Monthly Archives: February 2016

Strike! Lawrence, Massachusetts~January, 1912

The years opens with what will become one of the most famous strikes in American labor history– textile workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts. Political and social change take place in China, South Africa, Great Britain, Germany, eastern Europe, Ecuador, as well as the cities of Toronto, Canada, Lisbon, Portugal, and Brisbane, Australia.


January 1–Monday– Nanjing, China– Following three months of fighting and turmoil, leaders of fifteen of the country’s twenty-four provinces elect Sun Yat-sen, 45 years old, as provisional president of the new Republic of China. This marks the beginning of the end of over 2,000 years of imperial rule and the end of the power of the Quing dynasty which has ruled since 1644. Although Sun’s supporters control most of southern China, Yuan Shih-kai retains power in the north as the chief of the Imperial army in Beijing.

January 1–Monday– Toronto, Canada–In municipal elections, Mayor George R Geary, age 38,facing no opponents, wins reelection by acclamation. Two incumbent members of the Board of Control are defeated. Noted Liberal Frank Spence loses his seat but is replaced by fellow Liberal Jesse McCarthy. J. J. Ward, considered a representative of labor also loses his seat. [George Geary dies April 30, 1954.]

January 1–Monday– New York City– The NAACP, founded three years ago, issues its second annual report. The report lists active chapters in Boston and Chicago as well as here and receipts of $10,317.43 for the eight months ending in December, 1911. [That equals approximately $265,000 in current dollars, using the Consumer Price Index.]

January 2– Tuesday– Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada– Birth of Barbara Pentland, composer, musician and educator. [Dies February 5, 2000.]

January 2–Tuesday– Tabriz, Persia– With 4,000 Russian troops occupying the city to protect Russian interests, the Russian authorities execute eight Persian leaders who had supported the Constitutional Revolution between 1905 and 1907. Other such leaders had fled the city.

January 3– Wednesday– Disraeli, Quebec, Canada– Birth of Louise Marguerite Renaude Lapointe, one of the first Canadian women to build a career in journalism and who will serve as a senator from 1971 to 1987. [Dies May 11,2002.]

January 5– Friday– Prague, Austro-Hungarian Empire–At the International Party Conference, Vladimir Ilich Lenin, age 41, and the Bolshevik Party break away from the rest of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party.

January 5– Friday– Nanjing, China– Dr. Sun Yat-sen issues the “Manifesto from the Republic of China to All Friendly Nations,” signaling a major change in Chinese foreign policy with a promise to end the isolationism of the Manchu Emperors and “to rejoin China with the international community.” On the same day, he meets with woman’s suffrage activist Lin Zongsu and pledges to allow women the right to vote in the new republic.

January 5–Friday– Melbourne, Victoria, Australia– Birth of Doris Jessie Carter, athlete who in the 1936 Olympics in Berlin will become the first Australian woman to make it into the Olympic finals. [Dies July 28, 1999.]


January 6– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– New Mexico is admitted as the 47th state in the Union.

January 6–Saturday– Bordeaux, France–Birth of Jacques Ellul, philosopher, sociologist, law professor and Christian anarchist. [Dies May 19, 1994.]

January 7–Sunday– The Red Sea outside of Kunfida (now Al Qunfudhah in Saudi Arabia)– Seven Turkish gunboats are sunk by three Italian warships as the hostilities begun last September continue.

January 7– Sunday– Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England– Dr. Sophia Louisa Jex-Blake, an English physician, teacher and feminist, dies two weeks away from her 72nd birthday. She was one of the first women to practice medicine in the United Kingdom, a leading campaigner for medical education for women and involved in founding two medical schools for women, one in London and the other in Edinburgh, where she also started a women’s hospital.


January 8– Monday– Bloemfontein, South Africa–John Dube, Pixley ka Isaka Seme and Sol Plaatie along with a number of the chiefs of indigenous peoples, people’s representatives, and church representatives form the African National Congress [the ANC] to bring all Africans together to work for liberation and freedom. From its inception the ANC represents both traditional and modern elements, from tribal chiefs to church and community bodies and educated black professionals, though women will only be admitted as affiliate members and only after 1930.

January 8–Monday– Port Maitland, Nova Scotia, Canada– Birth of Lawrence Walsh, U.S. federal prosecutor who will gain notoriety during his investigation the Iran-Contra affair.[Dies March 19, 2014].

January 8–Monday– Washington, D. C.– The United States Monetary Commission presents its plan to Congress to establish what will become the Federal Reserve System.

January 9– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– The Democratic National Committee announces that this year’s presidential nominating convention will be held in Baltimore beginning on June 25.

Preparing for the 4th of July parade held by the textile mill committees.

Preparing for the 4th of July parade held by the textile mill committees.

January 11–Thursday– Lawrence, Massachusetts–Women weavers, mostly immigrants, at Everett Cotton Mills realize that the company has reduced their pay by 32 cents and they stop their looms and leave the mill, shouting “short pay, short pay!” and thereby begin what will become know as “the Bread and Roses strike.” [The women earn a little less than $9.00 a week for nearly 60 hours of work. This equals about $231 in current dollars, using the Consumer Price Index.]

January 12– Friday– Berlin, Germany– The first round of the German parliamentary election is held today with 208 seats in the Reichstag at stake.

January 12– Friday– London, England– The General Post Office of the British government takes complete control of the national telephone system, leaving only the United States as the sole major industrialized nation in which the network is privately owned.

January 12–Friday– Lawrence, Massachusetts–Almost 10,00 workers in area textile plants walk out on strike as thousands more join the 1750 who walked out yesterday. At the Washington Mills, the workers turn off the power, cut belts on machines and break light bulbs as they walk out. Half of the strikers are women.

January 13–Saturday– New York City– Speaking at Bryant Hall, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, age 21, and has worked as an I.W.W. organizer for five years, encourages striking waiters to refuse tip-taking and instead to demand a living wage from the hotel and restaurant proprietors. The idea provokes considerable debate among the strikers, many of whom are immigrants, and the final vote is unanimous against accepting gratuities.


Elizabeth Gurley Flynn


January 13– Saturday– Lawrence, Massachusetts– The Evening Tribune reports that “It is felt that the worst uprising in the city has reached its climax and that the trouble will now gradually simmer down to normal conditions.”

January 14–Sunday– Wahoo, Nebraska– Birth of Tillie Lerner Olsen, author and feminist. [Dies January 1, 2007.]

January 15–Monday– Ecuador–The battleship USS Maryland arrives to protect American interests during the violence of the civil war.

January 15–Monday– Paris, France– Birth of Michel Jean-Pierre Debre who will serve in the French Resistance during the Second World War and as the first Prime Minister of the Fifth French Republic from 1959 to 1962. [Dies August 2, 1996.]

January 15– Monday– Washington, D.C.– The Senate votes 58-8 to discuss arbitration treaties publicly rather than in closed sessions. Peace advocates see this as a step forward.

January 15–Monday– Lawrence, Massachusetts–Authorities arrest 36 strikers for throwing snowballs at police officers and militiamen. Organizers of the IWW establish twenty-four hours a day picketing of the mills. The Evening Tribune reports that “Authorities have the situation well in hand.”

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cavalry troopers in Lawrence


January 15– Monday– Boston, Massachusetts– The governor orders five companies of state militia to Lowell “to suppress the rioting, to preserve order and to protect property.”

January 16–Tuesday– Ankara, Turkey– The Sultan Abdul Hamid II on his own initiative dissolves the Turkish Chamber of Deputies. Engaged in an expensive and bloody war with Italy since the end of September, 1911, attempting to repel the Italian invasion of Libya, an Ottoman province, the Sultan appears angry and frustrated with the Chamber.

January 17– Wednesday– Lawrence, Massachusetts– At the train station about 3000 strikers and supporters cheer the arrival of “Smiling Joe” Ettor, 26 years old and well known labor organizer and IWW activist. [Ettor dies in California sometime in 1948.]


January 18– Thursday– Brisbane, Queensland, Australia– Members of the Australian Tramway Employees Association are dismissed from their jobs when they wear union badges to work. Although the Brisbane tramways are owned by the General Electric Company of the United Kingdom, they are managed by Joseph Stillman Badger, an American, who is responsible for the firing of these workers. Later he will refuse to negotiate with the Queensland main union body, the Australian Labour Federation. The terminated workers and supporters march to Brisbane Trades Hall where a meeting is held. In the evening 10,000 people gather in Market Square to protest the company’s action.

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Brisbane tram



January 18– Thursday– Yaguachi, Ecuador– Over 1,000 people are killed in fighting between troops from the Quito national government and the Guayaquil rebel government.

January 18– Thursday– Roanne, France– Birth of David Rousset, writer and political activist who will survive the Buchenwald concentration camp during the Second World War.

January 18–Thursday– Tientsin, China– American troops occupy the city to protect American interests. The United States is concerned about political instability in China.

January 18– Thursday– London, England– The British Miners’ Federation releases the final tally on a strike vote with 445,801 in favor and 115,921 opposed. The strike, aimed at securing a minimum wage for coal miners, is scheduled begin on March 1.

January 20– Saturday– Berlin, Germany– The second round of Reichstag elections begins with 77 seats at stake.

January 20–Saturday– Lawrence, Massachusetts– Police detectives find a stash of dynamite in an empty room in back of Marad Dye Works and arrest seven people, two of them women.

January 22– Monday– Hamilton, Georgia–A white mob lynches three black men and one black woman.

January 22–Monday– Lawrence, Massachusetts–Almost 22,000 workers are now on strike. Business in town is at a standstill.


January 22– Monday– Nanjing, China– Sun Yat-sen and Yuan Shih-kai complete negotiations on the unification of the Republic of China, with Dr. Sun agreeing to yield the presidency to Yuan upon the abdication of the emperor.

January 23–Monday– The Hague, The Netherlands– For the first time ever, a number of countries sign a treaty to control drug trade. The International Opium Convention, signed by China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Persia, Portugal, Russia, Siam, the United States and the United Kingdom, provides that the signatories “shall use their best endeavors to control, or to cause to be controlled, all persons manufacturing, importing, selling, distributing, and exporting morphine, cocaine, and their respective salts, as well as the buildings in which these persons carry such an industry or trade.” Other countries are invited to agree to the terms later.

