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|Centuries:||18th century – 19th century – 20th century|
|Decades:||1820s 1830s 1840s – 1850s – 1860s 1870s 1880s|
|Years:||1847 1848 1849 – 1850 – 1851 1852 1853|
- For the game, see: 1850 (board game).
1850 (MDCCCL) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Sunday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar).
Events of 1850
January - June
- January 29 - Henry Clay introduces the Compromise of 1850 to the U.S. Congress
- February 28 - University of Utah opens in Salt Lake City, Utah
- March 7 - United States Senator Daniel Webster gives his "Seventh of March" speech in which he endorses the Compromise of 1850 in order to prevent a possible civil war.
- March 16 - Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter is published.
- March 19 - American Express is founded by Henry Wells & William Fargo.
- April 4 - Los Angeles, California is incorporated as a city.
- April 15 - San Francisco, California is incorporated as a city.
- May 7 - The Brigantine USS Advance is loaned to the United States Navy.
- May 16 - French battleship Le Napoléon is launched.
- May 23 - The USS Advance puts to sea from New York to search for John Franklin's Arctic expedition.
- June 1 - The postage stamp issues of Austria began with a series of imperforate typographed stamps featuring the coat of arms.
- June 3 - The traditional date of Kansas City, Missouri's founding. This is the date on which it was incorporated by Jackson County, Missouri as the "Town of Kansas".
July - December
- July - Taiping Rebellion: Hong Xiuquan orders the general mobilisation of rebel forces.
- July 9
- August 28 - Richard Wagner's opera Lohengrin premieres.
- September 9
- September 18 - The Fugitive Slave Law is passed by the U.S. Congress.
- September 29 - The Catholic hierarchy is re-established in England and Wales by Pope Pius IX.
- October 1 - Foundation of the University of Sydney, the oldest in Australia
- November - Taiping Rebellion: First clashes of the Taiping Rebellion occur between Imperialist militia and the Heavenly Army.
- November 29 - The treaty called Punctation of Olmütz was signed in Olomouc. It meant diplomatic capitulation of Prussia to Austrian Empire, which took over the leadership of German Confederation.
- December 16 - The first four sailing ships arrived at the Port of Lyttelton (New Zealand), with 792 emigrants or Canterbury Pilgrims as they called themselves. On this day they founded an exclusive theocratic Utopia, which they called Christchurch.
- The American System of Watch Manufacturing starts in Roxbury, Massachusetts USA, Waltham Watch Company
- Bingley Hall, the world's first purpose- built exhibition hall, opens in Birmingham, England.
- Allan Pinkerton forms the North-Western Police Agency, later the Pinkerton National Detective Agency
- France begins to transport colonists to Algeria.
- Rifling becomes common in firearms.
- Entre Ríos Province in Argentina revolts - it is backed by Brazil in alliance with Paraguay and the Uruguayan Colorado Party.
- Harriet Tubman becomes an official conductor of the Underground Railroad.
- The International Organisation of Good Templars is established, then as the order Knights of Jericho.
- Foundation of St. Mary’s Institute in Dayton, OH, which would eventually become the University of Dayton.
|Ab urbe condita||2603|
|British Regnal year||13 Vict. 1 – 14 Vict. 1|
|Chinese calendar|| 己酉年十一月十九日
— to —庚戌年十一月廿八日
|- Vikram Samvat||1906–1907|
|- Shaka Samvat||1772–1773|
|- Kali Yuga||4951–4952|
|- Ǹrí Ìgbò||850–851|
|Japanese calendar|| Kaei 3
|Juche calendar||N/A (before 1912)|
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 12 days|
|Minguo calendar||62 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2393|
January - June
- January - John Barclay Armstrong, Texas Ranger and U.S. Marshal (d. 1913)
- January 4 - Frederick York Powell, English historian and scholar (d. 1904)
- January 6 - Eduard Bernstein, German social democratic theoretician and politician (d. 1932)
- January 6 - Xaver Scharwenka, Polish-German composer (d. 1924)
- January 10 - John Wellborn Root, U.S. architect (d. 1891)
- January 11 - Philipp von Ferrary, Italian stamp collector (d. 1917)
- January 14 - Pierre Loti, French sailor and writer (d. 1923)
- January 15
