Decades: 1790s 1800s 1810s 1820s 1830s - 1840s - 1850s 1860s 1870s 1880s 1890s
Years: 1837 1838 1839 1840 1841 - 1842 - 1843 1844 1845 1846 1847
February 21 - John J. Greenough patents the sewing machine.
March 5 - Over 500 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 30 - Anesthesia is used for the first time in an operation (Dr. Crawford Long performed the operation and ether was used).
August 9 - Webster-Ashburton Treaty is signed, establishing the United States-Canada border east of the Rocky Mountains.
Massacre of Elphinstone's British army on the road from Kabul to Jallalabad, Afghanistan, by Mohammed Akbar, son of Dost Mohammed Khan
August 29 - Treaty of Nanking signing ends Opium War
British Empire annexes Hong Kong
Pentonville Prison was built.
Arts, Sciences, Literature and Philosophy
1842 in literature:
The Mysteries of Paris - Eugčne Sue
1842 in music
1842 in science
February 4 - Arrigo Boito, poet and composer
February 25 - Karl May, writer (d. 1912)
May 8 - Emil Christian Hansen, fermentation physiologist
May 13 - Arthur Sullivan, composer (d. 1900)
May 17 - August Thyssen, industrialist (d. 1926)
September 21 - Abd-ul-Hamid II, future Ottoman sultan
December 9 - Peter Kropotkin, Russian anarchist
Anna Elizabeth Dickenson - Orator
March 13 - Henry Shrapnel, soldier, inventor
March 23 - Stendhal, writer
March 30 - Elisabeth Vigee-Lebrun, French painter
May 8 - Jules Dumont d'Urville, explorer
September 15 - Francisco Morazán, President of Central America