January 24– Tuesday– Lawrence, Massachusetts– At the train station thousands of strikers, their families and supporters cheer the arrival of “Big Bill” Haywood, age 42 and well known labor organizer and IWW activist. In a speech before Haywood’s arrival Joseph Ettor warns the strikers to beware of Pinkerton detectives who may act as agent provocateurs to discredit the workers.

January 25– Thursday– Guayaquil, Ecuador– General Pedro Montero, who had been proclaimed President of Ecuador on December 29, 1911, by rebelling Ecuadorian troops, is sentenced to 16 years in prison. When the sentence is announced, the crowd outside the courthouse nosily protests that the sentence is too light. A number of people rush in, shoot Montero to death, and carry his corpse outside, where others behead and then burn the body.

January 25–Thursday– Berlin, Germany– Voting in elections for the Reichstag concludes today with the Socialists having the largest number of seats, winning 100, and the Radical and National Liberal parties having won 44 and 47, respectively, and the (Catholic) Centre Party taking 91 seats. The results make possible a majority coalition of groups hostile to or ambivalent about the ruling elites of the German Empire; however, distrust and in-fighting among liberals and progressives will, for the most part, leave the government of Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg free to do as it wishes.

January 26–Friday– Beijing, China– A group of 47 generals and commanders of the Imperial Army, all of whom had pledged their allegiance to the monarchy earlier in this month, sign a petition to the Emperor and the regent, asking that the dynasty give way to a republic under Yuan Shih-kai.

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factory in Lawrence


January 27– Saturday– Lawrence, Massachusetts– Benoit Clothing Company, a local store, runs advertisements pledging 10% of each days sales to be given to relief of the strikers.

January 28– Sunday– Newark, New Jersey– Birth of Sidney Lens, author, labor organizer and socialist political activist. [Dies June 18,1986.]

January 28– Sunday– Quito, Ecuador– A mob storms the prison where former President Eloy Alfaro and his brothers Flavio and Medardo are being held as prisoners of war since their capture six days ago, and lynches them.

January 29–Monday– Chicago, Illinois– At a meeting of the “No Vote, No Tax League”–a women’s tax resistance group–an intense debate begins when Miss Belle Squire and Dr Cornelia De Bey urge the group to endorse Teddy Roosevelt for President of the United States. Dr De Bay declares that “When he sees that votes for women is a winning issue he will embrace it.” However, the proposal is defeated by a 2-to1 margin.

January 29– Monday– Pierce City, Missouri– Birth of Martha Wright Griffiths, lawyer and judge. She will become the first woman elected to the United States Congress from Michigan as a member of the Democratic Party and the first woman to serve on the powerful House Committee on Ways and Means. She will also be the person most responsible for including the prohibition of sex discrimination under Title VII in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and will finish her distinguished career becoming the first woman elected as Lieutenant Governor of Michigan. [Dies April 22, 2003.]

January 29–Monday– Lawrence, Massachusetts–Police and strikers clash. Annie Lo Pizza, a striker, is shot and killed. The Evening Tribune opines that while strikers appear more confident than ever, “the chaos which prevailed at the early stages of the strike has returned and it seems as if drastic efforts would be necessary to once again restore order. It is possible that the city will be placed under martial law.” In response to the threats of the mayor and business owners, Joseph Ettor declares, “Fine! We will win the strike even if they erect scaffolds on the streets.”


January 29–Monday– Lisbon, Portugal– A general strike cripples the city as newspapers, stores and theaters are closed and no streetcars run. The government blames strikers for several bombings.

January 30–Tuesday– New York City–Birth of Barbara Tuchman, historian. [Dies February 6, 1989.]

January 30–Tuesday– Chicago, Illinois– In an interview with the Evening Post, former President Theodore Roosevelt goes on record as saying that he would accept nomination for the presidency, though he is not actively seek a return to the White House. The 53 year old Roosevelt has been hunting big game in Africa and lecturing in Europe since leaving office in March of 1909 but is beginning to drift apart from his old friend President Taft.

January 30–Tuesday– Lawrence, Massachusetts–Soldiers bayonet and kill a 16 year old boy who is not a striker. Also, Joseph Ettor and Arturo Giovannitti, IWW labor organizers, are arrested and charged as “accessories” in the murder of Annie Lo Pizza.


Giovannitti & Ettor


January 30–Tuesday– Washington, D. C.– Mrs Lillian M N Stevens, National President of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, and Mrs Mary Harris Armour, of the Georgia WCTU, testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee and encourage the passage of a prohibition amendment to the federal constitution.

January 31– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– A bill introduced today in the House of Representatives authorizes $1,557,583 in payment for Civil War claims– $458,386 to churches and organizations for use of their buildings and property during the war; $1035,560 to individuals fror unpaid invoices for army stores and supplies; and $59,576 to various Union officers whose pay had been withheld for an assortment of reasons.

A Third Party Will Reshape the 1912 Election

The year begins on a Monday. Around the world, leaders include Queen Wilhelmina of Netherlands, age 31, ruling since 1890; Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia, age 67, ruling since 1889; Emperor Meiji of Japan, age 59, ruling since 1867; Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, age 81, ruling since 1848; Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, age 53, ruling since 1888; Sultan Mehmed V of the Ottoman Empire, age 67, ruling since 1909; Czar Nicholas II of Russia, age 43, reigning since 1894; King Albert I of Belgium, age 36, ruling since 1909; King Frederick VIII of Denmark, age 68, ruling since 1906; King George I of Greece, age 66, ruling since 1863; King Vittorio Emanuele III of Italy, age 42, ruling since 1900; King Haakon VII of Norway, age 39, ruling since 1905; King Alfonso XIII of Spain, age 25, ruling since 1886; King Gustaf V of Sweden, age 53, ruling since 1907; King George V of Great Britain, age 46, reigning since 1910, his current Prime Minister is Herbert Asquith, age 59, in office since 1908; Prime Minister Louis Botha of South Africa, age 49, in office since 1910; Prime Minister Andrew Fisher of Australia, age 49, in office since 1910; Prime Minister Robert Borden of Canada, age 57, in office since October, 1911; President Arthur Barclay of Liberia, age 57, in office since 1904; President Armand Fallieres of France, age 70, in office since 1906; President Manuel de Arriaga of Portugal, age 71,in office since August, 1911; President Jose Miguel Gomez of Cuba, age 53, in office since 1909; President Francisco Madero of Mexico, age 38, in office since November, 1911; President William Howard Taft of the United States, age 54, in office since 1909; President Roque Saenz Pena of Argentina, age 60, in office since 1910; President Hermes Rodrigues da Fonseca of Brazil, age 56, in office since 1910; President Ramon Barros Luco, age 76, in office since, 1910; President Augusto B Leguia Salcedo of Peru, age 48, in office since 1908; President Juan Vicente Gomez of Venezuela, age 54, in office since 1908.


England’s King George


Mexico endures internal turmoil. Italy and Turkey are at war with each other. On-going revolution promises major changes in China. Unrest continues within Russia and with other nations such as Russia and the United States experiencing tension over Russian treatment of Jewish people. Journalists around the world await news from competing expeditions of explorers in Antarctica. Scientists have developed a model of the atom. Excavation of the Panama Canal, begun in the spring of 1904, continues with 30,269,349 cubic yards removed this year.

The population of the United States is estimated at 95,410,500 people, of whom 48.6% are female, 29.9% are age 14 and under, 4.4% are over age 65, 47% live in urban areas [which the Census Bureau defines as places with 2500 or more residents]. Among minority groups, there are 10,595,000 African Americans; 319,216 Native Americans living on reservations; 72,157 persons of Japanese descent; 71,531 persons of Chinese descent. Population density is 32.08 persons per square mile.


In education, 18,182,937 or 72.2% of children of school age attend public elementary and secondary schools. Of the 547,289 public school teachers, 79.0% are women. Public school expenditures will total $404,868,000. The 594 American colleges and universities will confer 39,408 bachelors degrees, 24.9% of them to women, 3,035 masters degrees, 27.0% of them to women, and 500 doctoral degrees, only 12.8% of them to women. Of these colleges and universities, 109 are for women, 144 for men, and 341 for both women and men with 186,624 undergraduate students and 11,656 graduate students.

Of major religious groups, there are 15,016,000 Roman Catholics; 5,261,000 Methodists; 2,446,000 Southern Baptists; 1,353,000 Presbyterians; 66,000 Seventh Day Adventists.


Railroads operate 371,238 miles of track over which 62,262 engines pull 2,229,163 freight cars and 51,583 passenger cars. As the year begins, 1,209 street and elevated railway companies are operating 91,457 electric trolley cars over 41,028.5 miles of track.

Mail delivery is handled by 58,729 post offices which deliver 17,588,658,000 pieces of all kinds of mail, sell 9,929,173,000 stamps and bring a total of $246,744,015, yet total expenditures reach $248,525,450. Railroads provide the fastest way to move mail. Telegraph offices number 25,392, operating 1,517,000 miles of wire to carry an estimated 90,000,000 messages this year. There are 10,059,603 telephones or approximately 105 phones for every 1,000 people. There are 10,872,101 miles of telephone wire to carry an average of 23,483,770 calls per day. Telephone companies employ 123,439 workers to serve the needs of 4,474,171 paying subscribers, an increase of over 440,000 since last year. There are 2600 daily newspapers with a total average daily circulation of 24,111,977.

In the course of the year, lynchings will take the lives of 61 black people and 7 white people.

Exports from the United States to other countries will total $2,327,000,000 while imports will reach $1,749,000,000, thus creating a favorable balance of trade of $577,000,000. The largest amounts of exports will go to Canada (27.8%), the United Kingdom (24.2%) and Germany (13.2%). The greatest amounts of imports will come from Canada (31.4%), the United Kingdom (15.6%), Germany (9.8%) and France (7.2%). Imports will include 887,747,747 pounds of coffee and 101,406816 ponds of tea.


