January 1, 1804: The Republic of Haiti is declared independent of France under Governor-general Jean-Jacques Dessalines.
January 1, 1804: Concerto for trumpet and orchestra by Johann Nepomuk Hummel (25) is performed for the first time, for Prince Esterházy in Vienna.
January 7, 1804: The publication of Muzio Clementi’s (51) keyboard sonatas op.41 is announced in the Wiener Zeitung.
January 11, 1804: William Blake is acquitted on a charge of sedition in a Chichester court. He was charged by a drunken soldier who claimed Blake cursed the King during a fight they had.
January 12, 1804: Johann Nepomuk Hummel (25) signs a contract to serve as Konzertmeister to Prince Nikolas Esterházy at Eisenstadt.
January 23, 1804: Tsar Alyeksandr I appoints Adrien Boieldieu (28) to a position comparable to Kapellmeister, at the Imperial court.
January 27, 1804: Publication of Familiar Airs, in Various Styles, for the Piano Forte no.1 by John Crotch and William Crotch (28) is entered at Stationers’ Hall, London.
January 29, 1804: A British secret agent named Courson is arrested in Paris. Under torture, he reveals the plot to kill Napoléon and restore Louis XVIII to the throne.
January 31, 1804: War of the Third Coalition: Five British warships arrive off Curaçao from Jamaica. After the Dutch refuse a surrender demand, the British begin a blockade.
February 1, 1804: Publication of a Symphony in G B.156 by Ignaz Pleyel (46) is announced in the Correspondance des professeurs et amateurs de musique, Paris.
February 4, 1804: Incidental music to Duval’s play Guillaume le conquérant by Étienne-Nicolas Méhul (40) is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Français, Paris.
February 5, 1804: George Petrovic becomes Prince of Serbia.
February 6, 1804: Joseph Priestley dies in Northumberland, Pennsylvania at the age of 70.
February 8, 1804: Louis Picot, servant to royalist conspirator Georges Cadoudal, is arrested by French authorities. He reveals further details of the royalist plot uncovered on 29 January. A curfew is ordered for Paris and the gates of the city are closed from 19:00-06:00 until the other conspirators are found.
February 11, 1804: The second version of Gaspare Spontini’s (29) dramma giocoso per musica La finta filosofa to words of Piccinni is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris.
February 12, 1804: Immanuel Kant dies in Königsberg at the age of 79.
February 14, 1804: Serbians begin a rebellion against Turkish rule.
February 15, 1804: General Jean-Victor Moreau is arrested by French police as part of a royalist conspiracy to overthrow the government. He is taken to the Temple, a large prison in Paris.
February 16, 1804: Stephen Decatur orders the burning of the United States frigate Philadelphia in Tripoli to block the harbor. The ship was captured by Tripolitanians last October.
February 20, 1804: Giovanni Paisiello (63), resident in Paris, receives notification from the Regio Senato of Naples that he is named Maestro di Cappella.
February 21, 1804: The first verified trip on rails of a motorized vehicle occurs in Penydarren, Wales when Richard Trevithick demonstrates his second steam locomotive. The machine, known locally as Captain Dick’s Puffer, reaches a speed of five miles per hour. The event ends when the rails collapse.
February 24, 1804: The US Congress passes the “Mobile Act” in essence claiming West Florida to the Mississippi River.
February 25, 1804: The French government levies the “combined duties” in an effort to pay for Napoléon’s incessant wars. This includes taxes on liquor, salt, and an increase of the tobacco tax.
February 28, 1804: General Jean-Charles Pichegru is arrested by French police as part of a royalist conspiracy to overthrow the government. 20 years ago, Pichegru was Napoléon’s mathematics instructor at the Royal Military School.
March 4, 1804: Convicts begin a major uprising at Castle Hill, northwest of Sydney in New South Wales.
March 4, 1804: War of the Third Coalition: The Royal Navy gives up its attempt to take Curaçao and its five ships return to Jamaica.
March 5, 1804: Convicts marching from Castle Hill to Sydney are met on Windsor Road by militia sent to put down their rebellion. In the ensuing battle, 15 convicts are killed and the rest are captured. This is the only significant convict uprising in Australia.
March 7, 1804: The Horticultural Society of London (Royal Horticultural Society) is founded by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood.
