01 (exact date uncertain)
01/06 - John C. Calhoun to "Preston" on the Nullification theory which he had recently expounded in the "Exposition and Protest" -- "W cannot expect a sturdy and powerful resistance, til the nature of the disease and its fatal consequences, if not arrested, come to be generally understood... Never was there such an inspiring cause; relief from grievous oppression, restoring the Constitution to its original purity." (Source: Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, p176)
01/10 - Charles Francis Adams (son of John Quincy Adams) admitted to the bar. He set up in a tiny, unheated office at 10 Court St. He was living -- or had been, at least -- at Mrs. Ann Wilson's boardinghouse at 3 Cambridge St., near the Welches, where his brother George stayed. (Source: Shepherd, Cannibals of the Heart, p294, 313).
01/17 - Ralph
Waldo Emerson writes in journal: "I am called by an
ancient and respectable church to become its pastor. I recognize in
these events, ... the hand of my heavenly Father. This happiness awakens
in me a certain awe: I know my imperfections: I know my ill-deserts;
and the beauty of God makes me feel my own sinfulness the more. ... O God
direct and guard and bless me, and ... especially her (i.e. his
fiance Ellen) in whom I am blessed. (Source: Heart
of Emerson's Journals, p44-5)
Some time in January, R.W. Emerson accepts junior pastorate in Second Church. (source: Rusk, Emerson, p136).
01/19 - Andrew Jackson left for Washington on the steamboat Pennsylvania to assume the presidency. (Source: Da Bruhl, Sword of San Jacinto, p96).
01/22 - Sam Houston marries Eliza Allen, the daughter of well-to-do planter John Allen, at Allen's home. The marriage was catastrophic and essentially over before it began. (Source: Da Bruhl, Sword of San Jacinto, p96ff)
01/29 - Death of Timothy Pickering, the arch-Federalist who had recently been in cahoots with the Van Cordlandts (see Phillip V.C.)
02/07 - <== The ship Harriet set out with "Prince" Ibrahima and a total of 152 passengers for Liberia. Ibrahima had been an educated prince of an Islamic African nation when captured in battle and sold -- which led to decades of work as a field slave in Mississippi. (Source: Prince Among Slaves, p172, 174 and elsewhere. Note excellent sketch of Ibrahima opp. p. 108, and on cover of paperback). ==>
02/16 - Solomon Van Rensselaer writes to Philip Van Cortlandt, "Will you give me a letter of Introduction to Gen. Jackson. I too, as you, and him, have fought and bleed -- ". Van Rensselaer, a General who was wounded at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, and in the War of 1812, had for years been postmaster at Albany, and many Jacksonians would have liked to have given this prize to someone who had helped to secure the election in NY State. Van Cortlandt himself was a strong Jacksonian.
02/20 - Philip Van Cortlandt writes to Andrew Jackson from "Cortlandt Town", The bearor hereof Gen. Solomon Van Rensselaer of the City of Albany who like Our Selves has seen Severe Service and has Fought and bled in the cause of Our Country and who is my esteem'd Friend and as Such please to permit me to Introduce him to your Acquaintance."
02/21 - Seven Yale theological students signed a compact which led to the "Yale Band" setting up Illinois College. (began instruction January 1830; Elected Edward Beecher president of the college that summer). (Source: Merideth, Politics of the Universe, p75)
02/27 - William Cullen Bryant writes Gulian C. Verplanck, his friend and source of Washington information, "Having a spare moment I think I cannot employ it better than in taking you to task for letting Gen. Jackson make so bad a cabinet. Van Buren is very well--but how comes Ingham to be the Secretary of the Treasury? ... he is a tariff-man, infected with the leaven of the American System. Then as for capacity
03/04 - Andrew Jackson's Inaugural address. (An oft-described quintessential moment of the democratization of this period -- a celebration of "King Mob" or the "Majesty of the People" depending on ones point of view). (Source: Remini, Jackson, vol 2, p173-180)
03/08 - John Malvin -- later an important free block citizen of Cleveland, married in Cincinnati, to the free daughter of a slave man, whom he later bought into freedom for a difficult to come by $400.
