Christ's Lutheran Church in 1854

[ Christ's Church on the Sawkill ]

Pastor Thomas Lape, 53, conducting services in the third church building, which, like the second one, was known as the "Church on the Rocks," because it sat on a rocky ledge overlooking the Sawkill (about ¾ mile east of our present location--that is, north of present-day Route 212, across from the country club).

Pastor Lape had earned a reputation as a

clear, methodical preacher … instructive … gentle, amiable, cheerful and faithful pastor; … a humble Christian, and a sincere friend. He stood well among the Lutheran clergy of the State.(1) Anderson, Mark J., For All the Saints: Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, New York, 1806-2006 [Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006], draft, quoting the 1879 tribute presented by Rev. P. A. Strobel, of the Hartwick Synod obituary committee. (Close)

We have no description of what it was like in the first or second church building, but here is a reminiscence(2)

Quoted from Moseman, Magda, and Anderson, Mark, eds., Perspectives and Patterns: Christ's Lutheran Church, 1806-1976 [Woodstock, NY: self-published monograph, 1976], itself citing Nathaniel M. Nash in 1906. (Close) about what the third was like in the 1850s:
[ The stove in the church ] My memory dates back fifty years, and that old church standing upon the rocks is the same in outward appearance now as it was then. The door in the center of the south end opened directly into the church, there being no vestibule or hall. The stove stood between the door and the first row of seats.… The stove was a solid cast iron stove … it took long wood and when it got hot it was awful hot. The pipe suspended by wire ran the whole length of the church to the chimney at the north end.… The seats were planed pine boards with backs and ends, and I think the hard side of the boards was up. I could not sit still on them. …

The church was lighted with candles, a candlestick on each end post of the pulpit and tin candle holders hanging upon the wall--just enough of them to make darkness visible. Every little while the sexton would go around with the snuffers and snuff the candles and sometimes he would snuff too low when out would go the light.

There was no carpet on the floor.… There was no bell, so when it was time to commence service, someone would come out and tell those outside to come in.…

[ Farm wagon ] It would be a sight worth seeing today to see the vehicle on a Sunday morning that stood about the church grounds with the teams tied to the pine trees.… [F]arm wagons with long boxes on them and boards laid across for seats, and bed quilts for lap coverings in cold weather, the same kind of wagon with wooden springs with seats attached which they put inside the box (which simply emphasized the jolts); the Gondola pleasure wagon which turned up slightly at both ends with no door but with springs under it; and others of various styles. And in the winter the long sleigh, the farm bobs and … you could see any Sunday that there was sleighing … in some neighborhoods one farmer would take his team and long box wagon and gather up all that wanted to go to church and the next Sunday another would take his team and bring them. In this way those not having teams could get to church. How they all enjoyed the ride! Neither do I think they were proud, for many if not all wore the garments spun, woven, dyed and fashioned by their own mother's hands.

The church owned no parsonage. The pastor
lived in rented rooms wherever they could be procured, sometimes several miles away.… [Reverend Lape] lived part of the time in West Camp on [his own place], coming up on Saturday and going back on Sunday afternoon or Monday.…

The Woodstock Region in 1854

In the wake of the Anti-Rent War of the early 1840s, a land rush continued, with tenants besieging the Livingston brothers and other manorial landlords with offers to buy the farms they had been tilling for generations. In the years following that war and continuing for a couple more years, Woodstock-area tenant farmers named Short, Shultis, Hasbrouck, DeWall, Riseley, Ricks, Happy, Lasher, Winne, Duboise, Hogan, Elting, Van de Bogart, and Lewis became fee-simple farm owners. Because some tenants could not afford to buy, Livingston agent Henry P. Shultis would be collecting rents for several more years; there were even still a couple of Livingston tenants left in the mid-1880s.

The Ulster County Glass Manufacturing Company, founded a year earlier in Shady (also called Bristol) by a group headed by Kingston lawyer Marius Schoonmaker, on the ruins of (and thereby reviving) the New York Crown and Cylinder Glass Company, which had gone out of business more than a decade earlier, was struggling to stay in business under superintendent Peter Reynolds. Unfortunately, it was difficult for this factory, originally sited 44 years earlier for its proximity to plenty of wood, to compete effectively with coal-fueled glass factories that were located close to good sources of coal. Besides the original hardwood forests nearby had already been depleted, necessitating either that wood (or coal) be brought in at great expense from an ever-increasing distance or that the furnaces be fired by hemlock or other less efficient fuels.(3)

Excerpted from Evers, Alf, Woodstock: History of an American Town [Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1987], p. 130. (Close)

One of Woodstock's only resident doctors was Dr. Stephen L. Heath, whose house still stands just to the east of the old brick post office building on Tinker Street. Dr. Heath was active in politics and was commissioner of schools. He would ride his horse all the way to the end of Mink Hollow to deliver a baby--for a fee of $5.00 ($112.95 in 2006 dollars). A doctor in those days could pull teeth, bleed a sufferer, and lance a boil, as well as other medical duties. There was no hospital available to Woodstockers, but many women were skilled in nursing and midwifery. There were no drug stores, but the remedies most in demand were available at the general store, including opodeldoc, a soap-based liniment; camphor; spirits of hartshorn; castor oil; gum guaicum; syrup of squills; and opium and its derivatives, such as laudanum.

Betsy Booth MacDaniel was a local herb doctor, nurse, and midwife, who had learned her craft from an "Indian doctor" on Tinker Street. She is said to have been able to cure consumption by herbal means.

A fire devouring the debris of clearing, lumbering, and bark peeling was close enough to the Catskill Mountain House near Kaaterskill Clove, owned and operated by Charles L. Beach, 45, that the commodious hotel was enveloped in a choking pall of smoke, swallowing up all its otherwise-stupendous views. The New York Herald erroneously reported that the hotel had been totally destroyed, and other papers copied that report. The Greene County Whig of Catskill was convinced that these reports were the dirty work of the hotel's competitors, especially promoters of a hotel on Woodstock's Overlook Mountain (then known as South Peak, or Woodstock Mountain, or Woodstock Point), that they were

undoubtedly the work of some evil-minded person, performed with a view of injuring [the hotel].(4) Quoted from Evers, Alf, The Catskills: From Wilderness to Woodstock, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1972, p. 454, citing the Green County Whig, September 2, 1859, and pp. 455-56, citing Booth, Nathaniel, Ms. Diary, vol. 2, entry for August 16, 1857, and p. 456, citing Harper's New Monthly Magazine,July 1854. (Close)
Another suspect was James Gordon Bennett, editor of the Herald, who often blackmailed businessmen into advertising by printing unfavorable rumors.

Nathaniel Booth of Kingston described the quaint old way that dinner was served at the super-regulated hotel: At the sound of the three o'clock bell, guests hastened to the dining room. There

ladies and gentlemen indiscriminately seat themselves on each side of the long tables [to eat a meal that was] formal, prosaic, and endless.… [The waiters] were mere automatons, they moved, marched and counter marched, twisted and turned, by certain snaps executed by the fingers of an important-looking chap wearing a white apron, at the head of the room--tramp, tramp, the measured tread like a corps of village militia, bring arms in the shape of dishes.… [The waiters advanced] in file on each side of the table--snap--down go the dishes with a crash--snap--they come up again and again and again until the better part of two hours are gone.…
The hotel guests would rise just before dawn to a gong or a servant's knock to watch the sun rise above the New England hills to the east. They would be on tours to the falls or to one of the twin lakes (South Lake and North Lake) and perhaps go out onto the trout-and pickerel-stocked water. As T. Addison Richard related in Harper's New Monthly Magazine:
You may enter one of the skiffs which skim the waters, and mingle your voice in happy carol with the murmur of the breeze, which never fails to play with the bright image cast by tree and rock and sail on the pellucid bosom of the lake… occasionally glancing at the fly which you have cast upon the waters to lure the wary trout.

The United States in 1854

[ Franklin Pierce ]

Franklin Pierce, 50 (Democrat), was President. The 33rd Congress was in session. (The midterm elections that year would elect the 34th Congress.) A dollar in that year would be worth $22.59 in 2006 for most consumable products.

Thousands of German immigrants came to the United States, at an annual rate of 95,000. The bulk of them were uprooted farmers, displaced by crop failures and other hardships. Some were liberal political refugees, fleeing after the collapse of the democratic revolutions of 1848. Many of the Germans possessed a modest amount of material goods. Most of them pushed out to the lush lands of the Midwest, notably Wisconsin, where they settled and established model farms.

The ship City of Glasgow foundered somewhere in the Atlantic between London and Philadelphia; some 450 people perished.

Thousands of Irish immigrants also came to the United States, at an annual rate of 92,000. The luckless immigrants received no red-carpet treatment on their arrival in America.(5)

This description of the Irish immigrant experience liberally quoted from Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., and Cohen, Lizabeth, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, pp. 302-05. (Close) Forced to live in squalor, they were rudely crammed into the already-vile slums. They were scorned by the older American stock, especially "proper" Protestant Bostonians, who regarded the scruffy Catholic arrivals as a social menace. Barely literate "Biddies" (Bridgets) took jobs as kitchen maids. Broad-shouldered "Paddies" (Patricks) were pushed into pick-and-shovel drudgery on canals and railroads, where thousands left their bones as victims of disease and accidental explosions. It was said that an Irishman lay buried under every railroad tie. Large numbers of these unskilled laborers, eager for work of any kind, were absorbed into the factories of the Northeast. They depressed wages and discouraged union organization; destitute, they accepted whatever an employer offered them.

As wage-depressing competitors for jobs, the Irish immigrants were hated by native workers. "No Irish Need Apply" was a sign commonly posted at factory gates and was often abbreviated to NINA. The friendless "famine Irish" were forced to fend for themselves. The Ancient Order of Hibernians, a semisecret society founded in Ireland to fight rapacious landlords there, served in America as a benevolent society, aiding the downtrodden. (It also helped later to spawn the "Molly Maguires," a shadowy Irish miners' union that rocked the coal districts of Pennsylvania.) A fortunate few came to own boardinghouses or saloons, where their dispirited countrymen sought solace in the bottle.

