Pastor William Sharts, 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).
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.)
It was about this time that the Bible School became a vital part in the church life, under the tutelage of Eveyln Cramer. Pastor Sharts started a Sunday School at the Herrick School House, where he was holding evening services every other week.
In September, Pastor Sharts noted that there was a communion service with only ordinary attendance.
A great lack of spirituality in this congregation.(1)In addition to the detailed and meticulous minutes that Pastor Sharts entered in the pastoral record book, he also maintained a separate record of all the texts he based each sermon on, where he preached, what the weather and road conditions were, and--as you can see--an idea of the attendance. Here is an entry he made in March, concerning the satellite congregation at Pine Grove, which had separated from Christ's Church six years earlier (the picture above is the church, the one below a detail of one of the windows; to enlarge either picture, click it):
From Anderson, Mark J., For All the Saints: Christ's Lutheran Church, Woodstock, New York, 1806-2006 [Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2006], p. 54, citing the pastor's notes. (Close)
The 1st Conference of the Hartwick Synod met at the Pine Grove. The occasion was the resignation of the Rev. W. J. Cutter & the consequent vacancy there. Clerical members present Rev'ds. L. Schnell, Sykes, Poor, & Sharts. Rev. Cutter was admitted as advisory member. The chairman Rev. L. Schell, was of the opinion … this church [Christ's] was at least part to blame for the separation of the two charges; which was plainly in contradiction of facts. The Pine Grove cong[regation] seceded from us, not we from them. This all the church council affirm.(2)The next day the pastor noted:
Ibid., p. 61. (Close)
The Conference passed a Resolution (none of the Pine Grove congr. voting) to the effect that the two congr. meet together & endeavor so to arrange matters that one Pastor supply both churches. Our ch. council is of the opinion that inasmuch as they went out from us,--the proposition for a re-union should come from them. The debt on the Pine Grove church is about $1,400 [$21,980 in 2006 dollars].And a week and a half later:
As yet, they have made no advances toward complying with the Resolutions of the Conference.
Regional historian Alf Evers cited the recollections about local Woodstock life at this time of Byron "Bide" Snyder, whose father had a store in town, including a telegraph office, operating the line running from the West Hurley railroad station through Woodstock up to the Overlook Mountain House(3):
Excerpted from Evers, Alf, Woodstock: History of an American Town, Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1987, p. 270, citing Snyder, Byron, recollections in the Woodstock Weekly, 1924. (Close)
[In those days] the town had almost as many people as it has now , except in summer. There were not so many houses but the families were much larger. In Lewis Hollow alone there were about seventy people. Two families alone had thirty-four members. Now there are less than a dozen there and they are all artists. When the old tannery was running there were between thirty and forty men employed in the plant and as many more in the bark woods. They nearly all had big families. The blue stone quarries gave work to between seventy-five and a hundred men. Nearly every day in the winter when the roads were open long strings of teams would daily pass through the village drawing cord wood to the brick yards [of the Hudson Valley].
Prospectors were exploring the Woodstock area for coal, oil, and gas.
The 8-year-old New York, Kingston & Syracuse Railroad (the N.Y.,K.&S.) now stretched from Kingston, up through the Esopus Valley, over the Pine Hill, and into Delaware County as far as Stamford, with its putative objective as Syracuse. Since the preceding November, however, It had been, like many other railroads during the current financial depression, in receivership, so nothing was moving on it.
Woodstock's 3-year-old Overlook Mountain House was losing money. With the closing of the railroad (which had made the hotel far more accessible than the 51-year-old Catskill Mountain House near Kaaterskill Clove) as well as the financial depression following the Panic of 1873 and the general malaise and disarray resulting from the scandals surrounding the Grant Administration, manager John E. Lasher could not attract enough guests to the hotel. Even during this slow summer season, though, there were shooting and croquet matches, shadow pantomimes, dances, and other entertainments. The black waiters in the dining room were students on summer break from Lincoln University in Philadelphia. The resident pianist, Professor A. Lee Van Buren of Kingston, composer of the Overlook Hotel Waltz, played excellent parlor piano, and gave music lessons. Musical amateurs performed a matinee concert on the very summit, including Richard Wagner's Tannhäuser, a reading of the Declaration of Independence, and a serving of sparkling Catawba. As in other years, the principal amusement was boulder pushing--finding boulders to send plunging down the side of the mountain. And everyone still talked about the healthy mountaintop air, praised for its purity and exhilarating qualities--especially victims of hay fever or tuberculosis, who sat and coughed on the piazza in shawled and blanketed rows.
And, as always, there was the scenery from the hotel. George Ripley, literary editor for the New York Tribune commented on the wonders of Overlook a few months later(4):
Quoted from Evers, Alf, The Catskills: From Wilderness to Woodstock, Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Company, 1972, pp. 474-74, citing the Kingston Daily Freeman, July 28, 1875. (Close)
The climate is simply delicious.… everybody speaks of an exhilaration which makes wine an impertinence.… The infatuated persons who cultivate a passion for mountain scrambles may have a chance to break their necks at any moment in paths as steep and perilous as the Mauvais Pas at Chamonix.Nonetheless, the tourist season had been so poor and revenues so paltry that it seemed the hotel would have to close.
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. Hiram Whitney was manufacturing chairs on a large scale in the Shandaken Valley.
With its three water-powered turbines now helped by a steam engine, 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. According to the Kingston Freeman, Chichester chairs and cradles for the Central and South American market were being
decorated in such gaudy colors as will make the dusky natives of the south yell with delight when they gaze upon their beauties.(5)Some of the chairs were painted carmine and were "figured with gold." For domestic use, the Chichester factory promoted sober "slat-bottomed camp chairs."
Excerpted from ibid., pp. 440-41, citing the Kingston Freeman, June 23, 1874. (Close)
Some operations were small, however: The Vosburgh brothers in Woodstock ran a small handicraft "turning mill" and would make anything to order.
