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Take a look at the important events that took place in the month of February.


February 1

1713 – The Kalabalik or Tumult in Bendery results from the Ottoman sultan's order that his unwelcome guest, King Charles XII of Sweden, be seized.

1793 – French Revolutionary Wars: France declares war on the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

1796 – The capital of Upper Canada is moved from Newark to York.

1814 – Mayon Volcano in the Philippines erupts, killing around 1,200 people, the most devastating eruption of the volcano.

1835 – Slavery is abolished in Mauritius.

February 2

 1709 – Alexander Selkirk is rescued after being shipwrecked on a desert island, inspiring the book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.

February 3

1690 – The colony of Massachusetts issues the first paper money in the Americas.

1706 – During the Battle of Fraustadt Swedish forces defeat a superior Saxon-Polish-Russian force by deploying a double envelopment.

1781 – American Revolutionary War: British forces seize the Dutch-owned Caribbean island Sint Eustatius.

1783 – American Revolutionary War: Spain recognizes United States independence.

1787 – Militia led by General Benjamin Lincoln crush the remnants of Shays' Rebellion in Petersham, Massachusetts.

1807 – A British military force, under Brigadier-General Sir Samuel Auchmuty, captures the Spanish Empire city of Montevideo, now the capital of Uruguay.

1809 – The Territory of Illinois is created by the 10th United States Congress.

1813 – José de San Martín defeats a Spanish royalist army at the Battle of San Lorenzo, part of the Argentine War of Independence.

1825 – Vendsyssel-Thy, once part of the Jutland peninsula that formed westernmost Denmark, becomes an island after a flood drowns its 1 km wide isthmus.

1830 – The London Protocol of 1830 establishes the full independence and sovereignty of Greece from the Ottoman Empire as the final result of the Greek War of Independence.

1834 – Wake Forest University is established. 

February 4

1703 – In Edo (now Tokyo), 46 of the Forty-seven Ronin commit seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master's death.

1758 – Macapá, Brazil is founded.

1789 – George Washington is unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.

1794 – The French legislature abolishes slavery throughout all territories of the French First Republic. It will be reestablished in the French West Indies in 1802.

1797 – The Riobamba earthquake strikes Ecuador, causing up to 40,000 casualties.

1801 – John Marshall is sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States.

1810 – The Royal Navy seizes Guadeloupe.

1820 – The Chilean Navy under the command of Lord Cochrane completes the 2-day-long Capture of Valdivia with just 300 men and 2 ships.

1825 – The Ohio Legislature authorizes the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal. 

February 5

1778 – South Carolina becomes the second state to ratify The Articles Of Confederation.

1782 – Spanish defeated British forces and capture Minorca.

1783 – In Calabria, a sequence of strong earthquakes begins.

1810 – Peninsular War: Siege of Cádiz begins.

1818 – Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte ascends to the thrones of Sweden and Norway.

February 6

1685 – James II of England and VII of Scotland becomes King upon the death of his brother Charles II.

1778 – American Revolutionary War: In Paris, the Treaty of Alliance and the Treaty of Amity and Commerce are signed by the United States and France signaling official recognition of the new republic.

1788 – Massachusetts becomes the sixth state to ratify the United States Constitution.

1806 – Battle of San Domingo: British naval victory against the French in the Caribbean.

1815 – New Jersey grants the first American railroad charter to John Stevens.

1819 – Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles founds Singapore.

1820 – The first 86 African American immigrants sponsored by the American Colonization Society depart New York to start a settlement in present-day Liberia.

1833 – Otto becomes the first modern King of Greece.

1840 – Signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, establishing New Zealand as a British colony. 

February 7

1783 – American Revolutionary War: French and Spanish forces lift the Great Siege of Gibraltar.

1795 – The 11th Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified.

1807 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Eylau – Napoleon's French Empire begins fighting against Russian and Prussian forces of the Fourth Coalition at Eylau, Poland.

1812 – The strongest in a series of earthquakes strikes New Madrid, Missouri.

1813 – Action of 7 February 1813: stalemate two evenly matched frigates from the French Navy and the British Royal Navy, Aréthuse and HMS Amelia.

1819 – Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles leaves Singapore after just taking it over, leaving it in the hands of William Farquhar. 

