Christ's Lutheran Church in 1868

[ Christ's Church on the Sawkill ]

Pastor William H. Emerick, 62, replaced during this year by Hiram Wheeler (who had been the church's pastor two decades earlier), 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).

[ Beer's Atlas map of Woodstock ]

Above is a map of the Woodstock village, published just a few years later, showing the Church on the Rocks on the east side of town, just north of current Route 212 (known then as simply Saugerties Road) and north of the Sawkill. It is identified simply as "LUTH. CH." (To enlarge the view, click it.)

According to a later 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 in 1906. (Close) the church owned no parsonage. The pastor
lived in rented rooms wherever they could be procured, sometimes several miles away.… [Reverend 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.…
Possibly in this year (1868), the bell cracked and became unusable.

Morgan Lasher and Helen Wolven, 23, were married in the church. They were to become important leaders in the congregation for at least another 50 years--Morgan as councilman and Helen as treasurer and benefactor.

[ Pine Grove Church on the map ] During this year, Pastor Wheeler proposed that a second congregation be formed from families living in the eastern portion of the congregational "territory": the hamlet of Pine Grove (east of Centerville and north of present-day Route 212, where Old Route 212, Band Camp Road, and Pine Grove School Road come together in the Township of Saugerties). The map on the left was published a few years later and shows the location of the church, again labeled simply as "LUTH. CH." Below is the picture of the church building itself. (To enlarge either the map or the picture, just click it.)

[ Pine Grove Church ] The following is from the minutes of the Hartwick Synod(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)
Rev. H. Wheeler: I laid the corner stone of a new Lutheran church, in the eastern part of my congregation, five miles from the old church, in the 14th of September, assisted by Bro. Emerick. This church, when completed and paid for and a new congregation organized, will doubtless unite with the Woodstock church in support of a pastor. My connection with my people in Woodstock has been very pleasant, and I am grateful for their many tokens of kind regard shown to me and my family.
The new church was known as the "Pine Grove Lutheran Church of the Town of Saugerties" and was usually served by the parent congregation (that is, Christ's Church} pastors. (The picture above is the church, the one below a detail of one of the windows; to enlarge either picture, click it.) Former Pastor William H. Emerick served the new church.

[ Detail of the window in the Pine Grove Church ] Although Atonement Lutheran Church had been started in Saugerties (much closer to Pine Grove) seven years earlier, it had a German-language congregation, and Christ's Church families, including those in Pine Grove, would not have been interested in attending a relatively new Lutheran church in the Village of Saugerties. There were also theological differences; Atonement was part of the staid New York Ministerium, whereas Christ's and Pine Grove were part of the revivalistic Hartwick Synod.

The Woodstock Region in 1868

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. 269-70, citing Snyder, Byron, recollections in the Woodstock Weekly, 1924. (Close)
Every election time things would liven up at the tavern. The candidates would come in.… They had a novel way of drawing a crowd. When a candidate would appear, the landlord would go out and ring a big farm bell that hung in front. In a very short time the entire male population would be lined up in front of the bar, the men were treated to free drinks by the candidate as a reward fro listening to his pitch.

Election day was an exciting day. There was only one poll and the entire town voted at one or the other of the two hotels. About two o'clock in the afternoon a good share of the voters would be pie-eyed, and by night there would be one grand glorious free for all fight. We had, as did every other town in Ulster, several champions. And every election day they would fight it out. If a man got licked one election day he would nurse his grudge until the next one and try again. Votes were bought openly and the poll worker who got hold of a floater [a man who was entitled by law to vote] would never let go his arm until the ballot was safely in the box. I have seen a worker give a man a ticket and hold him tightly by the wrist until he handed it in. Sometimes two rival workers would grab the same man, then there would be a struggle until one or the other landed him. Often the men from back in the mountains would stay two or three days after election until they got over their sprees.…

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 was working its way up the steep Pine Hill in a series of exciting curves, although there were loud voices calling for a tunnel. Legislators finally authorized a grant of $500,000 ($6.7 million in 2006 dollars) for the tunnel, but Governor Hoffman vetoed it.

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.

[ Sojourner Truth ] Former New Paltz and Hurley slave Isabella Bomefree Van Wagenen, now an abolitionist itinerant preacher residing in Michigan and known as Sojourner Truth, 71, pictured here, addressed white audiences in Northern states on religion, on Negro and women's rights, and on temperance.

The United States in 1868

[ Andrew Johnson ]

Andrew Johnson, 60 (nominally a Republican), was President. The 40th Congress was in session. A dollar in that year would be worth $13.44 in 2006 for most consumable products.

Serious epidemics of yellow fever, smallpox, typhus, and cholera killed thousands in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Memphis, and New Orleans.

Americans for the first time observed Memorial Day, to commemorate the Union dead of the Civil War.

The gold value of the 6-year-old Congress-authorized legal-tender bank note, called the "greenback" or "folding money," had depreciated under a cloud of dubious legality and popular distrust; it was now less than half its original value. The U.S. Treasury had by now withdrawn about $100 million of the more than $400 million ($1.3 billion of $5.2 billion in 2006 dollars) worth of the "battle-born currency" that had been in circulation at the close of the war. of this "folding money" in circulation, and they would not regain their full value for another 13 years.

Industrialists, almost all of them identified with the Republican Party and enjoying the tariffs that that party had secured, continued building new factories. These businessmen 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.

Approximately 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 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 a premium on labor, and workers were more and more organizing themselves into unions. The 2-year-old 600,000-member National Labor Union, headed by William H. Sylvis, 40, 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. During this year, the 40th Congress passed the Eight-Hour Law, providing an 8-hour working day for federal employees. (In private industry, most workers still toiled for 10 to 12 hours per day.)

Black workers had 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.

The New England Woman's Club was founded to promote the efforts of women to win recognition of their rights.

[ Susan Bromwell Anthony ]

Susan Bromwell Anthony, 48, pictured here, of the 2-year-old American Equal Rights Association, campaigned and lectured on the need for a Constitutional amendment that would give all American women the right to vote. She founded the newspaper Revolution with the motto
Men, their rights and nothing more;
Women, their rights and nothing less.
Women had played a prominent part in the prewar abolition movement, and during the war Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 53, had worked wholeheartedly for black emancipation. The Woman's Loyal League had gathered some 400,000 signatures petitioning Congress to pass a constitutional amendment outlawing slavery. Now they were disappointed that all the effort to enfranchise blacks did not include women. Anthony was especially outraged over the proposed exclusion of women from the proposed Fourteenth Amendment; the word male was inserted into this Amendment, which supposedly secured civil rights for blacks--that is, prohibiting voter discrimination against adult black males. In a conversation with her former male allies in the abolition movement, Wendell Phillips and Theodore Tilton, she held out her arm and declared:
Look at this, all of you. And hear me swear that I will cut off this right arm of mine before I will ever work for or demand the ballot for the negro and not the woman!(4) Quoted in Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., and Cohen, Lizabeth, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, p. 500. (Close)
Anthony and Stanton began campaigning against the Fourteenth Amendment. Frederick Douglass, 51, who had been a staunch supporter of woman suffrage, pleaded with them to relent, saying that this was "the Negro's hour."