- January 17 - Aleksandr Taneyev, Russian composer (d. 1918)
- January 18 - Seth Low, American educator (d. 1916)
- January 19 - Augustine Birrell, English author and politician (d. 1933)
- January 24
- January 27
- January 28 - Edward Merritt Hughes, U.S. Navy officer (d. 1903)
- January 29
- February 8 - Kate Chopin, U.S. novelist (d. 1904)
- February 12 - William Morris Davis, U.S. geographer (d. 1934)
- February 14 - Kiyoura Keigo, Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1942)
- February 15 - Albert B. Cummins, U.S. political figure (d. 1926)
- February 17 - Alf Morgans, Premier of Western Australia (d. 1933)
- February 18 - George Henschel, English musician (d. 1934)
- February 23 - César Ritz, Swiss hotelier (d. 1918)
- February 27
- March 7
- March 9 - Hamo Thornycroft, British sculptor (d. 1925)
- March 10 - Spencer Gore, British tennis player and cricketer (d. 1906)
- March 13 - Hugh John Macdonald, premier of Manitoba (d. 1929)
- March 26 - Edward Bellamy, U.S. author (d. 1898)
- March 31 - Charles Doolittle Walcott, U.S. invertebrate paleontologist (d. 1927)
- April 8 - John Peters, American 19th century baseball player (d. 1924)
- April 9 - Julius Wernher, German-born British businessman and art collector (d. 1912)
- April 11 - Isidor Rayner, U.S. senator (d. 1912)
- April 12 - Nikolai Golitsyn, Prime Minister of Russia (d. 1925)
- April 13 - Arthur Matthew Weld Downing, British astronomer (d. 1917)
- April 15
- April 16 - Paul von Breitenbach, German railway planner (d. 1930)
- April 18 - Joseph Labadie, U.S. labor organizer (d. 1933)
- April 20 - Daniel Chester French, U.S. sculptor (d. 1931)
- April 24 - Murdo MacKenzie, Scottish-Brazilian rancher (d. 1939)
- April 26
- April 27 - Hans Hartwig von Beseler, German soldier (d. 1921)
- April 29 - George Murdoch, first mayor of Calgary (d. 1910)
- May 1 - Prince Arthur of the United Kingdom (d. 1942)
- May 3 - Johnny Ringo, U.S. cowboy (d. 1892)
- May 4 - Emanuel Schiffers, Russian chess player (d. 1904)
- May 7 - Anton Seidl, Hungarian conductor (d. 1898)
- May 8 - Ross Barnes, U.S. baseball player (d. 1915)
- May 10 - Thomas Lipton, Scottish merchant and yachtsman (d. 1931)
- May 12
- May 12 - Frederick Holder, premier of South Australia (d. 1909)
- May 14 - Alva Adams, Governor of Colorado (d. 1922)
- May 18 - Oliver Heaviside, British engineer (d. 1925)
- May 21 - Giuseppe Mercalli, Italian volcanologist (d. 1914)
- May 26 - James Kenyon, British pioneer of cinematography (d. 1925)
- May 27 - Thomas Neill Cream, serial killer (d. 1892)
- May 28 - Frederic William Maitland, English jurist and historian (d. 1906)
- May 30 - Frederick Dent Grant, U.S. soldier and statesman (d. 1912)
- June 2
- June 3 - Albert M. Todd, American businessman and politician (d. 1931)
- June 5 - Pat Garrett, American bartender and sheriff (d. 1908)
- June 6 - Karl Ferdinand Braun, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1918)
- June 12 - Roberto Ivens, Portuguese explorer of Africa (d. 1898)
- June 15 - Charles Hazelius Sternberg, U.S. fossil collector and amateur paleontologist (d. 1943)
- June 18 - Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar Curtis, U.S. publisher (d. 1933)
- June 21 - Daniel Carter Beard, U.S. scouting pioneer (d. 1941)
- June 22 - Ignaz Goldziher, Jewish Hungarian orientalist (d. 1921)
- June 24 - Horatio Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener, British field marshal and statesman (d. 1916)
- June 27
July - December
- July 2 - Robert Ridgway, U.S. ornithologist (d. 1929)
- July 8 - Charles Rockwell Lanman, U.S. Sanskrit scholar (d. 1941)
- July 12
- July 15 - Mother Cabrini, U.S. saint (d. 1917)
- July 20 - John G. Shedd, U.S. businessman (d. 1926)
- July 28 - William Whittingham Lyman, U.S. vintner (d. 1921)
- July 31
- August - Bernardo Reyes, Mexican general (d. 1913)
- August 5 - Guy de Maupassant, French writer (d. 1893)
- August 6 - Henri Chantavoine, French writer (d. 1918)
- August 9 - Johann Büttikofer, Swiss zoologist (d. 1929)
- August 13 - Philip Bourke Marston, English poet (d. 1887)
- August 14 - W. W. Rouse Ball, British mathematician (d. 1925)
January - June
- January 2 - Manuel de la Peña y Peña, interim President of Mexico (b. 1789)
- January 20 - Adam Gottlob Oehlenschläger, Danish poet and playwright (b. 1779)
- January 22