Source: Malvin, North Into Freedom.
03/11 - (Weds) Ordination of Ralph Waldo Emerson as a Congregational (Unitarian) minister. He moves out of Divinity Hall, and in with George Sampson on North Allen St. (later boarded with Abel Adams on Chardon St., near his church) (source: Rusk, Emerson, p136).
03/13 - James Henry Hammond defended his first law client, accused of forgery. The defense attacked the law, left over from English common law, as "designed for a commercial people", and hence inappropriate for this country. (Source: Faust, Hammond, p33-4)
03/27 - William Lloyd Garrison bid farewell to his Journal of the Times readers as he left to join Benjamin Lundy in editing the Genius of Universal Emancipation. (Source: Stewart, Garrison, p39)
04/16 - Sam Houston resigns as governor of Tennessee, in the ugly aftermath of the breakup of his marriage. (Source: Da Bruhl, Sword of San Jacinto, p102)
04/23 - Sam Houston takes a steamboat west from Nashville. At Cairo, IL, he disembarked and, with "an Irishman named H. Haralson", took a flatboat and together they had a drunken, rollicking time all the way to the Arkansas River, where they got a steamboat up the Arkansas River to Little Rock. (Source: Da Bruhl, Sword of San Jacinto, p103)
04/29 - George Washington Adams, having been summoned by his father to Washington, took stage to Providence and there boarded the Benjamin Franklin.
04/30 - In the early morning, George Washington Adams, who seemed to be hearing voices and fearing the other passengers, jumped overboard from the Benjamin Franklin, and was drowned.
05/02 - J.Q. and Lousia Adams learn of son George's disappearance from an item in the Baltimore American. Charles Francis Adams learns of it from Peter Brooks (Source: Shepherd, Cannibals of the Heart, p313)
05/08 - Sam Houston and his new friend Haralson land in Little Rock, AR, after a 15-day trip (for Houston) from Nashville. (Source: Da Bruhl, Sword of San Jacinto, p106). They continued up the Arkansas on a small boat, the Facility, up to Webber's Falls, near the mouth of the Illinois River (a different one from that in Illinois). They were met there by the Cherokee chief Ooleteka, a sort of adoptive father to Houston, another 30 miles or so took them to the Three Forks - the confluence of the Verdigras, Arkansas, and Neosho rivers - near Muskogee, OK (Da Bruhl, p110). This was also the neighborhood of Fort Gibson.
05/14 - Angelina Grimke is summonned to a church trial by the 3rd Presby. church of Charleston, SC. Pastor - Wm. A. McDowell. Charges: "A neglect of ... ordinance of the Lord's supper ... [and of] the means of grace and the ordinance of the Gospel ..." (Source: Lerner Grimke Sisters).
05/28 Charles Francis Adams receives 1st visit from Miles Farmer, trying to be paid for silence about the family scandal involving George Washington Adams (see January, above) (Source: Shepherd, Cannibals of the Heart, p323).
06/02 - Edward Everett, on a tour of the west, "spoke eloquently at a banquet given in his honor at Nashville [in the crowd was] John Bell, destined ... to be his running-mate [on the weakest ticket of the 4-way 1860 race that elected Abraham Lincoln]" (Source: Frothingham, Everett, p119).
06/05 - A school for black girls was established in Baltimore by the Sisters of Providence. (Source: Vexler, Baltimore, p32)
06/10 - Edward Everett, on a tour of the west, arrives in Lexington KY; is whisked away from the inn where he initially settled by Henry Clay who "'drove up in his barouche,' and carried him off to Ashland, his hospitable home a mile from the city." (Source: Frothingham, Everett, p118).