Reconstruction and reaction

[ Edward McMasters Stanton ] War Secretary Edward McMasters Stanton, 44, pictured here, had been supporting Radical Republicans in the 40th Congress who wanted to vindictively punish the South for its rebellion, in violation of the policy of his boss, President Johnson, who wanted to be charitable toward the vanquished states. President Johnson had demanded the resignation of Stanton the previous August and had nominated General Ulysses Simpson Grant, 45, to replace him. (Stanton had refused to resign and had barricaded himself in the War Department.) Firing Stanton supposedly violated the Tenure of Office Act, which Congress had passed the previous year over his veto; the law forbade the President from firing without the consent of the Senate any officials he had appointed with the consent of the Senate. (But actually Johnson had never appointed Stanton; Lincoln had appointed him.)

The House of Representatives voted in February to impeach President Johnson "of high crimes and misdemeanors," citing in particular his violation of the Tenure of Office Act. Also among the articles of impeachment were also charges involving the President's verbal attacks on the Congress, consisting of "disgrace, ridicule, contempt, and reproach." There was even a monstrous charge by Massachusetts Congressman George Sewell Boutwell, 50, that Johnson had been accessory to the murder of Lincoln, but this charge was not included in the impeachment articles.

[ Charles Sumner ] Each of the 1,000 tickets to the March impeachment trial in the Senate were in great demand. The House conducted the prosecution, led by Massachusetts Congressmen Benjamin Franklin Butler, 50, and Pennsylvania Congressman Thaddeus Stevens, 76. President Johnson's defense attorneys, William Maxwell Evarts, 50, of the American bar and former Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Robbins Curtis, 59, argued that he had dismissed Stanton simply to test before the Supreme Court the doubtful constitutionality of the Tenure of Office Act. (These attorneys also indicated that Johnson would stop obstructing Republican policies if he could remain in office.) Butler illustrated how bad Johnson's Reconstruction policies were by waving a bloody shirt, which allegedly had belonged to an Ohio carpetbagger flogged by Klansmen in Mississippi. To the argument that Johnson had committed no crime, Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, 57, pictured here, pointed out that the proceedings were "political in character" rather than judicial. Congressman Stevens warned the Senators that although "no corrupt or wicked motive" could be attributed to Johnson, they would

be tortured on the gibbet of everlasting obloquy(5) Quoted in Garraty, John A., The American Nation: A History of the United States, New York: Harper and Row, 1966, p. 435. (Close)
if they did not convict him.

In mid-May, after weeks of testimony, seven Republican Senators--James Wilson Grimes of Iowa, 52, Lyman Trumbull of Illinois, 55, Edmund Gibson Ross of Kansas, 42, William Pitt Fessenden of Maine, 62, Peter Godwin Van Winkle of West Virginia, 60, Joseph Smith Fowler of Tennessee, 48, and John Brooks Henderson of Missouri, 42--resisting tremendous pressure, decided to stray from the party line, and as a result, to votes were only 35 to 19 for removing Johnson from office and replacing him (according to the law at the time) with the President Pro Tempore, the extremely radical Ohio Senator Benjamin Franklin "Bluff Ben" Wade, 68. (It is possible that a widely shared dislike for Wade played a part in the vote, which was one vote short of the required two-thirds majority.)

Johnson was acquitted, much to the chagrin of his dedicated enemies. Congressman Stevens, ill and crippled, had to be carried from the Senate chambers, shouting:

The Country is going to the Devil!
Stevens died soon afterward. According to his wishes, he was buried in a black cemetery. The acquitting Senators were denounced as Benedict Arnolds and Judas Iscariots; Fessenden died soon afterward, and Grimes was the only one who was reelected.

A full year after Congress had passed the Reconstruction Acts, and Southern whites boycotted the polls, thereby defeating ratification of new state constitutions, Congress changed the rules: New state constitutions could be ratified by a majority of the actual voters (rather than the registered voters).

Military rule authorized by the preceding year's harsh Reconstruction Acts continued in the South. Virginia was still part of Military District I, under the command of General John McAllister Schofield, 47. Mississippi was still part of Military District IV, under the command of General Edward Otho Cresap Ord, 49, but Arkansas, which had been part of that district, was allowed to reenter the Union (under the new rules, with actual, rather than registered, voters ratifying the new state constitution), with a predominantly Republican state government and Congressional delegation. In the same way, North Carolina and South Carolina, which had been part of Military District II, under the command of General Daniel Edgar Sickles, 49, ratified new state constitutions and were allowed to reenter the Union, also with Republican state governments and Congressional delegations.

Texas was still part of Military District V, under the command of General Winfield Scott Hancock, 44, but Louisiana, which had been part of that district was allowed to reenter with Republicans in control. Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, which had constituted Military District III, under the command of General John Pope, 46, were allowed to reenter the Union with Republicans in control. Republicans remained in control in Tennessee, which had been readmitted 2 years earlier without passing under military rule. All the readmitted states were complying with the "fundamental condition" that black suffrage be retained forever.

In spite of Republican control of the state governments and Congressional delegations in Louisiana and Georgia, those two readmitted states voted for Horatio Seymour, the Democratic candidate, in the Presidential Election. After elected blacks were expelled from the white-supremacist Georgia state legislature, that state returned to military control under General Pope.

[ William Henry Seward ] The Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution, containing "due process" and "equal protection" clauses securing civil rights, which Congress had passed 2 years earlier (over President Johnson's veto), was ratified by 29 states. Secretary of State William H. Seward, 67, pictured here, proclaimed the ratification, by quoting the law:

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. 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 Fourteenth Amendment, in significantly reducing the power of all the states, was a milestone in the centralization of political power in the nation. From this time forward, there would be closer federal supervision of a more integrated social and economic governmental structure.

Six weeks later, the white residents of Oregon, most of whom had racist attitudes, were finally able to get both chambers of their legislature, in a combined vote of 39-27, to repeal its 2-year-old ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment.(6)

The reaction of Oregonians to the Fourteenth Amendment is excerpted from 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, accessed 31 January 2007. (Close) The legislative session also recalled Oregon Senators George H. Williams and Henry W. Corbett, maligned for their support of Reconstruction. Williams was especially hated because of his participation in the campaign to impeach President Johnson, considered a hero because of his opposition to Reconstruction. Of course, the repeal would make no difference to national law; The Oregonian predicted that if copies of the legislature's resolutions ever reached Congress, they would probably be used to light someone's cigar.

