On This Day

1839 in History

Events in History

CameraFamous Photo

Jan 2 1st photo of the Moon (French photographer Louis Daguerre)

Photographer and Inventor Louis-Jacques Daguerre
Photographer and Inventor
Louis-Jacques Daguerre
  • Jan 6 2 day storm off Irish & English coast immortalized as the "Big Wind"

Famous PhotoFirst Photograph of a Person

Jan 9 Daguerreotype photo process announced at French Academy of Science

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In the bottom left corner a man can be seen having his shoes shined on the Boulevard du Temple in Paris
In the bottom left corner a man can be seen having his shoes shined on the Boulevard du Temple in Paris
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  • Jan 9 Thomas Henderson measures 1st stellar parallax (Alpha Centauri)
  • Jan 10 First tea from leaves of indigenous plants of Assam, India arrives in the United Kingdom [date approximate] [1]
  • Jan 11 Earthquake at Martinique destroys half of Port Royal - 700 die
  • Jan 12 Anthracite coal 1st used to smelt iron, Mauch Chunk, Penn
  • Jan 19 Aden conquered by British East India Company
  • Jan 20 Battle of Yungay, Chile defeats a Peruvian and Bolivian alliance

Electoral defeatElection of Interest

Jan 24 Charles Darwin elected Fellow of the Royal Society

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin

CameraFamous Photo

Jan 25 Henry Fox Talbot exhibits early photographs to the Royal Institution in the UK

Photography Pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot
Photography Pioneer
William Henry Fox Talbot

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 7 Henry Clay declares in Senate "I had rather be right than president"

Legislator and Orator Henry Clay
Legislator and Orator
Henry Clay
  • Feb 12 Aroostoock (or "Pork & Beans) War: Boundary dispute between Maine & New Brunswick
  • Feb 18 Detroit Boat Club forms (& still exists)
  • Feb 20 Congress prohibits dueling in District of Columbia
  • Feb 24 Steam shovel patented by William Otis, Philadelphia

  • Feb 25 Seminoles & black allies shipped from Tampa Bay Florida, to the West
  • Mar 9 Prussian government limits work week for children to 51 hours
  • Mar 23 1st recorded use of "OK" [oll korrect] (Boston's Morning Post)
  • Mar 26 1st Henley Royal Regatta
  • Apr 17 Guatemala forms republic
  • Apr 19 Treaty of London constitutes Belgium an independent kingdom & Luxembourg a Grand Duchy
  • May 4 The Cunard Steamship Company Ltd forms San Bonifacio
  • Jun 7 Hawaiian Declaration of Rights is signed
  • Jun 14 First Henley Regatta held (it became the Henley Royal Regatta in 1851)
  • Jun 17 King of Hawaii Kamehameha III issues Edict of toleration which gives Roman Catholics freedom to worship in the Hawaiian Islands. The Hawaii Catholic Church and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace is later established
  • Jul 1 Abdul-Medjid succeeds Mahmud II as Sultan of Turkey
  • Jul 2 Slaves aboard a Spanish schooner La Amistad revolt to secure their freedom while being transported from one Cuban port to another
  • Jul 3 1st state normal school in US opens, Lexington, Massachusetts, with 3 students
  • Jul 27 Chartist riots break out in Birmingham, England
  • Aug 8 Beta Theta Pi is founded in Oxford, Ohio.
  • Aug 19 Details of Louis Daguerre's 1st practical photographic process are released in Paris
  • Aug 23 British capture Hong Kong from China
  • Sep 2 Salon of Varietes opens in Amsterdam
  • Sep 5 The First Opium War begins in China

USATrail of Tears

Sep 6 Cherokee Nation unites and ratifies constitution at Tahlequah, Oklahoma

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The Trail of Tears, painting by Robert Lindneux, 1942
The Trail of Tears, painting by Robert Lindneux, 1942
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  • Sep 6 Great fire in New York
  • Sep 9 English scientist and astronomer John Herschel takes 1st glass plate photograph
  • Sep 11 1st Canadian track & field meet held (Caer Howell Grounds)
  • Sep 20 1st railroad in Netherland opens (Amsterdam-Haarlem)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 10 British troops under General Charles Napier occupy Beirut

