Tag Archives: disasters

June ~ Election Year 1912

Woman making American Flag

The Monroe Doctrine is alive and well as the United States intervenes in Cuba and exploits Mexico. Natural disasters and man-made accidents take lives and do damage. The Republicans spurn former president Roosevelt and nominate Taft for re-election. At the end of the month, the Democratic National Convention remains in session, looking like Speaker of the House Clark will win the nomination instead of Governor Wilson. Both parties go on record in oppopsition to corporate donations to political campaigns.The issues of working people draw attention. Law and politics make news around the world.

June 1– Saturday– New York City– Waiters from 17 major restaurants are on strike, demanding regular wages in place of tips from patrons. The strike was organized by Joseph James Ettor and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn of the Industrial Workers of the World, both key helpers to the textile workers who went out on strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, back in January of the year.


Elizabeth Gurley Flynn on the podium


June 1– Saturday– near Lake Opinicon, Ontario, Canada– Premature detonation of dynamite kills 18 men working on construction of the Canadian Northern road.

June 1– Saturday– Heidelberg, Germany– Daniel Hudson Burnham, age 65, American pioneer urban planner and architect, designer of Chicago’s Montauk Building [at 10 stories high it was the city’s first distinctly tall building] and the chief planner of the buildings for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, dies while traveling in Europe with his sons.

June 1– Saturday– Fez, Morocco– French troops open fire with artillery, killing 600 Moroccan lightly armed tribesmen who had marched to protest French presence in the country.

June 2– Sunday– Brussels, Belgium– General elections result in a victory for the Catholic Party, led by Charles de Broqueville (age 51), which wins 101 of the 186 seats in the Chamber of Representatives and 54 of the 93 seats in the Senate. [The Catholic Party gained majority control of the government in 1884 and will hold its majority until 1918.]

June 3– Monday– South Orange, New Jersey– Margaret Elizabeth Munson Sangster, author and magazine editor, dies from a cerebral thrombosis at age 74.


Margaret Elizabeth Sangster


June 3– Monday– Hampton Roads, Virginia– President Taft welcomes a visit by German warships, led by the battle cruiser SMS Moltke.

June 4– Tuesday– Boston, Massachusetts– The state becomes the first in the United States to pass a law authorizing a guaranteed minimum wage. The law will take effect on July 1, 1913, applies only to women and children, and provides that a state commission will issue regulations and the penalties for its violation are light.

June 5– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– George S. Nixon, age 52, Republican U.S. Senator for Nevada since 1905, dies from an infection following surgery.

June 5– Wednesday– Mexico City, Mexico– President Francisco I. Madero and the Standard Oil Company agreed to “one of the most one-sided business concessions imaginable” with Standard Oil being allowed to operate in Mexico tax free for ten years, and the rights to eminent domain over any private or public property it wished to obtain to support its oil fields in four Mexican states.

June 5–Wednesday– Havana, Cuba–American Marines, 570 in number, land in order to protect American interests.

U S Marines ~1912

U S Marines 1912


June 6– Thursday– Kodiak Island Borough, Alaska– The Mount Katmai volcano erupts, dumping a foot of ashes at Kodiak and killing hundreds of people, wiping out the populations of seven villages.

June 7–Friday– Gulf of Mexico– The first hurricane of the season forms. It will make landfall near Intracoastal City, Louisiana, causing minimal damage.

June 7– Friday– Rome, Italy– Pope Pius X issues an encyclical to the Catholic bishops of South America calling upon them to stop exploitation of the Indian peoples, which includes slave trade, by people motivated by “the lust of lucre”.

June 8– Saturday– Washington, D.C.– At the unveiling of a monument to Christopher Columbus President Taft eulogizes Columbus as “the greatest mariner in history” as he addresses an audience of 100,000 people, many of them members of the Knights of Columbus.

June 10– Monday– East Walpole, Massachusetts– Birth of Mary Lavin, American-born Irish novelist, short-story writer and feminist. [Dies March 25, 1996.]


Mary Lavin


June 10– Monday– New Orleans, Louisiana– Sophie Wright, educator and welfare worker, dies from heart disease at 46 years of age.

June 10– Monday– Havana, Cuba– The cruiser USS Washington and the battleship USS Rhode Island arrive to support the Marines protecting American interests.

June 10– Monday– St Petersburg, Russia– Tsar Nicholas II of Russia pardons Kate Malecka, on condition that she leave the country forever. Malecka, of Polish and British parentage, had been sentenced to four years imprisonment for aiding secessionists in Poland. The British public and elements of the British government have pressed for her release.

June 11– Tuesday– Bar Harbor, Maine– Elizabeth Kimball Hobson, philanthropist, welfare worker and advocate of educational reform, dies at 80 years of age.

June 11– Tuesday– London, England– For the first time in the Parliamentary debates over the Irish Home Rule question, the proposal is made by MP Thomas Agar-Robartes to treat northeast Ireland differently from the rest of the island. He offers an amendment to exclude the predominantly Protestant counties of Antrim, Armagh, Down and Londonderry from Home Rule.

June 12– Wednesday– Dalton, Georgia– Three people are killed and 30 others injured in the wreck of a passenger train.

June 12– Wednesday– Neuilly-sur-Seine, France– Frederic Passy, economist, author, educator, peace advocate, and co-winner, with Henry Dunant, of the first Nobel Peace Prize in1901, dies at 90 years of age.


Frederic Passy


June 15– Saturday– Kansas City, Missouri– A tornado sweeps through Bates, Johnson and Henry Counties, killing 26 people and injuring more than 50 others.

June 17– Monday– Washington, D.C.– President Taft vetoes the Army appropriation bill that had been passed by Congress with cuts to defense spending. The President says, “The army of the United States is far too vital an institution to the people of this country to be made the victim of hasty or imperfect theories of legislation.” It is reported that Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson had threatened to resign if the bill was not vetoed.

June 17– Monday– Ottawa, Ontario, Canada– The Supreme Court of Canada holds that Parliament could not pass a national law governing marriage, and that mixed marriages of persons from different religious faiths solemnized by Protestant clergy can not be outlawed.

June 18– Tuesday– Chicago, Illinois– The Republican National Convention opens with incumbent President Taft having 454 ½ committed delegates, former President Theodore Roosevelt having 469 ½ committed delegates and 239 claimed by both sides. With a simple majority (513 of 1026) required to win the nomination, the awarding of the contested delegates is critical to the nomination. The Republican National Committee, controlled by Taft’s supporters, resolves the matter by finding 6 in favor of Roosevelt, and the other 233 in favor of Taft.

June 18– Tuesday– Hastings, Colorado– An explosion at the Victor-American Fuel Company mine kills twelve coal miners.