(Indians, the true Native Americans, were not considered citizens under the provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment. And women of any ethnic origin were not particularly addressed by the Amendment either; white and black women were, however, considered citizens.) U.S. corporations would use the "due process" clause to resist government intervention in their wheeling and dealing.

Essentially, the Fourteenth 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 preceding year's Reconstruction Acts required the former Confederate states to go beyond the Amendment: They had to guarantee in their constitutions full voting rights for all the newly freed adult males.

(The Republicans had 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 were like the racist Oregonians; they adhered to the Southern 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.)

The newly enfranchised Southern black men were now organizing politically, particularly through the Union League: 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 participating with whites to formulate the new constitutions that provided for universal adult male suffrage regardless of race. Blacks were now holding political office in the South, including in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Many of the newly freed blacks were moving 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. One volunteer explained her motives:

I thought I must do something, not having money at my command, what could I do but give myself to the work.… I would go to them, and give them my life if necessary.(7) Quoted in Bailey et al., op. cit., p. 491. (Close)

The 3-year-old 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.

Until the 1960s most historians of Reconstruction assumed that black politicians made virtually no contribution to the post-Civil War debates surrounding land redistribution and the public school system, but the historical record clearly shows otherwise. The following account from the Proceedings of the Constitutional Convention of South Carolina reveals the spirited discussion among black politicians over compulsory education(8):

Quoted in Taylor, op. cit., citing Proceedings of the Constitutional Convention of South Carolina (Charleston, 1868), pp. 686-94, 705-08, reprinted in Frazier, Thomas R., Afro-American History: Primary Sources (Chicago, 1988), pp. 138-42, taken from, accessed 31 January 2007. (Close)
MR. R. C. DE LARGE: I am not well acquainted with all the clauses in the constitution of Massachusetts, and speak only from my historic knowledge of that people. This section proposes to open these schools to all persons, irrespective of color, to open every seminary of learning to all. Heartily do I endorse the object, but the manner in which it is to be enforced meets my most earnest disapproval. I do not propose to enact in this report a section that may be used by our enemies to appeal to the worst passions of a class of people in this State. The schools may be opened to all, under proper provisions in the Constitution, but to declare that parents "shall" send their children to them whether they are willing or not is, in my judgment, going to a step beyond the bounds of prudence. Is there any logic or reason in inserting in the Constitution a provision which cannot be enforced? What do we intend to give the legislature power to do? In one breath you propose to protect minor children, and in the next to punish their parents by fine and imprisonment if they do not send their children to school. For these reasons I am opposed to the section, and urge that the word "compulsory" shall be stricken out.

MR. A. J. RANSIER: I am sorry to differ with my colleague from Charleston on this question. I contend that in proportion to the education of the people so is their progress in civilization. Believing this, I believe that the Committee have properly provided for the compulsory education of all the children in this State between the ages named in the section.

I recognize the importance of this measure. There is a seeming objection to the word "compulsory," but I do not think it of grave importance. My friend does not like it, because he says it is contrary to the spirit of republicanism. To be free, however, is not to enjoy unlimited license, or my friend himself might desire to enslave again his fellow men.

Now I propose to support this section fully, and believe that the more it is considered in all its bearings upon the welfare of our people, the greater will be the desire that every parent shall, by some means, be compelled to educate his children and fit them for the responsibilities of life. As to the particular mode of enforcing attendance at school, we leave that an open question. At present we are only asserting the general principle, and the Legislature will provide for its application.

Upon the success of republicanism depends the progress which our people are destined to make. If parents are disposed to clog this progress by neglecting the education of their children, for one, I will not aid and abet them. Hence, this, in my opinion, is an exceedingly wise provision, and I am content to trust to the Legislature to carry out the measures to which it necessarily leads.

Vice and degradation go hand in hand with ignorance. Civilization and enlightenment follow fast upon the footsteps of the schoolmaster; and if education must be enforced to secure these grand results, I say let the compulsory process go on.

MR. R. C. DE LARGE: Can the gentleman demonstrate how the Legislature is to enforce the education of children without punishment of their parents by fine or imprisonment?

MR. A. J. RANSIER: When that question arises in the Legislature, I hope we shall answer that question. If there is any one thing to which we may attribute the sufferings endured by this people, it is the gross ignorance of the masses. While we propose to avoid all difficulties which may be fraught with evil to the community, we shall, nevertheless, insist upon our right to provide for the exercise of the great moral agencies which education always brings to bear upon public opinion. Had there been such a provision as this in the Constitution of South Carolina heretofore, there is no doubt that many of the evils which at present exist would have been avoided, and the people would have been advanced to a higher stage of civilization and morals, and we would not have been called upon to mourn the loss of the flower of the youth of our country. In conclusion, I favor this section as it stands. I do not think it will militate against the cause of republicanism, but, on the contrary, be of benefit both to it and to the people whom we represent. Feeling that everything depends on the education of the rising generation, I shall give this measure my vote, and use all my exertions to secure its adoption into this Constitution.

MR. B. F. RANDOLPH: In favoring, as I do, compulsory attendance at school, I cannot for the life of me see in what manner republicanism is at stake. It seems to have been the fashion on this floor to question a man's republicanism because he chooses to differ with others on general principles. Now this is a question which does not concern republicanism at all. It is simply a matter of justice which is due to a people, and it might be just as consistently urged that it is contrary to republican principles to organize the militia, as to urge that this provision is anti-republican because it compels parents to see to the education of their children.

MR. B. O. DUNCAN: Does the gentleman propose to educate children at the point of the bayonet, through the militia?

MR. B. F. RANDOLPH: If necessary, we may call out the militia to enforce the law. Now, the gentlemen on the other side have given no reasons why the word "compulsory" should be stricken out.

MR. R. C. DE LARGE: Can you name any State where the provisions exists in its Constitution?

MR. B. F. RANDOLPH: It exists in Massachusetts.

MR. R. C. DE LARGE: That is not so.

MR. F. L. CARDOZO: This system has been tested in Germany, and I defy the gentlemen from Charleston to deny the fact. It has also been tested in several States of the Union, and I defy the gentleman to show that is has not been a success. It becomes the duty of the opposition if they want this section stricken from the report, to show that where it has been applied it has failed to produce the result desired.

MR. J. J. WRIGHT: Will you inform us what State in the Union compels parents to send their children to school?

