1855 in History

Events in History

  • Jan 9 Clipper "Guiding Star" disappears in Atlantic, 480 dead
  • Jan 23 The first bridge over the Mississippi River opens in what is now Minneapolis, Minnesota, a crossing made today by the Father Louis Hennepin Bridge
  • Jan 28 The first locomotive runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean on the Panama Railway
  • Jan 31 Western railroads blocked by snow
  • Jan 31 The government of Lord Aberdeen in the United Kingdom falls following heavy scrutiny of the Crimean War
  • Feb 3 Wisconsin Supreme Coutt declares US Fugitive Slave Law unconstitutional
  • Feb 4 Soldiers shoot Jewish families in Coro, Venezuela

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 6 British government of Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston forms

British Prime Minister Henry John Temple
British Prime Minister
Henry John Temple
  • Feb 8 The Devil's Footprints, hoof-like marks mysteriously appear for over 60km after a snowfall in southern Devon, England
  • Feb 10 US citizenship laws amended; all children of US parents born abroad granted US citizenship
  • Feb 11 Kassa Hailu is crowned Tewodros II, Emperor of Ethiopia, by Abuna Salama III in a ceremony at the church of Derasge Maryam
  • Feb 12 Michigan State University established
  • Feb 14 Texas is linked by telegraph to the rest of the United States, with the completion of a connection between New Orleans and Marshall, Texas.
  • Feb 24 US Court of Claims forms for cases against government

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 25 Bowery Boys gang leader William Poole "Bill the Butcher" shot in the back by gang of archrival John Morrissey in New York (dies 8th March)

Gang Leader Bill the Butcher
Gang Leader
Bill the Butcher
  • Mar 2 Aleksandr Romanov becomes tsar of Russia

  • Mar 3 US Congress approves $30,000 to test camels for military use
  • Mar 3 US Congress authorizes registered mail
  • Mar 6 Gustave Flaubert writes goodbye to Louise Colet
  • Mar 8 1st train crosses 1st US railway suspension bridge, Niagara Falls
  • Mar 11 Bowery Boys gang leader William Poole aka "Bill the Butcher" is buried in Brooklyn with 155 carriages and 6,000 mourners
  • Mar 15 Louisiana establishes 1st health board to regulate quarantine
  • Mar 24 Manhattan Kansas founded as New Boston Kansas

InventionHistoric Invention

Mar 27 Abraham Gesner patents kerosene

Physician and Geologist Abraham Gesner
Physician and Geologist
Abraham Gesner
  • Apr 21 1st train crosses Mississippi River's 1st bridge, from Rock Island, Illinois to Davenport, Iowa
  • Apr 28 1st veterinary college in US incorporated in Boston
  • May 3 Antwerp-Rotterdam railway opens
  • May 5 New York City regains Castle Clinton, to be used for immigration
  • Jun 1 US adventurer William Walker conquers Nicaragua, reestablishes slavery
  • Jun 2 The Portland Rum Riot occurs in Portland, Maine
  • Jun 5 Anti-foreign anti-Roman Catholic Know-Nothing Party's 1st convention
  • Jun 17 Heavy French/British bombing of Sebastopol, Crimea: 2,000+ killed
  • Jun 20 Commissioners appointed to lay out San Francisco streets west of Larkin
  • Jun 28 The Sigma Chi Fraternity was founded at Miami University

Book releaseHistoric Publication

Jul 4 In Brooklyn, New York, the first edition of Walt Whitman's book of poems, "Leaves of Grass" is published

  • Jul 20 1st train from Rotterdam to Utrecht in Netherlands
  • Jul 31 Hottest July in Stockholm since at least 1756 (21.4°C avg)
  • Aug 1 Castle Clinton in NYC opens as 1st US receiving station for immigrants
  • Aug 3 Rotterdam-Gouda railway opens
  • Aug 4 John Bartlett publishes "Familiar Quotations"
  • Aug 9 Battle of Acapulco during Mexican Liberal uprising
  • Sep 3 Indian Wars: In Nebraska, 700 soldiers under American General William S. Harney avenge the Grattan Massacre by attacking a Sioux village, killing 100 men, women, and children.
  • Sep 8 French forces successfully assault the Malakoff Line during the Crimean War
  • Sep 8 British and French troops capture Sevastopol from the Russians, effectively ending the Crimean War
  • Oct 9 American inventor Isaac Singer patents sewing machine motor
  • Oct 17 Bessemer steelmaking process patented

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 17 David Livingstone becomes the first European to see Victoria Falls, in what is now Zambia and Zimbabwe

Physician and Explorer David Livingstone
Physician and Explorer
David Livingstone

Birthdays in History

  • Jan 3 Hubert Bland, English socialist (d. 1914)

