Contrasting the Trials, Discomforts & Fears~Sptember 1859~22nd to 30th

Contrasting the Trials, Discomforts, and Fears

Soldiers in Virginia, in Georgia, in Tennessee, in Missouri during the fall of 1864 might well be contrasting their trials, discomforts and fears with those of five years previous. Questions about immigration and emigration. Strange stormy weather. A tree-hugging dissident praises the powers of nature. Debates about advertising, nuisance businesses and clergy conduct. Labor unrest. Mexican bandits. International sports competitions. Brawls and accidents. And politics, everywhere politics. [What’s that gentle reader? You say it sounds like today’s news? Why, yes it does. ‘A page of history is worth a volume of logic.”]

March of The Mystic Brotherhood arranged for Godey's Lady's Book

March of The Mystic Brotherhood arranged for Godey’s Lady’s Book

September 22– Thursday– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– Heavy rains bring flash flooding in eastern Pennsylvania, especially around Philadelphia on the Schuykill and Delaware Rivers and on the Lehigh River near the city of Easton. Railway lines are damaged and several people are swept away and drowned before the flooding recedes as quickly as it has risen.

September 22– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “It is stated that the Colonial Government of Jamaica is about to appoint an agent in Canada, under the immigration act of 1848, to encourage the immigration of colored laborers to that island. Provision will be made to pay the passage of emigrants, with whom contracts will be made for three years, at a stipulated sum per month. It is estimated that there are in Canada 40,000 colored persons, the great majority being male adults. Many of them have become possessed of considerable property, and would make excellent citizens of Jamaica. We observe that the project of immigration finds considerable favor in Canada, and it is probable that Jamaica, will receive quite an accession to her productive industry. . . . The idea of compulsory labor for a term of years seems to be inseparable from every English scheme of inducing immigration into her West India colonies. Why is this? Can it be pretended that the expense of emigration is so great as to require such a sacrifice of independence on the part of the immigrant? If labor is half as much wanted in those colonies as is pretended, the authorities can well afford to pay the fare of immigrants without making any conditions. They mistake the spirit of the free black men of America, if they suppose them ready to enter a state of servitude, even for a term of three years. All such projects deserve to fail.” ~ National Era.

September 22– Thursday– London, England– H.M.S. Fox, a British naval vessel sent to the Arctic sixteen months ago to discover the fate of the Franklin Expedition which disappeared without trace in 1848, arrived off the coast yesterday with detailed and definitive information. Today, Captain Francis L Mc Clintock of the Fox reports that Sir John Franklin, searching for a north-west passage around Canada to the Pacific, and all of his crews in two ships, had been trapped in the ice in late 1847 and that by late spring of 1848 all had apparently died of starvation and exposure while attempting to reach civilization on foot. Mc Clintock’s searchers found one skeleton believed to be from the Franklin expedition and paperwork from May,1847, and April, 1848. [Searching will continue throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.]

Sir John Franklin

Sir John Franklin

September 22– Thursday– Dusseldorf, Germany– Astronomer Robert Luther discovers a minor planet which he calls Mnesosyne, after the Greek goddess of memory. [Modern astronomy will determine that it is a large main belt asteroid, measuring around 112 kilometers in diameter.]

September 23– Friday– Chicago, Illinois– “We respectfully call the attention of the Mayor, City Marshal, City Attorney, and whomever else may have authorities and duties in the premises, to the ordinance prohibiting the posting of obscene handbills in the streets. Almost every corner in the city has been covered with the abominable things for weeks, and a fresh layer was plastered on last night. The nuisance has become intolerable. We believe there are not more than two newspapers in the city which admit the pestiferous advertisements in their columns. Since the public are not likely to see them in these channels, the advertisers have adopted the expedient of thrusting them impudently in the face of every man, woman and child who sets foot on the sidewalk – sticking them even on the fence posts of churches on Wabash Avenue and other elegant thoroughfares. In close juxtaposition with every theatre program or dry goods poster, are from one to six handbills, setting forth the excellence of this or that ‘Old Lock Hospital,’ whose attending physician ought long ago to have been employed behind the best lock which the city furnishes to the keeper of the Bridewell [a famous hospital and prison in London].” ~ Chicago Press and Tribune.

crochet patterns~ Godey's Lady's Book ~ 1859

crochet patterns~ Godey’s Lady’s Book ~ 1859

September 24– Saturday– Montreal, Quebec, Canada– The touring team made up of the best cricket players in England begin their tour of North America as they take on the Canadian select team before a large and enthusiastic international crowd. The English play with eleven players and the Canadians with twenty-two but the result is never in doubt as the English visitors handily defeat their Canadian hosts. [The tour will move on to New York City, where a similar result will play out against the best of the cricketers of the United States.]

September 25– Sunday– Concord, Massachusetts– “As when Antaeus touched the earth, so when the mountaineer scents the fern, he bounds up like a camois, or mountain goat, with renewed strength. There is no French perfumery about it. It has not been tampered with by any perfumer to their majesties. It is the fragrance of those plants whose impressions we see on our coal. Beware of the cultivation that eradicates it.” ~ Journal of Henry David Thoreau.