It was their Roman Catholicism, more even than their penury or their perceived fondness for alcohol, that earned the Irish the distrust and resentment of their native-born, Protestant American neighbors. The cornerstone of social and religious life for Irish immigrants was the parish. Worries about safeguarding their children's faith inspired the construction of parish schools, financed by the pennies of struggling working-class Irish parents.

Many in the North resented the Irish and other immigrants, who were gathered in urban slums and voted in blocs according to what their political bosses told them to do. Immigrants sold their votes in order to satisfy immediate needs--jobs, relief, shelter, friendship. Urban politicians and the underworld of prostitution and gambling formed a strong alliance with the immigrant voters.

Anti-immigrant bigots, who had 5 years before organized the Order of the Star-Spangled Banner, called for reforms in the naturalization laws, including a 20-year waiting period before citizenship could be conferred. The group's membership had been rapidly expanding. Now a new American Party (or "Native American Party"), composed of "native-born Protestants," held a convention at Cincinnati, opposing immigration and attacking U.S. Roman Catholics. Because its members were sworn into the party, and they promised never to reveal any of its mysteries, answering all inquiries with "I know nothing about it," New York publisher E. Z. C. Judson named the party the Know-Nothing Party. The Know-Nothings were against foreigners, against Jews, against Catholics, and against blacks. They polled a quarter of the total vote in New York, two-fifths of the vote in Pennsylvania, and two-thirds of the vote in Massachusetts--electing there the Governor and the entire state legislature. The party was also strong in Delaware. During this year the party elected more than 40 Congressmen.

Anti-Catholic feeling was especially strong. George Templeton Strong, 34, recorded the following in his diary:

Another Catholic vs. Protestant row at Newark--Irish church gutted; those infuriated, pig-headed Celts seemingly the aggressors, as usual. We may well have a memorable row here before the fall elections are over, and perhaps a religious war within the next decade, if this new element of Know-Nothingism is as potent as its friends and political wooers seem to think it. I'm sick of Celtism; it's nothing but imbecility, brag, and bad rhetoric. If the Know-Nothings were only political, not politico-religious, I'd join them.(6) Quoted from Wellman, Paul I., The House Divides: The Age of Jackson and Lincoln, from the War of 1812 to the Civil War, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1966, p. 350. (Close)

A series of pitched battles between Know-Nothing nativists and Irish Catholics broke out in August in St. Louis. Police and militia could do nothing, 8 people were killed, and order was restored only after Mayor Edward Bates organized a force of 700 armed citizens to quell the mobs. The German immigrants were able to stay carefully aloof from these frays.

Harvey P. Hood, 33, gave up his retail dairy route in Charleston, MA, to become a wholesaler: He collected milk each morning from dairy farms near his place in Derby, NH, and loaded the milk on a freight car on the Concord Railroad, and shipped the milk into metropolitan Boston.

"[T]he city of Boston was visited by that dreadful scourge, the Asiatic cholera," reported Edward Savage.

and although our northern climate is not so congenial to the fearful malady as more Southern cities, yet its ravages here were amply sufficient to carry terror and dismay to every household.… In some instances, where life had departed but a few hours, the corpse would be so swollen, that the largest coffin would not contain it; in others the flesh would actually fall to pieces, a putrified mass, before it could be properly laid out, the stench arising from being almost suffocating.… The weather again became sultry, and cholera began again to appear. A woman died at No. 18 North Bennett Street--sick sixteen hours--she was buried by friends. A woman was removed from Jefferson's block to the hospital. A member of our own Police Station died at his residence… after a most distressing illness of twelve hours; his body turned black immediately after death, and it was necessary to bury him without delay.(7) Quoted in McCutcheon, Marc, Everyday Life in the 1800s: A Guide for Writers, Students & Historians (Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books, 1993), p. 160, citing Edward Savage, Police Records and Recollections, Boston (August 2, 1854). (Close)

Henry Mason, 23, and Emmons Hamlin, 33, founded the Mason and Hamlin Organ Company in Boston.

The 22-year-old Boston publishing house Ticknor, Reed & Fields was reorganized under the name Ticknor & Fields.

The 3-year-old dry-goods business of Nantucket-born merchant Rowland Hussey Macy, 32, who sold only for cash and never deviated from a fixed price, went out of business.

Harper & Bros. Publishers in New York City moved into a new "fire-proof" building, constructed with wrought-iron beams set into masonry walls.

The New York Academy of Music opened at the northeast corner of 14th Street and Irving Place.

Children's Hospital in New York City opened.

Irish immigrant John McSorley opened McSorley's Ale House on East 7th Street in New York City.

The Astor Library in New York City opened, just below Astor Place on Lafayette Street, funded by a bequest from the late John Jacob Astor of $40,000 ($904,000 in 2006 dollars). None of the 80,000 volumes could be taken from the building, not a single book removed from a shelf, unless the visitor was accompanied by a library officer.

Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute was founded in Brooklyn, NY.

The 3,000-ton S.S. Arctic, the largest and most splendid ship of the Collins Line (formerly the United States Mail Steamship Company), collided off Cape Race in Newfoundland with the 250-ton French iron propeller ship S.S. Vesta and sank; all the women and children aboard perished (including the wife, the only daughter, and the youngest son of director E. K. Collins), along with 92 of the ship's 153 officers.

The Oneida "Perfectionist Community" of farmers and mechanics in central New York State, founded in 1848 by New England clergyman John Humphrey Noyes, 43, sawmill owner Jonathan Burt, and farmer Joseph Ackley, continued to thrive, with hundreds of converts living in communal buildings made of timber from the community's farms. The community practiced free love ("complex marriage"), birth control (through "male continence," or coitus reservatus), and the eugenic selection of parents to produce superior offspring. Men and women were treated equally, and all classes of work were viewed as equally honorable. Noyes called his system "Bible Communism." Children were reared in the "children's house," operated by men and women considered best qualified.

A railroad suspension bridge was built at Niagara Falls.

John Miller Dickey and his wife, Sarah Emlen Cresson, founded Ashmun Institute in Philadelphia, the first institution found anywhere in the world to provide a higher education in the arts and sciences for male youth of African descent.

Yale chemistry professor Benjamin Silliman the younger, 38, analyzed Pennsylvania "rock oil" for entrepreneur George Henry Bissell, 33, of the Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company of New York, which exploited the petroleum deposits in Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia inventor Morris Longstreth Kern, 34, boiled wood pulp in water under pressure to produce low-cost paper at his paper mill in Roger's Ford in Chester County, PA. English inventor Hugh Burgess arrived in Roger's Ford and built his own paper mill, using the soda process for making paper from wood pulp.

Irish immigrant James Laughlin, 48, who shipped pig iron from his Falcon furnace in Youngstown, OH, joined the 3-year-old Pittsburgh steel operation, the American Steel & Iron Works of Bernard Lauth and Benjamin Franklin Jones, 30; the firm would be renamed the Jones & Laughlin Company.

Virginia was still an the leading producer of tobacco, although states west of the Appalachians raised more than half of the total U.S. crop--especially the Bright Yellow variety, which grew best on poor soil. The tobacco-growing states of Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina were concentrating more and more on diversified farming--corn, wheat, vegetables, fruits, and livestock. Cotton growing had been migrating ever westward, more and more of it was being grown west of the Mississippi River.

[ Thaddeus Stevens ] The mechanical reaper patents of Cyrus Hall McCormick, 43 (represented by Baltimore lawyer Reverdy Johnson, 60, and Washington lawyer Thaddeus Stevens, 62, pictured here), were confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Seymours v. McCormick.

The Pennsylvania Railroad, directed by J. Edgar Thomson, 46, began running trains between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh.

The Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) Railroad finally extended to the Ohio River when it reached Wheeling, Virginia. Since Chicago was already connected to Wheeling, rail travel was now possible from the East Coast to Chicago.

With the help of Springfield, IL, lawyer Abraham Lincoln, 45, James Frederick Joy, 43, engineered the merger of four small rail lines to create the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad.

The 7-year-old Chicago, Rock Island Line, now extended from Chicago to Rock Island on the Mississippi River, giving Chicago its first rail link to the "Father of Waters."

Even though the railroad revolution in transportation produced an economic shock in some quarters, it was generally perceived that the railroads were producing growth and prosperity for everyone.(8)

Much of the following text in the next few paragraphs has been quoted liberally from ibid., pp. 339-44; as well as from Bailey et al., op. cit., pp. 415-18; Garraty, John A., The American Nation: A History of the United States, New York: Harper and Row, 1966, pp. 382-86; Morison, Samuel Eliot, The Oxford History of the American People, New York: Oxford University Press, 1965, pp. 588-91, 594-95. (Close) Men were looking for new territories, west of the Mississippi, to be tapped by the railroads, and the growth in population in the State of California and in Oregon Territory caused many to discuss a transcontinental railroad. The Gadsden Purchase of the previous year, favoring a southern route for the railroad, had been partially justified on the basis that it passed through established states (Texas and California) and organized territory (New Mexico), with federal troops available to provide protection against marauding Indians, whereas any northern route had to pass through what was then known as the unorganized Nebraska country (the northern part of the old Louisiana Purchase), where buffalo and Indians roamed freely and presumably more dangerously. (The land had been reserved for the Indians by treaty, after all.) Northern railroad boosters, to dilute the Southern advantage, began agitating for organizing Nebraska as an official territory (and for clearing the railroad-obstructing Indians from it).

[ Stephen Douglas ] The spectacular, bombastic, squat, bull-necked Illinois Senator Stephen Arnold "Little Giant" Douglas, 41, pictured here (5 feet 4 inches tall), who had heavy financial interests both in Western real estate as a land speculator and in railroads radiating from Chicago (he was a director of the Illinois Central Railroad), realized that unless some form of territorial government was established for Nebraska, the transcontinental railroad quite probably would be built along the southern Gadsden Purchase route, from New Orleans or Memphis to California--a plan strongly and understandably advocated by War Secretary Jefferson Davis, 46, pictured below, and Texas Senator Sam Houston, 61. Thousands of land-hungry pioneers were already poised on the Nebraska border (some had already trickled in)--ready to settle on land that had been guaranteed the Indians, unmolested, by sacred treaties--but various schemes proposed in the 33rd Congress for organizing the region were blocked by Southerners.

