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1841-1850 - History
The Flood of 1844 in Buffalo. - This flood occurred October 18, 1844. It was the most disastrous that has ever occurred since the city was founded. It came without warning, an avalanche of waters upon a sleeping community, many of whom were drowned and many of whom had narrow escapes from a similar fate.
For several days before the occurrence of the flood a strong north- east wind had been driving the water up the lake, but on the evening of the 18th a sudden shift of the wind took place, and it blew from the opposite direction with a tremendous force, never before or since known to the inhabitants of Buffalo. It brought with it immense volumes of water, which overflowed the lower districts of the city and vicinity, demolishing scores of buildings, and spreading ruin along the harbor front, playing havoc with shipping, and causing an awful destruction of human life.
The municipal rooms over Terrance market were filled with agonized people scanning dead bodies, fearfully expectant of finding the familiar forms of relatives and friends. A similar situation existed at the court house on Washington street, where the dead bodies were laid in windrows awaiting identification. At Huff's hotel, at the corner of Main and Scott streets, the water was six feet deep, and there the bodies of several young women, in their night clothes, were fished out of the basement windows. They were hotel waiters, drowned in their beds. In the lower districts there were many harbor craft and canal boats left by the receding waters, many canal boats being out on the commons, on Division, Eagle and Clinton streets. South Buffalo was strewn with miscellaneous wreckage of all kinds. At the corner of Main and Ohio streets the water was six feet deep and at Michigan and Exchange streets it was five feet deep. The onrush of waters made a break in the south pier, through which a schooner leaped without injury and ran aground at the foot of Ferry street.
In the evening before the storm the steamers St. Louis, Robert Fulton, Indian Queen and Julia Palmer left the port of Buffalo, for the upper end of the lakes with a full complement of passengers. When the St. Louis was opposite Dunkirk she broke her shaft, and when paying out into the trough of the sea four of her passengers were swept overboard and lost. With the power of one wheel aided by a jib and staysail together with good seamanship, she reached the Niagara river at daybreak next morning, and was blown into the river without regard to channel, the river being all channel on account of the height of the waters. She went in with her side and end alternately to the front. Capt. James Haggart came out with his steam ferry boat, which he had then been running four years, and brought in the disabled St. Louis to the foot of Ferry street.
The Indian Queen, the smallest of the four that went out into the lake on the evening before, was the only one able to reach the port of Buffalo on her return. The Robert Fulton, after losing two or three passengers, who were washed overboard, was piled upon the sand beach above Sturgeon point.
The Julia Palmer, with 300 passengers on board, was driven help- lessly down the lake into Buffalo bay, but when she was opposite the foot of Main street her anchors caught and held her fast, and there she rolled and pitched in a manner fearful to behold all the next day. On the morning of the 20th, the sea having gone down sufficiently, a relief boat went out and brought her safely into port, much to the relief of the passengers and the worn-out crew.
Among the other damages were the following: Schooners Potomac, G. H. Walker and Brandywine ashore at Erie. Schooner John Grant ashore at Erie. Schooner Henry Clay ashore near Erie. Schooner Lodi disabled and taken in tow by the Missouri. Schooner John Marshall wrecked near Mexico bay. Schooners Maria Hilliard, Wyandot, Mariam and Georgiana sustain injuries off Erie. The iron steamer Abert driven upon the beach at Buffalo and got off. Steamer Commodore Perry arrived at Buffalo in a shattered condition, losing one man, and ran into the steamers Great Western and Wayne. Steamer Chautauque ashore on her beam's end near Black Rock. Steamer Columbus driven into a pasture 200 feet from the creek. Brig Europe reached Buffalo damaged in her hull and outfit. Brig Uncle Sam, Capt. John Vail, and schooner Marion, Capt. Jerry Oliver, arrived at Buffalo during the gale with outfit badly damaged. Schooner Robert Wood, Captain Miner, of Oswego, damaged a cargo of merchandise in the gale on Lake Erie. The amount of merchandise, books and papers on the docks damaged and lost was over $10,000. A horse swam ashore from the Julia Palmer with a letter attached to its mane stating that they had burned all the wood and were "now burning the furniture." Fifty canal boats went ashore between Buffalo and Black Rock. Schooner Ashland beached near Erie street, Buffalo got off. Steamer G. W. Dale was floated across Ohio street, Buffalo. Steamer Bunker Hill high and dry up the creek. Schooner Hannah, of Oswego, with merchandise for Detroit, wrecked 20 miles below Malden and went to pieces, crew saved. Schooner Ottawa lost anchor and sails on Lake Erie, arrived at Detroit. Schooner Marengo arrived at Detroit from Lake Erie with the sails gone. Schooner Big Z ashore on Hog island, Detroit river got off. Schooner Congress went ashore two miles below Malden. Brig John Dougall, Canadian, bilged on Peach island, Lake St. Clair. Schooner Pacific wrecked and went to pieces near Dunkirk. Propeller Emigrant sustained serious damage on Lake Erie.
The gale was terrific, blowing from northwest, followed by cold. At Buffalo the loss of life and property was greater than all other ports combined, the water rising within the space of two hours to 22 feet. On Lake Ontario the schooner Charlton, owned by Fitzhugh & Company, while on the passage from the Welland canal, made Sodus harbor during the night, stranded on the bar, bilged, and filled with water. The mate of the schooner Nicholas Biddle was lost overboard in Lake Erie. Schooner Pennsylvania was wrecked on the north shore of Lake Erie and all lost, ten lives. A Canadian craft, name unknown, founded in Lake Erie with loss of thirteen lives. The small schooner Governor Marcy was wrecked near Point Albino with five lives lost. The schooner United States, laden with merchandise for Detroit, was driven ashore on Point Monyea, near Detroit river.
The number of lives lost at Buffalo were fifty-three and those on the lake twenty-five. The Fulton was a high-pressure boat, of 308 tons, and had been nine years in service. She had a large load of passengers on board and a full cargo of freight. The total number of casualties was eighty-five.
Copper Rock is Removed. -- The celebrated rock of pure copper on Lake Superior, and which caused so much speculation among scientists, arrived at Buffalo, in October, 1844, on board the revenue cutter Erie, Capt. Gilbert Knapp. It was brought from the shore of Lake Superior through the enterprise of Julius Eldred, of Detroit, to be placed in the National Institute at Washington. It was first shipped on board the schooner Algonquin, and transported over 300 miles to the head of the falls of Sault Ste. Marie. It was then transferred to a Mackinac boat, and after passing through the canal around the rapids, it was shipped on board the schooner William Brewster for Detroit, where it arrived October 11. At Detroit it was placed on board the revenue cutter and taken to Buffalo as above stated. Thence it was transferred on cars to its destination. It was pure native copper without alloy. The weight of the rock was never definitely ascertained, but was estimated at 2,200 pounds. Its dimensions were 3 feet 4 inches broad by 3 feet 8 inches long. It was the largest specimen of native copper in the world.
