- Numerous men were called to serve in the War of 1812.
- April 11: Shelby Furnace founder Horace Ware was born in Lynn, Massachusetts.
- September 4: Governor John Winston was born in Madison County.
- October 18: University of Alabama President Carlos Smith was born in Oglethorpe, Georgia.
In 1812, the Napoleonic Wars continued in Europe. The New Madrid earthquakes, which began in December 1811, subsided. The term and concept of gerrymandering was invented. Louisiana was admitted as a state. The War of 1812 began. The first volume of Grimm's Fairy Tales was published.
Notable births in 1812 included writer Charles Dickens, jeweler Charles Lewis Tiffany, watchmaker Aaron Lufkin Dennison, writer Robert Browning, astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle, and winemaker Nathaniel de Rothschild. Notable deaths included former vice president George Clinton, Shakespearean scholar Edmond Malone, British Prime Minister Spencer Perceval (assassinated), and native guide Sacagawea.
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