[ Jefferson Davis ] Douglas was motivated not only by his railroad ambitions (a Chicago eastern terminus for a Pacific railroad would surely endear him to his Illinois constituents) but also by a desire to unite the Democratic Party already terribly divided by the slavery issue (and which, if united, might propel him in 1856 or 1860 to the Presidency). Douglas, along with a number of other Democratic politicians, were part of a DC group known as the "F Street Mess" (named for the boardinghouse where they lived), which was looking for an explosive political issue for 1856--and they surely found one with Nebraska.

Douglas was also a strong adherent of the 9-year-old Young America movement, inspired by the "manifest destiny" notion and advocating support for republican movements overseas (such as each of the uprisings in Europe 6 years earlier), free trade (reduction or elimination of tariffs), and American expansion into new territory. Young America adherents argued for the spreading of American "democracy" over, first, the North American continent and, ultimately, around the world, by all means necessary. The movement was already an important faction within the Democratic Party as a way to distract Americans from the explosive sectional issue of slavery.

Douglas needed to gain the support of the reluctant, slaveholding South. As Chairman of the powerful Committee on Territories, this veritable "steam engine in breeches" bargained with Southerners on the committee to produce the Nebraska Bill, which would confer on this vast area a territorial status, with the provision that the question of slavery should be decided by the citizens within its borders--a principle that soon became known as "squatter sovereignty" (although Douglas preferred the more elegant term "popular sovereignty"). Before the bill went to a vote in the Senate, it was rewritten to divide the vast Nebraska region into two territories: Kansas Territory (reaching from the Missouri border to the Rocky Mountains) and Nebraska Territory (all the rest of the remaining Louisiana Purchase up to the Canadian border). Douglas and his supporters reasoned that Kansas, lying due west of slaveholding Missouri, would become a slave state, and that Nebraska, lying west of free-soil Iowa, would become a free state. (The Indians could move further west, out of the way.)

Since both parts of the two proposed new territories were north of the 1820 Missouri Compromise line of 36°30' N, however, the Douglas proposal was an implicit repudiation of that agreement. Kentucky Senator Archibald Dixon, 50, demanded an explicit repudiation; the morally obtuse Douglas agreed (big mistake), arguing that the Missouri Compromise line had already been abrogated by the admission of California as a free state and the other provisions of the Compromise of 1850. Here is how Senator Dixon responded to Douglas's concession:

Sir, I once recognized you as a demagogue, a mere manager, selfish and intriguing. I now find you a warm-hearted and sterling patriot.
Douglas also reasoned, to soothe Northern objections, that slavery in the areas involved was really an academic question only, since the physical and economic factors presumably made plantation agriculture--and, hence, slavery--impossible to sustain there. There was strenuous opposition from Whigs, anti-slavery men--and, oddly, Sam Houston, who argued against breaking treaties with the Indians, who had been guaranteed what was demarcated as Nebraska and Kansas as theirs "as long as grass shall grow and water run."

Northern lawmen regarded the Missouri Compromise as almost as sacred as the Constitution itself. A group of abolition Congressmen issued an "Appeal of the Independent Democrats" (they were actually Free-Soilers and Whigs, every one of them), denouncing the bill as "a gross violation of a sacred pledge"; they urged their constituents to organize a campaign of letter writing, petitions, and public meetings to block its passage. Northern editors, lawyers, clergy, and businessmen took the lead in denouncing the proposed legislation. Bloodshed in the halls of Congress was barely averted in the rough-and-tumble debates (some lawmen carried a concealed revolver, a Bowie knife, or both).

[ William Henry Seward ] During the debate, the wiry, husky-throated New York Senator William Henry Seward, 53, pictured here, made an accurate prediction to his Southern colleagues about what would happen once the bill became law:

Gentlemen… we will engage in competition for the virgin soil of Kansas, and God give the victory to the side that is stronger in numbers as it is in right.

Meanwhile, Douglas, using twisted logic and gesticulations and oratorical fireworks, pushed the legislation with all his power. He was helped by Southerners in both houses, regardless of party (although most supporters were Democrats). He denounced the "Appeal" authors as

the pure unadulterated representatives of Abolitionism, Free Soilism, [and] Niggerism.
President Pierce gave administration support to the bill, and, as a result, Northern Democrats split. Douglas was able to ram the Kansas-Nebraska Act through the 33rd Congress. President Pierce signed the bill into law in May. As finally worded, it declared the Missouri Compromise of 1820 "inoperative and void." Land that had been reserved for the Indians by sacred treaty was now open to white settlement. The white settlers were
perfectly free to form and regulate their domestic institutions in their own way, subject only to the Constitution of the United States.

[ Horace Greeley ] Douglas had predicted that the act would create "a hell of a storm"; in fact, Douglas had grossly underestimated its proportions. Now that the bill was actual law, the furor became even greater. A typhoon of rage was unleashed in the North, whose residents realized the implications of the law: Its effective repeal of the Missouri Compromise opened to slavery, at least theoretically, the entire national domain--including the Northwest not yet organized into states or even into territories. Douglas was branded as a "Judas" and a "traitor"; his name was greeted with frenzied hisses, boos, and "three groans for Doug." He claimed with only a little exaggeration that he would be able to travel from Boston to Chicago at night by the light from his burning effigies. New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley, 43, pictured here, stated that the law would create more abolitionists in 3 months than Garrison and Phillips and other orators could make in 50 years. The Tribune's journalist James Redpath, 21, traveled through the slave states urging slaves to run away. Francis Wayland, 58, president of Brown University, formerly a moderate sympathetic to the slaveholding South, now denounced the extension of slavery into the territories as a violation of moral law,

giving just cause for a dissolution of the Union.

The South was not very excited about the law. Most Southern Congressmen had supported the measure in principle but few believed it would be of any real value, for the very reasons Douglas (and Daniel Webster in 1850) had pointed out: The new lands were definitely unfitted for slave labor. (On the other hand, more than a few Southerners saw the law as a chance to gain one more slave state: Kansas, heretofore not conceived as plantation territory. Slaveholders in Missouri, in particular, looked forward to not being "surrounded" on three sides by free states.) If the South was for the most part not particularly enthusiastic, the North was in considerable turmoil.

[ Abraham Lincoln ] Douglas went home to Illinois to defend himself against constituents who were attacking him bitterly. He was hooted out of a meeting in Chicago, and some people threatened his life. He was determined, however, and made a speechmaking swing through the state. In Springfield and in Peoria he was challenged by his old adversary, the 6-foot-4-inch-tall, 180-pound, narrow-chested, stoop-shouldered melancholic Abraham Lincoln, 45, pictured here. Douglas spoke eloquently to a packed crowd, and, as the crowd broke up, Lincoln announced that he would speak in answer to Douglas on the following day. When he did so, the hall was jammed again. Lincoln refused to admit, as many Whigs and abolitionists were maintaining, that the Kansas-Nebraska Act was a "criminal betrayal of precious rights" and a "plot of the slave power," but he upheld the Missouri Compromise, traced its adoption and the reasons therefor, and called for its restoration. Refusing to castigate the South for slavery, he acknowledged the constitutional right of Southerners to own slaves, and he believed that they should be protected by a law enabling them to recover fugitives, provided this law

should not in its stringency be more likely to carry a free man into slavery than our ordinary criminal laws are to hang an innocent one.
But Lincoln expressed his unyielding hatred of slavery
because of the monstrous injustice of slavery itself .… because it deprives our republican example of its just influence in the world… causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity and especially because it forces so many really good men amongst ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principle of civil liberty.
He acknowledged, however, the problem of dealing with the peculiar institution:
I surely will not blame them for not doing what I should not know how to do myself. If all earthly power were given to me, I would not know what to do, as to the existing institution.… My first impulse would be to free all the slaves and send them to Liberia, to their native land.
Yet he conceded the impracticability of that idea, and instead urged gradual emancipation as a solution. Still he urged compassion on the slaveowners:
When they remind us of their constitutional rights, I acknowledge them, not grudgingly, but fully, and fairly; and I would give them any legislation for the reclaiming of their fugitives, which should not, in its stringency, be more likely to carry a free man into slavery, than our ordinary criminal laws are to hang an innocent one.… But all this, to my judgment, furnishes me no more excuse for permitting slavery to go into our own free territory, than it would for reviving the African slave trade by law. Slavery is founded in the selfishness of man's nature--opposition to it, in his love of justice. These principles are an eternal antagonism; and when brought into collision so freely, as slavery extension brings them, shocks, and throes, and convulsions must ceaselessly follow.

It was in attacking the position of Douglas on the principle of popular sovereignty that Lincoln struck his shrewdest blows. He had closely examined that principle, and conceded that it sounded fine enough. But at what point could a people decide on the momentous question of whether they would have slavery or not? When they reached a thousand in numbers? Or ten thousand? Or thirty thousand? When they become a state? None of these stages would suffice, because the entire nation, not just the territory itself, was involved in the decision. No mere handful of settlers on a frontier should be given the power to determine a question so momentous for millions. As for the Western pioneer settlers themselves, Lincoln noted, they should be given "a clean bed, with no snakes in it."

Furthermore, Lincoln reasoned, the Douglas contention that slavery could not exist in the territories under discussion was a fallacy. Other slave states--Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, and Missouri--existed north of the Missouri Compromise line. Why would not slavery flourish in the new territories?

Lincoln closed by urging all lovers of liberty, North and South, to join in regarding slavery not as "a sacred right" but as a national problem, and to

join together in the great and good work… so that we shall not only have saved the Union, but we shall have so saved it… that succeeding millions of free, happy people, the world over, shall rise up and call us blessed to the latest generation.
After the tumultuous applause at the end of Lincoln's speech, Douglas's hour-and-a-half rebuttal was anticlimactic.

