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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

Constructed by Stephenson and his son Robert


More Arctic expeditions]

[Sidenote: Death of George Stephenson]

[Sidenote: Stephenson's career]

From England, during this time, two more expeditions had been sent out in search of Sir John Franklin. The first of these was commanded by Sir James Ross, the famous Antarctic explorer. The second expedition, while discovering no trace of Franklin, claimed that it had discovered the long sought for Northwest Passage. The science of astronomy lost one of its most distinguished representatives in England by the death of Caroline Herschel, the sister of the famous discoverer of Uranus. Besides her the necrology of the year in England included the two authors, Isaac d'Israeli, the father of Lord Beaconsfield, and Captain Frederick Marryat, the romancer of the sea; Lord Alexander Ashburton, the framer of the Canadian boundary treaty that commemorates his name, and George Stephenson, the inventor of the first practicable locomotive. Stephenson began life as a pit-engine boy at twopence a day near Newcastle-on-Tyne. Having risen to the grade of engineman, he was employed in the collieries of Lord Ravensworth improving the wagon way and railway planes under ground. In 1814 he completed a locomotive steam-engine, which was successfully tried on the Killingworth Railway. The locomotive "Rocket," constructed by Stephenson and his son Robert, which won the premium of five hundred pounds in 1829,

offered by the Liverpool and Manchester Railway Company, ushered in the greatest mechanical revolution since the invention of the steam-engine by Watt. After this Stephenson became a locomotive builder on a large scale and acquired enormous wealth. Another invention standing to the credit of Stephenson was one of the earliest safety lamps, but a committee which investigated the subject accorded to Sir Humphry Davy the priority of this invention. During this year Sir Austin Henry Layard published the results of his original researches of Nineveh and its remains. Macaulay printed the first two volumes of his "History of England," while Matthew Arnold brought out his "Strayed Reveller" and other poems. Elizabeth Gaskell published "Mary Barton."

Of the various expeditions undertaken in search of Sir John Franklin, the most noteworthy perhaps was Dr. John Rae's overland journey through the northwestern territory of America from the Mackenzie to the Copper Mine River. This opened up a vast tract of country to adventurous Canadians. Another lasting benefit was conferred upon Upper Canada by the reorganization of the public school system of Ontario.

[Sidenote: Peace with Mexico]

[Sidenote: Treaty of Guadaloupe Hidalgo]

[Sidenote: American expansion]

On the part of the United States the war with Mexico was brought to a close. The President of the Mexican Congress assumed provisional authority, and, on February 2, that body at Guadaloupe Hidalgo concluded peace with the United States. With slight amendments the treaty was ratified by the United States Senate on March 10, and by the Mexican Congress at Queratero on the 30th of May. President Polk, on July 4 following, finally proclaimed peace. The Americans under the terms of the treaty evacuated Mexico within three months, paid Mexico $3,000,000 immediately, and $12,000,000 in three annual instalments, and assumed debts of $3,500,000 due from Mexico to American citizens. These payments were made in consideration of new accessions of territory which gave to the United States not only Texas, but Arizona, New Mexico and California. The war had cost the United States approximately $25,000,000 and 25,000 men.

[Sidenote: Gold found in California]

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