Return to home1780 Jan 2, A
blizzard hit Washington's army at the Morristown, NJ, winter
(AH, 2/05, p.16)
1780 Jan 2, Johann Ludwig Krebs
(b.1713), German composer, died.
1780 Feb 9, Walenty Karol
Kratzer, composer, was born.
1780 Feb 14, William Blackstone
(56), English lawyer, died.
1780 Mar 1, Pennsylvania
became the first U.S. state to abolish slavery (for new-borns only).
It was followed by Connecticut and Rhode Island in 1784, New York in
1785, and New Jersey in 1786. Massachusetts abolished slavery
through a judicial decision in 1783 (see July 8 1777).
1780 Mar 17, Thomas Chalmers,
1st moderator (Free Church of Scotland 1843-47), was born.
1780 Mar 26, The 1st British
Sunday newspaper appeared as the British Gazette and Sunday Monitor.
1780 Mar 27, August L. Crelle,
German inventor, mathematician (1st Prussian Railway), was born.
1780 Apr 4, Edward Hicks
(d.1849), Quaker preacher and painter, was born. His work included
over 60 paintings that were all titled "The Peaceable Kingdom.’
(WSJ, 11/16/99, p.A28)(SFC, 9/25/00, p.F1)(HN,
1780 Apr, George Washington
censured Benedict Arnold for his misdeeds as governor of
(ON, 11/01, p.2)
1780 May 4, American Academy of
Arts & Science was founded.
1780 May 12, Charleston, SC,
fell to the British in the US Revolutionary War.
(SC, internet, 5/12/97)(HN, 5/12/98)
1780 May 19, A mysterious
darkness enveloped much of New England and part of Canada in the
early afternoon; the cause has never been determined.
(HFA, '96, p.30)(DTnet 5/19/97)
1780 May, The Virginia
continentals surrendered to Lieutenant Colonel Banastre Tarleton,
commander of the British Legion, following his victory at Waxhaws,
SC. Tarleton then led the British troops to a massacre of the
surrendering Virginia regulars and militiamen, eliminating the
last organized force in South Carolina. During the course of the
Revolutionary War, Tarleton became one of the most hated men in
(HNQ, 9/26/00)(AH, 10/07, p.29)
1780 Jun, The East India ship
Princess Royal landed at Bengkulu on Sumatra with American rebels.
The prisoners were sent to Fort Marlboro to be trained as British
(ON, 1/00, p.5)
1780 Jun, The London riots led
by George Gordon in opposition to the Catholic Relief Act of 1778
took place. Anti-Catholic protesters wrought anarchy for a week in
the Gordon riots.
(HNQ, 2/24/99)(Econ, 10/19/13, p.88)
1780 Aug 5, Benedict Arnold
took over the command of West Point from American Major Gen. Robert
(ON, 11/01, p.2)
1780 Aug 16, American troops
under Gen. Horatio Gates were badly defeated by the British at the
Battle of Camden, South Carolina.
(HFA, '96, p.36)(HN, 8/16/98)(ON, 12/01, p.9)
1780 Aug 22, HMS Resolution
returned to England without Capt Cook.
1780 Aug 24, King Louis XVI
abolished torture as a means to get suspects to confess.
1780 Aug 29,
Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (d.1867), French painter, was born.
His work included the "Portrait of Monsieur de Norvins" and
(WUD, 1994, p.731)(WSJ, 7/1/96, p.A11)(MC,
1780 Aug 30, General Benedict
Arnold betrayed the US when he promised secretly to surrender the
fort at West Point to the British army. Arnold whose name has become
synonymous with traitor fled to England after the botched
conspiracy. His co-conspirator, British spy Major John Andre, was
hanged in an act of spite by Washington ("it's good for the
1780 Sep 21-22, General
Benedict Arnold, American commander of West Point, met with British
spy Major John André to hand over plans of the important Hudson
River fort to the enemy. Unhappy with how General George Washington
treated him and in need of money, Arnold planned to "sell" West
Point for 20,000 pounds--a move that would enable the British to cut
New England off from the rest of the rebellious colonies. Arnold's
treason was exposed when André was captured by American militiamen
who found the incriminating plans in his stocking. Arnold received a
timely warning and was able to escape to a British ship, but André
was hanged as a spy on October 2, 1780. Condemned for his
Revolutionary War actions by both Americans and British, Arnold
lived until 1801.
1780 Sep 23, British spy John
Andre was captured along with papers revealing Benedict Arnold's
plot to surrender West Point to the British. Arnold had switched
sides partly because he disapproved of the US French alliance.
(AP, 9/23/97)(SFEC,11/23/97, Par p.19)
1780 Sep 25, American General
Benedict Arnold joined the British.
(MC, 9/25/01)(ON, 11/01, p.5)
1780 Oct 2, British spy John
Andre was hanged in Tappan, N.Y., for conspiring with Benedict
1780 Oct 6, Over 1500 Patriot
fighters assembled on the outskirts of Cowpens, South Carolina, to
confront Loyalist forces of British Major Patrick Ferguson.
(ON, 12/07, p.6)
1780 Oct 7, Colonial patriots
slaughtered a loyalist group at the Battle of King's Mountain in
South Carolina. Patrick Ferguson (36), English Major in South
Carolina, died in the battle along with some 200 Loyalists. Patriot
losses numbered 30 with 62 wounded.
(HN, 10/7/99)(ON, 12/07, p.7)
1780 Oct 10, A Great Hurricane
killed 20,000 to 30,000 in Caribbean.
1780 Oct 20, M. Pauline
Bonaparte, Corsican duchess of Parma and Guastalla, was born.
1780 Oct 31, The HMS Ontario
was lost with barely a trace and as many as 130 people aboard during
a gale on Lake Ontario. In 2008 explorers found the 22-gun British
warship. Canadian author Arthur Britton Smith chronicled the history
of the HMS Ontario in a 1997 book, "The Legend of the Lake."
1780 Oct, Gen. Washington
ordered Major General Nathanael Greene to replace Gen. Horatio Gates
and take command of the southern Department of the Continental Army.
(ON, 12/01, p.9)
1780 Nov 29, Maria Theresa
Hapsburg (63), Queen of Austria, died.
1780 Dec 4, At the Battle of
Rugeley's Mill, South Carolina, Colonel William Washington attacked
a fortified log barn with 107 Loyalists inside. When the Patriot‘s
small arms proved ineffective, Washington cut a log to resemble a
cannon and demanded the surrender of the Loyalists. The "Quaker
guns" used in the American War of Independence were fashioned out of
logs to resemble cannon. Fooled by the fake cannon, the
promptly gave up. Quaker guns were also decisive at the May 1780
Battle of Hunt‘s Bluff, also in South Carolina.
1780 George Stubbs, British
painter, created his portrait of a poodle.
(SFC, 6/25/99, p.A3)
1780 Goethe published a
fragment of Faust.
1780 The Warren Tavern was
built in Charlestown and named after Gen’l. Joseph Warren, who was
killed at the battle of Bunker Hill.
(HT, 3/97, p.34)
c1780 It was Alexander Hamilton’s idea to
establish a central bank and consolidate the state debts left over
from the Revolutionary War.
1780 John Paul Jones’
"Continental Ship of War," Ranger, was captured by the British at
the fall of Charleston, South Carolina, and was added to the Royal
Navy under the name of Halifax.
(NG, Sept. 1939, J. Maloney p.362)
1780 US Gen’l. Benedict Arnold,
newly married and strapped for cash to maintain an extravagant
lifestyle, began providing information to the British. He eventually
joined the British as a brigadier general.
(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A3)
1780 The first inflation-linked
bonds were issued in Massachusetts.
(Econ, 2/25/12, SRp.4)
1780 Guillaume Raynal, a French
historian, proclaimed Puerto Rico to be "in proportion to its size
the very best island in the New World."
(SFEC, 4/26/98, p.A3)
1780 The mission of San Lorenzo
in the Native American pueblo of Picuris was built. It has no bell
towers, is flanked by curved buttresses, and is one of the 6 adobe
missions scattered along the western shoulder of the Sangre de
Cristo mountains between Taos and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
(SFC, 5/12/96, p.T-5)
1780 A Japanese whaling ship
ran aground near the western end of the Aleutian Islands. Rats from
the ship reached the nearest island giving it the name Rat Island.
The incident introduced the non-native Norway rat, also known as the
brown rat, to Alaska. The rats terrorized all but the largest birds
on the island. In the Fall of 2008 poison was dropped onto the
island from helicopter-hoisted buckets for a week and a half. By mid
2009 there were no signs of living rats and some birds had returned.
(Econ, 1/20/07, p.43)(Reuters, 6/12/09)
1780 The giant Mosasaurus
dinosaur head was found in the Netherlands near Maastricht. [see
(NYT, 6/7/96, p.A4)
1780 A deadly hurricane hit the
Windward and Leeward Islands and 20-22,000 people were killed.
(SFC, 11/30/98, p.A2)
1780 In England Richard
Brinsley Sheridan, playwright, entered Parliament as a supporter of
the Whig politician Charles James Fox, who supported the American
colonies against George III.
(WSJ, 11/20/98, p.W6)(WSJ, 1/7/00, p.W4)
1780 In France a communal grave
at the Cemetery of the Innocents in Paris cracked and spilled into
the cellars of adjoining houses and prompted its closure.
(Hem., 3/97, p.129)
1780 Salomon Gessner, printer,
poet and friend of Goethe, founded the Neue Zurcher Zeitung (NZZ).
In 2005 the newspaper celebrated its 225th birthday.
(Econ, 4/2/05, p.45)
1780 The Ottomans build the
al-Ajyad Castle in Mecca to protect the city and its Muslim shrines
from invaders. The castle was torn down by the Saudis in 2001 to
make way for a trade center and hotel complex. Turkey called this a
(SFC, 1/8/02, p.A6)
1780 Sheep were introduced to
Ireland from Scotland.
(SFCM, 10/14/01, p.25)
1780 In Peru Jose Gabriel
Condorcanqui led a failed Indian revolt against the Spanish.
(SFC, 12/20/96, p.B4)
1780s Steel pens were developed
as more durable than quills.
(SFC, 7/26/04, p.F4)
1780s Antoine Lavoisier and
Pierre-Simon Laplace, chemists, demonstrated that the byproducts of
fire weighed as much as the original wood and demolished the idea
that heat was caused by the release of phlogiston.
(WSJ, 12/10/99, p.W12)
1780s English plumber, William
Watts, built a tower to let fall drops of molten lead to a water
well in his cellar to create shot for guns. Just as raindrops turn
spherical on falling, so did his lead drops. His tower stood till
(SFC, 6/22/96, p.E4)
1780-1783 A 4-year war between England and the
Dutch was fought.
(SFC, 3/31/98, p.F4)
1780-1792 The intellectual development over this
period of American President James Madison is covered in a 1995 book
by Lance Banning titled: The Sacred Fire of Liberty: James Madison
and the Founding of the Federal Republic.
(WSJ, 12/20/95, p.A-12)
1780-1820 Some 5,000 cases came before the Spanish
Inquisition from which only 6 Spaniards were prosecuted for Judaism.
(WSJ, 4/16/98, p.A20)
1780-1830 Louis-Leopold Boilly devoted himself in
this period to painting aspects of the common man in France. His
paintings include A Game of Billiards (1807) and Moving Day (1822).
(WSJ, 11/7/95, p.A-1)
1780-1831 Karl von Clausewitz, German military
officer and author of books on military science. In his 1st book "On
War" he wrote: "War is an act of force to compel our enemy to do our
(WUD, 1994, p.273)(WSJ, 4/1/99, p.A10)
1780-1839 The Maharajah Ranjit Singh lived in
India. He consolidated Sikh rule after splintering conflicts with
Punjab's Mughal court and Afghan and Persian invaders.
(SFC, 9/22/99, p.E1)
1780-1842 William Ellery Channing, American
clergyman: "How the 'I' pervades all things!"
1781 Jan 5, A British naval
expedition led by Benedict Arnold burned Richmond, Va. Arnold led
some 1,600 British and Loyalist troops in the destructive raid on
(AP, 1/5/98)(AH, 2/06, p.14)
1781 Jan 17, Daniel Morgan’s
Continental regiments routed British forces at Cowpens, South
Carolina. 300 British soldiers were killed or wounded and 500 taken
prisoner. The cavalry skirmish at Cowpens was bloody but
(ON, 12/01, p.10)(AH, 2/06, p.15)
1781 Feb 25, American General
Nathanael Greene crossed the Dan River on his way to his March 15th
confrontation with Lord Charles Cornwallis at Guilford Court House,
1781 Feb, Gen. Washington,
sensitive to the pleas of the Virginia Governor, ordered Lafayette
south with a picked force of some 1,200 New England and New Jersey
1781 Mar 1, The Continental
Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation, following
ratification by Maryland.
1781 Mar 13, Astronomer William
Herschel discovered the planet Uranus, which he named 'Georgium
Sidus,' in honor of George III. He initially though it was a comet.
It is the 7th planet from the sun and revolves around the sun every
84.02 years. It is 14.6 time the size of Earth and has five
(AHD, p.1408)(HFA, '96, p.26)(AP, 3/13/98)(HN,
1781 Mar 15, Gen. Nathanael
Greene engaged British forces under Cornwallis at Guilford
Court-House, North Carolina. Greene retreated after inflicting
severe casualties on Cornwallis’ army.
(ON, 12/01, p.10)
1781 Mar, The Continental
cavalry under Col. Henry Lee, the father of Robert E. Lee, surprised
and cut to pieces the Loyalist cavalry near Hillsborough, NC. Ninety
Loyalists were killed with no losses to Lee.
(AH, 10/07, p.29)
1781 Apr 25, Gen. Nathanael
Greene engaged British forces at Hobkirk’s Hill, South Carolina, and
was forced to retreat.
(ON, 12/01, p.10)
1781 Apr 29, French fleet
stopped Britain from seizing the Cape of Good Hope.
1781 May 1, Emperor Josef II
decreed protection of population.
1781 May 2, In Charles Town,
S.C., William Collings sold his wife to Thomas Schooler, with her
bed and clothing for $2 and a half dozen bowls of gross.
(SFEC, 2/8/98, Z1 p.8)
1781 May 13, British Gen.
William Phillips died of a fever Petersburg, Va., as his forces
confronted the American army under Lafayette. Phillips had commanded
the artillery battery whose fire had killed Lafayette’s father at
the Battle of Minden (1759).
(ON, 2/09, p.5)
1781 May 14, Abram Petrovich
Gannibal (b.1696), an African slave adopted by Peter the Great,
died. He served Peter in various important capacities including spy
and privy councilor. He is the great-grandfather of Alexander
Pushkin. In 2005 Hugh Barnes authored “Gannibal: The Moor of
1781 May 25, Ferdinand,
archduke of Austria-Este, Governor-General (Sicily), was born.