Henry David Thoreau

Henry David Thoreau

September 26– Monday– near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania– A riot breaks out when striking miners from the Corry and Company Coal Company attack miners who had settled with the company and returned to work. The strike had been underway for some time and the company had induced enough workers to return for mining to be resumed. As those working leave the mine for the day they are set upon by strikers. Several men on both sides are severely injured but none are reported killed.

September 26– Monday– Chicago, Illinois– “Judge Witherell, of Detroit, has granted an injunction against a bowling alley in that city, on the complaint of Mr. Chas. Taylor, alleging that defendant’s saloon and bowling alley were a nuisance to the complainant, and the neighborhood, and endangering the life of complainant’s wife, who was very sick, and interfered with the hope of her recovery. Complainant’s counsel argued that a bowling alley was a nuisance at common law; that it was more clearly a nuisance, as was also this saloon, because they are prohibited by the penal laws of the State; that the answer did not deny the equities of the bill, inasmuch as it did not deny the illegality of the defendant’s business, or the injury to complainant; that the possibility of the defendant’s having a license could avail him nothing unless he actually had such license, which he does not pretend; that the license of the Common Council could not give the defendant the right to inflict a private injury or irreparable damage upon the complainant; and that the argument that the complainant has come to the defendant’s nuisance cannot avail, for the reason that it has been abundantly decided that the growth of population and the progress of civilization are not to be retarded by the pre-occupancy of the ground by noxious trades, or other nuisances.” ~ Chicago Press and Tribune.

September 26– Monday– Staunton, Virginia– “I received your letter of the 12th only one day before I left for Charlotte to join my wife who accompanied her mother home about the 1st instant on a visit to her family, and to attend to some matters she had left unfinished when we came away in June. This accounts for my delay in replying to it. . . . You ask me whether it is true that old Billy and Jeff Kinney are drinking hard. Such is the belief here. I don’t believe that they or old Nick will live through another year. I like you, feel great pity for old Nick. He has always borne himself towards me as a gentleman, and I think he is a good hearted, and a good man. Jeff is if possible more vindictive than ever. He can hardly walk. His house in town is locked up. All the family have gone out to his farm to live. . . . I hope in a few years to be pretty comfortable. I have brought 4 young and handsome Negroes over from Charlotte, and have the offer of any others we may wish. Mary & I don’t think we will take but one more, possibly two at Christmas. This will save me a good deal in Negro hire. I am truly gratified to hear of your continued good prospects, and hope your brightest anticipations may be fully realized. Why don’t you come over here. I am sure no man ever left Staunton, who would be more cordially greeted on his return than you. Your old friends very, very often speak most affectionately of you. You must come over to the Circuit Court. Bring Liz along, and come right to my house. We have room in our house & hearts for you and all your family.” ~ Letter from J. D. Imboden to his friend John McCue.

Autumn bonnets~ 1859

Autumn bonnets~ 1859

September 26– Monday– Washington, D.C.– Mary Eunice Harlan, a daughter of Iowa Senator James Harlan, celebrates her 13th birthday. [On September 24, 1868, she will marry Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abraham Lincoln. She dies March 31, 1937.]

September 27– Tuesday– Staunton, Virginia– “An affray took place on Saturday last about three miles from Staunton between William Farrar and Michael Vance, which resulted in the death of the latter, his neck having been broken by blows which he received. We understand that Farrar alleges that his wife had been maltreated by Vance. A coroner’s jury held an inquest upon the dead body of Vance and returned a verdict that he came to his death from the effect of blows inflicted by Farrar, who was arrested, and on Monday last was fully committed by Justice Bickle.” ~ Staunton Spectator

September 28– Wednesday– Albion, New York– At the county fair a tightrope walker is performing on a rope slung between two buildings on either side of the Erie Canal that runs through the town. More than five hundred people have gathered on the nearby Main Street Canal Bridge to watch. Suddenly the bridge collapses, throwing scores of people into the canal. Eighteen men, women, and children are drowned or crushed under falling masonry.

September 28– Wednesday– New York City– After a five month journey that took him to Kansas, Colorado, an interview with Brigham Young in Utah, a tour through the Yosemite Valley in California, and a return trip by ship via Panama, editor Horace Greeley arrives home. His travels have been reported in his letters to newspaper, the New York Tribune. [He will soon write a book on his travels.]

Horace Greeley

Horace Greeley

September 28– Wednesday– Brownsville, Texas– Juan Nepomucino Cortina, the head of a large gang of bandits and who sees himself as the protector of Mexicans living near the border, occupies the town with a large force, opens the city jail and kills five men. [Mexican military authorities from Matamoras, just across the border, will persuade him and his band to camp outside the town, and will move Mexican army troops into Brownsville to protect its citizens until American forces can arrive from San Antonio.]

