Monthly Archives: January 2016

Progress Day by Day~ January 1876


Women activists have returned to their patterns of antebellum activities seeking the vote and other civil rights. Workers and farmers will make economic issues part of the campaign this year. Discord stirred up by the Civil War continues to stir partisan politics and will also play a major role in the year’s elections. Americans look at world-wide events in new ways.

January 1– Saturday– New York City– Hundreds of people are walking about or riding in carriages well into the early hours of the morning, celebrating the coming of the New Year and the arrival of the Centennial of American independence.

January 1– Saturday– Berlin, Germany– The Reichsbank opens for business.

January 2– Sunday– New York City– The New York Times reports that workers at a shoe factory in Lynn, Massachusetts, are protesting a severe reduction in their wages.

January 5– Wednesday– Belmont, Ohio– Local farmers who are owed a great deal of money by a local businessman named A. C. Williamson who has fled to Canada, raid Williamson’s factory and store, carrying off everything of value. When the local sheriff attempts to stop them, the farmers lock up the sheriff and his deputies.

January 6– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– Representative James G. Blaine of Maine, a leading Republican and potential presidential candidate, opposes granting amnesty to the 750 former Confederate leaders, particularly those educated at West Point or Anapolis.


James G Blaine


January 10– Monday– New York City– A large number of workers gather at Cooper Institute to hear a speech from 84 year old Mr Peter Cooper, manufacturer, inventor and philanthropist. Cooper calls for action by the federal government to American industry and provide jobs for the unemployment. The audience reacts with enthusiasm.

January 10– Monday– Washington, D.C.– Congress Blaine expresses opposition to Jeff Davis, former president of the Confederacy, receiving amnesty, declaring that Davis was responsible for the mistreatment of Union prisoners held at the infamous Andersonville, Georgia, prison camp.

January 11– New York City– The New York Times reports that a number of government jobs held by Republican veterans of the Union Army have been given to Democratic Confederate veterans instead.

January 11– Tuesday– San Francisco, California– Birth of Jack London, novelist, journalist and social activist, involved with socialist politics from 1896 to 1916. [Dies November 22, 1916.]


Jack London


January 12– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– The House Judiciary Committee considers a bill to limit the president to one term in office.

January 13– Thursday– New York City– The New York Times attacks the Democratic Party for its efforts at an amnesty bill as a way to bring former Confederates, who remain hostile to the federal government, back into politics.

January 14– Friday– Washington, D. C.– Congress receives a petition signed by 22,626 women and girls in Utah asking for admission of Utah as a state, repeal of the federal law banning polygamy, and relief from “unjust and law-breaking officials forced upon us by the Government.”

January 15– Saturday– Greeneville, Tennessee– Eliza McCardle Johnson, widow of former President Andrew Johnson, dies at age 75.

January 16– Sunday– Lynn, Massachusetts– Reports indicate that the strike of shoemakers may spread to close most or all of the factories.

January 17– Monday– Boston, Massachusetts– The state legislature begins consideration of abolishing the death penalty as well as ending imprisonment for debt.

January 17– Monday– Jersey City, New Jersey– Birth of Frank Hague, politician who will hold a number of elected offices and run Democratic machine politics in the state for decades with a reputation for menacing conduct. [Dies January 1, 1956.] [For a biography and analysis, see A Cycle of Power by Richard Connors (1971) and The Statesman and The Boss by George Rapport (1961).]

January 17– Monday– Caprera Island, Italy– The 68 year old Giuseppe Garibaldi, the hero of Italian unification, still meets with visitors from England and France, speaking to them in their own languages.

January 17– Monday– Prague, Austrian-Hungarian Empire [now Czech Republic]– Birth of Olga Fastrova, author, editor, translator, educator and pioneering journalist. [Dies August 8, 1965.]


Matilda Joslyn Gage


January 18– Tuesday– Albany, New York– Matilda Joslyn Gage and Lillie Divereux Blake testify before the state legislature’s judiciary committee calling on the legislature to enfranchise the women of New York state to vote in federal elections, citing the “humanizing influence” of women and declaring that the political party which grants woman suffrage will win the national elections in November.

January 18– Tuesday– New York City– The New York Times reports that the Universal Peace Union met last evening at the Rose Hill Methodist Chapel. Presentations included an account of treaty violations leading to war with the Modoc people in 1872-73 and a reflection on the duties of a Christian to work for peace. It was announced that Phebe Coffin Hanaford [1829– 1921], the Universalist minister will speak at the next meeting. [The Universal Peace Union was founded by Alfred Love in 1866; see, Alfred H Love and the Universal Peace Union by Robert Doherty (1962).]

January 19– Wednesday– New York City– About 55 representatives of working people hold a meeting calling for the formation of a new labor party, protection of the 8 hour work day and other measures in the interests of workers.

January 20– Thursday– Madrid, Spain– General elections to the Cortes Generales are held. At stake are all 391 seats in the Congress of Deputies. Conservatives win 329 seats, liberals 49 seats and other parties 13 seats. Of eligible voters, 58.9% vote. Antonio Canovas del Castillo, age 48, secures a second term as prime minister.

January 21– Friday– New York City– The New York Times reports that when three citizens complained about a black man delivering their mail and demanding that a white man take over the job, the post master informed them that if they find their mail carrier objectionable, they ought not to use the U S mails.

January 21– Friday– Washington, D.C.– President Grant updates the House of Representatives regarding relations with Spain in regard to Cuba.

January 21– Friday– London, England– The British Anti-Slavery Society requests that Her Majesty’s government help settle the problems of Cuba where rebels have been fighting for independence from Spain since 1868.

