Pastor Thomas Lape, 59, 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)Many years later, several congregants would remember the Sunday School under pastorate of Reverend Lape
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)
and the beautiful songs the "Dear Old Pastor" taught them. He was very fond of music. And it was after remarked "He is always singing." I remember of hearing that his favorite songs were "Happy Land" and "I want to be an angel and with the angels stand." Then too he was a very strong advocate of temperance and would often address the school on that subject. And he would have them sing that good old temperance song, "Crambamuby."(2)According to a later reminiscence(3),
Here Anderson, p. 102, is quoting Kiersted, Helen Herrick (Mrs. C. W. Kiersted), "A Few Thoughts on the History of the Sunday School" [paper delivered at the 1906 centennial of Christ's Church]. (Close)
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.…
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 ($104.60 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.
This year was remembered as a "great pigeon season," with hordes of the passenger pigeons gathering beechnuts. The Neversink Valley was
literally alive with [the pigeons]; they cover an area of some nine miles by about two in width, up and down the valley.(4)Locals took squabs from their nests and wrung their nests, or they captured multitudes of them with nets. Squabs were bulk-shipped in ice to the New York City markets; adult birds were shipped alive in crates.
Quoted from Evers, Alf, The Catskills: From Wilderness to Woodstock, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1972, p. 396, citing Ogburn, Charlton, Jr., "The Passing of the Passenger Pigeon," in American Heritage, vol. 12, no. 4 (June 1961), p. 90, and Brent, W. T., "Wild Pigeons," in De Lisser, Richard Lionel, Picturesque Ulster, Saugerties, NY: Hope Farm Press & Bookshop, 1896, 1998, pp. 164-65. (Close)
The commodious Catskill Mountain House, the becolumned Greek Revival temple hotel near Kaaterskill Clove, owned and operated by Charles L. Beach, 51, benefited from writers elaborating on its "spiritual" aspect, such as the following weird testimonial that appeared in the New York Christian Inquirer:
[A stay at the hotel brings about] a purification of sense and spirit conjointly. We feel less sinful than when the arms of dame earth hug us closely to her heart and smother us in her thick breath.(5)
Quoted from ibid., p. 455, citing what was reprinted in the Catskill Examiner, October 6, 1860. (Close)
Bard College was founded in Annandale-on-Hudson.
Rip Van Winkle was produced as a drama in New York City, starring Joseph Jefferson, 31.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 45, pictured here, addressed a joint session of the New York State Legislature and urged women's suffrage.
James Buchanan, 69 (Democrat), was President. The 36th Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $20.92 in 2006 for most consumable products.
Albert Edward, 19. the Prince of Wales, son of Queen Victoria of the UK, toured North America, staying for 3 days with President Buchanan at the White House. Vast crowds greeted him everywhere; he met Henry Wadworth Longfellow, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Oliver Wendell Holmes. Prayers for the royal family were said in Trinity Church in New York City for the first time since 1776.
Among the 107,000 souls counted in all of Kansas Territory there were only 2 slaves. There were only 15 slaves in the huge Nebraska Territory. (The idea of bringing slaves into volatile Kansas had been silly from the beginning. The slaveowners had a lot of money invested in their human "property" and would not have wanted to take them where bullets were flying (and where the popular sovereignty vote might have gone against slavery). One wit had commented that the entire quarrel over slavery in the territories was about "an imaginary Negro in an impossible place."
There were 31,443,790 people in the U.S., of which 27,008,081 were whites, 482,122 were free blacks (nearly half of them living in the South, mostly in Delaware, Maryland, and the cities of New Orleans, Richmond, and Charleston), and 3,953,587 were slaves (most of whom were in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia).
In the entire slaveholding South there were some 8 million white residents; only about 46,000 of them had as many as 20 slaves. In the states that would secede, there were 5,450,711 whites, 131,401 blacks, and 3,540,902 slaves; at least three quarters of all Southern whites (6,120,825) owned no slaves.
It is estimated that 13% of all blacks in the U.S. were mulattos.
The white birth rate was 41.4 per thousand, down from 55 per thousand six decades earlier (but the excess of births over deaths kept the population growing). Some 4 million of the total U.S. population was foreign born; in the South only 4.4% were, compared with 18.7% in the North.
Immigration into the United States during this year totaled 153,640, including 29,737 from Great Britain, 48,637 from Ireland, and 54,491 from Germany. Most of these immigrants were seeking a better way of life than that afforded them in Europe, but they often ended up toiling in the kind of tasks native-born Americans shunned. Many immigrants traveled inland to find railroad work or farmland. Ralph Waldo Emerson, 57, pictured here, wrote the following, regarding immigrant labor:
The German and Irish millions, like the Negro, have a great deal of guano in their destiny. They are ferried over the Atlantic, and carted over America, to ditch and to drudge, to make corn cheap, and then to lie down prematurely to make a spot of green grass on the prairie.(6)(It was during this year that Emerson presented his ethical and moral codes in his The Conduct of Life.)
Quoted in Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., and Cohen, Lizabeth, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, p. 545. (Close)
The United States was the fourth most populous nation in the world--behind Russia, France, and Austria. The population density of the U.S. was 10.6 people per square mile.
About a fifth of the U.S. population were city dwellers; more than a sixth resided in cities of 2,500 or more.
There were 43 cities in the U.S. with populations of 20,000 or more, and some 300 other places had populations over 5,000. No city in the United States had a population of a million or more. Nine cities had more than 100,000 people:
New York City (Manhattan): 805,651
New Orleans: 168,675
Cincinnati, the "Queen City of the West": 161,044 (45% of them foreign-born)
St. Louis: 160,773
San Francisco: 56,802
New York State contained a seventh of the U.S. population.
There were an estimated 300,000 Indians in the United States and its territories, a 50%-to-70% decline from two and a half centuries earlier.
California's population had ballooned to more than 100,000.
There were 34,933 Chinese people living in the United States, 19 males for each female. The total number of immigrants from China during the preceding decade was 41,397.
There were 372 daily newspapers in the U.S., a 50% increase over the preceding decade, but most Americans could not afford them.
There were 12 "normal schools," schools to teach teachers, in the U.S.
Half of all nonslave American workers were self-employed.
Some 920,000 tons of iron were produced in the United States, 46% more than a decade earlier, nearly three times as much as two decades earlier, a fivefold increase over three decades earlier, and 42 times as much as four decades earlier.
The United States ranked fourth among the manufacturing nations of the world. There was 30,635 miles of railroad track in the U.S.--more than a threefold growth from a decade before (and these railroads purchased about $15 million [$314 million in 2006 dollars] worth of bar and sheet iron, half the nation's output). More than a thousand steamboats were plying the Mississippi River, a 250% increased from two decades earlier.
Only about 10% of all the goods manufactured in the U.S. came from the South, however. Most Southerners regarded "business activity" as beneath their dignity, and most factory owners were transplanted Northerners.
Especially pertinent: The North produced firearms valued at $2.27 million ($47.7 million in 2006 dollars), compared with the paltry $73,000 ($1.5 million) worth that was produced in the South.
The U.S. annual wheat crop reached 173 million bushels, double the amount of a decade earlier. The corn crop reached 839 million bushels, more than double a decade earlier. Of the ten leading industries in the U.S., eight--flour ($250 million [$5.2 billion in 2006 dollars]), cotton textiles ($105 million [$2.2 billion]), lumber ($101 million [$2.1 billion]), boots and shoes ($90 million [$1.9 billion]), men's clothing ($77 million [$1.6 billion]), leather ($70 million [$1.5 billion]), woolen goods ($60 million [$1.3 billion]), and liquor ($54 million [$1.1 billion])--relied on agriculture for their raw materials; only iron ($74 million [$1.5 billion]) and machinery ($51 million [$1.1 billion]) did not rely on agriculture.
Cotton production in the United States was greater than 2 billion pounds per year. More than 400 million pounds (182,000 metric tons) of Southern cotton poured annually into the more than a thousand mills in New England. U.S. cotton exports amounted to $192 million ($4.02 billion in 2006 dollars) (a 267% rise over the previous decade), which was 57.4% of the total U.S. exports. There were 3.48 million bales of cotton shipped that year, most of it to Liverpool, England, for the booming British textile industry.
The slave system encouraged larger agricultural units. The size of the average American farm was 194 acres (a decline of 4% over the preceding decade), but the average size in Alabama was 346 acres (a 20% increase over that period), in Louisiana 536 acres (a 44% increase). (On the other hand, the majority of Southern farmers, who had few or no slaves, had farms close to the American average.)
The high price of a slave during the preceding decade--upwards of $1,500 ($31,380 in 2006 dollars) for a "prime field hand"--reflected the increasing value of the South's agricultural output. The "crop value per slave" was now more than $100 ($2,092), a sevenfold rise in just a few decades.
