January 1, 1812: The new Civil Code goes into effect in the Austrian Empire.
January 1, 1812: At the approach of a royalist army, the Mexican Congress quits Zitácuaro for Sultepec.
January 1, 1812: After attempts at reconciliation by their mutual friend, Dr. Benjamin Rush, John Adams writes to Thomas Jefferson for the first time in eleven years. Their correspondence over their waning years will be among the most important in American political history.
January 2, 1812: A royalist army fights its way into Zitácuaro, taking the town at heavy loss to the defenders. The town is then sacked and burned.
January 5, 1812: Peninsular War: French forces surrounding Valencia begin to bombard the city.
January 8, 1812: Gioachino Rossini’s (19) farsa L’inganno felice to words of Foppa after Palomba is performed for the first time, in Teatro San Moisè, Venice. The work is very successful with critics and public.
January 8, 1812: Peninsular War: The Spanish defenders of Valencia surrender to the surrounding French. At the same time, British and Portuguese troops surround the French in Ciudad Rodrigo.
January 8, 1812: Sigismond Fortuné François Thalberg is born in Pâquis near Geneva, in the Swiss Confederation (presently a protectorate of France), the son of Joseph Thalberg and Fortunée Stein. It is possible that his parents are presently married to others. Some think he may be the illegitimate child of Prince Franz Josef Johann Dietrichstein-Proskau-Leslie and Baroness Julie d'Eyb Bidescuty von Wetzlar.
January 9, 1812: France reoccupies Swedish Pomerania.
January 10, 1812: The first Mississippi steamboat, a side-wheeler named the New Orleans, reaches its namesake city. It left Pittsburgh, where it was built, on 20 October.
January 13, 1812: The publication of Jan Ladislav Dussek’s (51) Two Duos for piano and harp C.257-258 is entered at Stationers’ Hall, London.
January 15, 1812: Johannes Herbst dies in Salem, North Carolina, USA aged 76 years, five months, and 23 days. His earthly remains will be laid to rest in the Moravian Cemetery of Salem (Winston-Salem).
January 16, 1812: British Foreign Secretary Lord Wellesley resigns claiming Prime Minister Spencer Perceval is not prosecuting the war vigorously enough.
January 16, 1812: At the insistence of the British, King Ferdinando of Sicily turns over his government to the Hereditary Prince, Francesco.
January 17, 1812: After a successful performance in Leipzig, Carl Maria von Weber (25) and Heinrich Baermann leave the city following an invitation to Gotha.
January 19, 1812: Peninsular War: Allied (UK-Portugal-Spain) troops capture the French garrison at Ciudad Rodrigo, 85 km southwest of Salamanca.
January 22, 1812: A third regency is set up in Spain to rule for King Fernando VII in opposition to the French.
January 23, 1812: A third earthquake along the lower Mississippi River occurs in the vicinity of New Madrid, in the Louisiana Territory (Missouri).
January 26, 1812: France annexes Andorra.
January 31, 1812: The Virgin of the Sun, an operatic drama by Henry R. Bishop (25) to words of Reynolds after Kotzebue, is performed for the first time, in Covent Garden, London.
February 5, 1812: After some private performances and one public concert in Weimar, Carl Maria von Weber (25) and Heinrich Baermann arrive in Dresden on their concert tour.
February 6, 1812: José García de León y Pizarro replaces Eusebio Bardají y Azara as First Secretary of State of the resistance government of Spain
February 7, 1812: After three major earthquakes and numerous aftershocks in the last two months, a fourth earthquake, estimated at 8.0 on the Richter scale, hits New Madrid, in the Louisiana Territory (Missouri), and destroys most of the town.
February 9, 1812: Incidental music for Kotzebue’s plays The Ruins of Athens and King Stephen by Ludwig van Beethoven (41) is performed for the first time, at the opening of the Pest Theatre.
February 15, 1812: Due to tensions between France and Russia, and his pending divorce proceedings, Adrien Boieldieu (36) writes to Tsar Alyeksandr from Paris that he must resign his position as Kapellmeister.
February 15, 1812: The United States claims the Oregon Territory.
February 17, 1812: As they approach Cuautla, south of Mexico City, a royalist army is attacked from the rear by insurgent cavalry. They successfully repulse them.
February 19, 1812: Royalists attack Cuautla making significant gains but are ultimately driven back with heavy losses.
February 24, 1812: Prussia signs a treaty of alliance with France. The treaty also binds Prussia to allow the free passage of French troops and to provide 20,000 Prussian troops for use with France. Prussia also adheres to the Continental System.