The Whig Party was effectively destroyed by the Kansas-Nebraska Act, and the Democratic Party was badly wounded and henceforth divided. Former Whigs and disaffected Democrats--those who had not flocked to the Know-Nothings--formed the Republican Party at a convention in Ripon, Wisconsin, and another at Jackson, Michigan. The Republicans were opposed to the extension of slavery. The party also called for high protective tariffs and for a transcontinental railroad. The hodgepodge party attracted not only disgruntled Whigs (such as Lincoln) and Democrats, but also Free-Soilers (of course), some Know-Nothings after all, and any other foe of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The party would not be allowed south of the Mason-Dixon line; Southerners argued that it was "a nigger stealing, stinking, putrid, abolition party." The purely sectional Republicans won over a hundred seats in the House of Representatives, together with control of several state governments in the North.

[ Charles Sumner ] The Kansas-Nebraska Act was regarded by many Northerners, perhaps most of them, as an act of bad faith by the "Nebrascals" and their "Nebrascality." The act was characterized by tall and imposing Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, 43, a fervent abolitionist, highly educated but cold, humorless, intolerant, and egotistical, as

at once the worst and the best Bill on which Congress ever acted--[worst, because of the short-run victory of the slave power, and best, because it] annuls all past compromises with slavery, and makes all future compromises impossible. Thus it puts freedom and slavery face to face, and bids them grapple. Who can doubt the result?
The Kansas-Nebraska Act destroyed the Missouri Compromise of 1820 by repealing it specifically, and it destroyed the Compromise of 1850 by making the federal Fugitive Slave Law a dead letter, basically eliminating all Northern cooperation with it. Even before the act became law, a Southerner had written the following home from Boston:
If the Nebraska Bill should be passed, the Fugitive Slave Law is a dead letter throughout New England. As easily could a law prohibiting the eating of codfish and pumpkin pies be enforced.

Already the Fugitive Slave Law, sneeringly referred to in the North as the "Bloodhound Bill" or the "Man-Stealing Law," had been "tested" by many incidents: The Underground Railroad, which for years had smuggled slaves over the border into Canada, increased its activities. Black prisoners were delivered from jails by white mobs. Many slaves were recaptured, and some free Negroes were carried off into slavery. Pulpits and newspapers denounced the law, there were meetings of protest, and many of the Northern states in effect set about to nullify the law by simply refusing to comply with it--which increased the South's feeling of injury and aggravation.

Just 1 day after the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, a Boston mob wielding axes and led by Thomas Wentworth Storrow Higginson, 30, pastor of the Free Church of Worcester, attacked a federal courthouse in a vain attempt to rescue a fugitive slave from Virginia, Anthony Burns, who had escaped his bondage by stowing away on a ship. Federal troops escorted Burns through the streets lined with outraged citizens. According to one eyewitness, it took two companies of artillery and a thousand police and marines to take

one trembling colored man to the vessel which was to carry him to slavery.
Buildings along the route to the ship were draped in black crepe and were festooned with flags hanging upside down as the heavy federal guard brought Burns to the docks. Jeering crowds shouted "Kidnappers! Kidnappers!" at the soldiers. One prominent Bostonian witnessing this sight wrote that
we went to bed one night old-fashioned, conservative, Compromise Union Whigs and waked up stark mad Abolitionists.(9) Quoted in Bailey et al., op. cit., p. 410. (Close)
It cost an estimated $100,000 ($2.3 million in 2006 dollars) to return this single slave to his Southern owner.

Wisconsin abolitionist editor and leader Sherman Miller Booth, 42, helped to rescue black fugitive slave Joshua Glover in Milwaukee and was therefore arrested for violating the Fugitive Slave Law. Booth appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court for a writ of habeas corpus, stating that he had been restrained of his liberty by U.S. marshal Stephen V. R. Ableman and that his imprisonment had been illegal because the 1850 Fugitive Slave Law was unconstitutional and void. A justice initially ruled that Booth be freed, but Ableman applied for a certiorari; in the resulting case Ableman v. Booth, the court ultimately ruled the Fugitive Slave Law unconstitutional, freeing Booth, and assessing costs against Ableman. A few months later, Marshal Ableman sued out a writ of error, and a couple of months after that Booth successfully argued that the judgment should stand. But the case would drag on over the ensuing 5 years, ultimately going to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Transcendentalist philosopher and ever-more-zealous abolitionist Ralph Waldo Emerson, 51, wrote the following:

The Fugitive [Slave] Law did much to unglue the eyes of men, and now the Nebraska bill leaves us staring.

Still the South did everything possible to bolster justifications for slavery, bolstering urged by strong economic interests. Slave trading was a thriving business. In the cotton fields of the Deep South, slaves brought several hundred dollars per head more than in the Upper South; the urge to sell slaves "down the river," therefore, remained strong. There were some 50 dealers in Charleston, 200 in New Orleans, most of them very prosperous and thus now considered quite respectable in high society. John Armfield and Isaac Franklin were the most successful dealers, collecting slaves at their "model jail" in Alexandria, VA, and shipping them either by sea or land to their huge depot in Natchez, MS.

Virginia lawyer George Fitzhugh argued that slavery was better than freedom was for the laboring man in the North. In his Sociology for the South, he wrote:

Liberty and equality throw the whole weight of society on its weakest members.… A Southern farm is the beau ideal of Communism: it is a joint concern, in which the slave consumes more than the master, of the coarse products, and is far happier, because… he is always sure of a support.(10) Quoted in Garraty, op. cit., p. 375. (Close)
Such claptrap did not convince many in the North, however.

Northern antipathy toward not only slavery but toward the South itself and toward all Southern white people was further inflamed by the continued popularity of Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1851 sentimental slavery-indicting novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, or Life Among the Lowly, which was going through scores of editions and selling hundreds of thousands of copies. (In Europe too, especially in England and France, the novel was immensely popular, creating a feeling of "Tom-mania" and a hostility toward American slaveholders.)

Historian Paul Wellman has described the mutual hostility between the South and the North at the brink of the Civil War(11):

The following is from Wellman, op. cit., pp. 428-29. (Close)
In the North the net product of the ceaseless drumfire of abolitionist denunciation created first contempt for, then detestation of, the whole South. Slavery was wrong. The stubbornness with which the slaveholders clung to it turned Northern opinion against them. … Southern whites responded with wrath and shock … and they struck back by comparing the treatment of slaves with the condition of many free laborers in the North. Thousands of white children in the North, said they (with some truth) labored fourteen hours a day in mills and shops at an age when slave children of the South were free to play. They cited legislative reports showing that the factory system of the North made virtual slaves of white workers by binding them economically to crushing and ceaseless toil.

Churches were divided on the slavery question. Methodist, Presbyterian, and Baptist denominations separated into two independent bodies, North and South.

Though laws of the United States and almost every Western nation declared the African slave trade to be piracy, a capital offense, the laws against it were not enforced, at least not by the United States. British war ships attempting to suppress the trade were forbidden to search vessels, American or otherwise, that raised the U.S. flag, that "proud banner of freedom." Conversely, any American slaver had only to raise a foreign flag to evade search by the U.S. Navy, whose four vessels designated for "suppressing the slave trade" were in any event far slower than most of the slavers. The Navy Department warned its officers that they would be held personally liable for damages if they made any mistakes--such as cases being dismissed for "want of evidence" (chains and fetters on board apparently not considered evidence). As a result, tens of thousands of fresh Africans, "black ivory," were imported each year by Brazil, Cuba, and the United States; in fact, the number was now greater than it had been half a century earlier, when the trade had been legal. Many of the slave ships had been fitted out in New York City and other Northern states, where the profits from the trade ended up. Every Northern seaport (as well as New Orleans, Mobile, and Charleston) took part.

By now, with the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act and the invitation for "popular sovereignty" in the new territories, particularly Kansas, neither abolitionists nor Southern fire-eaters saw any more room for compromise. Settlers from both sides at once began to flood into Kansas.

Abraham Lincoln, meanwhile, was elected to the Illinois state legislature as a Whig. He never actually sat with the legislature, however, because a new ambition had taken possession of him. The legislature, as he saw it, contained 41 "regular" Democrats and 59 "anti-Nebraska" men (those who were opposed to the Kansas-Nebraska Act). This "anti-Nebraska" group contained Whigs, Democrats who did not support Douglas, a few Free Soilers, some Know Nothings, and even a few Republicans. He reasoned that if he could keep this coalition together, they might elect a United States Senator (it was the state legislature, not the people of the state, who elected Senators in those days)--and Lincoln wanted to be that Senator, replacing Senator James Shields, 48, a Democrat, in the coming year's 34th Congress. His wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, 36, very much wanted the title "Mrs. Senator." Accordingly, Lincoln resigned his seat in the legislature and made himself available for the Senate.

The controversial Shields was presumably a candidate for reelection, but the Democrats in Illinois didn't think he had a chance, so they just kept him as an early "pace setter" until they could field the noncontroversial Governor Joel Aldrich Matteson, 48, as the real candidate. The election was scheduled for early the following year.

[ Dred Scott ] Missouri slave Dred Scott, 59, who, backed by interested abolitionists, had brought suit in 1846 to claim his legitimate freedom on the ground that he and his wife, Harriet, had resided in free territory (in both Illinois and Wisconsin Territory), and who had lost that original suit in the Missouri state supreme court in 1852--on the grounds that since he had returned to Missouri voluntarily, he had resumed his status as a slave--and who had again brought suit in federal district court against John F. A. Sanford (who was administering the estate of Scott's late owner, army surgeon Dr. John Emerson), lost again; but his attorney, Roswell M. Field, 47, appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The appeal bond was signed by abolitionist Henry Taylor Blow, 37, the son of Peter Blow, the original owner, before 1834, of Dred Scott. Field wrote to Maryland lawyer Montgomery Blair, 41, who argued cases before the Supreme Court, that it would be well to test the constitutionality of the 1820 Missouri Compromise once and for all.