1781 Jun 9, George Stephenson,
English engineer, inventor of the steam locomotive, was born in
(HN, 6/9/01)(MC, 6/9/02)
1781 Jun 11, A Peace Commission
created by Congress was composed of John Adams, John Jay, Benjamin
Franklin, Henry Laurens and Thomas Jefferson. Congress decided to
appoint a commission to negotiate terms for peace rather than
entrust John Adams alone with the negotiations. On June 15 Congress
modified the 1779 peace instructions to include only as essential
U.S. independence and sovereignty.
1781 Summer, Emily Geiger was
said to have crossed British lines in North Carolina to deliver an
urgent message to American Gen. Nathaniel Greene as Greene’s army
retreated from British forces under Gen. Francis Rawdon.
(ON, 11/01, p.9)
1781 Jul 5, Stamford Raffles,
founder of Singapore, was born.
1781 Jul 6, In Virginia the
Battle of Green Spring took place on the Jamestown Peninsula. It was
the last major engagement of the Revolutionary War prior to the
Colonial’s final victory at Yorktown in October.
(LP, Spring 2006, p.60)
1781 Jul 27, Mauro Giuseppe
Sergio Pantaleo Giuliani, composer, was born.
1781 Aug 1, English army under
Lord Cornwallis occupied Yorktown, Virginia.
1781 Aug 12, Robert Mills,
architect and engineer, was born. His designs include the Washington
Monument, the National Portrait Gallery and the U.S. Treasury
1781 Aug 20, George Washington
began to move his troops south to fight Cornwallis.
1781 Aug 22, Col. William
Campbell (36), West Virginia Patriot militia leader, died of an
apparent heart attack during the siege of Yorktown. Campbell had led
his militia in the Patriot victory on October 7, 1780, at the Battle
of King's Mountain in South Carolina
(ON, 12/07, p.7)
1781 Aug 30, The French fleet
of 24 ships under Comte de Grasse arrived in the Chesapeake Bay to
aid the American Revolution. The fleet defeated British under
Admiral Graves at battle of Chesapeake Capes.
(HN, 8/30/00)(MC, 8/30/01)
1781 Aug, Lt. Gen. Cornwallis
began the defensive earthworks around Yorktown with 8,300 regulars
and 2,000 escaped slaves, who believed British victory would mean
freedom. The British army numbered 8,700.
(NG, 6/1988, p.808)(SFEC,11/23/97, Par p.19)
1781 Sep 4, Mexican Provincial
Governor, Felipe de Neve, founded Los Angeles. He founded El Pueblo
de Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles (Valley of Smokes),
originally named Nuestra Senora la Reina de Los Angeles de
Porciuncula, by Gaspar de Portola, a Spanish army captain and Juan
Crespi, a Franciscan priest, who had noticed the beautiful area as
they traveled north from San Diego in 1769. 44 Spanish settlers
named a tiny village near San Gabriel, Los Angeles. Los Angeles,
first an Indian village Yangma, was founded by Spanish decree. 26 of
the settlers were of African ancestry.
(HFA, '96, p.38)(AP, 9/4/97)(SFEC, 4/12/98, Par
p.20)(HN, 9/4/98)(SFEC, 9/20/98, Z1 p.4)(HN, 9/4/00)(MC, 9/4/01)
1781 Sep 5, The British fleet
arrived off the Virginia Capes and found 26 French warships in three
straggling lines. Rear Adm. Thomas Graves waited for the French to
form their battle lines and then fought for 5 days. Outgunned and
unnerved he withdrew to New York. The French had some 37 ships and
29,000 soldiers and sailors at Yorktown while Washington had some
11,000 men engaged. French warships defeated British fleet, trapping
Cornwallis in Yorktown.
(NG, 6/1988, p.763)(SFEC,11/23/97, Par p.19)(MC,
1781 Sep 6, Anton Diabelli,
Austria publisher and composer, was born.
1781 Sep 6, Martha Jefferson
(b.1748), wife of Thomas Jefferson, died.
1781 Sep 8, Gen. Nathanael
Greene engaged British forces at Eutaw Springs, South Carolina, and
was forced to retreat.
(ON, 12/01, p.10)
1781 Sep 16, Lt. Gen. Lord
Charles Cornwallis directed the sinking of a fleet of ships at
Yorktown to block a French landing and to keep them out of enemy
(NG, 6/1988, p.806)
1781 Sep 28, American forces in
the Revolutionary War, backed by a French fleet, began their siege
of Yorktown Heights, Va. 9,000 American forces and 7,000 French
troops began the siege of Yorktown.
(AP, 9/28/97)(MC, 9/28/01)
1781 Oct 1, James Lawrence,
naval hero (War of 1812-"Don't give up the ship!"), was born.
1781 Oct 6, Americans and
French began the siege of Cornwallis at Yorktown, the last battle of
1781 Oct 9, General George
Washington commenced a bombardment of the Lord Cornwallis's
encircled British forces at Yorktown, Virginia (Battle of Yorktown
Revolutionary War). For eight days Lord Cornwallis endured the
Americans heavy bombardment and had no choice but to surrender his
9,000 troops. It was considered that Washington had achieved the
inconceivable with victory at Yorktown and that the British were
(HN, 10/9/99)(MC, 10/9/01)
1781 Oct 17, Cornwallis was
defeated at Yorktown. [see Oct 16,19]
1781 Oct 19, Major General Lord
Charles Cornwallis, surrounded at Yorktown, Va., by American and
French regiments numbering 17,600 men, surrendered to George
Washington and Count de Rochambeau at Yorktown, Va. Cornwallis
surrendered 7,157 troops, including sick and wounded, and 840
sailors, along with 244 artillery pieces. Losses in this battle had
been light on both sides. Cornwallis sent Brig. Gen. Charles O'Hara
to surrender his sword. At Washington's behest, Maj. Gen. Benjamin
Lincoln accepted it. Washington himself is seen in the right
background of “The Surrender of Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown” by
artist John Trumbull. After conducting an indecisive foray into
Virginia, Lt. Gen. Charles Lord Cornwallis retired to Yorktown on
August 2, 1781. On August 16, General Washington and Maj. Gen. Jean
Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, began marching
their Continental and French armies from New York to Virginia. The
arrival of a French fleet, and its victory over a British fleet in
Chesapeake Bay, sealed the trap.
(NG, 6/1988, p.808)(AP, 10/19/97)(HNPD,
1781 Oct (mid), French siege
engineers under American command destroyed the British
fortifications at Yorktown.
(SFC, 7/7/96, BR p.7)
1781 Nov, British Capt. Luke
Collingwood, commander of the slave ship Zong, in the face of
endemic dysentery that had already killed 7 crewmen and 60 of 470
slaves, ordered his crew to throw sick slaves overboard in order to
claim insurance money at the end of the voyage. Over 100 slaves were
cast overboard. In 2007 Marcus Rediker authored “The Slave Ship,” an
account of this and the slave trade from 1700-1808.
1781 Dec 11, David Brewster,
physicist and inventor (kaleidoscope), was born in Scotland.
1781 Mozart broke with his
patron, the archbishop of Salzburg, and struck off on his own.
Mozart’s opera "Idomeneo" was composed.
(V.D.-H.K.p.236)(WSJ, 1/6/00, p.A20)
1781 Samuel Johnson
(1709-1784), English lexicographer, essayist and poet, authored
“Lives of the English Poets.”
(ON, 11/06, p.9)(WSJ, 9/18/08, p.A23)
1781 Immanuel Kant published
his "Critique of Pure Reason." The questions of whether the universe
has a beginning and whether it is limited in space are described as
antinomies (that is, contradictions). This is because he saw
compelling arguments for and against. [see 1790]
(BHT, Hawking, p.8)
1781 The earliest reference to
the New Orleans Mardi Gras "Carnival" appeared in a report to the
Spanish colonial governing body. The Perseverance Benevolent &
Mutual Aid Association became the first of hundreds of clubs and
carnival organizations formed in New Orleans.
1781 Asprey of London was
founded. They established themselves based on accouterments and
paraphernalia for tea parties.
1781 John Quincy Adams (14)
served as secretary to the American ambassador to Russia.
(SFEC, 10/25/98, Z1 p.12)
1781 Benedict Arnold led raids
on the privateering towns of New London and Groton, Connecticut. At
Fort Griswold 83 patriots including Col. William Ledyard were killed
upon surrendering to the British forces.
(AH, 10/01, p.A10)
1781 Count Arco, a secretary of
Austria’s Archbishop of Salzburg, fired Mozart from the service of
the Archbishop. Mozart then began working on his comic opera “The
Abduction from the Seraglio,” which premiered the next year.
(WSJ, 4/25/08, p.W14)
1781 Tupak Katari, Aymara
Indian leader, laid siege to La Paz, Bolivia, for 109 days. A
Spanish army finally broke through and Katari was executed by being
drawn and quartered.
(SFC, 4/5/01, p.A12)(WSJ, 1/8/04, p.A1)
1781 In Colombia the Comunero
Revolt was the most serious revolt against Spanish authority before
the war for independence. The most important uprising began among
artisans and peasants in Socorro (in present day Santander
Department). The imposition of new taxes by the viceroy stimulated
the revolt further.
1781 Chobei Takeda I (32)
started a business selling traditional Japanese and Chinese
medicines in Doshomachi, Osaka. In 1925 it was incorporated as
Chobei Takeda & Co., Ltd., with capital of 5.3 million yen and
Chobei Takeda V as president. The Company changed its name to Takeda
Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd. in 1943. Its English name was
changed to Takeda Chemical Industries, Ltd. in 1961.
(Econ, 11/20/10, SR p.9)
1781 Soga Shohaku (b.1730),
Japanese artist, died.
(SFC, 1/14/06, p.E1)
1781-1782 Smallpox, reduced the Mandans, a
Missouri River tribe of 40,000 people, down to 2,000 survivors. They
partially recovered, increasing their numbers to some 12,000 by
1781-1841 Karl Friedrich Schinkel, German
architect and artist.
(WSJ, 7/16/98, p.A16)
1781-1865 Andres Bello, diplomat, politician (a
Senator in Chile - his adopted country), educator, poet and author
of a Spanish grammar, was born in Venezuela. His selected writings
were published by the Oxford Library of Latin America in 1998.
(WSJ, 2/3/98, p.A20)
1782 Jan 7, The 1st US
commercial bank, Bank of North America, opened in Philadelphia.
1782 Jan 18, Daniel Webster
(d.1852, aka Black Dan) American political leader, Senator and
orator, lawyer, statesman, administrator and diplomat, was born in
Salisbury, N.H. In 1830 he proclaimed "Liberty and Union, now and
forever, one and inseparable!" He was Secretary of State before the
(HFA, '96, p.22)(AHD, p.1452)(WSJ, 9/30/97,
p.A20)(AP, 1/18/98)(HN, 1/18/99)
1782 Mar 4, Johann Wyss, Swiss
folklorist, writer (Swiss Family Robinson), was born.
1782 Mar 8, The Gnadenhutten
massacre took place as some 90 Christian Delaware Indians were slain
by militiamen in Ohio in retaliation for raids carried out by other
(AP, 3/8/98)(AH, 4/07, p.14)
1782 Mar 18, John C. Calhoun
(d.1850), U.S. statesman, was born. He served as US
vice-president from 1825-1832 under Adams and Jackson.
(HN, 3/18/99)(WUD, 1994, p.210)
1782 Mar 25, Carolina [Maria A]
Bonaparte, (countess Lipona), sister of Napoleon), was born.
1782 Apr 12, The British navy
won its only naval engagement against the colonists in the American
Revolution at the Battle of Les Saintes in the West Indies off
Dominica. A British fleet beat the French.
(HN, 4/12/99)(MC, 4/12/02)
1782 Apr 19, Netherlands
recognized the United States.
1782 Apr 21, Friedrich Froebel,
German educator and founder of kindergarten, was born.
(HN, 4/21/98)(MC, 4/21/02)
1782 Jun 20, Congress approved
the Great Seal of the United States and the eagle as its symbol.
(AP, 6/20/97)(SFC, 6/2/04, G9)
1782 Jul 15, Farinelli (77),
Italian castrato, died.
1782 Jul 16, Mozart's opera
"Das Entfuehrung aus dem Serail" (The Abduction from the Seraglio)
premiered in Vienna.
1782 Jul 26, John Field,
pianist, composer (Nocturnes), was born in Dublin, Ireland.
1782 Jul, "Die Entfuehrung aus
dem Serail" (Abduction from the Seraglio) by Mozart was first
(SFC, 6/28/96, p.D6)(WSJ, 8/11/98, p.A16)
1782 Aug 2, George Washington
created the Honorary Badge of Distinction. [see Aug 7]
1782 Aug 7, General George
Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart, a decoration to
recognize merit in enlisted men and noncommissioned officers.
Washington authorized the award of the Purple Heart for soldiers
wounded in combat.
(AP, 8/7/97)(HN, 8/7/98)
1782 Aug 7, A statue of Peter
the Great was unveiled in St. Petersburg on the 100th anniversary of
his accession to the throne. It was made by French sculptor
Etienne-Maurice Falconet (1716-1791), who spent 12 years on the
work. Empress Catherine commissioned it in 1765.
(WSJ, 8/5/06, p.P12)
1782 Aug 18, Poet and artist
William Blake married Catherine Sophia Boucher.
1782 Sep 13, The British
fortress at Gibraltar, under siege by French and Spanish forces
since 1789, held off a heavy attack of battering ships.
(HN, 9/13/98)(ON, 7/01, p.9)
1782 Oct 27, Niccolo Paganini
(d.1840), composer and violin virtuoso, was born in Genoa, Italy. He
was both syphilitic and consumptive since early manhood and died of
TB in Nice.
(WP, 1951, p.21)(MC, 10/27/01)
1782 Nov 5, The Continental
Congress elected John Hanson of Maryland its chairman, giving him
the title of "President of the United States in Congress Assembled."
1782 Nov 30, The United States
and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris, recognizing
American independence and ending the Revolutionary War.
(AP, 11/30/97)(HN, 11/30/98)
1782 Dec 5, Martin Van Buren,
8th US President (1837-1841) was born in Kinderhook, N.Y. He was the
first chief executive to be born after American independence.
1782 Dec 14, Charleston, SC,
was evacuated by British.
1782 Dec 29, 1st nautical
almanac in US was published by Samuel Stearns in Boston.
1782 Zayn al-Din, the John
James Audubon of Indian art, painted "A Painted Stork."
(SFC, 2/7/98, p.E1)
1782 J. Hector St. John de
Crevecoeur authored his "Letters From an American Farmer."
(SFEC, 9/17/00, BR p.8)
1782 The first English Bible in
America was published.
(WSJ, 8/7/98, p.W13)
1782 The Unitarians were
established as a religious group. They encouraged their members to
seek spiritual truth based on human experience, not allegiance to
creeds and doctrines. In 1961 they merged with the Universalists.
(SFC, 4/20/04, p.B2)
1782 The Presidio at Santa
Barbara, Ca., was built by the Spanish military.
