Timeline from 1820 to 1830

The Decade of the Erie Canal, Andrew Jackson, and Daniel O'Connell

Decade By Decade: Timelines of the 1800s


  • Harriet Tubman is believed to have been born about 1820. As was the case with many slaves, the date of her birth was thought unimportant and was not recorded.
  • January 24, 1820: Henry J. Raymond, political activist, journalist, and founder of the New York Times, was born in Livingston County, New York.
  • January 29, 1820: George IV became the King of England upon the death of George III.
  • February 8, 1820: William Tecumseh Sherman, Union general in the Civil War, was born in Lancaster, Ohio.
  • February 15, 1820: Susan B. Anthony, leader of the American suffrage movement, was born in Adams, Massachusetts.
  • March 1820: The Missouri Compromise became law in the United States. The landmark legislation effectively pushed the issue of slavery aside for the next few decades.
  • March 22, 1820: American naval hero Stephen Decatur was fatally wounded in a duel fought near Washington, D.C.
  • May 12, 1820: Florence Nightingale, English nurse and reformer, was born in Italy.
  • September 26, 1820: American frontiersman Daniel Boone died in Missouri at the age of 85. He had pioneered the Wilderness Road, which led many settlers westward to Kentucky.
  • October 6, 1820: Jenny Lind, whose American tour was a sensation promoted by Phineas T. Barnum in 1850, was born in Sweden.
  • November 1820: James Monroe faced virtually no opposition and was reelected president of the United States.


  • February 22, 1821: The Adams-Onis Treaty, by which the United States obtained Florida, went into effect.
  • March 4, 1821: James Monroe was sworn in for his second term as president of the United States.
  • May 5, 1821: Napoleon Bonaparte died in exile on the island of St. Helena.
  • July 24, 1821: Bill Poole, who became notorious as "Bill the Butcher," was born in New Jersey.
  • September 3, 1821: A devastating hurricane struck New York City, and the study of its path would lead to the understanding of rotating storms.
  • October 17, 1821: Photographer Alexander Gardner was born in Scotland. He would become noteworthy for photographing the dead at Antietam during the Civil War as well as taking notable portraits of President Abraham Lincoln.
  • December 25, 1821: Clara Barton, Civil War nurse and founder of the American Red Cross, was born in Oxford, Massachusetts.
  • A children's book published in New York City referred to a character named "Santeclaus," which may have been the first printed reference to Santa Claus in the English language.
  • American traders began using the Santa Fe Trail.


  • April 22, 1822: Ulysses S. Grant, Civil War general and later president of the United States, was born at Point Pleasant, Ohio.
  • April 26, 1822: Frederick Law Olmsted, designer of Central Park, was born in Hartford, Connecticut.
  • May 30, 1822: Arrests in Charleston, South Carolina, prevented a slave uprising which had been planned by Denmark Vesey.
  • October 4, 1822: Rutherford B. Hayes, who would become president in the disputed election of 1876, was born in Delaware, Ohio.
  • Charles Babbage designed the “difference engine,” an early computing machine
  • Hieroglyphs were deciphered using the Rosetta Stone.
  • The first group of freed slaves being resettled in Africa by the American Colonization Society arrived in Liberia and founded the town of Monrovia, named for President James Monroe.



  • January 21, 1824: Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson, Confederate general in the Civil War, was born in Virginia.
  • March 2, 1824: The landmark Supreme Court decision Gibbons v. Ogden ended a monopoly of steamboats in the waters around New York City. The case opened up the steamboat business to competition, which made great fortunes possible for entrepreneurs such as Cornelius Vanderbilt. But the case also established principles regarding interstate commerce which apply to the present day.
  • May 23, 1824: Ambrose Burnside, Civil War general, was born in Indiana.
  • August 14, 1824: The Marquis de Lafayette, French hero of the American Revolution, returned to America for a grand tour. He had been invited by the federal government, which wanted to show off all the progress the nation had made in the 50 years since its founding. Over the course of a year Lafayette visited all 24 states as an honored guest.
  • November 1824: The U.S. presidential election of 1824 was deadlocked with no clear winner and would become known as "The Corrupt Bargain."
  • With the controversial election of 1824, a period of American politics known as The Era of Good Feelings came to an end.



  • January 30, 1826: The Menai Suspension Bridge opened in Wales, ushering in an age of great bridges.
  • July 4, 1826: American songwriter Stephen Foster was born in Pennsylvania.
  • July 4, 1826: John Adams died in Massachusetts and Thomas Jefferson died in Virginia, on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Their deaths left Charles Carroll of Carrollton as the last surviving singer of the nation's founding document.
  • December 3, 1826: George B. McClellan, Civil War general and commander of Union forces at the Battle of Antietam, was born in Philadelphia.
  • Josiah Holbrook founded the American Lyceum Movement in Massachusetts.
  • Irish immigrant John Hughes, future archbishop and political force in New York, was ordained a priest.


  • March 26, 1827: Composer Ludwig van Beethoven died in Vienna, Austria, at the age of 56.
  • August 12, 1827: English poet and artist William Blake died in London, England at the age of 69.
  • Artist John James Audubon published the first volume of Birds of America.


  • February 8, 1828: Writer Jules Verne was born in France.
  • Summer-Fall 1828: The election of 1828 was preceded by perhaps the dirtiest campaign ever, with supporters of Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams hurling shocking accusations.
  • November 1828: Andrew Jackson was elected president of the United States.