Monday, October 1, 2007

1806 to 1808

1806. Napoleon occupies Berlin and proclaims a paper blockade of Britain designed to deny the British food and supplies from the Continent.

1806. The Lewis and Clark expedition returns to St. Louis after nearly 28 months of exploration. The expedition had been given up for lost, and its return is celebrated throughout the country.

1806. The Compendious Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster is the first Webster's dictionary.

18007. The first commercially successful steamboat travels up the Hudson River and arrives in 32 hours at Albany to begin regular service between New York and Albany. Designed by Robert Fulton.

1807. Phrenology arrives at Paris with German physician Franz Joseph Gall who introduced the pseudoscience in 1800. Gall claims that most emotional and intellectual functions are determined by specific areas of the brain that can be recognized by bumps in the skull.

"Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood." William Wordsworth. British. 1807. Poetry. Learning is the recollection of knowledge gained in the pre-existent spiritual realm and lost to the individual at birth. The child retains some "trailing clouds of glory."

"The Daffodils." William Wordsworth. British. 1807. Poetry. Appreciation of an object of nature for its own sake.

The Columbiad. Joel Barlow. American. 1807. Epic Poetry. Columbus foresees the future of the North American continent.

"Nuns Fret Not at Their Convent's Narrow Room." William Wordsworth. British. 1807. Poetry. Poet's pleasure at the discipline of the sonnet form.

Corinne, or Italy. Mme. de Stael. Swiss French. 1807. Novel. Psychological study of two tormented souls. Celebration of Italian civilization and mores.

Salmagundi; or, the Whim-Whams and Opinions of Launcelot Langstaff, Esq. and Others. Washington Irving. American. 1807/08. Essays. American link between The Spectator and The Pickwick Papers. Wit.

1808. Thomas Jefferson declines a third term and supports his Secretary of State, James Madison, who wins the fall election.

1808. Importation of slaves into the United States is banned as of January 1 by an act of Congress passed last year, but illegal imports continue.

1808. John Jacob Astor incorporates the American Fur Co. with himself as sole stockholder.

Penthesilea. Heinrich von Kleist. German. 1808. Play. Violently passionate. Tragic potentiality of human nature.Penthesilea (a queen of the Amazon) and Achilles die. Goethe: "Kleist a hypochondriac northerner."

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