MR. B. F. RANDOLPH: The State of New Hampshire is one. It may be asked what is the object of law? It is not only for the purpose of restraining men from doing wrong, but for the protection of all citizens of a State, and the promotion of the general welfare. Blackstone lays it down as one of the objects, the furthering, as far as it can consistently be done of the general welfare of the people. It is one of the objects of law, as far as practicable, not to restrain wrong by punishing man for violating the right, but also one of its grand objects to build up civilization, and this is the grand object of this provision in the report of the Committee on Education. It proposes to further civilization and I look upon it as one of the most important results which will follow the defeat of the rebel armies, the establishment among the people who have long been deprived of the privilege of education, a law which will compel parents to send their children to school.

Of course, the notion that public education must be compulsory is still open to debate.

In areas other than education, the accomplishments of the Freedmen's 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. (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.) Nonetheless, white Southerners resented the Freedmen's Bureau as a threat to their dominance, and white-supremacist President Johnson repeatedly tried to kill it.

Northerners, called "carpetbaggers," and Southerners, called "scalawags," had joined the Republican Party to carry out the congressional Reconstruction program in the South. These 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. Notably, this sort of corruption was by no means confined to the South; it was happening in all levels of government all over the country during this "Era of Good Stealing." Also, in Mississippi fraud was almost nonexistent during the period that blacks participated in public affairs. In any event, historians have agreed that white thieves in the South got the "loaf," leaving only crumbs for crooked blacks.

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,
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.
These unreconstructed Southern whites were particularly incensed at the idea of former slaves holding political office.

With muffled horse hooves, the besheeted night riders of the 3-year-old "Invisible Empire" of the white-supremacist Ku Klux Klan, directed by its Grand Wizard, former slave trader and Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, 47, continued to shout threats, burn wooden crosses, break up black prayer meetings, and commit various acts of terror against blacks and white Republicans; they murdered scores of blacks and their white allies. The group was formally dedicated to resist Reconstruction and all activities of the Republican Party. Determined to force blacks to "keep in their place," they terrorized, flogged, mutilated, and murdered "upstart" ex-slaves and carpetbaggers. Here were some verses from one of their terrifying broadsides, including the carpetbagger Union League in its list of enemies:

Niggers and Leaguers, get out of the way.
We're born of the night and we vanish by day.
No rations have we but the flesh of man--
And love niggers best--the Ku Klux Klan:
We catch 'em alive and roast 'em whole,
Then hand 'em around with a sharpened pole.
Whole Leagues have been eaten, not leaving a man,
And went away hungry--the Ku Klux Klan.
In one Louisiana parish, the Klan killed or wounded some 200 victims; a pile of 25 bodies was found half-buried in the woods. Former slave Sarah Song recounted the murder of her husband by the Klan(9): 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)
I saw them kill my husband;… he was shot in the head while he was in bed sick.… There were between twenty and thirty men.… They came into the room.… The one… put the pistol to his head and shot him three times.
Any scoundrel could don a sheet; the Klan was a refuge for several bloodthirsty bandits and cutthroats. One black leader protested to whites:
It is extraordinary that a race such as yours, professing gallantry, chivalry, education, and superiority, living in a land where ringing chimes call child and sire to the Gospel of God--that with all these advantages on your side, you can make war upon the poor defenseless black man.(10) Quoted in Bailey et al., op. cit., p. 504. (Close)

White Mississippians responded to the cry of the Meridian Mercury:

This is a White Man's Government, and trusting in our firm purpose, our good right arms and God of Right, we will maintain it so.
Mississippi Democrats in convention called upon the people
to vindicate the superiority of their race over the negro.

Colonel Carey W. Styles founded the morning daily Atlanta Constitution to lead the fight for reestablishment of state government by white Georgians and a routing of the "scalawags and carpetbaggers."

As a sort of Christmas present, President Johnson pardoned all Confederate leaders, but Congress would not remove any remaining civil disabilities for another three decades. Confederate President Jefferson Davis, 60, had been released on bail the preceding year but was still under indictment. In spite of Johnson's pardon, the court rejected a motion to nullify the indictment, but the prosecution did drop the case a couple of months later. Davis's American citizenship would not be restored until more than a century later (posthumously, of course).

Presidential election of 1868

Though there was really little difference between Republicans and Democrats on issues, there was a pronounced difference in style, tone, and religious sentiment. Rank and file Republicans tended to adhere to Calvinistic creeds descended from Puritanism, stressing strict codes of personal morality and advocating government regulation of morality. Democrats, in contrast, composed largely of immigrant Lutherans and Roman Catholics, took a less stern view of human weakness and were more tolerant of imperfections. Education and prohibition figured large in local politics between the parties.

[ Ulysses S. Grant ] Rejecting any bid of President Johnson for reelection and succumbing to the notion that a good general was bound to make a good President, the Republican Party enthusiastically nominated slightly stooped, stubbily bearded, cigar-puffing Civil War hero and erstwhile Secretary of War General Grant, pictured here, by far the most popular hero in the North. (The citizens of Washington, Philadelphia, and Galena, IL, had each awarded a home to Grant, and New York State had bestowed a gift of $105,000 to him {$1.4 million in 2006 dollars}.) The party selected Republican Congressman Schuyler Colfax of Indiana, 45, as Grant's running mate. The Republican platform called for a continued harsh Reconstruction of the South, enforced by military bayonets. Grant, however, included the following appeal in his acceptance speech:

Let us have peace.
This appeal became a leading slogan during the campaign.

In their convention, the Democrats seemed only able to agree on one thing: the easing up of the military Reconstruction. Here is an excerpt from the national party platform(11):

From "Transwiki," op. cit. (Close)
[The Republicans] in time of profound peace… [brought to the country] military despotism and negro supremacy… [while the Democrats demanded] the abolition of the Freedmen's Bureau; and all political instrumentalities designed to secure negro supremacy.
Wealthy delegates from the East also advocated the redemption in gold of war-issued federal bonds, often purchased with badly depreciated greenbacks, but delegates from the Midwest pushed the "Ohio Idea" with its "repudiation" plank onto the platform, calling for easy redemption in greenbacks. Convention delegates gave President Johnson considerable support, but in the end they nominated Horatio Seymour, the conservative former Governor of New York, who promptly repudiated the repudiation plank.

During the campaign, Republican Congressman Benjamin F. Butler of Massachusetts, having failed in his impeachment prosecution of President Johnson, exhorted his colleagues for continued harsh Reconstruction, the key part of the Republican platform. During a speech, he dramatically waved a blood-stained nightshirt supposedly taken from the back of a Mississippi carpetbagger who had been whipped by Klansmen. The phrase "waving the bloody shirt," reviving gory memories of the Civil War, became a way to label the Democratic Party as the party of treason for the ensuing decade and a half. Another Republican slogan in the campaign, popular with Union Army veterans, was:

Vote as you shot.
Bankers and other creditors who wanted repayment of bonds in gold supported Grant, labeling the Democrats disloyal for urging payment of the national debt in greenbacks--even though the Democratic candidate, Seymour, had repudiated that part of the Democratic platform.