February 27, 1812: George Gordon, Lord Byron makes his maiden speech before the House of Lords. He supports the Luddites and denounces a bill providing for the death penalty in the case of rebellious workers.
March 2, 1812: George Gordon, Lord Byron publishes his Ode to the Framers of the Frame Bill anonymously in the Morning Chronicle. It lambastes the authors of a bill before the Parliament which provides the death penalty for rebellious workers destroying property.
March 5, 1812: Spanish forces lay siege to Cuautla, held by Mexican revolutionaries.
March 10, 1812: Lord Byron publishes the first two cantos of his Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. The sensation is immediate and widespread and establishes Byron in the mind of the public. He will later remark, “I awoke one morning and found myself famous.”
March 11, 1812: The following decree is issued in Prussia: “Jews and their families presently residing in our States and in possession of general privileges, patents of naturalization, letters of protection, and concessions are considered inhabitants and citizens of Prussia.”
March 12, 1812: The Spanish Cortes passes a liberal constitution in Cadiz. This will become the manifesto for Spanish liberals through a great part of the nineteenth century.
March 14, 1812: Fearful of Russian expansion, Austria concludes a military alliance with France, agreeing to provide an army for Napoléon.
March 14, 1812: Cirio in Babilonia, ossia La caduta di Baldassare, a dramma con cori by Gioachino Rossini (20) to words of Aventi, is performed, probably for the first time, in the Teatro Comunale, Ferrara. It is a flop.
March 15, 1812: Luddites destroy the factory of Francis Vickerman in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.
March 16, 1812: Emperor Napoléon appoints his brother Joseph, King José I of Spain, as commander in chief of all the French armies in Iberia.
March 16, 1812: Peninsular War: An allied (Great Britain-Portugal) army reaches the French-held fortress of Badajoz in Extremadura, Spain.
March 19, 1812: The Spanish Constitution of 1812 is proclaimed and published in Cadiz. It is liberal and supports universal suffrage and a constitutional monarchy under King Fernando VII.
March 20, 1812: Jan Ladislav Dussek dies of gout at St. Germain-en-Laye, Seine-et-Oise, in the French Empire, aged 52 years, one month, and eight days. The place of burial is not now known.
March 22, 1812: Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel dates the preface to the first part of his Wissenschaft der Logik in Nuremberg.
March 25, 1812: Publication of the Twelve Dances for piano op.44 by Johann Nepomuk Hummel (33) is announced in the Wiener Zeitung.
March 25, 1812: Samuel Wesley (46) and his wife Charlotte Louisa Martin Wesley execute a deed of separation.
March 26, 1812: An earthquake strikes Caracas, killing 20,000 people. In a strange coincidence, almost all deaths and destruction are confined to those areas supporting the revolution. Loyalist districts are untouched.
March 30, 1812: Peninsular War: The allied army surrounding Badajoz begins bombarding the fortress.
April 1, 1812: Count Nikolay Ivanovich Saltykov replaces Prince Mikhail Barclay de Tolly as Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of Russia.
April 4, 1812: US President James Madison signs a 90-day embargo on British trade.
April 4, 1812: Jean de Paris, an opéra comique by Adrien Boieldieu (36) to words of Saint-Just, is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre Feydeau, Paris, his first production since returning to Paris from St. Petersburg.
April 5, 1812: An alliance between Russia and Sweden is signed in St. Petersburg. Russia promises 30,000 men to fight the French in Germany in return for the guarantee that Sweden will get Norway.
April 5, 1812: Royalists arrive at Huajuapan (Oaxaca, Mexico) and institute a siege of the rebel defenders.
April 6, 1812: Peninsular War: British and Portuguese troops capture the fortress and city of Badajoz, in Extremadura, from a combined garrison of French, Spanish and Hessians. The victors visit plunder, rape, and murder on the citizens.
April 8, 1812: Tsar Alyeksandr orders that the capital of the Grand Duchy of Finland be moved from Turku to Helsinki.
April 9, 1812: 09:30 José Antonio Aponte and other leaders of an uprising of Blacks in Cuba are hanged at La Punta near Havana. His head is placed in an iron cage and displayed in front of the house where he lived. The heads the other leaders are also displayed.
April 11, 1812: About 100 Luddites attack Rawfold’s Mill in Liversedge, Yorkshire. Four men are killed by the local militia.
April 20, 1812: Several thousand Luddites assemble in Middleton, near Manchester, and march on a cotton factory protesting the power looms. Guards fire into the crowd killing two and wounding 20, two mortally.
