Christ's Lutheran Church in 1866

[ Christ's Church on the Sawkill ]

Pastor William H. Emerick, 60, a gifted and fiery preacher, 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).

We have no description of what it was like in the first or second church building, but here is a reminiscence(1)

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. (Close) about what the third was like in the 1850s (and probably in the 1860s as well):
[ 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.

[ 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.

[ Revival camp meeting ] I well remember a revival held in the spring of the year when the frost was going out of the ground and such roads. Mud hub deep [hub deep on a wagon wheel, probably 3 or 4 feet in diameter!]. But not withstanding the state of the roads or the weather, the church was packed to the door and some nights they could not all get in. They came long distances to attend the meetings. At these meetings many of the young people of the church were converted and later joined the church.…

[ Reverend Emerick ] Pastor Emerick often held meetings on the same grounds where the annual Sunday School picnics were held--that is, on the banks of the Sawkill in a shaded wood. He was always interested in bringing people into the church. The church owned no parsonage. The pastor (pictured)
lived in rented rooms wherever they could be procured, sometimes several miles away.… [Pastor Emerick] 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 1866

Regional historian Alf Evers cited the reminiscences of Byron "Bide" Snyder, whose father had a store in town, about local Woodstock life at this time(2):

Excerpted from Evers, Alf, Woodstock: History of an American Town, Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1987, p. 269, citing Snyder, Byron, recollections in the Woodstock Weekly, 1924. (Close)
The old tavern was a long, low, rambling building or rather a collection of buildings, all of different shapes and heights, connected with an immense old barn and cider mill. [This was the tavern torn down by William Brinkerhoff in 1869].… The big bar room took up all the west end of the building and was a general meeting place for the whole town. My memory is rather hazy but I can recall the long tables made of heavy planks, the great wood stove that stood in the center with a copper boiler for hot water on top. On the north side of the outside of the building was a blank wall and this was covered with large circus posters, highly colored.… I can only recall two of them. One was a picture of the most terrible and ferocious hippopotamus the world had ever seen. His great yawning mouth could easily hold a piano… the other was a rhinoceros.…

The tavern did a good business as there were always transients. Teams coming down from Delaware County with butter, bark for the tanneries, cord wood.… A night's lodging with a hearty supper and breakfast and a couple of drinks cost four shillings [50 cents {$6.14 in 2006 dollars}].… Rye, Bourbon and apple jack cost three cents a glass [37 cents a glass] holding a little over half a teacup. Gin, Santa Cruz and Jamaica Rum… cost six cents a drink [74 cents a drink]. Brandy was a rich man's drink costing from six to ten cents a glass [74 cents to $1.23 a glass].… Lager beer was not in use, at least not in the country. There was a strong, heavy ale, rich and wholesome. You could see hop leaves floating in the glass.…

The new Rondout & Oswego Railroad was proposed to extend from Kingston by way of the Esopus Valley and Pine Hill toward an ultimate objective of Lake Ontario. Opposed to the plans was an influential group headed by Civil War General George H. Sharpe and Jacob Hardenbergh, lawyer for the threatened Delaware and Hudson Canal. They claimed that the railroad would destroy Kingston's prosperity as a terminus of the highways crossing the Catskills over which teamsters hauled Delaware County butter, hay, leather, and many other regional products. They claimed that a railroad would

strike ruinously at our wagon-makers, our blacksmiths, our harness makers, our flour and feed establishments, our merchants and dealers generally.… [Replacing all this would be] a single iron horse speeding past us to the depot on the Hudson.… [Besides, the railroad was] backed by no private aid worthy of note.(3) Quoted from Evers, Alf, The Catskills: From Wilderness to Woodstock, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1972, p. 463, citing the Kingston Argus, July 4 and 11, 1866. (Close)
The Kingston Argus, however, argued that the village of Catskill had "foolishly rejected" its chance 31 years earlier to become a railroad center with its Catskill & Canajoharie Railroad.
Kingston now has her opportunity. Will she embrace it?
The voices of Sharpe and Hardenbergh were drowned out by railroad backers and lobbyists in Albany, including Hudson River steamboat magnate Thomas Cornell of Rondout, former Anti-Renter but now rich and respectable Dr. Orson M. Allaben of Margaretville, and former landlord agent Charles Hathaway of Delhi. The state legislature authorized the building of the railroad and permitted towns along the proposed route to issue bonds for buying R&O stock. Landowners donated acres for the railroad right of way, hoping that their remaining land would increase in value once the railroad was finished.

There were a large number of huge woodworking factories in the Catskills, turning out tremendous volume. Some of them were "stock factories," making parts wholesale; others made wooden bowls, wooden legs, rolling pins, policemen's billy clubs, little wooden pharmacy boxes, and porch pillars and balusters. These factories were shipping large orders of hardwood products to Europe, the West Indies, Central America, and South America.

The export trade in cane-seated chairs and in rocking cradles was very important. The furniture factory of Lemuel Chichester (son of Hunter furniture baron Samuel Chichester) in the factory town named for him produced up to 3,600 chairs and 900 rocking cradles per week. Hiram Whitney was also manufacturing chairs on a large scale in the Shandaken Valley.

Some operations were small, however: The Vosburgh brothers in Woodstock ran a small handicraft "turning mill" and would make anything to order.

William Smith and Andrew Smith, known as the "Smith Brothers," inherited the business of their father, Poughkeepsie restauranteur James Smith, who 19 years earlier had acquired a recipe for a good-tasting cough remedy and thereafter had been offering to afflicted patrons the cough drops he had made in the kitchen. William and Andrew had been selling the cough drops to passengers on the stagecoaches between New York City and Albany that stopped in Poughkeepsie, but by now they had many competitors.

Hudson River School painter Albert Bierstadt, 36, unveiled A Storm in the Rocky Mountains.

[ Sojourner Truth ] Former New Paltz and Hurley slave Isabella Bomefree Van Wagenen, now an abolitionist itinerant preacher residing in Washington, DC, and known as Sojourner Truth, 69, pictured here, addressed white audiences in Northern states in an effort to provide jobs for black refugees from the war.

The United States in 1866

[ Andrew Johnson ]

Andrew Johnson, 58 (nominally a Republican), was President. The 39th Congress was in session. (The midterm elections that year would elect the 40th Congress.) A dollar in that year would be worth $12.28 in 2006 for most consumable products.

Some 319,000 immigrants streamed into the United States--about 95,000 from Great Britain, 37,000 from Ireland, and 116,000 from Germany.

Serious epidemics of yellow fever, smallpox, typhus, and cholera killed thousands in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Memphis, and New Orleans. Some 200 people per day were dying of cholera in St. Louis. The total death toll from cholera in the U.S. was 50,000, with 2,000 of them in New York City.

New York City responded to the cholera epidemic by established a municipal board of health, the first one in the U.S.

Congress legalized the metric system but did not make it mandatory.

The 4-year-old Department of Agriculture issued its first crop report. The wheat crop of that year was 152 million bushels. The corn (maize) crop was 868 million bushels.

The 39th Congress authorized the issuance of a 5-cent coin (worth 61 cents in 2006 dollars), known as a "nickel," even though it is made of both copper and nickel (with only 25 percent nickel).

A postwar economic depression began in the U.S.; prices began a rapid decline, reversing the wartime inflation.

Enjoying the tariff protections that Congress passed and the government contracts to supply war needs, industrialists, almost all of them identified with the Republican Party, had been building new factories, an endeavor only temporarily halted by the depression. These businessmen, especially those who had been involved in war contracts, constituted a new class of gaudy, brassy, noisy, extravagant millionaires, plutocrats who defended their unbridled capitalism and their heartless contempt of the poor by adapting the theory of Charles Darwin: survival of the fittest.

More and more Americans, formerly self-employed farmers or artisans, were becoming wage earners toiling in the new factories, continually fearing unemployment from swings in the business cycle or simply from arbitrary whims of the businessmen. The sweat of these laborers was lubricating the robust new industrial machine, but the laborers themselves shared very little of the benefits enjoyed by the plutocrats. Like the Roman galley slave, the worker was becoming merely an unskilled and easily replaced lever puller for a depersonalized, soulless, conscienceless corporation.