(SFEC, 5/4/97, p.T6)
1782 Father Serra held Easter
Day services on the beach in Ventura, Ca., and founded the Mission
(SSFC, 10/14/01, p.T8)(SFCM, 7/18/04, p.16)
1782 Elias Boudinot served as
president of the Continental Congress.
(WSJ, 8/7/98, p.W13)
1782 The US declared the eagle
was as its national bird.
(SFC, 6/18/99, p.A3)
1782 Lexington, Kentucky, was
established and became the first commercial and cultural center west
of the Allegheny Mountains.
(SFEM, 3/12/00, p.47)
1782 Debora Sampson (1760-1827)
of Massachusetts, a former female indentured servant, enlisted to
fight in the American Revolution as a male. In 2014 Alex Myers, a
descendant of Sampson, authored his novel Revolutionary, based on
(http://prezi.com/c5yxg9qqii1n/debora-sampson/)(SSFC, 2/23/14, p.F6)
1782 John Goodricke, a deaf
mute astronomer, explained the varying brightness of the star Algol
as being the result of 2 stars orbiting a common center of gravity.
He thus explained the first "eclipsing binary."
(NH, 10/96, p.62)
1782 British Capt. George
Vancouver sailed by Lana’i, Hawaii, and noted its "naked
(SFEM, 10/13/96, p.24)
1782 Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
authored his novel “Les Liaisons dangereuses” (The Dangerous
Liaisons). In 1988 a historical drama film of the same name was
based upon Christopher Hampton's play Les liaisons dangereuses, an
adaptation of the novel. In 1994 composer Conrad Susa (1935-2013)
and Philip Littell created an opera of the same name based on the
p.C10)(WSJ, 3/25/98, p.A20)
1782 The Comedie Francaise
installed benches in the pit to prevent a mob-like atmosphere.
(SFC, 3/9/07, p.E8)
1782 In Switzerland Anna Goeldi
was beheaded as a witch for an alleged case of poisoning. A museum
on Goeldi was opened in Mollis in 2007 on the 225th anniversary of
her death. In 2008 the canton of Glarus said she should be
exonerated because the execution was a miscarriage of justice.
Goeldi was exonerated on August 27, 2008.
(AP, 6/11/08)(AP, 8/27/08)
1782 The Wat Phra Kaew Temple
was built in Bangkok, Thailand. It houses the most sacred image of
Thai Buddhism, the Emerald Buddha.
(Hem, 3/95, p.58)(SFCM, 9/23/07, p.22)
1782 The Grand Palace was built
by King Rama I on the Chao Phraya River. The city of Bangkok grew up
(SFEC, 7/16/00, p.T14)
1782-1785 Mozart during this period wrote six
string quartets dedicated to Haydn.
(T&L, 10/80, p. 103)
1782-1849 William Miller, US religious leader. His
followers founded the Adventist Church in 1845. The Seventh-Day
Adventists broke from the Adventist Church in 1846, stressing
legalism and Sabbatarianism, with strong views on diet, health and
1782-1854 Susan Edmonstone Ferrier, Scottish
novelist: "There are plenty of fools in the world; but if they had
not been sent for some wise purpose, they wouldn't have been here;
and since they are here they have as good a right to have elbow-room
in the world as the wisest."
1782-1857 Anne Sophie Swetchine, Russian-French
author: "The chains which cramp us most are those which weigh on us
1783 Jan 20, The fighting of
the Revolutionary War ended. Britain signed a peace agreement with
France and Spain, who allied against it in the American War of
(HFA, '96, p.22)(HN, 1/20/99)
1783 Jan 23, Stendahl (d.1842),
[Marie Henri Beyle], French critic and writer (Le Rouge et de Noir),
was born. In 1997 Jonathon Keates published his book
"Stendhal," which covers the writer’s life story. "Beauty is the
promise of happiness." "One can acquire everything in solitude,
(WSJ, 3/25/97, p.A16)(AP, 12/4/97)(AP,
1783 Feb 3, Spain recognized
United States' independence.
(AP, 2/3/97)(HN, 2/3/99)
1783 Feb 4, Britain declared a
formal cessation of hostilities with its former colonies, the United
States of America.
1783 Feb 5, Sweden recognized
the independence of the United States.
(AP, 2/5/97)(HN, 2/5/99)
1783 Feb 7, The Siege of
Gibraltar, pursued by the Spanish and the French since July 24,
1779, was finally lifted. [see Sep 13, 1782]
(HN, 2/7/99)(ON, 7/01, p.10)
1783 Mar 5, King Stanislaus
Augustus Poniatowski granted rights to Jews of Kovno.
1783 Mar 8, Hannah Hoes Van
Buren, wife of Martin Van Buren, was born.
1783 Apr 3, Washington Irving
(d. Nov 28, 1859), essayist, author, historian, biographer,
attorney/lawyer, American writer (Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Rip
Van Winkle), was born in New York City. "No man is so methodical as
a complete idler, and none so scrupulous in measuring out his time
as he whose time is worth nothing."
(DTnet 11/28/97)(HN, 4/3/98)(AP, 9/10/98)
1783 Apr 10, Hortense E. de
Beauharnais, French queen of Netherlands (1806-10), was born.
1783 Apr 11, After receiving a
copy of the provisional treaty on 13 March, Congress proclaimed a
formal end to hostilities with Great Britain.
1783 Apr 29, David Cox
(d.1857), English watercolorist, was born. He books included
“Treatise on Landscape Painting” (1813).
1783 May 4, In India Tipu
Sultan was enthroned as the ruler of Mysore after the death of
Haider Ali in a simple ceremony at Bednur.
1783 May 9, Alexander Ross,
pioneer, fur trader, was born in Canada.
1783 May 10, Niccola Benvenuti,
composer, was born.
1783 May 30, The first American
daily newspaper, The Pennsylvania Evening Post, began publishing in
1783 Jun 1, Last British troops
sailed from New York. (MC, 6/1/02)
1783 Jun 1, Charles Byrne (22),
known as the Irish giant, died. Standing at seven feet seven inches
tall (2.3 meters) he was a celebrity in his own lifetime. When he
died the renowned surgeon and anatomist John Hunter was keen to
acquire his skeleton. Byrne wanted to be buried at sea. The surgeon
managed to bribe one of the Irishman's friends and took his body
before it could be laid to rest in the English Channel. Hunter
boiled Byrne's body down to a skeleton and it became a key feature
of his anatomy collection. In 2011 Experts called for the skeleton
to be buried at sea, as Byrne wanted.
1783 Jun 4, The Montgolfier
brothers launched their 1st hot-air balloon (unmanned) in a
10-minute flight over Annonay, France.
1783 Jun 8, In Iceland the
Lakagicar volcano began erupting. Over the next 6 months it built a
lava dam 40 miles long and 540 feet high in a month. The Laki
volcano wiped out 75% of the crops, which led to a severe famine
that killed some 10,000 people, 20% of the population, reducing the
population to some 40,000 people. This was described by Haraldur
Sigurdson in an article titled Volcanic Pollution and Climate: Eos
63, Aug. 10, 1982. The Laki eruption sent poisonous gases across
Europe. In 2014 Alexandra Witze and Jeff Kanipe authored “Island on
Fire: The Extraordinary Story of Laki: the Volcano that Turned
Eighteenth-Century Europe Dark.”
(NH, 9/97, p.38)(SFEC, 9/19/99, p.A18)(AM, 7/00,
p.40)(ON, 2/04, p.9)(Econ, 12/22/07, p.132)(Econ, 4/24/10,
p.62)(Econ, 5/29/10, p.85)(Econ, 7/19/14,p.71)
1783 Jun 8-1784 Feb, A series
of 10 eruptions from the Laki Craters on Iceland changed atmospheric
conditions in most of the Northern Hemisphere. This also generated a
cascade of events that led to record low levels of water in the Nile
River and brought famine to the region. By 1785 a sixth of Egypt’s
population had either perished or fled.
1783 Jul 24, Simon Bolivar
(d.1830), was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He was a soldier and
statesmen who led armies of liberation throughout much of South
America, including Ecuador, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Peru and
Bolivia, which took its name from Bolivar. Bolivar, called "the
Liberator," was a leader in Venezuela for struggles of national
independence in South America. He formed a Gran Colombia that lasted
8 years but broke apart into Venezuela, Colombia and Ecuador.
Bolivar died of tuberculosis.
(AHD, p.148)(SFC, 6/14/97, p.E3)(AP,
1783 Jul 24, Georgia became a
protectorate of tsarist Russia.
1783 Aug 7, John Heathcoat
(d.1861), English inventor of lace-making machinery (1809), was
born. In 1816 Luddites burned down his Nottingham factory.
1783 Aug 27, The 1st hydrogen
balloon flight (unmanned), made by Professor Jacques Charles,
successfully completed its inaugural flight in Paris.
1783 Sep 3, The Treaty of Paris
between the United States and Great Britain officially ended the
Revolutionary War. The Treaty of 1783, which formally ended the
American Revolution, is also known as the Definitive Treaty of
Peace, the Peace of Paris and the Treaty of Versailles. Under the
treaty, Great Britain recognized the independence of the United
States. The treaty bears the signatures of Benjamin Franklin, John
Adams and John Jay.
(AP, 9/3/97)(HNQ, 7/19/98)(HN, 9/3/98)(MC,
1783 Sep 3, Mackinac Island,
Michigan, passed into US hands following the Paris Peace Treaty,
(SSFC, 7/27/03, p.C5)
1783 Sep 11, Benjamin Franklin
drafted the Treaty of Paris. [see Sep 3]
1783 Sep 19, Jacques Etienne
Montgolfier launched a duck, a sheep and a rooster aboard a hot-air
balloon at Versailles, France.
1783 Sep 26, Jane Taylor,
children's writer, was born. She was best known as the author of
"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."
1783 Oct 6, Benjamin Hanks
patented a self-winding clock.
1783 Oct 15, Francois Pilatre
de Rozier (Jean Piletre de Rozier) made the first manned flight in a
hot air balloon. The first flight was let out to 82 feet, but over
the next few days the altitude increased up to 6,500 feet. [see Jun
(HN, 10/15/98)(MC, 10/15/01)
1783 Oct 23, Virginia
emancipated slaves who fought for independence during the
1783 Oct 29, Jean-Baptiste Le
Rond d'Alembert (66), philosopher, mathematician, died. He
co-compiled the Encyclopedia with Denis Diderot.
1783 Nov 1, Continental Army
dissolved and George Washington made his "Farewell Address." [See
1783 Nov 2, Gen. George
Washington issued his "Farewell Address to the Army" near Princeton,
1783 Nov 3, Washington ordered
the Continental Army disbanded from its cantonment at New Windsor,
NY, where it had remained since defeating Cornwallis in 1781.
1783 Nov 21, Jean-Francois
Pilatre de Rozier (1754-1785) and the Marquis d’Arlandes made the
first free-flight ascent in a balloon, to over 500 feet, in Paris.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Romain)(NPub, 2002, p.2)
1783 Nov 23, Annapolis, Md.,
became the US capital until June 1784. [see Nov 26, 1783]
1783 Nov 25, The British
evacuated New York, their last military position in the United
States during the Revolutionary War.
1783 Nov 26, The city of
Annapolis, Maryland, was the first peacetime U.S. capital. The U.S.
Congress met at Annapolis November 26, 1783-June 3, 1784, following
the signing of the Treaty of Paris on September 3, 1783, formally
ending hostilities between Great Britain and her former colony. New
York was the capital from 1785 until 1790, followed by Philadelphia
until 1800 and then Washington, D.C.
1783 Dec 4, Gen. George
Washington said farewell to his officers at Fraunces Tavern in NYC.
In 2003 Stanley Weintraub authored "General Washington's Christmas
(AP, 12/4/97)(SFEC, 6/21/98, p.T4)(WSJ, 12/10/03,
1783 Dec 9, The 1st execution
at English Newgate-jail took place.
1783 Dec 20, Antonio Francisco
Jawer Jose Soler (54), Spanish composer (Fandango), died.
1783 Dec 22, Washington
resigned his military commission. [see Dec 23]
1783 Dec 23, George Washington
resigned as commander-in-chief of the Army and retired to his home
at Mount Vernon, Va.
1783 Dec 31, Import of African
slaves was banned by all of the Northern American states.
1783 Augustin Pajou, French
sculptor, completed his "Psyche Abandoned."
(WSJ, 3/18/98, p.A20)
1783 John Mitchell wrote a
paper in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal society of
London in which he pointed out that a star that was sufficiently
massive and compact would have such a strong gravitational field
that light could not escape.
(BHT, Hawking, p.82)
1783 Antonio Salieri
(1750-1825), Italian composer, wrote his opera "Les Danaides."
(WSJ, 1/14/04, p.D10)
1783 Noah Webster (1758-1843),
a Connecticut schoolmaster, published the first edition of his
American spelling book. As a Grammatical Institute of the English
Language, the Spelling Book was influential in standardizing and
differentiating, from the British forms, English spelling and
pronunciation in America.
(ON, 12/09, p.9)(Econ, 6/18/11, p.34)
1783 In Massachusetts a
lighthouse was built in Boston Harbor on Little Brewster Island. Its
light was automated in 1998. The original light was built here in
(Econ, 3/31/12, p.41)(www.lighthouse.cc/boston/)
1783 Thomas Jefferson (40) of
Virginia, US President (1801-1809) began serving in US Congress and
continued for two years.
1783 Oliver Evans (1755-1819),
American inventor, designed an automated gristmill.
1783 Loyalist Tory homes in
Maine were taken apart and moved to New Brunswick, Canada, and
reassembled. Boatloads of newcomers from New York and New England
moved. Some of the new arrivals froze to death in makeshift shelters
(SFEC, 5/25/97, p.T6,7)
1783 The so-called 1838
Aroostook War stemmed from a boundary dispute that had loomed since
1783 between Maine and New Brunswick and was not settled by the
Peace of Ghent. After Maine became a state in 1820, it disregarded
British claims in making land grants to settlers along the Aroostook
1783 Nebula NGC 2261 was
discovered by William Herschel.
1783 William Alexander
(b.1726), American Revolutionary War general, died. Before the
revolution, William Alexander petitioned Parliament for the right to
the earldom of Stirling, Scotland. The title was never formally
conferred upon him, but Alexander was generally known throughout the
colonies as "Lord Stirling."
(WUD, 1994 p.36)(HNQ, 8/14/02)
1783 English Architect Thomas
Leverton (1795-1885) designed the fanlight window above an entry in
London’s Bedford Square.
1783 In Britain William Pitt
(24) became prime minister and the youngest leader of the Tories. He
was one of Great Britain‘s greatest peacetime leaders and served a
prime minister from 1783-1801 and from 1804 until his death in 1806.
Pitt was the son of William Pitt the Elder, who served as prime
minister from 1766 to 1768.
(SFC, 6/20/97, p.A22)(WSJ, 3/26/99, p.W10)(HNQ,
1783 In England executions were
moved from Tyburn Gallows in Hyde Park to Newgate Prison.
