George Washington Smith dances Albrecht in the First American Production of Giselle (Boston MA)
George Washington Smith, said to have been a mulatto, danced the role of Albrecht in the first American production of ”Giselle,” in 1846 with Mary Ann Lee. In 1840 Smith had been hand picked by Viennese Ballerina Fanny Essler to be her partner. He quickly rose in acclaim and helped popularize ballet in Philadelphia.
Other Happenings in 1846
Jan 5 The United States House of Representatives votes to stop sharing the Oregon Territory with the United Kingdom
Feb 23, The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia tolled for the last time, to mark George Washington’s birthday. A hairline fracture had developed since 1817 and a failed attempt to repair it resulted in the crack.
Apr 15, The Donner family set out for California from Springfield, Ill.
Apr 25 Thornton Affair: Open conflict begins over the disputed border of Texas, triggering the Mexican-American War.
Dec 28 Iowa becomes 29th state of the Union
Jun 15, Washington diplomats established a straight line border between the US and Canada in the northwest and thus established Point Roberts, Wa. as the westernmost corner of the US. The enclave is 4.9 sq. miles.
A US Treaty was signed with the Cherokee Nation in which the tribe gave up resistance to forced relocation.
Jan 1 Yucatan declares independence from Mexico
Jan 21 1st edition of Charles Dickens’ newspaper “The Daily News”
Jan 28 Battle of Allwal, British beat Sikhs in Punjab
Arts & Sciences
Feb 21 1st US woman telegrapher, Sarah G Bagley, Lowell, Mass
May 7 First printed copies of “Poems” by Emily, Charlotte and Anne Brontë received, published under pseudonym of Acton, Currer and Ellis Bell (2 copies sold)
Jun 5 Telegraph line opens between Philadelphia & Balt
Aug 10 US Act of Congress passes establishing the Smithsonian Institution, now world’s largest museum and research complex
Sep 10 Elias Howe takes out a US patent for a lockstich sewing machine
Sep 18 Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning exchange last letters before eloping
Sep 30 Anesthetic ether used for 1st time by American dentist Dr William Morton who extracts a tooth
Nov 4 Benjamin Palmer patents artificial leg
Dec 10, Norbert Rillieux (1806-1894), African-American engineer, received a patent for the Rillieux Process for refining sugar. He won several patents for a way to refine sugar in a process that later came to be called multiple-effect distillation.
Human & Civil Rights
Jun 24 Residency tax on Jews of Hungary abolished
Jun 19 First officially recognized baseball game (played by Cartwright Rules) – NY Nines 23 defeat Knickerbockers 1 at Hoboken, New Jersey