March 7, 1804: Meeting at the London Tavern in Bishopsgate, members of several Christian sects form the British and Foreign Bible Society to provide Bibles in local languages around the world.
March 9, 1804: The leader of a royalist conspiracy to overthrow the French government, Georges Cadoudal, is arrested by French police in Paris, but not before he kills one policeman and wounds another.
March 9, 1804: The Three Flags Ceremony takes place in St. Louis. The Spanish flag is lowered and replaced with the French flag. (The French never officially took over the territory they gained in 1800) The plan is to let the French flag fly for one hour but local French citizens ask that it remain up overnight.
March 10, 1804: At the conclusion of the Three Flags Ceremony in St. Louis, the French flag is lowered and the United States flag raised.
March 14, 1804: Agents of Napoléon seize the Duc d’Enghien, at his home in Baden. He is believed to be part of a royalist plot to overthrow the government.
March 17, 1804: Friedrich von Schiller’s play Wilhelm Tell is first performed in Weimar, directed by Goethe.
March 17, 1804: Aline, reine de Golconde, an opéra comique by Adrien Boieldieu (28) to words of Vial and de Favières, is performed for the first time, in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg.
March 18, 1804: Jan Ladislav Dussek (44) performs in the concert hall of the Nationaltheater, Berlin.
March 19, 1804: The Portuguese regent Dom João signs an agreement with France that his country will remain neutral in any conflict between Great Britain and France.
March 21, 1804: 03:00 The Duc d’Enghien is shot by a firing squad in front of the fortress of Vincennes for being part of a plot to kill Napoléon and place the Bourbon Louis XVIII on the throne.
March 31, 1804: Ludwig van Beethoven (33) publishes the closest thing to a retraction in the Wiener Zeitung, admitting that Artaria and Co. were not involved in any way with the publication of his quintet. See 8 March 1805.
April 1, 1804: Franz Joseph Haydn (72) is made an honorary citizen of Vienna because of his charitable work.
April 2, 1804: HMS Apollo, leading 69 merchant ships bound for the Caribbean, runs aground in a gale along with 40 of the merchant ships, on Cape Mondego, Portugal. About 160 men are lost.
April 8, 1804: Haitian leader Jean-Jacques Dessalines proclaims the necessity of his order to kill all white people in Haiti. The massacre has been going on since January and by the end of this month, 3,000-5,000 people will be killed.
April 10, 1804: About this date, Giovanni Paisiello (63) obtains release as maître de chappelle to Napoléon.
April 15, 1804: Diogo José de Noronha, conde de Vila Verde replaces João Rodrigues de Sá, visconde de Anadia as Secretary of State (prime minister) of Portugal.
April 16, 1804: Second Anglo-Maratha War: Hostilities begin between Jeshwant Rao Holkar of Indore and the East India Company.
April 20, 1804: Duke Ernst II of Saxe-Gotha dies in Gotha and is succeeded by his son Emil Leopold August.
April 25, 1804: War of the Third Coalition: British forces capture the Dutch garrison of Braam Point, Surinam.
May 2, 1804: The first general meeting of the British and Foreign Bible Society takes place in London. It is formed to translate the Bible into as many languages as possible and disseminate it through the world.
May 6, 1804: War of the Third Coalition: The Dutch colony of Surinam surrenders to invading British.
May 8, 1804: Carl Maria von Weber (17) is appointed Kapellmeister at the theatre in Breslau (Wroclaw).
May 10, 1804: William Pitt replaces Henry Addington as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
May 12, 1804: La petite maison, an opéra-comique by Gaspare Spontini (29) to words of Dieulafoy and Gersin, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Feydeau, Paris. Due to anti-Italian feelings in France, it will have only three performances.
May 14, 1804: Sent by President Jefferson to survey the new Louisiana Purchase, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and about 36 men set out west from St. Louis Camp Dubois (Wood River, Illinois) up the Missouri River.
May 17, 1804: Prince Karl Joachim of Fürstenberg dies and is succeeded by his eight-year-old cousin Karl Egon under regency.
May 17, 1804: Samori, an heroic opera by Georg Joseph Vogler (54) to words of Huber, is performed for the first time, in the Theater an der Wien, Vienna. The work is warmly received.
May 18, 1804: Publication of Familiar Airs, in Various Styles, for the Piano Forte no.2 by John Crotch and William Crotch (28) is entered at Stationers’ Hall, London.