(SFEM, 3/21/99, p.24)
1783 James Man founded a sugar
cooperage and brokerage at 23 Harp Lane in the City of London. The
company later became known as the Man Group.
1783 Captain Samuel Turner, a
British army officer, traveled through Bhutan and Tibet.
(Econ, 1/31/09, p.91)
1783 Some 3,000 Blacks, who had
obtained British certificates of freedom for their loyalty in the
American Revolution, arrived in Nova Scotia and spent some miserable
years there. In 1785 a delegation sailed to Britain where they were
offered passage to Africa in return for establishing a British
colony in Sierra Leone.
(MT, summer 2003, p.8)
1783 John H. Molson (19)
acquired a share in a log cabin brewery on the banks of the St.
Lawrence River and began the Molson beer empire.
(WSJ, 6/29/04, p.A11)
1783 After this year German
officially replaced Latin as the language of instruction in Austria.
(StuAus, April '95, p.17)
1783 Mount Asama, one of
Japan's largest and most active volcanoes, had a major eruption.
1783 Yosa Buson (b.1716),
Japanese painter based in Kyoto, died. His work included “Landscapes
on silver Ground” (1782).
(SFC, 12/8/05, p.E1)(SFC, 1/14/06, p.E10)
1783 The Kirov Ballet was
founded in St. Petersburg.
(WSJ, 7/16/02, p.D6)
1783 Catherine the Great
annexed the Crimea to the Russian empire. 83% or the residents were
(SFC, 1/4/99, p.A8)(Econ, 2/25/06, p.55)
1783 The great Swiss
mathematician Leonhard Euler introduced latin squares as a new kind
of magic squares. It later formed the basis for the “sudoku” number
(www.cut-the-knot.org/arithmetic/latin.shtml)(Econ, 5/21/05, p.67)
1783-1786 Japan suffered one of its worst famines
in history when exceptional cold destroyed the rice harvest. As many
as 1 million people died. Most of the impact for this was due to the
eruptions of the Laki volcano in Iceland beginning in June, 1783.
(Econ, 12/22/07, p.134)
1783-1840 Constantine Samuel Rafinisque,
naturalist and author of the Walam Olum.
(NH, 10/96, p.14)
1783-1881 In the Highland Clearances about 150,000
people were forced off their land to make way for large-scale sheep
farming, an act many blame on Britain's ruling establishment.
1784 Jan 14, The United States
ratified a peace treaty with England, the Treaty of Paris, ending
the Revolutionary War.
(HFA, '96, p.22)(AP, 1/14/98)
1784 Jan 26, In a letter to his
daughter, Benjamin Franklin expressed unhappiness over the eagle as
the symbol of America. He wanted the turkey.
1784 Feb 7, In Iceland the
Lakagicar (Laki) volcano ceased its eruptions. Smoke from the 8
months of eruptions caused one of the longest and coldest winters in
Europe. [see Jun 8, 1783]
(ON, 2/04, p.10)
1784 Feb 22, A U.S. merchant
ship, the "Empress of China," left New York City for the Far East.
1784 Feb 28, John Wesley
(1703-1791) chartered the Methodist Church. His teaching emphasized
field preaching along with piety, probity and respectability. In
2003 Roy Hattersley authored "A Brand from the Burning: The Life of
(MC, 2/28/02)(WSJ, 6/13/03, p.W19)
1784 Feb 29, Marquis de Sade
was transferred from Vincennes fortress to the Bastille.
1784 Mar 1, E. Kidner opened
the 1st cooking school in Great Britain.
1784 Apr 2, Pierre Leclair
(74), composer, died.
1784 Apr 5, Louis [Ludwig]
Spohr, German violin virtuoso, composer (Faust), was born.
1784 Apr 15, The first balloon
flight occurred in Ireland. [see Jun 5, 1783 in France]
1784 Apr 29, Premiere of
Mozart's Sonata in B flat, K454 (Vienna).
1784 Apr, The idea of resetting
clocks forward an hour in the spring and back an hour in the fall
was first suggested by Benjamin Franklin in his essay "An Economical
Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light," published in the Journal
de Paris, as a way to save electricity.
1784 May 20, Peace of
Versailles ended the war between France, England, and Holland.
1784 May 25, Jews were expelled
from Warsaw by Marshall Mniszek.
1784 Jun 4, Elizabeth Thible
became the first woman to fly aboard a Montgolfier hot-air balloon,
over Lyon, France.
1784 Jun 9, John Carroll was
appointed supervisor of US Catholic Missions.
1784 Jun 16, Holland forbade
1784 Jun 24, In a tethered
flight from Baltimore, Maryland, Edward Warren (13) became the 1st
to fly in a balloon on US soil.
(NPub, 2002, p.3)
Jun 29, Caesar Rodney (b.1728), US judge, Delaware representative as
a signer of the Declaration of Independence, died. He was later
depicted on the Delaware state quarter
1784 Jul 30, Denis Diderot
(b.1713), French philosopher, critic, and encyclopedist, died. "Men
will never be free until the last king is strangled with the
entrails of the last priest."
(WSJ, 6/15/99, p.A16)(
1784 Aug 14, The 1st Russian
settlement in Alaska was established on Kodiak Island. Grigori
Shelekhov, a Russian fur trader, founded Three Saints Bay.
1784 Aug 23, Eastern Tennessee
settlers declared their area an independent state and named it
Franklin; a year later the Continental Congress rejected it.
1784 Sep 20, Packet and Daily,
the first daily publication in America, appeared on the streets.
1784 Oct 13, Ferdinand VII,
king of Spain, was born.
1784 Oct 19, Leigh Hunt
(d.1859), English journalist, essayist, poet and political radical,
was born. He was a friend and advisor to Shelley and Lord Byron and
wrote the poems "Abou Ben Adhem" and "Jenny Kissed Me."
1784 Oct 19, John McLoughlin
(d.1857), Hudson's Bay Co. pioneer at Fort Vancouver and in Oregon
Country, was born in Quebec.
1784 Oct, Pierre Eugene Du
Simitiere (b.1736), artist and philosopher, died. He helped design
the 1st Great Seal of the US.
(WSJ, 5/19/05, p.D8)(http://tinyurl.com/d23rr)
1784 Nov 1, Maryland granted
citizenship to Lafayette and his descendents.
1784 Nov 24, Zachary Taylor,
the 12th president of the United States, was born in Orange County,
1784 Nov 28, Ferdinand Reis,
composer, was born.
1784 Nov 29, American Dr. John
Jeffries paid Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard £100 pounds for a
balloon flight in England during which he made some atmospheric
(ON, 10/03, p.6)
1784 Dec 13, Samuel Johnson
(b.1709), English lexicographer, essayist, poet and moralist best
known for "The Dictionary of the English Language," died.
"Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel." -- (To which Ambrose
Bierce replied, "I beg to submit that it is the first.") Johnson, an
antagonist of slavery, left behind an annuity and much of his
personal property to his black valet, Francis Barber (b.1735-1801).
In 1791 Boswell wrote the celebrated "The Life of Samuel Johnson."
In 1955 Walter Jackson Bate (1918-1999) published "The Achievement
of Samuel Johnson" and in 1977 the biography "Samuel Johnson." In
2000 Adam Potkay authored "The Passion for Happiness," in which he
argued that Samuel Johnson should be included in the Anglo-Scottish
Enlightenment along with David Hume, Adam Smith and Edward Gibbon.
In 2000 Peter Martin authored "A Life of James Boswell." In 2008
Peter Martin authored “Samuel Johnson: A biography.”
(AP, 10/8/97)(WSJ, 11/29/00, p.A24)(ON, 11/06,
p.10)(SSFC, 10/28/07, p.M3)(WSJ, 9/18/08, p.A23)
1784 John Filson, schoolmaster,
published the stories of Daniel Boone as narrated to him by Boone.
(SFEC, 7/23/00, Z1 p.2)
1784 Pierre-Augustin Caron de
Beaumarchais wrote "The Marriage of Figaro," the sequel to "The
Barber of Seville." A 1997 film, "Beaumarchais," was a look at the
artist, who was also a womanizer, a spy and an arms runner.
(WSJ, 12/19/96, p.A16)(SFEC,11/23/97, DB p.14)
1784 William Blake coined the
term "transmography," to describe artistic processes of continual
invention and cumulative transformation.
(LSA, Spring 1995, p.17)
1784 Philosopher Emmanuel Kant
posed the question “What is enlightenment?”
(WSJ, 9/1/04, p.AD10)
1784 Mozart composed four piano
concertos. The G Major is K. 453 (K is for Kochel who catalogues all
of Mozart’s work in chronological order).
(T&L, 10/80, p. 103)
1784 Trenton, North Carolina,
(SFC, 3/10/99, p.A3)
1784 George Washington met a
16-year-old slave named Venus, who later bore a mulatto son named
West Ford who lived in special favor at Mt. Vernon. In 1998
descendants of Ford set out to prove that Washington was his father.
(SFC, 11/23/98, p.A6)
1784 Thomas Jefferson excavated
an Indian burial mound on his property in Virginia.
1784 Virginia Congressman
Thomas Jefferson (41) became the US Commissioner and Minister to
France. He continued there to 1798 and negotiated commercial
treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John
1784 Ben Franklin, while
serving as US Minister to France, came up with the idea of
manipulating the hours of the business day so that shops would both
open and close earlier, when it was still light outside.
(WSJ, 10/26/95, p.A-22)
1784 NY state awarded Thomas
Paine 227 acres in New Rochelle.
(SSFC, 4/1/01, p.A7)
1784 Phillis Wheatley, black
poet, died. Only a child of about eight when she was kidnapped and
brought to America as a slave, Phillis Wheatley was given the name
of her Boston master, tailor John Wheatley. With his wife Susanna,
John Wheatley treated the young girl kindly, providing an education
that included the classical languages and literature. Her work, lost
and forgotten until the publication of a new edition in 1834, was
used by abolitionists to prove that blacks were not intellectually
inferior to white.
1784 The British gave their
Indian allies from New York a large parcel of land southwest of
Toronto after they fled to Canada following the American war of
independence. In 2006 the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy claimed
that part of this land had been sold without their proper consent
for a new housing development in Caledonia.
(Econ, 9/16/06, p.46)
1784 England’s Quarry Bank Mill
on the river Bollin at Styal was built by merchant Samuel Greg to
supply cotton to the weavers of Lancashire. Raw cotton from America
was processed on the latest machinery, Richard Arkwright’s water
(Econ, 9/24/11, SR p.3)
1784 The Hotel de Salm, a
palace, was built in Paris. It became the headquarters of Napoleon's
Legion of Honor.
(WSJ, 11/16/95, p.A-18)
1784 King Louis XVI appointed a
French commission to examine the theory of “animal magnetism,”
developed by German Dr. Franz Anton Mesmer (1734-1815). The
commission, which included American ambassador Benjamin Franklin,
branded Mesmer a fraud.
(WSJ, 12/8/04, p.A1)
1784 The 1st Spanish military
officer who explored the Mayan ruins of Palenque thought it was
(SSFC, 12/7/03, p.C10)
1784-1785 The Mrauk U kingdom was conquered by the
Konbaung dynasty of Burma, after which Rakhine became part of the
Konbaung kingdom of Burma.
1784-1789 Thomas Jefferson’s years in Paris are
depicted in a film titled "Jefferson in Paris." He served as an
American minister and Sally Hemmings accompanied him as his
(WSJ, 4/6/95, p.A-12)(WSJ, 11/6/98, p.W15)
1784-1849 Peter De Wint, watercolorist.
(SFC, 4/29/97, p.B5)
1785 Jan 1, The Daily Universal
Register (Times of London) published its 1st issue. It became The
Times on Jan 1, 1788.
1785 Jan 4, Jacob Ludwig Carl
Grimm, German philosopher who wrote Grimm’s Fairy Tales, was born.
(HN, 1/4/99)(MC, 1/4/02)
1785 Jan 6, Haym Salomon (44)
died in Philadelphia. He helped finance the US revolution.
1785 Jan 7, The first balloon
flight across the English Channel was made. Frenchman Jean-Pierre
Blanchard and the American Dr. John Jeffries crossed the English
Channel for the first time in a hydrogen balloon.
(HN, 5/15/98)(HN, 1/7/99)
1785 Jan 11, Continental
Congress convened in NYC.
1785 Jan 21, Chippewa,
Delaware, Ottawa and Wyandot Indians signed a treaty of Fort
McIntosh, ceding present-day Ohio to the United States.
1785 Feb 24, Carlo Bonaparte
(39), Corsican attorney, died.
1785 Mar 1, Philadelphia
Society for the Promotion of Agriculture was organized.
1785 Mar 7, Alessandro Manzoni,
poet, novelist (Betrothed), was born in Italy.
1785 Mar 10, Thomas Jefferson
was appointed minister to France, succeeding Benjamin Franklin.
(AP, 3/10/98)(HN, 3/10/98)
1785 Mar 19,
Pierre-Joseph-Guillaume Zimmermann, composer, was born.
1785 Mar 27, Louis XVII,
Pretender to the throne (1793-1795) during the French Revolution,
was born. His father may have been Marie Antoinette’s Swedish lover,
Count Axel von Fersen.
(HN, 3/27/98)(SFC, 4/20/00, p.A18)(MC, 3/27/02)
1785 Apr 21, Russian Tsarina
Catharina II ended nobility privileges.
1785 Apr 26, John James Audubon
(d.1851), American naturalist, bird watcher (ornithologist) and
artist, was born in Haiti and educated in France. The engraving of
America's indigenous turkey, which Benjamin Franklin nominated as
the national bird, appeared in John James Audubon's classic work
"Birds of America," a book of 435 hand-colored engravings prepared
from his wildlife paintings begun in 1820. An artist and naturalist,
Audubon was one of the first to study and paint American birds in
their natural surroundings. Audubon came to America at 18 and failed
in several business ventures.
(440 Int’l. internet,4/26/97, p.5)(AP,
4/26/98)(HN, 4/26/98)(HNPD, 7/15/98)
1785 Apr, Elizabeth Marsh
(b.1735), traveler and writer, died of breast cancer in Calcutta,
India. In 1769 she had published “The Female Captive,” an account of
her captivity in a Muslim court. In 2007 Linda Colley authored “The
Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh: A Woman in World History.”
1785 May 9, James Pollard Espy,
meteorologist (Philosophy of Storms), was born in Pennsylvania.
1785 May 9, British inventor
Joseph Bramah patented a beer-pump handle.
1785 May 23, Benjamin Franklin
in Paris spoke of his invention of bifocals in a letter to friend
and philanthropist George Whatley.
1785 Jun 15, Two Frenchmen
attempting to cross the English Channel in a hot-air balloon were
killed when their balloon caught fire and crashed, in possibly the
first fatal aviation accident.
1785 Jul 4, The first Fourth of
July parade was held in Bristol, Rhode Island. It served as a
prayerful walk to celebrate independence from England.
(SFC, 7/5/97, p.A3)
1785 Jul 17, France limited the
importation of goods from Britain.