April 21, 1812: Palestine, an oratorio by William Crotch (36) to words of Heber, is performed for the first time, in the Hanover Square Rooms, London. The capacity audience is so positive, the work will be repeated on 26 May.
April 21, 1812: Over 100 men armed with muskets and other weapons join the Luddite protesters at Middleton, near Manchester. They urge the guards at the cotton mill to give battle. The guards refuse.
April 22, 1812: Prince Viktor II of Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym dies in Schaumburg and is succeeded by his uncle Friedrich.
April 23, 1812: In the face of royalist advances, the rebel congress of Venezuela grants dictatorial powers to Francisco de Miranda.
April 28, 1812: Yorkshire mill owner William Horsfall is murdered by Luddites.
April 30, 1812: Louisiana becomes the 18th state of the United States.
May 2, 1812: After a two-month siege, their stores completely depeleted, Mexican revolutionaries in Cuautla make a desperate break out attempt. In heavy fighting, many escape but their army is dispersed.
May 5, 1812: Duke August Christian Friedrich of Anhalt-Köthen dies at Schloss Geuz and is succeeded by his infant nephew Ludwig II.
May 5, 1812: Dies Haus is zu verkaufen, a singspiel by Johann Nepomuk Hummel (33) to words of Klebe after Duval, is performed for the first time, at the Leopoldstädttheater, Vienna.
May 9, 1812: Napoléon leaves Paris for his invasion of Russia.
May 9, 1812: La scala di seta, a farsa comica by Gioachino Rossini (20) to words of Foppa after Planard, is performed for the first time, in Teatro San Moisè, Venice. It is one of three works performed tonight.
May 11, 1812: British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval, walking through the lobby of the House of Commons, is confronted by John Bellingham who draws a pistol and shoots him point blank through the heart. Perceval dies immediately. Bellingham blames the Prime Minister’s policies for his own financial difficulties. Perceval is succeeded by Lord Liverpool.
May 12, 1812: Ignacio de la Pezuela y Sánchez replaces José García de León y Pizarro as First Secretary of State of the resistance government of Spain.
May 16, 1812: Emperor Napoléon and Empress Marie Louise of France arrive in Dresden accompanied by a torchlight parade. Also in attendance are the various German kings, Friedrich August I of Saxony, Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia, Maximilian I of Bavaria, Friedrich I of Württemberg, and Hieronymus Napoléon (Jérôme Bonaparte) of Westphalia.
May 18, 1812: Amidst celebrations by night and military preparations by day, the Emperor and Empress of Austria arrive in Dresden.
May 18, 1812: John Bellingham is hanged in front of Newgate Prison for the murder of Prime Minister Spencer Perceval a week ago. Among the cheering crowd is George Gordon, Lord Byron.
May 18, 1812: Demetrio e Polibio, a dramma serio by Gioachino Rossini (20) to words of Viganò-Mombelli, is performed for the first time, in Teatro Valle, Rome.
May 22, 1812: After a vote of no confidence, Lord Liverpool resigns as Prime Minister of Great Britain.
May 23, 1812: Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s (33) pantomime Der Zauberkampf, oder Harlekin in seiner Heimat to words of Kees is performed for the first time, in Theater an der Wien, Vienna.
May 26, 1812: Luigi Cherubini (51) resigns as a member of the Jury of the Académie imperiale de musique.
May 28, 1812: The Peace of Bucharest ends hostilities between Russia and the Ottoman Empire and sets the River Pruth (Prut) as their European boundary. Russia abandons claims to Moldavia and Wallachia but annexes Bessarabia. Amnesty and autonomy are provided for the Serbians but Serbia is still to be occupied by Turkey. This frees Tsar Alyeksandr to act against Napoléon.
May 29, 1812: Emperor Napoléon takes leave of Empress Marie Louise in Dresden, where he has extracted promises of troops for his Russian campaign from the leaders of Europe, and heads east.
May 30, 1812: Revolutionaries succeed in halting the royalist advance in Venezuela at Victoria.
June 1, 1812: Humphry Davy dates the preface of his Elements of Chemical Philosophy.
June 4, 1812: The United States House of Representatives votes 79-49 in favor of war against Great Britain.
June 5, 1812: Grand Duet for the Organ by Samuel Wesley (46) is performed for the first time, at the Hanover Square Rooms, London by the composer and Vincent Novello.
June 7, 1812: Emperor Napoléon arrives in Danzig (Gdansk) on his way to the front and inspects the supplies stored there.