The bloody war had been such a drain on human resources, however, that there was now a premium on labor, and workers were more and more organizing themselves into unions. Ira Steward and George McNeill convened the National Labor Congress in Baltimore, MD, and organized the 600,000-member National Labor Union, lobbying Congress to promote workers' interests and leading a drive for an 8-hour workday. William H. Sylvis, 38, who had reorganized the Iron Moulders' Union, was chosen as president. Sylvis explained the objective of the union: to form worker-owned cooperatives(4):

Quoted in Garraty, John A., The American Nation: A History of the United States, New York: Harper and Row, 1966, p. 525. (Close)
By cooperation we will become a union of employers--the employers of our own labor. The wealth of the land will pass into the hands of those who produce it.
The union attracted the skilled, the unskilled, and farmers, but it excluded Chinese and made only nominal efforts to include women and blacks.

The American Equal Rights Association, an outgrowth of the Woman's Rights Society, was founded in New York City.

By the end of the year, there were only 25,000 men in the U.S. Army, a quarter of 1% of the number serving when Lee surrendered to Grant, 20 months earlier. Many of the discharged soldiers could find no work, or refused to settle down, and became "knights of the road"--also known as "Weary Willies" or "Tired Tims" or "Happy Hooligans"--like the gypsies of old. Some became criminals but most were harmless vagrants, wandering around the northern part of the country, catching rides on freight trains, stealing or begging their food, spending cold winters in local jails.

Reconstruction and reaction

Defeated South Carolina planter Edward Barnell Heyward wrote to his Northern friend, James A. Lord, about the conditions where he lived(5): 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), pp. 463-65, taken from, accessed 31 January 2007. (Close)
22 Jan y 1866

My dear Jim:

Your letter of date July 1865, has just reached me and you will be relieved by my answer, to find, that I am still alive, and extremely glad to hear from you.

I have… thought that you had been among those who had joined the Army, and had given your life, for the cause, in which your nation seems to much pride itself, at this time; but I do not suppose so by your letter.

I am quite well, & have my family around me. During the war, I found time to get married again, and now have a most lovely woman, & baby eighteen months old at my elbow. My daughter died during the war, and my Son is now a tall fellow who would astonish you by his size.

Our losses have been frightful, and we have, now, scarcely a support. My Father had five plantations on the coast, and all the buildings were burnt, and the negroes, now left to themselves, are roaming in a starving condition. Our farm near Charleston was abandoned to the negroes, leaving provisions, mules & stock. All is now lost, and the negroes, left to themselves, have made nothing, and seek a little food, about the city. Our Residence in the city, was sacked, and all the valuable furniture stolen and the houses well riddled by shell & shot. Our handsome Residence in the country was burnt. The Enemy passed over all our property on the coast in the march from Savannah to Charleston, the whole country, down there, is now a howling wilderness.… We live twenty miles from Columbia [the state capital]. Some of my relatives were there, during the occupation by Sherman, and suffered the terrible anxieties & losses of that dreadful event.

I served in the Army, my brother died in the Army, and every family has lost members. No one can know how reduced we are, particularly the refined & educated.

My Father and I, owned near seven hundred negroes and they are all now wandering about like lost sheep, with no one to care for them.… They very naturally, poor things, think that freedom means doing nothing, and this they are determined to do. They look to the government, to take care of them, and it will be many years, before this once productive country will be able to support itself. The former kind treatment of the slaves, and their docile and generous temper, makes them now disposed to be quiet & obedient: but the determination of your Northern people to give them a place in the councils of the Country and make they the equal of the white man, will at last, bear its fruit, and we may then expect, them, to rise against the whites, and in the end, be exterminated themselves.

As soon as able, I shall quit the Country, and leave others to stand the storm.… I feel now I have no country, I obey like a subject, but I cannot love such a government. Perhaps the next letter, you get from me, will be from England.

Many of the newly freed blacks moved from the plantations to work in cities and towns, where they were protected and where they enjoyed mutual assistance from existing black communities. The church became a focus of community life, and black churches, such as the black Baptist Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Church, grew robustly and gave rise to other benevolent mutual aid societies.

Some self-improvement societies were raising funds to purchase land, construct schoolhouses, and hire teachers, enabling the newly freed to learn how to read and write. White women sent by the American Missionary Association volunteered as teachers.

Here is President Johnson, speaking on the White House lawn in February, discussing the politics of the late war and its aftermath and justifying his resistance to the wishes of the radical Republicans in Congress(6):

From "Transwiki: American History Primary Sources Reconstruction and the New South," Wikiquote (part of Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.), at _Primary_Sources_Reconstruction _and_the_New_South, accessed 7 April 2007. (Close)
[There] were two parties--one for destroying the government to preserve slavery, and the other to break up the government to destroy slavery. The objects to be accomplished were different, it is true, but they agreed in one thing, and that was the breaking up of the government. They agreed in the destruction of the government, the precise thing which I have stood up to oppose. Whether the disunionists come from the South or the North, I stand now where I did then [in 1860], to vindicate the Union of these states and the Constitution of the country.… The war to suppress our rebellion was to prevent the separation of the states and thereby change the character of the government and weakening its power. Now what is the change? There is an attempt top concentrate the power of the government in the hands of a few, and thereby bring about consolidation which is equally dangerous and objectionable with separation.… What us being proposed? We find that, in fact, by an irresponsible central directory, nearly all the powers of government are assumed without even consulting the legislative or executive departments of the government… [in] a committee upon whom all the legislative power of the government has been conferred.…

Complying with President Johnson's lenient Reconstruction proclamation of the preceding year, which enabled disfranchised leading Confederates to beg for readily granted re-enfranchising pardons and which readmitted seceded states that repealed their secession ordinances and ratified the emancipatory Thirteenth Amendment, newly organized Southern state governments were now passing draconian laws, known as "Black Codes," primarily to ensure, as in antebellum days, a stable and subservient labor force of black field hands and plow drivers. The most severe Black Codes were in Mississippi, the most lenient in Georgia, but all were draconian. Any black who "jumped" his labor contract, which committed him to work for pittance wages for a single employer, was subject to severe penalties, including apprehension by a "Negro catcher," forfeiture of back wages, heavy fines that had to be paid for in labor--in essence, a re-enslavement. Although "freedom" was legally recognized in the Black Codes, including the right to marry, no black could vote or serve on a jury. In some states, a black was forbidden to rent or lease land. A black might be prosecuted for "idleness" and sentenced to work on a chain gang. One Congressman quoted the following from a Georgian:

The blacks eat, sleep, move, live, only by the tolerance of the whites, who hate them. The blacks own absolutely nothing but their bodies; their former masters own everything, and will sell them nothing. If a black man draws even a bucket of water from a well, he must first get permission of a white man, his enemy.… If he asks for work to earn his living, he must ask it of a white man; and the whites are determined to give him no work, except on such terms as will make him a serf and impair his liberty.(7) Quoted in Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., and Cohen, Lizabeth, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, p. 494. (Close)
Without capital, the blacks had little to offer but their labor, and thousands of them, along with thousands of landless poor whites, became sharecropper farmers--essentially serfs, slaves to the soil and to their creditors. The planter aristocracy resented even this pitiful concession to "freedom" for the blacks, however, calling sharecropping the "wrong policy":
It makes the laborer too independent; he becomes a partner, and has a right to be consulted.(8) Quoted in ibid. (Close)
Some partner!