|Passenger Steamboat Empire. Built at Cleveland, O., in 1844. First steamboat in the United States to measure over 1,000 tons, and when she came out was 200 tons larger than any other steam vessel in the world length over all 260 feet engines inclined low pressure, below deck 600 horse power later converted into propeller. From "American Steam Vessels." Copyright 1895, by Smith & Stanton.|
Other Events of 1844. - In 1844 a new departure was made in the management of certain lines, for the "new and fast sailing packet Prince Edward carried reverend gentlemen of all denominations free." However it appears that accommodations on board of passenger vessels were not always of the best, for Bonnycastle complains that the charge for wine "was shameful, 7s 6d per bottle, and stuff of most inferior quality." The first sad casualty of the season was the loss of the schooner Wave, on Lake Michigan, with 13 lives, followed about the same time by the foundering of the Victor and loss of 8 lives on that lake. Three vessels were simultaneously wrecked near St. Joseph, Lake Michigan, during a severe gale March 27, the schooner Jefferson, Captain Dougall Ocean, Captain Davis, and brig Rosa, Captain Whiting. The two former had cargoes of stone, the latter no cargo. During this storm the wreck of the ill-fated schooner Wave drifted ashore at Racine, and three bodies were recovered. A party from Buffalo in search of sunken wrecks in Lake Erie discovered the schooner Young Sion, laden with railroad iron, off Walnut creek, also the steamer Erie, six miles off Silver creek, but were unsuccessful in raising them. On May 4 the schooner Freedom, Captain Ward, capsized 15 miles above Fort Gratiot lighthouse and 3 miles off shore. There were six persons on board, three of whom were drowned. The vessel was loaded with lumber and shingles. On the 18th of the same month the schooner Nicholas Biddle, lying under bare poles, capsized about two miles above Cleveland the crew was all saved and the vessel subsequently recovered. The schooner Shamrock, laden with pork and flour from Toledo, capsized eight miles above Gravelly bay, and one man was lost the vessel was recovered a few days afterward. The new survey steamer Colonel Abert made her trial trip at Buffalo May 18, and gave the utmost satisfaction. January 1: Steamer St. Clair left Cleveland for Detroit, the first clearance of the season 4, scow Flat Foot ashore at Madison, Lake Erie. May: Schooner Smead capsized off Port Stanley schooner Aurora capsized on Lake Ontario during a storm two lives lost. June 5: The Empire launched in Cleveland from the shipyard of G.W. Jones, 1,200 tons burnen(sic) schooner Edwin Jenny sunk on Lake Erie by collision. July: Schooner Argyle, in command of Captain Teal, damaged during a storm near Gravelly bay saved from being wrecked by the schooner Tom Corwin, in command of Captain Cannon 15, british schooner Kent ashore near Grand River. August: Schooner Daniel Whitney, from Kalamazoo, in command of Captain Crooker, wrecked on Lake Michigan and all hands lost. September: Steamer Perry sustains injuries from collision with piers at Huron harbor during a severe storm equinoxial storm accompanied with snow at Cleveland. October: Steamer Fairport burned at the dock in Newport, St. Clair river barge Sandusky ashore at Cattaraugus creek, becomes a total wreck schooner Hannah wrecked near Malden propeller Emigrant, with 9,000 bushels of wheat from Chicago, ashore at Goderich brig Alert, in command of Captain Scovill, ashore at Point Wabashanks 29, schooner Philadelphia, in command of Captain Conner, ashore at Cleveland schooners Ainsworth, Juliet and Cambridge ashore at Huron during a gale on Lake Erie schooner Pennsylvania wrecked at Point Albino schooner Highlander, in command of Captain Jacques, wrecked on Lake Erie. November: Brig Clarion and schooner Wabash ashore near Buffalo 20, schooner Essex with cargo of wheat from Sandusky, ashore at the mouth of the Niagara river owned by Doolittle, Mills & Co. 24, steamer Rochester ashore near Oswego passengers taken off by the Telegraph schooner Gates ashore near Oswego 23, schooner Charleston ashore and full of water, Sodus harbor. December 6: Schooner H. M. Kinne ashore near Goderick, after running on Point Wabashank reef schooner W. Foster ashore near Ft. Gratiot schooner Champion ashore near Point Wabashank schooner Jenny wrecked at Buffalo crew saved schooner Richmond lost on Lake Michigan.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.
1841-1850 - History
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January 13, 1840 - Off the coast of Long Island, New York, 139 people lose their lives when the steamship Lexington burns and sinks four miles off the coast.
May 7, 1840 - The Great Natchez Trace Tornado strikes Natchez, Mississippi and wreaks havoc. In the second most deadly tornado in U.S. history, 317 people are counted among the dead and 209 are injured.
December 2, 1840 - President Martin Van Buren is defeated for reelection by William Henry Harrison. Harrison, a Whig, receives 234 Electoral College votes to 60 and also wins the popular vote contest.
March 9, 1841 - The Supreme Court of the U.S. states that in the case of the slave ship Amistad that the Africans who had wrested control of the ship had been bound into slavery illegally.
April 4, 1841 - President William Henry Harrison, sworn into office only one month before on March 4, dies of pneumonia. His tenure of one month is the shortest in history and his death in office the first for a president of the United States. He is succeeded by Vice President John Tyler.
January 31, 1842 - Elizabeth Tyler, the president's daughter, marries William Nevison Walker, at the White House in Washington, D.C.
February 6, 1843 - At the Bowery Amphitheatre in New York City, the first minstrel show in the United States debuts.
November 28, 1843 - The Kingdom of Hawaii is officially recognized by European nations as an independent nation. This date signifies Hawaiian Independence Day.
April 6, 1844 - Edgar Allan Poe, the highly regarded writer of short stories, departs his home in Philadelphia for New York City. Although most of this best works were written while in the City of Brotherly Love for two years, he left the city with $4.50 to his name.
March 3, 1845 - Congress overrides a presidential veto. President Tyler's veto of a military appropriation was overturned.
American inventor Elias Howe, working as a machinist after losing his factory job in the Panic of 1837, invents his sewing machine. Howe would patent the device on September 10, 1846.
January 5, 1846 - The United States House of Representatives changes its policy toward sharing the Oregon Territory with the United Kingdom. On June 15, the Oregon Treaty is signed with Great Britain, fixing the boundary of the United States and Canada at the 49th parallel from the Rocky Mountains to the Straits of Juan de Fuca.
July 1, 1847 - The first adhesive postage stamps in the United States went on sale with Benjamin Franklin gracing the 5 cent stamp and George Washington fronting the 10 cent stamp.
July 24, 1847 - One hundred and forty-eight Mormons under Brigham Young settle at Salt Lake City, Utah after leaving Nauvoo, Illinois for the west on February 10, 1846 due to violent clashes over their beliefs, which included the practice of polygamy through the end of the 1800s.
January 12, 1848 - Abraham Lincoln, as Congressman from Springfield, Illinois, attacked President Polk's handling of the Mexican War in a speech in the House of Representatives.
November 7, 1848 - Zachary Taylor, hero of the Mexican War, defeats Lewis Cass in the presidential election of 1848. Whig Taylor garners 163 Electoral College votes to 127 for the Democratic candidate. This was the first U.S. election held on the same date in every state.
January 23, 1849 - The first woman doctor in the United States, Elizabeth Blackwell, is granted her degree by the Medical Institute of Geneva, New York.
April 4, 1849 - The first baseball uniforms are introduced by the New York Knickerbockers club blue and white cricket outfits were used.
1841-1850 - History
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WA Governor John Hutt lays the Foundation Stone of the first Church of St George , Perth , WA. This building, which is finally opened on 22nd January 1845, stands adjacent to the Law Chambers. About 600 people are present when the church is opened.
The steamer Clonmel, on its second voyage between Sydney and Melbourne , is wrecked near Corner Inlet .
Mariner, author and explorer Jorgen Jorgenson dies, age 60.
Angus McMillan sets out on further exploratory treks and founds the site of Port Albert near Corner Inlet, Vic.
SA Police pursue the French ship Ville De Bordeaux for evasion of Customs regulations Glenelg and Pt. Adelaide. It is a major French / British diplomatic incident.
Edward John Eyre , with John Baxter and three Aborigines, leave Fowlers Bay , SA, in an attempt to cross the Nullarbor Plain to King George Sound , WA.
The ship Parkfield arrives at Leschenault Inlet , WA, with the first settlers for the Australind colony .
The Supreme Court sits in Melbourne for the first time, in a small brick building on the south-west corner of King and Bourke Streets, that was previously used as the Land Office.
Two of John Eyre ‘s Aboriginal companions murder his companion, Baxter, steal most of his supplies and run away, leaving Eyre and Wylie to travel on alone.
Rev William Branthwite Clarke discovers gold near Hassan’s Walls near the Hartley Valley , NSW. It is the first recorded gold find in Australia.
Gas lighting on Sydney ‘s streets is turned on for the first time.
A copper deposit is discovered and worked on the banks of the Onkaparinga River (Noarlunga), SA.
