The Common Era Year of 1816, part of the 19th Century
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Born in 1816:
- April 21: Charlotte Brontë (pseud. Currer Bell), writer of Jane Eyre, is born in Thornton, England. (d. March 31, 1855, aged 38)
- May 12: Edmund Beckett Denison, 1st Baron Grimthorpe of Grimthorpe, designer of London's Big Ben, is born in Nottinghamshire, England. (d. April 29 1905, aged 88).
- May 24: Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, American painter of historic events, is born in Würtemberg, present-day Germany. (d. July 18 1868, aged 52)
- July 14: Joseph Arthur Comte de Gobineau, diplomat, believer in the supremacy of the so-called Aryan race, and writer of Les Pléiades, is born in Versailles, France. (d. October 13 1882, aged 66)
- July 21: Baron Paul Julius von Reuter, founder of the British news agency Reuters, is born in Hesse, Germany. (d. February 25 1899, aged 82)
- July 23: Charlotte Saunders Cushman, actress, is born in Massachusetts, U.S. (d. February 18 1876, aged 59)
- July 31: George Henry Thomas, Union general in the American Civil War, nicknamed "the Rock of Chickamauga" for his bravery in the Battle of Chickamauga, is born in Virginia, U.S. (d. March 28 1870, aged 53).
- September 11: Carl Zeiss, manufacturer in optics and founder of the Zeiss company, is born in Weimar, present-day Germany. (d. December 3 1888, aged 72)
- December 13: Werner Von Siemens, engineer, founder of the Siemens company, and the man after whom the SI unit for conductance is named, is born in Prussia, present-day Germany (d. December 6 1892, aged 75)
Passed away in 1816:
These (and other) things happened in 1816:
- King Louis XVIII of France dissolves the chamber of deputies on September 5, after they challenge his authority.
- Poland's new constitution declares Alexander I, tsar of Russia, King of Poland. However, Poland is given complete control of its own budget and army, and enjoys freedom of the press and religious tolerance.
- An economic crisis in England causes large-scale emigration to North America.
- In Italy, Gioacchino Rossini composes his opera The Barber of Seville. The first production is set up in Rome.
- In France, Joseph N. Niepce develops the first photographic negative.
- In present-day Germany, Johann Maelzel patents the metronome, as drawn up earlier by Dutch inventor Dietrich Nikolaus Winkel.
- German romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich paints View of a Harbor. It is purchased by Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia as a birthday present for the crown prince.
- French physician R.T. Laënnec invents the stethoscope, after being too embarrassed to perform immediate auscultation on a woman's chest.
- In England, William Smith publishes his pioneering work Strata Identified by Organized Fossils.
- English novelist Jane Austen publishes Emma, and completes her last novel, Persuasion, which will be published posthumously.
- The U.S. Supreme Court affirms, in Martin vs. Hunter's lessee, its right to review state court decisions on March 20.
- The Philadelphia Savings Fund Society, opens for business on December 2 as the first savings bank in the United States.
- Secretary of War William H. Crawford becomes U.S. Secretary of the Treasury under President James Madison.
- James Monroe of Virginia is elected the fifth President of the United States on December 4. He is inaugurated the following year. Crawford continues to serve under the new President.
- Indiana becomes the 19th state of the United States of America on December 11.
- The United States of America begins to acquire the land between its original states and the Mississippi River by signing what will eventually amount to over forty treaties with Native American tribes including Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles, where the Native Americans cede their land to the United States.
- The U.S. passes its first protective tariff for the benefit of its industries.
- The American Bible Society is founded under its first president Elias Boudinot. In 1998 its library had 53,000 copies of the Bible in over 2,000 languages and dialects.
- Pittsburgh (originally spelled without the h) is established on the site of Fort Pitt.
- 1815's eruption of the volcano Mt. Tambora produced giant clouds of ash, making this year the "year without a summer" with snow in June, as far south as Massachusetts, and as deep as twenty inches in Vermont and other parts of northern U.S. Periods of frost in July result in famine.
- The Washington American Colonization Society is founded in Washington, D.C. to resettle freed African-Americans.
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