1785 in the United States
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Events from the year 1785 in the United States.
- Sixth Confederation Congress (January 11, 1785 – November 4, 1785, New York, New York), Seventh Confederation Congress (November 7, 1785 – November 3, 1786, New York)
- President of the Confederation Congress: Richard Henry Lee (until November 4, 1785), John Hancock (starting November 23, 1785)
- January 7 – Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard and American John Jeffries travel from Dover, England to Calais, France in a hydrogen gas balloon, becoming the first to cross the English Channel by air.
- January 11 – The Confederation Congress reconvenes in New York City having previously convened in Trenton, New Jersey.
- January 21 – The Treaty of Fort McIntosh is signed between the U.S. government and representatives of the Wyandotte, Delaware, Chippewa and Ottawa nations of Native Americans.
- January 27 – The University of Georgia is granted a charter (written by Abraham Baldwin) by the Georgia General Assembly meeting in Savannah. The first students are admitted in Athens, Georgia in 1801.
- March 28 – Delegates from Virginia and Maryland meet at the Mount Vernon Conference to deal with issues regarding use of the Pocomoke and Potomac Rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. A suggestion to expand the interstate negotiations eventually leads to the Annapolis Convention (1786).
- May 20 – The Land Ordinance of 1785 is adopted by the United States Congress to raise money by selling land acquired from the Treaty of Paris.
- June 1 – John Adams, the first American ambassador to Great Britain, has his first meeting with King George III at the Court of St. James's.
- July 6 – The United States dollar is unanimously chosen as the country's money unit, the first time a nation has adopted a decimal currency.
- September 10 – The Treaty of Amity and Commerce between the Kingdom of Prussia and the U.S. is signed, promoting free trade and demanding unconditionally humane custody for prisoners of war, a novelty at this time.
- November 28 – The Treaty of Hopewell is signed between the U.S. and the Cherokee Nation.
- December 29 – The North Carolina General Assembly incorporates Lincolnton, North Carolina (named for American General Benjamin Lincoln) as the new county seat for Lincoln County.
- January 1 – Gabriel Moore, U.S. Senator from Alabama from 1831 to 1837 (died 1845)
- January 13 – Samuel Woodworth, author, literary journalist, playwright, librettist and poet (died 1842)
- March 11 – John McLean, politician, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (died 1861)
- April 6 – John Pierpont, poet, teacher, lawyer, merchant and Congregational minister (died 1866)
- April 26 – John James Audubon, ornithologist, naturalist and painter, born in Saint-Domingue (died 1851)
- June 24 – Alexander Porter, U.S. Senator from Louisiana from 1833 to 1837, born in County Donegal, Ireland (died 1844)
- August 23 – Oliver Hazard Perry, naval officer (died 1819)
- September 1 – Philip Allen, U.S. Senator from Rhode Island from 1853 to 1859 (died 1865)
- September 11 – Presley Spruance, U.S. Senator from Delaware from 1847 to 1853 (died 1863)
- September 26 – Charles Bird King, portrait artist, painter of Native American delegates visiting Washington, D.C. (died 1862)
- September 27 – David Walker, African American abolitionist (died 1830)
- November 21 – William Beaumont, physician and surgeon (died 1853)
- December 23
- January 6 – Haym Salomon, Jewish financier of the American Revolution (born 1740 in Poland)
- July 13 – Stephen Hopkins, signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence (born 1707)
- August 17 – Jonathan Trumbull, Governor of the Colony and the state of Connecticut (born 1710)
- November 28 – William Whipple, signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence, representative of New Hampshire (born 1730)
- Media related to 1785 in the United States at Wikimedia Commons