South Carolina Senator James Henry Hammond, 43, wrote the following in a private letter in April:
I firmly believe that the slave-holding South is now the controlling power of the world--that no other power would face us in hostility. Cotton, rice, tobacco, and naval stores command the world; and we have sense to know it, and are sufficiently Teutonic to carry it out successfully. The North without us would be a motherless calf, bleating about, and die of mange and starvation.(7)
Quoted in ibid., p. 439. (Close)
Virginia-born Cincinnati resident George Washington Lafayette Bickley, the founder of the 6-year-old "Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC)"--a secret society originally founded to promote Southern interests and prepare the way for annexation of a "golden circle" of territories in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, which would be included into the United States as slave states--had organized 32 chapters of his organization in Texas that were enthusiastic for an invasion of Mexico. In the early spring, the chapters sent a small band to the Rio Grande, but Bickley failed to show up with the large force that he had promised to assemble in New Orleans. The campaign dissolved.
In April some New Orleans members of the KGC expelled Bickley from the organization in disgust. Undeterred, Bickley called a convention in Raleigh, NC, and got himself reinstated. He planned to mount a second expedition to Mexico later in the year, promising that Mexico could be carved up into no less than 25 slave states and thereby giving the South somewhat of an edge in the Senate--and gaining the enthusiastic support of Mississippi Governor John Anthony Quitman, 62 [pictured, son of Christ Lutheran's founding pastor, Frederick Henry Quitman]--but the Presidential election caused Bickley and his supporters to focus on secession instead.
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 had not been enforced over the preceding several decades, at least not by the United States. British war ships attempting to suppress the trade had been forbidden to search vessels, American or otherwise, that raised the U.S. flag, that "proud banner of freedom." Conversely, any American slaver had had only to raise a foreign flag to evade search by the U.S. Navy, whose four vessels in the "Africa squadron," designated for "suppressing the slave trade," were in any event far slower than most of the slavers.
Finally, just over the preceding 2 years, President Buchanan and Navy Secretary Isaac Toucey, 68, ashamed of the monstrous proportions of the traffic, were making serious efforts to suppress it. Four steam war ships joined the Africa squadron, with a supply base nearer to the coast. Nonetheless, tens of thousands of fresh Africans, "black ivory," were still imported each year by Brazil, Cuba, and even 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, but during the 18 months beginning in the preceding year, New York City alone fitted out 85 slavers.
Several Southern commercial conventions contained speeches and resolutions urging a repeal of the 1807 law against the slave trade. These urgings were reactions to pressure from members of the Southern middle class, who could not afford to buy slaves at the prevailing price (more than $2,000 for a prime field hand [$41,840 in 2006 dollars]). If there were more fresh slaves available, the price per slave would go down.
Americans foresaw a bitter fight when Kansas should again seek to be admitted to the Union. In both houses of the 36th Congress, debates was growing ever noisier and angrier. Southerners openly charged that the 1859 John Brown raid had been instigated by the Republican Party, which indignantly denied the charge. Illinois Republican Senator Lyman Trumbull, 47, and Michigan Republican Senator Zachariah T. Chandler, 47, crossed swords with Louisiana Democratic Senator John Slidell, 67, Texas Democratic Senator Louis Trezevant Wigfall, 44, and Georgia Senator Robert Augustus Toombs, 50. Some lawmakers took to carrying weapons into the chambers of government. Ohio Republican Senator Benjamin Franklin Wade, 60, stalked into the Senate before a debate and laid a pair of horse pistols on his desk with such ostentation that they could not fail to be noticed.
At the same time, industrialists in the North blamed their misfortunes from the lingering depression on the lowered duties from the Southern-inspired Tariff of 1857. They pointed to the need for higher duties to replenish the depleted federal Treasury, which had enjoyed a surplus before the tariff reduction. Their more important concern, of course, was the desire for increased protection for their manufactured goods. They were unhappy with the Southern-dominated tariff-unfriendly administration, and many of them began to look to the Republicans.
In February the Alabama legislature formally resolved that the state ought to secede from the Union if a Republican were elected President that year.
New York Senator William Henry Seward, 59, pictured here, a Republican who had a reputation as a fiery abolitionist, now looked to the 1860 Presidential election and sought to heal, rather than create, wounds. He was so conciliatory that it was falsely rumored that he favored secession.
The Democratic Party was now hopelessly divided into the Southern and the Northern branches. Southern Democrats had spoken of running Mississippi Senator Jefferson "Ten Cent Jimmy" Davis, 52, for President, but now their efforts were more focused on the Vice President, the stern-jawed John Cabell Breckinridge of Kentucky, 39, who, as President of the Senate, presided over the deliberations there. Northern Democrats spoke of running Illinois Senator Stephen Arnold "Little Giant" Douglas, 47, pictured here.
The 6-foot-4-inch-tall, 180-pound, narrow-chested, stoop-shouldered melancholic Republican Abraham Lincoln, 51, pictured left, who had been defeated in election after election, was popular among a group of Republican politicians--the Young Men's Central Republican Union--who wanted to forestall the nomination of Seward.(8)
Much of the following text in the next few paragraphs (about Lincoln's Cooper Union speech and its aftermath) has been quoted liberally 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, pp. 430-39; also there is considerable paraphrasing, especially about the campaigning, from Bailey et al., op. cit., pp. 434-37, and from Garraty, John A., The American Nation: A History of the United States, New York: Harper and Row, 1966, pp. 395-98. (Close)
Prominent in this group was New York Tribune publisher Horace Greeley, 49, pictured right, who had formerly been a supporter of Seward but was now dead set against him, They sponsored a series of lectures on political subjects at the newly established Cooper Union in New York City, ostensibly "for the general education and enlightenment of the public," and they invited Lincoln to speak.
In spite of a heavy snowstorm that day, more than 1,500 people attended. Lincoln was conducted to the platform by law reformer David Dudley Field, 55, and poet William Cullen Bryant, 66. Greeley later reported on the largest gathering "of the intellect and culture of our city."
Lincoln first argued against Douglas's notion of "popular sovereignty," proving that the framers of the Constitution
certainly understood that no proper division of local from federal authority… forbade the federal government to control slavery in the federal territories.He appealed to Southerners on behalf of the Republican Party, insisting that there was nothing sectional about it, except insofar as the South had made it so by refusing to accept it. Republicans were not radical or revolutionary, he said; they were actually conservative. They had not instigated John Brown's raid, and their policies were contrary to all acts of violence. He compared the Southern threat to secede if the Republicans won the election to a footpad (highwayman) on the road holding a pistol to his victim's head. He enjoined Republicans to do their part in maintaining the peace by placating their Southern brethren and showing that they did not wish to cause disturbance. But he wondered if the South would be convinced of the Republicans' good faith. He feared that nothing short of the acceptance of the rightfulness of slavery would satisfy Southerners.
All they ask, we could readily grant, if we thought slavery right. All we ask they could as readily grant, if they thought it wrong. Their thinking is right, and our thinking is wrong, is the precise fact upon which depends the whole controversy. Thinking it right, as they do, they are not to blame for desiring its full recognition as being right; but thinking it wrong, as we do, can we yield to them? Can we cast our votes with their view, and against our own? In view of our moral, social, and political responsibilities can we do this?Lincoln was wildly cheered. His speech was published in full by four New York newspapers and was made into a pamphlet by the Chicago Tribune.
If our sense of duty forbids this, then let us stand by our duty fearlessly and effectively.… Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the government nor of dungeons for ourselves.
Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.
Leaving New York, Lincoln toured various New England towns and was everywhere greeted by enormous crowds, with torchlight parades, banners, and constant cheering.
Lincoln also had some reflections on the Mexican War of a decade and a half earlier, whose conclusion, with its vast acquisition of territory, had brought the issue of slavery so much into focus. On June 1, he wrote the following:
The act of sending an armed force among the Mexicans was unnecessary, inasmuch as Mexico was in no way molesting or menacing the United States or the people thereof; and … it was unconstitutional, because the power of levying war is vested in Congress, and not in the President.(9)The constitutional problem would not, of course, vex Presidential administrations from the mid-twentieth century on.
This particular sidenote quoted in Bailey et al., op. cit., p. 391. (Close)
Meanwhile, Mississippi Senator Davis, pictured here, introduced resolutions in the Senate, calling for a slave code for all the territories.
In April, the Democratic Party held its convention in Charleston, SC. Tall silk hats of city men from the North mingled with wide-brimmed felt hats of Southern planters, wool hats of countrymen, caps of various descriptions--even an occasional coonskin or fox headpiece from the frontiers. From the outset, the severe division in the party was apparent. The platform committee split 17 to 16--with the minority (most of the Northerners) for Douglas and the majority (mostly the "fire-eater" Southerners) against him, considering him a traitor for his position on the Lecompton constitution and his Freeport Doctrine. They would not accept Douglas unless he promised not to disturb slavery in the territories.
