1783-1815: The Arts: Chronology

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1783-1815: The Arts: Chronology




  • Literature Jupiter Hammon, An Evenings Improvement; David Humphreys, The Glory of America.
  • Music Oliver Brownson, Select Harmony; Andrew Law, A Collection of Hymns for Social Worship and The Rudiments of Music; John Friedrich Peter, A Psalm of Joy.
  • 3 Apr. Fiction writer Washington Irving is born in New York City.


  • Literature Jeremy Belknap, The History of New-Hampshire. Volume I; Hugh Henry Brackenridge, Narratives of a Late Expedition Against the Indians; Samuel Low, Winter Displayd, A Poem; Peter Markoe, The Patriotic Chief. A Tragedy; Phillis Wheatley, Liberty and Peace, A Poem.
  • Music Andrew Law, Select Harmony, second edition; Joshua Smith, Divine Hymns or Spiritual Songs; Abraham Wood, An Anthem on Peace.
  • 24 June The Virginia legislature votes to commission a marble statue of George Washington and appoints Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson to choose a sculptor. They recommend Frenchman Jean-Antoine Pélissier.
  • 23 Dec. New York is designated the temporary capital of the United States.


  • Literature Timothy Dwight, The Conquest of Canäaan: A Poem; David Ramsay, The History of the Revolution of South-Carolina.
  • Music Silas Ballou, New Hymns on Various Subjects; Daniel Read, The American Singing-Book; Timothy Swan, The Federal Harmony.
  • German organist-composer John Christopher Mollar immigrates to the United States, where he becomes organist at the Zion German Lutheran Church of Philadelphia in 1786.
  • 20 May Charles Willson Peale opens an exhibition of his moving pictures at his Philadelphia gallery, using special machinery and lighting with transparent pictures to create the illusion of movement. The exhibition closes in 1787.


  • Literature Mathew Carey, The Plagi-Scurriliad: A Hudibrastic Poem; Thomas Coombe, The Peasant of Auburn; Philip Freneau, The Poems of Philip Freneau. Written Chiefly during the late War; David Humphreys, A Poem on the Happiness of America; St. George Tucker, The Knight and Friars: An Historical Tale; Phillis Wheatley, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral. First American Edition.
  • Music William Billings, The Suffolk Harmony; John F. Peter, The Lord is in His Holy Temple; Isaiah Thomas, ed., The Worcester Collection of Sacred Harmony.
  • John Jacob Astor opens the first music store in New York City.
  • British-born composer Alexander Reinagle immigrates to the United States and settles in Philadelphia.
  • John Trumbull completes his paintings The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunkers Hill and The Death of General Montgomery at the Battle of Quebec. He also begins work on The Declaration of Independence.
  • 25 Sept. Theater performances in Philadelphia are banned.
  • 26 Oct. The New Haven Gazette publishes first installment of the mock epic The Anarchiad, by Joel Barlow, David Humphreys, John Trumbull, Lemuel Hopkins, and other members of a group of poets known as the Connecticut Wits.


  • Literature Joel Barlow, The Vision of Columbus: A Poem in Nine Books; Philip Freneau, A Journey from Philadelphia to New-York; David Humphreys, Select Poems by Col. Humphreys, Aid-de-Camp to Gen. Washington.
  • Music Andrew Adgate, Select Psalms and Hymns for the Use of Mr. Adgates Pupils and Proper for All Singing Schools; John Aitken, A Compilation of the Litanies and Vespers, Hymns and Anthems, As They Are Sung in the Catholic Church; William Brown, Three Rondos for the Piano Forte or Harpsichord; Daniel Read, A Supplement to the American Singing-Book; William Tuckey, Anthem from the 97th Psalm.
  • William Dunlap writes his first play, The Modest Soldier.
  • Jan. Mathew Carey of Philadelphia publishes the first issue of the American Museum.
  • 16 Apr. Royall Tylers comedy The Contrast opens in New York City.


