1840 in history

1840 events chronologically

Jan 13 The steamship Lexington burns and sinks four miles off the coast of Long Island with the loss of 139 lives
Jan 19 Captain Charles Wilkes circumnavigates Antarctica, claiming what became known as Wilkes Land for the United States
Jan 21 Jules Dumont d'Urville discovers Adélie Land, Antarctica
Feb 6 Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, establishing New Zealand as a British colony
Feb 10 Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom marries Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Feb 11 Gaetano Donizetti's opera La fille du régiment receives its first performance in Paris, France
Apr 27 Foundation stone for new Palace of Westminster, London, is laid by wife of Sir Charles Barry

Top 7 most famous people born in 1840

Jan 23 Ernst Abbe a German physicist, optical scientist, entrepreneur, and social reformer. Together with Otto Schott and Carl Zeiss, he laid the foundation of modern optics. Abbe developed numerous optical instruments. He was a co-owner of Carl Zeiss AG, a German manufacturer of research microscopes, astronomical telescopes, planetariums and other optical systems
Apr 2 Émile Zola a French writer, the most well-known practitioner of the literary school of naturalism and an important contributor to the development of theatrical naturalism. He was a major figure in the political liberalization of France and in the exoneration of the falsely accused and convicted army officer Alfred Dreyfus, which is encapsulated in the renowned newspaper headline J'accuse. Zola was nominated for the first and second Nobel Prize in Literature in 1901 and 1902
May 7 Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky a Russian composer whose works included symphonies, concertos, operas, ballets, chamber music, and a choral setting of the Russian Orthodox Divine Liturgy. Some of these are among the most popular theatrical music in the classical repertoire. He was the first Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally, which he bolstered with appearances as a guest conductor later in his career in Europe and the United States. One of these appearances was at the inaugural concert of Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1891. Tchaikovsky was honored in 1884 by Emperor Alexander III, and awarded a lifetime pension in the late 1880s
Jun 2 Thomas Hardy an English novelist and poet. A Victorian realist in the tradition of George Eliot, he was influenced both in his novels and in his poetry by Romanticism, especially William Wordsworth. Charles Dickens was another important influence. Like Dickens, he was highly critical of much in Victorian society, though Hardy focused more on a declining rural society
Jul 28 Edward Drinker Cope an American paleontologist and comparative anatomist, as well as a noted herpetologist and ichthyologist. He was a founder of the Neo-Lamarckism school of thought. Born to a wealthy Quaker family, Cope distinguished himself as a child prodigy interested in science; he published his first scientific paper at the age of 19. Though his father tried to raise Cope as a gentleman farmer, he eventually acquiesced to his son's scientific aspirations. Cope married his cousin and had one child; the family moved from Philadelphia to Haddonfield, New Jersey, although Cope would maintain a residence and museum in Philadelphia in his later years
Nov 12 Auguste Rodin a French sculptor. Although Rodin is generally considered the progenitor of modern sculpture, he did not set out to rebel against the past. He was schooled traditionally, took a craftsman-like approach to his work, and desired academic recognition, although he was never accepted into Paris's foremost school of art
Nov 14 Claude Monet a founder of French Impressionist painting, and the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy of expressing one's perceptions before nature, especially as applied to plein-air landscape painting. The term "Impressionism" is derived from the title of his painting Impression, soleil levant , which was exhibited in 1874 in the first of the independent exhibitions mounted by Monet and his associates as an alternative to the Salon de Paris

Top 7 most famous people died in 1840

Jan 6 Frances Burney an English novelist, diarist and playwright. She was born in Lynn Regis, now King's Lynn, England, on 13 June 1752, to musical historian Dr Charles Burney and Esther Sleepe Burney. The third of six children, she was self-educated and began writing what she called her "scribblings" at the age of ten. In 1793, aged 42, she married a French exile, General Alexandre D'Arblay. Their only son, Alexander, was born in 1794. After a lengthy writing career, and travels that took her to France for more than ten years, she settled in Bath, England, where she died on 6 January 1840
Mar 2 Heinrich Wilhelm Matthias Olbers a German physician and astronomer.
Apr 25 Siméon Denis Poisson a French mathematician, geometer, and physicist. He obtained many important results, but within the elite Académie des Sciences he also was the final leading opponent of the wave theory of light and was proven wrong on that matter by Augustin-Jean Fresnel
May 7 Caspar David Friedrich a 19th-century German Romantic landscape painter, generally considered the most important German artist of his generation. He is best known for his mid-period allegorical landscapes which typically feature contemplative figures silhouetted against night skies, morning mists, barren trees or Gothic ruins. His primary interest as an artist was the contemplation of nature, and his often symbolic and anti-classical work seeks to convey a subjective, emotional response to the natural world. Friedrich's paintings characteristically set a human presence in diminished perspective amid expansive landscapes, reducing the figures to a scale that, according to the art historian Christopher John Murray, directs "the viewer's gaze towards their metaphysical dimension"
May 27 Niccolò Paganini an Italian violinist, violist, guitarist, and composer. He was the most celebrated violin virtuoso of his time, and left his mark as one of the pillars of modern violin technique. His Caprice 24 in A minor, 1, is among the best known of his compositions, and has served as an inspiration for many prominent composers
Jun 7 Frederick William III of Prussia king of Prussia from 1797 to 1840. He ruled Prussia during the difficult times of the Napoleonic wars and the end of the old German Empire. Steering a careful course between France and her enemies, after a major military defeat in 1806, he eventually and reluctantly joined the coalition against Napoleon in the Befreiungskriege. Following Napoleon's defeat he was King of Prussia during the Congress of Vienna which assembled to settle the political questions arising from the new, post-Napoleonic order in Europe
Sep 18 Constantine Samuel Rafinesque known in Europe , was a nineteenth-century polymath who made notable contributions to botany, zoology, the study of prehistoric earthworks in North America and ancient Mesoamerican linguistics.