January 24– Monday– St Paul, Minnesota– Reports say that large quantities of gold can be found in the Black Hills of the Dakotas. [The lands are holy to the Sioux and relegated to their control by a treaty made in 1868. The prospectors are trespassing but the army does nothing to stop them.]


Aaron Augustus Sargent


January 25– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– Senator Aaron Augustus Sargent of California presents a petition signed by a large number of women asking for the creation of a local government for the District of Columbia which will give women the right to vote. The senator asserts that the “great movement of woman suffrage” will prevail and is “making progress day by day.” Further, he declares, the example of Wyoming Territory which gave women the right to vote in 1869 is “indorsed by the judiciary, by the press and by the people generally” and is an example to be followed.

January 25– Tuesday– Vienna, Austria– A dispatch says that the Sultan of Turkey intends to reject Austria’s proposal to settle the Ottoman Empire’s debts to various European powers.

January 26– Tuesday– Boston, Massachusetts– The Massachusetts Woman’s Suffrage Association concludes its two day convention. Julia Ward Howe and Reverend James Freeman Clarke made key presentations.

January 26– Wednesday– Rome, Italy– Garibaldi meets with surviving veterans of his campaigns. Visiting Englishmen and Americans greet Garibaldi with enthusiasm.

January 27– Thursday– Trenton, New Jersey– The State Temperance Alliance holds a large meeting, dominated by women active in the cause, and makes recommendations to voters on temperance issues both at the sate and national levels.

January 28–Friday– Boston, Massachusetts–Helen Benson Garrison, wife of William Lloyd Garrison dies at age 64 from pneumonia.

January 28– Friday– London, England– Government sources here and in Berlin report that it is expected that Queen Victoria will visit with the German Imperial Court during her trip on the European continent.


Queen Victoria


January 29– Saturday– New York City– “Mr. Blaine has just done and said his utmost to tear asunder the half-healed lacerations of our body politic, as recently rent and torn by intestine convulsions. Standing at the brink of that gulf which was about to be opened in our history, President Lincoln could but express the hope, in his first inaugural address, that ‘the mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, would yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched,’ as he believed they would be, ‘by the better angels of our nature.’ But Mr. Blaine cannot find it in his heart to utter a prayer like this, or to breathe an invocation to ‘the better angels of our nature.’ He brings the vials of wrath, filled to the brim with the quintessence of sectional hate, and publicly breaks them over the heads of sixty-one members of the House of Representatives in the presence of the whole country.” ~ Frank Leslies Weekly.

January 29– Saturday– Ottawa, Ontario, Canada– The Canadian Centennial Commission has reached final agreement with the United States Commissioners regarding Canada’s display at this summer’s celebration in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

January 29– Saturday– the Wairau electorate, New Zealand– The last day of five weeks of polling throughout the country takes place here. As political parties do not yet exist in the country, precise numbers of political opinions are unavailable; however, the current government wins enough seats to remain in power.

After-effects of War ~ Immigration 1920

Immigration (U.S.):


The Great War is over. Large numbers of immigrants come from Italy and Canada. While the pattern of mostly men of working age continues we see a significant percentage increase of immigrants with job skills.

> 430,001 immigrants enter the United States:

> 22.1% come from Italy;

> 20.9% come from Canada;

> 12.2% come from Mexico;

> 11.2% come from Greece, Spain and Portugal combined;

> 8.9% come from Great Britain;

> 5.7% come from France, Belgium, Netherlands and Switzerland combined;

> 4.7% come from Central and South America, excluding Mexico;

> 3.1% come from Sweden, Norway and Denmark combined;

> 2.2% come from Ireland;

> 2.2% come from Japan;

> 1.3% come Austria, Hungary and neighboring states, excluding Germany, the Soviet Union and Poland;

> 1.2% come from Turkey;

> 1.1% come from Poland;

> 0.9% come from the Balkans;

> 0.5% come from China;

1.8% come from other regions and other countries.


> Sex and age:

> 42.4% are female;

> 57.6% are male;

> 71.5% are between the ages of 16 and 44;

> 19.0% are under age 16;

9.5% are age 45 and over.

immigrant ship photo-e

> Occupations by major categories:

> 40.2% have no occupation–this includes children;

> 19.4% have general labor occupations;

> 13.0% have skilled craft occupations;

> 8.7% have domestic work occupations;

> 6.4% have agricultural occupations;

> 4.3% have service occupations;

> 3.3% have clerical occupations;

> 2.5% have professional occupations;

> 2.2% have managerial occupations.

In Spite of War They Come~Immigration 1916

Immigration (U.S.):


The Great War in Europe significantly reduces immigration to the United States. Far fewer people are coming from the major warring powers– Germany, Austria, Russia, France, Great Britain– and over 100,000 coming from Canada and over 80,000 arriving from southern Europe. The pattern which has not changed is the predominance of young men with few job skills.

> 298,826 immigrants enter the United States;

> 33.9% come from Canada;

> 15.6% come from Portugal, Spain and Greece;

> 11.3% come from Italy;

> 6.2% come from Mexico;

> 5.8% come from Central and South America (excluding Mexico);

> 5.4% come from Great Britain;

> 4.9% come from Scandinavia;

> 3.1% come from Eastern and Central Europe, including Germany, Poland, Austria & Hungary;

> 2.9% come from Northwestern Europe (France, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands);

> 2.9% come from Japan;

> 2.9% come from Ireland;

> 2.6% come from the Russian Empire;

2.5% come from other countries and regions

Immigrants Arriving at Ellis Island

24 Jul 1915 — Original caption: 7/24/15-Immigrants arriving at Ellis Island on the S.S. Prince Frederick Wilhelm. — Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

> Sex and age:

> 38.9% are female

> 61.1% are male;

> 15.7% are under age 14;

> 73.9% are between the ages of 14 and 44;

10.4% are age 45 and older.


