Events and Dates in 1828

Date and Month Unknown

January, 1828

01/05 - Joseph Dorfeuille, "naturalist of some attainments", had tried, from the early 1820s, running the Western Museum, in Cincinnati, as a serious scientific museum, but it was a losing proposition. He had just hired a promising young sculpter, Hiram Powers, to help him with wax figures (especially some that had been broken in shipment from the east). Some results of their collaboration was advertised on this date:
1) The astonishing Human Monster and Cannibal, lately caught in Mulgrave's Island, dressed in the real dress of the Mulgrave Islanders.
2) The celebrated Indian Chief Tecumseh, also dressed in the indian garb.
3) A superb allegorical representation, in wax, of the Death of George Washington, consisting of four figures, with appropriate scenery and decorations.
4) A Weighing Chair.
   The whole got up in a style of splendor never equalled in the West.
   The museum now consists of about Thirty Wax Figures, twenty-four optic views and upwards of sixteen thousand six hundred articles of curiosity in every department.
   Admittance 25 cents -- Children, half price.
   Good music on an organ. N.B. The two first mentioned figures will be exhibited on the fifth, the groupe of Washington on the eighth, of January, 1828.
(Source: Introduction to Trollope, Domestic Manners of the Americans, pxxvi)

01/20 - Abraham Lincoln's older sister Sarah (Grigsby) died in childbirth. Lincoln seems to have thought she was mistreated or neglected by the Grigsby family in a way that contributed to her death, and, the following year, he wrote the satirical 'Chronicles of Reuben' about the marriage, on the same day, of two Grigsby brothers, including a supposed mix-up of brides and grooms. It is also claimed, in Beveridge, that Lincoln wrote another "repellant rhyme" ridiculing William Grigsby, described as bald-headed and ugly, that this caused Grigsby to have a fight in which he trounced Lincoln's half-brother, John D. Johnston. One version has it that Lincoln broke up the fight, tossing Grigsby "some feet" declaring himself the "big buck of the lick"; another says that Lincoln challenged Grigsby to a fight after he beat up Johnston, and that Grigsby declined a fist fight but offered to fight a duel, but Lincoln would not "fool away his life with one shot", so the matter ended. (Source: Beveridge, Lincoln, I, p91-94).

01/23 - The trustees of Nashoba commune recorded "a loan of $300 to Mrs. Trollope to assist her in removing ... to some place better suited to her future plans for herself and her children." (Source: Introduction to Trollope, Domestic Manners of the Americans, pxvii)

01/28 - Lewis Tappan, having decided to go into partnership with his brother Arthur, sets out from Boston by stagecoach at 2am (normal for long-distance stagecoach travel in this period) for New York. His wife stayed behind to help dispose of their Boston property. His initial New York residence was a boarding house, where he organized a schedule of evening prayers, causing one boarder to leave in disgust (Source: Wyatt-Brown, Lewis Tappan, p36,41)


February, 1828

02 - Date Unknown

02/10 - Frances Trollope entered Cincinnati, where she spent the next 25 months after fleeing Nashoba and riding the steamboat Criterion the 1,000 miles from Memphis. (Source: Introduction to Trollope, Domestic Manners of the Americans, p.xix) ==> ==>

02/11 - DeWitt Clinton dies suddenly at his home in Albany, a stroke of fortune for Martin Van Buren, whose status as the New Yorker to receive the highest reward for election Jackson was until then in doubt.

02/13 - Maryland legislature incorporates a railroad line to the Pennsylvania state line in the direction of York. (Source: Vexler, Baltimore, p31)

02/25 (Monday) John Adams 2nd marries Mary Hellen in Blue Room of the White House. A troubled marriage (involving some sort of rivalry with brother G.W. Adams) which JQA strongly disapproved of. The same month, John and Mary had a carriage accident which killed a servant but only badly bruised them. (Source: Shepherd, Cannibals of the Heart, p307)

March, 1828

03 - Date Unknown - A county convention at Le Roy NY "inaugurated the anti-Masonic movement". (source: Annals of N. America)

03/01 - Lyman Beecher writes to his friend, Rev. Edward Griffin (and later, critic?), re the founding of the Spirit of the Pilgrims: "The time has come when the Lord Jesus Christ 'expects every man to do his duty,' and when nothing is required to give to error a final discomfiture, and to truth a permanent victory, but a united and simulteneous effort to rescue from perversion the doctrines and institutions of our fathers, the fairest inheritance ever bestowed by Heavan upon men, and holding out to this nation and this world more prospective good than was ever committed to a merely human instrumentality." (source: Auto...Beecher, II, p96)

03/08 - A decree made in Mexico expelled all Spaniards. (source: Annals of N. America).