  • Oct 20 Margaret Fuller is appointed editor of new US Transcendental Magazine "The Dial"
  • Nov 3 First Opium War - 2 British frigates engage several Chinese junks
  • Nov 3 Palace of Gulhane Turkey, freedom of religion proclaimed
  • Nov 4 The Newport Rising is the last large-scale armed rebellion against authority in mainland Britain
  • Nov 11 The Virginia Military Institute is founded in Lexington, Virginia.
  • Nov 13 1st US anti-slavery party, Liberty Party, convenes in NY

Bulls Finally Spared 700 Years of CrueltyBulls Finally Spared 700 Years of Cruelty

Nov 13 Last bull run in Britain as the Stamford bull run ends after 700 years

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The bridge at Stamford from which bulls were heaved into the river
The bridge at Stamford from which bulls were heaved into the river
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  • Nov 25 Cyclone slams south eastern India with high winds and a 40 foot storm surge, destroying city of Coringa. Storm waves sweep inland, destroying 20,000 ships and killing an estimated 300,000 people
  • Nov 27 American Statistical Association organizes in Boston
  • Dec 18 1st celestial photograph (of Moon) made in US by John Draper in New York City

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 4 Casimiro de Abreu, Brazil, poet (Meus oito anos), novelist and playwright (Camoes e o jau), born in Casimiro de Abreu, Rio de Janeiro, Empire of Brazil (d. 1860)
  • Jan 4 Carl Humann, German engineer (d. 1896)
  • Jan 11 Eugenio Maria de Hostos, Puerto Rico, patriot/scholar

Person of interestPaul Cézanne

Jan 19 Paul Cézanne, French artist and Post-Impressionist painter (The Basket of Apples), born in Aix-en-Provence, France (d. 1906)

French Painter Paul Cézanne
French Painter
Paul Cézanne
  • Jan 25 Seldon Connor, American banker, 35th Governor of Maine, and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Fairfield, Maine, (d. 1917)
  • Feb 1 James A Herne [J Aherne], US playwright (Hearts of Oak)
  • Feb 7 Nicolaas G Pierson, Dutch banker/Suriname premier (1897-1901)
  • Feb 9 Silas Adams, American lawyer and politician (d. 1896)
  • Feb 11 Josiah Willard Gibbs, theoretical physicist/chemist
  • Feb 20 Benjamin Waugh, English social reformer who founded the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, born in Settle, North Yorkshire, England (d. 1908)
  • Feb 22 Francis Pharcellus Church, American editor and publisher (d. 1906)
  • Mar 3 Jamsetji Tata, Indian industrialist (d. 1904)
  • Mar 8 James Mason Crafts, American chemist (Friedel-Crafts alkylation synthesis), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1917)
  • Mar 8 Josephine Cochrane, American inventor (automatic dishwasher), born in Ashtabula County, Ohio (d. 1913)
  • Mar 9 Felix Huston Robertson, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Washington-on-the-Brazos, Texas (d. 1928)
  • Mar 16 René F Armand Sully-Prudhomme, French poet, 1st Nobel winner (1901)
  • Mar 18 Francis Fessenden, American lawyer, politician, and Major General (Union Army), born in Portland, Maine (d. 1906)
  • Mar 25 William Bell Wait, American educated the blind
  • Mar 27 John Ballance, 14th Prime Minister of New Zealand and the founder of the Liberal Party, born in Glenavy, Ireland (d. 1893)
  • Mar 31 Nikolay Przhevalsky, naturalist, explorer of east central Asia (OS)
  • Apr 5 Robert Smalls, African-American congressman (1875-87), born in Beaufort, South Carolina (d. 1915)
  • Apr 18 Henry Clarence Kendall, Australian poet (Bell Birds), born in Yatte Yattah, New South Wales (d. 1882)
  • Apr 20 Carol I, King of Romania (1881-1914), born in Sigmaringen, Germany (d. 1914)
  • Apr 22 August W. Eichler, German botanist (developed a new system of classification of plants to reflect the concept of evolution), born in Neukirchen, Hesse (d. 1887)
  • Apr 26 Cyrus Hamblin, American attorney, politician, and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Hampden, Maine (d. 1867)
  • May 1 Hilaire de Chardonnet, French industrialist and inventor (rayon), born in Besançon, France (d. 1924)
  • May 8 Francis Warre-Cornish, English scholar and writer (d. 1916)
  • May 25 John Eliot, English meteorologist, born in Lamesley, Durham (d. 1908)
  • May 28 Luigi Capuana, Sicilian author and critic (Roccaverdina), born in Mineo, Sicily, Italy (d. 1915)
  • Jun 3 Paul Lindau, German playwright/critic (Der Herr im Hause)
  • Jun 10 Ludvig Holstein-Ledreborg, Danish politician (Council President of Denmark), born in Hochberg (now Remseck am Neckar), Württemberg (d. 1912)
  • Jun 17 Fr. Arthur Tooth SSC, Anglican Clergyman prosecuted for ritualist activities, born in Cranbrook, Kent (d. 1931)
  • Jun 18 William Henry Seward Jr, American banker and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Auburn, New York (d. 1920)
  • Jun 21 Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, Brazilian writer (Epitaph of a small winner), born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (d. 1908)
  • Jun 21 John Decatur Barry, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Wilmington, North Carolina (d. 1867)
  • Jun 24 Gustavus Franklin Swift, American founder of the meatpacking firm Swift & Company, born in West Sandwich, Massachusetts (d. 1903)

