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United States of America > United States History > Birth of A Nation 1789-1859

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Follow your ancestor as they lived the "New Nation's" history

Daniel Boone Escorting Settlers Through the Cumberland Gap
It all started with Thirteen Colonies [1] uniting in their quest for freedom from British Rule. The Revolutionary War was fought, the Declaration of Independence signed and the official separation from Great Britain was acknowledged with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783. This established American control over the territory between the Appalachians Mountains and the Mississippi River. Then a great expansion began. Veterans of the Revolutionary War pursued land in the Ohio Country. Northwest Territory provided land west of the Ohio River. The Louisiana Purchase was completed in 1803 opening the land to the Rocky Mountains and the new country grew. Zanes Trace, The National Road, Oregon Trail, Conestoga wagons, and handcarts all helped with the expansion. Many more territories were opened, roads were made and modes of transportation employed to move people into the frontier. States began getting admitted to the Union as battles were won, treaties were signed and more area was claimed. With the fervor of Manifest Destiny, a movement to the west ensued.[2]

Timeline

  • 1791: Vermont is the 14th state admitted to the Union. Vermont became the first state added to the Union following the 13 colonies on March 1, 1791. Until statehood, had been a region claimed by both New York and New Hampshire.
Routes of the Underground Railroad
  • 1801: Thomas Jefferson is sworn in as the 3rd President of the United States with Aaron Burr as the Vice President.
Lewis and Clark on the Lower Columbia
  • 1804: Louis & Clark begin their expedition of the Louisiana Territory.
  • 1810: The United States annexes what is now part of Alabama, part of Louisiana, and part of Mississippi.
  • 1813: James Madison is sworn in as President for a 2nd term with Elbridge Gerry as the Vice President.
A VIEW of the BOMBARDMENT of Fort McHenry, near Baltimore, by the British fleet taken from the Observatory under the Command of Admirals Cochrane & Cockburn on the morning of the 13th of Sept 1814 which lasted 24 hours & thrown from 1500 to 1800 shells in the Night attempted to land by forcing a passage up the ferry branch but were repulsed with great loss."
  • 1819: February 22; The United States annexes Florida. Panic of 1819 The Arkansas Territory is organized. Alabama is the 22nd state admitted to the Union. In January 1861, Alabama seceded from the Union, and on February 4, delegates from six states met at Montgomery and formed the Confederate States of America, with Montgomery as the capital. After the Civil War, Alabama re-entered the Union.
  • 1820: The U.S. population is about 9.6 million. About 151,000 new immigrants arrive in 1820 alone. Maine is the 23rd state admitted to the Union. Its admission to the Union balanced the simultaneous admission of Missouri as a slave state. What is now the state of Maine was, before statehood, called the District of Maine and belonged to Massachusetts. The Missouri Compromise was an agreement between the pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions passed in the United States Congress concerning Western Territories.
  • 1821: March 4; James Monroe is sworn in as President for a 2nd term with Daniel Tompkins as Vice President. Missouri is the 24th state admitted to the Union. Missouri was admitted as a slave state on August 10, 1821, after an agreement known as the Missouri Compromise in which Maine was admitted as a free state. The state was much smaller than the territory. The area to the west and northwest of the state, which had been in the territory, was commonly known as the "Missouri Country" until May 30, 1854, and certain of the post offices in this area show a Missouri abbreviation in the postmark.
  • 1822: March 30; The Florida Territory is organized.
  • 1825: March 4; John Quincy Adams is sworn in as the 6th President of the United States with John Calhoun as Vice President.
  • 1829: March 4; Andrew Jackson is sworn in as the 7th President of the United States with John Calhoun as Vice President.
  • 1833: March 4; Andrew Jackson is sworn in as President for a 2nd term with Martin van Buren asVice President.
  • 1834: June 30; The Indian Territory is established in what is now Oklahoma.
  • 1836: Apr 20; The Wisconsin Territory is organized.
  • 1836: June 15; Arkansas is the 25th state admitted to the Union despite opposition in Congress to a new slave state. Arkansas Governor Henry M. Rector seized Fort Smith and Arkansas joined the Confederacy in 1861 re-entering the Union at War's end. The territory of Arkansas was larger than the state. After statehood the leftover area to the west had post offices that continued for some years to use an Arkansas abbreviation in the postmarks, although they were really in the "Indian Country."
  • 1838: June 11; The Iowa Territory is organized.
  • 1841: March 4; William Harrison is sworn in as the 9th President of the United States with John Tyler as Vice President.
  • 1841: April 6; John Tyler is sworn in as the 10th President of the United States.
  • 1844: April 12; The United States annexes what are now parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas as a result of the Adams-Onis Treaty with Spain.
  • 1845: March 3; Florida is the 27th state admitted to the Union, and a move delayed by the reluctance of Congress to admit another slave state, and it joined the Confederacy on January 10, 1861, re-entering the Union at war's end.
  • 1845: March 4; James Polk is sworn in as the 11th President of the United States with George Dallas as Vice President.
  • 1845: December 29; Texas was an independent republic before statehood and was the 28th state admitted to the Union.
  • 1846: May 8; The Mexican War begins with the Battle of Palo Alto. . For more information about the The Mexican War and its battles see the The Mexican War Page along with individual State Military Pages.
  • 1846: Irish of all classes emigrate to the United States as a result of the potato famine.
  • 1846: May 13; The United States declares war on Mexico.
  • 1846: August 22; The United States annexes what is now Arizona and New Mexico.
  • 1846: December 28; Iowa is the 29th state admitted to the Union becoming the first free state in the old Louisiana Territory.
  • 1846-1847: Crop failures in Europe. Mortgage foreclosures send tens of thousands of the dispossessed go to the United States.
  • 1847: September 14; American forces take Mexico City.
Middle Fork of the American River; Mining operation with prospectors working the bed of the Middle Fork of the American River. Coloma, California, 1848.
  • 1848: Discovery of gold results in Chinese and Latin American immigrants coming to the west coast. The China Emigration and Immigration page explains in more detail the impact the Chinese had with this part of the Nation's growth.
  • 1848: February 2; Mexico and the United States sign the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the Mexican-American War.
  • 1848: February 2; The United States gains what is now California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
  • 1848: German political refugees emigrate following the failure of a revolution.
  • 1848: May 29; Wisconsin is the 30th state admitted to the Union [12]
  • 1848: August 14; The United States annexes the Oregon Territory containing what is now Idaho, part of Montana, Oregon, Washington, part of Wyoming.
  • 1849: March 3; The Minnesota Territory is organized.
  • 1849: March 4; Millard Fillmore is sworn in as the 12th Vice President of the United States.
  • 1849: March 5; Zachary Taylor is sworn in as the 12th President of the United States.
  • 1849: December 6; Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery on the "Underground Railroad".
  • 1850: May 30; The Kansas Territory is organized.
  • 1850: May 30; The Nebraska Territory is organized.
  • 1850: July 10; Millard Fillmore is sworn in as the 13th President of the United States.
  • 1850: September 9; California is the 31st state admitted to the Union. Congress hesitated to welcome a new free state, but because of its booming population and the discovery of gold California was admitted. Ceded by Mexico by the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, concluded Feb. 2, 1848, and proclaimed July 4, 1848. From then until statehood, California had a military government until Dec. 20, 1849, and then a local civil government. It never had a territorial form of government.
  • 1850: September 9; The Utah Territory is organized.
  • 1850: September 18; The Fugitive Slave Act is passed by Congress requiring the return of escaped slaves.
  • 1853: March 2; The Washington Territory is organized.
  • 1853: March 2; The Oregon Territory is organized.
  • 1853: March 4; Franklin Pierce is sworn in as the 14th President of the United States with William King as Vice President.
  • 1853: December 30; The United States purchases what is now part of Arizona and New Mexico.
  • 1857: March 4; James Buchanan is sworn in as the 15th President of the United States with John Breckinridge as Vice President.