June 8, 1812: Prince Ferdinand Johann Nepomuk Kinsky agrees to pay Beethoven’s (41) stipend at the same value as before the revaluation of Austrian currency.
June 9, 1812: Robert Banks Jenkinson, Earl of Liverpool is reappointed as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He resigned after a vote of no confidence in May.
June 10, 1812: Napoléon departs Danzig (Gdansk) for the front.
June 16, 1812: Great Britain agrees to revoke the Orders of Council which forbids American trade with European ports.
June 16, 1812: New York State charters City Bank of New York (later known as Citibank).
June 17, 1812: The United States Senate votes 19-13 in favor of war against Great Britain.
June 17, 1812: Georg Joseph Vogler (63) and Meyer Beer (Giacomo Meyerbeer) (20) travel to Nymphenburg to see the Queen of Bavaria. Vogler intercedes on behalf of his protégé to have his opera Jephtas Gelübde performed at the Court Theatre, and that the Queen may allow Meyerbeer to play in the Court Concert. The Queen says she will have to consult the King. Later, Meyerbeer is summoned to play in the evening. He is last in a line of performers and plays his Rondo in g minor at the piano. The Queen compliments him and asks about his compositions.
June 18, 1812: War of 1812: Unaware that Great Britain rescinded its offending actions two days ago, and pursuant to the votes of the two houses of Congress, the United States declares war on the United Kingdom.
June 18, 1812: The Sicilian Parliament opens. Within 24 hours the framework of a constitution has been adopted.
June 23, 1812: Carlos Martínez de Irujo y Tacón, marques de Casa-Irujo replaces Ignacio de la Pezuela y Sánchez as First Secretary of State of the resistance government of Spain.
June 23, 1812: Emperor Napoléon arrives at the front at Alexota, Duchy of Warsaw (Aleksotas, Lithuania).
June 24, 1812: The Grande Armée of 500,000 men begin to cross the River Nieman (Nemunas) into Russia near Kovno (Kaunas). Nationalities represented include Anhalt, Austria, Baden, Bavaria, Croatia, Dalmatia, Denmark, France, Hesse-Darmstadt, Holland, Illyria, Italy, Lippe, Mecklenburg, Poland, Portugal, Prussia, Saxony, Spain, Switzerland, Westphalia, and Württemberg.
June 25, 1812: A day after learning of the French invasion, Tsar Alyeksandr of Russia writes to Emperor Napoléon asking for peace and a withdrawal from Russian territory. Napoléon will have neither.
June 26, 1812: The Polish Diet declares the independence of Poland. No other power, including Napoléon, will endorse this act.
June 27, 1812: Peninsular War: British forces capture Salamanca from the French.
June 28, 1812: Allied troops enter Vilna (Vilnius), abandoned by the Russians.
June 28, 1812: The Polish Diet in Warsaw proclaims the reunion of Poland and Lithuania.
June 30, 1812: Royalist prisoners rise up and overthrow their captors at Puerto Cabello. The two rebel commanders, Ramón Aymerich and Simón Bolívar manage to escape by sea.
July 1, 1812: The US government doubles tariffs to help pay for the war.
July 2, 1812: While in Prague, Ludwig van Beethoven (41) visits Prince Kinsky and is assured that his stipend at the new value will be coming soon. He receives an advance of 60 ducats.
July 6, 1812: Ludwig van Beethoven (41), in Teplitz, pens a letter to his “Immortal Beloved.” (now believed to be Antonie Brentano, a Viennese lady married to a Frankfurt businessman)
July 8, 1812: Allied troops of the Grand Armée enter Minsk.
July 12, 1812: War of 1812: United States forces invade Upper Canada near Detroit.
July 13, 1812: The Portuguese army withdraws from Banda Oriental (Uruguay) and returns to Brazil.
July 14, 1812: King Jerôme of Westphalia, angry at his older brother Napoléon, abandons the Grand Armée and returns to Kassel.
July 18, 1812: Great Britain concludes peace treaties with Sweden and Russia at Örebro, Sweden. This takes Sweden out of Napoléon's orbit after he seized their lands in Pomerania.
July 19, 1812: While taking the cure at Teplitz (Teplice), two giants of Romanticism, Ludwig van Beethoven (41) and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, meet for the first time. Of the meeting, Goethe will write on 2 September, “His talent amazed me; unfortunately he is an utterly untamed personality, who is not altogether in the wrong in holding the world to be detestable but surely does not make it any the more enjoyable for himself or others by his attitude.” Beethoven will write on 9 August, “Goethe delights far too much in the court atmosphere. Far more than is becoming a poet.”