Texas slave Lizzie Atkins, 16 at the time, later recalled how difficult times were after gaining her freedom:

[Times] sure have been hard on the poor old negro since [we] was freed. I just don't know exactly what I did expect from freedom. Of course I'se expected them to be a lot different from what they were. I'se believes that the government could have let us have some land because them days there was plenty of land here that did not belong to anyone except the government. Why they did not give us a small home I never did know. Of course we did not think they would give us Maser's land cause there was plenty more land here, but instead of giving us anything just turned us a lose like a bunch of wild hogs. That was about the only way they could class us in those days, as we did not have any book learning, nor could we hold jobs of any kind, only knew how to farm. Therefore, there was not any farms divided or any land given us. No our Maser did not give us any money and he did not force us to stay on as servants, but the only way we could tell freedom from slavery was that we could come and go as we pleased while we were living with our Masers and farm owners. Of course we was almost forced to stay on there with Maser because no other white man would hire us or give us a place to stay unless Maser said so. This is where the Patter-rollers and the KKK come in again; if we got out looking for some other place to go them KKK they would tend to Mister negro good and plenty. Of course we could steal chickens from some other white man or get us a mess of potatoes as our Maser never watched us like he did before. He didn't care if we got killed either, for he would not lose anything, we were not his property any more. You asked me what we done just after the war. Why son, we done just what the white man told us to do, if we wanted to get jobs cotton chopping from someone else we always asked our boss, as that was what we called our Masers then. We received from 15 to 30 cents per day ($1.84 to $3.68 per day in 2006 dollars) for our work, sometimes they would pay us but most of the time they didn't. All we would get for our work would be some old clothes.

Here are some of the racist "Black Codes" for a Louisiana parish(9):

Quoted in Taylor, op. cit., citing Quint, Howard H., Cantor, Milton, Albertson, Dean, Main Problems in American History (Chicago: The Dorsey Press, 1987), p. 9-10, taken from, accessed 1 February 2007. (Close)
Sec. 1: Be it ordained by the police jury of the parish of St. Landry, That no negro shall be allowed to pass within the limits of said parish without special permit in writing from his employer. Whoever shall violate this provision shall pay a fine of two dollars and fifty cents ($30.70 in 2006 dollars), or in default thereof shall be forced to work four days on the public road, or suffer corporal punishment as provided hereinafter.

Sec. 2: Every negro who shall be found absent from the residence of his employer after ten o'clock at night, without a written permit from his employer, shall pay a fine…

Sec. 3: No negro shall be permitted to rent or keep a house within said parish. Any negro violating this provision shall be immediately ejected and compelled to find an employer…

Sec. 4: Every negro is required to be in the regular service of some white person, or former owner, who shall be held responsible for the conduct of said negro.

Sec. 5: No public meetings or congregations of negroes shall be allowed within said parish after sunset, but such public meetings and congregations may be held between the hours of sunrise and sunset, by special permission in writing of the captain of patrol, within whose beat such meetings shall take place. This prohibition, however, is not to prevent negroes from attending the usual church services, conducted by white ministers and priests…

Sec. 6: No negro shall be permitted to preach, exhort, or otherwise declaim to congregations of colored people, without a special permission in writing from the president of the police jury…

Sec. 7: No negro who is not in the military service shall be allowed to carry firearms, or any kind of weapons, within the parish without special written permission of his employers, approved and indorsed by the nearest and most convenient chief of patrol.

Sec. 8: No negro shall sell, barter, or exchange any articles of merchandise or traffic within said parish without the special written permission of his employer, specifying the article of sale, barter or traffic.

Sec. 9: Any negro found drunk, within the said parish shall pay a fine of five dollars ($61.40 in 2006 dollars), or in default thereof work five days on the public road, or suffer corporal punishment as hereinafter provided.

The year-old Ku Klux Klan, a secret social club dedicated to recapture the comradeship and excitement of the war, continued to spread through the Southern states, now terrorizing superstitious blacks and breaking up Reconstruction efforts in attempts to return the South to white, Democratic Party control.

In some Southern cities, peddlers were selling Confederate flags. A restaurant in New Orleans featured "Confederate Hash" and "Stonewall Jackson Soup." Such flagrant lack of contrition infuriated many in the North. Abolitionist Wendell Phillips, 56, declared bitterly:

The rebellion has not ceased; it has only changed its weapons.
Republicans in Congress were battling President Johnson's moves with a Joint Committee on Reconstruction. Witnesses who testified during extensive public hearings before this committee presented accounts of criminal acts of violence against blacks that had not been prosecuted despite evidence as to the identity of the perpetrators(10). The following quotes from testimony before the Joint Committee on Reconstruction are from notes in the dissenting opinion of Supreme Court Justice J. Blackmun in the case of McCleskey V. Kemp, taken from Cornell Law School Legal Information Institute (LII) Supreme Court Collection (, accessed 7 March 2007). (Close). According to Virginia attorney George Tucker:
They have not any idea of prosecuting white men for offenses against colored people; they do not appreciate the idea.
According to witness Dexter H. Clapp:
Of the thousand cases of murder, robbery, and maltreatment of freedmen that have come before me,… I have never yet known a single case in which the local authorities or police or citizens made any attempt or exhibited any inclination to redress any of these wrongs or to protect such persons.
J. A. Campbell testified that although identities of men suspected of killing two blacks known, no arrest or trial had occurred. According to Major General Wager Swayne, 32:
I have not known, after six months' residence at the capital of the State, a single instance of a white man's being convicted and hung or sent to the penitentiary for crime against a negro, while many cases of crime warranting such punishment have been reported to me.
According to Major General George Armstrong Custer, 27, then stationed in Texas:
[It] is of weekly, if not of daily, occurrence that freedmen are murdered.… [Sometimes] it is not known who the perpetrators are; but when that is known, no action is taken against them. I believe a white man has never been hung for murder in Texas, although it is the law.
The heroically energetic educator and nurse Clara (Clarissa) Harlowe Barton, 45, told a gruesome tale about a pregnant black woman who had been mercilessly whipped. Many witnesses described intimidation of blacks by poor whites. According to the witnesses, any effort by blacks to obtain the vote met with brutal violence. All the testimony validated the radicals' assertion that the South was perpetuating slavery under another name.

According to another report of the Joint Committee(11):

Taken from, accessed 28 January 2007. (Close)
Hardly is the war closed before the people of these insurrectionary States come forward and haughtily claim, as a right, the privilege of participating at once in that government which they had for four years been fighting to overthrow. Allowed and encouraged by the Executive to organize State governments, they at once place in power leading rebels, unrepentant and unpardoned, excluding with contempt those who had manifested an attachment to the Union, and preferring, in many instances, those who had rendered themselves the most obnoxious. In the face of the law requiring an oath which would necessarily exclude all such men from federal offices, they elect, with very few exceptions, as senators and representatives in Congress, men who had actively participated in the rebellion, insultingly denouncing the law as unconstitutional.…

[It] appears that the southern press… strives, constantly and unscrupulously, by every means in its power, to keep alive the fire of hate and discord between the sections; calling upon the President to violate his oath of office, overturn the government by force of arms, and drive the representatives of the people from their seats in Congress. The national banner is openly insulted, and the national airs scoffed at.…

The feeling in many portions of the country towards emancipated slaves, especially among the uneducated and ignorant, is one of vindictive and malicious hatred. This deep-seated prejudice against color is assiduously cultivated by the public journals, and leads to acts of cruelty, oppression, and murder, which the local authorities are at no pains to prevent or punish. There is no general disposition to place the colored race, constituting at least two-fifths of the population, upon terms even of civil equality.…

The evidence of an intense hostility to the federal Union, and an equally intense love of the late confederacy, nurtured by the war, is decisive. While it appears that nearly all are willing to submit, at least for the time being, to the federal authority, it is equally clear that the ruling motive is a desire to obtain the advantages which will be derived from a representation in Congress.… The bitterness and defiance exhibited toward the United States… is without a parallel in the history of the world. In return for our kind desire for the resumption of fraternal relations we receive only an insolent assumption of rights and privileges long since forfeited. The crime we have punished is paraded as a virtue, and the principles of republican government which we have vindicated at so terrible a cost are denounced as unjust and oppressive.

[ Frederick Douglass ] Black abolitionist Frederick Douglass, 48, pictured here, along with other black leaders, met with President Johnson in the White House. The following excerpted exchange reveals the wide disparity between the views of the black activists and those of the essentially racist President(12):

Quoted in Taylor, op. cit., citing Fishel, Leslie H., and Quarles, Benjamin, The Negro American: A Documentary History (Glenview, IL, 1967), p. 135, taken from, accessed 31 January 2007. (Close)
Mr. Fred. Douglass advanced and addressed the President, saying:
Mr. President, we are not here to enlighten you, sir, as to your duties as the Chief Magistrate of this Republic, but to show our respect, and to present in brief the claims of our race to your favorable consideration. In the order of Divine Providence you are placed in a position where you have the power to save or destroy us, to bless or blast us--I mean our whole race. Your noble and humane predecessor placed in our hands the sword to assist in saving the nation, and we do hope that you, his able successor, will favorably regard the placing in our hands the ballot with which to save ourselves.