- January 26 - Francis Jeffrey, Scottish judge and literary critic (b. 1773)
- January 27
- February 4 - Daniel Turner, officer in the United States Navy (b. 1794)
- February 20 - Valentín Canalizo, acting president of Mexico (b. 1794)
- February 23 - Matthew Whitworth-Aylmer, 5th Baron Aylmer, British military officer and colonial administrator (b. 1775)
- February 25 - Daoguang Emperor, of the Qing dynasty of China (b. 1782)
- February 27 - Samuel Adams, Democratic Governor of the State of Arkansas (b. 1805)
- March 3 - Oliver Cowdery, U.S. religious leader (b. 1806)
- March 13
- March 26 - Samuel Turell Armstrong, U.S. political figure (b. 1784)
- March 27 - Wilhelm Beer, German banker and astronomer (b. 1797)
- March 28 - Gerard Brandon, Governor of Mississippi (b. 1788)
- March 31 - John C. Calhoun, 7th Vice President of the United States (b. 1782)
- April 7 - William Lisle Bowles, English poet and critic (b. 1762)
- April 9 - William Prout, English chemist and physician (b. 1785)
- April 12 - Adoniram Judson, U.S. Baptist missionary (b. 1788)
- April 16 - Marie Tussaud, French wax sculptor (b. 1761)
- April 17 - Jan Krukowiecki, Polish general (b. 1772)
- April 23 - William Wordsworth, English poet (b. 1770)
- April 24 - John Norvell, U.S. newspaperman and senator (b. 1789)
- May 1 - Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville, French zoologist and anatomist (b. 1777)
- May 10 - Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac, French chemist and physicist (b. 1778)
- May 12 - Frances Sargent Osgood, U.S. poet (b. 1811)
- May 21 - Christoph Friedrich von Ammon, German theological writer and preacher (b. 1766)
- May 24 - Michał Gedeon Radziwiłł, Polish noble (b. 1778)
- May 31 - Giuseppe Giusti, Tuscan satirical poet (b. 1809)
- June 9 - John Green Crosse, English surgeon
- June 16 - William Lawson, British explorer of New South Wales (b. 1774)
- June 19 - Margaret Fuller, American journalist (b. 1810)
- June 30 - Richard Dillingham, American Quaker teacher (b. 1823)
July - December
- July 2 - Robert Peel, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (b. 1788)
- July 4 - William Kirby, English entomologist (b. 1759)
- July 7 - Timothy Hackworth, British steam locomotive engineer
- July 8 - Prince Adolphus of the United Kingdom, 1st Duke of Cambridge (b. 1774)
- July 9
- July 12 - Robert Stevenson, Scottish lighthouse engineer (b. 1772)
- July 14 - August Neander, German theologian and church historian (b. 1789)
- July 25 - Richard Barnes Mason, military governor of California (b. 1797)
- August 3 - Jacob Jones, U.S. Navy officer (b. 1768)
- August 6
- Edward Walsh, Irish poet (b. 1805)
- Hone Heke, Maori chief and war leader
- August 13 - Martin Archer Shee, Irish painter and president of the Royal Academy (b. 1770)
- August 17 - General José de San Martín, Argentine military and South American independence hero (b. 1778)
- August 18
- August 22 - Nikolaus Lenau, Austrian poet (b. 1802)
- August 26 - King Louis-Philippe of France (b. 1773)
- August 27 - Thomas Kidd, English classical scholar and schoolmaster (b. 1770)
- September 2 - Charles Watkin Williams-Wynn, British Tory politician (b. 1775)
- September 12 - Presley O'Bannon, officer in the United States Marine Corps (b. 1784)
- September 22 - Johann Heinrich von Thünen, German economist (b. 1783)
- September 23 - José Gervasio Artigas, Uruguayan revolutionary (b. 1764)
- October 2 - Sarah Biffen, English painter (b. 1784)
- October 29 - Marmaduke Williams, Democratic-Republican U.S. Congressman from North Carolina (b. 1774)
- November 2 - Richard Dobbs Spaight, Jr., Democratic governor of the U.S. state of North Carolina (b. 1796)
- November 3 - Thomas Ford, governor of Illinois (b. 1800)
- November 4 - Gustav Schwab, German classical scholar (b. 1792)
- November 9 - François-Xavier-Joseph Droz, French writer on ethics and political science (b. 1773)
- November 19 - Richard Mentor Johnson, Vice President of the United States (b. 1780)
- November 22 - Lin Zexu, Chinese politician (b. 1785)
- November 30 - Germain Henri Hess, Swiss chemist and doctor (b. 1802)
- December 4
- December 10
- December 22 - William Plumer, U.S. lawyer and lay preacher (b. 1759)
- December 24 - Frédéric Bastiat French author and economist (b. 1801)
- December 28 - Heinrich Christian Schumacher, German astronomer (b. 1780)
- date unknown