Mine explosion


June 19– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– President Taft signed into law a provision that workers on U.S. government contracts are limited to an eight-hour day.

June 20– Thursday– St Petersburg, Russia– The State Duma votes in favor of a £50,000,000 program to increase the size of the Russian Navy over the next five years.

June 20– Thursday– Chicago, Illinois– Voltairine de Cleyre, age 45, anarchist, feminist, orator and prolific writer, dies of meningitis.

June 21– Friday– Chicago, Illinois– The Republican Party finalizes its platform which favors “all measures for the establishment and protection of the peace of the world”, an international court of justice, establishment of the Federal Trade Commission, strong enforcement of laws against monopoly, continuation of tariff protections against foreign goods and foods, support of “a prompt scientific inquiry into the causes” of the high cost of living, “a sound currency and . . . safe banking methods” along with the establishment of organizations to loan money to farmers, enforcement of civil service laws and regulations, the establishment of pensions for elderly and disabled civil service workers, prohibition of corporations making campaign contributions, conservation of natural resources, establishment of a parcel post system, construction of additional warships for the Navy, improvement of rivers and harbors, an end to “the constantly growing evil of induced or undesirable immigration”, and greater efficiency in the financial affairs of government.

June 22– Saturday– Chicago, Illinois– President William Howard Taft receives the Republican Party nomination, by a vote of 561 to 107, after 344 of the delegates refused, out of protest, to participate in the vote. The aggrieved delegates are primarily supporters of former President Theodore Roosevelt. Robert M. LaFollette received 41votes and Albert B. Cummins received17. Roosevelt has left the convention and proposes to form a new Progressive Party. Hiram Johnson, Governor of California and also a progressive Republican, voices support for Roosevelt’s third party movement.

June 23– Sunday– Grand Island, New York– Over 100 people fall into the swiftly moving waters of the Niagara River when a dock collapses. Thirty-nine drown or are hurled over Niagra Falls several miles away. Three of the dead are children under 10 years of age.


victims of the dock collapse


June 24– Monday– Washington, D.C.– President Taft implements the first specific regulations governing the proportions and design of the flag of the United States, with the signing of an Executive Order. The President accepted the recommendation of a committee, chaired by former Admiral George Dewey, hero of the war with Spain and now 74 years old, for the new, 48 star flag, to be arranged in six rows of eight stars each.

June 24– Monday– Paris, France– Julia Richman, American educator, author, school principal and administrator, dies at 56 years of age during a visit to Europe.

June 25–Tuesday– Baltimore, Maryland–The Democratic National Convention opens at the Fifth Regiment Armory with 1,095 voting delegates present. The main contenders are House Speaker Champ Clark of Missouri and Governor Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey. Both Speaker Clark and Governor Wilson have won a number of primaries. Although Clark enters the convention with more pledged delegates than does Wilson, he lacks the two thirds vote necessary to win the nomination.

June 26– Wednesday– Southampton, England– The R M S Olympic, a sister ship to the Titanic, sets sail for the United States with 397 passengers on board. In response to the Titanic disaster, Olympic carries additional lifeboats.

June 27– Thursday– Baltimore, Maryland– The Democratic Party’s platform favors tariff reform, enforcement of anti-trust laws, states’ rights, prohibiting corporate contributions to political campaigns, “efficient supervision and rate regulation of railroads, express companies, telegraph and telephone lines engaged in interstate commerce”, federal appropriations for vocational education in agriculture, construction of post roads, extension of rural mail delivery, the right of workers to organize, creation of a department of labor, the development of workers’ compensation laws, conservation of natural resources, strengthening of pure food and public health laws, and rigid enforcement of civil service laws while opposing Republican high tariffs which have created excessive prices in common goods and “imperialism and colonial exploitation in the Phillippines or elsewhere.”

June 27– Thursday– Miraca, Cuba– Soldiers of the Cuban Army kill Evaristo Estenoz, leader of the uprising of Afro-Cuban rebels, in battle. His death brings an end to the uprising, which had caused the killing of 3,000 black Cubans.

June 28– Friday– Baltimore, Maryland– On the first ballot at the Democratic Party convention, former House Speaker Champ Clark received 440 ½ votes, New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson 324, Judson Harmon 148, Oscar Underwood 117 ½ and Thomas R. Marshall 31.


Champ Clark 1912


June 29– Saturday– Baltimore, Maryland– Champ Clark moves closer to the Democratic nomination for President, when a shift of votes from the New York delegation gives him 556 votes, more than all of the other candidates combined, but still short of the two-thirds (730) needed to win. However, the New York support has come through the machinations of Tammany Hall Democrats from New York City. This infuriates William Jennings Bryan who remains a leader of the progressive wing of the party. Bryan introduces a motion which says “As proof of our fidelity to the people, we hereby declare ourselves opposed to the nomination of any candidate for President who is the representative of or under any obligation to J. Pierpont Morgan, Thomas F. Ryan, August Belmont, or any other member of the privilege-hunting and favor-seeking class.” Bryan switches his support to Woodrow Wilson.

June 29– Saturday– La Crosse, Wisconsin– Birth of John Toland, historian, [Dies January 4, 2004.]

June 30– Sunday– Baltimore, Maryland– On the 30th ballot, Woodrow Wilson edges slightly ahead of Champ Clark for the first time, with 460 votes to 455 for Clark, as the Iowa delegation swings its support to Wilson.


Regina YMCA destroyed


June 30– Sunday– Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada– At about 4:50 in the afternoon green funnel clouds form and touch down south of the city, tearing a swath through the residential area between Wascana Lake and Victoria Avenue and the downtown business district. The twister kills 28 people, injures several hundreds, and leaves about 2500 people homeless. Approximately 500 buildings are destroyed or damaged. Property damage totals $1.2 million Canadian. [It remains the deadliest tornado in Canadian history.]


O Distressing Times!~July 1864~the 30th & 31st

O Distressing Times Here Now! ~ Anna Mellinger

Confederate soldiers destroy much of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. A costly disaster takes place at Petersburg as Federal troops fail to exploit a breech in the Confederate defenses. The Stoneman rail in Georgia fails. Conditions worsen at Andersonville prison.

Chambersburg burning

Chambersburg burning

July 30– Saturday– New York City– “A rebel cavalry raid, possibly on a large scale, has crossed the Potomac and occupied Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Will these feeble, fat, Pennsylvanians ever learn to establish a militia system and do a little to protect themselves? I almost hope Harrisburg may be harried– the lesson would be useful. At Atlanta, the rebel general Hood claims a victory. I rather think he lies. Untruthfulness is characteristic of his tribe. Southerners seem unable to perceive any virtue or value in veracity.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

July 30– Saturday– Chambersburg, Pennsylvania– Confederate cavalry burns the town, destroying 75% of the business district, leaving 3,000 people homeless and causing $1,628,431 in damages. [This would equal $24.9 million in today’s dollars, using the Consumer Price Index.]