July 22, 1812: Peninsular War: French forces are routed by the British and Portuguese south of Salamanca, opening the way to Madrid.
July 23, 1812: The invading allied army defeats the Russians at Saltanovka (near Mogilev, Belarus). The Russians retreat to Smolensk.
July 23, 1812: Rebels make several attacks against the royalist army besieging Huajuapan (Oaxaca, Mexico). The royalists are defeated with heavy losses in men and weapons.
July 24, 1812: Tsar Alyeksandr makes a public appeal in Moscow for assistance from every able-bodied Russian.
July 25, 1812: Spain reasserts its power in Venezuela. Revolutionary leader Francisco de Miranda surrenders Caracas and his troops to the Spanish. Miranda is taken to Spain in irons where he will die in prison.
July 26, 1812: Fire destroys a good part of the city of Baden, southwest of Vienna.
July 26, 1812: Franz Schubert (15) sings as chorister in the Imperial Chapel for the last time. His voice has broken. He will now devote his energies to composing church music. He marks the occasion by writing in the alto score of Peter Winter’s Mass no.1 “Schubert, Franz, crowed for the last time, 26 July 1812.”
July 28, 1812: Allied forces advance on Vitebsk, 460 km west of Moscow, making for battle, but find the city evacuated.
August 1, 1812: Allies and Russians end three days of fighting at Khlastitsy (Belarus) with an inconclusive result. However, the Allied drive on St. Petersburg is halted.
August 6, 1812: Ludwig van Beethoven (41) performs a concert, along with Giovanni Battista Polledro, in Karlsbad (Karoly Vary) to benefit the victims of fire in Baden, 26 July.
August 6, 1812: Peninsular War: The allied (Great Britain-Portugal) army begins its march from Valladolid to Madrid.
August 8, 1812: Russian Cossacks repel Allied cavalry near Inkovo.
August 8, 1812: The 30 ton paddle steamer Comet begins the first commercial steamboat service in Europe when it plies 39 km of the River Clyde between Glasgow, Greenock, and Helensburgh. It was built by Henry Bell and John Wood.
August 10, 1812: A rebel army enters Tehuacán de las Granadas, Mexico.
August 11, 1812: A new rebel army recruited in New Orleans captures Nacogdoches, Texas.
August 12, 1812: Peninsular War: British, Portuguese, and Spanish troops under Viscount Wellington enter Madrid.
August 13, 1812: War of 1812: USS Essex defeats HMS Alert near Bermuda and captures a troop transport.
British forces begin bombarding Fort Detroit.
August 14, 1812: Allied forces reach Krasnoye, 40 km southwest of Smolensk, and meet the first organized Russian resistance.
August 16, 1812: War of 1812: United States forces surrender Detroit to the British. The commanding general, William Hull, will be court martialed.
August 17, 1812: Over the last two days, Russian and Allied forces have battled near Smolensk causing approximately 23,000 total casualties but no strategic result. Under cover of darkness, the Russians evacuate the city.
August 19, 1812: War of 1812: USS Constitution destroys HMS Guerriere 2,000 km east of Boston. 22 people are killed.
August 22, 1812: Swiss adventurer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt “discovers” the ancient city of Petra near Wadi Musa (Jordan).
August 25, 1812: Peninsular War: Following the reverses in western Spain, the French lift the siege of Cádiz and move north.
August 27, 1812: Venezuelan rebel leader Simón Bolívar reaches safety in Curaçao.
August 27, 1812: Peninsular War: French forces abandon Seville and move north.
August 29, 1812: Mikhail Ilarionovich Kutuzov takes command of the Russian army facing Napoléon's Grand Armée.
August 30, 1812: Tsar Alyeksandr of Russia meets Swedish Crown Prince Karl Johan at Åbo (Turku) and they reaffirm the 5 April Treaty of St. Petersburg. The Tsar promises 35,000 men for the Swedish conquest of Norway.
September 5, 1812: Allied forces reach the village of Borodino where the Russians have massed for the defense of Moscow. Some skirmishing begins.
September 6, 1812: Carl Maria von Weber (25) arrives in Gotha from Leipzig and Berlin. He is alone, as Heinrich Baermann has given up the tour, leaving Weber in Berlin.
September 7, 1812: Twelve hours of fighting between Russian and Allied troops at Borodino, west of Moscow, ends in complete stalemate, both sides too exhausted to continue. The day produces somewhere between 70,000 and 90,000 total casualties. More men are killed at Borodino than in any battle before World War I.
