| 1600 - 1700 | 1700
- 1800 | 1800 - 1900 | 1900
- 2000 | American Revolution Timeline
| Cold War Timeline
- December 7.
John Adams is elected second president of the U.S.
Jefferson is elected vice president, having received the second largest number
of electoral votes.
March 4. Adams inaugurated as
President - Jefferson is inaugurated as vice president of the United States and
begins gathering information on rules of parliamentary practice. As vice
president, Jefferson presides over the Senate.
June-July. Congress passes what are
collectively known as the Alien and Sedition Acts. These acts, the
Naturalization Act, the Alien Act, the Sedition Act, and the Alien Enemies Act,
are passed in the midst of a quasi-war with France and heightened public
criticism of foreign policy.
leaves Philadelphia for Monticello, arriving there on the 8th. Throughout the
coming year he devotes himself to Monticello's development. On his way to
Philadelphia in November, he visits the new federal city, Washington, D.C.,
which he plays a key role in designing. (Temple
of Liberty: Building the Capitol for a New Nation, Library of Congress
December 14. George Washington dies at Mount Vernon.
June. The U. S. capital is moved
from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.
December 3. Electors meet in their states and cast
votes for the next president of the United States. A tie vote between Jefferson
Aaron Burr does not become known till the end of the month. This throws the
election into the House of Representatives which addresses the matter on
February 11, 1801.
February 11. The electors' votes for
president are officially opened and counted in Congress, which already knows
that the vote is tied between Jefferson and Aaron Burr. The House of
Representatives meets separately and continues balloting for six days. On
February 17, on the thirty-sixth ballot, Jefferson is
elected president and Aaron Burr becomes vice president.
- New York passes Emancipation
- Population 5.3 million (1
million of African decent)
1802 - Ohio outlaws slavery --
September. James Callender makes the accusation that Thomas Jefferson has "for
many years past kept, as his concubine, one of his own slaves," Sally Hemings.
It is published in the Richmond Recorder that month, and the story is
soon picked up by Federalist presses around the country. Callender, a
Republican, has previously been an avid investigator of Federalist scandals. In
1798, Jefferson had helped pay for the publication of Callender's pamphlet The
Prospect Before Us, which claimed to expose John Adams as a monarchist. However,
when Jefferson, now president, fails to reward Callender with the office of
postmaster in Richmond, Virginia, Callender turns on him.
Louisiana Purchase January 18.
Jefferson asks Congress for funds for an expedition to explore the Mississippi
River and beyond in search of a route to the Pacific.
Meriwether Lewis, Jefferson's private secretary, begins planning the
expedition, which forms late in 1803.
- April 30. Robert
Livingston, ambassador to France, and James Monroe, special envoy, conclude a
treaty of cession in Paris in which the United States purchases from France the
whole of the Louisiana territory for fifteen million dollars. The territory,
approximately 800,000 square miles comprising the Mississippi River Valley and
most of the present-day Midwest, almost doubles the size of the United States.
Jefferson's original expectation was that Livingston and Monroe might persuade
the French to yield a portion of the Mississippi River Valley for ten million
dollars. However, Emperor Napoleon of France has just lost an army and the
island of Santo Domingo in the Caribbean to Toussaint L'Overture, leader of a
slave insurrection, and he is no longer interested in maintaining a French
foothold in North America. He offers the United States the whole of the
May. The expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and
William Clark departs, moving up the Missouri River. (Lewis
and Clark map, with annotations... Geography and Map Division)
July 12. Alexander Hamilton dies after being shot the previous day by Vice
President Aaron Burr in a duel at Weehawken, New Jersey.
Jefferson is re-elected president. He receives the votes of all state
electors except those of Connecticut, Delaware, and two from Maryland. George
Clinton is his vice president.
1806 - April
19. Jefferson nominates James Monroe and William Pinckney as joint commissioners
to Great Britain. British warships have been boarding and searching American
ships and seizing American as well as British seamen, claiming that they are
British deserters. Jefferson hopes to resolve the issue and maintain American
neutrality in the conflict between Great Britain and France.
BURR CONSPIRACY - September-October - Jefferson receives further information
from a variety of sources in Pennsylvania and New York, including Generals
William Eaton and James Wilkinson, that Aaron Burr is organizing a military
expedition against Spanish possessions for the purpose of separating western
territories from the United States. Eaton, a veteran of the recent Tripolitan
War, claims that Burr tried to recruit him. Wilkinson, commander of United
States military forces in the West, provides information about the conspiracy
after having been implicated in it himself. He does not specifically name Burr.
