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July 10 - Kisakata earthquake had a magnitude of 7.3. The earthquake caused injuries, 450 deaths and damage in millions with 10,810 houses destroyed.

§Caribbean Sea


French rule ended in Haiti on January 1st. Haiti gained its independence from France and became the first black republic, having the only successful slave revolt ever.

February - The 1804 Haiti massacre was a genocidal massacre carried out against the remaining white population of French Creoles (or Franco-Haitians) in Haiti by the black population on the order of Jean-Jacques Dessalines who had decreed that all those suspected of conspiring in the acts of the expelled army should be put to death.

The massacre, which took place in the entire territory of Haiti, was carried out from early February 1804 until 22 April 1804, and resulted in the deaths of between 3,000 to 5,000 people of all ages and genders.



March 20 - Execution of the Duc d’Enghien for plotting against Napoleon.

March 21 - Code Napoleon adopted as French civil law.

May 18 - Napoleon Bonaparte is proclaimed Emperor of the French by the French Senate.

December 2 - At Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Napoleon Bonaparte crowns himself as the first Emperor of the French in a thousand years (the Napoleonic Code is adopted).

Père Lachaise Cemetery a 118 acre (0.5 km²) cemetery in Paris, France is founded.


Morphine is first isolated from opium by the German pharmacist, Friedrich Sertürner.

§Great Britain

The first clump of Peruvian guano was brought to Europe in 1804 by the German naturalist and world explorer Alexander von Humbolt, and then extracted in ever greater amounts and exported by British merchants. This was fundamental to both the commercial development of gun powder and commercial fertilizers.

February 21 - The first self-propelling steam engine or steam locomotive makes its outing at the Pen-y-Darren ironworks in Wales. Designed by Richard Trevithick, a Cornishman.

March 7 - John Wedgwood founds The Royal Horticultural Society.

April 26 - Henry Addington resigns as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

May 10 - William Pitt the younger begins his second term as a Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.


April 2 - Forty merchantmen are wrecked when a convoy led by HMS Apollo runs aground off Portugal


April 5 - The first recorded meteorite falls in Possil, Scotland (High Possil Meteorite).


February 14 - First Serbian Uprising began.


December 12 - Spain declares war on Britain.

§North America


Alexandr Baranov returned to Sitka with a large contingent of Russians and Aleuts aboard the Russian warship Neva. The ship bombarded the natives' village, forcing the Tlingits to retreat into the surrounding forest. Following their victory at the Battle of Sitka the Russians established a permanent settlement in the form of a fort, named "Novo-Arkhangelsk" (or "New Archangel," a reference to the largest city in the region where Baranov was born).

§United States

Effective on October 1, 1804, the purchased Louisiana territory was organized into the Orleans Territory (most of which became the state of Louisiana) and the District of Louisiana, which was temporarily under the control of the governor and judges of the Indiana Territory.

When purchased, the boundaries of "Louisiana" were not completely defined, and the land itself was generally unknown. In particular, not wanting to anger Spain, France refused to specify the southern and western boundaries.

The tributaries of the Mississippi were held as the boundaries. Estimates that did exist as to the extent and composition of the purchase were initially based on the explorations of Robert LaSalle.

If the territory included all the tributaries of the Mississippi on its northern side, the northern reaches of the Purchase extended into the equally ill-defined British possession—Rupert's Land of British North America, now part of Canada. The Purchase originally extended just beyond the 50th parallel. However, the territory north of the 49th parallel such as the Red River Basin, Milk River, and Poplar River watershed was ceded to the UK in the Anglo-American Convention of 1818.

The eastern boundary of the Louisiana purchase was the Mississippi River, from its source to the 31st parallel; the source of the Mississippi was then unknown, but is now known to be Lake Itasca in Minnesota. The eastern boundary below the 31st parallel was unclear; the U.S. claimed the land as far as the Perdido River; Spain claimed the border of its Florida Colony remained the Mississippi river. The Treaty with Spain of 1819 resolved the issue. Today, the 31st parallel is the northern boundary of the western half of the Florida Panhandle, and the Perdido is the boundary between Florida and Alabama.

The purchase extended westward to the Rocky Mountains.

February 15 - New Jersey becomes the last northern state to abolish slavery.

February 16 - First Barbary War: Stephen Decatur leads a raid to burn the pirate-held frigate Philadelphia.

February 18 - Ohio University is chartered by the Ohio General Assembly.

March 10 - Louisiana Purchase: In St. Louis, a formal ceremony is conducted to transfer ownership of Louisiana Territory from France to the United States.

May 14 - The Lewis and Clark Expedition departs from Camp Dubois and begin their historic journey by traveling up the Missouri River.

June 15 - The Twelfth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ratified by New Hampshire, and arguably becomes effective (subsequently vetoed by the Governor of New Hampshire).

During an unsuccessful campaign for governor of New York in 1804, Aaron Burr was often criticized in published articles written by Alexander Hamilton, a longtime political rival and son-in-law of Philip Schuyler, the first U.S. senator from New York, whom Burr defeated in Schuyler's bid for re-election in 1791. Taking umbrage at remarks made by Hamilton at a dinner party and Hamilton's subsequent failure to account for the remarks, Burr challenged Hamilton to a duel on July 11, 1804, at the Heights of Weehawken in New Jersey, in which he mortally wounded Hamilton. Burr was indicted for murder in both New York and New Jersey (though these charges were either later dismissed or resulted in acquittal), and the harsh criticism and animosity directed towards him brought an end to his political career in the East, though he remained a popular figure in the West and South. Further, Hamilton's death would fatally weaken the remnants of the Federalist Party.

July 27 - The Twelfth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution ratified by Tennessee, removing doubt surrounding adoption.

The Electoral College was established in its present form in 1804 by the Twelfth Amendment to the US Constitution. Electors are not required to vote for the candidate who won their state.” in fact, 24 states make it a criminal offense to vote otherwise, but no "faithless elector" has ever been charged with a crime. "On 158 occasions, electors have cast their votes for President or Vice President in a manner different from that prescribed by the legislature of the state they represented. Of those, 71 votes were changed because the original candidate died before the elector was able to cast a vote. Two votes were not cast at all when electors chose to abstain from casting their electoral vote for any candidate. The remaining 85 were changed by the elector's personal interest, or perhaps by accident. Usually, the faithless electors act alone. An exception was in 1836 when 23 Virginia electors changed their vote together. ... To date, faithless electors have never changed the otherwise expected outcome of the election."

August 20 - Lewis and Clark Expedition: The "Corps of Discovery", whose purpose is to explore the Louisiana Purchase, suffers its only death when Sergeant Charles Floyd dies, apparently from acute appendicitis.

Thomas Jefferson defeats Charles C. Pinckney in U.S. presidential election.

November 30 - The Jeffersonian Republican-controlled United States Senate begin an impeachment trial against Federalist-partisan Supreme Court of the United States Justice Samuel Chase (he was charged with political bias but was acquitted by the Senate of all charges on March 1, 1805).



The Russian Empire and the Russian-American Company (RAC) during the First Russian circumnavigation established contact with Hawaiian king Kamehameha I


September 1 - German astronomer K. L. Harding discovered the asteroid Juno.


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