonconformist minister/writer (Alabi's World), dies
  • Jun 5 Frederick Haldimand, Swiss-born British colonial governor (b. 1718)
  • Jun 10 Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte, French admiral (b. 1720)
  • Jul 17 Martin Dobrizhoffer, Austrian Jesuit missionary (b. 1717)
  • Jul 25 Isaac Low, American Continental Congressman (b. 1735)
  • Aug 16 Charles-François de Broglie, marquis de Ruffec, French soldier and diplomat (b. 1719)
  • Sep 25 William Bradford, American printer (b. 1719)
  • Oct 10 C F D Schubart, writer, dies
  • Oct 12 A L Karschin, writer, dies at 68
  • Oct 16 Grigory Potemkin, Russian military leader, statesman and favorite of Catherine the Great, dies at 52