September 8, 1812: Russian forces withdraw from Borodino.
September 10, 1812: French soldiers pillage the town of Novospasskoye, home of Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (8).
September 10, 1812: A Russian expedition, accompanied by many Aleuts, completes the stockade for Fort Ross, 100 km north of San Francisco Bay.
September 11, 1812: Sappho von Mitilene, a ballet by Johann Nepomuk Hummel (33) to a scenario by Viganò, is performed for the first time, at Theater an der Wien, Vienna.
September 14, 1812: Russian troops and citizenry abandon Moscow and retreat to the southwest. The Allied vanguard reaches the city around midnight.
September 15, 1812: Napoléon takes up residence in the Kremlin as fires break out in the city, mostly set by Russian agents.
September 16, 1812: The fires in Moscow are so intense that Napoléon and his staff evacuate to the Petrovskoye Palace outside the city.
September 16, 1812: Lowell Mason’s (20) first musical composition, the anthem Ordination, is performed for the first time, at the ordination of Dr. Ralph Sanger as pastor of the Unitarian Church in Dover, Massachusetts.
September 17, 1812: Over the last three days, fire has destroyed three-quarters of Moscow as the Allied army loots the city.
September 18, 1812: After fleeing the fires for two days, Napoléon and his staff move back into Moscow.
September 19, 1812: Peninsular War: British forces withdraw from Burgos.
September 19, 1812: Mayer Rothschild dies in Frankfurt at the age of 68.
September 21, 1812: Emanuel Schikaneder dies in Vienna at the age of 61.
September 22, 1812: A Kyrie in C by Antonio Salieri (62) is performed for the first time, in Vienna.
September 22, 1812: Peninsular War: The Spanish Cortes offers the post of commander in chief of its armed forces to Viscount Wellington.
September 24, 1812: Russian forces cut Napoléon’s main supply line at Mozhaysk, 165 km west of Moscow.
September 24, 1812: The Principalities of Waldeck and Pyrmont are rejoined as the Principality of Waldeck-Pyrmont under Prince Georg.
September 24, 1812: Halting his retreat south, General Belgrano’s Argentine rebel army halts at Tucumán where they are attacked by the royalists pursuing them. The results of the battle are mixed with both sides claiming some successes.
September 25, 1812: Belgrano’s Argentine rebel army counterattacks at Tucumán. The royalists retire north.
September 26, 1812: Gioachino Rossini’s (20) melodramma giocoso La pietra del paragone to words of Romanelli is performed for the first time, in Teatro alla Scala, Milan. The work proves an instant success.
September 26, 1812: Hereditary Prince Francesco is taken ill after dinner in Palermo. Rumors have it that he was poisoned by the Queen or her followers.
September 27, 1812: Pedro Gómez-Labrador Avelo replaces Carlos Martínez de Irujo y Tacón, marques de Casa-Irujo as First Secretary of State of the resistance government of Spain.
October 3, 1812: La duchesse de la Vallière, a cantata by Louis Joseph Ferdinand Hérold (21) is performed for the first time, at the prize-giving ceremony for the Prix de Rome, in Paris. Hérold’s work won first prize.
October 4, 1812: Peninsular War: British and Portuguese troops attack the French garrison at Burgos.
October 5, 1812: Napoléon sends out emissaries, searching for someone with whom he might conclude an armistice or peace.
October 5, 1812: Ludwig van Beethoven (41) arrives in Linz to try and break up an affair between his brother Johann and the sister-in-law of Johann’s tenant, Therese Obermayer. The dispute will dissolve into a physical brawl between the two brothers.
October 6, 1812: The Aethiop, or The Child of the Desert, a romantic drama by Henry R. Bishop (25) to words of Dimond, is performed for the first time, in Covent Garden, London.
October 13, 1812: War of 1812: United States forces capture Queenstown Heights, Upper Canada (Ontario) but are forced to retreat by a counterattack by British and colonials.
October 18, 1812: On the same day that Napoléon resolves to retreat to Smolensk, Russian forces attack Allied cavalry near Vinkovo taking them completely by surprise. The French manage to escape.
October 18, 1812: The Brothers Grimm date the preface to the first volume of their Kinder- und Hausmärchen.
October 18, 1812: War of 1812: USS Wasp captures HMS Frolic 1,300 km off the Virginia coast.
October 19, 1812: Allied forces begin to evacuate Moscow. Emperor Napoléon is the first to leave.