Former New Paltz and Hurley slave Isabella Bomefree Van Wagenen, now an abolitionist itinerant preacher residing in Michigan and known as Sojourner Truth, 77, pictured here, addressed white audiences in Northern states on religion, on Negro and women's rights, and on temperance.
Ulysses S. Grant, 52 (Republican), was President. The 43rd Congress was in session. (The midterm elections that year would elect the 44th Congress.) A dollar in that year would be worth $15.70 in 2006 for most consumable products.
Debtor farmers of the agrarian West and South had been advocating an inflated currency to wipe out farm debts. These "cheap-money supporters" reasoned that more money meant cheaper money, which would mean rising prices and debts that were easier to pay off. Insisting that a shortage of money was the cause of the hard times, they had organized the Greenback Party and were advocating the issuing of greenbacks until as much money was in circulation as in the boom times of 1865, thereby creating prosperity. They also demanded control of the corporations, honesty in government, conservation of natural resources, and other widescale reforms. The 43rd Congress, under pressure from Greenbackers, passed a bill to print more paper money.
Of course, creditors, the "hard-money supporters," were advocating the exact opposite policy. They did not want the money they had lent repaid in depreciated dollars. They persuaded President Grant to veto the paper money bill that Congress had just passed.
In a joint resolution, Congress deprived the 420-grain silver trade dollar of its legal status. (The previous year's Fourth Coinage Act had inadvertently made trade dollars legal tender in amounts up to $5.) Meanwhile, to augment the irony, the new silver discoveries in Nevada and other areas of the West shot silver production up and forced silver prices down.
Disappointed Greenbackers and other cheap-money supporters--as well as those disgusted with the corruption in the Republican establishment--elected a Democratic-controlled House of Representatives in the midterm election. Republicans retained control of the Senate, however.
Here is Republican Congressman Robert B. Elliot of South Carolina, a former slave who had been educated at Eton College in England, arguing for a new civil rights bill(6):
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)
The passage of this bill will determine the civil status, not only of the negro but of any other class of citizens who may feel themselves discriminated against. It will form the capstone of that temple of liberty begun on this continent.Congress was indifferent to the proposed legislation.
Northerners, called "carpetbaggers," and Southerners, called "scalawags," had joined the Republican Party to carry out the congressional Reconstruction program in the South, sometimes meddling in the region's political affairs for their own benefit. The Republican regimes in the former Confederacy were still introducing 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."
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. 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 9-year-old "Invisible Empire" of the white-supremacist Ku Klux Klan continued to break up black prayer meetings and invade black homes at night. 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.Any scoundrel could don a sheet; the Klan was a refuge for several bloodthirsty bandits and cutthroats.
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 contrast to (but essentially in league with) the poor-white-dominated Klan, a number of "respectable" racist movements such as the "Mississippi Plan" began spreading through the South. Terrorists donned red shirts and organized into military companies, parading openly in broad daylight and seizing blacks they deemed militant and whipping them publicly. When blacks dared to fight back, killings were frequent in their resulting rout. Blacks learned to stay at home on election day, and "Conservative" Democratic parties took over local, county, and state governments.
Tennessee and Virginia had installed a white-supremacist "Redeemer," or "Home Rule," Democratic regime 5 years earlier, North Carolina 4 years earlier, Georgia 3 years earlier, and Alabama and Texas during this year. Carpetbaggers seized control of the government of Arkansas until federal troops were able to restore order, but later during the year Arkansas installed a "Redeemer" government. South Carolina, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana remained under Republican control. Radical Republicans in Congress still favored federal intervention in the former Confederate states in order to protect the basic civil rights of black Americans and their white Republican compatriots; however, the Northern Republican commitment to Reconstruction and black civil rights was waning. At the same time, Democrats were vehemently opposing federal intervention, were voting against Reconstruction legislation, and were calling for the withdrawal of federal troops from political duty in the South.
Whites ousted a carpetbag sheriff in Vicksburg, MS, in December. In protest, 75 Negroes demonstrated at the courthouse and were killed in a vicious race riot.
Federal troops in New Orleans put down in September a revolt by the White League against the black state government.
Without capital, most blacks had little to offer but their labor, and thousands of them, along with thousands of landless poor whites, had become "sharecropper" farmers--essentially serfs, slaves to the soil and to their creditors. In this system, a planter divided his estate into small plots, establishing a black family on each one. Ostensibly, the black farmer was provided housing, agricultural implements, and other supplies in exchange for his and his family's labor. The sharecropper farmer and the planter owner divided the resulting crop, supposedly 50-50. Unfortunately, in the "crop-lien" arrangement, the sharecropper was forced to borrow against the fall harvest to pay for the spring seed. To protect his investment, the lender insisted that the sharecropper concentrate on readily marketable crops--tobacco, sugar, and especially cotton--and the result was overproduction and soil exhaustion. Small-time merchants established crossroad stores, selling goods to the sharecropper family on credit, further burdening the sharecropper with debt. Even those who owned land had a hard time keeping up with debts to store owners for their supplies, and many lost their land and became sharecroppers themselves.
Immigrants from the British Isles and western Europe (especially Great Britain, Ireland, and Germany)--the so-called "Old Immigrants," most of them boasting a comparatively high level of literacy and accustomed to some level of representative government, who were either Protestant (most of them) or Catholic, were arriving during this decade at an average annual rate of 159,300. The "New Immigrants," those from southern and eastern Europe (especially Italy, Austria-Hungary, and Russia), largely illiterate and impoverished, who tended to be either Catholic, Orthodox, or Jewish and who had little experience with representative government, were arriving at an annual rate of 18,100--11% of the Old Immigrants' rate. The New Immigrants huddled together in large cities, such as New York City and Chicago.
American cities were now growing rapidly, most of the growth resulting from immigration from abroad (augmented by considerable immigration from domestic farms). American government at all levels was not well suited to urban swelling and did little or nothing to ease the assimilation of immigrants into society, and municipal governments especially were totally inadequate to the task. It was left to the urban political machines, run by "bosses," to minister to the needs of the new arrivals. Jobs on the city payroll, housing, food, clothing, medical care, and legal help were cynically distributed in exchange for votes and other forms of political loyalty.