The notion that the residents of the new Kansas Territory would be allowed by the Kansas-Nebraska Act to choose their own institutions, essentially deciding for themselves the slavery issue, was problematic in that there was no determination on when the residents should make the choice.(12)

Much of the following text in the next few paragraphs has been quoted liberally from Bailey et al., op. cit., pp. 422ff; Garraty, op. cit., pp. 384ff; and Morison, op. cit., pp. 591-92. (Close) Would it be democratic to allow a handful of early arrivals to make decisions that would affect the lives of the thousands that would be following? A crucial point was that Northern and Southern outsiders were determined to make the decisions for Kansas.

The federal government opened a land office in Kansas in July, before the Indian titles had been extinguished. Even before that, Missourians were flocking over the border to stake out claims.

Although most of the Northerners who went into Kansas were ordinary pioneers in search of richer farmland, a small part of the influx was made up of abolitionist Free-Soilers. Two small parties sent out from the New England Emigrant Aid Company (organized by abolitionist Eli Thayer, 34, of Worcester, MA) founded Lawrence, Kansas, named for Boston merchant Amos Lawrence, 67. The grandiose purpose of the society, capitalized with incompletely fulfilled subscriptions of only $100,000 out of the $5 million originally promised ($2.3 million and $115 million, respectively, in 2006 dollars), was to colonize the territory with antislavery men (and also to make a profit). Zealots who joined the society sang the following hymn:

We cross the prairie as of old
The Pilgrims crossed the sea,
To make the West, as they the East,
The homestead of the Free!
We go to rear a wall of men
On Freedom's southern line,
And plant beside the cotton-tree
The rugged northern pine!
Shouting "Ho for Kansas!" the abolitionist emigrants began pouring into the territory.

Southerners felt this influx was a betrayal: They had supported the Kansas-Nebraska Act with the implicit understanding that though Nebraska, like Iowa, would be off-limits for slavery, yet Kansas, like Missouri, would be open to it. Now it seemed that "foreigners," termed the "Nebrascals," were intent to "steal" the country from them, to "abolitionize" both Kansas and Nebraska. With savage indignation, "fire-eating" hotheads proceeded to blockade the Missouri River against immigrants coming from the Northeast. In addition, they set out to protect their "rights," to "assist" groups of well-armed slaveowners to enter Kansas, some with banners proclaiming:

Let Yankees tremble, abolitionists fall,
Our motto is, "Give Southern Rights to All!"
Hundreds of proslavery men came into Kansas from Missouri to vote. One agitator exhorted a Missouri crowd:
Enter every election district in Kansas… and vote at the point of a Bowie knife or revolver.
In November they voted illegally to elect a proslavery delegate, John Wilkins Whitfield, 36, to Congress. Newspapers in the North proclaimed the election "an act of hostility," pointing out that the Missouri "voters" left the territory immediately after the election to return to their true homes. Missourians countered that many antislavery settlers had left Kansas after the election, too.

The idea of bringing slaves into Kansas was silly at that time. The slaveowners had a lot of money invested in their human "property" and would not want to take them where bullets were flying (and where the popular sovereignty vote might go against slavery). One wit commented that the entire quarrel over slavery in the territories was about "an imaginary Negro in an impossible place."

Meanwhile, Omaha was founded in Nebraska Territory.

Even though railroads have reached the Mississippi River, Texas cattlemen continued to drive their longhorn herds great distances overland, even in the East, to escape the drought conditions of the Southwest. Diners in New York City complained that the meat after such a long trek was tough and stringy.

Many of the full-blood Cherokees in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) belonged to a secret society known as Kee-too-wah (the "Pins"), so named because each member wore two common pins in the form of a cross on the coat or hunting shirt. Its purpose was to encourage the retention of the old tribal customs and to prevent their taking up the ways of the whites. Few of the full-bloods owned slaves, and the Kee-too-wah was usually opposed to slavery. Nonetheless, many Cherokees did own slaves.

[ Brigham Young ] Brigham Young, 53, continued to develop the State of Deseret (Utah Territory, as it was known by the federal government and other non-Mormons), considered by its residents as an independent nation with Young as President, extending, according to the Mormons (and disregarding the arrangement that Congress had worked out in 1850), from the Great Salt Lake down to southern California (encompassing most of present-day Arizona, all of Nevada, and parts of California, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon, as well as all of Utah). Young's Salt Lake City had adobe brick buildings, avenues wide enough for a wagon and four oxen to make a U-turn, an ornate temple, and the first major irrigation project ever undertaken by American whites, irrigation that enabled the settlers to raise crops and herds on the desert. Other well-planned towns were springing up.

Thousands of Young's Church of the Latter Day Saints (Mormon) followers, from different parts of the world, obeyed his commands without question. They paid a tenth of all they acquired into the coffers of the church. Young made polygamy part of the Mormon doctrine (he himself had some 27 wives and begat 56 children during his lifetime). From his spacious and rich "Lion House" mansion in Salt Lake City, Young, acting in what he was convinced were the best interests of his people, brooked no opposition from his followers, or from anyone else, and he was unscrupulous to that end. He condoned, if not actually ordered, many murders, and he warped justice in the courts. He was determined to resist the rule of the United States government. Young and his followers made emigrant travel to the Pacific Coast difficult and sometimes dangerous, since the Territory of Deseret lay right athwart the Overland Trail. Discipline in the church was maintained by a more or less secret body of men known as Danites (or "Destroying Angels"). Those disobeying church laws, especially "apostates," were sometimes murdered by these agents. Emigrants passing through Mormon country were frequently robbed and their livestock stolen. Young was suspected of involvement in the 1849 murder by Ute Indians (Mormon allies) of surveyor John Williams Gunnison, who had exposed the Mormon practices of polygamy and blood atonement.

Huntington & Hopkins, the 5-year-old company founded by Collis Potter Huntington, 33, and Mark Hopkins, 41, to supply California prospectors with clothing, food, and equipment, opened an iron and hardware store in Sacramento, CA.

Some 13,000 Chinese immigrants entered the U.S. a 20,000 percent increase over any previous year, mostly at San Francisco, drawn by promoters looking for cheap labor on the transcontinental railroad project. Most were men (the ratio was 19 males for each female). To leave impoverished China, almost all from the southern district of Toishan, they were risking the penalty of beheading, but they came anyway.

The U.S. Mint opened a branch in San Francisco and paid miners the official rate of $16 per ounce ($361 per ounce in 2006 dollars) for gold and produced $4 million ($90 million in 2006 dollars) in gold coins.

U.S. commodity prices were still soaring as a result of the California gold discoveries. Workers were striking for higher wages, but all the wage hikes could not keep up with the rising cost of living. The times were characterized by extravagance and wild speculation. Money by the millions of dollars that should have been used for legitimate investment was instead devoted to dubious schemes for sudden wealth. Much of the capital was put into new railroads into areas where there were as yet no settlers, so there was no revenue generated from freight. When dividends did not accrue, some railroad stocks would begin a decline--especially the stocks of some of the Western lines. At the same time, land speculation had been attracting funds far exceeding their value. New territories and parts of some of the Western states that were not yet populated were covered with "paper cities," and the credulous were invited to "invest" at fabulous prices.

San Francisco businessman Henry Meiggs, 43, who had made a fortune over the preceding 5 years in lumber and land speculations, was plunged heavily into debt because of a credit crisis during this year. His brother, however, was elected city comptroller, and Meiggs was able to obtain a book of city notes signed in advance by the mayor and the outgoing comptroller, receiving upward of $365,000 ($8.2 million in 2006 dollars).

Here is a speech reputed(13)

There is some controversy about the exact words used, and there is a "Hollywood" version of the speech found in many New Age stores. The version here comes from Prospero's Library (˜freakboy/seathl.html). (Close) to have been spoken in the Salish language by Chief Seathl (for whom Seattle was named) of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes in Washington Territory in response to a request from President Pierce in Washington, DC, regarding the proposed purchase of the tribe's land. The speech was recorded in the notes of a Dr. Henry Smith and then reprinted 33 years later:
Yonder sky that has wept tears of compassion upon my people for centuries untold, and which to us appears changeless and eternal, may change. Today is fair. Tomorrow it may be overcast with clouds.

My words are like the stars that never change. Whatever Seathl says, the great chief at Washington can rely upon with as much certainty as he can upon the return of the sun or the seasons.

The white chief says that Big Chief at Washington sends us greetings of friendship and goodwill. This is kind of him for we know he has little need of our friendship in return. His people are many. They are like the grass that covers vast prairies. My people are few. They resemble the scattering trees of a storm-swept plain. The great, and--I presume--good White Chief sends us word that he wishes to buy our land but is willing to allow us enough to live comfortably. This indeed appears just, even generous, for the Red Man no longer has rights that he need respect, and the offer may be wise, also, as we are no longer in need of an extensive country.

There was a time when our people covered the land as the waves of a wind-ruffled sea cover its shell-paved floor, but that time long since passed away with the greatness of tribes that are now but a mournful memory. I will not dwell on, nor mourn over, our untimely decay, nor reproach my paleface brothers with hastening it, as we too may have been somewhat to blame.

Youth is impulsive. When our young men grow angry at some real or imaginary wrong, and disfigure their faces with black paint, it denotes that their hearts are black, and that they are often cruel and relentless, and our old men and old women are unable to restrain them. Thus it has ever been. Thus it was when the white man began to push our forefathers ever westward. But let us hope that the hostilities between us may never return. We would have everything to lose and nothing to gain. Revenge by young men is considered gain, even at the cost of their own lives, but old men who stay at home in times of war, and mothers who have sons to lose, know better.

Our good father in Washington--for I presume he is now our father as well as yours, since King George has moved his boundaries further north--our great and good father, I say, sends us word that if we do as he desires he will protect us. His brave warriors will be to us a bristling wall of strength, and his wonderful ships of war will fill our harbors, so that our ancient enemies far to the northward--the Haidas and Tsimshians--will cease to frighten our women, children, and old men. He in reality he will be our father and we his children.

But can that ever be? Your God is not our God! Your God loves your people and hates mine! He folds his strong protecting arms lovingly about the paleface and leads him by the hand as a father leads an infant son. But, He has forsaken His Red children, if they really are His. Our God, the Great Spirit, seems also to have forsaken us. Your God makes your people wax stronger every day. Soon they will fill all the land.