William Lowndes Yancey, 46, of Alabama was a spokesman for the majority group at the convention. He bemoaned the growing influence of abolitionism and declared that the abolitionists, "who were once pelted with rotten eggs," had grown into three bands: the Black Republicans, the Free Soilers, and the Squatter Sovereignty men. The majority group supported the Davis resolutions in the Senate and demanded federal support of slavery. Yancey himself insisted that slavery was not merely tolerable but right. Northerners would not go so far, however; Ohio Senator George E. Pugh replied to Yancey:
Gentlemen of the South, you mistake us--you mistake us! We will not do it!The Douglas group, including Pugh, however, supported a conciliatory platform, kindly to Southern sentiments, endorsing the Dred Scott decision, but favoring popular sovereignty. In the end, a large number of Northern Democrats voted down the Davis platform and favored the Douglas alternative.
At that point, almost all the delegates from South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas rose from their seats and withdrew from the convention. Alexander Hamilton Stephens, 48, of Georgia, felt that his Southern brethren were acting too hastily; he wrote the following in his journal:
The seceders intended from the beginning to rule or ruin; and when they find they cannot rule, they will then ruin. They have about enough power for this purpose; not much more; and I doubt not but they will use it. Envy, hate, jealousy, spite… will make devils of men. The secession movement was instigated by nothing but bad passions.(10)There was no longer a quorum necessary for a two-thirds vote to nominate Douglas or any other candidate, and after 11 days, the convention adjourned. The Douglas contingent decided to meet again in June in Baltimore; the seceders decided to meet again in Richmond (but they later changed their venue to Baltimore as well).
Quoted from a sidenote in ibid., p. 434. (Close)
Meanwhile, Republicans held their state convention in Illinois and enthusiastically pledged all 22 of its delegates behind Lincoln, whom they nicknamed "Rail Splitter" for his reputation for having split thousands of fence rails in 1830.
Soon thereafter the national convention opened in Chicago at a rambling boxlike frame house called the "Wigwam," which was crowded with more than 10,000 people. (All of Chicago's 42 hotels were filled.)
The Republican platform had something for just about every non-Southern group: To appeal to Northern industrialists and bankers, the platform included subsidies for transatlantic cables and steamship lines as well as a plank for a higher protective tariff. To appeal to would-be pioneer farmers, the platform advocated a homestead bill, promising settlers a free quarter-section of public land and adopting such alluring slogans as "Vote Yourselves a Farm" and "Land for the Landless." To appeal to immigrants, it called for no abridgment of rights. For those in the Northwest (that is, the Upper Plains states from Illinois to Minnesota--as well as the new state of Oregon in the "Pacific" Northwest), the platform called for federal aid for internal improvements "of a National character," including the dredging of rivers, the improvement of Great Lake harbors, an overland mail route, a telegraph line to California, and most notably a railroad to the Pacific. And, of course, to appeal to the Free-Soilers, it denounced the Dred Scott decision and advocated prohibiting slavery from the territories:
The normal condition of all the territory of the United States is that of freedom. [Neither Congress nor local legislature could] give legal existence to Slavery in any Territory.(11)The platform repudiated the border ruffians in Missouri, but it also denounced John Brown's raid.
Quoted from Garraty, op. cit., p. 396. (Close)
Lincoln's rivals for the nomination were William H. Seward of New York, political opportunist Simon Cameron of Pennsylvania, 61, Salmon Portland Chase of Ohio, 52, Governor Edward Bates of Missouri, 67, Supreme Court Justice John McLean, 75, and New Jersey Senator William Lewis Dayton, 53 (who had been the running mate of the unsuccessful Republican candidate in 1856, John Charles "Pathfinder" Frémont, 47).
Lincoln's campaign manager, the Falstaffian David Davis, 45, organized the Lincoln forces in Chicago, and he took measure of the rivals: Seward, the early favorite, had made many enemies, including Horace Greeley (who had been excluded by Seward from the New York delegation but managed to get himself chosen as a delegate from Oregon); Seward was also considered an unelectable radical because of his earlier reputation; his enemies coined the slogan "Success Rather than Seward." Chase was actually more radical than Seward, and he was unpopular because of his stubborn nature. Bates was too much associated with the Know Nothings. Cameron had an unsavory reputation, and even some of his own delegation were against him. Dayton had no strength outside of New Jersey. Lincoln, the favorite son of Illinois was regarded by others as "Mr. Second Best": notably, he did not have to defend any public record, he was regarded as a commoner who had worked his way up to eminence, and he had been making glorious speeches.
Lincoln telegraphed his instructions to Davis:
I authorize no bargains and will be bound by none.Disregarding the telegraph, Davis started making backroom deals:
Lincoln ain't here and don't know what we have to meet.He promised that Caleb Blood Smith, 52, chairman of the Indiana delegation, would be appointed Secretary of the Interior in a Lincoln Administration in return for support. He promised a Cabinet post to Cameron. He had thousands of bogus tickets printed on the day of the balloting, handing them out to Lincoln supporters, urging them to show up early at the Wigwam and occupy the seats; many of the thousands of Seward supporters who were parading around Chicago found that they no longer had seats. There were a few fistfights outside the Wigwam, but Lincoln's men outnumbered the rest inside.
Seward was nominated by his supporters who were able to get seats. Then Norman Buel Judd, 45, nominated Lincoln, and a joyous clamor broke out. According to one witness,
No language can describe it. A thousand steam whistles, ten acres of hotel gongs, a tribe of Comanches, headed by a choice vanguard from pandemonium, might have mingled in the scene unnoticed.The others were put into nomination, and then there was the roll call, with 233 votes required for nomination. The results of the first ballot were Seward 173½, Lincoln 102, Cameron 50½, Chase 49, Bates 48, and the remainder scattered among various "favorite sons." After some wheeling and dealing came the second ballot: Seward 184½, Lincoln 181, Chase 43½, and Bates 35; Cameron had dropped out. On the third vote, Lincoln led with 231½--just a vote and a half short of the nomination. Then the Ohio delegation notified the chairman that it had switched its support to Lincoln, who was then nominated as the Republican candidate. Hannibal Hamlin of Maine, an old Jackson Democrat, was chosen as his running mate. A cannon on the roof of the Wigwam blasted a salute, bells were rung all over Chicago, and great crowds cheered in the streets. A delegate from Kentucky commented:
Gentlemen, we are on the brink of a great civil war.The news of Lincoln's nomination was flashed all over the country by telegraph. The Richmond Enquirer commented:
All that was wanting to cap the climax to this absurd nomination was the selection of Hannibal Hamlin as a candidate for the Vice-Presidency.(12)
Quoted in McCutcheon, Marc, Everyday Life in the 1800s: A Guide for Writers, Students & Historians, Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books, 1993, p. 9. (Close)
The fervent abolitionists denounced the Republicans, with their platform on noninterference with slavery in the states where it already existed, as no better than "Cotton Whigs." Wendell Phillips, 50, called Lincoln "the slave-hound of Illinois."
The regular Democrats (Douglas supporters), meanwhile, met in Baltimore. Some of the seceders regained admission, and when the divisive issue of slavery again came up, they withdrew again--again cheating the convention of the required quorum to nominate. Those remaining ruled that two thirds of those present could nominate, and, on the second ballot, Douglas became the candidate of the Northern Democrats, with a platform squarely for popular sovereignty (although the platform contained a promise to "abide by the decisions of the Supreme Court" [?]) and, to try to appease the South, supporting stronger enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law.
Not at all appeased, the seceders, calling themselves National Democrats, met in Baltimore with hardly any representation from the North (although Caleb Cushing of Massachusetts presided), adopted a platform favoring not only the extension of slavery into the territories (announcing that neither Congress nor any territorial government could prevent citizens from settling "with their property" in any territory) but also the annexation of slave-populated Cuba by fair means or foul. They nominated Breckinridge for President. Senator Joseph Lane of Oregon was nominated for Vice President. Historian Samuel Eliot Morison(13)
The Oxford History of the American People, New York: Oxford University Press, 1965, pp. 603-4. (Close)
has commented on the Southern strategy of secession from the rest of the Democrats, which in retrospect
seems even more rash and foolish than the state secession which inevitably developed from it, like vinegar from cider. For the only possible way for the South to protect her "peculiar institution" was to elect a Democrat to the presidency, which this sectional split made impossible. Jefferson Davis, more than any other, was responsible for it. His object, apparently, was to throw the election of President, for want of a majority in the electoral college, into Congress. The House was then so evenly divided that it would have been deadlocked, but in the Senate the Democrats had a majority. They were expected to nominate Senator Joseph Lane of Oregon, who had proved himself a consistent proslavery man, Vice President; then, if the House could not agree, Lane would become President. Devious indeed, but legal.Yet ultimately unsuccessful.
Now a new party, the middle-of-the-road Constitutional Union Party, composed of former Whigs and Know Nothings, a veritable "gathering of graybeards," nominated Tennessee Senator John Bell, 63, for President, and Edward Everett of Massachusetts, 66, for Vice President. This group campaigned by ringing hand bells for Bell and distributing handbills championing the following resolution, which ignored the conflicts rendering the nation:
It is both the part of patriotism and of duty to recognize no political principle other than the Constitution of the country, the union of the states, and the enforcement of the laws.The Constitutional Union Party declared itself the only party "a gentleman could vote for"; it was sneered at by its rivals as the "Old Gentlemen's Party" or the "Do Nothing Party."