  • Literature Timothy Dwight, The Triumph of Infidelity: A Poem; Philip Freneau, The Miscellaneous Works; David Humphreys, An Essay on the Life of the Honorable Major-General Israel Putnam; St. George Tucker, Liberty, A Poem.
  • Music Andrew Adgate, Rudiments of Music; Daniel Bayley, The New Harmony of Zion; Oliver Holden, The Federal Harmony Francis Hopkinson, Seven Songs for the Harpsichord or Forte Piano; Simeon Jocelin, The Choristers Companion; Alexander Reinagle, Federal March and A Collection of Federal Songs; Timothy Swan, The Federal Harmony.
  • A group of musician founds the New York Musical Society.


  • Literature William Hill Brown, The Power of Sympathy; David Ramsay, The History of the American Revolution; George Richards, The Political Passing Bell: An Elegy.
  • Music Andrew Adgate, The Philadelphia Songster and Philadelphia Harmony; Jacob French, The New American Melody; John Hubbard, Harmonia Selecta; Johann Friedrich Peter, Six String Quartets; Abraham Wood, Divine Songs and Ode to Spring.
  • Harvard graduate Samuel Holyoke begins teaching music.
  • Piano maker Charles Albrecht begins work in Philadelphia, and the Bacon Piano Company is established in New York City.
  • 2 Mar. The Philadelphia antitheater law is repealed.
  • 7 Sept. William Dunlaps play The Father, or American Shandyism has its premiere in New York City.
  • 15 Sept. Novelist James Fenimore Cooper is born in Burlington, New Jersey.
  • 24 Nov. Dunlaps Darbys Return opens in New York City.
  • 28 Dec. Novelist Catherine Maria Sedgwick is born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.


  • Literature Sarah Wentworth Morton, Ouābi, or The Virtues of Nature. An Indian Tale in Four Cantos; Jedidiah Morse, The History of America; Mercy Otis Warren, Poems, Dramatic and Miscellaneous.
  • Music John Antes, String Trios, Opus 3; Samuel Holyoke, Washington; Daniel Read, An Introduction to Psalmody.
  • Peter Markoe publishes his comic opera The Reconciliation.
  • 31 May President George Washington signs the first U.S. copyright law.
  • 10 July The House of Representatives votes to locate the nations capital on the Potomac River.
  • 6 Dec. The nations capital moves temporarily to Philadelphia.


  • Literature Jeremy Belknap, The History of New-Hampshire. Volume II; Mathew Carey, ed., The Beauties of Poetry, British and American; Benjamin Young Prime, Columbias Glory, or British Pride Humbled: A Poem on the American Revolution; Susanna Rowson, Charlotte, A Tale of Truth.
  • Music Hans Gram, America (march) and The Death Song of an Indian Chief; Samuel Holyoke, Harmonia Americana.
  • Musicians in Boston found the Philo-Harmonic Society.
  • Jeremy Belknap founds the Massachusetts Historical Society, the first group of this sort in the United States.
  • 9 May Author-composer Francis Hopkinson dies in Philadelphia.
  • 1 Sept. Poet Lydia Howard Sigourney is born in Norwich, Connecticut.


  • Literature Jeremy Belknap, The Foresters, An American Tale and The History of New-Hampshire. Volume III; Hugh Henry Brackenridge Modern Chivalry, Part I, volumes 1 and 2; Francis Hopkinson, The Miscellaneous Essays and Occasional Writings.
  • Music Anna Beeman, Hymns on Various Subjects; James Hewitt, Overture in 9 Movements Expressive of a Battle; Oliver Holden, American Harmony and Coronation (All Hail the Power of Jesus Name); G. Richards and O. W. Lane, Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs: Selected and Original.
  • British conductor-composer James Hewitt immigrates to the United States and becomes conductor at the Park Street Theater in New York City.
  • British organist-composer Raynor Taylor immigrates to the United States.
  • French composer and horn player Victor Pélissier arrives in Philadelphia.
  • 13 Oct. The cornerstone is laid for the building later known as the White House, the first public building to be constructed in Washington, D.C.
  • 22 Dec. Massachusetts repeals its antitheater law.


