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|Centuries:||18th century – 19th century – 20th century|
|Decades:||1810s 1820s 1830s – 1840s – 1850s 1860s 1870s|
|Years:||1839 1840 1841 – 1842 – 1843 1844 1845|
|1842 in topic:|
|Archaeology – Architecture – Art – Literature – Music|
|Australia – Canada – France – Germany – Mexico – Philippines – South Africa – US – UK|
|Rail Transport – Science – Sports|
|Lists of leaders|
|Colonial Governors – State leaders|
|Birth and death categories|
|Births – Deaths|
|Establishments and disestablishments categories|
|Establishments – Disestablishments|
|Ab urbe condita||2595|
|Bahá'í calendar||-2 – -1|
|British Regnal year||5 Vict. 1 – 6 Vict. 1|
|Chinese calendar||辛丑年 (Metal Ox)
4538 or 4478
— to —
壬寅年 (Water Tiger)
4539 or 4479
|- Vikram Samvat||1898–1899|
|- Shaka Samvat||1764–1765|
|- Kali Yuga||4943–4944|
|Japanese calendar||Tenpō 13
|Julian calendar||Gregorian minus 12 days|
|Minguo calendar||70 before ROC
|Thai solar calendar||2385|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1842.|
Year 1842 (MDCCCXLII) was a common year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian Calendar and a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar.
- January 6–13 – First Anglo-Afghan War: Massacre of Elphinstone's army (Battle of Gandamak): British East India Company troops destroyed by Afghan forces on the road from Kabul to Jalalabad, Afghanistan, by Akbar Khan, son of Dost Mohammed Khan.
- January 23 – Antarctic explorer James Clark Ross, charting the eastern side of James Ross Island, reaches a Farthest South of 78°09'30"S.
- February 7 – Battle of Debre Tabor: Ras Ali Alula, Regent of the Emperor of Ethiopia, defeats warlord Wube Haile Maryam of Semien.
- March – Commonwealth v. Hunt: the Massachusetts Supreme Court makes strikes and unions legal in the United States.
- March 2 – Gaylad, ridden by Tom Olliver, wins the Grand National at Aintree Racecourse.
- March 5 – Mexican troops led by Rafael Vasquez invade Texas, briefly occupy San Antonio, and then head back to the Rio Grande. This is the first such invasion since the Texas Revolution.
- March 9 – Giuseppe Verdi's third opera Nabucco premieres in Milan; its success establishes Verdi as one of Italy's foremost opera writers.
- March 17 – The Relief Society, a philanthropic and educational women's organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) was founded.
- March 30 – Anesthesia is used for the first time in an operation (Dr. Crawford Long performed the operation using ether).
- March 31 – Middleton Junction and Oldham Branch Railway line opened up to Werneth in North West England.
- April 13 – First Anglo-Afghan War: British victory at the Battle of Jellalabad.
- May 8 – Versailles rail accident: A train traveling between Versailles and Paris in France derails due to a broken locomotive axle and catches fire, killing at least 55 passengers in the locked carriages.
- May 11 – Income Tax Act establishes the first peacetime income tax in the United Kingdom; 7 pence in the pound, for incomes over 150 pounds.
- May 19 – Dorr Rebellion: Militiamen supporting Thomas Wilson Dorr attack the arsenal in Providence, Rhode Island, but are repulsed.
- June 4 – In South Africa, hunter Dick King rides into a British military base in Grahamstown to warn that the Boers have besieged Durban (he had left 11 days earlier). The British army dispatches a relief force.
- June 13 – Queen Victoria becomes the first reigning British monarch to travel by train, on the Great Western Railway between Slough and London Paddington station.
- June 20 – Anselmo de Andrade, Portuguese economist and politician, is born in Vila Real de Santo António.
- June – James Nasmyth patents the steam hammer in the United Kingdom.
- July 13 – The Tri-Kap fraternity is founded at Dartmouth College. It is the oldest local fraternity in the nation.
- August 4 – The Armed Occupation Act is signed, providing for the armed occupation and settlement of the unsettled part of the Peninsula of East Florida.
- August 9 – The Webster-Ashburton Treaty is signed, establishing the United States–Canada border east of the Rocky Mountains.
- August 10 – The Mines Act 1842 becomes law, prohibiting underground work for all women and boys under 10 years old in England.
- August 29 – The Treaty of Nanking ends the First Opium War and establishes Hong Kong as a British colony until 1997.
- September – The Treaty of Chushul ends the Sino-Sikh war.
- October 5 – Josef Groll brews the first pilsner beer in the city of Pilsen, Bohemia (now the Czech Republic).
- October 29 – The Iberian Peninsula is struck by a category 2 hurricane.
- December 20 – The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina, is established.
- Dzogchen Monastery is almost completely destroyed by an earthquake.
- English palaeontologist Richard Owen coins the name Dinosauria, hence the Anglicized dinosaur.
- Julius Robert von Mayer proposes that work and heat are equivalent.
- Pentonville Prison is built in London.