06/13 - New York Herald prints item on the recovery of George Washington Adams' body from which John Quincy Adams learns of it. (Source: Shepherd, Cannibals of the Heart, p?).
07/04 - James Henry Hammond, at 25, off to an excellent start as a lawyer, was invited to deliver a Fourth of July speech at the Columbia Presbyterian Church. After the usual patriotic platitudes, "The people of the North have been overbearing and the people of the South have become chafed ... [men had begun] to question the value of the American Union ... Patience under usurpation is a word for slaves."
(Source: Faust, Hammond, p33-4)
07/06 - <== The former slave, "Prince" Ibrahima died of fever, age 67, on ship off Liberia. (Source: Prince Among Slaves, p183)
07/07 - Sam Houston is on hand at Bayou Manard to celebrate the Green Corn Dance with the western Cherokees. He was sent as representative by chief Ooleteka, ailing at the time. While there he opposed trouble that was being stirred up by Creek Indians against the Pawnee. (Source: Da Bruhl, Sword of San Jacinto, p111)
07/09 - Edward Everett returned home to "Winter Hill" from a 3-month tour of the West (Source: Frothingham, Everett, p119).
07/30 - Frances
Wright spoke in Boston
to a full house on this and several succeeding nights. Lyman
Beecher wrote, in Lectures on Political Atheism, that "regrettably
she won over the educated, refined women ... and worst of all, women who
had been friends to his own children."
(Eckhardt, Wright, p199)
08/16 - The Sachem,
with the "Siamese Twins", Chang and Eng on board, arrived in
Boston harbor and docked opposite the India Wharf, carrying (besides the
twins) "sugar, sapan wood, gamboge [a gum resin from trees used
as a cathartic or a yellow pigment], buffalo horns, leopard skins, and
The twins would be examined by the distinguished John C. Warren, who in 1846 would be the "first reputable doctor" to perform surgery using ether.
(Source: Boston Daily Advertiser, quoted in Walace and Walace, The Two, p52, and The Two, p56)
08/22 - Anti-black rioting in Cincinnati, OH reached a peak on this weekend, with white attacks on the slum "Bucktown". This rioting helped to drive half of the black population out of the city (Source: Richards, Gentlemen of Property and Standing, p34). Elsewhere the number who left the city is estimated at 1,200 (Chronological History, p132)
09 (exact date unknown) - John S. Skinner launched The American Turf Register and Sporting Magazine in Baltimore. (Source: Vexler, Baltimore, p32)
09/02 - Season opening of Park Theater: Mrs. Inchbald's comedy "Every One has His Fault" opens at the Park Theater in NY. "Mr. Placide" and "Mrs. Hackett" were in the cast. "The petite Misses Parker danced a pas de deux, and a new Irish romance, "Thierna na oge" was given. (Source: Ireland, NY Stage, I, p621)
09/03 - Charles Francis Adams marries Abigail Brown Brooks, at the Medford home of her father, Peter Chardon Brooks. (Source: Shepherd, Cannibals of the Heart, p330).
09/22 - John C. Calhoun, writes of Van Buren's "arts and intrigues", that he feared "the choice of the chief magistrate will finally be placed at the disposition of the executive power itself, through a corrupt system to be founded on the abuse of the power and patronage of the gov't" (Source: Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, p187)
09/23 - The Free Enquirer describes the frustrations of Frances Wright in giving a lecture a few days previously in Philadelphia: They originally rented the Walnut Street Theater for $75, but on arrival found that "the theater's stockholders repudiated the manager's orders and canceled the agreement" fearing the outrage that the "High Priestess of Infidelity" was inspiring. They then rented Washington Hall, but its proprietress was pressured into cancelling too. She wound up speaking "briefly from a carriage" in the street near Military Hall to a crowd "packed so tightly that no one could get through." (Eckhardt, Wright, p204)
09/24 - Four new schools were opened in Baltimore; a boys and a girls school in the east end, and likewise in the west end. (Source: Vexler, Baltimore, p32)
09/28 - First publication of David Walker's Appeal.