Explorer Edward John Eyre and his Aboriginal campanion are saved for almost certain death when they encounter Capt Rossiter of the French whaler Mississippi at Rossiter Bay , near Esperance , WA.
Assignment of convict labour ends. New South Wales bounty system of assisted immigration suspended.
Explorer Edward John Eyre and his Aboriginal companion Wylie arrive in Albany , WA, after walking from Fowlers Bay , SA.
John Lort Stokes , exploring the Gulf of Carpentaria aboard HMS Beagle, discovers and names the Flinders and Albert Rivers.
Savings Bank of Port Phillip established.
Melbourne is divided into four wards – Bourke Ward: north-west Gipps Ward: north-east La Trobe Ward: south-east and Lonsdale Ward: south-west.
First Chief Justice of NSW, Sir Francis Forbes dies, age 57?
Economic Depression hits, resulting in a general financial collapse. A fall in wool prices sees the cessation of overseas investment and financial dislocation in all the colonies combines to bring down the rickety facade of prosperity.
Legislation passed in WA allowing Aborigines to give evidence ( SA does not pass legislation until 1844).
Buildings completed – Victoria Barracks , Sydney ( George Barney ) Pitt Street Congregational Church, Sydney (John Bibb) St John’s Church, ACT Fort Denison , Sydney Harbour (work begun but then abandoned until 1855)
The first public execution held in Melbourne . Hanged were two Tasmanian Aborigines involved in the murder of two whalers. Truganini and two other females were aquitted.
A new law for insolvency passed in New South Wales . The insolvent person has to surrender all of his estate. He has to make a declaration stating why he had reached his present financial position and after satisfying the requirements of the Law, he could apply to the Commissioner of Insolvent Estates for a certificate of release.
Gov George Gipps proclaims Moreton Bay district open to free settlers.
A native police force comprised of 25 Aborigines formed at Narre Warren , near Dandenong , Vic, under command of Henry Dana .
Western Australian businessman and politician, Sir George Shenton , born.
Gov George Gipps visits Brisbane , amends the town plans, and rejects the squatters’ request for Cleveland to be the port.
Australian Roman Catholic Church heirarchy established. John Bede Polding becomes Archbishop of Sydney .
The first statue to be erected in Australia in unveiled in Sydney near the present State Library of NSW. It is of Gov Richard Bourke .
A German settlement is established at Lobethal , SA.
An escape attempt at Norfolk Island in the brig Governor Phillip is quelled. Six convicts are killed, four are later executed.
Imperial Waste Lands Act increases the minimum price of land in all the Australian colonies to £1 acre – half the proceeds to be used to encourage migration. Wakefield, Torrens & Hutt ‘s plan from the SA Foundation Act of 1834, is to be half adopted in the other colonies i.e. NSW WA & Tas.
All South Australian births, deaths and marriages are now required to be registered.
The first land sales are held in Brisbane , which is now open for free settlement. Because this is a miserable flop, later sales are held in Sydney .
Benjamin Boyd arrives at Port Jackson in his brig, Wanderer. He opens the Royal Bank of Sydney soon after.
Sydney is incorporated as a city.
Representative government introduced in NSW . A 36 seat Legislative Assembly is formed.
South Australia becomes a crown colony, losing its semi-independent status, with a nominated Legislative Council.
Sydney Herald becomes the Sydney Morning Herald .
The newly formed Australian Jockey Club holds its first race meeting at Homebush Racecourse.
HM Corvette Fly and the cutter Bramble arrive at Port Jackon under Capt Francis Price Blackwood , to begin a survey of the Barrier Reef and Torres Strait.
Sydney elects its first council. They are the first popular elections in NSW. John Hosking is elected mayor.
Handel’s Messiah is performed for the first time in Australia at Sydney ‘s Royal Victoria Theatre.
Melbourne ‘s first Municipal Council elected. Henry Condell becomes the first mayor.
The Hunter River Steam Navigation Co. begins a Sydney – Brisbane service.
Australia slides into economic depression because of drought, falling wool prices and the rising cost of labour.
Captain Charles Dutton and sheep farmer Francis Bagot stumble across some ‘moss- coloured stones’ on land they didn’t own at Kapunda , SA, believing it to be copper. Incredibly, they had to keep their find a secret for two years while the assay results confirming it as copper ore returned by sea from Wales.
John Clements Wickham arrives in Brisbane as police magistrate. He is appointed Government Resident on 1st January 1853.
80 are arrested after the military are called in to quell a riot at the Parramatta Female Factory.
Foundation stone of the Australian Subscription Library’s new building in Macquarie Street, Sydney , laid by Alexander Macleay .
The Great Comet makes its appearance in southern skies.
The Bank of Australia fails in the financial depression.
The first elections for the NSW Legislative Council held.
Gov George Gipps orders the removal from office of Justice John Walpole Willis , resident Judge in the Port Phillip District, after powerful interests in Melbourne petition for his recall.
First Italian opera – The Barber of Seville – performed in Sydney .
Adelaide Observer first published.
Assisted immigration by the British Government reintroduced.
First horse race meeting in Brisbane .
Maitland , NSW, declared the first district council area.
New NSW Legislative Council meets for the first time. Alexander Macleay elected speaker William Charles Wentworth becomes the leader of the non-official majority.
Sir John Eardley-Wilmot arrives in Hobart to take office as Lieut-Gov of Tasmania, replacing Sir John Franklin .
Bushranger Martin Cash captured in Hobart . He is later sentence to death, commuted to life, then pardoned in 1853.
Unemployed labourers and mechanics are given relief work on roads by the NSW Government.
Thomas Sutcliffe Mort establishes a wool auctioning agency in Sydney .
South Australia’s Legislative Council meets for the first time.
Benjamin Boyd takes up 259 acres of land at Twofold Bay .
SA Legislative Council meets for the first time.
The first land sales take place at Ipswich , Qld.
South Australian farmer John Ridley invents the wheat stripper.
Comedian and entertainment entrepreneur Harry Rickards born.
The Australind scheme collapses. Land sales cease immediately.
Henry John Lindeman establishes Cawarra vineyard on the Paterson River in the Hunter Valley , NSW.
The excavation of Argyle Cut , The Rocks, Sydney , begins.
Buildings constructed – Hero of Waterloo Hotel , Sydney Seahorse Hotel, Boydtown, NSW NSW Legislative Assembly building, Sydney ( Mortimer Lewis )
Gov George Gipps jostled by a crowd of unemployed men in Hyde Park, Sydney .
Regular monthly sea mail service begins between UK and Sydney .
Foundation stone of the monument to Surveyor-General Col William Light in Light Square, Adelaide, is laid.
The first sale of land at Seymour , Vic, conducted.
Occupation regulations issued limiting area and stock-carrying capacity of Squatters’ runs and making it obligatory to hold a separate licence for each run. Squatters meet in Melbourne on 1st June to protest against new land regulations.
A public meeting of pastoralists in Sydney protests occupation regulations and forms the Pastoralist Association.
The Queen’s Theatre opens in Melbourne .
The Great Potato Famine begins. A blight attacks the plants and destroys the crops. Ireland is one of the worst effected. Many Irish people decide to migrate to Australia.
Squatters meet in Melbourne to protest against new land regulations.
Naval surgeon and pastoralist Sir John Jamison dies, age 67?
A fierce storm drives the emigrant ship Cataraqui ashore on King Island . Of the 115 people on board, only nine survive.
Explorer Ludwig Leichhardt leaves Sydney on his first expedition into the Australian outback from Jimbour Station, Darling Downs , to Port Essington , NT.
Explorer Charles Sturt leaves Adelaide , SA, on an expedition to find the inland sea rumoured to exist in central Australia.
Explorer Ludwig Leichhardt embarks on his first expedition to Port Essington , NT.
More floods in Melbourne . The Yarra River breaks its banks.
Explorer Charles Sturt , exploring Broken Range near the site of Broken Hill , first gathers the desert pea that bears his name.
Explorer Ludwig Leichhardt discovers and names the Dawson River.
The ship Royal George arrives in Port Phillip from London carrying 21 "exiles" – convicted criminals given a conditional pardon upon landing – causing a public outcry.