In the unfamiliar era of big money and expanding government following the Civil War, corruption flourished. Waste, extravagance, speculation, graft, and fraud at all levels in the United States created such a fetid, contaminated atmosphere during this "Era of Good Stealing" that it was said the Man in the Moon had to hold his nose when passing over America. According to historians Bailey, Kennedy, and Cohen:
Unscrupulous stock-market manipulators were a cinder in the public eye. Too many judges and legislators put their power up for hire. Cynics defined an honest politician as one who, when bought, would stay bought.(7)The cabinet of President Grant was essentially a nest of incompetents and grafters. Favor seekers plied Grant with wines, cigars, and horses. Several dozen of his in-laws in the Dent family assumed highly paid do-nothing jobs for the administration.
From Bailey, Thomas A., Kennedy, David M., and Cohen, Lizabeth, The American Pageant: A History of the Republic, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1998, p. 514.(Close)
The elephant as the symbol for the Republican Party appeared in Harper's Weekly in cartoons by German immigrant Thomas Nast, 34.
The burly, ruthless Cornelius "Commodore" Vanderbilt, 80, continued to consolidate his Hudson River Railroad and his New York Central Railroad, thereby gaining a monopoly in rail transport between New York and Buffalo, and, through his leasing of the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad, between New York City and Chicago. He was amassing a gigantic fortune by offering superior railway service at rates lower than those charged by his unfortunate competitors. Vanderbilt was popularizing the tougher steel rail, safer and more economical than the conventional iron, because it could bear a heavier load; he had to import the steel from England, however, since there not yet a reliable domestic source. His consolidation efforts also helped to standardize the track gauge, eliminating the inconvenience and expense of repeated changes from one line to another.
Thomas Alexander Scott, 51, long-time Vice President of the Pennsylvania Railroad and erstwhile President of the Union Pacific Railroad, now assumed the presidency of the Pennsylvania.
During this year, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad gained access to Chicago.
The 18-year-old 458-mile Wabash and Erie Canal, supposedly connecting Lake Erie with the Ohio River but for the preceding 14 years connecting only Lake Erie with Terre Haute, IN, closed down, unable to compete with the railroads.
The 23-year-old Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad adopted a new name: the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad (nicknamed "the Milwaukee Road").
As with the 5-year-old Union Pacific and Central Pacific transcontinental railroad, the nation's first, government subsidies in land grants continued to act as an inducement to railroad construction (the private railroad companies might not otherwise hazard huge sums needed to lay tracks across hundreds of miles of rugged, empty country, tracks whose traffic would not yield profits for years). Congress was awarding millions of acres of public land, and the states themselves were contributing million of acres more. For transcontinental routes in particular, the land was typically 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 (and, for land adjacent to transcontinental routes, would be unavailable for another 13 years). The builders of the railroad projects were authorized to take the timber, stone, and other material needed from the public-land right of way it had been granted.
Historian John Garraty has summarized what was happening(8):
From Garraty, John A., The American Nation: A History of the United States, New York: Harper and Row, 1966, p. 489.(Close)
Here was a clear conflict between equal opportunity and rapid economic growth, between the idea of the West as a national heritage to be disposed of to deserving citizens and the concept of the region as a boundless prize to be gobbled up in giant chunks by those interests powerful and determined enough to take it. When it came to a choice between giving a particular tract to railroads or to homesteaders, the homesteaders nearly always lost out. To serve a necessary national purpose, the linking of the sections by rail, the land of the West was dispensed wholesale as a substitute for cash subsidies.
Railroad promoters let out all the stops to reap the land grants. They were able to pocket millions of dollars from selling off granted land (at an average price of $3 per acre [$47.10 per acre in 2006 dollars]), investing a pittance of that to bribe Congressmen with cash contributions and lucrative stock.
A frontier village could become a flourishing city if it could host a new railroad; whatever settlement bypassed by the railroad typically became a "ghost town." Communities contended with one another to get the rails, offering monetary and other attractions to promoters, who sometimes blackmailed the communities to get even more generous handouts.
Railroads--especially the new transcontinental line---created an enormous integrated domestic market, a huge commercial empire, for manufactured goods as well as raw materials, and they attracted both domestic and foreign investors. The new lines stimulated both agriculture and mining, especially in the West, taking farmers and miners to their remote holdings, bringing manufactured necessities to them, and hauling to market the product of their labors. The iron horse stimulated immigration; the railroad companies advertised in Europe to seduce settlers to buy land from the grants. Now the entire Midwest--Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas--was becoming farmland, and the high-plain prairies of Dakota and Montana Territories was becoming cattle ranges; the white pines of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota was being cut for lumber, rushed by rail for construction of houses and fences in the treeless prairies.
Railroad construction itself generated a gigantic backlog for the young steel industry.
Some railroad promoters were grossly overoptimistic (or simply unscrupulous), however, cashing in construction bonds to penetrate areas that lacked even a potential population that could support a line, laying rails that led "from nowhere to nothing"; when the promoters declared bankruptcy, their trusting investors would be left with only "two streaks of rust and a right of way" (making rails out of steel rather than iron would solve the rust problem).
Railroad construction and operation was making a new millionaire aristocracy and stimulated Wall Street speculation for amassing colossal wealth. The bedazzled public was not detecting, or was disregarding, the corrupt financial maneuvers and rapacious skullduggery, much of it far more clever and subtle than the fleecing that had recently been uncovered by investigations into the Crédit Mobilier scandal. Railroad stock promoters were adept at "stock watering": exaggerating the assets and profitability of whatever line they were hawking, selling its stock and bonds at prices far surpassing their true value. Then, in order to redeem the oversold financial obligations, the line's managers were forced to charge extortionate rates and to wage ruthless competitive wars.