The 6,430,000 farms utilize 894,209,000 acres and employ 10,162,000 family members and an additional 3,397,000 hired farm hands to work the land. They will produce 3,124,746,000 bushels of corn, 14,313,015 bales of cotton, 695,944,444 pounds of rice, 723,840,000 pounds of cane sugar.

In the course of the year 3,635 workers will die in railroad accidents and another 142,442 will be injured or maimed. Fatal accidents will kill 2,419 coal miners, 661 in various metal mines, and 213 in quarry accidents. There remains much talk about the 146 textile workers who died in the Triangle Shirt Waist Company fire in New York City on March 25th of last year but as 1912 begins neither the federal government nor most state governments nor major metropolitan fire departments have taken any significant steps to prevent another such catastrophe or make plans to deal with fires in the increasing number of tall buildings. About 2.4 million workers belong to labor unions.

The Coast Guard will deal with the wrecks of 328 vessels involving total loss and the deaths of 195 persons, either along the coasts or rivers of the United States.

The year will see the production of 187,571,808 gallons of distilled alcoholic beverages and 62,176,694 gallons of fermented liquors.

Oil wells yield 222,113,218 barrels of crude oil. Mines yield 57,017,614 long tons of iron ore, 75,398,369 long tons of anthracite coal, 401,803,934 long tons of bituminous coal, 4,271,562 troy ounces of gold, 67,601,111 troy ounces of silver, 31,133968 barrels of salt, 323,907 short tons of zinc. Mills produce 24,656,841 long tons of finished rolled steel products, 31,251,303 long tons of crude steel, 65,607,000 pounds of aluminum.

Industry - Tin Plate Workers - Swansea - 1912


Military personnel on active duty number 92,121 in the Army, 87,346 in the Navy, and 9,696 in the Marine Corps. An estimated 824,000 veterans live in civilian life, 37% of whom are age 65 to 69 and 25% are age 70 and older. Widows of veterans number approximately 322,000.

The federal government employs 38,555 people within the District of Columbia and an additional 361,595 other persons across the states and territories. Active duty military personnel include 92,121 in the Army, 51,357 in the Navy and 9,610 in the Marine Corps. The government will take in $692,609,000 while spending $689,881,000, creating a budget surplus of $2,728,000; however, the total national debt stands at $1,193,839,000. The government will issue 36,198 patents and 121,824 copyrights.

The second session of the 62nd Congress began on December 4, 1911 with 228 Democrats, 161 Republicans and 1 third party member in the House of Representatives with 51 Republicans and 41 Democrats in the Senate. James “Champ” Clark, age 61, Democrat from Missouri, serves as Speaker of the House.

Incumbent President William Howard confidently expects to be re-elected. However, his predecessor Theodore Roosevelt is making up his mind to once again seek the Republican nomination. Senator Robert La Follette of Wisconsin also intends to seek nomination.


On the Democratic side, Speaker Champ Clark, Congressman Oscar Underwood of Alabama, Governor Judson Harmon of Ohio, Governor Thomas Marshall of Indiana, and Governor Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey intend to seek the Democratic nomination. The hopes for a Democratic win are buoyed by the strong showing in the 1910 mid-term elections.


The socialists and the prohibitionists also plan to run candidates while few, if any, people foresee a split in the Republican Party creating a new third party.

Six states– Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Idaho, Washington and California– have by this year enfranchised women who total 1.3 million registered voters. Suffrage activists are determined to make woman suffrage a major campaign issue.


Upheavals & Transformations ~ January 1896

The year opens with much activity which foreshadows many events of the next twenty years– tension in South Africa which will erupt in the Boer War, an independence movement in Cuba which will involve Spain in a war with the United States, struggles for Irish independence which will lead to the bitter Easter Uprising of 1916, the German Emperor wanting a large navy and a prominent role for Germany on the international stage, agitation by women for the right to vote, refugees fleeing violence in the Ottoman Empire, the rise of the political star of Teddy Roosevelt, agitation by workers, a certain increased interest in socialism, tension between Britain and the United States, and racial tensions in the United States.

January 2– Thursday– Doornkop, Transvaal, South Africa– The raiders led by Dr Leander Starr Jameson are stopped and captured after a day-long battle. They will be sent to England to stand trial.


Leander Starr Jameson


January 3– Friday– Berlin, Germany– In an attempt to embarrass the British, Emperor Wilhelm II sends a telegram to President Paul Kruger congratulating him for stopping the Jameson Raid

January 4– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– Utah officially becomes the 45th state in the union. To insure admission Mormon leaders agreed to ban polygamy. Women gain the right to vote under the new state’s constitution.

January 6– Monday– Cape Town, Cape Colony, South Africa– Cecil Rhodes resigns as Prime Minister of Cape Colony, a government committee having found him guilty of having engineered the Jameson raid.

January 11– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– An editorial in today’s Washington Post calls for official American recognition of the Cuban revolutionaries.

January 12– Sunday– near New Orleans, Louisiana– A black man and his white wife are lynched because of their inter-racial marriage.

January 13– Monday– Vernon, New York– Jane Elizabeth Hitchcock Jones, abolitionist, woman’s rights advocate and lecturer, dies two months before her 83rd birthday.


Mathew Brady


January 15– Wednesday– New York City– Mathew Brady, famous Civil War photographer, dies penniless at age 73 from residual problems from by being struck by a streetcar in Washington, D.C. several months prior.

January 18– Saturday– New Haven Connecticut– Clubs of Irish immigrants and Irish nationalists are said to be planning to activate a submarine-type ram for use against British warships.

January 18– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– Frances Clara Cleveland, the First Lady, age 31, hosts an afternoon tea for a large number of women, both from Washington society and wives and daughters from the diplomatic corps.

January 18– Saturday– St Louis, Missouri– An announcement confirms that the city will host the National Populist Convention on July 22nd.

January 18– Saturday–Berlin, Germany– Emperor Wilhelm gives a speech at a dinner in the palace in which he describes the “wonderful” development of the Empire and declares that Germany must be well armed on the sea as well as on land in order to assert her duties and rights and therefore must increase the size and armament of the fleet.


Clara Barton c.1900


January 19– Sunday– Washington, D.C.– Despite the Turkish government’s position that the Red Cross will not be permitted to work in the Ottoman Empire, Clara Barton, age 74, and her staff busily prepare to do so. She announces that on Tuesday she will go to New York City to take ship for the area in order to aid the Armenians.

January 20– Monday– Chicago, Illinois– Frances E Willard, age 56, and the other officers of the W.C.T.U. send a petition to Congress, asking Congress to take action to provide relief to the Armenians “who have been driven to the last extremity by the fatal fanaticism of the Sultan and his soldiers.” Willard has served as president of the W.C.T.U. since 1879. [Worn out by years of travel, public speaking and intense work for temperance and the rights of women, Willard dies February 17, 1898.]


Frances Willard


January 20– Monday– London, England– Regarding the Venezuela boundary dispute, English newspapers warn that the people of Great Britain will not endure the United States’ invocation of the Monroe Doctrine and that the U S Congress and the Administration are pandering to Irish voters and intend make Latin America increasingly dependent upon the United States.

January 21– Tuesday– Albany, New York– The 30th annual meeting of the State Workingmen’s Association calls for enforcement of the 8 hour workday law.

January 21– Tuesday– Isle of Wright, Great Britain– Queen Victoria reviews the new “flying squadron” of the Royal Navy. Rumors abound that these warships will be sent to American waters.

January 21– Tuesday– Rome, Italy– L’Osservatore Romano, the official Vatican newspaper, denies that the pope made an offer to President Cleveland to mediate the dispute between the United States and Great Britain.

January 22– Wednesday– Hartford, Connecticut– Theodore Roosevelt, age 37, Police Commissioner of New York City, delivers a speech describing recent reforms as “the result of the application of common sense, morality, and courage to the problems presented.”

January 22– New York City– Clara Barton and some of her staff set sail on the steamer New York, headed for Southampton, England, and from there on to Constantinople, Turkey.

January 23– Thursday– New York City– An editorial in the New York Times supports Police Commissioner Theodore Roosevelt in his reform efforts for “manly and honest enforcement of the law” and declares that those in Roosevelt’s own [Republican] party who are attacking him ought to be subject to “exposure and rebuke” for their support of “lawlessness and corruption.”

January 24– Friday– Washington, D. C.– The Senate passes a resolution from the Committee on Foreign Relations calling on all the powers which are party to the Berlin Treaty of 1878 to take measures against Turkey to stop “the slaughter now going on” of Armenians.

January 24– Friday– Washington, D. C.– At the annual meeting of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Susan B Anthony, weeks away from her 76th birthday, declares, “We have a sort of fellow-feeling with the Cubans. We women know what it is to be deprived of self-government, and know what it is to be taxed when we don’t have a hand in the assessments.”

January 25– Saturday– New York City– The tailors represented by the Brotherhood of Tailors win a seven weeks strike, helped by the threat of the United Garment Workers to call a general strike of 30,000 clothing workers to support the tailors.


Daniel De Leon, circa 1904


January 26– Sunday– Boston, Massachusetts– “Watch the process of ‘moral development’ in this country– the classic ground in many ways to study history in, for the reason that the whole development of mankind can be seen here, portrayed in a few years, so to speak. You know how, to-day, the Northern people put on airs of morality on the score of having ‘abolished chattel slavery,’ the ‘traffic in human flesh,’ ‘gone down South and fought, and bled, to free the Negro,’ etc., etc. Yet we know that just as soon as manufacturing was introduced in the North, the North found that it was too expensive to own the Negro and take care of him; that it was much cheaper not to own the worker; and consequently that they ‘religiously,’ ‘humanly’ and ‘morally’ sold their slaves to the South, while they transformed the white people of the North, who had no means of production in their own hands, into wage slaves, and mercilessly ground them down. In the North, chattel slavery disappeared just as soon as the development of machinery rendered the institution unprofitable. . . . Socialism knows that revolutionary upheavals and transformations proceed from the rock-bed of material needs. With a full appreciation of and veneration for moral impulses that are balanced with scientific knowledge, it eschews, looks with just suspicion upon and gives a wide berth to balloon morality, or be it those malarial fevers that reformers love to dignify with the name of ‘moral feelings.’” ~ Daniel De Leon in a speech delivered at Well’s Memorial Hall. [De Leon, age 43, an immigrant who arrived in 1874, is a lawyer, educator and socialist activist.]