Author Ada Cambridge born in St Germans, Norfolk, England.
A public meeting in Melbourne to separate from NSW decides to send a petition to England.
Dr Christopher Rawson Penfold establishes a vineyard at Magill, SA, with cuttings from France and Spain.
Swimming baths opened on the south bank of the Yarra River , Melbourne .
The first bowling green in Tasmania established at Sandy Bay near Hobart .
First known exhibition of pictures in Australia held in Hobart .
Explorer Ludwig Leichhardt discovers the Mackenzie River.
Explorer Charles Sturt ‘s party reches Depot Glen (the site of Milparinka, SA). where they are forced to remain for six months owing to the lack of rain.
Explorer Ludwig Leichhardt discovers and names the Isaac River.
Hobart Savings Bank opens.
Cutter America wrecked in Torres Strait , Qld.
Queen’s Theatre Royal, Melbourne , opens.
Shepherds William Strear and Thomas Pickett discover outcrops of copper close to the Burra Burra Creek, SA. Special survey of 20,000 acres undertaken and divided between South Australian Mining Association and Princess Royal Mining Association.
Explorer Ludwig Leichhardt reaches the Lynde River, his first encounter with a stream flowing into the Gulf of Carpentaria .
Brig Mary wrecked off Flinders Island , Bass Strait 17 lives lost.
Gold discovered near Montacute , SA.
Emmigrant ship Cataraqui wrecked off King Island only 9 of the 415 on board survive.
Actor and theatrical entrepreneur James Cassius Williamson born.
Explorer Charles Sturt reaches his farthest point towards the centre of Australia, beyond Eyre Creek but short of the Tropic of Capricorn.
South Australian Mining Association begins mining operations at the Burra Burra Mine , SA.
Lieutenant-Colonel Frederick Holt Robe appointed Governor of SA , replacing George Grey . Grey leaves Adelaide for New Zealand to become Lieut-Gov.
Six unofficial members of Tasmania ‘s Lesislative Council walk out in protest over taxes to pay for police and judicial establishments.
Sir Thomas Mitchell leaves Sydney on an overland expedition to Port Essington , NT.
The first recorded game of bowls in Australia is played at the back of the Beach Tavern, Sandy Bay , Tas. T. Burgess defeated F. Lipscombe.
Explorer Charles Sturt ‘s party set off from Depot Glen to return to Adelaide Sturt, too ill to ride, is carried on a dray.
Explorer Ludwig Leichhardt arrives in Port Essington , NT, after a journey of 14 1/2 months. They return to Sydney by sea, arriving 25th March 1846.
Buildings constructed – All Saints Church, Bathurst , NSW
Wellington , NSW, gazetted as a village.
Spanish Benedictine monks Dom Rosendo Salvado and Dom Joseph Benedict Serra leave Perth for the Victoria Plains to establish an Aboriginal mission at New Norcia .
The population of South Australia at census, is 22,390, including 132 at Port Lincoln and 70 on Kangaroo Island. Adelaide ‘s population is 13,871.
South Australia’s Governor Frederick Holt Robe imposes a royalty in SA on minerals, which leads to a public outcry.
Colonial shipbuilder Henry Kable dies, age 82?
Early colonial administrator, Joseph Foveaux dies, age 80?
Barque Orwell arrives at Moreton Bay with 51 Coolies from India to work for Robert Towns, Benjamin Boyd and others.
Sir John Eardley-Wilmot dismissed as Governor of Tas , allegedly for not surpressing homosexuality among convicts.
The sending of convicts to Tasmania is suspended for two years.
Sir Thomas Mitchell establishes a base camp on the Maranoa River.
The Argus newspaper, published by William Kerr, commences business in Melbourne .
Brisbane ‘s first newspaper, the Moreton Bay Courier (later the Brisbane Courier, then Courier-Mail ) begins publication.
The first river steamer service, the Experiment, runs between Brisbane and Ipswich , Qld.
Four guards are killed in an uprising on Norfolk Island . 12 convicts are subsequently executed.
Sir Charles Augustus Fitzroy appointed Civilian Administrator, Captain- General and Governor-in-Chief of NSW, Van Diemen’s Land and South Australia and their dependencies (12th July 1846 to 17th January 1855). George Gipps leaves Sydney to return to England.
Martial Law proclaimed for one night in Melbourne , following rioting between Orangemen and Roman Catholics during which shots were fired.
Scientist and explorer Nikolai Miklouho-Maclay born.
John Horrocks uses the camel for exploration for the first time in Australia.
Sir Charles Augustus Fitzroy arrives in Sydney and takes up the post of Governor.
South Australian pioneer Robert Gouger dies in Norwood, England, age 44 – pension denied.
Alexander Berry ‘s ship Coolangatta wrecked on the coast south of Moreton Bay . The locality today bears the ship’s name.
A Lands Act is passed in UK offering squatters long leases in unsettled districts and other previleges.
Having reached the Barcoo River (which he names the Victoria), Sir Thomas Mitchell turns back and returns to Sydney (arrives 29th December).
Christ’s College, near Longford , Tas, opens.
New South Wales proposes the resumption of transportation of convicts. Public meetings opposing the proposal are held.
Orange , NSW, proclaimed as a village. Land sales begin a year later.
Explorer Ludwig Leichhardt embarks on his second expedition to try to cross the continent from Brisbane to Perth . He returns unsuccessful on 31st July 1847.
Buildings constructed – Australian Museum north wing, Sydney ( Mortimer Lewis ) Melbourne Hospital (Samuel Jackson) old Princess Bridge, Melbourne ( David Lennox ).
George Barney and party leave Sydney in the barque Lord Auckland to found the Gladstone colony in northern Australia centred on Port Curtis.
Sir William Denison takes up his appointment as Lieut-Gov of Tasmania.
Colony of Gladstone (Qld) proclaimed.
A petition from New South Wales and Tasmania relating to the abolition of Transportation sent to Queen Victoria .
The Adelaide And Suburban Building Society becomes the first building society in the colony of South Australia.
Lieut-Col Frederick Chidley Irwin becomes Governor of WA following the death of Andrew Clarke on 11th February.
Former Governor of NSW, Sir George Gipps dies, age 55?
Explorer and surveyor Edmund Besley Court Kennedy commences an expedition from Sydney to trace the Victoria River (now the Barcoo ) to its mouth, which he believed would be on the Gulf of Carpentaria .
Benjamin Boyd ‘s ship Velocity arrives at Twofold Bay , NSW, with 65 Melanesian labourers to work on his estates.
Gladstone colony disbanded on the instructions of the Colonial Office.
Henry George Grey (Earl Grey), minister of the Colonial Office, orders the closing of the convict establishment in NSW and the transfer of remaining coinvicts to Tas .
A meeting of citizens in Hobart prepares a submission to Queen Victoria for the abolition of transportation to Tasmania.
Adelaide is bombarded with hailstones ranging in size from marbles to pigeon’s eggs.
HMS Rattlesnake ( Capt Owen Stanley ) arrives in Sydney to begin a 3-year survey in Australian waters.
Charles Perry is consecrated an Anglican Bishop in London. He is to take charge of the new Diocese of Melbourne, created a few days earlier.
Beginning of period of severe drought in NSW.
Explorer and Premier of Western Australia, Lord John Forrest , born at Bunbury , WA.
Feminist and social reformer Rose Scott born at Glendon, near Singleton, NSW.
The Aboriginal station at Wybalenna on Flinders Island is closed down the 47 residents are transferred to Oyster Cove, south of Hobart .
Melbourne hosts its first Intercolonial Race Meeting.
Golf is introduced to Australia by the James Graham Fife who creates a course at Flagstaff Hill, Melbourne , on the site of Flagstaff Gardens .
Government decides that the recovery from the depression is sufficient to start land sales in Port Phillip again.
Lady Mary FitzRoy, the wife of NSW Governor, and the Governor’s aide-de-camp are killed when thrown from a carriage at Parramatta, NSW.