1785 Jul 20, Mahmud II, sultan
of Turkey (1808-39), Westernizer, reformer, was born.
1785 Jul 23, Prussia's
Frederick the Great formed Die Furstenbund (League of German
1785 Aug 15, Thomas De Quincey,
English writer (Confessions of English Opium Eater), was born.
1785 Aug 15, French Cardinal De
Rohan (51), Bishop of Strasbourg, was arrested in the affair of the
diamond necklace. He was accused of forging the queen’s signature to
gain possession of a necklace containing 647 diamonds. In 2014
Jonathan Beckman authored “How to Ruin a Queen: Marie Antoinette,
the Stolen Diamonds, and the Scandal that Shook the French Throne.”
(PC, 1992, p.335)(Econ, 7/12/14, p.76)
1785 Aug 20, Oliver Hazard
Perry, US Naval hero ("We have met the enemy"), was born in Rhode
1785 Sep 1, Mozart published
his 6th string quartet opus 10 in Vienna.
1785 Sep 28, Napoleon Bonaparte
(16) graduated from the military academy in Paris. He was 42nd in a
class of 51.
1785 Oct 18, Benjamin Franklin
was elected president of Pennsylvania. Special balloting unanimously
elected Franklin the sixth President of the Supreme Executive
Council of Pennsylvania, replacing John Dickinson.
1785 Nov 17, Church of England
was organized in New England.
1785 Nov 21, William Beaumont,
surgeon, was born. He later studied digestion by peering through a
natural opening of the stomach wall in a young Indian in Prairie du
1785 Nov 23, John Hancock was
elected President of the Continental Congress for the second time.
1785 Dec 8, Antonio Maria
Mazzoni (68), composer, died.
1785 Dec 26, Laurent Clerc,
teacher, was born: 1st deaf teacher in U.S., helped establish
American School for the Deaf in Connecticut.
1785 Dec 29, Johann Heinrich
Rolle (69), composer, died.
1785 Jean-Antoine Houdon
sculpted a white marble bust of the Marquis de Condorcet.
(WSJ, 8/26/97, p.A14)
1785 Romney painted Emma, Lady
Hamilton, the passion of sea-hero Nelson.
(SFEC, 2/1/98, p.T8)
1785 James Madison wrote the
petition "Memorial and Remonstrance" for circulation in Virginia to
oppose the use of public funds for Christian education.
(WSJ, 9/1/99, p.A24)
1785 William Paley (1743-1805),
an orthodox Anglican and conservative moral and political thinker,
published “The Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy.”
1785 US Congress decided that
the country‘s monetary system would be based on a silver coin called
a dollar, similar to that of the Spanish dollar. The first American
silver dollar was minted in 1794.
1785 John Adams, the new US
ambassador to Britain, presented himself to King George.
(Econ, 1/28/06, p.80)
1785 Thomas Jefferson succeeded
Benjamin Franklin as US ambassador to France.
1785 The American Continental
Congress’ Land Grant Act of 1785 set aside land for schools. In
anticipation of the country expanding with new states, the
Continental Congress took possession of all land won during the
Revolution, dividing it into 640-acre sections and selling it for $1
an acre. Thirty-six sections comprised a township, and within
each township, one section was set aside to support public schools.
1785 The University of Georgia
was the first state university chartered, in 1785, but was not
established until 1801. The University of North Carolina was
chartered in 1789 and was the first state university in the U.S. to
begin instruction, in 1795.
1785 Barbary pirates seized
American ships and imprisoned their crew in Algiers for 11 years.
Military and ransom operations raised issues of Congressional
approval and appropriations that bedeviled Thomas Jefferson as both
Sec. of State and as president. The issue is covered in the 1997
book: Separating Power: Essays on the Founding Period" by Gerhard
(SFEC, 1/4/98, BR p.9)
1785 James Hutton presented his
Theory of the Earth. Here he formulated the principle of
"uniformitarianism," which stated that geological features were
understandable as having resulted from processes still occurring
(i.e. volcanism, erosion, and deposition). Hutton had studied
physiology at Leyden and wrote his thesis on the circulation of the
blood. He wrote of Earth as a kind of super-organism, whose proper
study is planetary physiology.
(RFH-MDHP, p.70)(DD-EVTT, p.16)(NOHY, 3/90,
1785 Manual Gonzalez, the 3rd
mayor of Pueblo San Jose de Guadelupe (California), conscripted
local residents to build the town’s 1st City Hall.
(SFC, 8/10/05, p.B4)
1785 Prince George of England
after mentioning to his wife that he liked her right eye, was
presented with a Christmas painting of the eye. It started a London
fad and eye paintings flourished for a brief time.
(SFEC, 10/5/97, Z1 p.6)
1785 Major John Money
(1752–1817) took off in a balloon from Norwich, in an attempt to
raise money for the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. He passed over
Lowestoft at 6pm and came down about 18 miles (29 km) into the North
Sea and was saved by a revenue cutter about five hours later.
1785 Lt. Col. John Money set up
a British balloon observation corps, but it did not gain much
1785 In Canada Loyalist
graduates of Harvard and King’s College founded the Univ. of New
(SFEC, 5/25/97, p.T7)
1785 Chechen people launched an
armed struggle for freedom and independence under the leadership of
1785 Marie-Joseph de Condorcet
(1743-1794), French philosopher and mathematician, wrote the “Essay
on the Application of Analysis to the Probability of Majority
Decisions,” one of his most important works. This work described
several now famous results, including Condorcet's jury theorem,
which states that if each member of a voting group is more likely
than not to make a correct decision, the probability that the
highest vote of the group is the correct decision increases as the
number of members of the group increases.
1785 In Sweden the first Illis
Quorum Meruere Labores (For Those Whose Labors Have Deserved It), a
gold medal, was awarded.
(NH, 4/97, p.31)
1785-1812 This period in the life of Martha
Ballard, Maine herbalist and mid-wife, was covered by Ballard in her
diaries and later uncovered by historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich and
portrayed in a 1998 TV documentary for "The American Experience."
(WSJ, 1/8/98, p.A7)
1786 Jan 4, Mozes Mendelssohn
(56), Jewish-German philosopher (Haksalah), died.
1786 Jan 8, Nicholas Biddle,
head of the first United States bank, was born.
1786 Jan 16, The Council of
Virginia passed the Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom.
Thomas Jefferson had drafted The Virginia Act for Establishing
Religious Freedom in 1779 three years after he wrote the
Declaration of Independence.
(HN, 1/16/99)(WSJ, 12/14/02,
1786 Jan 26, Benjamin Robert
Haydon, painter (Waiting for The Times, Wordsworth Ascending), was
born in Plymouth.
1786 Feb 24, Wilhelm Carl Grimm
(d.1859), compiler of "Grimm's Fairytales," was born in Germany.
(HN, 2/24/98)(WUD, 1994, p.623)
1786 Feb 24, Charles
Cornwallis, whose armies had surrendered to US at Yorktown, was
appointed governor-general of India. [see Sep 12]
1786 Mar 22, Joachim Lelevelis
was born in Warsaw. He became a renowned historian and Prof. at
Vilnius Univ. He died May 29, 1861 in Paris.
c1786 Apr 6,
Sacagawea (also Sacajawea), American explorer, was born.
1786 Apr 16, Sir John Franklin,
arctic explorer, was born. He discovered the North-West Passage.
1786 Apr 20, John Goodricke
(21), English deaf and dumb astronomer, died.
1786 Apr, The process of moving
the bones from the Cemetery of the Innocents to the new site in the
limestone quarries began. The process took 2 years. The
Revolutionary Government of Paris had decided to relieve congestion
and improve sanitary conditions by emptying the city cemeteries into
an official ossuary. The Cemetery of the Innocents and other church
cemeteries were moved to the limestone quarries south of the city.
(Hem., 3/97, p.129)(SSFC, 11/12/06, p.G3)
1786 May 1, The opera "The
Marriage of Figaro," by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, premiered in
1786 May 19, John Stanley (74),
1786 May 21, Carl W. Scheele
(43), Swedish pharmacist, chemist, died.
1786 Jun 13, Winfield Scott,
U.S. Army general famous for his victories in the War of 1812 and
the War with Mexico, was born.
1786 Jun 19, Gen. Nathanael
Greene died of sunstroke at his Georgia plantation. In 1960 Theodore
Thayer authored "Nathanael Greene, Strategist of the American
Revolution." In 1973 William Johnson authored "Life and
Correspondence of Nathanael Greene."
(ON, 12/01, p.12)
1786 Jul 11, Morocco agreed to
stop attacking American ships in the Mediterranean for a payment of
1786 Jul 24, Jean-Louis
Nicollet, French explorer, was born.
1786 Aug 8, The US Congress
adopted the silver dollar and decimal system of money.
1786 Aug 8, Jacques Balmat and
Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard became the first men to climb Mont Blanc
(HN, 8/8/98)(ON, 4/04, p.1)
1786 Aug 17, Davy Crockett,
American frontiersman and politician who died in the defense of the
Alamo, was born.
1786 Aug 25, Ludwig I (d.1868),
King of Bavaria, was born. He later had an affair with international
courtesan, Lola Montez.
1786 Aug 29, Shay’s Rebellion
began in Springfield, Mass. Daniel Shay led a rebellion in
Massachusetts to protest the seizure of property for the non-payment
of debt. Shay was a Revolutionary War veteran who led a short-lived
insurrection in western Massachusetts to protest a tax increase that
had to be paid in cash, a hardship for veteran farmers who relied on
barter and didn‘t own enough land to vote. The taxes were to pay off
the debts from the Revolutionary War, and those who couldn‘t pay
were evicted or sent to prison.. [see Jan 25, 1787]
1786 Sep 9, George Washington
called for the abolition of slavery.
1786 Sep 11, The US Convention
of Annapolis opened with the aim of revising the articles of
1786 Sep 12, Despite his failed
efforts to suppress the American Revolution, Lord Cornwallis was
appointed governor general of India. [see Feb 24]
1786 Sep 14, Two French ships
appeared off the coast of Monterey, the first foreign vessels to
visit Spain's California colonies. Aboard was a party of eminent
scientists, navigators, cartographers, illustrators, and physicians.
For the next ten days Jean Francois de La Pérouse, the commander of
this expedition, took detailed notes on the life and character of
the area. Perouse’s notes were later published under the title “Life
in a California Mission: Monterey in 1786: The Journals of Jean
Francois De LA Perouse.”
1786 Sep 26, France and Britain
signed a trade agreement in London.
1786 Oct 20, Harvard University
organized the 1st astronomical expedition in US.
1786 Nov 18, Karl Maria
Friedrich Ernst von Weber, German composer (Der Freischutz), was
1786 Dec 18, Carl Maria von
Weber, German romantic composer (Der Freischutz), was born.
1786 Dec 20, Pietro Raimondi,
composer, was born.
1786 Dec 26, Daniel Shay led a
rebellion in Massachusetts to protest the seizure of property for
the non-payment of debt. Shay was a Revolutionary War veteran who
led a short-lived insurrection in western Massachusetts to protest a
tax increase that had to be paid in cash, a hardship for veteran
farmers who relied on barter and didn‘t own enough land to vote. The
taxes were to pay off the debts from the Revolutionary War, and
those who couldn‘t pay were evicted or sent to prison. [see Jan 25,
(HN, 12/26/98)(HNQ, 7/6/00)
1786 Scotsman Gregor MacGregor
(d.1845), later known as His Serene Highness Gregor I, Prince of
Poyais, was born in Scotland. [see 1811]
(SSFC, 1/18/04, p.M2)(WSJ, 1/30/04, p.W9)
1786 Andres Lopez of Mexico
painted "Sacred Heart of Jesus."
(WSJ, 3/3/98, p.A16)
1786 George Morland painted
"The Wreck of the Haswell."
(WSJ, 9/3/98, p.A20)
1786 Tiepolo painted "The Third
Temptation of Jesus."
(SSFC, 12/17/06, p.M6)
1786 Robert Burns published his
first book of poetry in Kilmarnock, Scotland.
(SFC, 9/30/98, Z1 p.3)
1786 Nicolas-Edme Restif de la
Bretonne began writing in a new genre, the nighttime prowl. His "Les
Nuits de Paris ou Le Spectateur nocturne" was a rambling account of
1,001 nights wandering the streets of Paris.
(SFCM, 10/14/01, p.35)
1786 Rev. Henry Channing gave a
sermon on the occasion of the hanging of a 12-year old mulatto girl,
Hannah Ocuish, in New London, Connecticut.
(LSA., Fall 1995, p.20)
1786 Mission Santa Barbara in
California was founded as a place for the Franciscan friars to
assemble and convert the native Chumash Indians.
(SFEC, 5/4/97, p.T6)
1786 Encke, the most frequent
visiting comet was first observed. Its period is only 3.3 years.
NASA planned a rendezvous for 1984.
(NG, Aug., 1974, p.223)
1786 Meg Nicholson (d.1828)
attempted to stab King George III. She was sent to Bedlam and died
there at age 77.
(WSJ, 1/29/03, p.D10)
1786 William Playfair, Scottish
draughtsman for James Watt, produced an “atlas” of Britain using 44
charts and no maps. It was titled “The Commercial and Political
Atlas: Representing, by Means of Stained Copper-Plate Charts, the
Progress of the Commerce, Revenues, Expenditure and Debts of England
during the Whole of the Eighteenth Century.”
1786 French explorer
Jean-Francois de Galaup de la Perouse set foot near Makena Beach on
the Hawaiian island of Maui.
(SFEC, 9/7/97, p.T5)
1786 Capt. Francis Light landed
in Penang (Malaysia) and built Fort Cornwallis. Light, acting on
behalf of the East India Company, swindled the island from the
ruling sultan with a promise of protection. The British usurped the
land to break the Dutch monopoly on the spice trade.
(SFEC, 8/3/97, p.T8)(SFEM, 12/19/99, p.8)(SFC,
1786 Muscat became the capital
of Oman with the ascendance of the Al Busaid dynasty.
(www.marktoursoman.com/tours/showDestination.php)(SSFC, 6/9/13, Par
1786 Graaff-Reinet, the major
town of the Easter Karoo in South Africa, was founded.
(Nat. Hist., 3/96, p.60)
1786 Frederick II (b.1712),
King of Prussia, died. In 2000 Giles MacDonogh authored "Frederick
(WSJ, 4/27/00, p.A24)
1786-1859 Marceline Desbordes-Valmore, French
actress and poet: "Who will give me back those days when life had
wings and flew just like a skylark in the sky."
1787 Jan 11, Titania and
Oberon, moons of Uranus, were discovered by William Herschel.
1787 Jan 25, Shays' Rebellion
suffered a setback when debt-ridden farmers led by Capt. Daniel
Shays failed to capture an arsenal at Springfield, Mass. Small
farmers in Springfield, Massachusetts led by Daniel Shays continued
their revolt against tax laws. Federal troops broke up the
protesters of what later became known as Shay’s Rebellion. [see Aug
1787 Feb 4, Shay’s Rebellion,
an uprising of debt-ridden Massachusetts farmers, failed.