July 30– Saturday– Franklin County, Pennsylvania– “O distressing times here now! Chambersburg is burned to ashes. Over two hundred houses burned. O Lord Strengthen thy children in whatever may befall them and [may they] submit to thy will.” ~ Diary of Anna Mellinger.

remains of the burnt courthouse in Chambersburg

remains of the burnt courthouse in Chambersburg

July 30– Saturday– McConnellsburg, Pennsylvania– “The burning of Chambersburg was generally condemned by our Regiment at first when all the sympathies were all aroused, but when reason had time to regain her seat I believe that they all thought as I thought at first; that it was Justice & Justice tempered with Mercy. That burning per se is wrong no one can deny; and the bare idea of turning out of doors upon the cold charities of the world unprotected women & unoffending children is sufficient to cause the feelings to rebel. But there may be circumstances under which it is not only justifiable but becomes a duty– stern it is true but nevertheless binding. . . . Instead of snatching from the hands of the ladies what they had saved from their burning houses & throwing it back into the flames as the Yankees did in K____ Valley, or stealing & destroying it as they did Mrs Anderson in the Valley of Virginia our men could be seen all over the city checking the fire or carrying trunks, bundles &c. for the ladies. How beautiful the contrast! It must be acknowledged that there were some who having become drunk seemed to glory in spreading destruction but it must also be remembered that many of them have had strong provocation.” ~ Diary of Confederate soldier J. Kelly Bennette.

July 30– Saturday– Petersburg, Virginia– An underground tunnel dug by Union soldiers who are coal miners from Pennsylvania and filled with explosives, goes off as planned early in the morning, killing about 278 Confederate soldiers and making a crater 170 feet long, 30 feet deep and 70 feet wide. However, poor planning and ineptitude by some Federal officers results in failure to exploit the explosion. In the ensuing fight, known as the Battle of the Crater, 3798 Union soldiers are killed, wounded or missing while the Confederate defenders sustain a total of 1491 casualties. [General Grant will relieve General Burnside of his command. A court of inquiry will hold Burnside responsible for the fiasco.]

Pennsylvania miners placing explosives in the tunnel

Pennsylvania miners placing explosives in the tunnel

July 30– Saturday– Macon, Georgia– Union General Stoneman and his cavalry reach the city but find the Union officers that had been kept prisoner there had been moved, so they begin firing artillery into the city. Local militia drive them off.

July 30– Saturday– near Augusta, Georgia– “The war is nearing our own door. Passengers from Macon say that it was rumored that our forces and the Yankee Raiders were drawn up in line of battle eight miles from that place where the train left. . . . A large party of raiders was seen in the vicinity of Covington last night. I fired off two pistol shots tonight to keep my courage up. I don’t know how I feel! A strange kind of apathy comes stealing over me as if I knew that it must come – that which we had so often talked of– so often jested upon, would soon be a fact that the Yankees would be in our midst and then what? I don’t know. Let the future decide.” ~ Journal of Ella Gertrude Clanton Thomas.

July 31– Sunday– Hancock, Maryland– Federal cavalry clash with the Confederate horsemen who burned Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. The rebels retreat toward Cumberland, Maryland.

July 31– Sunday– Petersville, Maryland– “Yesterday we made a long and hard march . . . . The poor old Sixth Corps has been on its feet for a long time and we are very weary. But it is all for the Union and I trust we are doing good work that will help the boys we left at Petersburg, Virginia.” ~ Diary of Union officer Elisha Hunt Rhodes.

July 31– Sunday– Petersburg, Virginia– “This is to inform you that I am again permitted to write you a few lines through the mercy of God to let you know that I am yet alive and in the enjoyment of a reasonable portion of health at present, After the bloody day’s work of yesterday. The yankees blew up about 75 yards of our works and then made a charge on a portion of our works and taken possession of about 300 or 400 yards of our works and we had to charge them and retake them. Our loss was very heavy in hour regiment in both officers and men. Colonel Evans was killed dead on the field. . . . Honey I have not received a word from you since I was at home which is one month today. I hope I will hear from you soon. . . . I hear the yankees are invading Georgia with their raiding parties. I fear they will over run the state before this cruel war closes. But they ever do come to where you are they will not trouble you I don’t think. Write me all the news you can. . . . I am afraid I hear bad news as there been so much hard fighting about Atlanta. Oh when will this cruel war close? Give my love to all. Kiss the children for me. I remain yours as ever until death.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Edmond Hardy Jones to his wife.

battle of the crater

battle of the crater

July 31– Sunday– near Clarksville, Tennessee– Three Union soldiers are murdered in cold blood after surrendering to Confederate raiders.

July 31– Sunday– McMinnville, Tennessee– “Everything is pleasant, if we could only now be assured that we would be allowed to remain in peace in our home. Of that we have no kind of assurance however, and the recent house burning which have taken place in White and Van Buren counties, warn us that our turn may come next. I should not be surprised at any time [to] have our house burned over our heads, and if it were to happen, I think I could bear it resolutely. I feel that we are doing right to be at home, and if misfortune finds us in the path of duty, why we must strive to bear it with all the fortitude we can summon to our support. On last Monday we leftBersheba . . . . We rumbled and tumbled, (and grumbled some,) over the rocks and stocks and blocks in that ‘Dry Wash,’ and finally came out into thevalley road, where all mounted into the buggies. . . We jogged on in this way thro’ the hot sun until it began to tell on me in the shape of a headache—which continued until it became 4 P. M., when we stopped at a fine spring and opened out well-filled lunch basket—dealing about buttered biscuit. Broiled chicken, ham, crackers, and June apples. After the lunch, and the afternoon beginning to grow cooler my head was much relieved. We were in a hurry from this time on, to get to the river before dark, because of the pickets were out and would not let us pass after dark. . . We reached the river just at dusk—found no pickets—drove on up into town—found nobody on guard anywhere, it was quite dark as we passed thro’ town and I could not tell how the old place looked except that I had [the] general impression that it had a peeled and scaly appearance. We came in by the bluff road, and I recognized no place, although I knew where we were, until we reached the steps. It was the first place that reminded me I had reached home. There was a light at the front of the house, but no one knew we were in the yard until we knocked at the door. Mammy and Puss were here and Miss Mollie had come out expecting us to get in before dark but gave us up when night set in, because they thought we would not know there were no pickets out, and would stay somewhere on the other side of the river. They were just preparing for bed when we came in—and I need not say there was joy on all hands at our reaching home once more.” ~ Diary of Lucy Virginia French, recounting her return to her home from Beersheba Springs.