  • Literature Hugh Henry Brackenridge, Modern Chivalry, Part I, volume 3; Michel Guillaume Jean de Crèvecoeur (J. Hector St. John), Letters From an American Farmer, first American edition; George Richards, The Declaration of Independence: A Poem; Elihu Hubbard Smith, ed., American Poems, Select and Original; Royall Tyler, The Origin of Evil. An Elegy.
  • Music Benjamin Cook, Three Songs from Shakespeare; Jacob French, The Psalmodists Companion; James Hewitt and Mary Ann Pownall, A Book of Songs; Oliver Holden, The Union Harmony; Jacob Kimball, The Rural Harmony; Andrew Law, The Musical Primer, revised edition; John Christopher Moller, Sinfonia; Daniel Read, The Columbian Harmonist, no. 1; Nehemiah Shumway, The Amercan Harmony; Stephen Storace and James Cobb, The Favorite Songs from the Last New Comic Opera, Called The Pirates; A. Wood and J. Stone, The Columbian Harmony.
  • Susanna Rowson returns to America as an actress for a Philadelphia theater company and writes her play Slaves in Algiers; or, A Struggle for Freedom, which becomes an immediate hit when it is staged on 30 June 1794 with music by popular composer Alexander Reinagle.
  • The New Theatre Opera House opens in Philadelphia.
  • British singer-pianist-composer Benjamin Carr immigrates to the United States, where he settles in Philadelphia and stages his light opera The Caledonia Frolic.
  • Alexander Reinagle helps to form a comic-opera company in New York City.
  • American artist Gilbert Stuart returns to the United States from England, where he has made a name for himself as a portrait painter.
  • 18 Sept. The cornerstone is laid for the U.S. Capitol.


  • Literature Joel Barlow, The Conspiracy of Kings: A Poem; Jeremy Belknap, American Biography; Timothy Dwight, Greenfield Hill: A Poem in Seven Parts; Philip Freneau, The Village Merchant: A Poem; David Humphreys, A Poem on Industry; Susanna Rowson, Charlotte, A Tale of Truth, first American edition, and The Fille de Chambre.
  • Music Supply Belcher, The Harmony of Maine; William Billings, The Continental Harmony; Benjamin Carr, Four Ballads and Federal Overture; James Hewitt, Overture, Storm at Sea; Andrew Law, The Art of Singing; John Christopher Moller, Dank und Gebet; Alexander Reinagle, music for Slaves in Algiers and Overture, St. Patricks Day; Reinagle and Susanna Rowson, America, Commerce and Freedom; Raynor Taylor, An Ode to the New Year, An Anthem for Public or Private Worship, and The Wounded Sailor.
  • James Hewitt stages his ballad operas Tammany, or the Indian Chief and The Patriots.
  • Alexander Reinagle stages his operas Robin Hood and The Spanish Barber.
  • 3 Nov. Poet William Cullen Bryant is born in Cummington, Massachusetts.
  • 29 Dec. Under the leadership of Charles Willson Peale, the Columbianum in Philadelphia, one of the earliest art academies in the United States, is formed.


  • Literature Jeremy Belknap, ed., Sacred Poetry; Philip Freneau, Poems Written between the Years 1768 & 1794; Lemuel Hopkins, The Democratiad. A Poem; John Blair Linn, Miscellaneous Works, Prose and Poetical; Susanna Rowson, Trials of the Human Heart.
  • Music Amos Bull, The Responsary; Benjamin Carr, Macbeth (incidental music); Oliver Holden, Hans Gram, and Samuel Holyoke, The Massachusetts Compiler of Theoretical Principles; John Christopher Moller, Overture to Auld Robin Gray, Overture to Harlequins Invasion, and Quartet for Glass Harmonica, Two Violas and Cello; Daniel Read, The Columbian Harmonist, no. 23; Raynor Taylor, La Petite Piedmontese (ballet).
  • Raynor Taylor becomes organist at St. Peters Church in Philadelphia.
  • Alexander Reinagle produces a melodrama, The Purse, and an opera, The Volunteers.
  • Gilbert Stuart paints his first portrait of George Washington.
  • 2 Mar. Judith Sargent Murrays play The Medium is performed in Boston.
  • 22 May The first exhibition of the Columbianum opens in Philadelphia.
  • 4 July Construction begins on the Massachusetts State House, designed by Charles Bulfinch.
  • 22 Sept. Humor writer Augustus Baldwin Longstreet is born in Augusta, Georgia.