We shall submit no argument on that point. The fact that we are the subjects of Government, and subject to taxation, subject to volunteer in the service of the country, subject to being drafted, subject to bear the burdens of the State, makes it not improper that should ask to share in the privileges of this condition.

I have no speech to make on this occasion. I simply submit these observations as a limited expression of the views and feelings of the delegation with which I have come.

Response of the President:
In reply to some of your inquiries, not to make a speech about this thing, for it is always best to talk plainly and distinctly about such matters, I will say that if I have not given evidence in my course that I am a friend of humanity, and to that portion of it which constitutes the colored population, I can give no evidence here.… All that I possessed, life, liberty, and property, have been put up in connection with that question, when I had every inducement held out to take the other course.… If I know myself, and the feelings of my own heart, they have been for the colored man.…

I am free to say to you that I do not like to be arraigned by someone who can get up handsomely-rounded periods and deal in rhetoric, and talk about abstract ideas of liberty, who never perilled life, liberty, or property. This kind of theoretical, hollow, unpractical friendship amounts to but very little. While I say that I am a friend of the colored man, I do not want to adopt a policy [of voting rights for negroes] that I believe will end in a contest between the races, which if persisted in will result in the extermination of one or the other. God forbid that I should be engaged in such a work!

The year-old Freedmen's Bureau, a branch of the War Department directed by Union General Oliver Otis Howard, 36, had its greatest success in teaching literacy to thousands of blacks. In February Congress passed legislation extending the life of the bureau, but President Johnson vetoed it.

In March, the 39th Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, granting the same rights to all natural-born Americans, including Negroes (but not including American Indians). With this legislation blacks were to have

full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of persons and property as is enjoyed by white citizens.
This legislation, by granting U.S. citizenship to blacks and by denying to states the power to restrict the rights of blacks to testify in court and to hold property, was aimed to overturn the Black Codes in the South. Enforcement of the act was entrusted to federal (essentially military) rather than to state authorities. President Johnson vetoed the bill on constitutional grounds, arguing that it was an unconstitutional extension of military authority in peacetime.

[ Thaddeus Stevens ] Even otherwise pro-Johnson Northerners saw the need for the Civil Rights Act. The moderate New York Herald called it "a practical, just and beneficent measure." An important Ohio Republican wrote:

I have lost faith entirely in the President. He intends in my judgment to betray us.(13) Quoted in Garraty, op. cit., p. 431. (Close)
In April, Congress overrode that veto, as it would repeatedly do from that time on during the Johnson administration. The now mostly impotent President was dubbed "Sir Veto" and "Andy Veto"; one wag called him "the dead dog of the White House." Pennsylvania Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, 74, pictured here, referred to the President as a "rank demagogue" and a "damned scoundrel."

Fearing that the Supreme Court might declare the Civil Rights Act unconstitutional (or that Southerners might someday regain control of Congress and repeal it), Republicans won passage in June of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, defining American citizenship broadly enough to include blacks (but not Indians):

All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.
The amendment contained "due process" and "equal protection" clauses securing civil rights--that is, prohibiting voter discrimination.
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States, nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.
The Amendment also reduced proportionately the Congressional and Electoral College representation of any state that did not enfranchise blacks, and it denied government office to certain Civil War rebels (those who had once sworn "to support the Constitution of the United States") unless they were specifically pardoned by a two-thirds vote of the Congress, and it guaranteed the federal debt and repudiated Confederate war debts.

After President Johnson's veto was overridden, the Fourteenth Amendment was submitted to the states for ratification. Republicans agreed that no seceded state should be readmitted to the Union without first ratifying it.

The President advised the Southern states to reject the Amendment, and all but Tennessee did reject it. Tennessee was readmitted to the Union, with a Republican state government and Congressional delegation.

One song captured the defiant attitude of the South:

And I don't want no pardon for what I was or am,
I won't be reconstructed and I don't give a damn. (14) Quoted in Bailey et al., op. cit., p. 497. (Close)

Many Northerners were moving to the defeated South to capitalize on its political and economic opportunities of the Reconstruction new order. Many Southerners regarded them with contempt and referred to them as "carpetbaggers," implying that they would be able to stuff everything they owned into a carpetbag, the common hand luggage of the time, on their way south to seek personal power and profit. Some white Southerners, usually former Unionists and Whigs, joined in the Reconstruction effort and were referred to as "scalawags" by other whites, sullen with the bitter defeat.

The so-called carpetbaggers and scalawags helped the newly freed to set up the Union League, working to elect blacks and whites friendly to blacks to local, county, state, and federal offices--much to the chagrin of the racist white diehards. Here is the statement of one Union League organizer, working for the successful election of former slaves Brister Reese and James K. Green to the Alabama state legislature(15):

From "Transwiki," op. cit. (Close)
The colored people are very anxious to get land of their own to live upon independently; and they want money to buy stock to make crops.… The only way to get these necessaries is to give our votes to the [Republican] party… making every effort possible to bring these blessings about by reconstructing the State.

Dangerously defiant Southerners cursed the "damnyankees" and referred to the federal government as "your government." Persisting in their conviction that their view of secession was the correct one and that the "lost cause" was a just war, they admitted of no crime in their rebellion. Here were the words to a popular song:

I'm glad I fought agin her,
I only wish we'd won,
And I ain't axed any pardon
For anything I've done.
One Southern bishop refused to pray for President Johnson, even though he was lenient toward the South.

Efforts to introduce black suffrage into the Louisiana constitution produced a race riot in New Orleans, with some 200 casualties, including 34 blacks killed by white hoodlums.

President Johnson was invited to speak at a dedication in Chicago to a monument to the late Senator Stephen A. Douglas. Anticipating the midterm Congressional elections in November (where the voters in most districts had to choose between a radical Republican and a Copperhead Democrat), he took the opportunity to "swing 'round the circle," giving speeches there and in various Midwest cities en route in support of his lenient policy toward the South and condemning the radical Congress and the Fourteenth Amendment. In some speeches he accused the radicals of actually planning the antiblack riots and murders in the South, in order to arouse anti-South feelings in the North. When hecklers insulted him, and yelled that he should hang Jefferson Davis, he shouted back angry retorts, even responding with:

Why not hang Thad Stevens?
He lost all Presidential dignity with this behavior, and many in the crowds yelled "You be damned" to him.

The radical Republicans played down their plan for black suffrage (realizing the prevailing racist attitudes in the North) and instead trumpeted the issue of "patriotism" against "rebellion." They pointed to the race riots in New Orleans and Memphis to prove their point. Senator Sumner proclaimed:

Jefferson Davis is in the casement at Fortress Monroe, but Andrew Johnson is doing his work.… Witness Memphis, witness New Orleans.(16) Quoted in Morison, Samuel Eliot, The Oxford History of the American People, New York: Oxford University Press, 1965, p. 716. (Close)
In the November election, the cry "Stand by Congress" against the "Tailor of the Potomac" had the most effect: The Republicans won greater than a veto-proof two-thirds majority in both houses of the coming year's 40th Congress.

Now, over President Johnson's veto, Congress passed the Freedman's Bureau Bill, authorizing the military to try persons accused of depriving newly freed blacks of their civil rights. As its name implied, the bill also extended the life of the year-old Freedmen's Bureau, an extension earlier vetoed by President Johnson.

President Johnson defended his record:

I love my country. Every public act of my life testifies that is so. Where is the man who can put his finger upon one act of mine… to prove the contrary?

The Supreme Court ruled in December in the case Ex parte Milligan to limit the authority of martial law and the ability of the government to suspend habeas corpus in time of war:

Martial law can never exist where the courts are open in the proper and unobstructed exercise of their jurisdiction.
In other words, military tribunals could not try civilians, even during wartime, wherever civil courts were available.