Railroad barons gradually eschewed the crude bloodletting of cutthroat competition, however, and began to cooperate with one another, entering into defensive alliances to protect their gigantic profits with little concern for the paying public. They formed "pools," agreements to divide the business in a given region and then share the profits. They might also grant kickbacks and rebates to large shippers. They made up the difference on discounts by gouging customers on noncompeting lines, frequently resulting in larger freight charges for shorter hauls.
Meanwhile, railroad barons recruited lobbyists, anointed their own "creatures" into high political office, and bribed journalists, legislators, and judges with cash or free travel. They could exercise more direct control over the lives and welfare of people than could the President of the United States.
Minnesota Senator William Windom headed a committee in the 43rd Congress that proposed a government-built, government-operated double-track freight railroad line between the Mississippi River Valley and the Eastern seaboard that would prevent monopolistic railroad companies from charging exorbitant freight rates.
The 15-year-old petroleum "black gold" industry was booming, especially now with the derivative kerosene, which on a cotton wick in a glass chimney lamp burned so much brighter than the ever-more-expensive sperm oil from whales. Already kerosene was the the fourth most valuable U.S. export.
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.(9)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 ibid., p. 506. (Close)
The 4-year-old Standard Oil Company of Ohio, now the Standard Oil Trust, directed by abstemious, parsimonious John Davison Rockefeller, 34, was refining tens of thousands barrels of crude per day and was the largest operation of its kind in the world. Through the Trust the merciless Rockefeller, operating "just to the windward of the law," had perfected a technique for allying with competitors to monopolize the petroleum market and controlling bothersome rivals; stockholders of several small oil companies would assign their stock to the Standard Oil board of directors, and all operations of formerly competing firms would be consolidated and aligned. Rockefeller ruthlessly wielded vast power. Weak competitors not part of the trust were plowed under. Rockefeller's unwritten motto was
Let us prey.His local agents received the following hard-boiled order:
Sell all the oil that is sold in your district.In addition to the rebates it received from the railroads, the Trust received drawbacks--fixed rates that the railroads paid for every barrel of oil they carried for a Standard Oil competitor--and competitors paid five times the freight rates enjoyed by Standard Oil.
Henry Huttleston Rogers, 34, who 3 years before had patented his machinery for separating naphtha from crude petroleum, and Charles Pratt, 44, who had been Rogers's boss in Brooklyn, NY, now joined the Standard Oil Trust and pushed hard for the idea of pipeline transmission.
Industrialists, almost all of them identified with the Republican Party and enjoying the tariffs that that party had secured, paused in their building of new factories (waiting for the economic slump to end). 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.
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. (And with the Panic of 1873, many of them were indeed unemployed.) 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.
Workers had been struggling to organize themselves into unions. The 8-year-old National Labor Union, had attracted the skilled, the unskilled, and farmers, but it had excluded Chinese and had made only nominal efforts to include women and blacks. Dealt a severe blow by the depression, the union feebly continued to lobby Congress to promote workers' interests, including arbitration of labor disputes and pleading for an 8-hour workday (if any hours were available for workers still to work). The adjunct Colored National Labor Union for black workers was also crippled by the depression.
Workers in the 5-year-old Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor continued to meet, however, in Philadelphia as a secret society with passwords, handshakes, and a private ritual. Such secrecy forestalled possible reprisals from employers. With its slogan
An injury to one is the concern of allthe Knights campaigned to include all workers--the skilled--into "one big union." Blacks, Chinese, and "nonproducers" (lawyers, bankers, stockbrokers, professional gamblers, and liquor dealers) were excluded, however. The Knights advocated such social and economic reform as safety and health codes, an 8-hour workday, the abolition of child labor, equal pay for equal work, arbitration rather than strikes, producers' cooperatives, and currency reform based on the principles of the Greenback-Labor Party. They insisted that
Labor is the only creator of values and capital.Here is a stanza from one of their favorite songs:
Hurrah, hurrah, for labor,
it is mustering all its powers,
And shall march along to victory
with the banner of eight hours.
The Massachusetts assembly restricted the working hours of women and children to 10 per day.
Larvae of the gypsy moth (Porthetria dispar) continued to spread from Medford, MA, where French naturalist Leopold Trouvelot had brought the insect from Europe 5 years earlier with hopes to start a silk industry in New England. The moth population was exploding and defoliating American woodlands.
Margarine was introduced to the United States.
The territorial government of the District of Columbia was abolished and replaced by a commission of three regents.
"Everything which inflames one appetite is likely to arouse the other also," asserted Dr. Dio Lewis in his Chastity, or Our Secret Sins.
Pepper, mustard, ketchup and Worcestershire sauce--shun them all. And even salt, in any but the smallest quantity, is objectionable; it is such a goad toward carnalism [promiscuity] that the ancient fable depicted Venus as born of the salt sea-wave.(10)
Quoted in McCutcheon, Marc, Everyday Life in the 1800s: A Guide for Writers, Students & Historians, Cincinnati, OH: Writer's Digest Books, 1993, p. 170. (Close)
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, endowed and chartered 4 years earlier, now opened to the public in Washington, DC.
Louis Comfort Tiffany opened a factory producing elegant glass objects.
Harvard contended with McGill at Boston in the first football game (called the "Boston Game"), Harvard winning. The two 11-men teams played a second time in May and a third time in Montreal in October, each time Harvard winning.
Philo Remington, 68, who had headed for the past 6 years the 29-year-old F. Remington & Sons Fire Arms Company of Springfield, MA, purchased for $12,000 ($188,400 in 2006 dollars) the patent rights from James Densmore and Goerge Washington Yost for the 7-year-old typewriter ("literary piano") invention of Christopher Latham Sholes, which Remington had been producing for the past 6 years. The machine had capital letters only, typists could not see what they were typing on it, and it cost $125 ($1,963), which was more than a month's rent for many substantial business firms. Improvements would come quickly, however.
An electric streetcar invented by Stephen Dudley Field, 28, began running in New York City, with one wheel picking up the stationary dynamo-generated current on one of the rails. The system was somewhat hazardous and presented no immediate competitive threat to the city's horsecars.
The 16-year-old R. H. Macy Company on 14th Street in New York City, owned by Rowland Hussey Macy, 52, displayed its doll collection in the world's first Christmas windows. 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.
