1841 (MDCCCXLI) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar and a common year starting on Wednesday (dominical letter E) of the Julian calendar, the 1841st year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 841st year of the 2nd millennium, the 41st year of the 19th century, and the 2nd year of the 1840s decade. As of the start of 1841, the Gregorian calendar was 12 days ahead of the Julian calendar, which remained in localized use until 1923.
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- January 20 – Charles Elliot of the United Kingdom and Qishan of the Qing dynasty agree to the Convention of Chuenpi.
- January 26 – Britain occupies Hong Kong. Later in the year, the first census of the island records a population of about 7,500.
- January 27 – The active volcano Mount Erebus in Antarctica is discovered and named by James Clark Ross.
- January 28 – Ross discovers the "Victoria Barrier", later known as the Ross Ice Shelf. On the same voyage, he discovers the Ross Sea, Victoria Land and Mount Terror.
- January 30 – A fire ruins and destroys two-thirds of the villa (modern-day city) of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.
- February 4 – First known reference to Groundhog Day in North America, in the diary of a James Morris.
- February 10 – Act of Union (British North America Act, 1840) proclaimed in Canada.
- February 11 – The two colonies of The Canadas are merged into the United Province of Canada.
- February 18 – The first ongoing filibuster in the United States Senate begins and lasts until March 11.
- February 20 – The Governor Fenner, carrying emigrants to the United States, sinks off Holyhead (Wales) with the loss of 123 lives.
- February – El Salvador proclaims itself an independent republic, bringing an end to the (already de facto defunct) Federal Republic of Central America.
- March 4 – William Henry Harrison is sworn in as the ninth President of the United States.
- March 9 – United States v. The Amistad: The Supreme Court of the United States rules in the case that the Africans who seized control of the ship had been taken into slavery illegally.
- March 12 – SS President under the command of the legendary captain Richard Roberts ("I'd Go to Sea in a Bathtub") founders in rough seas with all passengers and crew lost.
- April 4 – President William Henry Harrison dies of pneumonia, becoming the first President of the United States to die in office and at one month, the American president with the shortest term served. He is succeeded by Vice President John Tyler, who becomes the tenth President of the United States.
- April 6 – President John Tyler is sworn in.
- May – Start of the Sino-Sikh War.
- May 3 – New Zealand becomes a British colony.
- May 11 – Lt. Charles Wilkes lands at Fort Nisqually in Puget Sound.
- May 22 – 1841 rebellion in Guria: The Georgian province of Guria revolts against the Russian Empire.
- June 6 (Sunday)
- United Kingdom Census held, the first to record names and approximate ages of every household member and to be administered nationally.
- Marian Hughes becomes the first woman to take religious vows in communion with the Anglican Province of Canterbury since the Reformation, making them privately to E. B. Pusey in Oxford.
- June 21 – Fordham University is founded in The Bronx by the Society of Jesus. Its name at its founding is St. John's College.
- June 28 – Ballet Giselle first presented by the Ballet du Théâtre de l'Académie Royale de Musique at the Salle Le Peletier in Paris, France.
- July – Scottish missionary David Livingstone arrives at Kuruman in the Northern Cape, his first posting in Africa.
- July 5 – Thomas Cook arranges his first railway excursion, in England.
- July 17 – First edition of the humorous magazine Punch published in London.
- July 18 (Sunday)
- July 20 – The Mercantile Agency (ancestor of Dun & Bradstreet) is founded in New York City by Lewis Tappan.
- August 11 (Wednesday) – Frederick Douglass speaks in front of the Anti-Slavery Convention in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
- August 16 – U.S. President John Tyler vetoes a bill which called for the re-establishment of the Second Bank of the United States. Enraged Whig Party members riot outside the White House in the most violent demonstration on White House grounds in U.S. history.
- August 20–October 16 – Niger expedition of 1841 up the Niger River by paddle steamers under the auspices of the British Society for the Extinction of the Slave Trade and the Civilisation of Africa; largely abortive due to the high incidence of disease among the crews.
- September 24 – Sarawak is broken away from Brunei and becomes a protected state by the United Kingdom; James Brooke is appointed rajah.
- October 16 – Queen's University is founded in Kingston, Ontario, by Rev. Thomas Liddell, who carries a Royal Charter from Queen Victoria and becomes the school's first principal.
- October 30 – A fire at the Tower of London destroys its Grand Armoury and causes a quarter of a million pounds worth of damage.
- November – The city of Dallas, Texas is founded by John Neely Bryan.
- November 13 – Scottish surgeon James Braid first sees a demonstration of animal magnetism by Charles Lafontaine in Manchester, which leads to his study of the phenomenon that he (Braid) eventually calls hypnotism.
- December 23 – First Anglo-Afghan War: At a meeting with the Afghan general Akbar Khan, the British diplomat Sir William Hay Macnaghten is shot dead at close quarters.
