1854 in History

Events in History

  • Jan 1 Lincoln University, a black college, chartered (Oxford, Pennsylvania)
  • Jan 4 The McDonald Islands are discovered by Captain William McDonald aboard the Samarang
  • Jan 5 Steamship San Francisco wrecked off US eastern seaboard, 300 die
  • Jan 9 Astor Library opens in New York City
  • Jan 18 Filibuster William Walker proclaims Republic of Sonora in NW Mexico
  • Jan 25 Aleksandr Ostrovsky's play "Bednost ne Porok" premieres in Moscow
  • Jan 30 1st election in Washington Territory; 1,682 votes cast
  • Jan 31 Dutch KNMI established (Royal Meteorological Institute)
  • Feb 2 Pope Pius IX encyclical "On persecution of Armenians"
  • Feb 4 Alvan Bovay proposes name "Republican Party" in Ripon, Wisconsin
  • Feb 11 For the 1st time coal gas is used to light major streets in San Francisco
  • Feb 17 Britain recognises independence of Orange Free State (South Africa)
  • Feb 22 1st meeting of Republican Party (Michigan)
  • Feb 23 Great Britain & Orange Free state sign Convention of Bloemfontein
  • Feb 28 Republican Party formally organized in Ripon, Wisconsin
  • Mar 1 SS City of Glasgow leaves Liverpool harbour with apprpx 480 passengers and crew; she was never seen again

  • Mar 1 German psychologist Friedrich Eduard Beneke disappears; two years later his remains are found in a canal near Charlottenburg.
  • Mar 7 Charles Miller patents 1st US sewing machine to stitch buttonholes

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Mar 8 US Commodore Matthew C. Perry's second trip to Japan

Commodore of the US Navy Matthew C. Perry
Commodore of the US Navy
Matthew C. Perry
  • Mar 17 1st park land purchased by a US city, Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Mar 28 Britain and France declare war on Russia during the Crimean War
  • Mar 31 Treaty of Kanagawa: Commodore Perry forces Japan to opens ports to US

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 1 Hard Times begins serialisation in Charles Dickens magazine, "Household Words"

Novelist Charles Dickens
Novelist
Charles Dickens
  • Apr 16 San Salvador destroyed by earthquake
  • Apr 16 Steamer "Long Beach" sinks off Long Beach NY, 311 die
  • May 1 Amsterdam begins transferring drinking water out of the dunes
  • May 5 British Commodore James Plumridge attacks Finnish settlements in Gulf of Bothnia, killing civilans and destroying British-owned goods.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

May 21 Frederic Mistral, Joseph Roumanille, and five other Provencal poets found Félibrige, a literary and cultural association

Provencal Poet Frederic Mistral
Provencal Poet
Frederic Mistral
  • May 24 Escaped slave Anthony Burns is arrested by US Deputy marshals in Boston under the Fugitive Slave Act
  • May 24 Lincoln University, Pennsylvania is 1st Black college in US, founded by John Miller Dickey and Sarah Emlen Cresson
  • May 27 Marine Telegraph from Fort Point to San Francisco completed
  • May 30 Kansas-Nebraska Act repeals Missouri Compromise creating the territories of Kansas and Nebraska
  • Jun 10 Georg F B Reiman proposes that space is curved
  • Jun 10 The first class of the United States Naval Academy students graduate
  • Jun 21 First Victoria Cross won during bombardment of Bomarsund in the Aland Islands (Crimean War)
  • Jun 23 Antwerp-Roosendaal railway goes into use
  • Jun 29 Netherlands allows corporal punishment
  • Jul 6 1st Republican state convention (Jackson, Michigan)
  • Jul 13 US forces shell and burn San Juan del Norte, Nicaragua
  • Jul 13 In the Battle of Guaymas, Mexico, General Jose Maria Yanez stops the French invasion led by Count Gaston de Raousset Boulbon

InventionHistoric Invention

Jul 25 Walter Hunt is awarded the first U.S. patent for a paper shirt collar

Inventor Walter Hunt
Inventor
Walter Hunt

  • Aug 4 The Hinomaru is established as the official flag to be flown from Japanese ships
  • Aug 8 Smith & Wesson patents metal bullet cartridges

Book releaseHistoric Publication

Aug 9 Henry David Thoreau publishes "Walden"