> Occupations by major groups include:

> 35.0% have no occupation–this includes children;

> 19.2% are general laborers;

> 12.0% are skilled craft workers;

> 11.1% are farmers and agricultural laborers;

> 9.8% are domestic workers;

> 3.7% are service workers;

> 3.3% are clerical workers;

> 3.0% are professional workers;

> 2.9% are commercial workers

Headed for New Life~Immigration 1912

Immigration (U.S.):


Better than three quarter of a million immigrants arrive in the United States, the largest numbers being men between the ages of 14 and 44, primarily from eastern or southern Europe, either unskilled or with agrarian work skills.

> 838,172 immigrants enter the United States:

> 21.3% come from the Austria-Hungary Empire;

> 19.3% come from the Russian Empire;

> 18.7% come from Italy;

> 6.9% come from Greece, Spain, Portugal combined;

> 6.8% come from Great Britain;

> 3.2% come from Sweden, Norway and Denmark combined;

> 3.0% come from Ireland;

> 2.7% come from Germany;

> 2.7% come from France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Switzerland combined;

> 2.5% come from the Balkans;

> 1.5% come from China

[The numbers from Poland are included in part among Germany, Russia and Austria-Hungary as each of these powers controls part of Poland.]

immigrant ship photo-c

> Sex and age:

> 36.8% are female;

> 63.2% are male;

> 77.2% are between 14 and 44 years of age;

> 13.6% are below age 14;

9.2% are age 45 and over


> occupations:

> 27.5% have no occupation– this includes children;

> 22.8% have agricultural occupations;

> 16.4% have general labor occupations;

> 13.8% have domestic work occupations:

> 12.8% have skilled craft occupations;

> 1.7% have managerial occupations;

> 1.6% have clerical occupations;

> 1.6% have service occupations;

> 1.3% have professional occupations;

> 0.5% have miscellaneous occupations.

Seeking a Better Life~Immigration 1896


Immigration (U.S.):

Well over a quarter of a million immigrants come during the year, many from southern or eastern Europe, mostly males between ages 15 to 40 and mostly unskilled.

> 343,267 immigrants enter the United States:

> 19.8% come from Italy;

> 19.4% come from Central and Eastern Europe, including Poland;

> 14.9% come from the Russian Empire;

> 11.7% come from Ireland;

> 9.7% come from Scandinavia;

> 9.3% come from Germany;

> 7.2% come from Great Britain;

> 2.2% come from Northwest Europe (France, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland);

> 2.0% come from Central and South America, including Mexico;

> 1.5% come from Southern Europe (Portugal, Spain, Greece);

> 1.2% come from Turkey;

> 0.4% come from China;

> 0.3% come from Japan;

0.4% come from other regions and other countries.


> Sex and Age:

> 38.1% are female;

> 61.9% are male;

> 74.1% are between the ages of 15 and 40;

> 15.4% are under age 15;

10.5% are over age 40.


> Occupations by major categories:

> 35.9% have no occupation–this includes children;

> 26.6% are general laborers;

> 13.6% are skilled craft workers;

> 11.3% are domestic workers;

> 8.5% are farmers;

> 1.8% are commercial workers;

> 0.7% are professional workers;

> the remaining 1.6% have miscellaneous occupations.

Still They Come~Immigration 1892


Immigration (U.S.):

Major shifts have occurred since 1876. The majority of immigrants come from central and eastern Europe. The majority are still males between 15 and 40 years of age equipped mostly for unskilled labor.

> 579,663 immigrants enter the United States:

> 20.5% come from Germany;

> 14.6% come from the Russian Empire;

> 13.5% come from Eastern and Central Europe (excluding Poland which is counted as part of the Russian Empire);

> 11.4% come from Norway, Sweden and Denmark combined.

> 10.5% come from Italy;

> 8.9% come from Ireland;

> 7.2% come from Great Britain;

> 7.0% come from Poland;

> 3.7% come from France, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands combined

2.7% come from other regions and other countries


> Sex and age:

> 37.6% are female;

> 62.4% are male;

> 78.9% are between the ages of 15 and 40;

> 14.3% are under age 15;

6.8% are over age 40.


> Occupations by major categories:

> 44.1% have no occupation–this includes children;

> 29.6% have general labor occupations;

> 11.7% have skilled craft occupations;

> 8.9% have agricultural occupations;

> 3.0% have domestic work occupations;

> 0.5% have professional occupations;

> 0.5% have commercial occupations;

> 0.9% have miscellaneous occupations


The 1860 Census~A National Picture

The United States Constitution in Article One, Section Two, Sub-section Three, mandates that “Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers . . . . The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct.” This year requires such a census, one which provides interesting insight into the civil war which will soon divide the nation.


slave family in the fields


The census reports that the total population is 31,443,322, an increase of 35.6% over the 1850 census. The total population includes 3,953,760 slaves and 487,970 free persons of color as well as 41,725 “civilized Indians” by which the Federal government meant Native Americans living in cities, towns or on reservations and who had accepted the dominant culture. Those living on their traditional lands or in a semi-nomadic fashion are not counted. New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania combined contain 23.7% of the population. The New England states hold 9.9% of the national population while the three states of the Pacific coast– Washington, Oregon, and California combined– have only 1.4% of the total. Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida combined contain 13.0% of the total population while Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas combined have 9.7% of the entire population. Females constitute 48.8% of the total population, males making up 51.2% of the total; only 19.8% of the total population live in urban areas which are defined as places with 2500 or more persons, which totals 392 such locations, an increase from 236 locations in 1850 and the 24 such locations in 1790, the year of the first census. Among school age children, defined by the census as between the ages of 5 to 19, 62.0% of white males and 57.2% of white females attend school while only 1.9% of other males and 1.8% of other females attend school.