February 8

1693 – The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia is granted a charter by King William III and Queen Mary II.

1726 – The Supreme Privy Council is established in Russia.

1807 – Battle of Eylau – Napoleon defeats Russians under General Bennigsen and the Prussians under L'Estocq

1817 – Las Heras crosses the Andes with an army to join San Martín and liberate Chile from Spain.

1837 – Richard Johnson becomes the first Vice President of the United States chosen by the United States Senate. 

February 9

1775 – American Revolutionary War: The British Parliament declares Massachusetts in rebellion.

1788 – The Habsburg Empire joins the Russo-Turkish War in the Russian camp.

1825 – After no candidate receives a majority of electoral votes in the US presidential election of 1824, the United States House of Representatives elects John Quincy Adams as President of the United States.

February 10

1763 — Definitive treaty of peace and friendship, similar to the preliminary articles of November 3, 1762. France cedes Canada and Nova Scotia, or Acadia, to Great Britain. The boundary between the British and French territories "shall be fixed irrevocably by a line drawn along the middle of the river Mississippi from its source to the river Iberville, and from thence by a line drawn along the middle of this river, and the lakes Maurepas and Pontchartrain, to the sea." The nineteenth article provides for the restoration of Cuba to Spain. As a consequence of this stipulated restitution, Florida and all Spanish possessions east of the Mississippi are ceded to England.

1763 – French and Indian War: The Treaty of Paris ends the war and France cedes Quebec to Great Britain.

1814 – Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Champaubert ends in French victory over the Russians and the Prussians.

1840 – Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom marries Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. 

February 11

1790 – The Religious Society of Friends, also known as Quakers, petitions the U.S. Congress for the abolition of slavery.

1794 – The first session of the United States Senate opens to the public.

1808 – Jesse Fell burns anthracite on an open grate as an experiment in heating homes with coal.

1812 – Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry "gerrymanders" for the first time.

1826 – University College London is founded under the name University of London.

1826 – Swaminarayan wrote the Shikshapatri, an important text within Swaminarayan Hinduism. 

February 12

1689 – The Convention Parliament declares that the flight to France in 1688 by James II, the last Roman Catholic British monarch, constitutes an abdication.

1733 – Englishman James Oglethorpe founds Georgia, the 13th colony of the Thirteen Colonies, and its first city at Savannah (known as Georgia Day).

1771 – Gustav III becomes the King of Sweden.

1814 – Battle of Château-Thierry (1814)

1814 – Battle of La Victoria (1814)

1816 – The Teatro di San Carlo, the oldest working opera house in Europe, is destroyed by fire.

1817 – An Argentine/Chilean patriotic army, after crossing the Andes, defeats Spanish troops on the Battle of Chacabuco.

1818 – Bernardo O'Higgins formally approves the Chilean Declaration of Independence near Concepción, Chile.

1825 – The Creek cede the last of their lands in Georgia to the United States government by the Treaty of Indian Springs, and migrate west.

1832 – Ecuador annexed the Galápagos Islands. 

February 13

 1660 – With the death of Swedish King Charles X Gustav, the Swedish government begins to seek peace with Sweden's enemies in the Second Northern War – something that Charles had refused. As his son and successor on the throne, Charles XI, is only four years old, a regency rules Sweden until 1672.

1689 – William and Mary are proclaimed co-rulers of England.

1692 – Massacre of Glencoe: About 78 Macdonalds at Glen Coe, Scotland are killed early in the morning for not promptly pledging allegiance to the new king, William of Orange.

1739 – Battle of Karnal: The army of Iranian ruler Nader Shah defeats the forces of the Mughal emperor of India, Muhammad Shah.

February 14

1778 – The United States flag is formally recognized by a foreign naval vessel for the first time when French Admiral Toussaint-Guillaume Picquet de la Motte renders a nine-gun salute to USS Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones.

1779 – American Revolutionary War: the Battle of Kettle Creek is fought in Georgia.

1779 – James Cook is killed by Native Hawaiians near Kealakekua on the Island of Hawaii.

1797 – French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of Cape St. Vincent – John Jervis, (later 1st Earl of St Vincent) and Horatio Nelson (later 1st Viscount Nelson) lead the British Royal Navy to victory over a Spanish fleet in action near Gibraltar.