  • Literature Joel Barlow, The Hasty-Pudding: A Poem, in Three Cantos; Lemuel Hopkins, The Guillotina, or a Democratic Dirge: A Poem; John Blair Linn, The Poetical Wanderer; St. George Tucker, The Probationary Odes of Jonathan Pindar.
  • Music Benjamin Carr, Six Piano Sonatas; Carr and Susanna Rowson, In Vain the Verdure of Spring; James Hewitt, Three Sonatas for the Piano Forte, Opus 5; Victor Pélissier, The Mysterious Monk (incidental music); Alexander Reinagle, Overture to the Lucky Escape and Pierre de Provence and La belle Magulone (ballet); Raynor Taylor, New Overture and Violin Concerto.
  • John Christopher Moller becomes conductor of the New York City Concerts.
  • Gilbert Stuart paints two more portraits of George Washington.
  • William Dunlap invests in the Old American Company, a theater company in New York City, where he and Benjamin Carr produce their new opera, The Archers.
  • Jean-Antoine Houdons sculpture of George Washington is installed in the Virginia State House.
  • Mar. The English-born architect Benjamin Latrobe arrives in the United States.
  • 9 Mar. Judith Sargent Murrays play The Traveller Returned is performed in Boston.
  • 4 May Historian William Hickling Prescott is born in Salem, Massachusetts.
  • 19 Dec. Victor Pélissier and Elihu Hubbard Smiths comic opera, Edwin and Angelina, has its premiere in New York City.


  • Literature Hugh Henry Brackenridge, Modern Chivalry, Part I, volume 4; Hannah Foster, The Coquette; Sarah Wentworth Morton, Beacon Hill: A Local Poem; Robert Treat Paine Jr., The Ruling Passion: An Occasional Poem; Royall Tyler, The Algerine Captive.
  • Music John Aitken, ed., Scots Musical Museum; Daniel Belknap, Harmonists Companion A View of the Temple, A Masonic Ode, Spring, and Summer; Oliver Brownson, A Collection of Sacred Harmony; James Hewitt, The Battle of Trenton: Oliver Holden, The Worcester Collection; Richard Merrill, The Musical Practitioner; Raynor Taylor, Sonata for Piano with Violin and Symphony; Peter Van Hagen, Federal Overture.
  • Victor Pélissier stages a melodrama, Ariadne Abandoned by Theseus in the Isle of Naxos.
  • Alexander Reinagle produces a melodrama, Columbus, and a musical farce, The Savoyard.
  • Raynor Taylor composes two operas, The Iron Chest and The Shipwreckd.
  • 17 Feb. John Daly Burks play Bunker-Hill, or the Death of General Warren has its premiere in Boston.


  • Literature Charles Brockden Brown, Alcuin and Wieland; Hannah Foster, The Boarding School; Judith Sargent Murray, The Gleaner; Susanna Rowson, Reuben and Rachel.
  • Music Joseph Hopkinson and Philip Phile, Hail Columbia; Jacob Kimball, The Village Harmony; Robert Treat Paine Jr., Adams & Liberty; Alexander Reinagle, The Itallian Monk and The Gentle Shepherd (incidental music); Susanna Rowson and Benjamin Carr, The Little Sailor Boy.
  • 30 Mar. William Dunlaps play André opens in New York City.