Lincoln was not allowed on the ballot in ten of the Southern states. There were reports that these states would secede if Lincoln were elected--secessionists, in fact, promptly served notice that they would not tolerate the election of the "baboon" Lincoln, the "abolitionist" rail splitter--but Lincoln refused to believe it, since there were overwhelming odds against the South in case of a civil war; he was sure that Southerners had too much good humor and common sense to break up the government. Though he was really not an abolitionist, he issued no statements to quiet Southern fears; apparently he felt that he had already put himself on record and further statements might arouse fresh antagonisms.
In the North, the campaign roared forward: Enthusiastic supporters of the Northern Democratic candidate, Senator Douglas, the "Little Giant," exclaimed: "We want a statesman, not a rail-splitter, as President!" Fat boys were recruited as "Little Giants," parading for him. Douglas gave his brilliant speeches wherever he could, threatening to hang the first secessionist with his own hands. The Constitutional Unionist processions featured the ringing of a great bell as an alarm to the Union and appeal to vote for Bell.
Senator Seward, though disappointed over losing the Republican nomination, began stumping for Lincoln. Chase and Bates did likewise. When Lincoln's biography was published in the Northern newspapers, he earned the nickname "Honest Abe." Carrying sections of rail fences, hefting torches dripping pitch, and wearing oilskin capes, the Republicans rallied with enthusiastic parades, barbecues, and oratory for "High Old Abe," the "Woodchopper of the West" and the "Little Giant Killer." The groaned dismally for "Poor Little Doug."
Lincoln stayed home in Springfield, IL, receiving floods of visitors: office seekers, advice givers, politicians, and simple well wishers. A little girl, Grace Bedell of Westfield, NY, 11, wrote a letter to Lincoln (which his secretaries, John George Nicolay, 28, and John M. Hay, 22, forwarded to him), suggesting that the candidate grow a beard, "since all ladies like whiskers,"
The Republicans, with their generous economic program and their clear stand against the expansion of slavery into the territories (they convinced enough of the plain people of the Old Northwest that slavery extension would carve up the Great Plains into slave plantations rather than free homesteads), were gaining ground in the North and West, with their large majority of the electoral vote. Republican orators rhetorically asked recent immigrants and native-born artisans:
Can a free laboring man expect to get two dollars a day when a slave costs his master but ten cents?(14)Ohio Senator Benjamin Franklin "Ben" Wade, 60, responded to a Southern charge that the Republican-sponsored Homestead Bill was a sop to Northern paupers:
This and the quotations in the rest of the paragraph are from ibid., pp. 604-6. (Close)
[$42 versus $2.10 in 2006 dollars]
Is it to be lands for the landless, or niggers for the niggerless?Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner, 49, and other Republican spokesmen were able to convince the Northern laborer that there was an alliance between the "lords of the lash and the lords of the loom" and that therefore t was in his best interest to vote for the party of the Northern industrialist.
Sumner had returned to the Senate after recovering from his beating 3 years earlier, and he resumed his inflammatory oratory against the South--most notably in his 4-hour address entitled "The Barbarism of Slavery." Virginia Congressman Daniel C. DeJarnette countered with an oration on the evils of a free society and the beauties of slavery, including the following of his "observations":
The free suffrage and free labor of the North… has so shattered the framework of society, that society itself exists only in an inverted order.… African slavery furnishes the only basis upon which republican liberty can be preserved.… There is more humanity, there is more unalloyed contentment and happiness, among the slaves of the South, than any laboring population on the globe.… For every master who cruelly treats his slave, there are two white men at the North who torture and murder their wives.…
Many in the North were conciliatory toward the slaveholders. For example, the scholar Francis Parkman wrote in a letter:
I would see every slave knocked on the head before I would see the Union go to pieces, and would include in the sacrifice as many abolitionists as could conveniently be brought together.(15)
Ibid., p. 605. (Close)
After early state elections in Vermont, Maine, Ohio, and Pennsylvania demonstrated an unmistakable Republican trend, Senator Douglas was certain he would lose. He told his secretary:
Mr. Lincoln is the next President. We must try to save the Union. I will go South.He made fiercely Unionist speeches all over the South, even in the heart of the Cotton Kingdom, which was considerably hostile to him. He argued that a Republican in the White House and even a Republican majority in the House of Representatives would be no justification for secession; after all, the Senate would remain in the control of Democrats with Southern sympathies. But Southerners were fearful and antagonistic, and Douglas's speeches fell on deaf and unsympathetic ears. Actually, he received some threats, many snubs, and an occasional pelting with eggs and vegetables. Southerners in general regarded him as a fourflusher who had promised them Kansas and then had let them down. There was also a mass hysteria in the region that a massive slave insurrection was in the works, that wells were being poisoned, and that only a Breckenridge Presidency (or failing that, secession) could protect Southern society.
The vote was sectional: Lincoln, the Republican, was elected President, carrying 17 states: all of New England, New York, Pennsylvania, 4 of New Jersey's 7 electoral votes, all the Midwestern states north of the Ohio River, Minnesota, California, and Oregon, but not one of the Southern states--1,866,452 popular votes (40% of the total) and 180 electoral votes. Breckinridge, the Southern ("National") Democrat, carried the solid cotton South, together with Delaware and Maryland--849,781 popular votes (18% of the total) and 72 electoral votes. Bell, the Constitutional Union man, won 588,879 popular votes (12% of the total) and 39 electoral votes from Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Douglas, the Northern (or "regular") Democrat, carried only Missouri and the remaining 3 electoral votes of New Jersey--1,376,957 popular votes (30% of the total) and 12 electoral votes. Actually, the pro-Union Bell and Douglas together received far more popular votes in the slave states than did Breckinridge. Never was the archaic system of the electoral college so glaringly inadequate to express the will of the people. Lincoln had polled nearly a million votes fewer than his combined opposition (60% of American voters preferred some other candidate), but he received nearly half again as many electoral votes as all of his opponents put together, and Douglas, who came in second in the popular vote, received the fewest electoral votes.
Lincoln's running mate, Hannibal Hamlin, was elected Vice President.
The soon-to-be truncated 37th Congress was also elected, to begin serving the following year.
The Charleston (SC) Courier strangely estimated that the drop in the price of slaves, which occurred immediately after the election, would cost the South $406 million ($8.5 billion in 2006 dollars). The paper went on to say:
Slave property is the foundation of all property in the South. When security in this is shaken, all other property partakes of its instability. Banks, stocks, bonds, must be influenced.… The ruin of the South, by the emancipation of her slaves, is not like the ruin of other people.… It is the loss of liberty, property, home, country--everything that makes life worth living.
A Charleston matron Mary Boykin Miller Chesnut, 37, commented in her diary:
Yesterday on the train, just before we reached Fernandina, a woman called out: "That settles the hash." Tanny touched me on the shoulder and said: "Lincoln's elected." "How do you know?" "The man over there has a telegram." The excitement was very great. Everybody was talking at the same time. One, a little more moved than the others, stood up and said despondently: "The die is cast; no more vain regrets; sad forebodings are useless; the stake is life or death." "Did you ever!" was the prevailing exclamation, and some one cried out: "Now that the black radical Republicans have the power, I suppose they will Brown 1 us all." No doubt of it.(16)"Brown 1" was no doubt a reference to John Brown's raid of the preceding year.
Quoted in Quoted in Davidson, James West, and Stoff, Michael B., The American Nation, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1986, 1995, p. 445. (Close)
Lincoln, the President-Elect, however, was not and never had been an abolitionist. He had repeatedly declared that he had no intention of interfering with slavery in the states where it currently existed. Nevertheless, there were men in the high councils of the Republican Party who were determined to yield no mercy to the slaveowners. These radical Republicans (Lincoln's secretary John Hay called them Jacobins) included Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner (pictured left), Ohio Senator Benjamin Wade, Pennsylvania Senator Thaddeus Stevens, 68 (pictured right), Michigan Senator Zachariah T. Chandler, 47, Maryland Congressman Henry Winter Davis, 43, Illinois Congressman John Alexander Logan, 34, Ohio Congressman James M. Ashley, 36, George Sewell Boutwell, 42, Indiana Congressman George Washington Julian, 43, and Massachusetts Congressman Benjamin Franklin "Ben" Butler, 42. The South feared these men with reason. In point of fact, the North and the South had already become almost different nations.
The very day following the election, Colonel John Lane Gardner, 67, commanding U.S. troops at Charleston, SC, attempted to transfer ammunition from the government arsenal in the city to Fort Moultrie at the harbor's mouth. An angry mob of civilians resisted him, and he was forced to give up the project lest he order his troops to fire on the crowd. He appealed to War Secretary John B. Floyd, a Virginian and a Southern sympathizer. Floyd relieved Gardner of his command, replacing him with Major Robert Anderson, 55, pictured here, a Kentuckian, who he thought would accommodate the wishes of the citizens of Charleston.
