United States and American History: 1833

About the history of the United States in 1833, a statue of Washington built, the first Colt handgun, Jackson fights with South Carolina over tariffs, end of the Bank of the U.S., start of Oberlin.


--Dept. of bloopers: Horatio Greenough was commissioned to sculpt a colossal marble statue of George Washington, then discovered it weighed so much the floor of the Capitol could not hold it. Placed outdoors, it began to deteriorate from the weather. Finally it was moved into the Smithsonian. Purists condemned the work as obscene since Washington was only half-draped in the classical style.

--First U. S. appearance of Irish actor Tyrone Power, who was noted for playing comic Irish roles. His great-grandson of the same name was the famous matinee idol of the 1930s and 1940s.

--George Fibbleton invented a shaving machine for use in his New York barber shop. Although he passed himself off as "Ex-Barber to His Majesty, the King of England," his machine was a flop, shaving off more of the skin than the beard.

--Samuel Colt perfected the 1st handgun with a revolving barrel--the legendary 6-shooter. Colt adopted the mass production ideas of Eli Whitney, using interchangeable parts and an assembly line in his plant at Patterson, N. J. The Colt's rapid fire and handy size made it indispensable for western horsemen and was a major factor in government victories over the Indians.

--The Ann McKim was launched at Baltimore. First of the clipper ships, it was designed for speed rather than for carrying bulky cargo in trade with California and the Orient. Clipper ships were faster than steamships until after the Civil War.

Mar. 2 President Jackson was authorized by Congress to use the Army and Navy to collect tariff in South Carolina. The Force Bill was the result of South Carolina's Ordinance of Nullification the previous November 24, making null and void the existing tariff laws of the U.S. An extreme application of the principle of States' rights, it was the brainchild of Jackson's own Vice-President, John C. Calhoun. Jackson was prepared to call out 35,000 troops and lead them himself against his native State. As a 1st step, he announced, he would try Calhoun for treason and, if convicted, "hang him as high as Haman." When Calhoun heard this he trembled and turned pale. Confrontation was avoided when, on March 15, South Carolina revoked its Ordinance of Nullification. Still, years later, Jackson said that he had only 2 regrets in his life--that he had been unable to: 1) shoot Henry Clay (for slurs made against Mrs. Jackson), and 2) hang John C. Calhoun.

April 24 A patent for the 1st soda fountain was granted to Jacob Ebert of Cadiz, O., and George Dulty of Wheeling, W. Va.

Oct. 1 President Jackson had to remove 2 Secretaries of the Treasury before finding one to carry out his order to withdraw government deposits from the Bank of the U.S., thereby killing the bank, which he opposed as a tool of vested interests.

Dec. 3 The 1st coeducational college in the U.S. was founded at Oberlin, O. Oberlin College opened with 44 students--29 men and 15 women. Later it was also the 1st college to advocate the abolition of slavery and to accept black men and women on equal terms with whites.

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