May 18, 1804: Amor non ha ritegno, a melodramma eroicomico by Simon Mayr (40) to words of Marconi after Gozzi, is performed for the first time, at the Teatro alla Scala, Milan.
May 18, 1804: The French Senate proclaims Consul-for-Life Napoléon Bonaparte Emperor of the French with the title Napoléon I. The action is not recognized by Russia, Austria, Sweden, or the Ottoman Empire.
May 21, 1804: The Père Lachaise Cemetery opens in Paris.
May 25, 1804: Having traveled about 100 km, the Lewis and Clark expedition pass La Charette, the last white settlement on the Missouri River.
May 25, 1804: Second Anglo-Maratha War: In the face of extremely adverse weather conditions, the British suspend the campaign against Jeshwant Rao Holkar of Indore.
May 26, 1804: The Principality of Lübeck is placed in personal union with Oldenburg.
May 28, 1804: Carl Maria von Weber (17) departs Vienna to travel to take up his new position in Breslau (Wroclaw).
May 31, 1804: Jeanne-Louise Dumont (Farrenc) is born in the rue et maison de Sorbonne in the eleventh (presently fifth) arrondissement of Paris, French Republic, second of three children born to Jacques-Edme Dumont, the court sculptor, and Marie Elisabeth Louise Courton. Her parents are married by common law.
June 1, 1804: 06:00 Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka is born in Novospasskoye (Glinka), 22 km from Yelnya in the Smolensk district of the Russian Empire, the second and eldest surviving of ten children born to Ivan Nikolayevich Glinka, a retired army captain and landowner and Yevgeniya Andreyevna Glinka, daughter of a landowner. His parents are second cousins.
June 11, 1804: Carl Maria von Weber (17) arrives in Breslau (Wroclaw) to take up duties as kapellmeister.
June 14, 1804: Incidental music to Duval’s play Les Hussites, ou Le siège de Naumbourg by Étienne-Nicolas Méhul (40) is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin, Paris.
June 15, 1804: The Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution, reorganizing the method of electing the president and vice-president, is ratified.
June 16, 1804: Johann Adam Hiller dies in Leipzig, Electorate of Saxony, aged 75 years, five months, and 22 days. His mortal remains will be laid to rest in the Alter Johannisfriedhof in Leipzig.
June 20, 1804: Publication of the Variations for piano op.10 and the Rondo for piano op.11 by Johann Nepomuk Hummel (25) is advertised in the Wiener Zeitung.
June 21, 1804: British chemist Smithson Tennant reads his paper On Two Metals, found in the Black Powder Remaining after the Solution of Platina to the Royal Society, London. In it, he documents his discovery last year of two new elements: Osmium and Iridium.
June 23, 1804: Although Franz Joseph Haydn (72) has not officially resigned as kapellmeister, Prince Nicholas Esterházy rearranges the duties of his musical employees to allow for Haydn’s absence. Most of his responsibilities are taken up by Vice-Kapellmeister Johann Nepomuk Fuchs and Konzertmeister Johann Nepomuk Hummel (25). He further commands that “the entire chapel, with male and female singers, will, according to the order that already exists, hold a weekly rehearsal every Thursday morning and are to appear, every individual without exception, in uniform in service at the Castle at 10:30 before my presence or that of my wife and children.” (Heartz2009, 665)
June 25, 1804: Fantasia and Fugue for piano C.199 by Jan Ladislav Dussek (44) is entered at Stationers’ Hall, London.
June 25, 1804: Royalist conspirator Georges Cadoudal is executed by guillotine in Paris. He is reported to have said “We intended to give France a king and we have given her an emperor.”
June 29, 1804: The name of the Théâtre de l’Opéra in Paris is changed to the Académie Impériale de Musique.
June 30, 1804: Anton Viktor Joseph Raymund, Grand Duke of Austria replaces Karl II Ludwig Johann Grand Duke of Austria as Prince-Grand Master of Mergentheim, leader of the Teutonic Order.
July 4, 1804: All children born of slave parents in the State of New Jersey after this date, shall gain freedom upon reaching the age of 25 for men and 21 for women. New Jersey is the last northern state to abolish slavery.
July 6, 1804: António de Araújo de Azevedo, conde da Barca replaces Diogo José de Noronha, conde de Vila Verde as Secretary of State (prime minister) of Portugal.