Showman Phineas Taylor Barnum, 64, traveling by rail with his 3-year-old circus, advertised as "The Greatest Show on Earth," in 65 railcars, played to 20,000 people per day, charging 50 cents per ticket ($7.85 per ticket in 2006 dollars), and easily taking in twice his $5,000-per-day operating costs ($78,500 per day) in its first season. His circus performed in a railroad freight depot shed abandoned 3 years before by the New York and Harlem Railroad, for which he leased and paid $35,000 ($550,000) to remodel and which he renamed the "Hippodrome" at the north end of the 38-year-old Madison Park on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Barnum sold his lease in the winter to Patrick S. Gilmore, who renamed it Gilmore's Garden (later Madison Square Garden) and used it for flower shows, policemen's balls, America's first beauty contest, temperance and religious meetings, and a kennel show. (Barnum would return each spring to pitch his circus tent.)
Brewer Jacob Ruppert, 32, built a new Ruppert's Brewery in New York City with a 50,000-barrel capacity, turning his 7-year-old Ruppert's Brewery into an ice-house. Meanwhile, he was making shrewd real-estate investments in the city.
A 9-year-old girl in New York City was beaten, slashed, and turned out by her drunken foster mother. Social worker Etta Angel Wheeler found the girl wandering naked through the city's slums and, for lack of any other agency, made appeals to the 8-year-old American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), which decided that the child was an animal deserving of shelter and prosecuted the mother for starving and abusing the child. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ASPCC) was organized.
The first Chautauqua Assembly, organized by Methodist Bishop John Heyl Vincent and Akron, OH, farm machinery manufacturer Lewis Miller, met at Fair Point on Lake Chautauqua, NY, 10 miles from Lake Erie, to train church workers and Sunday School teachers during summer months. The Assembly would develop into a traveling tent show of lecturers to bring culture to small towns in America.
Inventors Robert Wood Johnson, 29, and George J. Seabury of East Orange, NJ, manufactured an adhesive and medicated plaster with a rubber base, thereby pioneering improved surgical dressings.
At the semicentennial celebration of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Robert Green, who had been earning $6 per day ($94 per day in 2006 dollars) selling a mixture of syrup, sweet cream, and carbonated water, ran out of cream and substituted vanilla ice cream, thereby inventing the ice cream soda; by the end of the exhibition he was making $600 per day ($9,420 per day).
The Philadelphia Zoological Garden, the first zoo in the U.S., opened to the public.
Ophthalmologist Samuel Theobald, 28, who had introduced the use of boric acid for treating eye infections, was among the physicians who founded the Baltimore Eye & Ear Dispensary.
The National Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) was formed by 135 women at the Second Presbyterian Church in Cleveland, OH, to promote prohibition by political, social, and educational methods. Frances Caroline Elizabeth Willard, 35, was named corresponding secretary.
A citizen of Kalamazoo, MI, sued the city to prevent the collection of additional taxes to support a public high school system, but the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the city's right to establish a high school and to levy new taxes to support it.
Joseph Schlitz, 43, incorporated his 18-year-old Joseph Schlitz Brewing Company in Milwaukee with a capitalization of $200,000 ($3.1 million in 2006 dollars).
The 12-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 ($157.00 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 ($19.63 per acre in 2006 dollars). Either way, the land acquired was to be exempt from attachment for debt.
Of course, the act augmented immigration. Tens of thousands of settlers applied for homesteads each year, a third of them actually receiving land. During this year, nearly 2 million acres of public lands were legally transferred to private ownership.
Unfortunately, most landless Americans were too poor to become independent farmers; the expense of moving a family from the East to the ever-receding frontier was prohibitive, and the subsequent costs of equipment, fencing, and housing was formidable for most. Industrial workers were ill-suited to transform themselves into farmers; most of the homesteaders were already farmers and were situated close to the frontier anyway.
Also, the standard quarter section was typically inadequate for raising livestock or for the kind of commercial agriculture that was suitable on the dry Great Plains; approximately two-thirds of the homesteaders eventually surrendered in their struggle against draught. Cynics joked that the government had put up the 160 acres against the $10 registration fee in a cruel bet that the settlers would not last the requisite 5 years. Notably, about five times as many families purchased their land from the states, the land companies, or the railroads.
Congress had attempted to address the problem with its year-old Timber Culture Act, which permitting individuals to claim an additional 160 acres if they agreed to plant a quarter of it in trees within 10 years. This law was helpful to farmers in Kansas, Nebraska, and Dakota Territory, but raising seedling trees on the plains was difficult; fewer than 25% of those who took land under this law ever obtained final title.
The Homestead Act and similar laws spawned considerable fraud: Settlers often swore that they had "improved" their claim by erecting a "twelve-by-fourteen" dwelling, which actually measured 12 by 14 inches. Wealthy speculators used the law to obtain large tracts. Unscrupulous corporations bribed aliens with beer or a little cash to become a "dummy" homesteader so that they could snatch properties containing oil, minerals, and timber. And, as stated earlier, the railroad barons always had the upper hand over the homesteaders.
During the continued economic slump, the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad was facing bankrupcy.
Norwegian immigrants in Northfield, MN, founded St. Olaf College.
Cadwallader Colden Washburn, 56, who had 8 years earlier founded the Washburn, Crosby Company in Wisconsin and had made a fortune there in real estate and had served as Governor of Wisconsin, now opened a flour mill in Minneapolis that employed fluted chilled steel rollers in addition to conventional millstones.
Frank Hutchinson Peavey, 24, director of the 6-year-old firm of Booge, Smith and Peavey in Sioux City, IA, to supply farmers with such items as McCormick reapers and Case threshing machines, heard customers complain of having no permanent market from their grain, so he had a 6,000-bushel "blind horse" grain elevator (literally powered by a blind horse walking in an endless circle while towing a post attached to an axle at the center), thereby saving farmers from having to haul wagonloads of grain back to the farm because they had not been able to find a buyer in town. Then Peavey and partner J. S. Meckling had warehouses built along the Dakota-Southern Railway between Sioux City and Yankton, Dakota Territory. He persuaded Minneapolis flour mills, including that of C. C. Washburn, that he could provide a study supply of wheat.