South Australian Germans publish the first German language newspaper in Australia.
Johann Gramp establishes his Orlando vineyard , the first in the Barossa Valley , SA, at Jacob’s Creek , near Rowland’s Flat.
William and Henry Dangar set up a meat-canning works at Newcastle , NSW.
Buildings constructed – Lands Department Building, Hobart ( William Porden Kay ) foundation stone of New Norcia monastery , WA, laid Supreme Court , Adelaide (Richard Lambeth)
Paddlesteamer The Brothers vegins the Sydney – Manly ferry service.
Explorer Ludwig Leichhardt sets out from Canning station on the Darling Downs in a second attempt to cross the country from east to west.
During his second attempt to cross the country from east to west, explorer Ludwig Leichhardt (age 35) issues his last communication from Cogoon. He is not seen or heard of again.
Benalla , Vic, declared a town. Land sales begin 28th June 1849.
Explorer and surveyor Edmund Besley Court Kennedy leaves Sydney on HMS Rattlesnake, at the commencement of an expedition in which he plans to land at Rockhamption Bay, and then travel overland to Cape York, where supplies would be replenished from the Rattlesnake.
Johann Gramp , born at Eichigt, Bavaria, in 1819, is naturalised. He migrated to South Australia in 1837 and lived for a year on Kangaroo Island. In 1846 he settled at Jacob’s Creek where he established what became Orlando Wines a year later.
Former Lieut-Gov of Tasmania , Col William Sorell , dies age 72?
Colonial government official Alexander Macleay dies, age 81.
Electors in Port Phillip District, in protest against an absentee government in Sydney , refuse to nominate representatives to the New South Wales Legislative Council, but elect Earl Grey as the Member for Melbourne .
Henry Fox Young replaces Frederick Holt Robe as South Australia’s Governor.
The British Government revokes an Order-In-Council abolishing transportation to NSW.
Destitute Board established in SA for the welfare of immigrants (Immigration Officer John Brown appointed by the Foundation Act of SA 1834 – Under his instructions, he was to act as ‘protector to the emigrant labourers’ and ‘at all times give them employment on the Government work’… This concept of ‘work for the dole’, was first applied to ‘Keepers of The Park Lands’)
Augustus Charles Gregory leads an expedition to the Murchison district of WA and discovers good pastoral land.
The Australian newspaper first published.
The Port Phillip Patriot newspaper becomes the Melbourne Daily News.
Newspaper entrepreneur Sir John langdon Bonython born.
The convict ship Governor Phillip wrecked off Cape Barren Island 16 die from drowning or starvation before help arrives.
The first sale of land is held in Colac , Vic.
Gov Charles Fitzgerald wounded by Aborigines while exploring with Gregory near Champion Bay, WA.
The first 240 Government assisted immigrants arrive at Moreton Bay , Qld, on the Artemisia.
Edmund Besley Court Kennedy fatally speared by Aborigines his Aboriginal guide Jacky Jacky continues alone to Cape York. He is rescued by Ariel at Port Albany (24th) six days later, two other survivors are rescued at Weymouth Bay.
Constitutional Association formed in Sydney to effect electoral and land reforms.
Australia’s first iron smelting works opens in Mittagong , NSW.
Buildings constructed – St Philip’s Anglican Church , Church Hill, Sydney ( Edmund Blacket ) St Mark’s Church , Darling Pt, Sydney ( Edmund Blacket )
The Port Phillip Herald newspaper becomes the Melbourne Morning Herald.
The Plymouth, the first of a number of ships carrying people to the California goldfields , leaves Port Jackson for San Francisco.
Australia’s first Prime Minister, Edmund Barton , born in Glebe, Sydney .
The Fortitude arrives at Moreton Bay with 253 migrants from Britain for Rev John Dunmore Lang ‘s Cooksland cotton growing scheme. Its temporary headquarters are set up at Fortitude Valley , named after the ship which brought them there.
The first German migrants arrive in Melbourne in the Godeffroy.
Gas lighting is introduced in Melbourne by William Overton, a confectioner. At considerable personal expense, he succeeds in the manufacture of gas and uses it to light his large premises in Swanston Street, Melbourne.
A public meeting in Perth requests that WA be converted to a penal settlement to aid the flagging state of the colony.
Mass meetings held in Melbourne and Sydney in opposition to the re- introduction of transportation.
The town of Armidale , NSW, gazetted.
Caroline Chisholm establishes the Family Colonisation Loan Society in London to help families migrate to Australia.
The town of Wangaratta , Vic, surveyed. Land goes on sale 22nd January 1851.
Aborigines kill two brothers from Gregory Blaxland ‘s Gin Gin station, leading to the massacre by whites of a large number of Aborigines.
The first clipper ship to come to Australia, the Phoenicians, arrives at Port Jackson after a 90 day journey from Britain, compared to the average 140 days.
The convict transport Randolph arrives at Port Phillip , but Gov. charles Joseph La Trobe refuses to take its convicts and orders the ship to proceed to Sydney .
Public anger at the continuance of the practice of transportation of convicts is so his, when the convict transport Randolph arrives at Port Jackson, Gov Charles Augustus Fitzroy orders it to sail to Moreton Bay . All subsequent convict transport ships are sent direct to Moreton Bay .
A hurricane blows down houses and levels chimneys in Melbourne . The Yarra and Maribyrnong Rivers are in high flood. At Dight’s Falls the Yarra rises 37 feet above its normal level.
Melbourne has its heaviest snowstorm.
Benjamin Boyd ‘s Royal Bank closes. It is subsequently liquidated.
Sydney Railway and Tramway Co. incorporated by act of parliament.
Town of Geelong , Vic, incorporated.
Castaway Barbara Thompson is rescued by HMS Rattlesnake at Evans Bay, Cape York peninsula , after living with Aborigines for five years.
Wagga Wagga , NSW, and Dubbo , NSW, proclaimed as towns.
Geraldton , WA, laid out as a town. Land sales commence in June 1850.
Port Essington , NT, is again abandoned and the settlers return to Sydney .
The Adelaide is the second last ship to bring "exiles" to Australia. It arrives at Port Phillip with 281 exiles on board, but is refused entry and sails on to Port Jackson.
Apples grown in Tasmania are first exported the initial consignments are bound for New Zealand and the California goldfields .
Buildings constructed – first wing of the Treasury Building , Sydney ( Mortimer Lewis ), now incorporated into the Intercontinental Hotel Richmond Villa , Sydney Pentridge Gaol , Melbourne .
The Australian Museum opens a small zoo in Hyde Park, Sydney .
Australia’s first adhesive postage stamps issued in New South Wales. Adhesive postage stamps first issued in Victoria two days later. They feature Queen Victoria and are the first stamps in the world to be printed using the lithography process.
Australian Philosophical Society (late the Royal Society of NSW ) formed in Sydney .
The first refrigeration plant in the world is built by James Harrison in Victoria. The process he develops relies on the formation of ice by evaporation.
Pioneer farmer Elizabeth Macarthur dies, age 82?
Railway between Adelaide and Port Adelaide authorised by an act of parliament.
Naval officer and explorer Capt Owen Stanley dies, age 38.
The Bangalore brings the last "exiles" to Australia – all 392 on board disembark at Moreton Bay .
Sir Frederick William Holder , Premier of SA and first Speaker in the House of Representatives, born.
The transportation of convicts to WA begins. Captain Edmund Yeamans Walcott Henderson (Royal Engineers), appointed first Comptroller-General of Convicts in WA , arrives off Fremantle with first shipment of 75 transportees aboard the chartered Indiaman Scindian.
First Unitarian Church congregation in Australia formed in Sydney .
Pioneer settler and explorer William Lawson dies, age 76.
The Australian Colonies Government Act receives royal assent in Britain – providing for the separation from New South Wales of the Port Phillip District, to be known as Victoria , and for the eventual self-government of the Australian colonies. ( SA already has this right under the Foundation Act of 1834).
Slain’s Castle, the first of the ship to sail under Caroline Chisholm ‘s Family Colonisation Loan Society scheme, leaves England with 150 migrants.