July 31– Sunday– outside Atlanta, Georgia– “Our brigade is on the extreme right flank of the army now and has turned to the rear, facing west, so as to prevent the turning of the flank. There is no enemy in our front, except some cavalry patrolling, and there is no prospect of a fight here. The enemy has fared so ill in all his attacks that he won’t venture another. We would like to have him try it here, nothing would afford the 26th [Wisconsin Infantry Volunteer Regiment– his unit] more pleasure than to see the enemy attack them in their breastworks. We have built miles of breastworks, but have never yet fought in any of them. I have not seen an honest blade of grass in Georgia; our horses look poor; the heat and flies are hard on them, and feed so poor and scanty. . . . there are thousands of little flies which are the greatest annoyance. They are everywhere, swarming in clouds in the air, settling like locusts on our sugar, mixing like spice with our apple sauce, and floating like ducks in our coffee and tea.” ~ Letter from Union officer Fredrick C. Winkler to his wife.

July 31– Sunday– Sunshine Church, Georgia– Federal cavalry under General Stoneman run into three cavalry brigades under Confederate General Joseph Wheeler. The Confederates prevail in a running fight, capturing Stoneman with some of his officers and men while the others make a hard dash back to the safety of the Union lines.

July 31– Sunday– Andersonville, Georgia– The inmate hospital at the prison camp is enlarged to accommodate 1400 patients, but this does little to improve conditions. Of the 30,000 prisoners, 6315 are sick with scurvy, gangrene, or dysentery, along with 517 of the 2700 Confederates soldiers on post.

Louis Hachette

Louis Hachette

July 31– Sunday– Paris, France– Louis Hachette, publisher of educational materials and numerous types of books and journals, advocate for the poor and for the establishment of international copyright, dies at age 64.

A Rebuke to Reappearing Tyranny~April 1859~1st to 12th

A Rebuke to Reappearing Tyranny ~ Abraham Lincoln

Attorney Lincoln, his eyes on the 1860 presidential election, sends his regrets to Boston for not attending the Jefferson Day dinner. Other signs of the issues dividing the nation appear like spring flowers. Radical John Brown is raising funds. An alleged fugitive slave is arrested in Pennsylvania and found not to have been a slave, much to the disgust of Southerners. In Ohio the first of the Oberlin-Wellington rescuers goes on trial. Some Northern newspapers lambast Southern dominance of the Democratic Party. War brews in Europe. The United States extends diplomatic recognition to liberal reformers in Mexico. British forces capture a rebel leader in India. The world turns.

April1– Friday– Concord, Massachusetts– John Brown gives a public speech in the Town Hall as part of his campaign to raise financial support for his antislavery work but gives no public hint of his plans to start a slave revolt.

John Brown

John Brown

April 1– Friday– Frederick, Maryland– “As for yourself Dear Edward let me say, that before you enter upon the public service of your country, I long to see you enlisted in the service of Him, by ‘whom Kings reign & princes rule.’ This is the best preparation for such a trying, responsible work. A letter from Lizzie just after yours, told us of your visit to them, & how much gratified they were. I am very sorry you had so much trouble to find them.” ~ Letter from a female friend to Edward McPherson of Franklin County, Pennsylvania.

April 1– Friday– southeastern coast of Spain– The Count de Montemolin, a claimant to the Spanish throne of Queen Isabella II, lands with 3,600 soldiers and begins a march toward the city of Valencia. [Unfortunately for the Count, neither he nor any of his staff had told the soldiers of their mission and when they discover its purpose they will immediately declare themselves loyal subjects of the Queen and arrest their leaders, including the Count. Isabella, age 28, will show mercy and deport her cousin, the Count.]

April 1– Friday– South Indian Ocean– The Indian Ocean, an Australian clipper ship carrying gold and passengers from Melbourne, Australia, to Liverpool, England, hits an iceberg, losing two of her masts. The captain and a dozen members of the crew abandon ship and take to the lifeboats but the second officer and the remainder of the crew refuse to give up the ship. [More than five weeks later, the vessel, the second officer, his loyal crew, his forty passengers and 25,070 ounces of gold will arrive safely at the port of Valparaiso, Chile. The men who took to the boats will never be seen or heard of again and presumed lost at sea.]

April 2– Saturday– Harrisburg, Pennsylvania– At the Saturday morning market a U.S. Marshal arrests Daniel Dangerfield, claiming that he is a fugitive slave escaped from the ownership of Elizabeth Simpson of Athensville, Virginia. News of the arrest spreads quickly through the town and marshals send him to Philadelphia this evening to avoid demonstrations or attempts to free him. In Philadelphia he immediately appears before the Fugitive Slave Commissioner who holds the case over until Monday.

April 4– Monday– New York City– In the finale of their performance at Mechanics Hall Bryant’s Minstrels, a group of white singers who perform in blackface, debut a song called “Dixie” by Daniel Emmett (1815-1904), a Northerner, born in Ohio. [He had written the song some weeks earlier. It becomes an instant hit and Emmett will soon sell the rights to the song for $500, which would equal $14,500 today, using the Consumer Price Index.]

Daniel Emmett performing in blackface, c.1860

Daniel Emmett performing in blackface, c.1860


April 4– Monday– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– Proceedings begin in the matter of the alleged fugitive slave Daniel Dangerfield. A crowd numbering in the thousands gathers outside the court. In the courtroom, spectators include Lucretia Mott and Passmore Williamson. George Earle and J Miller McKim defend Dangerfield, arguing that this is a case of mistaken identity.

April 4– Monday– Washington D.C.– The trial of New York Congressman Daniel Sickles for the murder of District Attorney Philip Barton Key opens in the Washington court of Judge T. H. Crawford. Sickles’ defense team includes Attorney James T. Brady of New York and Attorney Edwin Stanton, originally from Ohio, who has practiced in Washington since 1856. [Brady, age 44, is an extremely successful lawyer who in criminal cases has won acquittals for over 40 clients and had only 1 convicted. Stanton, age 44, will serve as Lincoln’s Secretary of War.]

April 5– Tuesday– Boston, Massachusetts– The state legislature passes a law requiring milk inspections throughout the state by appointed milk inspectors to enforce the nation’s first such action.

