On This Day

1797 in History

Events in History

  • Jan 1 Albany replaces New York City as capital of New York
  • Jan 7 The modern Italian flag is first used

'Terrifying' Top Hat Causes Sensation'Terrifying' Top Hat Causes Sensation

Jan 15 1st top hat worn by John Etherington of London

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Queen Victoria looks uncertainly at her husband as Prince Albert tries out his new top hat
Queen Victoria looks uncertainly at her husband as Prince Albert tries out his new top hat
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  • Jan 26 Russia, Prussia and Austria sign treaty
  • Jan 30 US Congress refuses to accept 1st petition from African American
  • Feb 4 Earthquake in Quito, Ecuador kills 41,000
  • Feb 12 Joseph Haydn's song "Gott erhalte Franz den Kaiser" (God Save Emperor Francis) premieres in Vienna

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

Feb 14 The Battle of Cape St Vincent: British fleet under Admiral Sir John Jervis defeats larger Spanish fleet under Admiral Don José de Córdoba y Ramos near Cape St. Vincent, Portugal. Captain Horatio Nelson distinguishes himself.

  • Feb 18 Trinidad is surrendered to a British fleet under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby
  • Feb 19 One third of papal domain ceded to France
  • Feb 21 Trinidad, West Indies, surrenders to British

Battle of InterestLast Invasion of Britain

Feb 22 The Last Invasion of Britain, launched by the French during the Revolutionary Wars, begins near Fishguard, Wales

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French troops surrendering to British forces at Goodwick Sands near Fishguard in Wales. Drawing by James Baker.
French troops surrendering to British forces at Goodwick Sands near Fishguard in Wales. Drawing by James Baker.
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  • Feb 24 Colonel William Tate and his force of 1,000-1,500 soldiers surrender after the Last Invasion of Britain (according to legend, to Welsh women in tall black hats, mistaken for elite guards regiment)
  • Feb 26 Bank of England issues first £1 note

<b>President Inaugurated</b>President Inaugurated

Mar 4 John Adams inaugurated as 2nd President of The United States, Thomas Jefferson 2nd Vice President

2nd US President John Adams
2nd US President
John Adams
3rd US President Thomas Jefferson
3rd US President
Thomas Jefferson
  • Mar 28 Nathaniel Briggs of New Hampshire patents a washing machine

  • Apr 16 Spithead Mutiny begins: British Royal Navy sailors protest over living and working conditions and pay near Portsmouth
  • Apr 17 Sir Ralph Abercromby attacks San Juan, Puerto Rico, one of the largest invasions of Spanish territories in America
  • Apr 18 France & Austria sign ceasefire
  • May 10 1st US Navy ship, the "United States," is launched

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

May 12 First Coalition: Napoleon I of France conquers Venice

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • May 12 Nore Mutiny: British Royal Navy sailors mutiny on the Thames, England and blockade London
  • Jun 2 1st ascent of "Great Mountain" (4,622') in Adirondack, NY (C Broadhead)
  • Jun 14 Napoleon forms Ligurian Republic
  • Jun 26 Charles Newbold patents 1st cast-iron plow, though farmers fear effects of iron on soil
  • Jul 8 1st US senator (William Blount of Tennessee) expelled by impeachment
  • Jul 25 Horatio Nelson loses more than 300 men and his right arm during the failed conquest attempt of Tenerife (Spain)
  • Aug 3 Emperor Francis I permits Jews who served in military in "Countries of Bohemian Crown" to marry non Jews
  • Aug 16 Comet C/1797 P1 (Bouvard-Herschel) approaches 0.0879 AUs of Earth
  • Sep 1 2nd National Meeting in Hague
  • Oct 11 Battle of Camperdown (Kamperduin): British navy defeats Dutch fleet
  • Oct 17 Peace of Campo Formio: Austrian Dutch possessions & France
  • Oct 21 The USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) is launched in Boston
  • Oct 22 Andre-Jacques Garnerin makes 1st parachute descent from a balloon in Paris

