On This Day

Deaths in History in 1881

  • Jan 1 Louis Auguste Blanqui, French political activist, dies at 75
  • Jan 21 Wilhelm Matthias Naeff, Swiss Federal Councilor (b. 1802)
  • Jan 25 Konstantin Thon, Russian architect (Grand Kremlin Palace), dies at 86
  • Feb 2 Aleksej F Pisemski, Russian writer (Clodhopper), dies at 59
  • Feb 3 John Gould, British ornithologist and bird artist, dies at 76

Person of interestThomas Carlyle

Feb 5 Thomas Carlyle, Scottish historian and essayist (The French Revolution), dies in London at 85

Historian and Essayist Thomas Carlyle
Historian and Essayist
Thomas Carlyle
  • Feb 6 Pieter Mijer, Gov-Gen of Neth Indies (1866-72), dies at 68
  • Feb 7 Fredrik Cygnaeus, Finnish poet/literature critic, dies at 73

Person of interestFyodor Dostoyevsky

Feb 9 Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist (Crime and Punishment, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man) who helped shape literary modernism and existentialism, dies from a pulmonary haemorrhage at 59

  • Feb 14 Fernando Wood, New York City mayor (b. 1812)
  • Feb 27 George Colley, British governor of Natal/general, dies in battle at 46
  • Mar 6 Horatia Nelson, the illegitimate daughter of Emma Hamilton and Horatio Nelson (b. 1801)

MurderAlexander II

Mar 13 Alexander II, Tsar of Russia (1855-81), assassinated by members of far-left terror group 'People's Will' at 62

Tsar of Russia Alexander II
Tsar of Russia
Alexander II
  • Mar 15 Emory Upton, Bvt Major General (Union Army), commits suicide at 41
  • Mar 21 Samuel Courtauld, American-born textile magnate (b. 1793)
  • Mar 24 Friedrich Hecker, German revolutionary republican politician, dies at 69

  • Mar 24 Joseph Delesse, French geologist (b. 1817)
  • Mar 26 Roman Sanguszko, Polish aristocrat and general, dies at 80
  • Apr 7 Pierre Napoleon Bonaparte, Corsican representative of the people, dies at 65
  • Apr 11 Kristian Mandrup Elster, Norwegian author (Torn Trondal), dies at 40
  • Apr 12 James L. Lardner, American naval officer (American Civil War), dies at 78
  • Apr 15 Sophia Perovskaya, Soviet icon, aristocrat, and socialist revolutionary (Narodnaya Volya), who helped orchestrate the successful assassination of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, executed by hanging at 27

Person of interestBenjamin Disraeli

Apr 19 Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, British Prime Minister (Tory: 1868, 1874-80) and writer, dies of bronchitis at 76

British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli
British Prime Minister
Benjamin Disraeli
  • Apr 19 Michel Abeloos, Flemish sculptor, dies at 53
  • Apr 26 Ludwig Freiherr von und zu der Tann-Rathsamhausen, Bavarian general, dies at 65
  • Apr 27 Ludwig von Benedek, Austrian general, dies at 76
  • Apr 28 Robert Olinger, American warden & the last victim of Billy the Kid, dies at 31
  • May 1 John S. Preston, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), dies at 72
  • May 3 Josip Jurcic, Slovic writer (Schone Vida), dies
  • May 11 Henri-Frédéric Amiel, Swiss writer (Journal Intime), dies at 59
  • May 24 Samuel Palmer, British landscape painter, dies at 76
  • May 26 Jakob Bernays, German philologist (b. 1824)
  • Jun 2 Émile Littré, French lexicographer (b. 1801)
  • Jun 3 Japanese giant salamander, dies in Dutch zoo at 55; oldest amphibian
  • Jun 13 Joseph Škoda, Bohemian physician, dies at 75
  • Jun 16 Marie Laveau, American Voodoo practitioner, dies at 79

  • Jun 16 Sir Josiah Mason, English manufacturer (b. 1795)
  • Jun 28 Jules Armand Dufaure, French statesman (Prime Minister of France 1871-73), dies at 82
  • Jul 4 Johan Vilhelm Snellman, Finnish statesman (b. 1806)
  • Jul 10 Georg Hermann Nicolai, German architect (b. 1812)

Person of interestBilly the Kid

Jul 14 Billy the Kid [William H Bonney], American frontier outlaw, shot by sheriff Pat Garrett and dies of gunshot wounds at 21

Frontier Outlaw Billy the Kid
Frontier Outlaw
Billy the Kid
  • Jul 17 James Bridger, American scout, fur trader and mountain man par excellence, dies at 77
  • Jul 19 Isaac Baumann, Jewish pioneer and trader in Bloemfontein, South Africa, dies at 67
  • Jul 20 Thomas Fermor-Hesketh, English 1st baron of Hesketh, dies
  • Jul 26 George Borrow, writer, dies
  • Aug 2 Marcus Andrews Hislop Clarke, author (His Natural Life) at 35
  • Aug 6 James Springer White, American theologian (co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church), dies at 60
  • Sep 8 W Frederik K, prince of Netherlands/general/admiral, dies at 84

Person of interestAmbrose Burnside

Sep 13 Ambrose Burnside, American soldier, industrialist and politician (Governor of Rhode Island, 1866-69) who popularized sideburns, dies of a heart attack at 57

Union General, Politician and Industrialist Ambrose Burnside
Union General, Politician and Industrialist
Ambrose Burnside

Person of interestJames Garfield

Sep 19 James A. Garfield, 20th US President (Republican: 1881), dies of a gunshot wound at 49

20th US President James Garfield
20th US President
James Garfield
  • Sep 22 Solomon L. Spink, U.S. Congressman from Illinois (b. 1831)
  • Oct 3 Orson Pratt, American mathematician and religious leader, dies at 70
  • Oct 26 Billy Clanton, brother of outlaw Ike Clanton, dies in the gunfight at the OK Corral at 19
  • Oct 31 George Washington De Long, American Arctic Explorer, dies during his disastrous expedition to the North Pole at 37
  • Nov 1 Jacques Perk, Dutch poet (Iris, Wood Song), dies at 22
  • Nov 7 John MacHale, Irish Archbishop (Tuam) and writer (b. 1791)
  • Nov 9 Edwin Drake, American businessman who drilled 1st productive US oil well, dies at 61
  • Nov 21 Ami Boué, Austrian geologist (b. 1794)
  • Dec 7 Julius FA Bahnsen, German philosopher (Tragic as Weltgesetz), dies at 51
  • Dec 13 August Senoa, Croatian writer (Kletva [The Curse]), dies at 43
  • Dec 17 Lewis H Morgan, US ethnologist (Iroquois-indians), dies at 62
  • Dec 18 George Edmund Street, English architect, dies at 57