Person of interestJohn D. Rockefeller

Jul 8 John D. Rockefeller, American industrialist and founder of Standard Oil, born in Richford, New York (d. 1937)

Oil Industrialist John D. Rockefeller
Oil Industrialist
John D. Rockefeller
  • Jul 10 Adolphus Busch, German-born American brewer (Anheuser-Busch), born in Mainz, Hesse, Germany (d. 1913)
  • Jul 16 Philippus Jacobus Hoedemaker, Dutch theologist, born in Utrecht, Netherlands (d. 1910)
  • Jul 17 Ephraim Shay, American inventor of Shay type of geared steam locomotive, born in Huron, Ohio (d. 1916)
  • Jul 25 Francis Garnier, French explorer, born in Saint-Étienne, France (d. 1873)
  • Aug 4 Walter Pater, writer (Plato & Platoism), born in London, England
  • Aug 8 Nelson Appleton Miles, American Major General (Union Army), born in Westminster, Massachusetts (d. 1925)
  • Aug 10 Aleksandr Grigorievich Stoletov, Russian physicist (d. 1896)
  • Aug 17 Thijs [Matthijs] Maris, Dutch painter/etcher
  • Aug 19 Oskar Brefeld, German botanist and founder of modern mycology, born in Telgte, Germany (d. 1925)
  • Aug 27 Emory Upton, Bvt Major General (Union Army), born in Batavia, New York (d. 1881)
  • Aug 30 Gulstan Ropert, French Roman Catholic prelate, born in Kerfago, Brittany, France (d. 1903)
  • Sep 2 Henry George, land reformer/writer (Progress & Poverty)
  • Sep 10 Isaac Kauffman Funk, American publisher (Funk & Wagnalls), born in Clifton, Ohio (d. 1912)
  • Sep 10 Charles Peirce, American scientist and philosopher known as "the father of pragmatism", born in Cambridge, Massachusetts (d. 1914)
  • Sep 17 Ira Erastus Davenport, American magician, claimed to be a spirit medium, born in Buffalo, New York (d. 1911)
  • Sep 25 Karl Alfred Ritter von Zittel, German geologist and paleontologist (Libya), born in Bahlingen, Germany (d. 1904)
  • Sep 25 Mina Kruseman, Dutch writer and feminist, born in Velp, Netherlands (d. 1922)
  • Sep 28 Frances Willard, American educator and founder (Woman's Christian Temperance Union), born in Churchville, New York (d. 1898)
  • Oct 2 Hans Thoma, German painter, born in Bernau, Black Forest (d. 1924)
  • Oct 21 Georg von Siemens, founder (Deutsche Bank)
  • Oct 30 Alfred Sisley, French impressionist painter, born in Paris (d. 1899)
  • Nov 16 Louis-Honoré Fréchette, Canadian poet, born in Lévis, Canada (d. 1908)
  • Nov 18 August Kundt, German physicist (sound vibration, test of Kundt), born in Schwerin, Mecklenburg, Germany (d. 1894)
  • Nov 20 Christian Wilberg, German painter, born in Havelberg, Germany (d. 1882)
  • Nov 29 Ludwig Anzengruber, Austrian playwright (Der Schandfleck)