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 4 Wilhelm Beer, German amateur astronomer (constructed 1st Moon map)
  • Jan 12 Gideon Brecher, Austrian physician (d. 1873)
  • Jan 22 Maria Leopoldina of Austria, Empress of Brazil (d. 1826)
  • Jan 30 Edwin Vose Sumner, American Major General (Union Army), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1863)
  • Feb 6 Joseph Maria von Radowitz, German diplomat, born in Frankfurt, Germany (d. 1912)
  • Feb 22 William I, Berlin, King of Prussia (1861-88)/German Emperor (1871-88)
  • Feb 28 Mary Lyon, American educator (Mt Holyoke) (Hall of Fame)
  • Feb 28 Frederick, prince of Netherlands, general and admiral (10 day campaign), born in Berlin (d. 1881)
  • Mar 22 Kaiser Wilhelm I, German emperor (1871-88)
  • Mar 24 Antonio Rosmini-Serbati, philosopher/founder (Institute of Charity)
  • Mar 25 John Winebrenner, American clergyman, founded Church of God
  • Mar 27 Alfred Victor, Comte de Vigny, French musketeer and writer (Moise, Chatterton), born in Loches, France (d. 1863)
  • Apr 10 Claude Ambroise Seurat, Frenchman exhibited in England as "Human Skeleton", born in Champaigne France (d. 1826)
  • Apr 14 Adolphe Thiers, 1st president of 3rd French Republic (1871-77), born in Bouc-Bel-Air, France (d. 1877)
  • Apr 30 Andreas Victor Michiels, Dutch military governor of West-Sumatra, Dutch East Indies, born in Maastricht, Netherlands (d. 1849)

Person of interestAbraham Gesner

May 2 Abraham Gesner, Canadian geologist (inventor of kerosene), born in Cornwallis, Nova Scotia (d. 1864)

Physician and Geologist Abraham Gesner
Physician and Geologist
Abraham Gesner
  • May 18 Frederick Augustus II, King of Saxony (1836-54)
  • May 19 Maria Isabel of Portugal, queen of Spain (d. 1818)
  • Jun 24 John Hughes, 1st Archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York, born in Annaloghan, County Tyrone, Kingdom of Ireland (d. 1864)
  • Jul 10 Piet [Petrus Lafras] Uys, South African pioneer (Great Pull), born in Potberg, Swellendam, South Africa (d. 1838)
  • Jul 17 Hippolyte Delaroche, French painter, born in Paris (d. 1856)
  • Jul 18 Immanuel Hermann Fichte, German philosopher, born in Jena, Saxe-Weimar (d. 1879)
  • Jul 20 Paweł Edmund Strzelecki, Polish explorer and geologist, born in Glausche, Kingdom of Prussia (d. 1873)
  • Jul 25 Princess Augusta of Hesse-Kassel, Duchess of Cambridge, born in Offenbach, Germany (d. 1889)
  • Jul 29 Daniel Drew, American financier (d. 1879)
  • Aug 9 Charles Robert Malden, British naval officer (discoverer of Malden Island, central Pacific), born in Putney, Surrey (d. 1855)

Person of interestMary Shelley

Aug 30 Mary Shelley, English author (Frankenstein), born in London, England (d. 1851)

Frankenstein Author Mary Shelley
Frankenstein Author
Mary Shelley
  • Sep 6 Wililam "Extra Billy" Smith, American lawyer and Confederacy (Confederate Army), born in King George County, Virginia (d. 1887)
  • Oct 3 Leopold II, Grand Duke of Tuscany, born in Florence (d. 1870)
  • Oct 4 Jeremias Gotthelf [Albert Bitzius], Swiss writer (The Black Spider), born in Murten, Switzerland (d. 1854)
  • Oct 13 William Motherwell, Scottish civil servant and poet, born in Glasgow, Scotland
  • Oct 16 James Brudenell, British Earl Of Cardigan (led the Charge of the Light Brigade), born in Hambleden, England (d. 1868)
  • Oct 23 John J Rochussen, governor-general of Dutch-Indies (1845-51)
  • Nov 4 Aleksander Bestuzhev-Marlinsky, Russian author, born in St. Petersburg, Russian Empire (d. 1837)
  • Nov 7 Silas H. Stringham, Rear Admiral (Union Navy), born in Middletown, New York (d. 1876)

Person of interestCharles Lyell

Nov 14 Charles Lyell, Scottish geologist (Principles of Geology), born in Kinnordy, Angus, Scotland (d. 1875)

Geologist Charles Lyell
Geologist
Charles Lyell

Person of interestSojourner Truth

Nov 18 Sojourner Truth [Isabella Baumfree], African-American abolitionist and feminist, born in Swartekill, New York (d. 1883) [birth date is approximate]