November 27. Jefferson issues a proclamation declaring that "sundry persons,
citizens of the U.S. or resident within the same, are conspiring &
confederating...against the dominions of Spain" and requiring that all military
and civil officials of all states and territories of the United States prevent
"the carrying on such expedition or enterprise by all lawful means within their
January 17. Aaron Burr is captured near New Orleans. He escapes but is
recaptured and imprisoned. In April, Burr is charged with treason and tried in
Richmond in a federal circuit court presided over by John Marshall.* Burr is
acquitted. Later, with other charges pending, Burr escapes to England.
(*Winfield Scott, then a young lawyer, attends the trial as a spectator.)
June 22. The British warship Leopard attacks the American ship
Chesapeake off the Virginia coast because its captain refused to allow the
British to board and search for deserters. Three American seamen are killed and
eighteen wounded as the British force a boarding and remove four alleged
deserters. After learning of the attack on June 25, Jefferson calls an emergency
July. Jefferson and his cabinet release a proclamation closing American ports to
all British ships except those with emergencies or on diplomatic missions. The
Revenge will carry an ultimatum to Great Britain. Meanwhile, state
governors are to call up troops for the federal army. Winfield Scott joins the
army as a corporal.
1808 – November -
James Madison is elected President – tensions
continue to build with Britain. As Jefferson's successor, Madison won the 1808
presidential election handily, despite a challenge from his estranged friend,
James Monroe. Throughout his first term Madison was preoccupied by disputes with
France, Great Britain, and Spain. By 1810 France had repealed its commercial
restrictions, at least nominally, and in the same year Madison seized the
province of West Florida from Spain, thereby consolidating American control of
the Gulf Coast. But with respect to Great Britain, his efforts were unavailing,
and beginning in November 1811, he urged Congress to mobilize the country's
defenses. In June 1812 he asked for and received a declaration of war against
1812 - War of 1812 with Britain (15% sailors Black)
- British burn Capitol building in Washington
1815 - Napoleon finally, finally defeated at Waterloo.
1818 - Georgia
prohibits Manumission --
Karl Marx born in Germany
as slave state, bringing the number of slave states and free states to equal
Missouri Compromise, admitting Missouri as a slave state and Maine as a free
state. Maine immediately gives right to vote and education to all male citizens.
The compromise also prohibited slavery in the remainder of the Louisiana
Purchase north of 36°30'N lat. (southern boundary of Missouri). The 36°30'
proviso held until 1854, when the
Kansas-Nebraska Act repealed the Missouri Compromise. See
New York gives free
Blacks the right to vote
- Mexico becomes a republic – outlaws slavery
John Quincy Adams (John Adams’ son) is elected
President, defeating populist
Erie Canal completed – major transportation achievement which made New York
and New York City ascend commercially.
- July 4. Jefferson dies shortly
after 12 noon, on the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence.
He is eighty-three years old. Several hours later John Adams, aged 90, dies in
Massachusetts, and the nation is struck by this remarkable coincidence. The last
letter Jefferson wrote to Adams was on March 23 requesting that Adams see his
grandson, which Adams did. Just before he died, Jefferson wrote the following to
be read at the July 4 celebration in Virginia:
"May [our Declaration of Independence] be to the world, what I believe it will
be (to some parts sooner, to others later, but finally to all), the signal of
arousing men to burst the chains under which monkish ignorance and superstition
had persuaded them to bind themselves, and to assume the blessings and security
of self-government... All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man."
--Thomas Jefferson to Roger C. Weightman, 1826. ME 16:181
1827 - Slavery illegal in New York
Election of Andrew Jackson
Georgia prohibits the
Education of Slaves
- Nat Turner, a Baptist slave preacher, leads a revolt in Southampton
County, Virginia, killing at least 57 whites.
makes it illegal for Blacks to preach
- Oberlin College
founded in Ohio (admitted blacks; by 1860 1/3 of students were black)
Andrew Jackson vetoes charter for 2nd U.S. Bank and
1835 - Texas declares independence from Mexico
Martin van Buren elected President - see article: "Greatest
- Civil war
Depression begins with "Panic of 1837"
Samuel Morse sends first telegraph message from Washington to Baltimore
- James K. Polk
1845 - Santa Anna presidency is overthrown in
1846 - War with Mexico
1848 - Treaty
of Guadalupe Hidalgo 1848 - Karl Marx publishes
Oregon organized as territory
Taylor elected President
1850 – Compromise of 1850
admits California as free state but Fugitive Slave Law enacted.
