- January 15: H. A. Wilson, U.S. Commissioner and newspaper publisher
- April 11: Anderson Blevins, real estate developer
- May 9: B. A. Thompson, Mayor of Birmingham
- July 12: William Councill, founding president of Alabama A&M University
- July 25: Edwin Taliaferro, attorney
- October 1: Edley Oden, distiller
- Andrew Beard, mechanic and inventor
- John B. Roden, bookseller and investor
In 1849, Elizabeth Blackwell became the first female doctor in the U.S. The United States Department of the Interior was established. The The St. Louis Fire nearly destroyed the entire city. Tens of thousands of "forty-niners" arrived in California seeking gold.
Notable births in 1849 included biologist Luther Burbank, poet Emma Lazarus, physiologist Ivan Pavlov, author Frances Hodgson Burnett, and Sioux chief Crazy Horse. Notable deaths included King Willem II of the Netherlands, former President James K. Polk, former first lady Dolley Madison, King Charles Albert of Sardinia, author Edgar Allan Poe, and composer Frédéric Chopin.
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