In the fiercely competitive race, each of the two principal parties was tightly organized. On Election Day, hordes of party faithful tramped behind marching bands on the way to the polls. The parties were able to turn out huge numbers of voters--nearly 80% of those eligible. Most of them voted a straight party line, too.

Grant took 53 percent of the popular vote (3,013,421 to 2,706,829), the margin of victory largely coming from an estimated 700,000 blacks, 72% of them newly enfranchised former slaves--a fact that convinced Republicans of the necessity for a continued control over the South. (Most white voters apparently supported Seymour, and votes from still-unreconstructed Virginia, Mississippi, and Texas were not counted.) Grant won the presidency with 214 electoral votes to 80 for Seymour.

The 41st Congress was elected as well, to begin serving during the coming year.

Many people in the large cities lived in boarding houses:

[The potential boarder] will have interviews with landladies of various appearances, ages and characteristics--landladies dubious and dingy, landladies severe and suspicious, landladies calm and confiding--the majority being widows. He will survey innumerable rooms--generally under that peculiarly cheerful aspect attendant on unmade beds and unemptied wash basins.… How a three-feet-by-sixteen-inches strip of threadbare carpet, a twelve-and-a-half-cents Chatham-square mirror, and a disjointed chair may, in the lively imagination of boarding house proprietresses, be considered "furniture." How double, triple and even quintuple beds in single rooms… are esteemed highly eligible accommodations for a single gentleman. How partitions… may in no wise prevent the occupants of adjoining rooms from holding conversations with one another, becoming cognizant of neighboring snores, or turnings in bed. He will observe that lavatory arrangements are… a frail and rickety washing stand… a ewer and basin of limited capacity… and a weblike towel.(12) Quoted in McCutcheon, Marc, Everyday Life in the 1800s: A Guide for Writers, Students & Historians, Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books, 1993, p. 93, citing Edward Winslow Martin, Secrets of the Great City (1868), p. 213. (Close)

The mentally ill were hid away and considered utterly incurable and possessed of evil. They were often beaten, ill-fed, and neglected. The North American Review wrote that asylums

would disgrace Turkey with their filth, vermin, contagious disease and food hardly less fatal than starvation.(13) Quoted in ibid., p. 164. (Close)

The new sport of "velocipeding" (cycling) became popular, and schools for both sexes and for all ages were being set up in most of the large cities.

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.

Americans now bathed an average of once a week.

Shelburne Falls, MA, inventor Linus Yale, 47, went into partnership with John M. Towne to found the Yale Lock Manufacturing Company to produce the cylinder lock he had patented 3 years earlier. Unfortunately, Yale died in New York City a few weeks after the locks had gone into production.

Philo Remington, 62, took over the 23-year-old F. Remington & Sons Fire Arms Company in Springfield, MA, which had been founded by his father.

The 5-year-old National Traveler's Insurance Company (also called the National Life & Limb Insurance Company) of Hartford, CT, was reorganized as the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.

The publishers of the New York World compiled a 108-page compendium of facts (mostly political, about Reconstruction in the South and the extension of suffrage in the North to blacks) called The World Almanac, with 12 pages of advertising, and with the intent for annual publication.

Advertising pioneer James Walter Thompson, 20, founded the J. Walter Thompson company and persuaded publishers of such magazines as Godey's Ladies Book to let him sell space in many magazines as if they were a single unit and persuaded merchants to buy space in a group of magazines. The influx of new advertising enabled publishers to improve the quality of their printing and illustrations, to pay authors and artists better rates, and to sell copies at lower prices.

The New York Athletic Club held the first annual track and field meet (indoors).

Cornell University, founded 3 years earlier in Ithaca, NY, by New York State Senator Andrew Jackson White, now 35, opened to students, free from all sectarian control, with a faculty of nonresident professors.

The piratical-minded, foghorn-voiced Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt, 74, busily expanding his control of railroads in New York State beyond his own New York Central, had been focusing for the past 2 years much of his acquisitive energy to acquire the rival Erie Railroad by buying up its stock. The Erie directors had been striking back by issuing themselves some 50,000 shares of new stock without paying for them, thereby drastically overinflating the capitalization of the line and looting the railroad of millions. Both lines had been stooping to bribery in an effort to get favorable legislation from the New York legislature. Now there were even pitched battles between the hirelings of each side.

The New Jersey Steel and Iron Company, owned by the 6-year-old Cooper Hewitt and Company, installed the first open-hearth steel furnace in the U.S.

Inventor Samuel Leeds Allen, 27, of Moorestown, NJ, patented the Planet, Jr., seed planter--two tin wash basins fastened together with a metal band, with holes drilled therein--which could be rolled across the ground.

Philadelphia advertising solicitor Wayland Ayer, 20, founded N. W. Ayer & Son (although his father had little or no part in the venture) to represent farm journals and the religious weekly National Baptist.

Quaker merchants Justus Clayton Strawbridge, 30, and Isaac Hollowell Clothier, 30, opened the Strawbridge & Clothier dry-goods emporium on 8th Street and Market in Philadelphia, selling strictly for cash with no haggling, not far from and fiercely competing with the 7-year-old men's wear shop of John Wanamaker, also 30.

Philadelphia scale manufacturer Andrew Carnegie, 32, a co-founder of both the year-old United Iron Mills and the year-old Pullman Palace Car Company, now had an annual income of $50,000 ($672,000 in 2006 dollars).

An American skating congress (ice skating) met in Pittsburgh, PA, to establish regulations for the sport.

The increase in U.S. literacy had spurred a demand for more lighting.(14)

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 ($30.24 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.

Kerosene was no longer the only valuable petroleum product, however. 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.(15) Quoted from Garraty, op. cit., p. 506. (Close)
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.

The year-old three-man Cleveland, OH, partnership of John Davison Rockefeller, 28, Samuel Andrews, and Henry Morrison Flagler, 35--Rockefeller, Andrews & Flagler--was determined to drive out all competition in the chaotic petroleum industry in the United States. They continued to acquire more refineries and pipelines as the firm grew larger and more efficient, being able to refine 1,500 barrels of crude per day--a thousand times more than competitors. Rockefeller, the driving force of the firm, had been perfecting a technique for allying with competitors to monopolize the petroleum market. He bought wooden barrels at a bulk discount: 96 cents apiece ($12.90 apiece in 2006 dollars), compared with the $2.50 ($33.60) his small-time competitors had to pay, and in a sweetheart arrangement he obtained a 15-cent rebate ($2.02) on every barrel he shipped on the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad.

The Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional baseball team, was organized, introducing uniforms into the game.