09/30 - Ralph Waldo Emerson marries Ellen Louise Tucker; begin life together at Mrs. Keating's boarding house on Chardon St. (Source: Emerson, the Mind on Fire, p92).
10/05 - Fanny Kemble began her stage career in London. (Source: Furnas, Fanny Kemble, p50)
10/06 - A meeting was held at the Baltimore Atheneum to form a temperance society. (Source: Vexler, Baltimore, p32)
10/16 The "Siamese Twins", Chang and Eng
depart for England after their first visit to America.
( The Two, p71)
10/19 - Charles Grandison Finney arrive in New York where he preached temporarily, helping build up the "Union Church", initially in a hired church on Vanderwater St.; later in a church purchased from Universalists, on Marion and Prince St. (Source: Hambrick-Stowe, Finney, p95)
10/21 - Sam Houston became a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. (Source: Da Bruhl, Sword of San Jacinto, p112)
10/29 - The Roman Catholic Council held a session in Baltimore. (Source: Vexler, Baltimore, p32)
11/13 (Friday 13)
11/25 - Completion of Baltimore's Washington Monument (an elaborate pillar surmounted with statuary) (Source: Vexler, Baltimore, p32)
11/26 - On Thanksgiving, Lyman Beecher preaches on atheism, a sermon which grew into the publication Lectures on Political Atheism, "dedicated to the working men of America". (source: Auto...Beecher, II, p158)
12/04 - Charles Carroll, last signer of the Declaration of Independence, laid the last stone of the viaduct (of the Baltimore and Ohio RR), which was christened the Carrollton Viaduct. (Source: Vexler, Baltimore, p32)
12/07 - President Andrew Jackson delivered (in writing, as was usual at the time) his first annual address to Congress. He spoke of "setting apart an ample district west of the Mississippi, .. guaranteed to the Indian tribes as long as they shall occupy it"; and he called the Bank of the United States a failure at the very thing it had done really well, establishing uniform and sound currency.
(Source: Remini, Jackson, vol 2, p224ff) (Text of the Annual Address)
12/11 - 18 year old Harriet Beecher writes to her older sister Catharine, regarding a letter-writing campaign protesting the treatment of the Cherokees: "Last night we teachers [at Catharine's Hartford Female Seminary] all sat up til eleven o-clock finishing our Cherokee letters. ... the circular is making great excitement in New York..." (Source: Hedrick, Harriet Beecher Stowe, p59)
12/12 - The Mayor of Savannah, GA, wrote to Mayor Harrison Gray Otis of Boston, protesting against David Walker's Appeal, seeking punishment of the author. Otis sent response 2/10/30. (Source: Garrison, W.P. and F.J., Garrison, p160-161)
12/16 - Harriet Beecher Stowe, working for her sister Catharine at her Hartford Female Seminary, and being caught up in efforts there to bring about revivals, writes "This morning I delivered a long speech on 'modes of exerting moral influence'; showing the ways an evil influence is unknowingly exerted and the ways in which each and all can exert a good one." (Source: Hedrick, Harriet Beecher Stowe, p60)
12/22 - David Crockett succeeded in getting all material related to Tennessee's claims and petitions for disposal of its public lands removed from James K. Polk's standing committee on the public lands, and turned over to a select committee headed by Crockett. Polk and several other Tennesseans served on Crockett's committee despite having reason for annoyance. (Source: Derr, Fronteirsman, p167-8). See 1/29/30.
12/23 - Baron Krudener, the Russian minister, gave a ball at which Peggy Eaton was given the position at table appropriate to her husband's cabinet rank. Madam Huygens, wife of the Dutch envoy, and seated by Eaton, made some insulting comments which lead Jackson to demand an explanation (Source: Remini, Jackson, vol 2, p211)