|Centuries:||18th century – 19th century – 20th century|
|Decades:||1800s 1810s 1820s – 1830s – 1840s 1850s 1860s|
|Years:||1835 1836 1837 – 1838 – 1839 1840 1841|
|1838 in topic:|
|Archaeology – Architecture – Art – Literature – Music|
|Australia – Brazil - Canada – Denmark - France – Germany – Mexico – Norway - Philippines - Portugal– Russia - South Africa – Spain - Sweden - United Kingdom – United States|
|Rail Transport – Science – Sports|
|Lists of leaders|
|Colonial Governors – State leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Births – Deaths|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Establishments – Disestablishments|
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1838.|
1838 (MDCCCXXXVIII) was a common year starting on Monday (dominical letter G) of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Saturday (dominical letter B) of the Julian calendar, the 1838th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 838th year of the 2nd millennium, the 38th year of the 19th century, and the 9th year of the 1830s decade. Note that the Julian day for 1838 is 12 calendar days difference, which continued to be used from 1582 until the complete conversion of the Gregorian calendar was entirely done in 1929.
- January 10 – A fire destroys Lloyd's Coffee House and the Royal Exchange in London.
- January 21 – The first known report about the lowest temperature on Earth was made, indicating −60 °C (−76 °F) in Yakutsk.
- April 4–22 – The paddle steamer SS Sirius makes the transatlantic crossing to New York from Cork, Ireland, in eighteen days, though not using steam continuously.
- April 8–23 – Isambard Kingdom Brunel's paddle steamer SS Great Western (1838) makes the transatlantic crossing to New York from Avonmouth, England, in fifteen days, inaugurating a regular steamship service.
- April 30 – Nicaragua declares independence from the Federal Republic of Central America.
- The People's Charter is drawn up in the United Kingdom, demanding universal suffrage.
- Lord Durham and his entourage arrive in Upper Canada to investigate the cause of the 1837 rebellion in that province. This leads to Durham submitting the Durham Report to Britain.
- An insurrection breaks out in Tizimín, beginning the campaign for the independence of Yucatán from Mexico.
- May 26 – The people of the Cherokee Nation are forcibly relocated during the Trail of Tears in the United States.
- May 28 – Braulio Carrillo is sworn in as Head of State of Costa Rica, thus beginning his second term in office.
- June 10 – 28 Indigenous Australians are killed in the Myall Creek massacre.
- June 28 – Coronation of Queen Victoria takes place at Westminster Abbey in London.
- September 7 – Grace Darling and her father rescue thirteen survivors from the Forfarshire off the Farne Islands.
- October 1 – Supporters of Infante Carlos, Count of Molina, are victorious in the Battle of Maella during the First Carlist War.
- October 27 – Lilburn Boggs, Governor of Missouri, by Missouri Executive Order 44 declares Mormons to be enemies of the state and encourages the extermination or exile of the religious minority, forcing nearly 10,000 Mormons out of the state.
- November 3 – The Bombay Times and Journal of Commerce is founded (renamed The Times of India in 1861).
- November 5 – Dissolution of the Federal Republic of Central America: Honduras and Costa Rica follow the example of Nicaragua and secede from the federation.
- December 16 – The Boers win a decisive victory over the Zulus in the Battle of Blood River.
- Proteins are discovered by Gerardus Johannes Mulder and named by Jöns Jacob Berzelius.
- Friedrich Bessel makes the first accurate measurement of distance to a star.
- The Pitcairn Islands become a Crown colony of the United Kingdom; and women there are the first in the world to be granted and maintain women's suffrage.
- Five nuns from the Religious Sisters of Charity in Ireland become the first women of religion to set foot on Australian soil.
- Biblical criticism: Christian Hermann Weisse proposes the two-source hypothesis.
- Duke University is established in North Carolina.
- The 5th century BC bronze Chatsworth Head is acquired by the 6th Duke of Devonshire at Smyrna from H. P. Borrell.
- The Royal Polytechnic Institution University of Westminster is established in Regent Street, London.
