Famous birthdays, deaths and events of 1797
- January 10 - Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, German writer (d. 1848)
- January 22 - Maria Leopoldina of Austria, Empress of Brazil (d. 1826)
- January 31 - Franz Schubert, Austrian composer (d. 1828)
- March 27 - Alfred de Vigny, French author (d. 1863)
- May 19 - Maria Isabel of Portugal, queen of Spain (d. 1818)
- July 29 - Daniel Drew, American financier (d. 1879)
- August 30 - Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, English writer (d. 1851)
- October 26 - Giuditta Pasta, Italian soprano (d. 1865)
- November 29 - Gaetano Donizetti, Italian composer (d. 1848)
- December 13 - Heinrich Heine, German poet (d. 1856)
- February 11 - Antoine Dauvergne, French composer (b. 1713)
- May 25 - John Griffin Whitwell, 4th Baron Howard de Walden
- June 17 - Agha Muhammad Khan, Shah of Persia (b. 1742)
- July 11 - Ienãchiþã Vãcãrescu, Wallachian writer (b. 1740)
- September 10 - Mary Wollstonecraft, English author (b. 1759)
- October 9 - Vilna Gaon, Lithuanian rabbi (b. 1720)
- November 16 - Frederick William II of Prussia, (b. 1744)
- January 7 - The modern Italian flag is first used.
- February 14 - French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of Cape St. Vincent
- February 18 - Trinidad is surrendered to a British fleet under the command of Sir Ralph Abercromby.
- February 22 - Last Invasion of Britain: 1797 The Last Invasion of Britain by the French, begins near Fishguard, Wales.
- February 25 - Colonel William Tate and his force of 1000-1500 soldiers surrender after the Last Invasion of Britain
- February 26 - The Bank of England issues the first one-pound and two-pound notes.
- March 4 - In the first ever peaceful transfer of power between elected leaders in modern times, John Adams is sworn in as President of the United States, succeeding George Washington.
- April 17 - Sir Ralph Abercromby attacks San Juan, Puerto Rico in what would be one of the largest invasions to Spanish territories in America.
- April 18 - The Battle of Neuwied
- May 12 - First Coalition: Napoleon I of France conquers Venice.
- July 25 - Horatio Nelson loses more than 300 men and his right arm during the failed conquest attempt of Tenerife (Spain).
- October 17 - Treaty of Campo Formio is signed between France and Austria
- October 21 - In Boston Harbor, the 44-gun United States Navy frigate USS Constitution is launched.
- October 22 - One thousand meters (3,200 feet) above Paris, André-Jacques Garnerin makes the first recorded parachute jump.