The University of Sydney is constituted by an act of parliament.
The NSW Legislative Council adopts a policy not to accept any more transported convicts.
The original Princes Bridge over the Yarra River , Melbourne , opens demolished 1884.
United Operative Masons Society formed in Melbourne .
A game of "Australian Rules Football" played in Melbourne – 12 players per side – as part of the celebrations for Victoria’s separation from NSW. It was the forerunner to but not exactly the same as what today is known as Australian Rules Football .
Melbourne ‘s Pentridge Gaol , recently completed, receives its first prisoners.
The first Australian branch of the YMCA formed in Adelaide , SA.
William Beaumont and James Waller open their zoological gardens at their Sir Joseph Banks Hotel , Botany, NSW.
James K. Polk, 1845-1849
James K. Polk became the first dark horse candidate for president when the Democratic convention in 1844 became deadlocked and the two favorites, Lewis Cass and former president Martin Van Buren, could not win. Polk was nominated on the ninth ballot of the convention, and was surprised to learn, a week later, that he was his party's nominee for president.
Polk won the election of 1844 and served one term in the White House. He was perhaps the most successful president of the era, as he sought to increase the size of the nation. And he got the United States involved in the Mexican War, which allowed the nation to increase its territory.
1840 to 1849 Important News, Key Events, Significant Technology
British Colonists Arrive In New Zealand , The Treaty of Waitangi was signed in 1840. The British government had sent a representative to New Zealand to calm Maori tribesmen. At Waitangi, in February 1840, the majority of the Maori chiefs agreed to cede sovereignty of the islands to Queen Victoria. In exchange for this they wanted the precedence of own lands and a guarantee of protection.
First Postage Stamp , Under a number of reforms proposed by Sir Rowland Hill including a standard price for sending a letter (prior to this, it was the person who received the letter who paid how much was due depending on weight and distance traveled). In 1840, the first stamp is issued which featured a black and white portrait of Queen Victoria costing one penny (more often referred to as the "Penny Black").
The First Afghan War , The British Army's occupation of Kabul and other areas was set off by a number of difficulties that were started by the insurrection. The insurrection followed after the stoppage of subsidies that were paid to the tribal chiefs. Alexander Burnes, the British political agent, was murdered in November and the embassy was overrun by the Ghilzais. Sir William MacNaghten, the senior British envoy, was killed in December.
Wagon Trains Start The Journey To California , Covered Wagon Trains took immigrants on a journey from Missouri River towns to what is now the state of California. The trip was about 2,000 miles and each night the Covered Wagon Train would form a circle for shelter from wind and extreme weather, they would put all the animals in the center to prevent them from running away or being stolen by Native Americans.
Britain takes Hong Kong , Hong Kong Island was handed to Britain by China in 1842's Treaty of Nanking. Although, it was not until after the Second Opium War that the European government gained a larger part of the harbor. It was the First Opium War that had made it an important port to the British merchants, and it was appointed a Crown dependency. Hong Kong was, in the treaty, ceded to Britain in perpetuity, but in 1997 Hong Kong was handed back to China and went back to Chinese Rule.
Massachusetts Child Employment Laws , Massachusetts became the first state to pass laws limiting how many hours a child laborer could be forced to work. The new laws limited a child under the age of twelve's workday to a maximum of 10 hrs.
The Oregon Trail , The first 'wagon train' was the wave of migration that started in 1843, and had followed John Bidwell's 1841 train, and Elijah White's 1842 expedition to Oregon. The 1843 wagon train was comprised of about nine hundred people. Bidwell's immigrants had been split on going to California and Oregon. The definition of this as the first wagon train is made by its number of participants. The earlier ones had only been small expeditionary groups.
Morse's first electronic telegram , Samuel Morse had created an electromagnetic telegraph in 1836 and he had written the code that was to be transferred on it. Morse Code used dots, dashes and spaces to represent the letters of the alphabet. The U.S. government had requested a line be built between Baltimore and Washington, and it sent the first message on May 24th, 1844. The code also represents numbers.
The U.S. Naval Academy of Annapolis , The U.S. Naval Academy of Annapolis was founded in 1845 for officers of the U.S. Navy and Marines. It was started by the Secretary of the U.S. Navy, George Bancroft, who had moved the Philadelphia Naval Asylum School to what had been the Army's Fort Severn. Its first class had comprised of fifty midshipmen.
Florida Becomes The 27th state of the United States of America , On March 3, 1845, Florida became the 27th state of the United States of America. At that time Florida was best known for it's cotton plantations because the climate suited the crop well.
Texas Becomes The 28th state of the United States of America , Texas, after gaining independence from Mexico in 1836 , became the largest state in the contiguous United States in 1845.
Baseball Rules Defined For First Time , The New York Knickerbockers are formed and define a set of rules similar to the game today. There is major dispute over who first created Baseball. Because of games like "town ball" played in many Northern states, many believe that the game of Baseball called "Town Ball" as played today originated in Philadelphia in 1833 .
The Rubber Band , One Year after Charles Goodyear had patented vulcanized rubber, Stephen Perry patents the Rubber Band.
Ladies Dresses From The Decade
Part of our Collection of Childrens Clothes From the Decade
Childrens Toys From The 1920's
Oregon splits from England , Oregon's border to Canada is set to the 49th Parallel in 1846, which was the same year that its lands were separated from the United Kingdom. You should note that the earlier Oregon Country was the land that ran between the California and Alaska coastlines. It wasn't until after the separation from England, and its incorporation into the United States that its current boundaries were set.
Iowa Becomes The 29th state of the United States of America , Iowa, formerly part of the French controlled Louisiana, became part of the United States following the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. It became the Territory of Iowa in 1833 and a US state in 1846.
U.S. - Mexican War 1846 to 1848 , After Texas became a US state the year before, the United States and Mexico go to war over the disputed area. American forces invade and conquer New Mexico, California and parts of Northern Mexico. Another American army captured Mexico City, forcing Mexico to agree to the sale of its Northern territories to the U.S for $15 million.
U.S. - First official Game Of Baseball , The first official game played under New York Knickerbockers Base Ball Club rules was on June 19, 1846 in Hoboken, New Jersey, between the Knickerbockers and the New York Base Ball Club (with the Knickerbockers losing 23-1). Find Out More About The Origins and History Of Major League Baseball including origins, records, great players and the modern game.
Smithsonian Institution , is established as an educational and research institute it is administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment. The Smithsonian institute was funded by the British scientist James Smithson, who had never visited the United States himself, as an "Establishment for the increase & diffusion of Knowledge among men." The work on the Smithsonian Institution Building on the National Mall started in 1846 and was completed in 1855 .
Jane Eyre published , Jane Eyre was published in October of 1847. The book by Charlotte Brontë used its autobiographical means to talk about the social interaction that was beyond the period's literary discourse. Objections to the book were common, and Brontë had used a male pseudonym, Currer Bell, because of the public's inability to appreciate its author being a woman. Jane's discussions of fidelity, hypocrisy and Rochester's numerous liaisons was more than its readers could appreciate at the time.
Mormon Followers Led By Brigham Young Arrive in Utah , Followers of "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", more commonly referred to as the Mormon Church, arrive in Salt Lake City, Utah. Salt Lake City is still home to the headquarters of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) and over 50% of the population are still practicing members of the church today.
Chloroform Used As General Anaesthetic , Obstetrician James Young Simpson first used chloroform for general anesthesia during childbirth. Prominent churchmen objected and quoted Genesis "God Intended Women to Suffer Pain During Childbirth." But the next year, when giving birth to her seventh child, Queen Victoria asked for Chloroform to ease her labor pains. Chloroform went on to be used during surgery around the world.
Antiseptic Use In Hospital , Surgeon Joseph Lister (Scotland) begins cleaning wounds, surgical equipment and insists his surgical team clean hands with Carbolic Acid prior to operating. The number of patients who then became infected decreased considerably and the process was adopted around the world revolutionizing medical care.
