Many of the barns that Aged Woods uses for reclaimed wood are between 100 and 200 years old. Today we take a look back at some of the events that were happening in the world two centuries ago. Who knows, maybe some of that reclaimed wood came in contact with someone or something mentioned here.

Unlike a century later there was relative peace in the world in 1817. Here in the US on March 3 Congress voted to split the Mississippi Territory into two parts creating the Alabama Territory. The next day James Monroe of Albemarle County, Virginia is sworn in as the 5th President of the United States. On April 15 the American School for the Deaf opens in Hartford, Connecticut. On July 4 in Rome, New York construction begins on the Erie Canal, one of the great engineering feats of the 19th century. In Florida on November 20 the First Seminole War begins with fighting lasting until 1858. Just before the new year on December 10 Mississippi becomes the 20th state to be admitted to the Union.

In international news on June 12 German inventor Karl Drais drives his Laufmaschine, translated to English as dandy horse or as we would know it later, the world’s first bicycle. On September 11 the Great Rebellion of Sri Lanka begins. On October 31 Emperor Ninkő accedes to the throne of Japan. In India on November 5 the Third Anglo-Maratha War begins and will result in a decisive British victory. Staying in India a cholera pandemic breaks out on an unknown date in 1817 and will last until 1824 claiming an estimated 30,000 lives.

Famous people born in 1817 include future Civil War generals Lewis Armistead (February 18) and Braxton Bragg (March 22), King William III of the Netherlands (February 18), Swiss chemist and the discoverer of several elements Jean Charles Galissard de Marignac (April 24), philosopher Henry David Thoreau (July 12), Russian writer Aleksey Konstantinovich Tolstoy (August 24) and Scottish physician and inventor of the hypodermic needle Alexander Wood (December 10).

Among those who died in 1817 include French marshal Andre Masséna (April 4), Signer of the Declaration of Independence Thomas McKean (June 24), English writer Jane Austen (July 18), Polish general and American revolutionary Tadeusz Kościuszko (October 15) and English admiral (and mutiny survivor) William Bligh (December 7).