Most Yankees adhered to the Southern racist belief that blacks were basically inferior. In fact, few Northern blacks possessed rights that the double-standard Republicans were insisting be granted to Southern blacks. Between 1865 and 1868, state legislatures in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Connecticut, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania would reject bills granting the franchise to blacks.

Cyrus West Field, 47, with backing from industrialist and inventor Peter Cooper, 73, completed the second Atlantic cable; the steamship Great Eastern laid it on the ocean floor. Here was Field's observation(17):

Quoted in Davidson, James West, and Stoff, Michael B., The American Nation, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1986, 1995, p. 546. (Close)
Never was greater energy put into any enterprise.… In five months… the cable had been manufactured, shipped… stretched across the Atlantic, and was sending messages… swift as lightning from continent to continent.

The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) opened in Boston.

The Connecticut-based New Haven Arms Company of Oliver Fisher Winchester, 55, introduced the M1866 rifle with a .44 rimfire cartridge, an improved version of the lever-action "Henry" rifle, patented 6 years earlier by gunsmith D. Tyler Henry.

The Hartford Courant began publication on a daily basis, replacing the 73-year-old Connecticut Courant.

Plumber-investor Jacob Estey, 51, and engineer Levi K. fuller, 25, founded the Estey Organ Company in Brattleboro, VT.

Henry Bergh, 43, founded the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in New York City, with a mission to stop the abuse of horses, who provided virtually all the power for urban transit and agricultural production.

The Metropolitan Museum was established in New York City.

John G. Babcock, Henry E. Buermeyer, and William B. Curtis founded the New York Athletic Club in New York City.

The 17-year-old tuition-free Free Academy, at Lexington Avenue and 23rd Street in New York City, changed its name to the College of the City of New York (CCNY [later CUNY]).

The 10-year-old Western Union Telegraph company absorbed two smaller competitors, thereby gaining control of 75,000 miles of wire and becoming the first industrial monopoly in the U.S.

Steinway Hall opened on 14th Street in New York City.

German immigrant Gustave Schirmer, 37, founded the music publishing house G. Schirmer Co. in New York City.

Dramatist Charles M. Barras, 40, produced the Faustian musical The Black Crook at Niblo's Garden in New York City, featuring 100 dancing girls in pink tights and enjoying 474 performances in spite of denunciations from clergymen and James Gordon Bennett in his New York Herald.

George P. Putnam, 52, and his son founded the publishing house G. P. Putnam and Sons in New York City.

Yale graduate Henry Holt, 26, founded the publishing house Henry Holt Co. in New York City and began publishing potboiler novels.

Tufts graduate Edwin Ginn, 28, founded the publishing house Ginn & Co., publishing Craik's English Shakespeare, Allen's Latin Grammar, and Goodwin's Greek Grammar.

Methodist financier Daniel Drew founded Drew University in Madison, NJ.

The piratical-minded, foghorn-voiced Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt, 72, controlling the New York Central and a number of other railroads in New York State, now wanted to gain control of the rival Erie Railroad by buying up its stock. The Erie directors struck back by issuing themselves thousands of shares of new stock without paying for them, thereby drastically overinflating the capitalization of the line.

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, founded 12 years earlier by John Miller Dickey and his wife, Sarah Emlen Cresson, changed its name to Lincoln University in honor of the late President.

Breyer's Ice Cream was founded in Philadelphia.

The increase in U.S. literacy had spurred a demand for more lighting.(18)

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) Sperm oil for lighting and lubrication, harvested from whales, now sold for $2.25 per gallon ($27.63 per gallon in 2006 dollars), a 525-percent increase over the preceding 4 decades, stimulating a growing demand for the petroleum derivative kerosene, which was now replacing 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 7 years earlier 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." Hundreds of tiny kerosene refineries had sprung 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.

A pipeline was completed between the 2-year-old oil well at Pithole, PA, with a railhead 5 miles away.

Kerosene was no longer the only valuable petroleum product. By now refiners were learning how to "crack" petroleum

by applying high temperatures to the crude in order to break up and rearrange its molecular structure, thus increasing the percentage of kerosene yielded. By-products such as naphtha, gasoline (used in vaporized form as an illuminating gas), rhigolene (a local anesthetic), cymogene (a coolant for refrigerating machines), and many lubricants and waxes began to appear on the market.(19) Quoted from Garraty, op. cit., p. 506. (Close)

Distiller Jack Daniel introduced Jack Daniel's Sour Mash Whiskey in Lynchburg, TN, produced by leaching what came out of the stills through vats filled with 10 feet of charcoal.

Balloonist and inventor Thaddeus S. Lowe opened an artificial-ice factory in New Orleans.

The twin-minaret Plum Street Temple was completed in Cincinnati, where Austrian immigrant Rabbi Isaac Meyer Wise, 47, was pioneering a reform movement in Judaism, abandoning dietary laws, the segregation of women, beards, and covered heads.

A refrigerated railroad car was built in Detroit, MI.

Hervey C. Parke invested in the Detroit pharmaceutical laboratory of Samuel P. Duffeld, using the motto "Medicamenta Vera" to make ether, sweet spirits of nitre, oil of wine, Hoffman's Anodyne, and similar preparations.

Seventh Day Adventist prophet Ellen G. White founded the Western Health Reform Institute in Battle Creek, MI, providing a sanatorium treatment consisting of a vegetarian diet and hydrotherapy and promoting dried breakfast food.

Bearded and rotund Chicago preacher Dwight Lyman Moody, 29, weighing nearly 300 pounds, a former shoe salesman, operated the largest Sunday School in the city as well as the Illinois Street Church, also known as the Moody Church, with a seating capacity of 1,500. He held huge audiences spellbound. During this year, he became the president of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), rising to that position from having been the Chicago city missionary.

Gail Borden, 65, produced 300,000 gallons of condensed milk annually from his plant in Elgin, IL. Since competitors had appropriated the name "Borden," he produced under the name Eagle Brand.

Maine timber baron Cadwallader Colden Washburn, 48, founded the Washburn, Crosby Company in Wisconsin, producing flour on the banks of the Mississippi River.

Carleton College was founded in Northfield, MN.

The 23-year-old express service company Wells, Fargo & Co., under its director William George Fargo, 48, which forwarded gold bullion, other freight, and packages, now consolidated rival stagecoach companies.

Missouri eccentric Franz Schwartzer opened a zither factory.

Missouri entrepreneur Ben Holladay, 46, the "Napoleon of the Plains," who for the preceding 4 years had controlled the freighting firm Russell, Majors, and Waddell (thereby controlling the Central Overland, California, and Pikes Peak Express with its government contract to haul mail overland by stagecoach between Missouri and the Pacific Coast), had made a fortune in this venture and now sold out. He also sold his steamship interests to finance a new Oregon Central Railroad.

Charles Francis Adams, Jr., 30, remarked later on how during this year he was looking around for a challenge to confront the world "face to face" and find an appropriate career(20):

Quoted in ibid., p. 500, citing Adams, C. F., Jr., Railroads: Their Origins and Problems, 1878. (Close)
Surveying the whole field, I fixed on the railroad system as the most developing force and the largest field of the day, and determined to attach myself to it.

The Pacific Railway Act, passed by Congress 4 years earlier, authorized the Union Pacific Railroad to construct a line from Omaha, Nebraska Territory, in order to meet the Central Pacific line, which had been building eastward from California for the past 5 years.

As an incentive to the private railroad companies (who otherwise might not hazard huge sums needed to lay tracks across hundreds of miles of rugged, empty country, tracks whose traffic would not yield profits for years), the government granted large swaths of public land. For each mile of track constructed, Union Pacific was granted 20 square miles, alternating in 640-acre sections on either side of the track. All told, Congress granted up to 100 million acres of right of way to Union Pacific, Central Pacific, and other transcontinental projects. (In the end, Congress would be awarding more than half again that much land, and the Western states themselves would be contributing 49 million acres more, making the total area larger than Texas.) The land was granted in broad belts along the proposed routes, within which the companies were allowed to choose the best location for the tracks; until they chose--and even long after--all the land within the belts was unavailable for settlement, remaining unavailable for another 21 years.