Anderson inspected Fort Moultrie, Castle Pinckney, and Fort Sumter, and he wired for reinforcements. President Buchanan instructed Secretary Floyd to send the reinforcements, but then he rescinded his instructions. Anderson was ordered to avoid offending the populace but to defend his position if attacked.
Horace Greeley declared in his New York Tribune 3 days after the election his hopes for the apparently imminent secession of the South to be peaceful:
If the cotton States shall decide that they can do better out of the Union than in it, we insist on letting them go in peace. The right to secede may be a revolutionary one, but it exists nonetheless.… Whenever a considerable section of our Union shall deliberately resolve to go out, we shall resist all coercive measures designed to keep it in. We hope never to live in a republic whereof one section is pinned to the residue by bayonets.Greeley would change his position a few weeks later.
Only 4 days after the election of the "Illinois baboon" by "insulting" majorities, the legislature of South Carolina voted unanimously to call a special convention to consider the secession that it had promised if Lincoln were elected.
Shortly after the election, a Louisiana minister delivered a sermon regurgitated from the late Southern propagandist minister Benjamin Morgan Palmer (who had died 13 years previously), entitled "Slavery, a Divine Trust: Duty of the South to Preserve and Perpetuate It," wherein he suggested that God had assigned slavery for the Southern people:
[It] is necessary that we should first ascertain the nature of the trust committed to us.… The particular trust assigned to such a people becomes the pledge of Divine Protection.…It was the duty of white Southerners to preserve this institution for the purpose of self-preservation.
[We] should lift ourselves… to the highest moral ground, and proclaim to all the world that we hold this trust from God.The South needed slavery to protect her material interests:
[Our] wealth consists in our lands, and the serfs who till them.…Palmer had insisted that blacks were the most loyal race, but also the most helpless.
Freedom would be their doom.It was the duty that white Southerners owed the civilized world to be the "guardians" of the blacks. Palmer had concluded that abolitionists were atheists, and that the South was defending the cause of God.
Southerners dreamt of a tropical empire based on black slavery. Robert Barnwell Rhett addressed the South Carolina assembly in mid-November, predicting that historians in the year 2000 would lavish praise upon the brave Southerners for
extending their Empire… down through Mexico to the other side of the great Gulf,… [thereby establishing] a civilization teeming with orators, poets, philosophers, statesmen and historians, equal to Greece and Rome.(17)Conservative Virginian Lucius H. Minor promised that such an expanded Southern Confederacy would command not only
This and the next two quotes are from Morison, op. cit., p. 606. (Close)
the whole trade of South America through Europebut also the transit trade between the Atlantic and the Pacific. Poet Henry Timrod predicted in his rapturous Ethnogenesis that the Confederacy would solve the problem of poverty throughout the world; he declared that this
Is one among the many ends for which
God makes us great and rich!
In the months following the election, the aging lame-duck President Buchanan vacillated while the United States was falling apart. Lincoln exclaimed about Buchanan:
He ought to have a little of Andrew Jackson in him. "I take the responsibility, sir"--that was Old Hickory's strength.George Templeton Strong. 40, wrote in his diary:
O, for an hour of Andrew Jackson, whom I held (when I was a boy and he was "taking responsibility") to be the embodiment of everything bad, arrogant, and low.Of course, the incumbent President had only a tiny army of some 15,000 men to combat the secessionists, and most of them were needed to control the Indians in the West.
President-Elect Lincoln selected William H. Seward as his Secretary of State; Seward accepted, then withdrew, and finally was persuaded to accept again. Lincoln appointed Edward Bates of Missouri as Attorney General; Montgomery Blair of Maryland, 47 (originally a Democrat), as Postmaster General; Hartford, CT, publisher Gideon Welles of Connecticut, 58 (also originally a Democrat), as Secretary of the Navy; the humorless "iron-back" (Radical Republican) Ohio Senator Salmon Portland Chase, 52, as Secretary of the Treasury; Caleb Smith of Indiana as Secretary of the Interior; and Simon Cameron of Pennsylvania as Secretary of War--the last three appointments were fulfilling promises that Lincoln's campaign manager had made at the Republican Convention. The Cabinet certainly represented divergent points of view; it was hardly harmonious. In fact, Seward and Chase detested each other.
Meanwhile, the 36th Congress was divided: the Senate Democratic, the House Republican--and every lawmaker had lost all faith in lame-duck President Buchanan. Some of them sought to bring the two opposing factions of North and South together by some sort of compromise.
South Carolina planter Edward Barnell Heyward, wrote to his Connecticut friend James A. Lord, explaining Southern fears of a Republican administration(18):
Quoted in Taylor, Dr. Quintard, Jr., "History 101: Survey of the History of the United States--Manual, Chapter 4, Civil War and Reconstruction" (Seattle: University of Washington, citing Kutler, Stanley I., Looking for America: The People's History, Vol. I, (New York: W.W. Norton, 1979), p. 399, taken from http://faculty.washington.edu/qtaylor/Courses/101_USH/101_manual_4.htm, accessed 31 January 2007). (Close)
November 20, 1860
My Dear Jim:
… [It] might interest you to hear how I am living and what my occupations may be, and also to hear from a State which just now by her political position is somewhat the object of attraction in this country. In January next we shall take leave of the Union and shall construct with our Sister Cotton States a government for ourselves. Whether the other Slave States will join seem very uncertain at least for the present. The condition of affairs at the North since the election of an Abolitionist for President makes it necessary for us to get away as quickly as possible. We have on hand about three million Bales of Cotton and plenty to eat & clothe ourselves with, and what is most important our working population have masters to take care of them and will not feel any pressure such as will soon come upon the operatives in the manufacturing States at the North. Of course we shall declare free trade with the whole world and having no manufactures to protect we shall bring about such a competition with the manufactures of this Country and those of Europe that the profits in such business at the North will be seriously reduced. In the Country here the planters are all quiet and our crops going to market as usual. If there is no money in the banks we can go without it till England and France and perhaps the North send the gold for the cotton which they must have or go all to ruin. I have about 130 Bales of Cotton on my plantation to sell, and about 3000 bshls of corn and one hundred Hogs now fattening for the negroes to eat and their winter clothes I will get in a few days. I have plenty of Beef & mutton to feed my family upon and I think I and all around me could stand hard times better than some of the rich abolitionists of your part of the World. If you were a rich man Jim I should advise you to quit the North & come here and live in quiet, but you have nothing to loose by the Revolution that I suppose must ensue upon the present overthrow of our beautiful government. The Northern men must rouse themselves and shake off the Tyrants who now rule over them, or they will soon be numbered among the Nations which have over them, or them will soon be numbered among the Nations which have been! You live among a manufacturing people and you know better than I what the conditions of things would be in case the operatives were all dismissed, or put on starvation prices for the next year. If times get very hot you had better come on here, & try farming where there is a distinction between a white man and a black one, which is not found in Connecticut.
Do write me as before, care of Messrs. Wm. C. Bee and Co., Charleston, S.C. soon and tell me what is going on at home and about at the North. When next I write I shall belong to another government for which I shall be thankful…
Yours most Affectionately, E.B. Heyward
Alexander H. Stephens campaigned for a while against secession in his state of Georgia, but he finally concluded at the end in November:
All efforts to save the Union will be unavailing.… The truth is, our leaders and public men… do not desire to continue it on any terms. They do not wish any redress of wrongs; they are disunionists per se.(19)Only 3 days later he exclaimed:
This and the next quote are from Morison, op. cit., p. 607. (Close)
The people run mad. They are wild with passion and frenzy, doing they know not what.
President Buchanan delivered his December message to Congress, in which he declared that secession was "unconstitutional." Then he qualified that declaration by adding that the Union
rests upon public opinion, and can never be cemented by the blood of its citizens shed in civil war. If it cannot live in the affections of the people, it must one day perish.He assailed the anti-slavery extremists in the North as being chiefly responsible for the bitterness in the South, spoke of the fear of a slave insurrection in many sections of the South, and stated that if the peril of such an insurrection increased, "then disunion would become inevitable," since self-preservation would make it a necessity.
Four days later, Buchanan's Treasury Secretary, Howell Cobb of Georgia, 45, resigned and promised those in his state who were wavering over secession that Georgia could
make better terms out of the Union than in it.Five days after that, Secretary of State Lewis Cass of Michigan, 78, frustrated that the President would not reinforce Major Anderson in Charleston, resigned.