1787 Feb 18, Austrian emperor
Josef II banned children under 8 from labor.
1787 Feb 23, Emma Hart Willard,
pioneer in higher education for women, was born.
1787 Mar 8, Karl Ferdinand von
Grafe was born. He helped create modern plastic surgery.
1787 Mar 16, George S. Ohm,
German scientist, was born. He gave his name to the ohm unit of
electrical resistance. [HN later said Mar 16, 1789]
(HN, 3/16/99)(WUD, 1994 p.1001)
1787 Apr 12, Philadelphia's
Free African Society formed.
1787 May 10, The British
Parliament impeached Warren Hastings. There was an effort to impeach
the governor-general of India. Edmund Burke indicted Warren
Hastings, governor-general of India (1773-1785), on 21 charges for
high crimes and misdemeanors. The trial lasted 7 years and Hastings
was acquitted on all charges.
(SFEC, 11/1/98, BR p.11)(WSJ, 5/1/00, p.A24)(MC,
1787 May 13, Arthur Phillip set
sail from Portsmouth, Great Britain, with 11 ships of criminals to
Australia. By year’s end some 50,000 British convict servants were
transported to the American colonies in commutation of death
sentences. After the American Revolution, Britain continued dumping
convicts in the US illegally into 1787. Australia eventually
replaced America for this purpose. Penal transports continued until
1853, which left a remarkable legacy: an almost totally unexplored
continent settled largely by convicted felons.
1787 May 14, Delegates began
gathering in Philadelphia for a convention to draw up the U.S.
1787 May 25, The Constitutional
Convention convened in Philadelphia after enough delegates showed up
for a quorum. The Founding Fathers turned to the Rushworth's
Collections of England for revolutionary precedents. George
Washington presided. [see May 25, 1777] Rhode Island refused to send
(AP, 5/25/97)(WSJ, 3/10/99, p.A22)(HN,
5/25/99)(Econ, 9/16/06, p.44)
1787 May 28, Johann Georg
Leopold Mozart (67), Austrian composer, died.
1787 May 29, The "Virginia
Plan" was proposed.
1787 May, Eight ships left
Great Britain carrying the first of what would be the largest
transportation of convicts in history to Botany Bay in New South
Wales, Australia. Penal transports continued until 1853, which left
a remarkable legacy: an almost totally unexplored continent settled
largely by convicted felons.
1787 Jun 28, Sir Henry G. W.
Smith, leader of British-Indian forces, was born.
1787 Jul 2, The Marquis de Sade
shouted from Bastille that prisoners were being slaughtered.
1787 Jul 13, Congress, under
the Articles of Confederation, enacted the Northwest Ordinance,
establishing rules for governing the Northwest Territory, for
admitting new states to the Union and limiting the expansion of
(AP, 7/13/97)(HN, 7/13/98)
1787 Jul 30, The French
parliament refused to approve a more equitable land tax.
1787 Aug 2, Horace de Saussure,
Swiss scientist, reached the top of Mont Blanc.
1787 Aug 6, The Constitutional
Convention in Philadelphia began to debate the articles contained in
a draft of the United States Constitution.
1787 Aug 10, Mozart completed
his "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik."
1787 Aug 13, The Ottoman Empire
declared war on Russia.
1787 Aug 17, Jews were granted
permission in Budapest, Hungary, to pray in groups.
1787 Aug 22, Inventor John
Fitch demonstrated his steamboat, the Perseverance, on the Delaware
River to delegates of the Continental Congress. In 2004 Andrea
Sutcliffe authored “Steam: The Untold Story of America’s First Great
(AP, 8/22/99)(WSJ, 7/27/04, p.D10)
1787 Aug 24, Wolfgang A. Mozart
completed his viola sonata in A, K526.
1787 Sep 4, Louis XVI of France
1787 Sep 17, The Constitution
of the United States was completed and signed by a majority of
delegates (12) attending the constitutional convention in
Philadelphia. The US Constitution went into effect on Mar 4, 1789.
Clause 3 of Article I, Section 8 empowered Congress to "regulate
Commerce with foreign nations, among the several states, and with
the Indian Tribes." Two of the signers went on to become presidents
of the United States. George Washington, the president of the
Constitutional Convention, and James Madison both signed the
Constitution. The US Constitution is the world's oldest working
Constitution. George Mason of Virginia refused to sign the document
because he thought it made the federal government too powerful
believed that it should contain a Bill of Rights.
(AP, 9/17/97)(WUD, 1994, p.314)(WSJ,
4/9/99, p.W17)(HNQ, 5/19/99)(WSJ, 3/31/06, p.A1)
1787 Sep 17, The US
Constitution included the Connecticut, or "Great," Compromise in
which every state was conceded an equal vote in the Senate
irrespective of its size, but representation in the House was to be
on the basis of the "federal ratio," an enumeration of the free
population plus three fifths of the slaves.
(SSFC, 11/2/03, p.M6)
1787 Sep 17, The "College of
Electors" (electoral college) was established at the Constitutional
Convention with representatives to be chosen by the states. Pierce
Butler of South Carolina first proposed the electoral college
system. [see Sep 13, 1788]
(SFC, 11/9/00, p.A14)(WSJ, 11/9/00, p.A26)
1787 Sep 17, The Electoral
College, proposed by James Wilson, was the compromise that the
Constitutional Convention reached. In 2004 George C. Edwards III
authored “Why the Electoral College Is Bad for America.”
1787 Sep 27, The US
Constitution was submitted to states for ratification. [see Sep 28]
1787 Sep 28, Congress voted to
send the just-completed Constitution of the United States to state
legislatures for their approval. [see Sep 27]
1787 Oct 27, The first of the
Federalist Papers, a series of 77 essays calling for ratification of
the U.S. Constitution, was published in a New York newspaper. The
essays by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay were
written under the pseudonym “Publius” and later published as "The
(AP, 10/27/97)(WSJ, 11/19/98, p.A1)(WSJ,
1787 Oct 29, Mozart's opera Don
Giovanni opened in Prague. Don Giovanni was first performed at the
Prague’s Estates Theater with Mozart at the piano and conducting the
orchestra. It was a sensational success.
(V.D.-H.K.p.236)(SFC, 4/14/96, T-12)(HN,
1787 Nov 15, Christoph W.
Ritter von Gluck (73), composer (Iphigenie Tauride), died.
1787 Nov 18, Louis-Jacques
Daguerre, French painter (daguerreotype), was born.
1787 Nov 18, Sojourner Truth,
abolitionist and feminist, was born. [see Nov 19]
1787 Nov 18, The 1st Unitarian
minister in US was ordained in Boston.
1797 Nov 19, Sojourner Truth
(d.1883), abolitionist and women's rights advocate, was born.
"Religion without humanity is a poor human stuff." [see Nov 18]
(HN, 11/19/98)(AP, 10/29/00)
1787 Nov 21, Samuel Cunard
(d.1865), founder of the 1st regular Atlantic steamship line, was
born in Canada.
(MC, 11/21/01)(WSJ, 7/1/03, p.D8)
1787 Nov 23, Anton Schweitzer
(52), composer, died.
1787 Nov 25, Franz Xavier
Gruber, Austria, organist and composer (Silent Night), was born.
1787 Nov 29, In France Louis
XVI promulgated an edict of tolerance, granting civil status to
(HN, 11/29/98)(WSJ, 11/1/01, p.A19)
1787 Dec 7, Delaware became the
first state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1787 Dec 10, Thomas H.
Gallaudet, a pioneer of educating the deaf, was born in
1787 Dec 12, Pennsylvania
became the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1787 Dec 18, New Jersey became
the third state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1787 Dec, William Wilberforce,
on the suggestion of PM William Pitt, introduced a motion in British
Parliament for the abolition of the slave trade.
(ON, 4/05, p.2)
1787 Robert Barker, an Irish
painter, is credited with inventing the panorama and patented the
idea in this year.
(WSJ, 9/3/98, p.A20)
1787 Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832)
authored “Panopticon,” a plan for prison construction and
1787 Peter Markoe (1752?-1792)
authored “An Algerine Spy in Pennsylvania.” His satirical
provocation helped to push the US Congress authorized a Navy and to
dispatch Marines to subdue the pirates of Tripoli.
(WSJ, 6/2/07, p.P8)
1787 The Mission La Purisima
Concepcion in Lompoc, Ca., was founded. It is now a 900 acre state
park. (AWAM, Dec. 94, p.67)
1787 Rev. Richard Allen and
Absalom Jones decided to form the Free African Society, a
non-denominational religious mutual aid society for the black
community. Eventually this society grew into the African Church of
1787 Quatremiere de Quincy
coined the term "Baroque" and defined it as absurdity carried to
(WSJ, 8/18/99, p.A17)
1787 Alexander Hamilton
sponsored a New York law that recognized adultery as the only ground
for divorce. It remained in force until 1967.
(WSJ, 8/6/07, p.B1)
1787 Thomas Jefferson toured
Bordeaux while serving as US ambassador to France. He purchased
cases Haut-Brion, d’Yquiem, and Margaux for himself and George
(WSJ, 9/1/06, p.A9)
1787 In the US the Northwest
Ordinance abolished slavery and marked the establishment of
segregation and separate churches for blacks. It included the
sentence: "Religion, morality and knowledge are necessary to good
(SFC, 6/24/96, p.A19)
1787 A private mint struck the
first penny. It was 100% copper and known as the Fugio cent.
(USAT, 7/19/01, p.3A)
1787 Ephraim Brasher, a
goldsmith living in the Cherry Hill district of NYC, began minting
gold doubloons, valued at $15, as currency for the new United
States. In 1947 the film The Brasher Doubloon” was made based on a
detective by novel Raymond Chandler. In 2011 a Brasher doubloon was
sold for $7.4 million.
(SFC, 12/15/11, p.A1)
1787 The first left and right
shoes were made.
(SFEC, 1/30/00, Z1 p.2)
1787 The younger brother of
William Blake, Robert, died. His death deeply affected William and
marked the genesis of Blake’s Illuminated Works.
(LSA, Spring 1995, p.17)
1887 In Argentina the last
census to include blacks as a separate category indicated that about
2% of the population in Buenos Aires was African.
(SSFC, 11/27/05, p.A24)
1787 Granville Sharp, English
abolitionist, formed the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the
(ON, 12/08, p.9)
1787 Thomas Clarkson, deacon in
the Church of England, led the formation of the original
abolitionist committee, the interdenominational “Committee to Effect
the Abolition of the Slave Trade.” His anti-slavery committee
distributed 1,000 copies of “A Letter to our Friends in the Country,
to inform them of the state of the Business.” This was later
considered as possibly the 1st direct-mail fund-raising letter. In
2004 Adam Hochschild authored “Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels
in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves.”
(SSFC, 1/23/05, p.F1)(ON, 4/05, p.1)
1787 Henry Hobhouse, a Bristol
slave trader, bought the Hadspen country house in Somerset, England,
and rebuilt it.
(Econ, 5/3/08, p.23)
1787 English ships transported
some 38,000 slaves this year.
(Econ, 12/23/06, p.93)
1787 British settlers bought
land from African tribal leaders in Sierra Leone and used it as a
haven for freed African slaves. The indigenous community, dominated
by the Mende, wiped out the first settlers. A 2nd group followed in
1792. The settlers intermarried but held themselves aloof,
monopolized power and discriminated against the original population.
In 2005 Simon Schama authored “Rough Crossings: Britain, the Slaves
and the American Revolution.”
(SFC, 3/11/98, p.A10)(SFC, 2/14/98, p.A8)(WSJ,
5/31/00, p.A26)(Econ, 8/27/05, p.66)(MT, summer 2003, p.8)
1787 Gen. Thomas Gage, former
commander of British forces in North America, died at age 66. In
1948 John Richard Alden authored "General Gage in America."
(ON, 3/01, p.4)
1787 Morocco became the first
country to recognize the US as a sovereign nation. Pres. Washington
acknowledged Morocco’s recognition in 1789.
(SFC, 8/15/98, p.E4)(SFCM, 3/27/05, p.19)
1787 Carl Axel Arrhenius
discovered the mineral ytterbite in Ytterby, Sweden. Two years later
yttrium oxide was found in the sample and named. It took another 329
years for yttrium, a rare earth element, to be isolated from its
(SSFC, 11/25/12, p.E7)
1787-1788 In Milan the Teatro alla Scala was built
by Giuseppe Piermarini in neo-Classical style.
(WSJ, 12/26/01, p.A26)(SSFC, 1/27/02, p.C9)
1787-1826 Joseph von Fraunhofer, German physicist,
using advanced optical techniques, found that the spectrum of
Newton’s rainbow ribbon is marred by a large number of thin dark
crosslines. The lines are called Fraunhofer lines but were not
explained until the work of Kirchoff 50 years later.
1787-1863 Richard Whately, British theologian:
"Honesty is the best policy, but he who acts on that principle is
not an honest man."
1787-1948 William Herschel and other astronomers
spotted 5 moons circling Uranus during this period.
(SFC, 12/23/05, p.A4)
1788 Jan 1, London’s Daily
Universal Register began publishing as The Times.
1788 Jan 1, Quakers in
Pennsylvania emancipated their slaves.
1788 Jan 2, Georgia became the
fourth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
(HFA, '96, p.22)(AP, 1/2/98)
1788 Jan 9, Connecticut became
the fifth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1788 Jan 18, The first English
settlers arrived in Australia's Botany Bay to establish a penal
colony. They found the location unsuitable and Capt. Arthur Philip
moved on to Sydney Cove. England sent the first sheep along with
convicts to Australia.
(NG, 5.1988, pp. 575)(SFEC, 1/4/98, p.T4)(AP,
1/18/98)(Econ, 5/7/05, Survey p.14)
1788 Jan 20, The pioneer
African Baptist church was organized in Savannah, Ga.
1788 Jan 22, George Gordon
(d.1824), (6th Baron Byron) aka Lord Byron, English poet, was born
with a deformed foot. His work included "Lara," "Childe Harold’s
Pilgrimage" and "Don Juan." He died in Greece at Missolonghi on the
gulf of Patras preparing to fight for Greek independence. In 1997
the biography: "Byron: The flawed Angel" by Phyllis Grosskurth was
(WUD, 1994, p.204,917)(SFC, 6/9/97, p.D3)(SFEC,
11/15/98, Z1 p.10)(HN, 1/22/99)
1788 Jan 26, The 1st fleet of
ships carrying 736 convicts from England landed at Sydney Cove, New
South Wales, Australia. The first European settlers in Australia,
led by Capt. Arthur Phillip, landed in present-day Sydney. The day
is since known as Australia’s national day. In 2006 Thomas Keneally
authored “The Commonwealth of Thieves: The Story of the Founding of
(AP, 1/26/98)(HN, 1/26/99)(WSJ, 9/19/00,
p.A1)(Econ, 7/15/06, p.83)
1788 Jan 31, Charles
Edward Stuart (67), The Young Pretender, died.