Millard Fillmore elected President
1852 - Uncle
Tom’s Cabin published - Jossiah Priest publishes
Bible defense of slavery
Franklin Pierce elected president;
Napoleon III's Second Empire established in France; California encourages
Chinese to immigrate and work on railroads
Filmore dies in office, succeeded by Franklin Pierce
America and Mexico sign Gadsden Treaty; Vice President William King dies; Arctic
explorer Elisha Kane ventures farther north than any man has before.
Franklin Pierce re-elected
Free Soilers establish government banning slavery and blacks from Kansas; David
Livingstone discovers Victoria Falls; Walt Whitman publishes "Leaves of Grass."
Henry Bessemer invents process that allows mass production of steel; adventurer
William Walker conquers Nicaragua; five slavery supporters are killed in a
Kansas raid led by John Brown.
Buchanan elected President
1857 - Dred Scott Supreme Court Decision,
Dred Scott 1857 slavery case
newspaper editorials on case
- thousands of businesses fail after the
collapse of Ohio Life Insurance and Trust; 600 people drown when the S.S.
Central America sinks off Charleston; Garibaldi establishes association to unify
1858 - 1859 -
Roosevelt AND KAISER WILHELM BORN
- Lincoln – Douglas debates in
Senate Race, Douglas elected.
Oregon admitted as State
JOHN BROWN’S RAID ON HARPER’S FERRY VIRGINIA
Brown from PBS -
editorials re John
Nov. 6 - Lincoln elected President
– Lincoln time line:
- Dec. 20 - South Carolina Secedes
March 4 – Lincoln
CIVIL WAR time lines
- April 12 - Fort Sumter fired
- April 17 – Virginia Secedes
- May – the remaining four of
the eleven Confederate states secede.
- July 21 – Union loses First
Battle of Bull Run
1862 - Morrill Act - Public lands set aside for State Colleges
August – Union
loses Second Battle of Bull Run
- December – Union
loses Battle of Fredericksburg and over 12,600 men, South loses about 5,300.
- Slavery is abolished in the District
March – Conscription enacted
- Union defeat at
Chancellorville: Union loses 17,000, South 13,000
- July - Battle of Gettysburg –
Major Union victory – defensive battle
- Draft/race Riots in New York City
Sherman marches through Georgia, Lincoln re-elected
- April 9 – Lee
14 – Lincoln shot, dies next
- May – Remaining
Confederate armies surrender. END OF CIVIL WAR
1866 - “Presidential Reconstruction”
1867 - “Radical” Congressional Reconstruction
1868 - President Johnson impeached, acquitted.
- Grant elected President
- Southern states
readmitted to Union
- New England Woman’s
1870 - 15th Amendment Ratified, giving Blacks but not women
the right to vote.
1871 - KKK
members tried and convicted by federal courts in Mississippi. Grant suspends
habeas corpus and declared martial law in 9 So. Carolina counties. Many Blacks
elected to political office.
1873 - 43rd
Congress has seven Black members
1875 - “Jim Crow” laws
enacted in Tennessee
- Federal troops sent to
Vicksburg to protect Blacks
- Civil Rights Act passed
Congress has eight Black members
1876 - DISPUTED ELECTION – DEAL MADE TO WITHDRAW TROOPS FROM SOUTH.
1877 - 45th Congress has three Black members.
1879 - 46th Congress has one Black
1881 - HITLER BORN
- Tuskegee Institute
1883 - Civil Rights Act of 1875 declared unconstitutional
1887 - 50th
Black members. Intimidation kept Black voters from polls.
admitted as state (Nov. 11)
of Wounded Knee – 200 Native American women and children massacred by U.S. troops.
1897 - TR
HEAD OF CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
- TR ASSISTANT
SECRETARY OF Navy
SPANISH AMERICAN WAR; for
1899 - SOUTHERN
STATES PASS LAWS TO DISENFRANCISE BLACKS
- TR ELECTED VICE
1901 - MCKINLEY ASSONATED –
TR BECOMES PRESIDENT
- CARNEGIE SELLS COMPANY FOR
WRIGHT BROTHERS FIRST FLIGHT