Hutterite immigrants speaking the Hutterische dialect from the Tyrol of Austria began arriving in New York City and settling in the new Bonhomme colony in Yangton, Dakota Territory. They would soon be setting up some 200 colonies in Dakota, Minnesota, Montana Territory, Washington Territory, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
The Eads Bridge was completed after 7 years of arduous construction, crossing the Mississippi River at St. Louis, designed and constructed by Kentucky engineer and inventor James Buchanan Eads, now 53, who had supervised the sinking massive stone piers through 103 feet of turbulent water into the bedrock and the cantilevering of 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. In July seven 50-ton locomotives loaded with coal and water tested the bridge by chugging slowly across and pausing at the slender junctures of the arches, while another seven chugged across from the opposite bank. Some 300,000 residents and visitors crowded the levees to witness the collapse of "Ead's folly" but instead cheered when the bridge held all 700 tons. The city celebrated for 3 days with parades, band concerts, speeches, and a fireworks display costing $10,000 ($157,000 in 2006 dollars), and regular traffic opened on the bridge with a 100-gun salvo.
In response to glowing reports 2 years earlier from their scout Bernard Warkentin, Jr., now 25, German-speaking Crimean Mennonite farmers had determined to immigrate to the Midwest to escape Russian government efforts to curtail their liberties--in particular, their exemption from military service. At the same time, the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad had been granted 3 million acres of land along its right of way and needed farmers who would occupy the land and produce crops that would generate freight revenue. Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe official Carl R. Schmidt had gone the previous year to Russia and had brought back a delegation of Mennonites to see possible sites for settlement in Kansas. Schmidt had obtained passage of a law in the Kansas State Legislature giving exemption from military service to those who opposed war on religious grounds, and he now offered free passage to Kansas plus free transport of furniture. Schmidt set up temporary living quarters for his immigrants. The first Mennonites, 163 pioneers from 34 families, arrived in August at Hillsboro in Marion County, and they paid in gold to buy some 8,000 acres from the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe. The pioneers founded the village of Gnadenau. A second group of 600 followed them, and then a third group of 1,100; by the fall, Mennonites were arriving by the thousands, each family bringing its Turkey Red seed wheat (obtained originally from Turkey and planted for years in the Crimea); the seed was hard, drought-resistant, and high-yielding. (Some of the Mennonites eventually went to Manitoba in Canada, because of its even more liberal laws regarding military service.)
Explorer-geologist John Wesley Powell, 40, director of the U.S. Geological Survey, warned that so little rain fell on land west of 100°W that agriculture was impossible there.
A decade of drought now began on part of the cattle range in the West. George Perkins Marsh, acting on a request of the U.S. Commissioner of Agriculture, prepared a paper on the feasibility of irrigating Western lands: Irrigation projects would be possible if they were undertaken on a river basin scale after thorough hydrological surveys "under Government supervision, from Government sources of supply."
Ignoring Powell's warning, settlers rashly pushed westward onto the crusty, marginal land beyond 100°W: western Kansas, eastern Colorado, and Montana.
Farmer Joseph Farwell Glidden, 61, perfected his barbed-wire machine he and Jacob Haish had developed the preceding year for producing coiled barbed wire by the mile, and began marketing the product, which would come to be known as "devil's rope."
Buffalo hunters on the plains south of the Platte River, brought there by the expanding railroads and the growing market back east for hides (buffalo robes were considered very fashionable, and the demand for them was insatiable) and meat (sometimes just for tongues and a few other choice cuts), killed hundreds of thousands of buffalo--sometimes at the rate of 100 animals per hour. There was also a brisk, faddish demand for mounted buffalo heads. (Of course, there was another important motive: to ruin the way of life of the Plains Indians.) The Santa Fe Railroad in the 3-year-old dance-hall-rich and saloon-rich village of Dodge City, KS, enabled hunters to ship hundreds of thousands of buffalo hides, buffalo tongues, and buffalo hindquarters to market. Many of the "hunters" considered themselves "sportsmen," and as they leaned out of the lurching railroad trains, they blazed away at the animals with repeating rifles. Most of the buffalo carcasses, and certainly the parts not deemed worthy to market, were left to rot in the sun, to be picked by the vultures.
Replacing the buffalo was the Texas longhorn cattle, brought in by cattlemen who had discovered how well the hardy stock survived the winters on the plains foraging on the seemingly limitless forage. They were improving the stock (tenderizing the meat without diminishing the resistance to harsh conditions) by breeding them with pedigreed Hereford bulls. Provided that the cattleman rancher could get access to limited water, he could fatten thousands of steers on public land (in other words, without buying title to a private ranch) and then sell the result for beefsteak and leather at a bonanza profit.
Cattle drives on the 700-mile-long Chisholm Trail from San Antonio, TX, to Abilene or Ellsworth, KS (two "cow towns" on the Kansas Pacific Railway, where cattle could be transported to Kansas City or Chicago to supply "beef baron" Philip Danforth Armour, 41), continued on a large scale, hundreds of thousands of bawling Texas long-horned steers (with horn spreads reaching 8 feet) driven north on the "Long Drive," moving at an average 12 miles per day through open (unfenced), unsettled country that provided abundant grass and water for the animals.
Historian John Garraty has described what it was like in the "cow towns"(11):
From Garraty, op. cit., pp. 494-95.(Close)
"Cow towns" like Abilene, Ellsworth, and Dodge City were… riotous and… venal.… "I have seen many fast towns," one tough westerner declared, "but Abilene beat them all." A local merchant characterized that town as a "seething, roaring, flaming hell"; its saloons bearing names like Alamo, Applejack, Longhorn, and Old Fruit, were packed during the season with crowds of rambunctious, gun-toting pleasure seekers. Gambling houses and brothels abounded. When Ellsworth, Kansas, had a population of only a thousand, it had 75 resident professional gamblers. At dance halls like Rowdy Joe's, the customers were expected to buy drinks for themselves and their partners after each dance. Little wonder that [Chicago livestock dealer and Abilene Mayor Joseph Geating] McCoy wrote in his Historic Sketches of the Cattle Trade (1874):Few more wild, reckless scenes of abandoned debauchery can be seen on the civilized earth than a dance hall in full blast in one of these frontier towns.