- The New Zealand seat of government moves from Russell to Auckland.
- The Sons of Temperance is founded in New York City.
- Founding of:
- Cumberland University
- Wesleyan University
- University of Notre Dame (by Father Edward Sorin, CSC of the Congregation of Holy Cross)
- Hollins University (in Roanoke, Virginia by Charles Cocke)
- Villanova University (in Villanova, Pennsylvania by the Augustinian order)
- Indiana University Bloomington
- Indiana University Maurer School of Law
- Willamette University in Salem, Oregon
- Technical University of Delft
- January 11 – William James, American psychologist and philosopher (d. 1910)
- January 15 – Mary MacKillop, first Australian saint (d. 1909)
- February 3 – Sidney Lanier, American writer (d. 1881)
- February 4 – Arrigo Boito, Italian poet and composer (d. 1918)
- February 25 – Karl May, German writer (d. 1912)
- March 2 – Carl Jacobsen, Danish brewer and patron of the arts after whom the Carlsberg brewery was named (d. 1914)
- March 10 – Mykola Lysenko, Ukrainian composer (d. 1912)
- March 18 – Stéphane Mallarmé, French poet (d. 1898)
- April 2 – Dominic Savio, Italian adolescent student of John Bosco (d. 1857),
- May 8 – Emil Christian Hansen, Danish fermentation physiologist (d. 1909)
- May 13 – Arthur Sullivan, English composer (d. 1900)
- June 12 – Rikard Nordraak, Norwegian composer (d. 1866)
- June 24 – Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce, American writer and satirist (d. ca. 1914)
- June 25 – Eloy Alfaro Delgado Gabriel, former President of Ecuador (d. 1912)
- July 4 – Hermann Cohen, German-Jewish philosopher (d. 1918)
- July 30 – Thomas J. O'Brien, American politician and diplomat (d. 1933)
- August 23 – Osborne Reynolds, Irish engineer and physicist (d. 1912)
- September 13 – John H. Bankhead, U.S. Senator (d. 1920)
- September 21 – Abd-ul-Hamid II, Ottoman Sultan (d. 1918)
- October 3 – Frederick Rodgers, American admiral (d. 1917)
- October 14 – Joe Start, baseball player (d. 1927)
- October 28 – Anna Elizabeth Dickenson, American orator (d. 1932)
- November 12
- December 2 – C. W. Alcock, English footballer and football official (d. 1907)
- December 9 – Peter Kropotkin, Russian anarchist (d. 1921)
- December 12 – Adolf Bötticher, German art historian (d. 1901)
- December 12 – Alfred Parland, Russian architect (d. 1919)
- February 15 – Carlo Andrea Pozzo di Borgo, politician and diplomat (b. 1764)
- March 4 – James Forten, abolitionist.
- March 6 – Constanze Mozart, wife of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (b.1762)
- March 13
- March 15 – Luigi Cherubini, Italian composer (b. 1760)
- March 23 – Stendhal, French writer (b. 1783)
- May 8 – Jules Dumont d'Urville, French explorer (b. 1790)
- May 12 – Walenty Wańkowicz, Polish painter (b. 1799)
- July 13 – Prince Ferdinand-Philippe d'Orléans, French prince (b. 1810)
- July 25 – Dominique Jean Larrey, French surgeon (b. 1766)
- July 28 – Clemens Brentano, German poet (b. 1778)
- September 10 – William Hobson 1st governor general of nz/ treaty of waitangi writer (b.26 September 1792)
- September 15 – Francisco Morazán, President of Central America (b. 1792)
- October 2 – William Ellery Channing, Influential Unitarian theologian and minister (b. 1780)
- October 20 – Grace Darling, heroine (b. 1815)
- October 24 – Bernardo O'Higgins, first Chilean head of state after independence (b.1778)
- December 1 – Philip Spencer, Founder of Chi Psi Fraternity and midshipman aboard the USS Somers
- December 12 – Robert Haldane, theologian (b. 1764)
- December 24 – Adam Gillies, Lord Gillies, Scottish judge (b. 1760)
- Coleman, E. C. (2006). The Royal Navy in Polar Exploration, from Frobisher to Ross. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. p. 335. ISBN 0-7524-3660-0.
- Palmer, Alan; Veronica (1992). The Chronology of British History. London: Century Ltd. pp. 264–266. ISBN 0-7126-5616-2.
- Green, Oliver (2011). Discovering London Railway Stations. Shire Publications. ISBN 978-0-7478-0806-0.
- Smiles, Samuel (1912). James Nasmyth Engineer: an Autobiography. John Murray. Retrieved 2009-11-14.
- Owen, R. (1842). "Report on British Fossil Reptiles." Part II. Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Plymouth, England.
- von Mayer, J. R. (1842). "Bemerkungen über die Kräfte der unbelebten Nature ("Remarks on the forces of inorganic nature")". Annalen der Chemie und Pharmacie 43: 233–40. doi:10.1002/jlac.18420420212. Retrieved 2012-01-27.