Hungarian immigrants Charles Fleischmann and Maximilian Fleischmann joined with yeast maker James F. Gaff to form Gaff, Fleischmann and Company in Cincinnati to manufacture compressed yeast, selling first door to door to local housewives from a basket and then by horse and wagon.

Wayne State University was founded in Detroit, MI.

Two Kentucky newspapers merged under the editorship of Henry Waterson to create the Louisville Courier-Journal.

The University of the South, founded in Suwanee, TN, 10 years earlier by Episcopalian bishops Leonidas Polk and James H. Otey, was finally open for classes.

William George Fargo, 50, director of the 25-year-old express service company Wells, Fargo & Co., now became president of American Express Company.

The 16-year-old H. and C. Studebaker Company of South Bend, IN, producing wagons and carriages, directed by Clement Studebaker, 37, and his brothers Henry, John M., Peter E., and Jacob F., was reorganized as Studebaker Brothers.

Chicago printer William Rand and his former apprentice, Irish immigrant Andrew McNally, 31, now manager of the job printing shop aat the Chicago Tribune, founded Rand McNally & Company to print passenger tickets, timetables, and related print jobs.

Chicago livestock dealer Joseph Geating McCoy, 30, arranged for cattlemen to bring some 70,000 head of Texas longhorn cattle over the "Long Drive" on the Chisholm Trail to his Abilene, KS, holding pens and then ship them from there over the Kansas Pacific Railway to Chicago, twice the number of the year before. The Kansas Pacific paid him an eighth of the freight charges on each car of cattle he shipped to the beef-hungry East.

Chicago meatpackers Philip Danforth Armour, 36, and John Plankinton of the year-old firm Armour and Company added a second plant as business was booming.

Chicago meatpacker Arthur A. Libby, 37, was joined by his brother Charles Libby and by Archibald McNeill, establishing the firm Libby McNeill and Libby.

Bearded and rotund Chicago preacher Dwight Lyman Moody, 31, 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 Irish evangelist Henry Moorhouse preached in Moody's church and influenced Moody to teach from the Bible how much God loved the people.

George Mortimer Pullman, 37, put his lavish Delmonico Dining Car online for the Chicago-Alton Railroad, the first regularly scheduled dining car put into service.

James Frederick Joy of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad spent $1.5 million ($20.1 million in 2006 dollars) in defiance of critics to build a rail bridge over the Mississippi River at Quincy, IL. The railroad's business immediately doubled in volume.

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 Pacific Railway Act, passed by Congress 6 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 7 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 19 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 ($215,000, $430,000, and $645,000, 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.

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 and other insiders had 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 ($672,000 and $403,000 in 2006 dollars). The directors were able to pocket some $73 million for about $50 million ($981 million and $672 million) worth of breakneck construction, investing a pittance of that to bribe Congressmen. The company once paid dividends of 348%. When Congress threatened to investigate the Union Pacific to uncover the huge profits the directors were making, Massachusetts Congressman Oakes Ames, 64, who was a principal stockholder of both the Union Pacific and the Crédit Mobilier companies, distributed more than 300 shares of lucrative Crédit Mobilier stock, principally to his colleagues in the Congress, at a price far below its real value. To stave off the investigations, Ames remarked that the shares were being placed

where they will do the most good.… I have found there is no difficulty in inducing men to look after their own property.(16) Quoted in ibid., p. 492. (Close)
The Crédit Mobilier company was dispersing a yearly average of $67,000 ($900,000 in 2006 dollars) for "legal expenses," which were actually thinly disguised bribes to stave off government investigations into corruption.

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 7-year-old Central Pacific Railroad who were known as the "Big Four"--portly Leland Stanford, 44, president; Collis Potter Huntington, 47, vice president; Mark Hopkins, 55, an officer; and Charles Crocker, 46, 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. Premature explosions and other mishaps took hundreds of Chinese lives. But the relentless, driving superintendent Crocker pushed the Chinese construction crews 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 enabling the Big Four to obtain as large a share of the federal subsidies as possible. Because of the wasteful greed and speed to get the federal money, the Central Pacific was ill-constructed over grades too steep and curves too sharp, as well as burdened with debt too heavy.

Milwaukee printer Christopher Latham Sholes, 49, was encouraged by venture capitalists James Densmore and George Washington Yost to adapt his year-old "literary piano" (typewriter) invention so that the most commonly used keys would be widely separated on the keyboard to avoid jamming. Sholes developed the QWERTY arrangement and then patented the machine with Carlos G. Glidden and Samuel W. Soule. Densmore and Yost bought the patent from the three and persuaded the F. Remington Fire Arms Company of Springfield, MA, to produce the machine.

The 11-year-old Mutual Life Insurance Company of Wisconsin (headquartered for the past 9 years in Milwaukee) changed its name to Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. By the end of this year, it boasted 28,000 policyholders across the country, with assets of more than $4 million ($53.8 million in 2006 dollars).

New York railroad magnate Richard Dunbar visited Waukesha, WI, in search of a cure for his diabetes, drank from a spring there, announced that he had been cured as if by magic, built an elaborate pavilion over the spring, and began selling the mineral spring water.

The Grange, or the Patrons of Husbandry, with its secret rituals, passwords, and hierarchies (from Laborer to Husbandman for men, from Maid to Matron for women) founded the preceding year by Oliver H. Kelley, now 42, continued to grow in popularity among the farmers of the Midwest. Its 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. During this year, farmers were demanding an inflation of the currency with paper money to redress the way they were squeezed by low prices for their crops and high prices for everything they needed to produce them.

Grocery bookkeeper Frank Hutchinson Peavey, 18, organized the firm of Booge, Smith and Peavey in Sioux City, IA, to supply farmers with such items as McCormick reapers and Case threshing machines.

The 6-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 ($134.40 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 ($16.80 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.

U.S. wheat prices fell to 67 cents a bushel, down from their postwar high of $1.50 and from the wartime high of $4.00 ($9.00, $20.16, and $53.76, respectively, in 2006 dollars).

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 had 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.

A Kansas Pacific locomotive had to wait 8 hours for a herd of buffalo to amble across the tracks. The crew realized that to try to smash through the herd would result in derailment along with a lot of mangled meat. U.S. Army scout William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody, 22, earned his nickname for supplying Kansas Pacific workers with buffalo meat. (The nickname originally had referred to Bill Comstock, but during this year Cody defeated Comstock 69-48 in a buffalo killing contest.) Employed by the Kansas Pacific, Cody killed over 4,000 buffalo during an 18-month rampage.

Other buffalo hunters were already 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.

The Atchison Associates was formed to supervise the building of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad, chartered 4 years earlier, but soon ran out of money. Control passed to Boston financier Thomas Nickerson, who obtained backing from Kidder, Peabody of Boston and from Baring Brothers in London to complete the construction.