The builders of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific received generous federal loans as well; they were guaranteed $16,000 for each mile of track laid on the prairie plains, $32,000 for each mile laid through intermountain stretches, and $48,000 for each mile laid through the mountains ($196,000, $393,000, and $589,000, respectively, in 2006 dollars). Union Pacific was authorized to take the timber, stone, and other material needed from the public-land right of way it had been granted. Union Pacific directors and other insiders formed the Crédit Mobilier company, cleverly hiring themselves to build the transcontinental line and thereby paying themselves large sums and dispersing a yearly average of $67,000 ($900,000) for "legal expenses," which were actually thinly disguised bribes to stave off government investigations into corruption.

Actual construction had been proceeding slowly during the war years, but now with the war over, the so-called "ground-hog" Union Pacific promoters were letting out all the stops to reap the juicy loans and land grants.

The railroad construction gangs consisted largely of sweaty war veterans, mostly Irish "Paddies," who were sometimes capable of laying as much as 10 miles of track in a day in this dangerous, backbreaking work with only shovels, sledges, and picks. Here is a favorite work song:

Then drill, my Paddies, drill:
Drill, my heroes, drill;
Drill all day.
No sugar in your tay,
Workin' on the U.P. Railway.
As the Union Pacific track progressed westward, the saloons, gambling halls, and prostitutes--were transported with it, on flatcars. At the temporary end of the rails, as many as 10,000 laborers would live in tented towns called "hells on wheels," and at night they might be entertained by performers or painted prostitutes. Construction during the day was sometimes interrupted: The laborers would need to exchange their picks for rifles whenever hostile Indians attacked in a futile effort to protect their hunting grounds. Scores died on both sides.

The directors of the 5-year-old Central Pacific Railroad who were known as the "Big Four"--portly Leland Stanford, 42, president; Collis Potter Huntington, 45, vice president; Mark Hopkins, 53, an officer; and Charles Crocker, 44, director of construction--were chartered with the same princely federal subsidies to build their portion of the proposed transcontinental rail link eastward from Sacramento, CA. Thousands of Chinese immigrant laborers for this dangerous, backbreaking work, sweating through all the daylight hours under their basket hats, were efficient, cheap, and expendable. Laying track through the formidable Sierra Nevada was a great challenge; sometimes the workers could tunnel through only inches of the solid rock per day. Premature explosions and other mishaps took hundreds of Chinese lives. But the relentless, driving superintendent Crocker pushed the Chinese workers right through the winter months; the Big Four were anxious to get through the rough Sierras as quickly as possible so that they could meet the Union Pacific crews as far east as possible, thereby obtaining as large a share of the federal subsidies as possible. Crocker forced the workers to build snow sheds to keep the tracks clear. The workers labored in tunnels bored through 40-foot snowdrifts to get at the frozen ground. At the Summit Tunnel, Crocker ordered a shaft cut down from above so that the crews could work out from the middle as well as from each end. During this entire year, the crews laid only 28 miles of track, at a cost of over $280,000 per mile ($3.4 million per mile in 2006 dollars). Experts later estimated that the prodigious costs of all this effort could have been reduced by as much as 70% had speed been not such an important factor. Also, because of the wasteful greed and speed to get the federal subsidy, the Central Pacific was ill-constructed over grades too steep and curves too sharp, as well as burdened with debt too heavy.

The 4-year-old Homestead Act, designed to stimulate the family farm and to encourage a rapid population growth in the West, authorized any U.S. citizen, or any alien intending to become a citizen, to take 160 acres of Western land (a quarter section) for just a $10 registration fee ($122.80 in 2006 dollars), provided that he make certain improvements and that he live on the tract for 5 years. Alternatively, the settler might acquire land after only 6 months of residence for a nominal price of $1.25 per acre ($15.35 per acre in 2006 dollars). Either way, the land acquired was to be exempt from attachment for debt. Tens of thousands of settlers applied for homesteads each year, a third of them actually receiving land. This act augmented immigration.

Union Pacific had advertised for immigrants from both the Eastern states and from Europe, had been transporting them at reduced rates to the prairie railhead, and there sold them land on credit. Thousands of the construction workers were becoming farm hands, were obtaining free homesteads from the federal government, and were buying tools, horses, and cattle with their savings. The progressing termini of the line--Kansas City (close to the Oregon Trail jumping-off place, Independence), and Omaha--were beginning to grow. On the Central Pacific side, Oakland on the San Francisco Bay was becoming an important community.

Near Fort Philip Kearney in the Big Horn Mountains of western Dakota Territory (present-day Wyoming), a Sioux war party was determined to block construction of the Bozeman Trail from Fort Laramie to the gold fields in Montana. Makhpyia-luta ("Red Cloud"), 43, chief of the Oglala Sioux, who had peacefully been resisting all government efforts to locate his people away from the Platte Valley, exhorted his people:

Whose voice was first sounded on this land? The voice of the red people, who had but bows and arrows.… What has been done in my country I did not want, did not ask for it; white people going through my country.… When the white man comes in my country, he leaves a trail of blood behind him.… I have two mountains in that country--the Black Hills and the Big Horn Mountains. I want the Great Father to make no roads through them. I have told these things three times; now I have come here to tell them the fourth time.
The Indians ambushed the command of Captain William Judd Fetterman, 33, who had boasted that "given 80 men," he "would ride through the Sioux nation." Fetterman had disobeyed orders from his superior, Colonel Henry Beebee Carrington, 42, not to cross Lodge Trail Ridge, where relief from the fort would be difficult. An Indian decoy party, including the Oglala warrior T'ashunka Witko ("Crazy Horse"), 26, appeared on Lodge Trail Ridge, and the bait was too tempting for the intemperate Fetterman, who, with his command of 81 soldiers and civilians (1 more than he needed to "ride through the Sioux nation"), chased after the decoy party into a valley where 3,000 warriors awaited him. The Indians overran and killed all of them, grotesquely mutilating the corpses. The face of one trooper was spitted with 105 arrows. The face of one trooper was spitted with 105 arrows. "Boy General" George Armstrong Custer, 27 (now demoted to Colonel in the Indian wars), wrote that the massacre
awakened a bitter feeling toward the savage perpetrators.

Long-horned cattle from Texas (with horn spreads reaching 8 feet) were driven north for the first time on the Chisholm Trail (named for the scout Jesse Chisholm) all the way to the railhead at Abilene, KS, for shipment to meat eaters in the East. Cattlemen discovered that livestock could survive the bitter cold of the northern Great Plains and could eat the grasses there, on the "free," wild land. Enterprising cattlemen could buy the longhorns for $3 to $4 a head ($37 to $50 a head in 2006 dollars) in Texas and drive them northward across the plains to a railroad, where they could be transported to the beef-hungry East, selling in the cities for ten times or more of the initial investment. During this year, a number of Texans drove large herds to Sedalia, Missouri, the railhead of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Unfortunately, the route went through some difficult wooded lands and across some Indian reservations, provoking many difficulties.

Christopher "Kit" Carson, 57, ruled despotically over the Bosque Redondo concentration camp at Fort Sumner in New Mexico Territory, where thousands of Navajo and Mescalero Apache tribespeople were being detained. In the fall Carson was at last relieved of his command.

Chiracahua Apache Chief Cochise, 54, continued to lead his warriors out of his hideout in the Dragoon Mountains of Arizona in raids against white settlers.

Mining engineers John William Mackay, 35, James C. Flood, and William T. O'Brien took over the Hale & Norcross silver mine in Nevada.

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 6,430. Most were men (the ratio was 13 males for each female). Some came with money pooled by their families back home, but most were desperately poor and in debt to Chinese middlemen, which they would need to repay in cruel conditions of indenture for years. The indenture business was known ignominiously as "pig selling." Chinatowns were springing up in railroad towns, farming villages, and cities, where the immigrants could speak their own language and seek safety from prejudice and violence. Many organized themselves into tongs (secret societies).

The first San Francisco salmon cannery opened, and another salmon cannery opened on the Columbia River.