The California Gold Rush starts , It was James Marshall that found the first nugget on January 30th, 1848 at Coloma. His find was to draw half a million people to California, and his initial discovery meant that other prospectors were able to uncover beds on the Trinity and Feather rivers. The Gold Rush is said to have taken place between 1848 and 1855.
Wisconsin Becomes The 30th state of the United States of America , Wisconsin Territory was organized in 1836 and Wisconsin gained statehood in 1848.
Hungary splits from Austria , Engels described the revolutionary struggle of 1848 and 1849 as an act of terrorism by the Austrian government, and a degree of oppression was forced onto the Hungarians. His criticism of the Habsburgs is par for the course, and their beating of the Magyars only served as an inspiration to the other revolutionaries. Freed of Metternich, the Czechs, Poles, Moravians, Slovaks, Magyars, Rutherians, Romanians, Illyrians, Serbs and Croats were starting to see a degree of freedom (in which they started attacking each other). The Masses went to Pest (which is on the eastern side of Budapest) and pushed the Austrians for a reform. With the threat of revolution looming, the Austrian governors had no choice but to accept the Hungarian demands. The House of Habsburg was dethroned and, in an era of excitement, the first Republic of Hungary was born. After the revolution was suppressed, the Austrian Emperor settled everything down, and their advisors went on to manipulate the Croatian, Serbian and Romanian peasantry into a revolt against against the Hungarian government.
The Safety Pin , American inventor Walter Hunt patented the Safety Pin, then quickly sold his rights for $400.00.
1841-1850 - History
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1841 - Detail
May 1, 1841 - The first wagon train to California, with sixty-nine adults and several children, leave from Independence, Missouri. The journey would take until November 4.
Within two years, it would be considered a small excursion, when wagon trains would reach one thousand people in settlement of the west, but this wagon train, heading out over the Oregon Trail west before deking toward California, would be the first attempt to take a major group trip. There had been previous wagon trains, both on the Oregon Trail and Santa Fe trails since the early 1820's. John Bartleson and John Bidwell would lead the train over a haphazard wagon road created by three previous smaller parties. The trip would take five months at fifteen miles per day it would cover over two thousand miles, traversing the Oregon Trail and crossing the Great Salt Lake and Sierra Nevada Mountains.
The group consisted of Bartleson, chosen captain despite his temperament, and Bidwell, a twenty-one year old native of New York who had been slowly traveling west through his young life, reaching the Kansas City area after stops in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Iowa. He had left Ohio in 1838 with $75, eventually settling in Missouri, and beginning to teach. Josiah Belden, a Connecticutt orphan, age twenty-six in 1841, and later mayor of San Jose, California, would join the party. They would be directed, for parts of the journey, by Father Pierre-Jean De Smet, a Jesuit missionary who had been traveling Iowa, Montana, and Wyoming since 1838, and Thomas Fitzpatrick, a mountain man, trapper, and head of the Rocky Mountain Fur Company, defunct since 1834. The party would be known as the Western Emigration Society.
The trip would head toward the Mexican Province of Alta California and the Mexican land grant of John Marsh called Rancho Los Meganos. Marsh was the second owner. It began in Sapling Grove in Westport, Missouri, west of Independence, and travel over the Oregon Trail. There is some disagreement over the date the party started, with May 1 and May 9 suggested. Once reaching Fort Hall in Idaho, the party started to disperse, with half deciding to continue on the road to Oregon, and the other half to their original destination along the north shore of the Great Salt Lake. They would abandon their wagons west of the lake before ascending the Sierra Nevadas to reach Alta California.
However, there were problems with an arrival of United States immigrants in Alta California. Mexican generals had orders to evict any Americans who tried to colonize Mexican territory. When a portion of the Bartleson-Bidwell company arrived at Mission San Jose, they were detained, but eventually allowed to stay if they became Mexican citizens.
Bidwell Account of the Journey - The Start
When we reached Sapling Grove, the place of rendezvous, in May, 1841, there was but one wagon ahead of us. For the next few days one or two wagons would come each day, and among the recruits were three families from Arkansas. We organized by electing as captain of the company a man named Bartleson from Jackson County, Missouri. He was not the best man for the position, but we were given to understand that if he was not elected captain he would not go and as he had seven or eight men with him, and we did not want the party diminished, he was chosen. Every one furnished his own supplies. The party consisted of sixty-nine, including men, women, and children. Our teams were of oxen, mules, and horses. We had no cows, as the later emigrants usually had, and the lack of milk was a great depriva- tion to the children. It was understood that every one should have not less than a barrel of flour with sugar and so forth to suit but I laid in one hundred pounds of flour more than the usual quantity, besides other things. This I did because we were told that when we got into the mountains we probably would get out of bread and have to live on meat alone, which I thought would kill me even if it did not others. My gun was an old flint-lock rifle, but a good one. Old hunters told me to have nothing to do with cap or percussion locks, that they were unreliable, and that if I got my caps or percussion wet I could not shoot, while if I lost my flint I could pick up another on the plains. I doubt whether there was one hundred dollars in money in the whole party, but all were en- thusiastic and anxious to go. In five days after my arrival we were ready to start, but no one knew where to go, not even the captain. Finally a man came up, one of the last to arrive, and announced that a company of Catholic missionaries were on their way from St. Louis to the Flathead nation of Indians with an old Rocky Mountaineer for a guide, and that if we would wait another day they would be up with us. At first we were independent, and thought we could not afford to wait for a slow missionary party. But when we found that no one knew which way to go, we sobered down and waited for them to come up and it was well we did, for otherwise probably not one of us would ever have reached California, because of our inexperience. Af- terwards when we came in contact with Indians our people were so easily excited that if we had not had with us an old mountaineer the result would certainly have been disastrous. The name of the guide was Captain Fitzpatrick he had been at the head of trapping parties in the Rocky Mountains for many years. He and the missionary party went with us as far as Soda Springs, now in Idaho Territory, whence they turned north to the Flathead nation.
Bidwell Account - The Separation
As I have said, at Soda Springs at the northernmost bend of Bear River our party separated. It was a bright and lovely place. The abundance of soda water, including the intermittent gushing so-called Steamboat Spring the beautiful fir and cedar covered hills the huge piles of red or brown sinter, the result of fountains once active but then dry all these, together with the river, lent a charm to its wild beauty and made the spot a notable one. Here the missionary party were to turn north and go into the Flathead nation. Fort Hall, about forty miles distant on Snake River, lay on their route. There was no road but something like a trail, doubtless used by the trappers, led in that direction. From Fort Hall there was also a trail down Snake River, by which trapping parties reached the Columbia River and Fort Vancouver, the headquarters of the Hudson Bay Company. Our party, originally sixty-nine, including women and children, had become lessened to sixty-four in number. One had accidentally shot and killed himself at the forks of the Platte. Another of our party, named Simp- son, had left us at Fort Laramie. Three had turned back from Green River, intending to make their way to Fort Bridger and await an opportunity to return home. Their names were Peyton, Rodgers, and Amos E. Frye. Thirty-two of our party, becoming discouraged, decided not to venture without path or guide into the unknown and trackless region towards California, but concluded to go with the mis- sionary party to Fort Hall and thence find their way down Snake and Columbia rivers into Oregon. The rest of us also thirty-two in number, including Benjamin Kelsey, his wife and little daughter remained firm, refusing to be diverted from our original purpose of going direct to California. After getting all the information we could from Captain Fitzpatrick, we regretfully bade good-by to our fellow emi- grants and to Father De Smet and his party. We were now thrown entirely upon our own resources.
