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Inquiry Unlimited presents

19th century USA Historical Chronology

Part 1: 1800 - 1850

(Basic narrative and chronology derived from The World Almanac)


1800 | 1810 | 1820 | 1830 | 1840 ]



Milestones of the 1800s in the United States


  • Thomas Jefferson Monticello orders Lewis and Clark Expedition from St. Louis - May 14,1804; ends Sept. 23, 1806) - Sacagawea (c. 1787-1812) as a guide and interpreter. Lewis and Clark attempted to communicate with the Native Americans.
  • 1804 - 12th Amendment changed Presidential election rules.
  • 1804 - Vice President Aaron Burr kills Alexander Hamilton in a duel on July 11.

  • Robert Fulton - steamboat trip from NYC to Albany (150 miles) in 32 hours
  • Embargo Act bans all trade with foreign countries, forbids ships to set sail for foreign ports

  • 1808 - John Jacob Astor founded the American Fur Company trade from the Great Lakes to the Rocky Mountains and expanding to the Pacific Northwest.
  • Importation of slaves outlawed

  • Battle of Tippecanoe on November 7, where William Henry Harrison, who had a history of fighting the Indians, became famous in the fight led by Tenskwatawa (c. 1768-c. 1835). .
  • Cumberland Road begun at Cumberland, Maryland - route to the west

  • Britain seized United States ships trading with France
  • Britain seized United States sailors (impressment)
  • Britain armed Indians [Tecumseh (1768-1813) a Shawnee) who raided western border. At the Battle of Thames in western Ontario, William Henry Harrison defeated the remaining British and Indian forces, killing Tecumseh in the fighting.
US Naval victories
  • USS Essex captured Alert - August 13
  • USS Constitution destroyed Guerriere - August 19
  • U.S.S. Wasp Took Frolic - October 18
  • U.S.S. United States defeated Macedonian off Azores - Oct. 25
  • U.S.S. Constitution beat Java - Dec. 29

  • In the summer of 1813, during the Creek War, the Creeks attacked Fort Mims in Alabama.

  • 1814 - After the battle of Horseshoe Bend, the Creeks surrendered to Major General Andrew Jackson.
  • September 11, 1814 - Battle of Lake Champlain at Plattsburgh Bay, New York with the Saratoga
  • 1814 - Fort San Carlos de Barrancas in Pensacola, Florida
  • 1814 - City of Washington captured and burned by British, August 24. James Madison moved to the Octagon House owned by the Taylor family. In 1815, Madison signed the Treaty of Ghent here.
  • On September 13 - 14, the British bombarded Fort McHenry, Baltimore for 25 hours and failed. During the bombardment, Francis Scott Key saw the fifteen star Star Spangled Banner flying and wrote the poem which later became the United States National Anthem known as the "Star Spangled Banner"
  • Fort McHenry, Maryland bombarded by British in September, 1814 (see: 975.2)
  • Francis Scott Key witnesses the bombardment at Fort McHenry, Maryland 1814 and seeing the flag made by Mary Young Pickersgill flying was inspired to write the Star Spangled Banner (see: 975.2)
  • Student challenge focusing on bombardment at Fort McHenry
  • Student-created narrative based on bombardment at Fort McHenry
  • December 24, 1814 - Treat of Ghent ended War of 1812 on December 24, but fighting continued.

  • Andrew Jackson defeated British at New Orleans January 8, after war ended.

  • American Colonization Society begun.

  • Congress fixed the number of stripes on the U.S. flag at 13 to honor the original colonies, April 4.


  • Pawtucket, RI weavers strike in first such action by women

  • Erie Canal opening the Great Lakes area from Buffalo
  • First experimental steam locomotive by John Stevens of Hoboken, New Jersey.
  • 1825 - Menawa, the "Crazy War Hunter" from his bravery at the battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814, led a raiding party which killed Chief William McIntosh because of his conciliatory efforts to the English. In 1825, the Treaty of Indian Springs was signed.

Irish Famine Encourages Emigration

  • Emigration to the United States and British Colonies 1825 - 1849

  • Baltimore & Ohio, the first US passenger railroad -
    July 4





The American Anti-Slavery Society was active in Philadelphia. The brothers, Arthur and Lewis Tappan, and William Lloyd Garrison were major activists. Actively involved and helped by the Society were Anthony Burns , Frederick Douglass, and Wendell Phillips.


  • Seminole Indians in Florida under Osceola began attacks protesting forced removal from their lands. Indians were sent to Oklahoma.
  • In 1835, after convincing his tribe that they could not survive while surrounded on all sides by Americans, Wabaunsee (c. 1780-c. 1840) went to Washington D.C., and signed a treaty. The treaty gave away the remainder of the Potawatomi ancestral lands to the government in exchange for lands westward, near Council Bluffs on the Missouri River.

  • A group of Texans including Davey Crockett Jim Bowie, and Sam Austin were besieged in San Antonio in a mission called the Alamo by Mexicans under General Santa Anna. All the Texans were killed. In later fighting Sam Houston and Texans defeated the Mexicans.
  • Class-created interpretative Alamo narrative
  • Student-created Alamo interpretative challenge

  • Starting in October, Cherokee Indians were made to walk the "Trail of Tears" as they were removed from Georgia to Oklahoma.
  • Student challenge Trail of Tears focus

    The Amistad Mutiny and Trial



  • 1841 - On that cold March 4th day, as Harrison, not wearing a hat, delivered his 105 minute inaugural address, he contracted pneumonia. He died in the White House one month later.
  • 1841 - Tyler's cabinet resigned after he vetoed banking bills supported by the Whigs.
  • The first wagon train leaving for California left Independence, Missouri on May 1. It reached California on November 4.


  • The settlement of Oregon began over the Oregon Trail . [ Oregon Trail student challenge and student product #1 and student product #2
  • Classroom-created challenge of the Santa Fe Trail (1842) as a focus
  • Classroom-created challenge focusing on the Mormon Trail (1842)


  • On May 24, 1844, Samuel Morse sends the first telegraph message from Washington to Baltimore: "What hath God wrought!" (see:925.2)


  • Texas annexed followed by war with Mexico.


    • Classroom-created challenge focusing on The Donner Party (1846)
    • Mexican War President James Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor to seize disputed Texan land settled by Mexicans.
    • A treaty with Great Britain set the boundary in Oregon territory at the 49th parallel.
    • Elias Howe invented the sewing machine.


    • Gold was discovered on January 24th in California. 80,000 prospectors emigrated in 1849.
    • Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton lead the Seneca Falls, New York Women's Rights Convention on July 19-20 where they sign the Declaration of Sentiments.

  • NEW PUBLICATION AVAILABLE - From Caravels to the Constitution by Marjorie Duby
    at Creative Teaching Press.

    Content: Blackline masters - Using word searches, hidden messages, analogies, anagrams, and creative puzzles, students will learn about history while they apply critical-thinking skills. This resource provides students with opportunities to organize and analyze information and to draw conclusions. Extension activities promote practical, informative, narrative, and expository writing skills to help meet the standards. 112 pages [LW405 - From Caravels to the Constitution - $13.99]

    As of December 4, 2003, you are visitor to pursue this early 19th century timeline.

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    Last modified: August 30, 2014.
    Copyright 1996 - Marjorie Duby - Inquiry Unlimited *. All rights reserved.

    This website and its contents were compiled and arranged by Inquiry Unlimited using other websites, almanacs, and chronologies focusing on 18th century American history.
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