April 5– Tuesday– Cleveland, Ohio– The trial of Simeon Bushnell, a white man, opens in federal court. He is on trial for violating the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 by helping escaped slave John Price escape from his captors in Wellington, Ohio the previous September. [Price, also known as Little John, was being returned to slavery in Kentucky but a group of students and faculty from Oberlin College, together with local citizens, had acted before he could be put on the train at Wellington. Price was freed, hidden, and helped in his successful flight to Canada. A federal grand jury indicted 37 people for breaches of the Fugitive Slave Law, including John Mercer Langston, and his brother Charles, both black graduates of Oberlin. All the defendants have refused to post bail, thus imposing expense and inconvenience on the United States and generating increasing public sympathy. Also, Bushnell and Langston have managed to have kidnaping charges filed in an Ohio court against the four men who snatched John Price. See, History of the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue by Jacob R Shipherd (1859; reprint 1969) and The Town That Started the Civil War by Nat Brandt (1990).]

the Oberlin Rescuers in front of the jail, Cleveland, Ohio, April 1859

the Oberlin Rescuers in front of the jail, Cleveland, Ohio, April 1859

April 6– Wednesday– Philadelphia, Pennsylvania– The Fugitive Slave Commissioner finds that Daniel Dangerfield is not an escaped slave and releases him to return to Harrisburg. Before he leaves a jubilant anti-slavery crowd parades Dangerfield around the city in triumph, much to the disgust of Southern observers and newspapers.

April 6– Wednesday– Springfield, Illinois– “Your kind note inviting me to attend a festival in Boston, on the 28th instant, in honor of the birthday of Thomas Jefferson, was duly received. My engagements are such that I cannot attend. Bearing in mind that about seventy years ago two great political parties were first formed in this country, that Thomas Jefferson was the head of one of them and Boston the headquarters of the other, it is both curious and interesting that those supposed to descend politically from the party opposed to Jefferson should now be celebrating his birthday in their own original seat of empire, while those claiming political descent from him have nearly ceased to breathe his name everywhere. Remembering, too, that the Jefferson party was formed upon its supposed superior devotion to the personal rights of men, holding the rights of property to be secondary only, and greatly inferior, and assuming that the so-called Democracy of to-day are the Jefferson, and their opponents the anti-Jefferson, party, it will be equally interesting to note how completely the two have changed hands as to the principle upon which they were originally supposed to be divided. The Democracy of to-day hold the liberty of one man to be absolutely nothing, when in conflict with another man’s right of property; Republicans, on the contrary, are for both the man and the dollar, but in case of conflict the man before the dollar. I remember being once much amused at seeing two partially intoxicated men engaged in a fight with their great-coats on, which fight, after a long and rather harmless contest, ended in each having fought himself out of his own coat and into that of the other. If the two leading parties of this day are really identical with the two in the days of Jefferson and Adams, they have performed the same feat as the two drunken men. . . . All honor to Jefferson to the man who, in the concrete pressure of a struggle for national independence by a single people, had the coolness, forecast, and capacity to introduce into a mere revolutionary document an abstract truth, applicable to all men and all times, and so to embalm it there that to-day and in all coming days it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling-block to the very harbingers of reappearing tyranny and oppression.” ~ Letter from Abraham Lincoln to H. L. Pierce and others.

Abraham Lincoln, attorney-at-law

Abraham Lincoln, attorney-at-law

April 6– Wednesday– near Neath, South Wales, Great Britain– At the Mair Colliery, the working of a new shaft breaches a wall that releases into the mine several hundred thousand gallons of water accumulated from old workings over the years. With the whole mine flooding rapidly, frantic efforts are made to bring the eighty-one workers and their pit-ponies to the surface. Fifty-five men and two ponies escape; however, twenty-six other men and all the other animals drown.

April 7– Thursday– Chicago, Illinois– “The proverb which says that It never Rains but it Pours, was never more strikingly illustrated than on Monday and Tuesday last, when the Republican victories in St. Louis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, Springfield, and the State of Connecticut, came crowding each other over the wires. The example of New Hampshire seems to have infected the whole country. . . . The whole hocus pocus of the Democratic platform has come down in a heap– Popular Sovereignty, Dred Scott, Cuba Stealing, Slave Trade, and the whole fabric of fraud and falsehood. To every sagacious observer of political events and the current popular opinion, it must be evident that nothing but the grossest incapacity and mismanagement can prevent a Republican triumph in the nation in 1860. The campaign has in one sense already begun. Each general election is looked upon as indicative of the result of the great battle next year, and the contestants everywhere make their appeals on the basis of that strife. To this point in the latter half of Mr. Buchanan’s term, the success of the Republican cause has been complete and uninterrupted. Whatever may be predicted upon present majorities, coupled with thorough organization and a righteous cause, may be set down to the account of Republicanism in the approaching Presidential contest. Who does not say that Freedom shall achieve a conclusive triumph in 1860?” ~ Chicago Press and Tribune.

April 7– Thursday– Vera Cruz, Mexico– Robert Milligan McLane presents his credentials to Benito Juarez thereby conferring United States recognition upon the Liberal government, much to the chagrin of the Conservatives under General Miramon.

April 8– Friday– Probnitz, Moravia– Birth of Edmund Husserl, philosopher and founder of the school of philosophy known as phenomenology. [Dies April 27, 1938.]

Edmund Husserl, in 1900

Edmund Husserl, in 1900

April 8– Friday– Paron forest, north central India– After more than a year of effort and aided by an informer turncoat, the British capture Tatya Tope. [Ram Chandra Pandurang Tope, age 45, better known to his enemies as Tatya Tope, or Tantia Topee, was a civilian adviser to Nana Sahib, one of the early leaders of the Indian Rebellion which began in May, 1857. As the fighting progressed Tope developed into a brilliant guerrilla leader, always one step ahead of his British pursuers and with a powerful capacity to rebound after defeat. He was active for twenty-three months, long after all other resistance was quelled. See generally, Indian Uprising of 1857-8: Prisons, Prisoners and Rebellion by Clare Anderson (2007); The Indian Mutiny by John Harris (2001); The Indian Mutiny of 1857– Military History from Primary Sources by G B Malleson & B Carruthers (2013).]

April 9– Saturday– Vienna, Austria– The Austrian Empire mobilizes in response to the war preparations of Piedmont-Sardinia.

April 12– Tuesday– Detroit, Michigan– Michael Phelan of New York defeats John Seereiter of Detroit in a billiards match billed as the world championship and wins a prize of $50,000. [The prize would equal $1,450,000 in today’s dollars, using the Consumer Price Index.]

April 12– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– Lord Lyons, Her Britannic Majesty’s new Minister to the United States, presents his credentials to President Buchanan. Lord Lyons, a/k/a Richard Bickerton Pernell, arrived in Washington to replace the retiring Lord Napier. [At age 41, the career diplomat is undertaking his first major assignment in what be in total fifty years of service to the British Foreign Office. He will leave Washington in the spring of 1865 and will later spend twenty years as minister to Paris.]

Come Out of Washington~March 1864~9th to 11th

Come Out of Washington~ William Tecumseh Sherman to his friend Ulysses S Grant

General William Tecumseh Sherman

General William Tecumseh Sherman

Sherman encourages Grant to get active in the field. Gideon Welles is suitably impressed with Grant. Plenty of fighting and hard times in the Confederacy. The Whitman brothers worry a bit about their mother. Disaster strikes Sheffield, England.

March 9– Wednesday– Staunton, Virginia– “Do try & get some one to do your work. Never mind the cost. I think I will be able to make smart money now & if loose all these we will still have plenty here. Do make yourself comfortable if possible. And if you can’t get along comfortable put some one in the house & come on out to me bring the family & such things as you can work out & come here I can fix you comfortable here. . . . . You must not allow yourself to be imposed upon or suffer exposure there, for the sake of our little property. let it go & you take care of your self & family. I have not yet heard from my resignation but expect to daily, & so soon as it is accepted I will write you and we will try & make some arrangements for our future course I assure you I am sorely tired of this life.” ~ Letter from Confederate officer John Nadenbousch to his wife Hester. [He is in the process of resigning his commission in the Confederate army and trying to set himself up in business. His wife is at their home in Berkeley County which has become part of the state of West Virginia.]

March 9– Wednesday– Athens, Georgia– “We are requested to give notice that the ladies of Athens will give entertainments at the Town Hall on Thursday and Friday evenings next, for the benefit of our soldiers. Tickets can be procured at the Book Store and the Jewelry stores of Mandeville & Bro. and Homer & Co. Doors open at 7 o’clock. The hall will doubtless be crowded.” ~ The Southern Banner.

March 9– Wednesday– dateline: London, England– “The two great German Powers have consented to pause in their career of conquest. After invading and taking possession of the Duchies, and just on the borders of Jutland, they are now reported to have listened to the suggestions of England, and to have consented to another Convention of the Great Powers, to be assembled again in London. Very few intelligent Germans have ever believed that Austria and Prussia were in earnest in this war. The popular impression has been that their extraordinary energy and activity were due quite as much to fear of the National party at home, as to hostility to Denmark. They were forced to a vigorous campaign, in order to retain the leadership of Germany and to keep down the Federalists.” ~ New York Times on the war of Austria and Germany versus Denmark.

General Grant

General Grant

March 10– Thursday– Washington, D. C.– General Grant receives a letter from his old friend, General William Tecumseh Sherman which Sherman wrote several days ago while in field. “You do yourself injustice and too much honor in assigning to us too large a share of the merits which have led to your high advancement. You are now Washington’s legitimate successor, and occupy a position of almost dangerous elevation; but if you can continue as heretofore to be yourself, simple, honest, and unpretending, you will enjoy through life the respect and love of friends, and the homage of millions of human beings who will award to you a large share for securing to them and their descendants a government of law and stability. I believe you are as brave, patriotic, and just, as the great prototype Washington; as unselfish, kind-hearted, and honest, as a man should be; but the chief characteristic in your nature is the simple faith in success you have always manifested. Now to the future. Do not stay in Washington. Come out west; take to yourself the whole Mississippi Valley; let us make it dead-sure, and I will tell you the Atlantic slope and Pacific shores will follow its destiny. For God’s sake and for your country’s sake, come out of Washington!”

March 10– Thursday– Washington, D. C.– President and Mrs Lincoln attend Grover’s Theatre for a performance of Richard III, the last night in a series of Shakespearean dramas featuring Edwin Booth.

March 10– Thursday– Richmond, Virginia– “Mrs. H. L. Know of Mobile Alabama, was brought to this city yesterday under arrest and committed to Castle Thunder as a spy.” ~ Richmond Whig.

March 10– Thursday– Cleveland, Tennessee– How I wish for independence, my spirits feel crushed. In vain I sight for peace and find none. My very soul is depressed and weighed down in the language of our psalmist did when he was oppressed by his enemies, in Psalms 8-9; ‘Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God, defend me from them that rise up against me.’ Judge ___and his lady here tonight. Such a trade of abuse I never heard as he pronounced against our beloved South. Mrs____ said she was truly sorry for the Confederate army. He said they were forced to fight at the point of a bayonet and spoke of them being urged on by a few fanatic demagogues. And denounced the Confederate lying newspaper in the bitterest of terms, how my heart ached for revenge. O, our father, if it is Thy will let us gain our independence. Truly I thought he would spare our feelings, but alas, he bridled not his tongue, neither spared he our feelings. I could only sit and offer up a feeble prayer to God for our deliverance. We are done with peace.” ~ Diary of Myra Adelaide Inman.

March 10– Thursday– Mayfield, Kentucky; Charles Town, West Virginia; White County, Tennessee; Clinton, Kentucky; Kabletown, West Virginia– Raids and skirmishes. Also, Federal troops are moving and scouting around Batesville, Arkansas, and a large Federal force leaves Vicksburg, Mississippi for operations on the Red River in Louisiana.

March 10– Thursday– Munich, Germany– King Maximilian II of Bavaria dies at age 52. He has reigned since March, 1848.

Maximilian II of Bavaria

Maximilian II of Bavaria

March 11– Friday– Brooklyn, New York– “The enclosed $5 is contributed for the wounded men by Moses Lane. I am at a stand to know whether to beg pardon for not writing you before or to scold you for not writing to me. I have been away for nearly three weeks, down in Connecticut making surveys for an ‘Iron Co’ and only returned last Monday night. Since then I have been very much engaged in getting my work up so that I have not, lately, really had an opportunity to write you. . . Mother is not well. I think she has the worst cold that I ever knew of. I wish she could be made to think that she must not wash scrub and clean house. I had quite a time with her this morning about it after exhausting every excuse she said she ‘could not afford to hire it done.’ She is foolishly worrying herself about George– thinking that he does not want her to use so much of his money She says that when he went away he did not say as usual ‘Mammy don’t want for anything.’ If he didn’t God knows he meant it. To me his whole life and actions home seemed to say so. But Mother seems to feel quite bad about it. Several days after he first went away she was either crying or planning how to take ‘boarders’ and make her own living. Poor Mother, how foolish her dear old heart gets sometimes.” ~ Letter from Jeff Whitman to his brother Walt.

Louisa Whitman

Louisa Whitman

March 11– Friday– Washington, D.C.– “A pleasant meeting of the Cabinet, and about the time we had concluded General Grant was announced. He had just returned from a visit to the Army of the Potomac, and appeared to better advantage than when I first saw him, but he is without presence. After a very brief interview, he remarked to the President that he should leave this p.m. for Nashville, to return in about two weeks, and should be glad to see the Secretary of War . . . before he left. There was in his deportment little of the dignity and bearing of the soldier but more of an air of business than his first appearance indicated, but he showed latent power.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

March 11– Friday– Orange County, Virginia– “Furloughing is still a going on. There is two ahead of mine yet so I am still in hopes of getting one before long, we can have the pleasure of talking in place of writing it. It would give me so much more comfort. I have not heard anything about giving up in Virginia. It may be so, but I don’t believe that they are going to do it, for I think if they give up Virginia this cruel war will be over soon.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Jesse Rolston to his wife Mary.

March 11– Friday– Dooly County, Georgia– “Having despaired of seeing you soon, I will no longer delay writing. If you are disappointed in your expectations, I shall be very sorry. You will not be the only one sadly disappointed I assure you. I would like much to see you. This morning I attended the burial of Parson Aldridge. He died the 9th after a lingering illness of three weeks. His demise is much lamented by this vicinity. He was buried with Masonic honors, over at the church. I think there were nearly three hundred people present. Within the last month, death has visited many families in this neighborhood. Dr. Cross has been very sick for a length of time, and now, as he is recovering, the news has come that his son Andrew (who has been a prisoner for eight months in Ohio) is dead. It really seems that he cannot survive this affliction. You doubtless recollect him, he was quite a possessing young man when he left; but death is no respecter of persons. Therefore how important it is for us all to prepare for it, while we are in the enjoyment of good health and surrounded with many, many blessings, how apt we are to forget the God that bless assured how unthankful we are. Consequently sickness & death, are sent upon us to remind us that this earthly home is not our abiding place, but that we should seek a place in heaven.” ~ Letter from Maggie Cone to her sweetheart Alva Spencer.

March 11– Friday– Milledgeville, Georgia– The Honorable Linton Stephens “yesterday introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives, declaring that peace be officially offered to the enemy after every Confederate victory, on the principles of 1776, leaving to each doubtful State the right to decide her association by a fair Convention of the people thereof.”

March 11– Friday– Sumner County, Tennessee– “Yesterday was the day of elections and as only the union men were allowed to vote nobody knows how it turned out nor do they care. Sallie Montgomery rode out this evening, the pickets would not let her pass, so she slipped them as many do. I suppose they are scared again. Perhaps that scamp John Morgan is about. I only hope he is, for we have not seen a rebel for more than a year and our day must come soon.” ~ Diary of Alice Williamson.

remains of the broken Dale Dyke Dam

remains of the broken Dale Dyke Dam

March 11– Friday– Sheffield, England– This evening the new Dale Dyke Dam collapses, sending millions of gallons of water rushing down stream. The dead number 238. Over 700 animals are lost, 130 buildings destroyed, 15 bridges swept away and another 6 bridges are damaged.

Uncle Abe is the Most Popular Man in America~December 1863~the 8th to 11th

Uncle Abe Is the Most Popular Man in America ~ George Templeton Strong

President Lincoln offers amnesty to all in rebellion who freely take an oath of allegiance to the United States. He extends congratulations to General Grant for the recent success in Tennessee. Concern about the French intervention in Mexico reaches man different quarters. Russian naval officers are wined and dined in Washington. Women in Memphis try to provide for the poor. Nashville has no more coal. People in Wheeling are concerned about the families of soldiers. Soldiers wonder about winter quarters. A terrible fire destroys a church in Chile. And the world goes– babies born, old folks die.


December 8– Tuesday– Washington, D.C.– President Lincoln issues a Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction which offers a full pardon to any and all Southerners who participated in the rebellion provided such persons take a “prescribed oath” of loyalty. He adds, “And I do further proclaim, declare, and make known that any provision which may be adopted by such State government in relation to the freed people of such State which shall recognize and declare their permanent freedom, provide for their education, and which may yet be consistent as a temporary arrangement with their present condition as a laboring, landless, and homeless class, will not be objected to by the National Executive. . . . . And, still further, that this proclamation is intended to present the people of the States wherein the national authority has been suspended and loyal State governments have been subverted a mode in and by which the national authority and loyal State governments may be reestablished within said States or in any of them; and while the mode presented is the best the Executive can suggest, with his present impressions, it must not be understood that no other possible mode would be acceptable.”

December 8– Tuesday– “Understanding that your lodgment at Chattanooga and Knoxville is now secure, I wish to tender you and all under your command my more than thanks, my profoundest gratitude for the skill, courage, and perseverance with which you and they, over so great difficulties, have effected that important object. God bless you all.” ~ Message from President Lincoln to General Grant.

General Grant

General Grant

December 8– Tuesday– Guatemala City, Guatemala– U S Minister to the country, Elisha Crosby, reports to Secretary of State Seward that the Guatemalan government will not recognize the monarchy in Mexico unless the United States does.

December 8– Tuesday– Santiago, Chile– The Church of the Company of Jesus, located in the downtown, is crowded with worshipers, mostly women and children, observing a feast day of the Virgin Mary when shortly before 7 o’clock in the evening a gas lamp at the top of the main altar ignites some of the fabrics adorning the walls. The fire spreads quickly from there onto the wooden roof. The attendees panic while trying to leave the burning building. Between 2,000 and 3,000 people perish in the fire, many burned beyond recognition, in a city that has about 100,000 inhabitants. Entire families are wiped out. The building is a total loss.

December 9– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– Dissatisfied with several design proposals from the mint director, Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase recommends the words “In God We Trust” be added to the design of the new one, two and three-penny coins.

December 9– Wednesday– Washington, D.C.– “Received and entertained fifty Russian officers, the Cabinet, foreign ministers, and the officers of our own Navy who were in Washington, and all professed to be, and I think were, gratified. It was a question whether some of the legations would attend, but I believe all were present at our party.” ~ Diary of Gideon Welles.

Russian naval officers

Russian naval officers

December 9– Wednesday– Camp Pittman near London, Kentucky– “I have just received a letter from Jeff, of Dec 3rd bringing the sorrowful news of the death of Brother Andrew. I was somewhat prepared for the worst, by Walt’s letter of Dec 1st but I still had strong hopes, that he would recover, and until I received Walt’s letter, I had no idea that Andrew was in any immediate danger. . . . Mother I do hope that you will bear up with your troubles, and not make yourself sick by worrying. . . . Mother you see by this that we have moved from Crab Orchard, we came on here last week, this place is 38 miles from Crab Orchard, in the direction of Cumberland Gap. How long we will remain here, of course we don’t know, but there is strong talk of our being ordered home to re organize and as nearly all of our men are anxious to re-enlist in the veteran Corps, I think that the chances are that we will be ordered home before many weeks. I sent you $150.00 by Addam’s Express a few days ago.” ~ Letter of George Whitman to Louisa, his mother.

December 9– Wednesday– Memphis, Tennessee– “Ladies Union Benevolent Association. This excellent and very popular society gives a free reception this evening, to which all friends are cordially invited. We are happy to state that this charitable institution has procured the hall of the No. 3 [fire] engine house,on the corner of Adams and Second streets, which are fitted up in a style both useful and conformable to the members andothers desiring to visit them. The object of this association is, first, the promotion of the social circle, and, to give the proper value to society, as it should and ought to be; to aid the poor and indigent, who have been thrown on the world through their love of country, and otherwise aid all those who are worthy of help from this association. The officers, under whose management the ‘Ladies’ Union’ is conducted, are well and favorably known; being ornaments to our first society. The following ladies are the presiding officers for the presentterm: Mrs. Cooper, President; Mrs. Tagg, Vice-President; Mrs. C. C. Smith, Secretary Mrs. Cobb, Treasurer; Mesdames Beeman, Walcot and Boyle, Directresses. We understand that it is the intention of the ladies to have the affair during the Christmas holidays, the proceeds of which will be handed to the poor of our city. They propose also to give several concerts for the same charitable purposes.” ~ Memphis Bulletin.

December 9– Wednesday– Athens, Georgia– “Notice. The Athens Manufacturing Co. having taken twenty-five thousand pair of pants to dye for the Government, they will not be able to dye any more yarns or garments for our customers. R. L. A. Bloomfield, Agent.” ~ The Southern Banner

December 10– Thursday– New York City– Irish-born Charles C. Ingham, portrait painter and one of the founders of the New York National Academy of Design in 1826, dies at age 67. He was 20 years old when he and his family came to the United States. Among his best known works are his portraits of the Marquis de Lafayette and of New York Governor DeWitt Clinton.

December 10– Thursday– Montpelier, Virginia– “The old fellow here says he wants us to stay as long as the Army stays here and we may spend the winter here. . . . . This has once been a grand and noble place and many traits of its grandeur can be seen yet, but since the war it has been taken but little care of and the beauty of the place, such as the fancy garden, yards &c is almost entirely neglected. The dwelling is situated on a beautiful eminence and commands a grand view of the mountains and the country scenery around. It has been erected more than a hundred years and is built of pure granite. It is a very large house and has about 20 rooms in all. The grave yard is quite interesting to look at. Madison, with many of the family, is buried there. It is enclosed and belongs to the State of Virginia. The monument over the grave of Madison is about 20 feet high and is of plain granite, nothing showy about it.” ~ Letter from Confederate soldier Marion Hill Fitzpatrick to his wife Amanda.

December 10– Thursday– Chattanooga, Tennessee– “The general commanding takes this opportunity of returning his sincere thanks and congratulations to the brave armies of the Cumberland, the Ohio, the Tennessee, and their comrades from the Potomac, for the recent splendid and decisive successes achieved over the enemy. . . . . By your noble heroism and determined courage you have most effectually defeated the plans of the enemy for regaining possession of the States of Kentucky and Tennessee. You have secured positions from which no rebellious power can drive or dislodge you. For all this the general commanding thanks you collectively and individually. The loyal people of the United States thank and bless you. Their hopes and prayers for your success against this unholy rebellion are with you daily. Their faith in you will not be in vain. Their hopes will not be blasted. Their prayers to Almighty God will be answered.” ~ General Orders, #9 from Union General Ulysses S Grant.

December 10– Thursday– Nashville, Tennessee– “The gas-works, having exhausted the supply of coal in the city, Nashville last night was without a solitary gas jet. The gas-works have suspended operations and our city will be in a state of darkness until a supply of coal reaches us. In the meantime our denizens will have to go back to first principles and use candles and lamp-oil.” ~ Nashville Daily Press.

December 10– Thursday– Sacramento, California– Wealthy businessman Leland Stanford, age 39, Republican, the 8th Governor of California, finishes his two year term and is succeeded by former Congressman Frederick Low, age 35, also a Republican. [Stanford as governor had kept California safely within the Union. He will invest his talents in making a great deal of money in railroads and will serve in the United States Senate from 1885 to 1893. Low will serve as United States Minister to China from 1869 to 1874.]

Leland Stanford

Leland Stanford

December 10– Thursday– London, England– “I suppose from your unbroken silence that you cannot have received any of my letters. . . . . How anxiously I look for letters from home it would be impossible for me to tell you. All the accounts come through the Yankee press– Just now we have the news of Bragg’s disastrous defeat and falling back from Lookout Mountain– with loss of 60 pieces of artillery small arms &c and 8000 prisoners – I give a wide margin to this for the usual exaggeration. But the effect is most depressing. . . . . My friend you know not the importance of sending correct information, which can be used so as to counteract the Yankee accounts. I believe that all classes here except the Abolitionists sympathize with us and are only held back from recognizing us for fear of war with the United States. The invasion of Canada is the great bugbear. Remove this and all will flow smoothly. I am myself sanguine of the events of the next few months. The Mexican question is so intimately connected with our own that the one is a sequence of the other.” ~ Report from Confederate agent Rose Greenhow to Colonel Alexander Boteler, former Virginia Congressman and now serving as an aide to Confederate General Jeb Stuart in Virginia.

December 11– Friday– New York City– Anne Hall, a painter of miniatures, dies of heart disease at her sister’s home at age 71. In 1833 she had become the first woman to be a full member of the National Academy of Design.

December 11– Friday– New York City– “Uncle Abe is the most popular man in America today. The firmness, honesty, and sagacity of the ‘gorilla despot’ may be recognized by the rebels themselves sooner than we expect, and the weight of his personal character may do a great deal toward restoration of our national unity.” ~ Diary of George Templeton Strong.

December 11– Friday– Dover, Delaware– Birth of Annie Jump Cannon, only daughter and oldest of three children born to Wilson Lee and Mary Elizabeth Jump Canon. She will study physics and astronomy at Wellesley College and will work in the observatory at Harvard for forty-five years, gathering an unsurpassed collection of astronomical data and publish a significant number of articles and papers. She will actively campaign for woman suffrage, be an active member of Alice Paul’s National Woman’s Party and receive an honorary doctoral degree from Oxford.

Annie Jump Cannon c.1922

Annie Jump Cannon c.1922

December 11– Friday– Wheeling, West Virginia– “Soldiers’ Relief Meeting. Only a few persons assembled at the Court House last evening. . . . . Several persons stated that comparatively large sums had been subscribed which had not as yet been paid in. Mr. Holliday from the first ward stated a citizen of that ward had just given him a check for $250. It was stated that an estimate had been made that it would require about six hundred dollars per week to supply the needy families with the necessaries of life, to say nothing of clothing, of which many children stood badly in need. It was understood that there would be a meeting on Monday evening next.” ~ Wheeling Intelligencer.