- Syllacoga was incorporated.
- March 18: J. J. Jolly, attorney
- July: Thomas Jeffers, Mayor of Birmingham
- September 7: John Pelham, Civil War hero
- December 26: James M. Ware, Court official
- James McLaughlin, settler
- The Talladega County Courthouse was completed.
- Expansion of the Thomas Owen residence began on Eastern Valley Road.
- The Isaac Sadler residence was built on Eastern Valley Road.
In 1838, the Second Seminole War continued. Nicaragua declared independence from the Federal Republic of Central America. The people of the Cherokee Nation are forcibly relocated during the Trail of Tears. The coronation of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom took place.
Notable births in 1838 included circus performer General Tom Thumb, actor Henry Irving, physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach, surgeon John Shaw Billings, assassin John Wilkes Booth, aircraft manufacturer Ferdinand von Zeppelin, composer Georges Bizet, King Luis I of Portugal, meteorologist Cleveland Abbe, and author Edwin Abbott Abbott. Notable deaths included opera librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte, explorer William Clark, industrialist Charles Tennant, and Sauk leader Black Hawk.
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