The largest numbers of immigrants live, in order, in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin and Massachusetts while the fewest numbers of immigrants live in North Carolina, Florida, Arkansas, Oregon, Mississippi, and Delaware.


The census defines “Leading Manufactures” as industries which produce flour, cotton goods, boots and shoes, leather goods, clothing, woolen goods, machinery, printing, sugar refining, iron foundries, furniture, rolled iron, pig iron, liquors, agricultural implements and soap. Across the nation 1,100,000 men and 285,000 women work in such industries; however, only 8.9% of these men and only 4.0% of these women work in the states which will become part of the Confederacy.

Railroads operate 31,794 miles of track, 31.2% of which lies in the states which will join the Confederacy.


Publications include 372 daily newspapers; 2,694 weekly newspapers; 74 biweekly newspapers; 171 weekly religious newspapers; 86 monthly religious newspapers; 298 literary papers.

Publishers print $11,843,459 worth of books, the greatest majority of which are printed, in order, in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, the District of Columbia, and Connecticut.

A total of 46 factories make sewing machines; all of them are located in the North.

America’s farms & plantations cultivate 163,261,389 acres to produce

> 830,451,707 bushels of corn

> 172,554,688 bushels of oats

> 171,183,301 bushels of wheat

> 110,571,201 bushels of potatoes

> 41,606,302 bushels of sweet potatoes

> 17,664,914 bushels of buckwheat

> 15,635,119 bushels of barley

> 15,188,013 bushels of peas & beans

> 429,390,771 pounds of tobacco

> 302,205,000 pounds of cane sugar

> 187,140,173 pounds of rice

> 60,511,343 pounds of wool

> 38,863,884 pounds of maple sugar

> 25,028,991 pounds of honey

> 1,357,864 pounds of bees wax

> 16,337,080 gallons of cane molasses

> 1,944,594 gallons of maple molasses

5,198,077 bales of ginned cotton


The population being consistently thirsty, the total production of spirituous liquors– i.e., whiskey, rum, gin, brandy, wine, etc– amounts to 88,002,988 gallons or about 2.8 gallons, on average, for each woman, man and child in the United States.

Seeking Opportunity~Immigration, 1876

Immigration (U.S.):


Germany, Great Britain and Ireland continue to provide large numbers of immigrants. However this year significant waves of immigration arrive from China and Canada. The majority of immigrants are males between the ages of 15 and 40, mostly lacking an occupation or being qualified for general labor.

> 169,986 immigrants enter the United States:

> 18.8% come from Germany;

> 17.2% come from Great Britain;

> 13.4% come from China;

> 13.2% come from Canada;

> 11.5% come from Ireland;

> 7.2% come from Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland combine;

> 6.4% come from France, Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands combined;

> 4.2% come Poland, Austria, Hungary and the Balkans combined

> 2.8% come from the Russian Empire;

> 1.8% come from Italy;

> 1.3% come Central and South America, including Mexico;

> 1.1% come from Portugal, Spain, and Greece combined;

1.1% come from other regions and other countries.


Irish famine


> Sex & age:

> 34.2% are female;

> 65.8% are male;

> 71.6% are between the ages of 15 and 40;

> 16.3% are under age 15;

12.1% are over age 40;

immigrant women-x676

> Occupations by major categories:

> 41.8% have no occupation–this includes children;

> 22.8% have general labor occupations;

> 14.2% have skilled craft occupations;

> 8.5% have agricultural occupations;

> 3.8% have domestic work occupations;

> 2.9% have commercial occupations;

> 1.4% have professional occupations;

> 4.6% have miscellaneous occupations.

Curtain rises of election year 1876


The year begins on a Saturday. Around the world, leaders include Queen Victoria of Great Britain, age 56, reigning since 1837; her current prime minister is Benjamin Disraeli, age 71, in office since 1874 (for his second time) ; King William III of Netherlands, age58, ruling since 1849; King Christian IX of Denmark, age 57, ruling since 1863; King George I of Greece, age 30, ruling since 1863; King Vittorio Emanuele II of Italy, age 55, ruling since 1861; King Alfonso XII of Spain, age 18, reigning since December, 1874; King Oscar II of the United Kingdom of Sweden and Norway, age 47, ruling since 1872; Prince Charles III of Monaco, age 57, ruling since 1856; Emperor Wilhelm I, age 78, Emperor of Germany, ruling since 1871; his chancellor is Otto von Bismarck, age 60, in office since 1871; Emperor Yohannes IV of Ethiopia, age 38, ruling since 1871; Emperor Meiji of Japan, age 23, ruling since 1867; Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary, age 45, ruling since 1848; Emperor Guangxu of China, age 3, reigning since 1875 under the Dowager Empress Cixi, age 40, who rules de facto; Emperor Tu Duc of Vietnam, age 46, ruling since 1847; Czar Alexander II of Russia, age 57, ruling since 1855;Sultan Abdulaziz of the Ottoman Empire, age 45, ruling since 1861; Sultan Barghash bin Said of Zanzibar, age 39, ruling since 1870; President Patrice de Mac-Mahon of France, age 67, in office since 1873; President Joseph Jenkins Roberts of Liberia, age 64, in office since 1872 (for his second time).


Prime Minister Disraeli


There has been rebellion in the Balkans against Turkish rule which will boil over into major warfare this year. Periodic unrest in Cuba against Spanish rule percolates to the top. In Europe, Russia has a standing army of 3,360,000 soldiers; Germany, 2,800,000 soldiers; France, 412,000 soldiers; Great Britain, 113,000 soldiers. However, Britain has the most powerful navy in the world, with 248 warships and 54,400 sailors. In November, 1875, Britain obtained control of the Suez Canal by purchasing all the shares owned by the Khedive of Egypt who was deeply in debt.