  • Literature Richard Alsop, Theodore Dwight, and Lemuel Hopkins, The Political Greenhouse for the Year 1798; Charles Brockden Brown, Ormond, Arthur Mervyn, Part I, and Edgar Huntly; Mathew Carey, A Plumb Pudding and The Porcupiniad; Sarah Wentworth Morton, The Virtues of Society.
  • Music Jonathan Benjamin, Harmonia coelestis; Benjamin Carr, Three Ballads, Opus 2; Stephen Jenks, The New England Harmonist; David Merrill, Psalmodists Best Companion; Robert Treat Paine Jr. and Peter Van Hagen Jr., To Arms Columbia; Alexander Reinagle, I Have a Silent Sorrow Here; Raynor Taylor, Monody on the Death of George Washington.
  • James Hewitt creates two ballad operas, Columbus and The Mysterious Marriage.
  • Musician Filippo Traetta, a political prisoner in Italy, escapes to the United States, settling first in Boston.
  • Apr. Charles Brockden Brown founds the Monthly Magazine and American Review.


  • Literature Richard Alsop, A Poem Sacred to the Memory of George Washington; John Blair Linn, The Death of Washington. A Poem; Robert Treat Paine Jr., An Eulogy on the Life of General George Washington; George Richards, ed., Hymns and Odes, Composed on the Death of Gen. George Washington; Mason Locke Weems, A History of the Life and Death, Virtues, and Exploits of General George Washington; Sarah Wood, Julia and the Illuminated Baron.
  • Music Daniel Belknap, The Evangelical Harmony, Funeral Ode, Autumn, and Winter; Benjamin Carr, Dead March and Monody for General Washington; John Cole, Episcopalian Harmony; James Hewitt, The Musical Repository and The Wounded Hussar; Oliver Holden, From Vernons Mount Behold the Hero Rise and Plain Psalmody; Samuel Holyoke, The Instrumental Assistant I; John Hodgkinson, Let Washington Be Our Boast; Jonathan Huntington, The Albany Collection; Jacob Kimball, The Essex Harmony; Alexander Reinagle, Masonic Overture, Pizarro (incidental music) and Rosa; Timothy Swan, Songsters Assistant; Abraham Wood, Funeral Elegy on the Death of General George Washington.
  • Designed by Benjamin Latrobe, the Bank of Pennsylvania building, the first U.S. public edifice in the Greek Revival style, is completed in Philadelphia.
  • James Hewitt stages his operas Robin Hood and The Wild Goose Chase.
  • Alexander Reinagle produces a dramatic sketch, A Wreath for American Tars, and a musical farce, The Double Disguise.
  • Peter Van Hagen writes the musical drama Columbus.
  • The Library of Congress is founded in Washington, D.C., the new, permanent capital of the United States.
  • 3 Oct. Historian George Bancroft is born in Worcester, Massachusetts.


  • Literature Charles Brockden Brown, Clara Howard and Jane Talbot; John Blair Linn, The Powers of Genius: A Poem; Tabitha Gilman Tenney, Female Quixotism: Exhibited in the Romantic Opinions and Extravagant Adventures of Dorsina Sheldon; Sarah Wood, Dorval.
  • Music Richard Allen, A Collection of Spiritual Songs and Hymns; Uri K. Hill, The Vermont Harmony; James Hewitt, The Fourth of July (A Grand Military Sonata); George Jackson, Freedom and Our President (Jeffersons March); Alexander Reinagle, Edwy and Elgiva (incidental music); Nehemiah Shumway, American Harmony; Timothy Swan, New England Harmony.
  • Benjamin Carr becomes organist at St. Augustines Catholic Church in Washington, D.C.
  • 3 Jan. Joseph Dennie of Philadelphia publishes the first issue of the periodical Port Folio.