The federal government had 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 Philip Kearney, where the "Fetterman massacre" had occurred 2 years earlier. For his part, Makhpyia-luta ("Red Cloud"), 45, chief of the Oglala Sioux, refused to meet with U.S. peace commissioners at Fort Laramie unless the government agreed to abandon both Fort Kearney and Fort C. F. Smith. In August, the army did abandon these forts (and in the process the Bozeman Trail from Fort Laramie to the Montana gold fields) and then proceeded toward Fort Laramie. In the autumn, Red Cloud arrived at Fort Laramie.

In the Fort Laramie Treaty, the federal government herded thousands of Lakota (Teton) Sioux Indians (the seven western bands of the "Seven Council Fires," or the "Great Sioux Nation") into the newly established Great Sioux Reservation, mostly in southwestern Dakota Territory. The reservation actually included all of present-day western South Dakota (commonly known as "West River," bounded on the east by the Missouri River) and present-day Boyd County in Nebraska. In the treaty, the Indians supposedly reserved the right to hunt and travel in "unceded" territory in much of present-day Wyoming and the Sand Hills and panhandle of Nebraska. Each band had its own preferred area, so a series of agencies were established by the federal government to regulate the Lakota in this vast area. The reservation included some land already allocated to other tribes, such as the Ponca.

Meanwhile, Wyoming Territory was formed out of parts of Dakota Territory, Utah Territory, and Idaho Territory.

The Zion's Cooperative Mercantile Institution (ZCMI) opened in Salt Lake City under the aegis of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, with a requirement that Mormons shop only there.

Chiracahua Apache Chief Cochise, 56, continued to lead his warriors out of his hideout in the Dragoon Mountains of Arizona in raids against white settlers.

In spite of the new Fourteenth Amendment, Navajo chiefs were forced by U.S. military authorities in August to sign a treaty agreeing to live on reservations and cease their opposition to whites. The treaty established an arid 3.5-million-acre reservation within the old domains (but less than a quarter of those domains' extent). The decimated Navajos were allowed to return on foot from their concentration camp where they had been detained for the preceding 5 years, and discovered that their 200,000 sheep had dwindled to just 940, forcing them to learn a new way of life.

Mining engineers John William Mackay, 37, James C. Flood, and William T. O'Brien, who had taken over the Hale & Norcross silver mine in Nevada 2 years earlier and the Consolidated Virginia & California Mine the year before, were now joined by James Graham Fair, 36.

Naturalist John Muir, 30, journeyed through Cuba, Panama, and finally to California, moving up into the Sierra Nevadas and the Yosemite Valley.

Michel Harry de Young, 19, and his brother Charles de Young, 21, changed the name of their 3-year-old free theater program sheet San Francisco Dramatic Chronicle to simply the San Francisco Chronicle, transforming it into a full-fledged 2-cent newspaper.

Bret (Francis Brett) Harte, 32, began publishing The Overland Monthly in San Francisco and inserted his story "The Luck of Roaring Camp" in the second issue.

Former U.S. ambassador to China Anson Burlingame, 48, was appointed by the Chinese government in Peking to lead a delegation to the United States and Europe to make treaties. The Burlingame Treaty between the U.S. and China, signed in Washington in July, defined the mutual rights of immigration and emigration and encouraged Chinese immigration to the West, especially California.

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).

Science and technology in America: Specifics

San Francisco businessman Claus Spreckels patented a sugar-refining method that took 8 hours rather than the usual 3 weeks; Boston inventor William H. Rimington patented a process for electroplating with nickel; Philadelphia machine-tool maker William Sellers, 44, devised a standard system of screw threads that was adopted by the U.S. government; New York inventor Mahlon Loomis demonstrated wireless communication with a telegraph and an aerial; and New Jersey inventor Thomas Alva Edison, 21, patented an electric voting machine.

Detroit inventor William Davis, 56, patented a refrigerated railcar with tanks filled with cracked ice to keep fish, fresh meat, and fruit cool during transport; engineer Aaron French, 41, invented coil and elliptic railroad car springs, making rail travel more comfortable; and former Confederate Major Eli Hamilton Janney, 37, patented an automatic railway "knuckle" coupler for joining railway cars upon impact, thereby preventing injuries and deaths of brakemen as well as preventing excess sway of the cars.

New York manufacturer George Westinghouse, 22, invented air brakes, a marvelous contribution to safety and efficiency but an idea that railroad baron Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt, 74, had dismissed as a "fool idea." The brakes enabled the locomotive engineer to apply brakes simultaneously to all the cars.

Arts and culture in America: Specifics

Juvenile novelist Martha Farquharson (Martha Farquharson Finley), 40, published Elsie Dinsmore; and poet Ada Menken published Infelicia, dedicated to Charles Dickens.

Former Confederate Vice President Alexander Hamilton Stephens, 56, published A Constitutional View of the War between the States.

Popular periodicals included the Lippincott's Magazine, 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.

The song "The Flying Trapeze" was released and became popular. Another popular new song was "Sweet By and By" by Joseph P. Webster and S. Fillmore. Other popular songs included "The Little Brown Jug," "When You and I Were Young, Maggie," "Clementine (Down by the River Lived a Maiden)," "Beautiful Dreamer," "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," "Listen to the Mockingbird," "Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair," "Camptown Races," "Turkey in the Straw," and "Amazing Grace."

Philadelphia Holy Trinity Episcopal Church organist Lewis H. Redner, 37, composed the hymn "O Little Town of Bethlehem," with lyrics by church rector Philips Brooks, 33.

The World at Large in 1868

The 5-year-old worldwide cholera epidemic continued.

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.

An earthquake in Peru and Ecuador killed nearly 25,000 people and caused $300 million ($4 billion in 2006 dollars) in damage.

Cuban rebellion

In response to Spain's failure to adopt some promised reforms, including the abolition of slavery, Cubans began a rebellion.

Imperialist and Tory Benjamin Disraeli, 64, became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and oversaw Parliament's passing an Irish Reform Bill and a Scottish Reform Bill. In the November general elections, however, Liberals scored sweeping victories, forcing Disraeli to resign. William Ewart Gladstone, 59, an anti-imperialist leader of the Liberal Party, became Prime Minister.

Badminton was invented at Badminton Hall in Gloucestershire, England, the residence of the Duke of Beaufort Henry Charles Fitzroy Somerset, 44.

Whitaker's Almanack began publication in England.

The first regular Trades Union Congress was held in Manchester, England.

Russian anarchist Mikhail Aleksandrovich Bakunin, 54, living in exile, founded the Alliance internationale de la démocratie sociale.

A bicycle race took place on a 2-kilometer course at the Parc de St. Cloud in Paris.