The population of the United States is approximately 46,107,000 people. Less than 30% live in urban areas. Children age 14 and under constitute approximately 4.5% of the population and 0.5% of the population are age 60 and older. Women account for 49.4% of the population. Over 16% of the total population earn their living on farms while only 5.8% of the total population earn a living in manufacturing. The six New England states hold 8.8% of the population; New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania combined have 22.1% of the population; 10.3% live in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida combined; Texas has 2.0%; the three states of the Pacific coast combined have 1.7% of the total population.

According to the census of 1870, the ten largest cities are New York City, population 942,292; Philadelphia, population 674,022; Brooklyn City, population 396,099; St Louis, Missouri, population 310,864; Chicago, population 298,977; Baltimore, Maryland, population 267,354; Boston, population 250,526; Cincinnati, Ohio, population 216,239; New Orleans, population 191,418 and San Francisco, population 149,473. Richmond, Virginia, is the 24th largest city with 51,038 people; Memphis, Tennessee the 32nd with 40,226; Savannah, Georgia, the 48th with 28,235; Atlanta the 61st with 21,789; Sacramento, California, the 89th largest with a population of 16,283.

Public school attendance is 8,869,115 children; 64.7% of all school age children attend school; this year 20,448 will graduate from high school. Public elementary and high schools will spend $83,000,000 to operate. Colleges and universities will award 12,005 bachelor degrees, 17.4% of them to women, 835 masters degrees and 31 doctoral degrees, none of these last two to women. Harvard has become the first American university to create a professorship of music, bestowing the position on John Knowles Paine, age 37, a composer who will teach there for a total of 43 years.

Railroads operate on 76,808 miles of track, 2,575 of those miles added during this year; 15,618 locomotives pull 14,621 passenger cars and 384,903 freight cars. Last year railroads earned $503,066,000.


Telegraph offices number 7,072 and utilize 184,000 miles of wire, sending 18.7 million messages and bringing in revenues of $9,100,000. There are over 1,500 newspapers issuing daily editions with approximately 8.1 million in daily circulation. There are 36,383 post offices which will sell 698,799,000 stamps and generate $28,644,000 in revenue but $33,263,000 in expenditures. Postage rates are 3 cents per ½ ounce and 1 cent for a post card. There are 3,000 telephones in operation or approximately 1 for every 15,000 people

The U S exports $597,000,000 worth of goods and materials while importing $477,000,000 of goods and materials, creating a surplus balance of trade of $120,000,000. Major exports include $193,000,000 of cotton, $68,000,000 of wheat and $23,000,000 of leaf tobacco. Major imports include $58,000,000 of sugar, $57,000,000 of coffee, $20,000,000 of tea, $5,000,000 of raw silk and $4,000,000 of rubber. Of U S exports, 56.3% goes to the United Kingdom, 8.5% to Germany, 6.7% to France, 5.5% to Canada, 2.2% to Cuba, 1.2% to Brazil and the remaining 19.6% to other nations around the world. Of U S imports, 25.8% come from the United Kingdom, 11.7% from Cuba, 10.7% from France, 9.4% from Brazil, 7.3% from Germany, 6.0% from Canada, 3.1% from Japan, 2.5% from China and the remaining 23.5% from other nations around the world.

The federal government will issue 15,393 copyrights and 15,758 patents.

The government will take $294,096,000 while spending $265,101,000, leaving a budget surplus of $28,995,000; however the national debt is $2,130,846,000.

black veteran & family

Union veteran & family


Military personnel on active duty include 28,565 in the Army, 10,046 in the Navy and 1,980 in the Marine Corps. There are over 1.6 million Union veterans of the Civil War now in civilian life. In the South there are probably 750,000 Confederate veterans in civilian life, of whom better than 10% have missing limbs or are blinded. Confederate veterans are disqualified from federal government benefits. Somewhere between 7500 and 11,000 Confederate veterans have left the United States for Latin America or Europe.

In Washington, D.C., the 44th Congress began its first session on December 6, 1875 with Republicans controlling the Senate and Democrats in control of the House of Representatives. In the Senate there are 45 Republicans and 26 Democrats with 1 vacancy while in the House there 178 Democrats, 104 Republicans and 4 Independents. The Speaker of the House is Michael C Kerr, age 48, a Democrat from Indiana. The mid-term elections gave control of the House to Democrats for the first time in twenty years, increasing Democratic hopes to win the presidency, a feat they last accomplished in 1856.


President Grant


The administration of President Ulysses S Grant has been tarnished by corruption scandals. Grant is 53 years old and apparently would like to serve a third term, although publicly he has declared that he will not run again. However key people in the Republican Party are turning against him because of the scandals, the effects of the economic depression of 1873 still hurting the country and debates about currency. White men in the South are calling for a return to “Home Rule” which means the removal of federal troops from the states of the former Confederacy, finding ways to disenfranchise black men and exercise control over former slaves. The Ku Klux Klan is increasing in numbers.

Prices for food, clothes and heating fuel continue to rise. In the year just ended 768 businesses failed. Oranges and bing cherries are increasing in popularity. Milk chocolate for eating has just been introduced and is considered a novelty.

Americans look forward to celebrating the centennial of the country’s birth. P.T. Barnum continues to make his traveling circus an extremely popular form of entertainment. Evangelist Dwight L Moody prepares to begin his second year of preaching religious revivals. Mary Baker Eddy’s book Science and Health, published last year, causes some ripples in religious circles.

The Buzz~January, 1860


January 1–Sunday– Troy, New York– Local vigilance members, including several black women, gather at the federal commissioner’s office and lead a crowd against the officers holding Charles Nalle, a fugitive slave from Virginia, and spirit him away to safety.