- January 8 – Hakeem Noor-ud-Din, Muslim scholar and the 1st Caliph of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Islam. (d. 1914)
- January 14 – Berthe Morisot, French painter (d. 1895)
- January 15 – Frederick Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby, English-Canadian politician and soldier (d. 1908)
- January 23 – Benoît-Constant Coquelin, French actor,Cyrano de Bergerac (d. 1909)
- January 25 – Jackie Fisher, British admiral (d. 1920)
- January 28 – Henry Morton Stanley, Welsh explorer and journalist (d. 1904)
- January 30 – Félix Faure, President of France (d. 1899)
- February 2 – François-Alphonse Forel, Swiss hydrologist (d. 1912)
- February 4 – Clément Ader, French engineer, inventor, and airplane pioneer (d. 1926)
- February 15 – Manuel Ferraz de Campos Sales, President of Brazil (d. 1913)
- February 16 – Armand Guillaumin, French painter and lithographer (d. 1927)
- February 18 – Gergely Luthár, Hungarian Slovene writer (d. 1925)
- February 24 – Carl Gräbe, German chemist (d. 1927)
- February 25 – Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French painter (d. 1919)
- March 8 – Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (d. 1935)
- April 3 – Hermann Carl Vogel, German astrophysicist and astronomer (d. 1907)
- April 9 – William George Aston, British consular official (d. 1911)
- April 10 – Adolfo Rivadeneyra, Spanish traveler, diplomat and writer (d.1882)
- April 13 – Louis-Ernest Barrias, French sculptor (d. 1905)
- May 10 – James Gordon Bennett, Jr., American newspaper publisher (d. 1918)
- May 15 – Clarence Dutton, American geologist (d. 1912)
- June 1
- July 2 – Alexander Mikhaylovich Zaytsev, Russian chemist (d. 1910)
- July 5 – Mary Arthur McElroy, de facto First Lady of the United States (d. 1917)
- August 6 – Florence Baker, Hungarian-born explorer (d. 1916)
- August 24 – Anna Hierta-Retzius, Swedish women's rights activist (d. 1924)
- August 25 – Emil Kocher, Swiss medical researcher, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (d. 1917)
- August 28 – Louis Le Prince, French Inventor "Father of Cinematography" (d. 1890)
- September 8
- September 10 – Yamaji Motoharu, Japanese general (d. 1897)
- September 28 – Georges Clemenceau, French statesman (d. 1929)
- October 4 – Prudente de Morais, 3rd President of Brazil (d. 1902)
- October 7 – King Nicholas I of Montenegro (d. 1921)
- October 16 – Prince Itō Hirobumi, 4-Time Prime Minister of Japan (d. 1909)
- November 6
- November 9 – King Edward VII of the United Kingdom (d. 1910)
- November 13 – Edward Burd Grubb, Jr., American Civil War Union Brevet Brigadier General (d.1913)
- November 20 – Wilfrid Laurier, 7th Prime Minister of Canada (d. 1919)
- December 6 – Frédéric Bazille, French painter (d. 1870)
- December 20 – Ferdinand Buisson, French pacifist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1932)
- January 15 – Johann Jacob Friedrich Wilhelm Parrot, Baltic German naturalist and traveller (b. 1792)
- February 17 – Ferdinando Carulli, Italian guitarist (b. 1770)
- March 1 – Claude Victor-Perrin, Duc de Belluno, French marshal (b. 1764)
- March 12 – Richard Roberts, captain of SS President (b. 1803)
- March 16 – Félix Savart, French physicist (b. 1791)
- April 4 – William Henry Harrison, 9th President of the United States (b. 1773)
- April 10 – William Lloyd, Welsh Anglican priest turned schoolteacher and Methodist preacher (b. 1771)
- April 28 – Peter Chanel, French Roman Catholic missionary (martyred) (b. 1803)
- April 30 – Peter Andreas Heiberg, Danish author and philologist (b. 1758)
- May 13 – Maria Madeline Taylor, Australian stage actor (b. 1805)
- May 16 – Marie Boivin, French midwife, inventor and obstetrics writer (b. 1773)
- May 20 – Joseph Blanco White, British theologian (b. 1775)
- May 23 – Franz Xaver von Baader, German philosopher and theologian (b. 1765)
- June 1 – David Wilkie, Scottish artist (b. 1785)
- July – Mary Rogers, the "Beautiful Cigar Girl", American murder victim (b. c. 1820)
- August 24 – Theodore Edward Hook, English author (b. 1788)
- September 25 – John Chandler, American politician (b. 1762)
- October 9 – Karl Friedrich Schinkel, German architect (b. 1781)
- December 4 – David Daniel Davis, British physician (b. 1777)
- December 23 – William Hay Macnaghten, Anglo-Indian diplomat (b. 1793)
- Thomson, John (1873). "Hong-Kong". Illustrations of China and Its People. 1. London.
- Ross, Voyage to the Southern Seas, 1, pp. 216–8.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- Bonham, Valerie (2004). "Hughes, Marian Rebecca (1817–1912)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2010-11-26. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- Spielmann, Marion Harry (1895). The History of "Punch". p. 27.
- Weinreb, Ben; Hibbert, Christopher (1995). The London Encyclopaedia. Macmillan. p. 287. ISBN 0-333-57688-8.
- Dallas Historical Society (2002-12-30). "Dallas History". Archived from the original on April 22, 2006. Retrieved 2006-04-20.