1852 was 19 years before the founding of the City of Birmingham and the 33rd year of Alabama statehood.
- The Alabama legislature authorized the creation of an Alabama Insane Hospital on a tract adjacent to the University of Alabama.
- February 3: The Wills Valley Railroad from DeKalb County to Georgia was chartered.
- Maxwell Plantation was established on the Black Warrior River south of Tuscaloosa.
- The Sewanee Furnace Company was established in Nashville.
- Hudson W. Nelson became Shelby County Sheriff.
- John D. Phelan became an Alabama Supreme Court justice.
- John Terry earned his license to practice law.
- February 16: Edward Linn was born in Montgomery
- May 15: James Van Hoose, Episcopal priest and the Mayor of Birmingham
- July 1: Isaac Hochstadter, whisky wholesaler and Alderman
- September 15: Thomas Walker, Shiloh Baptist Church founder
- November 9: P. G. Bowman, attorney and political speaker
- February 16: Emelie Linn died in childbirth.
In 1852, the Taiping Rebellion continued. The Studebaker Brothers Wagon Company was established. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe was published. United States statesman Henry Clay was the first to receive the honor of lying in state in the United States Capitol rotunda. Frederick Douglass delivered his famous speech "The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro" in Rochester, New York.
Notable births in 1852 included merchant F. W. Woolworth, bacteriologist Julius Richard Petri, chemist William Ramsay, physicist Henri Becquerel, and physicist Albert Abraham Michelson. Notable deaths included teacher of the blind Louis Braille, writer Nikolai Gogol, statesman Henry Clay, and statesman Daniel Webster.
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