Websites

Sources

  1. Thirteen Colonies -Wikipedia
  2. An Outline of United States History, for Use in the General Course in United States History, Yale College: By Ralph Henry Gabriel, Dumas Malone, Frederick Johnson Manning, Theodore L. Glasgow. Memorial Publication Fund. Published by Yale university press, 1921. Original from Harvard University. Digitized Jun 19, 2008. 68 pages. page 32. Full text available at Google Books Worldcat
  3. White, George Savage; Memoir of Samuel Slater: the father of American manufactures Edition: 2. Published by s.n., 1836 Original from the New York Public Library. Digitized Jul 13, 2007. 448 pages. Full text available at Google Books
  4. A melancholy scene of devastation: the public response to the 1793 Philadelphia yellow fever epidemic By J. Worth Estes, Billy G. Smith. Contributor J. Worth Estes Edition: illustrated. Published by The Library Company of Phil, 1997. ISBN 088135192X, 9780881351927 211 pages. Worldcat Full text available at Google Books.
  5. The Underground Railroad From Slavery to Freedom By Wilbur Henry Siebert, Albert Bushnell Hart. Edition: 2. Published by Macmillan, 1898. Original from the University of Michigan. Digitized Jun 25, 2007. 478 pages, Indexed. Full text at Google Books.
  6. Mitchell, William M.; The Underground Railroad from Slavery to Freedom Edition: 2. Published by W. Tweedie, 1860. Original from Harvard University. Digitized Aug 4, 2006. 191 pages. Full text available at Google Books
  7. James Alexander Robertson, Paul Alliot; Louisiana Under the Rule of Spain, France, and the United States, 1785-1807: Social, Economic, and Political Conditions of the Territory Represented in the Louisiana Purchase. Published by The Arthur H. Clark Company, 1911. Item notes: v. 2. Worldcat Full text available at Google Books
  8. Robert Fulton –Wikipedia
  9. Forgotten Step toward Freedom
  10. National Road
  11. Francis Scott Key: author of the Star spangled banner; what else he was and who. By Francis Scott Key-Smith Published by Key-Smith and company, 1911. 104 pages. Worldcat. Full text available at Google Books
  12. 1999-2000 Wisconsin Blue Book (published by the State of Wisconsin), on May 29, 1848, Wisconsin became the 30th state in the Union." (p. 630)

 

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