1849 in the United States
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Events from the year 1849 in the United States.
- President: James K. Polk (D-Tennessee) (until March 4), Zachary Taylor (W-Virginia) (starting March 4)
- Vice President: George M. Dallas (D-Pennsylvania) (until March 4), Millard Fillmore (W-New York) (starting March 4)
- Chief Justice: Roger B. Taney (Maryland)
- Speaker of the House of Representatives: Robert Charles Winthrop (W-Massachusetts) (until March 4), Howell Cobb (D-Georgia) (starting December 22)
- Congress: 30th (until March 4), 31st (starting March 4)
- January 23 – Elizabeth Blackwell is awarded her M.D. by the Medical Institute of Geneva, New York, thus becoming the United States' first woman doctor.
- February 14 – In New York City, James Knox Polk becomes the first sitting President of the United States to have his photograph taken.
- February 28 – Regular steamboat service from the west to the east coast of the United States begins with the arrival of the SS California in San Francisco Bay. The California leaves New York Harbor on October 6, 1848, rounds Cape Horn at the tip of South America, and arrives at San Francisco, California after the 4-month-21-day journey.
- March 3
- March 4 – Zachary Taylor becomes the 12th President of the United States, but refuses to be sworn in office on a Sabbath (Sunday). Urban legend holds that David Rice Atchison, President pro tempore of the United States Senate was President de jure for a single day.
- March 5 – President Zachary Taylor is sworn into office.
- May 3 – The Mississippi River levee at Sauvé's Crevasse breaks, flooding much of New Orleans, Louisiana.
- June 6 – Fort Worth, Texas is founded.
- September 1 – The first segment of the Pennsylvania Railroad, from Lewiston, Pennsylvania to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, opens for service.
- November – Austin College receives a charter in Huntsville.
- November 13 – The Constitution of California is ratified by the electorate.
- Undated – Pfizer is founded by cousins Charles Pfizer and Charles F. Erhart in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as a manufacturer of fine chemicals.
- 1849; Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ends the Mexican-American War.
- California Gold Rush (January 24, 1848–1855)
- January 12 – Murphy J. Foster, U.S. Senator from Louisiana from 1901 to 1913 (died 1921)
- January 29 – Newton C. Blanchard, U.S. Senator from Louisiana from 1894 to 1897 (died 1922)
- March 2 – Robert Means Thompson, naval officer (died 1930)
- March 7 – Luther Burbank, biologist (died 1926)
- April 3 – Walter Guion, U.S. Senator from Louisiana in 1918 (died 1927)
- April 17 – William R. Day, politician and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (died 1923)
- April 19 – John Uri Lloyd, pharmacist and science fiction author (died 1936)
- April 30 – Jennie Tuttle Hobart, Second Lady of the United States as wife of Garret Hobart (died 1941)
- May 19 – John Hubbard, admiral (died 1932)
- June 30 – William Joseph Deboe, U.S. from Kentucky from 1897 to 1903 (died 1927)
- July 22 – Emma Lazarus, poet (died 1887)
- August 9 – John P. Young, managing editor of the San Francisco Chronicle (died 1921)
- August 12 – Abbott Handerson Thayer, painter, naturalist and teacher (died 1921)
- August 23 – William Stanley West, U.S. Senator from Georgia in 1914 (died 1914)
- September 3 – Sarah Orne Jewett, Maine fiction writer (died 1909)
- September 18 – Martha Place, murderer (first woman executed in the electric chair, 1899)
- October 7 – James Whitcomb Riley, dialect poet (died 1916)
- December 6
- December 12 – William Kissam Vanderbilt, railway magnate (died 1920)
- December 19 – Henry Clay Frick, industrialist and art collector (died 1919)
- December 20
- Ellen Eglin, inventor
- Emma Curtis Hopkins, spiritual writer (died 1925)
- January 30 – Jonathan Alder, settler (born 1773)
- March 17 – Ann Gerry, Second Lady of the United States from 1813 to 1814 as wife of Elbridge Gerry (born 1763)
- July 12 – Dolley Madison, First Lady of the United States from 1809 to 1817 as wife of James Madison (born 1768)
- June 15 – James K. Polk, 11th President of the United States from 1845 to 1849 (born 1795)
- July 30 – Jacob Perkins, inventor, mechanical engineer, and physicist (born 1766)
- August 23 – Edward Hicks, folk painter and Quaker preacher (born 1780)
- October 7 – Edgar Allan Poe, author, poet, editor and literary critic (born 1809)
- October 22 – William Miller, Baptist preacher, leader of the Second Advent Movement (born 1782)
- Robert Cary Long, Jr., architect working in Baltimore (born 1810)
- Media related to 1849 in the United States at Wikimedia Commons