July 6, 1804: Second Anglo-Maratha War: A rear guard force of 2,500 British and Indian troops is wiped out by the forces of Jeshwant Rao Holkar of Indore near the Chambal River.
July 10, 1804: Second Anglo-Maratha War: Forces of Jeshwant Rao Holkar of Indore attack the main body of British troops at the Mukandwara Pass (in present Rajasthan). The British repulse repeated cavalry charges. With the monsoon beginning today, the British fall back to Kota.
July 11, 1804: In a duel on the Hudson Palisades, Weehawken, New Jersey, Vice-President Aaron Burr shoots and mortally wounds former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton will die tomorrow.
July 15, 1804: Second Anglo-Maratha War: British troops continue to retreat, abandoning Kota, in the face of Jeshwant Rao Holkar of Indore.
July 20, 1804: In spite of an onshore gale, Emperor Napoléon orders the Boulogne naval flotillas to test the effectiveness flat-bottomed boats intended for the invasion of Britain. Twenty ships run aground and 2,000 sailors are drowned. Admiral Bruix, who warned against the exercise and refused to give the order, is immediately removed from the service.
July 24, 1804: Second Anglo-Maratha War: Jeshwant Rao Holkar of Indore attacks British and Indian forces trying to cross water in their retreat from Kota. An all-day battle ensues.
July 27, 1804: Second Anglo-Maratha War: Retreating British and Indian troops reach the relative safety of Rampura where they are reinforced.
August 1, 1804: Carl Maria von Weber (17) makes his first appearance in Breslau (Wroclaw) conducting Mozart’s (†12) La clemenza di Tito.
August 5, 1804: Elisa, ossia Il monte San Bernardo, a dramma sentimentale per musica by Johann Simon Mayr (41) to words of Rossi, is performed for the first time, in Teatro San Benedetto, Venice.
August 10, 1804: Simon Mayr’s (41) dramma per musica Zamori, ossia L’eroe dell’Indie to words of Prividali is performed for the first time, for the inauguration of the Nuovo Teatro Communale, Piacenza.
August 11, 1804: The Austrian Empire is created under Emperor Franz I. Bohemia is created a kingdom under the Emperor of Austria.
August 14, 1804: Admiral Louis Latouche-Tréville dies of natural causes. This causes Napoléon to postpone his invasion of Britain.
August 20, 1804: Second Anglo-Maratha War: Leaving a garrison at Rampura, the main British force continues to retreat northeast towards Agra.
August 22, 1804: Georg August Griesinger writes to the publishers Artaria that “Haydn (72) has stopped all work because of his health, and a quartet of which he has finished two movements is the offspring to which he now devotes, albeit with difficulty, an occasional quarter of an hour.” (Heartz2009, 666-667)
August 24, 1804: Jean-Baptiste Biot and Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac make the first scientific ascent in a balloon, to an altitude of 6.5 km over Paris, higher than any of the Alps. They measure the composition of the air and the state of the magnetic field of the earth.
August 24, 1804: Second Anglo-Maratha War: Forces of Jeshwant Rao Holkar of Indore attack retreating British and Indians at the Banas River. Most of the Sepoy troops with the British are killed.
August 25, 1804: Second Anglo-Maratha War: Exhausted and famished British and Indian troops reach Kushalgarh (in present Rajasthan) where they find supplies.
August 28, 1804: Second Anglo-Maratha War: Under constant bombardment from artillery of Jeshwant Rao Holkar of Indore, retreating British and Indian troops break ranks and flee headlong towards Agra.
August 29, 1804: Giovanni Paisiello (64) departs Paris for Naples. He would have left earlier but Napoléon required that Paisiello compose a mass for the imperial coronation.
August 30, 1804: Angelina, a musical farce with music by Henry R. Bishop (17) to words of Goldsmith, is performed for the first time, in the Theatre Royal, Margate.
August 30, 1804: Second Anglo-Maratha War: A few hundred of the original 10,000 British and Indian troops reach Agra after a two-month retreat in the face of Jeshwant Rao Holkar of Indore.
September 1, 1804: In Lilienthal, near Bremen, German astronomer Karl Ludwig Harding discovers Juno, the third asteroid to be viewed from Earth.