Naturalist/Pacifist Henry David Thoreau
Naturalist/Pacifist
Henry David Thoreau
  • Aug 24 National emigration convention meets in Cleveland
  • Aug 29 Self-governing windmill patented (Daniel Halladay)
  • Sep 4 English/French assault on Petropavlovsk Kamchatka
  • Sep 14 British and French forces land at Calamita Bay on the Crimean Peninsula, during the Crimean War
  • Sep 19 Henry Meyer patents sleeping rail car
  • Sep 27 Steamship "Arctic" collides with "vesta" off Newfoundland coast due to heavy fog, killing 322
  • Oct 1 The watch company founded in 1850 in Roxbury by Aaron Lufkin Dennison relocates to Waltham, Massachusetts, to become the Waltham Watch Company, a pioneer in the American System of Watch Manufacturing.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 4 Abraham Lincoln made his 1st political speech at Illinois State Fair

US President Abraham Lincoln
US President
Abraham Lincoln
  • Oct 6 The Great Fire of Newcastle and Gateshead started shortly after midnight, leading to 53 deaths and hundreds injured.
  • Oct 9 The siege of Sevastopol begins during the Crimean War
  • Oct 10 US Assay Office in NYC, New York opens
  • Oct 12 Lincoln University founded in Pennsylvania as Ashmun Institute
  • Oct 17 French and British forces bombard Sevastopol for the first time during the Crimean War

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 21 Florence Nightingale with a staff of 38 nurses is sent to the Crimean War

  • Oct 23 English newspaper "The Times" gives precise British positions in Crimea during Crimean War
  • Oct 25 The infamous Charge of Light Brigade during the Battle of Balaclava in the Crimean War; over 100 killed
  • Oct 25 Prince Menshikov of Crimea occupies British base at Balaclava
  • Nov 2 Cobblestone paving of Washington St between Dupont and Kearny starts
  • Nov 4 Lighthouse built on Alcatraz Island
  • Nov 5 Crimean War: British & French defeat Russian force of 50,000 at Inkerman
  • Nov 13 "New Era" sinks off New Jersey coast with loss of 300
  • Nov 15 In Egypt, the Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, is given the necessary royal concession.
  • Nov 28 Dutch army stops Chinese uprising in Borneo
  • Dec 3 Eureka Stockade: In what is claimed by many to be the birth of Australian democracy, more than 20 goldminers at Ballarat, Victoria, are killed by state troopers in an uprising over mining licences
  • Dec 5 Aaron Allen of Boston patents folding theater chair
  • Dec 8 Pope Pius IX proclaims Immaculate Conception, makes Mary, free of Original Sin

Book releaseHistoric Publication

Dec 9 Alfred Tennyson's poem "Charge of the Light Brigade" is published in "The Examiner"

  • Dec 15 1st street-cleaning machine in US 1st used in Philadelphia
  • Dec 19 Allen Wilson of Conn patents sewing machine to sew curving seams
  • Dec 26 Wood-pulp paper 1st exhibited, Buffalo
  • Dec 30 Pennsylvania Rock Oil Co, 1st in US, incorporated in NYC

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 1 James Frazer, Britain, anthropologist/author (The Golden Bough)

Person of interestAlice Mary Robertson

Jan 2 Alice Mary Robertson, American educator, social worker and 2nd woman in US Congress, born in Tullahassee Mission, Indian Territory (d. 1931)