January 2–Monday– Ellington, New York–Mrs Brooks of the local Anti-slavery Society writes to William Still of Philadelphia. “Enclosed are $2.00, to pay freightage on the box of bedding, wearing apparel, etc., that has been sent to your address. It has been thought best to send you a schedule of the contents of said box. Trusting it will be acceptable, and be the means of assisting the poor fugitive on his perilous way, you have the prayers of our Society, that you may be prospered in your work of mercy, and you surely will meet with your reward according to your merciful acts.” [Today her $2 gift would equal $54.10.]


William Still


January 2–Monday– Columbus, Ohio– In his annual message to the state legislature, Governor Salmon P Chase [1808– 1873], in his second term in office, responds to Virginia Governor Henry Wise’s [1806– 1876] condemnation of northern encouragement of slave revolts. Chase denounces any incitement to violence but lays most of the blame for disturbances in the slave states, following John Brown’s raid at Harpers Ferry, on southerners themselves, and Chase goes on to condemn the southern arrests of strangers and organized demonstrations against northern neighbors. [Chase will become a member of Lincoln’s Cabinet and later Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court; Wise will become a general in the Confederate army.]

January 2–Monday– Sacramento, California– The state legislature convenes with a narrow Democratic majority. The pro-southern wing of the California Democratic Party has done well in the election. However, even as the new session begins the Democrats are showing signs of a developing split among themselves over the question of slavery.

January 4–Wednesday– Springfield, Illinois– The state Democratic Party Convention meets to select delegates for the upcoming national convention in Charleston, South Carolina. They charge those selected to make sure the Party’s platform resists all federal regulations concerning slavery in the western territories and to support Senator Stephen A Douglas of Illinois as the official Democratic Party nominee.

January 4–Wednesday– Chicago, Illinois– Abolitionist John Hossack and seven other residents of Ottawa, Illinois are indicted under the Fugitive Slave Law for assisting the escape of a Missouri fugitive on October 29, 1859.

January 5–Thursday– Paris, France– Emperor Napoleon III orders a series of free trade reforms in France with the immediate removal of custom’s duties on wool and cottons and a gradual reduction in other items, including sugar.

January 6– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “We have asserted, on another occasion, that, morally speaking, the South is one vast Bedlam on the subject of slavery, and the slaveholders lunatics. In demonstration of the truthfulness of this charge, read Governor Wise’s harangue to the squad of medical students who recently left Philadelphia in great dudgeon because freedom of speech was protected by the city authorities, and whose presence has always been a curse and a poisonous contagion to that city. Did Bedlam ever exhibit any thing more ludicrous or more incoherent: Such a person as Governor Wise, in Massachusetts, would be deemed a fit candidate for the asylum at Worcester.” ~ The Liberator.

January 6–Friday– Vienna, Austria– Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary issues the first of a series of edicts lifting restrictions against Jews throughout the Empire.

January 8– Sunday– Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky– Birth of Nancy Jones, African American missionary for the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (ABCFM). She will graduate from Fisk University and become the first unmarried black woman commissioned by the ABCFM, serving in Mozambique from 1888 to 1893 and later in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) from 1893 to 1897. [Her death date is unknown.]

January 8–Sunday– London, England– Birth of Emma Booth, the fourth child and second daughter of William and Catherine Booth, who will soon found the Salvation Army. She will become one of her father’s key advisors and will lead operations in the United States for several years. [Dies October 28, 1903.]


Emma Booth


January 9–Monday– Frankfort, Kentucky– The state Democratic Party convention opens today with generally moderate discussion. Participants voice support for slavery and remaining loyal to the Union. The delegates elected to the national convention are committed to native son James Guthrie, who supports the Dred Scott decision, states’ rights, and adherence to the Union.

January 10–Tuesday– Lawrence, Massachusetts–Due to faulty construction, the Pemberton Mill building collapses, killing or injuring 270 workers, mostly women and young girls. As rescue workers try to free the trapped workers, fire erupts in the debris, adding to the number of dead.

January 11– Wednesday–Albany, New York–Workers form the Iron Molders Union of America.

January 11–Wednesday– New York City–George Templeton Strong writes in his diary about yesterday’s industrial accident in Lawrence, Massachusetts. “Of course, nobody will be hanged. Somebody has murdered about two hundred people, many of them with hideous torture, in order to save money, but society has no avenging gibbet for the respectable millionaire and homicide. Of course not.”

January 11–Wednesday– Montgomery, Alabama– The state Democratic Convention opens its four day meeting controlled by advocates of states’ rights. William L Yancey, one of the Southern fire-eaters, gives an important speech. The meeting will end by endorsing a series of resolutions that defend slavery in the western territories, affirm the Dred Scott decision, and threaten a withdrawal from the national convention should these demands not be met.

January 13– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “A public meting of the citizen of Marlborough (Massachusetts) was convened in the town hall on Friday evening, Dec. 2, to express their sentiments respecting the execution of John Brown, and their sympathy with his affected family. The meeting was called to order by O. W. Albee, principal of [the old Gates Academy] High School Mr. Howe was chosen Chairman, and Wm. F. Brigham, Secretary. Mr. Howe a made a few remarks on the event that had called the people together, and then called on Mr. Albee to address the meeting. Mr. A. responded by referring to the tragic event of to-day, and then passed to a review of the aggression of the Slave Power, and their affect on such minds as his who bad that day passed to heaven from a Virginia gallows. John Brown could not have been true to his convictions of right and duty, and have done or suffered less. He said he (Brown) was a believer in the Old Testament as well as in the New, and believed in gunpowder as well as in prayer; and, acting up to this standard, he inevitably must meet such an end. Mr. A. would not argue that all his actions were judicious; but, viewed from Brown’s standpoint, he saw a heroism and an unselfishness rarely equaled, and never surpassed, in history. Charles Brigham expressed his deep sorrow for so painful an event, and expressed a determination to be more devoted to the cause of freedom than he had heretofore been. Rev. Mr. Wakefield, of Feltonville, was the next speaker; and for more than thirty minutes he spoke with a fervor and eloquence rarely surpassed– portraying the wrongs of the slave, the outrages inflicted upon Kansas, the stirring scenes through which Brown and his compeers had passed, and the terrible destiny that awaits this guilty nation, and the certainty that disunion and bloodshed must be the final result. . . . . A collection was taken for the family of Brown, and the meeting closed.” ~ The Liberator.

