Théorie analytique de la chaleur, by the mathematician and Egyptologist Jean-Baptiste-Jospeh Fourier (1768-1830), is published. The book defines the series of sines and cosines today known as Fourier series.
Egyptologist Jean-Francois Champollion (1790-1832) deciphers a panel on the Rosetta stone, which was discovered in 1799. He is the first to translate hieroglyphics.
The population of New York City reaches 124,000, and a family of four can live comfortably on $3,000 per year. (Trager , p. 224)
Liberia is founded as a colony for freedmen from the United States.
In London, the Sunday Times begins publication.
Jean Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet Chevalier de Lamarck, at age 78, publishes his Histoire Naturelle des Animaux sans vertebres. Lamarck's work is the first to draw a distinction between vertebrates and invertebrates.
Vesey's Rebellion fails in South Carolina on June 16th. Named for Denmark Vesey (1767-1822), a self-educated freedman who inspired black people in the city and on plantations to revolt, the failed Rebellion resulted in more than 100 arrests, and Vesey was convicted and hung on July 2nd.
Galileo's treatise, Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo, tolemaico e copernicano, is removed from the Roman Catholic Church's Index of prohibited books. The book was published in 1632, and was banned in 1633. (For more on Galileo's life and work, see the wonderful resources at the Galileo Project at Rice University.)
Physicist Joseph Nicéphore Niepce, at age 57, makes the first permanent photograph, by using a form of asphalt to stablilize the photographic image on paper. The active ingrediant in the asphaltum was likely silver chloride.
Francis Galton is born in England, as is Matthew Arnold; César August Frank is born in Belgium; Louis Pasteuris born in France.
French troops invade Spain, ending the revolution on August 31st with the Battle of Trocadero. King Ferdinand VII is restored to power.
In an address to Congress,on December 2nd, U.S. President James Monroe announces what comes to be called the Monroe Doctrine. In his address, Monroe said ".. the American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European power."
Valperga, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly is published, as is a second edition of her Frankenstein, which had first appeared, anonymously, in 1818.
Small-scale drilling for oil begins at Baku, a Russian port city on the west coast of the Caspian Sea, now the capital of Azerbaijan. The drilling marks the beginning of the modern petroleum industry, and by 1900 nearly half the world's oil will come from the Baku oil fields.
Don Juan, by George (Lord) Byron, is published.
The medical journal The Lancet is founded by Thomas Wakley, in Britain.
Silicon is isolated by chemist Jöns Jakob Berzelius (1777-1848). He has previously discovered cerium (1803) and selenium (1817), and will discover thorium in 1828.
Mathematician Neils Henrick Abel (1802-1829) proves that to find the root of a polynomial of higher than the fourth degree is impossible.
Réflexions sur la puissance motrice du feu, by physicist Nicolas Sadi Carnot (1796-1832), is published.
The British government decrees that the distance of one yard shall be defined by the period of a pedulum, placed in Greenwich, with a period of one second.
Lord Amherst, the British governor general of India, declares war on Burma on February 24th. British annexation of Burma begins.
The results of the November Presidential elections in the U.S. leave no candidate with a majority in the Electoral College. Andrew Jackson has 99 votes, John Quincy Adams has 81 votes, William Crawford has 41 votes, and Henry Clay has 37 votes. Adams will be elected President, by the House of Representatives, in 1825.
Louis XVIII, 68, dies on September 16 after ruling France for nearly 10 years. He is succeeded by his brother, who takes the name Charles X.
The first engineering and technical school in the United States opens in Troy, New York, and will eventually develop into the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Aluminum is discovered by the physicist Hans Christian Oersted (1777-1851).
The Stockton and Darlington Railway opens; it is the first railway in England.
Bolivia and Uruguay become independent nations, the first gaining independence from Peru and the second from Brazil. Brazil's independence is recognized by Portugal on August 29
The Diary of Samuel Pepys is published in Britain.
Pepys (1633-1703) had been a secretary of the Admiralty, a member of
Parliament, and President of the Royal Society, and his
presents an important and entertaining picture of
London during the Restoration period.
Germain (1776-1831) proves that, for
(p) that are greater than 2, less than a hundred, and do not divide the
product of the integer bases a, b, and c,
the equation a^p + b^p = c^p has no solutions (where "a^p" means "a to
the p-th power"). She thus proves a
limited case of Fermat's
of Russia dies on December 13 in the Crimea, though not
from eating poisonous mushrooms, as
popular stories of his death relate (see R.G. Wasson for details). Alexander
is succeeded by his younger brother, who will rule for 30 years as
In a French hospital, epidemiologist and physician Pierre-Fidele
Bretonneau performs the first successful
as he tries to save a patient suffering from diptheria
from suffocating (he will describe and name the disease in 1826).
The Deringer pistol is designed and introduced in the U.S. by gunsmith
Mathematician Sophie Germain (1776-1831) proves that, for prime exponents (p) that are greater than 2, less than a hundred, and do not divide the product of the integer bases a, b, and c, the equation a^p + b^p = c^p has no solutions (where "a^p" means "a to the p-th power"). She thus proves a limited case of Fermat's last theorem.