Person of interestKing C. Gillette

Jan 5 King C. Gillette, American businessman and inventor of inexpensive and disposable safety razor blades, born in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin (d. 1932)

Businessman and Inventor King C. Gillette
Businessman and Inventor
King C. Gillette
  • Jan 10 Peter J Blok, Dutch historian (History of the Dutch People)
  • Jan 21 John M Browning, American weapons manufacturer
  • Jan 22 Albert Neisser [Albert Ludwig Sigesmund Neisser], Schweidnitz Prussia, German physician who discovered the bacterias that cause gonorrhea and leprosy
  • Jan 23 John Moses Browning, American inventor (d. 1926)
  • Jan 28 William Seward Burroughs, NY, inventor (recording adding machine)
  • Feb 13 Paul Deschanel, French President (d. 1922)
  • Feb 17 Otto Liman von Sanders, German general in Turkey (WWI)
  • Feb 21 Alice Freeman Palmer, educator (Hall of Fame)
  • Feb 25 Cesário Verde, Portuguese poet (d. 1886)

Person of interestPercival Lowell

Mar 13 Percival "Percy" Lowell, American astronomer (predicted discovery of Pluto), born in Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1916)

Astronomer Percival Lowell
Astronomer
Percival Lowell

Person of interestAndrew Mellon

Mar 24 Andrew Mellon, American banker (Mellon Bank), industrialist and Secretary of the Treasury (1921-32), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 1947)

Banker, Industrialist and US Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon
Banker, Industrialist and US Secretary of the Treasury
Andrew Mellon
  • Mar 24 Olive Schreiner, South African writer (Portrait of a South African Woman)
  • Mar 27 Alfred Ewing, Scottish Physicist (magnetic properties of metals, hysteresis), born in Dundee, Angus, Scotland (d. 1935)
  • Mar 31 Alfred E. Hunt, founder of Alcoa (d. 1899)
  • Apr 9 Gyula Reviczky, Hungarian author and poet, born in Kuzmice, Topoľčany District, Slovakia (d. 1889)
  • Apr 18 Abraham Bredius, Dutch art historian (Jan Steen)
  • May 1 Cecilia Beaux, American portrait painter , born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • May 8 John Gates ("Bet-a-million" Gates), American inventor and industrialist who established the market for barbed wire fencing, born in Chicago, Illinois
  • May 15 Eduard von Keyserling, Baltic German writer (Dritte Stiege)
  • May 21 Emile A G Verhaeren, Belgian poet/writer (Les Flammes Hautes)
  • Jun 14 Robert Marion La Follette, Wisconsin, presidential candidate (Progressive)
  • Jul 7 Ludwig Ganghofer, German writer (d. 1920)
  • Jul 26 Ferdinand Tönnies, German sociologist and philosopher, born in Oldenswort, Germany (d. 1936)
  • Jul 30 James E. Kelly, American sculptor "Sculptor of American History", born in NYC, New York (d. 1933)
  • Aug 18 Alfred Wallis, English artist and mariner, born in Devonport, Devon, England (d. 1942)
  • Aug 20 Innokenti F Annenski, Russian poet and interpreter (Laodania), born in Omsk, Russian Empire (d. 1909) [NS Sept 1]
  • Sep 1 Innokenty Annensky, Omsk, Russian Empire, poet, critic and interpreter (poètes maudits)
  • Sep 7 William Friese-Greene, British photographer and inventor (motion pictures), born in Bristol, England (d. 1921)
  • Sep 9 Houston S Chamberlain, British/German race theorist
  • Sep 9 Anthony Francis Lucas Croatian-born oil exploration pioneer (d. 1921)
  • Sep 12 Jacobus of Looy, Dutch writer and painter (Death of My Cat), born in Haarlem, Netherlands (d. 1930)
  • Sep 12 Simon-Napoléon Parent, Canadian politician and 12th Premier of Quebec (1900-05), born in Beauport, Quebec City (d. 1920)
  • Sep 28 Thomas Frederick Tout, British historian (Manchester school of historiography), born in London, England (d. 1929)
  • Oct 8 Gustav Ehrismann, German author and expert on the German language, born in Pforzheim, Baden-Württemberg (d. 1941)
  • Oct 12 August Sauer, Austrian literature historian (Euphorion), born in Wiener Neustadt, Austria (d. 1926)
  • Oct 16 Camille Looten, Belgian priest/literature historian
  • Oct 16 Samedbey Mehmandarov, Russian general (d. 1931)
  • Oct 24 James S. Sherman, Vice President of the United States (d. 1912)
  • Oct 28 Ivan V Mitshurin, Russian botanist (new types of fruit)
  • Oct 29 Paul Bruchési, archbishop of Montreal (d. 1939)
  • Nov 5 Eugene V. Debs, Terre Haute, Indiana, American labor leader and Socialist presidential candidate (d. 1926)
  • Nov 5 Leon P Teisserenc de Bort, French meteorologist (stratosphere)
  • Nov 6 Ezra Seymour Gosney, American philanthropist and eugenicist, born in Kenton County, Kentucky (d. 1942)
  • Nov 7 Edwin Hall, American physicist (discovered Hall effect), born in Gorham, Maine (d. 1938)
  • Nov 20 Josiah Royce, American philosopher (Conception of Immortality), born in Grass Valley, California (d. 1916)
  • Nov 23 Frank Friday Fletcher, American Naval Admiral (Medal of Order for Battle of Veracruz), born in Oskaloosa, Iowa (d. 1928)
  • Nov 30 Marie WF Treub, Dutch economist/minister of Agriculture/Finance
  • Dec 5 Clinton Hart Merriam, American ornithologist (d. 1942)
  • Dec 10 Henry Nicholas Ridley, West Harling Hall, Norfolk, U.K., Botanist (Malay Peninsula rubber industry)
  • Dec 27 Paul Ehrenreich, German etnologist/mythologist
  • Dec 30 Heinrich Hart, German writer (Song of Humanity)
  • Dec 31 Giovanni Pascoli, Italian classicist/poet

