United States and American History: 1808

About the history of the United States in 1808, the American Law Journal is founded, the slave trade is prohibited, James Madison becomes president.


--John Elihu Hall founded the American Law Journal in Baltimore, probably the earliest legal periodical in the U.S. Unusual was the fact that Hall himself was not an attorney; instead, he was a professor of rhetoric at the University of Maryland.

Jan. 1 The African slave trade was prohibited by Congress. Nevertheless an illicit trade continued so that between 1808 and the start of the Civil War an estimated 250,000 slaves were imported.

Oct. 30 When the schooner Betty, commanded by Benjamin Ireson, arrived at Marblehead, Mass., Ireson was accused of sailing away from a sinking ship because he feared for his own safety. Marblehead citizens tarred and feathered Ireson and rode him out of town. Later, the poet John Greenleaf Whittier dramatized the event in his poem "Skipper Ireson's Ride."

Nov. James Madison, the 4th President of the U.S., was elected.

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