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.

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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.

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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.

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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.]

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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.]

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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.

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