Finally Isa-tai of the Qyahadi Comanches determined to incite a war to drive the whites from the territory, as the only alternative to starvation, by attacking and destroying the new settlement of buffalo hunters at Adobe Walls in Hutchinson County, Texas. Although the 28 hunters who occupied the post were outnumbered, they were well armed with long-range rifles and were able to hold off the attackers. The repulsed Indians began to spread over the Texas plains to launch further attacks; meanwhile, the Adobe Walls attack was enough of a pretext for the U.S. Army to launch the Red River War, whose objective was to remove all the Comanche, Kiowa, Southern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes from the Southern Plains and enforce their relocation to reservations in Indian Territory. Colonel Nelson Appleton Miles, 35, moved southward with his column from Fort Dodge in Iowa, Lieutenant Colonel John W. "Black Jack" Davidson marched westward with his column from Fort Sill in Indian Territory, Lieutenant Colonel George Pearson Buell, 41, moved northwest from Fort Griffin in Texas, Colonel Ranald Slidell Mackenzie, 34, came northward from Fort Concho in Texas, and Major William Redwood Price marched eastward across the Panhandle from Fort Union in New Mexico Territory. The plan called for the converging well-equipped columns to maintain a continuous offensive until they had achieved a decisive victory over the Indians. As many as 20 engagements between the U.S. Army and the Southern Plains Indians may have taken place across the Texas Panhandle region, until the remnant Indians were ultimately defeated in Palo Duro Canyon. Quanah Parker and his band of Quahadi Comanche continued to defy the Army, however. Colonel Mackenzie's cavalry captured and destroyed the herd of 1,400 horses belonging to Parker.
Colonel George Armstrong Custer, 35, the "Boy General" (as he had been known during the Civil War), in violation of the 6-year-old treaty between the federal government and Makhpyia-luta ("Red Cloud"), now 51, chief of the Oglala Sioux, led a "scientific" expedition--essentially a U.S. Army column of some 1,100 cavalry soldiers--into the Black Hills of western Dakota Territory, part of the treaty-guaranteed Great Sioux Reservation, viewed as sacred ground by the Lakota and Oglala Sioux. Custer announced that he had discovered gold there. Hordes of greedy gold seekers descended on the area, and the Sioux, led by Tatanka Iyotake ("Sitting Bull"), 43, took to the warpath.
Paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh, 43, known as "Big Bone Chief" by the Sioux, sought permission from Red Cloud to dig for reptile fossils in the Bad Lands just east of the Black Hills. Marsh persuaded Red Cloud that he wanted fossils not gold. When Red Cloud showed him the mouldy flour and beef that the federal Indian agents had provided his people, Marsh promised to take their complaints to President Grant in Washington. But the Lakotas were not convinced; Marsh's crew and the cavalry company assigned to protect them were surrounded by hundreds of well-armed Lakota warriors. In the tension of the moment, one untoward movement would have precipitated a massacre. Marsh appealed to Red Cloud, who had approved of his earlier offer of support for Lakota grievances, but there was nothing to be done but turn back. Marsh was not to be deterred, however. That night he stole a march on the Lakota by quietly advancing through their villages and riding for the Badlands. The next day they were pursued by a large war party, but, thanks to a timely warning from Red Cloud, Marsh had just enough of a head start to make his collections and return to safety. Marsh did take the rotten supplies directly to President Grant and prepared a list of charges against the agents.
Cattleman James Forges from the Sun River range of Conrad Kohrs drove the first shipment of Montana Territory cattle for the East to the railhead in Ogden in Utah Territory.
Metallurgist A. B. Wood recognized silver-lead ores in material rejected by gold miners at the exhausted 15-year-old placer gold mines in Oro City, Colorado Territory.
Colorado College was founded in Colorado Springs, Colorado Territory.
The College of Santa Fe was founded in New Mexico Territory.
Chiracahua Apache Chief Cochise died at the age of 62 on the Chiricahua Apache reservation in Arizona Territory, 2 years after surrendering to the U.S. Army and agreeing to live in peace on the reservation (provided that he didn't have to live with the Mescalero Apaches).
Virginia City, NV, at the peak of its prosperity, had 25 saloons and huge, ornate, tasteless houses where successful operators swilled champagne as though it were water and dined on fine china.
Levi Strauss denim blue jeans, manufactured for the preceding 24 years in San Francisco, now with copper rivets, now sold for $13.50 per dozen ($212 per dozen in 2006 dollars).
Thousands of Chinese immigrants were fleeing the disintegrating Chinese Empire and coming to the United States, at an annual rate during this decade of 12,320. Most were men (the ratio was 21 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).
Allen Taylor developed the drop press and the use of pressure cooking to improve the canning process; William Baldwin improved the steam radiator by screwing short lengths of 1-inch pipe into a cast-iron base; Belgian immigrant inventor Charles Joseph Van Depoele, 28, demonstrated the practicality of electric traction; Rhode Island engineer Robert Thurston established a mechanical engineering research laboratory at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey; and New Jersey inventor Thomas Alva Edison, 27, invented a quadriplex telegraph system, which allowed four messages to be sent over a single wire at the same time.
It is better to know nothing than to know what ain't so.
Spiritualist Victoria Claflin Woodhull, 36, pictured here--a beautiful and eloquent divorcée, a tireless feminist propagandist--published her provocative The Scarecrows of Sexual Slavery, defending abortion, advocating free love, and recommending the licensing and medical inspection of prostitutes.
Harlan E. Halsey was making a fortune dashing off hundreds of dime novels each year, read by goggle-eyed youths behind the broad covers of serious but boring books.