Our people are ebbing away like a rapidly receding tide that will never return. The white man's God cannot love our people or He would protect them. They seem to be orphans who can look nowhere for help. How then can we be brothers? How can your God become our God and renew our prosperity and awaken in us dreams of returning greatness? If we have a common Heavenly Father, He must be partial, for He came to His paleface children.

We never saw Him. He gave you laws but had no word for His red children whose teeming multitudes once filled this vast continent as stars fill the firmament. No; we are two distinct races with separate origins and separate destinies. There is little in common between us.

To us the ashes of our ancestors are sacred and their resting place is hallowed ground. You wander far from the graves of your ancestors and seemingly without regret. Your religion was written upon tablets of stone by the iron finger of your God so that you could not forget.

The Red Man could never comprehend or remember it. Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors--the dreams of our old men, given them in solemn hours of the night by the Great Spirit; and the visions of our sachems, and is written in the hearts of our people.

Your dead cease to love you and the land of their nativity as soon as they pass the portals of the tomb and wander away beyond the stars. They are soon forgotten and never return.

Our dead never forget this beautiful world that gave them being. They still love its verdant valleys, its murmuring rivers, its magnificent mountains, sequestered vales and verdant lined lakes and bays, and ever yearn in tender fond affection over the lonely hearted living, and often return from the happy hunting ground to visit, guide, console, and comfort them.

Day and night cannot dwell together. The Red Man has ever fled the approach of the White Man, as the morning mist flees before the morning sun. However, your proposition seems fair and I think that my people will accept it and will retire to the reservation you offer them. Then we will dwell apart in peace, for the words of the Great White Chief seem to be the words of nature speaking to my people out of dense darkness.

It matters little where we pass the remnant of our days. They will not be many. The Indian's night promises to be dark. Not a single star of hope hovers above his horizon. Sad-voiced winds moan in the distance. Grim fate seems to be on the Red Man's trail, and wherever he will hear the approaching footsteps of his fell destroyer and prepare stolidly to meet his doom, as does the wounded doe that hears the approaching footsteps of the hunter.

A few more moon, a few more winters, and not one of the descendants of the mighty hosts that once moved over this broad land or lived in happy homes, protected by the Great Spirit, will remain to mourn over the graves of a people once more powerful and hopeful than yours.

But why should I mourn at the untimely fate of my people? Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows nation, like the waves of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless. Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come, for even the White Man whose God walked and talked with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We will see.

We will ponder your proposition and when we decide we will let you know. But should we accept it, I here and now make this condition that we will not be denied the privilege without molestation of visiting at any time the tombs of our ancestors, friends, and children. Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished.

Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as the swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch. Our departed braves, fond mothers, glad, happy hearted maidens, and even the little children who lived here and rejoiced here for a brief season, will love these somber solitudes and at eventide they greet shadowy returning spirits.

And when the last Red Man shall have perished, and the memory of my tribe shall have become a myth among the White Men, these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe, and when your children's children think themselves alone in the field, the store, the shop, upon the highway, or in the silence of the pathless woods, they will not be alone. In all the earth there is no place dedicated to solitude. At night when the streets of your cities and villages are silent and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled them and still love this beautiful land. The White Man will never be alone.

The Duwamish and Suquamish tribes of Chief Seathl, along with other Puget Sound tribes, including the Puyallup, the Nisqualie, the Lummi, and the Quinault, all who had ceded land in the Northwest, were guaranteed fishing rights "in common with white men," so that they could continue to harvest the salmon that climbed the region's rivers.

Cayuse War

Hostilities continued between white settlers and the Cayuse tribe in eastern Washington Territory, ostensibly to avenge the 1847 massacre at the Whitman Waiilatpu mission in the Walla Walla Valley, even after the hanging 4 years earlier of the supposed perpetrators.

Science and technology in America: Specifics

New York City sewing machine inventor Walter Hunt, 58, who had patented the safety pin 5 years earlier, now patented the disposable paper collar; Philadelphia dentist Mahlon Loomis, 28, patented a kaolin process for making false teeth; Massachusetts inventors Horace Smith, 46, and Daniel Baird Wesson, 29, invented the Smith and Wesson lever-action rimfire pistol; Pennsylvania physician David Alter discovered that elements in gaseous form could be identified with a spectroscope; German immigrant watchmaker Heinrich Göbel, 36, invented the first form of an electric light bulb; and New York geologist James Dwight Dana, 41, published the results of the 1838-42 United States South Seas Exploring Expedition (U.S. Ex. Ex.) of Charles Wilkes.

Vermont inventor Elisha Graves Otis, 43, had been able to sell only three of his safety elevators that he had patented 2 years earlier. At the New York City industrial fair, he had himself hoisted aloft and then ordered the rope to be cut. Spectators screamed as he plunged earthward, but the safety ratchets engaged to halt the descent. Otis emerged from the elevator cage, sweeping his stovepipe hat in a bow and exclaiming

All safe. All safe, ladies and gentlemen.(14)

Quoted in Trager, James, ed., The People's Chronology: A Year-by-Year Record of Human Events from Prehistory to the Present, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1979, p. 482. (Close)

Arts and culture in America: Specifics

[ Henry David Thoreau ] Massachusetts philosopher Henry David Thoreau, 36, pictured here, published Walden, or Life in the Woods, about his idyllic 2-year stint in the woods and including the following text:
Most men are so occupied with the factitious cares and superfluously hard labors of life, that its finer fruits cannot be plucked by them.
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
Thoreau also made the following observations about ice-harvesting on Walden Pond:
They told me that in a good day they could get out a thousand tons, which was the yield of about one acre.… They told me that they had some in the ice-houses at Fresh Pond five years old which was as good as every.… The sweltering inhabitants of Charleston and New Orleans, or Madras and Bombay and Calcutta, drink at my well.(15)

Quoted in ibid. (Close)
Also Massachusetts poet John Greenleaf Whittier ("the Quaker Poet"), 46, published his poem "Maud Muller"; novelist Sara Willis (Grata Payson Sara Willis Eldredge Farrington "Fanny Fern" Parton), 43, published Ruth Hall; Maria Cummins published The Lamplighter, ancestor of the soap opera, about orphan Little Gerty; Philadelphia novelist Timothy Shay Arthur, 45, published Ten Nights in a Barroom and What I Saw There, about the evils of drink; humorist Benjamin Shillaber, 14, published his Life and Sayings of Mrs. Partington; and Seba Smith, 62, humorously portrayed the New England Yankee in her Way Down East.

Popular periodicals included the Niles' Weekly Register, the American Journal of Science, American Farmer, Christian Watchman, Saturday Evening Post, National Preacher, Godey's Lady's Book, Ladies' Repository, Peterson's Ladies' National Magazine, Home Journal, Boys' and Girls' Magazine and Fireside Companion, Harper's Monthly Magazine, Yale Literary Magazine, Knickerbocker Magazine, Spirit of the Times, National Police Gazette, and Scientific American.

The song "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair," by Stephen Collins Foster, 27, was released and became popular. Other popular songs included "Old Dog Tray" (also by Foster), "Old Folks at Home" (also by Foster), "Massa's in de Cold Cold Ground" (also by Foster), "My Old Kentucky Home" (also by Foster), "Camptown Races" (also by Foster), "Oh! Susanna" (also by Foster), "Jim Crack Corn" (also known as "Blue Tail Fly"), "Buffalo Gals," "Old Dan Tucker," "Home Sweet Home," "Turkey in the Straw," and "Amazing Grace."

The Christy Minstrels of showman Edwin Pearce Christy, 39, continued their long engagement at Mechanic's Hall on Broadway in New York City. Here is a description of a typical minstrel show by historian Samuel Eliot Morison(16):

Morison, op. cit., pp. 495-96. (Close)
In the first act the performers, most of them white men in blackface, sat in a semicircle around the interlocutor, a dignified colored gentleman in dress suit who acted both as master of ceremonies and butt for the jokes of the end men--"Mistah Tambo" who banged a tambourine, and "Mistah Bones" who rattled castanets. Besides repartee and horseplay, the cast played banjo melodies and sang comic or sentimental songs. The second act, known as the olio, included a "hoe-down" dance, comic parodies of grand opera, and a "walk-around," in which the players one by one took the center of the stage for individual songs or dances while the rest clapped time to the music.

The World at Large in 1854

Fishermen from the New England states claimed the right to harvest sportive mackerel within the 3-mile limit of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, much to the chagrin of the Canadians. The British Foreign Office and the U.S. State Department worked out a reciprocity treaty, but it was not so easy to get the treaty through Congress and Parliament, let alone four Canadian provincial legislatures. Secretary of State William Learned Marcy, 68, bribed the legislatures at Fredericton, Halifax, and St. John, while James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin and 12th Earl of Kincardine ("Lord Elgin"), 43, Governor General of the "Province of Canada," was accused of floating the treaty through the U.S. Senate on "oceans of champaign"--until the Elgin Treaty was ratified, establishing trade reciprocity: Coal, farm produce, lumber, and fish could now come from Canada to the U.S. without trade barriers, and turpentine, rice, tobacco, and Yankee fishermen could go the opposite direction without hindrance. Navigation on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, with all the connecting canals, was now common to both nations.

U.S. President Pierce issued a proclamation outlawing all illegal filibustering expeditions against Mexico, with severe penalties attached. Nonetheless, aggressive, "fire-eating" Southerners, including some Young America adherents in the Pierce cabinet, were determined to be compensated for the closing of the Mexican Cession to slavery by acquiring more distant slave territory through imperialistic manifest-destiny adventures at the expense of Latin America.

The American steamship Black Warrior stopped at Havana in Cuba on a routine voyage from New York City to Mobile, AL; it was seized by Spanish authorities, who suspected that the ship contained arms for Cuban rebels. Taking advantage of this opportunity for expanding the American empire, U.S. War Secretary Jefferson Davis, 46, demanded that action be taken against Spain. Secretary of State Marcy held back from hostilities for a little while, however, and suggested to President Pierce that the U.S. could now pressure Spain to sell Cuba. (Spain was in a weakened position, since its two potent allies--the United Kingdom and France--were busy in the Crimean War.)

