Historical Figures Who Died in 1885

  • Jan 6 Harishchandra, Indian poet, dramatist and commonly referred as "father of modern Hindi", dies at 34
  • Jan 6 Peter C Asbjornsen, Norwegian fairy tale writer, dies at 72
  • Jan 13 Schuyler Colfax, American politician (b.1823)
  • Jan 15 Levin Minn Powell, American Commander (Union Navy), dies at 81
  • Jan 16 Edmond François Valentin About, French writer (Le Roi des montagnes), dies at 56
  • Jan 19 Fred Burnaby, English colonel/balloon pioneer, dies in battle
  • Jan 24 Martin Delany, African-American abolitionist and physician (1st African American major in US Army), dies at 72
  • Jan 26 Charles George Gordon, British Governor-General of Sudan, executed at 51
  • Jan 26 Edward Davy, English inventor (b. 1806)
  • Feb 4 Sarah Miriam Peale, American portrait painter (General Lafayette, 1825), dies at 84
  • Feb 14 Jules Vallès, French writer (b. 1832)
  • Mar 13 Titian Peale, American artist and naturalist (American Ornithology), dies at 85
  • Mar 25 Karl Schwarz, German theologian, dies at 72
  • Apr 7 Carl Theodor Ernst von Siebold, German physiologist (b. 1804)
  • Apr 10 John H Scholten, theologist (Free Want), dies at 73
  • Apr 30 J. P. [Jens Peter] Jacobsen, Danish writer (Niels Lyhne), dies of tuberculosis at 38
  • May 4 Alexander Karađorđević, Prince of Serbia (1842-58), dies at 78
  • May 13 Friedrich Gustav Jakob Henle, German pathologist, dies at 75
  • May 13 Juliana Horatia Ewing [Gatty], English children's author (Lob Lie-by-the-Fire), dies at 43
  • May 19 Peter W. Barlow, English engineer (b. 1809)

Victor HugoVictor Hugo (1802-1885)

May 22 French author (Hunchback of Notre Dame, Les Miserables), dies at 83

  • May 29 Alfred Meissner, Austrian poet (Ziska), dies at 62
  • Jun 8 Ignace Bourget, French Canadian Bishop of Montreal, dies at 85
  • Jun 16 Wilhelm Camphausen, German painter (b. 1818)
  • Jun 17 Edwin Freiherr von Manteuffel, Prussian Generalfeldmarschall noted for his victories in the Franco-Prussian War, dies at 76
  • Jul 1 Hermann von Fehling, German chemist (Fehling's reagens), dies at 73
  • Jul 15 Rosalia de Castro, Spanish writer and poet in the Galician language ('Séculos Escuros') (b. 1837)
  • Jul 17 Jean-Charles Chapais, Canadian politician (considered Father of the Canadian Confederation), dies at 73

Ulysses S. GrantUlysses S. Grant (1822-1885)

Jul 23 18th US President (1869-77) and Union general, dies of esophageal cancer in Mount McGregor NY at 63

  • Aug 7 Anthony Modderman, Dutch politician (Minister of Justice, 1879-83), dies at 46
  • Aug 12 Georg Curtius, German classical linguist, dies at 65
  • Aug 12 Helen Hunt Jackson, American author (Ramona), dies at 54
  • Aug 20 Edouard J. A. Agneessens, Flemish painter (Slave Market), dies at 42
  • Aug 25 Reuben Fenton, American merchant and politician (22nd Governor of New York), dies at 66
  • Sep 15 Jumbo, P. T. Barnum's circus elephant, dies after being hit by a train

Doc DurantDoc Durant (1820-1885)

Oct 5 American financier and railroad promoter (Transcontinental Railroad-Union Pacific), dies at 65

  • Oct 6 Thomas Talbot, American politician, 31st Governor of Massachusetts, dies at 67
  • Oct 10 John McCloskey, 1st American cardinal and Archbishop of New York, dies at 75
  • Oct 23 Charles S. West, American jurist and politician, dies at 56

George McClellanGeorge McClellan (1826-1885)

Oct 29 American Major General (Union Army), dies of a heart attack at 58

  • Oct 29 James Hannington, English missionary, murdered in Uganda

Louis RielLouis Riel (1844-1885)

Nov 16 Canadian politician, founder of the province of Manitoba and leader of the Métis people of the Canadian prairies, hanged for treason at 41

  • Nov 25 Alfonso XII, King of Spain (1874-85), dies at 27
  • Nov 25 Thomas A. Hendricks, 21st Vice President of the United States (D), dies 8 months after taking office at 66
  • Nov 26 Thomas Andrews, Irish chemist and physicist (ozone), dies at 71
  • Dec 8 William Henry Vanderbilt, American businessman, member of the Vanderbilt family, dies at 64
  • Dec 15 Ferdinand II, German prince of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha-Koháry and King of Portugal (1837-53), dies at 69
  • Dec 15 Robert Toombs, American lawyer and 1st Confederate States Secretary of State, dies at 75
  • Dec 24 Louis-Prosper Gachard, Belgian historian, dies at 85