(HN, 1/31/99)(MC, 1/31/02)
1788 Feb 1, Isaac Briggs and
William Longstreet patented the steamboat on this day.
(440 Int'l, 2/1/1999)
1788 Feb 5, Sir Robert Peel
(d.1850), British prime minister through the early 1800s, was born.
He founded the Conservative Party and the London Police Force whose
officers were called "bobbies."
(HN, 2/5/99)(Econ, 6/30/07, p.93)
1788 Feb 6, Massachusetts
became the sixth state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
(AP, 2/6/97)(HN, 2/6/99)
1788 Feb 22, Arthur
Schopenhauer (d.1860), German philosopher (Great Pessimist), was
born: "Hatred comes from the heart; contempt from the head; and
neither feeling is quite within our control."
(AP, 12/9/99)(MC, 2/22/02)
1788 Mar 7, Alexander Hamilton
published his Federalist Paper 65 in the New York Packet. It
discussed the subject of impeachment.
(USAT, 9/14/98, p.4A)
1788 Mar 21, Almost the entire
city of New Orleans, Louisiana, was destroyed by fire. 856 buildings
(HN, 3/21/99)(MC, 3/21/02)
1788 Mar 29, Charles Wesley,
hymn writer and brother of John Wesley, died.
(MC, 3/29/02)(WSJ, 6/13/03, p.W19)
1788 Apr 4, Last of the
Federalist essays was published. The series of 85 letters were
written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay urging
ratification of the US Constitution. Defects in the Articles of
Confederation became apparent, such as the lack of central authority
over foreign and domestic commerce and the inability of Congress to
levy taxes, leading Congress to endorse a plan to draft a new
1788 Apr 5, Franz Pforr, German
painter, cartoonist (Lukasbund), was born.
1788 Apr 12, Carlo Antonio
Campioni (67), composer, died.
1788 Apr 15, Mary Delany
(b.1700), English artist and writer, died. She became known for her
“Flora Delanica,” a collection of 985 botanically accurate portraits
of flowers in bloom. In 2011 Molly Peacock authored “”The Paper
Garden: An Artist Begins Her Life’s work at 72.”
1788 Apr 28, Maryland became
the seventh state to ratify the US constitution, but on condition
that a Bill of Rights be added.
(AP, 4/28/07)(WSJ, 9/20/08, p.A21)
1788 May 10, Augustin-Jean
Fresnel, optics pioneer, physicist, was born.
1788 May 18, Hugh Clapperton,
African explorer, was born in Annan, Scotland.
1788 May 23, South Carolina
became the eighth state to ratify the U. S. Constitution.
(AP, 5/23/97)(HN, 5/23/98)
1788 May 29, Jacques Aliamet
(61), French etcher, engraver, died.
1788 Jun 11, The 1st British
ship to be built on Pacific coast was begun at Nootka Sound, BC.
1788 Jun 21, The U.S.
Constitution went into effect as New Hampshire became the ninth
state to ratify it.
1788 Jun 25, Virginia ratified
the U.S. Constitution.
1788 Jul 6, Ten thousand troops
were called out in Paris as unrest mounted in the poorer districts
over poverty and lack of food.
1788 Jul 15, Louis XVI jailed
12 deputies who protest new judicial reforms.
1788 Jul 19, Prices plunged on
the Paris stock market.
1788 Jul 20, The governor of
the French colony of Pondicherry, Vietnam, abandoned plans to place
King Nhuyen Anh back on the throne.
1788 Jul 26, New York became
the 11th state to ratify the Constitution.
1788 Aug 2, Thomas Gainsborough
(61), English painter, died. His work included the 1771 portraits of
the Viscount and Viscountess Ligonier and "Blue Boy."
(HN, 5/14/01)(AAP, 1964)(MC, 5/14/02)(WSJ,
12/19/02, p.D10)(MC, 8/2/02)
1788 Aug 8, King Louis XVI
called the French States and Generals together.
1788 Aug 8, Louis FAD Duke de
Richelieu (92), French marshal, died.
1788 Aug 27, Jacques Neeker was
named French minister of Finance.
1788 Sep 13, The Congress
of the Confederation authorized the first national election, and
declared New York City the temporary national capital. The
Constitutional Convention authorized the first federal election
resolving that electors (electoral college) in all the states will
be appointed on January 7, 1789. The Convention decreed that the
first federal election would be held on the first Wednesday in
February of the following year.
(AP, 9/13/97)(HN, 9/13/00)
1788 Sep 15, An alliance
between Britain, Prussia and the Netherlands was ratified at the
1788 Sep 19, Charles de
Barentin became lord chancellor of France.
1788 Sep 22, Theodore Hook,
English novelist best known for "Impromptu at Fulham," was born.
1788 Sep 23, Louis XVI of
France declared the Parliament restored.
1788 Sep 24, After having been
dissolved, the French Parliament of Paris reassembled in triumph.
1788 Oct 6, The Polish Diet
decided to hold a four year session.
1788 Oct 24, Sarah Josepha
Hale, magazine editor and poet whose book Poems for Our Children
included "Mary Had a Little Lamb" (the first words to be recorded in
sound), was born.
1788 Dec 18, Camille Pleyel,
Austrian piano builder and composer, was born.
1788 Dec 23, Maryland voted to
cede a 100-square-mile area for the seat of the national government;
about two-thirds of the area became the District of Columbia.
1788 Dec 30, Francesco
Zuccarelli (86), Italian rococo painter and etcher, died.
1788 Pierre-Paul Prud’hon
(1758-1823), French artist, painted "Love Seduces Innocence,
Pleasure Entraps, and Remorse Follows."
(WSJ, 4/8/98, p.A20)
1788 Virginia’s state Capitol
(SFC, 5/10/13, p.E3)
1788 John Adams published "A
Defense of the Constitutions."
(WSJ, 12/22/98, p.A16)
1788 "The Narrative of John
Blanchford" was published. Blanchford (15), a Massachusetts
cabin-boy, had been captured by the British and sent to prison in
Halifax and later to Sumatra from where he escaped after a 6 year
(ON, 1/00, p.5)
1788 “The Art of Cookery, Made
Plain and Easy” by Hannah Glasse was published in London.
(SFC, 5/4/05, p.G10)
1788 Mozart’s Don Giovanni was
performed in conservative Vienna but was not a success.
1788 Mozart composed his 41st
symphony titled by his publisher as the Jupiter.
(T&L, 10/80, p. 103)
1788 Rules were set for the
game of cricket.
(Econ, 4/24/04, p.81)
1788 "Buffalo clover... nearly
knee-high... afforded a rich pasture." An image of the fertile
frontier penned by historian S.P. Hildreth. After 1907 the clover
was unseen until 1989 when it emerged in some topsoil delivered to a
(NG, Jan. 94, p.144)
1788 As British settlers
arrived in Australia the native Aborigines are believed to have
numbered about 750,000, and to have inhabited Australia for up to
1788 A botanical garden opened
in Puerto de la Cruz on Tenerife Island (Canary Islands).
(SSFC, 4/16/06, p.F7)
1788 A great fire destroyed
much of the wooden city of Kyoto, Japan.
1788 A salon from Paris of this
time was later transferred [c1993] to the Legion of Honor Museum in
San Francisco, Ca.
(WSJ, 11/16/95, p.A-18)
1788-1789 King George III suffered a mental
(WSJ, 1/29/03, p.A1)
1780-1800 In 2007 Jay Winik authored “The Great
Upheaval: America and the Birth of the Modern World, 1788-1800.”
(WSJ, 9/14/07, p.W5)
1788-1865 C.J. Thomson, Danish museum curator,
contributed to the Three Age System classification of early man from
stone to bronze to iron.
(RFH-MDHP, 1969, p.25)
1789 Jan 7, The first U.S.
presidential election was held. Americans voted for electors who, a
month later, chose George Washington to be the nation's first
1789 Jan 21, Baron Paul Thierry
d’Holbach (b.1723), a French-German author, philosopher,
encyclopedist and a prominent figure in the French Enlightenment,
died. In 2010 Philipp Blom authored “A Wicked Company: The Forgotten
Radicalism of the European Enlightenment,” the story of the Paris
salon run by Baron Paul Thierry d’Holbach.
1789 Jan 23, Georgetown
University was established by Jesuits in present-day Washington,
D.C., as the 1st US Catholic college.
(AP, 1/23/98)(MC, 1/23/02)
1789 Feb 2, Armand-Louis
Couperin (63), French composer, organist at Notre Dame, died.
1789 Feb 4, Electors
unanimously chose George Washington to be the first president
of the United States and John Adams as vice-president. The results
of the balloting were not counted in the US Senate until two months
later. Washington accepted office at the Federal Building of New
York. His first cabinet included Thomas Jefferson, Alexander
Hamilton as first secretary of the Treasury, Henry Knox, and Edmund
(A & IP, ESM, p.10)(WSJ, 3/12/97, p.A18)(AP,
1789 Feb 8, Ludwig Wilhelm
Maurer, composer, was born.
1789 Mar 2, Pennsylvania ended
the prohibition of theatrical performances.
1789 Mar 4, The Constitution of
the United States, framed in 1787, went into effect as the
first Federal Congress met in New York City. Lawmakers then
adjourned for the lack of a quorum (9 senators, 13 representatives).
In 2006 Robert V. Remini, historian of the US House of
Representatives, authored “The House.”
(WUD, 1994, p.314)(AP, 3/4/98)(HN, 3/4/98)(SC,
1789 Mar 4, Pavel P. Gagarin,
Russian monarch, was born.
1789 Mar 16, George S. Ohm
(d.1854), German scientist, was born. He gave his name to the
ohm unit of electrical resistance. [WUD says Mar 16, 1787]
(HN, 3/16/02)(WUD, 1994 p.1001)
1789 Apr 1, The U.S. House of
Representatives held its first full meeting, in New York City.
Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania was elected the first House
1789 Apr 6, The first US
Congress began regular sessions at Federal Hall on Wall Street, NYC.
(HN, 4/6/98)(MC, 4/6/02)
1789 Apr 8, The U.S. House of
Representatives held its first meeting.
1789 Apr 16, George Washington
left Mount Vernon, Va., for the first presidential inauguration in
(AP, 4/16/97)(HN, 4/16/98)
1789 Apr 21, John Adams was
sworn in as the first vice president of the United States.
(AP, 4/21/97)(HN, 4/21/98)
1789 Apr 23, President-elect
Washington and his wife moved into the first executive mansion, the
Franklin House, in New York. George Washington was inaugurated at
Federal Hall and lived at 3 Cherry Street in New York City. In 1790,
with construction on the new federal capital underway, the
government was moved temporarily to Philadelphia, where Washington
served out his two terms. He is the only president who never resided
in the White House.
(AP, 4/23/97)(HNPD, 12/22/98)
1789 Apr 28, Fletcher Christian
lead a mutiny on the Bounty as the crew of the British ship set
Captain William Bligh and 18 sailors adrift in a launch in the South
Pacific. Richard Hough later authored: "Captain Bligh and Mr.
(AP, 4/28/97)(HN, 4/28/98)(SFC, 10/9/99,
1789 Apr 30, George Washington
was inaugurated and took office in New York as the first president
of the United States. He took his oath of office on the balcony of
Federal Hall on Wall Street and spoke the words “So help me God,”
which all future US presidents have repeated. The oath as prescribed
by the Constitution makes no mention of God of the Bible.
(AP, 4/30/97)(HN, 4/30/98)(SSFC, 1/18/09,
p.W4)(AH, 4/07, p.31)
1789 May 5, In France the
Estates General, summoned by King Louis XVI, convened to repair the
national finances. It sat for several weeks in May and June, but
came to an impasse as the three Estates clashed over their
respective powers. It was brought to an end when many members of the
Third Estate formed themselves into a National Assembly, signaling
the outbreak of the French Revolution.
1789 May 7, The first inaugural
ball was held in New York in honor of President and Mrs. George
1789 May 10, Joaquim Jose da
Silva Xavier, Tiradentes, rebel for Independence, was arrested. He
was betrayed by Joaquim Silverio dos Reis, a participant of the
movement, in exchange of waiving of his due taxes; Silverio’s name
is carved in Brazilian History as The Betrayer.
1789 May 12, The Society of St.
Tammany was formed by Revolutionary War soldiers. It later became an
infamous group of NYC political bosses.
(SC, internet, 5/12/97)
1789 May 12, In England William
Wilberforce laid out his case for the abolition of slavery to the
House of Commons. This speech directly led to Britain’s abolition of
slavery in 1807.
(WSJ, 5/12/07, p.P14)
1789 Jun 1, Congress passed
its first act which mandated the procedure for administering oaths
of public office.
(DTnet 6/1/97)(HN, 6/1/98)
1789 Jun 4, The US
constitution, enacted as sovereign law, went into effect.
1789 Jun 10, Bernard-Jordan de
Launay, military governor of the Bastille, suspended the prisoners’
daily supervised walks outside the Bastille walls.
(ON, 4/01, p.1)
1789 Jun 14, Captain William
Bligh of the HMS Bounty arrived in Timor in a small boat.
1789 Jun 17, The Third Estate
in France declared itself a national assembly, and undertook to
frame a constitution.
1789 Jun 20, Oath on the Tennis
Court in Versailles, France, bonded members of the Third Estate to
resist eviction until they have a new constitution.
1789 Jul 4, The US passed its
first tariff which included a 15% duty on imported nails among other
(Maggio)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R50)
1789 Jul 9, In Versailles, the
French National Assembly declared itself the Constituent Assembly
and began to prepare a French constitution.
1789 cJul 11, In France just
days before the Bastille was taken the tavern keepers and wine
merchants of Belleville, angered by levies on food and drink, sacked
the local tax collector’s office.
(SFEC, 6/28/98, p.T8)
1789 Jul 13, Parisians rioted
over an increase in price of grain. The mob plundered the armories
and opened the prison gates of St. Lazare. The King at Versailles
refused to withdraw his troops from Paris.
1789 July 14
, Bastille Day. Tens of thousands of the citizens of Paris stormed
the Bastille, the Paris fortress used as a prison to hold political
prisoners, and released the seven prisoners inside at the onset of
the French Revolution. Over 100 rioters were killed or wounded. The
average Frenchman was 5 foot 2 and weighed 105 pounds. France’s
Louis XIV made a diary entry that read “Rien” (nothing). Historian
Francois Furet (1927-1997), a leading writer on the French
Revolution, was best known for his work: "Critical Dictionary of the
French Revolution." He refuted Marxist interpretations of the events
that preceded and followed the fall of the monarchy. In 1939 W.
Higgins edited "The French Revolution Told by Contemporaries."