Weddings in History

  • Jun 16 Salvation Army founder William Booth marries Catherine Mumford

HeartWedding of Interest

Nov 14 Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart (22) weds Flora Cooke in Fort Riley, Kansas

Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart
Confederate General
J.E.B. Stuart

Deaths in History

  • Jan 6 Giacomo Beltrami, Italian explorer (b. 1779)
  • Jan 10 Mary Russell Mitford, English playwright and poet (Julian), dies at 67
  • Jan 25 Dorothy Wordsworth, English writer, brother of William Wordsworth, dies at 83
  • Jan 26 Gérard de Nerval, French writer (b. 1808)
  • Feb 6 Josef Munzinger, Swiss Federal Councilor (b. 1791)
  • Feb 20 Joseph Hume, Scottish doctor and social reformer, dies at 78

Person of interestCarl Friedrich Gauss

Feb 23 Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician considered one of the greatest of all time (Gaussian distribution, fundamental theorem of algebra), dies at 77

Mathematician, Astronomer, and Physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss
Mathematician, Astronomer, and Physicist
Carl Friedrich Gauss
  • Mar 2 Nicholas I Pavlovitch, tsar of Russia (1825-55), dies at 58

Person of interestBill the Butcher

Mar 8 William Poole, Infamous member of New York City's Bowery Boys gang, dies of a gunshot wound at 33

Gang Leader Bill the Butcher
Gang Leader
Bill the Butcher
  • Mar 20 Joseph Aspdin, English mason and inventor (b. 1788)
  • Mar 29 Henri Druey, Swiss politician and a founding father of constitutional democracy in Switzerland, dies at 55

Person of interestCharlotte Brontë

Mar 31 Charlotte Brontë, English novelist (Jane Eyre), dies at 38

  • Apr 13 Henry De la Beche, English geologist (b. 1796)
  • Apr 18 Jean-Baptiste Isabey, painter, dies
  • May 5 Sir Robert Inglis, Bt, English politician (b. 1786)
  • May 15 Jan Mazereeuw, Frisian farmer/sect leader, dies at 75
  • May 23 Charles Robert Malden, English explorer (b. 1797)
  • May 27 Nikolaj A Bestoezjev, Russ writer/painter (Account of Holland), dies
  • May 27 Nikolaj Bestuzhev, Russian Navy officer, writer and painter (Decembrist revolt), dies at 64
  • Jun 16 John Gorrie, American scientist and inventor (cold-air process of refrigeration), dies at 51
  • Jul 7 Konstantin Batyushkov, Russian poet (b. 1787)
  • Jul 8 William Parry, English Arctic explorer (Parry Channel), dies at 64
  • Jul 9 FitzRoy Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan, British Army officer (commander of the British forces during the Crimean War), dies of dysentery in Crimea at 66
  • Aug 7 Mariano Arista, President of Mexico (1851-53), dies at 53
  • Aug 16 Henry Colburn, British publisher ( Pepys's Diary) (b. 1784)
  • Aug 30 Feargus O'Connor, Leader of English Chartists, dies at 61
  • Oct 6 August Leopold Crelle, German inventor and mathematician (1st Prussian Railway), dies at 75
  • Oct 25 Willem Frederik van Bylandt, Dutch military officer, dies at 84
  • Nov 11 Søren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher, dies at 42
  • Nov 26 Adam B Mickiewicz, Polish poet (Polish Legion), dies at 56
  • Dec 6 William John Swainson, English naturalist and artist, dies at 66
  • Dec 15 Jacques Charles François Sturm, French mathematician (b. 1803)
  • Dec 18 Samuel Rogers, English poet (Italy, a poem), dies at 92