January 14–Saturday–Sacramento, California– Democrat Milton Latham [1827– 1882]resigns as governor after only taking office five days ago. He leaves the governorship to take the unexpired U S Senate seat of David Broderick. Broderick died September 16, 1859, from a gunshot received in a duel with the former chief justice of the California supreme court. [John Downey (1827– 1894) takes over the office of governor; Latham will serve one term in the Senate.]

January 15– Sunday– Springfield, Illinois– Abraham Lincoln writes to a colleague about the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. “I said . . . in substance, and have often said, I think Congress has constitutional power to enact a Fugitive slave law; that the law of 1850 appears to me objectionable in some of its provisions; but whether it is unconstitutional in any of it’s provisions, I do not remember that I have ever undertaken to decide. I should be glad to see you, and to talk with you more fully than I can write.”

January 15–Sunday–Buffalo, New York– Birth of Katherine Bement Davis, social reformer and penologist. [Dies December 10, 1935.]


January15–Sunday– New Orleans, Louisiana–In response to an invitation from Fabre Nicholas Geffrard, President of Haiti, eighty-one free black persons set sail for a new life in Haiti as immigrants.

January 16– Monday– Washington, D.C.–The forty-third annual meeting of the American Colonization Society, founded by slave-holders in 1816 to encourage free black people to move to West Africa, opens at the Smithsonian Institution under its president, John Latrobe, age 56, a lawyer, engineer, inventor, author and artist from Baltimore, Maryland. The membership hears reports on the current state of Liberia and a variety of speeches. A Mr N. G. Taylor of Tennessee notes that the recent efforts in some states to expel free black people means that the society should redouble its efforts by providing a safe haven in Liberia.

January 17– Tuesday– Baton Rouge, Louisiana– In a farewell message, former governor Robert Wickliffe [1819– 1895] denounces Northern anti-slavery criticism and calls for Southern economic self-defense. The North, he says, is a “dependent” economy and “if the cotton crop of the South were to fail, for a single year, there would not be a solvent bank capitalist, manufacturer, or ship owner in the entire North.”

January 17– Tuesday– Castlerea, County Roscommon, Ireland– Birth of Douglas Hyde, educator and Gaelic scholar who will serve as the first President of Ireland from 1938 to 1945. [Dies July 12, 1949.]


Douglas Hyde


January 18–Wednesday– Meriden, Connecticut– About 300 businessmen attending the state Convention of Manufacturers divide into Republican and Democratic factions in heated debate about the upcoming elections. Eventually the Democrats walk out and hold their meeting in another location.

January 18–Wednesday– San Francisco, California–Today’s edition of the San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin complains about the laxity of the eight-year-old San Quentin prison and the way the prison staff allows “trusty” prisoners freedom to roam. “Grand Juries have repeatedly presented this defiance of the statute on the part of the prison authorities, by allowing certain trusty inmates to go at large before the expiration of the time of the sentence. It is time to stop the practice. Otherwise abolish the State Prison, and the expensive luxury of convicting culprits who are to range the streets at will and make conviction popular among rogues.”

January 19–Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “We are gratified to announce that the Council or Senate of Nebraska Territory has retraced its steps, and has passed an act for the exclusion of slavery from that Territory. Some weeks ago, the Council rejected a bill from the House of Representatives having the same object in view; but subsequently a Democratic member reconsidered the matter, and a new bill was brought in and adopted. It was immediately sent to the House, and met the approbation of that body; so that if it is approved by the Federal Governor, Mr. Black, who was appointed from Pennsylvania by Mr. Buchanan, it will become a law. But a veto, we are sorry to learn, is expected. This act of abolishing slavery by a Territorial Government is perhaps the first assertion of ‘popular sovereignty’ against the wishes of the President and the decision of the Dred Scott case. The moral effect of the victory will enure to the Republicans, to whom it belongs, since they introduced the subject, and pressed it upon the attention of the Legislature. It is true that the Legislature is Democratic in both its branches, but the party drill was compelled to give way before the moral pressure. . . . . The squatter [pro-slavery] sovereigns have a right to do right, but not a right to do wrong. All honor to Nebraska. In two years, if not sooner, she will be knocking at the doors of Congress for admission into the Union as a free Republican State.” ~ The National Era.

January 19–Thursday– Springfield, Illinois–Abraham Lincoln answers a letter from recently retired Congressman Alexander Stephens of Georgia. Lincoln details his own position on slavery and his understanding of states rights and the federal constitution. There is, Lincoln asserts, “no loop hole left for nullification, and none for secession– because the right of peaceable assembly and of petition and by article Fifth of the Constitution, the right of amendment, is the Constitutional substitute for revolution. Here is our Magna Carta not wrested by Barons from King John, but the free gift of states to the nation they create and in the very amendments harped upon by states rights men are proposed by the Federal congress and approved by Presidents, to make the liberties of the Republic of the West forever sure. All of the States’ Rights which they wished to retain are now and forever retained in the Union, including slavery; and so I have sworn loyalty to this constitutional union, and for it let me live or let me die. But you say that slavery is the corner stone of the south and if separated, would be that of a new Republic; God forbid. When a boy I went to New Orleans on a flat boat and there I saw slavery and slave markets as I have never seen them in Kentucky . . . . I hoped and prayed that the gradual emancipation plan . . .might lead to its extinction in the United States.”

