1839 was 32 years before the founding of the City of Birmingham and the 20th year of Alabama statehood. A serious drought began in August 1839 and was not relieved until late January 1840, leaving the Warrior River nearly dry at Tuscaloosa.
- January 7: The Judson Female Institute was founded in Marion under president Milo Jewett.
- January 26: The Alabama Legislature established a state penitentiary system.
- The Bolton's Crossroads post office was established.
- Moore Cemetery was established.
- Elisha Peck began serving on the middle division of the Chancery Court.
- John D. Phelan became Speaker of the Alabama House.
- Ninian Tannehill purchased a forge constructed by Daniel Hillman in Roupes Valley.
- Friendship United Methodist Church was founded.
- William Mudd began practicing law.
- Baylis Grace was reelected clerk of the Jefferson County Circuit Court.
- March 20: James Gilmer, cotton dealer, Alabama Adjutant General
- August 21: Ben Jacobs, merchant, weather reporter, and president of the Birmingham Board of Education
- August 23: Solomon Palmer, attorney and educator
- Barnard, Frederick A. P. (1839) Alabama State Almanac for 1839 with Geological Notes by R. T. Brumby.
In 1839, the Second Seminole War continued. The steam shovel was patented. The Great Fire of Mobile burned hundreds of buildings. The First Opium War began. Charles Goodyear vulcanized rubber.
Notable births in 1839 included painter Paul Cézanne, industrialist and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, and U.S. Army Captain George Armstrong Custer. Notable deaths included Queen Kaahumanu II of Hawaii, Ottoman sultan Mahmud II, geologist William Smith, inventor William Murdoch, and King Frederick VI of Denmark.
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