January 27– Monday– Washington, D. C– The newest associate justice on the Supreme Court, Rufus Peckam, age 57, a Democrat from New York just appointed by President Cleveland in December, issues his first opinion. The case involves federal acquisition of land to become part of the Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, battlefield park. [Peckam will serve on the court until his death on October 24, 1909, writing 303 opinions, including the infamous anti-labor decision in Lochner v New York.]

January 27– Monday– Washington, D. C– The German Embassy hosts 700 people from the diplomatic corps at a reception and dinner in honor of Kaiser Wilhelm’s 37th birthday.


Wilhelm II


January 28– Tuesday–Washington, D.C.– The Navy approves court-martial sentences imposed upon four white sailors for hazing several black seamen. The white men face four months confinement and dismissal from the service.

January 29– Wednesday– Elkhorn, West Virginia– Better than 600 African Americans from the area gather to protest the lynching of a black man two days ago. Fearful of the large number of black people, town leaders deputize and arm a substantial number of extra police officers “to be in readiness should trouble break out.”

January 30– Thursday– Boston, Massachusetts– The Boston Christian Endeavor Union, an inter-dominational youth group, reports that yesterday three different hotels in the city refused a room to Bishop Benjamin W Arnett, age 58, an educator and a leader of African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Revere House finally admitted him as a guest but required him to take his meals in his room.

January 30– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– Senator William A Peffer, Populist from Kansas, age 64 and himself a veteran of the Union Army, introduces a bill to provide pension benefits to any soldier or sailor who deserted the Confederate forces and afterwards enlisted in the U S Army or Navy.


Frances Folsom Cleveland, the First Lady


January 30– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– President and Mrs Cleveland host an elegant dinner at the White House for the justices of the Supreme Court and their wives.

A Realignment Election Coming ~ 1896


The year begins on a Friday. Around the world, leaders include Queen Victoria of Great Britain, age 76, reigning since 1837; her current prime minister is Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, age 65, in office since 1895 and serving as prime minister for the third time; Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, age 16, reigning since 1890 under the regency of her mother, Queen Emma, age 37; Emperor Guangxu of China, age 23, reigning since 1875 under the Dowager Empress Cixi, age 60, who rules de facto; Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary, age 65, ruling since 1848; Emperor Meiji of Japan, age 43, ruling since 1867; Emperor Wilhelm II, age 37, Emperor of Germany, ruling since 1888; Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia, age 51, ruling since 1889; Czar Nicholas II of Russia, age 27, reigning since 1894;Sultan Abdul Hamid II of the Ottoman Empire, age 53, ruling since 1876; Sultan Barghash bin Said of Zanzibar, age 39, ruling since 1870; King Leopold II of Belgium, age 60, ruling since 1865; King Christian IX of Denmark, age 77, ruling since 1863; King George I of Greece, age 50, ruling since 1863; King Umberto I of Italy, age 51, ruling since 1878; King Alfonso XIIIof Spain, age 9, reigning since1886 under the regency of his mother, Queen Maria Christiana age 37; King Oscar II of the United Kingdom of Sweden and Norway, age 67, ruling since 1872; King Carlos I of Portugal, age 32, ruling since 1889; Mackenzie Bowell, Prime Minister of Canada, age 72, in office since 1894; President Felix Faure of France, age 55, in office since 1895; President Joseph James Chessman of Liberia, age 39, in office since 1892; President Grover Cleveland of the United States, age 58, in office since 1893; President Porfirio Diaz of Mexico, age 65, in office since 1884; President Rafael Yglesias Castro of Costa Rica, age 34, in office since 1894.

Boundary_lines_of_British_Guiana_1896 On the international stage, Great Britain and the United States remain at odds over the dispute about where the boundary lies between Venezuela and British Guyana and many people feel that the two countries sit on the verge of open war. The Cleveland Administration’s assertion that the Monroe Doctrine limits or prohibits British action in the Western Hemisphere has alienated not only Britain but Canada and a number of Latin American countries as well. The on-going rebellion in Cuba against Spain continues to draw much American sympathy for the Cubans. Spain expresses concern about Americans secretly supplying arms, ammunition and supplies to the rebels. As 1895 ends and 1896 begins some Englishmen, led by Leander Starr Jameson, are attempting to foment armed rebellion against the Boer government in the Transvaal of South Africa. A 25 year old Russian revolutionary named Vladimir Ilich Ulanov has taken the pseudonym “Lenin” as he tries to organize workers against the Czar’s government. In the Ottoman Empire Armenian people endure severe persecution. Japan has defeated China in a short war. China is borrowing heavily from several European powers as well as Japan and the United States. Italy is failing in its attempts to conquer Abyssinia [Ethiopia].

The population of the United States is approximately 70,885,000 people, 48.9% are female, 39.7% live in urban areas, 54.0% are age 24 and younger, 9.2% are age 55 and older. The largest concentration of population is in the Middle Atlantic states of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania where 20.4% of the population resides, while 7.4% live in New England, a combined 10.1% live in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, 3.9% live in Texas and only a combined 3.2% live in the three states of the Pacific coast (Washington, Oregon and California). There are 248,354 Native Americans living on reservations.


Of school age children, 14,498,956, or 71.8%, attend public elementary or high schools which will graduate 75,813 with high school diplomas. Public schools will spend $183,449,000 this year. Of the 400,296 public school teachers, 67.4% are women. New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, and Kansas have the largest numbers of teachers. Colleges and universities will grant 24,593 baccalaureate degrees, 18.6% of them to women, 1,478 master’s degrees, 17.9% to women and 271 doctoral degrees, only 12.9% to women.

Mail is delivered by 70,360 post offices which will sell 3,025,481,000 stamps and deliver 5,693,719,000 pieces of mail, generating $82,499,000 of revenue but spending $90,932,000 in operating costs. Telegraph offices number 21,725, sending 58,760,000 messages over 827,000 miles of wire and generating $20,820,000 in revenue. Approximately 2,000 daily newspapers have an average daily circulation of nearly 15,000,000. There are 404,000 telephones in use or 5.7 phones per every 1,000 people, of whom 281,695 subscribe to telephone service. Telephone companies employ 11,930 people and use 450,728 miles of telephone wire.


Railroads operate on 182,777 miles of track, with 35,950 engines pulling 33,003 passenger cars and 1,221,887 freight cars. The 511,773 passengers will generate $266,563,000 in revenue while the railroads will earn another $786,616,000 for hauling freight.

United States companies will export $1,056,000,000 worth of goods and materials while importing $842,000,000 of goods and materials, with a favorable trade surplus of $214,000,000. Of the trading partners for American exports, the largest shares are 45.9% go to the United Kingdom, 11.0% to Germany, 6.8% to Canada, 5.3% to France, 2.2% to Mexico, 1.6% to Brazil, and the balance to other parts of the world. Of American imports, the largest shares are 21.8% come from the United Kingdom, 12.0% from Germany, 9.1% from Brazil, 8.5% from France, 5.2% from Canada, 5.1% from Cuba, 3.3% from Japan, 2.8% from China, and the balance from other parts of the world.

Over 85% of America’s wealth is controlled by approximately 12% of the population.

Booker T Washington, African American educator and author, age 39, encourages black people to refrain from political involvement and instead to concentrate on advancement in education and job training.

The Prohibition Party and the W.C.T.U. maintain strength and express concern about the 89,992,555 gallons of distilled spirits being produced and consumed in the United States.

American forces on active duty include 27,375 in the Army, 12,088 in the Navy and 2,217 in the Marine Corps.

The first session of the 54th Congress began on December 2, 1895 with the Republicans controlling the House of Representatives by a significant margin and holding a slim margin in the Senate. In the House, Republicans hold 240 seats, the Democrats 104, the Populists 7 and the Silver Party 1. The Speaker of the House is Thomas B Reed, age 56, a Republican from Maine, having served in Congress since 1877. In the Senate Republicans hold 42 seats, Democrats 39, the Populists 4 and the Silver Party 2.


Thomas B Reed


Economic issues promise to dominate the campaign. Democratic hopefuls for the nomination include Horace Boies, Richard Bland, Joseph Blackburn and William Jennings Bryan. The Republican field includes William McKinley, Thomas B Reed, Matthew Quay, Levi Morton and William Allison.

A Great Anti-Slavery Party~Origin of the Republican Party

The real story from a man who was there.


“The convention which met in Pittsburgh [Pennsylvania] on the 22nd of February, 1856, for the purpose of organizing a national Republican party, was called together by the chairmen of the Republican state committees of Ohio, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Wisconsin. It was not a convention of delegates selected by constituent assemblies of the people, but a mass convention of men who favored the formation of a great national anti-slavery party and who volunteered their services in the undertaking. It was in session two days, and its purpose was fully accomplished, but the report of its proceedings in the newspapers of the time was meager and inadequate. They were published in pamphlet soon after the convention, but they covered only a few pages, being a mere skeleton of what happened and even less satisfactory than the newspaper reports, while they gave the reader no conception of the spirit and character of the gathering. No roll of the members was preserved, while the several histories of political parties and conventions which have since appeared contain little more than a mere reference to the subject. Since the writer is one of the very few survivors of the convention, and was officially and somewhat actively connected with its proceedings, and since there is always a natural curiosity to know something of the beginnings of a great historic movement, perhaps a brief paper on the subject may prove timely and not entirely without value as a contribution to the literature of politics. . . .