In two days of fighting, the Russians attack and drive back the Allies at Polotsk, 218 km northwest of Smolensk.
October 20, 1812: Rebel Argentines lay siege to the royalist garrison at Montevideo.
October 21, 1812: Samuel Wesley (46) writes to his mother in Brighton asking for money. Since she has recently come to his aid, he asks for half of his inheritance. See 4 November 1812.
October 21, 1812: Peninsular War: When the they learn of the advance of the French into La Mancha, the British and Portuguese raise the siege of Burgos and retreat towards Valladolid.
October 23, 1812: After the retreating Allies take control of Maloyaroslavets and a bridge over the River Lusha, Russian troops appear and drive them away.
October 23, 1812: Having escaped from a lunatic asylum in Paris where he has been held for the last four years, General Claude-François de Malet hatches a plan to seize power. He announces that Napoléon has died in Russia and convinces several senior guard officers of this. Together they arrest the minister of police and other officials. After personally killing the commander of the Paris garrison, General Pierre-Augustin Hulin, Malet is discovered for who he is and arrested. The plot collapses. 84 people are arrested.
October 24, 1812: After a fierce battle for Maloyaroslavets, during which the town changed hands five times, the Russians are forced to withdraw, although they continue to fire on the Allies in the town.
October 24, 1812: Publication of Eight Piano Pieces op.37 by Johann Nepomuk Hummel (33) is announced in the Wiener Zeitung.
October 25, 1812: War of 1812: USS United States defeats HMS Macedonian off the Azores.
October 25, 1812: Peninsular War: French forces defeat the Spanish at Palencia, effectively giving them Valladolid.
October 29, 1812: General Claude-François de Malet and 13 others are executed by firing squad in the Grenelle Plain for acts of treason committed 23 October. Most of those killed, including three generals, are unwitting dupes of Malet.
October 30, 1812: Peninsular War: British troops begin retreating out of New Castile, leaving Madrid undefended. Many British soldiers take out their frustrations on the Spanish populace, including the usual array of murders, rapes, and looting.
October 31, 1812: Napoléon reaches Vyazma, 218 km west of Moscow where he pauses to assess the situation.
November 1, 1812: Georg Joseph Vogler (63) plays the triorganon for the first time, at high mass in St. Michael’s Church in Munich. He recently completed construction of the instrument.
November 2, 1812: Prince Ferdinand Johann Nepomuk Kinsky, an important patron of Ludwig van Beethoven (41), is thrown from his horse near Prague. He will die early tomorrow.
November 3, 1812: Pursuing Russians succeed in surrounding the Allied rear guard at Vyazma. Eventually, they will be saved but with great cost to the Allies.
November 4, 1812: Samuel Wesley (46) writes to his mother once again to inform her that if he does not receive £100 immediately, he will be sent to jail. See 21 October 1812.
November 7, 1812: Allied troops in the north retreat to Chereya (Belarus).
November 8, 1812: Incensed by the behavior of his brother Ludwig (41), Johann van Beethoven marries Therese Obermayer. Ludwig returns to Vienna. See 25 October 1812.
November 9, 1812: Napoléon and the Grande Armée reach Smolensk where they proceed to ransack the city. At the same time, Allied reinforcements are savagely attacked by Russians southwest of the city and are induced to surrender.
November 10, 1812: Five weeks of voting in the British general elections conclude. The Tory Party of the Prime Minister, the Earl of Liverpool, is returned to power.
November 12, 1812: Allied forces begin to retreat west from Smolensk.
November 14, 1812: The Allies attack Russians at Smolyani but are forced to withdraw.
November 16, 1812: Russian troops capture Minsk, the main Allied supply point.
November 16, 1812: Georg Joseph Vogler (63) gives the first public concert on his instrument, the triorganon, in St. Michael’s Church, Munich. It is a great success.
November 17, 1812: Allied troops attack the Russians south of Krasnoye and send them reeling. Left for dead on the battlefield is 24-year-old Jean-Victor Poncelet. He will recover and next Spring, in a Russian prison camp, he will invent projective geometry.
November 20, 1812: Russian troops cross from the west bank of the Berezina into Borisov, 73 km northeast of Minsk, and capture it from Polish defenders.
November 24, 1812: L’occasione fa il ladro, a burletta per musica by Gioachino Rossini (20) to words of Prividali after Scribe, is performed for the first time, in Teatro San Moisè, Venice. The reaction of the public is tepid.
November 24, 1812: A rebel army assaults and overwhelms the royalist garrison at Oaxaca City, Mexico, devastating the town. The leaders of the royalist army are summarily executed.
