Decade By Decade: Timelines of the 1800s
May 23, 1810: Margaret Fuller, editor, writer, and feminist icon, was born in Massachusetts.
June 23, 1810: John Jacob Astor formed the Pacific Fur Company.
July 5, 1810: American showman Phineas T. Barnum was born in Bethel, Connecticut.
September 1810: The Tonquin, a ship owned by John Jacob Astor departed New York City bound for the Pacific Northwest, as part of Astors plan to establish a fur-trading settlement at the mouth of the Columbia River.
February 3, 1811: Legendary newspaper editor Horace Greeley was born in Amherst, New Hampshire.
May 11, 1811: Chang and Eng Bunker, famous conjoined twins, were born in Siam, which will lead to them becoming known as the Siamese Twins.
June 14, 1811: Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom's Cabin, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut.
Summer 1811: Work began on the National Road, the first federal highway.
December 16, 1811: The New Madrid Earthquake struck the Mississippi Valley.
February 7, 1812: British novelist Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth, England.
March 15, 1812: The Luddites, who were opposed to machines being used in manufacturing, attacked a wool factory in England.
March 26, 1812: An earthquake leveled Caracas, Venezuela.
June 18, 1812: The United States Congress declared war on Britain, though opposition to the War of 1812 was strong.
June 24, 1812: Napoleon invaded Russia
August 19, 1812: The USS Constitution battled HMS Guerriere and the American ship was victorious.
October 1812: Napoleon began his retreat from Moscow.
November 5, 1812: James Madison won the U.S. presidential election of 1812, defeating Dewitt Clinton.
The Casselsmans Bridge was built in Maryland as part of the National Road, and was the longest stone arch bridge in America at the time.
April 23, 1813: Stephen Douglas, US Senator and rival of Abraham Lincoln, was born in Brandon, Vermont.
April 27, 1813: Zebulon Pike, soldier and explorer, was killed at the age of 34 during the War of 1812 in action at York, Ontario, Canada.
June 24, 1813: Henry Ward Beecher, American clergyman and reformer, was born in Litchfield, Connecticut.
October 5, 1813: Tecumseh, 45-year-old Shawnee leader, was killed by American troops at the Battle of the Thames in Canada.
January 1814: The British government approached Americans, offering to begin negotiations to end the War of 1812.
August 24, 1814: British troops landed in Maryland, marched to Washington, D.C., and burned the U.S. Capitol and the Executive Mansion (which would later be called the White House).
September 14, 1814: On the morning after the British bombardment of Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key saw the American flag still flying and wrote "The Star-Spangled Banner." Key's lyrics accurately described the Congreve rockets fired during the night.
December 24, 1814: American and British negotiators in Belgium signed the Treaty of Ghent, which formally ended the War of 1812.
January 8, 1815: Diverse American forces commanded by Gen. Andrew Jackson defeated British attackers at the Battle of New Orleans. As news traveled slowly, neither side knew the war had actually ended with the Treaty of Ghent weeks earlier.
February 1, 1815: Irish political leader Daniel O'Connell reluctantly fought a duel outside Dublin and killed his opponent.
April 1, 1815: Otto von Bismarck, German statesman, was born in Prussia.
April 5-12, 1815: The volcano at Mt. Tambora in Indonesia erupted in a series of explosions over a span of days. Volcanic ash blown into the atmosphere would affect weather worldwide for a year.
June 18, 1815: Napoleon was defeated by the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo.
July 1815: In the Second Barbary War, an American fleet commanded by Stephen Decatur and William Bainbridge defeated the Barbary Pirates.
1816 became known as "The Year Without a Summer" as volcanic ash from the Mt. Tambora volcanic eruption caused lower temperatures throughout the world.
November 6, 1816: James Monroe was elected president of the United States, defeating Rufus King.
In 1817 a legendary supernatural creature, The Bell Witch, began terrorizing a family on a Tennessee farm.
March 4, 1817: James Monroe took the presidential oath of office outdoors, as the U.S. Capitol was still being rebuilt after its burning by the British.
July 4, 1817: Construction began on the Erie Canal
July 12, 1817: Author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau was born in Concord, Massachusetts.
The first packet liners began sailing between New York City and Liverpool.
February 1818: Abolitionist author Frederick Douglass was born into slavery on a plantation in Maryland.
May 5, 1818: Karl Marx, German philosopher, was born in Prussia.
December 13, 1818: Mary Todd Lincoln, American first lady, was born in Lexington, Kentucky.
The Panic of 1819 was the first great financial panic of the 19th century.
May 24, 1819: Queen Victoria was born at Kensington Palace, London, England.
May 31, 1819: American poet Walt Whitman was born at West Hills, Long Island, New York.
August 1, 1819: Author Herman Melville was born in New York City.