September 3, 1804: Six Canzonets C.200-205 for voice and piano by Jan Ladislav Dussek (44) is entered at Stationers’ Hall, London.
September 3, 1804: A hurricane hits the Leeward Islands sinking many ships.
September 4, 1804: The hurricane which struck the Leeward Islands yesterday continues on to strike Puerto Rico.
September 7, 1804: King Ferdinando IV of Naples orders the suspension of salary to Giovanni Paisiello (64) since he does not know when the composer will return from Paris.
September 7, 1804: The hurricane which struck the Leeward Islands and Puerto Rico comes ashore in Georgia and continues into the Carolinas.
September 12, 1804: The hurricane moving up from the Caribbean strikes New England. In nine days it has caused 500 deaths and great amounts of property damage.
September 13, 1804: Dmitry Stepanovich Bortnyansky (53) is unanimously voted an Honorable Member of the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg.
September 16, 1804: Joseph-Louis Gay-Lussac makes a balloon ascent to 7,016 meters over Paris. This record will stand for over 50 years and his measurements help establish the science of meteorology.
September 18, 1804: Muzio Clementi (52) marries Caroline Lehmann, the 19-year-old daughter of the director of the Royal Opera, Berlin, in that city’s Nicolaikirche. The couple leave Berlin for Italy shortly after the ceremony.
September 25, 1804: Yellow fever breaks out in Livorno.
September 26, 1804: The Gazette Nationale reports that Jan Ladislav Dussek (44) is named Kapellmeister to Prince Ludwig Ferdinand of Prussia in Magdeburg, a passionate amateur pianist and composer.
October 8, 1804: Napoléon learns that his complete plans for attacking British interests on three continents have been captured by the British. He has to abandon them.
October 9, 1804: The town of Hobart is founded on Tasmania by British colonists.
October 17, 1804: Milan prohibits imports from Tuscany due to the yellow fever epidemic.
October 19, 1804: Three Piano Sonatas with violin and cello accompaniment op.50 by Leopold Kozeluch (57) are entered at Stationers’ Hall, London.
October 24, 1804: The Lewis and Clark expedition reach an Indian village of about 4,500 populated by Mandans and Hidatsas, north of present Bismarck, North Dakota. They decide to build their winter quarters directly across the river.
October 25, 1804: Johann Simon Mayr (41) marries Lucrezia Venturali in Venice. She is the sister of his first wife Angiola who died in 1797 shortly after giving birth.
October 26, 1804: Lucca closes its border with Livorno due to the yellow fever epidemic.
November 6, 1804: An alliance is signed between Russia and Austria in St. Petersburg.
November 6, 1804: Official returns of a plebiscite held in France today show a 99.93% vote in favor of turning the country into an empire.
November 10, 1804: Die Neger, a singspiel by Antonio Salieri (54) to words of Treitschke, is performed for the first time, in the Theater an der Wien, Vienna. It will be withdrawn after only a few performances. This is Salieri’s last opera.
November 17, 1804: Second Anglo-Maratha War: After four days of fighting, British and Indian forces defeat the Jeshwant Rao Holkar at Farrukhabad on the Ganges southeast of Delhi.
November 27, 1804: Milton, a fait historique by Gaspare Spontini (30) to words of de Jouy and Dieulafoy, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Favart, Paris.
December 2, 1804: Napoléon Bonaparte crowns himself Emperor of the French in the presence of Pope Pius VII in the Cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris. He then crowns his wife, Josephine, as Empress. The music for the occasion, a mass and a Te Deum, is by Giovanni Paisello (64).
December 8, 1804: A Mass for double chorus by Antonio Salieri (54) is performed for the first time, in Vienna conducted by the composer to celebrate the adoption of the title Emperor of Austria by Franz I. The work was originally composed in 1799 to celebrate peace between Austria and France but since peace was not concluded, the mass was never performed.
December 8, 1804: Publication of the Variations for piano op.15 of Johann Nepomuk Hummel (26) is announced in the Wiener Zeitung.
December 12, 1804: War of the Third Coalition: Spain declares war on Great Britain at the insistence of France.
December 18, 1804: Achille à Scyros, a ballet pantomime by Luigi Cherubini (44), is performed for the first time, at the Paris Opéra.
December 24, 1804: The Lewis and Clark expedition move into their winter quarters, Fort Mandan, in present North Dakota.