The New Orleans Bee editorialized that the South could stay in the Union only after Northern opinion underwent
a change of heart, radical and thorough in relation to slavery.(20)
Quoted in ibid., p. 606. (Close)
Kentucky Senator John Jordon Crittenden, 74, proposed a compromise that would have involved amending the Constitution: The territories should be divided between the free and slave states on the basis of the 1820 Missouri Compromise 36°30' line. No slavery would be allowed in territories north of that line, but slavery would be "recognized as existing" and would be given federal protection south of the line in all territories existing or "hereafter to be acquired" (such as Cuba, for example). Future states could come in with or without slavery as they would choose. Senator Douglas joined Senator Crittenden. Ohio Congressman Thomas Corwin, 66, Ohio Congressman John Sherman, 37, Ohio Congressman Clement Laird Vallandigham, 40, Tennessee Senator Andrew Johnson, 52 (pictured here), joined the effort. The Senate voted to form a committee of 13 members, headed by Crittenden to seek a solution to the crisis. Senator Stephen A. Douglas, Senator William H. Seward, Senator Jefferson Davis, and Senator Robert Toombs were on this Committee of Thirteen. (Edward) Thurlow Weed, 63, who had been Seward's campaign manager in the campaign for the Republican nomination, was sent by Seward to see if President-Elect Lincoln would accept such the Crittenden compromise.
On the first day that the committee met, December 20, 1860, the fiery convention of radical secessionists in Charleston, SC, adopted an Ordinance of Secession, thereby taking South Carolina out of the United States. The secessionists denounced the Northern states, complaining that they had
denounced as sinful the institution of Slavery [and that they had] invested a great political error with the sanctions of a more erroneous religious belief.The Ordinance included the following announcement:
[The] union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States, under the name of "The United States of America" is hereby dissolved.… The State of South Carolina has resumed her position among the nations of the world.There was hardly a dissenting voice in the city (anyone with doubts thought it best to keep silent). Crowds thronged the streets, roaring their acclaim. Cannons boomed in salute, church bells rang, bands played martial music, the state's palmetto flag was unfurled everywhere. Telegraph stations flashed the news to every Southern capital, and to Washington, DC, as well.
On the same day, President-Elect Abraham Lincoln declared that he would not accept one provision in the Crittenden compromise that the Committee of Thirteen were working on, which might have meant imperialistic extensions of slavery into Latin America.
Let there be no compromise on the question of extending slavery.… [The proposal] would amount to a perpetual covenant of war against every people, tribe, and state owning a foot of land between here and Tierra del Fuego.On slavery extension Lincoln held "firm, as with a chain of steel." He would agree with the rest of the compromise, however, provided that Southern Senators would issue an appeal against secession (which they refused to do). Lincoln repeated that he did not want to interfere with slavery where it already existed, and that he was for strict enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Act.
Fire-eating orators in South Carolina, though, disregarded any "Yankee yawp" and sneered that money-grubbing, deceitful Yankees would be too busy counting their money bags to bother with fighting chivalrous Carolinians. South Carolinians and many others in the South believed that Northern industrialists and bankers were so heavily dependent on Southern cotton and markets that they would think twice before venturing into a war. And even if war were to come, Southern debtors could happily repudiate the immense debt they owed to Northern creditors. Secession was a wonderful opportunity to throw off generations of "vassalage" to the North. Why, the South could develop its own banking and its own shipping and could trade with Europe directly instead of through "greedy" Yankee middlemen who were always trying to impose protective tariffs.
Many in the South were confident that the clod-hopping and cod-fishing Yankee would not or could not fight, and so their departure from the Union would actually be unopposed. But even if the nation as a whole wanted to coerce South Carolina back into the Union, the state was convinced that it was well able to repel any such "aggression." Young men enlisted in state regiments and to drill. Women presented silk banners to these military units. The Charleston Mercury's headlined:
THE UNION IS DISSOLVED!
Northern poet and essayist James Russell Lowell, 41, wrote the following in the Atlantic Monthly about Southern motives for secession:
The fault of the free States in the eyes of the South is not one that can be atoned for by any yielding of special points here and there. Their offense is that they are free, and that their habits and prepossessions are those of freedom. Their crime is the census of 1860. Their increase in numbers, wealth, and power is a standing aggression. It would not be enough to please the Southern States that we should stop asking them to abolish slavery: what they demand of us is nothing less than that we should abolish the spirit of the age. Our very thoughts are a menace.(21)
Quoted in a sidenote in Bailey et al., op. cit., p. 441. (Close)
President Buchanan summoned Winfield "Old Fuss and Feathers" Scott, 74, pictured here, hero of both the War of 1812 and the Mexican War, Commanding General of the U.S. Army, from West Point. General Scott had already advised Buchanan that the Southern forts should be strongly garrisoned. Now War Secretary Floyd shunned Scott, and nothing was done about anything. Scott retired to his quarters to eat canvasback duck, woodcock, snipe, capon, Virginia ham, and terrapin, all cooked in the French manner and all complemented with the finest wines and liquors he could obtain.
As General Scott knew, the entire military establishment of the United States contained no more than 16,000 soldiers, most of them stationed on the Western frontiers.
South Carolina regarded itself as an independent nation. Its Governor, Francis Wilkinson Pickens, 55, wrote to President Buchanan demanding that South Carolina troops be allowed to take possession of Fort Sumter and the other federal fortifications in Charleston Harbor, warning that if this were not done, he would "not be responsible" for the consequences. President Buchanan was at last outraged. Governor Pickens made haste to "withdraw" that letter, but War Secretary Floyd, without consulting the President, made equal haste to pledge that the War Department would take no action to "injure" South Carolina.
The people of Charleston had been wining and dining Major Anderson, a Kentuckian with a wife from Georgia, who had been sent by that good friend of the South, Secretary Floyd; they were sure that Anderson must be sympathetic to the secession movement.
On Christmas Day Major Anderson attended a party at the home of his subordinate, Captain J. G. Foster. The next day he quietly transferred his men and such arms as he could transport from the indefensible Fort Moultrie to the slightly better Fort Sumter. He had the cannon at Fort Moultrie spiked, its gun carriages burned, and the flagstaff cut down. The citizens of Charleston felt betrayed, and they proclaimed that Anderson had committed an "overt act." Governor Pickens called out ten units of the South Carolina militia, placed guards over the arsenal and other heretofore federal buildings, and there raised the palmetto flag of South Carolina.
Anderson refused requests to withdraw from Fort Sumter, which was positioned to block commerce in and out of the harbor. War Secretary Floyd raved and sent a telegram to Anderson, demanding an explanation of his action in the absence of direct orders. Anderson replied in formal military language that he had abandoned Fort Moultrie because he could not defend it if it were attacked.
Three Southern spokesmen--Mississippi Senator Jefferson Davis, Virginia Senator Robert Mercer Taliafero Hunter, 51, and Assistant Secretary of State William Henry Trescot, 38, from South Carolina--called upon President Buchanan and told him what had just happened in Charleston. Buchanan wailed:
My God! Are misfortunes never to come singly? I call God to witness… that this is not only without, but against my orders. It is against my policy.The Southern spokesmen urged him to command Anderson to "restore his former position," but the President delayed, refused to be rushed into action, and insisted on talking it over with his Cabinet before doing anything. It was a furious and exciting Cabinet meeting. War Secretary Floyd denounced Anderson and demanded an immediate order to remove all troops from Charleston Harbor. Edward McMasters Stanton, 36, who had just become Attorney General after the recent Cabinet shakeup, and the new Secretary of State, Jeremiah Sullivan Black, 50, countered Floyd. Stanton shouted that what Floyd was demanding was equivalent to Benedict Arnold's treason. President Buchanan cried out: "Oh, no! Not as bad as that!" After adjourning and reconvening, the Cabinet voted 4 to 3 against sending Floyd's order to Anderson.
Three commissioners from South Carolina called upon the President and officially demanded the withdrawal of troops from Charleston Harbor.
In spite of demands in the Charleston city streets that Fort Sumter be attacked immediately, no move was taken. A quasi truce remained in effect for more than three months.
Now a scandal involving War Secretary Floyd came to light. Apparently, William Hepburn Russell, 48, of the freighting firm of Russell, Majors & Waddell, had invoiced the U.S. Treasury for some $870,000 ($17.5 million) in funds that had been "lost" in the Deseret Revolt ("Mormon War") of 1857-1858, when the firm had been furnishing both supplies and transportation to federal troops. Goddard Bailey, a kinsman of Floyd's, had pocketed some of the funds, and there was a strong suspicion that Floyd had shared in the funds diversion. In any rate, Floyd was guilty of extreme carelessness and inefficiency.
Another charge was made against War Secretary Floyd. On the day of South Carolina's secession, he had ordered 46 cannon shipped from Pittsburgh, PA, to Ship Island, MS, and another 79 cannon from Pittsburgh to Galveston, TX. Pittsburgh citizens protested to President Buchanan, who countermanded Floyd's order. Now it came to light that he had already sent 105,000 muskets and 10,000 rifles from Northern to Southern arsenals. This had the appearance of treason, and the President demanded Floyd's resignation.
Floyd went to Virginia and made secessionist speeches. Meanwhile, he was indicted for malfeasance in office (but after the Civil War began, the charges were, strangely, dropped).