1804 – Karađorđe leads the First Serbian Uprising against the Ottoman Empire.

1831 – Ras Marye of Yejju marches into Tigray and defeats and kills Dejazmach Sabagadis in the Battle of Debre Abbay.

1835 – The original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, in the Latter Day Saint movement, is formed in Kirtland, Ohio.

February 15

 1690 – Constantin Cantemir, Prince of Moldavia, and the Holy Roman Empire sign a secret treaty in Sibiu, stipulating that Moldavia would support the actions led by the House of Habsburg against the Ottoman Empire.

1764 – The city of St. Louis is established in Spanish Louisiana (now in Missouri, USA).

1798 – The Roman Republic is proclaimed after Louis-Alexandre Berthier, a general of Napoleon, had invaded the city of Rome five days earlier.

1804 – The Serbian Revolution begins.

1835 – The first constitutional law in modern Serbia is adopted.

February 16

1699 – First Leopoldine Diploma is issued by the Holy Roman Emperor, recognizing the Greek Catholic clergy enjoyed the same privileges as Roman Catholic priests in the Principality of Transylvania.

1742 – Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington, becomes British Prime Minister.

1804 – First Barbary War: Stephen Decatur leads a raid to burn the pirate-held frigate USS Philadelphia.

February 17

 1753 – In Sweden, February 17 is followed by March 1 as the country moves from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar.

1801 – An electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr is resolved when Jefferson is elected President of the United States and Burr, Vice President by the United States House of Representatives.

1814 – War of the Sixth Coalition: The Battle of Mormans.

1819 – The United States House of Representatives passes the Missouri Compromise for the first time.

1838 – Weenen massacre: Hundreds of Voortrekkers along the Blaukraans River, Natal are killed by Zulus.

February 18

1745 – The city of Surakarta, Central Java is founded on the banks of Bengawan Solo River, and becomes the capital of the Kingdom of Surakarta.

1766 – A mutiny by captive Malagasy begins at sea on the slave ship Meermin, leading to the ship's destruction on Cape Agulhas in present-day South Africa and the recapture of the instigators.

1781 – Fourth Anglo-Dutch War: Captain Thomas Shirley opens his expedition against Dutch colonial outposts on the Gold Coast of Africa (present-day Ghana).

1791 – Congress passes a law admitting the state of Vermont to the Union, effective 4 March 1791, after that state had existed for 14 years as a de-facto independent largely unrecognized state.

1797 – French Revolutionary Wars: Sir Ralph Abercromby and a fleet of 18 British warships invade Trinidad.

1814 – Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Montereau.

February 19

 1674 – England and the Netherlands sign the Treaty of Westminster, ending the Third Anglo-Dutch War. A provision of the agreement transfers the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam to England, and it is renamed New York.

1807 – Former Vice President of the United States Aaron Burr is arrested for treason in Wakefield, Alabama, and confined to Fort Stoddert.

1819 – British explorer William Smith discovers the South Shetland Islands, and claims them in the name of King George III.

February 20

1685 – René-Robert Cavelier establishes Fort St. Louis at Matagorda Bay thus forming the basis for France's claim to Texas.

1792 – The Postal Service Act, establishing the United States Post Office Department, is signed by United States President George Washington.

1798 – Louis-Alexandre Berthier removes Pope Pius VI from power.

1810 – Andreas Hofer, Tirolean patriot and leader of the rebellion against Napoleon's forces, is executed.

1813 – Manuel Belgrano defeats the royalist army of Pío de Tristán during the Battle of Salta.

1816 – Rossini's opera The Barber of Seville premieres at the Teatro Argentina in Rome.

1835 – Concepción, Chile is destroyed by an earthquake. 

February 21

1804 – The first self-propelling steam locomotive makes its outing at the Pen-y-Darren Ironworks in Wales.

1808 – Without a previous declaration of war, Russian troops cross the border to Sweden at Abborfors in eastern Finland, thus beginning the Finnish War, in which Sweden will lose the eastern half of the country (i.e. Finland) to Russia.

1828 – Initial issue of the Cherokee Phoenix is the first periodical to use the Cherokee syllabary invented by Sequoyah. 

