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.

SirLeanderStarrJameson

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_1875_cropped

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_1904

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

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-DeLeon-1902

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.

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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

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.

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