President Buchanan drafted a letter making concessions to South Carolina. Jeremiah Black, the new Secretary of State, and Edward Stanton, the new Attorney General, then threatened to resign. Buchanan allowed these two to rewrite his letter, which they converted into a blank refusal both to remove U.S. troops from Charleston Harbor and to disavow Major Anderson's action. The letter now stated that Fort Sumter would be defended "against hostile attacks from whatever quarter they may come."
General Scott got up from his repast and emphatically appealed to the President that he be permitted to reinforce Anderson with 250 soldiers, together with supplies, arms, and ammunition. The sloop of war Brooklyn was made ready to sail for Charleston with the reinforcements.
President-Elect Lincoln remained in Springfield, juggled cabinet posts, kept quiet, and continued to grow his beard.
The U.S. Secret Service was established.
Albert J. Myer, surgeon for the U.S. Army Signal Corps, received a congressional appropriation of $4,000 ($83,680 in 2006 dollars) to develop the wigwag system of visual signaling that he had invented.
J. Fitzpatrick and James O'Neill contended in a bareknuckle fight in Berwick, ME, for 4 hours 20 minutes.
Elizabeth Palmer Peabody, sister-in-law of both educator Horace Mann and novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, established an English-language Kindergarten in Boston.
Coal-fired steam engines were now turning almost a quarter of the spindles in the textile factories of the Fall River region of Massachusetts.
Springfield, MA, lithographer Milton Bradley, 23, introduced "The Checkered Game of Life" board game.
The Connecticut-based New Haven Arms Company of Oliver Fisher Winchester, 49, began producing the Winchester repeating rifle, just in time for the carnage of the impending Civil War.
The 34-year-old Lord & Taylor dry-goods store in New York City moved from Catherine Street to a new location at the corner of Grand Street and Broadway; its staircase was lighted by a Tiffany & Co. gas chandelier costing $500 ($10,460 in 2006 dollars).
The Oneida "Perfectionist Community" of farmers and mechanics in central New York State, founded in 1848 by New England clergyman John Humphrey Noyes, 49, 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. Community members developed dishwashing machines as well as machines for paring apples and washing vegetables. The community grossed $100,000 ($2.09 million in 2006 dollars) from the sales of its "Newhouse trap," invented by member Samuel Newhouse and already considered the standard trap in North America.
Hammondsport, NY, clergyman William Bostwick started his Pleasant Valley Wine Company using Catawba grapes, producing New York State's first champagne.
Olympia Brown became the first woman co-ed at St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY), studying theology.
Pennsylvania entrepreneurs Thomas Marton Armstrong and John D. Glass founded the John D. Glass Company to cut the bark off cork trees in Spain, Portugal, and North Africa.
The increase in U.S. literacy spurred demand for more lighting.(22)
Distilled from 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. 490; and from Garraty, op. cit., pp. 505-6. (Close)
The petroleum derivative kerosene replaced both whale oil and lard oil in lamps (the whale-oil lamps were simply discarded, or they were retrofitted for kerosene burning); the kerosene lamps were noted for their smoky, torchlike light. The discovery of petroleum gushers in western Pennsylvania the preceding year had led to a rush of "Fifty-Niners" to that area, giving rise to a new industry, with its "petroleum plutocracy" of "coal oil Johnnies." There were hundreds of tiny kerosene refineries springing up in Pennsylvania, reminiscent of ramshackle hillbilly moonshiner stills, where small-scale entrepreneurs heated crude petroleum oil in large kettles, boiling off the volatile elements, condensing the kerosene in water-cooled coils, and discarding the heavier petroleum tars.
New York metalworker John Landis Mason, 28, who had been manufacturing at the Whitney Glass Works in Glassboro, NJ, his reusable glass jar with a thread molded into its top and a zinc threaded lid, which he had patented 2 years earlier, now began using paraffin wax, a by-product of the kerosene produced from petroleum, to seal the jars.
John Davison Rockefeller, 20, a junior partner in the Cleveland produce commission (and whiskey) firm, was sent to Titusville to investigate the potential of petroleum and reported that it had little future. Nonetheless, he pooled his savings with those of his partner, Maurice B. Clark, and invested $4,000 ($83,680 in 2006 dollars) in the lard oil refinery of candlemaker Samuel Andrews, and he persuaded richer men to build more petroleum refineries, realizing the potential of the substance as an energy source.
During this time, machines were replacing hand tools, and steam and electricity continued to replace human and animal power.
The Catholic Times began publication in Columbus, OH.
The 4-year-old 458-mile Wabash and Erie Canal suffered a partial shutdown: The section between Terre Haute, IN, and the Ohio River was inoperable.
The excursion steamer Lady Elgin collided with the schooner Augusta on Lake Michigan, killing some 400 people.
Roughly 100,000 tons of shipping--mostly wheat and iron ore--passed through the "Soo" (Saulte Ste. Marie) canal between Lakes Superior and Huron.
Former followers of William Miller who had been disappointed 17 years earlier by Jesus Christ not showing up for His Second Coming, founded the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, MI.
Chicago shoe salesman Dwight Lyman Moody, 23, continued his Sunday School in a hall over the city's North Market. Offering prizes, free pony rides, and picnics as well as a genuine love for children had made Moody's the largest Sunday School in Chicago, reaching some 1,500 weekly. In November, President-elect Lincoln visited the Sunday School and gave a few remarks.
There were about 350 cigarette factories in Virginia and North Carolina--50 in Richmond alone.
Louisiana State University and Louisiana A&M College were founded in Baton Rouge.
Mississippi agronomist Eugene Hilgard urged contour plowing and the use of fertilizer, writing:
Well might the Chickasaws and Choctaws question the moral right of the act by which their beautiful, parklike hunting grounds were turned over to another race.… Under their system these lands would have lasted forever; under ours, in less than a century the state will be reduced to the… desolation of the once fertile Roman Campagna.(23)
Quoted in Trager, op. cit., p. 502. (Close)
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.
William Hepburn Russell, the same person who had been invoicing the government for "lost" funds for his work in the Mormon War, organized the Pony Express to carry mail at rates of $2 to $10 per ounce ($41.84 to 209.20 per ounce in 2006 dollars), depending on distance, on a more-than-1,900-mile route from St. Joseph, Missouri, to Sacramento, California. He kept 80 riders in the saddle at all times of day and night, riding fast Indian ponies in relays to cover the 10 miles or so between each of the some 190 stations. Mail could cover the entire route in 10 days.
Soldiers at Fort Defiance in New Mexico Territory shot several sheep and goats belonging to the Navajos. Chief Manuelito led some 1,000 Navajo warriors in April to attack Fort Defiance and nearly captured it before being driven off by musket fire.
The Japanese-built 300-ton iron steamship S.S. Kanrinmaru, accompanied by the U.S. cruiser Powhatan and carrying a delegation of 80, reached San Francisco after a 34-day voyage. The delegation then proceeded to Washington, DC, stayed at the Willard Hotel, and drank from the hotel fingerbowls.
Hundreds of Chinese immigrants were fleeing the disintegrating Chinese Empire, risking the penalty of beheading to do so, almost all from the southern district of Toishan, and coming to the United States, at an annual rate during this decade of 4,140, many of them gold seekers sailing into San Francisco, which they named "golden mountain." Some came with money pooled by their families back home, but most were desperately poor and in debt to Chinese middlemen. Most were men (the ratio was 19 males for each female).
There were barely 35,000 Indians left in California, a 65% loss in only a decade. According to a committee on Indian affairs in Congress, the Indians had been
despoiled by irresistible forces of the land of their fathers; with no country on earth to which they can migrate; in the midst of a people with whom they cannot assimilate.(24)
Quoted in Morison, op. cit., p. 750. (Close)
San Francisco hosted its first recorded baseball game.
Businessman Henry Meiggs, 49, absconded with $365,000 ($7.6 million in 2006 dollars) of San Francisco city notes that had been signed in advance, escaping for Chile on board the bark America.
"They love sweets and delicacies to a degree that there are nowhere in the world so many dentists as here," wrote a German visitor to the U.S.
and all make a good living. They are indispensable because the unbounded taste for sweets rots the teeth, so that artificial ones must take the place of the natural. What is more, many ladies allow whole rows of teeth to be extracted, as I myself saw, in order to replace them with prettier ones.(25)
Quoted in McCutcheon, op. cit., p. 163, citing I. J. Benjamin, Drei Jahre in Amerika, 1859-1862. (Close)
Men began cutting their hair shorter, with parts extending from the front all the way back to the nape of the neck. Some men wore pompadours. Muttonchops and beards under the chin were in vogue. Women frequently wore a bun or chignon, arranged in loops and braids, with puffs, ringlets, or coils over the ears.
Americans now bathed an average of once a week.
Croquet was introduced from England.
Godey's Lady's Book advised women to cook tomatoes for at least 3 hours.
The "Youth's Chemical Cabinet," a chemistry set advertised as perfectly safe, went on sale for $5 ($104.60 in 2006 dollars).