January 20–Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “I called at 24 Portland Place, the office of the American Minister, Hon. Mr. Dallas, with my passport which I had obtained before leaving the United States. I asked to have it vised for the purpose of going to Paris. The Secretary said I was not a citizen of the United States, and he could not sign it. I informed him that I was a citizen of Salem in Massachusetts, and Massachusetts, acknowledged my citizenship and the fact of my having the passport was a proof of my citizenship. The Secretary still refused to sign it, and said I ought to be satisfied with his refusal. During the conversation, I turned to my sister and said, ‘Thank God we are in a country where our rights are respected, and I have no doubt we can obtain passports which will take us to France.’ This remark called froth from the gentlemanly Secretary this reply, ‘If you do not cease this conversation, I will have you put out of this house.’ Most earnestly would I ask all who read this letter to judge what the spirit of a country is that will allow such treatment to its citizens, the spirit which enslaves four million of men and women, and insults the free colored population of the United States? You may read the facts, but no words can express the mental suffering we are obliged to bear because we happen to have a dark complexion. No language can give one an idea of the spirit of prejudice which exists in the States.” ~ a letter from Sarah Parker Remond, age 44, African American abolitionist agent working in London, England, printed in today’s issue of The Liberator. [The American Minister she had to deal with was George Mifflin Dallas, (1792– 1864) a career diplomat and lawyer, conservative, pro-slavery, defender of illegal international slave trade, vehemently anti-abolitionist. Lincoln will replace him with Charles Francis Adams.]


Sarah Parker Remond


January 21– Saturday– Klara, Sweden– Birth of Karl Staaff, lawyer, liberal politician, advocate of universal suffrage who will serve as Sweden’s Prime Minister from 1905 to 1906 and again from 1911 to 1914. [Dies October 4, 1915.]

January 23–Monday– Paris, France– Great Britain and France sign the Cobden-Chevalier Treaty, which substantially liberalizes trade between the two countries. The treaty is less popular in France than in Britain and weakens the popularity of Napoleon III.

January 26– Thursday– Brookline, Massachusetts– Eliza Lee Cabot Follen, abolitionist, author and editor, dies at 73 years of age from typhus fever.

January 26–Thursday– Coburg, Germany– Wilhelmine Schroeder-Devrient, opera soprano who was known for her dramatic intensity, dies at age 55. She participated in the Revolutions of 1848 and spent some time in prison for her activism. She had three short-lived marriages. In 1872 Richard Wagner will dedicate his essay “On Actors and Singers” to her memory.

January 27– Friday– Boston, Massachusetts– “No one who knows me, or who has read my writings, Can be doubtful for a moment as to my position– Utter abhorrence of war, and of slavery as in itself a State of war, where the violence is all on one side. The pledge which we gave to the world at Philadelphia, twenty-six years ago, when we signed the Declaration of Sentiments, fresh from thy pen, that We would reject ourselves, and entreat the oppressed To reject the use of all carnal weapons for deliverance From bondage; that we admitted the sovereignty of the State over the subject of slavery within their limits; and that we were under high moral obligations to use, for the promotion of our cause, moral and political action as prescribed in the Constitution of the United States, we have since reiterated in a thousand forms, and on as many occasions. I have seen no reason to doubt the wisdom of that pledge. Slavery was just what it is now, neither better nor Worse, when we made it. If it is right and proper Now to use forcible means in behalf of the slave, it was right and proper then. If it be said that Old Testament Christians are not bound by our pledges, and that we are at liberty to applauded them in appeals To the sword, I can only say that I dare not encourage others who have not my scruples to do what I regard as morally wrong. . . . . I am painfully sensible of many errors of feeling and judgment, but my conscience bears me witness that I have, at least, honestly striven to be faithful alike to Freedom and Peace. That this is thy own earnest Desire I have as little doubt.” ~ letter from the Quaker poet, pacifist and abolitionist, John Greenleaf Whittier to his old friend William Lloyd Garrison, in their on-going discussion about John Brown’s resort to violence to free slaves, printed in today’s issue of The Liberator.


John Greenleaf Whittier


January 27–Friday– Washington–Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts writes to his friend, John Greenleaf Whittier, that tensions are so high in the city that foreign “diplomats cannot give a dinner without studying their lists as a protocol.” They are obliged to invite American guests by the section of the country from which they come.

January 29–Sunday– Paris, France– Emperor Napoleon III issues an imperial decree closing The Univers, a Catholic newspaper which supported the Pope in the increasing conflict between the French government and the Papacy.

January 29–Sunday– Nice, France–Stephanie Louise Adrienne de Beauharnais dies at age 70. From 1811 to 1818, she was the consort of Karl, Grand Duke of Baden, during which time she bore him five children. After the Duke’s death, she remained a widow. For many years her salon in Mannheim was important to and popular with artists and intellectuals.

January 29– Sunday– Rome, Italy– Pope Pius IX visits the newly opened Pontifical North American College which began only December 8, 1859, to train American men for ordination to the Roman Catholic priesthood.

January 30– Monday– Savannah, Georgia– The Savannah News claims that there really has been violence in Canada between black people and white people, despite abolitionist denials. “It is easier to believe that vagabond free Negroes and the equally mean white people who harbor them, would fall to fighting each other, than to believe a respectable newspaper capable of fabricating such wholesale falsehood.”