- June-July: No rainfall occurred in the eastern part of the state, causing a serious drought.
- December 1: Andrew B. Moore succeeded John A. Winston as Governor of Alabama.
- Mt Joy Baptist Church was founded.
- Jabez Curry became the Representative for the 7th Congressional District of Alabama.
- John Edmondson and then Henry J. Sawyer became Shelby County Sheriff.
- Hugh Lollar became Walker County Sheriff.
- February 3: Giuseppe Moretti, sculptor
- March 15: George Cruikshank, historian
- June: Nelson Barker, banker
- July 12: Rosa Zinszer, furniture dealer
- July 25: John Henry Adams, mining engineer
- August 2: James Mullin, Birmingham Police Department patrol officer
- August: David Fox, Mayor of Birmingham
- September 27: Tom Ashford, Alderman
- October 1: Edward Cabaniss, attorney
- December 1: Moses Joseph, president of Loveman's
- December 28: Thomas Duke Parke, physician
- Martha Jane Lawson
- George Wheelock
- Peter Zinszer
In 1857, the Taiping Rebellion and Second Opium War continued. James Buchanan succeeded Franklin Pierce as President of the United States. The Supreme Court ruled in Dred Scott v. Sanford that blacks are not citizens and slaves can not sue for freedom. Elisha Otis' first elevator was installed. The Indian Rebellion of 1857 took place, as did the unrelated Mountain Meadows massacre.
Notable births in 1857 included Scouts founder Robert Baden-Powell, physicist Heinrich Hertz, statistician Karl Pearson, songwriter Paul Dresser, physician Ronald Ross, actor Richard Mansfield, Pope Pius XI, composer Edward Elgar, psychologist Alfred Binet, rocket scientist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, confectioner Milton S. Hershey, President William Howard Taft, and baseball player Ned Williamson. Notable deaths included explorer David Thompson, composer Mikhail Glinka, detective Eugène François Vidocq, mathematician Augustin-Louis Cauchy, philosopher Auguste Comte, sculptor Christian Daniel Rauch, and aviation pioneer George Cayley.
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