- January 4 – General Tom Thumb, American circus performer and entertainer (d. 1883)
- January 6 – Max Bruch, German composer (d. 1920)
- January 16 – Franz Brentano, German philosopher and psychologist (d. 1917)
- January 29 – Edward W. Morley, American chemist noted for working on the Michelson–Morley experiment (d. 1923)
- February 2 – John Joseph Jolly Kyle, Scots-born Argentine chemist (d. 1922)
- February 6 – Henry Irving, English actor (d. 1905)
- February 9 – Evelyn Wood, British field marshal and Victoria Cross recipient (d. 1919)
- February 10 – Gustav Oelwein, founder of Oelwein, Iowa (d. 1913)
- February 12 – Julius Dresser, American writer (d. 1893)
- February 16 – Henry Brooks Adams, American historian (d. 1918)
- February 18 – Ernst Mach, Austrian physicist and philosopher (d. 1916)
- March 3 – George William Hill, American astronomer (d. 1914)
- March 11 – Ōkuma Shigenobu, Japanese politician (d. 1922)
- April 3 – John Willis Menard, African-American politician (d. 1893)
- April 12 – John Shaw Billings, M.D., American military and medical leader (d. 1913)
- April 16
- April 21 – John Muir, American ecologist (d. 1914)
- April 28 – Tobias Asser, Dutch jurist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1913)
- May 10 – John Wilkes Booth, American actor and assassin (d. 1865)
- May 11 – Isabelle Bogelot, French philanthropist (d. 1923)
- May 20 – Jules Méline, French statesman (d. 1925)
- June 14 – Yamagata Aritomo, Japanese field marshal and Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1922)
- July 8 – Ferdinand von Zeppelin, German military officer and founder of the Zeppelin Company (d. 1917)
- September 2 - Bhaktivinoda Thakur, Indian guru and philosopher (d. 1914)
- September 2 – Liliuokalani, last Queen of Hawaii (d. 1917)
- September 17 – Valeriano Weyler, Spanish general (d. 1930)
- September 27 – Lawrence Sullivan Ross, Confederate brigadier general, Texas governor, and president of Texas A&M University (d. 1898)
- October 6 – Giuseppe Cesare Abba, Italian patriot and writer (d. 1910)
- October 25 – Georges Bizet, French composer (d. 1875)
- October 31 – King Luís I of Portugal (d. 1889)
- November 7 – Auguste Villiers de l'Isle-Adam, French writer (d. 1889)
- November 20 – Hedvig Raa-Winterhjelm, pioneer actor (d. 1907)
- December 3 – Cleveland Abbe, American meteorologist (d. 1916)
- December 19 – Khedrup Gyatso, 11th Dalai Lama (d. 1856)
- December 20 – Edwin Abbott Abbott, theologian and author (d. 1926)
- December 30 – Émile Loubet, 7th President of France (d. 1929)
- January 3 – Maximilian, Hereditary Prince of Saxony (b. 1759)
- January 5 – Anthony Van Egmond, rebel leader in Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837 (died in jail) (b. 1778)
- January 12 – Joshua Humphreys, American naval architect (b. 1751)
- January 13 – John Scott, 1st Earl of Eldon, Lord Chancellor of Great Britain (b. 1751)
- February 21 – Silvestre de Sacy, linguist (b. 1758)
- February 24 – Christoph Johann von Medem, German courtier (b. 1763)
- March 13 – Poul Martin Møller, philosopher (b. 1794)
- March 16 – Nathaniel Bowditch, American mathematician (b. 1773)
- April 3 – François Carlo Antommarchi, French physician (b. 1780)
- April 6 – José Bonifácio de Andrada e Silva, Brazilian statesman and naturalist (b. 1763)
- April 9 – Piet Uys, Voortrekker leader (in battle) (b. 1797)
- May 17 – Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, French diplomat (b. 1754)
- May 19 – Sir Richard Hoare, English archaeologist (b. 1758)
- May 23 – Jan Willem Janssens, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies (b. 1762)
- June 14 – Maximilian von Montgelas, Bavarian statesman (b. 1759)
- July 19 – Christmas Evans, preacher (b. 1766)
- August 1 – John Rodgers, American naval officer (b. 1772)
- August 17 – Lorenzo Da Ponte, librettist for Mozart (b. 1749)
- August 21 – Adelbert von Chamisso, German writer (b. 1781)
- September 1 – William Clark, American explorer (b. 1770)
- September 27 – Bernard Courtois, French chemist (b. 1777)
- October 1 – Charles Tennant, Scottish chemist and industrialist (b. 1768)
- October 3 – Black Hawk, Sauk Indian chief and autobiographer (b. 1767)
- November 21 – Georges Mouton, count of Lobau, Marshal of France (b. 1770)
- "Steamship Curaçao". Archived from the original on 24 December 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-02.
- "Icons, a portrait of England 1820-1840". Archived from the original on 22 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-12.
- Sandoval, Victor Hugo. "Federal Republic of Central America". Monedas de Guatemala. Retrieved 2013-11-05.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- "Quincy, Illinois: A Temporary Refuge, 1838-39". BYU Religious Studies Center. Retrieved 2013-10-27.
- Mulder, G. J. (1838). "Over Proteine en hare Verbindingen en Ontledingsproducten". Natuur- en scheikundig Archief. 6: 87–162.
- Vickery, Hubert Bradford (1950). "The Origin of the Word Protein". Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine. 22 (5): 387–93. PMC . PMID 15413335.
- "World suffrage timeline – women and the vote". New Zealand Ministry of Culture and Heritage.