Bidwell Account - The Arrival
We were now on the edge of the San Joaquin Valley, but we did not even know that we were in California. We could see a range of mountains lying to the west, the Coast Range, but we could see no valley. The evening of the day we started down into the valley we were very tired, and when night came our party was strung along for three or four miles, and every man slept right where dark- ness overtook him. He would take off his saddle for a pillow and turn his horse or mule loose, if he had one. His animal would be too poor to walk away, and in the morning he would find him, usually within fifty feet. The jaded horses nearly perished with hunger and fatigue. When we overtook the foremost of the party the next morning we found they had come to a pond of water, and one of them had killed a fat coyote when I came up it was all eaten except the lights and the windpipe, on which I made my breakfast. From that camp we saw timber to the north of us, evidently bordering a stream running west. It turned out to be the stream that w
had followed down in the moun- tains the Stanislaus River. As soon as we Wild grapes also abounded. The next day we killed thirteen deer and antelopes, jerked the meat and got ready to go on, all except the captains mess of seven or eight, who decided to stay there and lay in meat enough to last them into California! We were really almost down to tidewater, but did not know it. Some thought it was five hundred miles yet to California. But all thought we had to cross at least that range of mountains in sight to the west before entering the promised land, and how many more beyond no one could tell. Nearly all thought it best to press on lest the snows might overtake us in the mountains before us, as they had already nearly done on the mountains be- hind us (the Sierra Nevada). It was now about the first of November. Our party set forth bearing northwest, aiming for a seeming gap north of a high mountain in the chain to the west of us. That mountain we found to be Mount Diablo. At night the Indians attacked the captains camp and stole all their animals, which were the best in the company, and the next day the men had to overtake us with just what they could carry in their hands.
The next day, judging by the timber we saw, we concluded there was a river to the west. So two men went ahead to see if they could find a trail or a crossing. The timber seen proved to be along what is now known as the San Joa- quin River. We sent two men on ahead to spy out the country. At night one of them returned, saying they had come across an Indian on horseback without a saddle who wore a cloth jacket but no other clothing. From what they could understand the Indian knew Dr. Marsh and had offered to guide them to his place. He plainly said Marsh, and of course we supposed it was the Dr. Marsh before referred to who had written the letter to a friend in Jackson County, Missouri, and so it proved. One man went with the Indian to Marshs ranch and the other came back to tell us what he had done, with the suggestion that we should go on and cross the river (San Joaquin) at the place to which the trail was leading. In that way we found ourselves two days later at Dr. Marshs ranch, and there we learned that we were really in California and our journey at an end. After six months we had now arrived at the first settlement in California, November 4, 1841.
The early part of the decade began with a treaty signed with the Native American Sioux tribe and ended with Mexico selling the U.S. land along its southern border for $15 million.
- The Treaty of Traverse des Sioux is signed with the Sioux Indians. They agree to give up their lands in Iowa and almost all of Minnesota.
- The New York Daily Times appears. This will be renamed the New York Times in 1857.
- A fire occurs at the Library of Congress, destroying 35,000 books.
- Moby Dick is published by Herman Melville.
- Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly is published to great success by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
- Uncle Sam appears for the first time in a comic publication in New York. wins the presidency.
- The "Know Nothing" Party is created as a Nativist party opposed to Catholics and immigrants.
- The Coinage Act of 1853 is passed by Congress, reducing the amount of silver in coins smaller than a dollar.
- Vice President William King dies on April 18th. President Pierce does not appoint a new Vice President for the rest of his time in office.
- Mexico gives land along the southern border of present-day Arizona and New Mexico in exchange for $15 million.
Mid-Decade: Kansas-Nebraska Act to Election of James Buchanan
The Kansas-Nebraska Act was proposed during this period, which also included the publication of Henry David Thoreau's "Walden" and the election of James Buchanan to the presidency.
- The Kansas-Nebraska Act is proposed that would separate the central Kansas Territory into two with the idea that the individuals in the territories would decide for themselves whether they would be pro- or anti-slavery. However, this was opposed to the Missouri Compromise of 1820 because they were both above latitude 36°30'. The act is later passed on May 26th. Eventually, this area would be called 'Bleeding Kansas' due to the fighting that would occur over the question of whether the area would be pro- or anti-slavery. In October, Abraham Lincoln gives a speech condemning the act.
- The Republican Party is formed by anti-slavery individuals who oppose the Kansas-Nebraska Act. and the Japanese sign the Treaty of Kanagawa opening ports up to trade with the U.S.
- The Ostend Manifesto is created declaring the U.S.'s right to purchase Cuba or take it by force if Spain does not agree to sell it. When it is published in 1855, it meets with negative public reaction.
- Walden is published by transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau.
- Over the course of the year, a virtual civil war happens in Kansas between pro- and anti-slavery forces.
- Frederick Douglass publishes his autobiography entitled My Bondage, My Freedom.
- Walt Whitman publishes Leaves of Grass.
- Charles Sumner is beaten with a cane by Preston Brooks on the floor of the Senate for an anti-slavery speech. He does not recover fully for three years.
- Lawrence, Kansas is the center of violence in Kansas when pro-slavery men kill an anti-slavery settler. Anti-slavery men led by John Brown then retaliate killing five pro-slavery men leading to the name "Bleeding Kansas." is elected as president of the United States.
1841-1850 - History
The First Propeller On The Lakes, 1841 - An Appalling Catastrophe -- The Theft Of The Milwaukee -- Progress Of Settlement -- Loss Of The Post Boy -- Other Events Of 1841 -- The Storm On November 18, 1842 -- Charles Dickens On The Lakes -- Early Propellers -- Wreck Of The Reindeer -- Other Events Of 1842 -- Oil Consumed In 1843 -- Iron Government Vessels -- A Dull Season -- A Most Deplorable Disaster -- Other Events Of 1843 -- The Flood Of 1844 In Buffalo -- Copper Rock Is Removed -- Steamer Empire Built -- Other Events Of 1844 -- Loss Of The Kent, 1845 -- A Round Trip Each Month During The Winter -- The Geo. M. Bibb Goes To New Orleans -- First Propeller With Upper Cabin -- Boisterous Weather -- Other Events Of 1845 -- Ice Jam At Buffalo, 1846 -- Thrilling Rescue Of The Helen Strong's Passengers -- A Memorable Storm -- Wreck Of The Schooner Lexington -- How The Chesapeake Went Down -- Other Events Of 1846 -- Appalling Loss Of The Phoenix, 1847 -- Drowned At The Sault -- Loss Of The Schooner Daun -- A Large Mineral Cargo -- Disaster On Lake Superior -- Other Events Of 1847 -- The Gale Of April, 1848 -- Explosion Of The Goliah -- Chicago's First Locomotive -- Niagara Falls Dried Up -- Other Events Of 1848 -- Vessel Sails For California From Cleveland, 1849 -- Cholera Breaks Out -- Fatally Scalded On The Passport -- Other Events Of 1849 -- Burning Of The Griffith, 1850 -- Wreck Of The Anthony Wayne -- Many Lives Lost On The Troy -- Extent Of The Losses In 1850 -- Other Events Of 1850.
Some of the transcription work was also done by Brendon Baillod, who maintains an excellent guide to Great Lakes Shipwreck Research.
1841-1850 - History
READINGS IN EARLY MORMON HISTORY
(Newspapers of Missouri)
Misc. Missouri Newspapers
Kansas City, Missouri -- at the beginning of the 1850s
Vol. 2. Palmyra, February 13, 1841. No. 29.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Missouri as follows:
1. The Governor of this State shall execute and deliver to the Bank of the State of Missouri the bonds of the State to the amount of two hundred and fifty-eight thousand two hundred sixty one dollars, the proceeds of which shall be applied and appropriated to the following purposes, viz: one hundred thousand dollars shall be applied to refund the said bank that amount heretofore advanced by the bank for the purpose of paying the volunteers and militia of the State, twenty seven thousand two hundred and sixty one dollars, shall be applied to pay interest due to the Bank from the State eighty-two thousand dollars, to be supplied to the payment of the volunteers and militia engaged in the Mormon and Osage wars, and other expenses attending those disturbances and which are still unpaid nineteen thousand dollars to be applied to the payment of the Volunteers and Militia engaged in the disturbances on the border of Iowa, and the other expenses attending these disturbances, and twenty-five thousand dollars to pay for work on the State Capitol.
Both houses have passed resolution to adjourn sine die on the 15th inst. I fear we shall not be able to do so, as business is still coming in, and much of the most important business remains to be acted on.