February 22

1744 – War of the Austrian Succession: The Battle of Toulon begins.

1797 – The Last Invasion of Britain begins near Fishguard, Wales.

1819 – By the Adams–Onís Treaty, Spain sells Florida to the United States for five million U.S. dollars.

1821 – Greek War of Independence: Alexander Ypsilantis crosses the Prut river at Sculeni into the Danubian Principalities.

February 23

1739 – Richard Palmer is identified at York Castle, by his former school teacher, as the outlaw Dick Turpin.

1778 – American Revolutionary War: Baron von Steuben arrives at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania to help to train the Continental Army.

1820 – Cato Street Conspiracy: A plot to murder all the British cabinet ministers is exposed.

1821 – Alexander Ypsilantis starts the Greek War of Independence in Iași, Wallachia (now part of Romania).

1836 – Texas Revolution: The Battle of the Alamo begins in San Antonio, Texas. 

February 24

 1711 – The London première of Rinaldo by George Frideric Handel, the first Italian opera written for the London stage.

1803 – In Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court of the United States establishes the principle of judicial review.

1809 – London's Drury Lane Theatre burns to the ground, leaving owner Richard Brinsley Sheridan destitute.

1821 – Final stage of the Mexican War of Independence from Spain with the Plan of Iguala.

1822 – The first Swaminarayan temple in the world, Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Ahmedabad, is inaugurated.

1826 – The signing of the Treaty of Yandabo marks the end of the First Anglo-Burmese War.

1831 – The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek, the first removal treaty in accordance with the Indian Removal Act, is proclaimed. The Choctaws in Mississippi cede land east of the river in exchange for payment and land in the West.

February 25

1797 – Colonel William Tate and his force of 1000–1500 soldiers surrender after the Last invasion of Britain.

1821 – Greek War of Independence: Alexander Ypsilantis issues a proclamation at Iași, announcing that he had "the support of a great power" (i.e. Russia).

1831 – Battle of Olszynka Grochowska, part of the Polish November Uprising against the Russian Empire.

1836 – Samuel Colt is granted a United States patent for the Colt revolver. 

February 26

1794 – The first Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen burns down.

1815 – Napoleon Bonaparte escapes from Elba. 

February 27

 1700 – The island of New Britain is discovered.

1776 – American Revolutionary War: The Battle of Moore's Creek Bridge in North Carolina breaks up a Loyalist militia.

1782 – American Revolutionary War: The House of Commons of Great Britain votes against further war in America.

1801 – Pursuant to the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801, Washington, D.C. is placed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress.

1812 – Argentine War of Independence: Manuel Belgrano raises the Flag of Argentina in the city of Rosario for the first time.

1812 – Poet Lord Byron gives his first address as a member of the House of Lords, in defense of Luddite violence against Industrialism in his home county of Nottinghamshire.

1829 – Battle of Tarqui is fought.

February 28

1700 – Today is followed by March 1 in Sweden, thus creating the Swedish calendar.

1710 – In the Battle of Helsingborg, 14,000 Danish invaders under Jørgen Rantzau are decisively defeated by an equally sized Swedish force under Magnus Stenbock. This is the last time Swedish and Danish troops meet on Swedish soil.

1784 – John Wesley charters the Methodist Church.

1811 – Cry of Asencio, the beginning of the Uruguayan War of Independence

1827 – The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad is incorporated, becoming the first railroad in America to offer commercial transportation of both people and freight.

1838 – Robert Nelson, leader of the Patriotes, proclaims the independence of Lower Canada (today Quebec) 

February 29 (Leap Year)

1704 – Queen Anne's War: French forces and Native Americans stage a raid on Deerfield, Massachusetts, killing 56 villagers and taking more than 100 captives.

1712 – February 29 is followed by February 30 in Sweden, in a move to abolish the Swedish calendar for a return to the Old style.

1720 – Queen Ulrika Eleonora of Sweden abdicates in favor of her husband, who becomes King Frederick I on 24 March.

1752 – King Alaungpaya founded the Konbaung Dynasty, the last dynasty of the Burmese monarchy.

1768 – Polish nobles formed Bar Confederation.

1796 – The Jay Treaty between the United States and Great Britain comes into force, facilitating ten years of peaceful trade between the two nations.