Notes from the 1810s

1811 – Using Eli Whitney’s concept of interchangeable parts, John Hall of New York invents a breech-loading rifle that will eventually replace the slowly-loaded muskets of the Revolution.


1811 – U.S. troops, under the direction of General William Henry Harrison, route the Indians of the Shawnee tribe at the Battle of Tippecanoe.


1812 – Louisiana admitted to the Union as the 18th state.  Becomes the first state with a constitution that authorizes African-Americans to enlist in the state militia.


1812 – United States Congress declares war on Great Britain.


1812 – Under the command of Captain Isaac Hull, the USS Constitution soundly defeats the British frigate Guerriere off the coast of Canada in major naval engagement.


1813 – U.S. and British forces exchange victories in the Great Lakes. Neither side appears to be taking control of the war.


1814 – British forces attack and burn the city of Washington. Presidents mansion is burned, as well as the Capital building. President Madison and the First Lady, Dolly Madison, flee the city.


1814 – Attorney Francis Scott Key, while trying to secure the release of a client from a British ship, witnesses the attack on Ft. McHenry in Baltimore. Inspired, he writes what becomes known as the Star Spangled Banner.


1814 – British and American negotiators meet in Belgium to write a conclusive peace treaty to the War of 1812. Treaty of Ghent establishes no significant changes of territory. British agree to end the practice of impressment.


1815 – Under the direction of General Andrew Jackson, American forces completely rout the British in a battle for control of New Orleans. U.S. losses are 13 men, while the British suffer over 2,000


1815 – U.S. Naval forces under the leadership of Stephen Decatur battle and defeat the Barbary Pirates off the coast of Tunisia. A treaty is secured that will cease the payment of tributes and release American prisoners of war.


1816 – Republican James Monroe defeats Federalist Rufus King in the presidential election.


1816 – In an effort to check the wild fluctuations of currency issued by local banks, Congress charters a second national bank.


1816 – Indiana is admitted to the Union as the 19th state.


1817 – Thomas Gallaudet establishes the first American college for the deaf. School will move to its permanent campus in Washington D.C. in 1856.


1817 – Construction begins on the Erie Canal in the state of New York - A project that will connect the Great Lakes region with the Atlantic coast.


1817 – Mississippi is admitted to the Union as the 20th state.


1818 – U.S. forces, led by General Andrew Jackson, battle the Seminole Indians in the western region of Florida. Jackson continues his unauthorized push east, arresting two British subjects. They are executed by Jackson’s men for allegedly helping the Seminoles.


1818 – Illinois is admitted to the Union as the 21st state.


1818 – President’s mansion is painted following the attack and burning during the War of 1812. Now referred to as the White House. Reconstruction of the building is completed by 1819.


1819 – U.S. and Spanish negotiators sign agreement over Florida. Agreement reached by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and Spanish Minister Don Luis de Onis cedes Florida, in its entirety to the United States. U.S. compensation to Spain is $5,000,000.


1819 – Alabama is admitted to the Union as the 22nd state.


1819 – Supreme Court decision in the case of McCulloch v. Maryland asserts that a state may not tax a federal agency, and also that congress is authorized to charter a national bank.


1820 – Missouri Compromise is signed. Deal will admit Missouri to the Union as a slave state and Maine as a non-slave state. The 36۫,30 parallel will divide the rest of the Louisiana Territory between free and slave territory.


1820 – James Monroe wins landslide re-election campaign. Monroe wins 231 electoral votes, while his opponent John Quincy Adams wins only one vote.


1820 – Official U.S. census shows that the nation’s population has reached 10,000,000. New York is the largest city with 124,000 inhabitants.