The convention assembled at eleven o’clock in La Fayette Hall, a building which disappeared years ago to make room for a larger structure. It was called to order by Hon. Lawrence Brainerd, of Vermont, who read the call upon which it had convened and asked John A. King, of New York, a son of Rufus King, to act as temporary chairman. After brief and appropriate remarks, Mr. King called on the Rev. Owen Lovejoy, who was present as a representative from Illinois, to open the proceedings with prayer. The name of Lovejoy was an inspiration, for it recalled the murder of his brother by a mob at Alton in 1837, for merely exercising his constitutional right of free speech in a free state in talking about slavery. The heart of the people was manifestly and fervently with him, and there was a suppressed murmur of applause when he asked God to enlighten the mind of the President of the United States, and turn him from his evil ways, and if this was not possible, to take him away, so that an honest and God-fearing man might fill his place. A committee on permanent organization was then appointed, and while it was engaged in its work in an adjoining room the people seemed to be hungry for speeches. When Horace Greeley, with his earnest, kindly face and long white coat, was seen in the audience, he was enthusiastically called for. On taking the platform, he was received with prolonged cheers. . . . .

[The meeting’s declaration:] ‘We therefore declare to the people of the United States as the objects for which we unite in political action: 1. That we demand and shall attempt to secure the repeal of all laws which allow the introduction of slavery into territory now consecrated to freedom, and will resist by every constitutional means the existence of slavery in any of the territories of the United States; 2. We will support by every lawful means our brethren in Kansas in their constitutional and manly resistance to the usurped authority of their lawless invaders; and we will give the full weight of our political power in favor of the immediate admission of Kansas to the Union as a free, sovereign and independent state; 3. Believing the present national administration has shown itself to be weak and faithless, and as its continuance in power is identified with the progress of the slave power to national supremacy, with the exclusion of freedom from the territories, and with unceasing civil discord, it is a leading purpose of our organization to oppose and overthrow it.’ . . . .

Their devotion to the cause and singleness of purpose kept them steadfast. They could have had no conception of the magnitude of the work which they were beginning. They did not dream of the civil war which was to result from the splendid courage of the new party in standing by its principles, nor of the magnificent part it was to play in crushing a great slaveholders’ rebellion. As little did they dream of the total extirpation of slavery in the United States in less than nine years, and its abolition throughout the civilized world which was to follow. They were building better than they knew. This was strikingly illustrated by Mr. Greeley’s account of the convention in the Tribune, in which he said, ‘its moral and political effect will be felt for a quarter of a century.’ He did not see the greatness of the work which had been inaugurated, because the angle of his vision left it outside of his horizon; but he lived to see the curtain lifted, and to realize that the movement in which he had shared involved the life of the Republic, the emancipation of a race, and the grand march of democratic government towards its world-wide triumph.”

From an article by George Washington Julian in The American Historical Review, Vol. 4, No. 2 (January, 1899), pp. 313-322.


George Washington Julian


George Washington Julian was born near Centerville, Wayne County, Indiana, on May 5, 1817. He studied law, became a practicing lawyer, served in the state legislature and write newspaper articles attacking slavery. In due course he joined the Free Soil Party and was elected to the U S Congress in 1848 where he worked with other anti-slavery men and opposed Henry Clay’s Compromise of 1850. In 1852 he was the Free Soil Party’s candidate for vice-president. As he relates in his article he associated himself with the new Republican Party at its inception. He won a seat in Congress as a Republican in 1860 and won re-election four times after his initial victory.

His first wife Anne Elizabeth Finch Julian died in November, 1860, shortly after his election. December of 1863 saw him marry for the second time, taking as his wife Laura Giddings, the daughter of the radical abolitionist Joshua Giddings. Giddings served in the House of Representatives from 1838 to 1842 and again from 1843 to 1859. Julian and Giddings became close friends.

Julian was the author of the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution which extended voting rights to African-American males. He believed that all citizens should be allowed to vote. His original draft of the Fifteenth Amendment would have given women the right to vote. He also wrote legislation which extended voting rights to African-American males in the District of Columbia and the territories, such as the Dakota Territory, the New Mexico Territory, and Utah. As ratified by a sufficient number of states by February 3, 1870, the Amendment says: “Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”

In 1872 Julian split from the Republican Party to join the Liberal Republicans who favored civil service reform and, appalled by the Republican abandonment of reform issues in the presidential election of 1876, he became a Democrat and gave a speech in favor of Samuel J Tilden. This speech, entitled The Gospel of Reform, was used by the Democrats as a campaign brochure, of which two million copies were distributed. Julian remained a Democrat for the rest of his life. When accused of changing sides, Julian maintained that the “sides changed” and that he remained true to his principles. President Grover Cleveland appointed Julian as Surveyor General of New Mexico where he served from July,1885 to September,1889. He returned to Indiana in 1889 and spent much of his remaining years writing, including a biography of his father-in-law, Joshua Giddings. George Washington Julian died in Irvington, Indiana, on July 7, 1899, and was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.

julian grave-3421376679

Does the Republican Party of 2016 have a candidate with the personal integrity and commitment to reform of George Washington Julian? Apparently not. Will any Republican candidate acknowledge the heritage of Mr Julian? Definitely not. People like him and Abraham Lincoln scare the pants off of the current Republican herd.

For more information on the life of Julian, see George W Julian by his daughter, Grace Julian Clarke (1923); George Washington Julian, Radical Republican; a Study in Nineteenth-century Politics and Reform by Patrick Riddleberger (1966).


Friendly & Intimate Relations ~ January 1892

President Harrison asserts his intention to “cultivate friendly and intimate relations” with other countries despite the tensions with Chile which resolve at the end of the month. He wants to send grain to starving people in Russia and appoints a black man as American minister to Liberia. Evidence of labor tensions and the on-going problem of racism manifest themselves. Both will escalate during the coming year.


Ellis Island Main Building


January 1–Friday– New York City–The facility at Ellis Island goes into operation as the location to receive and process immigrants coming into the port of New York.

January 1– Friday– Chicago, Illinois– Roswell B. Mason, Mayor of Chicago from 1869 to 1871 and who called in federal troops after the Great Chicago Fire, angering some citizens, dies at age 86.

January 1– Friday– Capiz, the Philippines– Birth of Manuel Roxas y Acuna, who will serve as first President of the Philippines after independence from 1946 to his death on April 15, 1948.

January 4–Monday– Santiago, Chile–The government advises the United States that the attack on American sailors from the U S S Baltimore in Valparaiso last year [October 16, 1891] was the action of local drunkards, not an orchestrated attack against American honor.


USS Baltimore



January 5– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– “The famine prevailing in some of the Provinces of Russia is so severe and widespread as to have attracted the sympathetic interest of a large number of our liberal and favored people. In some of the great grain-producing States of the West movements have already been organized to collect flour and meal for the relief of these perishing Russian families, and the response has been such as to justify the belief that a ship’s cargo can very soon be delivered at the seaboard through the generous cooperation of the transportation lines. It is most appropriate that a people whose storehouses have been so lavishly filled with all the fruits of the earth by the gracious favor of God should manifest their gratitude by large gifts to His suffering children in other lands. The Secretary of the Navy has no steam vessel at his disposal that could be used for the transportation of these supplies, and I therefore recommend that he be authorized to charter a suitable vessel to receive them if a sufficient amount should be offered, and to send them under the charge of a naval officer to such Russian port as may be most convenient for ready distribution to those most in need.” ~ Message to Congress from President Benjamin Harrison.

January 7– Thursday– Krebs, Oklahoma– A mine explosion due to unsafe working conditions kills approximately 100 workers and injures about another 150. Black people trying to help rescue white survivors are driven away by armed white men.

krebs miners 16807132181

monument to the Krebs miners


January 7– Thursday– Cairo, Egypt– Tewfik Pasha, Khedive of Egypt since 1879, dies at 39 years of age.

January 9– Saturday– Neveda, Missouri– Birth of Eva Kelly Bowring, politician, who will become the first woman to represent Nebraska in the U S. Senate. [Dies January 8, 1985.]

January 10– Sunday– Indianapolis, Indiana–Streetcar employees strike.

January10– Sunday– Coldwater, Mississippi– Birth of Dumas Malone, historian who will author a six volume biography of Thomas Jefferson and will serve as the first editor-in-chief of the Dictionary of American Biography. [Dies December 27, 1986.]

January 11–Monday– Washington, D.C.–President Harrison appoints William D McCoy, an African American, 38 years old, an educator from Indiana, as United States minister to Liberia. [McCoy will present his credentials to the Liberian government in the capital of Monrovia on March 28, 1892 and will die there of fever on May 16, 1893.]

January 14– Thursday– Norfolk, England– Prince Albert Victor, age 28, grandson of Queen Victoria and son of Albert Edward, the Prince of Wales, dies of influenza. [His father will become King Edward VII when Victoria dies in 1901. Victor’s fiancee, Princess Mary of Teck, will marry Victor’s younger brother George who will become King George V upon the death of his father in 1910.]

January 14– Thursday– Lippstadt, Germany– Birth of Martin Niemoller, Protestant clergyman who will initially support Adolph Hitler but change his view and be imprisoned from 1937 to 1945. He will serve as president of the World Council of Churches from 1961 to 1968. [Dies March 6,1984.]

January 15– Friday– Greeley County, Nebraska– Birth of Jane Margueretta Hoey, social worker who will become the first director of the Bureau of Public Assistance in the Social Security Administration from 1936 to 1953. [Dies October 6, 1968.]

jane hoey-fb10c

Jane Hoey


January 19– Tuesday– Borgades, Iceland– Birth of Olafur Thors, political leader who will serve as prime minister several times between 1942 and 1963. [Dies December 31, 1964.]

January 20–Wednesday– Santiago, Chile–The government demands the recall of the American minister.

January 21–Thursday– Washington, D.C.–The United States demands the payment of an indemnity from Chile for last October’s incident.

January 22– Friday– Brooklyn, New York– Adele Parmentier Bayer, who has become known as “the Guardian Angel of the sailors” for her forty years of welfare work with merchant seamen and sailors in the U S Navy, dies at 77 years of age.

January 22– Friday– Washington, D.C.– Joseph P Bradley, U.S. Supreme Court Justice appointed by President Grant in 1870, dies at age 78. He served on the commission which resolved the disputed election of 1876.