September 29– Thursday– New York City– The Commissioners for Immigration announce that new arrivals for the year so far are down from last year. [However, by the end of the reporting year, the total decrease will be only 01.29% of the preceding year. Immigration in 1860 will significantly increase and then decrease in 1861 and 1862 as the nation is rent by Civil War.]

September 29– Thursday– Chicago, Illinois– “The Douglas bids for the support of the North have aroused so much opposition to him and his heresies among the Democrats of the South, that his friends now fear that, if nominated, his defeat in the States where he is supposed to be strongest, would be certain. In the event that he is put on the track, the opposition in the South would nominate some ‘National’ man, say Bell of Tennessee, and by assuming high pro-slavery ground, draw to themselves the dissatisfied Democrats of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, and Louisiana, and carry all those States. It is admitted that Mr. Douglas cannot lose these and win; and it is also admitted that [to] him their loss would be certain. This is a contingency upon which his friends here made no calculation; they have cracked their whips over the heads of their Southern brethren with as much assurance as if there was nothing left for them but submission to the lash. They just begin to see their mistake, and to wonder how they will undo the mischief that they have wrought.” ~ Chicago Press and Tribune.

Stephen A Douglas

Stephen A Douglas

September 29– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “Mr. [Stephen A.] Douglas has taken some pains to proclaim his hostility to the slave trade; but it is a singular fact that nearly every newspaper and politician in the Gulf States favorable to him as a Presidential candidate is also favorable to the revival of the slave trade. . . . We cannot doubt that, in the event of Mr. Douglas’s election to the Presidency, he will act on this non-intervention policy with respect to the slave trade. It will be in harmony with his policy during the last ten years. He repealed the Missouri restriction on Slavery in the Territories under circumstances precisely similar to those which surround the slave-trade question. He had declared the Missouri Compromise a compact between the North and the South, scarcely less sacred than the Constitution itself. He has declared the clause in the Constitution which empowers Congress to prohibit the slave trade as ‘one of its compromises.’ He afterwards repealed the Missouri Compromise in obedience to his then newly-discovered principles of a ‘popular sovereignty’ and ‘non-intervention with the affairs of the States and Territories.’ He professed not to be in favor of the extension of Slavery into the new Territories, as he now professes to be opposed to the revival of the slave trade; but, as in the first instance, with regard to the Missouri restriction, his only object was ‘to leave the people of the Territories perfectly free to form and regulate their institutions in their own way,’ so in the latter, when as President he shall recommend the repeal of the laws which prohibit and punish the slave trade as piracy, he will not be moved by considerations favorable to the slave trade, oh no! but simply and solely by his reverence for the constitutional rights of the States to regulate a matter purely local, in their own way. Can it be that Messrs. Stephens, Toombs, and Forsyth, understand that this will be the policy of Mr. Douglas, and hence demand him as the candidate of the [Democratic] party for President?” ~ National Era.

September 30– Friday– New York City– By a vote of 222 to 65, the New York Episcopal Convention votes to restore suspended bishop Benjamin T. Onderdonk to office. [In the winter of 1844-45, Onderdonk, born July 15, 1791, faced charges of “immorality and impurity” brought by three Southern bishops and was suspended from the ministry by an ecclesiastical court. The General Theological Seminary where he taught church history for several decades refused to remove him from his professorship. As sectional tensions have increased Northern churchmen have argued more and more often that Onderdonk’s suspension came from Southern preferences for “Low Church” forms of worship as opposed to “High Church” worship particularly favored in many Northern sections of the church. The National Convention will take no action on the New York petition. Onderdonk’s death on April 30, 1861 and the outbreak of the Civil War prevent any further action.]

Benjamin T Onderdonk

Benjamin T Onderdonk

September 30– Friday– Milwaukee, Wisconsin– Attorney Abraham Lincoln delivers a speech at the Wisconsin State Fair and is well-received.

September 30– Friday– San Francisco, California– “Never before did the rooms of the California Pioneers behold so brilliant and pleasing a scene as that which graced them on last evening, when, for the first time, the exclusive dominion of bearded males was broken in upon, and the ladies were invited to participate in a social reunion of the enterprising Pioneers and their families. The rooms had been tastefully arranged for the occasion – one as a drawing room, another for the use of those who chose to dance, and others as refreshment rooms. In the former of these, the founders of San Francisco mingled in groups, and talked over the days of ’49 and ’50, contrasting the trials, discomforts, and fears and hopes of that period with the present, and the grand results ten years of praiseworthy effort have accomplished. Here, too, they cultivated better acquaintance with each other, and those kindly relations of cordial good will which eminently befit co-laborers in so glorious a work as was that of establishing a great State upon the Pacific coast – the healthful germ, perhaps, of a future Republic. The music was very fine, and all the arrangements in most excellent taste. The company seemed to enjoy the occasion exceedingly well, and the festivities were continued until a late hour.” ~ San Francisco Evening Bulletin.


Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: