Pastor William H. Emerick, 61, 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):
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. …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 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.
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.
By now there was a proposal to begin a second congregation composed of members of Christ's Church who lived in the area closer to Saugerties at what had apparently become a "preaching station" for the Lutheran pastors. In September Pastor Emerick reported to the Hartwick Synod the following(2):
From Anderson, Mark J., For All the Saints: Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, New York, 1806-2006 [Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006], p. 59, citing Hartwick Synod Minutes of the Fiftieth Annual Convention [Lutheran Publication Society, 1880]. (Close)
Through the blessings of Almighty God we have enjoyed peace and harmony among our people. We have had regular services in the church during the year, but no extra efforts [i.e., revivals]. The attendance is as usual. The good Lord favored us with a revival in a school-house [the Pine Grove School] about four miles from the church in one of our preaching places. There were quite a number of conversions. mostly heads of families. There is a strong desire to build a new church there. A kind friend offered an acre of ground for the site, and quite a sum is subscribed for the building. I think it will be built. Our people have been raising funds for repairing the church [Christ's Church]. May the Good Lord bless them in their work.
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 English-language New York Synod seceded from the New York Ministerium. (The Hartwick Synod, and Christ's Lutheran Church in Woodstock with it, had already seceded from the Ministerium 37 years earlier; the English-language New Jersey Synod had seceded 6 years earlier.)
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(3):
Excerpted from Evers, Alf, Woodstock: History of an American Town, Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1987, pp. 270-71, citing Snyder, Byron, recollections in the Woodstock Weekly, 1924. (Close)
There were almost, if not quite, as many children in the old stone school house [at the corner of Route 212 and Pine Grove Avenue]. During the winter months we had men teachers. In those days discipline had to be maintained by brute force and the main qualification of a teacher was his ability to lick the big boys. It often required several fights before his supremacy was established. Sometimes the physical prowess of the teacher was not equal to that of the older scholars and he had to retire. It was useless to try to rule by moral force. We had no morals. [In the summer when the big boys were required for farm work women taught the school.] There was only one room and about sixty pupils. It was heated by an antiquated, big box stove. This stove would be kept nearly red hot and if you sat near it one side of you would be roasted. If away from it you would freeze. On cold days the teacher would keep changing our seats, sort of stirring us around so that we would only half freeze or half roast.…
Prospectors were exploring the Woodstock area for coal, oil, and gas.
Construction continued on the new Rondout & Oswego Railroad (the R&O), intended to extend from Kingston by way of the Esopus Valley and Pine Hill toward an ultimate objective of Lake Ontario. The route dared the sometimes-flooding Esopus Creek and started up the steep Pine Hill in a series of exciting curves, although there were loud voices calling for a tunnel.
The piratical-minded, foghorn-voiced Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt, 73, controlling both the New York and Harlem Railroad and the New York and Hudson River Railroad, who 2 years earlier had ordered his employees not to connect with the New York Central Railroad, now ordered that all trains on his New York and Hudson terminate at East Albany, 2 miles from the Albany depot, producing for protesting legislators copies of an old law specifically forbidding his line from running trains across the Hudson River. When stock in the New York Central dropped sharply, Vanderbilt bought enough shares to secure control of the line.
New York wagonmaker Webster Wagner, 50, designed the Wagner Drawing Room Car, which went into service on Commodore Vanderbilt's New York Central. Wagner soon contracted to use the sleeping cars of George Mortimer Pullman, 36, with their folding upper berths and hinged seats.
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.
The New York State Legislature voted to establish a free public school system.
Former New Paltz and Hurley slave Isabella Bomefree Van Wagenen, now an abolitionist itinerant preacher known as Sojourner Truth, 70, pictured here, addressed white audiences in Northern states and advocated a new "Negro state" in the West. She had been residing in Washington, DC, but during this year she moved back to Michigan (which she had left six years earlier).
Andrew Johnson, 59 (nominally a Republican), was President. The newly elected 40th Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $12.84 in 2006 for most consumable products.
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, resumed their building of new factories, now that the effects of the postwar depression were easing. 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 than half of all U.S. working people still worked on farms, but that number was shrinking. 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. The year-old 600,000-member National Labor Union, headed by William H. Sylvis, 39, attracted the skilled, the unskilled, and farmers, but it excluded Chinese and made only nominal efforts to include women and blacks. It continued to lobby Congress to promote workers' interests, agitating for the arbitration of labor disputes and for an 8-hour workday.
Black workers organized their own Colored National Labor Union as an adjunct. But since the blacks tended to support the plutocrats' Republican Party, and since the white unionists were persistently racist, the two unions could not work together in a common effort.
A common sight in those days were the "knights of the road"--also known as "Weary Willies" or "Tired Tims" or "Happy Hooligans"--who might have been discharged Union soldiers or others who could find no regular living. 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.
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 newly freed appealed to Congress to be given land(4):
From "Transwiki: American History Primary Sources Reconstruction and the New South," Wikiquote (part of Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.), at http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Transwiki:American_History _Primary_Sources_Reconstruction _and_the_New_South, accessed 7 April 2007. (Close)
Give us our own land and we can take care of ourselves. But widout land, de ole massas can hire us or starve us, as dey please.In a report issued by the Colored Convention in Montgomery, AL, was an argument that rebels' land be turned over to the former slaves(5):
[The land of white plantation owners had been] nearly all earned by the sweat of our brows, not theirs. It has been forfeited to the government by the treason of its owners, and is liable to be confiscated whenever the Republican Party demands it.
Radical Republicans, now with a veto-proof majority in the newly elected 40th Congress and a virtually unlimited control of Reconstruction policy, were determined to undo the Black Codes and punish the former Confederates. In the Senate, the idealist Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, 56, pictured here, labored for racial equality.
In the House of Representatives, Pennsylvania Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, 75, pictured here, urged the ballot for blacks, partly out of consideration for them, partly for the continued dominance of the Republican Party, and partly out of his bitterness against the Southern whites:
There are several good reasons for the passage of this bill [for reconstructing the South, by enfranchising blacks]. In the first place, it is just. I am now confining my argument to Negro suffrage in the rebel states. Have not loyal blacks quite as good a right to choose rulers and make laws as rebel whites?He regarded the seceded states as "conquered provinces" and said that Reconstruction must
In the second place, it is a necessity in order to protect the loyal white men in the seceded states. The white Union men are in a great minority in each of those states. With them the blacks would act in a body; and it is believed that in each of said states, except one, the two united would form a majority, control the states and protect themselves. Now they are the victims of daily murder. They must suffer constant persecution, or be exiled.…
Another good reason is, it would insure the ascendancy of the Union [Republican] Party. "Do you avow the party purpose?" exclaims some horror-stricken demagogue. I do. For I believe, on my conscience, that on the continued ascendancy of that party depends the safety of this great nation. If impartial suffrage is excluded in the rebel states, then every one of them is sure to send a solid rebel representative delegation to Congress, and cast a solid rebel electoral vote. They, with their kindred Copperheads of the North, would always elect the President and control Congress. Whole Slavery sat upon her defiant throne, and insulted and intimidated the trembling North.… Now, you must divide them between loyalists, without regard to color, and disloyalists, or you will be the perpetual vassals of the free-trade, irritated, revengeful South.
For these, among other reasons, I am for Negro suffrage in every rebel state. If it be just, it should not be denied; if it be necessary, it should be adopted; if it be a punishment to traitors, they deserve it.
revolutionize Southern institutions, habits, and manners.… The foundation of their institutions… must be broken up and relaid, or all our blood and treasure have been spent in vain.With the radical agenda partially tempered by moderate Republicans but with several bloody and vicious race riots that had recently erupted in Southern cities in mind, the 40th Congress determined to ensure the enfranchisement of black voters, even if federal troops were necessary to make that happen.
Beginning in March, over President Johnson's repeated vetoes, Congress passed three Reconstruction Acts, the first of which divided all the South except Tennessee into five military districts, each commanded by a Union major general with nearly dictatorial powers and policed by some 20,000 Union troops, for the purpose of protecting the civil rights of "all persons" and controlling voter eligibility and registration. For one thing, tens of thousands of former Confederates were disfranchised, at least temporarily. There were stringent conditions for seceded states to be readmitted to the Union, including a requirement for them to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which would make American citizens out of the former slaves. (The Amendment had been passed in the 39th Congress the preceding year--over President Johnson's veto, of course--and submitted to the states for ratification.) Essentially, the Amendment conferred upon blacks in the country as a whole the same status as that of women: They were citizens, but they were not guaranteed the right to vote. But the former Confederate states were required to go beyond the Amendment: They had to guarantee in their constitutions full voting rights for all the newly freed adult males. One radical Senator commented that the legislation
sets out by laying its hand on the rebel governments and taking the very life out of them.The second of the three acts required the military authorities to register voters and to supervise the election of delegates to constitutional conventions for readmitting the states. The third act further clarified the procedures.
(The Republicans realized that the blacks would very likely vote in opposition to the white-supremacist Democrats; that is, they would vote Republican. This was a great opportunity to enfranchise the former slaves wholesale and immediately, while thousands of white Southerners were still disfranchised.
In fact, most Yankees adhered to the Southern racist belief that blacks were basically inferior. Hypocritically, most of the Northern states continued to deny voting rights to their tiny black minorities; 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.)
Moderate Republicans in the 40th Congress prevented the Reconstruction Acts from awarding land to the former slaves or from educating them at federal expense. Ensuring a Republican majority in the vanquished Confederacy was enough.
The Supreme Court had ruled at the end of the preceding year in the case Ex parte Milligan that military tribunals could not try civilians, even during wartime, wherever civil courts were available. In setting up a military regime throughout the South, the Reconstruction Acts clearly violated that ruling, but the Supreme Court did not object. The "bluebelly" federal troops would remain until radical Republican regimes were fully entrenched in the former rebel states.
There were some 15,000 Union troops stationed in the vanquished South. Virginia constituted Military District I, under the command of General John McAllister Schofield, 46. North Carolina and South Carolina constituted Military District II, under the command of General Daniel Edgar Sickles, 48. Georgia, Alabama, and Florida constituted Military District III, under the command of General John Pope, 45. Mississippi and Arkansas constituted Military District IV, under the command of General Edward Otho Cresap Ord, 48. Louisiana and Texas constituted Military District V, under the command of General Philip Henry Sheridan, 36. In August, President Johnson, angered by General Sheridan's pro-Radical sympathies, replaced him first with General George H. Thomas and then, because Thomas was ill, with General Winfield Scott Hancock, 43. All the military districts were under the overall authority of General Ulysses Simpson Grant, 44.
General Hancock's General Order 40 in November was very lenient to the district's residents and became a model for a lenient Reconstruction policy in general (to the chagrin of the radicals in Congress): If they would conduct themselves peacefully and the civilian officials perform their duties, then
the military power should cease to lead, and the civil administration resume its natural and rightful dominion.In other districts, the military governors (known in Southern literature as "satraps" or "despots") sometimes acted with flagrant disregard for civil rights--suppressing Confederate veterans' organizations, parades, historical societies; removing elected local officials; replacing civil courts with military tribunals; and setting aside or modifying state laws. Tennessee was the only former rebel state not included in a military district; it had been readmitted into the Union the preceding year, with a Republican state government and Congressional delegation.
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.
The newly enfranchised Southern black men began to organize politically, particularly through the Union League, which had originally been a pro-Union organization in the North during the war. Northern blacks assisted former slaves to form a network of political clubs to teach civic duties, to campaign for Republican candidates, to represent black grievances before employers and government bureaucracies, and to recruit militias to protect black communities from white retaliation. Black men and women organized parades and rallies, and they assembled mass meetings in the newly constructed black churches. Black men were elected as delegates to each of the state constitutional conventions, participating with whites to formulate the new constitutions that provided for universal adult male suffrage regardless of race. At an Alabama constitutional convention, former slaves affirmed their rights in the following declaration:
We claim exactly the same rights, privileges and immunities as are enjoyed by white men--we ask nothing more and will be content with nothing less.… The law no longer knows white nor black, but simply men, and consequently we are entitled to ride in public conveyances, hold office, sit on juries and do everything else which we have in the past been prevented from doing solely on the ground of color.(6)
Quoted in Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., and Cohen, Lizabeth, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, p. 501. (Close)
The Union League and other self-improvement black 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.
General Oliver Otis Howard, 37, a white Congregationalist and director of the 2-year-old Freedman's Bureau, was among the founders of Howard University for Negroes in Washington, DC, the first predominantly black college to offer comprehensive university facilities. Detractors ridiculed the college because of its policy of admitting students of all ages, male or female, married or single, informed or ignorant.
Atlanta University was founded in Georgia, dedicated to the higher education of blacks.
The Freedmen's Bureau had its greatest success in teaching literacy to thousands of blacks, particularly those who wanted to read the Bible. In one North Carolina elementary class four generations sat together. In other areas, however, the accomplishments of the bureau were less than stellar. It had been authorized to settle former slaves on 40-acre tracts confiscated from plantations, hardly any land was given to blacks. Local administrators actually collaborated with planters in cajoling town blacks to sign labor contracts to work on plantations. Nonetheless, white Southerners resented the bureau as a threat to their dominance, and white-supremacist President Johnson repeatedly tried to kill it.
Many Northerners had been 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 Republican regimes in the former Confederacy introduced some badly needed reforms: streamlining tax systems, launching public works, guaranteeing property rights for women, and establishing adequate public schools. Some of these governments were ridden with graft, however--especially in Louisiana and South Carolina, where unscrupulous promoters used naïve blacks as pawns.
Dangerously defiant white 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:
Oh, I'm a good old rebel,These unreconstructed Southern whites were particularly incensed at the idea of former slaves holding political office.
Now that's just what I am:
For the "fair land of freedom"
I do not care a dam.
I'm glad I fit against it--
I only wish we'd won,
And I don't want no pardon
For anything I done.
The 2-year-old social club Ku Klux Klan was formally organized through a document called the "Prescript" into a hierarchy in Nashville, TN, ostensibly with local chapters reporting to county leaders, counties reporting to districts, districts reporting to states, and states reporting to national headquarters. (Local KKK groups continued to be autonomous in practice, however.) In activities modeled on previous Tennessee vigilante groups such as the Yellow Jackets and Redcaps, the Klan had been breaking up black prayer meetings and invading black homes at night to steal firearms. Former Confederate Brigadier General George Washington Gordon, 31, who had written the Prescript, declared the Klan's purpose to resist Reconstruction and all activities of the Republican Party; each applicant to the Klan had to be
opposed to Negro equality both social and political… [and be in favor of] a white man's government,… [of] maintaining the constitutional rights of the South,… [of] the re-enfranchisement and emancipation of the white men of the South, and the restitution of the Southern people to all their rights,… [and] the inalienable right of self-preservation of the people against the exercise of arbitrary and unlicensed power.Former slave trader and Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, 46, was approached by Gordon in Memphis and replied:
That's a good thing; that's a damn good thing. We can use that to keep the niggers in their place.Forrest was soon selected as Grand Wizard, the Klan's national leader.
White supremacists in Louisiana founded the Knights of the White Camelia.
Former Confederate President Jefferson Davis, 59, and other Confederate "conspirators" still under indictment for treason were released from prison on bail, partly because it was doubtful that any Virginia jury could convict them. The bail for Davis was posted by prominent citizens of both Northern and Southern states, including abolitionist and philanthropist Garrit Smith, 70, the piratical-minded, foghorn-voiced Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt, 73, and the petulant and dogmatic Horace Greeley, 56, pictured here, editor and publisher of the New York Tribune. Davis visited Canada, Cuba and Europe.
The radical Republican-dominated 40th Congress was determined to be rid of the obstructions of veto-happy President Johnson, whom they mocked as the "drunken tailor" and that "dead dog in the White House" and accused of maintaining a White House harem of "dissolute women." If they could get the Vice President-less Johnson kicked out of office, Presidential power, under existing law, would pass to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the extremely radical Ohio Senator Benjamin Franklin "Bluff Ben" Wade, 67.
Over Johnson's veto, Congress passed the Tenure of Office Act, forbidding the President from firing without the consent of the Senate any officials he had appointed with the consent of the Senate. Many interpreted that law to mean that Johnson could not dismiss War Secretary Edward McMasters Stanton, 43, pictured here, who was sympathetic to the radicals. (But actually Johnson had never appointed Stanton; Lincoln had appointed him.) Nonetheless, Johnson, convinced that the law was unconstitutional, demanded the resignation of Stanton in August; Stanton refused and barricaded himself in the War Department.
Serious epidemics of yellow fever, smallpox, typhus, and cholera killed thousands in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Memphis, and New Orleans.
George Burnham and Charles S. Morrill established the Burnham & Morrill cannery in Portland, ME, introducing canned sweet corn, clam bouillon, and canned baked beans.
George Harrison Mifflin, 22, joined the 3-year-old Hurd & Houghton Publishing Company in Boston.
The New England Conservatory of Music was founded in Boston.
Boston annexed Roxbury.
The 45-year-old William Underwood & Co. in Boston introduced canned deviled ham.
Engineers George Herman Babcock, 35, and Stephen Wilcox founded Babcock & Wilcox Company in Providence, RI, to produce the coal-fired sectional industrial "safety" boiler that Wilcox had invented, which was supposedly free from exploding. The company also produced machine tools and other equipment.
Oliver Fisher Winchester, 56, reorganized his 17-year-old Connecticut arms manufacturing company, the name New Haven Arms Company, under a new name, the Winchester Repeating Arms Company.
The government of New York City passed the New York Housing Act, which set a standard for the dreadful tenements in the city to easily conform to.
The first elevated railroad, a single track built by West Side Elevated Railroad Co. (also known as the Gilbert Elevated Railway Company), began operation in New York City, running from Battery Place to 30th Street above Greenwich Street (9th Avenue) and providing much faster transportation than the horse cars below.
German immigrant banker (and retired Cincinnati clothing baron) Abraham Kuhn and his brother-in-law Solomon Loeb opened the commercial bank Kuhn, Loeb & Company in New York City with capital amounting to $500,000 ($6.4 million in 2006 dollars). The partners proceeded to make a market for U.S. government bonds and railway bonds.
The 9-year-old R. H. Macy Company on 14th Street in New York City, owned by Rowland Hussey Macy, 45, stayed open on Christmas Eve until midnight and had a record 1-day sales volume of $6,000 ($77,040 in 2006 dollars). Heralding the dawning era of consumerism, his cavernous department store attracted urban middle-class shoppers and provided urban working-class jobs, most of them for women.
Brewer Jacob Ruppert, 25, bought a tract of timberland on Third Avenue between 91st and 92nd Streets in New York City, cleared the timber, and erected a three-story building for his Ruppert's Brewery.
James Gordon Bennett, 26, succeeded his father as editor of the New York Herald.
Brooklyn, NY, pitcher William Arthur Cummings invented the curve ball.
Spice dealer James A. Church closed his Vulcan Spice Mill in Brooklyn and began selling barrels of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda instead, dominating that market, helped by 7-foot-4-inch-tall Colonel Powell, who adopted the name Arm & Hammer Saleratus.
The 3-year-old thoroughbred horse Ruthless won the first annual Belmont Stakes (at Belmont Park racetrack in New York, built by Major August Belmont II) for winnings valued at $1,850 ($23,750 in 2006 dollars).
German immigrant baker Christian Frederick Mueller, 27, began selling homemade egg noodles door to door from a pushcart in Jersey City, NJ, beginning his C. F. Mueller Company.
The piratical-minded, foghorn-voiced Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt, 73, busily expanding his control of railroads in New York State beyond his own New York Central, was focusing since the preceding year much acquisitive energy on acquiring the rival Erie Railroad by buying up its stock. The Erie directors were striking back by issuing themselves thousands of shares of new stock without paying for them, thereby drastically overinflating the capitalization of the line. Both lines were stooping to bribery in an effort to get favorable legislation from the New York legislature.
Philadelphia scale manufacturer Henry Phipps, 28, and Andrew Carnegie, 31, founded United Iron Mills.
Carnegie also joined George M. Pullman to found the Pullman Palace Car Company, to build sleeping cars and operate them under contract for railway companies. The sumptuously appointed Palace Cars were advertised as "gorgeous traveling hotels" that could provide prosperous passengers the comforts of home while they were far away from it. Unfortunately, the swaying kerosene lamps in the wooden cars were led to frequent appalling accidents; critics condemned the Palace Cars as latent funeral pyres and as "wheeled torture chambers."
Crosby S. Noyes, who had started 14 years earlier as a reporter at the Washington Evening Star, then only a year old, bought the paper along with four partners.
In baseball, still amateur, the Washington Nationals this year defeated Cincinnati Red Stockings 53-10, the Cincinnati Buckeyes 90-10, the Louisville Kentuckians 82-21, the Indianapolis Western Club 106-21, and the St. Louis Union Club 113-26.
West Virginia University was founded in Morgantown, WV.
With $500 ($6,420 in 2006 dollars) borrowed from his brother William, Hungarian immigrant merchant Morris Rich, 20, opened the 20- by 75-foot M. Rich Dry Goods store on Whitehall Street in Atlanta that would become the paramount department store in the South.
The increase in U.S. literacy had spurred a demand for more lighting.(7)
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, John A., The American Nation: A History of the United States, New York: Harper and Row, 1966, pp. 505-6. (Close)
Sperm oil for lighting and lubrication, harvested from whales, now sold for $2.25 per gallon ($28.90 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 8 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.
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.(8)By now the great increase in crude oil had driven prices down, a factor that put a premium on refining efficiency--larger plants utilizing expensive machinery and employing skilled technicians.
Quoted from Garraty, op. cit., p. 506. (Close)
The 2-year-old partnership of John Davison Rockefeller, 27, and Samuel Andrews--Rockefeller & Andrews--began to combine several oil refineries in Cleveland, OH. Henry Morrison Flagler, 34, a former supplier of Rockefeller when he was in the whiskey business, now joined Rockeller and Andrews--now named Rockefeller, Andrews & Flagler--and persuaded his wife's uncle, Bellemore, OH, distiller Stephen Vanderburg Harkness, 49, to lend the new partnership $70,000 ($899,000 in 2006 dollars) that permitted the acquisition of the Cleveland refineries. Already Rockefeller was perfecting a technique for allying with competitors to monopolize the petroleum market.
The Cincinnati Conservatory of Music was founded.
Engineer John Augustus Roebling, 60, designed and supervised the construction of a suspension bridge spanning the Ohio River between Cincinnati and Covington, KY.
John Muir, 29, began a 1,000-mile walk from Wisconsin through Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida.
Edward P. Weston set the record for long-distance walking: He went from Portland, ME, to Chicago, IL, in 26 days, and he won $10,000 ($128,400 in 2006 dollars).
Potter Palmer sold his share in the 2-year-old Field, Palmer, and Leiter department store in Chicago; and founder Marshall Field, 33, joined with his brothers Henry and Joseph and with Levi Leiter and his brother Marshall to form the new Field, Leiter & Company, capitalized at $1.2 million ($14.4 million in 2006 dollars). Meanwhile, Samuel Carson and John Pirie, who had for the preceding 13 years been operating a downstate Illinois chain of dry-goods stores, went into partnership with Chicago merchants George Scott, Robert Scott, and Andrew MacLeish to found Carson, Pirie Scott & Company to compete fiercely with Field, Leiter & Company. Like Macy's in New York City, the Marshall Field emporium heralded the dawning era of consumerism, attracting urban middle-class shoppers and providing urban working-class jobs, most of them for women.
Meatpackers Philip Danforth Armour, 35, and John Plankinton moved their operation from Milwaukee to Chicago, investing $160,000 ($2.05 million in 2006 dollars) to take over a slaughterhouse on Archer Avenue, setting up under the name Armour and Company.
Bearded and rotund Chicago preacher Dwight Lyman Moody, 30, weighing nearly 300 pounds, a former shoe salesman who adapted old-time religion to the facts of city life, could hold huge audiences spellbound. Not only did he operate the largest Sunday School in the city as well as the 1,500-capacity Illinois Street Church, but he was the national president of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA). During this year he supervised the erection of Farwell Hall, the first YMCA building in America. He also held his first revival campaign in Philadelphia. It was during this year, too, that Moody and his wife first went to England and met several evangelists there.
The University of Illinois was founded in Urbana, IL.
The Illinois and Wisconsin Dairymen's Association was founded.
Milwaukee printer Christopher Latham Sholes, 48, invented a practical "writing machine," sometimes called a "literary piano" and only later named a "typewriter." Court reporter Charles Weller tested the machine for its efficiency by typing
Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of the party.
In the upper Mississippi River Valley, former Department of Agriculture field investigator Oliver H. Kelley, 41, founded the Grange, or the Patrons of Husbandry, whose stated aim was to enhance the lives of isolated farmers with educational, social, and fraternal activities--picnics, concerts, lectures in schoolhouses around potbellied stoves--with an emphasis on reading and discussion, much of that concerning freight rates, high taxes, and politics. Kelley, a Mason, introduced secret rituals, passwords, and a hierarchy from Laborer to Husbandman for men, Maid to Matron for women.
The 16-year-old Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad at last reached Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota.
Menkato State University was founded in Menkato, MN.
There were 7.8 million horses and mules "on farms" in the United States.
Iowa dairy farmer William Louden devised a rope sling and wooden monorail arrangement to swing loads of hay and clean manure from a barn or stable without a pitchfork, saving 90 percent of the time formerly required in these tasks and enabling large, efficient dairy herds.
Chemist Edward Mallinckrodt, 22, and his brothers Gustav and Otto Mallinckrodt founded the G. Mallinckrodt & Co. firm (later Mallinckrodt Chemical Works) in St. Louis.
Kentucky engineer and inventor James Buchanan Eads, 46, began construction of the bridge that would be named after him, spanning the Mississippi River at St. Louis, sinking massive stone piers through 103 feet of turbulent water into the bedrock and cantilevering three steel spans, each more than 500 feet long, in a project ridiculed by financiers, politicians, and other engineers, costing millions of dollars and the lives of 12 men, and taking 7 years to complete.
The Pacific Railway Act, passed by Congress 5 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 6 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. The granting of public lands for railroad construction happened in the East as well, of course. It seemed possible that in many cases, the government might recover the value of the land when it sold nearby properties, which would be worth more after there was transportation provided to it. According to one state governor(9):
Quoted in ibid., p. 490. (Close)
Why should private individuals be called upon to make a useless sacrifice of their means, when railroads can be constructed by the unity of public and private interests, and made profitable to all?
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 20 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 ($205,000, $410,000, and $615,000, 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 had 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 ($858,000) 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 directors under Thomas Durant, 47, and his replacement, Massachusetts Congressman Oakes Ames, 63, and other insiders formed the Crédit Mobilier company, cleverly hiring themselves to build the transcontinental line and sometimes paying themselves as much as $50,000 a mile for construction that cost only $30,000 a mile ($642,000 and $386,000 in 2006 dollars). The directors were able to pocket some $73 million for about $50 million ($937 million and $642 million in 2006 dollars) worth of breakneck construction, investing a pittance of that to bribe Congressmen. The company once paid dividends of 348%. To stave off investigation into the high personal profits they were making, they furtively distributed shares of the lucrative stock to U.S. Congressmen.
Corruption--waste, extravagance, speculation, graft, and fraud--was such a fetid way of life in the United States during this "Era of Good Stealing" that it was said the Man in the Moon had to hold his nose when passing over America.
Steel rail production began in the United States (which had been using iron rails or rails made of imported steel); American manufacturers produced about 20,000 tons of steel during that year, much of it for rails. Unfortunately, a few unscrupulous railroad promoters left gullible buyers of bonds with only "two streaks of rust and a right of way" (making rails out of steel rather than iron would solve the rust problem).
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: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.
Drill, my heroes, drill;
Drill all day.
No sugar in your tay,
Workin' on the U.P. Railway.
[T]hese settlements were of the most perishable materials--canvas tents, plain board shanties, and turf-hovels--pulled down and sent forward for a new career, or deserted as worthless, at every grand movement of the Railroad company.… Restaurant and saloon keepers, gamblers, desperadoes of every grade, the vilest of men and women made up this Hell on Wheels, as it was most aptly termed."(10)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.
Quoted in McCutcheon, Marc, Everyday Life in the 1800s: A Guide for Writers, Students & Historians, Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books, 1993, p. 73, citing Samuel Bowles, Our New West. (Close)
The directors of the 6-year-old Central Pacific Railroad who were known as the "Big Four"--portly Leland Stanford, 43, president; Collis Potter Huntington, 46, vice president; Mark Hopkins, 54, an officer; and Charles Crocker, 45, 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. 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 5-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 ($128.40 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 ($16.05 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.
Chicago livestock dealer Joseph Geating McCoy, 29, bought 450 acres of land at $5 per acre ($64.20 per acre in 2006 dollars) in Abilene, KS (the actual terminus of the Kansas Pacific Railway, operating between Chicago and Abilene rather than between Kansas and the Pacific Ocean), and built pens and loading chutes there with lumber from Hannibal, MO. He then installed a pair of large Fairbanks scales, and he promised Texas ranchers $40 per head for cattle that the ranchers could sell at home for only $4 per head ($514 and $51, respectively). Abilene at that time was
a small, dead place of about one dozen log huts… four fifths of which are covered with dirt for roofing.(11)The Kansas Pacific promised McCoy an eighth of the freight charges on each car of cattle he shipped East; by year's end McCoy had transported some 35,000 head of cattle northward on the "Long Drive" from Texas to Kansas on the Chisholm Trail and then shipping them eastward on the Kansas Pacific line.
Quoted in Trager, op. cit., p. 529. (Close)
Railroad directors had advertised for immigrants from both the Eastern states and from Europe, had been transporting them at reduced rates to the various prairie railheads, 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 and junction points of the new railroad lines--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.
Nebraska was admitted to the Union as the 37th state.
Gold was discovered in present-day Wyoming.
In the wake of the previous year's "Fetterman massacre" in the Big Horn Mountains of present-day Wyoming, the U.S. government reassessed its Indian policy. The new commander at Fort Philip Kearney, General Wessels, did not launch a major vengeance offensive against the Sioux. The government apparently decided that the transcontinental railroad, then pushing through southwestern Wyoming toward Salt Lake City, and the Bridger Trail were better alternatives than maintaining an expensive and unproductive military presence in the Powder River country around Fort Kearney.
The 40th Congress established reservations in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) for the "Five Civilized Tribes": the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles.
In an effort to "encourage" the Indians to "walk the white man's road" toward civilization by means of assimilation--and, of course, to keep the railroad builders and miners safe and comfortable--the federal government's Indian Peace Commission, which included General William Tecumseh Sherman, 47, and General Alfred Howe Terry, 39, met with several Plains Indians tribes to settle them on reservations. Santanta, 47, Chief of the Kiowas, responded bitterly to the government position:
All the land south of the Arkansas belongs to the Kiowa and Comanche. And I don't want to give away any of it. I love the land and the buffalo and will not part with it. I don't want any of the churches within the country. I want the children raised as I was.The commissioners paid this speech no heed and "negotiated" the Medicine Lodge Treaty, calling for two reservations to be set aside in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), one for the Comanche and Kiowa and one for the Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho. The government promised to provide the tribes with many basic services and training, housing, food and supplies, including guns and ammunition for hunting. In exchange, the Indians agreed to stop their attacks and raids. Ten chiefs endorsed the treaty and some tribal members moved voluntarily to the reservations.
I have heard that you want to settle us on a reservation near the mountains. I don't want to settle. I love to roam over the prairies. There I feel free and happy, but when I settle down I grow pale and die.
A long time ago this land belonged to our fathers, but when I go up river I see camps of soldiers on its banks. These soldiers cut down my timber; they kill my buffalo; and when I see it feels as if my heart would burst with sorrow.
This building of homes for us is all nonsense. We don't want you to build any for us; we would all die. I want all my land, even from the Arkansas south to Red River. My country is small already. If you build us houses, the land will be smaller.
Why do you insist on this? What good will come of it? I don't understand your reason. Time enough to build us houses when the buffalo are gone, I will tell him. This trusting to agents for food I don't believe in.
General Sherman, pictured here, writing to the Secretary of War from Fort McPherson in Nebraska, doubted that peace could be brought about through the treaty:
My opinion is that if fifty Indians are allowed to remain between the Arkansas and the Platte, we will have to guard every stage station, every train, and all railroad working parties. In other words, fifty hostile Indians will checkmate three thousand soldiers. Rather get them out as soon as possible, and it makes little difference whether they be coaxed out by Indian commissioners or killed.General Alfred Sully, 47, another of the commissioners, remarked that a large number of Indians west of the Missouri River were still hostile:
It is as hard for an ignorant wild Indian as it is for an educated, cultivated white man to remain quietly at home starving to death, having no means of hunting, being obliged to kill his horses to keep himself and children alive, and at the same time not allowed to purchase arms and ammunition to kill small game with, while he is visited daily by Indians from the hostile camp trying to induce him to join them, and sees by their warring with impunity on the whites they have more horses and mules than they want, and plenty to eat, and procure all the arms and ammunition they want.He proposed that the government provide for the needs of the peaceable Indians and punish the hostiles vigorously.
As an essential part of the assimilation, Indians were encouraged to send their children to white schools to learn American ways. One group of Lakota children were transported from their homes to a Quaker school in Indiana, where they were required to have their long hair shorn (short hair was considered by them a badge of cowardice). Red Bird, a Lakota girl, hid from the teachers, but was apprehended and tied to a chair.
I cried aloud, shaking my head all the while I felt the cold blades of the scissors against my neck, and heard them gnaw off one of my thick braids. Then I lost my spirit.(12)
Quoted in Davidson, James West, and Stoff, Michael B., The American Nation, Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1986, 1995, p. 516. (Close)
Unfortunately (and not surprisingly, after all), the Medicine Lodge Treaty was a failure. Commercial buffalo hunters began moving into the area. Also, some branches of the tribes, including Quanah Parker's Quahadi Comanches, refused to sign the treaty. In addition, the government promises proved largely empty anyway: Corrupt federal agents dumped on the friendless Indians moth-eaten blankets, spoiled beef, and other defective provisions. The restrictions on personal movement, trade, and worship were all but impossible for the nomadic Indians to tolerate.
The commercial (and other white) buffalo hunters began systematically slaughtering the buffalo in large numbers, often deliberately to undermine the way of life of the Indians, who used the animal for food, housing, bowstrings, lariats, and fuel. Replacing this magnificent animal more and more was the Texas longhorn cattle, brought in by cattlemen who discovered how well the hardy stock survived the winters on the plains foraging on the seemingly limitless forage left behind by the buffalo.
Brigham Young, 66, pictured here, introduced sugar beets into his Utah Territory, with machinery imported from Liverpool and carted across the continent by ox-drawn wagons to Salt Lake City. Young had a beet factory built there.
Chiracahua Apache Chief Cochise, 55, continued to lead his warriors out of his hideout in the Dragoon Mountains of Arizona in raids against white settlers.
The John Swilling Company cleared prehistoric canals in Arizona Territory to bring water from the Salt River to the fertile lands of the valley, an effort that spurred the growth of Phoenix.
Mining engineers John William Mackay, 36, James C. Flood, and William T. O'Brien, who had taken over the Hale & Norcross silver mine in Nevada the year before, now took over the Consolidated Virginia & California Mine.
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 Pacific Mail Steamship Company began regular service between San Francisco and Hong Kong.
Most white residents of Oregon had racist attitudes. The following screed arguing to repeal the state's ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment is a vicious attack on black people that appeared in the Eugene (OR) Weekly Democratic Review, a rabid, pro-Southern paper that had been suppressed during the war(13):
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 McLagan, Elizabeth, A Peculiar Paradise: A History of Blacks in Oregon, 1788-1940 (Portland, 1980), pp. 68-74, taken from http://faculty.washington.edu/qtaylor/Courses/101_USH/101_manual_4.htm, accessed 31 January 2007. (Close)
… gaping, bullet pated, thick lipped, wooly headed, animal-jawed crowd of niggers, the dregs of broken up plantations, idle and vicious blacks, released from wholesome restraints of task masters and overseers.… Greasy, dirty, lousy, they drowsily look down upon the assembled wisdom of a dissevered Union. Sleepily listen to legislators who have given them their freedom and now propose to invest them with the highest privileges of American citizenship.
Russia was looking to sell its overextended, overly exploited ("furred-out") North American "frozen asset" of Alaska, which the British Navy might easily conquer in the event of another possible war with the United Kingdom. The Russians preferred the United States as its customer, strengthening that country as a barrier against the British. U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward, 66, pictured here, an ardent expansionist, arranged with Russian Tsar Alexander II of Russia. 48, the purchase of Alaska for $7.2 million ($92.4 million in 2006 dollars), which was less than 2 cents per acre (26 cents per acre). Critics ridiculed the purchase, calling Alaska "Seward's icebox" and "Seward's folly" and "Seward's Polar Bear Garden" and "Frigidia" and "Walrussia," but the Senate ratified.
"Furred-out" Alaska had a Pribilof seal population of 2.5 million, a 50-percent decline from when the Russians had first arrived there eight decades years earlier.
Nonprescription quack remedies, known as patent medicines, frequently laced with alcohol, were purported to cure everything from consumption to old age. Only their trade names were patented--not the medicines themselves. Several hundred nostrums vied for advertising space in newspapers, under such names as Prof. Low's Liniment and Worm Syrup, Dr. Flint's Quaker Bitters, and Dr. Townsend's Sarsaparilla. The 20-year-old product Hostetter's Stomach Bitters, which had made Colonel David Hostetter a millionaire and which consisted of 44 percent alcohol, was advertised with claims that it could cure dyspepsia, colic, dysentery, and bilious complaints. Promoter James Cook Ayer, 49, brought out his Dr. Ayer's Sarsaparilla, containing 26 percent alcohol and claiming similar cures.
Bitters… and such liquors… either ruin the tone of the stomach, or produce habits of intemperance. The "washes," "lotions," "toilet fluids," etc., are generally apt to produce skin diseases.… The "tooth washes," "powders," and dentifrices are hurtful. They crack or wear away the enamel of the teeth.… The principal constituent of these dentifrices is a powerful acid. The "hair dyes" advertised… contain such poisons as nitrate of silver, oxide of lead, acetate of lead, and sulphate of copper. The "ointment and "unguents" for promoting growth of whiskers and mustaches, are either perfumed and colored lard, or poisonous compounds, which contain quick lime, or corrosive sublimate.(14)
Quoted in McCutcheon, op. cit., p. 165, citing James McCabe, Lights and Shadows of New York Life, p. 808. (Close)
Americans now bathed an average of once a week.
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. Women frequently wore a bun or chignon, arranged in loops and braids, with puffs, ringlets, or coils over the ears.
The Reverend John Todd, 67, published Woman's Rights, which admonished women not to try to adopt male roles in society lest they lose their femininity. Here is some of his warnings about wearing bloomers(15):
From Todd, Rev. John, D.D., Woman's Rights, Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1867, pp. 16-17. (Close)
Some have tried to become semi-men by putting on the Bloomer dress. Let me tell you in a word why it can never be done. It is this: woman, robed and folded in her long dress, is beautiful. She walks gracefully. The very waving of her robes makes the walk graceful. If she attempts to run, the charm is gone. Even Venus never tried to run. Et vera incessu patuit Dea. So long as she is thus clothed, there is just enough of mystery about woman to challenge admiration, and almost reverence. Take off the robes, and put on pants, and how the limbs, and grace and mystery are all gone. And yet, to be like a man, you must doff your own dress and put on ours. In doing it, you lose more than I can tell. No! Ladies want our respect, and admiration, and reverence too much ever to lay aside their appropriate dress. Their very instincts make them safe here.Todd then went on to denounce the "great hue and cry" that had been set up "about the right of women to vote, and the cruelty of denying them this right." He asserted that women should be prohibited from voting just as minors, foreigners, and idiots were so prohibited. Besides it was "so unseemly in having woman wading in the dirty waters of politics." His basic argument was that women were not the equal of men because, he claimed, they could not invent or reason extensively.
Popular periodicals included the Farmer's Home Journal, Harper's Bazaar, Sporting Times, 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.
"Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen," a slave song, was released to the general public and became popular. Another popular new song was "The Little Brown Jug" by Philadelphia songwriter R. E, Eastburn (Joseph Eastburn Winner), 32. Other popular songs included "When You and I Were Young, Maggie," "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," "You Naughty, Naughty Men," "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." The nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb," composed in 1830, was set to music to the song "Goodnight Ladies."
Slave Songs of the United States was published, including "Michael Row the Boat Ashore."
The 4-year-old worldwide cholera epidemic continued.
Green-shirted Irish-Americans belonging to the the Irish Republican Brotherhood (the Fenians movement) to free Ireland from the United Kingdom continued crossing the Niagara River from the U.S, into Canada, drawing attention to the Fenian cause.
Partly as a response to this cross-border raiding and also out of concern about American thirst for revenge over British-built Confederate war ships, the British Parliament passed the British North America Act, establishing the Dominion of Canada, consisting of the provinces of Ontario (formerly Upper Canada), Quebec (formerly Lower Canada), New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, with its capital at Ottawa, population 18,000. The British government would continue to control foreign affairs, including war and peace, and would appoint a governor-general, but in all other matters the Canadian Parliament was sovereign--in fact, completely empowered to disallow acts of provincial legislatures. John Alexander Macdonald, 52, the Premier of Upper Canada, became the first Premier of Canada.
The U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution that they "viewed with extreme solicitude" the formation of the Canadian Confederation on a monarchical basis, hinting (incorrectly) that it contravened the Monroe Doctrine. President Johnson paid no attention to the resolution, however, but he also did not express friendship with Premier Macdonald.
