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Putting 1830's America in Context

The following timeline will give readers a better idea of what was happening in America and Europe around the time when Joe Naper and the other settlers left Ohio for Illinois.


December 2, 1804

Napoleon I crowned Emperor of France.

February 12, 1809

Abraham Lincoln is born in Kentucky.

November 20, 1809

Amy Naper and John Murray are married.

August 23, 1812

John Naper enlists with his Ashtabula neighbors to fight the British in the War of 1812.


The first railroad charter in North America was granted to John Stevens.

June 18, 1815

Napoleon is defeated by the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo.

May 1816

Mary Shelley travels to Lake Geneva in Italy. She starts writing Frankenstein over the summer.

July 18, 1817

Novelist Jane Austen dies at the age of 41.

May 28, 1818

The first steamer on the Great Lakes, the Walk-In-The-Water, sets off for Detroit. 

December 26, 1818

Ruth Eliza Murray, the third child of John and Amy Murray, is born in Ohio.

May 24, 1819

Queen Victoria is born in Kensington Palace, London.

January 29, 1820

George III, the king during the American Revolution, dies at Windsor Castle. His son George IV succeeds him. (Up until then, George IV was the Regent of Regency England.)

May 5, 1821

Napoleon I dies in exile on the island of Saint Helena.

October 26, 1825

The first boat leaves for New York City on the Erie Canal.

April 1, 1826

Samuel Morey patents the internal combustion engine in America.

July 4, 1826

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, our second and third presidents, die on the same day, the anniversary of America's Independence.

February 28, 1827

The first railroad in America, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, is incorporated.

March 4, 1829

Andrew Jackson becomes America's seventh president.

July 22, 1829

The newly-built schooner Telegraph is enrolled at the Port of Cleveland, owned by John and Joe Naper and Reuben B. Hickox.

1830 - 1840

German immigrants introduce Christmas trees to America. Previously, Christmas was strictly a religious holiday, celebrated like a normal Sunday without any fanfare.


The first completely American-built steam train engine begins providing scheduled passenger service. Previously trains were drawn down tracks by horses.

 March 15, 1830

Thomas Lincoln moves his family from Spencer County, Indiana to Macon County, Illinois.

March 26, 1830

Joseph Smith publishes the Book of Mormon and organizes the Mormon Church in the coming weeks.

June 26, 1830

George IV, the Regent of the English Regency Period, dies at Windsor Castle. His brother William IV succeeds him.

December 10, 1830

Emily Dickinson, the American poet, is born.

March 19, 1831

Edward Smith robs the City Bank of New York, the first bank robbery in American history.

April 2, 1831

Alexis de Tocqueville sails from France for a journey across America and the Great Lakes that will become the basis for his book Democracy in America.

June 1, 1831

The Telegraph leaves Buffalo, New York for Illinois, according to P.F.W. Peck, Joseph Naper's business partner.

July 4, 1831

James Monroe dies in New York City, the third president to die on an anniversary of our Independence Day.

July 15, 1831

The Telegraph anchors in Lake Michigan near Fort Dearborn, as written on Dexter Graves' tombstone.

August 1, 1831

Abraham Lincoln casts his first vote, registered in New Salem, Illinois. He begins clerking at the store there in the following weeks.

August 21, 1831

Inspired by an eclipse of the sun in February, Nat Turner launches a short-lived uprising among slaves in Virginia.

December 27, 1831

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) starts out on his five year journey of exploration on the Beagle.

April 6, 1832

The Black Hawk War begins.

July 24, 1832

Wagons cross the Continental Divide on the Oregon Trail for the first time.

October 8, 1832

Native American Indians take the first steps on the Trail of Tears, a six year campaign to move the Indians to the western side of the Mississippi River.

March 4, 1833

Andrew Jackson is inaugurated as president for the second time.

June 2, 1835

The first circus tour of P.T. Barnum begins in America.

February 6, 1836

Davey Crockett joins Jim Bowie in San Antonio, just prior to the Battle of the Alamo.

March 4, 1837

The state of Illinois grants a city charter to Chicago.

June 20, 1837

Victoria succeeds to the throne of England following the death of her uncle, William IV.


DuPage County is organized, with Naper's Settlement becoming the county seat. Previously, the settlement was part of Cook County.

August 14, 1839

A patent for the daguerreotype process is granted in France which would soon allow most people to keep likenesses of their loved ones. Lincoln would have his first daguerreotype taken in 1846.

March 31, 1842

Ruth Murray marries Harlyn Shattuck. They live in lodgings in Naper's Settlement for a few years before moving to his farm in Belvidere, Illinois.


The first safety matches are developed by Gustav Erik Pasch in Sweden. Earlier types of matches from 1827 on were expensive to buy, dangerous to light, and poisonous to both manufacturer and user.

April 10, 1849

Walter Hunt patents the safety pin.


Naperville is incorporated as a village in the state of Illinois. Joseph Naper is elected first president of the board.

November 8, 1860

Abraham Lincoln is elected President.

April 12, 1861

The Civil War begins at Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

February 7, 1867

Laura Ingalls Wilder is born in Wisconsin's Big Woods.

Putting 1920's England in Context

The following timeline will give readers a better idea of what was happening in England, America, and Europe around the time when Agath Christie was writing her first books. 



Gas lighting is patented

May 24, 1819

Princess Victoria is born


First passengers are transported via steam locomotive


The sewing machine is invented


Samuel Morse invents the telegraph

June 20, 1837

Victoria is crowned queen


Louis Pasteur refines pasteurization


Agatha's sister, Madge, is born


Agatha's brother, Monty is born


The first public electricty plant starts operation in England, for street lights


An automobile with an internal combustion engine is invented

September 15, 1890

Agatha Miller is born


The Lumiere Brothers invent Cinematographe

January 22, 1901

Queen Victoria dies and is succeeded by Edward VII


The first radio transmission is sent

November 26, 1901

Agatha's Father dies


Albert Einstein publishes the Theory of Relativity


The first Model T is sold

May 6, 1910

King Edward dies and is succeeded by George V

July 28, 1914

World War I begins

December 24, 1914

Agatha marries Archie Christie


Agatha writes The Mysterious Affair at Styles

November 11, 1918

World War I ends

August 5, 1919

Agatha's daughter, Rosalind, is born


The Mysterious Affair at Styles is published in the US


The Secret Adversary is published


Agatha and Archie go on a world tour with Major Belcher


Murder on the Links is published


The Man in the Brown Suit is published


The Secret of Chimneys is published


The Murder of Roger Akroyd is published

April 5, 1926

Agatha's mother dies

December 3, 1926

Agatha "disappears"


The Big Four is published


Women over 30 with property are granted the vote in England

August 25, 1919

First commercial flight from London to Paris


Spanish flu pandemic

January 17, 1920

Prohibition in the US begins


BBC begins broadcasting


The Lincoln Memorial is dedicated in Washington D.C.


The first Olympic Games are held in France


Charles Lindbergh flies the first non-stop across the Atlantic


The Jazz Singer talking picture debuts


Women over 21 get the right to vote in England, same as men


Penicillin is discovered

October 1928

Agatha and Archie's divorce is finalized


The Mystery of the Blue Train is published/p>


The Seven Dials Mystery is published

October 29, 1929

The Stock Market crashes, beginning the Great Depression

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