(AP, 7/14/97)(HN, 7/14/98)(WSJ, 1/11/99,
p.R12)(ON, 4/01, p.1)(Econ, 6/25/05, p.52)(SFC, 7/15/97, p.A18)
1789 Jul 14, The French
Revolution. "It was not the literate and cultured minority of
Frenchmen who brought down the government, as had been the case in
England and America. Instead it was the common people, who marched
upon the king and queen in their palace at Versailles. The Jacobins
promulgated a Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen that
went beyond the American Bill of Rights in affirming, "Nothing that
is not forbidden by Law may be hindered, and no one may be compelled
to do what the Law does not ordain," for "Liberty consists in being
able to do anything that does not harm others."
(V.D.-H.K.p.230-231)(SFC, 6/23/96, Z1 p.2)
1789 Jul 15, The electors of
Paris set up a "Commune" to live without the authority of the
1789 Jul 18, Robespierre, a
deputy from Arras, France, decided to back the French Revolution.
1789 Jul 22, Thomas Jefferson
became the first head of the U.S. Department of Foreign Affairs.
1789 Jul 23, The Great Fear
swept through France as the Revolution continued.
1789 Jul 27, President
Washington signed a measure establishing the Department of Foreign
Affairs, forerunner of the Department of State.
1789 Aug 4, The Constituent
Assembly in France dissolved feudal system by abolishing the
privileges of nobility.
(HN, 8/4/98)(MC, 8/4/02)
1789 Aug 7, The U.S. War
Department was established by Congress.
1789 Aug 21, Augustin-Louis
Baron Cauchy, French mathematician, was born.
1789 Aug 25, Mary Ball
Washington, mother of George, died.
1789 Aug 26, The Constituent
Assembly in Versailles, France, approved the final version of the
Declaration of Human Rights.
1789 Aug 27, French National
Assembly issued "Declaration of Rights of Man and Citizen."
1789 Sep 1, Lady Marguerite
Blessington, beautiful English socialite and author, was born. She
wrote a biography of Lord Byron.
1789 Sep 2, The Treasury
Department, headed by Alexander Hamilton, was created in New York
City and housed in Fraunces Tavern at 54 Pearl St.
(AP, 9/2/97)(HN, 9/2/98)(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R43)
1789 Sep 11, Alexander Hamilton
was appointed the first U.S. secretary of the treasury. During his
tenure, Hamilton established the National Bank, introduced an excise
tax, suppressed the Whiskey Rebellion and spearheaded the effort for
the federal government to assume the debts of the states. In the
presidential election of 1800, Hamilton broke the deadlock between
Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr by supporting Jefferson. The enmity
between Hamilton and his longtime political enemy Burr grew worse
during the 1804 campaign for governor of New York.
(AP, 9/11/97)(HNPD, 1/11/99)
1789 Sep 12, Franz Xaver
Richter, composer, died at 79.
1789 Sep 13, Start of the US
National Debt as the government took out its first loan, borrowed
from the Bank of North America (NYC) at 6 percent interest. The US
debt had reached $77 million when Washington became president.
(MC, 9/13/01)(WSJ, 10/1/03, p.B1)
1789 Sep 13, Guardsmen in
Orleans, France, opened fire on rioters trying to loot bakeries,
1789 Sep 15, James Fenimore
Cooper (d.1851), American novelist, was born in Burlington, NJ. He
is best known for "The Pioneers" and "Last of the Mohicans." "The
press, like fire, is an excellent servant, but a terrible master."
(AP, 6/25/97)(HN, 9/15/99)
1789 Sep 15, The U.S.
Department of Foreign Affairs was renamed the Department of State.
1789 Sep 16, Jean-Paul Marat
set up a new newspaper in France, L'Ami du Peuple (The Friend of the
(HN, 9/16/98)(ON, SC, p.7)
1789 Sep 18, The 1st loan was
made to pay salaries of the US president & Congress. [see Sep
1789 Sep 22, The US Act 1 Stat.
70 temporarily established a post office and created the Office of
the Postmaster General.
1789 Sep 22, Russian forces
under Aleksandr Suvorov drove the Turkish army under Yusuf Pasha
from the Rymnik River, upsetting the Turkish invasion of Russia.
1789 Sep 24, President George
Washington appointed John Jay as the 1st Chief Justice.
1789 Sep 24, The US Federal
Judiciary Act was passed. It created a six-person Supreme Court and
provided for an Attorney General.
(AP, 9/24/97)(AH, 10/04, p.14)
1789 Sep 25, The first United
States Congress [proposed] adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution
and sent them to the states for ratification. Ten of the amendments
became the Bill of Rights. 14 copies were hand written and 13 were
sent to the individual states.
(WUD, 1994, p.1703)(AP, 9/25/97)(HN,
9/25/98)(SFC, 1/20/02, p.A11)
1789 Sep 26, Thomas Jefferson
was appointed America's first Secretary of State; John Jay the first
chief justice of the United States; Samuel Osgood the first
Postmaster-General; and Edmund Jennings Randolph the first Attorney
(AP, 9/26/97)(SFC, 8/16/99, p.A21)
1789 Sep 28, Richard Bright,
physician (Bright's Disease, nephritis), was born in England.
1789 Sep 29, The U.S. War
Department established a regular U.S. army with a strength of
several hundred men.
(AP, 9/29/97)(HN, 9/29/98)
1789 Sep, Fletcher Henderson
left Tahiti with the Bounty with a light crew. 16 men were left
(ON, 3/04, p.9)
1789 Oct 3, George Washington
proclaimed the 1st national Thanksgiving Day to be Nov 26.
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to
acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be
grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and
favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint
committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United
States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by
acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of
Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably
to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign
Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people
of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who
is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that
will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our
sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the
people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the
signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His
providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the
great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since
enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been
enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and
happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted
for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and
the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and,
in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been
pleased to confer upon us. And also that we may then unite in most
humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and
Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other
transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private
stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and
punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the
people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and
constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed;
to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as
have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments,
peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true
religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us;
and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal
prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
1789 Oct 10, In Versailles
France, Joseph Guillotin said the most humane way of carrying out a
death sentence is decapitation by a single blow of a blade.
1789 Oct 10, Pierre-Louis
Couperin, composer, died at 34.
1789 Oct 15, George Washington
went to New England on the 1st presidential tour.
1789 Nov 2, The property of the
Church in France was taken away by the state.
1789 Nov 5, French National
Assembly declared all citizens equal under law.
1789 Nov 8, Bourbon Whiskey,
1st distilled from corn, was made by Elijah Craig in Bourbon,
1789 Nov 13, Benjamin Franklin
wrote a letter to a friend in which he said, "In this world nothing
can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
1789 Nov 18, Louis Jacques
Daguerre (d.1851), French painter, physicist and photography
pioneer, was born. He invented the process of setting the impression
on a light-sensitive, silver-coated metallic plate and developed by
mercury vapor. See contrasting info 1765-1833, Nicephore Niepce,
(AHD, 1971, p.332)(HN,
1789 Nov 20, New Jersey became
the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.
(HFA, '96, p.18)(AP, 11/20/97)
1789 Nov 21, North Carolina
became the 12th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.
1789 Nov 26, George Washington
proclaimed on Oct 3 that Nov 26 be a National Thanksgiving Day in
honor of the new Constitution. He made it clear that the day should
be one of prayer and giving thanks to God, to be celebrated by all
the religious denominations. In 1863 Pres. Lincoln designated the
last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving Day.
(HFA, '96, p.42)(AP, 11/26/97)(HN, 11/26/98)
1789 Nov, The U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York, the oldest federal
court in the United States, convened in New York, a few weeks ahead
of the Supreme Court.
1789 Dec 3, Claude-Joseph
Vernet, French seascape painter, died.
1789 Dec 13, The National Guard
was created in France.
1789 Dec 28, Lydia Darrragh
(b.1729), American spy, died in Philadelphia. Her exploits in 1777
did not become public until the publication of an anonymous article
1789 Dec, In India’s city of
Coringa 3 tidal waves caused by a cyclone destroyed the harbor city
at the mouth of the Ganges river. Most ships were sunk and some
20,000 people drowned.
1789 Johann Friedrich Overbeck
(d.1869), German Nazarene artist, was born.
(SSFC, 1/27/02, p.C7)
1789 The ballet "La fille mal
gardee" had its premiere. It included dialogue and singing as well
(SFEC, 8/25/96, DB p.37)
1789 William Blake published
his "Songs of Innocence."
(WSJ, 4/23/97, p.A16)
1789 Rev. Gilbert White
(1720-1793) authored “The Natural History and Antiquities of
Selborne, in the County of Southampton.” One chapter was about a
local tortoise named Timothy. In 2006 Verlyn Klinkenborg authored
“Timothy; Or, Notes Of an Abject Reptile,” a look at the parson from
the point of view of the tortoise.
(WSJ, 2/11/06, p.P11)
1789 In 1999 Rachel Wright
authored "Paris: 1789," an informative children's book of Parisian
life on the eve of the Revolution.
(SFEC, 5/9/99, Par p.8)
1789 Tammany Hall was a
powerful Democratic political organization in NYC, founded as a
fraternal benevolent society. The name was based after a Delaware
Indian Chief, Tamanen or Temmenund, later facetiously canonized as
patron saint of the US. The Tammany Hall officials lost on Nov. 6,
(HFA, '96, p.42)
1789 In the US the Church of
England Episcopal Church fomally separated from the Church of
England became the Protestant Episcopal Church of the USA.
1789 Congress introduced paid
chaplains. In 1983 the Supreme Court ruled in Marsh vs. Chambers
that it is not a violation of the Establishment Clause to have paid
legislative chaplains. In 2002 Michael Newdow filed suit contending
that taxpayer-funded chaplains was unconstitutional.
(SFC, 8/31/02, p.A2)
1789 The US Alien Tort Claims
Act (ATCA) was meant to combat piracy. The Alien Tort Stature (ATS)
was intended to be used to prosecute pirates for crimes committed
outside the US.
(SFC, 8/11/00, p.A13)(SFC, 3/13/02, p.A8)(WSJ,
10/6/03, p.A1)(WSJ, 7/12/04, p.A16)
1789 The first tobacco
advertisement came out in the US. It depicted an Indian smoking a
long clay pipe.
(SFEC, 5/24/98, Z1 p.10)
1789 Dentist John Greenwood
(1760-1819) carved his first dentures for George Washington out of
1789 Georgetown College was
founded in Washington DC.
1789 Massachusetts commenced
work on the Middlesex Canal. It was completed in 1808.
1789 The University of North
Carolina was chartered. It was the first state university in the
U.S. to begin instruction, in 1795. The University of Georgia was
the first state university chartered, in 1785, but was not
established until 1801.
1789 Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier
(1743-1794), French nobleman and chemist, presented a paper on the
geology of the Earth that proposed that sea level had oscillated
over time, as opposed to a stationary sea with linear sedimentation.
1789 Martin Klaproth, German
chemist, discovered Uranium. It named after the planet Uranus
discovered 8 years earlier.
(NH, 7/02, p.36)(WSJ, 3/18/05, p.C1)
1789 The HMS Bounty made a
brief stop at the Cook Island of Rarotonga before moving on to
(SFEC, 1/5/97, p.T6)
1789 The flower China Rose was
introduced to Europe.
(TGR, 1995, p.4)
1789 Ethan Allen (b.1738),
leader of Vermont’s Green Mountain Boys, died. In 1949 Stewart H.
Holbrook authored "Ethan Allen." In 1969 Charles A. Jellison
authored "Ethan Allen: Frontier Rebel."
(WUD, 1994 p.39)(ON, 3/00, p.6)
1789 The prison ship Lady
Julian delivered over 200 women to the penal colony at Sydney
harbor. In 2002 Sian Rees authored "The Floating Brothel: The
Extraordinary True Story of an Eighteenth-Century Ship and Its Cargo
of Female Convicts."
(SSFC, 3/3/02, p.M3)
1789 Smallpox was introduced to
Australia and caused devastation among the aborigines.
(SFC, 10/19/01, p.A17)
1789 In Brazil poet and dentist
Joaquim Jose da Silva Xavier helped launch the first Brazilian
rebellion against the country's Portuguese rulers.
1789 English Thomas Clarkson
and his fellow abolitionists published 700 posters with the image of
the slave ship Brookes loaded with 482 slaves. The ship, owned by
the Brookes family of Liverpool, operated between the Gold Coast of
Africa and Jamaica.
(Econ, 2/24/07, p.72)
1789 Thomas Stokes built clocks
(SFC, 11/13/96, z-1 p.6)
c1789 The Marquis de Lafayette wrote the original
version of the Declaration of the Rights of Man. He was appalled by
the excesses of the revolution and fled to Austria where he was
imprisoned for 5 years.
(WSJ, 1/15/97, p.A12)
1789 A French decree allowed
wine and coffee to be served on the same premises.
(Econ, 10/22/11, p.105)
1789 Emmanuel-Joseph Sieyes, a
delegate to the Estates General, said the third estate is
everything, has nothing but wants to be something.
(Econ, 6/12/10, p.65)
1789 The French dwarf Richeborg
stood 23 inches and was costumed as a baby in diapers during the
French Revolution. In the arms of innocent girls he could eavesdrop
on sensitive conversations and carried secret dispatches in and out
(SFC, 6/23/96, Z1 p.2)
1789 The bankruptcy of the
French government brought banks across Europe to their knees.
(WSJ, 1/11/99, p.R48)
1789 Tobias Schmidt, a German
piano maker, built the first guillotine.
(SFC, 5/2/98, p.E4)
1789 In Germany the Brandenburg
Gate of Berlin was built.
(SFEC, 7/27/97, p.T5)
1789 Russian soldiers under the
leadership of Jose Pascual Domingo de Ribas y Boyons (aka Osip
Deribas) chased Ottoman forces from the barracks hamlet of
Khadjibey. He recognized the site’s potential for a military base to
control the mouths of the Danube, Dniester, Dnieper and Bug rivers.
Odessa became the name of the city built there.
(Econ, 2/26/11, p.91)
1789-1793 Alexander Mackenzie, Scottish-born fur
trader, became the 1st European to cross the North American
(SFC, 1/31/04, p.D12)
1789-1795 John Jay served as the first chief
justice of the US Supreme Court.
(WUD, 1994, p.764)(WSJ, 8/7/98, p.W13)
1789-1807 Selim III succeeded Abdul Hamid I in the
Ottoman House of Osman.
(Ot, 1993, xvii)
1789-1837 Ben Wilson covered this period in his
2007 book “The Making of Victorian Values: Decency and Dissent in
(WSJ, 3/24/07, p.P12)(Econ, 4/7/07, p.81)
1789-1854 John Martin, British artist. He was
known as "Mad Martin" for his paintings of monumental disasters. His
work included "Assuaging of the Waters" (1840), "The Eve of the
Deluge," and "The Deluge."
(SFEC, 5/4/97, DB p.9)(SFEM, 5/11/97, p.6)
1789-1914 In 2006 Michael Burleigh authored
“Earthly Powers: The Clash of Religion and Politics in Europe from
the French Revolution to the Great War.”
(Econ, 2/25/06, p.87)