Marcy instructed the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, Louisiana "fire eater" Pierre Soulé, 53, to demand an indemnity of $300,000 ($6.8 million in 2006 dollars) for the Black Warrior episode, but at the same time to offer Spain $130 million ($2.9 million) for Cuba. The hotheaded Soulé, a Young America adherent who looked forward to the

absorption of the entire continent and its island appendages.
Not surprisingly, he was a poor diplomat; he had already antagonized the Spanish Foreign Minister, Calderón de la Barca, and had challenged the French Ambassador to Spain to a duel and severely wounded him. Soulé gave Spain an ultimatum, demanding compliance within 48 hours. Spain rejected the ultimatum and sent troops to reinforce the Havana garrison. American newspapers, many of them promoting expansionist Young America notions, were demanding an invasion of Cuba. But then the Spanish authorities released the Black Warrior and tendered a formal apology.

[ James Buchanan ] Secretary of State Marcy then instructed Soulé to consult with the U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom, James Buchanan, 63, pictured here, and the U.S. Ambassador to France, John Young Mason, 55, about the Cuban question. The three met in Ostend, Belgium, and at Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle) in Germany, and issued a top-secret report, largely written by Buchanan and signed by the three of them, making the following recommendations(17):

Taken from "American History Leaflets: Colonial and Constitutional, No. 2," American Studies at the University of Virginia (, accessed 16 February 2007). (Close)
[An] immediate and earnest effort ought to be made by the government of the United States to purchase Cuba from Spain at any price for which it can be obtained, not exceeding the sum of $120 million ($2.7 billion in 2006 dollars).… It must be clear to every reflecting mind that, from the peculiarity of its geographical position, and the considerations attendant on it, Cuba is as necessary to the North American republic as any of its present members, and that it belongs naturally to that great family of States of which the Union is the providential nursery.
The "diplomats" justified the purchase on the following grounds:
From its locality [Cuba] commands the mouth of the Mississippi and the immense and annually increasing trade which must seek this avenue to the ocean.… The natural and main outlet to the products of this entire population, the highway of their direct intercourse with the Atlantic and the Pacific States, can never be secure, but must ever be endangered whilst Cuba is a dependency of a distant power in whose possession it has proved to be a source of constant annoyance and embarrassment to their interests. Indeed, the Union can never enjoy repose, nor possess reliable security, as long as Cuba is not embraced within its boundaries.…
Speed was essential for the purchase:
Considerations exist which render delay in the acquisition of this island exceedingly dangerous to the United States. The system of immigration and labor lately organized within its limits, and the tyranny and oppression which characterize its immediate rulers, threaten an insurrection at every moment which may result in direful consequences to the American people. Cuba has thus become to us an unceasing danger, and a permanent cause of anxiety and alarm.…
Supposedly Spain could benefit from the proceeds of the sale by building railroads, by thereby improving the transport of its agricultural products, by paying off its enormous debts, and even by becoming a tourist destination.
Spain would speedily become, what a bountiful Providence intended she should be, one of the first nations of Continental Europe--rich, powerful, and contented.… Should Spain reject the present golden opportunity for developing her resources, and removing her financial embarrassments, it may never again return.
Indeed, Cuba was a financial drain on Spanish resources, and it was bound to become lost soon anyway because its inhabitants were unhappy:
Spain is in imminent danger of losing Cuba, without remuneration. Extreme oppression, it is now universally admitted, justifies any people in endeavoring to relieve themselves from the yoke of their oppressors. The sufferings which the corrupt, arbitrary, and unrelenting local administration necessarily entails upon the inhabitants of Cuba, cannot fail to stimulate and keep alive that spirit of resistance and revolution against Spain, which has, of late years, been so often manifested.
And quite naturally, the United States would have to intervene on behalf of the rebels:
[It] is vain to expect that the sympathies of the people of the United States will not be warmly enlisted in favor of their oppressed neighbors. We know that the President is justly inflexible in his determination to execute the neutrality laws; but should the Cubans themselves rise in revolt against the oppression which they suffer, no human power could prevent citizens of the United States and liberal minded men of other countries from rushing to their assistance.
Besides, the temper of the times must be considered:
[The] present is an age of adventure, in which restless and daring spirits abound in every portion of the world. It is not improbable, therefore, that Cuba may be wrested from Spain by a successful revolution; and in that event she will lose both the island and the price which we are now willing to pay for it--a price far beyond what was ever paid by one people to another for any province.…
Surely, the Spaniards must understand the desirability of selling Cuba.
But if Spain, dead to the voice of her own interest, and actuated by stubborn pride and a false sense of honor, should refuse to sell Cuba to the United States, then the question will arise, What ought to be the course of the American government under such circumstances? Self-preservation is the first law of nature, with States as well as with individuals. All nations have, at different periods, acted upon this maxim. Although it has been made the pretext for committing flagrant injustice, as in the partition of Poland and other similar cases which history records, yet the principle itself, though often abused, has always been recognized.
Surely, Americans would not abuse this "principle" and the motivations of the United States should not be questioned.
The United States have(18) Note how "the United States" was always considered a plural noun in those days. (Close) never acquired a foot of territory except by fair purchase, or, as in the case of Texas, upon the free and voluntary application of the people of that independent State, who desired to blend their destinies with our own. Even our acquisitions from Mexico are no exception to this rule, because, although we might have claimed them by the right of conquest in a just war, yet we purchased them for what was then considered by both parties a full and ample equivalent.
Yeah, right.
Our past history forbids that we should acquire the island of Cuba without the consent of Spain, unless justified by the great law of self-preservation. We must, in any event, preserve our own conscious rectitude and our own self-respect. Whilst pursuing this course we can afford to disregard the censures of the world, to which we have been so often and so unjustly exposed.
So "unjustly" exposed.
After we shall have offered Spain a price for Cuba far beyond its present value, and this shall have been refused, it will then be time to consider the question, does Cuba, in the possession of Spain, seriously endanger our internal peace and the existence of our cherished Union? Should this question be answered in the affirmative, then, by every law, human and divine, we shall be justified in wresting it from Spain if we possess the power, and this upon the very same principle that would justify an individual in tearing down the burning house of his neighbor if there were no other means of preventing the flames from destroying his own home. Under such circumstances we ought neither to count the cost nor regard the odds which Spain might enlist against us.
And why, especially, is a Cuba not under control of the United States such a danger?
We forbear to enter into the question, whether the present condition of the island would justify such a measure? We should, however, be recreant to our duty, be unworthy of our gallant forefathers, and commit base treason against our posterity, should we permit Cuba to be Africanized and become a second St. Domingo, with all its attendant horrors to the white race, and suffer the flames to extend to our own neighboring shores, seriously to endanger or actually to consume the fair fabric of our Union. We fear that the course and current of events are rapidly tending towards such a catastrophe. We, however, hope for the best, though we ought certainly to be prepared for the worst.…
Anyway, with the Black Warrior incident, the United States was justified to take aggressive action:
A long series of injuries to our people have been committed in Cuba by Spanish officials and are unredressed. But recently a most flagrant outrage on the rights of American citizens and on the flag of the United States was perpetrated in the harbor of Havana under circumstances which, without immediate redress, would have justified a resort to measures of war in vindication of national honor. That outrage is not only unatoned, but the Spanish government has deliberately sanctioned the acts of its subordinates and assumed the responsibility attaching to them.…
Apparently our "diplomats" were not aware that Spanish authorities in Cuba had released the Black Warrior and had tendered a formal apology.
[So far, the United States] have forborne to resort to extreme measures. But this course cannot, with due regard to their own dignity as an independent nation, continue.… [The] cession of Cuba to the United States, with stipulations as beneficial to Spain as those suggested, is the only effective mode of settling all past differences and of securing the two countries against future collisions. We have already witnessed the happy results for both countries which followed a similar arrangement in regard to Florida.
Yeah, right. Spain was very happy with the American imperialistic grab of Florida 35 years earlier.

The New York Herald obtained a leaked "scoop" of this document and published it under the catchy title "The Ostend Manifesto," and it naturally created a furor both at home and abroad. Spain was righteously indignant, and newspapers in England and France condemned it. Secretary Marcy, who was appalled with the document, felt obliged, nevertheless, to send the document to Congress, where it was furiously debated. Northern Free-Soilers, already angry with the Fugitive Slave Law, denounced the "slaveholders' plot" and "manifesto of brigands." The embarrassed Pierce administration dropped its Cuban scheme, which would have to wait 44 years to be realized.

The piratical-minded, foghorn-voiced shipping magnate Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt (van Derbilt), 60, who had been operating an exclusive franchise for transporting California-bound Argonauts (Forty-Niners) across the Nicaragua isthmus--the Accessory Transit Corporation--and had been cheated by his subordinates ship owner Charles Morgan and banker Cornelius K. Garrison--determined to ruin them. He not only regained control of Accessory Transit but he also crippled and humbled his treacherous subordinates. Garrison, however, was determined to wrest the company back from Vanderbilt, and he began to conspire with freebooter filibusterer William Walker, 30, the "Gray-Eyed Man of Destiny," to seize control of Nicaragua.

Solon Borland, the U.S. minister to Central America, while about to embark on a trip home, became involved in a local political brawl in the British-controlled port of Greytown, on the eastern coast of Nicaragua (in the part the British named Mosquitia, a British satellite protectorate of the Moskito Indians). Borland was hit on the head with a bottle. The silly situation began to escalate into a diplomatic crisis between the U.S. and the United Kingdom.

English jurist Thomas Hughes, 32, and London theologian Frederick Denison Maurice, 52, founded Working Men's College in London.

Sir Charles Travelyan and Sir Stafford Northcote issued to Parliament the Report on the Organization of the Permanent Civil Service (usually referred to as the Northcote-Travelyan Report, which led to the establishment of the CIvil Service Commission in the United Kingdom.