2nd Woman Elected to Congress and Educator Alice Mary Robertson
2nd Woman Elected to Congress and Educator
Alice Mary Robertson
  • Jan 6 Sherlock Holmes, Mycroft, fictional detective (via Arthur Conan Doyle)
  • Jan 9 Jennie Jerome, American society beauty and mother of Winston Churchill (d. 1921)
  • Jan 18 Thomas A Watson, needed by Bell, inventor assistant (Telephone)
  • Jan 29 Willem PC Knuttel, Dutch bibliographer/librarian
  • Feb 9 Aletta [Henriette] Jacobs, 1st Dutch female physician
  • Feb 9 Edward Carson, 1st Baron Carson, lawyer/leader (Irish Unionist Party)
  • Feb 17 Friedrich A Krupp, German arms manufacturer
  • Feb 24 Franz Courtens, Flemish painter (Golden Rain)
  • Mar 4 Sir Napier Shaw, British meteorologist (d. 1945)
  • Mar 14 Paul Ehrlich, German bacteriologist and physician (Chemotherapy, Nobel Prize 1908), Strehlen, Lower Silesia, German Kingdom of Prussia (d. 1915)
  • Mar 14 Thomas Riley Marshall, 28th Vice President of U.S. (1913-21), born in North Manchester, Indiana (d. 1925)
  • Mar 14 Alexandru Macedonski, Romanian writer, born in Bucharest (d. 1920)
  • Mar 14 John Lane, British publisher (The Bodley Head), born in Devon (d. 1925)
  • Mar 15 Emil Adolf von Behring, German physician; Nobel laureate (d. 1917)
  • Mar 23 Alfred Milner, Giessen Germany, British governor (Cape colony)
  • Mar 31 Dugald Clerk, inventor (2-stroke motorcycle engine)
  • Apr 1 Bill Traylor, American artist (d. 1949)
  • Apr 13 Richard T Ely, US economist (Hard Times)
  • Apr 21 Eusapia Palladino, Italian spiritual medium, born in Minervino Murge, Apulia (d. 1918)
  • Apr 21 William Stang, Roman Catholic Bishop (d. 1907)
  • Apr 22 Henri-Marie Lafontaine, Belgian international lawyer (Nobel 1913)
  • Apr 29 Henri Poincaré, French mathematician/astronomer/philosopher
  • May 11 Ottmar Mergenthaler, Hachtel Germany, inventor (linotype)
  • May 24 Louis Mountbatten, 1st Marquess of Milford Haven, admiral (WWI), born in Graz, Austrian Empire (d. 1921)
  • May 24 John Riley Banister, American law officer and cowboy, born in Banister Hollow, Camden County, Missouri (d. 1918)
  • May 27 Georges Eekhoud, Belgian writer (Jeune Belgium)
  • Jun 8 Douglas Colin Cameron, Canadian politician, born in Hawkesbury, Ontario (d. 1921)
  • Jun 9 Gerardus J P J Bolland, Dutch philosopher (Bolland Society)
  • Jun 13 Charles Algernon Parsons, British inventor (steam turbine)
  • Jun 18 Edward Wyllis Scripps, publisher/journalist

Person of interestRobert Borden

Jun 26 Robert Borden, 8th Prime Minister of Canada (C: 1911-20), born in Grand-Pre, Nova Scotia (d. 1937)

8th Prime Minister of Canada Robert Borden
8th Prime Minister of Canada
Robert Borden
  • Jul 4 Victor Babeş, Romanian physician and bacteriologist, born in Vienna, Austrian Empire (d. 1926)

Person of interestGeorge Eastman

Jul 12 George Eastman, American inventor (Kodak camera, founder of the Eastman Kodak Company), born in Waterville, New York (d. 1932)

Founder of the Eastman Kodak Company George Eastman
Founder of the Eastman Kodak Company
George Eastman
  • Jul 19 Daniel Josephus Jitta, Dutch High Court lawyer, born in Amsterdam (d. 1925)
  • Jul 29 Georg Kerschensteiner, German educator (Theory of Education)
  • Jul 31 Jose Canalejas, premier of Spain (1910-12), born in El Ferrol, Spain (d. 1912)
  • Aug 2 F. Marion Crawford, American author (Mr. Isaacs), born in Bagni de Lucca, Italy (d. 1909)
  • Aug 10 J Scott Lidgett, theologist, born in London, England
  • Aug 12 Alfred Gilbert, sculptor/goldsmith
  • Aug 22 Milan I, King of Serbia, born in Mărășești, Romania (d. 1901)
  • Sep 2 Hans Jæger, Norwegian writer and political activist (d. 1910)
  • Sep 8 Willem Marinus van Rossum, Dutch cardinal and prefect of Propaganda File, born in Zwolle, Overijssel, Netherlands (d. 1932)
  • Sep 10 Anton CR Dreesmann, German/Neth manufacturer (Vroom & Dreesman)
  • Sep 17 David Dunbar Buick, American automobile pioneer (d. 1929)
  • Sep 23 Cornelis W Lely, Dutch engineer/Governor of Suriname (1902-05)
  • Sep 28 Adam Sedgwick, English zoologist (Peripatus), born in Norwich, England (d. 1913)
  • Oct 3 William Crawford Gorgas, American physician and 22nd Surgeon-General of the U.S. Army (help cure yellow fever), born in Toulminville, Alabama (d. 1920)
  • Oct 7 Christiaan R de Wet, South African rebel leader, politician and general in the Boer War
  • Oct 16 Karl J Kautsky, Austrian marxist/socialist

Person of interestOscar Wilde

Oct 16 Oscar Wilde, [Fingal O'Flahertie Wills], (The Picture of Dorian Gray), born in Dublin, Ireland (d. 1900)