Abolitionist and Women's Rights Advocate Sojourner Truth
Abolitionist and Women's Rights Advocate
Sojourner Truth
  • Dec 3 Francis Kenrick, Irish-American Archbishop of Baltimore (1851-63), born in Dublin, Kingdom of Ireland (d. 1863)
  • Dec 11 Hiram Paulding, American Rear Admiral (Union Navy), born in Cortlandt, New York (d. 1878)
  • Dec 17 Joseph Henry, American scientist and pioneer of electromagnetism, born in Albany, New York (d. 1878)

Weddings in History


LoveWedding of Interest

Mar 29 Writer Mary Wollstonecraft marries philopher and journalist William Godwin

Author and Women's Rights Advocate Mary Wollstonecraft
Author and Women's Rights Advocate
Mary Wollstonecraft
  • May 5 Napoleon I's sister Elisa marries Felix Bacciochi

LoveWedding of Interest

May 30 Abolitionist William Wilberforce (37) weds Barbara Spooner (25) at St Swithins Church in Walcot, Bath

Abolitionist William Wilberforce
Abolitionist
William Wilberforce

LoveWedding of Interest

Jul 26 US President John Quincy Adams (29) weds Louisa Johnson (22) at All Hallows Barking parish in London

6th US President John Quincy Adams
6th US President
John Quincy Adams

Deaths in History

  • Jan 11 Francis Lightfoot Lee, American advocate for independence (signed US Declaration of Independence), dies at 62
  • Jan 13 Elisabeth C von Brunswick-Bevern, wife of Frederick II, dies at 81
  • Jan 13 Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern, Queen of Prussia as wife of Frederik II the Great, dies at 81
  • Feb 22 Karl Friedrich Hieronymus Freiherr von Münchhausen, German officer and adventurer (b. 1720)
  • Mar 2 Horace Walpole, British horror writer (Castle of Otranto), dies at 79

Person of interestJames Hutton

Mar 26 James Hutton, geologist, dies

Geologist James Hutton
Geologist
James Hutton
  • Mar 31 Betty Washington, younger sister of George Washington, dies at 63
  • May 17 Michel-Jean Sedaine, French dramatist (Le Philosophe sans le savoir), dies at 77
  • May 25 John Griffin Whitwell, 4th Baron Howard de Walden, British field marshal, dies at 78
  • May 27 Francois-Noal "Gracchus" Babeuf, French utopian socialist, dies at 36
  • Jun 17 Aga Mohammed Khan, cruel ruler of Persia, castrated & killed
  • Jul 9 Edmund Burke, British statesman, philosopher and author (A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, Reflections on the Revolution in France), dies at 68
  • Jul 11 Ienăchiţă Văcărescu, Wallachian writer (b. 1740)
  • Aug 3 Jeffrey Amherst, English gov-gen of America, dies at 80
  • Aug 18 Josiah Spode, English potter and founder of Spode pottery works, dies at 64
  • Aug 22 Dagobert Sigmund von Wurmser, Austrian general, dies at 73

Person of interestMary Wollstonecraft

Sep 10 Mary Wollstonecraft, English author and feminist (A Vindication of the Rights of Woman), mother of Mary Shelley, dies of septicaemia at 38

Author and Women's Rights Advocate Mary Wollstonecraft
Author and Women's Rights Advocate
Mary Wollstonecraft
  • Sep 18 Louis-Lazare Hoche, French revolutionary general, dies
  • Oct 9 Elijah B Solomon Zalman, rabbi/Gaon of Vilna Latvia, dies at 77
  • Oct 10 Carter Braxton, American plantation owner and signer of the US Declaration of Independence, dies at 61
  • Nov 14 Ivan Shuvalov, 1st Russian Minister of Education and founder of the Moscow University, dies at 70
  • Nov 16 King Frederick William II of Prussia (b. 1744) Reigns 1786-97
  • Nov 18 Jacques-Alexandre Laffon de Ladebat, French shipbuilder and merchant (b. 1719)
  • Nov 29 Samuel Langdon, American President of Harvard University (b. 1723)
  • Dec 1 Oliver Wolcott, American judge, signed US Declaration of Independence, dies at 71
  • Dec 11 Richard Brocklesby, English physician (b. 1722)
  • Dec 26 John Wilkes, English radical, journalist (The North Briton) and politician, dies at 72