Most white residents of Oregon had racist attitudes. Even with the bare Republican majority in the state legislature, Oregonians ratified the Fourteenth Amendment with only a close vote. During this year, the legislature passed a law prohibiting intermarriage.(21)

The discussion on this racist legislation is excerpted from Taylor, op. cit., citing McLagan, Elizabeth, A Peculiar Paradise: A History of Blacks in Oregon, 1788-1940 (Portland, 1980), pp. 68-74, taken from, accessed 31 January 2007. (Close) The legislation was directed not only against black-white marriages but against anyone with
one-fourth or more Negro, Chinese or [Hawaiian] blood, or any person having more than one half Indian blood.
The penalty for violating was a prison sentence of not less than 3 months, or up to a year in jail. Any person authorized to conduct marriages who broke the law by marrying two people illegally was subject to the same penalty, with an additional $1,000 fine ($12,280 in 2006 dollars). The law passed with little debate; the combined vote was 47 in favor, 8 opposed, and 3 absent (and it was not repealed until 1951).

In most of the larger cities, street vendors hawked a wide variety of goods and services. Among them: oysters (hugely popular), milk (early morning with cries of "Milk! Fresh milk!"), bottled water (the quality of city water being highly suspect), hot corn (sold by women and girls to cries of "Hot corn! Hot corn! 'Ere's yer lily-white hot corn!" and "Here's your nice hot corn! Smoking hot! Piping hot! Oh, what beauties I have got!"), muffins, pies, peanuts, cider, cheese, chestnuts, chickens, fish (to cries of "Fresh fish fit for the pan" or "Shad! Buy any shad?" or "Here comes the fishman! Bring out your dishpan. Porgies at five cents a pound!"--all to the accompaniment of a tin horn), honeycombs, pocketbooks, suspenders, socks, gloves, newspapers ("'Ere's your 'Erald!" or "Mornin' Times" or "Buy a Tribune!" or "'Nuther murder!" or "Tremendous sensation!" or "'Orful shootin' scrape!" or "'Orrible accident!"), boot-blacking, blade-sharpening, whatever.

Little girls are numerous among the street venders [sic]. They sell matches, tooth-picks, cigars, newspapers, songs and flowers. The flower girls are hideous little creatures, but their wares are beautiful and command a ready sale. These are made into hand bouquets, and buttonhole bouquets, and command from ten cents to several dollars each.(22) Quoted in McCutcheon, Marc, Everyday Life in the 1800s: A Guide for Writers, Students & Historians, Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books, 1993, pp. 136-37, citing James McCabe, Lights and Shadows of New York Life, pp. 833-34. (Close)

[ Ambrose Everett Burnside ] Men were now 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. Many men were wearing "sideburns" in imitation of (and named for) Union General Burnside, pictured here. 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.

Science and technology in America: Specifics

A patent was issued for a tin can with a key opener.

Connecticut manufacturer Henry A. House developed a 12-horsepower steam automobile; and surgeon James Sims performed a successful artificial insemination of a human being at New York Women's Hospital.

Arts and culture in America: Specifics

Sculptor John Quincy Adams Ward unveiled his The Good Samaritan at the Boston Public Gardens in honor of the discovery of anesthesia; poet Walt Whitman, 47, published "O Captain! My Captain!" in honor of the slain President Lincoln; Massachusetts poet John Greenleaf Whittier ("the Quaker Poet"), 58, earned $10,000 ($122,800 in 2006 dollars) for his poem "Snowbound"; Alexander Gardner published Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War; Alexander Wheelock Thayer published the first volume of his Life of Beethoven; and artist Winslow Homer, 30, unveiled his Prisoners from the Front.

Popular periodicals included the Niles' Weekly Register, the American Journal of Science, American Farmer, Christian Watchman, Saturday Evening Post, Good Health, Godey's Lady's Book, Ladies' Repository, Peterson's Ladies' National Magazine, Home Journal, Home Monthly, Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, Frank Leslie's Boys of America, Harper's Weekly, Yale Literary Magazine, Carriage Monthly, Phunny Fellow, National Police Gazette, Illustrated Police News, and Scientific American.

"You Naughty, Naughty Men," from the Broadway musical The Black Crook, was released and became popular. Also released and very popular was "When You and I Were Young, Maggie" by Detroit composer J. A. Butterfield and journalist George Washington Johnson, and "We Parted by the River" by William Shakespeare Hays. Other popular songs included "Where, O Where Has My Little Dog Gone?" "Clementine (Down by the River Lived a Maiden)," "Beautiful Dreamer," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," "Listen to the Mockingbird," "Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair," "Camptown Races," "Jim Crack Corn" (also known as "Blue Tail Fly"), "Turkey in the Straw," and "Amazing Grace."

Actor Joseph Jefferson became widely popular with his portrayal of Rip Van Winkle.

The World at Large in 1866

The 3-year-old worldwide cholera epidemic continued.

The 1854 Elgin Treaty of reciprocity between the U.S. and Canada--which had facilitated trade between the two countries without barriers (coal, farm produce, lumber, and fish could come from Canada to the U.S.; turpentine, rice, tobacco, and Yankee fishermen could go the opposite direction; navigation on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River, with all the connecting canals, was without hindrance)--expired and was not renewed, largely because of the protectionist policy of the Republicans. The Premier of New Brunswick, Sir Albert James Smith, 44, went to Washington to try to get the treaty renewed, but the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee would agree only to admit Canadian firewood, grindstones, old rags, and gypsum in return for inshore fishing rights to Americans; the failure would force Smith from office in his province.

The Irish Republican Brotherhood (the Fenians movement), dedicated to free Ireland from the United Kingdom, organized two rival "Irish Republics" in New York City--each with a president, a cabinet, and a general staff in green and gold glittering uniforms. With funds extorted from Irish-Americans, each prepared to invade Canada with Irish veterans from the Union Army, in order to hold it as hostage in return for Irish independence. One invasion set out in April for Campobello in New Brunswick, but it was intercepted by U.S. authorities in Eastport, ME. The other force, some 1,500 Irish troopers under General John O'Neil, ferried across the Niagara River, raised their banner on old Fort Erie, and defeated a Canadian militia. U.S. officials arrested the Fenians when they returned across the border but then promptly released them.

Confederationists won provincial elections in New Brunswick (ousting Premier Smith) and Nova Scotia, and they sent delegates to London to discuss a plan of union with Upper Canada (Ontario) and Lower Canada (Québec).

A fire in Québec destroyed some 2,500 buildings.

The University of Ottawa was founded in Ontario.

[ William Henry Seward ] The United States had refused to recognize the regime of the self-proclaimed Emperor of Mexico, Austrian archduke Maximilian, 34 (brother of Austrian Emperor Franz Josef, 36), who was a puppet of French government of Emperor Napoleon III, 58, and had protested the apparent French takeover of Mexico in violation of the Monroe Doctrine. Now the U.S. government demanded the removal of French forces from Mexico. U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward, 67, pictured here, threatened war. President Johnson sent an army of observation to the border to give moral support to former President Benito Pablo Juárez García, 60, who was rebelling against the Emperor. Maximilian sent his Belgian-born wife, Carlota, to seek aid from Pope Pius IX, 74, and Napoleon III, but she discovered that Maximilian's cause was hopeless, especially in light of political and military developments in Europe, with events surrounding the Seven Weeks' War.

Dr. T. J. Barnardo, 21, opened his first home for destitute children at Stepney in London.

Cholera struck London and Bristol, but was checked through measures taken by physician William Budd, 55. Meanwhile, physician Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, 30, opened a London dispensary (medical clinic) for women and children.

The 3-year-old epidemic of cattle disease (the "epizootic") in Great Britain, affecting mostly the Dutch milking cows, continued to boost meat prices and continued the boom in imported tinned meats from Australia. (British imports of tinned meat totaled 16,000 pounds.) British dairymen made wider and more efficient use of milk trains, and they were developing water coolers on farms and at milk depots and transporting milk in tinned-steel churns. William Budd took measures aimed at stamping out the epizootic of rinderpest in British livestock.

The London Stock Exchange was struck with a financial panic known as Black Friday.

The L. Rose Company was established in London to supply lime juice to the Royal Navy.

The Aeronautical Society of Great Britain was founded.