No author, without a trial, can conceive of the difficulty of writing a romance about a country where there is no shadow, no antiquity, no mystery, no picturesque and gloomy wrong, nor anything but a commonplace prosperity, in broad and simple daylight, as is happily the case with my dear native land. It will be very long, I trust, before romance writers may find congenial and easily handled themes, either in the annals of our stalwart republic, or in any characteristic and probable events of our individual lives. Romance and poetry, ivy, lichens and wallflowers need ruin to make them grow.
Anne S. W. Stephens published through the 2-year-old firm Beadle & Adams the dime bestselling novel Malaeska: The Indian Wife of the White Hunter; historian John Lothrop Motley, 46, began publishing The History of the United Netherlands, which took him another 8 years to finish; and Congress commissioned painter Emmanuel Leutze, 44, to paint Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way to decorate the staircase of the U.S. Capitol building.
Lydia Howard Sigourney, 69, published her banal, sticky-sweet, and very popular Gleanings.
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, Home Monthly, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, Harper's Weekly, Yale Literary Magazine, Knickerbocker Magazine, Spirit of the Times, Phunny Fellow, National Police Gazette, Illustrated Police News, and Scientific American.
The songs "Old Black Joe," and "The Glendy Burk" by Stephen Collins Foster, 33, were released and became popular. The songs "I Wish I Was in Dixie's Land" (or "Dixie") and "The Yellow Rose of Texas" were popular in the South. The 2-year-old favorite "The Old Grey Mare (Get Out of the Wilderness)" was adapted by the Lincoln campaign. Other popular songs (in the entire country) included "Listen to the Mockingbird," "Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair," "Camptown Races," "Oh! Susanna," "Jim Crack Corn" (also known as "Blue Tail Fly"), "Buffalo Gals," "Old Dan Tucker," "One-Horse Open Sleigh" ("Jingle Bells"), "Turkey in the Straw," and "Amazing Grace."
Albert Edward, 19, the Prince of Wales, son of Queen Victoria of the UK, toured North America, including Canada and the U.S. In Montreal, he inaugurated the Victoria Bridge across the St Lawrence River, and he laid the cornerstone of Parliament Hill in Ottawa. He watched Blondin traverse Niagara Falls by highwire.
In Mexico Benito Pablo Juárez García, 54, a liberale (liberal) Zapotec Indian, finally turned the tide against the conservadores (conservatives), led by General Félix Zuloaga, in the Mexican War of the Reform. The conservadores were still controlling areas bordering the Rio Grande, and U.S. President Buchanan, who had recognized the Juárez government, had been asking for Congressional authorization to establish military posts in Sonora and Chihuahua to "restore order." Buchanan had the preceding year attempted to extort from Mexico, in return for paying several million dollars, the State of Baja California (as a sop to Southern expansionists still complaining of Alta California becoming a free state 10 years earlier), but Juárez had refused. However, the Mexican foreign minister had signed a draft treaty granting the United States a perpetual right of transit from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific across the northern tier of Mexican states. Buchanan submitted the treaty for ratification in January, but the Senate flatly rejected it.
U.S. "filibusterer" (adventurer, soldier of fortune) William Walker, 36, once the dictator of Nicaragua, after surrendering and escaping, returned to the U.S. and coming back to Nicaragua, several times, was finally captured in Honduras by a British naval officer, Captain Norvell Salmon of the British warship Icarus, and turned over to Honduran authorities. He was court-martialed and executed before a firing squad at Trujillo, Honduras.
The United Kingdom ceded its "Mosquitia" satellite, including Greytown, to Nicaragua. It also ceded its Bay Islands to Honduras.
Architect Sir Charles Barry, 65, finished his 20-year project of building the Houses of Parliament in London.
The 5-year-old Daily Telegraph had double the circulation of the 67-year-old Times of London.
British telegraph networks had been in operation for the past 13 years--the northern system coving cities from Edinburgh to Birmingham, the southern network linking Dover, Gosport, and Southampton with London. The companies had originally been basing rates on distance, making long-distance telegraphy prohibitively expensive, but a decade earlier competition had forced the rate down to 10 shillings for any distance. By now competition had brought that rate down to 1 to 2 shillings for most inland telegrams.
The English Church Union was founded.
The British Parliament passed the Adulteration of Food Law upon the urgings of physician Edward Lankester, who described how Bath buns were made yellow from sulfide of arsenic and who pointed to recent cases of people dying after attending a public banquet serving green blanc-mange colored with arsenite of copper.
The British Open Golf Championship was established; the first champion was W, Park.
Englishman Tom Sayers and American John C. Heenan contended in a 42-round bareknuckle championship boxing match in England; when the crowd broke into the ring after Sayers could not use his right arm and Heenan was blinded by his own blood, the fight ended (and was the last bareknuckle match in England).
The first modern Eisteddfod was held in Wales.
English free-trade advocate Richard Cobden negotiated a treaty of reciprocity between the United Kingdom and France, opening up wider trade between the two nations. Many Frenchmen opposed the treaty.
In an effort to regain the public support he had lost the preceding year in the war between Austria and Piedmont as well as in the reciprocity treaty with the British, Emperor Napoleon III, 52, of France increased the powers of the French Parlement.
There were now 5,918 miles of railroad trackage in France, a 2,000-percent increase over the preceding two decades.
After 8 years at the Bon Marché in Paris, French merchant Aristide Boucicaut had turned the small piece-goods shop into a true department store with such retailing principles as small markups to encourage high volume and rapid turnover, free entrance with no obligation to buy, and the right to exchange or return merchandise; sales during his tenure had increased tenfold to 5 million francs.
King Victor Emmanuel joined forces with Garibaldi, and together they defeated the Papal army in the Battle of Castelfidardo. Plebiscites in Sicily, Naples, the Papal States, Romagna, Parma, Modena, and Tuscany voted for union with Sardinia, with Victor Emmanuel as King.
With the Treaty of Turin, Sardinia-Piedmont ceded Savoy and Nice to France. The first Italian Parliament convened in Turin.
The reformist King Danilo I of Montenegro was assassinated and was succeeded by his nephew Nicholas I, 19.
After 2 years again on the throne of Serbia, King Milosh Obrenovic died in Belgrade at the age of 80, after having exerted the cruelest of vengeance upon those who had deposed him 21 years earlier. He was succeeded by his son Michael III Obrenovic, 35, who abolished the oligarchic constitution of 1839.
The Russian Orthodox Church established a monastery in Jerusalem.
German adventurer Karl Klaus von der Decken, 27, explored eastern Africa and proposed plans for a vast German colony there.
China continued to refuse to admit foreign diplomats into Peking, and they seized diplomat Harry Parkes, 52, the virtual governor of Canton, and took him prisoner in spite of his flag of truce. In response, French and British in August forces used breech-loading rifled artillery firing Armstrong 18-pounder shells to bombard Sinho in the Battle of Pa-li-ch'iao and then in October occupied Peking with 17,000 troops, who burned the Summer Palace. In the Treaty of Peking the Chinese were forced to cede a legation quarter for foreign embassies and to pay increased indemnities.
Irish immigrant Robert O'Hara Burke, 40, led an expedition of 17 men, 26 camels, and 28 horses out of Melbourne to cross Australia from south to north.
As a result of contagious diseases introduced from Europe and America, the native population of Hawaii was now less than 37,000, a 50-percent decline from a decade earlier, a 75-percent decline from four decades earlier.
French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur, 38, sterilized milk by heating it to 125° Centigrade at a pressure of 1.5 atmospheres; German pathologist Friedrich Albert von Zenker, 35, described the clinical symptoms of acute trichinosis; French physician Etienne Lancereaux, 31, discovered that diabetes resulted from a pancreas disorder; and English nurse Florence Nightingale, 40, founded the world's first nursing school.
German experimental psychologist Gustav Theodor Fechner, 59, published Elements of Psychophysics.
English physicist James Clerk Maxwell, 29, shared his kinetic theory of gases.
Belgian engineer Jean Etienne Lenoir, 38, built a low-compression gasoline engine in Paris by employing a carburetor that mixed liquid hydrocarbons to form a vapor that an electric spark could explode inside a cylinder.
German physicist Gustav Robert Kirchhoff, 36, and German chemist Robert Wilhelm Bunsen, 49, discovered the elements cesium and rubidium while experimenting with spectrum analysis.
German novelist Friedrich von Spielhagen, 31, published Problematische Naturen; French dramatist Eugène Marin Labiche, 35, produced Le Voyage de M. Perrichon; Dutch novelist Eduard Douwes Dekker (Multatuli), 40, published Max Havelaar; Russian dramatist Aleksandr Ostrovsky, 37, produced The Storm; Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev, 42, published On the Eve; and French historian Charles Forbes René de Montalembert, 50, published Les Moines d'Occident.
French painter Édouard Manet, 28, unveiled The Guitarist; and French artist Edgar Degas, 26, completed his Young Spartans Exercising; and Swiss art historian Jakob Burckhardt, 42, published The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy. French painter Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps died at the age of 57.