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.
Popular songs included "Home on the Range," "Shoo Fly, Don't Bother Me," "Sweet By and By," "When You and I Were Young, Maggie," "Silver Threads among the Gold," "Little Brown Jug," "The Flying Trapeze," "Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Seen," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "Listen to the Mockingbird," "Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair," "Camptown Races," "Turkey in the Straw," and "Amazing Grace."
The 11-year-old worldwide cholera epidemic continued.
Canada instituted ballot voting.
The Winnipeg Free Press began publication.
The boundary between Chile and Bolivia was fixed at Latitude 24° S. Chileans obtained the right to work the nitrate fields of Bolivia's Atacama.
The 6-year ministry of anti-imperialist Liberal Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone, 65, was ended in February, largely through a popular reaction to the passage 2 years earlier of the Licensing Act, which had established strict limits on the number and kinds of places where alcoholic beverages could be sold and the hours that such places could be opened. Imperialist Conservative (Tory) Benjamin Disraeli, 70, became British Prime Minister.
Parliament passed its fourth Factory Act, augmenting similar acts of 1833, 1844, and 1847, and providing for a 56½-hour work week.
Major Walter Clopton Wingfield introduced to England the modern game of lawn tennis (first called Sphairistiké and patented by that name, with an hourglass-shaped court).
Thomas Jez-Blake, 42, was named headmaster of Rugby.
Jez-Blake's sister, physician Sophia Jez-Blake, 34, founded the London School of Medicine for Women.
The 11-year-old department store of London merchant William Whiteley in Bayswater, selling dry goods (drapery and haberdashery), jewelry, and oriental novelties, and featuring an in-store restaurant, now added a cleaning and dyeing department.
British farm wages fell, and farm workers struck in the east of England. An agricultural depression began in the generally poor British agricultural market struggling to compete with foreign producers of meat and grain. Thousands of farm workers began migrating into the growing milltowns.
London butcher's son and world adventurer seaman Arthur Orton, 40, who had assumed various aliases and who had answered an advertisement 9 years earlier from the aristocratic Lady Tichborne claiming to be the lady's missing son, Roger Charles Tichborne, was this year, after a long-drawn-out trial, convicted of perjury for attempting to abscond with a sizable inheritance; he was sentenced to 14 years penal servitude.
American preacher Dwight Lyman Moody, 37, with his helper Ira A. Sankey were converting thousands in the British Isles--in Edinburgh, in Glasgow, at the 4,000-seat Crystal Palace, and then at the famed Botanic Gardens Palace; then back to Edinburgh and on to Ireland. Back in London, no hall was large enough to hold the crowds.
Edward, Prince of Wales, 33, visited France.
The Paris Opéra was finally completed after 11 years of construction.
Switzerland revised its constitution, increasing the government's powers, especially in court and military affairs.
The Union Générale des Postes was established in Berne, Switzerland.
Civil marriage was made compulsory in Germany.
Spanish generals overthrew the year-old Spanish Republic and proclaimed Queen Isabella II's 17-year-old son King of Spain as Alfonso XII. King Alfonso was at that time attending Sandhurst military school in England, and in response to a December birthday greeting from his followers, he proclaimed himself the sole representative of the Spanish monarchy (in spite of the claim of his cousin, the pretender Don Carlos, in hiding in the Pyrenees).
Archaeological excavations began in Greece at the site of the ancient Olympic games.
European powers agreed that the Ottoman Empire was bankrupt; its government could pay only half of the interest on its debt.
The coffee rust (Hamileia vastatrix), which had appeared in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) 5 years earlier, was spreading throughout the Orient, wiping out coffee plantations and causing coffee prices to soar.
The Yomiuri Shinbun began publication in Japan.
The University of Adelaide was founded in Australia.
Dutch physical chemist Jacobus van't Hoff discovered the tetrahedral shape of the carbon atom.
English photographer William Blanchard Bolton, 26, showed that nitrates (by-products of the formation of silver halide and nitrate) could be washed out of photographic emulsion.
Norwegian physician Armauer Gerhad Henrik Hansen, 33, discovered the bacillus responsible for leprosy, which thereafter was officially named Hansen's disease; German-Austrian surgeon Christian Albert Theodor Billroth, 45, discovered streptococci and styphylocci; German biologist and philosopher Ernst Heinrich Philipp August von Haeckel, 40, published Anthopogenie; and German pathologist Rudolf Virchow, 53, developed a procedure for performing autopsies.
Czech composer Bedrich Smetana, 50, produced the Ma Vlast ("My Fatherland") cycle of symphonic poems; Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi, 61, produced Requiem Mass at Church of San Marco in Milan in memory of poet-novelist-patriot Alessandro Manzoni, who had died the year before at age 88; Austrian composer Johann Strauss the younger, the "Waltz King," 49, produced the operetta Die Fledermaus at the Theater-an-der-Wien in Vienna; German composer Hermann Gustav Götz, 34, produced the opera Der Widerspenstigen Zähmung in Mannheim; German composer Johannes Brahms, 41, produced Hungarian Dances; French composer Georges (Alexander César Leopold) Bizet, 36, produced Patrie Overture in C minor in Paris; French composer Paul Marie Theodore Vincent d'Indy, 22, produced Overture to the Piccolomini (Max and Thekla) in Paris; and Russian composer Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, 34, produced Pictures from an Exhibition and the opera Boris Godunov at the Maryinsky Theater in St. Petersburg. German composer Carl August Peter Cornelius died at the age of 50.
An exhibition of Impressionist paintings (given that name, at first pejorative, by art critic Louis Leroy from the 1872 Impression: Sunrise by French artist Claude Oscar Monet, now 34), an "independent" show of canvases, was held in Paris, with works by Paul Cézanne, 35, Hilaire German Edgar Degas, 40, Édouard Manet, 42, Manet's new sister-in-law Berthe Morisot, 33, Camille Pissarro, 44, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 33 (who exhibited La Loge), and Alfred Sisley, 34.