Tour guide operator Thomas Cook, 58, initiated a system for providing hotel accommodations for travelers.

English craftsman-poet William Morris, 32, introduced his Morris reclining chair, with a bar and notch arrangement for tilting or storing.

More than 90 percent of Britain's tea still came from China. In the Great Tea Race, 11 clipper ships raced from Foochow in China to London to minimize the spoilage of the tea cargo in the hot holds; the voyage still took close to 3 months, however.

Richard Cadbury, 31, and George Cadbury, 27, began producing Cadbury's Cocoa Essence, "Absolutely Pure, Therefore Best," in Birmingham, by squeezing out excess cocoa butter to leave a pure, concentrated powder that needed no adulteration with potato flour or sago flour to reduce the fat content.

American entrepreneurs Charles Page and George Page founded the Anglo-Swiss Condensed Milk Company in Cham, Switzerland. One of their employees, John Baptist Meyenberg, 18, suggested preserving evaporated milk without sugar, but the bosses rejected his idea.

Swiss chemist businessman Henri Nestlé, 50, formulated a combination of farinaceous pap and milk for infants and founded the Nestlé firm for producing infant formula.

Seven Weeks' War

[ Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck ] Prussian Prime Minister Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, 51, pictured here, concluded an alliance with Italy and then accused Austria of violating the previous year's Treaty of Gastein it had with Prussia. Prussian forces invaded Austrian-administered Holstein. Bismarck declared the German Confederation to be at an end and that Prussia was at war with Austria.

Austrian forces defeated the Italians on land in the Battle of Custozza and on sea in the Battle of Lissa. Nonetheless, Venetia, which Austria had earlier ceded to France (in a secret deal to keep France neutral), was ceded to Italy. Prussian forces invaded Saxony, Hannover, and Hesse and defeated the Hannoverians in the Battle of Langensalza. Prussian forces under Count Helmuth von Moltke, 66, using breech-loading needle guns that could be fired by prone infantrymen, defeated the Austrians, who were using muzzle-loaders requiring soldiers to be standing, in the Battle of Königgrätz (Sadowa).

Telegraphic communication played a huge role in this three-theater war, as it had in the American Civil War.

The preliminary Peace of Nikolsburg was followed by an armistice and the confirming Treaty of Prague, in which Prussia annexed Hannover, Electoral Hesse, Nassau, Frankfurt, and Holstein. The 51-year-old Germanic Confederation was ended, replaced by the North German Confederation, which excluded Austria and which was dominated by Prussia.

The war between Italy and Austria ended with the Treaty of Vienna, in which Austria (and France) ceded Venetia to Italy, confirmed by a Venetian plebiscite. Also, French troops withdrew from Rome.

Cholera killed some 120,000 in Prussia and 110,000 in Austria--considerably more than the Seven Weeks' War.

Czech engineer Emil von Skoda, 27, took over a machine works in Pilsen, Bohemia, and developed it into the Skoda Works factory for cannon and other artillery.

Serbia and Montenegro concluded a secret alliance.

Crete revolted against Ottoman rule.

Ismail Pasha, 36, the Khedive of Egypt, was granted the rights of primogeniture by Ottoman Sultan Abdul Aziz, 36.

A coalition of Conservatives and Liberals in modern-day Rumania (Wallachia and Moldavia) kidnapped the ruler there, Alexander Guza, and forced him to abdicate in favor of a foreign prince; they introduced a new constitution based on the liberal but undemocratic Belgian charter of 1831 and proclaimed Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, 27, as their King Carol I. Carol traveled incognito across Austria and finally arrived in Bucharest, where he assumed the throne of the 5-year-old united Rumania. Ottoman Sultan Abdul Aziz, 36, was obliged to recognize him (although not granting Rumania full independence for another 12 years).

Syrian Protestant College (later American University) was founded in Beirut, Lebanon.

English archaeologist Charles Wilson began his excavation of ancient Jerusalem.

Nien Fei disturbance in China

Bandits under the name Nien Fei in Anhuei, North Kiangsu, and Shantung provinces continued their campaign of plunder, now 13 years old.

The Japanese Tokugawa Shogun Iemochi died at the age of 20 and was succeeded by his kinsman Yoshinobu, 29. Japan concluded a commercial agreement with the U.S., the United Kingdom, France, and the Netherlands.

In South Africa, the Boers of the Orange Free State defeated the Basutos and annexed a lot of their territory.

World science and technology

German engineer Nikolaus August Otto, 34, with backing from engineer-businessman Eugen Langen, 33, patented a crude internal combustion engine that would sell by the thousands over the following decade in Germany and England.

Swedish engineer Alfred Bernhard Nobel, 33, mixed nitroglycerin, which had been discovered 19 years earlier, with absorbent diatomaceous earth to create dynamite, a "safe" blasting powder to replace black powder.

French gunsmith Antoine Alphonse Chassepot, 33, developed a musket that improved on the Prussian breech-loading needle gun; and English engineer Robert Whitehead, 43, invented the underwater torpedo.

English physician Thomas Clifford Allbut, 30, invented the clinical thermometer.

English amateur astronomer Sir Joseph Normann Lockyer, 30, began spectroscopic studies of the Sun; the complex mathematical work Elements of Quaternions by Irish mathematician Sir William Hamilton, who had died the year before at the age of 60, was published posthumously; German chemist H. Ritthausen isolated the amino acid gutamic acid, introducing the experimental method of acid hydrolysis; German scientist Ernst Werner von Siemens, 50, invented a generator whose motion was controlled by an electromagnet; and Austrian botanist monk Gregor Johann Mendel, 44, published several laws of heredity that he learned from crossing pea plants.

German biologist and philosopher Ernst Heinrich Philipp August von Haeckel, 32, published General Morphology, suggesting that ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny (the biogenetic fundamental law--that is, a developing embryo goes through all the stages of evolution).

World philosophy and religion

German philosopher Friedrich Albert Lange, 38, published History of Materialism.

Arts and culture in the British Isles

English novelist Charles Kingsley, 47, published Hereward the Wake; poet Matthew Arnold, 44, published Thyrsis; poet and critic Algernon Charles Swinburne, 29, published Poems and Ballads; and actor John Henry Brodribb Irving (John Brodribb), 28, made his London debut in the role of Doricourt in The Belles Stratagem at the St. James Theatre. Novelist Thomas Love Peacock died at the age of 81.

World arts and culture

French lexicographer Pierre Larousse, 49, began publishing Grand dictionnaire universel du XIX siè siecle, which took another decade to comple; Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen, 38, produced Brand; Austrian poet and novelist Robert Hamerling, 36, published the novel Ahasver in Rom; Russian ex-pat novelist Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, 46, published Prestuplenie i Nakazaniye ("Crime and Punishment") and Igrok ("The Gambler"); and Russian novelist Count Leo (Lev Nikolaevich) Tolstoy, 38, published the first installment of Voina i Mir ("War and Peace"), which would take 3 years to complete (and, for many, about that long to read).

Belgian novelist Charles-Theodore-Henri de Coster, 39, published La Légende de Thyl Ulenspiegel ("The Glorious Adventures of Tyl Eulenspiegel"); French dramatist Alphonse Daudet, 26, published Lettres de mon moulin; French poet and dramatist Victor Hugo, 64, published Les travailleurs de la mer ("Toilers of the Sea"); French poet and critic Charles Baudelaire, 45, published Les Epaves; and French lyric poet Paul Marie Verlaine, 22, published Poèmes Saturniens.

Czech composer Bedrich Smetana, 42, produced the opera Prodaná Nevestá ("The Bartered Bride") and Branibori v Cechach ("The Brandenburgers in Bohemia") at the National Theater in Prague; French composer Charles Louis Ambroise Thomas, 55, produced the opera Mignon at the Opéra-Comique in Paris; French comic opérette composer Jacques Offenbach, 47, produced La Vie Parisienne; and French composer Clément Philibert Léo Delibes, 30, produced symphonic music for ballet in La Source.

French artist Edgar Degas, 32, began to paint ballet scenes; French Impressionist artist Édouard Manet, 34, unveiled The Fifer; and French Impressionist artist Claude Oscar Monet, 26, unveiled Camille, The Green Dress.


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