Decade By Decade: Timelines of the 1800s
The second federal census was taken in 1800, and determined the population to be 5,308,483. Of that number, 896,849, about 17 percent, were slaves.
April 24, 1800: Congress chartered the Library of Congress and allocated $5,000 to purchase books.
November 1, 1800: President John Adams moved into the unfinished Executive Mansion, which will later be known as the White House.
December 3, 1800: The United States electoral congress convened to decide the winner of the election of 1800. The election was disputed, and after a series of votes in the U.S. House of Representatives Thomas Jefferson was declared the winner over Aaron Burr and the incumbent John Adams.
November 17, 1800: US Congress held its first session in Washington, D.C.
January 1, 1801: President John Adams began a tradition of White House receptions on New Year's Day. Any citizen could stand on line, enter the mansion, and shake hands with the president.
January 21, 1801: President John Adams nominated John Marshall as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Marshall would go on to define the role of the court.
March 4, 1801: Thomas Jefferson was inaugurated as president and delivered an eloquent inaugural address in the Senate chamber of the unfinished U.S. Capitol.
March 10, 1801: The first census taken in Britain determines the population of England, Scotland, and Wales to be about 10.5 million.
April 2, 1801: At the Battle of Copenhagen, the British Navy defeated a Danish and Norwegian fleet in action related to the Napoleonic Wars. Admiral Horatio Nelson was the hero of the battle.
May 1801: The Pasha of Tripoli declared war on the United States. President Thomas Jefferson responded by dispatching a naval squadron to fight the Barbary pirates.
June 14, 1801: Benedict Arnold, famous traitor in the American Revolutionary War, died in England at the age of 60.
Summer 1802: President Thomas Jefferson read a book by explorer Alexander Mackenzie, who had traveled across Canada to the Pacific Ocean and back. The book helped inspire what would become the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
July 4, 1802: The U.S. Military Academy opened at West Point, New York.
November 1802: Washington Irving published his first article, a political satire signed with the pseudonym "Jonathan Oldstyle."
February 24, 1803: The U.S. Supreme Court decided Marbury v. Madison, a landmark case that established the principle of judicial review.
May 2, 1803: The United States concluded the purchase of the Louisiana Purchase with France.
May 25, 1803: Ralph Waldo Emerson was born in Boston.
July 4, 1803: President Thomas Jefferson officially gave orders to Meriwether Lewis, who had been preparing for an expedition to the Northwest.
July 23, 1803: A rebellion led by Robert Emmet broke out in Dublin, Ireland, and was quickly put down. Emmet was captured a month later.
September 20, 1803: Robert Emmet, leader of an Irish rebellion against British rule, was executed in Dublin, Ireland.
May 14, 1804: The Lewis and Clark Expedition began its westward voyage by heading up the Missouri River.
July 12, 1804: Alexander Hamilton died in New York City following the duel with Aaron Burr.
August 20, 1804: A member of the Corps of Discovery on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Charles Floyd, died. His death would be the only fatality on the entire expedition.
November 1804: Thomas Jefferson easily won reelection, defeating Charles Pinckney of South Carolina.
December 2, 1804: Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor of France.
March 4, 1805: Thomas Jefferson took the oath of office for the second time and delivered a remarkably bitter inaugural address .
April 1805: During the Barbary Wars, a detachment of U.S. Marines marched on Tripoli, and after victory, raised the American flag over foreign soil for the first time.
August 1805: Zebulon Pike, a young U.S. Army officer, embarked on his first exploring expedition, which would take him to present day Minnesota.
October 21, 1805: At the Battle of Trafalgar, Admiral Horatio Nelson was fatally wounded.
November 15, 1805: The Lewis and Clark Expedition reached the Pacific Ocean.
December 1805: Lewis and Clark settled into winter quarters at a fort constructed by the Corps of Discovery.
Bernard McMahon published The American Gardener’s Calendar, the first book on gardening published in America.
Noah Webster published his first dictionary of American English.
March 23, 1806: Lewis and Clark began their return journey from the Pacific Northwest
March 29, 1806: President Thomas Jefferson signed into law a bill allocating funds for the building of the National Road, the first federal highway.
May 30, 1806: Andrew Jackson, future American president, killed Charles Dickinson in a duel provoked by disagreement over a horse race and insults to Jackson’s wife.
July 15, 1806: Zebulon Pike departed on his second expedition, a voyage with mysterious purposes that would take him to present day Colorado.
September 23, 1806: Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery returned to St. Louis, completing their expedition to the Pacific.
Washington Irving published a little satirical magazine, Salmagundi. Twenty issues appeared between early 1807 and early 1808.
March 25, 1807: The importation of slaves was prohibited by a law passed by the U.S. Congress, but the law would not take effect until the January 1, 1808.
May 22, 1807: Aaron Burr was indicted for treason.
June 22, 1807: The Chesapeake Affair, in which a U.S. Navy officer surrendered his ship to the British, created an enduring controversy. Years later, the incident would provoke a duel that would kill Stephen Decatur.
July 4, 1807: Giuseppe Garibaldi was born.
August 17, 1807: Robert Fulton’s first steamboat left New York City bound for Albany, sailing on the Hudson River.
Albert Gallatin completed his landmark Report on Roads, Canals, Harbors, and Rivers, a comprehensive plan for creating a transportation infrastructure in the United States.
January 1, 1808: The law banning importation of slaves into United States took effect.
November 1808: James Madison won the U.S. presidential election, defeating Charles Pinckney, who had lost to Thomas Jefferson four years earlier.
December 1809: The first book by Washington Irving, A History of New York, an inventive blend of history and satire, is published under the pseudonym Diedrich Knickerbocker.
December 29, 1809: William Ewart Gladstone, British statesman and prime minister, was born in Liverpool.