Czar Alexander of Russia dies on December 13 in the Crimea, though not from eating poisonous mushrooms, as popular stories of his death relate (see R.G. Wasson for details). Alexander is succeeded by his younger brother, who will rule for 30 years as Nicholas I.
In a French hospital, epidemiologist and physician Pierre-Fidele Bretonneau performs the first successful tracheotomy, as he tries to save a patient suffering from diptheria from suffocating (he will describe and name the disease in 1826).
The Deringer pistol is designed and introduced in the U.S. by gunsmith Henry Deringer.
The sixth edition of Thomas Malthus' Essay on Population is published. Expanded considerably from the first edition of 1798, the sixth edition is the one that Darwin will read in 1838.
In Easton, Pennsylvania, Lafayette College is founded; in London, University College is founded; and in Bavaria, Munich University is founded.
The Burmese war ends on February 24, and Britain acquires Assam, Arakan, and Tenasserim under the Treaty of Yandabu. In June, the Treaty of Bangkok is signed between Britain and Siam.
I Promessi Sposi, by novelist and poet Alessandro Manzoni (1785-1873) is published.
The Last of the Mohicans, by James Fenimore Cooper, is published.
At age 25, engineer Benoit Fourneyron invents the first waterwheel turbine, and demonstrates one that can generate 50-horsepower.
Turkish forces invade Athens on June 5. On July 6 the Treaty of London is signed, as Britain, France and Russia promise to support Greek independence, and insist that Sultan Mahmud II accept an armistace. On August 16 the Sultan rejects their demands.
Heinrich Heine's Buch der Lieder is published. The Bytown Settlement, later to become Ottawa, is founded at Chaudière Falls.
Britain's George IV establishes the measure for an (imperial) acre of land. One acre is equal to 43,560 square feet, or 1/640 of a square mile. Although this will be the standard unit of measurement in the United Kingdom, the hectare (approximately 2.5 acres) will continue to be used throughout Europe.
On May 19, the U.S. Congress enacts the Tariff of Abominations, supported both by Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. Tariff's on imports will be raised as a result of this bill, and prices of goods, both raw materials and manufactured items, will quickly rise.
In November, Andrew Jackson (1767-1845) is elected as 7th President of the United States. He defeats John Quincy Adams (1767-1848), although Vice President John Caldwell Calhoun (1782-1850) is reelected.
On May 26, police in Nuremberg find Kaspar Hauser (1812-1833), apparently dazed and either incoherent or unable to speak entirely. He carries notes, or fragments of notes, explaining something about his birth and to with whom he has been living for 16 years. Although rumors circulate that his is the son of a noble, and the rightful prince of Baden, most of these are quickly proven false. Yet the case inspired, and continues to inspire poets, novelists, playrights, and filmakers.
The inaugural issue of the Cherokee Nation newspaper, "Tsa la gi Tsu lehisanunhi" or "Cherokee Phoenix", is published in February. It is the first Indian newspaper published in the United States, and is printed in both English and Cherokee. Cherokee scholar Sequoya, had invented a Cherokee language alphabet in 1821; the 85 letters, which look like the Roman letters but have very different pronunciations than in English, represent all the sounds of the Cherokee language.
Chemist Friedrich Wöhler (1800-1882) synthesizes the organic compound urea, a feat previously thought impossible because of the vital force thought to be a part of organic substances.
Noah Webster (1758-1843) publishes An American Dictionary of the English Language, a book he has worked on for at least 28 years. The dictionary includes a variety of Americanisms and American spellings of words like "color".
In Japan, an earthquake strikes Echigo on December 28, killing approximately 30,000 people.
Eliphalet Remington (1793-1861) begins making rifles in Ilion, New York.
Greece achieves independence from the Ottoman Empire. On March 22, the London Protocol declares Greece an autonomous state. Romania and Serbia also gain their autonomy from the Ottoman Empire.
Guillaume Tell, the opera with music composed by Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) , opens at the Paris Opèra on August 8th. Rossini's Il barbiere di Siviglia had premiered in 1816.
Spain's attempt to regain control of Mexico, with a expedition launched from Havana, is unsuccessful. General Santa Anna repells the Spanish force.Slavery is abolished in Mexico on September 15, although slavery may still be practiced in the Texas Territory.
The first steam locomotive to operate on a U.S. railroad begins service between Carbondale and Honesdale, Pennsylvania. The engine, "The Stourbridge Lion", has been imported from the Stephenson Engine Works in London.
The principle of duality in projective geometry is established by mathematician and physicist Julius Plücker (1801-1868 ). The principle states that for any geometric theorem you can exchange the terms point and line and get a new theorem.
Chang and Eng, the 18 year-old "Siamese twins" discovered by the British merchant Robert Hunter, arrive in Boston and later sail for England. They are considered curiosites by both physicians and the general public, and they will eventually be exhibited by the showman Phineas Taylor Barnum (1810-1891).
Chemist James Smithson (1765-1829) bequeaths £100,000 to found the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. The Institution will be founded in 1846.