  • Literature Sarah Wood, Amelia.
  • Music Henry Alline, Hymns and Spiritual Songs; Daniel Belknap, The Middlesex Collection; Jacob French, The Harmony of Harmonies; James Hewitt, Collection of Most Favorite Country Dances and Grand Sinfonie Characteristic of the Peace of the French Republic; Samuel Holyoke, Columbian Repository of Sacred Harmony; Abraham Maxim, Oriental Harmony; Victor Pélissier, Gil Blas; Peter Van Hagen Jr., Anna and Gentle Zephyr; Peter Weldon, The New York Serenading Waltz.
  • The American Academy of the Fine Arts (originally known as the Society of Fine Arts) is founded in New York City.
  • 11 Feb. Novelist Lydia Maria Child is born in Medford, Massachusetts.


  • Literature Thomas Green Fessenden, Terrible Tractoration; William Wirt, The Letters of the British Spy.
  • Music Anonymous, Jefferson and Liberty; John Cole, Coles Collection of Psalm Tunes and Anthems; Uri K. Hill, A Number of Original Airs, Duettos and Trios; Oliver Holden, Charlestown Collection of Sacred Songs; George K. Jackson, President Jeffersons New March and Quick Step; Victor Pélissier, La fille hussar; Timothy Swan, The Singers Museum; Filippo Traetta, Sinfonia Concertata; David Zeisberger, A Collection of Hymns for the Use of the Christian Indians of the Mission of the United Brethren of North America.
  • Victor Pélissier stages his melodrama A Tale of Mystery.
  • 25 May Poet and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson is born in Boston.
  • Oct. Charles Brockden Brown begins publishing the Literary Magazine and American Register.
  • Nov. The Monthly Anthology and Boston Review is founded by David Phineas Adams in Boston.


  • Literature Hugh Henry Brackenridge, Modern Chivalry, Part II, volume 1; Thomas Green Fessenden, Original Poems; Susanna Rowson, Miscellaneous Poems; Sarah Wood, Ferdinand and Elmira.
  • Music Benjamin Carr, The Siege of Tripoli; Ebenezer Child, The Sacred Musician; Samuel Holyoke, The Christian Harmonist; George K. Jackson, Ode for General Hamiltons Funeral and Davids Psalms.
  • Alexander Reinagle produces The Sailors Daughter, a musical comedy.
  • Charles S. Ashworth becomes conductor of the U.S. Marine Band.
  • 4 July Novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne is born in Salem, Massachusetts.
  • 29 Nov. The New York Historical Society is founded by John Pintard, DeWitt Clinton, Egbert Benson, and David Hosack.


  • Literature Hugh Henry Brackenridge, Modern Chivalry, Part II, volume 2; John Davis, The First Settlers of Virginia: An Historical Novel; John Blair Linn, Valerian: A Narrative Poem; Thomas Green Fessenden, Democracy Unveiled; Mercy Otis Warren, History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution.
  • Music Jeremiah Ingalls, The Christian Harmony; George K. Jackson, Ode to Harmony and Ode to Peace; Stephen Jenks, The Delights of Harmony; Stith Mead, Hymns and Spiritual Songs; David S. Mintz, Spiritual Song Book; Timothy Olmstead, The Musical Olio; Alexander Reinagle, Overture to The Wife of Two Husbands and The Voice of Nature (incidental music).
  • Victor Pélissier stages Valentine and Orson, a melodrama.
  • Feb. William Dunlaps New York theater company goes bankrupt.
  • June The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts is founded in Philadelphia.
  • 6 Sept. Sculptor Horatio Greenough is born in Boston.
  • 28 Dec. Fourteen-year-old John Howard Payne founds the Thespian Mirror, one of the first magazines covering New York theater. He continues to publish it until 31 May 1806.


  • Literature Susanna Rowson, A Present for Young Ladies; Containing Poems, Dialogues, Addresses; Noah Webster, A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language.
  • Music Daniel Belknap, The Village Compilation; Abijah Forbush, Psalmists Assistant; Gottlieb Graupner, Rudiments of the Art of Playing the Piano Forte; James Hewitt, Theme with Thirty Variations in D Major; Uri K. Hill, The Sacred Minstrel; Jonathan Huntington, The Apollo Harmony; Stephen Jenks, Laus Deo; Timothy Olmstead, Martial Music; Daniel Read, Litchfield Collection; Oliver Shaw, A Favorite Selection of Music.
  • Alexander Reinagle stages his opera Mary, Queen of Scots.
  • 7 Feb. John Howard Paynes first play, Julia, or The Wanderer, is produced in New York City.
  • 17 Apr. Novelist William Gilmore Simms is born in Charleston, South Carolina.