Archaeologist Édouard Armand Isidore Hippolyte Lartet, 67, discovered four adult skeletons and one fetal skeleton in the Cro-Magnon region of France that dated to the Upper Paleolithic Period of 38,000 B.C.

Prussia confiscated the territory of the King of Hannover.

Organic chemist August W. von Hofmann, 50, who had introduced violet dyes made from rosanaline, founded the German Chemical Society.

Austrian schools were freed from Church control.

Spanish revolution

Ramon Maria Narvaez, the autocratic Prime Minister of Spain (as well as the Duke of Valencia), died at the age of 68. Admiral Juan Bautista Topete y Carballo, 47, issued a revolutionary proclamation. Queen Isabella II, 37, had been attacked in the press for making her court favorite, an actor, the minister of state for Spain, and Marshal Juan Prim y Prats, 54, led his forces against the royalists and defeated them in the Battle of Alcolea in September. Queen Isabella fled to France, and her enemies declared her deposed. Marshal Prim formed a provisional government in October under the regency of Francisco Serrano y Dominguez, 58, the former governor of Cuba. Reactionary laws were annulled, the Jesuit order and other religious orders were abolished, and a free press and universal suffrage were established.

Prince Michael III Obrenovic of Serbia was assassinated outside Belgrade at the age of 43. He was succeeded by his cousin Milan, 13.

Russian expansion into central Asia

Russian troops captured the city of Samarkand in central Asia.

King Rama IV of Siam died at the age of 64 and was succeeded by his son Somdeth Phra Paraminda Maha Chulalongkorn, 15, who ruled as King Rama V, but the actual power was in the hands of a regent.

British expansion in southeastern Asia

British soldier Sir James Brooke, who had been Rajah of Sarawak province in Borneo for the preceding 27 years, died at the age of 65. He was succeeded by his nephew Sir Charles Anthony Johnson Brooke, 39.

British expansion into Africa

British and Indian forces under Sir Robert Napier, 58, defeated Ethiopians in the Battle of Arogee, and the cruel and eccentric Ethiopian Emperor Theodore committed suicide. Napier's forces then reached Magdala and rescued British subjects who had been imprisoned for the preceding 4 years. When Napier withdrew (in order to be created the first Baron Napier of Magdala by Queen Victoria, 49), Ethiopia fell into anarchy.

After the Orange Free State of the Afrikaaner Boers had defeated the Basutos, Basutoland (present-day Lesotho) in South Africa was proclaimed British territory--an action that was protested by the Boers. Transvaal forces attempted to occupy Delagoa Bay, but were forced to withdraw under pressure from the British.

Rashoherina, the Hova Queen of Madagascar, died and was succeeded by Ranavalona II, but true power was in the hands of her husband and first minister, Rainilaiarivony, a Christian who had also been married to Rashoherina. France recognized Hova supremacy in Madagascar.

Nien Fei disturbance in China

The 15-year-old campaign of plunder by bandits under the name Nien Fei in Anhuei, North Kiangsu, and Shantung provinces was finally suppressed.

Meiji Mutsuhito, 16, the Emperor of Japan (a post that for centuries had been occupied by a mere figurehead without power, while the real power resided with the Tokugawa Shogunate), signed a Charter Oath pledging himself to be guided in his rule by a deliberative assembly responsive to public opinion. Here is part of Mutsuhito's statement:

We shall summon assemblies, and in ruling the nation we shall have regard to public opinion.… Knowledge will be sought out among the nations of the world, and thus the well-being of the empire will be assured.(17) Quoted in Trager, op. cit., p. 530. (Close)
Japanese power brokers then ensured, through an alliance of the powerful Satsuma and Choshu feudal families, that the rival Tokugawa family under Shogun Kekei could no longer hold power. Tokugawa forces were defeated in the Battle of Ueno at Edo (partly due to the efforts of shipping magnate Yataro Iwasaki, 35, who transported imperial forces and would establish the Mitsubishi industrial complex). Shogun Kekei abdicated, and the shogunate was officially abolished. The imperial capital was moved from Kyoto to Edo (which was renamed Tokyo), and Mutsuhito and his family took over the fortress-style Kyuji Palace. In his efforts to seek out knowledge "among the nations of the world," the Emperor placed the government into the hands of Westernizers, who began to modernize Japan.

World science and technology

English amateur astronomer Sir Joseph Normann Lockyer, 32, discovered the element helium in the spectrum of the Sun's atmosphere; English metallurgist Robert Forester Mushet, 57, invented the much harder tungsten steel; English naturalist Charles Robert Darwin, 59, published The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication; German biologist and philosopher Ernst Heinrich Philipp August von Haeckel, 34, published Natural History of Creation; French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur, 46, discovered the microbe responsible for silkworm disease; German botanists Nathanael Pringsheim, 45, and Julius von Sachs, 36, described the specialized cell structure, the plastid; and German chemist Robert Wilhelm Bunsen, 57, invented the filter pump.

Arts and culture in the British Isles

English poet and theologian John Henry Cardinal Newman, 67, published Verses on Various Occasions, including "The Dream of Gerontius," which he had composed 3 years earlier; mystery novelist William Wilkie Collins, 44, published The Moonstone; and poet and dramatist Robert Browning, 56, published his 12-monologue The Ring and the Book.

World arts and culture

French Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 27, unveiled The Skaters; French artist Edgar Degas, 34, unveiled L'Orchestre; French Impressionist artist Édouard Manet, 36, unveiled Zola; Austrian painter Hans Makart, 28, unveiled The Plague in Florence; and Dutch painter Lawrence Alma-Tadema, 32, exhibited The Visit.

Danish critic and scholar Georg Morris Cohen Brandes, 26, published Aesthetic Studies; and Russian novelist Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky, 48, published The Idiot. Austrian novelist Adalbert Stifter died at the age of 63.

Russian composer Petr Ilich Tchaikovsky, 27, produced Symphony No. 1 in G minor (Winter Dreams) in Moscow; French comic opérette composer Jacques Offenbach, 49, produced La Perichole at the Théâtre des Variétées in Paris and Genevieve de Brabart (including the music for the Marine's Hymn) in New York City; German Romantic composer Richard Wagner, 55, produced the opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg in Munich; Czech composer Bedrich Smetana, 44, produced the opera Dalibor in Prague; Italian composer Arrigo Boito, 26, produced Mefistofele at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan; Austrian composer Johann Strauss the younger, the "Waltz King," 43, produced Geschicten aus dem Wienderwald ("Tales from the Vienna Woods"); and German composer Johannes Brahms, 35, produced his "Lullaby" in Berlin and Ein deutsches Requiem ("A German Requiem") at St. Stephan's Cathedral in Bremen. Italian composer Gioacchino Antonio Rossini died at the age of 76.


The copyrighted material cited on this page comes under the definition of "Fair Use."

See also the general sources.