1838 in the United States
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|1838 in the United States|
|Years:||1835 1836 1837 – 1838 – 1839 1840 1841|
26 stars (1837–45)
Events from the year 1838 in the United States.
- President: Martin Van Buren (D-New York)
- Vice President: Richard Mentor Johnson (D-Kentucky)
- Chief Justice: Roger B. Taney (originally from Maryland)
- Speaker of the House of Representatives: James K. Polk (D-Tennessee)
- Congress: 25th
- January 6 - Samuel Morse first publicly demonstrates the telegraph.
- January 8 - Alfred Vail demonstrates a telegraph using dots and dashes (this is the forerunner of Morse code).
- January 12 - History of the Latter Day Saint movement: Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon flee Ohio for Missouri
- January 27 - Abraham Lincoln speaks at the Springfield Young Men's Lyceum.
- March 8 - The New Orleans Mint strikes its first coinage, 30 dimes.
- May 26 - Trail of Tears: The Cherokee removal begins with the forced relocation of the Cherokee Native American tribe, which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 4,000 Cherokee Indians.
- June 12 - Territory of Iowa is established. At the time of its founding, Iowa Territory encompassed parts of modern-day Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, as well as all of Iowa. The river city of Burlington functions as the territorial capital until 1841.
- September 3 - Dressed in a sailor's uniform and carrying identification papers provided by a free Black seaman, future abolitionist Frederick Douglass boards a train in Maryland on his way to freedom from slavery.
- September 4 - Potawatomi Trail of Death, the forced relocation of 859 members of the Potawatomi nation from Indiana to Kansas, begins. More than 40 Potawatomi die from disease and the stress of the march.
- October 16 - Hoax: Bill Stump's Stone allegedly discovered in Moundsville, West Virginia.
- October 27 - Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issues the Extermination Order, ordering the expulsion of all Mormons from the state.
- November 4 - Survivors of the Potawatomi Trail of Death arrive at the present-day site of Osawatomie, Kansas.
- Duke University is established in North Carolina as the Brown School.
- Winter – Mormons fleeing persecution in Missouri are welcomed in Quincy, Illinois.
- Second Seminole War (1835–1842)
- January 4 – General Tom Thumb, circus performer and entertainer (died 1883)
- January 29 – Edward W. Morley, chemist (died 1923)
- February 12 – Julius Dresser, writer (died 1893)
- February 16 – Henry Adams, historian (died 1918)
- February 22 – Margaret Elizabeth Sangster, poet (died 1912)
- March 3 – George William Hill, astronomer (died 1914)
- April 3 – John Willis Menard, African American politician (died 1893)
- April 12 – John Shaw Billings, military and medical leader (died 1913)
- April 16 – Martha McClellan Brown, temperance leader (died 1916)
- May 10 – John Wilkes Booth, actor and assassin of 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln (killed 1865)
- May 12 – James McMillan, Canadian-born U.S. Senator from Michigan from 1889 to 1902 (died 1902)
- June 16 – Cushman Kellogg Davis, 7th Governor of Minnesota from 1874 to 1876 and U.S. Senator from Minnesota from 1887 to 1900 (died 1900)
- July 8 – James B. McCreary, U.S. Senator from Kentucky from 1911 to 1915 (died 1918)
- July 9 – Philip Bliss, Gospel composer (died 1876)
- July 20 – Augustin Daly, dramatist and theatre manager (died 1899)
- July 30 – Henry A. du Pont, U.S. Senator from Delaware from 1906 to 1917 (died 1926)
- September 29 – Henry Hobson Richardson, city architect (died 1886)
- October 1 – Joseph Clay Stiles Blackburn, U.S. Senator from Kentucky from 1885 to 1897 and 1901 to 1907 (died 1918)
- October 8 – John Hay, statesman (died 1905)
- December 3 – Cleveland Abbe, meteorologist (died 1916)
- January 12 – Joshua Humphreys, naval architect (born 1751)
- January 30 – Osceola, a leader of the Seminole during the Second Seminole War (born 1804; quinsy)
- March 16 – Nathaniel Bowditch, mathematician (born 1773)
- August 1 – John Rodgers, naval officer (born 1772)
- September 1 – William Clark, explorer (born 1770)
- October 3 – Black Hawk, a leader of the Sauk people (born 1767)
- Media related to 1838 in the United States at Wikimedia Commons