The Year Was 1830

Castle at Lazionki (i.e. Lazienki), Warsaw, Russia (i.e. Warsaw, Poland) from LOC Photo Collection at AncestryThe year was 1830 and France was in a recession. The Bourbon monarch, Charles X, dissolved the Chamber of Deputies and began placing restrictions on the press. The result was an uprising in Paris. The city was taken by the rebellion and in the end Charles X was forced out and left the country. The throne went to Louis Phillippe, Duke of Orleans.

Poland, which had been divided amongst its neighbors in 1815, also saw an uprising in the Congress of Poland, which was under oppressive Russian rule. The rebellion in November 1830 had a promising start, drawing sympathy from other countries, but was soon put down. The Russians sought retribution. Polish estates were confiscated and given to Russian officials, universities closed, officers pressed into service in the Russian military, Polish nobles (known as the szlachta) were dispossessed and sent to Caucasus, and others were executed. (Other resources: “The Polish Way: A Thousand-year History of the Poles and their Culture,” by Adam Zamoyski.)

In America, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded by Joseph Smith, Jr. in northwestern New York following the publication of the Book of Mormon. The Church would grow to include more than 10 million members over the next 167 years. 

The country was expanding westward and pushing the native Americans further west as it went. In 1830, the Indian Removal Act was signed by President Andrew Jackson. The act granted unsettled western lands to native Americans in exchange for their property in existing states.

In the northwest, intermittent fever struck the Chinook Indians along the Columbia River, with casualties in some areas as high as 90%.

In Illinois, 1830 is remembered as the “Winter of the Deep Snow” with three feet of snow blanketing the then twelve year old state. Drifts rose to six feet and with the snow came below zero temperatures that lasted for weeks. Many who were caught in the cold froze to death.

Transportation in England was improving in 1830 with the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway. Connecting the two towns gave a boost to commerce as the flow of American cotton arriving in Liverpool could be more easily transported to the mills of Manchester.

Another advance came from England in the invention of the lawnmower by Edwin Beard Budding. Weekend warriors thank him for this contribution, as lawnmowers are easier to maintain than the sheep that were formerly used to control growing grasses. Lawnmower enthusiasts can learn more at the British Lawnmower Museum.

Also invented in 1830 was the sewing machine, by a French tailor named Barthelemy Thimonnier.  Elias Howe improved on Thomonnier’s model creating a more secure stitch in 1846.

Among literary works for the year 1830 was Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s novel, “Paul Clifford.” It is noted for its infamous opening line,

“It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents–except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.”

Bulwer-Lytton’s wordy and overly-dramatic style is celebrated every year with the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. Sponsored by the English Department at San Jose State University, it is “a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.” The website includes a “Lyttony of Grand Prize Winners.”

The image is of the Castle at Lazionki (i.e., Lazienki), Warsaw, Russia (i.e., Warsaw, Poland) and is from the LOC Historical Photo Collection at Ancestry. Click on the image to enlarge it.

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4 thoughts on “The Year Was 1830

  1. I truly like this old history part of the newsletter!
    And, the pictures from the past. Thank you.

  2. I enjoyed the Ancestry Journal article, The year was… Certainly puts a perspective on genealogy research. Thanks and please keep them coming. Very well written, I must add.

  3. My daughter and I have been talking about many things that are contained in this article. Very coincidental. I just sent her a book, Bulwers Works for her birthday. And since she lives in Portland Oregon, The Chinook Indians on the Columbia rang a bell for me. We were also talking about the Mormons being founded by Joseph Smith and that they seem to be a happy people and well prepared for disaster. Plus some of our relatives lived in Illinois at the time of the deep snow. I really enjoy this newsletter and emailed this segment to her.

  4. The country was expanding westward and pushing the native Americans further west as it went. In 1830, the Indian Removal Act was signed by President Andrew Jackson. The act granted unsettled western lands to native Americans in exchange for their property in existing states.

    Jackson used the NA to gain what he wanted in his wars, proclaiming himself to be their friend. They even began to name children after him. Then, WHAM, he rips them from their land, marches them, literally to death, and deposits them in an unhospitable land.

    Say it like it was or don’t report it at all.

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