January 24– Sunday– Mengo, Uganda– With the help of fire from British soldiers using a Maxim gun, Protestant believers repel an attack by a large number of Catholic believers.

January 25– Monday– Washington, D.C.– “The request for the recall of Mr. Egan upon the ground that he was not persona grata was unaccompanied by any suggestion that could properly be used in support of it, and I infer that the request is based upon official acts of Mr. Egan which have received the approval of this Government. But however that may be, I could not consent to consider such a question until it had first been settled whether our correspondence with Chile could be conducted upon a basis of mutual respect. In submitting these papers to Congress for that grave and patriotic consideration which the questions involved demand I desire to say that I am of the opinion that the demands made of Chile by this Government should be adhered to and enforced. If the dignity as well as the prestige and influence of the United States are not to be wholly sacrificed, we must protect those who in foreign ports display the flag or wear the colors of this Government against insult, brutality, and death inflicted in resentment of the acts of their Government and not for any fault of their own. It has been my desire in every way to cultivate friendly and intimate relations with all the Governments of this hemisphere. We do not covet their territory. We desire their peace and prosperity. We look for no advantage in our relations with them except the increased exchanges of commerce upon a basis of mutual benefit. We regret every civil contest that disturbs their peace and paralyzes their development, and are always ready to give our good offices for the restoration of peace. It must, however, be understood that this Government, while exercising the utmost forbearance toward weaker powers, will extend its strong and adequate protection to its citizens, to its officers, and to its humblest sailor when made the victims of wantonness and cruelty in resentment not of their personal misconduct, but of the official acts of their Government.” ~ Message to Congress from President Benjamin Harrison regarding the situation with Chile.

lady justice

January 25– Monday– Santiago, Chile– The government of Chile offers $75,000 indemnity to the families of U S sailors killed and injured and withdraws the request for the recall of the American minister. [This dollar amount would equal approximately $2.01 million in today’s dollars using the Consumer Price Index.]

January 26– Tuesday– Worcester, Massachusetts– Birth of Zara Cully, African American actress. [She will begin her career in 1919 and continue performing until her death on February 28, 1978.]

zara cully -1390861923

Zara Cully


January 28– Thursday– Washington, D.C.– “I transmit herewith additional correspondence between this Government and the Government of Chile . . . . The response . . . to our note of the 21st withdraws, with acceptable expressions of regret, the offensive note of . . . the 11th ultimo, and also the request for the recall of Mr. Egan [American minister to Chile]. The treatment of the incident of the assault upon the sailors of the Baltimore is so conciliatory and friendly that I am of the opinion that there is a good prospect that the differences growing out of that serious affair can now be adjusted upon terms satisfactory to this Government by the usual methods and without special powers from Congress. This turn in the affair is very gratifying to me, as I am sure it will be to the Congress and to our people. The general support of the efforts of the Executive to enforce the just rights of the nation in this matter has given an instructive and useful illustration of the unity and patriotism of our people.” ~ Message to Congress from President Benjamin Harrison reporting on additional correspondence between the United States and Chile.

January 28– Thursday– Washington, D.C.–The United States accepts Chile’s offer of $75,000 made on January 25th.

January 30– Saturday– Bucharest, Romania – Birth of Grigore Gafencu, Romanian lawyer, journalist and politician who will serve as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1939 to 1940. [Dies January 30, 1957.]

January 31– Sunday– Menton, France– Charles Spurgeon, popular English preacher, evangelist and author dies at age 57.

Curtain Going Up on 1892

The year begins on a Friday. Around the world, leaders include Queen Victoria of Great Britain, age 72, reigning since 1837; her current prime minister is Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, age 62, in office since 1886; Queen Wilhelmia of the Netherlands, age 11, reigning since 1890 under the regency of Princess Emma, age 33; Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, age 61, ruling since 1848; Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, age 33, ruling since 1888; Emperor Guangxu of China, age 20, reigning since 1875 under the Dowager Empress Cixi, age 56, who rules de facto; Emperor Meiji of Japan, age 39, ruling since 1867; Tsar Alexander III of Russia, age 46, ruling since 1881; Emir Abdur Rahman Khan of Afghanistan, exact age unknown but probably about age 55, ruling since 1880; Sultan Abdul Hamid II of Turkey, age 49, ruling since 1876; Sultan Ali bin Said of Zanzibar, age 38, ruling since 1890; King Leopold II of Belgium, age 56, ruling since 1865; King Naser al-Din Shah Qajar of Persia, age 60, ruling since 1848; King Christian IX of Denmark, age 73, ruling since 1863; King George I of Greece, age 46, reigning since 1863; King Umberto I of Italy, age 47, reigning since 1878; King Chulalongkorn of Siam, age 39, ruling since 1868; King Carlos I of Portugal, age 28, ruling since 1889; King Alfonso XIII of Spain, age 5, reigning since 1886 under the regency of Queen Maria Christina, age 33; King Oscar II of Sweden, age 63, ruling since 1872; John Abbott, Prime Minister of Canada, age 70, in office since 1891; President Marie Francois Sadi Carnot of France, age 54, in office since 1887; President Hilary Johnson of Liberia, age 54, in office since 1884; President Porfirio Diaz of Mexico, age 61, in office since 1884; President Carlos Pellegrini of Argentina, age 45, in office since 1890; President Aniceto Arce of Bolivia, age 67, in office since 1888; Acting President Floriano Peixoto of Brazil, age 52, in office since 1891; President Jorge Montt of Chile, age 46, in office since 1891; President Remigio Morales Bermudez of Peru, age 55, in office since 1890; President Raimundo Andueza Palacio of Venezuela, age 45, in office since 1890; President Benjamin Harrison of the United States, age 58, in office since 1889.

Queen  of spain

Queen Maris Christina of Spain


Religious leaders include Pope Leo XIII of the Roman Catholic Church, age 81, ruling since 1878; Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury of the Anglican Church, age 62, in office since 1883; Hermann Adler, Chief Rabbi of the British Empire, age 52, in office since 1891; Pope Cyril V of the Coptic Orthodox Church, age 62, in office since 1874; Leonty, Metropolitan of Moscow of the Russian Orthodox Church, in office since 1891; John Williams, Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, age 74, in office since 1868; William Booth, General of the Salvation Army, age 62, in office since 1865.

Around the world new movements for social and political change are beginning. In the past year a group of Turkish exiles formed the Young Turk movements to bring change to the Ottoman Empire. There has been agitation by workers for improved conditions and wages both in Europe and the United States. This year will see major labor disturbances. The German government has introduced the first old age pensions. Pan-Slav movement is gaining strength.

Belgian and British interests are looking for ways to exploit the huge copper reserves in central Africa. Railroads continue to expand across the globe. Industrial growth benefits from new inventions and new chemical and metallurgical developments. Famine ravages parts of the Russian Empire. France and Russia have made an alliance for mutual protection from Germany. Germany has renewed its alliance both with Italy and with the Austrian Empire.

The population of the United States is approximately 65,926,000 people, of whom 36.6% live in urban areas which the Census Bureau defines as places with 2500 or more people.

Of women over the age of 14, 24.4% are single, 59.4% are married, 15.9% are widowed and 0.4% are divorced. The average age at marriage is 22.

female factory workers

Of all school age children 13,255,921 attend public schools while another 1,299,600 attend private and parochial schools. High school graduates this year will number 53,039. Colleges and universities will confer 16,802 bachelor degrees, only 17.6% of them to women; 730 masters level degrees, none of record to women; 190 doctoral level degrees, none of record to women.


Telegraph offices numbering 20,700 send 62,387,000 messages over 739,000 miles of wire. Post offices, 67,119 in total, will handle 4,776,575,000 pieces of mail and sell 2,543,270,000 stamps, generating $70,930,000 in revenues but expending $76,980,000 in operating costs. Across the whole country there are 261,000 telephones. The approximately 1675 daily newspapers have an average 8,500,000 daily circulation. Books published this year will total 4,862 new and reprinted titles.

Railroads operate 211,051 miles of track with 33,136 locomotives pulling 966,998 freight cars and 13,363 passenger cars.

The average worker in a factory or mill earns $495 in the year. [This equals $13,300 in today’s dollars, using the Consumer Price Index.] This year will see 1,359 work stoppages involving a total of approximately 239,000 workers; 50.7% of these stoppages will involve wage & hours issues, 19.2% about the right to organize and the others about an assortment of issues. In the mines 991 miners will die on the job. On the railroads, 2,554 workers will die in accidents and another 28,267 will be injured. Workers compensation does not yet exist in the United States.


Farms, mines and mills will produce 294,000,000 pounds of wool; 1,897,412,000 bushels of corn; 611,854,000 bushels of wheat; 721,824,000 bushels of oats; 95,170,000 bushels of barley; 28,718,000 bushels of rye; 6,700,000 bales of cotton; 756,845,000 pounds of tobacco; 114,120,000 bushels of potatoes; 120,536,000 bushels of apples; 126,857,000 tons of bituminous coal; 52,473,000 tons of anthracite coal; 50,515,000 barrels of crude ore; 172,499,000 tons of copper; 208,223,000 tons of lead; 87,260,000 tons of zinc; 1,597,000 troy ounces of gold; 63,500,000 troy ounces of silver; 11,000 tons of bauxite; $63,300,000 worth of vehicles [horse-drawn]; $196,600,000 worth of industrial machinery & equipment; $90,900,000 worth of locomotives and railroad cars; $75,400,000 worth of farm equipment; $30,100,000 worth of office & store furniture and fixtures; $230,500,000 worth of cigars and cigarettes; $632,800,000 worth of clothing; $263,800,000 worth of shoes & boots; $37,000,000 worth of household furnishings; 381,000 new housing units constructed.

Jim Crow laws limiting the rights of black people have increasing been enacted, particularly in the Deep South. Lynchings will take the lives of 161 black persons.

American colonists in Hawaii are plotting against the new queen and looking for a way for the United States to acquire the lush islands. Likewise, other Americans eye on-going troubles in Cuba and seek to build American influence.