November 25, 1812: After forcing the Russians off the west bank, Allied troops begin to cross the River Berezina at Studienka.
November 27, 1812: Lowell Mason (20) leaves his home in Medfield, Massachusetts to move to Savannah, Georgia.
November 28, 1812: Russian troops attack the remnants of the Allied force still east of the Berezina. Retreating to Studienka, the Allies fall into Russian hands, give battle, but are captured.
November 29, 1812: The Allies complete their crossing of the Berezina. They blow up their bridges, leaving behind 15,000 camp followers and refugees, most of whom are killed by Cossacks.
November 29, 1812: Russians attack Plechenitzi on the Allied route of retreat but are fought off in a desperate action.
December 2, 1812: Music for Reynolds’ (after Dryden) play The Renegade by Henry R. Bishop (26) is performed for the first time, in Covent Garden, London.
December 3, 1812: At Molodesczo (Maladzyechna, Belarus), Napoléon issues the 29th Bulletin. He tells France that there has been a disaster in Russia and a new army of 300,000 men will be needed.
December 5, 1812: At Smorgon, 75 km east of Vilna (Vilnius), Napoléon informs his generals that he is abandoning the army and making for Paris. He leaves this evening.
December 9, 1812: The exhausted Allied army reaches Vilna (Vilnius) which they proceed to plunder.
December 10, 1812: Napoléon reaches Warsaw on his way back to Paris from Russia.
December 12, 1812: Remnants of the Grande Armée cross the Nieman into Prussia at Kovno. Only 5,000 men remain in recognizable military units.
December 13, 1812: Napoléon reaches Dresden on his way back to Paris from Russia.
December 16, 1812: A cantata for “La Goguette” by Luigi Cherubini (52) is performed in Paris at a meeting of that singing society.
December 17, 1812: The Piano Concerto no.2 J.155 by Carl Maria von Weber (26) is performed for the first time, in Gotha, the composer at the keyboard. Weber reports that everything “went excellently.”
December 17, 1812: The 29th Bulletin of 3 December, informing the French people of the disaster in Russia, is published in Paris.
December 18, 1812: As Emperor Napoléon arrives in Paris, some of the last remaining members of the Grande Armée reach Bialystok from whence they safely cross into Austrian territory. Of the Allied troops who crossed the Vistula during the summer of 1812, only 93,000 remain by New Year, 1813. Napoléon’s Russian campaign has cost roughly 750,000 lives.
December 19, 1812: Allied forces evacuate Riga.
December 20, 1812: Carl Maria von Weber (26) leaves Gotha intending to undertake another concert tour.
December 20, 1812: Volume I of Kinder- und Hausmärchen by the Brothers Grimm is published.
December 23, 1812: Jephtas Gelübde, an opera by Meyer Beer (Giacomo Meyerbeer) (21) to words of Schreiber, is performed for the first time, in the Court Theatre, Munich. Although nervous and troubled leading up to today, the composer is greatly pleased by the outcome. However, it is not well received.
December 24, 1812: Anhalt-Bernburg-Schaumburg-Hoym, having been separated from Anhalt-Bernburg in 1707, is rejoined to the Duchy.
December 24, 1812: Peninsular War: Viscount Wellington arrives in Cádiz to accept command of the Spanish armies from the Cortes.
December 26, 1812: Tamerlano, a melodramma seria by Johann Simon Mayr (49) to words of Romanelli after Voltaire, is performed for the first time, in Teatro alla Scala, Milan.
December 26, 1812: War of 1812: Great Britain announces a blockade of Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay.
December 29, 1812: The Violin Sonata op.96 by Ludwig van Beethoven (42) is performed for the first time, at the home of Prince Lobkowitz, Vienna. The performers are the violinist Jacques Pierre Joseph Rode and Archduke Rudolph.
December 29, 1812: War of 1812: USS Constitution defeats HMS Java off the coast of Brazil. In the process, the Americans capture Lt. General Thomas Hislop, Governor of India.
December 30, 1812: Russian troops surround Prussian forces who are among the allies evacuating Riga. The Prussians, in the “Convention of Tauroggen,” declare themselves neutral. Even though the act is unknown to King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia, it signals a change of heart among Germans.
December 30, 1812: Ludwig van Beethoven (42) petitions the estate of Prince Kinsky to be paid his stipend at the revalued rate the Prince agreed to before he died.
December 31, 1812: Besieged royalists attack out from Montevideo. After making gains they are thrown back at El Cerrito and limp back to the town.