The British Parliament passed the Reformatory School Act, substituted the school for the jail (or gaol), and all judicial benches were empowered to send delinquents to schools when they had been guilty of acts punishable by short imprisonment, the limit of which was at first 14 and became afterward 10 days.

Paris journalist Jean Hippolyte Auguste Villemessant, 42, began publishing Le Figaro.

A Jewish seminary was established in Breslau.

Ernst Litfass erected the world's first street-poster pillars in Berlin.

The Hapsburg Austrian Emperor Franz Josef, 24, married the Bavarian Princess Elizabeth.

The Vienna-Trieste rail line opened over Semmering Pass, featuring tunnels and steep gradients.

The Turin-Genoa railroad opened in northern Italy.

Pope Pius IX, 62, declared that the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was an article of faith. The ruling, just as the Pope had been losing all his landed estates in central Italy and presumably all temporal power, implied papal "infallibility" in all matters, including those of contraception and abortion.

Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi, 47, who had 5 years earlier fled to the United States and become a naturalized citizen, returned to Italy, to energize the Risorgimento, or reunification of Italy.

Crimean War

The previous year's war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire now expanded into a more general war, involving France and the United Kingdom on the side of the Ottoman Empire against Russia. Russia and France had been arguing over the privileges of Orthodox and Roman Catholic monks in the Christian holy places in Ottoman-controlled Palestine. British and French fleets entered the Black Sea in January. Russia broke off relations with both countries, and Tsar Nicholas I, 57, ignored an Anglo-French ultimatum to evacuate the Ottoman states of Moldavia and Wallachia (the Danubian Principalities) that it had occupied the previous year. The United Kingdom, worried about Russian designs on its emerging empire in South Asia, joined France in concluding an alliance with the Ottoman Empire. Russian troops crossed the Danube in late March, and the United Kingdom and France declared war on Russia. Allied troops (British, French, Turkish) landed unopposed on the Crimean Peninsula of the Ukraine and began to besiege Sevastopol.

The Allies defeated the Russians in the Battle of the Alma River at the end of September. In October, the Allies engaged the Russians in the Battle of Balaklava, during which British Commander James Thomas Brudenell, 57, the Seventh Earl of Cardigan--infamous for his reputation of womanizing, fighting duels, and purchasing military commissions--led a stupid cavalry charge (the "Charge of the Light Brigade") against Russian artillery, and though he reached the lines unscathed, 505 of his 700 men were cut down. (Cardigan's name would be remembered in the cardigan sweater, and the name of his commanding officer, Field Marshal Fitzroy James Henry Somerset, 66, Baron Raglan of Raglan, would be remembered in the raglan sleeve coat.) In spite of this stupidity, the Allies were victorious in this battle. They were also victorious in the Battle of Inkermann.

The Russians had already been forced to evacuate the Danubian Principalities 3 months earlier, their place taken (with Ottoman consent) by supposedly "neutral" Austrian forces. Austria had already delivered an ultimatum to Russia not to extend the war beyond the Balkan mountains and had concluded a treaty with the Ottoman Empire, agreeing to intervene if "Pan-Slav" disturbances broke out in Montenegro, Albania, or Bosnia.

A typhus epidemic in the Russian army spread to the British and French. The epidemic reached Constantinople and was spread by merchant ships throughout Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Florence Nightingale, 34, superintendent of a London hospital for invalid women, departed England with 34 nurses for the war zones to treat wounded British soldiers. She introduced sanitary measures that would reduce the toll of typhus, cholera, and dysentery.

Russian expansion into central Asia

Russian forces continued their efforts, now 4 years old, to conquer the Syr Darya Valley (the ancient Jaxartes, in present-day southern Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, draining into the Aral Sea).

Abbas I, the Khedive of Egypt, was assassinated at the age of 41 by court enemies and was succeeded by his uncle, Said Pasha, 32, who granted a Suez Canal concession to his old-friend, French diplomat promoter Ferdinand de Lesseps, 49.

English explorers Richard Francis Burton, 33, and John Hanning Speke, 27, traveled to the interior of Somaliland in northeastern Africa.

With the Bloemfontein Convention, the United Kingdom agreed to withdraw from the South African territory north of the Orange River. The Boers then established their Orange Free State in the evacuated region.

T'ai P'ing Rebellion

Kwangsi Province mystic Hung Hsiu-ch'uan, 42, proclaiming himself the younger brother of Jesus Christ as well as the T'in-wang ("Heavenly Prince," effectively the Emperor of China) of the so-called T'ai P'ing ("Great Peace") dynasty, continued his rebellion, 4 years old so far, against the government of China's Manchu dynasty. Because imperial troops had withdrawn from Anhuei, North Kiangsu, and Shantung provinces in order to cope with the T'ai P'ing rebels, bandits there under the name Nien Fei continued their campaign of plunder.

The ostentatious U.S. Navy Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, 60, fulfilling one of the dreams of the expansionist Young America movement, returned to Japan 7 months after his initial visit the year before (when he had demanded that Japan open relations with the U.S.)--this time with an even more impressive squadron of war ships. Perry and representatives of Tokugawa Shogun Iesada, 30, conferred in the village of Yokohama and exchanged gifts: bronzes, lacquers, brocades, porcelain, a barrel of whiskey, several cases of champagne, a set of telegraph instruments, an assortment of farming implements, another assortment of firearms, Birds and Quadrupeds by Audubon, and a quarter size model of a steam locomotive with track and rolling stock. The Japanese progressives persuaded the Emperor to agree to the Treaty of Kanagawa, which enabled the U.S. to establish a consulate, opened two Japanese ports--Hakodate and Shimode--to trade, provided for shipwrecked U.S. seamen, and established friendly relations.

Shogun Iesada prevailed upon the Japanese Emperor to order Buddhist temples to contribute their great bells to be recast into gun metal.

Australian journalists John and Henry Cooke began publishing the Age in Melbourne.

King Kamehameha III ("Kauikeaouli") of Hawaii, 41, asked his foreign minister, Robert Wyllie, to

ascertain the views of the United States in relation to the annexation thereto of these Islands.
This was just what the Young America adherents in the administration of U.S. President Franklin Pierce were hoping for. (They were also hoping to be able to acquire Alaska from Russia and to gain a naval base on Santo Domingo in the Caribbean.) Unfortunately for the Hawaiian scheme, King Kauikeaouli died in mid-December, and no annexation was concluded with the United States. The King was succeeded by his nephew and adopted son, Alexander Liholiho, as Kamehameha IV.

Young America dreams of acquiring Alaska and for getting the Caribbean naval base came to nothing as well.

World science and technology

English self-taught mathematician George Boole, 39, published An Investigation of the Laws of Thought, on Which are Founded the Mathematical Theories of Logic and Probabilities, substituted symbols for the words used in formal logic; German mathematician Georg Friedrich Bernhard Riemann, 28, published On the Hypotheses Forming the Foundation of Geometry; English naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace, 31, published On the Law Which Has Regulated the Introduction of New Species; German zoologist Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg, 59, published Microgeology; German botanist Nathanael Pringsheim, 31, discovered the existence of separate sexes in algae; and Spanish voice teacher Manuel Garcia the younger, 49, invented the laryngoscope.

Arts and culture in the British Isles

English novelist William Makepeace Thackeray, 43, published The Rose and the Ring; poet Coventry Kersey Dighton Patmore, 31, published Angel in the House; poet-critic Matthew Arnold, 32, published The Scholar-Gypsy; dramatist-novelist Charles Reade, 40, and dramatist Tom Taylor produced The Courier of Lyons at the Princess's Theatre in London; painter William Powell Frith, 35, unveiled Ramsgate Sands; painter William Holman Hunt, 27, exhibited The Light of the World, which he had begun 2 years earlier; poet Alfred Lord Tennyson, 45, published "The Charge of the Light Brigade," immortalizing a foolish Allied assault in the Crimean War; novelist Charles (John Huffman) Dickens, 42, published Hard Times; and novelist and poet Mary Ann (Marian) Evens, 34, who would soon be writing under the pseudonym George Eliot, began living openly with philosopher-critic George Henry Lewes, 37, a married man who could not divorce his wife because he had failed to condemn her for having had a child by another man (both women call themselves "Mrs. Lewes," but Evens was shunned by "proper" Victorian wives).

World arts and culture

Italian author Francesco Domenico Guerazzi published Beatrice Cenci; German poet Josef Viktor von Scheffel, 28, published the immensely popular verse romance Der Trompeter von Säckingen; French poet Gérard Labrunie (Gérard de Nerval), 46, published the Surrealistic Les filles du feu ("Girls of Fire"); and French novelist and dramatist Leonard Sylvain Julien (Jules) Sandeau, 43, and dramatist Emile Angier produced the social play Le Gendre de M. Poirier. German linguist and storyteller Jakob Grimm, 69, published volume 1 of his massive German language dictionary Die Geschichte der Deutschen. Russian novelist Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, 34, finished serving his 5-year sentence in Siberia for conspiracy and began publishing his review, The Times, which would be suppressed by the government. Swiss author Jeremias Gotthelf died at the age of 57.

Austrian painter Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, 61, unveiled Vienna Woods Landscape; French painter (Jean Desiré) Gustave Courbet, 35, unveiled Bonjour, Monsieur Courbet; and French painter Jean-François Millet, 40, exhibited The Reaper. German painter Karl Begas died at the age of 60.

French composer Hector Berlioz, 51, produced the Christmas oratorio L'Enfance du Christ ("The Infant Christ") at the Salle Herz in Paris; Hungarian composer Franz Liszt, 43, produced the symphonic poem Orpheus at Weimar, Meditationes Poetiques at Weimar, Fest-Lange at Weimar, and Les Preludes at Paris; German composer Johannes Brahms, 21, produced Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor; and German composer Karl Wilhelm, 39, produced music for Die Wacht am Rhein ("Watch on the Rhine"), whose lyrics were composed by poet Max Schneckenburger 14 years earlier. German composer Robert Schumann, 43, in a fit of depression attempted suicide by jumping from a bridge over the Rhine; he was picked up by boatmen and committed to an asylum 5 days later.


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