  • Literature Richard Alsop, Mason F. Cogswell, Theodore Dwight, Lemuel Hopkins, and Elihu Hubbard Smith, The Echo, with Other Poems; Joel Barlow, The Columbiad; William Hill Brown, Ira and Isabella; or, The Natural Children; David Ramsay, The Life of George Washington.
  • Music Joseph Herrick, The Instrumental Preceptor; Oliver Holden, Vocal Companion; Samuel Holyoke, Instrumental Assistant II; John Hubbard, Essay on Music; George K. Jackson, Thirteen Easy Canons; Stephen Jenks, The Hartford Collection of Sacred Harmony; Elias Mann, Massachusetts Collection of Sacred Harmony; Timothy Olmstead, Martial Music; Oliver Shaw, For the Gentlemen: A Favorite Selection of Instrumental Music.
  • James Nelson Barker and John Brays musical Tears and Smiles, a play notable for its use of American character types, is produced in Philadelphia.
  • James Hewitt stages a ballad opera, The Tars from Tripoli.
  • Alexander Reinagle produces his opera The Travellers.
  • 24 Jan. Washington Irving, William Irving, and James Kirke Paulding begin publishing Salmagundi, a series of satirical essays; the last number appears on 25 January 1808.
  • 27 Feb. Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is born in Portland, Maine.
  • 17 Dec. Poet John Greenleaf Whittier is born on a farm near Haverhill, Massachusetts.


  • Literature William Cullen Bryant, The Embargo; Mason Locke Weems, The Life of George Washington, enlarged edition.
  • Music Anonymous, The Missouri Songster; William Emerson, A Collection of Psalms and Hymns; Charles Hupfield, Musical Preceptor; George K. Jackson, Ode for the Fourth of July; David Moritz Michael, Psalm 103; Oliver Shaw, The Columbian Sacred Harmonist.
  • James Nelson Barker and John Brays musical The Indian Princess, the first dramatization of the story of John Smith and Pocahontas, is performed in Philadelphia.


  • Literature Washington Irving, A History of New York; David Ramsay, History of South Carolina; Royall Tyler, The Yankey in London; Mason Locke Weems, The Life of Gen. Francis Marion in the Revolutionary War.
  • Music Daniel Belknap, Belknaps March; Benjamin Carr, Applicazione adolcita, Opus 6; Joel Harmon Jr., The Columbian Sacred Minstrel; Andrew Law, The Art of Playing the Organ and Pianoforte; Hezekiah Moors, The Province Harmony; Oliver Shaw, Thanksgiving Anthem; William Smith, The Churchmans Choral Companion; Solomon Watt, Impartial Selection of Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Peter Weldon, President Madisons March.
  • 19 Jan. Poet and fiction writer Edgar Allan Poe is born in Boston.
  • 24 Feb. John Howard Payne makes his professional acting debut, playing Young Norval in a New York production of Douglas, a tragedy by Scotsman John Home.
  • 29 Aug. Poet, novelist, and essayist Oliver Wendell Holmes is born in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


  • Literature Charles Jared Ingersoll, Inchiquin, The Jesuits Letters; Isaiah Thomas, History of Printing in America.
  • Music Benjamin Carr, Six Ballads from The Lady of the Lake; Elkanah K. Dare, The Periodical Harmony; James Hewitt, Yankee Doodle with Variations; Thomas S. Hinde, The Pilgrim Songster; Jesse Mercer, The Cluster; Nahum Mitchell, Brattle Street Collection; Peter K. Moran, Variations on a Swiss Waltz; John Wyeth, Repository of Sacred Music.
  • Benjamin Carr, Raynor Taylor, and George Schetky give a concert in Philadelphia that the local press calls the greatest musical event that has ever occurred in that city.
  • 22 Feb. Novelist Charles Brockden Brown dies.
  • May A group of artists in Philadelphia form the Society of Artists.
  • 28 May Author and editor Margaret Fuller is born in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts.