The year opens with tensions between Chile and the United States over an incident last October in Valparaiso, Chile, when a mob attacked American sailors, killing two and wounding others. Some in the United States favor war with Chile.

The federal government will take in $354,938,000 while spending $345,023,000, leaving a budget surplus of $9,914,000. However the national debt stands at $968,219,000. Civil service employees of the federal government total 37,523 persons. The Army has 27,190 men on active duty, the Navy 9,448 and the Marine Corps 2,039.

The Fifty-second Congress began its first session on December 7, 1891. Republicans control the Senate, holding 47 seats, the Democrats having 39, the Populists 2. Democrats have a sizeable majority in the House of Representatives, having 238 seats to the Republicans 86 while the Populists have 8 seats. The Speaker of the House is Charles Crisp, age 47, a Democrat from Georgia.


Charles Crisp, Speaker of the House


Many farmers and workers are strongly dissatisfied with the two major political parties. Farmers feel that prices are too low for their crops. Many ordinary citizens believe that the government favor bankers and the titans of industry. In the spring of last year the People’s Party, a/k/a the Populist Party, formed in Cincinnati, Ohio. Benjamin Harrison, the Republican incumbent, intends to seek re-election but faces challenges within the party from James G Blaine and from William McKinley, governor of Ohio. Grover Cleveland, the Democrat who had been in office from 1885 to 1889 but lost the 1888 election to Harrison, wants another opportunity to recapture the White House. However he faces challenges from within his own party from Senator David Hill of New York, Senator Arthur Gorman of Maryland, Senator John Palmer of Illinois, and Governor Horace Boies of Iowa. The Socialist Labor Party and the Prohibition Party also intend to nominate candidates for president. Some women are active in organizations like the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (“WCTU”), seeking limitations on or a total ban of the manufacture and sale of liquor. The seasoned campaigners for woman suffrage still mount spirited battles for the vote.

All Kinds of Workers~Occupations, 1890

For a significant number of pages the census lists occupations, the number of people who practice them and how many are male or female. In my summary the percentage of female workers is indicated immediately after the total number of workers in the occupation. If no percentage of females is shown, then either no women were identified in that particular occupation or the percentage of women was below two percent. I have divided them into various general categories using modern divisions. However, the job titles are those used in the census. The following list is not all-inclusive nor exhaustive but rather a representative sample to provide a portrait of life and work in late-nineteenth century America. We see an America becoming more urban and more industrial; yet over 8.25 million people work in agriculture. We see women making some gains in where they can work; yet many occupations, particularly the skilled ones and the professions remain mostly closed to them, the notable exception being in elementary and secondary education where women perform in large numbers.


Agriculture & Related Providers:

Farmers & Planters (5,281,557 ~ 4.2% women); Agricultural laborers (3,004,061 ~ 14.8% women); Gardeners, Florists, Nurserymen & Vine Growers (72,601 ~ 3.3%); Fishermen and Oyster men (60,162); Dairymen & Dairywomen (17,895 ~ 10.0% women); Hunters, Trappers, Guides & Scouts (2,534)

Arts & Entertainment:

Musicians & Music Teachers (62,155 ~ 55.5% women); Artists & Art Teachers (22,496 ~ 48.0% women); Photographers (20,040 ~ 11.0% women); Theatrical Managers & Showmen (18,055 ~ 3.5% women); Actors (9,723 ~ 40.2% women); Authors (6,714 ~ 40.3% women)

Building Trades:

Carpenters & Joiners (611,482); Painters & Glaziers (219,912); Masons [brick & stone] (158,918); Sawmill Employees (133,037); Builders & Contractors (45,988); Paper Hangers (12,869); Roofers & Slaters (7,043)


Clerks & Copyists (557,358 ~ 11.5% women); Stenographers & Typewriters (33,418 ~ 63.7% women)



Dressmakers (289,164 ~ 99.7% women); Boot & Shoe Makers (213,544 ~ 15.8% women); Tailors & Tailoresses (185,400 ~ 34.4% women); Milliners (60,482 ~ 99.3% women); Hosiery & Knitting Mill Operatives (29,555 ~ 70.5% women); Hat & Cap Makers (24,013 ~ 27.9% women); Shirt & Collar Makers (21,107 ~ 75.4% women); Sewing Machine Operators (7,120 ~ 84.5% women); Corset Makers (6,533 ~ 89.2% women); Glove Makers (6,416 ~ 57.8% women); Apprentice Dressmakers (4,340 ~ 100% women); Umbrella & Parasol Makers (3,403 ~ 55.8% women); Apprentice Tailors & Tailoresses (2,625 ~ 26.9% women); Button Makers (2,601 ~ 61.1% women); Apprentice Milliners (1,204 ~ 100% women)


Agents [claim, commission, real estate, insurance, etc.] (174,582 ~ 2.8% women); Hucksters & Peddlers (59,083 ~ 4.4% women); Messengers & Office Boys (51,355 ~ 5.6% women); Wholesale Merchants of Imports (27,443); Packers & Shippers (24,046 ~ 27.0% women); Weighers, Gaugers & Measurers (8,860); Wholesale Merchants of Wines & Liquors (3,643)


Printers, Lithographers & Pressmen (86,893 ~ 6.5% women); Telegraph & Telephone Operators (52,214 ~ 16.3% women); Bookbinders (23,858 ~ 48.7% women); Journalists (21,849 ~ 4.0% women); Telegraph & Telephone Linemen (11,134 ~ 6.0% women); Publishers [books, newspapers, maps, etc] (6,284); Newspaper Carriers (5,288)

Domestic Service:

Servants (1,454,791 ~ 83.6% women); Launderers & Laundresses (248,462 ~ 87.2%); Housekeepers & Stewards (92,036 ~ 93.5% women); Janitors (21,556 ~ 13.0% women); Sextons (4,982)



Teachers (341,952 ~ 71.7% women); College Professors (5,392 ~ 12.8% women)


Bookkeepers & Accountants (159,374 ~ 17.4% women); Bank & Insurance Officials (39,900); Bankers (30,008)

Food Production:

Butchers (105,456); Bakers (60,197 ~ 3.6% women); Millers (52,841); Confectioners (23,251 ~ 24.6% women); Brewers & Maltsters (20,362); Butter & Cheese Makers (11,211 ~ 3.6% women); Bottlers, Mineral & Soda Water Makers (7,230); Meat & Fruit Packers & Canners (5,830 ~ 24.2% women); Distillers (3,314)

Hospitality & Food Services:

Saloon Keepers (71,385 ~ 3.0% women); Bartenders (55,806); Hostlers (54,036); Boarding & Lodging-house Keepers (44,340 ~ 73.4% women); Hotel Keepers (44,076 ~ 11.8% women); Livery Stable Keepers (26,757); Restaurant Keepers (19,283 ~ 12.5% women)


Heavy Industry:

Coal Miners (208,545); Machinists (177,090); Cotton-mill Operatives (173,142 ~ 53.7% women); Iron & Steel Workers (144,921); Miners [not otherwise specified] (141,047); Mill & Factory Operatives [not otherwise specified] (93,596 ~ 44.8% women); Tinners (55,488); Quarrymen (37,656); Silk-mill Operatives (34,855 ~ 59.1% women); Paper-mill Operatives (27,817 ~ 32.0% women); Steam Boiler Makers (21,839); Oil Well Employees (9,147); Rope & Cordage Makers (8,001 ~ 38.7% women); Nail & Tack Makers (4,583 ~ 10.4% women)

women factory workers

factory workers


Light Industry:

Tobacco & Cigar Factory Operatives (111,625 ~ 25.0% women); Broom & Brush Makers (10,115 ~ 10.9% women); Basket Makers (5,225 ~ 13.6% women); Straw Workers (3,660 ~ 66.7% women); Candle & Soap Makers (3,450 ~ 11.6% women); Artificial Flower Makers (3,046 ~ 83.3% women)


Physicians & Surgeons (104,805 ~ 4.3% women); Nurses & Mid-wives (47,586 ~ 86.9% women); Dentists (17,498); Veterinary Surgeons (6,494)


Personal Services:

Seamstresses (150,044 ~ 93.3% women); Barbers & Hairdressers (84,982 ~ 3.3% women); Upholsterers (25,666 ~ 6.6% women); Clock & Watch Makers (25,252 ~ 18.2% women); Engravers (8,320 ~ 3.6% women)

Professional Services:

Lawyers (89,630); Clergy (88,203); Engineers [civil, mechanical, electrical, mining] (43,230) Undertakers (9,891); Draftsmen & Designers (9,391 ~ 8.6% women); Architects (8,070); Chemists (4,503); Professional Services [not otherwise specified] (1,569 ~ 30.5% women)

Public Service:

Government officials (79,664 ~ 6.2% women); Watchmen, Policemen & Detectives (74,350) Soldiers, Sailors & Marines (27,919)

Retail Trades:

Merchants [not specified] (440,262 ~ 3.6% women); Salesmen & Saleswomen (264,394 ~ 22.1% women); Retail Merchants– Groceries (114,997 ~ 5.9% women); Retail Merchants– Drugs & Chemicals (46,375); Retail Merchants– Dry Goods (42,527 ~ 4.9% women); Retail Merchants– Wines & Liquors (10,078)


Skilled Trades:

Blacksmiths (205,387); Wood Workers [not otherwise specified] (67,360 ~ 5.5% women); Coopers (47,486); Harness & Saddle Makers (43,480); Cabinet Makers (35,915); Carriage & Wagon Makers (34,538); Glass Workers (34,282 ~ 4.9% women); Carpet Makers (22,302 ~ 47.9% women); Potters (14,928 ~ 13.3% women); Wheelwrights (12,855); Gunsmiths (9,158); Lace Makers (5,250 ~ 84.6% women); Sail, Awning & Tent Makers (3,257 ~ 7.7% women)


Steam Railroad Employees [not otherwise specified] (382,750); Draymen & Teamsters (308,490); Street-railway Employees (87,484); Locomotive Engineers & Firemen (79,463); Sailors (55,899); Ship & Boat Builders (22,951); Boatmen & Canal-men (16,716)

Unskilled Labor:

General laborers (1,913,373 ~ 2.8% women); Porters & Helpers (24,356)

How Things Have Changed~Census, 1890

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. It is thirty years since the election of Lincoln and fourteen years since the election of 1876 and the country has changed. The information from this census helps us understand something of the background of the two presidential elections in this decade, that is, of 1892 and 1896. Since the Civil War the country by 1890 has become more urban, more industrial, more populous and increasing more of a player in international affairs.


population density


The census shows the total population to be 62,947,714 which is an increase of 24.9% over the census of 1880 and double the population of 1860 which was 31,443,322. Of this total population, 48.8% are female and 51.2% are male; 12.1% are under the age of 5; 23.3% ages 5 to 14; 10.5% are 15 to 19; 6.4% are 50 to 59; 3.9% are 60 to 69 years of age; 2.3% are age 70 and over. Potential male voters, that is males age 21 and over, number 16,940,311. [Only in Wyoming can women vote.]