03/15 - The German painter and sculptor who conducted Cincinnatti's Academy of Fine Arts announced that Auguste Hervieu, (who accompanied Frances Trollope to America) was offering his services as a 2nd teacher at the academy. (Source: Introduction to Trollope, Domestic Manners of the Americans, p.xxiii) ==> ==>

03/21 - Ebenezer Baldwin, a prominent Federalist of Albany, turned Jacksonian, writes "General" Pierre Van Cordlandt Jr (Pierre was not a general -- did he really mean Phillip? Was it to Phillip c/o Pierre?):
"A gentleman in this vicinity informed a friend of mine, that ... Mr. A. [John Q. Adams] was a mason ...
A gentleman from Boston has stated ... that Maj. Benjamin Russel, editor of the Centinel declared that Mr. A. was a mason ... Probably you have friends at Boston who may procure the proof that Mr. A. is a mason..." [Jacksonians hoped in vain that Adams was a Mason, because he was benefitting from the anti-Masonic excitement in New York, while Jackson, known to be a Mason, was losing by it] ==> ==>

Source: Judd: Corr. of V.C. Family, p147.

03/28 - Francis Trollope's son Henry advertised in the Cincinnatti Gazette of "having received a completely classical education, at the royal college of Winchester, (England,) ... to give lessons in the Latin language to gentlemen at their own houses .. Terms: Fifty cents for lessons of one hour." (Source: Introduction to Trollope, Domestic Manners of the Americans, p.xxi)

April, 1828

04 (exact date unknown) - The Cincinnati museum keeper, Dorfeuille, with the help of Frances Trollope, the future famous sculptor Hiram Powers, and Trollope's son Henry advertised the following highly successful spectacle: the Invisible Girl, a philosophical wonder that "a few years since excited the admiration of every portion of Society ... is now ready to deliver her RESPONSES to visiters.
   The chamber prepared for the audience is fitted up as one of those theatres of probation in the Egyptian Mysteries, in which the candidate for initiation was subjected to her incipient trials. The light is admitted through transparencies painted by MR. HERVIEU.
  HECATE, AND THE THREE WEIRD SISTERS, are seen passing along the wall, opposite the entrance, on the wall of which are seen the savage countenances of a groupe of BANDITTI, (in wax) who from an inner cave, look out on the
   MAGIC CHAMBER. SPECTRAL FIGURES and curious animals, who are supposed to aid in magic rites are seen traversing the inner apartment.".
   As another described it: In the centre, enveloped in clouds ... is suspended the trumpet, by which the INVISIBLE GIRL, ... delivers her responses. -- She promptly answers any questions .. if it be not ... improper ... To all such a peculiar sound proceeds from the Oracle, indicative of her displeasure and refusal to answer.
(Source: Introduction to Trollope, Domestic Manners of the Americans, p.xxvii) ==> ==> 

04/01 - <== Phillip Van Cortlandt writes to Timothy Pickering: "should you concur in Sentiment with us and have leasure time to make inquiry and with the Assistance of your friends Obtain the proof necessary to Establish the fact that J.Q.Adams is a Mason ... it may be of Essential Service..." ==> ==>

Judd: Corr. of V.C. Family, p148-149.

04/02 - The Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of the Culture of the Mulberry and the Raising of Silk-Worms published a "list of premiums". (source: Annals of N. America)

04/18 - <== Timothy Pickering responds to Phillip Van Cortlandt: "The present Grand-Master ... who has been a mason forty years, ... have no recollection of ever hearing J.Q. Adams called a mason ... it is our firm belief that he is not one.", along with much fuming about the foolishness of the Anti-Masonic movement, and citing men like Washington and Gen. Warren who were Masons.

In a second letter written the same day as an apparent afterthought, he gives his thoughts on Andrew Jackson's intelligence and executive ability as shown in the Battle of New Orleans. He cites "a British source" for corroboration -- very likely Gleig.

Judd: Corr. of V.C. Family, p150-158.

May, 1828

05/15 Passage of the bill commonly called the Tariff of Abominations. (source: Annals of N. America)

05/26 - Survey for the railroad line from Baltimore to the Pennsylvania state line (see 2/13) is begun by General Swift and George Winchester. (Source: Vexler, Baltimore, p31)

June, 1828

A stage-coach began tri-weekly runs between Halifax and Annapolis. "300 pounds per annum were granted for 5 yrs to encourage this enterprise). (source: Annals of N. America)

July, 1828


August, 1828

September, 1828

October, 1828

10/15 - A public meeting was organized at the Masonic Hall, Broadway, NY, in honor of Ibrahima, the African prince, educated and literate in Arabic, who had been enslaved for 40 years near Natchez, MI. The organizer was Arthur Tappan, and featured speaker was Thomas Gallaudet. (Source: Prince Among Slaves, p153). ==> ==>

November, 1828

11 - [exact date unclear] Andrew Jackson elected president.

11/12 - The Itinerant, or Methodist Visitor was first published by Melville B. Cox, in Baltimore (Source: Vexler, Baltimore, p31) (Any connection to Gamaliel Bailey and the Methodist Protestant - also a Baltimore publication?)

December, 1828

12 (exact date uncertain)

12/02 - A granddaughter to John Q. Adams named Mary Louise, by his son John Adams 2nd and Mary Hellen is born in the White House shortly before the whole family must move out. (Source: Shepherd, Cannibals of the Heart, p308)

12/22 - Andrew Jackson's wife Rachel dies, the day before a planned Jackson victory celebration. (Source: Da Bruhl, Sword of San Jacinto, p94)

12/24 - Funeral for Andrew Jackson's wife Rachel. Rev. William Hume leads the service. (Source: Da Bruhl, Sword of San Jacinto, p94, 96.)