  • Literature Isaac Mitchell, The Asylum; Robert Treat Paine Jr., A Monody on the Death of Lieut. General Sir John Moore.
  • Music Benjamin Carr, Lessons and Exercises in Vocal Music, Opus 8; Starke Dupuy, Hymns and Spiritual Songs; Victor Pélissier, Columbian Melodies; Edward Riley, Rileys New Instructions for the German Flute; Oliver Shaw, A Plain Introduction to the Art of Playing the Pianoforte.
  • James Hewitt leaves New York for Boston, where he becomes music director at the Federal Street Theater.
  • Jun. The last issue of the Monthly Anthology appears.
  • 14 June Novelist Harriet Beecher Stowe is born in Litchfield, Connecticut.


  • Literature Robert Treat Paine Jr., The Works in Verse and Prose; James Kirke Paulding, The Diverting History of John Bull and Brother Jonathan.
  • Music Benjamin Carr, Six Progressive Sonatas; Eliakim Doolittle, The Hornet Stinging the Peacock; Jonathan Huntington, Classical Church Musick; Nahum Mitchell, Templi Carmina; H. W. Pilkington, A Musical Dictionary; James Sanderson, Hail to the Chief.
  • James Hewitt becomes organist at Trinity Church in Boston.
  • Jonathan Huntington becomes a singing instructor in Boston.


  • Literature James Kirke Paulding, The Lay of the Scottish Fiddle; Susanna Rowson, Sarah, or The Exemplary Wife.
  • Music Jacob Eckhard Jr., Naval Song (The Pillar of Glory); Solomon Warriner, Springfield Collection of Sacred Music; John Wyeth, Repository of Sacred Music II.
  • Novelist and abolitionist William Wells Brown is born into slavery on a plantation near Lexington, Kentucky.
  • 30 Mar. Novelist Ann Sophia Stephens is born in Humphreysville, Connecticut.
  • 28 Aug. Poet Jones Very is born in Salem, Massachusetts.


  • Literature William Dunlap, A Narrative of the Events Which Followed Bonapartes Campaign in Russia; William Wirt and others, The Old Bachelor.
  • Music Benjamin Carr, The History of England, Opus 11; John Cole, The Devotional Harmony; Joel Harmon Jr., A Musical Primer; Uri K. Hill, The Handelian Repository; Andrew Law, Essays on Music; Francis Scott Key, The Star-Spangled Banner (set to John Stafford Smiths To Anacreon in Heaven); Raynor Taylor, The Aethiop (occasional music).
  • 20 Mar. Humor writer George Washington Harris is born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania.
  • 19 Oct. Historian and dramatist Mercy Otis Warren dies in Plymouth, Massachusetts.


  • Literature Hugh Henry Brackenridge, Modern Chivalry, complete and revised edition; Philip Freneau, A Collection of Poems, on American Affairs, and a Variety of Other Subjects; William Dunlap, The Life of Charles Brockden Brown; James Kirke Paulding, The United States and England; John Howard Payne, Juvenile Poems; Lydia Howard Sigourney, Moral Pieces in Prose and Verse.
  • Music Micah Hawkins, Backside of Albany, or, The Siege of Plattsburg; Oliver Shaw, Christian Psalmody; Filippo Traetta, Peace.
  • 26 Apr. The new Handel and Haydn Society in Boston adopts a constitution.
  • May Richard Henry Dana founds The North American Review in Boston.
  • 1 Aug. Richard Henry Dana Jr., future author of Two Years Before the Mast, is born in Boston.
  • 25 Dec. The Handel and Haydn Society of Boston performs its first concert.

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1783-1815: The Arts: Chronology

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1783-1815: The Arts: Chronology