Writer and Poet Oscar Wilde
Writer and Poet
Oscar Wilde
  • Oct 18 Salomon August Andrée, Swedish engineer, balloonist and polar explorer, born in Gränna, Sweden (d. 1897)

Person of interestArthur Rimbaud

Oct 20 Arthur Rimbaud, French poet and adventurer (Illuminations), born in Charleville, France (d. 1891)

  • Oct 24 Hendrik Willem Bakhuis Roozeboom, Dutch chemist (Heterogenen Gleichgewichte), born in Alkmaar, Netherlands (d. 1907)
  • Oct 26 C. W. Post, American manufacturer of breakfast cereals, born in Springfield, Illinois (d. 1914)
  • Oct 27 Sir William Alexander Smith, Scottish founder of the Boys' Brigade, born in Pennyland House, Thurso, Scotland (d. 1914)
  • Oct 31 Adolf Erman, German Egyptologist (Grammar of Ancient Egypt), born in Berlin (d. 1937)
  • Nov 3 Jokichi Takamine, Takaoka Toyama, Japanese-American Biochemist who isolated adrenalin (epinephrine), which causes the body to respond to emergencies, the first pure hormone isolated from natural sources
  • Nov 5 Paul Sabatier, French chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1941)
  • Nov 5 Alphonse Desjardins, founder of the Caisses populaires Desjardins (d. 1920)
  • Nov 8 Johannes Rydberg, Swedish physicist (d. 1919)
  • Nov 16 Jules van de Heuvel, Belgian lawyer/politician
  • Nov 17 Louis HG Lyautey, French minister of Defense (1916-17)
  • Nov 21 Benedict XV, [Giacomo PGB marques della Chiessa], 258th Pope (1914-22)
  • Nov 27 Aloys L earl von Aehrenthal, Austrian minister of Foreign affairs
  • Nov 28 Gottlieb J Haberlandt, Hungarians/German botanist
  • Dec 23 Henry B. Guppy, British botanist (d. 1926)

Weddings in History

  • Apr 24 Austria's Franz Joseph I marries Elisabeth A E "Sissi"

HeartWedding of Interest

Jun 29 English Novelist and author of "Jane Eyre" Charlotte Brontë marries curate Arthur Bell Nicholls


Deaths in History

  • Jan 8 William Carr Beresford, 1st Viscount Beresford, British general and politician, dies at 85
  • Jan 18 Juda Turo, American philanthropist, dies
  • Feb 17 Hugues F R de Lamennais, French priest/writer, dies at 71
  • Feb 17 John Martin, English painter and engraver, dies at 64
  • Mar 6 Caspar GC Reinwardt, German/Dutch biologist, dies at 80
  • Mar 6 Charles William Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry, British soldier and politician (b. 1778)
  • Mar 11 Willard Richards, American religious leader (b. 1804)
  • Apr 6 William Strickland, US architect, dies
  • Apr 11 Karl Adolph von Basedow, German artist (Ziekte van Basedow), dies at 55
  • Apr 15 Arthur Aikin, English chemist, mineralogist, and writer (b. 1773)
  • Apr 19 Robert Jameson, Scottish naturalist (b. 1774)
  • Apr 22 Nicolás Bravo, Mexican politician and soldier (b. 1786)
  • Apr 29 Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, English general (b. 1768)
  • Jun 7 Charles Baudin, French admiral (b. 1792)
  • Jul 4 Karl F Eichhorn, German law historian, dies at 72
  • Jul 6 Georg Ohm, German physicist and mathematician (Ohm's law), dies at 65
  • Jul 18 Abbas Hilmi I, viceroy of Egypt, dies at about 41
  • Jul 31 Samuel Wilson, American meat packer and possible namesake of Uncle Sam, dies at 87
  • Aug 9 Frederik Augustus II, king of Saxon (1836-54), dies at 57
  • Aug 11 Macedonio Melloni, Italian physicist (radiant light), dies at 56
  • Aug 16 Duncan Phyfe, furniture maker, dies
  • Oct 22 Jeremias Gotthelf [Albert Bitzius], Swiss writer (The Black Spider), dies at 57
  • Nov 5 Soimonov, Russian general, dies in battle of Inkermann
  • Nov 18 Edward Forbes, English Naturalist and pioneer in the field of biogeography, dies of an illness at 39
  • Nov 25 John G Lockhart, [scorpion], English biographer, dies at 60
  • Nov 26 Matthijs Siegenbeek, literature (Defeated German Spelling), dies
  • Dec 9 Almeida Garrett, Portuguese writer (b. 1799)