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1850
 
  
Queen Victoria knights her favourite painter of animals, Edwin Landseer       
1850
 
  
British foreign secretary Lord Palmerston sends a naval squadron to seize Greek ships in the Don Pacifico case        
1850
 
   
The brothers James and John Harper launch in New York Harper's Monthly Magazine, still published today        
1850
 
  
As many as 50,000 US pioneers travel west this year on the Oregon Trail      
1850
 
   
Alfred Tennyson's elegy for a friend, In Memoriam, captures perfectly the Victorian mood of heightened sensibility       
1850
 
   
British engineer Robert Stephenson completes a box-girder railway bridge over the Menai Strait, between Anglesey and mainland Wales       
1850
 
  
California is admitted to the union just two years after being acquired from Mexico       
1850
 
  
The slave trade, but not slavery itself, is banned in Washington and the district of Columbia      
1850
 
   
US president Zachary Taylor dies after a short illness and is succeeded by his vice-president, Millard Fillmore       
1850
 
   
The US Congress passes the Compromise of 1850, designed to defuse the growing crisis over slavery      
   


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