French Emperor Napoleon III, 59, gave up his dream of establishing a North American empire and withdrew support from his puppet Emperor of Mexico, Maximilian, 35 (brother of Austrian Emperor Franz Josef, 37), holed up in besieged Gueratero. Maximilian surrendered to forces under the command of Mariano Escobedo--forces loyal to former President Benito Pablo Juárez García, 61--and was court-martialed, convicted, sentenced to death, and cut down by a firing squad. Juárez assumed power as President again.
The ships Rhone and Wye and several smaller vessels were wrecked in a storm near St. Thomas in the West Indies; about 1,000 people perished.
The British Parliament passed the Second Reform Bill, extending suffrage, opening borough elections to all male householders paying the poor rates and to all male lodgers of at least a year's residence who paid annual rents of at least £10, opening country elections to male owners of land that rented for at least £5 per year and to male tenants who paid at least £12 per year. Another bill that would have given women the right to vote failed.
The 4-year-old dry-goods shop of London merchant William Whiteley in Bayswater expanded beyond mere drapery and haberdashery to retail jewelry as well.
English athlete John Graham Chambers, 24, who had 2 years earlier founded an amateur club to encourage boxing under the aegis of Scotland's Sir John Sholto Douglas, now 23, 8th Marquis of Queensberry, formulated the Marquis of Queensberry rules for boxing.
The 4-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 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.
Irish Fenians (the the Irish Republican Brotherhood) in England attempted to seize the city of Chester by attacking the police barracks there; they killed 12 people in trying to blow up the Clerkenwell jail.
Pierre Michaux began manufacturing bicycles in France.
At the Paris International Exposition, the Grant Locomotive Works of Paterson, NJ, exhibited an eight-wheel super steam locomotive that had been built for the Paris International Exposition 2 years earlier, with a boiler encased in German silver, with solid silver headlights, handles, whistles, and pumps.
The Prussian government purchased the mail service owned by the Thurn and Taxis family.
Prussian Prime Minister Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck, 52, pictured here, formalized the creation the preceding year of the North German Confederation under Prussian leadership, installing a constitutional government for it.
August Babel, 27, the socialist chairman of German workingmen's unions, won election to the new Reichstag of the Confederation.
The 33-year-old Zollverein customs union in Germany expanded to include Baden, Bavaria, Hohenzollern, and Württemberg.
The Reclams Universal Bibliothek in Leipzig issued a paperback edition of Goethe's Faust, thereby pioneering paperback book publishing.
The Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy was established through the efforts of Hungarian statesman Ferencz Deak, 64, by the Ausgleich, a compromise between Hungarian pressure for independence and Emperor Franz Josef's desire for a strong Habsburg empire. Franz Josef had been ruling Hungary autocratically along with the rest of his domains for the preceding 19 years anyway, but now, when he was crowned King of Hungary at Budapest, there was a semblance of official constitutionality to his absolute rule.
The Austrian Red Cross was founded in Vienna.
An alpine rail line with 22 tunnels was completed through the 4,500-foot-high Brenner Pass between Innsbruck, Austria, and Bolzano, Italy.
Forces of Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi, 60, attempted to capture Rome but were defeated by French and Papal forces in the Battle of Mentana. Garibaldi was taken prisoner.
Pope Pius IX, 75, announced his intention to hold an ecumenical council.
Serbia made secret treaties with Rumania and Greece. The last Ottoman troops left Serbia.
Scots explorer and missionary David Livingstone, 54, began looking for the source of the Congo River in eastern Africa.
South African schoolboy Erasmus Jacobs discovered a diamond as large as a marble on the Orange River near Hope Town.
Meiji Mutsuhito, 15, ascended to the throne of Japan as the powerless figurehead Emperor in February. But in November the Shogun, Tokugawa Yoshinobu, 30, abdicated, creating a power vacuum in the feudal Shogunate and thereby inviting a restoration, after several centuries, of actual power to the Emperor.
Captain William Reynolds of the USS Lackawanna seized Midway Islands in the Pacific Ocean, claiming them for the United States.
French engineer Georges Leclanche, 28, invented a practical dry cell battery that could supply intermittent electrical current as required; and Belgian engineer Zénobe Gramme patented an alternating current device.
Scots physician Thomas Lauder Brunton, 23, demonstrated the value of amyl nitrate in treating angina pectoris; and German pathologist Rudolf Virchow, 46, shared his work on the pathology of tumors.
German physicist Hermann Ludwig Ferdinand von Helmholtz, 46, published Handbook of Physiological Optics; and English astronomer William Huggins, 43, discovered that some nebulae are composed of luminous gases.
French inventor Joseph F. Monier, 44, patented a reinforced concrete process; Swedish engineer Alfred Bernhard Nobel, 34, patented dynamite; British scientist William Thomson (much later to be named Baron Kelvin of Largs), 43, invented the syphon recorder; and English chemist Sir James Dewar discovered the structural formula of benzene.
English chemist and physicist Michael Faraday died at the age of 76.
French Naturalist novelist Émile (Édouard Charles Antoine) Zola, 27, published Thérèse Raquin and Revue du XIXe Siècle ("Review of the 19th Century"), defending the unconventional style of French Impressionist artist Édouard Manet, 35, who this year finished The Execution of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico.
French painter Paul Cézanne, 28, unveiled Rape. Japanese ukiyoe art was exhibited at the Paris International Exhibition. German painter and impresario Peter von Cornelius died at the age of 84, French painter Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres died in Paris at the age of 86; and French painter Théodore Rousseau died in Barbizon at the age of 55.
French composer Georges (Alexander César Leopold) Bizet, 29, produced the opera La Jolie Fille de Perth in Paris; French composer Charles François Gounod, 49, produced the opera Roméo et Juliette at the Théâtre-Lyrique in Paris; French comic opérette composer Jacques Offenbach, 48, produced La Grande-Duchesse de Gérolstein at the Variétés in Paris; Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi, 54, produced the opera Don Carlos at the Paris Opéra; Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky produced Night on Bald Mountain; and Austrian composer Johann Strauss the younger, the "Waltz King," 42, produced An der Schönen Blauen Donau ("The Blue Danube") in Vienna and created a sensation.