African Americans number 7,470,040 persons, Chinese Americans number 107,475 persons, Japanese Americans number 2,039, and “civilized” Indians number 58,806. [By this term the Federal government meant Native Americans who had assimilated the dominant culture; those who practiced traditional ways or continued to speak their own languages or follow traditional religion or wore traditional clothes or hairstyles or refused “white” education or in some or many ways refused assimilation were not counted as “civilized” and often not counted at all which often led to significant under-counting of Native Americans where such smaller counts worked to the advantage of government. Of the total population, 14.8% [better than 9.3 million persons] are immigrants, born in countries other than the United States and, regardless of what year they arrived, have become citizens or are in the process of becoming citizens or simply choose to live in America. Of immigrants, 5,246,613 came to the United States from 1881 to 1890.


counting the statistics


Overall population density is 21.3 persons per square mile of land. The greatest population density is found in the New England and Middle Atlantic states. For example Massachusetts has 278.5 people per square mile, Rhode Island 318.4, Connecticut 154.6, New York 125.9, New Jersey 193.8, Pennsylvania 116.9. Southern states are less densely populated. For example, Virginia has 41.3 people per square mile, South Carolina 38.2, Georgia 31.2, Florida 7.2, Alabama 29.4. As may be expected, the least dense population is found in Western states. Montana has 0.9 people per square mile, Colorado 3.9. Along the Pacific coast, Washington has 5.2 people per square mile, Oregon 3.3 and California 7.8.

Marital status of the total population: 59.3% are single [of course this includes children under the legal age to marry], 35.7% are married, 4.7% are widows or widowers, significantly less than 1.0% are divorced, and the small remainder simply did not report their status.

The ten largest states are New York [5,997,853 people], Pennsylvania [5,258,014 people], Illinois [3,826,351 people], Ohio [3,672,316 people], Missouri [2,679,184 people], Massachusetts [2,238,943 people], Texas [2,235,524 people], Indiana [2,192,404 people], Michigan [2,093,889 people], and Iowa [1,911,806 people].

The ten largest cities are 1) New York– 1,515,301 people; 2) Chicago, Illinois– 1,099,850 people; 3) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– 1,046,964 people; 4) Brooklyn, New York– 806,343 people; 5) St Louis, Missouri– 451,770 people; 6) Boston, Massachusetts– 448,477 people; 7) Baltimore, Maryland– 434,439 people; 8) San Francisco, California– 298,997; 9) Cincinnati, Ohio– 296,908 people; 10) Cleveland, Ohio– 261,353 people. Washington, D C is the 14th largest city with a population of 230,392. Among the 100 largest cities the ones in the South include New Orleans, Louisiana [12th with 242,039 people]; Richmond, Virginia [35th with 81,388 people]; Nashville, Tennessee [38th with 76,168 people]; Atlanta, Georgia [42nd with 65,533 people]; Charleston, South Carolina [53rd with 54,955 people]; Savannah, Georgia [69th with 43,189 people]; Dallas, Texas [#77 with 38,067 people]; San Antonio, Texas [81st with 37,673 people]; Norfolk, Virginia [88th with 34,871 people]; Augusta, Georgia [90th with 33,300 people]; and Mobile, Alabama [97th with 31,076 people]. On the Pacific coast, the largest cities include Los Angeles, California [57th in size with 50,395 people]; Oakland, California [60th in size with 48,682 people]; Portland, Oregon [61st in size with 46,385 people]; Seattle, Washington [70th in size with 42,837 people]; and Tacoma, Washington [84th in size with 36,006 people].



Of all persons over the age of 10, 48.0% are gainfully employed. Among those employed, 39.6% work in agriculture, fishing and mining; 22.4% work in manufacturing and mechanical industries; 19.2% work in domestic and personal service; 14.6% work in trade and transportation; 4.2% work in professional services. Women working outside of the home number 3,914,571; of them 69.8% are single, 16.1% are widowed and the remaining are married, except for the less than 1.0% who are divorced.

The industrial strength of the country has grown significantly. The census identified 355,415 “manufacturing establishments.”

Agriculture remains strong. The census reports that 357,616,755 acres of land are under cultivation and yield 34.3 million bushels of barley; 293 thousand bushels of buckwheat; 367.7 million bushels of corn; 401.4 million bushels of oats; 8.6 million bushels of rye; 217.5 million bushels of potatoes; 43.9 million bushels of sweet potatoes; 8.9 million bushels of wheat; 957.2 million pounds of cotton; 301.3 million pounds of cane sugar; 32.9 million pounds of maple sugar; 2.3 million gallons of molasses; 128.6 million pounds of rice; 488.3 million pounds of tobacco.

Exports and Imports:

The five major trading partners for U S exports are, in order, the United Kingdom (buying 49.2% of exports), Germany (9.4%), France (5.5%), Canada (4.4%), and Australia (1.8%). The five major partners from which the U S buys imported goods and materials are the United Kingdom (22.6% of imports), Germany (12.0%), France (9.5%), Brazil (7.2%), and Cuba (6.6%).



A total of 11,674,878 children are attending school; 1,603,806 of them attend private or parochial schools while the others attend public schools. Of all these students, 51% are male, 49% are female, 8.6% are “colored” [in which the census includes African Americans and Asian Americans], 4.4% are immigrant children [meaning that they were not born in the United States but came with their parents], and 25.3% are first generation Americans [meaning that their parents came from some other country but they themselves were born in the United States after their parents arrived]. Of the teachers who educate the children, 61.5% are white women, 2.6% are women of color, 32.5% are white men, and 3.4% are men of color. Of the children of Native Americans, 12,410 are in boarding schools and another 3,967 attend day schools. Teachers and staff at these schools are 90.3% white and 67.0% are female. Among all persons age 10 and over, a total of 47,413,559, 13.3% are illiterate. Among illiterate persons, 52.4% are female; 81.5% cannot read or write; 18.5% can read at some level but cannot write. Of all persons age 10 and over, 1,718,498 cannot speak English. [This year the 998 American colleges and universities will confer 15,539 bachelor degrees, 17.3% to women; 1,015 master’s degrees, none to women; 149 doctoral degrees, only 2 to women.]


There are 234,000 telephones or 3.7 for every 1,000 people. The 19,382 telegraph offices operate 679,000 miles of wire. [This year they will send 55,879,000 messages and generate $20,055,000 in revenues.] Mail is delivered by 62,401 post offices. [This year totaling 4,005,408,000 pieces and selling 2,219,737,000 stamps to generate $60,882,000 in revenues while expending $66,259,000 in costs.]


Railroads operate across 163,562 miles of track with 30,153 locomotives pulling 27,653 passenger cars and 987,109 freight cars. Some urban areas operate street railways [trolley or streetcar service]. These systems have 32,505 passenger cars running over 8,123 miles of track and carrying 2,023,010,202 passengers. The cities with the most miles of service are Philadelphia, Pennsylvania [276.9 miles]; Boston, Massachusetts [237.8 miles]; Chicago, Illinois [193.1 miles]; New York City [180.6 miles]; St Louis, Missouri [115.2 miles]; and New Orleans, Louisiana [112.6 miles]



This census developed the most detailed information about religious practice in the United States of any census done before 1890. In it the census takers identified 143 distinct religious bodies. For purposes of general summaries, they combined these into “denominational families” with a total number of members. The largest part of that list is as follows:

Catholics 6,257,871

Methodist 4,589,284

Baptist 3,712,468

Presbyterian 1,278,332

Lutheran 1,231,072

Episcopalian 540,509

Reformed 309,458

United Brethren 225,281

Latter Day Saints 166,125

Jewish 130,496

Friends (Quakers) 107,208

Dunkards 73,795

Unitarians 67,749

Adventist 60,911

Universalist 49,194

Mennonite 41,541

Respondents identified 142,521 edifices as buildings designated specifically for worship and an additional 23,334 halls, schoolhouses and private homes used for religious purposes. Rabbis, priests, ministers, deacons and other religious leaders total 111,036 persons.

1890 census-01~media


At the time of the census there are 1,034,073 living veterans of the United States armed forces who served in the Civil War. There are also 145,359 living widows of Civil War U S veterans. Living Confederate veterans number 432,020 along with 60,564 widows of Confederate soldiers and sailors. The greatest numbers of Union veterans live in Pennsylvania (10.7% of Union veterans), Ohio (9.8%), New York (8.3%), Illinois (6.8%), and Indiana (6.1%). The remainder are scattered among other states. The greatest number of Confederate veterans live in Texas (15.5% of Confederate veterans), Virginia (11.2%), Georgia (10.8%), North Carolina (10.2%), and Alabama (7.8%). The remainder are scattered among the other states.

Criminal Justice:

Prisons and jails hold 82,329 persons, excluding only juveniles in reformatories. White men constitute 63.9% of prisoners, men of color 28.3%, white women 5.4%, and women of color 2.4%. Of all prisoners, 54.9% are in state prisons [as distinct from workhouses, county, city or federal prisons] and 1.1% are in asylums or hospitals for the insane. Juvenile reformatories hold 14,846 offenders, 77.7% of whom are male.