Person of interestGeorge Armstrong Custer

Dec 5 George Armstrong Custer, United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the American Indian Wars, born in New Rumley, Ohio (d. 1876)

  • Dec 7 Redvers Buller, English general and recipient of the Victoria Cross, born in Crediton, Devon (d. 1908)

Weddings in History

LoveWedding of Interest

Jan 29 English naturalist and "On the Origin of Species" author Charles Darwin (42) marries Emma Wedgwood (41)

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
  • Jun 18 Dutch prince Willem Alexander (later William III) weds cousin Princess Sophia

LoveWedding of Interest

Jul 25 British PM William Gladstone (29) weds Catherine Glynne (27) in England

British Prime Minister William Gladstone
British Prime Minister
William Gladstone

Deaths in History

  • Jan 12 Joseph A Koch, Aust painter/cartoonist/etcher/illustrator, dies at 70
  • Feb 1 Giuseppe Valadier, Italian architect & archaeologist, dies at 76
  • Feb 7 Karl August Nicander, Swedish poet (b. 1799)
  • Feb 15 Chevalier de Lorimier, Quebec notary (b. 1803)
  • Feb 26 Sybil Ludington, American revolutionary heroine (rode to alert militia), dies at 77
  • Mar 29 Bernardus Johannes Dibbets, Dutch baron and general-major (Maastricht), dies at 56
  • Apr 1 Benjamin Pierce, American politician (b. 1757)
  • Apr 11 John Galt, Scottish novelist (Annals of the Parish), dies at 59
  • Apr 22 Denis Davydov, Russian general & poet, dies at 54
  • Apr 23 Jacques Félix Emmanuel Hamelin, French explorer, dies at 70
  • May 13 Israel Ashkenazi of Shklov, found Ashkenazic community (1815), dies
  • May 13 Joseph Fesch, French cardinal/war commission/earl/senator, dies
  • May 17 Archibald Alison, Scottish author (b. 1757)
  • May 18 Carolina Bonaparte, Queen of Naples, dies at 57
  • Jun 2 Wijnand Nuijen, Dutch romantic painter and lithographer (Wrecked), dies at 26
  • Jun 9 Gerrit J Pijman, Dutch minister of War (1798-1800), dies at 89
  • Jun 10 Nathaniel Pryor, American soldier and sergeant of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, dies
  • Jun 17 Lord William Henry Cavendish Bentinck, British soldier and statesman (Governor-General of India, 1828-1835), dies at 64
  • Jun 23 Hester Stanhope, English aristocrat, traveller and archaeologist, dies at 63
  • Jun 27 Ranjit Singh, gov of Lahore, dies
  • Jun 30 Johan O Wallin, Swedish poet/archbishop (Dead Angel), dies
  • Jul 1 Mahmud II, Sultan of Turkey (1808-39), dies at 53
  • Jul 15 Winthrop Mackworth Praed, English politician and poet, dies at 36
  • Jul 29 Gaspard de Prony, French mathematician (b. 1755)
  • Aug 3 Dorothea von Schlegel, German novelist (Florentin), dies at 74
  • Aug 10 John St Aubyn, British fossil collector, dies at 81
  • Aug 28 William Smith, British geologist who is credited with creating the first nationwide geological map (Strata Identified by Organized Fossils), dies at 70
  • Sep 10 Pieter Fontijn, Dutch painter, dies at 66
  • Sep 20 Jose Gaspar de Francia, dictator of Paraguay (1816-39), dies at 74
  • Oct 11 Leonor de Almeida marquesa de Alorna, Portuguese poet, dies at 88
  • Oct 18 French Jozef Kinsoen, Flemish portrait painter, dies at 68
  • Nov 6 Hayim Rapoport, Rabbi of Ostrowiec and author (Maxim Chayyim), dies
  • Dec 3 Frederik VI, king of Denmark (1808-39)/Norway (1803-14), dies at 71
  • Dec 15 Matthijs I van Bree, Flemish court-painter, dies at 66

Person of interestJean-Baptiste Lamarck

Dec 18 Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, French naturalist (Lamarckian evolution), dies at 85

French Naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
French Naturalist
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck