Events and Dates in 1833

January, 1833

01/08 - Lewis Tappan writes to his brother Benjamin, a religious skeptic and Jacksonian Democrat in Steubenville, OH, "You ask me why I cannot keep my religion to myself. ... Because I see you are in danger of eternal damnation. Your soul, with its powers & capacity of continual enlargment thro' all eternity, is in peril of being lost! As I love you then, and desire your happiness and usefulness, I urge upon you the faith in the Son of God. Were I not to do so your blood would be found on my skirts at the Judgement Day." (quoted in Thomas, Weld, p30)

01/16 - Andrew Jackson sends Congress his "Force Bill Message" (Freehling says this name is not very appropriate). A debate which arose between Calhoun and Webster over this message is called "Calhoun's greatest Parliamentary triumph" (Source:  Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, 284,286-7).

01/21 - At a "giant public meeting" in Charleston, SC, nullifiers agree to wait for Congress' action before taking any action towards effective nullification. ex-Gov. Hamilton, to provide a test case for the Nullification Ordinance, said that he would import a cargo of sugar, and he knew "that his fellow citizens would go even to the death with him for his sugar." This brought on loud cheers from "the 3,000 Carolinians jammed into the Circus(?)". It also provoked ridicule from the unionists, and gave Hamilton the nickname "sugar Jimmy". (Source:  Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, 288,9)

01/26 - The Virginia legislature winds up a long debate over how to respond to SC's nullification actions. They affirm the right of secession, but condemn both South Carolina's nullification and Jackson's "Force" proclamation, and offer to mediate. (Source:  Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, 290)

February, 1833

02/01 - The enforcement of the Nullification Ordinance having been postponed, a "mob of students triumphantly burned Jackson in effigy". (Source:  Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, 289)

02/04 - Benjamin Watkins Leigh arrives in Charleston as a commissioner from Virginia to offer to mediate the nullification crisis (see 1/26). (Source:  Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, 290).

02/12 - Henry Clay introduced his compromise on the tariff in the Senate, and John C. Calhoun immediately spoke in favor of it. (Source:  Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, 292)

02/14 - Marriage of Abigail Hopper and James Sloan Gibbons - two prominent reformers and abolitionists. Source: DAB.

02/20 - At 10pm, the Senate passed the "Force Bill" authorizing Jackson to take military action against South Carolina's nullification. (Source: Remini, Jackson,vol 3,p37)

02/26 - Henry Clay's compromise tariff passed in the House 119-85 (Source:  Freehling, Prelude to Civil War, 293)

March, 1833


03/02 - Andrew Jackson signed "Force Bill" and the the compromise bill on the tariff. (Source: Remini, Jackson,vol 3,p42)

03/03 - John C. Calhoun begins racing to the capitol of SC, Columbia, over icy roads, to fend off nullification action with news of the compromise bill on the tariff. For speed, he makes most of the trip in an open mail wagon huddled against the mailbags. (Source: Niven, Calhoun, p198). (arrives 3/11)


03/12 - The South Carolina Nullification Convention, in Columbia, SC, agrees not to nullify the new "compromise" tariff, but they do nullify the "Force Bill" (while removing any reason for it to actually take effect) (Source: Niven, Calhoun, p198). Robert Barnwell Rhett, then attorney general of SC, warned (some time in the convention) "A people, owning slaves, are mad [not to retain tight control of their destiny in their own hands] Every stride of this Government, over your rights, brings it nearer and nearer to your peculiar policy (my italics)... Let Gentlemen not be deceived. It is not the Tariff -- not Internal Improvement -- nor yet the Force Bill, which constitutes the great evil against which we are contending. .. These are but the forms in which the despotic nature of the Government is evinced -- but it is the despotism which constitutes the evil: and until this Government is made a limited Government ... there is no liberty -- no security for the South."

03/25 - Calhoun writes that he had "no doubts the [tariff] system has got its death wound blow. Nullification has dealt the fatal blow. We have applied the same remedy to the bloody act [Force Act]. ... there shall be at least one free State." (Source: Niven, Calhoun, p199)

April, 1833

04 (exact date uncertain)

"By early April, ... [Margaret Fuller] said her last farewells and prepared to join her family in their new house in Groton." (Source: Capper, Margaret Fuller, p120)

04/29 - Margaret Fuller wrote a friend "I greeted our new home with a flood of bitter tears". She had to rush there to attend her favorite brother, ten year old Arthur, who had been struck in the face by a piece of wood thrown by a "hired man". The injury was very serious and left him blind in one eye (Source: Capper, Margaret Fuller, p120).

May, 1833

05/06 - Robert Beverley Randolph assaults Andrew Jackson on ship between Alexandria and Fredericksberg, VA (Randolph's home, to which Jackson was going for a ceremony honoring George Washington's mother).

05/19 - Josiah Johnston, Adams-Clay Republican Senator from Louisiana, died in the explosion of the steam boat Lioness, on the Red River in Louisiana.

June, 1833

06/01 - Frances Trollope sets from England to Belgium to begin her second travel book. (Source: Introduction to Trollope, Domestic Manners of the Americans, p.lxv)

06/12 - The Horticultural Society of Maryland held its first exhibit. (Source: Vexler, Baltimore, p34)

July, 1833

August, 1833

September, 1833

09/03 - New York Sun, started by Benjamin H. Day, was first issued. (Source DAB on Day)

October, 1833

10/02 - Completion of the South Carolina Railroad, from Hamburg to Charleston.

November, 1833

December, 1833

12/04 - Organizational meeting, in Philadelphia, of the American Antislavery Society.